Music set to a bar crawl with a sword swallower, human blockhead and Schmaltz beer (who just happen to have a beer called "Human Blockhead" and "Sword Swallower"). Schmaltz beer promo shot in San Francisco.
Readers of this blog know that I find the current America's Cup not so much sailboat racing, as a jingoistic, billionaire big money soiree. Billionaires and Hollywood stars are alien, not human.... their souls long gone, not even to purgatory.
I find this schmaltzy, "I love the sea", "I love the USA", good ole red white and blue, "I started sailing from nothing" (even if I'm from New Zealand) video very watchable.
It looks like Larry Ellison was interviewed in this video on his super...mega...mucho grande yacht (are there are a ton of seats behind him, maybe it's an onboard theater, thats why Larry loves the sea!). The weepy music in the video, the violin crescendo, the heart rending interviews. Man, the heart catches in the throat as we watch the family members cheer and Larry, urging his team on from his RIB and finally, finally holding the Amerca's Cup trophy after a cool 100* million and who knows how much in lawyers fees.
About a year ago they completed three large towers of the Parole Town Center, a much ballyhooed multi use, multi million dollar complex out on the western fringe of Annapolis. The stores and bars on the street level seem to be doing well but the luxury apartments up top are selling oh... so... slo...w....ly in this recession. The Parole Town Center may be one chink of the upcoming commercial real estate crash, the next crash to rock our economy, saith the doomsayers.
But this post is not about runaway commercial development, or boom economics, but about beauty in an urban world....... for the Parole Town Center turns into a golden palace in the springtime. The just risen sun of mid March lights the windows of the North East facing windows in a shimmering golden glow. I see it driving east into work at 7:15 am on Generals Highway, the glow just visible in early morn for only a few days right after the switch to Daylight Savings time. It is a springtime phenomena that for me, in the space of two short years, is much anticipated and given the short duration, I now pull my car over to the shoulder to soak it in.
Over my blogging history, I've received a grand total of two emails from my readership. Both have had questions on the Classic Moth class. The most recent one was from Robert of Toronto asking about different Classic Moth designs and the availability of plans. Below is a somewhat expanded email I sent back.
(Addendum September 2012 - I first wrote this post in 2010. Since then various boatbuilders have popped up, building reproductions of vintage designs. Francois Vivier has also produced a kit Moth. In the two years I have made many more posts about Classic Moths on Earwigoagin and it might be worth the reader to investigate. For more articles on the Classic Moth from this blog, use the Blogger Search Box at the top left (next to the orange B icon). Type in "Classic Moth" to pull all the articles on the Classic Moth from this blog. Or go to the Labels on the right side of the blog and select "Classic Moth" Also the plans for the Little Mae Vintage design can also be found on this blog as well as some construction photos of the French Vintage Classic Moth, the Nantais. The Little Mae design and the Nantais are very, very similar designs. Use the following links.)
A quick review of some of the more popular designs and the availability of plans. (Updated September 2012)
(Note; To give a rough idea on the tippiness of a hull, Joe Bousquet developed a scissor-like device he placed over the midsection to visually show the amount of V. I've included his pictures of the various V's from the Mistral, Shelly, Europe, Energizer.)
MISTRAL - easiest to build. Developable plywood. Stitch and glue. Two 3mm plywood panels are bent up to shape, a centerline piece attached to hold the run flat, a spreader bar at the gunwhales is used to get the correct shape when bending up and glassing. A weekend of work will give you the rough shape. Adding two permanent bulkheads, a temp bulkhead and the transom finalizes the shape. Many people have hacked the hull shape by pushing here or pulling there so we have some semi Mistral hullls out there. Here is a link to a blog post of a local Annapolis Mothist, John Z building a Mistral. A Mistral or some variation of the Mistral has won the Nationals the last umpteen years.
However, the Mistral is a very deep V design. Very floppy and has a tendency to scare newbie Mothists who try to sail her. Many have come ashore and either; 1) rapidly put the boat up for sale or 2) put the Mistral back in the garage for a while and then discreetly sold her. Not all mind you, as we have a core group of about 6-8 who regularly sail a Mistral (or modified Mistral design, i.e. the Mousetrap or Y2K designs) and are able to race them hard in all conditions and win. It helps to have some Laser or Sunfish experience but this is not an ironclad requirement. If you pick a Mistral to build, consider yourself warned. If you decide to proceed, George has the plans (see bottom of article).
The Mistral on the Bousquet V-meter.
Top View of a Mistral Mod Design, the Mousetrap by Jeff Linton.
Not all Mistrals are built in plywood. This one was done in foam core/glass, with the hull splashed using an existing wood hull as a mold. Note the very interesting transom design. ENERGIZER -Just a hair more stable than the Mistral is the Energizer design. A modification of the 1970's Stockholm Sprite, it is a full chine design but still very V'd. Two have been built with some success. No plans.
Energizer on the Bousquet V-meter.
The original Energizer was the first Classic Moth I owned. Here I am sailing Energizer at Chester River in Maryland.
TWEEZER - Yep, this is my design. A Gen 2 design racing against the Mistral, Energizer designs. Stability somewhere between the Mistral and the Shelly. Flatter rocker in the Tweezer has proven to be a quick in a breeze but suffers against the Mistrals and even the Shelly in the lighter stuff (non-hiking breeze) which, on the East Coast, seems to be the majority of our conditions. I may be biased but it is a hull with little vices. Round bilged and the original was built using cedar strips. Picture below is of me racing at E-City. View the YouTube of Tweezer's construction.
SHELLY - A wider, flatter chined design with moderate rocker from the late 60's. Much more stable and, in the hands of Joe Bousquet, has done very well in the National championships. George has the Mk3 plans.
Shelly on the Bousquet V-meter.
A McCutcheon built Shelly in dinghy park at the Gulfport Midwinters.
MINT - Qualifies for Gen 1 (our Classic Moth division for the more stable, higher wetted surface hulls that are not Vintage). A reasonably docile design from the 1950's. Never built one but the bow sections go very fine and look to present some challenges to the home builder. That being said, 6 hulls were built in Elizabeth City in the 1990's. George has the section lines.
A picture of the beautiful restoration of the first Mint built.....
And John Pugh sailing a Mint at the E-City Nationals.
FLORIDA CATES - A very successful 1960's design evolution from the Bailey Mach 1. A Gen 1 design, the Cates is another V'd shape but much more stable then the Mistral or Energizer. Low freeboard and a wet boat. George has the plans.
MODERN FLORIDA -There are two designs by famous Florida MORC designers; OH Rodgers designed the Florida Wedge (a flat design, very stable, but slow in light air and waves and squirrely downwind in a breeze) and Paul Lindenberg designed a Classic Moth which has a resemblance to the Windmill hull. Lindenberg will sell his Classic Moth plans for $400. I don't have an address.
A transom photo of a Lindenberg Moth (from George's blog). Note the anti-reflective strips on the transom for safer trailering.
SAVANNAH WEDGE - Very close to the Florida Wedge concept, two Moths were built in Savannah, Georgia (the designer escapes me at the moment). Flat transom and looked very much like the Zuma class that was built in fiberglass in the 90's. The Savannah Wedge is not competitive as a Classic Moth racer, too much wetted surface, but with it's double bottom this is a very capable kick-around-the-lake daysailor. No plans existing that I know of.
OLYMPIC EUROPE - The Olympic Europe is based on a 1960's Europa Classic Moth and there is an active section of Classic Mothists who have purchased plastic Europes, modified the sail to fit the Classic Moth and are sailing them mostly as stock (though we do have one modified Europe).
Wooden Europa dinghy on the Bousquet V-meter.
Walt Collins with his Olympic Europe.
PROUST DESIGN - In 2009, Jim Young built an old French design he found on the Internet. Despite the name he gave her (Tippy), this Classic Moth was anything but. A stable, buoyant design which Jim built modern, in foam/glass. Details on "Tippy" can be found over at this blog post.
RESTORATION - Many of the 60 designs have reappeared as derelict hulls and have been restored rather than homebuilt from scratch. The oldest designs for Vintage (Ventnor, Connecticut, and Dorr Willey designs) must be restored to qualify to race in the Vintage division (you can still race a reproduction Vintage in the Gen 1 division). REPRODUCTION VINTAGE - Several people have been building reproductions of the French vintage design, the Nantais Moth. Go to the top of this post for more links to the Nantais Moth. CONCLUSION - Let me be clear. The Classic Moth is a short hull and a light hull. At the Gen2 level, the Classic Moths are challenging craft to sail but very rewarding at the same time.A Laser is like an aircraft carrier compared to the more twitchier Gen 2 designs, the Mistral, Energizer, Tweezer or even the Shelly.
But there are more stable Classic Moths that we classify as Gen 1. I've never sailed a Mint or a Proust design but I would assume that they would be very much the same stability as a Laser or Sunfish. A reproduction vintage design such as the Little Mae or Nantais Moth would be very stable and perfect for kicking around on the lake.
So there you have it. The Mistral, Shelly and Florida Cates have more or less complete plans. Other designs you would probably need to work off a set of lines drawings and use your builders experience. George Albaugh is our plan librarian. His email is linked from Classic Moth website. Other links to other Classic Moth design posts from Earwigoagin..........
A Mistral hull modified with a flatter Europe type transom.
Friday becomes Saturday again..... which works out as today is the first day of spring.... well not quite spring yet as quick research shows it to be 8 pm which is still an hour away as I write this. This week, a celebration of springtime in all it's human glory, in a video by Jordi Pons, set to the song "Teardrop" by Massive Attack.
Last October I was Vice Chair for the Lightning Frigid Digit Regatta.... at SSA.... in October. We had an unusually cold weekend, temps just barely climbing into the 40's and constant, constant rain, and solid breeze. Conditions were so bad that a regatta that normally attracts 40+ Lightnings only got 18 to actually show up to the club, and a reduced 11 or 12 making it out to the starting line. It was most miserable for the RC folk. I have a mishmash of old foul weather gear and my selection for that weekend was woefully inadequate. My 30 year old Line 7 vinyl top was not up to the task, eventually transmitting enough moisture by a mystery osmosis to keep everything wet underneath.
I, the cheapskate that I am, did reluctantly open my wallet over the offseason for some new Henri Lloyd foul weather gear. Luckily, it seems, as I volunteered for the US Navy Collegiate Women's Regatta this weekend. Saturday, solid rain in the morning (Annapolis was to end up with 2.3 inches), temps slightly higher in the 50's, solid breeze in the morning giving way to erratic and light winds in the afternoon. Sunday, the rain threatened but never delivered and the breeze remained subdued. The Henri Lloyd worked well.... thank you, thank you! modern waterproof fabric technology. But my hands.... I have an old set of Gill neoprene gloves with leather palms.... wet and stayed wet. I guess I'll have to revert back to those old style rubber gloves that all the sailors in-the-know seem to be using now.
There was a strange meterological phenomenom that I can't recollect seeing. It happened on Saturday afternoon. Wind was predicted from North to North East, typical of a low pressure system off the coast. And that is what we had for most of Saturday until a low cloud bank appeared to the South and pushed it's way North against the prevailing wind. When it pushed through, the wind switched about 150 degrees to the South for about 20 minutes. When the cloud bank ended up north of us, the wind reverted back to the original direction. I need to talk to one of my meterological friends about that micro-weather puzzle?
I did have my small digital camera out with me and, where I felt I could sneak it in, I did some filming. Small digital cameras and their so-so lenses make grey days even greyer... but I'll give you some of the random clips from the Race Committee perspective.
PRO for the regatta was Lieutenant Ben who did an excellent job.
The last snow from Snowmageddon has disappeared from my lawn. I should feature some snow in a music video to memorialize the record snowy February the Mid Atlantic hath endured. I have also been remiss in featuring cute dogs and cats doing cute doggie and cat things; a surefire way to attract the Internet hordes to my blog.
Haha! One video to satisfy both of these requirements;
I don't think I've featured a band more than once on "Music for Fridays". But I couldn't resist putting the band "OK Go" up a second time for their Rube Goldberg video featuring their song "This Too Shall Pass". Mind boggling the complexity and the amount of man hours that went into creating this.
Bald but my eyebrows are growing at a prolific rate. Sailed Windmills and Y-Flyers in the 1960's. Founded Miami University (OH) sailing team. Sailed International 14's and Lasers in the 1970's. Sailed International Canoes in the 1980's to mid 1990's. Sailed Classic Moths since 2002. Enjoy boatbuilding though I'm very, very slow at it (the Internet doesn't help matters).
After choosing this username (Tweezer is the name of my Classic Moth), further research on the Internet turned up that Tweezerman is a corporate name for a line of pedicure products. Let me emphasize that I do not work for, nor endorse these products.