Monday, April 11, 2011

Plans for a Scow Moth; Bunyip IX

The Australian Scow Moth is one of the most exciting chapters in the history of building wooden racing dinghies. With the pressure cooker of constant hull development, builders were able to get the scow hulls below 40 lbs (18 kg) by paring away structure, till, all that was left was the essentials. Scow Moths were built like airplane wings; a very light skin (1.5 mm or 1/16" ply) supported by ribs and strategically placed bulkheads.

Ray Hilton, of Western Australia, designed and built scow Moths for his sons, Greg and John, through the 1970's to the mid 1980's. In 1982, Greg Hilton was the last Moth sailor to win a World Championship in a scow. Ray's Bunyip IX design (and the Ian Ward's, Jim French's, Andy McDougall's scow design) is where wooden Moth scow development stopped as the skiff hull in mid 1980's was rapidly outpacing the scow in International Moth competition.

Ray's plans and building instructions for the Bunyip IX, reproduced below, is a fascinating study of how to build very lightweight wooden boat racing dinghies.

More readable station offsets can be found here.

Plans for a vintage scowish Moth can be found here.

Some pictures of the Aussie scows can be found here.


5 comments:

Anonymous said...

After looking at the plans in detail for the Bunyip 9 I am amazed at the small and thin dimensions of the materials used to make the hull. A work of art. To get the boat to the minimum 70# weight he got the hull itself to 40# leaving 30# for the rest. The hard chines are in line with the streamlines so are a builders dream. No wonder it is a Champion.

Bob said...

Hello
Any Scow Moth's for sale out there ?
Bunyip, Imperium,McFrawd, Red Ned, Etc.
Thank you

Tweezerman said...

Anonymous - I consider the scow Moth the epitome of light weight wood building as it took some home grown engineering to build such a wide flat structure so light.

Bob - Since the majority of scow moths were built in Australia and New Zealand, this is where they pop up for sale. I've seen at least one a month show up on the Internet for Australasia customers. Google "Scow Moth" to track. If you live somewhere else, only bet is to build one.

Bob said...

Thanks Tweezerman- Thats the realization I was coming to ! I am a Puget Sound Region guy and have always followed the Moths...just never pursued it. Guess it's time !

Anonymous said...

Anonymous1, there was no minimum weight, however your numbers are right