Sunday, May 17, 2015

Florida Cates Moth Offsets

Plans de dériveur classique Moth

George Albaugh, fellow blogger and Moth class keeper of plans, kindly lent me the Florida Cates Classic Moth plans to look over. Jeff Linton got his start in the Classic Moth class in a somewhat tired fiberglass Cates and just recently, Gary Gowans, shown in the photo below, won the Gen I division in the 2014 Classic Moth nationals with his home-built modified Cates.


George provided more details on the history of the Florida Cates Moth in the comments section, which I have dragged over to the main post:
"Warren's 1954 World Champ boat was Mach One, NOT Mach Two. After Harry Cates modified the design of Mach One to make the boat easier to build and less tippy, Warren ordered one from Harry and named that particular boat Mach Two. The modified boat is alternatively referred to as a "Cates" a "Florida" or a "Mach Two" design, depending on whom you're taking to and to an extent where you are geographically up and down the eastern seaboard.

"As a footnote, only a handful of Mach One type Moths were built. The Mach One has more keel rocker and a much deeper vee. This makes a Mach One type almost as evil to sail as a Mistral. This also means that the bow sections on the Mach One have to be pulled up pram style rather than planked as in the case of the Mach Two/Cates/Florida derivative. Warren's Mach One had a false nose, made of fiberglass, glued on the front of the hull to achieve the sharp stem seen in most surviving photos of the boat.
I scanned parts of the plans and was also able to convert the Florida Cates lines into an 8-station offset table incorporating Gary Gowan's wider transom. I've made up a small PDF file, which, while not the complete plans, gives you the flavor of how they built this 1950's design. If you were an experienced builder, you could probably make something out of this PDF. If not, contact George for the complete set of plans (see PDF).

To print or download this PDF, click on the right-facing arrow icon on the top right of the PDF window. This will open the PDF into another tab.




7 comments:

George A said...

Warren's 1954 World Champ boat was Mach One, NOT Mach Two. After Harry Cates modified the design of Mach One to make the boat easier to build and less tippy, Warren ordered one from Harry and named that particular boat Mach Two. The modified boat is alternatively referred to as a "Cates" a "Florida" or a "Mach Two" design, depending on whom you're taking to and to an extent where you are geographically up and down the eastern seaboard.

As a footnote, only a handful of Mach One type Moths were built. The Mach One has more keel rocker and a much deeper vee. This makes a Mach One type almost as evil to sail as a Mistral. This also means that the bow sections on the Mach One have to be pulled up pram style rather than planked as in the case of the Mach Two/Cates/Florida derivative. Warren's Mach One had a false nose, made of fiberglass, glued on the front of the hull to achieve the sharp stem seen in most surviving photos of the boat.

doryman said...

What impresses me most is how many designs can come from such a simple boat. Always entertaining, if not enlightening.
There's some heavy fellows in the current header, to make that lapstrake beauty heel like that in no wind........

Tweezerman said...

Doryman,

You can find practically any sort of hull design, somewhere, at sometime, in the history of the Moth. It really was the first true international development dinghy class and the numbers of amateur (and some professional) designers playing around with this 11 foot dinghy is staggering.

Carolyn Bailey said...


I don't recall that Warren ordered Mach II from Harry, though I guess it’s possible if before I was old enough to remember. When I was age 15 and starting high school, Warren bought Mach II from its then-owner, whose name I do not recall, for me to race. She was painted black and was very heavy, with so many coats of paint that I could, and did, stand holding an electric sander on the topside in one spot for several long minutes with no visible change in the finish. My dad had wanted to repaint her but changed his mind after seeing how long it would take me to sand her. I wanted to rename her 'Bonaventure,' but that name was too long for him to paint on the stern, so she remained 'Mach II'.

I never enjoyed racing, although Warren was devoted to it and it was the family recreation. Competition was taken too seriously then for me, when I just wanted to sail for pleasure. I did my best to win only twice, once because it meant beating a fellow my parents thought was quite superior, and once because the weather was very rough and I loved sailing in it and out-sailing the boys. On the other hand, I purposely disqualified myself once -- jibed and went over -- when I couldn’t stop heavy old Mach II from repeatedly overtaking the third-place sailor in a national race.

I think my dad sold Mach II when I went to college.

I’ll send copies of my few Mach II photos.

George A said...

Carolyn: I met Warren when visiting Bill Lee down on Key Largo years ago; I own Bill Lee's Moth which Ken Klare renamed "Mint" and with which Ken won several big regattas. Anyway, as you no doubt recall, Bill and Warren were next door neighbors. During my visit, Warren showed me a few photos of both Mach One and Mach Two and indicated that Mach Two was a Cates Moth. Although the photos showed that Mach Two was obviously a "Florida" (aka "Cates") design rather than a "Bailey", perhaps I misunderstood your father and perhaps she was built by someone other than Harry Cates. The plans for the Florida Moth were available from the Moth Class in those days. Your brother George could probably add to this. Harry's Florida design was heavily reliant upon Mach One but although easier to built and sail than Mach One, Cates' version was slower. Only two of the Mach One design boats(which were called "Baileys" up north) made it to New Jersey. I recall seeing those boats at local regattas when I was just starting off racing as a junior sailor (late 1950s). I don't think that Warren wanted sailors outside of FLA to have access to his superior design!

As an aside while visiting Warren and Bill, your mother (Hertha?) served me a slice of home made Key Lime pie, made of limes from a tree in their garden. It was delicious!

Best regards,
George A.

Carolyn Bailey said...

George A: I don't know how to send photos online so will US mail you copies of the ones I mentioned if you will give me a mailing address. Do you have my email address from when I signed up to use your blog? I would prefer to write you privately anyway about other memorabilia I have from those days and what else you might want copies of.

Warren, Hertha, Bill Lee and others used to sail little boats -- Moths? -- around a pond in a Miami horse racetrack -- Tropical Park? -- as entertainment for the crowds. That was in the 1930's, I think, maybe early 1940's. They were in their early 20's and thought it great to get paid for having such fun! There is a postcard with a picture of them sailing at the racetrack; I will see if I have a copy. There are other postcards out there of Moth racing in Miami and other locations; you see them at postcard conventions and on online sales sites.

Bill moved to the Keys first, and Warren and Hertha followed later. They had previously lived in different sections of Miami. Bill sold them the land they built their house on in Key Largo. I don't recall any of Bill's boats from that period, but my parents had a cruising boat of very shallow draft which Warren designed. They sailed around the Keys in it. They eventually sold it to a young couple and didn't sail anymore themselves due to old age. (I only remember Harry as an old man who didn't sail for the same reason, though he built boats nearly up to the last.) Bill Lee built an airplane in his late years, but never flew it.

There are two ways to make key lime pie: with cornstarch, which can have a grainy texture, or with condensed milk, which turns out as smooth and rich as ice cream. Hertha made the latter kind, and it was always excellent.

Hertha won the women's trophy in a major regatta -- national? -- shortly after my brother was born. I would have to go find the trophy and look to verify the details; but, I was astonished when I realized, as a mother myself, what that must have required of her. I don't know what boat she sailed.

She was a very good sailor and a very intelligent woman in a culture where nice women couldn't have careers but had to get married to be supported and had to toil away in the home, manage the kids, etc. She tried to make the best of that, but I think her sailing skills never got the recognition they deserved, and family duties (two more kids) took away her opportunities to exercise them.

My dad did not like the North or Yankees. (He had very strong prejudices!) Maybe that is why he didn't like his design going North?

I seldom went to the Keys -- can't stand hot weather -- but I recall him talking about his boats up to a few years before he died. He never said anything that he thought wasn't true, so I would believe that Harry built Mach Two if Warren indicated that he did.

Isn't "Mint" a scow, like "Top Banana"?

In another post on your blog, you wrote that Harry built "Top Banana". I thought that was the boat that Lewis Twitchell, called 'Lew' or 'Twitch', owned and raced. I thought he repaired any dings himself, which work may have led me to assume that he built it, because I thought he did. I recall that he and Warren used to talk on and on about why it or "Mach One" was superior. I thought that was weird when all they had to do was set up an experiment with them taking turns racing one or the other against each other in all kinds of weather and toting up the results to see which boat won the most. I think Twitchell also retired to the Keys. He had been an engineer of some kind for the phone company, Bell.

I hope all this info is useful.

George A said...

Carolyn: Blogger does not reveal the email addresses of folks who leave comments but you can send me a private email to the following address: albaughg@comcast.net

You can see photos of Mint here: http://www.mid-atlanticmusings.blogspot.com/2011/05/mint-nr-1335.html

Twitchell's scow shaped boat was called Flying Saucer and was very different from Mint. Flying Saucer (nr 1332) can be seen in the first few seconds of an old home movie here: http://www.mid-atlanticmusings.blogspot.com/2011/06/moth-boat-racing-at-miami-yacht-club-in.html

I look forward to your email and will provide a snail mail address then.

With kind regards,
George A.