Mark Morell Photo
The previous header photo featured a French Classic Moth Mariposa (Spanish for butterfly) sailing in tandem with a Nantais Vintage Moth (blue sail) at the French annual Classic Moth rally and regatta which was held yearly during the early 2000's. The strong sheer gives Mariposa a traditional look which suggests a traditional round bottom shape.
Nope. The header photo above is an optical illusion as other photos reveal that Mariposa is actually a multi-chine plywood shape (a three-planker) with the bow sections developed and pulled up.
Mariposa has a flat rocker panel that starts just in front of the daggerboard case and a topside chine that curves up to meet the gunwhale about 600mm from the bow. The developed bow suggests this Moth was built using the stitch and glue method.
The French Classic Mothists weigh their Moths like the Americans - on a bathroom scale. The scratched up bottom shows that Mariposa is not a coddled racing dinghy - and gets plenty of use.
An in-the-water shot of Mariposa shows the topside chine clearly disappearing into the gunwhale.
This Moth design is visually appealing - Mariposa may not be much of a racer but that's OK.
The designer is the tall gentleman on the left. I have no idea who he is. Maybe some reader could help out on identification?
Update, August 14: Dominique Banse to the rescue with the designer indentification. Thanks Dominique!
"There is an article about this Moth in the French magazine “Chasse-Marée” number 147 from November 2001. The owner builder’s name is Bertrand Warion. The boat is built with 5mm plywood and weights 76 kg."
Update September 29, 2015: Designer Bertrand Warion adds a comment to this post updating us on the latest with Mariposa.
"Hello ,I am Bertrand Warion who designed Mariposa and usual reader of your blog.
The boat is still in good condition with great modifications, large cuts to flatten the bottom rocker and new cockpit plan, more "modern" but quite unconfortable for me. [I am] thinking to ameliorate that point.
I did not sail Mariposa [for] 5 years (leaving job, town) and [now] mainly designing and building others boats but i will recondition the boat soon.
Here are some new Mariposa pics.
There are a few enterprising readers of this post who could put together their own version of Mariposa, at least in model form. Earwigoagin is always open to publicizing such design experimentation.
Through the early 2000's the French Classic Mothists held an annual get together. I think it was originally held at one of the clubs on the Seine but then moved over to a small lake about 100 km. south of Paris, sponsored by Cercle de la Voile du Centre, Etang du Puits, (Google translation - the pond of the well), just off the Route d'Argent. Though well attended, in a mystery still not explained, the annual French Classic Moth gathering and regatta just stopped. [Mystery somewhat explained - see below] .
The mystery of the French Classic Moth get-together got somewhat clearer when reader Dominique Banse emailed an article from a 2001 issue of Chasse-Marée, the French classic/traditional boating magazine. It turns out that all these photos were taken at a Classic Moth design competition that was sponsored by Chasse-Marée and held at Suc d'Erdre, just north of Nantes (and not at Etang du Puits as I wrote initially). There was a turn out of 20 Moths Classique, both new designs and old, as well as several IMCA narrow skiffs. There is still no explanation why the Classic Moths in France could not keep the annual event going after 2001.
I recently rediscovered on the Web, photos from Marc Morell (who took all the photos used in this post) documenting the Suc d'Erdre. The diversity of French Classic Moths is just astounding! I'll feed more of these photos into later posts on Earwigoagin.