Sunday, April 23, 2017

Paul Elvstrom's Rare Double

Paul Elvstrom's most mentioned accomplishment is his four Olympic Gold Medals. However, to my mind, Elvstrom's greater accomplishment was winning both the Finn World Championship (Finn Gold Cup, 1958 and 1959) as a skipper and also the 1962 Flying Dutchman World Champion as a trapeze crew (Olympic performance double-hander at the time). There is no better example of Elvstrom's greatness than being the top skipper in the most competitive singlehander class of his era and the top crew in the most competitive trapeze class of his era.

Paul Elvstrom's experience as a trapeze crew led him to develop the first trapeze singlehander class (named, what else, the Trapez) which he introduced at the 1965 singlehander trials in Weymouth, England.

1962 Flying Dutchman Worlds - St. Petersburg Florida - Hans Fogh skipper

You would think winning a Finn Gold Cup and then turning around and winning a World Championship as a trapeze crew would be unique in sailboat racing but it turns out the accomplishment was repeated - by an American. Cam Lewis won the Finn World Cup  (1979 and 1980) and was also winning trapeze crew at the 505 Worlds (1981 and 1982 - twice, for two different skippers). I would think with the increasing specialization in training for the Olympic classes that we will not see anyone else join this exclusive "double skipper/crew championship" club.

Cam Lewis in his Finn.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Header Photo: Dave Porter and crew in the Wooden 18-Footer "Aussie"

Sea Spray Annual

In response to the photo of the extreme hiking on a scow Moth, Kiwi Neil Kennedy sent along the previous header photo of extreme trapezing on an Aussie 18-footer. No idea on the date but my guess is sometime during the 1970's. From the photo caption:
"Most dynamic skipper in eighteens today is without doubt Dave Porter in "Aussie". Here he is demonstrating his extreme trapeze style in which he actually looks ahead underneath his crewmen, Bob Moore and Ted Griffiths. "Aussie" in the past year has chalked up a remarkable series of wins, among them the NSW state title, and second in the Australian title to "Travelodge" (Bob Holmes).

Neil Kennedy fleshes out the history of Dave Porter and "Aussie".
"Aussie was a 1970/71 season Sydney 18 and the first three handed 18 which finally led to the demise in Sydney of the four handers that had dominated the 18's from 63 onwards.

"She was designed by NZ amateur designer John Chapple who was a very successful 12ft skiff sailor and featured a high aspect ratio rig with a short footed jib. She quite straight fore and aft [ed. note: i.e. rocker] but with slack saucer like sections from midships which made her very quick but equally slippery down wind and especially gybing. That season was very much a crossroads design with the Hugh Cook designed Travelodge being the latest refinement of the Sydney four handers, and the powerful Wille B design leading that theme, while in NZ the first really successful Bruce Farr Miss UEB showed a taste of what was to come in the next four years, when Bruce dominated the class. That whole period is a great story in itself.

The Aussies are coming! To Annapolis....

In somewhat related news, the National Sailing Hall of Fame made the announcement that a contingent of Classic Australian 18-Footers is making a trip to Annapolis for the Classic Wooden Boat Regatta. Date is Sept 15-17, 2017. From the NSHOF announcement:
"The "Classic" is an informal opportunity for boats of all different sizes and designs to compete together in a low-key race against other wooden vessels. The event has grown each year, with boats ranging in size from 8-feet to 65-feet and traveling from as far away as Canada to participate. That record will be broken this year, when sailors from the Sydney Flying Squadron, Australia's oldest open boat sailing club, will be visiting Annapolis to participate using their own fleet of historical 18-foot skiffs, which they are shipping here from Australia specifically for this event.

18-foot skiffs, considered by many to be the fastest class of sailing skiffs, began racing on Australia's Sydney Harbor in 1892 and later in New Zealand. Called "Aussie 18s" by their owners, the skiffs will be dockside for public viewing on Friday and Saturday, September 15-16, along with the many other participating classic boats.

"We are very excited to have the 18-footers from Australia here for the Classic Race," said Maria Museler, the event's volunteer organizer. "Anyone who loves wooden sailboats won't want to miss this great opportunity to meet with wooden sailboat owners, take part in a fun race, and show off your classically designed sailboat for everyone in Annapolis, Maryland."

Wowee! HotDawg! Sandbaggers and Classic 18-Footers together. Two over-canvassed, over-crewed vintage battlewagons. Should be quite a sight on Annapolis Harbor.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Paul Elvstrom, Camelot and Jack Knights

Paul Elvstrom passed away a couple of weeks after I posted about one of his projects, an obscure 11 foot dinghy, the Elvstrom Jr.

Paul Elvstrom was my teenage sailing hero in the 1960's; a larger-than-life king who ruled over the best dinghy sailors on the planet; the Olympic Finn sailors. Just as Theodore White romantically redefined the JFK presidency as a hero king ruling over Camelot, yachting journalist Jack Knights did the same with Paul Elvstrom and the band of rough, tough Finn sailors bestride the sailing dinghy world of the 1960's. Jack wrote a column for Yachts and Yachting magazine, a magazine I received via surface mail through the grace of my kindly Aunt Doris. Most columns had some news about the goings on of the Finn crowd. Through Jack Knights, the top Finn sailors of the 1960's; Richard Creagh-Osbourne, Jorg Bruder, Andre Nelis, Willi Kuhweide, Valentin Mankin, Hubert Raudaschl, Peter Tallberg, Thomas Lundquist, Peter Barrett, Henry Sprague, Bob Andre, the East Germans..., became lasting heroes as they fought each other in grueling battles in gale force winds.

Jack Knights, who himself was three time English champion in the Finn, always painted Paul Elvstrom in a different league from his counterparts. His reports added another facet to the legend. There was the Jack Knights report on Paul Elvstrom's first Star Worlds. Paul finished third in the first race but was unsatisfied with his boat speed. Overnight he moved the mast 6 inches forward which entailed, cutting the deck, changing his spreaders, changing the rigging. A normal sailor would not do this in the middle of a championship. Paul didn't give it a second thought and went on to dominate a windy World Championship.

Paul Elvstrom was the best and Jack Knights was the brilliant scribe who wrote the sailing story; a legendary band of heroes led by the incomparable Dane.

From Expert Dinghy Racing

From Expert Dinghy Racing

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Header Photo: Start at the 2017 Classic Moth Midwinters

The previous header photos was of one of the starts at the 2017 Classic Moth Midwinters, held at Gulfport, Florida over the weekend of February 25 and 26. Reports back from the attendees was of warm, sunny weather, with light to moderate breezes. Our perennial champion, Jeff Linton from Davis Island Y.C., made one of his occasional appearances to win the Gen II division and the regatta overall. The Gen I division was entirely a fiberglass Europe Dinghy division and was won by Frickie Martschink from Charleston.

George Albaugh, over at Mid-Atlantic Musings, attended the regatta and wrote a detailed post with lots of photographs.

I've lifted a couple of photos from George's blog to repost here as well as two photos from John Z. Photos with no attribution are either by Len Parker or Amy Smith Linton.

The entrance to Gulfport Y.C on Boca Ciega Bay.

John Zseleczky

What a champion does; execute a perfect port tack on the leeward end of the start line. John Z. to leeward in 111 does the same. Mark Saunders on starboard couldn't quite get to Jeff.

Jeff Linton's downwind form.

Occasionally a Gen 1 Moth will beat a top Gen II Mistral to the weather mark. Here, Fricke Martschink, Gen 1 winner, leads John Z. The Gen II almost always blow by on the first reach.

I was told the Charleston S.C. fleet expropriated this massive trailer from their yacht club to transport four of their Europe Moths to the regatta.

John Zseleczky

Gen I Results
Skipper Races Hull Design
Frickie Martschink 3,1,2,1,[4],1,1,1,4,1,1 Europe
George Albaugh 1,2,5,5,[8],4,4,3,3,5,2 Europe
Woody Kapp DNF,5,1,2,1,6,6,4,[OCS],2,3 Europe
Tom Kapp 4,[8],4,7,6,5,5,5,1,3,4 Europe
Rutlege Young 6,7,7,3,5,3,[DNF],2,2,4,5 Europe
Lewis Hay 2,3,3,4,3,2,2,[DNC],DNC,DNC,DNC Europe
Randell Stoney 5,6,6,6,7,7,3,[DNC],DNC,DNC,DNC Europe
Greg Duncan 7,4,8,8,2,8,7,[DNC],DNC,DNC,DNC Europe

Gen II Results

Skipper Races Hull Design
Jeff Linton 1,2,1,1,1,2,1,1,[3],3,1 Mod Mistral - Mousetrap
John Zseleczky [4],3,3,4,4,3,3,2,1,2,2 Mod Mistral - Y2K Bug
Mark Saunders 2,1,2,2,2,1,2,[DNF],DNC,DNC,DNC Standard Mistral
Mike Parsons 3,[4],4,3,3,4,4,3,2,1,3 Standard Mistral
Erik Albaugh [5],5,5,5,5,5,4,4,4,4 Mod Mistral - Savannah

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Why is a Laser Faster than the Classic Moth - Or Is It?

Over at the WoodenBoat Forums there is this thread that recently popped up that was started with this question by "cmjns":
"I've spent a lot of time ogling classic moth designs, from the Gen II mistrals to the Gen I Mint, and I'm a bit smitten by the Farr 3.7 and the Contender (very different boats, I know). So I'm curious: among all the shapes swirling around in my head, some of them reportedly are much faster than others. And the moths in particular *look* fast but aren't nearly as fast as a laser, which nevertheless "sails like an aircraft carrier" in comparison.

"So my question: how do I evaluate a hull shape? What characteristics are associated with downwind vs. upwind performance, and what equates to overall speed? And why is a laser faster than a moth? Is it the sail? Is it the length? Is it the shape? What happens to a laser when you cut it down and put a moth sail on it (maser)? Does it slooooooow down?

The answer in a nutshell. A Laser is faster than the Classic Moth because it is longer (as several of the commenters to this thread noted - see "Chris249" comments for a more detailed hydrodynamic explanation). The Laser also has more sail area - the Classic Moth rig is more-or-less equivalent to the area of the Laser Radial. And No... making a Laser into a Maser doesn't make it faster than a Laser. (It does make it more fun in my opinion.)

I think the crux of "cmjns" question deals with hull shape and, specifically, why the flat Laser shape is so different from our fastest Classic Moth hull shape, the Mistral or Duflos designs which have low wetted area, narrow waterline beam, rocker forward, with a large amount of flare to the gunwhale. Does that mean the flat Laser shape is inherently "faster". Are the fastest Classic Moth hull shapes an anomaly?

First up is the Laser shape as put into computer format by PAR Design:
PAR Yacht Design -

For a comparison is the following four views of the Mistral hull shape as modeled by Andrew Slavinskas. Not a flat area to be found. The transom is a very circular shape.
Andrew Slavinskas

Andrew Slavinskas

Andrew Slavinskas

Andrew Slavinskas

What gives? It turns out the characteristics of a Classic Moth Gen II fast hull (low wetted surface, narrow waterline beam, high flare to support hiking power) translates very well into a longer, very fast conventional hiking singlehander - in fact the fastest conventional hiking singlehander. It is the RS300 and it was designed by Mothist Clive Everest back in 1998. It is not length that gives the RS300 an advantage. (It is only slightly longer than the Laser - +.07 meter, giving the RS300 the same length as a Melges 14.) It is a hull with very little flats anywhere, where wetted surface is pared back ruthlessly, where the waterline beam is as narrow you can get away. The dirty little truth! For a design close to twenty years old the RS300 is faster than the latest, much ballyhooed RS Aero and the D Zero. Some RYA Portsmouth numbers:
  • RS300 - 973
  • RS Aero - 1024
  • D Zero - 1029
  • Farr 3.7 - 1039 (Yes, I know the Farr is a trapeze singlehander.)
  • Laser - 1097
  • Europe Dinghy - 1145 (I would expect our Classic Moth Mistrals to be slightly faster than this number.)
The downside to this hull shape. As with our Mistral design, the RS300 is very tippy and has a tendency to trip up her skipper with regularity. The RS300 is worse than our Gen II Classic Moths in that respect because the RS300's modern rig is much more powerful than our vintage low-aspect rig. As such the RS300 has carved out a small niche among those singlehanders who want an athletic, challenging, conventional (no-foils) full-on racing dinghy. The market for the RS300 is small enough that RS has given the RS300 production over to another low-volume builder.

So our fast shapes in the Gen II Classic Moth fleet are not an anomaly. There are exactly the shapes you would design if you want the fastest hiking, non-trapeze, non-sliding seat, non-foiling singlehander. However, if  you are trying to sell a lot of dinghies, you just might not find a large enough crowd that would enjoy all that wind-swimming.

From the Earwigoagin archives, you can find other RS300 posts.

A very well done RS300 promotional video:

Monday, March 20, 2017

2016 Downrigging Weekend: Chestertown Maryland

Chestertown Maryland is where our local Classic Moth fleet has home-base. It is also where the assorted tall-ships and traditional schooners of the Mid-Atlantic Region gather on the last weekend in October for a festival called Downrigging Weekend. John Z. was taking his now-surplussed Mistral over to Chestertown that weekend for a demo sail (and possible sale) and I tagged along with my old digital camera to hopefully get some photos of these traditional ships. The Chester River is narrow up near the town so my feeble zoom lens would not be at such a disadvantage in getting reasonable photos.

The Kalmar Nyckel is a reproduction of a 17th-century Dutch pinnace based on a design of 1625. This tall ship, under the command of Peter Minuit and financed by the New Sweden company, brought Swedish immigrants over to settle New Sweden (now the state of Delaware). The Kalmar Nyckel entered Delaware Bay in March of 1638. The modern reproduction was launched on the Christina River in 1998 and is the official tall ship of Delaware.

When I think of pirate ships, I think of a stern like this  (well maybe not the RIB).

The Sultana is an 18th century Royal Navy coastal patrol schooner used to collect duties and pursue smugglers. The original was built in Boston in 1767, made its way to England where she was purchased by the Royal Navy and sent back to patrol the East Coast. The reproduction was built in Chestertown in 2001 and is also based out of there.

The Pride of Baltimore is Maryland's official tall ship. This is a reproduction of a Baltimore clipper, a top-sail schooner best known as a privateer. Long, lean, fast, the most famous Baltimore clipper, Chasseur, gained fame (or infamy) when it raided English merchant fleet off the British Isles coastal waters during the 1812 war.

Lady Maryland is a reproduction of a pungy schooner designed for fast transport of perishable goods from the farms of the Eastern shore and lower Neck to the city of Baltimore. The heyday of this type was short, being built from the 1840's to about the 1880's. Lady Maryland is one of the older reproductions, being built in 1985.

The stern on Lady Maryland is very pretty; upswept lines meeting a transom with curved topside. The boat on the davits looked to be a traditional Chesapeake Bay small working skiff.

The A.J. Meerwald is a New Jersey oystering schooner. She is the original, built in 1928 and has been New Jersey's official tall ship since 1998.

The Chesapeake Bay's own oystering work boat, the skipjack.

Back to the Classic Moths, John Z was able to complete the sale of his Mistral, Y2KBug. Here is the new owner getting sorted out.

From the Earwigoagin archives, the Classic Moth fleet racing with Chestertown in the background.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Peter Cole Mouldie Scow - DXF format

The Peter Cole cold-molded scow design was the top dog in the Australian Moth class in the 1960's (before wings). It was superseded by the double-chine, plywood Imperium design. Here is a dxf file of the Cole Super Moth (he pushed the centerline hollow very hard on this Super Moth). This design would make a good wood strip project for someone who wants a round-bilge scow Moth. Dimensions in the dxf file are in meters.

Station spacing is:
  • Station 1 - 76 mm.
  • Station 2 - 304 mm.
  • Station 3 - 608 mm.
  • Station 4 - 912 mm.
  • Station 5 - 1216 mm.
  • Station 6 - 1520 mm.
  • Station 7 - 1824 mm.
  • Station 8 - 2128 mm.
  • Station 9 - 2432 mm.
  • Station 10 - 2736 mm.
  • Station 11 - 3040 mm.
  • Station 12 - 3333 mm.

To print or download, use the "open in a new tab" button (the one with the arrow) in the top-right corner of window below.

Two photos of the Cole Mouldie scow taken in Jim French's boat shop. The hulls were painstakingly molded out of 1/32" veneer and thousands of staples.

A vintage photo of two red Mouldies at play.

Vintage Prototype Windsurfer

Tom Price sent this image along. The period swimsuit suggests maybe a 1920's time frame. He said he got it from a French website but can't remember where.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Header Photo: Cherub on a Roll-Over

For the previous header photo I remained with an Antipodean theme (they are, after all, the ones sailing during the Northern winter) The photo was of a modern Australian Cherub dinghy losing it on a spinnaker reach during this years Australian Cherub Nationals. The Earwigoagin archives feature several post about this blasting machine. Unfortunately the class split internationally about ten years ago with the English deciding the make their Cherub class a mini-International 14 with two trapezes, narrow waterline and a much larger rig.

The Australian's, on the other hand, retained the old development rule, with single trapeze, wider hulls and smaller rigs; a sensible decision in my book as it allows many different body types to race this high performance skiff. Because of the Cherub's manageable size, there are a fair number of successful women helms. Andrew Chapman, one of Earwigoagin's Australian correspondents, reports of this year's nationals, "25 of the 80 crew were young women ... [with a] Lady skipper first and lady skipper second." Andrew would like to see the Australian Cherub class gain a foothold in North America. I agree but that would have to reverse a trend in North America which has seen the disappearance of many of the single trapeze performance classes that were active in North America in the 1960's, 1970's, and 1980's. (The 505 being the one single trapeze class still chugging along in North America but that is a brute of a dinghy and requires some beef to race successfully.)

A precursor photo shot just seconds before the completed layover of the header photo.

A nice shot of the clean open interiors of the modern Cherub.

I always like the dinghies that inject some color into the fleet. A leeward mark rounding and hardening up.

A superb video from this year's Australian Cherub Nationals.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Music Whenever: Outdoor Type "On My Mind"

This boppy song from the Australian band, Outdoor Type, is getting some air play on the local radio. For the young there is always the attraction of the constant excitement in a big city.

When I first started dating my future wife she said she wanted to move to New York City. She never did. I was partially to blame and I think there is some deeper, hidden regret within her that she never had the chance.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

2017 Australian Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta - More Photos

I covered the Australian Sailfish class at the Inverloch 2017 Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta and this is the second post of that regatta to cover some of the other vintage dinghy classes that made an appearance. Attendance was close to fifty dinghies which was a record for this, still young, event. Many of these dinghies were also featured in photos from previous Classic Wooden Dinghy Regattas.

A nice shot of the Classic dinghies on the beach. A scow Moth and and yellow-sailed Impulse are in the foreground. The blue and white sail is an Australian Sailfish.

Tim Wilson

Another beach shot with the Mirror dinghies and their distinctive red sails to the fore.

Tim Wilson

Australian scow Moth number 3130 is a Cole mouldie (wingless) design from the 1960's. This scow was painstakingly restored by Phil Johnson who had to reglue many of the veneers.

David French

This is an Aquanaut class dinghy sailed by Graeme Cox. The dinghy is around the Mirror length, 10 feet, main and jib sporting a single-chine, plywood shape. (I think it was designed for stitch and glue.) Earwigoagin has posted about an aluminium Aquanuat. I'll see if I can find out more about this design.

Tim Wilson

The Gwen 12 was a 12-foot single-trapeze design by Charles Cunningham. The class had large fleets in Australia up to about 1980 and the boat was known to be a heavy-air flyer. Two restored Gwen 12's showed up at Inverloch. (I think Earwigoagin correspondent, Andrew Chapman, is in number 2555.)

The beautiful cold-molded Aussie 16-foot skiff. Owned by Frank Raisin, this skiff was professionally refurbished.

Tim Wilson

This looks to be a double-bottom Gwen 12 (yet to be confirmed).

Another winged Aussie scow Moth.

Tim Wilson

Two of the larger three-man vintage dinghies crossing tacks; the cold-molded Aussie 16-foot skiff and the chined Olympic 12m2 Sharpie.

At the end of the racing, the dinghies transition from the beach to the "glade", a grassy area where spectators can look without getting their sandals gritty and the judges peruse for "Concours de elegance" awards.

Tim Wilson

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Bilbon Classic Moth Offsets

Plans de voiliers classiques Moth, Plans de dériveur classique Moth.
Concours de Plans pour Moth Classique lancé par "Le Chasse Marée"

Every winter I try to put together offsets of another Classic Moth. This is Bilbon, a design by Christophe Couton, which was the best of the new designs in the 2001 design competition sponsored by the magazine Le Chasse Marée. This Classic Moth design sports a pram bow and looks to be a stable design with it's wide beam. I've modified the design slightly to put a small curve in the bottom panels. The offsets are at the end of this post in a PDF file.

A very simple hull shape should make for a straightforward build.

Marc Morell
Bilbon sailing bow-on to the camera with the pram bow featuring prominently. Chrisophe modeled this design on the Herbulot Caravelle design which also features a pram bow, but is a larger, main and jib dinghy which is popular in France. I like Bilbon's purple paint scheme. Moth no. 111 is the all aluminum Gouget design.

Marc Morell
Looks like Christophe used simple pine frames sistered together on the centerline. A center traveller controls the mainsail and the mast is stepped on the keel.

Marc Morell
Another view of the interior.

Marc Morell

Use the arrow icon on the top right to put this PDF of the offsets into another tab for printing.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

International 14 from POW 1983

Yachts and Yachting

This photo is nostalgic in that it shows the International 14 at the end of my era; open layout, wood hulls, single trapeze, symmetric spinnaker. Within a year the class would adopt the double trapeze and shortly after that the assymmetric spinnaker. This photo is from Yachts and Yachting magazine and was the header photo for their Championship Roundup section which usually appeared in an October issue. The POW stands for the Prince of Wales Cup, a long distance race held on Thursday during the English Championships. In an odd but very sensible tradition, winning the one-shot POW was much more prestigious than winning the points championship for the week.

As an aside, the International 14 Annapolis fleet held a reunion this past January. About twenty of us showed up but I'll spare the reader of any photos of old, bald-headed, slightly paunchy dinghy sailors whose prime was forty years ago.