Sunday, June 3, 2018

Don Betts - Providence River Boat - "Pickle"


Don Betts, designer of the the micro Pea Cat, contacted Tweezerman back in March about his latest project, a traditional Providence River Boat. His story:
"The boat was built to display decorated crocks for an art installation. I wouldn’t build anything just for the exhibit, it had to be a usable boat. The design is from a mix of different boats There are two surviving 19th century Providence River Boats. One was too big ("Peggoty" over in Little Compton) and one was too small ("Button Swan" from Narragansett Bay now over in Mystic). Mystic also now has a newer version of "Peggoty", on shore behind a shed. My version of the boat is 14’ , the surviving originals are about 12’ and 18’. The jib helps with reliable tacking and gives the crew something to do. The boat will make most tacks without the jib if the crew moves aft. Chapelle’s American Small Sailing Craft page 243 has a drawing and description of the Providence River Boat, built in Newport Bristol Warren and Providence. After these pictures were taken the aft end of the keel and rudder depth was increased by about 4”.

The Providence River Boat lacks a centerboard or daggerboard and, Tweezerman, being of a mentality that a centerboard is one piece of sailing hardware you do need if you want to go upwind, I asked Don how the Providence River Boat performed upwind. (The micro Pipsqueak is another craft that depended on a full length skeg/keel for lateral resistance.)
"Almost the same as most other centerboard catboats. The full length keel, three inch at the bow sweeping to 16” at the stern does the trick. We keep the boat on a mooring but pick up and discharge on the beach. The boat is round enough that the aft end of the keel and rudder will lift free of the bottom by crew weight forward. Phil Bolger designed a little boat called Lady Slipper, an 8’ round bottom no centerboard with a similar deep aft end skeg-keel. I had sailed one at a boat show about 40 years ago and remembered the uncluttered cockpit feeling and lateral resistance balanced way aft so eventually made the connection between that and the Providence River catboats.
The photos show a roomy daysailor that seems to take to ground well when the tide has gone out.





Plans for the Providence River Boat from the Smithsonian


The Providence River Boat with the original crockery art display.


The jib bowsprit looks to be readily detachable.



Plans for the Providence River Boat available from the Smithsonian.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Winslow Homer's "Breezing Up (A Fair Wind)" - The Error


Wikipedia Commons

I would bet that several of Earwigoagin's readers have a print of this iconic painting hanging up in their house. Painted by Winslow Homer in the 1870's, this oil painting depicts an American catboat returning from a recreational fishing expedition. For me, this painting pushes so many buttons about the joy of sailing, moreso than any other sailing painting. But there is a major, glaring error.

It was my friend, Tom Price, that pointed out the error in this painting. The tiller is over the traveller bar. You wouldn't be able to tack this catboat without the traveller block catching up on the tiller!

I was over at the National Gallery of Art for a Cezanne exhibition when I decided to go search out the original "Breezing Up".  Getting up close I could see that the tiller was painted very translucently. You could see the traveller bar under the tiller. There may be several reasons. Tom Price maintains that Winslow Homer never quite finished the painting and he may have intended to go back and bring the traveller bar to the fore. It may be that Winslow Homer decided the aesthetics of having the tiller go over the traveller bar out-weighed any realism it sacrificed. When Winslow painted the tiller translucently it was his way of saying to an astute viewer, "Hey I know this won't work but deal with it."

It is interesting to note that there hangs next to "Breezing Up" a smaller, somewhat identical painting by Winslow Homer, the catboat in this painting named "Flirt". In this smaller study before he painted "Breezing Up", Winslow Homer has painted the tiller correctly under the traveller bar.

As an aside, if one takes a closer look at the way Winslow Homer painted the faces of the two boys sitting/laying forward and the skipper, it seems these three are looking intently to leeward, at something off to the left of the painting. Given the darkish clouds in the painting, was it some nasty weather to leeward, a thunderstorm perhaps? Or was it an approaching boat that may have been on a collision course?

It seems to me that Winslow Homer was trying to introduce some tension into "Breezing Up". It may be wrong to assume this picture is about a lanquid, relaxing, sailing vibe, as we have traditionally interpreted "Breezing Up" . Unfortunately this intense staring tension of skipper and crew doesn't translate unless one is in front of the original and looking closely.

Click here to see what Wikipedia has to say about the painting.

I've dragged Tom Price's comment over to the main post. (After all he is an artist.)
"The dynamic tension of the sun on the boys vs the darkening clouds, The pull on the rope tiller extension and the bow of the sprit under compression all contribute. Substituting an anchor for a 4th boy sounds like a compositional ploy or maybe he just thought an anchor was easier to paint than a boy after the first state."

Monday, April 2, 2018

Header Photo: Start at Largs Bay, 1986




The previous header photo was of a start at the 1986 Moth World Championships at Largs Bay, Adelaide, Australia, the last time the scows and skiffs would mix it up. More photos from that regatta can be found here.

Moth and Sailfish Scows at the Inverloch Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta

Time to wrap up the scow thread which I've kept Earwigoagin on for a month or so. This post I stay with the Australian Inverloch Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta and the other two vintage scow classes competing; the Australian scow Moth and the Australian Sailfish design.

As mentioned before, the Inverloch Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta celebrated the 90th year of Len Morris building his "Olive" which would become the Inverloch 11-footer class and then, when they spied the Rudder magazine article with Crosby's plans for his Skimmer Moth, the Inverloch group appropriated the emblem and become the Australian Moth class. The original "Olive" is still in one piece and was on display in the gymnasium at the Inverloch Regatta. The original definitely has high freeboard. Nowadays we would probably say the design is more pram-like than scow-like.


Len Morris's second Moth design, the Mk II, built post WWII, would take Australia by storm and was definitely more in line with the low freeboard American scows. Graeme Cox brought along an early Mk II. Note the low roach mainsail on the MkII (#3021) compared to a later 1960's scow design (#3396, an Imperium perhaps?).


Graeme Cox's MkII from the stern.


Phil Johnson, in his beautifully restored Cole Mouldie Moth, won the "Best Moth" prize at the regatta.


Nine Australian Sailfish made it to the 2018 ICWDR, down slightly from the eleven that showed at the 2017 ICWDR. Nine Sailfish still made up the largest class attending in 2018. There was even a brand new build. Brian Carroll, son of Jack Carroll, one of the designers of the Australian Sailfish brought the freshly launched "Jacks Toy" to Inverloch.




The new build Sailfish sported SUP non-skid tread, certainly a big help in staying on these slippery, narrow, beach boats.



Sunday, March 11, 2018

Two different scows at the Inverloch Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta: Rainbow and A-12


While I'm on a scow kick, mention must be made of two different scow designs that competed in the Australian ICWDR out of the South Gippsland Y.C. One of the kingpins of the Classic Wooden Dinghy event, Andrew Chapman and family, had two restored Rainbows in the regatta. (Correction: Andrew did the restoration of one "Annie", his son-in-law, Jonathan, a fine craftsman in his own right - music instruments - did the restoration of the other one, "Moonraker".The Rainbow is an Australian 3.65 meter design that was popular as a junior trainer in South Australia in the 1960's. Andrew sailed one Rainbow with his grand-daughter and, his daughter Trilby, sailed the second one with Andrew's other grand-daughter. I asked Andrew what he thought of the Rainbow scow as a parent/kid sailing dinghy and he was enthusiastic.
"The Rainbow is lovely small boat to sail. It is very forgiving and a lot faster than a Mirror and Heron without using the trapeze and/or large spinnaker. I think it is an ideal boat for an adult and young kid or young teenagers. Trilby and I sailed with each of her two daughters and we plan to introduce them to using a trapeze on a beat and then the trapeze with spinnaker on reaches. We are also putting them on the helm and they enjoy sailing the quicker boat and they are not overwhelmed by the boats size. When they are comfortable using the trapeze and spinnaker trapeze combination the next stage will be the Gwen 12 then Cherub. I think the Rainbow is a very good small boat and it is one that is very easy for home builders to make.
Andrew Chapman and grand-daughter in "Annie".


Trilby and daughter in "Moonraker"


Three very different Australian scows in one shot. Trilby with the Rainbow on the beach, a modern carbon foiling Moth scow, and, in the background, a Classic wingless Moth scow.



Plans for the Rainbow scow can be found here.


The A-12 scow was Frank Bethwaite's follow-on to his Northbridge Junior scow. Designed to be a higher performance dinghy, the A-12 was longer, 12 feet or 3.65 meters, sported Frank's signature rotating mast and had a trapeze. Neil Kennedy from Nedslocker dug out a November, 1970 issue of the Australian Modern Boating which featured the class when newly introduced. Some photos from that article:







An A-12 scow has shown up at the Inverloch Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta for the last two years but, as Andrew Chapman writes, in the beginning no-one knew what type of scow it was.
"At the first regatta Andrew Kean sailed the boat as a Moth, with two tone blue sails, because that what it was sold to him as. He did wonder why someone had put a trapeze fitting on the mast. Apparently he never thought to measure the length. He sailed it again in the most recent regatta as an A12 with blue and white sails with a different rig.
From the photos it looks like Andrew was able to find a genuine Bethwaite rotating rig and A-12 sail.

The A-12 with the original Moth rig; a blue sail, wooden spars.


The A-12 on the Inverloch beach next to an Australian Sailfish.


For the 2018 regatta, Andrew was able to plug in the correct rig; aluminum rotating mast with a very big sail.


I'm not sure any plans exist for the A-12. None have been come forward yet.

Friday, March 2, 2018

The Japanese Coca-Cola Moth

It appears that the Japanese Moth class got it start in the 1960's as a scow class sponsored by Coca-Cola. Here is the Japanese history as told by Ohno San;

"This photo (shown below) is from Kensaku Hashimoto. His dad was the Japanese distributor of Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola-Japan got the lines drawing of the Peter Milne “Hurricane” scow Moth and sponsored the Okumura boatbuilders to build, in fiberglass, about 60 of the Milne design scows. As you can see from the photos, the Coca-Cola Moths had sails with a red stripe but didn’t sport the Coca-Cola logo.


Wooden masts and wooden booms.


This scow shown below may or may not be one of the original Coca-Cola Moths but it does have the double chine characteristic of the Milne "Hurricane" design. Also the halyard seems to be stored as in the other photos of the Coca-Cola Moths.


The number on this scow, 272, is a bit high for a Coca-Cola Moth but it does sport a red stripe on the sail. (The red stripe being higher up than the lower number Coca-Cola Moths.)


Mainer NZ Moth Update


John Hanson read my last post on NZ Moth's deck layouts and sent along the latest on his NZ Moth build in Maine, the U.S. state that sits at the apex of chilly New England.
"We got the sides on, before Sam away to school. We have a 420 mast and some foils. I am not allowed to work on it without Sam. Shop’s too cold anyway. 



Neil from Nedslocker sent along a 1963 article that also shows some internals of a NZ Moth.



Sunday, February 25, 2018

New Zealand Scow Moth; Some Deck Layouts


The New Zealand scow Moth is a one-design adaptation of the Len Morris Mk II Moth design though the rules were loose enough that they pushed the original Mk II lines around a bit. (An astute observer could also say that the Bethwaite design, Northbridge Junior, is also another adaptation of the Mk II scow.) Cockpit design on the New Zealand Moth is wide open and I came across these recent photos of the fleet of New Zealand Moths at Stewarts Gully, NZ. Some very inventive hiking arrangements here.

Three New Zealand Moths bow-on. It looks like 958 has shortened the luff of his sail to get a fat-head top.


A concave cockpit with stand-up rounded decks for hiking. The New Zealand Mothies do seem enamored with sticking wind indicators on the foredeck.


Another concave cockpit with semicircular hiking bumps. A nice long lever vang.


This one has narrow side decks just barely raised from the cockpit floor.


A conventional cockpit design with a repair just aft or where the skipper sits. A second layer of ply reinforcing (lightened with circular cut-outs) was supposed to be strong enough but doesn't look like it was up to the task.


Another shallow side-deck. I like the contrasting colors.


A more severe concave deck with shallow raised bumps for hiking.


You really, really have to work hard on the plywood to get this kind of double curve.



John Hanson and son are building a New Zealand Moth in Maine.

Articles from Nedslocker: Northbridge Junior build - Australian Sailing 2002


You can't put anything up about Antipodean classes that Neil Kennedy doesn't have an archived article to supplement it with. Linking with the Japanese build of the Northbridge Junior, Neil sends along this article from Australian Sailing on a Northbridge Junior build in Sydney. (Use the pop-out icon on top right of article window to put it in another tab on your browser.)



Saturday, February 24, 2018

Drift Media covers Moth History talk by Aussie Ian Ward

The good folks over at Drift Media put together a Moth History video, combining a talk by Ian Ward at the Inverloch Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta dinner with a compilation of Moth shots (both classic and foiling) taken during the 2018 regatta weekend. Ian Ward was a top scow designer in the 1970's and 1980's as well as a top helm in his own right (Australian National Champion as well as top placings in World Championships). Ian was also the first one to put centerline foils on a Moth in 1998. In this video he can be seen sailing his foiling scow.



ICWDR_2018_MOTH from drift media on Vimeo.

The Inverloch Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta was hosted, as usual, by the South Gippsland Y.C.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Music Whenever: Lone Justice "I Found Love"

Sorry, I missed Valentines Day with this rocking classic on love but better late then never. Featuring the full bodied voice of Maria McKee, this song is from the 1980's.



Monday, February 19, 2018

Northbridge Junior; A Japanese Build

I wrote about Frank Bethwaite's plywood junior scow, the Northbridge Junior, as part of a post on the sit-on-top dinghies. Last fall I came across some photos on the Web of a new Northbridge Junior built for a Japanese junior. The blogmeister, being one that feels we should encourage junior sailors in home-built dinghies, offers up the photos of the first day launching:

















Two sheets of Northbridge Junior plans:

Sheet 1:



Sheet 2:




Gwen 12 - 1971 Plans

Back in October, 1971, I wrote about the plywood, 12' two man Australian speedster, the Gwen 12, I mentioned I had in my possession a set of double bottom plans from the 1970's, courtesy of Aussie Andrew Chapman. I present them below. As always it is best to view this PDF file in another tab; click the arrow icon on the top right of the view box.



I think if I was to build a Gwen 12 in the U.S.A. I would glom a 420 rig onto the hull, particularly the non-class legal fat-head main that the collegiate programs seem to be now favoring.

TOH to Andrew Chapman for sending these along.

Header Photo: Bill Moss Over the Bar



The previous header photo is of Bill Moss and John Gallagher bombing around Annapolis Harbor in the late 1970's. Bill Moss passed away suddenly this past Christmas. We were teammates for the 1981 International 14 Team Races and World Championships and remained good friends ever since, long after I exited the International 14 class. Bill was the best of the best and his drive raised my sailing to another level for that two year campaign. It was that special slice of time when we were on top of our sailing game in an unforgiving dinghy. He will be missed.

The 1981 Team Race party; Bill on the left, the blogmeister on the right.



Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Articles from Nedslocker: Aussie Plywood, Frame and Stringer Construction

Over the past year Neil Kennedy had been digging into his vast archive of magazine articles and sending them along to Earwigoagin. These two articles about the introduction of the plywood frame and stringer construction in the 16 footers I find particularly interesting. The 16-footers may be considered the baby brother to the 18-footers but, as Neil points out, in the late 1950's and 1960's they were developing faster than the 18-footers. The Australians (in the 16-footers, the Western Australians) were the leaders in pushing lightweight frame and stringer construction for their performance classes.



Even back in 1959 the plywood they used for the 16-footers was 4 mm., which is really light for what is essentially an open boat. As a comparison, most plywood International 14's of the 1960's (there weren't many - most were cold molded designs) used 6 mm. On Evelyn, the 16-footer, I count twelve stringers over the hull bottom (plus the center plank).



You see a similar surfeit of fore-aft stringers in "Vitamin C", one of the last plywood champion 12 foot Cherubs of the early 1970's.

Photo courtesy of Andrew Chapman

"Vitamin C" on a ripping tight spinnaker reach.

Photo courtesy of Andrew Chapman


Saturday, January 13, 2018

Moth 90th Anniversary: 2018 Australian Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta

The Australian Moth will be the featured class at this year's Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta hosted by the South Gippsland Yacht Club. 2018 marks the 90th anniversary of Len Morris introducing his Inverloch 11' scow.  Several years later Len would change the name and logo of his scow when he came across the Rudder article on the Crosby Skimmer Moth. Len's scow became the first of the development Australian Moth class. (The Australian Moth class - actually Antipodean Moth class as New Zealand also had an active class organization - would feature a taller, high aspect rig compared to the U.S. and European Moth and would be mostly scow designs - the two different Moth rules would amalgamate into an International Rule Moth in 1969 .)

The South Gippsland Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta is over the Australia Day Weekend (Jan 26 - 28). As a kid I was always salivating over the hot-rod Australian plywood dinghies of the 1960's and I always look forward eagerly to see what sailing dinghy restorations and replications the Aussies have unearthed, to be displayed and sailed on the Inverloch Inlet on Australia Day Weekend.

My report on the scow Moths in the 2016 Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta.

Earwigoagin reports on the South Gippsland Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta.

Drift Media has put together a Moth video preview for the 2018 Regatta



Inverloch Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta 2018- 90 years of the Moth from drift media on Vimeo.


Monday, January 8, 2018

1858 French Sandbagger



This French engraving (I've cropped this from the whole image) is of a 1858 regatta on the Seine at Saint-Cloud. It is the oldest pictorial rendering I've come across of a full-on racing Sandbagger. This is the fleet of the larger racing sailboats (they split the fleet around a 5.66 meter length) and shows the sandbagger with a good lead.

The sandbagger was one of those successful invasive species. Recreational sailboat racing got going in France on the rivers surrounding Paris and the over-canvassed, unballasted foreign import thrived in the river conditions. The French called the type, "clipper" and eventually modified the design for even faster light air speed.

Here is a profile drawing of an 1887 clipper.



This image of the engraving was found by French historian, Louis Pillon, who published a book last year on the early history of yachting in France, La Voile dans les boucles de La Marne

(TOH to Tom Price who was the first to spot the image on the Net.)

Monday, January 1, 2018

Header Photos: Butterfly Scows Racing Toward Camera


Ryan Young

This is the second header photo I've put up featuring the Butterfly class. The first header photo, back in 2014, was of a turtled Butterfly. The 3.6 meter Butterfly is America's most popular small scow, found mostly in Michigan.