Saturday, May 18, 2019

Header Photo: English Moths Launching - Early 70's

Lowrider Moth Facebook Page

The previous header photo is of English Moths launching in the early 1970's. (I'm guessing) The International Rule had just been introduced and, in this transition period, you still see a wide variety of hulls and rigs. It wouldn't be long after this that the class started moving inexorably down the path of narrow skiffs with wings pushed out to max beam. On the left foreground you see the production Skol design, in the middle foreground, a scow, and on right foreground, the Duflos. In the background there is the mixture of the low-aspect Circle M rigs mixed in with the high-aspect Australian rig.

While we are on the topic of the European Moths of this period, John Claridge, who would become the premier European builder of Moths through the 1970's and into the early 1990's, sends along his recollections of the epic heavy-air slugfest that was race 3 of the 1968 Moth Worlds. It is an interesting read.

Some photos that have been popping up on the Lowrider Moth Facebook group:

One of the light air starts during the 1968 Worlds. The Swiss and French contingent of Duflos designs with Finn-type rigs, that were to dominate the light air races and in the overall results, have launched out quickly in the left of this photo.

The Monaco Moth was one of the finishers in race 3. Here returning through the breakwater.

The following photos are not of race 3 but I think they are from 1968 (maybe the European championship). A heavy air beat  in a good sea. All low-rigged Moths.

Friday, May 10, 2019

OD-OY Art Covers from 1965

The American sailing magazine, One-Design and Offshore Yachtsman, in modern times, morphed into Sailing World, actively published art covers back in the 1960's. Here is the sampling of the OD-OY covers from 1965.

Gerado Contreras did two very expressionist covers for OD-OY in 1965.

Gerado Contreras

Another Gerado Contreras cover.

Gerado Contreras

Jim Dewitt, a San Francisco artist, has been very famous for his sailing paintings, for over 40 years. He is the one artist that seems to intimately capture the breadth of action in sailing. Here is his OD-OY cover in 1965 with big-boat action getting the sails trimmed.

Jim Dewitt

Ted Brennan was one of the major illustrators of the One Design and Offshore Yachtsman. His pen and ink sketches made it onto the cover several times. (I am sure the starter's pistol would be very mistaken in today's culture - and I think it very odd to include it even back in the 1960's, especially with the theme of youngsters and model boats.)

Ted Brennan

Another Ted Brennan sketch of the weekend exodus out to the sailing club, or the lake outside the city, or the weekend regatta, or to the big water.

Ted Brennan

Another Cricket Dinghy Pops Up

The Cricket class is one of two (the other being the Lark scow) small sailboat classes that mark the beginning of small sailboat class racing in the United States. The Cricket and the Lark date to the late 19th century, early 20th century. Tommy Dunbar sent along photos of the second extant Cricket I have come across, a beautiful restoration he completed two years ago. Tommy writes:
"I thought you might [be] interested... to know my family has one here in Annapolis MD. The boat was my great grandfathers and I just recently finished restoring her. I have only came across one other Cricket Dinghy like it which was posted in your blog. We don’t know the exact origins of the boat but someone said it could have come from the old Ventnor boat works by Atlantic City NJ. It is believed to have been built sometime in the late 20s or early 1930s. I finished the restoration over two summers [ago]..."

Saturday, May 4, 2019

CVRDA: First Regatta of the Season

The English organization, Classic, Vintage, Racing Dinghy Association, CVRDA, held their first regatta of the season at Hunts SC. Photos were posted on Facebook by Nikky Evans. I've taken the classes that I'm interested in; Classic Moth, Minisail, and reposted them here.

Ian Marshall in the Shelley design Classic Moth.

Nikky Evans

Nikky Evans

A yellow Skol design Classic Moth - I think sailed by Richard Woods. It looks like Richard is using a heavy air sail given the short foot length of the sail.

Nikky Evans

Nikky Evans

Nikky Evans

The English pretty much invented the clinker (lapstrake) built small sailing boat. Here is an pretty 12 foot Sea Ranger, found mostly at Gunfleet SC. (Geez!, the Brits have the best sailing club names!)

Nikky Evans

A Minisail. An Ian Proctor designed scow; the precursor to the Topper. Sailed by a fellow named Steve. It looks like Steve glommed a Laser Radial rig onto the Minisail.

Nikky Evans

Nikky Evans

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Header Photo: San Diego Swallow Scow

Paul Naton

The previous header photo was of Rudder's Swallow scow being sailed on San Diego Bay. Paul Naton sent this historical photo along and I present the un-cropped version. It is of his great grandfather Fred O'Farrell, who co-owned this Swallow with Claude Woolpas. Paul details below how he received the photo and his dogged research into the time and place this photo was taken.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Music Whenever: Iron and Wine; "Call it Dreaming"

My read on this song... "Pay it forward."

say its here, where our pieces fall in place
any rain softly kisses us on the face
anyway it means we’re running
we can sleep and see them coming
where we drift and call it dreaming
we can weep and call it singing

where we break
when our hearts are strong enough
we can bow because our music's warmer than blood
where we see enough to follow
we can hear when we are hollow
where we keep the light we’re given
we can lose and call it living
where the sun isn’t only sinking fast
every night knows how long its supposed to last
where the time of our lives is all we have
and we get a chance to say

before we ease away
for all the love you’ve left behind,
you can have mine

say its here
where our pieces fall in place
we can fear
because a feelings fine to betray
where our water isn’t hidden
we can burn and be forgiven
where our hands hurt from healing
we can laugh without a reason
because the sun
isn’t only sinking fast
every moon and our bodies make shining glass
where the time of our lives is all we have
and we get a chance to say

before we ease away
for all the love you’ve left behind,
you can have mine

Iron and Wine from the Earwigoagin archives.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Header Photo: New Zealand Zephyr Class; Waterline Shot

The previous header photo is an unique waterline shot of the 11' New Zealand Zephyr singlehander. Designed by Des Townson in 1956, they had 55 boats show up for their 2018 National Championship. In poking around the latest Zephyr class newsletter, notes from the AGM shows the class is moving towards approving full fiberglass boats. (At the moment you can have fiberglass hulls with wood decks.)
"Zephyrs are getting older. Current sailors will repair and maintain boats but newer sailors are less hands-on and don’t fiddle with boats. Zephyrs are now too expensive for newer sailors. Suggestion that younger sailors would join the class, but the need to maintain the boats was a deterrent. This supports the argument for a full fiberglass boat."

For more reading: fellow sailing blogger, Kiwi Alden Smith, writes regularly and humorously about racing his Zephyr.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

The Group Boat Building Phenonema of the 1960's and the We-sort

Michael Storer mentioned in his history of the Oz Goose box boat that the ongoing group building effort in the Philippines became a key contributor to getting a good size fleet of Oz Goose's going in an area not known to be a yachting center. This reminded me how community group building in the 1960's (particularly in the U.S.A) played a huge role in the emerging popularity of the small sailing dinghy. All sorts of local chined plywood classes, Dusters, Rhode Bantams, El Toros ... were built over the winter, by groups of mostly Dad's, led by one or two experienced woodworkers, the rest following along. Usually ten or so dinghies with all the sailing bits and pieces were banged out, the hulls chosen by lot to be taken home to be painted and fitted out. This was before stitch and glue construction so most construction required a mold, which would be taken out of storage the next winter for a different group. Several winters of building would give a large and active fleet for summer training and racing.

Below is an article by Ed Perry from a 1964 issue of One-Design and Offshore Yachtsman about a community group build of the Blue Jay, the 13 foot Sparkman and Stephens junior trainer. Use the pop-out icon in the top-right to put the article in another tab on the browser for easier reading.

The 12' We-sort, a jaunty, flat-bottom, plywood skiff with sloop rig, was our local 1960's class. The We-sort was group built in the various communities that border the Severn River, just above Annapolis. It came out of the Indian Landing Boat Club that sat at the headwaters of the Severn River.
"Will Jacobs, caretaker of the Indian Landing Boat Club property for many years had several rowboats he rented out to locals. His boats rowed easily and were simple to build. The form had been worked up by Willie’s ancestors, Algonquin Indians, who were also responsible for the name of the area. The Indian tribe referred to themselves as We-Sorts and everyone else as They-Sorts. It seemed fitting to name the sailing/rowing skiff the We-Sort. Led by William Sands, who drew up the plans and added the sailing bits, the sailboats were built by club members in basements, garages, and in some cases living rooms. The We-Sort was a perfect fit for youngsters. It was very stable, which made the young sailors comfortable to be out on the water. By 1961, thirteen of he We-Sorts had been built."
The one-page informational blurb on the We-sort:

Tom Price, artist, learned to sail in a We-sort and drew this pencil sketch of a racing group going upwind.

Tom Price, pencil

Alan Dove has put up a couple of posts about the We-sort and I have pulled the following photos from his site.

Dennis Buckley

Dennis Buckley

From the One-Design and Offshore Yachtsman, January, 1967 class review guide:

CBMM, Chesapeake Maritime Museum over at St. Michaels, did a group build of We-sort's. They used the fleet for a summer training program for a couple of years but I think they now only have plastic boats for sail training.

Addendum: Pete Lesher, chief curator, fills us in on the history of the We-sorts at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. (Pulled from the comments.)
"Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum's fleet of 6 We-Sorts was constructed in the late 1980s after We-Sort #2, Wee Lass, was donated to the museum. They were used for 15 years or so in the museum's summer sailing camp. At one point, a couple of the hulls were damaged in a fire in off-season storage, and at least two replacement hulls were built. When the We-Sorts were worn out from hard use, the museum considered a replacement fleet, but the sailing instructor at the time led the museum to instead acquire a fleet of plastic JY-15s. Some of the We-Sorts were sold, but one or two still remain, their rigs long gone, as rowing craft in the museum's summer boat livery. The youth sailing camp has been discontinued."

Wesort dinghy, WeSort skiff.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Garden Paper Canoe: The Model after some Winter Work

More on the ongoing saga of the Mystery Sailing Canoe Model acquired by sailmaker Douglas Fowler. The mystery turned out to be a Bill Garden Paper Canoe design. (See the previous posts, Part 1 and Part 2, for the complete background story.) Douglas sends some photos of his winter restoration work and the model is turning out to be a real beauty!

Looks like Photoshop still wants to convert the hull color to Herreshoff Sea Foam Green. The actual color is bluish as in the top photo.

Douglas Fowler is the consummate craftsman. His attention to detail borders on OCD, which is a very good thing when you are restoring historical artifacts. His writeup about his trials and tribulations of the winter rehab of the Garden Paper Sailing Canoe;
"Let me tell you, this sucker has been a challenge! I’m doing the rig now and was saved by a 78 yo model fitting maker in Florida. I tried to solder fix the 4 loop ring at the top of the mast and the gooseneck. Instead of 2 pieces I instantly ended up with 4 or more. Another interesting find was the color which was not really a Herreshoff Sea Foam Green at all but what you see. The hull (but not the deck) had been varnish[ed] over the paint which had yellowed. The current color was under the rail. Went to an auto paint store and had a custom mix loaded into a spray can. The hull and the deck are indeed paper which has presented special challenges. Between the plan and the bits (top of the mast was missing) I was able to figure the rig out which is almost ready for assembly. Still need to split a 1/8” dowel down the middle for the roller furler. I’m still in awe of whoever made this model!"

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Throwing the Shade: 60's Dinghies vs. the Newbies

The Olympic Training Regatta at Parma, Day 6 featured big breeze, big seas. The 49'ers and Nacra's didn't race Day 6 setting up the following quote from an Australian 470 crew (the 470's did race). Go to 1:12 in the video where the 470 crew throws considerable shade on the 49'ers and Nacra sailors.
"Today's the day for the real boats. We see all the skiffs and catamarans stuck on shore looking silly. The 470's, Finns, and Lasers, we all got out and went slowly [still] but had a good time. The waves and wind make our boat quite a bit of fun and quite close racing [still] which is really enjoyable."
The Australian Nacra crew fires back at 1:32 into the video. Just gotta love this inter-class jabbering.

Music Whenever: The Barr Brothers; "Song that I Heard"

The Barr Brothers were also featured as part of this medley back in 2015.

In the same reckless city
Where great Antonio died
On the island in the river
With a mountain at its side
I came to scatter ashes
Of the bridges I've burned
And I know the name of the song that I heard
Yeah, I know the name of the song I heard

Like a moonlight mathematician
I subtracted my concerns
And I multiplied my options and divided my returns
Sacrificed the angel who was tugging at my shirt
I was already claimed by the song that I heard
Yeah, already chained to the song that I heard

From the corner of my eye I caught the shadow of a girl
But my shoes were tied together and my face was in the dirt
Her gentle eyes said everything before she said a word
And I knew I was changed by the song that I heard
Yeah, I knew right away by the song I heard

In the cult of desperation he stayed just behind the curve
And no one here admits we're getting more than we deserve
I was born a first child, she was born a third
We were already named by the songs that we heard

Yeah, already claimed by the songs we heard
Did I make you out at Phoenix from the ashes of a bird?
Did we build our palace and watch it as it burned?
It's kind of like a lesson that had to be unlearned

Like a fool maker
Moon prayer
Sun slayer

We are already changed by the songs we heard

Sunday, April 14, 2019

The B Course

In poking around Tillerman's new blog I came across his post on the RS Aero Florida State Championship where he published the course diagram for the regatta; it is another version of the Harry Anderson course, this one having the tight reaches at the bottom of the course.

The normal Harry Anderson has the tight reaches at the top of the course. (Making it look like a backwards P, some sailors have affectionately referred to it as the Dolly Parton course.) I'm not sure what the advantages of having the tight reaches at the bottom, maybe more fleet separation? It does place the start line toward the bottom of the course for a longer first beat (I'm going to refer to this RS Aero course as the B course - for Big Booty.)

Tillerman also mentioned in a comment to this post that the RS Aero's have used a Z course.
"[The]Z course which has three reaches - first leg beat followed by a starboard reach to a gybe mark with then a port reach to a second gybe mark with another starboard reach to a leeward mark. Enables you to have somewhat tighter reaching angles than a triangle course."

The Z course definitely bumps up the reaching legs as a percentage of the total course.

Back in 1991 I was a PRO for an Olympic Training Event (Europe's, 470's) at West River SC where we ran a Harry Anderson course on the breezy day. The second reach was a beam reach and that angle did seem ideal for the Europes, not so much for the 470's who had to take down their chutes for the leg.

That version we ran in 1991 has morphed into my version of the Harry Anderson, the D or Dammit course.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Michael Storer Fills Us In on the Box Boat Racing League

The previous header photo was an Oz Goose sending it in a big breeze.

Michael Storer, designer of the Oz Goose (as well as a slew of other plywood small boats for the home builder) saw my article on the 2018 MASCF festival and sent along some more information on the history of his mucking about with these shapes and how it lead up to the formation of the Box Boat Racing League. Tip-of-the-hat to Michael for bringing us up to date on the interesting development of, what is essentially, a high-freeboard scow that Michael is positioning as a low-cost avenue to bring people into the sport. As always, use the top right [arrow in box] icon to open the PDF in another tab for printing.

And a video of the 2017 Oz Goose Philippine Nationals.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Header Photo: Laser blown over

I think this is the first time in my blogging history that I have put up some random header photo and it turned out that it presaged a momentous news announcement - in this case the International Laser Class Association announcing that Laser Performance Europe was in violation of contract and couldn't build any more class legal Lasers. The Laser class, after suffering several years of legal wrangling over who owned the class, now seems set for another round of lawsuits. A shame. If you can stomach online forums with their endless drivel (and occasional nugget of wisdom), click here to go to Sailing Anarchy's thread.

And from the Earwigoagin archives, here is the blogmeister in a bit of a pickle with his Maser, Starkers.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Commentary: Olympic Equipment Trials - Singlehanded Dinghy

I've put the header photo of the Laser being blown over as a sort of tongue-in-cheek; I've always been joshing the Laser class; great boat that the Laser is. In the beginning of March, World Sailing ran a week long trials in Valencia, Spain to ostensibly select the singlehander dinghy for the Paris games in 2024. (I say ostensibly because politics always intervene, see my post on the Contender.) This could mark the end of the Laser in the Olympics (and then, perhaps not). Three newish classes were invited; the RS Aero, the Devoti D-Zero, the Melges 14. The Laser was also invited but kept ashore for the final day. Conditions were varied enough during the trials with the exception of a real blow. All three trialists represent modern dinghy thinking; low rocker hulls, flattish transoms, high aspect sails, and, (bullshit opinion alert!, since the blogmeister was nowhere near being present at the trials) during the week, there probably wasn't a huge difference in performance from class to class. So we await the report of the selection committee; which, if truth be told, probably doesn't have a lot of weight when the Annual Meeting of World Sailing convenes in November. Like any political body, behind the scenes maneuvering and lobbying will win the day.

I've come around, slowly, to the idea that Olympic classes should be elite dinghies, not popular world wide classes. This is the way the 49'er has evolved. It is a very difficult boat to race and only the Olympic sailors race this class. (One of these days I might re-tell the tale of Macy Nelson, who decided as an amateur, to race his 49'er in the Miami, Florida, World Sailing event.) My idea of the elite Olympic hiking singlehander is a version of the RS300. Olympic racing and the rest-of-us racing are two different concepts. Let the Olympic sailors have their own singlehanders and to us, the amateurs, leave us be, enjoyably racing our Retro singlehanders (long live our Retro singlehanders!), or our Laser's, or our RS Aero's, or D-Zero's, or Melges 14's. It's time to stop pretending these two, very different versions of our sport should be sharing the same classes.

I should mention that I know Dina Kowalyshyn, an Annapolitan, who was the head of the selection committee. Her husband was an International 14 crew during my era in International 14's; he is known by the 14'ers of that time as "Easy Bob". I ran into Dina at my normal Saturday breakfast joint about six months ago. She was breakfasting with Lorie Stout and we had a interesting conversation about where community sailing was going in Annapolis (or not going as it was determined).

Update: May 4, 2019: The World Sailing committee released their recommendations; either the Laser or the RS Aero is fit for Olympic competition. The Melges 14 was too big of a boat and the D-Zero had too fine a bow - not enough buoyancy for the trialists.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Header Photo: Champion at Work

The following header photo is of perennial Classic Moth champion, Floridian Jeff Linton, rolling downwind in his modified Mistral design, Mousetrap. I must say that Jeff is one of the most approachable, laid back, sailing hot-shots I've ever come across. He is also one of the few hot-shots (maybe the only one) that is comfortable doing a program where he will personally build his own racing craft out of wood; one of the reasons you can still find him racing his own build Classic Moth.

Jeff controlling two competitors upwind in the recently completed 2019 Classic Moth Midwinters.

Len Parker

And another photo of Jeff from the 2011 E-City Nationals.

Len Parker

I'm trying to catch up on items I have conveniently put on the back-burner on this blog.

Here are the Results of the 2018 Classic Moth Nationals - about 6 months late:

Skipper Races Hull Design
Joe Bousquet 1,3,1,1,1,[3],1 Swiss Dunand
Mike Parsons 2,1,2,2,2,2,[2] Mistral
John Zseleczky 3,2,3,3,3,1,[3] Y2K Mistral
Zach Balluzo 4,5,5,5,4,5,[8] Y2K Mistral
George Albaugh 5,4,6,4,7,4,[9] Europe Wood (Gen I winner)
Erik Albaugh 7,6,4,[8],8,7,4 Olympic Europe (Gen 1)
Sam Moncia [8],7,8,6,6,6,6 Olympic Europe (Gen 1)
Dan Janeway [9],8,9,9,9,9,5 Ventnor (Vintage winner)
Josh Kiggans 6,9,7,7,5,DNS,[DNS] Mistral
Bill Boyle 10,10,10,10,11,10,[12] Abbott (Vintage)
Don Hewitt 11,11,12,11,10,[13],11 Connecticut (Vintage)
C. Hatcher 13,13,[14],12,13,12,7 Post Ara (Vintage)

Sunday, March 10, 2019

2018 MASCF

I've mentioned this several times before; this blog is not about timeliness. Here are some photos from the 2018 MASCF (Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival) held six months ago, October, 2018. MASCF is hosted by the CBMM (Cheasapeake Bay Maritime Museum) and is a good event to see what the non-racing boffins are coming up with, particularly the plywood DIY crowd. On the Saturday, when I made it over, there was little wind, but the on-shore kibbitzing was good.

There are a lot of riffs on the design of the basic Bolger Brick. There is the Puddle Duck Racer. Maybe the most popular is Michael Storer's OZ Goose. There was a larger, 3.6 meter, version at MASCF, promoting the formation of a racing league for these types.

You can't complain about the cockpit space on this small boat!

Definitely a paddle and oar day.

Another simple flat bottom design is the DC Dinghy. Posts on the DC Dinghy, here and here.

David Gentry does skin on frame boats. He designed this very pretty Chautauqu sailing canoe

David writes that he raced Chautauqu in the 300 mile Everglades Challenge. No way the blogmeister would even consider doing such a long trip in such a small boat.

John Harris, the ever prolific and out-of-the-box thinker, owner, and head designer of CLC boats, had this interesting craft, Pingu on the lawn of CBMM. From his writeup on CLC' website:
"Thus the subject design, the Nesting Expedition Dinghy. At 10'6" x 42", it's designed to be the smallest possible boat that will sail and row well, sleep a single person, and carry a week's worth of supplies. The bow and stern are removable, and stow in the 6-1/2-foot middle section. At worst, I can stash it in my little garden shed. At best, I can ship the thing to Europe to cruise the French canals."
For a more complete description of Pingu Click here.

Two leeboards, and a narrow, deep hull. Looks to me as definitely a flat water cruiser.

A mostly traditional, lashed up, proa, shared the lawn with Pingu.

Jim Thayer designed a commodious dink, the Wee Punkin, back in the 1990's. He did an improved version, the Punkin Eater, which showed up at the 2018 MASCF. Build is lapstrake sides married to a smooth bottom.

A really odd, but cool in its own way, circular cockpit.

A flattish hull shape.