Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Linton Hope's 1896 Royal Canoe Club Cruising Canoe: "Bubble"

As part of the discussion around the Mystery Cruising Canoe and possible connection to the English B-class canoe, John Summers took some quick photos of plates from a Dixon Kemp book of Bubble, the prototype English RCC cruising canoe designed in 1896 by the iconic English designer, Linton Hope. As I mentioned before the English felt the Americans had gone too far with their wispy, sail-happy, sliding seat canoes and wanted to drag designs back to something more wholesome, without a sliding seat. Bubble was 16 feet long (4.87 meters), 13 feet on the waterline (3.96 meters), and had 140 sq. feet of sail (13 sq. meters) in a gunter rig.

The sections for Bubble look relatively roundish with some tumblehome aft.

The displacement was a relatively massive 400 lbs. (181 kg) by today's standards with 100 lbs in the centerboard.

Three years later, by 1899, Linton's latest cruising canoe design, Vanessa VII, had lengthened to 17 feet, had increased the sail area to just under 150 sq. feet, and the sections had flattened out considerably. These were the dimensions around which the B-class canoe would form.  From a Forest and Stream article:

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Historical 18-footers: December 2018 Race

It's always fun to watch video of the Historical 18-footers as they bash their way around Sydney Harbor in a good breeze.

Pegasus in the Shop: Sort of?

In 1963, a New Jersey teenager, Bill Schill, won the Moth Worlds at Larchmont YC sailing a Fletcher-Cates design named Pegasus. The following two photos are of Bill and Pegasus during the glory years.

Yachting Magazine Cover

Seidelman Sails Ad

After Bill died, George A. over at the Mid-Atlantic Musings blog inherited a very dilpidated Pegasus which further malingered in his back yard for a few years. This winter, Bill Boyle, with the help of George, decided to take on the restoration of this piece of U.S.A. Mothboat history - a major, major undertaking after Pegasus oozed out of the back of Bill's truck. Ouch!

Once Pegasus was ensconced in Bill's shop, it was discovered there wasn't much worth saving. Bill's woeful analysis:
"So, here we are. This is what's left. We have a keel, a DB case and the stem. Well, most of the stem. George and I spent about two hours removing the rest of the bow section. We were hoping to get the panels off intact but that didn't happen. We're starting from scratch."
So there it is, a new build with a couple of old parts. Click over here to see Bill Boyle's restoration blog for Pegasus.

Other pertinent articles about Bill Schill and Pegasus from George's Mid-Atlantic Musings blog:
Bill Schill, in his senior years, was up for some weird Mothboat projects. He rescued a Duflos hull that had been cut in half, and then hung as decoration in a bar for thirty years. Undeterred, he glommed another side onto her. Here he is in 2009 in this half-in-half project that he got back on the water.

Albaugh Photo

Bill Schill and John Z in 2006.

Here is Jay McKenna in a regular Cates. I think this was Ed Salva's at one point. Not sure where she ended up.

Albaugh Photo

For those in the Northern Hemisphere feeling a little bit shut in by winter, Classic Moth images from Earwigoagin.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Header Photo: Happy New Year from Sugar Island

I was poking around some images on my computer when I came across this one, a photo that actually said Happy New Year on it. This photo is of a group of canoeists on Sugar Island, watching the sailing canoe races from the shade of the trees, their chairs perched on a smooth rock face that makes up much of the island. Year is mid-1930's, probably 1934 or 1935. I googled the name on the lower right, Geo. F. Lewis, and found out he was from Massachusetts and also in charge of the musical entertainment for the week. It would be a safe bet to assume that this is Geo. F. Lewis watching from one of the chairs. Here's wishing the readers of Earwigoagin the best for 2019.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Part 2: Mystery Sailing Canoe: How her identity was solved.

Where we continue the quest to solve the identity of a sailing canoe model (above photos) that was purchased off Ebay by sailmaker Douglas Fowler. Refer back to the Part 1 post for an introduction.

Looking at the photos of the model, I immediately dismissed an American origin for the design. American sailing canoe classes either centered around the mostly decked, low freeboard, lightweight, sliding seat canoes (16X30) or the ACA canoes of the depression era which were essentially paddling canoes with lateen rigs. This looked like one of the English cruising canoes. The Scots and English had been using canoes to cruise big water since the 1870's. (The west coast of Scotland with it's nooks and crannies and islands was a favorite destination.) An early photo of the Loch Lomond Canoe Club below:

Around the 1900's, the English had developed the B-class canoe, with higher freeboard and a gunter rig; no sliding seat. Certainly the English B-class sailing canoe hull shape looked similar to Doug's model and I put that suggestion out there. Below is a Beken photo of the B-class canoes. This looks to be from the 1930's when the class was modernizing. Number 18 has the original lower aspect, longer boom sail plan. Sail area was 150 sq. ft. (13.9 sq. meters). Given that Doug's model had a higher aspect main (with a funny little gaff) and a sail area which was definitely smaller, this would prove problematic.

Doug tracked down Andrew Eastwood, who had written a history of the English sailing canoe about twenty years ago. His reply put the kibosh on the idea that this model was an English B canoe.
"One, the most important being that the sail area is too small for a RCC B class, so she must, most likely, have been rigged to fit with the 10 sq m rule, which was 1936. If you look at the B class in the book they were sailing with about 150 sq ft and the boom extended almost to the stern. Two, the general shape looks wrong. The Royal Canoe Club B class were very full in the fore and aft quarters, whereas your model looks less so. Three, about 20 years ago I came across a canoe lying derelict and persuaded the owner to let me take it. It was a canoe called 'Zenith' registered as K 26 by the Royal Canoe Club. She was originally a Swedish B canoe but measured as a RCC B class under the rules of the time. The UK numbering for the IC (10 sq M canoe) is a continuation of the numbering started for the B class." 
Andrew suggested this model may be a Swedish B canoe. Off I went to the Internet and used what I found to write this post about Swedish sailing canoe classes. The problem with the Swedish B canoe is the modern version is very similar to an OK dinghy - not at all like Doug's model. Maybe a Swedish C class canoe? (Rickard Sarby's Swedish C-canoe became his famous Olympic Finn design.) Again, the only modern photo I came across has this Swedish C-class canoe with a ketch rig, not a sloop rig. Perhaps a Swedish E-canoe? But I couldn't find a photo of one. Does the class still exist?

The English connection had been scrapped and the Swedish connection didn't look too likely. Meanwhile, Doug had also dragged two of the foremost sailing canoe experts in North America into the email conversation; John Summers and Joe Youcha. John had initially come down on the side of the English B-class canoe. Joe had noticed some details (pea green hull color, deck details) that were characteristic of Herreshoff construction. Could this model be a L. Francis Herreshoff design? We have this L. Francis 10 square meter design done in the 1930's (see photos below) but the rig was wrong and the hull too narrow. Add this to the fact there didn't seem to be any provision for a sliding seat on the model. We were increasingly facing the prospect that Doug's sailing canoe model may be a one-off that would be impossible to track.

Joe Youcha suggested that Doug contact Maynard Bray, a marine historian (WoodenBoat technical editor, Mystic Seaport Museum) who has wallowed in more boat plans and boat designs than all of the rest of us combined. Boom. We hit paydirt. Maynard did an immediate ID and sent back this Rudder article. Doug had a model of a Bill Garden design, a 20 foot sailing canoe initally designed for paper construction.

So I was wrong. It was an American design after all. John Summers wrapped up this very interesting trek through sailing canoe history with this very succinct quote:
"If Maynard doesn't know then no-one knows! Always did like Garden's drafting style. He drew some quirky boats--why the little dutch gaff, do you think? Thanks for solving the mystery."

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Wolstenholme Punt Singlehander

Upon seeing my post on the tricked out Swedish D-Kanot, Neil Kennedy of NedsLocker sent along this article of a singlehander design by Brit Andrew Wolstenholme, based off the Norfolk Punt class. I've included the article below. Wolstenholme's design is smaller than the D-Kanot and is a simple V shape, not round bilged, but it is interesting to see how similar these two designs are, given the very different design traditions they draw upon.

A photo of a vintage gunter-rigged Norfolk Punt...

..which is a far cry from how the modern Norfolk Punt is set up today (trapezes, assymetric spinnakers, carbon spars, etc).

Friday, December 28, 2018

Foiling in the hands of the Olympians

There has been a lot of digital ink from the sailing punditry community on how foiling is going to change sailing. No longer are we to bash and pound, or surf and plane, but rather fly... that is the future! So without further comment, let us observe how the Olympic Nacra 17 and their professional sailors play the foiling game; in one of the qualifying races at the Aarhus World Championships. (Though it must be admitted, compared to the Moth, which foils all around the course, the Nacra 17 must be considered semi-foiling as it doesn't fully fly upwind.)