Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Photo Wrapup; Some more of the Classic Moth's

More Classic Moths (comfort viewing during this cold spell). Photos taken at this years Nationals. Photographers were Elisabeth Albaugh and Len Parker. Your blogmeister and Joe Bousquet going upwind. George Albaugh beating in his Vintage Dorr Willey. Joe Bousquet, Rebecca Dudzinsky chasing Jeff Linton offwind. Mark Saunders crossing tacks with Jeff Linton. On shore rigging. Reach mark congestion. One of the starts. Have a happy New Year!

Warren Bailey, The Catamaran Moth

There has been some discussion over at the Classic Moth forum about the hard wings that are showing up on the International foiler Moths. This discussion segued into another discussion about some of North America's own inventive Moth developers back in the day. One in particular, Floridian Warren Bailey, was very productive in the 1950's and 1960's. He designed the Mach 1 which was then modified to become the very popular Florida/Cates Moth in the 1960's. He was one of a triumvirate that designed the Challenger Moth, a fiberglass Moth that was also produced in numbers. His son George Bailey posted this article on Warren on the Classic Moth forum;

Mach I and Cates

Warren Bailey won the Antionio trophy (called the world’s) in 1954 racing the Mach I, the hull he built that was the first of its kind, and that Harry Cates copied. Cates gave his version 3” less vee since this made it a lot easier to sail and also made it easier to build. On the original Mach I and the first two copies Cates built for people up north, the ply would not make the bow shape, so you had to build a glass bow and add it, as my father had done to the original hull when he was unhappy with how it pointed (or didn’t, as it were). With less vee the ply would bend enough to make the shape of the partly plumb bow. One of the early Cates was purchased from Charley Shelton, painted black, named the Mach II, and raced by my sister. Eventually Warren, who sold the Mach I just after wining the Antionio, bought her back – this was around 1959 or so. I raced the Mach I in late 1960 and through 1961 until I went to the UofF in Sept 1961. The Mach II was slower than the Mach I.

Warren had many requests to build Mach I copies. He did not build moths to sell. He built them to improve the design. For a living, he built 38’-45’ strip planked ocean racing centerboarders.

After the Mach I Warren built perhaps eight more attempts to build a faster hull. He then decided he could not. So he quit building and racing Moths. He insists that his only interest was in building a faster hull and racing was how he tested hulls. He said that otherwise, he was not interested in racing. If you consider how relatively crude his rig was in the days when olympic dinghys had a zillion control lines, this seems to fit. On his rig, you could not change anything once you went out other than set the vang to one or two or three knots in the vang line (something you had to do between heats). I remember the first time I saw a boat set up with lots of control lines – around 59’ or 60” in St. Pete? I was amazed at what we were not doing. But if you could hold her level the Mach I was still so fast relative to the competition in 1961 that it did not matter.

George B

I then came across this photo of Warren Bailey racing his own design rule beater catamaran Moth which was eventually outlawed. George, looks like you could provide another story behind this project.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Music Whenever; Henry Farag, Stormy Weather "Christmas Time is Coming"

From the John Waters Christmas CD (one of the most cracked Christmas CD's you'll find.... as befits John Waters) a do-wop song...............

Happy Holidays to All!

and may you all get a warm pair of socks! (excepting those in the Southern Hemisphere)!

Follow Up; Nantais Moth

Moth Classique

Plans de Moth Classique

Referring to the post of the Nantais Moth Classique under construction in British Columbia, I got a nice email from Romain Berard (who I assume is French but I forgot to ask).

"If you read French, you can buy this book:

This is a new reprint of a series of do-it-yourself books written during WW2 on how to build various small boats. Included are the plans and detailed explanations to make a Sharpie (both 9 and 11 m2 versions), a dinghy Herbulot, a Caneton, the Nantais Moth Classique, the Mousse and also the beautiful Aile keelboat."

I have the book. In it the author speaks about shortage of materials (it seems he can help the would be builder to get a voucher for some) and a note mentions an American bombing over Nantes.

In the bill of material required for the moth, 9m2 of cotton is mentionned for the sail.

Thanks Romain. Here is the link to the book (link didn't show up as clickable above).Undoubtedly an interesting book for historical yachting nuts like me, particularly if you have some French language background. Romain also sent me some photos of his current ride; one of my favorite traditional dinghies featured in several posts on this blog, the International 12. He says the wooden International 12's are very expensive. Sometimes you pay for beauty!

Follow Up; French Kit build Classic Moth

I posted about a French kit Classic Moth that seemed to be constructed out of snap together plywood pieces with no jig. And voila! Shortly after that post, up popped a YouTube video documenting the construction method with a different small sailboat, a Kitoo 12 footer. Very interesting to watch the Kitoo go together but, with all that plywood, it might be hard to adapt this to the Classic Moth and still meet the Classic Moth minimum hull weight of 75lbs.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Music Whenever; Zero 7 "Swing"

Though not a Christmas tune, this song has a catchy, festive air to it.


To newlyweds, daughter Lauren and husband Eric. Tied the knot last weekend with a great bash. I even got to do the Electric Slide!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Travelogue; Norfolk Broads Cruising

This blog vicariously visits exotic sailing locale mostly through YouTube videos. The blogmeister, not being particularly flush with cash, does most of his jaunts up and down the East Coast of the U.S.

Transplanted Englishman, Len Parker of the Mashed Minifish project, sends along a travel report of a cruise he and his mate, Ray, did on the English Norfolk Broads this fall. This past summer, I had done several posts on the traditional dinghies that race the Three Rivers Race on the Norfolk Broads, using Dylan Winter's gorgeous videos that, unfortunately, have gone away. As Len relates, cruising on the Norfok Broads is done in traditional boats with big rigs, on narrow rivers, with masts that can be lowered under bridges, and of small towns with pubs close at hand.

"In late September I flew over to England just a few days after getting back to south Florida from my adventures with the MiniFish at the Classic Moth Nationals.The plan was to land at Heathrow , rush down south to the Isle of Wight ... say a quick hello to my parents , say a quick hello to my kids , grab something warmer than shorts and flipflops , also make sure I had loads of tea bags , then a few hours later jump in Ray's van , back on the car ferry & 250 miles North up to the Norfolk Broads where we'd hire a classic sailing dinghy for three days and Ray would 'show me the ropes'.

We got to the famous Hunter's Yard in Ludham in the wee 'early hours , had a cup of tea or three and waited patiently for them to open. They hire a variety of lovely looking wooden classic sailboats and we hired "Sundew" , a 1950's Waverney One Design gunter rigged 22+n footer with 290 sq ft of main & jib. All the boats have high rigs , probably to get sail area above the high reed beds on the narrow river stretches.

We had 200 odd miles of the waterways to explore including Hickling Broad , Ranworth Broad and Barton Broad , plus the rivers Thurne and Ant. We followed some of the route of the famous 45 mile long three rivers race ( Thune , Ant , Bure). Areas of the rivers are really narrow , so no time for brewing tea , it was tack-tack-tack. Then it opens up into a Broad. Beautiful scenery and wildlife.
The original plan was to sail , camp , sail , camp , sail ... but seeing as it was late in the season , and what with my knee & jetlag as another excuse , we soon changed the plan to sail , pub , hotel , sail , pub hotel ... A much better plan ! We figured that as kids were long back at school there shouldn't be too many grockle families ( tourists ) clogging up the place in their large hire motorboats ... luckily we were right.

We had a mix of wind conditions varying from rowing in the doldrums , to gusts of over 25 knots , and after the rental lady mentioned that we ought to reef the main when the wind piped up Ray laughed , saying that only girls and poof's do that on a river.

Sundew was surprisingly nimble and easy to control but being the novice I am , I had my moments. We were hiked out as far as we could be a few times , great fun. It was brilliant to see some of the boats with their huge sails dwarfing us. The largest was named White Moth , very apt & I took a photo. It was fun to spot a sailing dinghy ahead of us , as we couldn't resist "hunting them down".

We went under the 13th century Heigham Bridge. You have to lower the pivoting mast onto a brace on the transom & row under the little 6' high brick built bridge. No tides to worry about , sounds easy ... yeah right ! .. The current was ripping through the bridge. One person steers , one person rows backwards whilst straddling the mast , boom & sails. You duck and hope for the best. Luckily we did good , but it was knackering and then you have to row another 100 yards to clear another bridge before you can restep the mast, then have a cuppa and carry on your way ... I let rip about 50 unmentionable swear words in 30 seconds , thinking we were going to smash the hull , so hats off to those crews who do this whilst racing. Of course we had to do it all again on the way back , but at least we knew what to expect.

It was great fun exploring and after running aground in the deep mud a couple of times , you soon realize that the channel markers are spot on. The Norfolk folk are a friendly lot , but they really do have a funny accent as it's really rural and proper "carrot country". It was a great trip , and I'll be back for sure."

Len sent along some pictures. (Click on picture for higher resolution.)

I think this the large Broads Cruiser "White Moth".

Another traditional Norfolk Broads cruiser.

"Sundew" chasing down a cruiser in the narrow confines of the river.

Ray with "Sundew's" mast lowered for negotiation of the Heigham bridge.

"Sundew" at the dock.

Len skippering on one of the wider expanses of water.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Junior Sailor to Intercollegiate Sailor; Where did the Nice come from?

This past October, I did another weekend stint of Race Committee for the Naval Academy's Women's Fall Regatta. Warm weather, lightish winds and skilled women dinghy sailors going at it. Watching intercollegiate regattas over the past three years, there is one conundrum that has percolated up in my brain.

How is it that junior sailors, who seem to be very rules averse, (see my post about the cheating at the Laser Radial ACC's ) become magically transformed as intercollegiate sailors. For the most part intercollegiate sailors know the rules, acknowledge infractions on the water, and do their penalties. During the Women's Fall Regatta, out of 30 or so races there were only four or five protests filed.

Two instances from the weekend stand out in my mind.

  1. I watched a St. Mary's sailor, who after finishing, was earnestly discussing an incident from the previous race with a fellow competitor. The discussion was calm and her hands were active in painting the boats positions. This rules discussion was treated as learning experience with the expectation that this wouldn't happen again.
  2. At the finish boat, in one race we had a strong flood that had closed the starboard lane into the finish down to about 4 feet; below that you had to tack onto port to cross the line. This created one of those sailing black holes you see every once in a while. Those who tacked onto port were blanketed by starboard tackers and then slowed to a standstill by the flood. More boats piled into this zone, confronted by port tackers completely stopped, and more starboard tackers ended up below the safe zone and were now tacking. It was a mess. But there was no yelling and the poor port tackers were doing their damndest to flop back onto starboard to avoid fouling right of way boats. If I had been involved in that scrum, I would have stood up in my boat and railed against the race committee, the weather gods, the flooding tide and so on. But, thankfully, these women were much more mature.
So how is a junior sailor, who is now competing with dubious morals, molded into a responsible, mature intercollegiate competitor?

Is it?

  1. Peer Pressure - There seems to be an expectation among intercollegiate competitors that if you foul, you will do your turns.
  2. Coaching - Certainly in college racing with no throw outs, the college coach wants consistent good finishes. A DSQ for a silly foul where the sailor neglected to do penalty turns is a definite no-no. It adds a ton of points to the teams overall score.
  3. Lack of parental involvement - There are parents watching the college racing but the key is - they are watching... they are not coaching, they are not haranguing the race committee, or the coaches, or their kids.
This is not to say that once intercollegiate sailors return to regular sailing they don't attempt to pull a fast one every so often on us oldsters.

A week later, the Naval Academy ran the coed Trux Umstead Regatta in lots of breeze. Here is a video of the 420's and Flying Juniors approaching and rounding the offset mark.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Neat 1963 Photo of a Dutch "Schakel" dinghy

Rene' de la Rie, a former 505 sailor out of West River Sailing Club, sent me this image of him sailing a Schakel dinghy in Holland in the 1960's. From Rene'............

"The picture is from the early 1960s, Amsterdam, The Netherlands - the boat is a 'Schakel' and was popular there at the time. I raced it for a number of years. It was a two-man boat and sort of a small version of the 'Valk'. It is a scan from an old print and it may have been its maiden voyage, which would have been 1963, out of the marina where I grew up near Amsterdam. I haven't thought about "Schakels" ("schakel" means "link") for many years. Mine was built by my father and I believe it was the second year of their existence. They were sort of a mini Lightning (the size of a 470 essentially), built from plywood, and were very popular at the time. They still exist but my brother, who lives in Holland, tells me that they are limited now mostly to the northern part of the country (Friesland). There are still a lot of wooden boats in Holland."

More information on the Schakel can be found here