Monday, October 29, 2012

Bosham SC Classic Revival 2012

I would also be remiss if I didn't mention that Bosham Sailing Club on Chichester Harbor (U.K.) ran a Classic event this fall that mostly featured the English Classic Racing Dinghies such as Fireflies, old International 14's, Solo's, Merlin Rocket's and National 12's and rarer dinghies such as National 18's, Thames A-Raters, and Tideway's. The event turned out to be very popular with 79 entrants. The Classic Moth, a Shelly design, with the transitional high-aspect ratio Aussie Rig that was adopted in 1969 (unlike the Classic Moths over here that have stuck with the low-aspect pre-1969 rig) won the medium handicap fleet. I have, in my usual style, pilfered some pics.

One of the Classic International 14's competing, this one skippered by Sarah Vaughn, who, I'm guessing, may be the daughter of Tom Vaughn, renowned as the eminent class historian. Hull looks to be a later Kirby design.

Addendum from a readers comment;

"Sarah Vaughan... She crewed for me in that boat at Rickmansworth (where we won the races) after I sailed the POW with her father, Tommy. That was nearly 40 years ago! Beautiful and a great crew, it's great to see her still sailing. Sarah and I became friends and I will never forget Steve Toschi saying that though he won the POW, I had gotten the real prize! How I wish!"

Ian Marshall in his Shelly Classic Moth, designed in the late 1960's.

Launching down the slipway at low tide.

Also a well done video of the event by SailTV.

Portland 2012 Wooden Boat Festival

In keeping with Earwigoagin's current theme of festivals and boats shows; from Doryman's neck of the woods, a video of the Portland, Oregon WoodenBoat Festival featuring the popular (at least in the U.S.) family boatbuilding activity, this time building flat bottomed skiffs.

Wooden Boat Festival 2012 from Willamette Sailing Club on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival - 2012 - Part 2

Continuing the photos of the 2012 MASCF sailing race.

The very quick Thistles are usually at the head of the fleet, not surprising as there are very few racing dinghies in the MASCF sailing race (this year the Penquin, a Sunfish, several Blue Jays and an elderly Comet sailed by a father/son team were the other boats with active racing class associations). This year there was two Thistles racing, with the very nicely restored woodie from Cleveland comfortably in front of the fleet. (Sorry Doryman, no Thistle from Delaware!)

The Celebrity class was a popular class in the 1960's. Close to 20 foot in length and based off a Dutch centerboard class, they are very comfortable daysailors. One showed up at MASCF and finished well up. Unfortunately a rare sight nowadays. (Blogger Tim Shaw in the background with his skin-on-frame outrigger canoe.)

The Cortez 16 is a stretched Melonseed that has been developed by Floridian Dave Lucas and his merry band of DIY'ers. (Dave is the MC of a boatbuilding commune just outside of St. Petersburg Fl - a bunch of different projects going on simultaneously under a large gazebo type structure; my friend Bob has seen it and he was mightily impressed.) The Cortez 16 has found favor with good sailing characteristics, a traditional appearance and an ability to carry 2-3 people comfortably. Not sure if there are plans available or if you have travel down to Dave's place and build one on the mold that he has.

Update: Readers have provided more information (and corrected some errors) on the stretched Melonseed in the Comments section. From Doryman, "The Melonseed is "Moggie", built and skippered by Mike Wick of the Delaware River TSCA.." And from the builder himself, Mike says, "Although my MOGGIE wasn't built at Dave Lucas' shop, it was inspired by him. Plans are available from Roger Allen of Buffalo Maritime Museum. Further information is available at an article I wrote about Moogie."

What looks to be a very pretty Crotch Island Pinky.

Local boatbuilder, Peter Van Dine, did a production run of fiberglass Tancook Whaler type cruising/daysailors (I think in the 1970's) which today are prized for their timeless classic style. (I remember coming across a funeral for a retired naval officer at the Naval Academy where he had requested his beloved Van Dine Tancook Whaler be moored off the Academy sea wall while he was laid to rest.)

The finish line of the sailing race is off the outermost point of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. The wind gets fluky and this year it was also upwind. There are always gaggles of boats bunched up and sometimes blocking the finish with the race officer yelling admonishments, "Don't hit anybody!" (You also need to take the time to yell your festival registration number at the race officer to be counted as a finisher, as this Blue Jay is doing - the Penquin is in the background as well as a self-designed plywood cat-ketch daysailor.)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

2012 Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival Part 1

On the same weekend I attended the 2012 Sailboat Show, that Saturday I bopped over to St. Michaels on the Eastern Shore to take in the varied small craft that is the the hallmark of Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum's MASCF (Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival). Two other bloggers made it over this year and posted their photos. (I may have passed them on the docks but I wouldn't know these two from Adam.) Blogger Thomas Armstrong from 70.8% has photos over here and photos from Wendy Byar are posted over at her blog Green Boats.

This year I was able to wrangle my way onto the race-committee boat to take some pictures of the start of the sailing race, a race, as the PRO for the day said, "is the most eclectic sailing race in the U.S." I heartily agree. This race is governed by three sensible rules (since most of the competitors aren't racers and have no idea what the ISAF racing rules are and how they are applied);
  1. Don't hit anyone! 
  2. If you hit a mark, go around it on the correct side. 
  3. If you are confused by the start, just go when everybody else goes.

I'll split my photos into two posts.

There is always lots of "splaining" and gesturing on the docks.

The main dock has two floating docks at the end where most of the leaving and returning takes place. A Thistle racing dinghy tied off at the end.

Unlike most dinghy racers, some competitors at MASCF consider it a badge of glory to row out to the starting line.

The race committee boat was CBMM's beutifully restored Smith Island workboat with plenty of open cockpit. Competitors are lining up to start with less than a minute to go. We can see an ACA sailing canoe with Lavertue's reproduction late 1800's batwing sailing canoe in the background. The orange sail belongs to a fiberglass catboat from Florida.

And they're off. Wind looked like it might be stronger than it was from shore so some sailors mistakenly reefed only to find a nice 8-10 with slightly higher gusts. The winning Thistle started up near the weather shore. (The Thistle sails can be seen peeking out behind the repro sailing canoe.)

I have to admit I was mightily impressed puttering around in the Smith Island work boat. The damping of the vibrations of the diesel by the thick wood hull made the jaunt to and from the harbor a delightful ride.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Header Photo: British Moth at Speed

The header photo to grace the top of this blog for almost two months is the U.K brethren class to the U.S. Classic Moth, the British Moth; in this case a great photo of one planing in some breeze. I have written about the British Moth class in this post and also this post. I snitched this photo from their website.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

2012 U.S. Sailboat Show

I ran out the door early Sunday morning on my way to the U.S Sailboat Show and grabbed my small camera, half expecting the battery would be dead, but hoping it wouldn't be. It was dead. So I postponed this post until fellow CMBA'er (Classic Mothist) and blogger (he prefers the term diarist), George posted his report and photos of the event over at Mid-Atlantic Musings.

I was pleasantly surprised at the higher than normal amount of companies exhibiting sailing dinghies. As soon as I walked into the gate on the backside of the harbor bathrooms there was the Rondar stand with an interesting new hiking singlehander, the K1 (at least new to the U.S. - from the Internet looks like it has been around the U.K. since 2009). It is another take on a singlehander with a keel, I assume aimed at the aging singlehander population. Not much longer than a Laser at 15 feet LOA, it is narrower and the hull shape is much rounder. Like the International Canoe and the Swift Solo, it sports a sloop rig, but no asymmetric spinnaker (to keep the costs down). With keel the K1 weighs about 47 kg  (100 or so pounds) more than the Laser. A very interesting concept but I'm not sure if there is a market. Most of the geezers who enjoy dinghy racing seem to be flogging their Lasers and Sunfishes well into their sixties and after crossing into their 70's they seem to be switching to a roomy and safe tub like the Herreshoff 12 1/2 footer, a classic that they race singlehanded in the Annapolis Yacht Club winter series.

A scan of the K1 advert picture from the crumpled brochure taken from my pants pocket;

An interior shot pulled from the Internet (not from the Sailboat Show - note the very round stern);

Rondar, an English company, has set up an U.S. manufacturing plant up near Boston where they have been providing collegiate dinghies, such as two-man Fireflies to Tufts and new carbon Tech Dinghies to MIT.

The RS stand featured two of their glass production boats and two of their rotomolded products. Of interest was their RS Venture family fiberglass daysailor/racer with assymetric spinnaker, a seventeen footer with about seven foot beam from Phil Morrison. It looked like a modern interpretation of the venerable Ian Proctor designed Wayfarer dinghy and the price point was good at 15K, cheaper even than RS's high end RS100 singlehander which was up around 16K. We'll see if this design can make any inroads against the king of the hill daysailor/racer in the U.S., the Flying Scot.

Zim Sailing picked up the Megabyte and Byte designs from Ian Bruce this past May (after 40 odd years building sailing dinghies, Ian Bruce is concentrating on producing an electric Classic speedboat). They are also producing these dinghies in Rhode Island whilst their collegiate/high school 420 is built in Asia. It seems Zim Sailing is aggressively moving into areas left wide open by the recent travails and mis-steps of Laser Performance.

I took a peek at the hardware and rope companies. I didn't see much new in dinghy hardware. The U.S. rope manufacturers (Yale and Samson) are now all offering soft-hand, double plait, super-Spectra lines so the choice for Laser mainsheets and dinghy sheets of all types has now increased exponentially (before it was either Maffioli or Marlowe Excel that had the soft hand sheets).

The Comet class (U.S double handed 16 foot chine design circa 1933, often referred to as the mini-Star) coughed up the bucks to have a very well put together stand (it is rare to see a class association at the Sailboat Show). Go over to George's blog to get some pictures. The class is looking at mylar sails to gussy up the modern image of the class so, having been through the recent discussion with the Classic Moths, I spent a pleasant 15 minutes discussing the pros and cons of mylar sailcloth. The Comet class has a new fiberglass builder on Maryland's Easter shore and they have added a double floor much like the modern fiberglass Snipes.

I had a very technical discussion on sailcloth with the Dimension/Polyant guys. It seems their M2 string sails have been used successfully by the top 505 sailors but there is a price premium if you go that route.

The rain which looked to make it a very wet day, surprisingly went away after the first fifteen minutes and instead of a quick walk through of the show that I expected, there was much to keep me interested for many hours on that Sunday.