Monday, July 29, 2013

Header Photo: Tillerman to the Rescue! Ladies Day at Larchmont YC

Mr. Tillerman, I doff my baseball cap to your marvelous powers of observation and unsurpassed ability to sift through and discover relevant Internet material. In two hours you have deduced much more than I have in two months. I can only repost your comments in a main post so all my readers can follow along and appreciate a master at work on his computer, piecing the puzzle together.

"The burgee on that swimming platform does look remarkably like the burgee for Larchmont Yacht Club.

"And Manor Park in Larchmont is famous for its gazebos and striated rocks.

"If you look at Manor Park on Google Maps satellite view you can actually see two gazebos on striated rocks very much like those in the second picture. But I can't identify the exact spot with those specific striations.

"Could this be a more recent photo of the same spot?

"Note that the gazebo may have been rebuilt in 100 years and a stone wall added. But look at the pattern of striations in the rock.

"Check out this photo from the Larchmont Gazette.

"Not the same day but surely the same view? Look at the trees on the point in the distance, for example.

"This is a postcard from Horsehoe Harbor in Larchmont c.1900. There is a Horseshoe Harbor YC (which is probably why your correspondent from Larchmont YC said it wasn't LYC but he did know it?)

"Oh, and I forgot to mention, Horseshoe Harbor is in Manor Park.

"On the other hand check out this photo of Ladies Day at Larchmont YC in 1911.

"This looks like a better match to your scene than that postcard of Horseshoe Harbor. The trees on the point look similar in both pictures but this one is claerly a wider stretch of water more similar to your picture. Would also explain why the swim platform has an LYC burgee.

"Maybe your header photo was of Ladies Day at LYC?

"This NYT article from 1910 does say that the fleet was dressed for Ladies Day.

"And this NYT article from 1913 about Ladies Day at Larchmont that year says that more than 200 yachts dressed ship and that possibly the fleet was larger in "former years."

"So I am pretty sure both photos are looking across Larchmont Harbor. If you look on a map you will see that the views from the gazebo in Manor Park and from LYC are both towards the same point on the opposite side of the harbor, to the NE and E respectively.

"And there's a fair amount of circumstantial evidence that this could be Ladies Day. There were canoeing and swimming races on Ladies Day which explains a lot of the foreground in the header picture too.

These photos are from the Emerson collection of Rochester N.Y.. Other photos in the collection fix the time frame. There is no explanation why young Mr.Emerson was at Larchmont YC but he did, in 1917, marry the daughter of Fred A. Mabbett, the Commodore of Rochester Yacht Club. Perhaps Fred Mabbett had chartered a yacht on the East Coast.There are some yacht racing photos in this collection.

Below are all the photos in the spectator set, including a larger version of the header photo.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Header Photo: Where Is This?

I have noticed in the bloggosphere that these quiz posts about mystery locations are very popular. The blogger puts out some picture with some obscure hints about where it was taken, or the context, people comment about where they think the photo was taken; someone, obviously brilliant or good at Google searches, comes up with the correct answer. This one has a little twist.

I have no clue where this vintage photo was taken.

I have puzzled over it for several months and come up with two educated guesses and one obvious fact.
  • The photo was probably taken in the 1913 to 1918 time frame.
  • Given the size and abundance of large yachts, this may be the dressing of the fleet for the New York Yacht Club Cruise.
  • There is a parade of small craft, canoes, rowing skiffs for the spectators, with youngsters swimming off a large houseboat-structure.
So this may be one of the old yacht clubs on Long Island Sound - or not? I emailed someone at Larchmont Y.C who wrote back that it wasn't Larchmont Y.C, that he had an good idea of where it was and then was never heard from again.

To add to the confusion, here is another photo in the set (that may not be in the same location) that shows a gazebo and yachts, but also shows a rocky shore indicating a Maine location, or possible a L.Y.R.A rendezvous on Lake Ontario (this was my first guess but a L.Y.R.A. get together would not have so many large yachts, only the wealth of New York City could support this in the early 1900's).

Have at it.

Oh, and here is the schedule for the New York Yacht Club Cruise - from the 1916 issue of Rudder magazine. (As always, click on any of the pics to get a larger view.)

Friday, July 26, 2013

OD - OY Review - The Butterball Pram

In my continuing series on home-built sailing dinghy classes from the 1960's, as featured in the One Design and Offshore Yachtsman magazine, here is the Butterball, a 9 1/2 foot pram with dory like sides presenting a very large beam for this size boat. I've never seen one in the flesh (unfortunate choice for a class name - I wonder if this was before Butterball was associated with Thanksgiving turkey?). I doubt this class never made it much past the 1970's but as with most of these classes there is probably one or two who exist in the present day. Leave a comment if you've seen one or have any more information.

From the Sailboat Classes of North America, Fessenden S. Blanchard, 1963:
"In the summer of 1958 Captain Richard T. Miller, of the Ship Design Division, Bureau of Ships, U.S.N., who lives in Annapolis, Maryland, de- signed the 9'6'^ Butterball pram dinghy as a junior training boat. The most distinctive feature of the class is said to be a thick (1'%'') daggerboard with a symmetrical airfoil section. This is said to give the boat a good lift, so that she sails close to the wind and balances nicely. The designer reports that Bob Bavier (Yachting) sailed Number 1 boat in the spring of 1959 and appeared pleased with its handling qualities. Of the thirty boats so far built, most of them are located in the vicinity of Charleston, South Carolina; some are at Tacoma, Washington; others are in Texas, Michigan, Missouri, Australia, and New Zealand. Material is mahogany plywood. Captain R. T. Miller (R.F.D. 3, Box 392, Melvin Rd., Annapolis, Md. ) is the source of information on the class. The principal builder is Bill Dodds Boats (Route 1, Box 156A, Johns Island, S.C.). The price is about $400 new, one of the least expensive sailing dinghies of which we have heard.

VITAL statistics: L.O.A. 9'6"; draft without centerboard 5", with C.B. 2'$^"; sail area 49 sq. ft.; weight 150 lbs.; trailable or cartop.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

America's Cup: What? You agree with Me?

In my previous post about the America's Cup, I opined that the AC 72 was much too big and it appears someone else agrees with me.

From the Sunday July 14, 2013 business section of the Washington Post, a reprinted article by Aaron Kuriloff of Bloomberg Markets had this statement from the second kahuna of the Oracle team;
Coutts, 51 said before the accident that his team's decision in 2010 to use 72-footers for the Cup was a mistake. He believed then that the 72s would look better on TV than smaller cats which are less costly to build and slower.

Coutts later discovered during the televised America's Cup World Series beginning in 2011 that 45-foot cats played well on the screen.

"We were paranoid this needed to look good on TV," Coutts says. "I thought the 45 would look too small. It doesn't. It looks fine."

Oh-oh! Not good when you admit you are probably sailing the wrong boats before the series even starts.

For more unbiased America's Cup reporting, I suggest you follow either Tillerman, or Joe over at Horse's Mouth.

If some of you young'uns are contemplating a career as a sail-race professional, I suggest you start concentrating on getting some trampoline combined with Rubik's Cube workouts, as the link to this following America's Cup training video shows.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Aussie Scow Moth Pics

Continuing on one of the common threads throughout this blog, that being all things scow related, I've dug into my photo archive to post some photos of the Aussie scow Moth. The Aussie scow Moth is a particular favorite of mine since I owned one for several years and dragged it out to race once a year at Brigantine N.J. Back then George A. had a start for "All things Moth but not a U.S. Classic Moth" and I  and the scow suffered through some miserable light air performances to get a chance in some breeze. I wrote about my Aussie scow here.

Oztayls (This has got to be mnemonic for something - don't know what though? Aussie Tales?) has started a blog about his restoration of one of the later designs of Aussie scow.

Here is a early picture, probably mid 50's since they all look like variations of the original Len Morris single chine model and sport wooden masts. I'm guessing one of the clubs around Sydney.
Again, Sydney Harbor, though later, a start in the 1960's. The scow on the left sports a "walking stick mast" with a sizeable luff tube to clean up the air flow, developed by Rick Le Plastrier. Amazingly advanced for the time, this predates the Windsurfer rig by about 20 years. They had trouble depowering this rig so it fell out of favor.
Winged Scows: The International Moth class increased the beam around 1969/1970 so the Aussie scows adopted wings along with the rest of the class. The pics below are recent ones of the winged scow versions. The red scow in the bottom picture looks to be one of the narrow, single-chine scows that were developed in a futile attempt to keep up with the skiffs which were getting extremely narrow and faster (when the skiffs won the 1984 Australian Worlds in big breeze, this marked the end of the scow as a competitive Moth in its home country).


I have dragged a comment by this orange scow's former owner, Jon Reid, into the main post.
"That's me in the bottom pic, bright orange boat so the rescue boat could always find me. The boat was originally Learning Curve, designed and built by Bob Nicholson on Lake Macquarie north of Sydney. I did a major renovation to it in 2006 after tearing a hole in the bottom. Painted it orange and changed the name to TurtleTouchingCloth. Sold it several years ago and believe it is still at the Seaforth Moth Sailing Club. God I look young in that picture."

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Header Photo: Dutch Zeilen, 16m2 Woodie

The Dutch sure have a bunch of active, competitive classes that use gaff and/or gunter rigs. The header photo featured one of them, the 16m2, the class with the smiley logo. The 16m2 (16m2 being the sail area) is about the same size and weight as our Lightning class (6 meters or 19 feet, 450kg or about 1000lbs) and the design was copied for the U.S. fiberglass Celebrity class (now defunct). It appears the class is entirely varnished wood; I can't think of another class that is entirely varnished. And this class is not just a bunch of "woodie" sentimentalists; it is highly competitive with upwards of 40 boats showing up for the big regattas. A two man crew, with one on trapeze, and no spinnaker, the 16m2 was designed in 1931 by Hendrik Bulthuis, a hairdresser from Bergum (more at Wikipedia here).

Pieter Bleeker, who sails an International 12 now, sends along two pictures of him and his brother sailing a 16m2 back in the 1980's with this short message:
"On your blog I saw a picture of a boat, what is called in Holland a 16m2 or Grote BM I was surprised to see this model in the USA, because it is a typical Dutch class I know this boat very well, because I have sailed in it for more as 16 years."

A video of a finish of the 16m2 at Schildweek.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Kids and Parents Sailing: Sorry!

I was watching a father and young daughter, in an Academy dinghy, puttering about off SSA last night, in very light wind, and was reminded I haven't posted any kids and parents sailing videos recently.

Here is short YouTube with a video bomb (in Internet parlance, a photo or a video bomb is when someone  or something like a cat, dog or parakeet, unexpectedly intrudes on the shot).

(For Tillerman, who gave me the word and definition of redonkulous) That kid is such a wisenheimer! [wise + German -enheimer (in such surnames as Oppenheimer)].... a smart aleck.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

America's Cup; What! Already!

I haven't been paying the America's Cup too much attention, other than the disasters, the pitchpole of Oracle and the recent tragic breakup of Artemis. This week I came to realize the challenger trials start tomorrow, Sunday July 7, so I'll add my two cents in before the series starts. (I'm a terrible prognosticator, I remember telling a friend of mine back in ancient history - 1987- that no one would want to go to Western Australia to challenge for the America's Cup; I think they ended up with around 10 to 12 different challenging syndicates in Western Australia.)

Though I applauded Oracle's decision to go with the catamaran (one can see here, my previous posts about the America's Cup), I now think the AC72 is too big, too powerful, too fast, too scary, and too expensive.

It seems the AC72 in the America's Cup may be in a Catch 22. On one hand, if the boats and crews can handle the conditions, we may have what I call the "human flying squirrel" phenomena; we'll watch the videos once or twice, say "Those guys are crazy" and move on. On the other hand, given the small field competing, if we have two catastrophic failures we may not have enough catamarans left to race the cup. (I also think the race track is much too small for the speeds of these beasts.)

But as I said, with the America's Cup my opinion is usually wrong. I hope it is. I would like to see some great racing in very unique racing machines.

A very good video of Team Oracle; interviews, AC72's in action (and in pieces) :

"We essentially sail in a hurricane all day....."

America's Cup (No Second Place) from RAPIDLIGHT on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Capsize Medley; A Sabre and a Topper

It's been some time since I posted on one of my favorite topics, small boat sailors capsizing.

In the first one, an Australian Sabre dinghy sailor was gybing to get back to the line before the start, spun out, and capsized to windward (the worst kind to rescue from). Said sailor performs stellar rescue with the added benefit he ends up on the right gybe heading back to the start line. Smiles all around.

In this second one, a junior sailor on a Topper (must be England) either collides with the coach boat, or the coach boat collides with him/her, net result, a rollover to leeward. Again, a TOH to this junior on a very speedy recovery.