Saturday, August 24, 2013

Another Topper Daysail with grins

I keep running into great daysailing videos featuring adults enjoying the English Topper scow. Normally used as a transition singlehander in England for the juniors coming out of the Opti programs, it seems adults who are not racers, enjoy kicking around in this plastic boat. (In the U.S.A. I would vote the Sunfish more than the Laser as the one adults more enjoy as a kick-around singlehander.)

Topper on Oulton Broad from John Fielding on Vimeo.

I like the music. Anyone know the name of the group? - Ahh! Found It! Ben Howard with the song "Promise".

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Louis Vuitton Cup - Aliens and other ruminations

I finally sat down at the TV last Sunday to watch some AC72 catamaran sailing. It seems very hard to get two of them in the same TV picture. There was some nice shots of one of them flying around the marks and gybing on stilts but they seem to be solitary craft - they don't like the company of another AC72; something the TV commentators continually make excuses for.

I did get to watch over and over and over again, Team New Zealand's face plant upon rounding a mark on the Saturdays race. Which brings me to Rumination 1 and 2.
  1. For syndicates that spend umpteen millions of dollars, the rescue of the two sailors flung overboard at 40 knots left something to be desired. (I have a fetish about crash boats and rescues.) Hauling the two over the high transom of the big, expensive RIB, between four massive outboards was just wrong. Rescue personnel are very careful with car accident victims, usually keeping them very still until they can ascertain any injuries. With the ETNZ AC72's, the procedure seems to be; grab them under both armpits and heave them into the boat - we'll check out any physical problems later. And hauling them up next to the outboard motors just gives me the heebie-jeebies. This is highly operator dependent; the motors must be in neutral, remain in neutral, and never be engaged during the rescue - a risk I do not like to take. I would hope that if any of the two men overboard had a more severe injury, where they were incapacitated, there was a different procedure and a different boat.
  2. The wind limits, as frustrating as they seem to the racing, do make a difference. ETNZ's nose dive was the same as Team Oracle's earlier this year. ETNZ was able to recover without a disastrous cart wheel over the bow because the wind wasn't blowing as hard as in the Team Oracle disaster.
Today Race 4 and 5 are scheduled. Let's hope the AC72's act more sociable. When you get them together they do look cool as this video of the two Oracle AC72's training together shows.

Oracle Team USA - Foiling Upwind !!! from pete carney on Vimeo.

I use my wife, being a non-sailor, as a sounding board for how these foiling catamaran's might play with the general viewing public. Her comment, "I miss the graceful sailboats, these look too alien". Part of this is due to the Italian team's sailing outfits or as Tillerman puts it, "their chromeness". They look like a team of Tin Men, spawned out of the Wizard of Oz. All that is missing is redesigned helmets to look like upturned funnels and some chrome zinc-oxide face paint. But that just might be the difference between backward Americans and more fashion conscious Europeans. Below, a promotional puff video on the Italians (but interesting just the same).

Luna Rossa: Luna Challenge // Marmoset from marmoset on Vimeo.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Classic Moth Plans: Offsetts for Zippy Design

(Update December 2013: For those who like the visual lines drawing the Zippy sections in PDF format are posted here.)

(Update February 2015: I finally have compiled and posted here the 8 station offsets which will make it easier to plot out frames.)

Plans de voiliers classiques Moth, Dériveur classique Moth.

There are two "wide-body" Classic Moth designs currently kicking around, the round-bilged Titan, an American design, which is featured in this header photo, and the French Proust design which I profiled in this post. The Proust design is a simple, v-bottom shape and should be easy to plank in plywood though Jim Young built his version in fiberglass/foam-core. If you build it with the open cockpit as Jim Young did (rather than the racing cockpit), the Proust should be more than capable in taking an adult and a young kid for a pleasant day-sail.

Jim Young named his Proust version Tippy, a misnomer since this design has more than enough stability for a Mothboat. I've taken the Proust and made some changes and in keeping with the Jim Young naming convention, I've deemed my version  Zippy.

The Jim Young Tippy at the 2008 Elizabeth City Nationals.

The original Proust had a chine log which I've eliminated to make it a true V-bottom. I changed the rocker and the sheer slightly. I have it on my list to make a model of Zippy but as my friends know, my projects take a very long, long time. If anyone out in the bloggosphere would like to make of model of Zippy, please send along photos and I'll post them.

Here are the the 8 station offsets for Zippy in metric. To print or download, click on the pop-out icon on the top-right corner. It will open the PDF in another tab where you can print or download.

Here are the offsets for Zippy for stations set at 336mm (13 inch English) which is really too many for a traditional build where you leave the frames in the boat (like the Nantais or Little Mae Moths).

And here is "Zippy the Pinhead", the cartoon star, the enigmatic master of dry wit from another dimension, a cartoon I always checked in with daily even when I didn't understand where he was going.

Where to put the mast and daggerboard in a Classic Moth?

Luckily, John Shelley's construction drawings for the Shelley Mk 1, which he used in a patent application, have now surfaced on the internet. His mast and daggerboard placement as indicated in the drawings below are good placements, though, if you went around the fleet with a measuring tape, you would find this might vary by up to 75 mm from boat to boat.

Center of mast back from stem - 695 mm.

Leading edge of daggerboard back from stem - 1453 mm.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Header Photo: Cotuit Skiff

The previous header photo was of a Cotuit Skiff, a vintage design, circa 1906, that is raced in great numbers on Cotuit Bay, on the South Shore of Cape Cod. A jumbo low-slung, gaff-rigged cat sail powers this 14 foot flat bottomed craft, as is shown by the juniors in this photo desperately hiking her down. If one was closely inspecting the photo, one could wonder what happened to the skippers aft, steering arm. It has completely disappeared. Well this fellow is using both hands on the sheet and steering with his foot. The Cotuit Skiff doesn't allow tiller extensions! I suppose this is something the young and fit would do; any attempt on my part to sail a small boat, steering with my feet while hiking out, would inevitably result in a capsize.

The Cotuit Mosquito Yacht Club was formed around the Cotuit Skiff early on as a junior club. No member could be older than 25 or married. Today the club remains though there is the "Association of the Cotuit Mosquito Club" to allow the parents and older citizens to be involved. Indeed the Cotuit skiff is raced by all ages.

Some other pics:

Friday, August 9, 2013

Micro Dinghy: Bolger "Queen Mab" Catboat

Several years back, at the Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival, a builder of the beautiful micro-dinghy, the Bolger designed Queen Mab catboat, was offering a spin. No one else was taking her up on the offer, so I eased myself into this 7 1/2 foot craft and aimed her out of the harbor. You sail reclined, using your feet to steer, `a la the Hobie kayak/trimarans. After some trepidation with how this tiny craft would handle the motor boat chop out on the Miles River, I had an enjoyable sail. There were some equipment sore-spots. The steering cable, similar to a bicycle brake cable, was very sticky. The sail was very overbuilt and had trouble setting in the lightish breezes. The offset centerboard (offset close to the gunwhale so as to give the skipper legroom on the centerline) had a tendency to float up. But overall, the Queen Mab sailed, slowly but smartly, bobbing over the wakes. Besides the cuteness of the catboat's classical lines in a very small size, I could see this design offering up some memorable cruises on a small pond. The blogger over at 70.8 percent has a much more detailed look at the Queen Mab and her first-time builder, the post probably coming from the same MASCF I sailed her.

Queen Mab sitting on the lawn in all her regal glory.

You intrepid blogmeister, game for a go in any small craft, showing his legs.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

OD - OY Review; The Classic Moth

Voiliers classique Moth, dériveur classique Moth.

Well it wasn't the Classic Moth when One-Design and Offshore Yachtsman published their yearly dinghy review in 1964. These were the International Moths, plain and simple. (Well, the Aussies were doing their own 11-foot thing as well.). The OD-OY blurb shows a picture of a Cates design to leeward of a Ventnor/Dorr Willey type.
Update: George A., Classic Moth historian has posted a comment that the two sailors in the following thumbnail were Warren Bailey and Lewis Twitchell. If that's the case then the leeward Moth is not a Cates but one of Bailey's Mach designs (later massaged into the Cates/Florida design by boat builder Harry Cates).

Here is a picture of Pat Duane from the same time period, winning a Moth regatta in a Cates Moth. One of the best women dinghy sailors in the 1960's, she would go on to be one of the top three U.S teams (sailing with her husband) in the newly introduced Flying Dutchman two-man (or woman!) Olympic class.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Beer: Ahead of the Curve; Elysian Super Fuzz

Back when I was a young buck, my favorite summer beer after sailing was one of my own concoction. Sort of like a shandy (lemonade and beer) I would mix orange juice and beer. Through experimentation, my taste buds settled on a pilsner type beer (the original Budweiser does fine) - 2/3 of a glass with orange juice making up the other third. Most of my friends thought I was crazy and I could never entice them to try it. Now with the craft beer revolution, some of these brewers are bringing out their own version of orange juice and beer. I decided to buy a 6-pack of the craft Elysian Super Fuzz, a blood orange beer - whatever that means. I was intrigued with what a master brewer would do with this combination. Turns out it didn't taste all that different from my home-grown mix, plus, if you mix your own you can tune the beer vs. orange juice ratios - depending on your mood. But, I'm still curious. If I see another brewer with a beer/orange style, I'll probably give it a go.