Sunday, February 23, 2014

Header Photo: ACA Canoe and the Sebago Cup from Bonnie K.

In the Wild, Wild West ethics of the bloggosphere, if you see a photo from another blogger, go ahead and lift it for your own blog. And, that's just what I did. The previous header photo was by Bonnie K over at Frogma, a photo-blogger that covers all things NYC including the goings on at her beloved Watersports club, the Sebago Canoe Club. The photo is of the Sebago Cup, a somewhat long-distance jaunt for small sailboats, held mid-September that takes the fleet around Jamaica Bay. I think Bonnie K. took this photo looking aft while racing her Sunfish. The ACA (American Canoe Association one-design lateen rig) sailing canoe astern is Jim Luton, someone I crossed paths with when I was sailing International Canoes. He was a prolific tinkerer and a boat builder, who somehow got diverted from the open sailing canoes and now, it appears, is back. At the turn of the century I was the American Canoe Association Sailing Chairman for two years and attended the open sailing Canoe National Championships and so have a warm affection for this small band of sailing enthusiasts. Over the years I've owned two ACA sailing canoe hulls that never made it through as complete projects and now have been moved on to other owners. The Sebago Canoe Club and the ACA open sailing canoes are worthy of future posts but you can view some photos of ACA canoes sailing at MASCF that I have previously posted.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

South Gippsland Yacht Club - Australian Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta


It doesn't take long when perusing this blog to catch on that the blogmeister sails a Classic Moth and that he also tends to feature those regattas that highlight the diversity and/or the history of dinghy sailing. Click on the following Earwigoagin links for regattas like the WOOD regatta, CBMM's Small Boat Festival, the Archipelago Rally, and the Bosham SC Classic Revival - UK. South Gippsland YC, southeast of Melbourne, held probably the first Australian Regatta featuring the great Australian wooden dinghies from yore. Here (was) a great video - Oops! I guess this longish video was a pre-production version, not meant for general viewing on the Net-Toobs and has now been taken down. Not to worry. There is a very good slide show of the regatta and also a video short of the GoPro view of father/daughter sailing on the double plank VeeJay..

Some class logos I recognize; JB for the Uffa Fox 19' Jollyboat, the Circle R of the Rainbow scow, also there is the M logo on the red sails of the regular Mirror dinghy as well as M logo with the halo of the Mirror Miracle, the Bell of the GP 14, the Heron of the Heron class, the red ball of the Fireball, the Butterfly logo of the Moth and the three bars of the Contender class. I've also been promised some pics from the regatta which I'll post when I receive them.

The slide show: (Oops again! they've now made the slide show so I can't embed. Jeez this is a moving target!) Click here for the slide show:

Click here to go to Drifts Media GoPro of VeeJay sailing

Monday, February 17, 2014

Another Quadcopter Sailing Video - English Winter Start

Quadcopter - Drone - whatever you want to call it - it's still cool to watch sailing videos taken from up high. A winter sailing series race start from Lymington Town Sailing Club with the typical melange of English sailing dinghies reaching out towards the Solent.

LTSC Winter Dinghy Series 2014 from Group LPB on Vimeo.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Video

My wife wonders what I do on the computer all the time. Some of it is finding a cutesy but well done video that I can bookmark for today. This one tells the shopworn story of a true love connection that keeps missing despite great effort (but misguided) by the protagonist (until the end - isn't that the way it always works out in the movies). It's an old story but this video does it with some incredible animation.

Nothing Says I Love you like a Ham!

Love ya, Jeanie.

Love in the Time of Advertising from Love in the Time of Advertising on Vimeo.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Look! A Pretty Rainbow!

I know this French fellow thinks videoing a pretty rainbow out in the ocean would captivate the viewer. (To heck with the rainbow! I'm just sitting, slack-jawed in front of my computer watching this trimaran go on it's merry way.)

Video removed from Vimeo.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Header Photo: Two Young Gents Righting a Turtled Butterfly Scow

Just getting round to posting about my last header photo. It is of the initial stages of righting a turtled Butterfly scow. This high quality photo was of a series taken by Ryan Young of the Grand Rapids Express. More of his photos of the 2013 Junior Butterfly Nationals can be found by clicking here. (A tip-of-the-hat to reader Marc who pointed me to the current location of the pictures.)

Anyone who races a tippy singlehanded dinghy has been in this situation, standing on a completely overturned hull, yanking on the daggerboard. It is a slow, slow recovery, sometimes ending with you riding the daggerboard underwater and righting the boat again. Turtling is generally not conducive to a high finishing position.

The 12' Butterfly is arguably America's most popular scow with it's greatest numbers found in and around Michigan (though there are fleets in Denver, Colorado and Dallas, Texas). My good friend Len Dolhert, who has raced an assortment of high performance craft, races a Butterly in Denver and says they are "very simple and very tactical". He enjoys racing them.

Master Laser sailor and blogger Doug Peckover was the 2013 Butterfly Singlehanded Champion and, as always, completely dissects the racing in this post.

Butterfly racers seem to span the ages from the very young to the very old and everyone in between. Here is a testimonial YouTube on the Butterfly from some of the Dallas Fleet members.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Oops! My rudder broke off and I'm only 300 km. from shore!

I have never been an offshore racer or even sailor, I have no desire to spend days out of sight of land - I would turn into a worry-wart, imagining all sort of dire dangers. So I have to tip my hat to the courage and pluck of these offshore folks when things go wrong. The Capetown to Rio fleet this year got hit hard just after they left Capetown. The Dudley Dix designed Black Cat broke their rudder about 300 km. out of Capetown and had a helluva time before making it back to a South African port. Their harrowing story is told below on video. (Dudley Dix was also the skipper, he operates his prolific design business out of Virginia Beach. I have posted a picture of him sailing his Paper Jet design at the Wooden Boat regatta out of Rock Hall, Maryland)

Black Cat tell their story. from Steve Searle on Vimeo.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

OD - OY Review: The Duster

In continuing my series on U.S racing/home-built dinghies that were featured in the January issue of the One-Design and Offshore Yachtsman during the 1960's, this post features the 14' Duster, a class originating out of the Riverton Yacht Club, just outside Philadelphia on the Delaware River. A flat-bottom, pram bow dinghy designed to be home built, originally planked and then converted to plywood, the Duster spread throughout New Jersey. It sported a large cat rig, the mainsail even larger than the main on the Finn dinghy.

The beginnings of the Duster sailboat as detailed in the history of the Riverton Yacht Club (from their website);
1933 First Duster Class boat build on third floor of 301 Main street by Jim Merrill and his father Commodore E.K. Merrill. The project was financed by the club, and the Duster could be rented by the hour. John Ayers built the next Duster "Zypher" under the direction of Mr. Merrill. Jim Story and Charlie Knight built "Quacker". As the boat caught on, five more boats were built over the next winter in Mrs. E.W.J. Hunn's cellar at 300 Howard St., under the supervision of Mr. Merrill. The new owners were Bill and Herb Parsons "TOMATER", Bert Shoemaker "COBBLER", Tom Coe "GINGER", Ted Hunn "SNITHER", Lloyde Gladney "SPRINTIN SPLINTER". 40 Dusters were built over the next 10 years. Duster fleet # 1 was chartered, Knute Hunn was the first fleet captain. 1946 September 7th - 8th. The 1st Duster National Championship was held at Riverton Yacht Club. John Knight was the first national champion with Barbara Lippincott as crew. 1947 September 6th - 7th. The 2nd Duster National Championship was help at Riverton Yacht Club. The winners again were John Knight skipper with Barb Lippincott crew.
The Duster became closely associated with the Lippincott family, the famous boat building family out of Riverton N.J. Brothers Bob and Howard Lippincott built world-class wood Stars, Lightnings and Comets with Bob winning the 1950 Star World Championship. I learned all of this because, in a twist of fate, Barb Martin, whose mother was a Lippincott, decided to attend Miami of Ohio University just shortly after Kurt Finnie and I had formed the sailing team. Barb immediately became the lynchpin of our heretofore non-existent Miami of Ohio's women's team, adding such rock-star racing ability that we qualified out of the Midwest for the Women's Collegiate Nationals (our other skipper, now Sue Ronshagen, being a converted crew).

All Lippincott children were brought up sailing Dusters, there was a bunch of them spread out over several families. It came about in the summer of 1971 (if my memory serves, which it sometimes doesn't) there was an extra Duster available for their nationals held at some lake in northern New Jersey - I assume this lake was somewhere near Tillerman's old stomping grounds for his Sunfish sailing. Barb Martin gave me a call offering me the Duster and I jumped at the chance.

The two day nationals turned into a drift-fest. I never got out of the leeward bilge, sailing the whole weekend tilted onto the leeward chine to reduce wetted surface. My memories of the weekend, though considerably faded, were of a great time. I got to meet many of the Lippincott clan, though again, the faces and names are now gone. My impression was they were very down-to-earth, just as you would expect from a boat building family.

My thoughts of the Duster as a sailboat? I always wondered what a Duster would be like to sail in a breeze. The mast is not too far from the bow, the mainsail is huge; I wonder if you would have to hike off the stern when going downwind in a breeze. Certainly with that flat bottom, the planing performance would be a blast.

If  one was looking to build a nice sailing dinghy for the lake one couldn't go very wrong with the Duster. Good light air performance, nice long cockpit to hold two comfortably, three in a squeeze. The added freeboard compared to a Laser or Sunfish makes the Duster more of a sit-in rather than a sit-on small dinghy. I think plans are available.

In another twist of fate, the father of one of my daughter's good college friends owned two Dusters. The Duster it seemed hadn't completely disappeared, chased into history by the Laser (as had happened to many of the U.S singlehanded classes around during the 1960's). The class has now collected itself at Lake Naomi, an exclusive resort community in the Poconos. According to this father, the "Duster Nationals" are still held every August on Lake Naomi. Two pictures of Dusters sailing on Lake Naomi.

From an email from Rob Hulit:
"I had the pleasure of owning Duster # D-126. Built in 1949. I bought it as 14 year old kid in 1968 for $ 50.00 (included a trailer) from the Kelly Family on Long Beach Island NJ . Spent the summer sanding & painting and replaced the old cotton sail with Dacron made by Merrill Sails Delanco NJ. They would race them at the Brant Beach Yacht Club back in the early days. The Kelly`s taught me to sail, so I owe them a huge thank you. The boat would fly. Sailed it for about 15 years down at Brant Beach and she finally dry rotted badly and had to let her go. I'll always remember those endless summer days sailing that Duster from Sun up to Sun Down !