Friday, February 27, 2015

Zippy Moth: 8 station offsets

Plans de voiliers classiques Moth, Plans de dériveur classiques Moth

I had it on my to-do list forever but I finally got around to generating the offsets for the Zippy Classic Moth (a modified French Proust design) as 8 stations, which should match the frame placement for a home build.

Offsets for Zippy can be found by clicking here.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Down the Mine Twofer

We just got another dollop of snow this morning in the Mid-Atlantic (nothing close to what they are dealing with in the Northeast). To buck me up before I go out to shovel the driveway, a duo of sailing crash and burn videos.

First up, that old chestnut of dinghy disaster, the Olympic 49'er. This time the performers are a Canadian team (the acceleration once they get the assymetric trimmed is jaw-dropping - at about 2:04 into the video).

Click here for more 49'er shenanigans.

Splash's & Crash's from Ferguson Sailing on Vimeo.

Next up, a plucky and persistent junior team having their difficulties around the course in their RS Feva during the 2015 Bloody Mary. Good thing they are wearing matching dayglo-green knit caps.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Offsets for the French Fragniére Moth Classique

Plans de voiliers classiques Moth, Plans de dériveur classique Moth.
Concours de Plans pour Moth Classique lancé par "Le Chasse Marée"

Marc Morell

When I have some spare time I try to load a Classic Moth design onto the computer (usually with modifications, but hey, this is the beauty of the Classic Moth!). This time I have the offsets for the French Fragniére design, designed in the late 1950's and equivalent in design progression to the North American Mint or Cates design (which we classify as Generation 1). The Fragniére is a simple V-shape design with lots of rocker. The most unusual characteristic is the V-shaped transom bow which may not be at its best in open water but gives the design a distinctive look. This was a very popular design in France and should present the competent amateur with a straight-forward building project (except for the curved transom bow as shown in the plans - which would take some planning).

(To work with the PDF file, click the pop-out icon on the top right-hand corner to open the PDF file in another tab. From there you can print or download the file.)

Click here for the offsets of a three planker modified Fragniere Classic Moth design.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Header Photo: Australian Vee Jay Dinghy

The previous header photo was of the Australian junior class, the Vaucluse Junior, aka the Vee Jay, or simply the "VJ". A 12-foot dinghy, the Vee Jay was originally designed in 1931 by Sydney boatwright Charles Sparrow to a design brief for a junior sailboat given to him by local sporting-goods store owner, Sil Rohu. It was a simple low-angle V-shaped hull, plank and frame construction, readily built by amateurs. The pre-World War II hulls had a small cockpit, similar to the North American Sunfish class.

What makes the class stand out was it's transformation after World War II. The adoption of plywood in the late 1940's considerably lightened the hull and sailors started adding planks; the first plank (sliding seat to North Americans) added in the late 1940's but not coming into common usage until the 1950's. The second plank was added by the West Australians in 1958. The small cockpit disappeared, replaced by a self-draining surfboard deck. Combined with a small flat kite (shike), this junior dinghy had enormous power and speed in a breeze - unlike any junior trainer, before or since. (Historian Chris Thompson points out this Australian penchant, after World War II, to incorporate performance upgrades, even to supposed one-designs, even when all the previous models became immediately obsolete, was one of the main drivers in the evolution of Australian lightweight high-performance dinghies.)

The class collapsed in the 1980's under the hegemony and homogenization of fiberglass junior trainers (namely the 420).

I have taken most of my information and photos from the Vee Jay website. For those who wish to read more I would direct them to click on this link to their website. I would also like to thank Aussie, John Fairfax, for also filling in the history and providing photos.

Some additional photos.

The first design by Charles Sparrow was named Splinter. Deciding the first hull was too tender, Sparrow drew up a wider modified hull the same year named Chum from which commenced the VJ class. The original boats had a gunter rig.

Two photos of the simpler, 1930's hiking Vee Jay.

The squat sail plan was easily handled by lightweights in the typically strong Australian breezes.

To me, the most iconic photo of the Vee Jay, "Warren Nupier in Impala"

A promotional brochure with the Vee Jay at full crack, under kite.

This photo shows the final development of the Vee Jay before the class died out (the boom looks shorter with a straighter leech mainsail). There was a recent movement, documented on the Vee Jay website, of bringing back the class with a more modern sail plan, but that hasn't seemed to gain much traction.

A photo lifted from South Gippsland Y.C. of a restored Vee Jay racing at their 2015 Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta. This is a one-planker, just for the skipper.

A 1950's video showing two juniors rigging, launching, and sailing their Vee Jay.

Ed. Sea Story

"As a young sailor, during the 1970's, I came across a Vee Jay on Annapolis Harbor. I saw this strange craft buzzing about the Harbor, two sliding seats, as we sailed our International 14 out to the starting area. On our way back after the racing, we encountered the same double sliding seat dinghy and sailors again. this time entwined in the fishing lines of two irate fishing boats, the air turning blue as the skipper was working desperately under his rudder. Inquiries on shore had the sailor as someone from the Australian embassy. I never saw him again; most likely the encounter with the fishing boats left a bad taste in his mouth.

And another sea story I've pulled from the comments... from Northwest sailor Mike S.

"When I moved to Oz in 1965 with wife and daughter in tow, aged 21, I couldn't afford a boat, but someone was selling an old VJ with cotton sails and twin planks for only 10 quid, so I couldn't resist. It was a hoot albeit pretty rough around the edges, and as I didn't have a crew I jury rigged a trapeze (stitched my own canvas harness!) and sailed it singlehanded from the trap. Great fun on Lake Illawarra with steady 15-25 knot breezes every day. Its demise happened during a race, I got a crew and we sailed with the planks, some time during the race the wind piped up, and the old plywood started to open up, with us slowly sinking. We abandoned the boat, climbed aboard the rescue boat and left it to float to the shore. I went the next day and brought it up, but it was too far gone.....Had a metal daggerboard as I recall....

Click here for the post about the other Australian pre-WWII class, the Len Morris scow Moth.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Short Video of a Galway Hooker

Mesmerizing "rockin and rollin" downwind in some breeze off the coast of Ireland. I like how the skipper steers from a relaxed, sprawled position (which probably isn't relaxing given the pull on the rudder... just looks that way).

An Faoilean from Pat Tanner on Vimeo.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Music Whenever: Valentines Day 2015

In the ancient history of this blog (2009, 2010), I used to post a couple of love song videos for Valentines Day. It was something that fell by the wayside but, for 2015, at least for this year, I'm bringing the tradition back.

Click here if you want to see my previous Valentines Day posts.

Let's start with the popular Passenger (aka Mike Rosenberg) "Hearts on Fire".

Adam Baldwin with the slow-dance tune "Love You With My Eyes Closed".

ADAM BALDWIN - Love You With My Eyes Closed from Southern Souls on Vimeo.

And a R and B tune; Lee Fields and The Expressions, "You're the Kind of Girl".

Oops! My lovely wife is questioning me about an unexplained charge that just showed up on our credit card bill. Gotta go!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Gouget Aluminum Moth Classique

About two years ago, I spotted an aluminum sailing dinghy being refurbished over at Bobby Muller's yard in Eastport. Though I vowed to return with a camera to take a photo, I never did. Sailing dinghies built out of aluminum are rare animals. There are plenty of aluminum Grumman canoes, aluminum small fishing outboard skiffs, and most of the motorized pontoon boats on American lakes have aluminum hulls, but very few small sailboats were ever built with aluminum hulls. This aluminum sailboat at Muller's boatyard remains a mystery - one of these days I'll return to make inquiries at the yard office.

An aluminum sailing dinghy I did unearth on the InterWebs was the French Gouget Moth design from the 1960's. Designed as a recreational dinghy and not a racer, the Gouget was competing against the newly introduced fiberglass dinghies - a battle for market share it obviously did not win.

Side view of the Gouget aluminum Moth. We can see it sports not a plumb bow, nor a scow bow, but a pretty raked one. Also we see an enormous bow cleat with chock. The sections seem to be a simple V.

It appears the wood decks were applied over an aluminum deck, but only in the bow and around the cockpit. Sitting on the aft deck in the summer sun must have been sizzly hot. Given the general nature purpose of this Moth, the aft tank sported an extremely large storage hatch.

This Moth also sported hinged plywood flaps on both sides of the cockpit. These appear to be flopped open to provide more hiking power and seated surface when sailing. When the Gouget was stored ashore, these flaps were flipped back to the center, as is seen here.

Ad for the Gouget aluminum Moth.

Click here to read George A.'s post on the even more bizarre French camp/cruising Moth.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Swallow Scow Plans: The Rudder Magazine's Second DIY Scow

The Rudder magazine launched their second scow, the Swallow, a 24 foot, three person scow in December 1898, just three months after they started publishing the plans for the 16 foot Lark scow. A year later, in the November and December 1899 issues of the magazine, they would serialize the Swallow plans, and like the Lark, issue a stand-alone plans and building booklet  The design is credited to Charles Mower but the prototype builder, Larry Huntington, was a renowned scow designer in his own right. I can't imagine that Larry Huntington didn't have a large say in the design of this scow so I personally would credit the design to a collaboration, a Mower/Huntington design.

As with the Lark scow, the Swallow proved very popular with amateur builders and was built around the world. Unlike the Lark, the Swallow didn't make it wholly into today's sailing scene. In looking at all the modern day scow designs, it appears to me that only the Sea Island One-Design seems to have inherited a large portion of her DNA from the Swallow. (The Sea Island One-Design ended up wider, particularly at the back end.)

For those who wish to delve further, you are in luck; the Library of Congress has scanned the Swallow plans booklet into PDF format.

Click here for the Library of Congress PDF scan of The Rudder plans booklet of the Swallow scow.

The following photos were harvested from The Rudder Swallow plans booklet. As always click inside the photo for a larger view.

The cover of the booklet.

The lines. The very shallow arc bottom was also the shape of Larry Huntington's Seawanhaka scow, Question, of 1895.

Two photos of the prototype on her maiden voyage in December 1898, The Rudder magazine editor Thomas Day skippering and Larry Huntington crewing. The day was cold and blustery.

Entering the harbor.

Group boatbuilding party planking the hull and flipping her rightside.

Compendium of launch and sailing photos.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Boatbuilding in a Nation of Two-Finger Texters and Page-Swipers?

One of the meme's of modern American culture is we have lost our DIY aptitude (a characteristic particularly attached to the millennial generation). We don't fix our cars, we don't fix our houses, we don't build things..we pay someone else to do it. I was reminded of this when reading the geeky but very informative Professional Boatbuilder magazine (by the same publisher of Woodenboat magazine).. They did an article on Chesapeake Light Craft, the plywood boat-kit builders based here in Annapolis. Chesapeake Light Craft spends an inordinate amount of time trying to make their plans and kits so comprehensive there is very little room for error. I then read the following paragraph and my jaw dropped.
Some customers are so unskilled that it would be better not to sell them a plan or a kit. "So many people these days can't read plans at all. When a part is symmetrical around an axis and the plans only show half a part, some people build half the part. That's happened twice in the last month. One guy made half of the deck and the bottom. We were very nice. I guess if you can't laugh, you have to cry...You can't make assumptions about anybody."[Professional Boatbuilder, Number 152, pg. 26]

Hmm! maybe we are becoming a nation of hopeless klutzes.

Pencil Drawn Sailing Video

This is cool.

The videographer applies a pencil drawn post-production filter on a short video of keelers racing at Cowes Week.

Sailing from Grant Selby on Vimeo.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Puddleduck Racer: Go-Fast Headlights

From the always amusing and fertile brains of those who build the box-like Puddleduck Racers, a PDR finished off as a retro 1950's Detroit-mobile.