The Swiss-Dunand Moth represents a radical design jump in Moths. Not seen before in Moths were the very deep V sections of the Dunand, married to high rocker, resulting in a very narrow waterline. It was a design type that was to dominate the non-wing Moth era in the mid to late 1960's. From an historical viewpoint, it would be nice to credit a designer or group of Mothies for the development, but it appears this slice of European history hasn't yet made it completely out to the English speaking world. From what I have been able to determine:
- The Swiss Mothies were the first ones to develop this shape as a light-air lake flyer. It became an all-around design in the Dunand version and Swiss Jean-Pierre Roggo would win the Moth Worlds three years running, from 1964 to 1966. Besides Roggo, other Swiss Mothies sailing the Dunand were Claude Barth, Dennis Weber and Hogg
- In the winter of 1966, Benoit Duflos designed his very deep-V version Moth and the Duflos would dominate Europe through the rest of the 1960's. The Duflos was tortured into a shape beyond what you could bend a single sheet of plywood and was built using a horizontal slit about mid panel each side.
- In 1970, Brit Derek Chester would design the Mistral as a version of the Duflos that could be tortured up. Although in the 1970's, the Mistral design didn't find great success in Europe, the Mistral became the marquee racing design in the American Classic Moth Boat Association from 1999 onward.
The lines of the Duflos: (again use the pop-out icon to print or download).
1960's Duflos on trailer (with typical buff body of all Mothies of that age).
Some questions about the early history of the very deep-V?
- Who was Dunand?
- In the Swiss fleet, was there some precursor to the Dunand design that showed the way or does the Dunand design all alone represent a radical leap of faith? My assumption is the Swiss were initially working off the Fragniere design.
- There is mention that Jacques Fauroux had a deep-V design in the early 1960's. Where does this design fit into the chronology?
Mention must be also made of Chris Eyre's Lucky Sixpence design of 1966. This was another chined deep-V design, though Chris was working with wings in mind and his design had much straighter topsides.
Fellow Moth historian, good friend, George Albaugh,
who lives just down the road put these comments up, with the blogmeister adding my two-cents worth. Other fellow Moth historians, Doug Halsey and John Claridge, chime in as well on this discussion.
One. GA: Warren Bailey's "Mach One" design (World's winner in 1954) had so much rocker in the keel that the forward panels had to be pulled up "pram" style and then a false pointy glass nose was grafted onto the boat to give the hull a sharp stem look. "Mach One" had a deep vee that was similar to that of the Mistral/Duflos and may have been deeper than the Swiss design. The Cates-Florida design is a very watered down version of Mach One.
Tweezerman: You make a good point that Bailey's "Mach One" might be considered the original extreme-V. It was definitely considered more extreme than the Cates version that came after the original - but how extreme? Extreme enough to be lumped in with these later designs? I think not, but we only have photos of the "Mach One" to pore over and when I think tamatoo, you think tomato. We do know the Swiss Dunand's came over in 1965 and thumped the Cates. Would they have done the same to the Mach One? It would be correct to say the "Mach One", the "Cates", and the "Fragniere" were deep-V but I don't think the "Mach One" is extreme enough to achieve the reduction of wetted surface these designs achieved.
GA: As for whether or not Mach One was a deep-vee, narrow water line boat compared to the Mistral, we'd need access to Warren's half model which his son George has, rather than my memory. I think the most dated aspect of the Bailey design would be the small, pinched transom--a feature replicated on the Cates-Florida design. The Mistral would plane sooner.
Two. GA: Duflos' boat was designed in '62 rather than '66. He tweaked the design in '72 to accommodate the the then newly adopted Aussie tall rig.
Tweezerman: This is where the history is somewhat muddied. I do have a design list in my archives, listing the Duflos as a 1962 design. I also have in my archives a history that lists the Duflos as a design done in the fall of 1966 and introduced at the Cannes Ski-Sail Regatta, April 1967. I'm going with 1966 for two reasons. If the Duflos was introduced in 1962 it should have been competing with the Swiss Moth and most likely winning. There is no record of that occurring. Also, Chris Eyre wrote a report of the 1967 Europeans where he mentioned the Duflos as a new design, at least new to the English. If the Duflos design had been out for four years by 1967, I don't think anyone would have considered it a new design.
GA: I have plans from Benoit Duflos dated 1962.
John Claridge:The first [Duflos] I saw in the UK was built for Bridget Quick, again by Bill McCutcheon, in I think 1966.
Doug Halsey: I also have plans from Benoit Duflos dated 1962, and a 1966 newspaper article (in French) referring to the 1962 date. Marie-Claude Fauroux sailed the Duflos at the 1966 Worlds in Lausanne and was extremely fast, but inconsistent. She won 3 of the 6 races, but was out of the top 10 in the other 3 and finished 4th in the final standings. (Lots of us, other than Roggo and Ganter, were very inconsistent.) Benoit Duflos and Jacques Fauroux were also there, but were not in the top 10 overall. (I'm not sure if Jacques was sailing a Duflos, or if he was there for every race though). I have newspaper articles with results of individual races, photos, and longer discussions (in French), and some shorter clips from the London Times, which I will scan and probably post somewhere when I get a chance.
Three. GA: The designer of the Mistral--a clever attempt to capture Duflos' elegant but difficult to build shape, using flat ply panels, was Derek Chester, NOT Merv Cook! The Mistral design went through two versions (we use the Mk II version here) and was followed by the Mirage which while mimicking the Mistral shape was much narrower. The Mirage required wings and even so was difficult to sail in a breeze. Few were built as faster narrow winged Moths like the Stockholm Sprite hit the race course at about the same time. The main appeal of the Mirage was that it was so narrow, one could get both hull panels from a single 4 x 12 sheet of ply.
Tweezerman: Busted on that one! I got to the end of writing the post and went with my faulty memory instead of fact checking. I've done the correction in the main post. I've tried to remain with designs that were done in the non-wing era. Below is the lines of a modified Mistral - the Y2KBug. The transom has been flattened on this mod
4. Four. GA: I have never seen any of Jacques Fauroux's boats from the early '60s but several French designers beyond Fauroux and Duflos were building their own boats then. One of the unifying aspects of French and Swiss Moths of this era was the love of the free-standing or "Finn rig" mast. Later on, towards the end of the low aspect era, both Jacques and his sister Marie-Claude were racing Duflos Moths. Marie-Claude is one of two women to win the World's out right.
1971 Fauroux: Neil Kennedy, digging through his extensive yachting library of Nedslocker, sends along this design sketch of the 1971 World Champion Jacques Fauroux extreme-V Moth. For the 1971 Worlds Jacques had done a modified Duflos, with even more rocker than the Duflos and a more circular midsection. He had built her out of 2mm. ply at a hull weight of 22 kg. Width was 5 feet (1.52 meters) with 4 inch (.1 meter) gunwhales.
Seacraft Magazine, March 1972