Wednesday, January 30, 2019

A Brief History of the Extreme-V Classic Moth

Moth Classique

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:
  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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?
  1. Who was Dunand?
  2. 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.
  3. 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

Sunday, January 27, 2019

The Swiss Dunand Classic Moth

Moth Classique, 2018 Classic Moth Nationals

At the 2018 Classic Moth Nationals, for the first time in about twenty years, a hull design other than the Mistral won the Gen II class (faster designs). Joe Bousquet took a dilapidated Swiss Dunand Moth, (a fiberglass Swiss hull built by Fletcher Marine), rehabbed it with his signature tub cockpit, and proceeded to win easily in very light airs.

This is Blair Fletcher in the original plywood Swiss Dunand Moth he purchased from the Swiss after they won the World Championship in 1965 at Cape May, New Jersey.

As seen below on Joe's double-deck trailer, the Swiss Dunand (top) and the Mistral (bottom) share very much the same rocker line and the midship V-shape is also very similar. The differences are the Swiss Moth has much fuller bow sections, there is a topside chine on the Swiss Moth, and the stern is V-shaped vs. the semi-circular transom on the Mistral. The Swiss Moth also has more freeboard.

Joe pioneered the swoopy tub cockpit on the his first Mistral, Try-Umph, back in the late 1990's and put the same cockpit on the Swiss Moth. (Almost all the Mistral's built since have the same cockpit.)

Joe going upwind in as much breeze as showed up at the 2018 E-City Nationals. Joe had to sit much further forward on the Swiss Moth to keep the full bows in the water.

Another view of the full bow of the Swiss Moth.

Joe in Swiss Miss (2379), to the right of the Mistrals of  Mike Parsons (70) and John Zseleczky (111).

The lines for the Swiss Dunand Moth showed up on Louis Pillon's Moth website and are reproduced below. It appears that some anonymous Moth nerd has fed the Swiss Moth lines through some hull fairing program. If you want to print, use the top right arrows pop-out icon to put this into another tab on your browser.

See this post for Bertrand Warion's fiberglass Dunand variant.

2018 Classic Moth Nationals

George A. over at the Mid-Atlantic Musings blog did a three part series on the 2018 Classic Moth Nationals with plenty of photos. Click on the links below to read through his reports.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Header Photo: The Taifun Sailing Canoe

The previous header photo is of the athletic, full-on hiking skipper powering the modern German Taifun sailing canoe upwind. The Taifun is a racing canoe class that is the only extant sailing canoe that has similar dimensions to the original English B-class sailing canoe of the early 1900's.

A history of the Taifun sailing canoe from Christopher of the German Sailing Canoe Federation:

"The sailing canoe is one of the representatives of the small sailing craft with elegant, sleek lines. Early on, the most frequently built was the 7.5 square meter sailing canoe of the German Canoe Association. There were Rundspant, Knickspant- and Doppelknickspant boats. They are 5.20 m long, sloop, and were sailed by one person. The sail logo of class was a red dot. Typical for the boats is the Spitzgat shape - the double-ended shape of the sailing canoes. The 7.5 square meter sailing canoe was a restricted design class where the length of the boat, the sail height and sail area were fixed. Many different sailing canoes were built to this rule and the most up-to-date knowledge in small boat construction was adopted. However, the variety of types made a large spread in speed and finishers in regattas were very spread out.

"From an issue of the "Yacht" (1951, Issue 6, p.133): "The Bremer,
after seventeen years of experience in the design and building of sailing canoes, five years after the end of the Second World War, developed a type 'Bremen" canoe, a 7.5 square meter racing and hiking canoe- and they have achieved a certain standard form, which has proven an excellent sailing craft. The boat has a "spoon bow", the underwater shape has no hollow lines, so that it does not hobby horse, and remains dry even in heavy weather Of course, it is equipped with all the latest technical finesse, the canoe is light, fast, stable - and in combination with a large cockpit it is not only a superb racer, but also an ideal hiking boat.The owner with wife and 1-2 children can sleep comfortably in the long cockpit. The cockpit can of course be covered except for a small opening- which has proved to be unnecessary even in hard regattas and heavy waves on the lower Weser from Bremer Werft to the DM 1000.-. "

The designer of the 7.5 square meter sailing canoe type "Bremen" was Walter Mater. As a trained boat builder, he worked in the post-war years as a part-time home builder. He himself operated a small boatbuilding company in Bremen before the war began. Later (about 1963) he developed a motor canoe. In 1985, Walter Mater died at the age of 77 years. Drawings of his canoes, Canadian paddling canoes and regatta dinghies were sent to a large number of interested parties and clients at the time.

On the Hamme near Bremen, the German Championships took place in 1955 in the 7.5 square meter sailing canoe. However, there were only 10 boats. In 1956 the 7.5 square meter class were up to 17 boats from Bremen, Westphalia and southern Germany.

In 1964/65, the Taifun, based on the Bremen canoe, was introduced - a further development that included short hiking boards, to enable more hiking leverage on this narrow hull. The boat numbers G1 to G 99 are 7.5 square meters sailing canoes, numbers G 100 and up are Taifun's. The Taifun was a one-design, and the old 7.5 restricted rule class was abolished. As can be read in an issue of the "Yacht" from 1963: "Unanimously, the German Canoe Association decided in the autumn of 1963, the introduction of a standard sailing canoe The existing free design class is no longer allowed New builds and basic conversions of the 7.5 square meter canoe will no longer be measured ... From this standardization, the German Canoe Federation promises to intensify canoe sailing on a national and international level. "
Some photos of the Taifun class racing. The Taifun sports little hiking seats to get the skipper out further. Juniors race the Taifun two-up; after age 19 the Taifun is a singlehander.

Some videos of the Taifun are over at this post.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Linton Hope's 1896 Royal Canoe Club Cruising Canoe: "Bubble"

As part of the discussion around the Mystery Cruising Canoe and possible connection to the English B-class canoe, John Summers took some quick photos of plates from a Dixon Kemp book of Bubble, the prototype English RCC cruising canoe designed in 1896 by the iconic English designer, Linton Hope. As I mentioned before the English felt the Americans had gone too far with their wispy, sail-happy, sliding seat canoes and wanted to drag designs back to something more wholesome, without a sliding seat. Bubble was 16 feet long (4.87 meters), 13 feet on the waterline (3.96 meters), and had 140 sq. feet of sail (13 sq. meters) in a gunter rig.

The sections for Bubble look relatively roundish with some tumblehome aft.

The displacement was a relatively massive 400 lbs. (181 kg) by today's standards with 100 lbs in the centerboard.

Three years later, by 1899, Linton's latest cruising canoe design, Vanessa VII, had lengthened to 17 feet, had increased the sail area to just under 150 sq. feet, and the sections had flattened out considerably. These were the dimensions around which the B-class canoe would form.  From a Forest and Stream article:

For a modern racing version of Linton Hope's Bubble canoe, click here to read a post on the German Taifun sailing canoe.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Historical 18-footers: December 2018 Race

It's always fun to watch video of the Historical 18-footers as they bash their way around Sydney Harbor in a good breeze.

Pegasus in the Shop: Sort of?

In 1963, a New Jersey teenager, Bill Schill, won the Moth Worlds at Larchmont YC sailing a Fletcher-Cates design named Pegasus. The following two photos are of Bill and Pegasus during the glory years.

Yachting Magazine Cover

Seidelman Sails Ad

After Bill died, George A. over at the Mid-Atlantic Musings blog inherited a very dilpidated Pegasus which further malingered in his back yard for a few years. This winter, Bill Boyle, with the help of George, decided to take on the restoration of this piece of U.S.A. Mothboat history - a major, major undertaking after Pegasus oozed out of the back of Bill's truck. Ouch!

Once Pegasus was ensconced in Bill's shop, it was discovered there wasn't much worth saving. Bill's woeful analysis:
"So, here we are. This is what's left. We have a keel, a DB case and the stem. Well, most of the stem. George and I spent about two hours removing the rest of the bow section. We were hoping to get the panels off intact but that didn't happen. We're starting from scratch."
So there it is, a new build with a couple of old parts. Click over here to see Bill Boyle's restoration blog for Pegasus.

Other pertinent articles about Bill Schill and Pegasus from George's Mid-Atlantic Musings blog:
Bill Schill, in his senior years, was up for some weird Mothboat projects. He rescued a Duflos hull that had been cut in half, and then hung as decoration in a bar for thirty years. Undeterred, he glommed another side onto her. Here he is in 2009 in this half-in-half project that he got back on the water.

Albaugh Photo

Bill Schill and John Z in 2006.

Here is Jay McKenna in a regular Cates. I think this was Ed Salva's at one point. Not sure where she ended up.

Albaugh Photo

For those in the Northern Hemisphere feeling a little bit shut in by winter, Classic Moth images from Earwigoagin.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Header Photo: Happy New Year from Sugar Island

I was poking around some images on my computer when I came across this one, a photo that actually said Happy New Year on it. This photo is of a group of canoeists on Sugar Island, watching the sailing canoe races from the shade of the trees, their chairs perched on a smooth rock face that makes up much of the island. Year is mid-1930's, probably 1934 or 1935. I googled the name on the lower right, Geo. F. Lewis, and found out he was from Massachusetts and also in charge of the musical entertainment for the week. It would be a safe bet to assume that this is Geo. F. Lewis watching from one of the chairs. Here's wishing the readers of Earwigoagin the best for 2019.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Part 2: Mystery Sailing Canoe: How her identity was solved.

Where we continue the quest to solve the identity of a sailing canoe model (above photos) that was purchased off Ebay by sailmaker Douglas Fowler. Refer back to the Part 1 post for an introduction.

Looking at the photos of the model, I immediately dismissed an American origin for the design. American sailing canoe classes either centered around the mostly decked, low freeboard, lightweight, sliding seat canoes (16X30) or the ACA canoes of the depression era which were essentially paddling canoes with lateen rigs. This looked like one of the English cruising canoes. The Scots and English had been using canoes to cruise big water since the 1870's. (The west coast of Scotland with it's nooks and crannies and islands was a favorite destination.) An early photo of the Loch Lomond Canoe Club below:

Around the 1900's, the English had developed the B-class canoe, with higher freeboard and a gunter rig; no sliding seat. Certainly the English B-class sailing canoe hull shape looked similar to Doug's model and I put that suggestion out there. Below is a Beken photo of the B-class canoes. This looks to be from the 1930's when the class was modernizing. Number 18 has the original lower aspect, longer boom sail plan. Sail area was 150 sq. ft. (13.9 sq. meters). Given that Doug's model had a higher aspect main (with a funny little gaff) and a sail area which was definitely smaller, this would prove problematic.

Doug tracked down Andrew Eastwood, who had written a history of the English sailing canoe about twenty years ago. His reply put the kibosh on the idea that this model was an English B canoe.
"One, the most important being that the sail area is too small for a RCC B class, so she must, most likely, have been rigged to fit with the 10 sq m rule, which was 1936. If you look at the B class in the book they were sailing with about 150 sq ft and the boom extended almost to the stern. Two, the general shape looks wrong. The Royal Canoe Club B class were very full in the fore and aft quarters, whereas your model looks less so. Three, about 20 years ago I came across a canoe lying derelict and persuaded the owner to let me take it. It was a canoe called 'Zenith' registered as K 26 by the Royal Canoe Club. She was originally a Swedish B canoe but measured as a RCC B class under the rules of the time. The UK numbering for the IC (10 sq M canoe) is a continuation of the numbering started for the B class." 
Andrew suggested this model may be a Swedish B canoe. Off I went to the Internet and used what I found to write this post about Swedish sailing canoe classes. The problem with the Swedish B canoe is the modern version is very similar to an OK dinghy - not at all like Doug's model. Maybe a Swedish C class canoe? (Rickard Sarby's Swedish C-canoe became his famous Olympic Finn design.) Again, the only modern photo I came across has this Swedish C-class canoe with a ketch rig, not a sloop rig. Perhaps a Swedish E-canoe? But I couldn't find a photo of one. Does the class still exist?

The blue sailing canoe [above] is a Swedish C-canoe, probably from late 50's or thereabout. I think the design was called "Celita". Sail area 10 m2 and length 5.50 m. The general appearance seem to indicate the Stockholm archipelago,
 Bengt Andersson

The English connection had been scrapped and the Swedish connection didn't look too likely. Meanwhile, Doug had also dragged two of the foremost sailing canoe experts in North America into the email conversation; John Summers and Joe Youcha. John had initially come down on the side of the English B-class canoe. Joe had noticed some details (pea green hull color, deck details) that were characteristic of Herreshoff construction. Could this model be a L. Francis Herreshoff design? We have this L. Francis 10 square meter design done in the 1930's (see photos below) but the rig was wrong and the hull too narrow. Add this to the fact there didn't seem to be any provision for a sliding seat on the model. We were increasingly facing the prospect that Doug's sailing canoe model may be a one-off that would be impossible to track.

Joe Youcha suggested that Doug contact Maynard Bray, a marine historian (WoodenBoat technical editor, Mystic Seaport Museum) who has wallowed in more boat plans and boat designs than all of the rest of us combined. Boom. We hit paydirt. Maynard did an immediate ID and sent back this Rudder article. Doug had a model of a Bill Garden design, a 20 foot sailing canoe initally designed for paper construction.

So I was wrong. It was an American design after all. John Summers wrapped up this very interesting trek through sailing canoe history with this very succinct quote:
"If Maynard doesn't know then no-one knows! Always did like Garden's drafting style. He drew some quirky boats--why the little dutch gaff, do you think? Thanks for solving the mystery."

The model after a winters work.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Wolstenholme Punt Singlehander

Upon seeing my post on the tricked out Swedish D-Kanot, Neil Kennedy of NedsLocker sent along this article of a singlehander design by Brit Andrew Wolstenholme, based off the Norfolk Punt class. I've included the article below. Wolstenholme's design is smaller than the D-Kanot and is a simple V shape, not round bilged, but it is interesting to see how similar these two designs are, given the very different design traditions they draw upon.

A photo of a vintage gunter-rigged Norfolk Punt...

..which is a far cry from how the modern Norfolk Punt is set up today (trapezes, assymetric spinnakers, carbon spars, etc).