Sunday, March 31, 2019

Header Photo: Laser blown over

I think this is the first time in my blogging history that I have put up some random header photo and it turned out that it presaged a momentous news announcement - in this case the International Laser Class Association announcing that Laser Performance Europe was in violation of contract and couldn't build any more class legal Lasers. The Laser class, after suffering several years of legal wrangling over who owned the class, now seems set for another round of lawsuits. A shame. If you can stomach online forums with their endless drivel (and occasional nugget of wisdom), click here to go to Sailing Anarchy's thread.

And from the Earwigoagin archives, here is the blogmeister in a bit of a pickle with his Maser, Starkers.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Commentary: Olympic Equipment Trials - Singlehanded Dinghy

I've put the header photo of the Laser being blown over as a sort of tongue-in-cheek; I've always been joshing the Laser class; great boat that the Laser is. In the beginning of March, World Sailing ran a week long trials in Valencia, Spain to ostensibly select the singlehander dinghy for the Paris games in 2024. (I say ostensibly because politics always intervene, see my post on the Contender.) This could mark the end of the Laser in the Olympics (and then, perhaps not). Three newish classes were invited; the RS Aero, the Devoti D-Zero, the Melges 14. The Laser was also invited but kept ashore for the final day. Conditions were varied enough during the trials with the exception of a real blow. All three trialists represent modern dinghy thinking; low rocker hulls, flattish transoms, high aspect sails, and, (bullshit opinion alert!, since the blogmeister was nowhere near being present at the trials) during the week, there probably wasn't a huge difference in performance from class to class. So we await the report of the selection committee; which, if truth be told, probably doesn't have a lot of weight when the Annual Meeting of World Sailing convenes in November. Like any political body, behind the scenes maneuvering and lobbying will win the day.

I've come around, slowly, to the idea that Olympic classes should be elite dinghies, not popular world wide classes. This is the way the 49'er has evolved. It is a very difficult boat to race and only the Olympic sailors race this class. (One of these days I might re-tell the tale of Macy Nelson, who decided as an amateur, to race his 49'er in the Miami, Florida, World Sailing event.) My idea of the elite Olympic hiking singlehander is a version of the RS300. Olympic racing and the rest-of-us racing are two different concepts. Let the Olympic sailors have their own singlehanders and to us, the amateurs, leave us be, enjoyably racing our Retro singlehanders (long live our Retro singlehanders!), or our Laser's, or our RS Aero's, or D-Zero's, or Melges 14's. It's time to stop pretending these two, very different versions of our sport should be sharing the same classes.

I should mention that I know Dina Kowalyshyn, an Annapolitan, who was the head of the selection committee. Her husband was an International 14 crew during my era in International 14's; he is known by the 14'ers of that time as "Easy Bob". I ran into Dina at my normal Saturday breakfast joint about six months ago. She was breakfasting with Lorie Stout and we had a interesting conversation about where community sailing was going in Annapolis (or not going as it was determined).

Update: May 4, 2019: The World Sailing committee released their recommendations; either the Laser or the RS Aero is fit for Olympic competition. The Melges 14 was too big of a boat and the D-Zero had too fine a bow - not enough buoyancy for the trialists.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Header Photo: Champion at Work

The following header photo is of perennial Classic Moth champion, Floridian Jeff Linton, rolling downwind in his modified Mistral design, Mousetrap. I must say that Jeff is one of the most approachable, laid back, sailing hot-shots I've ever come across. He is also one of the few hot-shots (maybe the only one) that is comfortable doing a program where he will personally build his own racing craft out of wood; one of the reasons you can still find him racing his own build Classic Moth.

Jeff controlling two competitors upwind in the recently completed 2019 Classic Moth Midwinters.

Len Parker

And another photo of Jeff from the 2011 E-City Nationals.

Len Parker

I'm trying to catch up on items I have conveniently put on the back-burner on this blog.

Here are the Results of the 2018 Classic Moth Nationals - about 6 months late:

Skipper Races Hull Design
Joe Bousquet 1,3,1,1,1,[3],1 Swiss Dunand
Mike Parsons 2,1,2,2,2,2,[2] Mistral
John Zseleczky 3,2,3,3,3,1,[3] Y2K Mistral
Zach Balluzo 4,5,5,5,4,5,[8] Y2K Mistral
George Albaugh 5,4,6,4,7,4,[9] Europe Wood (Gen I winner)
Erik Albaugh 7,6,4,[8],8,7,4 Olympic Europe (Gen 1)
Sam Moncia [8],7,8,6,6,6,6 Olympic Europe (Gen 1)
Dan Janeway [9],8,9,9,9,9,5 Ventnor (Vintage winner)
Josh Kiggans 6,9,7,7,5,DNS,[DNS] Mistral
Bill Boyle 10,10,10,10,11,10,[12] Abbott (Vintage)
Don Hewitt 11,11,12,11,10,[13],11 Connecticut (Vintage)
C. Hatcher 13,13,[14],12,13,12,7 Post Ara (Vintage)

Sunday, March 10, 2019

2018 MASCF

I've mentioned this several times before; this blog is not about timeliness. Here are some photos from the 2018 MASCF (Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival) held six months ago, October, 2018. MASCF is hosted by the CBMM (Cheasapeake Bay Maritime Museum) and is a good event to see what the non-racing boffins are coming up with, particularly the plywood DIY crowd. On the Saturday, when I made it over, there was little wind, but the on-shore kibbitzing was good.

There are a lot of riffs on the design of the basic Bolger Brick. There is the Puddle Duck Racer. Maybe the most popular is Michael Storer's OZ Goose. There was a larger, 3.6 meter, version at MASCF, promoting the formation of a racing league for these types.

You can't complain about the cockpit space on this small boat!

Definitely a paddle and oar day.

Another simple flat bottom design is the DC Dinghy. Posts on the DC Dinghy, here and here.

David Gentry does skin on frame boats. He designed this very pretty Chautauqu sailing canoe

David writes that he raced Chautauqu in the 300 mile Everglades Challenge. No way the blogmeister would even consider doing such a long trip in such a small boat.

John Harris, the ever prolific and out-of-the-box thinker, owner, and head designer of CLC boats, had this interesting craft, Pingu on the lawn of CBMM. From his writeup on CLC' website:
"Thus the subject design, the Nesting Expedition Dinghy. At 10'6" x 42", it's designed to be the smallest possible boat that will sail and row well, sleep a single person, and carry a week's worth of supplies. The bow and stern are removable, and stow in the 6-1/2-foot middle section. At worst, I can stash it in my little garden shed. At best, I can ship the thing to Europe to cruise the French canals."
For a more complete description of Pingu Click here.

Two leeboards, and a narrow, deep hull. Looks to me as definitely a flat water cruiser.

A mostly traditional, lashed up, proa, shared the lawn with Pingu.

Jim Thayer designed a commodious dink, the Wee Punkin, back in the 1990's. He did an improved version, the Punkin Eater, which showed up at the 2018 MASCF. Build is lapstrake sides married to a smooth bottom.

A really odd, but cool in its own way, circular cockpit.

A flattish hull shape.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Classic Moth Design and Builds; Winter 2019

What's happening in the Classic Moth world in the winter of 2019?

Frenchman Bertrand Warion has designed and has in the molds, a cruising Moth designed for hopping around the rivers in France. The Bertrand Cruising Moth is overbuilt compared to a racing Moth (as would be expected). Bertrand envisions encountering lots of debris; logs, trees, cows, couches coming down the swollen rivers, given the increased rainfall. Global warming has blessed some parts of the world with rain and more rain.

His plans show a simple low-Vee design with a keel strake protecting the forward third of the hull. A nice rear seat completes this laid back design.

Substantial stringers and keelson show this Moth is designed to take some serious abuse.

Brit John Butler was a serious designer playing the narrow waterline International Moth design game in the 1970's and 1980's. Now that John is in his 60's (age) he has designed a stitch and glue Moth he says will;
  • Fit the U.S.A Classic Moth rule (non-wing).
  • Fit his somewhat increased girth since his young International Moth racing days.
Pics from Facebook.

Here is John's 1.5mm mock-up of his stitch and glue design. Note the flat bottom and intermediate chine in the aft third of the hull.

The German Tiger Moth was a modification on the Swiss Dunand Moth. Pics of the plans showed up on Facebook. Compared to the Dunand, the German Tiger Moth has narrowed the front sections and rounded the aft sections. There is also some very slight hollows near the chine. (I wonder how they build this?)

Finally the Drag├╣r "Disco Volante" Moth. A very simple scow design from 1958. Not a race winner but  would be a very simple build and still fun to sail.

And finally, Mark Hughes put these very credible Classic Moth hull lines out there.

Header Photo: The Australian Sailfish; ICWDR 2019

The previous header photo is from the 2019 ICWDR regatta; Emma Milton on Australian Sailfish 2192, Apsu, going into a jibe on a very narrow scow with very little clearance under the boom. I can't do any better than the description offered by Kiwi Neil Kennedy (who built an Australian Sailfish and sailed one for a while).
"The moment of truth before a full blooded, square-run gybe on a Sailfish. The bow wave almost level with the deck, a hand full of mainsheet, knees braced, tiller angled behind the back, ready to fling the boom across while remembering to hit the deck as the boom whistled across, all the while hoping that a sudden gust didn't arrive just as you heaved on the main sheet ! It was even more fun in a Sailfish as there was nowhere to brace yourself so... get it right!! or slide off the deck into the deep blue... laughing!
Ninety something, Jack Carroll, one of the original designers of the Sailfish, got out in his original Sailfish, Debonair.

The fleet on the Inverloch beach.

Beating among the sandbars of the Inverloch Inlet.

Greg Barwick sends along this report. Twenty Sailfish showed up at the ICWDR and Sailfish are now being built around the globe. Read more below.

I've put a post up with abbreviated plans for the Sailfish up on Earwigoagin but best to go to the original source for the Australian Sailfish plans.

Some other Earwigoagin posts about the Australian Sailfish.