Saturday, December 26, 2020

New Plywood Cherub Build

These photos of a plywood Cherub build in New Zealand crossed my Facebook feed. A plywood Cherub is a rare beast. As is the fashion these days, most Cherub's are built of more exotic composite materials. New Zealand, the home of the famous Kiwi designer, John Spencer and his Cherub class, has seen a recent revival of the class; the class being moribund since the 1990's. As I've mentioned, buried in an old post; I raced one weekend in an English Cherub regatta in the 1970's. (Back when the design fashion was a deep V carried all the way to the transom.) I've always had a soft spot for these 12' double-handers (the original single wire, wide Cherub, not the two wire, rack version the English cooked up to compete in their Portsmouth handicap racing).

This blog has sprinkled various Cherub antics throughout posts over the years.

This build uses 4mm plywood throughout. Minimum hull weight is 51 kg.

On the jig

Minimum frames, double bottom.

Carbon Tube for Pole Launcher.

Hull complete. Fitting rudder gantry.

Typical flat hull sections of an assymetric-powered skiff.

A modern Cherub upwind in max power conditions.

Addendum April 2022

For a modern day source of Cherub plans, Alan Roper writes:
"In regards to the cherub it depends what you want .Greame Hill has a hull kitset I have designed. ...There is another boat I designed to he built of stitch and tape system and there is another one built of conventional methods. The latter 2 have paper plans.

Header Photo: Design Cartoon for a Bend-em-Up - Classic Moth?

The previous header photo was a design cartoon kicking around the Interwebs. There was no explanation attached but, if I engage in a bit of speculation, it seems to be a developed ply concept for a Classic Moth. Bill Schill did his last Maser conversion very similar to this, a radical looking Moth. Bill's Maser concept was very slow. Unfortunately, I have no photos of Bill's last Maser. It seems to me you could build a credible Classic Moth if you glommed some topsides onto the back half of the boat. It would take some tinkering; should be an easy build, though probably not a racing shape.

George A. has more on Bill Schill over at his Mid-Atlantic Musings blog.

Update: January 18, 2021 - It turns out this design cartoon was actually built. She is a Classic Moth design by Bertrand Warion, a prolific builder of Moths, whose design and building inventiveness has been featured in many posts on Earwigoagin. Bertrand writes of this bend-em-up design;
"The Moth Classique is "Zazou" I designed in 2002/2003? The boat was made from one sheet plywood, 5mm exterior grade. [It] was easy [to build] and quite fast but the mast was not stiff enough. [She] is now destroyed. [There] is only one photo remaining."

Zazou is Moth number 203 to the right of this gaggle of classic Moths running downwind.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Header Photo: Jester Dink Racing; Jester Designer/Bulider Identified

Before reading further I suggest you refer to this post for background.

The previous header photo features 8 foot Jester dink racing on Santa Cruz harbor. I particularly like the bare feet draped over the leeward side, a throwback to when I was a young kid and spent my entire summer barefoot.

Now to the other Jester class, the twelve foot, sloop rigged daysailor. In the previous post I couldn't find anything about the origins of this class on the Internet. Now thanks to reader Bob Fujita, the mystery is solved. From Bob's comment on the previous post:

"The Jester was designed and built by Cleveland, OH Sailboat dealer Jack Butte. Jack sold primarily one design daysailers, and saw an opportunity to use the influence of the Thistle, Flying Scot, and Rhodes Bantam to design a 12’ dinghy. My parents sailed with Jack Butte at Edgewater Yacht Club, and I sailed with his daughter as part of the junior sailing program"
Bob sends along advertising brochures for the Jester, listing Glas-Tec Enterprises as the builder. 

A primo-condition Jester 12 footer somewhere in the Midwest. Nothing racy here, just a capable daysailor with high freeboard and bench seats.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Flat Pack Composite Kits

Flat pack plywood small boat kits; all pieces CNC cut and shipped to you in a nice long box (or two) have been around since the mid 1990's. The local firm, Chesapeake Light Craft is a world leader in this type of kit, offering a wide array of plywood small boats in kit form; built stitch and glue with epoxy fillets. Back in 2014, Aussie Mark Hughes took the flat pack kit concept one step further and developed a composite carbon/foam flat pack kit for super-techy ultra-lightweight construction. In the photos below the flat pack kit makes a Bunyip scow Moth. Todd Oldfield, posted on Facebook on his build, which I have lifted and re-posted here.

The jig is CNC cut from MDF and is an intricate web of slotted panels designed to hold the frames.

Frames, topsides, and chine panels are cut from prefabricated vacuum-bagged carbon skinned foam. The Perverted Moth blog has the layup schedule for the Bunyip panels.

Jig assembled.

CNC cut frames in place on jig.

Topside and chine panels taped in place.

Fitting the bottom foam panel. The bottom foam panel is not glassed on the outside.This may be because the entire outside of the hull is covered in a wet/layup carbon layer to stick everything together.

Carbon ready to wet out.

Outside of the hull complete on jig.

Hull off jig. I would think there would need to be more gluing area along the gunwhales and maybe along the frames

Fitting the foam deck and foredeck. Note the cuts to help the foam bend around the curves for the nose block. A heat gun is also helpful for this.

Below: the first 2014 carbon/foam Bunyip M-scow with cut-out frames and mast support box. From Longy Oi:
"There are different versions, designs. both composite inspired by the ply Bunyip design. First build was the Mark Hughes M-Scow designed composite flat pack was built as Brian Sherrings 'Carbonara'. Possibly the strongest yet light scow built. Todd's build is to another (?bunyip) digitised design. I don't know the point of having the two designs, but, yes, some differences, there was some Wet lay-up on the latter build, maybe not on the MScow?"

It may be that a scow with it's shallow curves is more suited to this style of flat pack kit-building. Composite panels, being stiffer than plywood panels cannot be expected to twist up as plywood panels can. (Reference Todd Oldfield's comments below.) I could see someone also trying this method on the simple, Benoit Duflos Classic Moth Moth-Pop design.

Todd Oldfield answers some questions about his build:
"in answer to your question I didn't put carbon on both sides of the deck and hull under vac bagging as if i did that I would not have been able to get the desired shape in the panel if i did it on both sides. I went back after the panel was glued done and put a layer of carbon over that panel and relevant join on the chines. All the chines are covered ibn carbon both sides to. It was a good fun build that was quicker to do than expected and wasn't as hard as expected either by using a male jig to form the boat on."

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Hal Wagstaffe's 1962 New Zealand Classic Moth Design

Moth Classique

These Classic Moth lines plans popped up on FB. A multi-chine plywood, very much a middle of the road design, "Puriri" looks very worthy of someone building a reproduction. She would definitely fit in the Gen I division of the American Classic Mothboat rules. Puriri is an indigenous New Zealand tree.

More Classic New Zealand Moth designs can be found at this post (from Nedslocker). Includes Bruce Farr's first dinghy designs.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Header Photo: Start at the 2011 Classic Moth Nationals


The previous header photo was from a Sunday start at the 2011 Classic Moth Nationals. Unlike this year's crawling breeze, the 2011 Nationals had some breeze. In the background of the photo is the Museum of the Albemarle (green roof), Elizabeth City, North Carolina, which has some of the more iconic Mothboats from the early years on display.

Friday, October 30, 2020

2020 Classic Moth Nationals

Lloyd Griffin

The 2020 Classic Moth Nationals in Elizabeth City was a drift-fest, with racing only on Saturday. The 2020 Nationals were postponed for one month because of concerns over too much wind from the remnants of one hurricane. Ironically the rescheduled Nationals had the wind sucked out of Elizabeth City by the passing of the remanants of another hurricane.

As usual, George A. over at Mid-Atlantic Musings has the complete report.

Results (top twelve) of the 2020 Classic Moth Nationals. Congrats to Mike Parsons, the 2020 champion, George Albaugh, winner of the Gen 1 division, Joe Bousquet, Masters champion, Sam Moncia, junior champion, and Emma Mayer, women's champion.

Skipper Races Hull Design
Mike Parsons 1,1,1,1,[2],1 Mistral
Joe Bousquet 2,2,2,2,[4],2 Mistral
Parker Purrington 3,[4],4,3,3,3 Dunand
John Zseleczky 4,5,3,[7],1,4 Mistral Y2K-mod
George Albaugh 6,3,[8],4,5,7 Wooden Europe (Gen1)
Zach Balluzo 5,[7],6,5,6,6 Mistral Y2KMod
Bob Patterson [8],6,7,8,7,5 Shelley (Gen 1)
Sam Moncia [9],8,5,6,9,8 Olympic Europe (Gen 1)
Emma Mayer 7,[10],9,10,10,10 Olympic Europe (Gen 1)
Matthew Panek 12,11,10,12,8,[DNF] Olympic Europe (Gen I)
Logan Weeks 10,[13],11,9,13,11 Olympic Europe (Gen I)
Valerie Turbett 11,[14],14,11,14,9 Olympic Europe (Gen 1)

Thursday, October 29, 2020

America's Cup Update; October 2020

As an old codger, I am somewhat ambivalent about the current crop of foiling monohulls. I grew up when the America's Cup had all the stodginess of an English fox hunt. When a bunch of old guys in blazers and straw hats would slowly motor over to your 12 meter and solemnly announce, amid tight smiles and long faces, that you were no longer needed in the defender trials, or conversely, you had been chosen to defend the America's Cup, and the smiles were broad and congratulations poured out. When two leadmines would pirouette, and luff, and yell before the start and then proceed to bash their way upwind at what seemed to be a brisk walking pace. The dominant 12 meter would work out to a half boat length lead after fifteen minutes. But there was a certain charm, albeit far removed to what most of us considered the sport of sailing.

The modern America's Cup is all F1 motor racing. Speed, and more speed from spider-like contraptions. So much speed that serious injury in a major mishap becomes part of the sport, just as in motor racing. I've never been a big fan of watching motor sports on the TV, so I approach today's foilers with a shrug of the shoulders (although I marvel at the technology and recognize the courage and skill of the sailors). When every America's Cup foiler is going about the same speed, the gauge becomes lost except for a massive rooster tail of spray spurting off the main foils. I must admit I have some sailing friends that are very gaga over the speeds of this year's America's Cup monohulls so I may be in the minority opinion in this. As it was with the 12 meters, this sailing is also far removed from what most of us consider the sport of sailing.

From Planet Sail, here is an interesting video on the thinking behind the current technology revealed as the generation 2 of these monohull foilers launch into battle.

Chris Thompson, famed author of the complete small boat racing history over at Sailcraft blog, takes exception at my disparaging remarks about the old America's Cup (the 12 meters, the IAAC leadmines):
"With great respect, Tweezerman, I'll say that for many years the "old" wasn't actually all that far removed from what most of us thought of as sailing. When the Universal Rule was adopted, for example, as you'd know the AC boat were just big versions of the M, N, P, R, S etc classes that were sailed in their dozens at local clubs and regattas. I once calculated that the British AC challengers of the 'tween war period sailed at something like 20% or more of ALL British sailing clubs each year, if I recall correctly. Around the time the 12s were adopted, there were still Metre boats racing in the UK, Europe, USA, Australia, etc at clubs each weekend. The first press releases for the IACC class stressed that they were going to be like sportsboats, although they morphed into skinny leadmines. So the old AC was largely sailed in big versions of fairly common mainstream club and regatta boats, and I know that something like running the bow on a 12 isn't vastly different from running the bow on an IOR boat or Beneteaul from personal experience, you can step onto the pointy end of a 12 in a class race and feel pretty much at home. The foilers, on the other hand, are completely divorced from almost all club and local regatta level racing. There's only about 25 other ballasted full foilers in the world as far as I can make out, all of them on the European lakes. Go to Cowes, Newport, Sydney, Kiel or any other of the centres of our sport (apart perhaps from Garda or Lucerne once in a while) and you'll find nothing like an AC boat - although ironically you'll still often find boats that are small versions of AC boats of many years ago."

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Make a Hole; Plug a Hole

My wife, in her pithy wisdom, has observed that all I seem to do with my Classic Moths is to cut a hole and then fill it up. And she's right in a way. My current Classic Moth project, a Savannah Wedge, is undergoing a side deck modification which entails cutting out holes and then filling them back up. And I want to lower the transom which means cutting more holes, and then filling them up.

I picked up the Savannah Wedge back in 2015 and like many of my projects, the Wedge sat neglected, aging in place, getting dirty, while I figured out what I wanted to do. With Covid-19 I'm back again making holes, plugging holes on the Wedge. When a Savannah Wedge has been raced, back around 2010, she performed miserably. It suffers from too much wetted surface, the bane of slow Classic Moths. Yet I persist. The original idea was the Wedge would be an ideal Moth to take the grandkids out; she does have a grand big cockpit. We shall see; for there are more holes to cut, and more holes to fill.

My boatbuilding philosophy.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Oh Noooo! Not a Foot Plant on the Mainsail! $$$

The previous header photo was of a Flying Dutchman capsizing; the trapeze crew being flung off the gunwhale by the quickness of the capsize. Been there, done that many times. Experienced trapeze crews know the type of landing by this crew can be very expensive. A double-foot plant on the mainsail, so near the boom, is a recipe for a long tear in the mainsail and a trip to the local sailmaker. For those who are paying for the error of their helm, the recommended best effort and the least expensive method to execute a landing, after being unceremoniously catapulted, is to endeavor to make a belly flop higher up the mainsail. Not easy to execute but even a four point landing, elbows and knees, would avoid point loading the mainsail

Thursday, October 1, 2020

OD-OY Cover: Thistle Planing

Another post about the straight-stemmed vintage dinghies. From the July 1967 issue of One Design and Offshore Yachtsman magazine, a stunning photo by Peter Barlow of a Thistle bombing along on the sparkling sea.

Peter Barlow

I lived out in Ohio at the same time as this photo. Ohio seemed to be the epicenter of the Thistle kingdom, (the Ohio-Penn District Championships regularly saw fleets of 60 or more in the 1960's.) I raced on the Thistle several times. There is no better light air dinghy going. It was said to be faster than the Flying Dutchman when the wind turned to zephyrs so it was an ideal dinghy for the Midwest Lakes. I crewed on one in a big blow in Lake Erie once, but that is a story for another post.

Beautifully restored wood Thistles show up occasionally. This is from the 2012 Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival in 2012.


Saturday, September 19, 2020

Header Photo: Alruth Stacking Out

The Australian Historical 18's are just so damn photogenic, they keep cycling through my header photos.

Sailing Dinghy Restorations during the Pandemic

It seems the Covid Pandemic has driven the older dinghy guys into the shop, particularly the Antipodeans who have been busy restoring 60 year old scow Moths and Australian 14-footers.

And this old skiff as well.

Monday, September 14, 2020

That Pesky Lee Shore: Europa Moth Fail

From the February, 1971 issue of OD-OY.

Lee shores are always tricky, especially if the run-in is framed by rock jetties. I ran an International Canoe straight into the beach once, but that is another story. Sometimes the safest option is to lower the main when you can still get head-to-wind and scull your way to shore.  Or leave the main about 1/4 the way up and get gently blown to shore. (Lasers and other sleeve-luff classes excluded.)

I was scratching my name at the weirdness of this Europa Moth's chemical name, "Paradichlorobenzene" until I looked it up on the InterWebs.
"Paradichlorobenzene is used as a fumigant insecticide to control clothes moths... Mothballs containing paradichlorobenzene are solids that turn into toxic gas that kills moths."

Looks like this Moth was still in payback mode for the skipper's cheeky frivolity.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Header Photo: Start of the Paddling Canoe Race, Late Nineteenth Century

The previous header photo was harvested from Facebook with little identification. A paddling canoe start from the late nineteenth century, the location remained a mystery. I emailed several canoe historians and they were somewhat stumped as well. Someone said Lake George N.Y., another said possibly Hay Island right acroos from Gananoque in the Thousand Islands. Dating was also broad, sometime between the late 1880's, 1890's. Even without a precise identification, the bevy of delicate sailing canoes in the foreground still makes this photo a gem.

A sailing canoe from that era up and planing.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Craftsman Wanted: 14' Aykoryd Needing Restoration

Pre WWII, the L.S.S.A. 14 footer was Canada's premier dinghy racing class. A cat-rigged, lapstrake, design, George Aykroyd of Toronto was one of the top designers of the L.S.S.A. 14 footers. He did a "lake cottage" version, a stable, more sedate version, of which he built several thousand. Aykroyd restorations are ungoing; International Canoe and C-cat guru, Steve Clark, has one in his shop as we speak, undergoing a rehab. Silas Bialeki emailed me with another one he is offering up for restoration, located in Michigan.
"...about an Aykroyd 14' catboat that my family owns. It has not seen use for some 20 years now and has been stored inside here in SE Michigan. It came from Canada and was trailered down to await some needed work to make it sailable. We have come to the reality that we are not the people to take this boat on. I was wondering if you would have some leads as to who would be interested in taking on a mid sized restoration project of this beautiful little boat?...My main goal is to get the boat to a good home that will have her sailing again one day. My uncle bought the boat in 93 or 94 from a man in Desbarat, Ontario. It lived a season or two on Big Basswood Lake near Desbarat and then weathered a storm overnight while moored off. One of the stays broke and the wrenching of the mast opened enough of the hull to put her on the lake bed. She was raised and brought down to SE Michigan with the hopes of firming her up and going sailing again. 20+ years later and it still sits under cover, he is ready to pass it on...I suspect that there is a little of everything to be done. A few planks, ribs, and bits of hardware to be replaced. The canvas deck replaced, though plywood structure seems to be in relatively good condition. Naturally a new paint job would be in order. There are a few amateur repairs to the boat that mostly take the form of incorrect or non matching fasteners."


Photos of Steve Clark's decks-off Aykroyd restoration: