Thursday, April 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday: International Canoe US 132 "Rosie Cheeks"

Sometimes the question of what next to post on this blog just falls into your lap. Case in point - Andre' Cloutier of Ravenwood Canoes up in Canada posted last Sunday about a 1980's International Canoe he now owned and was intending to restore. As I perused the post and looked at the pictures I realized this was the last International Canoe I owned, US 132, Rosie Cheeks. Originally owned by Chris Converse, who built the aircraft plywood interior into a single skin King Ferry fiberglass hull, this was one of the top U.S. International Canoes in the 1980's.

Somewhere around 2001-2003 time frame I bought,on the cheap, only the hull of US 132 from Steve Clark. My kids were in college, there wasn't much extra cash kicking around, and I had been out of IC's for about 8 years. I was under no illusion that, as a competitive endeavor, putting US 132 back on the water was probably doomed.  A lot of development had gone into the International Canoes in those intervening twenty plus years and what was fast in the 1980's was not likely to be fast in the early 2000's. I threw some experimental stuff on the hull I still had kicking around. (A rotating mast, a wowee-looking NS-14 mainsail; problem was I was under the permitted sail area with this rig.)

As soon as I got on the water, my speculation was confirmed. US 132 was just not up to snuff with the fleet. But the International Canoe is a fun dinghy to just sail, really a neat ride, especially upwind, that I still have fond memories of US 132. I found some pictures of my last travel regatta in International Canoes. Chesapeake fleet stalwarts, Bill Beaver, George Saunders, and I went out to Geist Reservoir, Indianapolis, Indiana for the U.S Nationals. It was intended to support the small Midwest fleet but the turnout was not good. We had, if I recollect, about 9 International Canoes, that sailed the weekend in very little wind. Rosie Cheeks finished somewhere middle but like all road trips there are some great memories.

International Canoe sailors do a lot of standing up between races when the wind is light.

There was some breeze after the racing concluded.

This was typical of the racing. I'm trying to hold off my two Chesapeake team-mates in their two carbon/honeycomb hulls (plus, as I stated above, my rig was undersized). Didn't work for too long.

Most of the fleet scattered over the Indianapolis Sailing Club lawn.

After the racing on Sunday concluded, the wind filled in to about 8 knots, coming down the lake. I went up and down the lake for about an hour, nothing too strenuous, but enjoying the heck out of the daysail (I had crewed a Y-flyer Nationals on Geist when I was in my early twenties, about 1971 - thirty years later the shoreline was now dotted with expensive waterfront homes.)

I came back from this regatta convinced, with some remorse for the International Canoe is a great dinghy, that given the reduced time and money I wanted to put into competitive sailboat racing, the Classic Moth was where I would devote my efforts.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mk II Scow Emerges in the Flesh

A day after I posted the plans for the Len Morris Mk II scow, pictures were posted on the scow Moth Facebook group of a Mk II that had just come on the market in Australia. This one was built with the flow-thru cockpit; the original design had a tub cockpit, which indicates this particular Mk II could have been built in the early 1950's.

From the bow, the distinctive humpy nose block which gave some structure to the forestay attachment.

A transom view. You can get a good look at the absolutely flat bottom of the Mk II.

The flow-thru, double bottom cockpit was very radical in the dinghy world at the time this Mk II was built. It would be another twenty years before the International Moths started adopting them. (though a historian would say the sailing canoes had them 120 years ago).

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Vesper Boat Club - Throwback Thursday

Someone out there in Blogville has decided that Thursday should be the day to feature old stuff - most likely Tillerman's idea as his blog is where I've picked up Throwback Thursday as a regular feature. This seems to something worthwhile to occasionally emulate on Earwigoagin (when the spirit moves).

Recreational rowing is the oldest modern amateur watersport, with clubs proliferating in the U.S. just after the Civil War. Boathouse Row on Philadelphia's Schuylkill River is a neighborhood of river-front rowing clubs. One of these clubs on Boathouse Row, Vesper Boat Club, founded in 1865,  and featured in this following video, is probably the most storied rowing club in the U.S.

Vesper Club...A Classic Venue from BNProducers on Vimeo.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Scow Moth Plans: Australian Len Morris's MkII

I've chunked the plans for Len Morris's Mk II scow Moth into a loadable PDF format below. Len Morris's Mk II was the post-WWII design that would spread the scow Moth into every corner of Australian dinghy racing. A boxy, flat-bottomed design, hundreds of Mk II's would be built and this design would also spawn the one-design New-Zealand scow Moth, where hundreds more of this class would be built. The Australians from day one favored a high aspect (17-foot luff) sail plan-form compared to the lower aspect (15-foot luff) of the then International Moth (now our U.S. Classic Moth).

(If you want to download or print the PDF file, click on the small arrow icon -arrow pointing up and to the right - on the right side of the top border.)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

John Z: Classic Moth Construction Progress, a Modified Mistral Emerges

Just up the road from me, Classic Mothist John Z is steadily making progress on on his modified Mistral Classic Moth. This Mistral is a bend-em-up tortured plywood construction using 3 mm. ply throughout. I decided to pop over to take some photos as John is about ready to slap some decks on this Moth. I wanted some pictures that highlighted the internal structure of a racing Classic Moth.

A racing Moth makes do with three bulkheads, one about 610mm (two feet) from the transom, another at the aft end of the daggerboard trunk (about 1520-1650 mm or 60-65" from the transom) and the final one at the forward end of the daggerboard trunk (this one is angled as called out for in the Mistral plans). You can see the inboard construction of the seat tanks - John likes building his out of flat plywood sections.

Two bow-on shots that show the mast structure. John is putting in a freestanding mast and has built a carbon mast tube that extends to the keelson. There is not much structure up forward in these boats.

Proud builder. John also builds the ultalight F1 rubber-band powered free-flight model airplanes, stored in the special box that hangs on the back wall in this photo (you may have spotted some other model plane parts scattered around his work room).

Lest you think these Classic Moths are so light to be throwaways after a couple of years - not so. Johns' current Mistral is fourteen years old, Joe Bousquet's National Champion is even older. You do seem to have to replace a deck or two every so often but the structure is adequate for continual racing abuse.

Fellow blogger George A. has been reporting on John's Mistral build with some regularity over the last year and it would be worth jumping over to George's blog and reading several posts.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Olympic 49'er: Continuing the Krashboombang

The 49'er, the two-man Olympic skiff, is not an easy dinghy to master; which is as it should be for an Olympic class. Hence, great 49'er "crash and burn" videos keep surfacing periodically, enough to keep the blogmeister thoroughly entertained. (I sailed on a 49'er once, light air, and I was limited to crew. It was a short sail and I remember how skinny the spin halyard was and my only recollection was how painful it was to pull the asymmetric in and out of the launcher.)

In the following video, I hate it when the forward hand just can't stay glued to the boat. It makes everything else that much more difficult.

Justus Schmidt - Max Boehme Flying 49er from Valencia Sailing on Vimeo.

One of the problems....the 49'er just lulls you in, blasting along, Joe Cool, "Hey we got this thing under control!" and Whap! Splat!

Pitchpole - Palma Style from Ferguson Sailing on Vimeo.

And who can forget the mother of all 49'er "Down the mine" videos", I reintroduce the antics from the Medal Race of the Qingdao 2008 Olympics. Color commentary is in, I think, Danish.