Thursday, October 13, 2016

2016 Annapolis Sail Boat Show

While others were dealing with hurricane Matthew, the mid-Atlantic was spared.  So, instead of hunkering down we got up and motored over to the boat show.  What follows are my impressions of that day.

This year, like last year, we parked over on the Eastport side of Spa Creek in the Eastport Elementary School's parking lot and then walked over the Spa Creek Bridge to the Annapolis side.  This, at least for  us, seems easier than parking over at the Navy-Marine Corps Stadium and riding a school bus to the city dock area where the show is held.  We left home at about 9 am, parked and walked over to the still closed gate (show opens at 10), bought our wrist bands and then moseyed over to  Sophie's Crepes.  Starting off the day with an excellent crepe is most civilized even if the seating is outdoors.  Parking at Eastport and eating crepes is becoming a tradition.  What are traditions you ask?  That's easy:  traditions are all those things we did last year that I liked.  If I liked it, chances are good we'll do it again.
Chesapeake Light Craft was concentrating on their teardrop shaped mini-camper kit

They seemed to have turned a blind eye to the boats.  This little pram was half full of water.

In the early part of the day the skies were dark and threatening rain.  The feeder bands from Matthew spared us.

We walked on, noting the increase in barges which soon would be offering free drinkies.

Although I've walked along these same docks at other times of the year it's always a little disorienting when the boat show comes to town and extra pilings and floating docks are added.

As the day wore on, the skies brightened and the wind picked up.

Diaristwoman and diaristdaughter always check out the displays touting cruises to tropical sorts of places.

Of course there were big tubs.  Wouldn't be a boat show without ' em.  Your diarist never once removed his shoes to go aboard.  No sense gawking at something you can't afford.

Meanwhile the Waszp display was hip-deep with foiler wanna-bees.

While IMCA legal, the Waszp is not competitive against state of the art foiler Moths.  The Waszp is built more for durability than outright speed.  The boat is a good twenty pounds heavier that an IMCA boat due to the use of aluminum for the blades and T-foils rather than lighter and more expensive, more fragile carbon.  The hull as well is mostly fiberglass rather than carbon fiber.

Having said all that, the Waszp does have some interesting features such as the free-standing mast (no shrouds to cheese slice yourself through in the event of a pitch-pole).  The boom is a wishbone.  Without seeing the boat completely rigged I couldn't make out how the traveler or sheeting were arranged.  Too many punters in the way.

Back out amongst the big tubs again.  Catamarans this time.

As I walked, I idly thought that these open maws could easily swallow a Moth.  Say, how 'bout this: maybe if the little boat had a collapsible mast, mounted on a tabernacle, one could zoom under the mother ship, like James Bond, and then pop up through a bottom hatch into the cockpit dressed in a tux, holding a Martini.  "Infinity, James Infinity."

Obviously this scenario wouldn't work with a Trimaran.

Hang on, maybe this guy is going to test my fantasy.

Na, he didn't.  He slipped away out into the mooring field.
Zooming across Spa Creek to the Chart House restaurant.  No doubt they were doing a roaring trade.

Obligatory photo of a boat with 2 or 3 acres of teak.

The Woodwind II was offering short cruises.

Although I'll probably never own a big boat I do admire the classic lines of boats like this one from Morris.  Wait, what's that I see in the distance?


You've have to read about it here.  It looks like the ill conceived spawn between an Aussie Scow and a gummy boat.  I guess it goes OK. 
Lots of breeze.  When you can hear it whistling through the rigging it's at least 20 knots.

I have an old Elvstrom Moth sail. Glad to see Paul E's marque is still going strong.

That Helly Hansen bag is growing heavy.  Diaristwoman heads towards the Hendricks Gin barge.

Not as packed as in previous years. 
The juggler was reduced to juggling balls.  Last year he juggled medicine clubs--way more thrilling.

Hey there Tillerman,  this model could be the basis for a nice perpetual trophy, don't you think?  Only $245 smackers.

Love the thin cirrus clouds.  Autumn is here.

Where is she going now?  Ah, I see a Pusser's rum "painkiller" in the hand of the man coming towards us.

While she had her painkiller I doubled back to the Zim Sailing display.  Zim Sailing supplied me with a replacement wheel for my Practic dolly.  We had to ship a wheel back and forth but in the end they got the job done.  I said "Hi" to Nate the individual that I swapped emails with during that time.  Nice to place a face with a name.  Super nice folks.  Highly recommended.

Obligatory RS Aero photo.  It's an election year--gotta fire up my red meat Tiller-base.

Random photo featuring a Canadian Maple Leaf for my two Canadian readers.  Gotta keep my options open-at least 'til the dust settles on the 9th of November. One never knows--I may need to slip North O' the border...

Final photo.  The Annapolis YC almost a year after the Christmas fire that gutted parts of the building.  From the street side it doesn't appear that much has been done, which is frankly surprising.  I figured by now the clubhouse would be totally repaired.  Just goes to show--you never can tell.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

27th Annual Classic Moth Boat National Regatta

2016 has been a tough year for Classic Moths in terms of boat turn-out at some of our long standing regattas:  twelve boats at the Mid-Winters, eight at Brigantine, and now barely twelve again for the Nationals.  Actually make that eleven and a half at the Nats since one boat didn't race at all during the first day.  On the plus side, there has been encouraging fleet growth within the Charleston, South Carolina group and also within the small fleet at Chestertown, Maryland.  Somehow we have to get more guys willing to travel out of their own zip codes.  For the hard core group that does travel the racing tends to be close and devoid of any easy wins or "give-me's".  I rediscovered that fact the hard way, particularly during the first day of racing when I made a number of mistakes, usually at the worse possible times.  Like blowing a tack during the final beat to the finish line and allowing boats under cover to scoot away with not enough real estate and boat speed to reel them back.  But that's racing.  On Sunday I managed to do better, making only one major mistake--during the final race of the day I momentarily lost track of the location of the weather mark and over stood it by enough to lose a boat.  That in turn cost me a place on the podium by one point.  I tied with Walt on points but he beat me on the tie breaker.  The boat that got away from me that final race beat us both by a single point for second.  Sigh....

But, the weather and wind were perfect!  I had a great time both on and off the water.  Good close racing, and good to be with friends whom I see only too infrequently.  Even the road trip down and back was without the usual strum und drang. But enough carping.  Let's get to the photos, which are mostly my wife's doing, and for which you should be grateful.   Most are from Saturday's action.  She slept in on Sunday.

First, let us catch up with John Z.  John actually finished his Mistral (long time readers may recall that this particular yacht has been under construction for a "long time").  The sail number seen above is temporary.  John's first boat, named Y2K- BUG by her builder, Walt Collins, was granted Nr 2000.  John has named the new boat Y2K2 and has asked me for Nr 2002.  Since I'm Class Secretary it is within my purview to grant such requests.  It's good to be the power behind the throne.
John Z. adds the finishing touches to Y2K2.

Double ended controls used these mini-dead eyes rather than more expensive turning blocks.

Note the cassette style rudder.

Bill Boyle studies the wind patterns on the river.  The boat designs from left to right are Mistral (blue hull), Bill's home built cedar strip Moth based on the Europe design, and Gary Gowans' modified Cates-Florida Moth.

Early in the day, John led the eventual overall winner, Mike Parsons.  Then minor teething problems popped up.  The new boat showed promise and will no doubt be even faster next time out.  John Z. finished 2nd in the Gen II division.
Walt Collins dusted off his old boat Feather for this regatta.  With Walt in the cockpit Feather, a Generation I design was able to annoy the faster Gen II designs.  Wind speeds on Saturday were in the 10 to 15 knot range out of the NE.  On Sunday the winds started off about 5 kts out of the NE but clocked to the SE and built to ~ 10 kts before the end of the regatta.

Bob Patterson (Shelley) leads Gary Gowans (Gowans-Cates).  Bob's Shelley took a hit from a downed tree during a storm we had a couple weeks earlier.  Bob worked hard to get the boat back into race worthy condition.  He finished 2nd to Gary in Gen I.

Bill Boyle relaxes in his cedar Euro in between heats.

Three Mistral amigos: Mike Parsons (Nr 79),  new member Jay Yerkes (Nr 2776) and John Z. (Nr 111).

Walt and Gary (Gen I designs) right on Mike Parsons' bumper (Gen II Mistral).

Walt and Mike.  Hammer and Tongs.

Another look at Bill's new ride.
Your old diarist hard at work in the office.

Jay Yerkes takes a refreshing dip in the Pasquotank River.

Will she come back up or has she augured into the bottom muck???

Is he on coffee break?

These photos provide evidence for why Jay's name was added to the infamous "Turtle Trophy".

In fairness I must provide a photo of Jay during a happier moment during the regatta.

Zooming in on Gary's modified Cates.  Plum bow, more hollow forward sections and wider transom than the stock boat.

Greg Duncan injured his back while moving house a few weeks before the regatta and so loaned his Europe to new-comer Donald Hewitt.

John Pugh, our host, sailing out to the starting area in his Europe.

Joe Bousquet coaches his high school's sailing team.  They had a regatta of their own on Saturday and so Joe was able to sail only on Sunday.  Even though he missed an entire day of racing, accumulating maximum points, he dominated the fleet with four first places on Sunday to claim third on the Gen II podium.  Damn fine sailing!  Who says having a throw out is a bad thing?

After the end of the regatta the competitors gathered around Bill "Beans" Weatherly.  Beans (seated, white shirt/blue cap) is 87 this year and grew up racing Moths in the 1940s and '50s.  Beans raced with us until about five years ago.  Beans' memories of the early days of Moth Boat racing go all the way back to Capt Joel Van Sant and the other founding sailors in the class.

This is the souvenir "keeper" from this year's National Regatta.

An "interesting" design, what with the square corners.  I'll have to be careful how I sip, lest I dribble hot scalding coffee down the front of my shirt.