Friday, July 8, 2016

Twenty fifth annual Brigantine YC Moth Boat Regatta

I was hoping for 25 boats racing on the 25th of June for the 25th annual regatta but for a variety of reasons we had  only eight boats show up to race, but eight is better than none and at least we had two  boats in each of the three CMBA performance brackets.

Three familiar boats.  From left to right, Bill Boyle's Abbott Phoenix, Bill's rehabbed, Ventnor-like Moth Griff, and Bob Patterson's Shelley The Deacon.  Once again I was sailing Griff.

The black and white Moth on the float is Susan Bousquet's Shelley Aftermath.  The wind was around 12 knots out of the NE and after a brief sail (first time back in her boat in five years) Susan decided that it was a good day to explore the Saturday morning farmer's market which has become a  fixture on the island (she bought an ankle bracelet--who knew farmers had such refined taste?).  Each racer must make up their own mind as to whether or not the conditions exceed their skills.  We missed Susan out on the race course and no doubt she'll be back after spending some seat time in the  boat.

Susan's husband Joe had no reservations about the conditions other than he probably thought the wind was a bit on the light side.

Mike Parsons, sailing a Mistral, like Joe's, was the other Generation II contestant.
The three boats in Gen I were Bob Patterson's Shelley,

Victor Stango's Lindenberg,

and Ed Salva's Europe.

Bill Boyle, sailing his Abbott,
and your old diarist in Griff rounded out the Vintage division.
The first of five races saw Bill Boyle getting off to a cracking good start wherein he port tacked the bunch of us.  However the RC deemed that his effort was a little too cracking and called him back for being OCS before the horn honked.

After that things settled down and Bill and I spent the rest of the day in fairly close proximity.
We occasionally poked our Vintage noses up into the Gen I group.

Here I'm being naughty and stealing Ed's air during one of the downwind legs.  I wonder what I was looking at instead of paying attention to the task at hand?  This is one of the early races before the boom removed my Team Sky cycling cap.
Towards the end of the day I managed my best start--although I had to pinch up and just barely got inside the pin end of the line.  Bob P (sail nr 217) wasn't as lucky and had to gybe around and duck a lot of transoms.

This shot of Mike Parsons' Mistral Revolution demonstrates just how little of the boat is actually in the water.
Another shot of Mike P. beating to weather.

A couple of shots of Griff.  She has a little more vee in her bottom than a Ventnor but otherwise is roughly the same.
Griff's real sail nr is 868. 
Bob's Shelley could stay on the same page as the Mistrals up wind but as soon as they turned the corner the Mistrals would pull ahead.  But impressive for a Gen I boat to stay that close to a well sailed Gen II.
The Abbott with the ACUA's windmills in the distance.

During the last race I led Bill to the weather mark, but

he reeled me in on the down wind leg.  It was all for naught since his tiller broke as we gybed at the mark.  At the end of the day Joe Bousquet took top honors in Gen II, Bob Patterson finally got his name on the Les Kammerman trophy as the Gen I winner and I won the Vintage division.
And that's a wrap on this year's BYC Moth Boat Regatta other than to mention that Greg Duncan helped me in ordering this year's trophies:  I told Greg the it was the 25th annual regatta, to be held on the 25th of June.  Greg already knew that he couldn't sail with us this year but he was going to attend our son's wedding on the 11th of the month and so he could drop the trophies to me  at the wedding.  Greg told the trophy store that he needed the trophies by the 11th and in a moment of confussion that's the date that the guy engraved on each one.  I saw this as soon as I unwrapped them.  After a bit of reflection, I emailed Greg thanking him for his efforts and pointed out the the winners of this year's awards would have an easy way of remembering the date of my son and daughter in law's wedding day!

One of the trophies with the infamous wedding date instead of the regatta date.  Some day these will be more collectable than those rare postage stamps with the upside down aeroplane.
This takes moonshine to a new level.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Interesting old photo

Fellow Moth Boater Mike Jones found this interesting old photo on flea-bay and asked if I could identify the sailors and venue.  The venue is almost certainly south Florida, but which coast?  I can ID the two closest boats:  Lucky Duck, Nr 1264 first turns up in the old Moth Class records in the year 1951.  She was owned by Miami YC member Charles Phillips.  Lucky Duck is interesting because she sports a boom vang which seems very advanced for the early 1950s.  Nr 1350 is Charlie Hunt's Moth Twilight.  Both boats are round bilge designs with Twilight appearing to be a scaled down copy of a Thistle class dinghy.  The last boat, obscured by Twilight, might be Nr 1256, in which case she'd be Lewis Twitchell's Fluid Drive (Twitchell like Phillips was a MYC member) or she could be Nr 1356 in which case she would be Irene Futcher's boat Sirene.  Futcher sailed with the St. Pete Moth Fleet while Hunt sailed with a small group in Lake Wales, FL called the Dawn Sailing Squadron.  Perhaps a Floridian viewer can provide more details.  Click on the photo to enlarge.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Long Distance, please.

Fellow blogger Tweezerman alerted the Classic Moth Boat faithful about a boat which popped up on Craigslist the other day.  This boat is waaaaay out in the Chicago area.  I always marvel at how far these little boats travel given that the Moth Class during the 1960s was basically an east coast regional phenomenon regardless of it's "International Moth Class Association" name.  True international status didn't happen until the early 1970s.  After that organizational change, the Moth class promptly died out in the U.S. !  Anyway, here are some pix of the boat on offer.

The Craigslister describes the boat as a "Challenger" Moth but she is clearly a Cates-Florida design.  I like the great white shark paint theme!

The sail is from the Fred Bremen loft down in Miami, FL.  Was this boat originally part of the Miami YC Moth fleet?

The transom is deeper than that of a stock Cates-Florida boat.  One wonders who build her?  She appears to be wood construction and sports a center main sheet arrangement which was only seen in a few Moths in the 1960s.

 Those in the mid-west who may be reading this post can contact the seller for more info via his ad:

Monday, June 6, 2016

Keeping the streak alive

Six Moth Boats, covering all three divisions (one Gen II, one Vintage and 4 Gen I boats) raced this past Saturday for the “makeup 2015 Carl Patterson Memorial Regatta", thereby maintaining an unbroken streak for the event.  Last October’s regatta was cancelled due to bad weather and, yes, weather permitting, there will be a 2016 edition of this event this coming October.  Of the six boats participating, one was brand new (Bill Boyle’s recently finished cedar strip Europe), one was the subject of an extensive restoration (Joe Courter’s ex-Griff) and one was David White’s ex-Joe Courter Maser sporting new roll tank decks.  Bob Patterson sailed his familiar Shelley and Mike Parsons sailed his Mistral.  Victor Stango sailed his plywood Lindenberg.

The wind was out of the SE and ranged between 0 and maybe 5 knots.  Additionally, when Bill and I arrived at the club, the Chester River was right at high tide (~3 feet above normal) and was busily in the process of emptying all that water back to the Chesapeake Bay.  This meant that the usual strong current which Chestertown is well known for was even stronger and remained so throughout the regatta.  The course was set such that the up wind legs were with the current.

We launched at 11am and squeezed in four races around a short, single triangle course which featured an upwind start and finish.  Mike Parsons arrived late and was DNS for the first race.  I found myself 4 minutes on the “on course” side of the starting line when the RC decided to blow the 3 minute warning for that heat!  Not good considering that I was sailing the slow Vintage boat.  I was a good minute behind the fleet once I recrossed the line, but I did manage recover enough to pick off poor David White, who was having main sheet problems, just before the end of that race.  The first race saw Bill Boyle score his best placing of the day, coming in second after Bob Patterson.  Mike joined us for the remaining 3 races and the fleet settled down to very consistent and predictable finishes as seen in the table below.  By being courteous enough to miss the first race, Mike finally allowed Bob to get his name on the Patterson trophy!

Sail Nr
Patterson, B
Overall winner, Gen I 1st
Parsons, M
Gen II 1st
Stango, V
2nd Gen I
Albaugh, G
1st Vintage
Boyle, B
3rd Gen I
White, D
4th Gen I

Bill had various teething problems with his new boat, but she showed moments of good performance and no doubt will be more highly placed at future events.  Likewise, David White has a few issues to resolve on his Maser but I’m sure with guidance from Victor and Bob, he will be much improved at the next event.  The newly rehabbed Griff also proved quick and it will be interesting to race Griff again at BYC in the presence of other Vintage Division boats.  Victor Stango has made several changes to his Lindenberg Moth and again it will be interesting to see how he stacks up in a larger group of Gen I boats.

Bill's new cedar strip Europe design.  My ride for the day (green Vintage hull) in the background.

Zooming in on the Europe.  Note that the cedar strips near the gunwale run fore and aft while the strips for the remainder of the hull run on a diagonal.  Bill started off installing strips at the 'wales but quickly learned that due to the shape of the molds he couldn't continue with that orientation.  If he builds a second one, all the strips would be laid out diagonally from the keel.

Bow shot.  Pretty boat.
Bill made his own retractable rudder stock from wood.
Bob Patterson's Shelley sported a new paint job.
New roll tank decks on David White's Maser.
My yacht for the day looked very much inclined to the bad habit of hooking the main sheet around the corners of the transom.  In practice the rudder and tiller helped prevent that.

A better look at Griff
Griff was built in 1947 for a member of the old Evening Star Yacht Club (Atlantic City).  After a brief spell with that club she was purchased by long term owners and moved to the Browns Mills Yacht Club, up on Mirror Lake, New Jersey.  Joe Courter bought her in the early 1990s and sailed her for several years.  Bill Boyle recently restored her back to racing condition.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Can this Moth be saved dept, Nr 2

Earlier I posted about a fiberglass Moth in desperate shape.  This time the Moth on offer is a wooden boat dating to somewhere in the early to mid-1950s.  The current owner took  possession of the boat after the previous owner threatened a bonfire.  Sadly, the current owner can't provide long term storage or a dry place to work on the boat or she'd keep it.  So while this boat has survived her long time owner's pyromania, her new lease on life is limited to the next two weeks.  If no one steps forward, this little yacht will be broken up for bulk trash pick up. Those interested can PM me at the email address found in my profile for contact info regarding this Moth.  A series of photos follows.

From this prospective the bow strongly resembles an Abbott Moth.  One can see the remnants of fiberglass cloth.  The current owner indicates that the wood beneath is stable and not rotten.

Port side view.  The fore deck is not typical of one of Fran Abbott's boats. Fran's boats had a softer crown rather that a peaked shape to the fore deck.  However, the darker wood may be a replacement deck.

Transom view.  Again, from this angle the boat looks very Abbott-like.

One can just make out the hull number under layers of old varnish--Nr 1493.  Checking the old Moth Class records I found a mention of this boat in  the Cooper River Moth fleet report from the year 1956.  However, the owner's name was not indicated.

Starboard side.
The frames are on 12 inch centers.
The rudder shape is like that seen on early Ventnor and Dorr Willey Moths.  Abbott's blade shapes were more evolved than the one seen here.

At the time of this post, the PO has looked in his garage and found the mast, dagger board, and sail so the story is getting a little better in terms of completeness. 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

More fun with dyneema

Some may recall an earlier rigging tips post where I shared a video which explained how to put eye splices in 12 strand dyneema line.  Yesterday I watched another video, posted on Scuttlebutt, which reveals how to make "soft shackles" out of the same type of line.  If you missed it here it is:

Sunday, February 28, 2016

2016 Classic Moth Boat Mid-Winter Regatta

The weekend of the 20th/21st of February was our annual slog down I-95 to Florida for the Mid-Winter regatta at Gulfport, Florida.  I think we've been racing  out of Gulfport YC now for at least ten years.  Before that we raced a couple of times from the Davis Island YC, and during the first few years the event then billed as "the meet in St. Pete" was sailed from  the St. Pete YC's small boat sailing center.   This year's weather was warm and inviting (temps in low 70s and sunny) all three days.  Winds were a bit on the soft side at times but for an old geezer easing back into a boat after a long layoff that was probably a blessing.

My regatta started off on the wrong foot when a few yards off the beach the halyard some how jumped out of the lock at the tip of the mast.  Being lazy, and with loads of time to spare, I allowed the wind to blow me back to the shore for a proper hoist rather than flipping the boat, swimming to the mast head and faffing about with the sail and halyard while trying to keep my nose above water.

Things did get better after that.

We had a decent NE breeze of about 10 knots for the first two races in which I did OK.

Then the wind started to drop and my brain went on holiday.  Around noon the sea breeze from the Gulf started to compete with the morning breeze and at that point the wind dropped to zero.  We bobbed up and down for the better part of an hour waiting for the sea breeze to fill in.

Eventually the sea breeze dominated, the Race Committee switched the race course 180 degrees (wind was now from the SW), and racing resumed.

Woody Kapp sailing his McCutcheon-built Shelley Mk I.  I have a fondness for racing pix which feature sparkling waters and palm trees in the background.

Tom Kapp, sailing a Europe gives his twin sibling a bit of shade.  Very thoughtful.

Lewis Hay came down from Charleston with eight others from that Classic Moth fleet.  Several of the Charleston sailors where sporting new sails designed by Ethan Bixby.  Some of the new sails were loose footed while others retained the bolt rope foot.  The jury is still out as to the merits of the loose foot design for a Classic Moth.  One obvious point is that without the support of the bolt rope in the foot, one needs to use a beefy boom if one's traveler is set up for center sheeting.  The stock Europe dinghy boom seems strong enough.

Another look at Lewis' sail.  In this shot the loose foot hasn't slipped over to the leeward side of the boom.

Jack Clark came over from Melbourne Beach, Florida with a round bilge Paul Lindenberg-designed Moth which was very similar to the Europe design in both looks and performance.  The boat was built using mahogany veneers and is almost too pretty to use.  One can see that his sail uses lacing to attach it to the boom and that the boom in this case has an aft traveler bridle to spread the load along the length of the light carbon boom.  Jack is hoping that a few Moths will come to Melbourne YC's annual spring regatta in mid-April.  If so it will be the first time in perhaps forty years that we've had a Moth regatta on both Florida coasts during the same year.  Four boats will get a separate start and save Jack from having to race Portsmouth style.

One can better see the loose footed Bixby sail in this photo of Rutledge Young's boat.  Rutledge sailed a better series than I did and at the end of the regatta bumped me off the podium by one point.  This broke my heart in that the prizes this year were big bottles of rum!

Jeff Linton was back sailing Mousetrap for the first time in several years.  He took top honors in the Gen II division.  Ethan Bixby was second in Gen II using a borrowed Mousetrap design Moth.

Mark Saunders' Mistral was third in Generation II.  Mark had a Bixby sail but opted to retain the bolt rope foot.

I was just off camera at this mark rounding gaggle of Gen I boats.

Frickie Martschink from Charleston borrowed this Europe and was top dog in Gen I.

The two Moustrap-design Moths.  Jeff L. is in Nr 102; Ethan Bixby is in Nr 103.

The winnings, sigh.
Mark receives his prize from Amy Linton.
As does Ethan.
Mr. Linton gets preferential treatment from the podium girl.
Rutledge, beer in one hand is about to receive "my" bottle of rum.  Rutledge--you dirty dog!  Congratulations!
Lewis taking the 2nd place award in the Gen I fleet.
Frickie took 1st in Gen I.  I do hope the Charleston gang made it safely home with all that hooch!  They had a clean sweep in my division.
A tip of the hat to my Photographer, IoW Len.  So, that's a wrap on this year's Mid-Winters.  If you have a Moth and didn't come race then shame on you--you missed a great event.