Thursday, July 10, 2014

2014 Brigantine Moth Boat Regatta Pix

All the "big wind" sailors who stayed home from this year's BYC Moth Regatta because of uncertainty over the status of the new club house missed a great event.  We had 9 boats: one vintage, 5 Gen I and 3 Gen II.  Yes, the clubhouse was slightly unfinished, but we did have flush toilets (you had to go to the bar to find a sink that worked to wash your paws, but come on--that's not a big deal).  And we had plenty of breeze out of the NW.  Enough to make the wires sing and produce white caps in front of the club dock.  Yes, launching was a PITA but once overboard the the racing was close and exciting.  Friday night, prior to the racing, Judy and Joe Courter wined and dined us as is their custom--good times!  The bottom line is that Bill Boyle took the Vintage award in his Abbott, Walt Collins, sailing his Europe won Gen I and John Z won Gen II sailing his Collins-constructed Mistral. 

Bob Patterson (Shelley Mk I) blew up after crossing the starting line during the first race and there were other casualties as the day worn on.  Next year we might be civilized enough for linen tablecloths and candle-lite, and yes, perhaps even complete plumbing in the restrooms but don't count on it!  What you can count on is a good day of racing.  Photo credit:  Ingrid Albaugh

Launching into the strong NW wind is always a bit of a hassle at BYC but nothing we can't deal with.

Drew--our RC.  Well done sir!
Lining up for the start of the 1st race.

A few seconds after the whistle.  Bob Patterson is Nr 217.

The fleet stretches out as we encounter a goodly gust.

That same gust ripped the center traveler horse out of Bob's Shelley!  Joe Courter tries not to run completely over Bob's sail...
Your old diarist had a good day out.
As did diaristson.  Say isn't Nr 43 Richard Petty's NASCAR number?  May have to paint that boat blue...
The jet ski kids were out in force but not a problem.
Vintage champ Bill Boyle in his Abbott Moth.  For those familiar with Fran Abbott's boat, the original hull number of this one is 1603.  Bill was borrowing a sail from Tweezerman for the day.
Walt Collins the Generation I champ in his Europe.
John Zseleczky sailing Walt's old Mistral Y2K Bug to victory in the Generation II division.  Hey John--time to finish Y2K2!
Occasionally I got lucky.
But most of the time I had a splendid view of Walt's transom.
While we were out racing, a young man from Maine arrived to buy Tweezer from Bill Boyle.  He rigged her up and sailed around a bit before packing up for the long ride back home.  Maine is getting to be a hot bed for Moth Boats.  Perhaps a northern regatta in a couple years?  Road Trip!
Back at the float at the end of the day.  Looking for my launching trolley and a beer.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Cape May Walkabout. What the traveler saw; it's all in the details.

Long term readers may recall my previous posts about Cape May.  If not you can see them here and here.  Diaristfamily is monotonously repetitive.  If we liked something last year, chances are good that we'll like it this year as well.  And so, dear reader, we once again embark on the hour long drive down the Garden State Parkway to Exit 0.  The main draw for the diaristwomen along for the ride is shoe shopping at Casale's on Washington Street and the Shoe Rack, just across.  Sadly, neither Casale's or the Shoe Rack ever seem to have my size in stock; this leaves your diarist unencumbered for an hour or so.  Did I remember the camera?  Well, yes, as a matter of fact I did.

A proper "Fred" bike very much like my old blue female Phillips 3-speed.  My bike doesn't have the front wire basket but does have collapsible wire rear baskets similar to the ones above.  A most suitable conveyance to/from the island liquor store.  

As you might have guessed from the title above I'm going to zero in on small differences and details during this stroll.  The row of cottages above is a good as any starting point.

How many differences can you see in this photograph?  (sort of like those picture puzzle photos in the Sunday newspaper)  The three houses, white, grey and yellow all have porches but all have acquired differences over the years.  The grey house has a second story porch while the white house does not.  The main porch of the white house has arched trim unlike its neighbors.  Two of the houses have retained the decorative piece at the roof peak.  One could spend hours picking the picture apart.

I liked the various shades of green on this house:  the main sea foam green is contrasted against the darker shades of the shutters, awnings, and foliage.  All those greens are set against the verticality of the porch columns, railings and awning stripes.
When walking around Cape May one needs to look down as well as up.  I like this solution of mixing "hardscape" with "softscape".  The grass growing in a symmetrical pattern provides visual interest as well as more practical percolation for this driveway.

A vision through the equisetum.

OK, a less arty view.  I like the mahogany doors and cedar shakes on this little garage--or is it more noble-- a boat house perhaps?

Here I liked the interplay between the hanging basket and the tapered columns.
The swirling snickarglädje (carpenter's joy is a close translation) above the second story porch roof of this house evokes creamy breaking waves on a blue sea.

If this house had twin chimneys it would look like a steam boat plowing through the foliage!

"For ladies & gentlemen on seaside holiday".  A tad pretentious or merely an innocent attempt to capture the phraseology of a supposedly more genteel era?  You decide.

Another "grand" bit of signage.

I find this little sign a bit more welcoming.

This porch interested me because it was built on a diagonal.  Kinda reminds me of a "cow-catcher" on a steam locomotive.
Zooming in on the porch details.
The greens played against the cream are very soothing.

I could see myself sitting on that porch, with an appropriate beverage of course--more the life of a dilettante than a proper gentleman.

This little roof adds interest and practically to the adjoining doorway.  House painters in this town will NEVER go hungry.

One of the best signs in town.  The lunch menu is limited but well done.

After a successful hunt at Casale's the diaristwomen were kind enough to save me seat.

The sky that day looked more like fall than early summer.
The crisscrossed mono-filament above the lighting is a sea gull deterrent.
This pair of laughing gulls were desperate to figure it out.  We finished before they could.

Back at diarist HQ after a good day out.  Daylilies in our garden.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Beach Reading

Diaristfamily spent the last two weeks at the beach.  I brought along some reading material but I always like to browse the island library's "used books for sale" department.  Most of the donated books are either trashy paperback bodice-rippers or poorly written sci-fi or detective novels.  It never ceases to amaze me what the large majority of peeps on my island read.  Very occasionally my search through the dreck unearths a book worthy of the fifty cents to one dollar asking price.  It doesn't take much of a hunt to thrill your old diarist.  This year's find was a short novel by British author Gibson Cowan called The log of the Pelican.

Well worth my 50 cents.

The story is set in East Africa during the early stages of World War II.  The Pelican is a small sailing yacht owned by an absentee American owner.  The owner wants the boat sailed from the Suez to the east coast of the US.  A British ex-pat replies to a small newspaper ad and without much of an interview is added to a crew of miss-fits and ne'er-do-wells who, without proper documentation or preparation, start off down the Red Sea towards Mombasa.

Back in 1952 this book sold for 12 schillings and 6 pence--about $25.00 in today's money--about the price of a typical hard bound book today but considerably more of an out lay in those days of lower wages.

Reproduction of an Admiralty chart.  One could have navigated by the inside leaves of this book!
When I marched up to the librarian to make my purchase, she said "Ah yes, I almost bought this one myself.  There were two different titles dropped off."  I took my find home, grabbed a beach chair and finished the little book off in a day and a half.  I returned to the library in hopes of finding the other book, entitled The voyage of the Evelyn Hope but someone beat me to it.  I'll keep checking back.  Sometimes a book reappears after the initial buyer reads it.  So, how would I describe this book?  It was a very good beach read.  The style is that of Nevil Shute:  proper character development and a well crafted scene with important details of the boat, the passage, the complications of war time restrictions on movement, etc. fleshed out.  I'd give it a two star recommendation--very much worth reading if you stumble across a copy as I did.  I searched ebay in vain for the other title but did find several copies of the Log of the Pelican on offer, so copies aren't too hard to find if I've piqued your curiosity.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Another Ventnor Moth Boat returns to the water

Although this photo is a little fuzzy it shows the recently restored Ventnor of Don Janeway slipping across a lake in Tennessee. 
Along with another vintage era Moth back on the water after 50 years ashore, Don indicates that there's now another sail maker gaining experience building sails for our boats:  Mark Weinheimer in Oriental, NC made the sail (  Don provided some Ronstan plastic luff lugs which he modified to fit the Ventnor's mast slot and Weinheimer installed grommets rather than the traditional rings in the foot of the sail.  In the photo, the sail looks fine.  Don said that he plans to replace the original wire shrouds, replace a floorboard which cracked during the test sail and at some point built a new wishbone tiller to replace the unoriginal straight stick the boat currents has.    Don lives in Chapel Hill, NC so hopefully we'll see this boat at the Nationals in Elizabeth City this coming September.

Don's Ventnor, stern view.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Maine Moth Update

Back in April I posted that Moths were under construction up at Cottrell's Boat Yard in Searspoint.  Yesterday Lynn Cottrell sent me some photos of their progress.  Since that initial report, Cottrells have started a second Moth.

The first hull is to the right.  One can immediately see the difference in volume between the two boats.  Hull Nr 2 is shallower and more closely resembles Mint, particularly when viewed from the stern.
Here's a bow shot of the two boats.  Both boats feature a full bow section rather than the hollow bow as in the original Bill Lee design. The full bow should be faster than the original design but also will provide a wetter ride for the skipper.  It will be interesting to see how these boats perform once they hit the water.  Glad to see that it's warm enough in Maine for Dandelions!
  Compare Dale's Moths with the period photo (below) of Charlie Fuller's Presto.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

John Z's Mistral; May Update

John is working away on his new boat.  There's no rush as he has the old boat as a back up.  His target completion date is to have the new boat ready in time for the Brigantine regatta (14th of June) but that might not happen.  Let's see how he's getting on since our last update.

This photo shows the installation of the side walls of the cockpit buoyancy tanks.  John has opted for slab sided tanks rather than the"rolled" side tanks popularized by Joe Bousquet.  John indicated that a 3mm sheet would take the bend he wanted between the aft cockpit bulkhead and the main forward bulkhead but a 6mm thick panel would not.  Hence the extra clamps and bits of temporary timber bracing while the resin kicked off between the two layers of the tank wall.

John also added ply doublers to the cockpit sole, effectively increasing the thickness from 3mm to 6mm in the "stomping" area of the hull.  Vacuum bagging ensures that there are no resin voids and/or excess resin between the two layers.  John used butyl tape to seal the bag edges against the previously epoxy-coated surface of the hull.

Shaving down the inwhales to the correct angle for the deck.

Adding wood strips to the top faces of the bulkheads and gussets.  These will provide attachment surfaces for the decking.

John coated the inside of the boat with epoxy.  This not only helps preserve the wood but also increases the stiffness of the bendy 3mm ply and thus helps prevent the hull from "oil canning" as it knifes through chop.

I don't know how John keeps his work area so tidy!

One of several gussets which John has added after receiving some input from fellow builder Joe Bousquet.  This one ties the transom to the stern deck brace.