Saturday, April 19, 2014

More Shreveport Moths

Readers may recall an earlier post on this blogspot that addressed the subject of Moth Boats down in the Shreveport, Louisiana area.  Recently I was contacted by Frank Hendrick.  Frank's father Dale Hendrick was part of the Shreveport Moth Fleet during the late 1930s.  Frank plans to  build a replica of his father's boat based on several similar early Moth designs which I've shared with him.  What follows are some period photos which Frank shared with me.  They show Dale Hendrick sailing the Moth Boat which he built in those days.

Dale Hendrick, 1937.

The cockpit of a Moth was roomy enough for two in the era before boom vangs and other sail shape control clutter.

However, this photo reveals the large pivoting center board, which in the raised position occupies most of the cockpit!  Center boards offer certain advantages over dagger boards during beach launching.

Moving away from the beach, board still up.

Stern view.

Bow shot.  Note the large spreader used to keep the mast in column.

Dale Hendrick (dark suit) is to the right of the gent in the light grey suit (marked as Nr 10) in this group photo of Shreveport Moth Fleet from the spring of 1938.  Sadly the Shreveport Yacht Club appears not to have retained any record of Moth Boat activities from this era so we don't have any idea of how often these members raced.  However the Hendrick family photos clearly demonstrate that the idea of building and racing small development class dinghies was not isolated to the east coast.  It would be interesting to hear the stories of other fleets which grew and flourished away from the mainstream of Moth Boat activity during these early days.

In many respects Dale Hendrick's Moth is very similar to Skimmer the Moth designed by William  F. Crosby, then editor of The Rudder magazine.  Skimmer was featured in a two part article which was published in the October and November 1933 editions of the magazine.  Both the Circle-M and Moth insect silhouette insignia (as seen on the sail in the drawing above) were in use during the first few years of the Moth Class.  Indeed, Australian sailors who were also sailing eleven foot development style dinghies in the '30s read these articles, noted the measurement rule similarities and adopted the name "Moth" for their boats.  There were differences between the American and Australian boats but this being the height of the great depression and with the two groups 13,000 miles apart, no attempt was made to rationalize the two sets of rules. Thus, very early on, the Moth Boat started to evolve into different "species".  The International Moth Class Association uses the Moth silhouette to this day.  The Americans and also the British Moth Class settled on the Circle-M.

Moths of this era typically have "transom" bow plates rather than sharp stems.  Decks tend to be "flat iron", without any hint of crown and, as noted, early designs had pivoting center boards.  The "jab" or "dagger" style board was introduced a few years later and by the end of the 1930s competitive Moth designs had moved to the dagger board.

Details of Skimmer's body plan.

Monday, March 31, 2014

So you wanna go Moth foiling?

I don't know anything about this boat other than what the seller discloses in the ad; that and the notion of hydrofoiling involves way too much exercise for your inherently lazy old diarist, but YOU, friend, can check it out here: 

With a price of only $3K this must be the cheapest intro to hydrofoil sailing on the planet.  Sounds like somebody got tired of their beach toy...

Friday, March 21, 2014

2014 Gulfport Collage

The last weekend in February, ten Classic Moths turned out for this year's edition of the CMBA Mid-Winter Regatta.  Once again we were hosted by the always friendly and efficient members of the Gulfport YC.  Photo credits:  Diaristwoman and Lennie Parker.  Although this was a two day regatta I have only pix from Sunday's action as Diraristwoman and Amy Parker stayed ashore doing girly stuff (aka: shopping) leaving IoW Len as the lone ranger on the mark boat.

Once off I-95 and trailering down Route 301, one always gets a friendly reminder that you're in central Florida.

Sunday started off foggy with almost no wind.  This was a duplicate of Saturday's conditions.

Mark Saunders' Mistral Spyder along side of Frickie Martschink, sailing Lewis Hays' Skol, Mean Tangerine during one of the early races of the day.

Can't see the shore.  Walt Collins along side of Rutledge Young, both in Europes.  We were instructed to abandon a race in progress if we lost sight of the next mark of the course.  The Race Committee was very concerned with several operators of high speed power boats who seemed oblivious to the conditions.  Fortunately no Moth Boats were harmed in the running of this regatta.
John Siegling making his way to the starting line in his Savannah Wedge design Moth.

Mark in Spyder up wind of Walt in YourUp.  Walt's rudder is still up due to shallow water near the launch area.

A close look at Greg's loose footed sail with full battens.  So far, Greg is the only one to explore a loose footed sail after the rule change.

Mean Tangerine.

Lewis Hay sailed his Europe.

The day gradually brightened as the fog burned off.

Your diarist borrowed a sail for this regatta (Nr 115).

Mark well in front at the weather mark in this very light air race.

The breeze did fill in but never with much authority.

Looks glassy.

John Z. trying to stay awake.

Your old diarist.

A stern view of the Skol design.  The Skol's transom is slightly narrower than the Mistral.  Additionally, the Skol lacks the Mistral's flat stern quarter sections and is thus slightly more treacherous than the Mistral.  Frickie had good boat speed and won one of the races.

The fleet sails back to GYC's beach at the conclusion of racing.  Our weekend of Florida warmth was over all to soon--sigh. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Copenhagen Wheel--something for my cycling readers to love/hate.

I'm just a messenger but this sounds like a great idea if you cycle in areas with a lot of hills.  The wheel captures energy normally lost on the down hill part of a ride as electricity and then kicks in if you want a boost up that next steep section that normally stings the legs.  Check it out:

Saturday, March 1, 2014

What a difference a year makes.

Dear constant reader,

You may recall when I posted about last year's Mid-Winter Classic Moth Boat Regatta down in Gulfport, FL that I included a couple of pix of a very forlorn looking Mistral Moth.  The more sensitive viewers may wonder what came of the poor old dear.

The ex-Scott Sandell Mistral Holland Tunnel  Nr 77.

Looking very down at the heel.  Was she cannibalized for parts and then quietly cut up and thrown in the tip?

Well, I can report that the old girl has found a new owner (Joe, sorry didn't get the last name) and a new vision as a potential entrant for the 2015 edition of the Everglades Challenge Race

Moth sailor Jeff Linton has entered this year's 300 mile event with a much modified Flying Scot (aka: FrankenScot).  His adventure beings off Fort De Soto Park this Saturday (1st of March).  You can read about his race here.  The boats will carry GPS trackers.  For those wishing to follow Jeff's progress, FrankenScot is a Class 4 boat and Jeff's Water Tribe name is Captain TwoBeers. 

Meanwhile, get a load of the new Holland Tunnel.

She's now a trimaran.

Note the bowsprit and asymmetric chute.

Very pretty from this angle with just 5 knots of breeze.

Port side view.  The amas provide stability for the tippy Mistral hull.

A bit of splash from the leeward ama in this photo.

Along side of Walt Collins' Europe.  Some of the CMBA members would love to have that fat head mainsail.

Nice looking conversion.

With the chute furled the skipper can keep the amas out of the water.

Love the red sails.

Holland Tunnel's new owner indicated that old HT is the test bed for his planned 2015 Challenge entry. He entered a 100 mile race up in Jacksonville.  That race was cancelled but he sailed the hundred miles away to see how she handled.  He'll continue to sail her as a trial horse to see what breaks and what needs modification over the course of this year.  His entry for next year's Challenge Race will have a fiberglass hull, also based on the Mistral Moth design.