Tuesday, August 11, 2015

24th BYC Moth Regatta Photo Collage

Those who follow my figure skating blog no doubt know that I took a spill awhile back.  Now that my head no longer aches and my vision isn't blurry I suppose I'd best get some pix posted from this year's regatta.  Many Thanks to diaristdaughter for being the designated photographer and diaristwoman for helping not only with lunches but many other behind the scene tasks as well.  The Courters are also to be thanked for hosting their always well enjoyed pre-regatta party.  This event wouldn't take place without lots of help.   Next year this regatta turns 25!

Rigging up.  I borrowed the white Ventnor (nr868).  We had 14 boats with at least three in each of the divisions (Vintage, Gen I and Gen II).

Victor Stango gets down to business in his Lindenberg Moth.
One of the starts.  I'm late as usual (one can see the bow of the Ventnor just entering the photo on the far left).  Joe Bousquet (Nr 48) is sailing my newly configured all wooden Europe.  Tweezerman is sailing Nr 105.

A bit busy at the marks.

Bob Patterson in his Mk I Shelley.

Bill Boyle's Abbott (Nr 1603), also a Vintage boat.

Greg Duncan's Connecticut (Nr 1667) rounds out the Vintage fleet.  At one point I owned that boat.  Shouldn't of sold her!

Ed Salva (Nr 10) had a good day out.

My son Erik (Nr 43) hoping not to get pinwheeled off at the mark by Joe Courter (Nr 40)!

Greg showed the rest of the vintage fleet his transom most of the day.

After the second race I headed in to adjust the outhaul.  The leech on this sail was way too tight.  I wish I'd had a chance to sail this boat before the regatta!  She's a good boat and with a bit of tuning could be competitive with the others.

That's not a Moth!

At times I was able to push the Ventnor's bow up with the other boats.

Nr 217 was the sail number of Bob Patterson's father's Comet class boat.

John Z. leads Joe Bousquet.  Nr 48 was not quite finished in time for this regatta but Joe did fine in spite of some of the controls not exactly being user friendly.

John Z. sailing Y2K Bug--we keep waiting for him to finish the new boat!

Tweezerman took top honors in the Gen I fleet.

Greg was the vintage division winner at the end of the day.

Mike Parsons, Nr 79 took 1st in Gen II.  And that's all folks!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

24th Annual BYC Classic Moth Regatta

Where did 24 years go?  Diaristwoman and I have been organizing this event for almost a quarter century.  I probably should wait until we hit 25 years before pounding my chest, but hell, I might be dead before then.

For this year's edition I'm expecting 14 boats with at least three in each CMBA division.  So far that includes 4 boats in Generation II (the greyhounds of the fleet), 7 in Gen I and 3 in Vintage.  I'll be sailing Bill Boyle's vintage Ventnor providing he doesn't destroy the boat before arriving at the venue.  Yesterday he dropped the mast which broke right at the hounds!  After a furious afternoon of glass and epoxy work he has kludged the poor dear back together.  I told him that he need not break the boat just to avoid having a little competition!  Is he getting nervous?  You decide.  Below is a pix of my ride, taken this afternoon following completion of mast repairs.

Both Bill and I started our Moth racing careers in identical Ventnor Moths.

Joe Bousquet will also make an appearance after a long hiatus.  He'll be sailing my woodie Europe Gypsy which has been in his keeping for the past three years (getting a fore deck replacement).  I can't wait to see the boat once again on the water--this time in the hands of a much better sailor!

If you live close, (Baydog), then come on down to Brigantine Yacht Club (10th Street and Bayshore Ave. Brigantine) this Saturday for a close up look at a wide range of Moth designs.  Skipper's meeting is at 10 am, first whistle soon thereafter.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

A French Moth

Back in the late 1950s, when I was starting out as a racer, we in southern New Jersey were just beginning to appreciate that there were Moth designs in overseas countries. France in particular seemed to be a hot bed of innovative thinking, introducing technologies from the Finn and other advanced dinghies to the Moth Class.  Things like free standing rotating masts, center of the boat travelers, and sealed roll tank side decks which not only provided buoyancy but were much more comfortable than traditional decks as well.  By the early 1960s, boats were trickling into the country, imported by companies such as the Nautica Corporation.  One of those Moths, built by the Lanaverre boat works was dubbed "the French Moth".

Although I have not been able to substantiate the claim, the Lanaverre Moth has been attributed to Christian Maury.  Maury, who worked his entire career for Lucien Lanaverre is perhaps best known as the designer of the International 420 which is to this day widely used in High School and Collegiate sailing competitions.

Recently a Lanaverre Moth has popped up for sale in the Norfolk, Virginia area.  What follows are photos of the Lanaverre Moth from that listing.

Although the hull is true to form, this example has had a number of modifications to the rig and hardware.

It this photo one can see that the original center traveler has been removed and replaced with a simple transom bridle.  Additionally, the foot of the sail is laced to the boom rather than employing the original bolt rope.  One wonders if the original boom broke and the current boom is a replacement.  Note the roll tank side decks which not only contribute to the buoyancy of this boat but also provide for spacious and comfortable cockpit.  This cockpit is a far cry from the cramped arrangements one generally sees with other Moth designs of this era.

Another departure from the original specification, is that the mast, which does appear to be correct for the boat, now sports a three stay rig rather than being free standing.  Whether or not the mast is still capable of rotation can not be determined from the photographs.

Red (and other color) sails were quite the rage in the early 1960s and to a degree are making a come back.  If you have a colored sail you need to stay at the head of the pack when racing since your position in the fleet will be obvious!

A better look at the added standing rigging.  Perhaps the stays were added in deference to the age of the spar?  I would think that originally the halyard would have cleated at the tip of the bendy mast rather than near deck level as it appears in this photo.

The over hanging edge of the decks might not pass the current Classic Moth sting test rule which demand no more than a one inch departure anywhere aft of the beginning of the centerboard trunk slot.  Due to the boat's age a waver might be granted.  Interested parties can contact the seller via this Craigslist ad:  http://norfolk.craigslist.org/boa/5051539341.html
Here is an ad for the Lanaverre Moth; page 44 from the 1960/61 issue of Moth Doings.  Back in the early 60s my father and I went to Paramus and looked these boats.  We decided against buying one when the salesman asked if there were any Challenger Moths at our regattas.  At that point in time the Challenger was an obsolete design.  My father reflected that if this boat was struggling against Challengers then it wouldn't stand a chance against a well sailed Cates-Florida, which was the dominant design at the time.  I've only seen a couple of these boats over the years and never in competition.  A pity since they probably were more advanced than we realized. After a short production run Lanaverre switched over to make Europa Moths.  The Europa Moth went on to become the Olympic Europe dinghy but that's another story.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Wicked Good Day at the Beach

This past three-day weekend, which included Memorial Day, marks the unofficial start of summer. This is particularly so within the small communities along the shore.  And although most businesses look forward to the influx of tourists ("have to make it during the season, ya know")  most residents dread the up tick in traffic, long lines at the island liquor store, etc. and so look forward to the other three-day weekend which marks the unofficial end of summer--Labor day, in early September.

The view from the cut in the dune at the oceanward end of 22nd St. is timeless.  The beach grass and bayberries which stabilize the dune quickly give way to the arid vegetation-free zone of constantly salted beach.  If you study the sea in the background you can just make out whitecaps.  There was a strong SW wind all weekend long.  This did not keep people from attempting to lay about in beach chairs but the chill air and the sandblasting tended to make lazy beach reading a bit of a chore.  The west wall of the Gulf Steam is far beyond the horizon.  We occasionally get lucky with  random Gulf Stream eddies which radiate landward off the west wall, and the wall itself can move in and out, but from my perspective the water temp in May is suitable only for those below the age of 12 or those wearing a wetsuit. 
A few of the island's beaches did have life guards over the long weekend.  Looking towards the beach at 26th St. revealed a goodly crowd.  Full life guard coverage doesn't start until the end of June.  Beach tags go from the preseason cost of $15.00 each to $18.00 each on the 1st of June.

The old hotel, built during the initial land boom in 1927, survived another winter.  In a couple years it will be 90 years old.  I remember back in 1977, a local bakery baked a huge cake in the shape of the hotel to honor its 50th year.  Fifty years seemed like a big deal back then when I was a good bit younger than fifty!

Another tell tale sign of the arrival of summer is the renewed flights of banner planes.

This one staggered slowly across the sky into the face of the 20 knot breeze like a fat old bumble bee .  No doubt the exposed engine makes life easier for the mechanic but one would think that having a streamlined cowling would help aerodynamics.

I had no idea what "Wicked" was all about so I googled it for you.  Apparently it's a musical that retells the story of the Wizard of Oz from the various witches' perspectives.  The producers must be trolling the beaches for a New York crowd since South Jersey isn't included as an off Broadway stop for this show.  Personally, I find it easier to relate to banners instructing me to drink beer or buy a particular brand of sunscreen.  As the plane and its banner gradually got smaller I reluctantly crossed the dune and returned to my spring chores of removing storm glass, installing screens, mending the drive way gates and pulling weeds.  The annual BYC Classic Moth Regatta is just four weeks away!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Maser for sale

Ah, the Maser--a Moth made out of a slack Laser hull.  Boats like this which are "re-purposed" rather than taken to the dump are sometimes referred to as "Franken Moths".  Over the years we've seen different attempts to take cast-off freebie hulls from another class and use them as the basis for a Moth.  Some of the more memorable ones include the Franken Fish (cut down Sun Fish hull), a Fire Ball-based Moth and even a Moth built from the first eleven feet of a dead Flying Dutchman.  

Returning to the object of today's post, some Maser Frankies are better than others and this particular adaptation is one of those.

The first Maser was built by Mark Saunders.  Mark wanted a durable, stable boat suitable for his then young children.  He took an old Laser hull, cut the bow off at the knuckle and brought the new bow back together, à la stitch and glue, against a cedar fence picket to form a plumb bow.  He then measured back eleven feet and sawed off the excess length.  After gutting the hull and installing new plywood decks, bulkheads and a centerboard trunk he had created what he was looking for--a stable Moth Boat that was brick-solid and suitable for the abuse that early learners dish out.  Joe Bousquet looked at Mark's efforts and created a second Maser, much like Mark's but with a free standing rig.  Both of these boats served their purpose of introducing new sailors to Moth Boats.  The Bousquet boat survives to this day.

Another quick and dirty Maser, much like the first pair was constructed by Norfolk area sailors, Al Whitener and Randy Stark.  After sailing their boat this pair decided that the initial concept was OK but merely measuring back eleven feet from the newly created plumb bow and hacking off the excess footage produced a hull with a lot of wetted surface.  Clearly more could be done with the lines offered by the original Laser hull.  After a bit of thought Al and Randy resorted to a more radical approach.  In addition to gutting the hull, i. e., cutting out the decks, CBT, and bulkheads and then performing a "nose job" creating the plumb bow, why not do a "C-section" as well to retain the best parts of the Laser--the bow and transom sections?  So instead of hacking off the boat at its widest point (creating a big, draggy transom) the pair took a jig saw and made careful Vee cuts just ahead and just behind the original CBT.  That center part of the Laser, which includes the original, heavy CBT, was discarded and the remaining bow and stern sections were reunited using unidirectional glass tape.  With a bit of experimentation they came up with a Vee cut procedure which allowed the bow and stern sections to dovetail back together with a minimum of fairing and futzing.  This approach produced a fairly stable, round bilge hull which could then be tanked and decked to produce a Moth which came in at the CMBA's minimum hull weight of 75 lbs.  Al and Randy build two of these boats and they have proven quite competitive within the ranks of the intended Generation I fleet.  The late Bill Schill built several more and Merv Wescoat built one as well.

The Maser currently for sale is the first of the pair which Al and Randy built and is the one which Al raced.  She currently has her side tank decks removed and is offered for sale as a project by her current owner Joe Courter of Absecon, New Jersey:

MAZER - $500 or best offer.  Needs new cockpit decks.

1)  Custom pivoting deck mounted fiberglass mast
2)  Aluminum boom
3)  Kick up rudder
4)  Sunfish dagger board
5)  Sail
6)  All stays and fittings

Contact:  Joe Courter   home:  609 484-1724  office:  609 296-1005