In his will Bill left me with the remains of his 1963 International Moth Class Association World Championship winning boat Pegasus. The boat has an easily remembered hull/sail number: 2345. For those of us who raced Moths back in those years, Bill, Pegasus and her distinctive alternating blue and white striped Seidelmann sail are permanently etched in our memory banks. Last week I went up to the Schill family home in New Jersey to help Bill's brother Dave sort through the accumulation of Moth boats, spars, sails etc. and at that time we loaded Pegasus onto the roof racks of my station wagon for the ride back to Maryland. Bill had sold the boat in 1964, after an unsuccessful bid to defend his title, in order to generate the funds to buy a new boat. Pegasus quickly disappeared but was rediscovered years later by Mike Albert's father in a boatyard down on the Sassafras River, a tributary of the upper Chesapeake Bay. Mike repaired and raced the boat for several seasons and won the CMBA's National Championship in 1997. Mike was accepted for Medical school the following year and Bill approached him about reacquiring Pegasus. Mike agreed and Bill was reunited with his old boat. By this point Pegasus was getting very long in tooth and although Bill did install a new deck it became clear that she really needed a total restoration. The boat was put into storage, new ply panels and other materials were ordered but sadly Bill didn't get the opportunity.
For me Pegasus is a very mixed blessing. I'm happy to have the opportunity to take this important item of Moth boating history under my wing but right now I'm swamped with several other Moth restorations! Some adjusting of priorities will need to take place but I'm determined to bring Pegasus back to the same condition as my other World Champ Moth Mint. The photos which follow document Pegasus as she currently stands. Wish me luck--I'm going to need it!
|Pegasus in the early morning light. She still retains her aggressive keel line. While not as tricky to sail as a Mistral, many sailors unfamiliar with Moths would still find the Cates-Florida design a trifle unsettling at first blush.|
|Although from this distance the boat appears to need only minor repairs and paint a closer inspection reveals holes and blisters through out the ply bottom skins.|
|The hull is riddled with holes, blisters and soft spots.|
|The plywood panels have perished. Victims of both the weather and fungal rot.|
|Clearly this project is not for the faint of heart.|
|Pegasus's dagger board trunk, unlike the stock Cates item is unsupported at the front and instead, gains lateral stiffness courtesy of the center traveler horse.|
|Like many of the current Moths, Bill could adjust the rake of Pegasus's mast while under way. The jaw terminal seen here is attached to a piece of stainless stay wire running through the small bit of tubing emerging from the stem fitting. The jaw attaches to the bow stay on one end and the block and tackle system inside the cockpit in the preceding photograph.|
|The side stays were also adjustable via highfield levers. This rigging was quite advanced for a Moth Boat in the early 1960s.|
|Yes, I'm carefully labeling things as I disassemble hardware from the boat.|