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.