Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The resurrection of Swiss Miss Part One: A rogue Moth "comes in from the cold".The

Fellow  Mothist, Chris Hart was moving to New England.  He had an old fiberglass, Fletcher-built "Swiss" Moth that he couldn't take with him.  He offered the boat to me--I seem to be the home of last resort for wayward Moth Boats.  I'm sort of the Moth Boat version of a crazy cat lady.  Of course I took her.  I couldn't see salvageable Moth going to the curb for bulk trash removal.  It took me a while to place the boat but eventually I found the right home for her in the hands of Joe Bousquet.  Joe's wife Susan glares at me whenever our paths cross...

Actually, after a bath which removed a lot of the grunge, she doesn't look too bad.

The generous amount of keel rocker is evident in this photo, as is an ominous piece of duct tape, no doubt covering a crack in the gel coat.

Another bit of duct tape on the starboard side.

The Swiss design (aka: Dunand) has a fuller bow than the Mistral.  More bits of duct tape!  One can see from my roof rack straps that this boat will not pass the CMBA's string test due to the small winglets extending from the main deck.

That lip needs to come off.  Bedsides, rats have been gnawing on the stern corner.

A closer view of a quick and dirty racer's repair.

The hull has some dents as well.

One of the two sails that came with the boat. A Ratsey and Lapthorn.

The other sail was a Seidelmann.  This sail is an interesting piece of Moth Boat history in that it was a transition sail between the low aspect and high aspect rigs.  Basically, the hoist and foot lengths are as per the circle-M rig but the sail has an enormous roach.  These sails permitted sailors with low aspect rigs to compete (not well, mind you) against the tall, high aspect Aussie rigs.  It was OK as a stop gap until one could afford new spars and a proper sail after the rule change in the late 1960s.

The blades were typical of their time.  Solid mahogany with little attention to shape.

Fletcher used this kick up rudder design with the massive stainless steel stock on several Moth designs from this boat's era.

This shows the kick up part of the program.  Useful for beach launches but one wonders if the shape provides enough area for good control as the wind pipes up.

The remaining photos in this section are ones which Chris provided before I picked the boat up from his family's summer home.

She'd been living outdoors for a while.

A bit tatty but basically sound.

More duct tape!

Chris set the boat up.

Originally, the Swiss came with a massive free-standing spruce mast.

The original boom was also wood but at some point an aluminum replacement was fitted.

A split in the glass deck.

Laser style vang.

With that amount of vee one wonders if she'll stand upright at the dock.

The bow shot is perhaps the most appealing.  Part two of this saga will take us through Joe B's deck-off transformation of this poor old dear from a rough  beach toy to a National Champion.  Stay tuned.


  1. That's quite a bit of rocker in the keel - she would make a good Moth cruising hull - all she needs is a little cuddy cabin.

  2. I think the Swiss Moth would make a very nervous candidate for a cruising Moth! She a little more stable than the round bilge Mistral design, which has so much rocker it won't stand up a the dock if unattended--but not much more stable!

  3. Yes, I think you are correct - looking a bit more at the photos I can see the deep V sections wouldn't make her very 'stand alone stable' as it were. A cruising moth then obviously requires two things in the hull, flatish sections and a deep rocker.

    1. Alden: Look at the index on the right side of my blog and click on "camping moth" for a couple of "wholesome" examples.