Friday, February 15, 2013

Foiler Moths at James Island Yacht Club

The U.S. International Moth guys wanted an East Coast Regatta series as a tune up for the upcoming Moth Worlds to be held in Hawaii in October.  James Island Yacht Club (near Charleston, South Carolina) is hosting a series of regattas on three dates (11-13 Jan; 15-17 Feb; 12-14 April) to contest the North American Championship.  The Youtube video shows some of the action from the January racing.  This video, although blurry in spots, captures the speed of hydrofoiling Moths better than most which I've seen and also demonstrates the difference in speed between foil borne boats and those that have dropped down to "low rider" mode.  A good example of this differential can be observed at about the 1:00 minute mark as the leaders go around the first mark.  The boat in second place drops off her foils during the mark rounding and is immediately gobbled up by the next two boats which stay up on their foils during the maneuver.  Towards the end, there appears to be a little argie-bargie between two boats at about the 2:40 mark in the video!  Enjoy.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

2013 RYA Dinghy Show

A sea of interesting racing dinghies and not a big tub in sight.  This year's RYA Dinghy Show will be held on the 2-3 March at Alexandra Place, London.  Some year I'm going to save up my pennies and jet over to experience this.  There is nothing in this country that remotely compares.  More info here.

Monday, February 11, 2013

John Z's new Moth--Building the mast tube

Picking up from the last post, here we see that John has installed some of the permanent bulkheads and support framing for the stern deck.

This post documents the construction of the mast tube for the semi-free standing rig which John plans to use in this boat.  Here, he is using a piece of conduit slightly larger in diameter than the mast as a form for the tube.  He first wrapped the conduit with wax paper and plastic sheeting to prevent the carbon cloth from bonding to the conduit and then scotch taped the end of the dry cloth to the plastic film before wetting out the cloth.

Next, he rolls the carbon cloth, plus a piece of peel ply tightly around the pipe. John lets the epoxy resin kick off without the benefit of a vacuum bag.  Experience has taught him that the vacuum bag tends to leave nasty longitudinal wrinkles which detract from the strength of the finished tube.

After the epoxy resin has cured, John removed the tube from the conduit form and sliced it in half lengthwise.  The reason for this is that John wants to be able to change the rake of the mast.  The oval spacer will permit the required range of fore and aft movement at the deck partner.  The mast will rotate in the tube and rake will be controlled via block and tackle connected to the bow stay of the semi-free standing (no side shrouds) rig.

The keel end of the mast tube is replaced over the piece of conduit while the wood spacer controls the shape of the tube at the top end.  The mast tube was made larger than required to allow the wood spacer to be cut off with the excess after the side walls have been added.

With one side wall finished, John removes the peel ply and repeats the process on the remaining side to complete the rough tube.

The finished mast tube before trimming to the required height.

The temporary bulkhead called for in the Mistral plans must be removed so that the mast tube can be properly located.  Here John takes off the bevels to fit a temporary brace which will prevent the bow of the hull from twisting after the bulkhead has been removed.
Bevels also must be captured so that the keel support for the bottom of the mast tube can be fabricated.
The mast tube trial fitted in the boat.  Yes, it is a bit crooked due to the bottom of the tube being rough.  Trimming carbon fiber is very hard on saw blades.  John recommends using a diamond cutting wheel on a dremel tool instead.  He uses a wheel from this source:

Another look at the hull with the newly fabricated mast tube temporarily in place.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Bill Schill--Over the bar.

William (Bill) N. Schill, Jr. posing by his first Moth, Win-Bag, Nr 941 in the year 1958.   Win-Bag was a Ventnor design Moth very much like Elizabeth which I've introduced in last week's posts.  Five years after this photograph was taken Bill was International Moth Class Association World Champion.  For the past year Bill struggled with cancer.  This past Wednesday, I attended his funeral.  He was a year and a half older than myself.  Photo credit: David Schill.

I first met Bill in the early 1960s when he was campaigning this Fletcher-Cates Moth, Nr 2081.  The name of this boat escapes for the moment, but that's not important.  What this photo captures is Bill and his father in the process of cutting back the decks of the boat in order to make her lighter and also to convert her from a deck stepped mast to a keel stepped mast.  These experiments paved the way to Bill's championship winning Moth Pegasus, Nr 2345. Photo credit: David Schill.

As Bill's racing skills improved he caught the attention of both sail maker Bob Seidelmann and boat builder Blair Fletcher.  This advertisement featuring Bill sailing Moth Nr 2081 (a Fletcher-Cates) is from the 1963 issue of Moth Doings, the old class yearbook.

Bill flanked by his parents after winning the Moth Worlds in 1963.  This regatta was held at Larchmont Yacht Club which is located just north of New York City.  Photo credit: David Schill.

From deep within your diarist's archives:  Winning the Moth Worlds was a big deal in those days.  Big enough that a few years later Yachting Magazine used this photograph of Bill sailing Pegasus as the frontispiece for the May, 1967 issue.  I believe I'm correct in saying that this is the only time a Moth Boat has been featured on the cover of Yachting.

This is how that cover shot was taken:  notice the man standing chest-deep in the water on the right side of this picture.  That's Bill Schill, Sr.  The elder Schill was a professional photographer and he stood in the water in front of Avalon Yacht Club while Bill Jr. made passes at close range in Pegasus.  One mistake and dad plus a very expensive camera would have taken a full immersion bath!  1963 was the high water mark in Bill's career as a Moth racer.  The following year the Moth Worlds were held in France.  Bill took Pegasus over to defend his title.  He used the British Moth Nationals as a warm up event and came in third at that regatta but at the Worlds, held at Bandol, Bill finished well off the podium.  In following years Bill moved from Moths to Comets and then International 110s and enjoyed further successes in those classes.  More recently Bill returned to Moth Boats and last raced at the 2011 CMBA Nationals at Elizabeth City.  Rest in peace old friend.  Photo credit.: David Schill