Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Roadside New Jerseyana, Exhibit 3

Here for your viewing pleasure is a giant bottle of Champagne (oh, sorry, sparkling white wine).  Locally, in Atlantic and Ocean Counties, there used to be several of these huge bottles, dating to the 1920s, advertising the location of the winery started in 1864 by  Frenchman Louis Renault.  I think now there's just two left.  This one is located by the side of Route 30 (aka: the" White Horse Pike") not far from Egg Harbor City.  There's another one along side of Route 9 a few miles south of Tuckerton, a town best known for it's maritime museum.  At one time there were as many as 80 of these 25 foot tall bottles stretching across the county from New Jersey to California.  I read somewhere that the bottle near Fresno, California is still standing.  Amazing!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The restoration of "Max Headroom".

I've discovered yet another Moth Boat blogspot for your viewing pleasure.  It is an account of the restoration of an Aussie Scow Moth and can be found here.  Why not follow "Oztayls" adventure as he puts Max to rights?  When you go to the site you'll see links to the earlier posts.  Oztayls just started this project in April of 2013 so there's not too much reading to catch up to where the story currently lies.  Enjoy.

Max Headroom before restoration.  A good looking scow from 1972.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

CLC's spring small boat festival is this weekend

Nothing to do this weekend?  Don't sit around bored.  Come to CLC's spring in the water small craft event.

Join us for a fun day on the water!
The weather forecast is just about perfect for Saturday's on-the-water activities: 70 degrees, some sun, and a moderate breeze from the southeast.  Best of all worlds.

Don't miss this once-a-year opportunity to demo most of the CLC fleet*. Smallcraft like the Skerry (above) are even available for sailing demos.

What's new on the beach for 2013?
*Cocktail Class Racers and the Peeler Skiff will not be on the beach, but they will be at our Open House on Friday.
Stop by our factory and showroom on Friday between 1pm and 7pm for seminars, tours, and a cookout.  Admission is FREE!
Ed's Once-a-Year Deals
on Kits, Gear, & Supplies
Ed's going crazy! Not just CLC caps---he's blowing out E V E R Y T H I N G. Boat kits, random boat parts, finished boats(!), epoxy and fiberglass, paint and varnish, paddles, kayak seats, spray skirts, minicell, safety gear, spruce oars, bronze oarlocks, roof racks, sandpaper, PFDs, PDFs---he can't be stopped.
But he'll turn back into a stingy chief operating officer on Monday, so you gotta come to the Friday Open House for the deals!

John C. Harris
Chesapeake Light Craft 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

John Z's new Moth: progress report

Earlier, I reported on the new Mistral design Moth which John Z has under construction here and here.  Today we get to catch up on John's progress since the last update:

"Here are some photos of the new boat.  I had planned to use a circular arc template as a a guide to make the cambered deck beams; built nice little beams to go alongside of the mast tube and then when I laid a straightedge from the slanted bulkhead to the bow found that my pretty curved beams were a half inch lower than the straightedge.  The circular camber technique works for cruising boats because the sheer line is usually curved upward toward the bow.  On our flat-sheer Mistrals we really want closer to a cone shaped camber for the deck rather than a cylinder so you would need a new template at each station.  I didn't have the heart to tear out the beams and couldn't live with a shoehorn shaped deck so I added shims on top of the beams, determining the shim thickness with a straight edge from the tip of the bow, sweeping an arc over the slanted bulkhead that already had a circular camber."

Live and learn,
John Z
The template for the bulkhead deck crown.

Deck beams to support the mast tube.  John later discovered that they needed a bit of shimming.

Gluing the main bulkhead in place.

Adding shims to those mast tube supports!

Things seem to be shaping up...

Detail pix showing form fitted blocks for the mast tube.

Y2K2 as of 14 May, 2013.

Mark's redecked Europe

Mark Saunders took an old Europe dinghy hull, gutted it and attempted to rebuild the boat so that she would weigh in at the CMBA minimum weight limit of 75 lb as opposed to the International Europe Dinghy Union's minimum hull weight of 99 lb. After racing a Mistral for several years,  Mark appreciated that a stock Europe is a better behaved boat compared to the Mistral design and in some conditions a Europe can give the faster Mistral pilots a spot of bother.  He reasoned a reduced weight Europe, equipped with spars and blades lighter than the stock items, would be even more troubling to the Mistral skippers.  Mark just barely completed the boat in time for this year's Classic Moth Mid-Winter Regatta and the boat had a few teething problems.  Even so, Mark finished 3rd overall.  The official weigh in for this boat will happen at the Nationals in September, but Mark thinks he managed to remove about 15 of the offending 24 lb from the hull.  With the lighter equipment he no doubt significantly reduced the overall weight of the boat in all up race ready state.  It will be interesting to see how this boat goes as he develops her during this year's racing season.  The photos that follow are a combination of mine and Lennie Parker's, taken at last weekend's regatta.

Mark in the process of rigging the boat for the first time.  He removed the fiberglass  decks, side tanks and most of the daggerboard trunk during the reconstruction of this boat.  The cockpit layout, in general, follows the design of Joe Bousquet first seen on Joe's Mistral Try-Umph.

The roll tanks for the side decks, made of 3 mm marine ply, are reinforced with a layer of carbon fiber cloth on the under side of the panel to provide adequate stiffness to take the pounding of the skipper's weight.  The fore and aft decks are not carbon clad in order to save weight.

Mark does lovely work.  The cockpit sole also received a layer of carbon cloth to provide stiffness in the stomping area of the cockpit.  The carbon fiber cloth is lighter than the original structure and prevents the hull from "oil canning".  The well deck and bulkhead also introduce a bit of stiffness and minimize the amount of open cockpit space if water comes over the bow.  Mark decided on an aft bridle traveler system so that he could minimize the  weight of the carbon fiber boom he plans to use in the future.  The aft bridle also saves weight compared with the teak center traveler horse and hardware it replaces.

The sail shape controls are led to the aft edge of the foredeck rather than below decks as is the typical Europe dinghy practice.  The recessed area in the center of the main bulkhead is the compass binnacle.

The inhaul is a simple 2:1 system led to a clam cleat on the boom.  Mark used a boom made out of Dwyer DM-1 section for this regatta as his lighter carbon boom wasn't finished in time.  DM-1 weighs about a half pound per foot.  The eventual carbon fiber replacement will weigh half of that.  Mark's mast was supplied by Ted Van Dusen and is much lighter than my IEDU legal carbon mast.

The mast tube follows the oval arrangement recently seen on other Classic Moths.  Note the clever carbon tab which provides a place to locate the line for the vang attachment.  Carbon tubes do not like having holes drilled in them for fasteners.  Such holes are often the origin of dramatic failures of carbon fiber structures.

Here we see a small section of the yet to be used carbon boom.  The added tab, also fashioned from carbon cloth provides multiple attachment points for the vang.  The tube itself started life as the top section of a windsurfer mast.

This detail shot shows the tab which Mark fabricated and bonded to the leading face of the mast as an attachment point for the spectra bow stay.  This again avoids  drilling holes to attach the typical hounds fitting.  Although the mast is designed to be free standing, like the stock Europe mast, the bow stay, which runs to a simple block and tackle system on the foredeck, provides "on the fly" mast rake adjustability, in concert with the oval mast tube.   My stock Europe dinghy's mast rake can also be adjusted out on the water, but to do so requires the boat to be hove to into the wind and the skipper to reach though an inspection port, inside the bow compartment to turn a screw.  This can be done in between races, but is something that can't be accomplished while actually sailing.

Mark also made the cheeks for the rudder stock as light as possible.  The rudder blade is currently a stock laser item which will no doubt soon be replaced by a lighter blade with a more efficient shape.  Not seen in any of these photos is the gybing daggerboard which Mark used during the regatta.  As mentioned in the previously post, Mark slaved away on that item at the yacht club in order to get it to fit the trunk!  Hopefully I'll be able to document that blade at a future regatta.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Time to thaw out with Buckwheat Zydeco

This post is for Gunnar, sitting in the dark under a blanket of wet May snow with no 'lectric in his house way up in the north land.   Spring's comin' buddy!  Why not do a little meltin' to some sweet sounds from the Loos-sea-anne?  (Love the F100 Furd pick'em up truck...)  For the best snow melting effect remember to go "full screen".

Thursday, May 2, 2013

TransAmerica bike tour

A former lab mate and her husband are going across the country on bicycles.  They started yesterday at Yorktown, Virginia and will eventually finish at Astoria, Oregon.  You can follow their adventure here: http://loveandbikes.tumblr.com/  Below is a youtube clip taken at the end of the first day's ride.  They did 65 miles, so just over a "metric century".  Not bad for the first day!  The couple in the lead picture of the video (with what I hope are cups of beer) are friends who are accompanying Jo and Ben for the first few days.  Ben is the one in the stylish old school cycling cap.  Jo is the camera woman.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

PEGASUS, Moth Nr 2345

Many of you who come to this blogspot have seen my earlier post about Bill Schill. Interestingly, within less than a week, that post jumped to the top ten all time most viewed posts for this blog. Clearly, many people remember Bill. 

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.
Turning the boat right side up one finds a number of things which make Pegasus unique.  First, is this special builder's tag.  The stock Fletcher Marine Products tag mentions only the firm's name, Fletcher Marine Products, and the town where the shop was located.  Bill told me a story about this tag.  He said that Jimmy Greenfield, a master boat builder who worked for Blair actually built the hull but Blair had this special tag made up to reflect his shop's importance in Bill's growing dominance on the race course during the early 1960s.  Bill indicated that Jimmy was more than just a bit put out when the boss and owner of the business took credit for the boat.  Jimmy Greenfield is still a member of Cooper River YC.  The next time our paths cross I'll have to screw up my courage and ask him about this little story.
The famously pinched transom of the Cates design is perhaps its most dated feature.  While a Cates Moth can plane on the off-wind legs of the course, later Moth designs could also plane while going up-wind.  With a wider transom maybe a Cates could as well.  One of life's unanswered questions.
This photo shows the latest replacement deck.  The original side decks were skimpy open shelves that extended perhaps to about where the inner-most light colored strips are, rather than the roll tanks seen here.  Although those decks made  Pegasus very light they also made the boat very vulnerable to swamping.

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.
But is this boat really Pegasus?  If so her distinctive hull number "2345" should be stamped in the keel.  The number is obscured by the ratchet block mount and floor boards.  Much like the doubting St. Thomas, I want to see with my own eyes and place my fingers in the indentations.
There it is 2-3-4-5.  Originally this number was assigned, in a block of hull numbers issued by the IMCA, to John Wright a boat builder in Germantown, Pennsylvania.  Blair Fletcher negotiated with Wright and got the number transferred to his shop for this boat.  One wonders what Fletcher offered Wright for that hull number?  I'll probably never know.
Bill's alternating blue and white stripped Seidelmann sail.  Bill's parents bought this sail as a way of telling which boat was their son while spectating at regattas.  Almost everyone else had a plain vanilla sail and in those days it was not uncommon for a Moth regatta to draw 60 to 70 entries.
Bill actually got this sail a year before he took delivery of Pegasus.  He was then still sailing his first Fletcher-Cates, Nr 2081.  If one looks closely, the outline of the zero can just be seen as a darker blue area between the "legs" of the number 3.  In person, one can also make out the needle marks left over from when the original numbers were removed and the 3-4-5 were substituted.  This was well before the days of stick-on numbers and insignia.
The sail still carries the golden circle-M insignia that was awarded to the World Champion in those days to replace the red M within the blue circle.  The National Champion was awarded a silver circle-M.  In 1963 Bill won both but naturally used the gold insignia.
Although the dagger board and original rudder could not be immediately found in Bill's workshop, the original spars survive. Sadly, like the hull, they are in poor condition.  As seen above the boom is cracked all the way through both sides from the stress of the loads imposed by this fiddle block which is part of the original center traveler main sheet system.  Two separate blocks spaced a few inches apart would have spread the load and perhaps prevented this failure.  The mast is similarly cracked at the gooseneck area.  Both spars are useful only as patterns.

Yes, I'm carefully labeling things as I disassemble hardware from the boat.