Monday, March 30, 2015

Getting closer

Further progress from Martin Scott:  Paint and varnish.  I love the shape of the Mistral design from this angle.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Boy Scout Moth: Did this 1930s design lead to the British Moth?

Recently, a home-built Moth Boat came to light when I was contacted by Paul Stroud down in Nesbit, Mississippi.  Mr. Stroud indicated that his brother's Moth, which was constructed in the 1960s and which had been hanging in the garage for the last thirty years needs a new home.  As is the case with most of the contacts I receive from locations isolated from the more typical east coast Moth hot beds, the seller had no notion of which design Moth his brother had built and so he sent me the a few photos:

Bow shot of the mystery Moth.

Bow deck, looking aft.

Looking into the cockpit.  Note both the odd strip-plank floor boards and the long centerboard trunk.  This trunk was built for a thin, pivoting blade rather than for a dagger board.

Looking into the plywood skinned hull.

The hardware for the stays suggests the 1940s.

However the "Race Lite" gooseneck and other visible hardware are clearly newer and date to the 1960s

This rudder shape is straight out of the Boy Scout Moth plans.

One can see the 1/4" thick steel plate which serves as the center board.

Oh Dear Oh Dear.  This Moth appears to be slightly over eleven feet long.  Perhaps (hopefully) the tape measure is distorted by the crown of the deck.

The beam on deck is right at 4 feet, excluding the rub tail.

The mast is close to the 16 1/2 feet to which deck stepped masts were originally limited under the old Moth Class rules.

Here, in an undated photo, a group of Boy Scouts launch a "Monadnock" Moth into Lake Wampanoag at Camp Collier, located in Gardner, Massachusetts.  Note how the bow shape of the other Moths on the storage racks in the background mirror the shape of the bow of the boat in the first photo.  The Boy Scout Moth design dates to the 1930s and is attributed to John N. Cook, a "sailing master" for the St. Louis, Missouri scout council.  Interestingly,  The British Moth Class dates their design to 1932.
Finally here, for comparison purposes, is a photo of a current British Moth which I found on the internet.  Note the strong similarities between the bow shape and curve of the side board of this boat and that of our mystery Moth in the first photo of this post. These characteristics are also reflected by the boats in the Camp Collier photo.  A coincidence?  I think not.

If anyone is interested in the Moth hanging in Mr. Stroud's garage, leave your email address in the comment box and I'll forward that to him.  Paul indicated that he travels to Jacksonville, Florida several times a year which may facilitate delivery.

Update 17th March 2015:  Paul has recently sent my photos of the sail hoisted.

You'd really stand out on the race course with this baby!  Your position would be instantly apparent to the spectators--hopefully at the front of the fleet!

There appears to be plenty of room under the boom.  This is in contrast with the booms of most vintage Moths which tend to be real deck sweepers.

The sail was made by "Nor'wester Sails".  I have no information on whether or not this loft is still in business or where they are or were located.

You can just make out the word "Moth" and the date "7/15/68".  I assume that this was when the sail was made.  The date is also mostly likely near the time when Paul's brother finished construction of the boat itself.