I wrote about Frank Bethwaite's plywood junior scow, the Northbridge Junior, as part of a post on the sit-on-top dinghies. Last fall I came across some photos on the Web of a new Northbridge Junior built for a Japanese junior. The blogmeister, being one that feels we should encourage junior sailors in home-built dinghies, offers up the photos of the first day launching:
Back in October, 1971, I wrote about the plywood, 12' two man Australian speedster, the Gwen 12, I mentioned I had in my possession a set of double bottom plans from the 1970's, courtesy of Aussie Andrew Chapman. I present them below. As always it is best to view this PDF file in another tab; click the arrow icon on the top right of the view box.
I think if I was to build a Gwen 12 in the U.S.A. I would glom a 420 rig onto the hull, particularly the non-class legal fat-head main that the collegiate programs seem to be now favoring.
The previous header photo is of Bill Moss and John Gallagher bombing around Annapolis Harbor in the late 1970's. Bill Moss passed away suddenly this past Christmas. We were teammates for the 1981 International 14 Team Races and World Championships and remained good friends ever since, long after I exited the International 14 class. Bill was the best of the best and his drive raised my sailing to another level for that two year campaign. It was that special slice of time when we were on top of our sailing game in an unforgiving dinghy. He will be missed.
The 1981 Team Race party; Bill on the left, the blogmeister on the right.
Over the past year Neil Kennedy had been digging into his vast archive of magazine articles and sending them along to Earwigoagin. These two articles about the introduction of the plywood frame and stringer construction in the 16 footers I find particularly interesting. The 16-footers may be considered the baby brother to the 18-footers but, as Neil points out, in the late 1950's and 1960's they were developing faster than the 18-footers. The Australians (in the 16-footers, the Western Australians) were the leaders in pushing lightweight frame and stringer construction for their performance classes.
Even back in 1959 the plywood they used for the 16-footers was 4 mm., which is really light for what is essentially an open boat. As a comparison, most plywood International 14's of the 1960's (there weren't many - most were cold molded designs) used 6 mm. On Evelyn, the 16-footer, I count twelve stringers over the hull bottom (plus the center plank).
You see a similar surfeit of fore-aft stringers in "Vitamin C", one of the last plywood champion 12 foot Cherubs of the early 1970's.
The Australian Moth will be the featured class at this year's Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta hosted by the South Gippsland Yacht Club. 2018 marks the 90th anniversary of Len Morris introducing his Inverloch 11' scow. Several years later Len would change the name and logo of his scow when he came across the Rudder article on the Crosby Skimmer Moth. Len's scow became the first of the development Australian Moth class. (The Australian Moth class - actually Antipodean Moth class as New Zealand also had an active class organization - would feature a taller, high aspect rig compared to the U.S. and European Moth and would be mostly scow designs - the two different Moth rules would amalgamate into an International Rule Moth in 1969 .)
The South Gippsland Classic Wooden Dinghy Regatta is over the Australia Day Weekend (Jan 26 - 28). As a kid I was always salivating over the hot-rod Australian plywood dinghies of the 1960's and I always look forward eagerly to see what sailing dinghy restorations and replications the Aussies have unearthed, to be displayed and sailed on the Inverloch Inlet on Australia Day Weekend.
This French engraving (I've cropped this from the whole image) is of a 1858 regatta on the Seine at Saint-Cloud. It is the oldest pictorial rendering I've come across of a full-on racing Sandbagger. This is the fleet of the larger racing sailboats (they split the fleet around a 5.66 meter length) and shows the sandbagger with a good lead.
The sandbagger was one of those successful invasive species. Recreational sailboat racing got going in France on the rivers surrounding Paris and the over-canvassed, unballasted foreign import thrived in the river conditions. The French called the type, "clipper" and eventually modified the design for even faster light air speed.
Here is a profile drawing of an 1887 clipper.
This image of the engraving was found by French historian, Louis Pillon, who published a book last year on the early history of yachting in France,
La Voile dans les boucles de La Marne
(TOH to Tom Price who was the first to spot the image on the Net.)
Bald but my eyebrows are growing at a prolific rate. Sailed Windmills and Y-Flyers in the 1960's. Founded Miami University (OH) sailing team. Sailed International 14's and Lasers in the 1970's. Sailed International Canoes in the 1980's to mid 1990's. Sailed Classic Moths since 2002. Enjoy boatbuilding though I'm very, very slow at it (the Internet doesn't help matters). Name in real life: Rod Mincher
After choosing this username (Tweezer is the name of my Classic Moth), further research on the Internet turned up that Tweezerman is a corporate name for a line of pedicure products. Let me emphasize that I do not work for, nor endorse these products.