Britton Chance - Portfolio

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by tranmkp, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. tranmkp
    Joined: May 2002
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    tranmkp "wherever you go. there you are"

    I am having quite a hard time coming up with a list of designs for Mr. Chance. Does anyone have any idea as to where one might look? I have the Allied, the PT, the Waquiez's and some AC designs - then the trail goes cold.

  2. tom28571
    Joined: Dec 2001
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    tom28571 Senior Member

    There is Valiant, which was an AC and you already have those.
    I believe he did a 29 footer for Paceship in the early 70's in which he exploited the stability part of the racing rule to get a better rating. You could pick it out in the fleet as it always heeled many degrees more than any other. Like Valiant, it was a failure. Of course, any one that gets outside the norm will have some failures.
  3. Tad
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    Tad Boat Designer

    First design 5.5m Complex V 1963
    5.5m Cloud IX, world champion 1967
    5.5m Wasa, Olympic Gold 1968

    Chancegger 12m 1970 French trial horse

    1979 one tonner Resolute Salmon
    Bay Bea, US Admirals cup team 1977
    Wildflower, two tonner
    Aletheas, 1980 SORC
    Essex 14 racing dinghy

    AC 12m Stars & Stripes '87
    Redesign of Intrepid, defender 1970
    Equation, 68' ocean racing ketch
    Ondine, 80' ocean racing ketch

    12m Mariner

    That's a start, Tad
  4. u4ea32
    Joined: Nov 2005
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    u4ea32 Senior Member

    Tad, some comments based on my memory of those times:
    12m Chancegger: many felt it may have been the fastest 12 in the 1970 event (hence his opportunity to redesign Intrepid)
    12m Intrepid redesign: many felt the boat was slower after the redesign.
    12m Mariner: The best example of why you must always be suspect of scale model testing!

    1971: Warrior for Al Cassel, a 50 foot cold moulded flush deck pinched end machine. Rarely lived up to its potential, but on occaision, that thing kicked ***.

    1974: Chance 30:30 three quarter tonner. Unbeatable in Southern California (Cohort). One hell of a lot of fun.
    1975: Offshore One one tonner: minimum size, ended up being fastest when rigged as a 7/8 tonner (at one ton rating, had a HUGE rig that it just could not carry). Extremely pinched ends, with a knuckle bow that has since become very common. Looked like it would be very fast upwind, but in fact was almost unbeatable downwind! Really, really fun!

    1978: Eclipse one tonner (derived from Resolute Salmon). Extremely bendy and radical 4 spreader rig (the first?) that was very fast, but was so hard to switch gears (re-bend and re-adjust EVERYTHING) that competitors could always just wait for a minor change of conditions to walk on by.

    He pushed the corners of the envelope with every boat, and somethings worked very well, some things not so well, as one would expect.
  5. Paul B

    Paul B Previous Member

    Actually Eclipse was a 3/4 tonner. No match for the Davidson Pendragon at the NAs that year, even in the light conditions that should have been the worst condition for Pendoggie. Soon retired and sat at the side of LB Shipyard for at least 10 - 15 years.

    Also, there was a cold molded Chance designed Warrior built later. I raced with Al on it at LBRW around 1980 and it was only about a year old. The Peterson/Choate 48s rated lower and were faster that year.

    If you are who I think you are we once sat down and discussed building a 4 spreader rig for Light.
  6. u4ea32
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    u4ea32 Senior Member

    Yes, Paul, its me. Small world

    Warrior finished in 11 days in Transpac 1971, and as I recall, it did SORC earlier that year, so it may have launched in 1970.
  7. Gary Baigent
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    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    Britton Chance

    A New Zealand point of view from those times:
    THE WINNER AT Marseilles was Resolute Salmon, a Britton Chance design from USA, crewed by experts including the designer, and skippered by Dick Deaver. Resolute Salmon was a very special yacht and revealed another undiscovered IOR direction, for Resolute Salmon was a centreboarder and the first to win a series.
    Centreboard yachts were popular in the USA and were encouraged by IOR with a rating bonus of extra draft without penalty. Lifting board designs required ballast to be carried inside the hull and relied heavily on hull beam and shape to provide stability. An advantage of the centerboard was that it allowed a more optimum performance foil shape, a contrast to a conventional lead keel which was shape compromised by the large amount of lead it was required to contain. Another advantage was offwind the board could be raised, reducing wetted surface area and drag. Chance had uncovered a performance gold mine and Farr studied the design carefully. Resolute Salmon’s hull was very deep and fine forward, one of the reasons the yacht sailed well in light winds and sloppy sea conditions off Marseilles. Compared to Farr’s design the waterline was relatively short but the sail area was very large. Chance at the same time was in the middle of his radical 12 metre Mariner campaign following his line of development where the shape of the hull “fooled” the water into thinking the waterline was longer. He achieved this successfully on Resolute Salmon but was disastrously wrong with Mariner which looked like it sailed with a bone in its tail.
    By having a fairly full fore body on Resolute Salmon he moved the bow wave forward and the corresponding stern wave further aft. By filling in the stern overhang he found that when the yacht heeled, the starting point of the lee quarter wave was delayed, and by having a beamy, powerful hull shape, this allowed the yacht to be stiff to windward. However there was one major fault and that was sailing downwind in fresh conditions, running with a big following sea. Although the boat had a very high ballast ratio, the power of the internal ballast was just below the centre of buoyancy so that Resolute Salmon had to heel ten degrees or more before the ballast stiffened the boat up. Sailing downwind under spinnaker it would start rolling and then go into a broach. The stern was small and contributed to broaching whereas the New Zealand designs were dinghy-wide and had firm after sections to provide stability – and their low aspect mainsails and ¾ spinnakers reduced rolling problems because the centre of effort was low. And since the light yachts were close to planing, speed steadied them as well. Peterson commented, “The Farr boats run hot and cold but I was surprised how well they could hang in there to windward.”
  8. Paul B

    Paul B Previous Member

    I believe the Warrior I sailed on was a follow up boat. As I recall, the boat you are referring to ended up in the Pacific Northwest in the mid-late 70s. The one I sailed on was an experimental construction with wood veneer over a foam core, probably built in '78-79 time frame.

    Craig Chamberlain was the Boat Nanny. I should call him and get the details.
  9. Tad
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    Tad Boat Designer

    The first Warrior was owned by Al Cassel when she won class A in Transpac 73. I have a copy of Sea Magazine (Sept 73) with Warrior on the cover. She actually finished 9th (11d22h15m) and corrected to 11th overall. It was all big boats ahead of her. Ragtime first, Windward Passage second, Blackfin third, Ondine 4th, Buccaneer 5th, New World 6th, Robon 7th, Min Sette 8th. Chutzpah won overall.

    I have a feeling she was aluminum? Cassel owned Sparcraft in Costa Mesa where they built his Bruce King one-tonner Terrorist. I don't think Warrior was radically bumped midships but she had a wider transom than the Equation type hulls. Sections were very round with a narrow waterline, almost no overhang aft. She came to the PNW (Buchan family?) and was replaced with the quite radical Chance design Warrior II. I don't recall this boat being successful at all? But I was losing interest in the racing scene as boats became more generic.

    Many fairly knowledgeable folks thought Chance was nuts to take such big chances (small pun) with other peoples money. I have no idea why he dropped out of sight (just had enough?) after the success of S&S87.
  10. Paul B

    Paul B Previous Member

    Many of the Chance designs were bizarre, and many were unsuccessful.

    Ondine was no match for Kialoa, or even Passage in some conditions.

    Bay Bea was only selected for the Admiral's Cup Team due to politics.

    I doubt he really had much say in the S&S '88 Cat, although he is listed as part of the design team.

    The OS1 wasn't competitive as a One Tonner and was not a pretty boat.

    He did a 27 foot ULDB, too narrow and not very quick.

    Equation was very odd, and I believe there were a couple of other boats of the same type built at different sizes. None were world beaters.

    The really serious people of those days went to Peterson, Holland, Frers, or Farr, with others like Whiting, Davidson, Dubois, Humphreys, etc also available. With those studios to choose from the only reason to go with Chance would be to get an out-of-the-box weird thing, hoping to make hay until the loophole was closed.
  11. Tad
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    Tad Boat Designer


    So was he showing us where the boundaries might be? Or was he just there to serve as a warning to others?
  12. Paul B

    Paul B Previous Member

    I just heard back regarding the details of the Chance I sailed on. It was actually only a 47, not a 50 (but rated high I believe).

    It was built by Goetz in 1978.

    I don't think Chance was really showing any boundaries. Some owners like to buy evolutionary designs, others prefer "revolutionary". If you overreach into a dead end no one really learns anything from that.

    Unfortunately for the "revolutionary designers" the people who choose to go in that direction are often times wingnuts without the best programs. Fittingly, just as often the designers who inhabit that space are also often wingnuts, so there is a decent fit, a common language.

    I think when you get someone like Chance, who more often than not got things very wrong, you wonder why people continued to go there. I'll guess most could not succeed within the evolutionary process and decided to roll the dice to hopefully find a winner.
  13. rocknrule
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    rocknrule Junior Member

    He was (or is) a close friend of prof. Jerry Milgram - crazy, maybe................
  14. tranmkp
    Joined: May 2002
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    tranmkp "wherever you go. there you are"

    and I thought this thread had died, I find BC his quirkyness facinating. I have always the Waquiez 37.

  15. Crag Cay
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    Crag Cay Senior Member

    I sailed a Chance (Wauquiez) 37 in Hong Kong in the late 70's called Charisma. I think it rated as a One Tonner. It was owned by Vic Locke who went on to own the Ron Holland Two Tonner, "Bugis".

    I know which was the nicer boat to sail.
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