Fastest classic sail yacht?

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Tevens, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. Daniel Noyes
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    Daniel Noyes Junior Member

  2. Daniel Noyes
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    Daniel Noyes Junior Member

    So is that it? the fastest classic yacht of all time is a American built hydrofoil? cool!
    I guess a classic ice yacht would be faster but were talking soft water.
    Amarillis and early catamarans, built 80 yrs. before Monitor, have been mentioned, aparently the English had a couple cats before Amarillis, any info on them?
    Any Australian boats in the running?
  3. floridawriter
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    floridawriter Junior Member

    Undoubtedly Ticonderoga won the most races for a private classic yacht.
  4. johnelliott24
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    johnelliott24 Junior Member

    If you include Monitor as a yacht, I'll submit A-scows as the fastest of all around a course in a bay or on a lake.
  5. diwebb
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    diwebb Senior Member

    L Francis Herreschoff's Ticonderoga has to be in there somewhere. She won the Transpac several times and posted a record crossing that was unbeaten for something like thirty years. Also the schooner Atlantic's record crossing from the USA to UK which stood for almost 100 years. That said I fully agree with the comments about definition of classic and fastest ever.
  6. TTS
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    TTS Senior Member

    I will not argue the boat=speed end of it, but in the 30's Vanderbilt did quite a bit to control the escalating costs of the AC. Ranger, being the last and built at Bath Iron was the exception.
  7. Steve W
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    Steve W Senior Member

    I wouldnt be so sure,Ragtime is still winning races,big wins in 2008 were the LA to Tahiti race overall, Coastal classic in NZ and Sydney Hobart in division,a nice year for a 42 year old plywood boat,the original ULDB sled.
  8. Earl Boebert
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    Earl Boebert Senior Member

    I'm must admit I'm a bit confused by this remark. Of the nine J's that were involved in the AC, 5 were designed in 1929 and only four (the two Endeavours, Rainbow, and Ranger) after that, although Yankee was heavily modified throughout her life. What developments did you have in mind that would lead Ranger to be a step backward from, say, Enterprise? Could you point out the restrictions in the Universal Rule that led to adverse type forming?

    Yankee was clocked at a little over 13 kt, which doesn't seem too shabby given the sail technology of the day. Ranger was probably faster. Vanderbilt spent $700K of his own money on Ranger, about 7 mil in today's dollars, much less than the cost of his big power yacht. He re-used winches and sails from Enterprise and Rainbow, and Bath Iron Works bid the job at cost to keep their workforce together -- which was a good thing, because they were there when WWII rolled around.


  9. Ron Cook
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    Ron Cook Junior Member

    Swede 55

    Would not the Swede 55 qualify as a fast classic? Steve did you build Vortex?
  10. Daniel Noyes
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    Daniel Noyes Junior Member

    We're seeing a difference between fastest and winningest, the J boats were sailing at 13 mph about the same time that E scows (28 ft.) were sailing at 15-18 mph
    In Class racing "fast" becomes a relative term.
  11. Gary Baigent
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    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    two fast NZ classsics

    These two New Zealand classic designs of the mid to late 1890's were all very fast boats, so fast that the Logan designed Sunbeam, a very early separate bulb keel yacht, was ostracized by the local fleets because it was a class killer so the boat was sold to Australia, where it was far more appreciated. The 27 foot Napier centreboard Patikis were also rocketships.
    Mixed fleet racing on the Manukau was competitive and although a number of privately owned Patikis were launched to beat Maka Maili, then Ngaroma, few succeeded. Patikis were considered freakish but no other design could beat them and crowds would gather at race days to make side bets.
    Patiki enthusiast A.H. McCarthy once sailed his Bob Farquhar designed 27 foot Sayonara over a measured five miles when it was timed to cover the distance in 10 minutes 58 seconds. He was adamant that in squalls Sayonara touched 40 miles per hour – a speed so great that audiences just shook their heads. McCarthy claimed the shorter and less speedy Ngaroma averaged 30 miles per hour over three miles on the Manukau. Although these claims seem excessive, even today, there was no doubt that these lightweight flatfish were exceptionally fast and decades ahead of their time. They readily planed on their after sections, something that was not generally accepted worldwide until the 1930’s when Northern Hemisphere writers came to terms with the then, radically new planing International 12’s and 14’s from Uffa Fox – who was the first to cleverly exploit dinghy rules.

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  12. Daniel Noyes
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    Daniel Noyes Junior Member

    I have never heard of the Patikis!
    very cool boats, any more photos? they look fast, though 20 mph seems more believable than 40!!??
    very similar hull form to the 28' Eclass scow, the E scows are based on classes raced in the 1890's the E scow class hull is basicly a 1920's design still actively sailed today
    here is video of a glasss E at close to 20mph

    and some photos of Massachusetts boats that have a very similar look to the Patikis.
  13. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    The last of those three pics is a Sonder, which is similar to an Idem, an 1899 Clinton Crane design. The original Idems still race today at St Regis (?) YC, and they are very much like an early scow or a Sonder boat.

    According to a Wooden Boat article, some years ago an E Scow went to the lake to spur interests in Es - but the E got walloped by the Idems. I tend not to believe such things unless there's proof, but the Idems do look quick in their conditions.
  14. Gary Baigent
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    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    perhaps too much Patiki information

    NEW ZEALAND CREWS who sailed on indigenous Patiki centreboarders dating back to the mid 1890’s, found it difficult to convince listeners of this exceptionally fast planing boat’s true performance. The design was actually too far ahead of its time for its own good and was considered by critics as a skimming fool. Like the Mullet boat the Patiki owed something to the US wide, shallow hulled Sandbagger and also to Dixon-Kemp’s rating boats. The US inspired or imported Maka Maili made a big impression on the Manukau Harbour and Ray Grant remembered his father John Grant being thought very far fetched when he tried to describe his experiences aboard this 28 foot centreboarder. John Grant first stepped aboard Maka Maili when he was 10 years old as bailer boy and was on the boat when it famously planed at a 13 knot average from Waikowhai to Onehunga Wharf. Maka Maili was the top boat there until the Logan designed 24 foot Ngaroma arrived.
    Tom McKnight had a long involvement with Auckland Regatta organization and clearly remembered a 1909 Logan Patiki, the 27 foot Maroondah taking the gun ahead of formerly unbeatable A Class keeler Ariki one windy Anniversary day. But the ease in which unballasted designs won races was too much for the yachting officials of the time and bad feelings arose between the ballasted and unbalanced factions. The Auckland media took the committee view and sycophantically printed that Patikis spoiled competition; this created an angry reaction to the unballasted boat crews which resulted in them being ostracized from race clubs. The favoured classes were the heavier Mullet boats: 20 to 26 foot lengths and this left no room for the spectacular Patikis and Rater boats like Aoma, Bellbird, Mercia and Doreen.
    Alf Lock’s brother Ernie was an apprentice working with Jack Logan, Arch Logan’s son. Jack became a household name in New Zealand winning over a number of years in his unbeatable, radical, scow-like 18 footer Kotuku. Ernie was aboard a Logan Rater/Patiki when it sailed three circles around the crack A Class Rainbow. The hulls of these Logans were of thin Tasmanian cedar in seam batten/carvel construction, light enough for 16 year old Ernie and Jack to lift the mid-20 foot hulls by themselves. Bailey & Lowe and also Collings & Bell built a number of Patikis to in-house designs and the former builder/designers established a standard with their One Rater Laurel when it won the first of the popular (among spectators but not club officers) Waitemata Rating boat series in 1901, beating Robert Logan’s champion Mercia.
    The term patiki: (Maori for flounder or flatfish) encompassed a number of centerboard yacht sizes and types; even the Arch Logan designed M Class of the 1920’s, a heavy and wide beamed clinker boat, was called a restricted 18 foot Patiki. But it was the Napier Patiki that established the name and type – although they did not appear on the Ahuriri Lagoon until 1905 – 06. These were not local designs either but imports from Auckland, the first being the 22 foot clinker hull Edith, built by Bailey & Lowe. Prior to that arrival (Edith caused a lot of interest when the centreboarder was first seen beating at high speed across the Lagoon) the Napier fleet consisted of more pedestrian ballasted centreboarders – but popularity for the new design was immediate and soon afterwards Arch Logan’s Ngaroma was imported, then Maroondah, followed by Bailey and Lowe’s Sunray - these fast, new boats inspired locals to begin designing and building their own speedsters - so that quickly the name Patiki became established and synonymous with Napier.
    The Napier Patiki had an elegant appearance with a fine bow, low freeboard, hard turning bilges and planing after sections. The design was refined and planed easily downwind under its hollow spars in a gaff rigged mainsail, boom footed jib plus a spinnaker. Sail area was large, sometimes extreme for the lightweight hull and the Patiki relied on wide beam, crew stacked to weather plus very light displacement to accelerate away from gusts and stay upright. Even though the transom rudder was shifted under hull to stop ventilation (first with Maroro in 1906) it was too small for control in hard reaching conditions; then the crew could only keep on course by constant trimming of the sails. So two rudders were fitted on some boats under each bilge to counter this problem – a practical solution and something the US lake scows of the same period also had in common. Perhaps there was knowledge of this rudder setup brought to Napier from the US or maybe it was just a local innovation. Also at the same time there was a Logan brothers’ English Rater plan which had two bilge slung rudders with one forward of the other.
    Arch Logan’s son Jack obviously knew about US scows because his skimmers, the Unrestricted 18’s Komutu and Tarua were of that shape but unlike US scows, his carried one large and deep rudder for control. Logan’s boats were called skimmers in New Zealand and were considered very extreme – but Jack disagreed and said his father’s turn of the Century Patikis, Raters and scow bowed Southerly Buster, were better examples of advanced yacht design and lightweight construction. Logan One Raters gained local and international reputations so that crack examples like 1899 Mercia and later Zeelandia were exported or built from plans in Australia and South Africa. Southerly Buster was built here, travelled to Sydney, beat the top Australian boats, then went on to England.
    With their large size and extreme rigs, Napier Patikis were expensive to build and maintain. Only a few survived in original condition after the Depression years and many Napier boats were damaged during the 1931 earthquake – when the Ahuriri Lagoon drained and became filled with debris. After that catastrophe the remaining examples were forced to sail in the open sea, where large Pacific rollers played havoc with their light construction. Crews related that they could see the movement of the waves rolling along the insides of the hulls – and so many Patiki backbones were broken, like the meticulously maintained Veronique which was too damaged to be repaired, and so was burnt.
    Kahurangi, a 1924 Bob Farquhar design, was trailered to Wellington where it raced in the 1940 Centennial Regatta. The crew, two of whom were crippled, provided amusement to onlookers who gathered about the strange craft making comments as it was being launched. There was a complete volte face among them however when Kahurangi hoisted sail to quickly disappear out to the race course where the strange boat and funny crew thrashed the fleet, beating the top Wellington keeler by half an hour. During one squall Kahurangi was clocked at 30 miles per hour by a powerboat running alongside. Kahurangi was taken to Wellington to display Patiki performance in the vain hope that the class might become established there – but churlish locals were convinced, no matter how impressively the design performed, that Wellington wind and sea conditions would be too much for the fragile looking harbour racer from the north – they were probably correct.
    Ian Cross from Auckland’s North Shore who later restored the boat commented, “One must bear in mind that these boats were very lightly constructed and though mostly 27 foot long by 9.5 feet beam - a pretty large boat - had only 3/8ths inch thick planking. When dry two men could lift the completely rigged boat up, though I would not say carry it about.” Although Cross was one of the few to to keep the Napier Patiki name alive into the mid 1950’s, unfortunately by the end of the Second World War nearly all these special boats were gone, fallen to pieces, or smashed with stones as they lay discarded along Napier and Auckland beachfronts.
    Makamaili, clinker built US import, 1895 - on board Patiki Kahurangi - Logan Half Rater/Patiki - Logan 30 Linear Rater Sunbeam 1899

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  15. Gary Baigent
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    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    Daniel, you know about such boats - how heavy would a Sonder or an Idem weigh; could two people pick one up? I realize these are larger/longer boats than the Patikis but perhaps the Patikis were more lightly constructed. The sail area on the Idem is huge - but they are quiet lake and river designs and would just die in NZ conditions, even on the Ahuriri Lagoon - if it still existed. However what works of art are the restored Idems.
    Incidentally the scows are much flatter forward than a Patiki, which has quite a fine entry, otherwise, yes, very similar in size, appearance and probably weight too.
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