John Spencer/ Ratime

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Ron Cook, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. Ron Cook
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    Ron Cook Junior Member

    I have found someone who has the lines to Ragtime but they will not release a copy without getting an ok from Spencer estate. Does anyone out there have any contact information for the Spencer estate. Or enven a starting point.

    Thanks ..........Ron Cook
     
  2. Ron Cook
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    Ron Cook Junior Member

    Whoosh, thank You for the thoughts good ideas all. I just am particularly interested in Ragtime. I could draw it up myself as I am qualified to do so.

    Again Thanks........Ron Cook
     
  3. Paul B

    Paul B Previous Member

    Seeing as how Alan Andrews has done some re-design on Rags more than once I would suspect he might have access to the linesplan, or would know who you should contact.

    Alan is easy to find on the internets.
     
  4. Gary Baigent
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    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    Spencer's Infidel/Ragtime top. Buccaneer below.
     

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  5. Guest62110524

    Guest62110524 Previous Member

    I am sorry I crewed on Buccaneer once or twice, she was 3/4 ply, I dont remember her topsides being compound at all,in fact asking 3/4 ply to do what you have shown is impossible
    this does not look at like her, mind you, its a long time ago:)
     
  6. Ron Cook
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    Ron Cook Junior Member

    Gary, Thank you for posting the drawings. How did you get them?
    Whoosh ragtime was built from two layers of 3/8 maybe buccaneer was built thr same
    Rgds Ron Cook
     
  7. Ron Cook
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    Ron Cook Junior Member

    Paul, I did contact Alan Andrews He will not release the lines without the ok from the Spencer estate......Ron Cook
     
  8. Gary Baigent
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    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    Hi Ron
    Those fore and aft images are two composites from separate prints stored somewhere in my huge pile of old magazine and book ripouts in the back shed, jpegs taken with my Canon and then Photo shopped to a close approximation of their proportions to each other. Buccaneer will not be absolutely correct in respect to Ragtime - but pretty close.
    This especially for Whoosh:

    By the early 1960’s Spencer had learned from his mistakes and designed the beautifully proportioned 35 foot Scimitar for Alan Vause, a light displacement, single chine keel boat of sheet plywood that was exceptionally fast downwind. Scimitar carried a deep draft keel constructed in sheet metal which thickened at the bottom for lead ballast to be low down, similar to what Fox had done on his Flying 15. This helped Scimitar’s stability when the yacht heeled but it was still not a very impressive windward performer, according to Young.
    Sirocco’s hull was right up with the play but the rig was conventional masthead with the usual short battens and while the Diamond was a flush decked, open cockpit daysailer, Sirocco had the expected, but less ugly on this occasion, New Zealand style dog box cabin. The Diamond, although no great success in terms of numbers in the UK, was very strong in Australia and a fleet of about a dozen was built in Auckland. They were popular in the Southern Antipodes because of their speed and because they were affordable and yet quite a large yacht.
    With light displacement designs arriving, traditional Squadron members became grumpy and annoyed and some refused to race against the new boats. Bressin Thompson, an influential Squadron man, withdrew his famous yacht Prize for two seasons in protest. So a separate light displacement division was formed “which removed the unwanted from the ranks of normal yachts,” said Young, “but acrimony increased among Squadron members when the light boats excelled in big fleet passage races where long reaching legs let them stretch out to win by embarrassing margins. Furthermore the Stewart 34 enjoyed performance both up and downwind that was equal to a 40 foot yacht, again disproving the accepted adage that length gave speed – which made it very unpopular.”
    Spencer scored a major coup when wealthy industrialist Tom Clark (who had successfully campaigned a black painted Scimitar class yacht named Saracen) commissioned him to design a radical 67 foot version. This was Infidel, a true ULDB (ultra light displacement boat) ahead of its time and which became recognized as Spencer’s best yacht. The boat was built light, people noticed that the deck flexed and the interior was completely Spartan and stripped out – something that many thought complete madness on a large yacht. But not only did Infidel have the expected high downwind speed and exceptional reaching power under a huge, flat, masthead sail, it also could beat top yacht A Class Ranger upwind – and that was a bitter pill for the old guard to swallow.
    It was high profile owners like Clark and architect Neville Price (who bought Clark’s old boat Saracen then later commissioned Australian Ben Miller to design ULDB Volante) who understood light displacement advantages, were unprejudiced and had the wealth to campaign extensively; it was from their successes that LD yachts became acceptable in Auckland. But after Infidel Spencer changed course and compromised with the IOR; unfortunately this produced mediocre results in comparison to his earlier original and strong statements. Clark went further asking him to draw a maxi 73 foot yacht; this was Buccaneer which was big and impressive but not in the same purist LD class as Infidel – which was sold to California, had a name change to Ragtime (became recognized as one of the first, if not the first of the downwind sleds) and caused a sensation in winning, with much surfing panache. Transpac Races to Hawaii.
     
  9. Guest62110524

    Guest62110524 Previous Member

    thanks Gary, still think body plan Bucc not right:)) Tom was fun to be with, really fun, especially those days at Kawau after the race
    i remember the things you write, Stagg was not selected for the Admirals cup to go to UK, cos of his boat and the fact that he was from Wellington? it seems that was how it was, I may be wrong
    here is a funny story
    Cake day on the Waitamata, all welcome on Bucc
    But this Sat. there were only a few of us
    Tom was helming, I was sitting listening to his stories, we were off Long Bay, he was saying"it was about here Stu, we were leading when we hit the bottom" just as he said these words, we hit and stuck, Tom could cuss, his Brother in law who was sposed to maitain her, looked pretty ill, cos the inflatable was holed, so we handed our lunch pick to a passing kayak , and kedged off
    Even in those days he could helm for hours, someone said once he was there 18,
    i would hasten add, I was never race crew. I was a country lad and raced P,s in Whakatane, boler, Toms, Paterson, era
    Later they replaced the Murray Mystros with modern winches, they gave me the old ones, I just gave em away
     
  10. Gary Baigent
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    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    Hey Whoosh
    You might be right about the slightly compound topsides not belonging to Buccaneer. Remember Spencer around this time designed an IOR yacht (but I can't remember the name, it was a dismal failure, which is what Jim Young noted) with curved/flat ply sections and he did the same to the 73 as well, I thought. But then again that f&a might be that unnamed design - I got it from an Australian publication. Everyone remembers Infidel as the black box because she was truly slab sides - and that image might carry over to Buccaneer, because if you peer at this image of Buccaneer at her launching, although definitely a chine design, the forward sections look slightly curved to me. But I could be imagining things too.
    Yes, Tom Clark wasn't nicknamed Capt. Araldite(sp) for nothing, (that was a glue used in NZ at that time).
     

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  11. Guest62110524

    Guest62110524 Previous Member

    I was too diplomatic to say,"this is not her"
    he made Blake, we got on fine, two independant charecters
    Did you know Bucc was holed crossing Bight , whale? Dunnu what happened to her
    All her gear was made at Ceramco workshops, she was a small maxi at the time, when Kialoa and Passage came along they were much more
    powerful
    i miss the Gulf In 72 my folks and I had Fitzroy House, on Barrier, leased from Mackey
    were happy days
     
  12. Gary Baigent
    Joined: Jul 2005
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    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    Whoosh
    Nostalgia for the gulf, yes it's pretty good out there, eh? Living at Fitzroy, Great Barrier would have been a good time. I've sailed, dived and backpacked all over the island.
    Clevco/Murray gear is still being made in Auckland by the way. Those neat old winches are standard replacements on classic yachts here, and oversea too. There was a huge fleet of superb classic designs at Mahurangi recently.
    Here's a couple of gulf shots to really make you homesick. First one on Otata at the Noises, second at Tiritiri Matangi looking over to Great Barrier and the Coromandel.
     

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  13. Guest62110524

    Guest62110524 Previous Member

    drat yes , shedding the odd tear,
    i built half the Coro mussel fleet
     
  14. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    I only did 1100 miles on Bucc, but the sections with the flared topsides look just like the Bucc plans I have, from Sea Spray and from the Aussie book I think Gary took them from. The later Spencers (like my own mini-Bucc Serendipity) had plenty of flare as John found that two skins of ply would take it (although just about every Oz timber Serendipity was conventional double-diagonal cold moulding).

    I've only been aboard Ragtime once but the topsides are very different to Bucc.

    Incidentally Spencer's article on Bucc's design doesn't mention the IOR....in fact wasn't she designed before the IOR rule was released? I wonder how she would have gone with a decent size rig. Certainly by '77 Ragtime had no chance against a 73 foot IOR maxi like Ballyhoo around a triangle, as was proved in the BBS that year.

    I think I have the NZ AC trials reports somewhere and I don't think Whispers II scored well enough to be selected, bias apart.
     

  15. Paul B

    Paul B Previous Member


    For years Rags and Bucc sat in slips across from one another in Long Beach marina. One of the original syndicate owners of Rags had purchased Bucc and was going to modify her into a full on Transpac ride. It never happened.

    The two boats did look very different, with Bucc looking far less boxy.

    I should have taken photos back then.
     
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