Old Quarter Tonners -Magic Bus

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by steveo-nz, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. Paul B

    Paul B Previous Member

    Agreed. Here in the US people talk about the Holland/Farr school of design. Some will even argue when you try to tell them it is apples and oranges.

    Even Holland's later Manzanita was still a much more pinched stern than something like a 727.

    Back in the 70s and 80s I had the opportunity to sail on a lot of boats, including Farr 727 (1/4 Ton), 914 (1/2 Ton), and 1104 (One Ton). Great boats when the breeze was on, a bit of a problem against the masthead boats in the light stuff. Here in SoCal it is almost always light stuff.

    That was one thing about the old IOR, you could tailor your design to your local conditions. The Farr lift keel One Tonners of 1977 were a good 2 feet longer than the One Tonners here. Of course they had much smaller sail areas. Great for the breeze, not so great in the light stuff. Conversely, I would not have wanted to sail a 1975 Peterson 35 One Tonner in Wellington.

    For some reason a lot of interesting boats ended up here in SoCal for us to look at. FUN, Whiting QTs, Pendragon (local), Jenny H, B195, Passion (Briand 30.55 One Ton) and of course Infidel/Ragtime (I have also sailed on). These days there isn't as much for young people to look at and dream about.

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  2. Gary Baigent
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    Gary Baigent Senior Member


    An interesting bunch of kiwi and French designs over your way, Paul.
    One of the fastest 1/4 tonners I've seen was Jacques Fauroux's second Bullit, which came to Auckland in 1980 and thrashed all the hot kiwi designs on their home turf. Bullit was very long overall, full bowed, narrow on the waterline, yet fuller than the kiwi boats under the mast, dish shaped in cross section and very wide on deck – Farr could not see how the bow would lift when sailing, yet still measure bow down to rate. In the mostly very fresh conditions of the competition, Bullit just planed away, embarrassing the fleet during downwind legs. It would be interesting to see the outcome of a Melges 24/Bullit duel.
    It is also interesting that after that defeat New Zealand interest in IOR rapidly waned. Local sailors turned their backs on the IOR and concentrated their attention to the new Auckland movement in yacht design: fast, proportionately inexpensive (compared to IOR designs) non-Rule yachts designed gleefully along speed producing parameters that previously had been discouraged under IOR with penalties which verged upon banishment.
    jpeg of Jim Young's Rocket 40 - one of the most extreme no-rules designs.

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  3. Ramona
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    Ramona Senior Member

    I have owned this Ben Lexcen designed quarter tonner for a few years now. Mine is a plywood hull, dynal covered and the deck is fibreglass balsa sandwich. They were built as production boats under the name of MW26, all the later ones were all fibreglass. Mines a 1970 model. 26 foot by just under 10 foot wide. It was dead cheap and I presumed it had a cast iron keel, never bothered to look underwater for that sort of money. When I put it on the slips I was expecting rust streaks from the keel but it was just covered in shell. When I cleaned it off I hit it with a grinder and was startled to find the keel was bronze.
    Delightful boat to sail.
  4. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    Great info here.

    One point is that Smackwater Jack couldn't have raced a brand new Corinthian since Corinthian was launched '74 or '75 and did the '75 AC trials, finishing fourth behind Inca, Barnacle Bill (both S&S) and Gerontius (Farr).

    I think the first M&W 26s (Solwarra and Chin Chin???) came out about '75; I sailed against them as a kid and still have a few magazine tests somewhere. Moody Blue was a flush deck one, in timber I think.

    I've seen an IRC or Handicap nationale (French PHRF) number for Bullitt; quick, but not quick by today's standards. The IOR mods would have pushed her rating to about 19+ feet without hull changes (IIRC, the article's in Seahorse somewhere) and if she was Melgi speed she would have still been a world-beater at that rating.

    "In fact, if I am remembering correctly, Pioneer Sound (B195) actually beat the fleet in the Aus Nationals, the run up regatta to the Worlds that year."

    B195 only sailed against one centreboarder in that OZ nats, the Farr Hecate; sister to the other Farrs but slower (although competitive later as the second Piccolo). The rest of the fleet were Farr 1104s (mainly the cruiser versions like Piccolo # 1), a Lidgard IIRC, a Ganbare and a Kaufman. Interestingly the Peterson and Ganbare went 1-2 in one of the light races.

    I love the IOR rule because it allowed close racing and (IMHO) a more meaningful win. I used to race against Buckle Up on the Skiff 38 Afterburner ('88 boat with wings, assy, full batten main, and full interior with two showers) and while it was great in some ways we really had no idea how we should have compared to Buckle Up.

    Sure, we were faster than IOR boats but if speed is what counts, why carry lead? Go multi or go rating or cruiser/racer!
  5. Gary Baigent
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    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    fast IOR?

    hey CT249
    I'll have to dig in the back shed re. Corinthian and Smackwater - but perhaps this was a revamped, retuned version that Smackwater beat in the 1977 Dunhill trials. Anyway I'll sort it.
    That skiff Afterburner sounds very avant garde - any pictures?
    Bullit was designed for the 1980 cup which she easily won, after that and knowing that heavy updated IOR penalties were to be imposed, Fauroux just shrugged, he'd designed Bullit for that year and had done the job.
    The somewhat low quality jpeg is from a Polaroid print of Bullit planing/surfing past the top Davidson or Farr - and looked as if it was going half again as fast, I don't care what the rating figures spit out, Bullit was really fast ..... for a monohull. Agreed, multihulls are the way - you're speaking to the long time converted here.

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  6. Ramona
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    Ramona Senior Member

    This Peterson half tonner, "half Measure" is for sale in Queensland for $22.000. That's got to be a good buy surely. Apparently a fast boat in light airs and plenty of history. Nice hull shape.

  7. Paul B

    Paul B Previous Member

    There has been a lot of rumour about Bullitt over the years. Whether she could actually rate without some shennanigans has been whispered since then. Of course, there were also rumours about lead hidden in the bow pulpit of Magic Bus to make her measure in.

    I'm sure Bullitt, great as she might have been, would still be 60 sec/mile slower than a Melges 24. That would put her at Half Tonner speed, so I'm sure she was not even that fast. Maybe J24 speed would be closer, as J24s are about 25 sec/mile faster than something like Star Eyed Stella.

    Bullitt may have had an advantage of being long, but I think the Briand Compte de Flanders (also 2x QT Cup winner) as even longer at more than 8.5 meters (so I've been told).

    Here on the West Coast of USA we never really had QT or HT racing. We had the Moore 24 in '72, the SC 27 in '73, and the Olson 30 in '78. No one wanted to spend 5x the cost to go slower than these production boats. By the mid '80s the MORC Maxis (30 footers) were faster than a 27.5 raters.

    Even designers like Peterson, Nelson, etc out here stopped doing "Tonners" by '79. Much more profit in doing 42, 46, 48 footers.

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  8. Paul B

    Paul B Previous Member

    Do you mean the Ganbare and the Kaufman went 1-2, or B195 and the Ganbare went 1-2?

    Maybe B195 only beat Hecate, but I think on the NZ side Smackwater Jack bested the Farrs as well. From what I've heard (probably 3rd or 4th hand) the Farrs all reballasted and improved greatly. SWJack made mods as well, but they went in the wrong direction and slowed down. Shame there was no Davidson effort there for comparison.

    Weren't you writing a book on this era as well?
  9. Paul B

    Paul B Previous Member

    And the winners are:

    I found the list of winners. The designers are not noted. My feeling is the golden age really started in 1973 with Farr, Holland, and Peterson all joining the IOR fray. I'm working on a spreadsheet to get this all aligned:

    Past Winners from 1967

    15ft. Rating RORC Rule

    1967 La Rochelle DEFENDER (B)
    1968 Breskens PIRHANA (H)
    1969 Breskens LISTANG (G)
    1970 Travemunde FLEUR D'ECUME (F)

    18ft. Rating IOR

    1971 La Rochelle TEQUILA (F)
    1972 La Rochelle PETITE FLEUR (F)
    1973 Weymouth EYGTHENE (US)
    1974 Malmo ACCENT (S)
    1975 Deauville 45 SOUTH (KZ)
    1976 Corpus Christi MAGIC BUS (KZ)
    1977 Helsinki MANZANITA (E)
    1978 Sajima MAGICIAN V (J)
    18.55ft. Rating IOR

    1979 San Remo BULLIT (F)
    1980 Panmure BULLIT (F)
    1981 Marseille LACYDON PROTIS (F)
    1982 Melbourne QUARTERMASTER (KA)
    1984 Nieuwpoort COMTE DE FLANDRES (F)
    1985 Ajaccio ROYAL FLUSH (SA)
    1986 Copenhagen COMTE DE FLANDRES (KA)
    1987 Crosshaven MCDONALDS (D)
    1988 Travemunde MCDONALDS (D)
    1989 Falmouth MERIDIAN (I)
    1990 Bayona AVE (E)
    1991 Porto Carras MARFRIO PIRANHA (I)
    1992 Chioggia JONATHAN VI (ITA)
    1993 Bayona GEN-MAR (ITA)
    1994 Warnemunde B & BV (ITA)
    1995 Gdynia PER ELISA (ITA)
    1996 Travemunde PER ELISA (ITA)
    Under IRC
    2005 Cowes PURPLE HAZE (GBR) David Thomas
    2006 Cowes ENIGMA (GBR) Ed Dubois
    2007 Cowes ESPADA (GBR) Bruce Farr
    2008 Cowes Tom Bombadil (GBR) Doug Peterson
  10. Paul B

    Paul B Previous Member

    and the Half Tonners:

    Rating: 18 ft RORC Rule
    Year Location of Cup Winning Boat Homecountry of winner
    1966 La Rochelle RAKI France
    1967 La Rochelle SAFARI France
    1968 La Rochelle DAME D'IROISE France
    1969 Sandhamn SCAMPI Sweden
    1970 Sandhamn SCAMPI II Sweden

    Rating: 21.7 ft Rating IOR
    1971 Portsmouth SCAMPI III Sweden
    1972 Marstrand BES Denmark
    1973 Hundested IMPENSABLE France
    1974 La Rochelle NORTHSTAR Germany
    1975 Chicago FOXY LADY Australia
    1976 Trieste SILVER SHAMROCK Ireland
    1977 Sydney GUNBOAT RANGIRIRI New Zealand
    1978 Poole Wave Rider New Zealand

    Rating: 22.05 ft Rating IOR
    1979 Scheveningen Wave Rider New Zealand
    1980 Sandhamn AR BIGOUDEN France
    1981 Poole KING ONE Denmark
    1982 Piraeus ATALANTI II Greece
    1983 Hanko FREE LANCE France
    1984 Troon COFICA France
    1985 Porto Ercole ANTHEOR France
    1986 Helsinki COFICA France
    1987 La Rochelle RENE CHATEAU VIDEO France
    1988 Poole SKIPPER ELF AQUITAINE France
    1989 Le Havre SKIPPER ELF AQUITAINE France
    1990 Howth INNOVATION GROUP Ireland
    1991 Jakobstad HASSE FROM FINLAND Finland
    1992 Chioggia MARFRIO Spain
    1993 Bayona ATALANTI II Greece

    Rating: IRC
    2003 Nieuwpoort GENERAL TAPIOCA Belgium
    2005 Dinard GINKGO France
  11. steveo-nz
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    steveo-nz Junior Member

    Good Information there Thanks again Paul!
  12. steveo-nz
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    steveo-nz Junior Member

    So what exactly are you allowed to do to the old 1/4's to still race them in the worlds, I see that some have completely new rigs/keel/rudder, even major structural stuff like decks

    Any one know exactly how they rule on these types of modifications??
  13. Paul B

    Paul B Previous Member

    From what I understand the hull cannot be modified. Rig, keel, rudder OK. Seems like they allow deck mods as well, but I assume you will still need to meet the cabin volume requirements of the time.

    You could go to the class website and ask. I'm sure you will get a response.
  14. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    I think I can put designers to most of those tomorrow.

    Paul, the Kaufman and Ganbare took the first 2 spots, ahead of the centreboarders and Farrs.

    S Jack's mods included putting on a "puller" prop as well, after she won the trails. In contrast to her mods when she was winning, Red Lion's navigator joked that when she started winning he even kept on using the same pencil for chartwork because they were too scared to touch anything!

    My book's on the dinghy side throughout history, but it's been sitting 98% complete for a couple of years, ever since I started running a class association as well as work, 4 kids, an ancient half tonner, 5 dinghies and 17 windsurfers.

    I've seen Comte de Flandre's specs in Seahorse, I think; I don't think she reached 8.5m, but I may be wrong. My recollection from articles (and a phone call to the guy who won a worlds in her) was that her secret was her clean, wide Briand stern. He was a great designer IMHO, with a distinct style. Pity we don't get much of that in these box rule days.

    Aust and NZ had some bloody quick little boats too in that era. The '71/72 era trailable RL24 rates (depending on version) as fast or quicker than a mid '70s/late '70s quarter. In the '60s we had the Highlander 25, basically a tempest with a cabin and an extra trap. But here, most people with boats over 20' wanted to cruise or to race offshore.

    Perhaps significantly, we've never had bigger fleets than in those days of dual-purpose boats.

    BTW Gary, I personally don't feel multis are "the way"; sheer speed in a big boat is not my thing since raw speed is so much cheaper and easier to get in a board, small cat or dinghy. They are great boats, but while my family's been in multis for three generations many of us, like me, personally prefer leadmines; I just love the feel, heel, room and cost. It's just that I just can't work out why people try to make them fast. No matter what you do, no leadmine is going to be fast for its size or cost. Making a fast leadmine seems a bit like trying to grow the world's biggest bonsai tree, or having the world's lowest falsetto.

    I do respect the way you can appreciate both a mono and a multi; one-eyed multimaniacs are at least as bad as mono-maniac bigots!

  15. Ramona
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    Ramona Senior Member

    May I ask what sort of half tonner you own?

    The 70's were an interesting time in sailing generally. Lot more disposable income, people were still actually building boats themselves. Small yachts on moorings in Sydney did not cost too much. Trailer sailers everywhere. I was always fascinated by the ton classes but never sailed one till I bought mine. Definitely a golden era.
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