the egotistical quest for an expensive thrill

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by deepkeeler, Dec 26, 2004.

  1. JimCooper
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    JimCooper Junior Member

    Saildesign

    Trouble being that the people who come to you read the glossy magazines and the editorials of tests in sheltered bays far from the howling wind and building seas. In these sail tests the light fat flat boats perform just great and hae a cellar of room below decks full of fancy furniture and more double beds than a man could ever want. The real ocean is a bit different and few reviewers compare the boats in the deep blue sea. You are from these Isles yourself, I am sure you understand the heritage of our designs and the reasons and advantages for them.

    The lightweight brigade could learn a thing or two from the crews of North sea fishing boats and the Lifeboatmen to be sure. I read open mouthed and aghast at marketing sales pitches where they talk of out-running the weather, and excellent sea keeping properties of 8 tonne 45 footers... They hae the brains of wee bairns and the experience too.

    If you put a family as MikeJohns describes in a lightweight racing spin off in the North Sea in a storm then they'd end up in the helicopter if all went well. I hae never been ordered from my work to search for a stricken yacht but many of my friends have and some of the boats have been beyond the pale for the area they were in. The old men of the sea just shake their heads and mutter in their ale and claim salvage if they can keep a tow on without pulling out the stem.

    Cheers
    Jim
     
  2. sharpii2
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    Probably for four reasons:

    I.) they cost more to build per given accomodation,
    2.)The nautical press and a few well known designers desparage them endlessly,
    3.)they only win races when the lighter boats have all been sunk by the weather conditions, and, best of all.
    4.)their original owners probably hang on to them.

    George Buehler loves to design boats of this type. And he has commented that they make good day sailers as well as ocean cruisers because, for their size, they are so easy to mannage. George likes to build his boats as single chine hulls. But he likes to build them like battle ships. Ed MacNaughton also designs boats of that type. His are all nicely rounded with strip construction.

    Bob
     
  3. D'ARTOIS
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    D'ARTOIS Senior Member

    The old men and the Sea.......

    I am getting towards my retirement, days clicking away in a superfast tempo.. there is still so much to learn...... as a spin off, talking about the oldies that still are going quite strongly: is there anybody that can tell me about the qualities of the (larger) Morgan yachts from the late '60-s early '70-s?

    A late ('68) Morgan Sloop, 17 mtrs (55 or 56 ') is lying in California. The boat is much different in looks from anything we know in Europe. Nevertheless she has unbelievable charisma - the interior cannot match the quality of carpentry we are used to, nevertheless she is a beauty.

    I would be very grateful to anybody in the forum have a look at this boat and tell me his/her findings. The name of the boat is Albatross and she is offered for sale by a yachtbroker in Ventura, Ca.
    She can be Find at Yachtworld.com, accompanied by many photo's.

    She has a very particular underwatership, not that we are used to - but I am not familiar with US oldies, therefore my question.....

    Brien
     
  4. D'ARTOIS
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    D'ARTOIS Senior Member

    Correction: the name is not "Albatross" and she is registered in yachtworld.com as no YW # 1514-1203227

    thanks
     
  5. Milan
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    Milan Senior Member

    She looks typical for her era of CCA rule boats - quite heavy, optimized for light airs performance, short waterline, long overhangs. These boats are usually strongly built and very good value for the money.

    Milan
     
  6. D'ARTOIS
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    D'ARTOIS Senior Member

    Thanks for your input Milan, I am totally unfamiliar with these kind of designs.
     
  7. crawdaddy031
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    crawdaddy031 Junior Member

    D'Artois, try to find this book. Desirable and undesirable characteristics of Offshore yachts, by tech committee of CCA. ISBN 0-393-03311-2. This will explain an enormous amount about these types of boats. Jim
     
  8. D'ARTOIS
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    D'ARTOIS Senior Member

    Thanks, Jim I appreciate your advise, but before I have this book - if I can get it at all - can you give me a bit more practical info?
    Milan said something like "optimised for light air conditions" does that mean that this is a daysailer?
    What is this type of boat? Can it cope with something like in the story of what happened to me in '82?

    Thanks in advance,
    Brien
     
  9. Milan
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    Milan Senior Member

    Hi Brian,

    No, they are not day sailers, they are able to take open sea, basic hull strength won't be a problem.

    Optimization for light airs - Given that CCA rule encouraged long overhangs and short waterline and quite hefty displacement and prevailing light winds in most of the races in US areas in which these boats competed, designers searched speed in light conditions. To achieve that, they tried to minimize wetted surface. To our modern eyes, under water parts of these boats doesn't look particularly small, but they where for their time. (That was during transition period from the traditional long keels to the fins. Fins still had a long way to go to become main stream). They also had generous sail plans. So, what kind of characteristics can you expect from these kind of boats? They are fast in light zephyrs. With a little bit more wind they quickly achieve hull speed. After that, with stronger winds, sails have to be shorted quite early and they can't be driven much above theoretical hull speed. Try to sail faster then that and they just dig a deeper hole in the water and heel more. (Courtesy of short waterline and deep rocker). They are seaworthy in the blow. Having low prismatic coeff and short waterline, ends should be kept light to minimize pitching in the seaway.

    Value for the money - if you compare the prices for the second hand boats, you'll probably find that similar amount of money that will you just a few years old 10 meters boat could buy 14 - 15 long CCA boat from the sixties. Old boats where much more strongly built then what is now the norm. Because of that, they tend to age very gracefully, at least fiberglass hull does, eventual wooden deck, hatches and similar are other meter. The best buy would be to find structurally sound boat in need of cosmetic upgrade and preferably ex racer which would be mostly empty inside. In that case one could quickly build basic interior and get big boat for a little money.

    Milan
     
  10. Vega
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    Vega Senior Member

    Not as simple as that. A Malo, a Najad or an Atlantic cost 2.5 the price of a Bavaria or a Beneteau and that is a major setback. Most people don't have the money for that kind of boat.

    This is an interesting thread.

    To my view, good solid modern cruiser-racers, like x-yachts or J-boats, are not unseaworthy. The big difference with a heavy displacement boat is that they take heavy weather in a completly different way:

    The light boat will need a crew, because she has to be sailed "actively" with a man at the wheel and requires expertise. If it is really bad, it will run with the wind at planning speeds at almost wave speed .
    A heavydisplacement has to drag a lot of stuff behind and doesn't require a crew. The boat can take care of herself.
     
  11. D'ARTOIS
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    D'ARTOIS Senior Member

    Milan, thank you very much for your highly appreciated reply, I am seriously interested in the boat, but I was puzzled by her design, however so graceful.
    Do not forget that I have to take her a long way back home. Your explanation declares the fact that her interior is "not up to standard" which means that she was converted from racer to cruiser.She has a nice teakdeck, almost flush and she has a simple small cockpit that will suit me fine.
    I will see if I can post a few pictures.

    Her theoretical hull speed will be around the 8.7 knots, a speed that is good enough for me, although she requires an autopilot to handle her single.
    I will use the wintertime to get her back to Holland, or France, provided that she can make the voyage.

    Now, another question arises. Probably this was a "class" boat as crawdaddy already established - I never heard of this class and the CCA doesn't ring a bell. I have never been involved in US racing as it is on the other side of the pond. But I want to know how she originally was equipped, so I have to dig in the istory of the Morgan Yacht company, in order to get back to her roots.

    Again, thanks for your knowledge and opinion.

    Brien
     
  12. D'ARTOIS
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    D'ARTOIS Senior Member

    In fact, Milan, this is the boat we are talking about
     

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  13. Milan
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    Milan Senior Member

    Hi Brien,

    Nice looking boat! I saw her on the yachtworld.com. Price already looks reasonable, not to mention that you will probably menage to negotiate it even lower…

    CCA (Cruising Club of America) rule was most influential American rule in the 50's and 60's. It has a lot in common with a British RORC rule from the same period.

    These rules had theirs faults, (as all rules have), but they did tend to produce graceful boats. (Concordia yawl for example).

    CCA started to loose influence at the beginning of 70's, with coming of fins and IOR.

    Love your idea of buying the boat over the pond and sailing her to home.

    Milan

    http://www.morganyachts.com/
     
  14. D'ARTOIS
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    D'ARTOIS Senior Member

    That is, Milan what I understood. Hopefully the broker answers the questions I have mailed to him, it is my experience that US brokers are not that efficient as we are here in Europe, mostly they do not reply to your inquiries, however this one did. Most probably I have to go with a bankers draft in my hands to the US in order to get something of the ground. Let's see how it develops. There is of course the difference in time.
    But I am used to handle incoming mail as soon as I am in the office and watch further 2 times per day, often more.

    In any case, thanks for your support.

    Brien
     

  15. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    It's funny, though, to see the sort of boats that have been criticised for being unseaworthy, unseakindly race machines over the years.

    Here's a few press quotes from memory. Try to visualise what sort of boats could come in for these criticisms.

    1- "a pitching fool". This Fastnet winner was bought by a new (and highly succesful) owner who dumped it on the market after one sail because it was too uncomfortable and too much of a racing machine. What boat could it be?

    Answer - the Burgess schooner "Nina", Fastnet and Transatlantic winner of the 1920s, as described by Lee Loomis.


    2- "a rolling fool". Considered too small and unseaworthy by race committees for long races, uncomfortable downwind. What very famous boat, what design?

    Answer - Dorade, S&S yawl, described by Loomis (who generally favoured the type).


    3- "modern boats are no damn good". In the intro by an article with a
    famous designer/builder who declared
    that modern boats also lacked sufficient lateral area, were hard to control, and IIRC had rigs that were too high in aspect. Oh, and they weren't any good for cruising either, he reckoned.

    What rule was he talking about? What era?

    ANSWER - Bob Derektor on CCA rule boats about 1966.


    4- "Owners still speak of horrendous tales when these...boats are pressed hard downwind".

    What rule was this famous yachting writer and succesful sailor talking of? What designers? What boats?

    ANSWER - Masthead rigged, heavy IOR boats from Carter and S&S in 1971.

    5 - What boat, shortly after winning a trans-ocean race, was lost when it hit rocks after being unable to tack? It's a hard one, I know. A hint - the owner's next boat, from the same designer, was pitch-poled in a later race. A crewman was lost according to some reports IIRC. What designer? What sort of boat?

    ANSWER - The Colin Archer "Teddy".

    6 - What was the age, construction and design of the boat that suffered the worst loss of life in the '98 Hobart?

    ANSWER - The 1940s vintage carvel planked long-keel heavy displacement "Winston Churchill".

    7- What was the construction and design of the boats that suffered the worst loss of lives in the '79 Fastnet?

    ANSWER - Cold moulded timber and GRP, heavy/medium displacement like the Carter 33 Ariadne.


    8 - What designer said that downwind sailing on one of his highly succesful British boats was "very hard, too hard, in fact, and no fun at all"? What era? What design?

    ANSWER -Olin Stephens on his C 1965 RORC boats.

    9 - A champion 40 footer of 17,000lb (heavier than some others) but with most of that weight concentrated into the keel by the use of a balsa core hull, the head and hanging lockers un-enclosed, even the cabin sole made of strip planks with gaps to save weight. What rule? What year?

    ANSWER - About 1966, CCA Rule (Red Jacket IIRC).


    So all through the history of ocean racing, people have been looking at the boats of their time - whether CCA, RORC, early IOR, IRC, IMS - and saying "they're damn dangerous things, things were better in the old days".
     
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