Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Doc's Best

Doc has his own sailing blog and he's composed a great post over here about the years he owned a Schock Kirby 3 and how he and his wife learned about racing these tippy, overpowered racing craft. (It's funny, but when the trapeze was adopted in 1969, there was an explosion of mixed crews in the class.) He concludes with a sentiment I've heard many times from old fourteeners:

"As the years passed we realized the Fourteeners we met up with in this open developmental class were the best sailors, teachers and comrades we would ever know."

Hear! hear! (as they say in England)

I include two photos I've lifted from his post.

Thanks for sharing Doc!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A video of how did they hot molded International 14's

This fascinating video shows Fairey Marine workers hot molding a Firefly in England. The technique is identical to the process used in the post WW II International 14 production of the Douglass and McCleod US One-Designs, the Davidson Alarms, all the Fairey Mk's, and the post war Bourke designs (National Research Council and Plycrafts).

I can't embed this video but click on this link here to view.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Davidson Ski Company; More Information Needed

When I went digging into this North American International 14 history, I thought that only Douglass and McLeod built the hot-molded Uffa Alarm hull. I did have a couple of measurement certificates from the Seattle fleet that listed "Davidson" as a builder of the "One-Design" (Alarm shapes), but I assumed that this was probably a boat builder that was finishing off molded hulls supplied by Douglass and McLeod.

It appears that I have been wrong, as there was a Davidson Ski Company that morphed into the Davidson Manufacturing Company in Vancouver, British Columbia, and it appears they were hot-molding canoes, small sailboats and also, from my records, their own version of the Alarm International 14.

I haven't a confirmation of this, but everything points to this. I came across Phillip Merchant who posted this history on a wooden canoe forum:

"I have been doing some research on the Davidson company(s) and this is the first that I have heard of them building canoes. It does not surprise me however, as they seemed to have had many interests over the years. What I have so far is that Hamish Davidson was a cabinet maker and early on developed an interest in building skis. He built wooden skis (and I'm sure many other things) through the late 1920's and into the 1940's. There is a pair of wooden skis in a museum in Quebec circa 1940 built by him. There is also a reference to him building some of the first fiberglass skis. 

In the 1940's Davidson and Charles Hourston worked for Boeing together building the Mosquito bombers. In 1948 Davidson (with Charles Hourston) started building small boats of wood and later fiberglass. There seems to be several different companies under variations of the name Davidson."
Davidson had experience with the hot-molded wood manufacturing in building the Mosquito bombers, there exists hot molded 12 foot and 17 foot Davidson daysailors, and I have measurement certificates for Davidson built US One-Design (Alarm) International 14's - the only proper conclusion is that we have another builder of the US One-Design hot-molded hulls.

Internet research and inquiries on Davidson Manufacturing have not yielded anything in response. Hence, if you are reading this and have more information, leave a comment or track down my email address in my "About Me" section.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Picture of a Pre-War Ribbed Bourke

Peter Sly of the Prince Edward Yacht Club in Picton, Ontario, sends along this photo of a pre-war ribbed constructed Bourke International 14 (probably built in 1936 or 1937). Photo was taken in 1956 on one of the PEYC docks. Those pre-war International 14's were just gorgeous craft (see the rebuilding of US 112).

1971 Canadian Team at Annapolis

Former C&C designer, Rob Mazza, sends along a photo of the Canadian team at the 1971 Team Races in Annapolis. This was the first year an American Team won; the West Coast team taking the Team Race Championship - 6 wins to 3 losses. (Note the funnelator, a water-filled-balloon launcher popular for amusement at regattas, both on and off the water in those years - until someone suffered eye damage.)

Standing, L to R, Graeme Hayward (RSt.L.YC), Arthur Earl, Peter Jones (crew for Harry Jemmett).
Kneeling, L to R, John Robertson (RHYC), Ewan Swan (crew for Graham Hayward), George Overend (crew for John Robertson), Harry Jemmett (KYC), Rob Mazza (crew for Arthur Earl).

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Bruce Kirby; On Designing his Mk 2

Bruce Kirby continues the story on the history of his 14 designs:

Developing the Kirby 2 (Flame)
"After the Canadians had won the 1961 Team Races (I had competed with the Mk 1. The Team Races were held in Toronto), Ward McKimm had said that if I would do a Mk 2, he would take the first one. Then I got Harry Jemmett of Kingston, my brother David Kirby, cousin-in-law Fred Anfossie from Ottawa and 2-3 others, including myself to sign up for the first batch. The boats were built in fiberglass by Johan Tanzer, located west of Montreal (there was no wood prototype). The first Mk 2's were launched in 1962. Johan Tanzer went on to be successful manufacturer of small cruising boats. The Mk 2 was also built in fiberglass in the U.S by Roger Moorman of Gloucester, Virginia (designer and builder of the Mobjack). Later on, the Mk 2 was also built in wood by Souter. Graeme Hayward had the first of these and it was in a Souter Mk 2 that Stewart Morris won his last of 10 wins in the POW."
Differences between the Mk 2 vs. the Mk 1
"The Mk 2 was not as deep under the mast (rocker), not quite as fine forward at the waterline. and not quite as full above the waterline forward. The Mk 2 was also slightly narrower on the waterline amidships. She would get on a plane earlier than the Mk 1. These were all very slight differences, but they added up to make a better all-round 14. The Mk 2 was very easy to sail to it's top potential."
How did American Roger Moorman come to build the Kirby 2?
"Roger Moorman had a glass layup system that he developed for the Mobjack that used a core material. The system looked good - I can't remember how we got in touch; Roger came to Montreal and taught Hans Tanzer his system and they both built the Mk 2 14's that way. The 14's got 1-2 in the 1962 CDA at Pointe Claire (I was first, Harry Jemmett was second) and that fall, Graeme Hayward asked me to have Souter also build them in wood. Graeme had the first wood Souter Mk 2 and quite a few were built by them. I think 'Pudders' (Jeremy Pudney) had one of them as well."

Saturday, February 18, 2012

1958 USIFA Roster

One of the first things Stuart Walker did when he started the class newsletter 'On The Plane' in 1958 was compile a class roster. Good thing he did, as his roster is the best historical snapshot we have at who owned what 14 in 1958. I've redone the roster as a PDF file.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

US 408

Another D&M One-Design has been located, this one in Ithaca NY. Owned by John Greenly, he bought it in 1971 from the West Coast. He has replaced the wooden mast with a cut down 505 mast and added some buoyancy. I have this 14 being owned by R.J. Savage of Corona del Mar, California in 1958.

Hopefully, down the road, he will send some pics.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Early pics from the Louise Ann Ford Collection

Start with two photos from Louise Ann Ford:

The first is an early photo with what looks like a teenage George Ford (skippering) with Bill Tarr (relaxing) on a LSSA 14-foot dinghy (decked, single main, lapstrake construction).

Louise Ann Ford Collection

And a picture of both US 1 (the original R.I.P.) and US 2 sailing, presumably out of Rochester. This photo was a frontispiece for a Regatta Announcement by the Danish club, Aalborg. George Ford would take a Rochester team of R.I.P 14's on a European tour in 1936, with stops in Denmark (racing against the Danish 14'ers at Aalborg), Norway and the POW on the Clyde. George was promoting the R.I.P. design as a One-Design and the Danes had built some of their own R.I.P. 14's.

Louise Ann Ford Collection

History of George Ford, from daughter Louise Ann Ford

George Ford was the founder of the US International 14 class. George was a champion sailor in the LSSA (Lake Sailing Skiff Association) 14 class in the 1930's and participated in the International Team Race sailed with both the International 14's (England) and LSSA 14-foot dinghies (Canada and the U.S) in Toronto, 1934. The English team trounced the Canadians and Americans, and George, seeing the writing on the wall, imported the Uffa Fox design R.I.P. in 1934/1935. George then proceeded to set up a boatbuilding operation out of Rochester NY to produce copies of the R.I.P. design . George tirelessly promoted the new 'International 14' class until he retired from 14's in 1949. The original English built R.I.P. was designated US #1.

Louise Ann Ford, daughter of George Ford, has a scrapbook of her father's sailing exploits and is kindly sharing them with the 'Old 14er'.

As I get Louse's material into the computer, I will post them.

Thanks again to Louise Ann Ford for sharing

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Pictures from the Peter Gale article

Here are two pictures that accompanied the Peter Gale article about the history of the International 14 in Southern California (again from the May 1992 issue of Planing On). Both pictures are of the molded-plywood, One-Design 'Alarm' shape. Pictures from the 1950's. (Again, click inside the picture to start a slideshow.)

Southern Californian One-Designs off the Long Beach waterfront.

I'm not sure if Sue Ficker is - or is not - related to Bill Ficker, skipper of Intrepid in the 1970's America's Cup.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Picture of Bruce Kirby sailing his MK 1 International 14

Bruce Kirby sent along a photo of him sailing his Mk 1 'Torch' design.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Peter Gale on the History of the 14 in Southern California

From the May 1992 issue of U.S. International 14 newsletter "Planing ON".

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Bruce Kirby, On Designing his Mk 1

In a series of emails and a phone conversation, Bruce Kirby related the story behind his first sailboat design, his International 14 Mk 1:
  • In 1957, his friend, Roger Hewson, built a one-off fiberglass International 14 “Imagination” to his own design. (Roger, being an engineer with a degree from McGill, also built his own mast and sails). Before he designed and built his design, Roger and Bruce took the lines off Roger’s 1951 Bourke and Graeme Hayward’s Fairey Marine Mk 7 (Uffa Fox) . Roger developed a crude device to take sections from the hull made of pieces of ¼” ply, about 4” long by 1 ½” wide. These pieces were chained together with short bolts and butterfly nuts and the whole length was draped over the hull,and the nuts were tightened down. The now curved jointed plywood piece with the section shape was taken off the hull and the section shape was drawn on a sheet of plywood, then the lines were scaled down and transferred to paper.
  • Roger’s 14 design “Imagination” ran hot and cold. Roger kept recutting his sails. Bruce feels that the Roger’s hull was pretty good; there was just so many different ideas being tried out at the same time that it was difficult to pin down the problems.
  • Bruce came back from 1958 World Championship Team Races and POW in Cowes determined to design a faster hull upwind in a breeze. The Canadians were quick in the light stuff (they did win the Team Race that year) but were badly outclassed by the Kiwis (Geoff Smale and Ralph Roberts sailing his modified Windsprite “Atua Hau”) in any breeze over 10 knots.
  • Bruce designed the Mk 1 over the winter of 1958-1959. The Mk 1 was built in Lachine, near Montreal by Bob Harris (Bob, an Aussie, was a close friend who designed and built catamarans nearby). Before the first one was finished (Bruce’s own 14), three others had ordered Mk I hulls. One was George Cook, Royal Navy Undersea Demolition Frog Man in World Wat II and also a dinghy designer for a few years after the war, a fine sailor and old friend of Bruce's. Bruce can't recollect the other two, though one was from Pointe Claire Yacht Club near Montreal. Bruce Kirby’s Mk 1 was actually launched in early summer of 1959 and won it’s first race. When Roger Hewson saw the Mk 1 in the flesh he said his ‘Imagination’ design was the thin one and Bruce’s Mk 1 was the fat one. In the Mk 1, Bruce fined up the underwater sections in the bow but still flared the gunwhale shape full up forward to prevent nosediving downwind.
  • Compared to the Uffa designs at that time, Bruce feels the Mk 1 was definitely faster upwind and downwind in a breeze but was slower in borderline planing conditions (too much wetted surface in the wider aft sections). Graeme Hayward, sailing his Uffa design was particularly fast off the wind.
  • Two of the Kirby Mk 1’s, Bruce’s and Ward McKim’s, were on the Canadian team in 1961 that won the World 14 team racing championships held at Toronto.