Monday, August 24, 2015

Charlie Bourke's Riptide on Toronto Docks

From the Toronto newspaper, The Mail and Empire, a photo of Charlie Bourke's Riptide sitting on the docks during the 1934 Team Races with the English and Americans. The photo definitely shows that Riptide was still a LSSA 14-footer though, probably at this point, sailing with a sloop rig instead of a cat rig.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Charlie Bourke Models

Charlie Bourke, courtesy of the Canadian International 14 Newsletter

Some may consider Charlie Bourke as Canada's greatest 14-foot dinghy designer (even surpassing Bruce Kirby, but that may elicit some arguments!). Charlie designed and raced both the LSSA 14-footers and the International 14's and his post war International 14 designs dominated Canadian racing up into the 1960's when the Kirby designs took over. His design career spanned over 35 years and he was the instrumental mover and shaker that converted the Canadian LSSA 14-footer over to the International 14 class in the late 1930's. His victories and membership in Canadian teams are too numerous to document here.

Scott Kerr, who is married to Charlie Bourke's grand-daughter, Meghan, sent along some photos of two of Charlie Bourke's own hand carved models. They are of interest because these are designs Charlie was doing after competing against the Uffa International 14's at Seawanhaka Y.C, 1933. One model of Riptide is dated 1934, the year after the Seawanhaka Team Races. Here is my reply to Scott Kerr:

"The Seawanhaka Team Races, where the English and the Canadians and the U.S (Seawanhaka club members) raced the LSSA 14's and the English International 14's against each other, was held in Sept 1933. The English came back to race the Canadians and the U.S in 1934 in Toronto. So Riptide is what Charlie was designing after he saw the English open International 14's in 1933 (and to Charlie the two approaches to a 14 dinghy were like chalk and cheese). It is interesting that in 1934 Charlie still maintains the fore-deck as was allowed in the LSSA 14's. The model looks very much flatter than I would have expected. The LSSA 14's were very fine lined dinghies with balanced rocker whilst the Uffa Fox International 14's were broad transom, rocker forward designs."

The 1934 Riptide side view. It's hard to discern from the photograph but it looks as if there is a little bit of flare at the gunwhale.

The 1934 Riptide top view. (Note that Charlie has retained the fore-deck of the LSSA 14-footer, the English Uffa International 14's were open dinghies.)

The inscription on the inside, bottom of the model of Riptide.

The other Charlie Bourke model is definitely in the International 14 design camp. There seems to be some tumblehome which was a characteristic of English Uffa pre-war designs. Rocker has deepened and moved forward.

Many thanks to Scott Kerr and wife Meghan for sending along the photos.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Video of Mike Scott's Ames 2 Underway

As promised, here is the video of Mike Scott's Ames 2 sailing with his cutdown rig, a rig which lets him really enjoy the 14 without battling the canvas we put up on these boats when we were young once.

Mike Scott, a transplanted Brit, has been a one-man show in keeping the Classic International 14 flame burning, taking his 14 Obsession to various wooden boat shows and small boat gatherings in the Pacific NorthWest.

Mike said he weighed the hull of Obsession and it only weighed 150 lbs (just under 70 kg.). Not sure why it was so light. When the Ames 2 was designed the hull weight requirement was probably just under 200 lbs. I'll have to do some research on that.

(BTW, that's Mike's wife, Kim, crewing. Mike says she is quite good at it though she doesn't want to admit that this is only one of  many life skills she has acquired over the years.)

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Summer of 2015 Update

I haven't posted for a while (actually, it pains me to say, this is the first post in 2015) though Classic International 14 news keeps filtering through at a steady pace.

Out in the Pacific Northwest, Mike Scott has put a smaller 120 square foot rig on his Ames II Obsession. He sent along a video of him and a crew bombing along but I'm awaiting a YouTube link so I can embed it. He reports he is very pleased with the performance of the smaller rig. Mike also picked up a Schock Fairey model International 14 which was lying just up the road from his house. I am awaiting photos of both Classic 14's on the water together.

Mike with Obsession on the beach at some small craft get together.

In March, Jay Hartley of Connecticut sent along some photos of a beautiful restoration he did on USOD no. 282. He also finds that a Classic International 14 has loads of sail. His story on the rebuild:

"Thanks for getting back to me, It was in bad shape then but I traded a 125 Yamaha dirt bike for it about 5 years ago. I live in amston CT but keep the boat in Marlborough. Took me 3 years of on and off work to get it back in the water. When I first got it I took it out on a lake and the lead weight on the center board fell off and almost put a fast end to a nice boat. At that point it came out and got a nice makeover. Do you think the 24'mast is original? It seams to have way to much sail for a 14' dingy and can get a little crazy in winds over 15 mph. Could easily hold two crew on trapies to try and counter the heeling it seams.

P.S. took a week of free diving in 20' of water to find the weight. Learned a hard lesson that time."