Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Update on U.S. 104 (previously 107)

New owner, Paul Galvez, has been inspecting his bones US 104/107 and sends along these updates. The origin and builder of this International 14 is a head-scratcher to say the least. Paul is tending to US 104 as the correct hull number and not US 107.

"Just on update on this particular 14... I had some time to really inspect it last night. Overall, in really good shape considering it's age. I definitely believe pre-war, mid to late 1930's. The builder plaque is missing. Hull was hanging in the garage for about 50 years unused. Owner Bill Sweningsen was a collector of fine cars and boats. He mainly had it as a day sailor. No racing.

"He passed away about 6 mos ago and we have purchased the boat from his wife and son. They do not know much about the boat or where Bill got it from. They only that know he purchased the boat around 1967. Appears to be a West Coast boat at least from 1950 onwards based on what I see.

"The bright finished hull appears to be 5/16" thick carvel planked cedar on 51 individual 3/4" oak ribs. Each plank is screwed in with countersunk double bronze fasteners spaced about 4" apart then filled. Very nice craftsmanship. Bulkhead/Mast Support, Centerboard Case, and transom appear to be Honduras Mahogany.

"Rails appear to be a combination of Oak and Mahogany. I see zero rot and the hull is still stiff!

"Original Spars and foils appear to be in great shape. Most likely Spruce. The mast has a very interesting external halyard winch box made of bronze and aluminum.
"Hull is either US 104 or 107 since it has two sets of cotton miter cut sails with both sail numbers.

"One set is by Ratsy & Lapthorn, Cowes - 1939. The other set is by Kenneth Watts, San Pedro, no date but appears to be same vintage. This sail is stamped: "APPROVED - Intl 14 Association 1950, Long Beach CA."

"I have both the One Design and this hull in the garage at the moment side by side and they definitely look different in the hull shape with the Carvel planked boat carrying the beam a bit more forward and more tapered in the transom.

"I did some quick measurements last night on both the D&M and the Bones. Both mast steps are deck stepped and positioned 48" from the stem. Both bows are the same height from the knuckle. The transoms are the same width but the bones boat has a shorter transom height. Rigs are somewhat similar in overall length and spreader config with the bones boat spreaders are about 3" shorter than the D&M spreaders. Bones boat mast is much thinner and bendier. Rudder and center board are also lower aspect than the D&M. I will measure more next week and try to get a weight on it. What is still puzzling is that this boat is not double planked with silk liner but a thicker single planked boat of what looks like cedar.

"In my investigation over the last few days I was able to find a few notes from Louise Ford regarding her father's obsession with building the Rochester US fleet. It seems he had at least 18 or more RIP boats made from a few builders in NY/East Coast. On the later boats (before the D&M builds) he implemented his own ideas with the cockpit layouts. My thinking is I may have one of these variations. Louise apparently has records of these designs and perhaps photos. I have not reached out to her yet.

"During this digging I located another bones boat - US 34. Alive and well, still in NY fully restored and breathtaking. Owned by Dr. Robert Schock and sailed at his lake house in Lake Wanaksink, NY. We traded emails and he is dying to know more about the origins of his boat. He has some good info on it but is looking to complete the puzzle. I have forwarded him your contact info. I will forward the email he sent to me.

In a further email, Paul said he measured US 104 and his USOD, side-by-side, and US 104 is definitely an Alarm hull shape.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Long Beach "Worlds" - 1950

In July, 1950, the Californians hosted a "Worlds" at Long Beach, though technically we would consider it a North Americans since the attendees were all Americans, with the exception of the two Canadians making up the foreign contingent. This was the third of three consecutive years of major North American regattas, the previous two being; 1948 in Rochester N.Y., and 1949 in Montreal, Canada. These regattas would solidify the post WWII International 14 presence in North America, with strong fleets developing on both coasts and Canada (though, ironically, by 1950, the original Rochester Y.C. fleet was struggling and would not remain a viable fleet for too much longer).

The regatta would feature two series; a three race One-Design series, since the California fleet was now a one-design around the Douglass and McLeod hot-molded Alarm shape, and a three race Open Fleet series, which accommodated the development International 14 of the Canadians. (and the East Coast was moving toward an Open Fleet as well.) The USOD 14's raced in the Open Fleet (they were still International 14's) but it is unclear what the Canadians did while the One-Design series was held.

Bill Lapworth was the overall winner when the results of both series were added together (getting his name on the Founders Trophy) but Dick Stephens of Stockton would win the Open Fleet series. I was able to get the results of the Open Series off the Web which I post below (the hull numbers I have added as best I can).

To view this file, click on the pop-out icon on the top right of the window. This will put it on another tab on your browser.

I have posted this photo before on the CBIFDA blog and which I can now identify as taken at the 1950 Long Beach "Worlds" regatta.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

U.S Builders of the 1930 Bones International 14's

My research has uncovered three U.S. builders of the Uffa Fox inspired "bones" International 14's prior to WWII.

Rochester Boat Works- Volney Lacey and his boat-building business, Rochester Boat Works, would build the first 11 R.I.P. copies, 6 in 1935, and 5 in 1936. Volney Lacey's boat yard was in close proximity to the Rochester Yacht Club, and since 1917 had been building fast runabouts, and providing a full service yard for the yachting elite of Rochester. He was a natural choice when George Ford went looking for a builder of R.I.P. copies. Volney took a look at the exquisite construction of the Uffa built R.I.P. and decided he couldn't duplicate it and also make any money from building these new-fangled 14-footers. He changed the spec, putting in larger ribs at a greater spacing, and eliminating the small seats of the Uffa 14's, adding the stiffness back in by building a wide gunwhale plank where the crew sat (he got around the rule by cutting 3/4" slots to make it an "open" boat). The Rochester Boat Work's R.I.P. copies were not considered fast. Norm Cole called them "crude" and they were most likely heavy. Volney Lacey would not make any more R.I.P. copies after 1936, citing an inability to make a profit even at the reduced spec. But George Ford had already located another builder.

A.C.E. Boat Works - Starting in 1937, the Rochester fleet would get their R.I.P. copies from an obscure boat-builder in Syracuse, New York. George Ford selected Albert F. Englert, who, with his brother Clarence, had been building small runabouts since 1930. Albert also had a good reputation for building fast Snipes. It is unclear how many R.I.P. copies Albert and his brother produced (some estimates are 12-18) but it appears he built them from 1937 - 1941. He also supplied hulls to Cape Cod Shipbuilding, most likely starting in late 1939. (Cape Cod Shipbuilding was advertising their International 14 for the 1940 New York Boat Show.) Norm Cole remembers they were built to the "R.I.P. spec" but were also very flexible. He relates that you could grab the forestay on an Englert 14, wiggle it back and forth, and watch the transom dance. The Englert R.I.P. 14's were down to weight (225 lbs) and fast enough, George Ford would pilot the first one, US 11 Venture to an unbeaten season among the Rochester fleet in 1938.

Gordon Douglass Boat Works - George Ford had recruited Sandy Douglass to the class in 1938 when some of the Rochester Y.C. 14 fleet attended the Put-In-Bay regatta. Sandy would shortly begin building "bones" 14's in his shop at Vermilion Ohio, the "Fishhouse"; building them to the full Uffa spec. Again it is unclear how many he made but it is probable he only built them for three years. He, like Volney Lacey, found the Uffa building method too time consuming to make any money. Sandy estimated that, to build one "bones" 14, to hammer the double planking to the ribs and then clench the nails, took 70,000 hammer blows! Sandy's "bones" 14's were considered stiff and down to weight.

It is highly likely, (though I haven't confirmed it by measuring his boats) that Sandy was building his "bones" 14 to Uffa's Alarm lines and not to the older R.I.P lines. (See the comment by Stephen Smith to this post.) Sandy was a very good friend of Uffa from their time competing in the sailing canoes. In 1935, the same year George Ford was trying to get the Americans going with the R.I.P design, Stewart Morris had appeared on the English scene with the faster Uffa Alarm. It wouldn't surprise me if Uffa happily provided Sandy with the lines to Alarm when Sandy let him know that he intended to build International 14's.

[ed. note - I don't have a copy of Sandy Douglass's book, "Sixty Years Before the Mast" though I did peruse it some time ago. Some of the questions may be answered in his book.]

Existing known 14's of each builder -
  • Rochester Boat Works - US 5 Eddystone Light - Mystic Seaport Museum, CT.
  • ACE Boat Works - US 79 Chit - Mariners Museum, VA.,  US 34 - Restored Lake Wanaksink, N.Y. - bought from Cape Cod Shipbuilding -
  • Douglass Boat Works - US 112 - Mark Woodard, WA.
Existing bones 14's of unknown lineage -

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

K 848

Readers of this blog know that I'm not averse to post English International 14 history if someone makes the effort to contact me. Andrew Roosaak sends along a photo of his dad, Terje Rossaak, sailing K-848, an English, McCutcheon built, Shelley design produced in 1964. Note the wing logo of Anderson Aerosails, one of the first lofts to pioneer the radial cut. Andrew provides some background history of his dad and Chris Bevan partnering in K-848 and some of their exploits with the English fleet. (Andrew wondered if his memory was correct so I checked Tom Vaughan's history and the number and boat name check out.)

"My late father (Terje Rossaak) and his great friend, the late Chris Bevan sailed Int 14's for many years. They eventually got a new one designed by Shelly, if I remember right. K 848 was, I think, called Samantha. This must have been around 1964 to 1967. Had a black spinnaker.

"They sailed at Ranelagh on the Thames and also at Itchenor.

"I recall stories of the POW cup and others.

"Both were initially asked to sail the Naples Olympics in 1968 for the UK, but as neither were UK citizens, it didn't work out. Chris did sail., for Rhodesia, and narrowly missed out on a medal. Terje went to Naples and trained the either Chris or the UK crew.

"There were two [tales] about accidents that have stayed with me.

"The first was on a race day on the Thames. There was a bit of breeze and a current. On the upwind leg everyone was hugging the bank to avoid the current and hiking hard. It also happened to be a practice day for the rowers on the same piece of water. The sailors thought they should row in the current where the extra work may be worth it. So the banks were busy, the wind blowing and crews hiking hard, behind those massive jibs. Suddenly there was a crunch noise nearby and one of the rowing boats had rammed right through the side of an I-14 nearby. The crew released the sails on the stricken dinghy. The resulting pressure of the righting dinghy simply snapped the rowing boat!

"Another accident involved two rather lovely young girls racing a National 12 on the same area as the I-14's were racing. The girls had some Merlin Rocket crewing experience so were doing OK. But the N12 is a little boat was hidden behind the large I-14 jib...Chris and Terje managed to hit them. The talk in the pub later was that it was no accident! Anyway Chris and Terje spent a couple days the following week fixing the N12 - and that's how Terje met my mother!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Seattle Fleet Numbers from 1950 to 1963

View below in PDF format. It is best to put the file in another tab on your browser for viewing. Click on the pop-out icon (box with an arrow pointing to the right) on the top right of the PDF box to put the PDF file in another tab.

Friday, July 15, 2016

US 107 - Another Bones 14 Uncovered on the West Coast

Paul and Yvonne Galvez stumbled on this stunning vintage 14 - a bones 14 on the West Coast (bones is the term I use for the Uffa Fox inspired construction of the 1930's International 14's - lots of internal ribs or "bones"). It is undoubtedly an historic U.S. 14 but. given the paucity of information on the early U.S. 14's, this find will now force the I-14 history nuts to try to track down her origin. Paul and Yvonne are the new owners and Paul is busy measuring and documenting the hull. It came with two sails, one with number 104 and one with number 107 - the 107 sail being a Cowes Ratsey and Lapthorp, circa 1939.

The hull is in great shape given her age.

Click here to view US 112, Mark Woodard's bones 14 in Seattle.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Aykroyd on Ebay

Tom Price sends along an L.S.S.A 14, an Aykroyd, his eagle eye spotted for sale on Ebay.

A nice restoration but the rig is off. The lake Aykroyd's were gunter rigged, not gaff rig. This looks like a modification to the original.

Upadate: August 2, 2016: This Aykroyd is now on Craigslist. $4900 is not a bad price for a complete restoration but the market is tiny. This dinghy is located in Raleigh, NC of all places. Her name is Bijou.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Tom Vaughan - Over the Bar

Tom Vaughan, the English class historian whose International 14 history booklet is still the most comprehensive history of the class, has died, age 92. I never met him but his meticulous research and love of the International 14 class has always inspired me. God bless.

From an email...

Dear all,

I’m afraid to say that Tommy Vaughan died yesterday at the grand old age of 92. He had been in and out of hospital for the past couple of months but was at home when he died, surrounded by his family, which is exactly what he wanted.

Please can you pass on this news to other old 14’ers who would be interested and not included on this email – thank you.

There is likely to be a memorial service in Warblington (Near Emsworth) in a couple of weeks and if anyone would like more details, do please let me know.

Best wishes,

James Vaughan

My 14 skipper from my teenage crewing days, John Hsu, sends along these recollections of Tom Vaughan.

"I first met T.J. Vaughan in 1976 when I was in London for a medical meeting. I went to his office (studio), as he was in advertising. He was a gentleman with a friendly and charming disposition. He took me to lunch at a restaurant near Selfridge’s. His office had a lot of pictures (in those days, mainly black and white) of 14s and he was compiling a history of the International Fourteen, which later came out as a book, revised several times of which I have the 1964 and 1989 versions. That book gives the history of the 14s and together with the DVD that the National Maritime Museum made, should be read and seen by all modern 14ers, no matter what type of boat they have or where they race.

"It is of further interest that the extremely well illustrated book: The International 14 1928-1964 had 76 pages and the photographs were black and white, whereas the 1928-1989 edition cover showed color photographs of the ‘14’ sailed with 2 trapezes

"T.J. Vaughan had sailed a 14 for many years and I believe his last boat was a McCutcheon Kirby IV. It had been sailed in POW races and also as a Classical 14 when the class rules allowed 2 trapezes. This boat was a wood 14, varnished and meticulously kept.

"The Dinghy Year Book edited by Richard Creagh-Osborne kept information about all the dinghy classes that sailed in Great Britain but also had references to some of those sailed in the British Commonwealth and around the world. It is my belief that in the 1990s, Mr. Vaughn took over this task and published his results in British yachting journals. The ‘14’ was always the standard that other classes were compared to, despite the fact that at some POW [Prince of Wales Cup - ed.] there were less than 60 boats entered and at other dinghy class regattas, the fleet was over 200 boats.

"It was a great privilege for me to have met this gentleman and I hope that others who have also done so, could also contribute some comments.

John D. Hsu, M.D., F.A.C.S.

KC34, KC223, US801, US756, US901, US961, US981, US1001
Downey, California, USA

Cheaspeake 14'er from days of yore, Tom Price, sends along his recollections (which was in a comment I brought into the main post).

I crewed for Tommy Vaughan in the POW at Torquay back in the 1970s. Afterwards he wrote a delightful story called "Real Neat" about our experience. (apparently he was amused by my American expression "neat"). My initial disappointment of being kicked off my Team Race skipper's, Bob Reeves boat in favor of his wife, Peggy, to sail with Tommy disappeared at my first glimpse of his lovely daughter, Sarah. I was smitten immediately, and later got to sail (and win) at Rickmansworth with her crewing. I digress....

We had a wonderful time racing the POW but for a broken lower rudder fitting putting us out. He really wanted to win the Old Goats prize.
Tom was a wonderful man to have sailed with and I kept in touch with him off and on over the years. I was touched - to tears actually, to hear that he had kept a drawing I did for him of us sailing, and had it with him when he passed away. I have a signed copy of the History of the Fourteen Class Handbook that he gave me. It's well thumbed and I treasure it.

After hearing of Tommy's demise, I am re reading "Nicholas Monsarrat's "The Cruel Sea". Tommy never really spoke of it but he served (commanded?) a Corvette in the North Atlantic convoy duty. That was tough duty - rolly, little ships that bore the brunt of ensuring that Britain received the lifeline of supplies from America.

Read the "Cruel Sea" sometime if you never have - it's one of the finest sea stories. Tom Vaughan was there.