Tuesday, December 18, 2012

2 Freight Trains Heading to the End of the Track @ Full Speed

Dennis St. Onge/ sent me this video.
Velos versus Stars and Stripes.
 Of course DA-WOODY's boat is even faster.

- HOT RUM SERIES. Finish in race 3 (on bottom of page 10 of that race).

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

545.3 miles in 24 hours; Vendee Globe 2012

                      We are talking about miles over a 24 hour period in the Vendee Globe Race.
- Besides the weather routing, wind and options in tactic, superficially I want to analyze the best of the Imoca 60's. Macif and Banque Populaire are the current leaders as they approach the Western side of Australia. The two boats are the latest VPLP/Verdier collaboration in design. Under present condition and for that matter nearly all the time, M and B-P. seem to have an advantage in speed over the rest of the fleet. On the Vendee Globe web site, I gather that M. is the lightest of them all, that both M. and B-P have rotating masts which I consider essential to make a substantial difference in performance. This can explain the small deficit of the close sistership Virpak-Paper who has a conventional standing mast and rigging configuration. From my point of view the drawback of the rotating mast is presented in the form of the fragile and cumbersome outriggers. They have been the cause of problems past and in present circumstances. I think there is a better solution as explained in one of the comment                                        
- Now, as the three leaders remain in position as they go up the Atlantic, I regret the absence of Cheminees Poujoulat. I think the boat has potentials and probably would have shone all the way. We will not know for a while, until next time.

                                    Cheminees Poujoulat. Juan K. Design                                                                      
Virbac-Paper lost her keel.
- One thing that surprised me in the last Volvo Race is apparently the absence of major problems associated with the pivoting keels. It seems that  keeping keels in place is still very much an issue with the current and recent Vendee Globe Racers. The fact that the keel is swinging from a single fore and aft bolt with fairing pieces is not easy to solve from an engineering point of view. Jean-Pierre Dick ended up sailing over 2000 miles without a keel. Amazing piece of seamanship associated with a lot of courage. I met J-P once at the Old Armchair sailors Bookstore here in Newport, we had a nice chat.

                                Macif, winner of the Vendee Globe 2012. VPLP/Verdier Design.

Monday, December 3, 2012

San Diego Yacht Club. "Hot RUM Series".

- This year the "Hot RUM Series" had 130 entered boats, in six classes.

- Velos is a Tanton 73' based in San Diego.
The 28 years old girl is still going strong, but it is all about the wind. For instance. First race: positions, first in class, 8 in the fleet. Second race: very light wind. Only 57 boats finished and Velos ended up 28. Third race: nice breeze; Velos, first to finish and first in fleet.
It is hard to have a career based on the vagaries of the wind !
Suspense of the finish between Velos and Dennis Conner's Stars and Stripes.

Photos courtesy of Bob Betancourt and Bronny Daniels

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Delivery November 2012.


The end of the hurricane season is marked by the annual exodus to warmer sky. Boats of all kinds and sizes descent south. My son Chauncey jumped aboard "Aurelius", a Gerard Dijstra & Partners classic design for a quick 8 days delivery from Mamaroneck to St. Martin.

 By luck a friend took this photo of Aurelius under the Brooklyn Bridge.

Over the 1500 miles passage, Captain Ken, Joey Waits and Chauncey + 2, encountered mostly light winds with the occasional squalls.

 Captain Ken, Chauncey and Joey.


                                                  Saint Martin                                                     

A little side story.
The small world of yachting, even at the top of the world. My son Chauncey first met Joey during the M/Y Began expedition to conquer the North East Passage. Joey was on a Ketch called Fiona. Both enterprises were successful in making the crossing in one season.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Vendee Globe 2012

In a few days the Everest of Sailing is starting. Non stop round the world, no assistance aboard 60' boats-projectile handled by a single person. The following has been written September 17, 2010, and originally published by: httP:// The Open Class 60's has always been for me one of the most interesting sailing vessel ever conceived. In her scope, her goal, her pace along with the stamina of her single-handed Driver. So over the years, I have compiled a maximum of data, information and designs to create and expand with an on going R & D for the beast. The boat is designed with the Vendee Globe in mind. Therefore the total aspect of the design has to be considered for this Marathon at sea. Ergonomically, simplicity, functionability and speed.

The shape has a few pecularities. A "Potemkin" bow allows a fine water entry and the reverse curve of the bow gives a wide drier deck for a strong base to the permanent installation of the bowsprit. The rest of the boat is built on a chined platform, wide in beam and almost wider at the transom. The chine separates the water, breaks the wetted area downwind while optimizing the placement of water ballast for upwind stability and downwind trim. The flat Veed stern narrows the waterline for a less sticky transom while keeping the buttocks as straight and flat as possible.

The lines are carried towards the bow in a deep and sharp section to give some grip to the water when going upwind. The slight reverse curve given to the sheerline delays the incoming water and reduces the freeboard aft. The deck features the interesting double companionway, separated by a trench. First seen on a Mini Transat 6.5M. in 1991,this arrangement permits to centralize the lines coming from the mast and gives a cleaner side decks. I also needed in my case, to give a strong support to the boom vang/combination. The two entries offer protection to the helmsman and a better view when steering.

The twin outboard rudders, placed well to the sides are out of the wake exit and are perpendicular to the bottom angle. In case of hitting something, the rudders swing aft, thanks to a "fuse" line build into the system. The keel is designed to carry all of its lead into the shape of the bulb for maximium stability. The planform is designed to maximize the aspect ratio available with an optimized sweepback angle. But the most important part has to be the integrity and strength that have to be given to this heavily loaded pendulum keel. The curved dagger boards are placed as far as outboard as possible in order to take advantage of their higher aspect ratio to produce lift with increased stability and less leeway.

The Sail Plan represents an effort to place the mast as far aft as dictated by balancing the rig with the appendages. The column stability of the rotating mast is managed by a three-diamond wire systemm much preferred in my view to outriggers. The Main flat top is in line with what is the norm now. The large fore triangle is divided to accommodate four different distribution of the available sail area within the ten sails permitted. I would like to think that the overall design conveys a desire to achieve the best possibilities and straightforwardness with wherewithal.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Les Voiles de St. Tropez.

Following the Regates Royales de Cannes in September, the Classic yachts moved to St. Tropez for the annual rendez-vous of the Sails of St Tropez. The greatest display of the most admired boats in the world. They came from everywhere. Divided in 3 classes, the participation included 10 Wally's, multitude of Traditional Yachts and 161 "Modernes". Not being there, something is missing.

A little side story about the Regates Royales de Cannes.
Back in 1970, aboard Europe our 72' schooner, we were docked next to the magnificent 114' schooner  belonging to Jean-Claude Brouillet. J-C was an adventurer, a pilot, who built his fortune in the air and in the jungle of Africa. His love for boats came with the 1914 Sumurun, still plying the water of Newport to these days. Then came Ashanti, a masterpiece by Gruber, the designer and Burmeister the builder. Jean-Claude renamed the boat Afaneti, because of the reaction of his crew from Togo, seeing the tall masts and comparing them to their trees in the forest. We became fast friends in view of our common interest. As it is, we soon developed the idea of a race for Classic boats in the Bay of Cannes. Making fliers and the round of harbors, here and there we managed to gather half a dozen wooden boats. I remember in particular the sisterships of Finisterre and Figaro, both Sparkman and Stephens designs. I quickly devised a handicap formula based on very basic characteristics of the vessels. The race went on with perfect weather and it was a lot of fun.
Originally started in 1929, the Y-C de Cannes relaunched the "revived" Regates Royales 8 years later.  Last September 85 boats participated in a week of racing.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Britton Chance Jr. 1940-2012

The passing of Brit Chance, the gifted yacht designer saddened me.
- A little side story.

- Early in my career, in the 60's, I read in a French Magazine the word "genius" associated with Britton Chance's design. I said to myself; I want to work for someone like that. Later, while I was working for the French architect Andre Mauric on the 12 Meter Challenge for the America's Cup launched by Baron Bich, the "President" hired Britton Chance to design a trial horse. So, I met him during the building of "Chancegger" in Switzerland, where from time to time I got to go.

- Still later on, I approached him for a design job in his office in the US. A few months later I received my Green Card, sponsored by him and Olin and Roderick Stephens.

- The card arrived faster than expected and Brit was not quite ready to employ me. The possibility of working for Sparkman & Stephens was also there, but I did not wanted to work in New-York City. A few days later, I was hired by Dick Carter and this is another story.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hydroplane. One step.


- There are only a few small aluminum boats featuring single step hulls. The concept is making in-roads with fiberglass construction being more amenable to be molded in quantity. Nevertheless, I wanted to see a CFD'sstudy for a 24' simple, single-step hull. Numeca International, already mentioned in a previous post, provided the results.

- Being a hydroplane she presents 2 angles of attack with 2 planing areas. The image below shows her riding on points amidships and aft to get a moment of equilibrium. Speed, as shown, is 34.5 knots.

Recent interest, May 2014 led to preliminaries for a 28' version. This longer boat might end up having 
another step built-in.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Other Side of the Ice. The book.

- In another post I related the adventure of a life time, going through the North-West Passage. Now the Sprague Theobald's book is out. Soon followed by the Movie. Amazon has several customers reviews that are revealing.

Monday, October 1, 2012

12 METRE North American Championship.

- I am a little late now, but a couple of weekends ago some of the heavies of the past America's Cup and Twelve Meter came to Newport. Ted Turner in the Classic Division, Dennis Conner and Tom Whidden in the Grand Prix Division. Victory 83, owned by Dennis Williams won the Modern division. Alan Hanover won the Traditional division. I have fond memories sailing the Twelves aboard Constellation, Sovereign and Kurrewa. Thanks to the A.F.C.A and Baron Bich, I was able to complete the French National Service, designed for A. Mauric, sailed as often as possible and pursue studies at the E.N.S.M with emphasis on Tank testing. Good, solid two years.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Newport International Boat Show.

The season is launched at Newport. I understand that the show is bigger than last year. My own impressions strolling through it even before it was open, is that on the power boat side, the majority of the boats have adopted an Italian look. That on the sailboat side the appearance is more "modern" than ever, with high freeboard, chiseled lines and wide stern without forgetting double wheels.
The other show, the Brokerage Boat Show at the Shipyard is much more interesting in my view. The boats come in all sizes and shapes and if there is one thing in common is that how well maintained they all are. Of course, because you are trying to sell you have to show best  but besides that, American owners have a tendency to really care about their boats.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Rolex Cup, Sardinia

Due to light air, only 4 out of 7 races were run. Coming on top is Bella Mente, the new J/V 72, Mini Maxi.
My daughter Dominique is part of the shore crew when the boat is racing and she sent the pictures.
Having presently a commission to design a Mega Yacht, there is a challenge there, but it would be interesting to design racing boats again.