Monday, October 11, 2010

Return of the J Boats

Meaning the J Class sloops of the 1930's (Universal Rule).
One industry that is booming, despite economic conditions: The building of J boats.
They ran out of existing hulls to restore (Shamrock, Endeavor, Valsheeda) Then they started to recreate ones that had been scrapped long ago. (Ranger, and now, most recently, Yankee)
But, for the super rich, the idea of owning your own unique J boat is so irresistable, that they are now building ones that really never existed, except on paper. The published brief on this one (called Lionheart) is a little confusing to me. But it sounds as though this may have been the design that Olin Stephens submitted for Ranger. At the time it was thought to be too radical; The one that was finally used was from Starling Burgess. So they are, in perenthesis, calling this 'Ranger II'.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

'Coffee Grinders"

File comment: backstay trimmers
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One of the most amazing thing about these boats (as they were sailed originally) is that they had NO standing backstay! A heavy air jibe must have been terrifying. And, for the most part, no winches, as we know them today. Everything was block and tackle. This is a picture from the original 'Yankee'. (A tie was not 'optional' when you were in charge of the running backstays)
They did have THESE devices. Since I'm far from being an expert on this subject, I have no idea what they were called or how they worked. It's possible that they were some kind of clutch, or maybe connected to something lead below.
As a person that has been clubbed and flayed using one of the old wire reel type halyard winches, I wouldn't want to be anywhere near one of THESE things!