Historic PY numbers

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Ed
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Re: Historic PY numbers

Post by Ed » Fri Dec 05, 2014 1:16 pm

Still......the person who decided to 'chuck em out' should be lined up alongside those unmentionable people who threw out a whole skip full of paperwork from Fairey Marine, when the offices were closed down.....and well....sure you get the picture.
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Re: Historic PY numbers

Post by Rupert » Fri Dec 05, 2014 5:06 pm

Ed, not sure I have total confidence in the number as reflection of actual boat performance - more that I am confident that there hasn't been a typo giving the boat a number unintended by the author!

There must be clubs out there with a complete set - could be worth asking around, finding somewhere where the sailing sec has been doing the job for 40 years...
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Re: Historic PY numbers

Post by Hotspur » Fri Dec 05, 2014 5:37 pm

I'm sure in the 80s Yachts and Yachting did a class guide every year, which included such things as PY. Not sure how far back this went, but presumably tracking down the appropriate copies of Y&Y might be easier than official lists from way back when?
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Re: Historic PY numbers

Post by JimC » Sat Dec 06, 2014 12:34 am

Hotspur wrote:I'm sure in the 80s Yachts and Yachting did a class guide every year, which included such things as PY.
They did, but the source of the data, PY number included, was normally the class association, so its not as good provenance as I would like.

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Re: Historic PY numbers

Post by MartinH » Sat Dec 06, 2014 8:18 am

All this talk of handicaps reminds me of an apocryphal story from south Devon.

There were always arguments about the handicap system at a particular club until a member, who had given up competitive sailing offered to be their permanent race officer and handicapper, provided he was left alone and could keep his method secret. Everything then went swimmingly, no more arguments, and everyone was happy. Until the day the old boy was taken ill and couldn’t officiate any more. They had to revert to the old system and disagreement broke out again. The commodore went to visit the race officer in hospital and pleaded for the secrets of how he handicapped the fleet.

“Well,” says the ancient mariner, “It's really very simple. I sits up there and watches the race. The boat that’s been sailed best, I awards first place, the next best sailed gets second and so on down the fleet.”


:) :)
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Re: Historic PY numbers

Post by chris » Sat Dec 06, 2014 10:15 am

Probably the best method in the world!

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Re: Historic PY numbers

Post by davidh » Sat Dec 06, 2014 11:08 am

"the person who decided to 'chuck em out' should be lined up alongside those unmentionable people who threw out a whole skip full of paperwork from Fairey Marine".

Ed, that's my Dad you're talking about. He was one of the final 5, the last handful of employees given a month or so extra work to clear the site. It was crazy! There was so much down there that you'd have needed a couple of months to go through what was there, then make a stack of what SHOULD (as against what could have been kept) and then a reasonably sized storage unit, as in an larger than standard family garage and you would still have been losing stuff that was worth saving. As it was, my father did what he could. There was stacks of wartime stuff there, he loaded his old camper van to the roof lining with the best and took it to RNAS Yeovilton where it was gratefully received. But the rest, if it burnt, it was! It was heartbreaking to see the final act in such a proud story. There were dustbin sized containers full of the old Fairey dinghy fittings, a scrap metal merchant had those. Anything of real value was collected by the Curreys and taken to Bosham. The old moulds and some hull shells that had been stored for decades (including, as far as I know, at least one FD plus a jollyboat) were taken down onto the spit at the entrance of the river at low tide and burnt.(and my, was there a row over that, the smoke was so thing you couldn't see the leading marks for the river and the HarbourMaster came down on them hard.)

But for that final five, all of whom had been given that extra month before their redundancy kicked it, they were placed in an impossible position. My father knew that it was an act of cultural vandalism and invited me down, but the scenes were so shambolic that any planned recovery was well nigh impossible. BUT...with regard to the dinghy stuff, sadly there was almost nothing left by then, it had been dumped to make space for powerboat stuff. It is easy to apply our thinking of today to a situation back then, but the hard truth is that there had been almost zero interest in doing anything to proactively save the 'old stuff'. But this was the early to mid 1980s and interest back then in these things was minimal to say the least. Even so Ed, those 'unmentionable people' saved what they could and much of the quality stuff was kept - as said, at yeovilton and the powerboat material went to the people who would create the Fairey Owners Club.

The rise, fall, rise again, fall again, re-vitalisation and ultimate demise is an interesting topic - one that it tied to the fortunes of the river itself. It is another of the presentations that I give, though it is very geographically dependant. But Hamble is rich in history and before the Navy really started developing, Hamble was the 'home' of the Royal Navy. Just down from the house that I used to live in was the area where all the iron smelting was done for fittings, but that would tail off as ship building moved to into the field of heavy engineering. Hamble then became the centre for the new strawberry industry, then a focal point for naval aviation, before heading back to boats. But, even now, there is little actual boat building now on the river.....

I can though tell you this without fear of contradiction. That little band of old men did what they could, given the odds stacked against them. Their efforts should be applauded, they had a hard and thankless task that brought them little reward!

Dougal
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Re: Historic PY numbers

Post by Obscured by clouds » Sat Dec 06, 2014 11:29 am

totally off topic: Dad had a Fairey Huntress powerboat called Lazy Doll which was a salvaged boat which had hit a sandbank at high speed and ripped a hole in the bottom by the propshaft.

He re fitted her and we used her for years as 'our' boat but she also earned her keep at the boatyard, towing Dragons, half-raters and Squibs over to Abersoch [and back at the end of the season], and for general work around the bay.

Dad said she was the one one [power] boat he wished he'd kept when he sold up. She now plies her trade as a photo boat down on the Solent.

Faireys really are built to last.
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Re: Historic PY numbers

Post by davidh » Sat Dec 06, 2014 11:37 am

Tony,

did they repair the damage at Hamble? If so, it was done by an old boy called George Rvyes, an amazing character whose way of working was to put one veneer on the boat, the next in a pile to take home, one on the boat etc tec. Wonderful times as a good old fashioned boatyard!

D
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Re: Historic PY numbers

Post by Obscured by clouds » Sat Dec 06, 2014 9:41 pm

No we did it in the yard here.

IIRC he got the various bits from Fairey Marine sent to us [we had several fairey powercraft customers] Dad made a simple internal mould through bolted, then routed out the various layers to create a stagerred 'scarf' then layered the new veneers from the outside, glued with cascamite and then used a hydraulic jack to push it alll together. It worked well enough not to be a problem and the surveyor agreed. Dad had holed the Duckling we had and used this technique to mend it.

My cousin Rob was experimenting with vacuum bagging on his first quater tonner but we could'nt find a suction device strong enough locally to do the job, or so we thought
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Re: Historic PY numbers

Post by Ed » Mon Dec 08, 2014 11:56 pm

Thanks Dougal, for the full version of the story. I knew your father was there and I am sure he did his best :-)

It is one of those stories which seems to have different people tell it in different ways, but I am sure what you say is true. Just a pity that they didn't have a little more time to sift out the worthwhile materials from the dross.

Really, I am only glad we ended up with what we did....it could of been worse.

eib
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Re: Historic PY numbers

Post by mph1977 » Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:56 pm

Ed wrote:Still......the person who decided to 'chuck em out' should be lined up alongside those unmentionable people who threw out a whole skip full of paperwork from Fairey Marine, when the offices were closed down.....and well....sure you get the picture.
people often bemoan the risks of electronic storage for 'losing' records etc and the compatibility issues ( although i suspect that this is far less of an issue now due to .pdfs etc) but paper records are just as vulnerable to disposal or mis handled storage ...

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Re: Historic PY numbers

Post by davidh » Sat Dec 20, 2014 4:21 pm

MPH,

This was something different; a systematic ethnic cleansing of records and information on an industrial scale. It wasn't just that stuff went into a skip, they had a 'skip a day' at one point. As my earlier post said, my father saved some of the old aircraft stuff for the Fleet Air Arm Museum (including a complete set of blueprints for the Fairey Swordfish - the biplane, not the dinghy) and made sure that the more important stuff from the early days of the Huntress and Huntsman went to the Fairey Owners Club. By then a lot of the dinghy stuff had already gone to make room for the bigger boats, but the bottom line is that no one knows just what material went off to the landfill site, but you can be certain that lots of things did. I went down there at the end and there was an incredible feeling that the time had run out - there was no more looking at stuff, into one of a number of bins it went.

Ah well...what is done is done, but that lost info can never be replaced!

D
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