Calling Firefly Experts

an area to discuss dinghy developments
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Pat
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Calling Firefly Experts

Post by Pat » Sat Apr 28, 2018 5:37 pm

We're trying to date and identify this Firefly.
The number engraved in the hog is 265 as shown in the pictures. It appears original as the number is centered correctly.
The boat has definitely been re-decked at some point and the side decks are rather solid laminated strips of wood.
Boom is a gold Proctor and the mast is a rather straight heavy inflexible gold one, both are old but may not be original.

Any ideas as to age and history and maybe even a name?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/pj2121/al ... 6319528807
(Half Cut and What a Lark Removals Ltd)

Rupert
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Re: Calling Firefly Experts

Post by Rupert » Sat Apr 28, 2018 9:59 pm

If 265, she has been converted to Mark 2 decks, possibly at the same time as the gold Proctor rotating mast and gold boom replaced the original Reynolds boom.

265 not in my 1988 records, so best bet would be to contact Peter Lanham at boatregister@fireflyclass.co.uk
Rupert

Michael4
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Re: Calling Firefly Experts

Post by Michael4 » Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:04 am

F265 is listed as part of a batch exported to Italy in November '47.

I suppose it could have come home.

See this and yes, contact Peter.

https://fireflyclass.co.uk/boat/sail_no_265/
Tideway 206
11+
Something bigger and plastic

Pat
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Re: Calling Firefly Experts

Post by Pat » Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:09 am

Thanks - email sent.

So if it was exported to Italy in 47, it was probably used to practice for the 48 Olympics....
Did the teams bring their own boats - would they have brought it back even just for practice in the competition waters?
Certainly sounds like a good story and it looks as if it has always been a single handed set up with cleats on wooden blocks on the thwart.

Does the rest of the look of the boat - tanks etc. fit the suggested age?
(Half Cut and What a Lark Removals Ltd)

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PeterV
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Re: Calling Firefly Experts

Post by PeterV » Sun Apr 29, 2018 12:56 pm

Elvstrom says the boats were supplied for the games and that the Danish selection trials were held in 'British 12' National dinghies' because the government wouldn't import any Fireflies for them to practise in.
PeterV
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Rupert
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Re: Calling Firefly Experts

Post by Rupert » Sun Apr 29, 2018 4:02 pm

The insides work for a MK1 Firefly, with the built in tanks and dozens of very tired looking screw heads. The stern bag covers tie in with the MK2 deck look in terms of vintage.
I suspect the number is telling the truth, but for some reason I have a nagging feeling there is something slightly later looking about the hull. May just be the decks creating an illusion, or maybe that the varnish isn't as dark as some of the early boats ended up.
Rupert

JimC
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Re: Calling Firefly Experts

Post by JimC » Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:47 am

I think the number alignment could work for 1265. I don't know enough about Fireflies to say whether that's feasible or not.

davidh
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Re: Calling Firefly Experts

Post by davidh » Tue May 01, 2018 8:11 pm

Pat,

The story of the Firefly at the 1948 Games is a real tale of deals done behind the bike sheds and then some almost laughable muddling through. I did all this in 2008 for the 60th Anniversary (which the Firefly Class celebrated in style down at Torquay). It was quite a complex picture in the end that took in not just the Firefly but all the boats and entrants (the Swordfish was scheduled to be competing but...that is another story). I still have a bulging folder full of pictures, details, comments (the yachting media were up in arms at the choice of the Firefly... yet another story) much of which I didn't use but am thinking of dusting off for another airing.

I've also got this in illustrated talk format if anyone wants something Olympic related......

D
David H

Pat
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Re: Calling Firefly Experts

Post by Pat » Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:08 pm

Update on this - we've already found another digit and confirmed it as F2654 which was stamped very off centre on the hog. It originally had the nice wide side decks and all-in-one deck and side deck of a mark 1 but has been altered to have narrower side decks with heavy wood below.

I cleaned it out today and we looked at the centreplate which is 8mm steel in a 15mm internal width slot and has a slot to go over the bolt and a tube that the bolt goes through.

But what stops the centreplate wobbling about in the case? As I read the rules, you can't add packing like the pieces of plastic paint bucket lid we used on the Larks. So what do the Freddies do or am I reading this wrong?
(Half Cut and What a Lark Removals Ltd)

Michael Brigg
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Re: Calling Firefly Experts

Post by Michael Brigg » Sun Jul 28, 2019 1:35 pm

Regarding your centerplate etc...

The Firefly was originally designed with a mild Steel 8mm plate (As you have noted.) There was some debate at the original Olympic event about how to minimise rust accumulating on the surface and how much it would affect speed.

Nobody is in any doubt that these "Heavy" plates are an abomination. Extra weight in he boat makes it more difficult to handle, significantly slower and creates a nightmare source of rust.

Not surprisingly the Class adopted an Aluminium plate at some point in the 50's. Identical to the Steel and including the "Slot" which fits over the pin. Having a pin and slot means the heavy plate can be removed easily for trailing (and no doubt cleaning of any rust.) No longer a problem if you have the aluminium (Anodised) replacement.

Unfortunately there is a very slow second hand market for the aluminium plate, so if you want this (significant) improvement you will probably have to buy one (I don't know whether these are marketed by the Class association or the current builder (Rondar)

If you buy a slotted (2nd hand) plate it just drops into the case on the old pin/bolt.

However... If you buy a NEW one, it no longer has a "Slot" but now has a Single Plate bolt hole. The original bolt will need to be removed (easy enough,with a pair of spanners) but you will also need to remove a shaped Washer designed to hold the (Slotted) plate in the center of the plate case. These are no longer made so they are a valuable item to keep in your spares box! When you remove the old bolt it should simply drop out of the bottom of the case.

The "New" Aluminium plate with its single hole no longer has that ability to fall out of the plate case but is a bit of a b****r to fit.

Plate slot coming off the pin danger!.. If you have an older, slotted plate and capsize on the run with the plate up and the boat then inverts the plate is able to drop off the pin and with a little bit of bad luck can end up dangling underneath the inverted hull! :roll: :roll:

This danger is avoided by fitting a (loose-ish) wire or rope attached by (or very close to) the Plate bolt, and fixed to the plate at the same point as the plate pully block.

There is no way of wedging the Plate. It will wobble when you are not on the water but "Wedging" or anything that causes the plate to "gybe" is illegal in class racing. (Though I wouldn't put it past some to 'accidentally' get a non essential length of rope stuck in the slot. The Firefly sails with alot of weather helm and in practice the pressure this places on the plate keeps it solidly pressed up against the leeward side of the plate case. If you are working on that area of the boat it is not unknown to fit/glue in a liner (of Formica or Tufnol) to get the plate case opening as close as possible to the permitted minimum width. This is only permissible if you are renewing the plate as I believe the entire case must be so lined, and you cant do that as a retro-fit.The down side though is that in heavier sailing the whole thing becomes too tight to make any adjustments,= disaster!
Michael Brigg

Pat
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Re: Calling Firefly Experts

Post by Pat » Mon Jul 29, 2019 6:59 am

Thanks Michael - the best answer is the simple one - leave it as it is! The safety line sounds like a good idea. The shaped washer is safely on the bolt so what we really need to do is sand and varnish inside and take it sailing - we acquired it for single handing in light winds or when crew wasn't available.
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Peter Lanham
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Re: Calling Firefly Experts

Post by Peter Lanham » Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:36 pm

Pat -

Another thought following on from Michael's excellent advice regarding the Firefly metal centre - plate, I having experienced the dire confusions which followed a capsize, the plate sliding off the pin and hanging over the side of the boat, dangling on the hoist, prevented by Michael's commendation of a piece of rope or wire. Many wooden Fireflies were supplied with a brass tab threaded under the head of the plate bolt especially to have Michael's vital string fastened.

My thought just might prevent the almost as inconvenient confusion should you invert the boat and the plate falls back into the box leaving nothing to grasp. Snug under the capping on the plate case, just forward of the thwart, you should find a hole thru the box sides, neatly lined with a brass bush - this is to take a pin, just after launching and with the plate lowered. Should you invert, this pin will prevent the plate totally falling into the box and will leave a tongue of plate just big enough to get hold off and to pull the plate back out of the box, and then following usual righting drill. When returning to shore, be sure to remove the pin in good time to avoid the corner of the plate scraping the chock of your launching trolley.

I would suggest using a drop - nose pin, a rod which has a knob at one end and a hinge thinghy at the other which will prevent the pin falling out uninvited, perhaps best tied into the boat to prevent loss. RWO and Sea Sure make them.

Just an idea, but I do not think I would wish to put to sea/lake/river in my Firefly without Michael's strop and my pin, and a couple of plastic buckets, just in case!

Best wishes, Peter Lanham, Firefly F2095

ps - there seems to be an ally plate advertised on www.facebook.com/fireflyclass at Hollingworth Lake

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