General chat about boats
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Michael Brigg
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Post by Michael Brigg » Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:51 pm

Many of the 'lost' classes have a whiff of the hound about them (which is probably why they are lost classes!) but if you want a real dog then look at the development classes. Shaft - the infamous Merlin springs to mind, as does the 'one off' 14 that I commissioned (at huge expense) that in the end got named 'Hound'..... and not for the parish in which it was built either!

Anyone else got any other candidates..... shall I start the ball rolling?

laser II?
Well david did ask for some ideas on this and it looks like a bit of fun so lets get personal about our own best loved pets.

The popularity of the Pug quite clearly shows that performance is not the most important element and many of us I suspect are proud and loving owners of the most canine boats imaginable. Film lovers will also remember Frank the talking pug in "Men in Black 2"

For Laser Tourist its clearly the Whizz that gets him going although judging from the tone of his assessment suspect he may not be a Whizz fancier/owner. I do however suspect him of owning possibly more than one 420!! (The French of course are renowned as a dog loving nation!)

Lets hear it for the Firefly....

By todays standards rather slow. No trapeze, narrow beam and decks nicely positiond to render thighs completely dead after a long upwind hike. Unfeasably low boom guaranteed to scalp the old lady with the kicker. Excessive rocker and (originally) rounded rudder profile with marked tendency to cavitate at speed. Same problem likely to precipitate vicious death roll. Tiny gib and no spinaker means scary windward heeling required on knarly downwind legs and inadequate lift from the deep bow section submarines if any but the tiniest crew moves forward to set a whisker pole. The original windowless sail plan makes for visibility rather less than the rear view mirror of the new lambourgini. Tiny self bailers and an incredibly thirsty bilge invites the entire ocean onboard for dinner AND breakfast. Low volume of airbag bouyancy make a capsize the end of the race as theres too deep a rocker on the keel to allow trnsom flaps to work and not enough flotation to let two crew bail out. Unbalanced rig with excessive weather helm.

I could go on, but...In its day it was state of the art rocket science.

What a great little boat. Loads of character and so versatile.

So thats my Cadbury's cream egg, to quote the TV ad; how do you all eat yours?
Last edited by Michael Brigg on Tue Jan 15, 2008 10:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Michael Brigg

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Location: France

Post by LASERTOURIST » Tue Jan 15, 2008 9:02 am

Well...Any given boat can be called a dog if one emphasizes one defect or another... I never owned a 420 (but sailed them a lot as club boats)..
but still i think that though 420 was well ahead of its times in 1960 .

As a boy / teenager i went to england around 1974 1976 and sailed at grafthamwater...and i wondered "where do they hide the MODERN boats?"
as the equivalent of the 420 i sailed were wooden 2 chine dinghies (Entreprise or GP14) that looked rather outdated (at the time, in France plywood dinghies such as Canetion , Mousse and Vaurien were a fast disapearing species...

The story behind the 420 is that it was carefully design and tested after the requirements of two sailing instructors (Latxague and Le Hoerrf of socoa sailing centre) who undertook a thourough work of specifications and did good teamwork with Lanaverre and Christian Maury (Builder and designer)...it could be said that it was designed from grassroots up , and allowed a good test period, making it a truely great boat that was exported massively, and not the least in USA and Australia.

Wizz, on the other side was rushed from Builders/ conceptors downwards,
without much consideration for the advice of dinghy sailors (they didn't seem to matter as the "marketing target" was the population of windsurfers)....
The trouble is that the wizz was not made by a little boatyard (It would then have been only a little failure) but by the big daddy of the industry, and backed by a leading sailing magazine ...so it made a huge flop after an initial strong start (thats why so many remain today and some people get them for peanuts and go through great DIY to transform them into usable boats...

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Re: "Crufts"

Post by Rupert » Sun May 09, 2010 10:49 pm

OK Michael, I'll bite this time round...as a Tonic owner it is only fair!

The Tonic - a real product of the 1980's - looked different, sailed well, but fell apart. Apart from the sailing well bit, could be a TR7.

I've been through dozens of rolls of duck tape attempting to keep the 4 or 5 I've owned afloat. The latest one has decks so bendy you think you'll end up sitting inside the hull, and now has foam blocks glued inside to try and keep me from getting glass splinters in my bum. The boat is really, really tippy. Wizz, bang, splash is a typical windy day's sailing. The wishbone rig is a great way of avoiding a kicker, and looks 1980's trendy, but lacks too much in the way of adjustment.

But, as the 4 or 5 boats suggests, I have a soft spot for them. They leave most boats for dead in a puff of breeze (unless they fall over) and can accelerate so fast I've seen the unwary fall out the back. Certainlymuch quicker than a Laser in that way. Of course, the Laser is a bigger boat and will get round a course quicker, but for a few seconds as the gust hits, bye, bye!

My knees tell me the Lightning is better for my long term walking ability, but I do love the Tonic. Is she really a cvrda boat? Well, certainly lost, but she lacks the 1960's or earlier classic feel. Certainly a child of oil wells and Thatcher! MB brought this thread back to life because of the suggestion that we allow a modern (sort of) fleet in. Maybe we could use the Knackered old boat society tag for them. The tonic suggests to me that maybe, just maybe, it is a good idea. But not racing as a fleet (or at least not with the same prizes) as the pre 1965 designs. The "feel" of the later designs is just somehow different.

So, the Tonic - flawed, but fun - a good candidate for crufts!

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Re: "Crufts"

Post by JimC » Mon May 10, 2010 9:14 pm

Difficult to look past the Laser 5 Tonner... Surely the worst boat that ever sold into 3 figures and as good an argument as you could ever want about relaxing CVRDA rules for lost Classes.

alan williams
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Re: "Crufts"

Post by alan williams » Mon May 10, 2010 9:53 pm

Hi My superdog would be a hornet I brought 1786 Stormbringer at the same time that Revolution 1782 was lauched. I knew nothing about this boat as it was built and raced in Plymouth while I was at university in the midlands. She looked very smart and had really good sails and kit and the price was very good. Some Hornet guys in the Plymouth Fleet fiddled about with the rules and built this super dog. She was built to minimum and maximum tolerances everywhere, unfortunately they were the wrong way every time. Very veed at section 5 with an almost straight stem, very little rocker, wide waterline hull, flat run aft, length maximum tolerance which ment 16ft 2" Well she was a dog unless the Sound was flat and there was a wind with tide force 5-6. This boat was a real bitch and is the only Hornet I know to have pitch poled. Needless to say we got rid of her after two seasons and moved on to the then known fast Gibbons built boat Passing Water.
Cheers Al.
PS 1786 was later written off, after a young cadet brought her (not from me), and put her on the rocks on the back of Drake's Island,
Last edited by alan williams on Wed Jun 16, 2010 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "Crufts"

Post by Nigel » Tue May 11, 2010 6:51 pm

Those that have watched the comings and goings of my boats on this forum know that I have a soft spot for some of the stranger creations. I enjoy working out how to make them work as well as I can and getting them back on the water. It is a net zero cost pastime for me although I am still waiting for a certain sailing journalist to do a full test and publish it in one of the dinghy sailing magazines :lol: .

Every one is a dog to a greater or lesser extent but that does not matter. In my view, dogginess in entirely relative. If everyone is sailing something similar then good racing ensues.

The hotshot boats of today are likely to be the dogs of tomorrow.

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