Lost class or lost cause?

General chat about boats
User avatar
Nessa
Posts: 2283
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 3:16 pm
Location: East Angular

Lost class or lost cause?

Post by Nessa » Tue Jun 23, 2009 8:19 pm

As the recent purchaser of a hideously ugly, tatty and design fault ridden Bonito I have to say I share much of the unease expressed about the validity of this wing. There isn't much doubt in my mind that this boat is an abomination that probably deserves to have become extinct in favour of (draws deep breath and gathers courage in both hands...) the laser.

I bought the boat because it was very cheap, literally just down the road and is suitable for her indoors to have fun in until her streaker is back on the water. Then it may well be for sale again.

I know it is an oddity, and I can see some kind of argument for it being part of the dinghy path of evolution, but I can't say as I would expend much effort, if any, to drag it to a CVRDA meeting. I think I would be embarrassed to have it on show alongside some of the more lovely craft this group has to offer.

If I had any clue about the heritage of the MOGO that would be a different matter, since I suspect it may well be verging on vintage status. Unfortunately I have no way of knowing this for certain, nor can I put together an original rig, since I have no idea what it should look like!

I am painfully aware that my argument lacks logic, and I know I'm badly swayed by looks, but I just don't see relatively modern failures as part of what the CVRDA should be about.
The Peril
Agamemnon
Lovely little Cadet
OK 1954
Xena Warrior Princess
Finn 469
Laser 2
Wayfarer World

davidh
Posts: 3165
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 10:43 am
Location: Ventor Isle of Wight

Re: Lost class or lost cause?

Post by davidh » Tue Jun 23, 2009 8:29 pm

Nessa,

now you really are 'hitting the spot'!!

In most (though not all) of the cases that I've documented, there is a damn good reason why things succeed whilst others fail.

Take the sliding seat.....(and NO- I don't want to be a planker) - when you compare it to the trapeze, you know why a 49er doesn't have twin sliding seats.

or take the Unit: David Thomas is quite upfront about the boat - he left the design 'as was' rather than develop it. Could it have beaten the Contender or Jeton? No reason why not.

But as history shows, he didn't, the Unit died and the Contender marches on!!

D
David H

roger
Posts: 3026
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2004 12:08 pm
Location: Frome Somerset UK

Re: Lost class or lost cause?

Post by roger » Tue Jun 23, 2009 8:46 pm

I have to agree. There is a place for the lost class but I think JimC brought this up on another thread it shouldnt be a place for all those Laser looky likeys that failed because they were sh*te if we are to continue to exclude the early laser. I think the lost class section is for those unusual boats that didnt quite make it.
Hornet 191 Shoestring,
Hornet 595 Demon awaiting restoration
Hornet 610 Final Fling
Hornet 353

davidh
Posts: 3165
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 10:43 am
Location: Ventor Isle of Wight

Re: Lost class or lost cause?

Post by davidh » Tue Jun 23, 2009 10:15 pm

Roger,

An even some boats that made it - but have failed to pass the 'test of time'.

The Mirror 14 once again makes for a good example. There are adverts for the boat claiming it to be the 'fastest growing class in Europe' - then, nothing.

Or the ToY, a class that has already made a mark within the CVRDA. There was a time when there was a ToY Europeans even......

Now amazingly, the ToY, Unit, Trapez and Dart are all classes from the 1965 trials, as were the Cavalier, Viking, Nova etc etc. Yet when the Trials proved inconclusive, they called for a second set - which gave us amongst others the Contender.

Did the IYRU get it right or wrong when they made their choice.

I would have to say that on balance, the answer would be 'right'!
But the others - should they have succeeded too. The Toy did, only to fail once the Contender (and Laser) made their mark. But the rest........ shame but......................

D
David H

Rupert
Posts: 6254
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 8:40 pm
Location: Cotswold Water Park

Re: Lost class or lost cause?

Post by Rupert » Wed Jun 24, 2009 8:50 am

Lots of crap boats out there, but I don't think we will ever be swamped by them, as by definition most of them were burnet/taken to the dump years ago. Meanwhile, for those where there is still a little life, why not be glad people are mad enough still to buy them and bring them along where they can be sailed and Darwinism seen at 1st hand?
I would love to see (and borrow) the Bonito at a meeting.
Rupert

DavidC
Posts: 216
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2005 5:04 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Lost class or lost cause?

Post by DavidC » Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:13 am

Bad or not, they all have a story to tell. A book is not complete if you remove half the chapters. :?

User avatar
Ancient Geek
Posts: 1133
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2008 9:50 am
Location: Sletten,3250, Denmark and Hampshire GU33 7LR UK

Re: Lost class or lost cause?

Post by Ancient Geek » Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:33 am

Up to a point Lord Copper!
Readability suffers if you include everything which is why learned tomes tend to reference everything either the back appendix or to source material just to make them a little less dry, if a book on boats should be dry!
Simples.

User avatar
Nessa
Posts: 2283
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 3:16 pm
Location: East Angular

Re: Lost class or lost cause?

Post by Nessa » Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:40 am

I do agree with DavidC to some extent - you need to see the mistakes to understand and appreciate the successes. I suppose though I'm sort of concerned with presenting a parade of ugly boats and failures to the public eye. We wouldn't want people to think that is what we are about would we?

I suppose if this is tempered by our finer examples then the image is not so tainted.

Just a thought really.

Rupert, we are hoping to get Agamemnon to Roadford, but a trip to Sonderborg via Travemunde is threatening to hamper the restoration. If Agamemnon doesn't make it then the Bonito will, and I'll be selling rides at 10p a shot. :lol:
The Peril
Agamemnon
Lovely little Cadet
OK 1954
Xena Warrior Princess
Finn 469
Laser 2
Wayfarer World

Rupert
Posts: 6254
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 8:40 pm
Location: Cotswold Water Park

Re: Lost class or lost cause?

Post by Rupert » Wed Jun 24, 2009 9:48 pm

Nessa wrote: If Agamemnon doesn't make it then the Bonito will, and I'll be selling rides at 10p a shot. :lol:
A bargain at half the price!
Rupert

alan williams
Posts: 1649
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 10:44 pm
Location: Devon

Re: Lost class or lost cause?

Post by alan williams » Thu Jun 25, 2009 5:38 pm

Hi
I would say lets be incluesive about alot of these genuine lost classes. Ok some were very poor but if a person wishes to sail it let them. there have been some real nightmares designed and one must wonder how anyone bought one. But at the end of the day it's always interesting to find out whether they were really bad, overpriced or built as a prototype by people who felt that they were making a contibution to the development of small boat sailing.
Al Finn424 etc.
Last edited by alan williams on Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

davidh
Posts: 3165
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 10:43 am
Location: Ventor Isle of Wight

Re: Lost class or lost cause?

Post by davidh » Thu Jun 25, 2009 5:52 pm

Rupert,

Now here is an interesting thought for you.

Just the other day, I was aked about what I would be doing next (after the UK Top 10 designs) which set me wondering. I was given some ideas... a Top Ten Lost classes was one, but another was a top ten of boats that had made it - but maybe shouldn't have done.

Now my first instinct was to say straight out that there are plenty of websites for that kind of talk but these are not places that I would frequent, nor subscribe to. It has been my experience that most boats are an honest attempt to 'do' something - that they failed is often down to other considerations.

But there you are. Try to sit down and come up with a list of ten clearly definable 'dogs' - it is very hard to do. As Alan so rightly says, the interest is in 'why' they should be have been at Crufts rather than out on a race course. I bet you that most of the names that spring to mind will have someone to champion them, somewhere.

Instead of classing them as canine quadrupeds, I would prefer to see them as 'developmental cul de sacs'..... - now the list of ten might be easier!

D
David H

Nigel
Posts: 1238
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 9:51 am
Location: Thornbury SC, Bristol

Re: Lost class or lost cause?

Post by Nigel » Thu Jun 25, 2009 6:03 pm

It is easy to brand them as failures but I have owned a few and have often been surprised at how "not bad" they were.

The Harrier was underpowered and filled up like a bath if you dipped a gunwhale in the water but was pleasant to sail and good fun in a blow. It was also an interesting take on a singlehander from an MR perspective.

The Pisces was not the most exciting boat in the world but seemed to me to be totally viceless (Rupert can offer an opinion as he had a go).

The Man o'war seems to have been killed off by accountants rather than anything else but seems from the little sailing time in her to be surprisingly well balanced (if occasionally rudderless).

Anyone is welcome to have a go in whatever I bring along. It may prove interesting or it just may make you appreciate your own boats all the more :) .

Nigel

Rupert
Posts: 6254
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 8:40 pm
Location: Cotswold Water Park

Re: Lost class or lost cause?

Post by Rupert » Thu Jun 25, 2009 6:21 pm

Trouble is that you'll need to find past owners of the boats who are willing to describe sailing the boat, find out how the marketing was done, speak to the designer (if alive) to find out his intentions for the class...could take a while.
As for naming classes to consider,
I'll kick off with the ToY...

I didn't get a chance to sail the Pisces in enough wind to have a definitive opinion, but it was certainly comforable compared to the Tonic! I suspect that with a better boom she would have been better, but I doubt this would have been the making of her. Easy to see why she didn't succeed, though, being very close to the Laser in basic premis. Did you ever sell her, Nigel?

Sadly, Rod McA-D isn't around anymore to discuss the reasons for the demise of Man O' War or Tonic.
Rupert

davidh
Posts: 3165
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 10:43 am
Location: Ventor Isle of Wight

Re: Lost class or lost cause?

Post by davidh » Thu Jun 25, 2009 7:39 pm

Nigel,

Exactly the point that I was trying to make.

Think of the Minisail Sprint. Now here was a Marmite boat - you either loved it or hated it. (I was in the latter category). But there was a guy sailed one at Netley Cliff who went like a rocket in his and loved it........`

Ditto the ToY. Flat water and a reaching course would see the ToY keeping pace with much more powerful boats (not that there were that many single handers then). The ToY suffered though, squeezed out by the Contender at the top end of the market and the Laser at the bottom. From a marketing perspective, I do not think the name was that good an idea either. A shame, for given flat water, plenty of breeze and a reaching course, you could really fly in a ToY.

As for the Harrier - I did make contact with Keith C about the boat and found him a mine of useful information. His view was that the boat as constructed was too heavy, too underpowered and no match for the sudden growth in the Laser!

But as you say, get one that is 'sorted' - with a better rig - and you have a lovely boat!

D
David H

Nigel
Posts: 1238
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 9:51 am
Location: Thornbury SC, Bristol

Re: Lost class or lost cause?

Post by Nigel » Thu Jun 25, 2009 7:53 pm

Hi Rupert,

yes. it is now up at Cotswold SC not far from you. The new owner is delighted with it and I was amply rewarded :D .

My lost classes are self funding so it is a relatively harmless vice. Overall I am out of pocket about £10 and still have two boats to show for it.

Post Reply