Friday, June 11, 2010

Old Boats of the Club Part 3, Daysailors

A look into the daysailors of WYC's past.


Tanzer 16

A little like an underpowered smaller Flying Scot with a rounder bottom. I felt that it didn't steer very responsively, and it didn't feel very fast. It was a 500 lb boat, and since we probably had the genoa, it had 145 ft² of sail area. With the standard jib it had 130 ft² of sail area. In contrast the Flying Scot has 190 ft² of sail area.

Left to right: Excalibur Islander 26, Caravel Bristol 22, Tanzer 16
From 1980 Daysailor

The E-scow was 28 feet long with a boom that sticks out over the transom. It had bilge boards, twin rudders and was designed to be sailed heeled over. The boat planes offwind. It's a very different feel than a 505 planing. Sailing upwind you heeled the boat so when the deck was almost touching the water the lee bilge board would be vertical in the water. The boards had toe in to reduce leeway. The weather board needed to be raised because it would cause drag being at an angle to its opposite. 

This boat had small rudders and sail trim was important. I had the jib halyard break once. I couldn't get the boat to bear off, it stayed in irons without the jib. I tried raising the jib on the spinnaker halyard and promptly pulled the screws for the block out of the wooden mast. I then ran the foot up as if it were the luff using the spinnaker pole topping lift, tied a knot in the sail near the head to hold onto and sailed home. 

When I got my rating on it, the chief who went out with me and also had an E-scow of his own said, “I'm not sure that only two people can right it.” He then proceeded with the capsize part of the test. It turns out you can right one with only two people. There were 4 E-Scows at the club at one point. I believe two or three of them were affiliate boats. I have several fond memories of cruising Lake Washington summer evenings on this boat. It had 323 ft² of sail area and the hull weighed 965 lbs.


20 foot cat rigged version of the E-scow. I pretty much ignored this boat since I considered the E-scow so much cooler. It wasn't a long term boat in the club. It had 216 ft² of sail area and weighs 650 lbs.


Huskies were the first boats that the club owned. In the fifties a design contest was held and a cabinet maker won with a scow design. The boat was constructed of a few sheets of plywood. The first version was under rigged and consequently more sail area was added. 

I believe originally there were 6 Huskies, at the time I joined there were the Brad, Deb, and the Increadaboat left. Two of the Huskies were stored in the Canoe House and the masts had to be tipped back at an angle to clear the door leading to the ramp that is in the Montlake cut. There was also another Husky left that had been converted into a race committee boat, the mast had been replaced with a course board and an outboard bracket had been fitted. I got stuck using this 6 HP powered thing more than once teaching classes. 

The original boats had a centrally mounted rudder and centerboard. The Incredaboat had been modified to something similar to an E-Scow with twin rudders and bilge boards angled out. Additional sail area had been added including a deck sweeper 180 % genoa. Dual trapezes were also added. I believe on my first Snooze and Cruise that the Increadaboat hit a log and tore a rudder off with part of the transom. That evening there was a group of people fiberglassing it back together on the island.

Victory 21

I would say that the Ensign was a nice replacement of the Victory 21. Ours was famous for winding up floating stern up after taking on water. We added more foam in the cabin so that it was self rescuing after that, and we tested it at the dock. 

You can read more about its sinking and see pictures at: 

Select the floatation button on the left to see a report of its sinking and re-floating written by the club member that was involved. We sold it when some rudder and rudder post repairs became more work than we wanted to deal with. This boat had 185 ft² of sail area and weighs 1350 lbs.


This was a powered up two man keelboat. It had no trapezes or spinnaker. It was also an Olympic class. The mast had double running backs which were critical to set correctly to keep the mast from coming down. You have to loosen the leeward set and tighten the windward set on every tack or jibe. 

The Star class has been around since about 1911 and has had a variety of rigs including a Gunter rig in the past, which is basically a gaff rig where the gaff goes up nearly vertically. The boat that was donated to us was made of wood. We kept for 3 years then sold it. This boat is a little short of 23 feet, weighs 1500 lbs, and has 285 ft² of sail area.


Another two man keelboat that is 22 feet long, but this one had a trapeze and spinnaker. It weighs about 1000 lbs, 500 of that was a bulb keel. This keel could be lifted with a purchase until the bulb was touching the hull making it easier to trailer. It has 247 ft² of sail area. 

Minute Man

15 foot catboat styled boat with a gaff rig. It has a U.S. Flag as its insignia on the sail. If you don't raise the peak and throat halyards together you break the gaff jaw, so the gaff was in the shop on a regular basis. A wide shallow draft boat with a short rudder is perfect for sailing in shallow waters but it resulted in compromises in sailing ability in my opinion. 

This boat draws 8” with the board up. You couldn't really hike in the boat, but if you let it heel it would round up when the rudder came most of the way out of the water. This boat was 15 feet long, had 145 ft² of sail area, and weighed 800 lbs.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Old Boats of the Club Part Two, the Double Handers

A look at the double handed boats in the WYC's past.



We had a maximum of 16 C-Larks at some point. We used to also have the area on the far side of the boat ramp to the first pedestrian ramp to store boats. The C-Larks were the double hand training fleet. They were a fat version of an I-14, much more stable with less sail area.

It was a self rescuing boat, but the tanks were small and low in the boat, so when you righted the boat it came up half full of water. There were two small holes in the transom to drain the water. For a long time after righting it you had to be very careful with weight placement. If you moved too far forward, the water would rush to the bow, the bow would go underwater, and water would fill up the cockpit again. Any direction you let the water in the boat roll to would result filling the boat again. The boat would eventually drain completely dry without having suction bailers because the cockpit sole was above the water due to the tanks, except for a small well at the back where the drain holes were in the transom.

If you sat too far aft the back of the cockpit would always have water in it. The solution for most people was to keep plugs in the drain holes unless the boat capsized.The boat would plane, but the bow goes up in the air due to the amount of rocker.I'm sure that my views on how the boat planes had a lot to do with my level of experience at the time, but I thought the boat was very difficult to handle while on a plane. I remember sawing the tiller back and forth trying to keep the boat from capsizing and quite often not succeeding.

These boats were advertised as being able to take 4 people. At times there were 4 people on C-Larks with all their camping gear stowed in the bow to go on Snooze and Cruise.

The C-Lark had a fairly large sail area of 130 sq. ft. for a 14 foot boat. It weighed 275 lbs. I've been told that they originally came without mast partners. Apparently we bent enough masts that we built mast partners. It is believed that C-lark eventually added a partner to the boat. Another modification that we apparently caused to be added was a small triangular shaped tank under the side decks to try to slow turtling of the boat.


We acquired the 420s as the double hand teaching fleet when the Laser 2s died.  We had both a Flying Junior and a 420 as demo boats.  One reason I remember hearing for selecting the 420 was that it was slightly bigger.   

420s were the popular inter-collegiate fleet at the time.  Some east coast schools still use 420s, but most of the west coast now uses Flying Juniors.   I find the 420s and Flying Juniors to be very similar.  A sailing article from years ago comparing the FJ and 420 had the opinion from some college sailors that the Flying Junior was a better boat than the 420 because you could hardly get it to plane, thus keeping the racing tighter and better.   

The 420 is 420 centimeters long,  had 110 sq. ft. of sail area and weighed 260 lbs.

More info at:

Alpha One
The designer of the Alpha had us sail his prototypes, presumably with an eye to selling us a fleet eventually.  Turns out we discovered the mast needed spreaders when we bent the mast, and the daggerboard well needed a LOT more reinforcement.  We found a couple of other issues, all of which he fixed, but we were never happy enough with its sailing qualities to buy a fleet. Laurelhurst Beach club and Western Washington had fleets. 

One day I was going out to try the club's new Alpha and noticed a girl that was about to go out on a Kite, I asked her if she would like to try out the club's new boat with me. She said yes to going out sailing and yes to marrying me two years later.   

Photo courtesy of:
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This was a donation.  It was a high performance, no spinnaker, no trapeze boat.  It had a rotating mast like the Hobies and a fully battened main.  It was 14' 10” long, weighed 150 lbs, and had 123 sq. ft of sail.  It wasn't in the club for very long.  I don't remember much about it, I'm not sure I even got to sail it.  I believe that it was considered too fragile to keep.

Photo courtesy of:
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