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MOTH DOINGS
12327 Manship Lane
Bowie, Maryland 20715
(301) 464-0757 Vol. 9, Nr 1
27 March, 1999

Good-by MAMBA, Hello MOTH DOINGS

As you may have noticed, after nine years, I have decided to rename this newsletter. The name change reflects the growth of interest in Moth Boats. The old name, Mid-Atlantic Moth Boat Association has become a constant source of confusion to newcomers who assumed that the newsletter is an official voice of the CMBA, or think that perhaps there are two separate Moth Boat organizations. Back when I started this newsletter, there was no CMBA and I thought that an organization might grow out of the newsletter. That did not happen. Instead the sailors down in Elizabeth City formed the Classic Moth Boat Association and I thought to myself "more power to ‘em" and promptly joined their club! So, enough with the history lesson; long time readers and racers readily know that the CMBA and the MAMBA newsletter are separate entities. The CMBA sets the rules for Classic Moth Boat racing, and the newsletter reports news of interest to Moth boaters. However, with the creation of the CMBA website we have a steady stream of newcomers and I have discovered that I have to constantly explain that the newsletter is not an extension of the club, rather that most of the club members read my newsletter and I, in turn, am a member of the CMBA.

The second reason for the name change is a reflection that over the past several racing seasons, Moth Boating in this country has become more complex than the Classic Moth Boat. We now have news pertaining to older "vintage" Moth Boats and also I feel that I must acknowledge the presence of a small but growing interest in the modern, high aspect Moth Boats. Moth Doings is a time-honored name inasmuch as it was the name

of the old IMCA yearbook from the inception of that annual yearbook in 1950 until its demise in 1965. So, please welcome Moth Doings as the new name of my continuing effort to bring you all the late breaking Moth Boat news!

Results of CMBA Rules Vote

At its January meeting, the CMBA discussed the half-dozen proposals received from the membership over the course of the previous year. Recall that the proposals included revisions to the headboard drawing and corrections to the measurement diagram, a ban on sail headboards for sails built after 1 January, 1999, a proposal to raise the mast

height and a proposal to establish a vintage division within the CMBA for older style Moth Boats. The proposals to revise the headboard drawing (to make it more legible, not to change it) and to correct typographical errors in the current measurement diagram passed. The new headboard drawing can be seen on the CMBA website. The correction of typos will have probably been made by the time you read this newsletter. The proposal to ban headboards in new sails DID NOT pass. The proposal to add an illustration to the measurement diagram showing the maximum size of sail head and to provide a method for accommodating old sails which are in violation of the head board diagram was tabled for further consideration. The proposal to change the mast height DID NOT pass.

The members attending the meeting next came to grips with the proposal for vintage Moths. Clearly there was an interest in this proposal in as much as the members spent over two hours debating various points before finally coming to a consensus. In the end, the following wording was accepted and passed: "The vintage class Moth Boats shall be any Moth Boat built before 1950, and any Moth Boats built afterwards by the same builder. All boats shall be configured with wooden masts and booms, steel or wood center or dagger boards. All boats shall have stock rudder configurations. Hulls may be repaired with like materials and covered with resin reinforced fiberglass for seaworthiness." Thus, the majority in attendance felt that the vintage division should be reserved for old rather than new construction. A few judgment calls will be made on poorly documented "old" boats on a case by case basis by a vintage boat committee, which currently is comprised of Greg Duncan, Walt Collins and myself. While the ruling in its current form may not entirely suit every member, the rule does serve as a starting point, and does provide competitive protection for at least some of the "old" boats which simply can not compete with the more recently evolved designs. Last year’s Friday evening "vintage" race at the Nationals was highly enjoyable. It is my hope that the vintage boats race again at Elizabeth City and other events this year.

The ‘99 St. Petersburg Moth Boat Regatta

Fourteen Classic Moth Boats assembled in St. Petersburg, FL on the last weekend of January for the first regatta of the 1999 racing season. This was one more than last year, which is good considering that several boats which raced in ‘98 did not race this time. The ‘99 regatta saw the return of several sailors from the good old days, both as spectators and competitors. Back to racing were Bill Lee and George Bailey. George’s father Warren, the 1954 World Champion in MACH ONE, Nr 1358, was also in attendance. Skippers making their CMBA debut included Briggs Monteith and Philip Pinckney, both borrowing boats from Gerry Carter. Boats new to the scene included AFTERMATH, Nr 2681, a wooden Shelley recently refreshed with a new deck by Joe Bousquet. This boat’s racing career started in 1965 at the World Championship which was held that year at the Corinthian YC in Cape May, NJ. Also new to us was Nr 2941, a challenger rehabed by Warren Bailey and sailed by Bill Lee in Race 1, and by George Bailey in the remaining races. George also sailed the Connecticut Moth, Nr 55 recently acquired by our web master, Greg Allen. Regrettably, the tiller broke on this boat at the start of Race 1, so George transferred to the Challenger for the subsequent races. Greg kluged the tiller together and attempted Race 2 on Sunday, but in the end had to sit out the remaining races. Saturday’s racing was limited to a single race due to failing wind.

Only 5 boats managed to finish this race within the time limit ,so racing was abandoned for the day. All was not lost, however, as the SPYC hosted a dinner for the racers Saturday evening in the splendid club house across the street from the sailing center.

Sunday started off on a promising note with about 10 knots of breeze for Race 2. Unfortunately, the wind again died away leading to lengthy delays before the starts of the last two races. In the end, Mark Saunders won the event, sailing Joe Bousquet’s TRY-UMPH with 4 straight bullets. Well done Mark! As was the case last year, Dave Ellis made an interesting video of the regatta. I received my copy yesterday and have enjoyed watching it. Copies are available from Dave for $20.00 which includes the postage. Send checks, made out to Dave Ellis, to his attention at the St. Petersburg Sailing Center,

250 2nd Ave. South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.

Results:1999 SPYC Moth Boat Regatta

Pos

Sail#

Helmsman

Crew

Club

Race 1

Race 2

Race 3

Race 4

TotPts

Pos

1

48

Mark Saunders

   

1

1

1

1

4.00

1

2

2681

Joe Bousquet

   

2

2

2

2

8.00

2

3

45

Briggs Monteith

   

4

5

6

3

18.00

3

4

40

Joe Courter

   

5

4

5

5

19.00

4

5

43

J. Lane Reeves

   

3

7

10

6

26.00

5

6

4067

Gerald Carter, Jr.

   

15DNF

9

3

4

31.00

6

7

7

Randall Swan

   

15DNF

3

4

15DNC

37.00

7

8

36

Philip Pinckney

   

15DNC

6

9

8

38.00

8

9

2941

William Lee

   

15DNF

10

7

7

39.00

9

10

2418

Susan Bousquet

   

15DNC

8

8

9

40.00

10

11

2438

Joe Cope

   

15DNC

11

11

15DNC

52.00

11

12

8297

Henry Cope

   

15DNF

12

12

15DNC

54.00

12

13

24

Erky Gregory

   

15DNC

15DNC

15DNC

15DNC

60.00

13

14

55

George Bailey

   

15DNC

15DNF

15DNC

15DNC

60.00

14

Moth Boats in Museums

Most readers of this newsletter are aware of the Moth Boats TOM CAT and SILVER SPRAY in the Museum of the Albemarle (Elizabeth City, NC) and the Mariner’s Museum (Newport News, VA), respectively. Recently, I discovered an old Moth Boat in the Toms River Seaport Society’s Maritime Museum up in Toms River, NJ. This boat is a dead ringer for the old Moth, Nr 264 which I rescued from Dredge Harbor last fall.

Although the details of this boat are not completely known by the Museum staff, I hope to learn more so as to uncover the details of Nr 264. After studying the details of the Museum’s boat, I’m fairly certain that the same builder built both boats. The Toms River boat is in wonderful condition, having been repaired and refinished by the volunteers who work on the boats donated to the Toms River Seaport Society at the Society’s workshop which is located in one of the Museum’s buildings. This Museum, of course, has a collection of other boats, both sail and power, indigenous to the New Jersey area, such as sneak boxes, Barnegat Bay sailing scows, Jersey Sea Skiffs, Garveys, and life guard surf boats, just to mention a few. The Museum is open on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 10 am to 2 PM during the winter months and has extended hours in the summer. It’s well worth a visit if you’re in the area. The Museum is located on the corner of Hooper and Wade Streets in Toms River. Their telephone number is (732)349-9209. They also have a homepage on the internet at http://www.islandhts.com/seaport.htm

Another Moth boat is rumored have been donated to the Tuckerton Watermen’s Museum in Tuckerton, NJ. I have inquired about this boat, but have not been able to confirm her design, etc. due to the fact that the Watermen’s Museum is in the process of building a new building, and as a result many of the donated craft have been stored in garages all

over that town. Another Moth, this time a modern, tall-rig boat is in the collection of the Mariner’s Museum over in St. Michaels, MD. Regrettably, this boat, the 1976 World Champion, is also in storage rather than on display. If any of you know of other Moth boats in museums, please let me know and I’ll publish their where-abouts in the newsletter.

Early Days of Moth Boating on the Cohansey River

The following recollection is supplied by Jack Haggerty, a friend of Herb Fithian. Jack, at Herb’s request has recalled some memories of what it was like to race Moth Boats in the early 1930s down on the Cohansey River, which you will find located on the Delaware Bay side of southern New Jersey. I hope you enjoy this piece as much as I have.

Dear Herb,

You have asked me to write down what I remember about a Moth Boat Club in Greenwich, NJ. Please remember that it is just my old mind working on something that took place somewhere between 1929 and 1936. I hope these dates are somewhere near correct.

We did have a club and it consisted of 6 or 8 Moth Boats and we had a lot of fun sailing them in the Cohansey River. It was an organized club with Commodore and Vice Commodore, etc. A club house was built East of the store which is now the Ship John Inn, and if I had to guess it would have been about 24 ft wide and about 25 or 30 feet long. It was large enough that all of the boats could be stored there and the masts and

sails were hoisted to the ceiling so that they could dry and be ready to go. Each boat had its own cart, and a ramp was built from the club house, down to a floating dock where the boats would be pulled from the water, and taken to the club house. The dock was very low to the water so that the boats could be pulled up without any trouble.

There were usually races on the weekends and we had a lot of fun. You must remember that sailing in the Cohansey with all of the tides, and reaches to maneuver, was entirely different than sailing in a lake. The person that could utilize the eddies around each of the bends in the river could have a great advantage. If the tide is running out and the reach turns to the left, the water next to the corner is running the opposite way and the smart move is to hang near the corner, and use the eddy and then cross the river to the next corner and use the eddy coming around that bend. The boats also competed in races at other locations, such as Essington Yacht Club, in Pennsylvania and Atlantic City Yacht Club (no doubt he’s referring to the Evening Star YC--ed.). Dad sailed in the races for the

World Championships in Elizabeth City, NC and Atlantic City; did pretty well in both. At Elizabeth City, he arrived just as the race was starting and did not have a chance to sail the course. He made a wrong turn around one of the buoys and had to go back and go around the right way. I believe that even then he came in 8th out of a bunch of boats.

You asked me to tell about a race in Dover, Delaware on the Silver Lake. Matt Tomlinson had build a Moth Boat and it sailed just like a log and he wanted to get rid of it. My cousin, George I. Haggerty was involved with a Legion Picnic at Silver Lake and it was decided to take the boat there and sell raffle tickets to benefit the Legion. We had a

race first and Dad was to sail the junker, and the rest of us were supposed to let him win, thinking that they would sell more tickets. It was a hard job for us to stay behind but he did cross the finish first. You see there were cheats even in those times. Parren Tomlinson had twin girls and they were supposed to draw the winning ticket. When they

did Matt Tomlinson won the boat! He immediate gave it back for another drawing. (I hope this isn’t Nr 264!!!-ed.).

Three or four of the men had ice boats built to use the sails from the Moth Boats and they used to sail them on Sheppards Mill Pond. Bill Sloan had one of the boats, he was a blacksmith and made the runners for the boats. I know that it is an Olds Mans idea, but I think we had more ice and skating years ago than we do now. I do remember this very well: Rufus Richards had a cottage on the Pond and used to drive his car out on the ice and turn the wheels and circle and circle, sliding across the ice. Seems dumb, but it is a true story.

I am setting the timing for this story from Ruth and my Marriage; we were married in 1938 and for a couple of years before that I had a 16 foot sail boat called the Sea Gull Class. Every weekend, all of our friends would show up, go sailing and when we finished they headed for home and we had the boat to clean and store, and in the spring painting

and getting it ready. No help. When we were married we decided that we had had enough of that and sold the boat. Also, we could use the money.

The club house was sold to a family and they converted it into a house, and later it burned. I hope this answers your questions, and just remember this is an old mind working.

Jack

The 1999 Racing Schedule

 

The ‘99 racing schedule has grown quite a bit in the last week or so. There are several new regattas this year. The current schedule is posted on the website. For the benefit of those not on line, I offer the following list:

The Elizabeth City Sunday afternoon series will take place on the 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd of May. Contact Erky Gregory (252)335-4221 for details. No doubt the Elizabeth City sailors will also be racing on the Sundays in June, July and August that don’t conflict with a scheduled regatta.

29th of May is the date for Portsmouth, contact person is Walt Collins on (757)366-0254.

6th of June, Hertford, NC. Contact Erky.

19th June, Brigantine YC, Brigantine, NJ. contact George Albaugh on (301)464-0757.

Also on the 19th and 20th of June is a new regatta at the James Island YC at Charleston, SC. Contact Jerry Carter (843)571-7818.

26th June. Edenton YC. Contact Erky for more details.

10th-11th July, Hobcaw YC, Charleston, SC. Contact Jerry Carter.

17th-18th July,Charleston YC, Charleston, SC. Contact Jerry Carter.

24th-25th July, Carolina YC, Charleston, SC. Contact Randall Swan (843)884-0133.

7th-8th August, Sea Island YC, Rockville, SC. Contact Lewis Hay (843)559-0860.

21st-22nd August, Carolina YC, Charleston, SC. Contact Randall Swan.

4th-5th September for Norfolk Yacht and Country Club, contact Walt Collins.

17th-18th-19th September for the Nationals at Elizabeth City, contact Erky Gregory on (252)335-4221.

Here & There Dept.

After two years, the St. Pete Moth Boat regatta is beginning to bear fruit. Bill Lee, who built MINT, the 1958 & ‘59 Antonia wining boat and who raced briefly at St. Pete this year in a Challenger Moth, now has a new boat under construction for his daughter, Laura. After finishing that one, Bill and Warren Bailey will team up to construct a Moth to a new design to be called MACH III for Warren’s son George. MACH I was Warren’s 1954 Antonia winner and MACH II was the name of his Harry Cates built Florida Moth.

Meanwhile, in Virginia, Mark Saunders, the winner at St. Pete in Joe Bousquet’s TRY-UMPH has a Mistral under construction for himself. She should be ready in time to race against Joe, back in TRY-UMPH by this spring. Rumor has it that Mark spends so much time boat building that his wife introduces him to company as "the man who lives in my garage." Another Mistral under construction is that of Savannah racer, Lane Reeves.

On the vintage front Herb Fithian reports that he has added the missing half-foot of length back to his mast. As built, the mast on his boat was shorter than the length permitted by the rules. With the boom off his back, Herb says watch out!

Bill Schill has located a wooden Cates design Moth, Nr 2417. This boat, first registered to George Szabo in the 1960s has had about 3 owners and has been in storage since the late ‘60s. She seems sound except for a small hole in the bottom which resulted from being dropped thirty years ago. Bill hopes to have her repaired in time for the regatta at

Brigantine.

John Schneeman, out in Minnesota, is building what looks like a Mistral with a wider transom and flatter aft sections than standard. Scott Sandell up in Sag Harbor also has another Mistral under construction. They hope to have these boats together in time for Brigantine.

For Sale

Causey-Sprite Nr 4046. High aspect rig, wings,(International Moth, not a Classic), good condition. Asking $900.00; boat can be viewed on the internet at the following site: http://www,ipass.net/~flint/moth/ contact David Morris on (919) 467-6963.

 

More Moth History

Just when I thought it was safe to declare this issue of the newsletter finished, Jean Gruhler sent the following collection of newspaper clippings from the September 4th, 5th and 6th, 1949 issues of the Atlantic City Press to share with you. The clippings, as you will note, report Jean’s successful baptism into the rarefied arena of Moth Boat racing at the Margate City YC’s annual Labor Day weekend regatta. Jean tells me that he acquired Moth Nr 639 from Bob McGurk’s brother Ted. Ted had originally named the boat NIKE. Jean, in a fit of youthful indiscretion, re-named the boat NAUTI-GAL . This name proved difficult for the gentlemen of the Press, (note different spellings in the news clips) so Jean eventually returned to the name NIKE.

Those of you with a classical bent will recall NIKE in her former career as the ancient Greek Goddess of Victory. More recently, NIKE, in a bid for better name recognition, has spun off her stagnant religious division and diversified into the manufacture of a popular line of high quality athletic footwear.

BTW, if any one else has old clippings pertaining to Moth Boat racing, history, personalities, etc. that they would like to share, make some photocopies and send them to me. I’ll be happy to include them in the newsletter on a space available basis. (Which means almost all the time!)

News Clips