George Albaugh Writes:
Here is some correspondence between an Australian woman (Sharon G) and myself. Perhaps this could go in a "Moth Tales" file for the MM side?
FYI: Inverloch is the club where the Australians started their Moth class in the 1920s. It is analogous to Elizabeth City for us. Sharon later sent some photos of her son's boat. It's NOT one from the early days It's a cross between a classic and a modern in terms of both the hull and the rig. It looks like a design from the late 1960s or early 1970s. Very interesting. I'll e-mail the photos to you separately. Hopefully you'll be able to open that file. I e-mailed them to Walt and he couldn't get them to open. Anyway, here are the letters.
Sharon G Writes:
I read with interest your article on The Australian Moth. We have recently purchased a moth from Inverloch for our 9 year old son.
We have been told that the moth originated in Inverloch (Victoria, Australia) and I found that information very interesting. I have searched for information on the moth but never found any thing significant until your article, which explained the origin of the moth. Thanks for the information, I suppose it is still okay to say the moth originated in Inverloch.
Please excuse my lack of technical terms in relation to sailing. We have been enthused by friends who own a sailing boat and the moth is a big step for us. Our son is very keen and we encourage him as best we can, although our knowledge is limited!
George Albaugh Writes:
Glad you found our site and enjoyed my article. Like most of humanity's better ideas, the Moth Boat cropped up in two places more or less simultaneously (the Australians in 1928, the Americans in 1929). Both groups had the same hull restrictions; the Australians had a larger, more powerful sail and rig than the Americans. As you know, the Australians were calling their boat the Inverloch 11 foot class, while the Americans called theirs the Moth Boat. Neither group was aware of the other until The Rudder magazine published a series of articles in the Oct/Nov 1933 issues on "How to build a Moth Boat". In those articles, the editor, Gordon Crosby, a boat designer himself, drew the lines of a suggested "Moth Boat". Crosby included the sail plan in his drawing and curiously drew the silhouette of a Moth insect on the sail rather than the circle-M insignia which the Americans were using. The Australians saw these articles, liked the name Moth, copied the bug insignia, but decided not to rationalize the differences between the two club's rules on the rig and sail plan, since they figured the two groups would probably never race each other. The rest is history!
Is your son's boat one of the original boats from the late 1920s? I'd love to see a photo if that's a possibility. I too have a son (11 years old) who is making the transition from an Optimist dinghy to his first Moth Boat. I trust that you have made contact with the Moth Class in Australia. If not, e-mail me back and I'll send you some local contact info and some web site URLs for Moth activity in Australia.
Lovely to hear from you!
with kindest regards,
Sharon G with Pictures:
Thanks for your information. I have found some photos of my friend's moth. They think it is reasonably old due to the number on the sail. The previous owner had the boat in the garage in Inverloch for a number of years but they seem to think it has not left Inverloch. How old it is, is unclear.
Only one of the photos shows the original sail. Number 171.
They have purchased a second moth (they actually got it for nothing because it needed a few repairs) and it is similar to ours. A slightly different shape, with wings.
My children (11, 9, 7 & 5, and my friend's boys (10 & 7), certainly have fun sailing. Inverloch has a small, safe inlet/bay and they sail all summer.
I will endeavour to take and send some photos of the other moths as soon as I can.
I have not contacted the Australian Moth Association and would appreciated some contacts.