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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Eighty-year old wooden full keel boat beats new "Interesting Boats" in Transpac
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Thread: Eighty-year old wooden full keel boat beats new "Interesting Boats" in Transpac Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
07-24-2013 06:40 PM
outbound
Re: Eighty-year old wooden full keel boat beats new "Interesting Boats" in Transpac

Got to chat up the skipper of Passion 3 days ago. Old new design given how rapidly design moves along. He was all smiles-just won Halifax I believe. Going off to try Hobart later. Think there's great romance in long distance offshore races. Especially the ones where different classes and ages of boats sail. Something the A.C. just doesn't have IMHO.
07-24-2013 11:43 AM
Jeff_H
Re: Eighty-year old wooden full keel boat beats new "Interesting Boats" in Transpac

Hate? Now there is a strong word....

I don't know who that is aimed at, but speaking for myself, I truly love that ‘Dorade’ was able to pull this off. In fact, I really love it when any of these old birds ('Nina', ‘Dorade’ , Cal 40's and Rhodes 41's for example) beat up on modern hardware in a major race. To me it represents a collection of what makes for the best kinds of racing; where a well prepared boat, racing under a skillful skipper and crew, under a fair rating system, can win for all the right reasons.

I love what her win says about Olin Stephens and his brother Rod's amazing abilities. Her win shouts volumes about what a super designer Olin was. In the 83 years, since her launching its easy to forget how radical she was in her day, or how young Olin was when he designed her. Olin was only 21 years old when he penned ‘Dorade’ 's lines. His brother Rod, was a genius at designing and sorting out rigs.

If you are not a student of yacht design history, ‘Dorade’ might seem like a perfectly normal design for her era. But seen in the context of her day, ‘Dorade’ and the Fife designed 'Hallowe'en' (which set a Fastnet record that lasted 75 years until beaten by Ted Turner's 'Tenacious' in the 1979 Fastnet, yes, that Fastnet) were breaking new and untread ground. In their day they were as shockingly outlandish and alien seeming as the release of Jimi Hendrix's first album.

In those days race boats were predominantly designed for inshore race courses. Offshore race courses were dominated by boats derived from working watercraft designs. What Stephens and Fife did to shake up the world was to adapt core design principles from the best of these inshore race designs to the design of offshore racing boats.

At the time, the sailing press lambasted their tall Bermuda rigs, narrow beam, and small keel areas. The debates surrounding the current bleeding edge race designs are but an echo of the debates that raged within the establishment of their day and which slammed boats like ‘Dorade’ and ‘Hallowe’en’.

The proof that the 21 year old Olin got it as right as he possibly could have is that ‘Dorade’, dominated the major race courses of the world until her younger sister, 'Stormy Weather' hit the race course. As Olin commented, 'Stormy' was a little beamier and could stand up to her sail plan better, and so was generally a slightly better all around boat than ‘Dorade’ .

To me, there will always be iconic boats, which in every era represent a major leap forward in the art and science of sailing vessel design in their day. To me, boats like America, Glorianna, Jolie Brise, Colin Archer’s Redningsselskape, Malabar II, ‘Dorade’ , Hallowe'en, International 10 sq. meter decked Sailing Canoe , Uffa Fox's first planning International 14, Finnesterre, Trinka, Intrepid, the Cal 40's, Ganbare, J-24's, Valiant 40's, Gaucho, Farr 40’s, Melges 24’s, 2000's era Open Class 60’s, 2000's era Mini-Transat’s, Foiling Moth One Designs, and so on, were landmark designs; each of changed the way that the sailing world looked at boat design. They are the missing links in the advancement of yacht design and while some of what these boats pioneered has not stood the test of time, at least some their DNA is discernable in the boats of today.

In my mind these are all boats which should be revered and celebrated; and each of which I personally admire for what they are. But to me, celebrating these designs is not about putting them on a pedestal and pretending they were perfect designs for all ages. To me, celebrating these designs means understanding them in the context of their times, understanding them for their strengths and their weaknesses as compared to the designs that came before, and those which came after them.

In that vein, there is no doubt in my mind that ‘Dorade’ was a super boat for her day. There is no doubt in my mind that her original and recent Transpac wins are impressive on all counts, and demonstrated that well sailed and well prepared boats like her remain highly capable race boats in the right venue and under a fair racing rule.

But I also recognize what I believe to be the reality of the situation, if we compare ‘Dorade’ to a modern 52 foot race boat such as a TP-52, or to a modern racer-cruiser of the same displacement sailing on a windward leeward course, triangular course, or a distance course that includes all points of sail, I would be skeptical that ‘Dorade’ , for all of her other virtues, would get line honors.

But 'Dorade' not beating a modern racing design boat for boat is okay with me. I’d sooner look at ‘Dorade’ any day of the week and would probably have a bigger grin on my face if I was ever honored enough to sail on her than I can imagine having on any modern race boat.

Respectfully,
Jeff
07-24-2013 10:43 AM
JomsViking
Re: Eighty-year old wooden full keel boat beats new "Interesting Boats" in Transpac

Quote:
Originally Posted by mad_machine View Post
Great thing about Aluminum over both wood and CF... it can bend. One of the boats I looked at had a bent mast. It was still floating and still sailing like that, but the top five feet were definatly bent backwards a good foot or so from true.
The reason for keeping wooden masts on the folkboat was that it was more flexible/easier to trim so believe me, used and built correctly Wood can be very flexible. The same is true for CF, admittedly it has very different characteristics. Most masts have bend in them, including wooden and CF masts - some of them much, so don't really understand what You're trying to say?
07-24-2013 09:37 AM
mad_machine
Re: Eighty-year old wooden full keel boat beats new "Interesting Boats" in Transpac

Quote:
Originally Posted by JomsViking View Post
Exactly, I love carbon fibre, but found it ironic that Alu was mentioned as old fashioned (and trustworhty) when the boat in question had wooden masts..

Have seen many broken Alu masts as well.
Great thing about Aluminum over both wood and CF... it can bend. One of the boats I looked at had a bent mast. It was still floating and still sailing like that, but the top five feet were definatly bent backwards a good foot or so from true.
07-24-2013 04:58 AM
JomsViking
Re: Eighty-year old wooden full keel boat beats new "Interesting Boats" in Transpac

Quote:
Originally Posted by mad_machine View Post
What is funny.. on the waterline, Dorade is shorter.

The Jeanneau 44 has a LWL 39 feet, 4 inches.

Dorade has a LWL of 38 feet, 10 inches (roughly, they list it as 38.9 feet)

What I find funny is all the hate. Can you not celebrate that a antique and Vintage Race Boat beat all the Fantastic Plastic Yachts on her Rating? That is what Ratings are for.. otherwise the Trans-pac would be a simple One Design
I see no hate - We all admire the Dorade, her restoration, and the feat accomplished by her crew.
However we also dispute the conclusion drawn by the OP.
If you entered a folkboat and arrived after 40 days you'd probably be #1 on corrected time. Does that make it faster or better than Dorade then? (Besides you wouldn't want to go in a boat without a self-bailing cockpit.)
07-24-2013 04:51 AM
JomsViking
Re: Eighty-year old wooden full keel boat beats new "Interesting Boats" in Transpac

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Uhhh, I don't think that's very likely...

Maybe an extra millimeter, perhaps 2, of carbon fiber, at best... :-)
Exactly, I love carbon fibre, but found it ironic that Alu was mentioned as old fashioned (and trustworhty) when the boat in question had wooden masts..

Have seen many broken Alu masts as well.
07-24-2013 12:27 AM
mad_machine
Re: Eighty-year old wooden full keel boat beats new "Interesting Boats" in Transpac

Quote:
Originally Posted by jephotog View Post
Waterline-possibly


You are comparing a one of kind record setting boat from its days to mass produced luxury racer cruisers of today. There is a reason Dorade was competing in the racer cruiser with shorter boats. How did Dorade do boat for boat against the TP52s?
What is funny.. on the waterline, Dorade is shorter.

The Jeanneau 44 has a LWL 39 feet, 4 inches.

Dorade has a LWL of 38 feet, 10 inches (roughly, they list it as 38.9 feet)

What I find funny is all the hate. Can you not celebrate that a antique and Vintage Race Boat beat all the Fantastic Plastic Yachts on her Rating? That is what Ratings are for.. otherwise the Trans-pac would be a simple One Design
07-23-2013 11:53 PM
seabreeze_97
Re: Eighty-year old wooden full keel boat beats new "Interesting Boats" in Transpac

"So while her win is impressive, recognize it for a wonderful feat of seamanship and boat handling that it was, but don't try to make it more than it is."

Seriously? What it is, is 1st place overall. No ifs, ands, or buts. Sailing to victory and doing so in a wonderful feat of seamanship is usually what any crew does, especially when they win.
07-23-2013 11:27 PM
JonEisberg
Re: Eighty-year old wooden full keel boat beats new "Interesting Boats" in Transpac

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
I have loved Dorade since I was kid making pilgrimages to the shed at Minnefords in the dead of winter to stare up at her, Stormy Weather and StormVogel as they sat nestled in for the winter. It thrills me no end to see her win again. It really shows what a first rate skipper and crew can do given enough funds and a decent boat.
I thought NINA winning the Bermuda Race 32 years after her wins in the Transatlantic and Fastnet was remarkable...

However, DORADE winning the Transpac in 2013, after winning the Transatlantic Race in 1930, then the Bermuda and Fastnet races in '32, that's simply off the charts, the sort of thing that will NEVER be repeated in the annals of ocean racing...

I raised a glass to Olin Stephens tonight, from the Brielle Yacht Club in Manasquan Inlet, where the docks are 8" under a full moon high tide... :-)
07-23-2013 11:16 PM
JonEisberg
Re: Eighty-year old wooden full keel boat beats new "Interesting Boats" in Transpac

Quote:
Originally Posted by JomsViking View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by jameswilson29
Ouch! Better try old-fashioned aluminum next time!
Or maybe even wooden (Sitka Spruce) as on Dorade?

Uhhh, I don't think that's very likely...

Maybe an extra millimeter, perhaps 2, of carbon fiber, at best... :-)
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