Classic Wooden Small Boats In the days before remote controlled model yachts – the yachts were divided into two kinds – Free sailing – were boats were sailed in open water and ‘chased’ by their skippers in dinghies who ’touched’ the yachts during the course of the race to adjust their course.
The other kind was – Pond yachts, sailed on small lakes, basins or special ponds (in parks), the skipper would race around the pond to tack or gybe the model as it got close to shore. Refer b/w photos below for examples of the racing.
The top colour photos were sent to me by an ex work colleague – John Maxwell, we worked together over 30 years ago in the crazy world of advertising in the late 1980’s. Unknown to me, one of John’s passions is the building of old style pond yachts, but with a modern take, refer examples above of Ranger, Innismara, Infidel, Meter class (black hull) and one in the vein of an A class. Not exactly accurate, but instantly recognizable as the original. They are all hand painted, so as to faithful to the old style. John commented that the problem with making the models sail, is that the depth of the keel, mast position/ height etc, have to be altered slightly from the plans of the real boat, otherwise it just sails sideways or rounds up into the wind. John aims to capture the spirit of the original, but still maintaining the ‘Old school’ charm of the yesteryear pond yachts. They are all free sailing models and quite big ie 1.8 m long. Typically they have a lot of lead on the keels approx 15-20 lbs., most are balsa over wooden frames with glass over the top. Stunning work – but it doesn’t surprise me, John was / is a very talented man, and rather good with a paint brush and canvas.
At the end of the day I shot down to Devonport Wharf with the tele-lens & just caught the fleet sliding down the harbour, a little overcast but that would have been a + for the crews.
I’ll attempt to ID the yachts – scroll over the photos to see names – if I get it wrong, let me know 😉
As you read this I’ll be winging my way south to Lake Rotoiti (Nelson Lakes) for the 20th NZ Antique & Classic Boat Show, mooching around Nelson for a few days so should have some good southern content next week.
Sailing Sunday – Innismara
This week the classic yachting fleet saw the return of the magnificent ex Bernie Schmidt built, 67′ racer Innismara, aka ‘war canoe’. She has been restored by Blanche & Ian Cooke with the team at YDL.
Innismere sold on trademe in 2011 for just over $3010, but was in very poor shape after being stored in a shed since 2002 & sustaining fire damage to the forward sections. Her keel was missing having no doubt been sold for lead. Refer below Steve Horsley photo at the time of sale & my photo of her in the YDL shed awaiting restoration.
Once again the Cookes have returned one of our classic fleet to better than new condition.
The above photos (click to enlarge) were taken by Tony Stevenson dockside as she was being prepped for the mast being re-stepped. CYA member Steve Horsley commented “that’s a party cockpit if I ever saw one”.
Given that Blanche & Ian already own the 1937, 60′ Ranger, who sails what is going to be very interesting.
Now I’m off to one of my favourite wooden boat haunts today so Mondays post should be a cracker 😉