New Vintage M: "Blackchin"

My latest effort, to be sailed at the 75th Anniversary regatta in Marblehead next weekend. From a 1936 German design based on the Sonderklasse. Lightweight scows, pretty quick little boats. Hull is two layers of 1/64" pressure sensitive mahogany veneer over 5 oz fiberglass as described in another thread; shell came out at 22 oz, boat is a hair under 12 lbs with 9 in the keel. Not really visible in the sailing picture, but she sails like a big Sonder, stretching right out on her sailing lines and settling that wide transom on her quarter wave.

She’s named after one of the many species of hummingbirds that visit us each Spring and Summer.



Well done Earl ! :zbeer:

from the photo it looks like a beautiful boat and a wonderful craftsmanship effort. The wood veneer over glass is being used more and more since it adds little weight but LOTS of good looks.

Hi Earl-
How’d it go?? I was sorry not to make it.
What were the highlights? What were the boats that participated, full report please!!!


Well, I certainly wasn’t one of them; a family matter prevented me from preparing adequately so I pulled my usual trick of bringing up the rear. Thursday and Friday morning the Vintage 36 boats raced. Highlight there was getting a close look at Al Suydam’s project boat for the WoodenBoat School, a 36 in sharpie that students build completely in 5 days. Friday afternoon was free sailing. The Marblehead club free sails using their own rules; instead of the usual round-robin, the whole fleet launches at once and does a complete circuit of the pond; retrim is part of the race. As usual with free sailing, the spectators were a-mazed. The Olsens (who have purchased GRP from George Ribiero) brought two versions of Gus Lassel’s mid-1950s “Sun Wind” design – one restored and an R/C replica whose hull was molded from it. They won one race in the free sail event and the R/C replica was in the hunt in all of its races; proving once again that Gus knew his stuff. Friday night was a reception at the Marblehead Historical Society, with a half dozen old M’s on display.

The Vintage M’s raced on Saturday and Sunday. The two divisions (Traditional, being roughly pre-1945 designs, and High Flyer, designs from the 1950s) raced separately owing to the number of boats. Saturday it blew 19 kt gusting to 21. Redd’s Pond is down in a bowl and you could see the gusts hit the water like microbursts, with waves going out 360 degrees. The VMs took this with aplomb, with only a few knockdowns and broaches. It was really fun to see the High Flyers, with their 72-75 inch rigs, just eat that amount of wind. Saturday night was the dinner and my talk on the full sized J boat “Yankee,” which featured rare photos I’ve culled from old books and periodicals over the years; one of my favorites of which is attached.

Sunday was just the opposite of Saturday, dead calm drifting matches. The event attracted local reporters and somebody from National Public Radio, and served to introduce many of Marblehead’s newer residents to the history and activities at Redd’s. All in all, a wonderful experience.



[Attached: England, 1935: Gerard Lambert has maneuvered “Yankee” to a lee bow position on “Velsheda.”]

Thanks for the report Earl. I hope to meet you at some venue soon. Did Al Suydam race his Wooden Boat School Sharpie in the V36 races? I wanted to get my Chico I in there against him, but not only is he a great builder but also a top notch r/c skipper, it would’ve been fun nonetheless. About how many race entries were there for each class?

I hope your Blackchin performed to your liking. As you know, from all my emails and plan requests, I’d love to tackle a VM during this winter season.
Hopefully, I’ll fulfill that this winter.

Can you shoot me a hardcopy of your Yankee talk?

Al raced his Chico; the WoodenBoat sharpie was handled by a variety of guests. I think there were 8 V36s and 20-some VMs. Blackchin’s rig was misbehaving so badly that overall performance was lousy, but in spots where she went, she really went. Blackchin II now on the drawing board :slight_smile: