Vintage International A

Here’s a boat I acquired a few months ago. For a long time, I had been interested in finding either a vintage Marblehead (found one but the asking price was outlandish) or an A Class boat. I ran across this one through some chatter on RC Groups. Anyway, I contacted the owner and made the deal. I contacted Rod Carr who currently is in possession of the AMYA International A Class records. Rod reported the sail number was not on record. I sent a few emails out to the fellows in Port Washington, NY who still sail the A class and several folks in the USVMYG. I was able to contact John Snow about the boat but as far as checking the MYRAA records, he could not as they are in deep storage and John is not in the best of health. So, here is what I assume the boat to be: Sail number 422 was most likely built in the 1948 - 1953 period (consistent with English designs of the same time frame). The boat was raced in the New Jersey - New York metro area but how long is unknown. Possibly it may have been sailed against Bill Bithell. Originally fitted with a vane, it was removed, the hull was re-decked and an undetermined length of the stern was removed, thus affecting the overhang for measurement. Radio control was installed, the sails controlled by a Vortex SC-3 6 volt winch (slloooowww). The boat was painted several times, I’m removing it with a heat gun. It is well built, stout and in very good structural shape. If it is ever possible to review the MYRAA records, I may learn the true hull length and restore it back to original. Here are some pictures to enjoy.

Hi Mike -

looks like a very nice find and in great condition for it’s age. Good luck with the refurb, and please post photos as you tackle any of the more difficult updates. Finally, do you have any target date for hitting the water, or is this a longer term project?

Best regards, Dick

I consider it a long term project. My goal is to restore it back to original condition as much as possible but with radio control rather than a vane (which was considered). First order of business is to remove the paint then see what I actually have to work with. I don’t plan to replace the deck, it’s just too much of a pain to do. I would like to restore the stern to original but don’t know if that will ever happen. To maintain originality, I have a nice stash of Fisher fittings to do the job. By the way, that hunk of lead is 35 lbs. while the hull is another 12 lbs. So when it is complete, it should hit 50 lbs. easily. I’m gonna need a back brace!

I would suspect, this isn’t one of those you simply throw off the side of the pond to launch? :stuck_out_tongue: Be careful not to get tangled in any lines when you do launch it. Can you work any formulas backwards given waterline length and sail area - or is sail a non-standard size - in order to determine length of original transom? Will definitely be an “attention-getter” when you get her done and down to the pond.


I think I would throw my back out trying that (ouch!). I’ll have to start the measurement process all over again by first measuring the LWL, fore and aft overhangs, average freeboard, quarter beam length and draft to figure the sail area. Once those factors are known, I can calculate the foretriangle, jib foot, main height and foot.
Since the stern was trimmed, it may suffer a penalty on sail area but it would probably not be a big one. The sails in the pictures are small for the size of the boat are flat paneled which and will be replaced. I found a vendor at the WRAMS show who has a nice dacron fabric that resembles Egyptian cotton. The mast and main boom are original to the boat but the jib club is a replacement and would be too short for the headsail.