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Does anybody know this (kind of) skiff?

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gordon1277 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gordon1277 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 15 at 8:45am
Looked on the Mader boats website http://www.mader-boote.de/neue-boote/streamline/ interesting twin trapeze keelboat but not the one from the picture. No mention of the Mach2 anymore.
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Rupert View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 15 at 9:01am
One of the problems we have is, as usual, the definition of skiff. For many in the UK it simply means a boat with trapeze, self draining hull, assy and a mainsail big enough that it falls over a lot. The subtle differences in southern hemisphere dinghy design pass us by unless we concentrate a lot.

But, yes, the boat in the picture really doesn't look like a skiff or a sharpie, (though in the latter case the boxy chined hull looks narrow from that angle), more like a European high performance dinghy, which means it might actually be nice to sail. Be good to see it from different angles, though
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Presuming Ed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 15 at 3:43pm
Originally posted by Rupert

One of the problems we have is, as usual, the definition of skiff. For many in the UK it simply means a boat with trapeze, self draining hull, assy and a mainsail big enough that it falls over a lot.

Is it really such a problem?

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Presuming Ed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 15 at 5:57pm
Originally posted by gordon1277

Looked on the Mader boats website http://www.mader-boote.de/neue-boote/streamline/ interesting twin trapeze keelboat but not the one from the picture. No mention of the Mach2 anymore.

Did they build more than one Mach 2?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 15 at 7:04pm
Originally posted by Presuming Ed


Originally posted by Rupert

One of the problems we have is, as usual, the definition of skiff. For many in the UK it simply means a boat with trapeze, self draining hull, assy and a mainsail big enough that it falls over a lot.

Is it really such a problem?


Only when talking to Australians!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote skslr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 May 15 at 8:01am
Thank you very much for all your answers!
 
Looks like this one continues to be a "mystery" :-)
 
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Chris 249 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris 249 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 15 at 3:43am
Originally posted by Rupert

Originally posted by Presuming Ed


Originally posted by Rupert

One of the problems we have is, as usual, the definition of skiff. For many in the UK it simply means a boat with trapeze, self draining hull, assy and a mainsail big enough that it falls over a lot.

Is it really such a problem?


Only when talking to Australians!
 
I don't think it's a "problem" as such.  It's just that some people dislike when a term that has historically been applied to a particular and distinctive class of objects becomes applied almost indiscriminately to a much wider class of objects, or arguably misused in another way. This objection isn't reserved for sailors or skiffs, as shown by the occasional rants over the use of the term "soccer", or the term "World Series" for events that only have US entrants. 
 
Personally I don't like it because it means that an entire fascinating branch of our sport's historical development is being ignored. It's a bit like writing a history of F1 development that leaves out Lotus and Ferrari, but calls a hot hatch a "Formula 1 car" because it's got a spoiler and a turbo.
 
I'm not coming at this from a nationalistic point of view, because to me much of the point is that calling so many boats "skiffs" is over-rating how important the localised and parochial skiff classes were in dinghy/skiff design development. One of the most fascinating things (IMHO) about the history of dinghy design is the interplay between various national streams of design.  Self draining cockpits didn't come from skiffs. Traps and wings didn't come from skiffs.  Lightweight hulls, modern construction and many other innovations didn't come from skiffs. To object to a label because it effectively ignore all the enormous contribution of German Renjollen, US sandbaggers, scows and sharpies, European Moths and Kiwi and British development dinghies is not exactly being parochial!
 
Sure, languages evolve (and the usage of the term "skiff" in this context is a classic case) but can't some of us object when it evolves in a way that ignores and re-writes history?    
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Edited by Chris 249 - 20 May 15 at 3:48am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris 249 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 15 at 4:15am
Originally posted by Do Different

Interesting points 249, you can be a little polar for me sometimes but always informed and considered.

Any images or references for this Northern Hemisphere numpty to peruse? 

The point that high performance doesn't have to mean lots of sail area is a good one. Looking forward to hearing / see more on these lines. 
 
Well, the development of the modern dinghy is so complicated that it would take a long book to write.  I pretty much got there a few years ago before the changes in the publishing world made me put it on the backburner, but now that ebooks are becoming more accepted and blogs and websites are easier to create, I plan to get stuck into it again when my current contract finishes.
 
Basically, as noted earlier, if we do some fairly deep digging we find that the influence of the "skiff classes" (i.e. those boats that gave the term "skiff" its current meaning in centreboard sailing circles) has been greatly over-emphasised.  The concept that the skiffs have always been fanatics about high performance and local innovation is just hype.  In fact the "skiff classes" have often held back from development, partly because when you allow unrestricted rigs you also create a fairly expensive boat that no one wants to make obsolete.  You also end up designing into a corner, because adding more power is often a pretty obvious way to make a boat go faster, until someone takes the jump to create a "smaller" boat and re-start the design spiral.
 
The history of development in those classes also shows how much influence the wider society can have on design development.  One interesting source from the 1800s, for example, notes that the Raters of the time were much faster than the skiff classes, but that the skiffs were favoured because they were better for day cruising to isolated beaches around Sydney Harbour under the small rig. 
 
I also asked one guy who lead the development of light skiffs in the '50s why he gave up on his efforts to create the two-person 12 Foot Skiff.  He replied that in those days there were many more sailors than boats, so if the fleet moved to doublehanders, every skipper would have to stop one or two friends from sailing.
 
Partly because of these factors, the skiffs were very often resistant to innovations like trapezes, buoyancy tanks, lightweight hulls, wings, etc. All these features came from the development dinghy classes that are ignored by those who label just about all high-performance boats "skiffs".
 
A classic example came in the late '50s, when in all four of the "classic Skiff" classes, the existing heavy planked round-bilge boats were beaten by a new breed of light ply skiffs built, designed and sailed by those from lightweight ply one design classes (Gwen 12s, Vee Jays, Sharpies) with a bit of NZ, FD and 505 influence as well.
 
One reason that most innovations came from lightweight dinghies could be that experimentation is cheaper and easier when rigs are small, and design is not driven by the need to keep massive rigs in the air.  Again, the moral to me is that practical aspects are all-important for our sport, which is being forgotten these days when the concentration is on foilers, skiffs, kites etc.
 
There are many more such tales, which (IMHO) are important because they disprove the popular media hype that high performance boats like the skiffs are the future of sailing.  Such thinking ignores the practical aspects that kept these classes going, and therefore can lead the sport to become less accessible and less popular. 
 
Although I'd never have thought it until I started blowing the dust off old books and mags, these days I'd reckon that Jack Holt could have had more of a positive influence on dinghy sailing (including perfomance sailing) than all the skiff designers put together, and using the "skiff" term for most new boats ignores that sort of influence.
 
I don't know why the term "skiff" became so loaded. With the greatest respect to Frank Bethwaite, I think he did vastly over-rate the importance of the 18 Footers he was involved in.  For example, he claims that tacking downwind was basically developed by 18s and yet it was clearly known by Germans, Americans and the British in the 1930s-1960s.  Some Kiwi authors also bend history to demonstrate Kiwi pre-eminence.  For example, one author "proved" that Kiwis were decades ahead of the UK in the use of the trapeze by simply getting the date of their use in Int 14s wrong by a decade or so!  Such distortions have been allowed to influence conventional wisdom by sailing journos who fail to do their homework.
 
PS - "polar"??? Not sure about your meaning.  Yep, I do get a bit strident, but (hopefully) it's just when people denigrate others, such as those who sail other classes or run the PY system.  If people are going on the attack surely they cannot when others take up the defence?
 
Cheers.
 


Edited by Chris 249 - 20 May 15 at 7:11am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Do Different Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 15 at 7:14am
Good stuff 249, the history of design development is very enlightening, I look forward to you getting engaged in e'publishing.  Beer

 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris415700 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 15 at 7:00pm
Don't know what it is, but there are three more photos here http://www.bootsboerse24.de/artikel/989/segelboot/Gade_%28DE%29/SZ_Jolle
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