Saturday, May 18, 2013

470's and Snipes - Tokyo Style

Once upon a time, Pandabonium sailed a Snipe - in Marina del Rey and Santa Barbara Harbor.  Mostly solo (with a 50 lb lead weight for a little ballast) but sometimes with a companion.  It was a nice boat that was built by Schock.   There was some discussion at the time about the fiberglass Snipes, like mine, being slower than their wood counterparts due to the flexibility of the glass hull, but it mattered not to me as I never raced.  (Never have understood the racing mindset, quite frankly.  I think sport competition in general is a vestige of early human evolution.  When you sail, just sail.  Have fun.) 

Here's a video of some serious sailing of Snipes and 470's by students of the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology.  They obviously didn't get my Buddhist memo, but nonetheless appear to be having fun.  

Considering the world they will face upon graduation, I hope they have all the fun they can, while they can.

Until next,  sweet sailing.



George A said...

Looks like good close racing in both classes. Nothing sharpens boat handling skills quite like gunnel to gunnel mark roundings in a proper fair breeze. Thanks for sharing!

R W Rawles said...

Thank you for this provocative column. The question as to whether wooden or glass Snipes are superior performers is intriguing. I learned how to sail on a Colorado lake where Snipes were sailed, but never got a ride on them. I missed my 470's stage, too. But back in the days of Lasers, I often dreamed of having a Laser built of wood!

You raise another question in this column, which I will shortly address in my own pages, where I can enjoy a home court advantage.

Pandabonium said...

Good point George.

R W - I don't know how the wood vs glass actually shakes out, just remember it being debated. The original design was wood of course (1931) and intended to be a boat that people could build themselves.

Looking forward to you post with your thoughts about racing.

George A said...

Early glass hulls were both heavier and more flexible than their wood counterparts. This was due to the fact that glass hulls of that era (1960s) were hand lay-ups with just fiberglass cloth and polyester resin but no core material! I had a glass Penguin class dinghy that when being driven to windward in a good breeze would visibly twist as the rig fed energy from the mast into the hull! An early glass Moth that a friend had would "oil can", ie when sailing the bottom of the boat would "bubble" underneath one's feet--this loss of hull shape was not fast!

Modern boats benefit from stiff core materials such as nomex honeycomb but also from vaccum bagging techniques which keeps them from becoming resin rich and thus heavy. Finally, modern epoxy resins are stronger than earlier polyester resins. Because of this the earlier advance that the woodies possessed has disappeared. Now fast boats can be seen in either material. I haven't even touched on the improvements in cloth such as carbon fiber and kevlar over fiberglass.

Pandabonium said...

Most informative, George. Thanks for that input. Very interesting and makes sense (ie - even I can understand it :) ).