Most sailors are familiar with the crab claw rig, common on the proas and sailing canoes of the South Pacific. In his seminal book on sailing aerodynamics C. A. Marhaj concludes that is is one of the most efficient rigs over a broad spectrum of conditions. Small wonder that an iceboater should be inspired to give it a go. A report by Peter Adrian from Sweden on his crab claw rigged iceboat:
Am sailing my second season with my modified iceboat: an Isabella Classic with 5m2 (54 sq. ft.) crab claw sail. Just a win-win over all compared against the same boats with conventional Bermuda rig. Just one thing I’ve noticed is she no longer lifts the windward runner at over 60km/h (37 mph).
The yard is made fast to the apex of a bipod mast and fixed to the hull at the bow, so it cannot move. Like the traditional oceanic rig, only the boom is free to sheet in and out. Iceboats are sailed close-hauled at all times, and tack downwind, so the narrow sheeting range between the bipod is no problem.
The sail is cut dead flat, so it is the simplest of rigs for the home builder. Another advantage is the iceboat can be parked in its box more or less completely rigged. Pull the sack off the spars/sail, lift the yard and clip it to the bipod mast. Install the runners and the boat is ready to go in 5-6 minutes, while the Bermudas are still still fighting to get their stuff ready in 20-30 minutes, and even longer if minus 5C!
It might appear at first glance to be a lateen Cheapskate rig, but look closer and you’ll see major differences. All you’d need is two of old windsurfer masts and some bent aluminum tubing for the bi-pod mast. Any new Cheapskates out there who haven’t built their rig yet? This could be interesting…
Bill Bunting shared the sad news today that CIBC mascot Trixie has died. She was most well known for her uncanny ability to enter cars and lunch boxes, find the sandwich, eat and retreat.
Bill says: “She considered herself a club member. And some members will be relieved. Her own unique take on iceboating was as strong as that of any of us — no matter which direction or at what season we approached Chicky or Dammy, a mile or two before they came into sight, she would stand on the consul and put her front feet on the dashboard and whine. After we passed she would groan and lie down on the back seat, profoundly disappointed. The only activity she loved as much as iceboating was haying.”
Summer has been in high season. You’ll never eat better corn, fresher tomatoes. But the first apples are ready for picking, the nights are cooler and the day’s heat lacks conviction. Summer at this point is a party, but the party is already over.
August in northern New England is poignant, a curtain call for the green earth, the summer’s heat and the gardens. Morning sea smoke will soon herald the after party. You’re all invited!
Ben Fuller has been driving old Tipsy petty hard these past years. She’s probably had more ice time in the past five years than in the previous forty, so she’s in the shop for a little structural work.
Curiously, the full length side boards are backed up on the inside with plywood. It’s obviously original, fastened with copper rivets and hide glue. It was delaminating, as seventy-five year old plywood tends to do. There’s rusty steel, broken screws, all the special treats found in old boats. As soon as the steel breasthooks were removed from the stern, she just fell open. Amazing how old boats, both soft and hard, can hold together mostly by habit.
Ben steers her very well with the tiller tucked under his arm. I don’t recall ever seeing Tipsy flicker. But I do know that he needs just to move his upper body ever so slightly to make her turn. “Twitchy” doesn’t even begin to describe the sensation of sailing Tipsy.
Some stern steerers have been modified to steer with a tiller. This reduces the steering gear ratio from 1:1 to any tame ratio you’d like.
Bob Hines restored his boat ten years ago, but hasn’t managed to get her out since then. He gave the steering an awesome reduction. Notice the forward facing seat and tiller. He has a passenger seat forward of that. Looks very comfortable.
Last time he had her out was when Lee Turner hosted the Spring Flings on Winnipesaukee. But he reports that he’s set her up, found all the pins and parts, and is looking forward to the coming season.
Got projects? August is nearly done…the countdown continues.
Yellow Bird is a small skeeter, 16 feet long (including the spring board) and uses a DN rig and sail. Built as a 7/8 scale North Easter, she is responsive, well balanced and easy to sail. A spruce mast and fir boom carry a Shore wide range medium sail which is trimmed by Harken blocks. The ten foot airfoil shape spruce plank has nice cast aluminum chocks and oak-body tee runners with a runner carrying box and sharpening jig. The cockpit is snug and comfortable with an upholstered seat and wheel steering. Yellow Bird is in a trailer, complete and ready to sail. Located in Arrowsic, Maine. $2200.00 obo
Call Bart Chapin
C 207 841 7739
P 207 443 4116
While the CIBC didn’t manage to sign up and new members this past weekend at the Maine Boats and Harbors show, we did raise awareness of the sport and found some great networking opportunities. We have a very good lead for a more reliable spy on Moosehead Lake, and we discovered a secret stash of big stern steerers on Marancook Lake, near Great Pond in Belgrade Lakes. The folks there agreed to give us a call when Great Pond and Marancook are sailable.
The low point was when a woman asked if her child could sit in the “kayak” to have her picture taken. She wasn’t too interested when told it was actually an iceboat.
Our own Charlie Sylveius, and then later, John Stanton showed up. John reports that we have a new venue for the Fall meeting and Swap Meet, so stand by for directions. During one of the many great ice conversations my wife pointed out that “it’s only August, boys”. so we thanked her for reminding us that time is running out and we need to get right on those ice boat projects!
One of the exhibitors has an older DN for sale in Leominster, Mass. David Erickson, 978-857-8014. email@example.com. $400.oo
Thanks to Jim Gagnon, Curtis Rindlaub, Guy Pollyblank, Tom Nichols and Lloyd Roberts for manning the stand all weekend, and to Denis Guertin for supplying the teriffic video which ran endlessly all weekend.