Friday, November 11, 2011

Great Sailing Image

Image Courtesy of Suzann Fulbright

This image was snapped during Classic Week in New York Harbor in 2008. The photographer, an artist, contacted us for the plans for these two beautiful boats as she will be painting this scene and wants to make sure the painting is correct from a technical standpoint.

That's Blackwatch in front, design #218. In the chase is the 12-meter America II (US46), design #2500. America II is footing a bit, probably trying to get the boat upright as she looks a bit over canvassed here or has too few crew members in general to get some weight up on the weather rail. Also of interest is just how much sag these older boats carry in their headstay. Just hold the edge of a piece of paper up against the image along the headstay to see it.

You can see just how powerful Blackwatch is (for a boat that was launched in 1938) up against a 12-meter racing yacht (launched in 1984). Here's a comparison:

Principal Dimensions
Blackwatch versus America II
LOA 68'-0" vs. 65'-0"
LWL 48'-0" vs. 45'-0"
Beam 14'-7" vs .12'-0"
Draft 9'-3" vs. 9'-0"
Displacement 76,700 lbs vs. 54,216 lbs
Sail Area 2,125 sq ft vs. 1,846 sq ft


  1. It isn't the case necessarily with the boats shown above but sag in the forestay can be a good thing in light air. I sail a Shields sloop (also an S&S design) and setting the forestay long and letting it sag powers up jib and makes for better pointing. See the table here:

  2. Indicated displacement for America II ( 25,416 lp.) cannot be correct .Perhaps a typo ?

  3. You are correct - typo. Thanks for pointing this out.

  4. I worked at Derecktor Shipyard in Mamaroneck, NY for 11 years covering the decade of the 1990s. I lived aboard an LF Herreshoff 45 Mobjack ketch across the dock from Blackwatch when it belonged to Dr.Brook the longest continuous customer Derecktor had at the time, over 45 years at the time. I can remember every spring he greased the masthead sheaves with a grease gun by way of the zirc fittings he's drilled and tapped himself. Over the years I head many stories from every source of the young people who the good Dr. taught to sail. Blackwatch was the name he gave her after he bought her from the US Coast Guard Acadamy, as I understand it, who, in turn had it donated from the Hooligan Navy of WWII fame. She was built at Henry Nevins yard on City Island, NY and all the fittings and hardware, even the anchor, were fabricated or cast at Nevins. It had a seamanlike modest butternut interior (butternut looks a bit like walnut but lighter in color and in weight) I think to make her faster. It would be a real treat to get to go aboard her again and ply the waters of NY and Long Island Sound. Many thanks to those who bought her and brought her back to Bristol shape. Brad Ansley