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john guzzwell

Black Soo/ Royal Cape One design, details of

32 posts in this topic

For those of you interested in a fast, lightweight, easy to build, trailerable, (and narrow enough to fit inside a shipping container) sailing yacht that is offshore capable, the Black Soo and Royal Cape One Design boats are interesting. The following is what I have unearthed so far, unfortunately I still have not reached Mr. Farlam or found a set of plans as my E mails are sent back as bulk mail. Mr Loots requested that I post the history of the boats on the site, it took a while before I could find some one who knows computers. As no one has come up with a design that meets the above parameters better I am now hunting for a set of plans. Ironically the original designer has the plans for the Black Soo but not the improved RCOD. Any Ideas? John Guzzwell Jr. johnguzzwell@yahoo.com

 

The following are some of the letters and attachments I have received.

 

 

Dear John

 

 

I managed to speak to Colin Farlam, who is very knowledgeable on RCOD

history, and he corrected me regarding the Black Soo story. You can

contact

him at farlapone@kingsley.co.za.

 

 

 

According to Colin, Kees Bruynzeel commissioned van der Stadt in 1955

to

design Zeeslang, and only one boat was allowed to be built to the

plans.

About a year later Prout persuaded van der Stadt to do Black Soo,

apparently

identical to Zeeslang, but narrower and with a smaller transom than our

RCODs.

 

 

 

Thoughts on your suggestions:

 

Widening the boat will bring it closer to the Dogger, also a van der

Stadt

design which you might wish to investigate, but I would only consider

it if

your sailing is going to be in reasonably sheltered water. Widening

will

reduce the very characteristics that make the RCOD such a pleasure to

ail - windward ability in extreme conditions when a narrow hull

maintains a

steady angle of heel instead of being tossed about, and directional

stability when planing in a cross-sea. For the same reason I would not

increase the reserve buoyancy with reverse sheer. (The straight sheer

is of

course also to ease the plywood construction as the deck is already

curved

athwartships). Whether the extra volume under the side decks will be

of any

use will naturally depend on your layout.

 

 

 

I had also considered a lifting keel, but the loss of space due to the

casing, complication and more things to go wrong in a knockdown,

decided me

against it. I had also looked at a transom rudder, but reverted to the

spade as per van der Stadt, although using a more modern section that

is

more stall-resistant A transom rudder will require a remote tiller or

wheel, as you should not put the helmsman's weight further aft. I also

suspect that a transom rudder will find itself in badly disturbed water

or

partially lift out at times and dissipate energy through disturbance on

the

surface. The spade rudder is highly efficient as it works against the

plane

of the hull above, and although a transom rudder has better leverage

being

further from the keel, it might, because of the foregoing, have to be

as

large as the spade.

 

 

 

As previously noted, I kept the low mast for safety, but retained the

fractional rig which provides better mast bend control. We have,

however,

strengthened the masthead with diamond stays, enabling us to fly

masthead

spinnakers, and increased the fore-triangle by tacking the forestay 300

mm

further forward.

 

 

 

Regarding flattening the after sections, there is already very little

deadrise. My boat surfs steadily at over 20 knots, leaving a rooster

tail

but otherwise flat wake. It is not for nothing that deepwater planing

motor

yachts like those by Renato Levi have deep V transoms.

 

 

 

Flatter sections could possibly encourage earlier planing, but very

likely

less control. She is likely to be running with some heel, when your

immersed section aft is the side of the hull, and one plane of the

bottom

only.

 

 

 

My own boat including the deck is double skinned glass with foam fill

and no

ribs except at the keel bolts, which I find ideal from the space, noise

and

heat insulation point of view. I am not aware of any others, but

suggest you

ask Colin.

 

 

 

You are welcome to use my photo and letter.

 

 

 

Regards

 

 

 

Gabriël

 

 

 

----- Original Message -----

From: "john guzzwell" <johnguzzwell@yahoo.com>

To: "Gabriel" <gabriel@fagan.co.za>

Sent: Tuesday, April 03, 2007 7:43 AM

Subject: Re: BLACK SOO CLASS/ John Guzzwell

 

 

> Dear Mr Fagan, Thank you for your reply and the

> photo.

> There are several questions that I have regarding the

> boat and class. From your reply I gather that the

> black soo and RCOD are identical and not as suggested

> by Mr Loots an earlier design and later improvement

> upon it. Given that I can start with a blank sheet of

> paper with the parameters being offshore capability,

> trailerability, ease of construction, and small enough

> to fit inside a shipping container, are there any

> other designs you like over the RCOD, and if not what

> changes would you consider to the boat? Please keep

> in mind that the majority of time I want to use the

> boat as a simple cruiser that is easily handled either

> solo or with just one crew. Firstly I believe the

> boat could be expanded in width about five inches to

> 7'4", so how about just blowing the entire thing up

> five percent in all dimensions which would push the

> displacement up a bit as well (18 percent?), Also how

> about some more reverse sheer to pick up a bit more

> interior volume?. In regards to the keel I was

> originally thinking of a lifting one and a transom

> hung rudder. Do you see any problems with these for

> offshore usage. Would you go for a masthead rig or

> stick with the fractional? An individual on the

> website sailing anarchy commented that he felt the

> after sections of the boat could be flattened some

> more for better downwind speed. Would this be

> detrimental to the upwind ability? Lastly are there

> any old glass ones around that I could pick up and

> ship back here? Thanks for your time, John Guzzwell

> Jr.

> --- Gabriel <gabriel@fagan.co.za> wrote:

>

> > Dear John

> >

> >

> >

> > Dee Siebert, Royal Cape Yacht Club secretary, passed

> > me your enquiry about the Van de Stadt design known

> > here as the RCOD (Royal Cape One Design) and in

> > Australia as the "Black Soo" class.

> >

> >

> >

> > They were designed for Kees Bruynzeel, later of

> > Stormvogel fame (also designed by v/d Stadt) and the

> > very first boat, Zeeslang, had such an amazing

> > racing record in our exceedingly rough conditions

> > that it heralded the era of light racers.

> >

> >

> >

> > The design is superbly seaworthy and certainly

> > answers your requirements, except for the normally

> > fixed keel and deep spade rudder. I see no reason

> > however, why you could not unbolt the keel and drop

> > the rudder for trailering.

> >

> >

> >

> > As it is no longer a one-design racing class in the

> > Cape, I decided to speed it up even further, for the

> > last Cape Town to Bahia Transatlantic race, in which

> > we finished 1st in class, and 3rd overall.

> >

> >

> >

> > For safety in severe weather I did not wish to

> > increase mast height, but fitted a main with large

> > roach (like a Hobie), fitted diamonds to stiffen the

> > upper mast and added masthead spinnakers of almost

> > double the area of the ¾ rig as designed. I tacked

> > the masthead forestay 300mm further forward, and

> > fitted an inner stay for storm conditions. We have

> > repeatedly surfed at over 20 knots - which takes

> > concentrated helming, but the steering remains light

> > and accurate.

> >

> >

> >

> > To reduce wetted surface, we replaced the rather

> > large cast-iron keel with a hollow stainless steel

> > fin with laminar flow section (holding drinking

> > water), with a lead bulb. This enabled a weight

> > reduction of some 200 kg with the same righting

> > moment. A new lighter carbon rudder was also

> > fitted, with a modern high lift stall-resisting

> > section. As outboard motors were not allowed in the

> > Transatlantic, and are anyway not seamanlike if left

> > dangling off the transom and a nuisance if having to

> > be brought inboard, I fitted a 7hp Yanmar diesel,

> > which weighs 76 kg, with a folding prop.

> >

> >

> >

> > I hope this encourages you to go the RCOD way, as I

> > find a narrower beamed boat just so much safer and

> > more pleasant than the I.O.R. yachts that become

> > uncontrollable when pressed. Please feel free to

> > contact me again should you have further questions.

> >

> >

> >

> > Regards

> >

> >

> >

> > GAWIE FAGAN

> >

>

>

>

>

>

______________________________________________________

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That post was way to long for my limited attention span but there are two of those on trailers at Svendsens Marine in Alameda Ca. Both are sailed almost weekly. If you want pics let me know.

Tom

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That post was way to long for my limited attention span but there are two of those on trailers at Svendsens Marine in Alameda Ca. Both are sailed almost weekly. If you want pics let me know.

Tom

Can you post the pics?

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Can you post the pics?

 

I'll be out there monday, I'll give it a try.

Tom

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THanks that was a nice sunday morning read...

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more pics, wanted to make sure I did it right.

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Thanks short stick,

 

John, This looks like what you've been searching for.

And is it not on your doorstep?

 

The most obvious differences between the boats in the picture and the Royal Cape One Design are the cabin structure (the RCOD has a stepped cabintop), the sugarscoop sterns (not seen on any of the RCOD s here), the white boat seems to have moved the rudder further aft, the red boat not, and the red boat has the forestay right on the stem, unlike the white boat which has the forestay a few millimeters aft of the stem like the RCOD.

 

What cannot be seen from the pictures are the top of the rigs. The RCOD has a fractional rig.

 

But the big thing is I think we are more or less looking at the same designer/ boat/ concept, but with a few mods or changes/ improvements.

 

Regards,

Multisail.

 

ps Just got back from Tierra del Fuego/Cabo de Hornos.

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Both Mirage and Starbuck have racked up many wins in the SF racing scene. Solosailor won the SSS singlehanded season 5 times with Starbuck.

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Thanks short stick,

 

John, This looks like what you've been searching for.

And is it not on your doorstep?

Regards,

Multisail.

 

ps Just got back from Tierra del Fuego/Cabo de Hornos.

 

Dear Sir, In the past I have spoken to the owners of both boats (each is a black Soo design), and they really like them. The owner of the red one (Starbuck) suggested some modifications (including a tad more beam) and based on Mr Fagan's comments about the RCOD, (being slightly wider and a development from the Black Soo), as well as his own changes to the boat, it seemed logical to get a set of plans for both, compare them, and then build a modern version. How did you like the cape horn trip? Which outfit did you go with? Thanks, jg.

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The white boat, Mirage, has a more modern, higher aspect rig.
Mirage's rig is 4ft taller than the mashead rig on Starbuck. Carl Schumacher spec'd out changes for Mirage a long while back. Mirage moved her keel and mast location, a different rudder - moved aft, etc. However these changes did not improve the boat. Starbuck has never had much problems outrunning Mirage upwind or down.

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Agree Starbuck is the faster of the two boats. Not the fastest boat around the buoys, but for point to point almost untouchable.

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I have managed to reach Colin Farlam in South Africa and will be obtaining a set of plans for the RCOD shortly. I thank all of you for your help and comments, and will let you know what my dad thinks of the drawings. John Jr.

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Hi, having read through the string albeit somewhat belatedly, I believe that anyone who has had the pleasure of sailing a RCOD, be it racing or just for pleasure, will agree that they remain superb and exceptionally seaworthy vessels to this day and off the wind take a hell of a lot of beating! In talking with Gawie Fagan on the topic, I can assure you that you will be given the best, and most invaluable information on the design and the means of how to get the very best performance out of the vessel. He is indeed a legend in his own time and one of the finest racing men that yachting will ever know, well proven by his achievements through the years. I wish you well should you go ahead with the idea and I am quite sure, that should you choose to visit South Africa, the current owners of Cape Ones would be only to willing to offer you a sailing experience seldom surpassed!

With regards, Michael Lavery.

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One of my all time favorite boat, and the inspiration for many of my designs. Including one, that I have on the board right now.post-32003-024481900 1332534604_thumb.jpg

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One of my all time favorite boat, and the inspiration for many of my designs. Including one, that I have on the board right now.post-32003-024481900 1332534604_thumb.jpg

 

I think they inspired Mr Spencer to YM. Ragtime is pretty much a Black Soo on steroids!

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Including one, that I have on the board right now.post-32003-024481900 1332534604_thumb.jpg

 

Are you going to share a sketch?

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Reading that old magazine clip and the reference to Cornelius Bruynzeel, brought back some memories of seeing his plywood 70ft "maxi" "Stormvogel" at the start of the 1966 China Sea Race.

post-5483-057137800 1332545822_thumb.jpg

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Stormvogel wasn't plywood. I believe she was cold molded with four layers of mahogany over stringers on bulkheads. (but that's off the top of my head.) Still a rather awesome boat. My understanding is that she was worked on by Laurent Giles, Van de Stadt and Illingworth and Primrose.

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post-32003-059332600 1332556046_thumb.jpg

Including one, that I have on the board right now.post-32003-024481900 1332534604_thumb.jpg

 

Are you going to share a sketch?

Since you asked. The plans are in completion now. But this rendering will give you an idea, before I add the details of mast, deck gear etc.

I started the boat based on the same BlackSoo interior distribution. I have been found for this basic accommodation plan, duplicated on many small offshore boats of that era..

Basically same length and displacement. More beam, modern plywood construction or flat panel F.R.P. Modernized fractional rig.

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more pics, wanted to make sure I did it right.

 

 

Cool boats -- they look like Thunderbirds on steroids.

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post-32003-059332600 1332556046_thumb.jpg

Including one, that I have on the board right now.post-32003-024481900 1332534604_thumb.jpg

 

Are you going to share a sketch?

Since you asked. The plans are in completion now. But this rendering will give you an idea, before I add the details of mast, deck gear etc.

I started the boat based on the same BlackSoo interior distribution. I have been found for this basic accommodation plan, duplicated on many small offshore boats of that era..

Basically same length and displacement. More beam, modern plywood construction or flat panel F.R.P. Modernized fractional rig.

 

 

Very cool. Thanks.

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post-32003-013642200 1332863385_thumb.jpg

SteelStar 60', Another Black Soo, Infidel ( Ragtime) connection. Reviewed by R-H Perry in Sailing Magazine, about twenty five years ago.

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post-32003-013642200 1332863385_thumb.jpg

SteelStar 60', Another Black Soo, Infidel ( Ragtime) connection. Reviewed by R-H Perry in Sailing Magazine, about twenty five years ago.

 

Very Nice!!

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Stormvogel wasn't plywood. I believe she was cold molded with four layers of mahogany over stringers on bulkheads. (but that's off the top of my head.) Still a rather awesome boat. My understanding is that she was worked on by Laurent Giles, Van de Stadt and Illingworth and Primrose.

 

 

Could have been thinking of Stormy, Brunzeel's boat after Stormvogel. She was, IIRC, hot molded of 8 layers of 2.5mm mahogany ply in 1969. A cool boat and beautiful sailer. She was the last ketch to win a race in the old SORC.

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post-32003-013642200 1332863385_thumb.jpg

SteelStar 60', Another Black Soo, Infidel ( Ragtime) connection. Reviewed by R-H Perry in Sailing Magazine, about twenty five years ago.

 

Damn, that is a beautiful boat, and I have a fondness for sleek aft cabins.

 

I trust the review was positive.

 

 

 

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+ 1 on the Steelstar design. I tried to find Bob's review, but no success. Anyone have a copy?

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post-32003-054639400 1332960732_thumb.jpg

+ 1 on the Steelstar design. I tried to find Bob's review, but no success. Anyone have a copy?

 

Please send your private e-mail, will send you a copy.

You can see my own article about Steelstar on my Tanton yachts web site.

Gallery, bottom page 3.

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Hi there,

I started to restore a 1961 build Black Soo located in Sydney under the original name Odette in 2011. I am still looking for people who have sailing or building experience around the RCOD or Black Soo including plans, articles pictures etc. I restored most of the deck and hull but the interior is empty yet. I got a job in North Sweden and I am planing to put her in a container and ship her to Sweden. Has anybody experience with shipping Boats in Containers? So many Questions. Why all of this? Because I fell for her...Simple hm?

Have a look in my album to see what had to be done so far.

cheers Daniel

 

 

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Good evening,

I f you are interested in the RCOD, have a look at www.governorscup.co.za

 

Reaction, a very standard RCOD has just won the Governors Cup, a 1725 mile ocean race from Simons Town to St Helena. She was first mono hull to finish and won the race on IRC.

If you drill down on the website and look under entrants information there is quite a bit about the RCOD.

Should you search around under the older "News" section, there is also a picture and a bit of news about "Zeeslang", the forerunner to the RCOD. Zeeslang was beautifully restored a few years ago by a German gent, Mike Baumer, then living and working in Cape Town. Mike has now returned to Germany and took Zeeslang home with him.

 

Yep, these are fantastic boats. Sadly the fleet of RCOD's in South Africa is deteriorating very fast. The boats were built of marine ply in the early 1960's and they are not being maintained. About 4 glass boats were also built and they (with one or two exceptions) seem to be the only ones still sailing.

 

Regards,

Multisail

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