Jump to content


Member Since 03 Jan 2007
Offline Last Active Today, 10:59 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: what is everybody's summer cruising plans?

25 April 2016 - 12:43 PM


I will be up there mid september to early October.  Are you up there then?  Like to say hello.


Two and a half months or so on the Maine coast in my soon-to-be launched Mainecat 38, thence south to Florida after hurricane season. Possible canal and up the West coast for spring 2017 in the Salish Sea. (After FL is TBD)

In Topic: Built in fuel polishing...practical??

20 April 2016 - 09:46 PM

Why reinvent the wheel.  Here is a system that I believe has good review.


In Topic: My newest project

17 April 2016 - 01:12 PM

How big is that alternator?  Anybody know the manufacturer?



Visited the Carbon Cutters this morning. That Jim Betts runs a very impressive shop. Well laid out and well organized. Lots of talent in that building especially Jim, who can be pressed into service for just about anything boat building when there is a need. Here he is machining some custom bearings for the cutters:attachicon.gifIMG_7188.JPG


Here is the shop floor with numerous activities and projects of Cutter pieces coming together:attachicon.gifIMG_7193.JPGattachicon.gifIMG_7194.JPG


Here is the amazing alternator set up:attachicon.gifIMG_7190.JPG


And the bowsprit mockup:attachicon.gifIMG_7189.JPG

In Topic: Lasers - Applying a Blow Torch

16 April 2016 - 06:55 PM

Obituary for Ian Bruce, developed the Laser.



Looks like you may need to login in.  

Full story below:


Updated April 15, 2016 11:59 p.m. ET

Ian Bruce, an engineering school dropout, developed one of the most successful sailboats ever and established it as a fixture in Olympic races. Most of the profits from his Laser dinghy flowed to other people.

Mr. Bruce died March 21 of cancer in Hamilton, Ontario. He was 82.

Through what he described as a fluke, the Canadian industrial designer brought the sport of sailboat racing back to the basics.

“We were all getting complicated,” said Peter Bjorn, a longtime sailing friend and business partner. Races were likely to be won by the sailor able to afford the most expertly equipped and modified boat. Mr. Bruce insisted that all models of the Laser be built the same way and raced without modifications.

That way, said Mr. Bjorn, it wasn’t about the boat: “If you make it go faster, you’re better than me.”

The boat, designed for a single sailor, is so simple that it can be rigged and launched onto the water within 10 minutes of being taken out of the box. “It is a lovely little boat to sail,” said Jeff Martin, a British sailing race organizer.

Ian Boyack Bruce was born in Jamaica into a family of Scottish and French descent that had lived there for 15 generations. His family later moved to the Bahamas, where his father was in the rum business. As a youth, he found sailing a bore and preferred spearfishing. At age 12, he was sent to boarding school in Port Hope, Ontario, where he was a captain of the cricket and ice-hockey teams. At the urging of his father, he then studied engineering at McGill University in Montreal but dropped out after deciding it wasn’t his calling.

For a time he taught ballroom dancing before studying industrial design at Syracuse University. He took up sailboat racing after being pressed by a friend to take the place of an ill crew member in a race and discovering he loved the sport. Mr. Bruce later represented Canada twice in Olympic sailing events and was given an Order of Canada award in 2009 for his contributions to sailing.



While working as an industrial designer in Montreal in the 1960s, he set up a small shop in nearby Pointe-Claire to build racing boats. There was little money in that, so he wanted to make a small mass-market boat that people could strap to the roof of a car and use on weekends.

Mr. Bruce called a friend, Bruce Kirby, editor of a sailing magazine, to ask for a boat design. Mr. Kirby began sketching on a legal pad while they were still on the phone and soon produced detailed design drawings.

Mr. Kirby later persuaded Mr. Bruce to rush out a prototype of the boat to race in the America’s Teacup regatta at Lake Geneva, Wis. The nearly 14-foot boat, with a fiber glass hull, generated so much favorable comment that Mr. Bruce decided to launch it commercially, for less than $700, far cheaper than most dinghies. Mr. Kirby got a design royalty on each boat.

The Laser proved immensely popular world-wide, both for racing and casual sailors. Mr. Bruce’s company, Performance Sailcraft, and partners were soon making it in Canada, California, England, Australia and South Africa, among other places. So far, more than 210,000 of the boats have been produced. Since 1996, Laser races have been included in the Olympic Games.

Performance Sailcraft wasn’t a big money spinner, partly because the Laser was priced so low. A 1976 magazine profile said profits on the first 22,000 Lasers worked out to about 50 cents each.

Mr. Bruce had a chance to sell the firm for nearly $10 million to a U.S. company in the late 1970s but couldn’t get Canadian government approval, according to Ward McKimm, a friend and former business partner. Instead, Mr. Bruce sold his interest in a much less lucrative transaction to two colleagues. Performance Sailcraft went into receivership in the early 1980s, and other firms took over the manufacturing.

“He was very stoic about it,” Mr. McKimm said. “Money was not the most important thing in the world to him.”

Mr. Bruce bounced back by designing other items, including bathtubs and shower stalls. He also kept designing boats, though that never proved very profitable. He spent some of his final winters back in the Bahamas.

Mr. Kirby, the designer of the Laser, said he had made “quite a lot of money” from his royalties over the years. Now, however, at age 87, he is involved in a convoluted legal dispute over royalties with LaserPerformance (Europe) Ltd., a maker of the Laser and other boats, and Farzad Rastegar, an Iranian-born businessman long associated with LaserPerformance.

In a lawsuit pending in U.S. District Court in Connecticut, Mr. Kirby has accused LaserPerformance of failing to pay royalties. Mr. Rastegar said in a brief phone interview that Mr. Kirby’s claims were “spurious.”

That dispute is a moot point for the family of Mr. Bruce, which stopped receiving income from the Laser long ago. His two daughters plan a celebration of his life at the Royal St. Lawrence Yacht Club near Montreal in May. Rather than sending flowers, they said, friends might consider “encouraging someone you love to learn to sail.”

In Topic: Chapter 11 for Gunboat

14 April 2016 - 04:55 PM

I spoke with one of the principals.  They own multiple brands, Outremer is only one of them.  http://www.glyachting.com

He said they like the GB brand and want to continue with it.  FYI I think they also purchased Outremer out of bankruptcy.




It is an interesting new chapter though. Outremer obviously know how to build boats on a budget and on time. The French have a strong manufacturing background, both with boats and with other industries. I hope they honor the lineage of the GB's though, and dont just dress up or rebrand the Outremer line.


That would be good, but unlikely, IMHO. Gunboat pushed the envelope more than Outremer and maybe that was the problem. Outremer would never have designed the G4 "foiling cruiser" I think.