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I sailed on Taxi Dancer once on a Wet Wednesday way back. This was before I became disabled.

I was told I was trimming the main. The biggest boat I ever trimmed a main on was 40'. They said it was an old main??
Ok, I thought, Going up wind, I kept grinding it in to get some resemblance of a main. Oops, a bit too tight and it ripped in half. I felt so bad and no one offered condolences.  I never sailed with them again. Of course they never asked me back either.

Too bad because I know Jimmy and Ricky (Ricko) from the SC 27 and Olson 30 days of the 70's / 80's

Ahh, those were the days

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Raced on Taxi throughout the 90s & Silent Bob was there too. We did well and had lots of fun - won a few Big Boats Series', MEXORC, SoCal events. Consistent crew core was key and we worked well as a team - Dave Ullman was a key part of the program.

Mitch Rouse had the boat built. When the boat was first brought to SB we found the invoice for the hull build in the chart table - between $500K & $600K if I recall correctly

AFAIK the name derives from (may need some fact checking):

- Mitch started the first airport shuttle service. I think he got in trouble with it when a "terrorist" hijacked one of the shuttles with passengers onboard way back when.

- Taxi Dancers were young ladies who during the 20s and 30s worked in dance halls and could be "rented" for dancing.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxi_dance_hall

 

Taxi is a great boat and it's good to see that she's still being maintained in top shape. Jim Pugh (Reichel Pugh) said part of her design brief was to be the fastest 70 for TransPac.

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I worked at Esprit down under the Coronado bridge right out of high school in 1990.  Rick Melzer, Brad Fitzgerald and cast of other characters made it quite interesting.  Taxi was just out or coming out of the shed at that time.  Such a well built boat was always built to be turbo'ed.

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OK  looking forward to retro video. (great series, windward passage would be a awesome show, if you do that I know Mark Johnson and could get info on the time period)

 

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We ended up with the first carbon stick on Taxi after we lost the last aluminum one during LBRW. The new one was installed just days before the Ensenada race making the race our tuning session as well. The primary engineer for the mast build joined us and we were all amazed at how fast we were on starboard tack - a real advantage sailing to Ensenada.

Never did learn how much the mast was canted to favor starboard tack but once all dialed in the boat was very competitive all around. Some great events during this time period with 10 - 15 sleds on the line at various venues.

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59 minutes ago, tizak said:

We ended up with the first carbon stick on Taxi after we lost the last aluminum one during LBRW. The new one was installed just days before the Ensenada race making the race our tuning session as well. The primary engineer for the mast build joined us and we were all amazed at how fast we were on starboard tack - a real advantage sailing to Ensenada.

Never did learn how much the mast was canted to favor starboard tack but once all dialed in the boat was very competitive all around. Some great events during this time period with 10 - 15 sleds on the line at various venues.

I remember them in the BB series in San Francisco, all the sleds racing was really cool.

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The small amount of starboard lean Taxi's mast had going to Ensenada seemed to make a good deal of difference. We were pleased to be able to stay close to the recently turboed Pyewacket.

BBS has had its ups and downs as far as attendance / competition but when things line up it can be a great event. From racing on CCA boats in the mid-60s to the sled fleets of the 80s and 90s and then Farr 40s and other highly active one design fleets in more recent years it's always been a top notch affair. I've enjoyed every one I've been a part of.

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Lotsa sleds have furniture to starboard. Starboard canting mast makes sense for the return trip too on the long beat north through the trades. New to me, but why not take to the limits of step and partners?  More stories please. I know many rules prohibit changing cant, but favoring your tune for one tack makes so much sense, I cant believe I’ve never done it. 

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1 hour ago, tizak said:

From racing on CCA boats in the mid-60s to the sled fleets of the 80s and 90s and then Farr 40s and other highly active one design fleets in more recent years

Just realized I forgot to mention the IOR years after CCA. Wonder why that would have slipped my mind??

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4 minutes ago, Kenny Dumas said:

Can a VPP easily show the performance change by canting the mast?

Did a senior design project on a canting mast design.  Fairly simple device.  The hull connection was the biggest design challenge.

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9 hours ago, tizak said:

Raced on Taxi throughout the 90s & Silent Bob was there too. We did well and had lots of fun - won a few Big Boats Series', MEXORC, SoCal events. Consistent crew core was key and we worked well as a team - Dave Ullman was a key part of the program.

Mitch Rouse had the boat built. When the boat was first brought to SB we found the invoice for the hull build in the chart table - between $500K & $600K if I recall correctly

AFAIK the name derives from (may need some fact checking):

- Mitch started the first airport shuttle service. I think he got in trouble with it when a "terrorist" hijacked one of the shuttles with passengers onboard way back when.

- Taxi Dancers were young ladies who during the 20s and 30s worked in dance halls and could be "rented" for dancing.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxi_dance_hall

 

Taxi is a great boat and it's good to see that she's still being maintained in top shape. Jim Pugh (Reichel Pugh) said part of her design brief was to be the fastest 70 for TransPac.

yeah he owned super shuttle. theyre still big, or were until uber.

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On 11/13/2020 at 11:48 AM, tizak said:

We ended up with the first carbon stick on Taxi after we lost the last aluminum one during LBRW. The new one was installed just days before the Ensenada race making the race our tuning session as well. The primary engineer for the mast build joined us and we were all amazed at how fast we were on starboard tack - a real advantage sailing to Ensenada.

Never did learn how much the mast was canted to favor starboard tack but once all dialed in the boat was very competitive all around. Some great events during this time period with 10 - 15 sleds on the line at various venues.

We received the mast on the Monday morning before the Ensenada Race at the Long Beach Marina Shipyard.  A lot of parts came off of the aluminum rig. Don and I assembled and stepped it that afternoon. On Tuesday, I had to drive to SparCraft in Santa Ana to have the headstay modified.  After that was done, I spent the rest of the day working on the rigging and wiring.  On Wednesday morning, I had to do a full IOR measurement, which meant I had to remove everything off the boat by myself.  After the measurement, I had to reload everything back aboard, by myself.  I then delivered the boat to Newport Beach, also by myself!  On Thursday, I continued straightening out the boat.  Several of the crew showed up in the afternoon.  We tuned the rig by sailing up and down the harbor, with Dave Ullman sighting the rig from the deck and shouting up the tuning to me.  We only had a short time to do this before the sun set.  

 

If I recall correctly, that was the year that was a Jib Top reach out past the Coronado Islands, when we finished at 12:45am, drifting across the line just in front of Mongoose.  Doctor John had to tend to one of Evo’s crew after the Flying Wallenda act. We left a short time later for San Diego. At 7:30 on Saturday morning, the Custom’s agent greeted us the check in dock by apologizing that we had to drop out of the race.  I told him that we had indeed finished.  He had never had a boat that finished arrive early on Saturday morning.  We had breakfast at San Diego Yacht Club at 8:00 Saturday morning!  I think I slept the rest of that weekend!  

 

My calculated guess is that it was about 1.5° to starboard, putting the masthead about 18” off centerline. The fact that it got canted to starboard was coincidental. The following weekend at Yachting Cup, we noticed that we were fast on starboard and slow on port.  We had Charlie Olgetree stand in for tactician, as Ullman was elsewhere.  After we noticed the discrepancy in speed, tack to tack, we started measuring, and found that the V1’s were way different.  We measured from the masthead, and evened it up, and then did some minor adjustments to the diagonals. After that, the rig pretty much stayed at that tune, for the remainder of my time on the boat.

CG

80E1C66A-1FE1-4718-BCD1-52044B8E3183.jpeg

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On 11/13/2020 at 8:33 AM, longy said:

As built she was under powered - wasn't until much later that she got a taller stick

She was designed and built with the long J, short E configuration. After Ullman did a lot of sailing on Orient Express, that had the short J, long E, we decided to follow suit.  We moved the headstay back 9”, and got 30” of boom, IIRC. Brad Fitzgerald did the structural work. Don bought the alloy boom off Pyewacket for $2000, after Disney put on the carbon boom.  Then Disney offered up an lightly used early 3DL Main for another $3000.  The hoist was about a foot shorter, and Ullman put on a foot to make it fit.  This, along with replacing the keel and rudder really balanced the boat out nicely, while still staying within the IOR based Sled Class rules. This main was up when we broke the rig at Watt’s Cup at LAYC. It was cut off the rig by cutting the boltrope.  The only damage was a 1’ tear in the mid luff.  Ullman patched it and put on a new boltrope, and it sailed many more miles.  That main met its demise on the last Wet Wednesday one season when another boat launched a water balloon with a slingshot and it went right through the sail.  It lasted well beyond it’s Expiration Date.   

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There is a story that Mitch Rouse was afraid of heavy weather & kept the rig short. The rig proportions change came about much later. I did a Cabo race on TD - flat water close reaching, GI came up from astern & blew past to leeward in the span of 4 hrs. Nothing we could do to hold her off.

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5 minutes ago, longy said:

There is a story that Mitch Rouse was afraid of heavy weather & kept the rig short. The rig proportions change came about much later. I did a Cabo race on TD - flat water close reaching, GI came up from astern & blew past to leeward in the span of 4 hrs. Nothing we could do to hold her off.

what year was that?

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On 11/12/2020 at 4:09 PM, Meat Wad said:

I sailed on Taxi Dancer once on a Wet Wednesday way back. This was before I became disabled.

I was told I was trimming the main. The biggest boat I ever trimmed a main on was 40'. They said it was an old main??
Ok, I thought, Going up wind, I kept grinding it in to get some resemblance of a main. Oops, a bit too tight and it ripped in half. I felt so bad and no one offered condolences.  I never sailed with them again. Of course they never asked me back either.

Too bad because I know Jimmy and Ricky (Ricko) from the SC 27 and Olson 30 days of the 70's / 80's

Ahh, those were the days

“Oops”?    Lol....

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25 minutes ago, sledracr said:

Probably about right.  That's Victoria in front, but not the original (Andrews) Victoria....

Actually,  Peligroso  was the boat ahead. I'm on the bow. Lil Hippy is hanging on the backstay.  Paul Sharp is driving and you can even pick out Big Hip in that pic.

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1 hour ago, Tom O'Keefe said:

Actually,  Peligroso  was the boat ahead. 

Ah.  My mistake.  I didn't think Peligroso came around until 2005 or so

(I only sailed with Mike on the original Andrews, and then moved out of the area in '93, so....   I guess I missed a few turns.  was there a "V5" in between the Andrews and the Kernan?)

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9 hours ago, jackolantern said:

Yeah that was one of the original 52s. Still out there. Has a canting keel 

Wrong again. That you are young isn’t your fault, that you jump to conclusions is. You are trying to correct guys that have decades of experience in SoCal.

It’s not a TP 52. It’s a sled.

 

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1 hour ago, sunseeker said:

Wrong again. That you are young isn’t your fault, that you jump to conclusions is. You are trying to correct guys that have decades of experience in SoCal.

It’s not a TP 52. It’s a sled.

 

Re: V5 

https://www.sail-world.com/USA/TP52-makes-its-debut-in-NZ/-19578?source=google


https://www.transpac52.org/home/about/archive.html

Alan Andrews design. Launched in 2001 as Victoria 5. One of the first 5 to be built to the (then) new Tp52 rule. Later taken out of class configuration and fitted with a canting keel. Some of the west coast guys likely know all the details with that one. Now it’s in NZ.

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Of all of the sleds I have had the pleasure of racing on, TAXI comes in a close second to Evolution in the days when Brack owned her. TAXI (AKA THE CAVE) has no windows and seems to gather condensation more than most 70s. It is great to see her well cared for and shiny as ever. It is also fun to see so many of the original gangsters of the sled class on here remembering the GOOD OLD DAYS...Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

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In 1998 or so, a couple of days before the Ensenada Race, I was at Newport Harbor Yacht Club on the Work Dock.  Alchemy was inside, Taxi in the middle, Turbo Pywacket on the outside.  The Pywacket crew came down early to test some sails.  I was working on the cabin house area as they crossed Taxi.  Roy Disney sat down next to where I was working.  He said to me “I almost built this boat, but Jimmy Pugh wouldn’t let me put windows in it, too much weight.  I like to look out the window when I’m down below on an offshore race!  Bill Lee gave me windows!” 

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Cheetah was pretty fast, but suffered the same fate as the N/M 68's & first Pyewacket. They were all short boats with more sail area while the Santa Cruz boats were longer with smaller sails. They were pretty even until 1988 with the SC's a bit sticky in lighter air and the N/M types short on length in medium breeze and above. Then the IOR "improved" by correcting for the salinity when freeboards were measured. Everyone's calculated displacement went up so ratings went down. That allowed the SC boats to add sail to rate 70.0 again and improve their light air performance.  The others could add sail or try and get even lighter, but it's hard to effectively increase their length. 

Taxi was designed after that and had sufficient length and sail area. Early on, she was plagued by being over optimized for Transpac with a very small keel and insufficient RM to go upwind. Her early rigs also had a tendency to fall down. 

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By the time I became regular crew (2001) Taxi sure seemed to have plenty of RM to sail upwind. Once the Sharps got her (2003) she was definitely inshore oriented for W/L races. I'm sure the most recent refit brought her back to more offshore downwind optimization. 

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2 hours ago, A3A said:

Cheetah was pretty fast, but suffered the same fate as the N/M 68's & first Pyewacket. They were all short boats with more sail area while the Santa Cruz boats were longer with smaller sails. They were pretty even until 1988 with the SC's a bit sticky in lighter air and the N/M types short on length in medium breeze and above. Then the IOR "improved" by correcting for the salinity when freeboards were measured. Everyone's calculated displacement went up so ratings went down. That allowed the SC boats to add sail to rate 70.0 again and improve their light air performance.  The others could add sail or try and get even lighter, but it's hard to effectively increase their length. 

Taxi was designed after that and had sufficient length and sail area. Early on, she was plagued by being over optimized for Transpac with a very small keel and insufficient RM to go upwind. Her early rigs also had a tendency to fall down. 

When we installed the headstay loadcell, we talked to Dave Hulse.  Asked him what the maximum load should be, he said “Around 9,000”.  Went out for a Wednesday night race, we were at 12,000!  Taxi is the structurally stiffest boat that I have ever been on. On Alchemy, when you hit a wave, you could see the boat flex.  On Taxi, when you hit a wave you felt it before you heard it!  

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7 hours ago, yoyo said:

Ragtime and Windward Passage would be great Retro Boat videos.

so would medicine man just to go over the massive changes over the last 30 years,  would probably need dennis and alan on hand for that one.

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41 minutes ago, bigrpowr said:

so would medicine man just to go over the massive changes over the last 30 years,  would probably need dennis and alan on hand for that one.

And Finisterre (is she still around?)

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I love the retro boat series.  It would be really cool to adda short segment with old crew members commenting on the boats history or telling a race story.  Specifically not the owner.  It would be in keeping with SA and a really different, interesting perspective - like this thread.

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4 hours ago, efrank said:

I love the retro boat series.  It would be really cool to adda short segment with old crew members commenting on the boats history or telling a race story.  Specifically not the owner.  It would be in keeping with SA and a really different, interesting perspective - like this thread.

I agree, not only discuss and tour boat but its history with photos or videos, maybe a interview with owner current and past. I know Mark Johnson of Windward Passage and he would love to talk about it, you should see his trophy room.

 

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10 hours ago, efrank said:

I love the retro boat series.  It would be really cool to adda short segment with old crew members commenting on the boats history or telling a race story.  Specifically not the owner.  It would be in keeping with SA and a really different, interesting perspective - like this thread.

+1 on this suggestion.  I know the crew for these things may be spread all over the world but given zoom technology in today's world cool idea.  Not sure if possible but pic in pic commentary as long as it didn't interfere with was being shown or maybe do it as an inserted section before an area being shown (like maybe show the foredeck/bow and then switch to the bow person telling some war story about times past......)

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2 hours ago, @last said:

+1 on this suggestion.  I know the crew for these things may be spread all over the world but given zoom technology in today's world cool idea.  Not sure if possible but pic in pic commentary as long as it didn't interfere with was being shown or maybe do it as an inserted section before an area being shown (like maybe show the foredeck/bow and then switch to the bow person telling some war story about times past......)

You should go to your YC more often...

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On 11/13/2020 at 11:48 AM, tizak said:

We ended up with the first carbon stick on Taxi after we lost the last aluminum one during LBRW. The new one was installed just days before the Ensenada race making the race our tuning session as well.

Not to quibble but timing doesn't seem right. LBRW is June & N2E late April. Are you sure it wasn't Midwinters when you lost the mast? 

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1 hour ago, TJSoCal said:

Not to quibble but timing doesn't seem right. LBRW is June & N2E late April. Are you sure it wasn't Midwinters when you lost the mast? 

The last alloy spar broke at Watt’s Cup, LAYC, late September or early October.  About 18 knots of breeze, small chop, the halyard lock popped, there was a few inches of slack in the halyard, lots of runner and checkstay on, and the rig inverted.  Neil Baker (Ullman Sails, RIP) thought we had it back in column, and said “Let’s go sailing,”.  Sheeted on, went a couple hundred yards, and the mast broke, dead center of the luff.  The masthead was right at the gooseneck. Threw a Genoa sheet over the spreader and sent Larry Martinizer up to cut the main down. Pulled the rig out, and Alan Blunt sleeved it in a couple of weeks.  Popped it back in and and did the Fall Cabo race.  Kept it in the boat for another year or so before we got the carbon rig.  

Tizak, that was the weekend that the cook was making $2 cocktails with $10+ of booze. Tuning the rig after Alan patched it is when we met Pieter van Nieuwenhuyzen (Brunel Sunergy VOR, Oracle, Alinghi).  He joined us for Cabo, and again for PV/MEXORC.  

TJSocal, all of this was 25 years, and a LOT of booze ago!

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21 hours ago, 167149 said:

" INFIDEL"

I'll give you that.  Almost 50 yrs as Ragtime and a piece of history for offshore sailing on the US west coast.  Ragtime she is.  Regularly sailed and updated along the way.  Something like 15 or 16 Transpacs and first to finish twice.  Amazing for something built in the early 60's.

The owners have done her proud.  It is so cool that she wasn't brushed aside and abandoned as the newer sleds came on the scene.

100th entry to Transpac 50 is Ragtime

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14 hours ago, TJSoCal said:

Not to quibble but timing doesn't seem right. LBRW is June & N2E late April. Are you sure it wasn't Midwinters when you lost the mast? 

I believe you're correct - good catch. Thinking back I can remember sorting out the aftermath at the dock near LAYC.

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14 hours ago, Mulligan said:

The last alloy spar broke at Watt’s Cup, LAYC, late September or early October.  About 18 knots of breeze, small chop, the halyard lock popped, there was a few inches of slack in the halyard, lots of runner and checkstay on, and the rig inverted.  Neil Baker (Ullman Sails, RIP) thought we had it back in column, and said “Let’s go sailing,”.  Sheeted on, went a couple hundred yards, and the mast broke, dead center of the luff.  The masthead was right at the gooseneck. Threw a Genoa sheet over the spreader and sent Larry Martinizer up to cut the main down. Pulled the rig out, and Alan Blunt sleeved it in a couple of weeks.  Popped it back in and and did the Fall Cabo race.  Kept it in the boat for another year or so before we got the carbon rig.  

Tizak, that was the weekend that the cook was making $2 cocktails with $10+ of booze. Tuning the rig after Alan patched it is when we met Pieter van Nieuwenhuyzen (Brunel Sunergy VOR, Oracle, Alinghi).  He joined us for Cabo, and again for PV/MEXORC.  

TJSocal, all of this was 25 years, and a LOT of booze ago!

Yes! Exactly right - best drinks ever. Was it your car I drove from SB to Newport as you took the boat down? Was great sailing w/ Pieter.

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