Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Blackfin is basically a half sister to Ondine III (Currently Atalanta). Atalanta is in very good hands and condition in Seattle. Blackfin was in the Philippines last I knew and having a hard time of it. Tropical Salt water and deferred maintenance are not good for aluminum boats. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Atalanta story:  2016 Pac Cup.  We're racing on an Express 37, kite up in prime surfing conditions.  There's a boat way back on the horizon dead astern.  All day they're gaining on us.  Slowly getting bigger and bigger.  Around 2 am they pull up along side.  We're going 9 to 12-13 in surfs.  They're going at least 3 knots faster.  When they get abeam, they throw on all the lights, deck lights, cabin lights, everything and then sound the air horn.  It was kind of like a sailing freight train.  Unforgettable.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Hitchhiker said:

Atalanta story:  2016 Pac Cup.  We're racing on an Express 37, kite up in prime surfing conditions.  There's a boat way back on the horizon dead astern.  All day they're gaining on us.  Slowly getting bigger and bigger.  Around 2 am they pull up along side.  We're going 9 to 12-13 in surfs.  They're going at least 3 knots faster.  When they get abeam, they throw on all the lights, deck lights, cabin lights, everything and then sound the air horn.  It was kind of like a sailing freight train.  Unforgettable.

Atalanta lives on an end tie in Shilshole marine, where I can see her every time I enter or leave by boat. Even tied to the dock, she looks like a freight train. And I mean that in the best possible way. Cascadia used to be on another end tie nearby and was the only boat in the marina that could outshine her.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Very sad to see the end of such a classic yacht.  There's a fine model of her in a big glass case in the foyer of the St Fancy YC in SF.  All that's left now, except memories.

My first encounter was racing against her in January 1977 in the Round Grenada Race.  What a mighty machine.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Waaaay back in her early days she used massive steel blocks meant for cranes as spi & afterguy blocks. They were the only thing available that was load rated and didn't blow up in use

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, dbottles said:

Blackfin is basically a half sister to Ondine III (Currently Atalanta). Atalanta is in very good hands and condition in Seattle. Blackfin was in the Philippines last I knew and having a hard time of it. Tropical Salt water and deferred maintenance are not good for aluminum boats. 

IIRC there was a third sister to those boats as well.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I recall Blackfin was briefly raced out of Vancouver in the 70's/80s.  I am not surprised that very salty tropical waters and electrolysis did the boat in.  

Around here, Blackfin was never a fast boat in "normal" conditions, but powerful no doubt when the breeze came on.   Much Like Ondine III, which I raced against on Transpac in the early 70's and sailed on a couple of times.  Winching the 1.5 oz. kite up on deck with a pedestal was a lesson in why I didn't not want to work the bow on that boat.  Ondine quickly gained the name of "The Blue Pig" - Huey Long had a love for that particular shade of blue on all his boats. 

(Atalanta is now exceptionally well maintained and actively sailed up here, but it still struggles in anything under 15.  Thus earning the name "The Lost Continent.)

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw Ondine III in a marina on Oahu back in the late 70's and remember thinking it was the coolest boat ever.  Growing up on the gulf coast where a 40 ft boat was rare a boat of that size was something that just existed in magazines.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Blackfin (and Ondine III) were more-or-less contemporaries of Windward Passage. Blackfin and Windward Passage had a lot of what amounted to match racing rivalry on Transpac, Big Boat Series, etc. As I recall, WP won most of their meetings. WP was far and away the better looking of the two. Blackfin simply had too much freeboard and looked clunky alongside Windward Passage.

I think up until De Meuse's unfortunate death, he still owned Serena which was a gorgeous yacht -- much better looking than Blackfin but no longer capable of winning the Barn Door against the modern maxies.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

There are people and things that have had an enormous impact on my life. Blackfin was perhaps the most significant thing. Without Blackfin, I would not have any of my children. I would never have met my wife, Lisa. Those of you who know, understand that statement!

During the Transpac 75 trophy presentation, I met Leslie DeMeuse. Visiting the DeMeuse home, I first got to know Blackfin. A year later, the boat was sold, and I was brought aboard to deliver Blackfin to England, teaching the owner how to sail as we went. On New Years Day 1977, I set the record around Grenada, beating @P_Wop in the process, and winning a life time membership in Grenada YC. Once in England racing in the Solent, I made life long friends with many UK and European sailors, and married my first wife.

While my first marriage was a disaster of epic proportions, I did win big: my oldest daughter.

The friends I made that summer of 1977 ended up being a tremendous network of wonderful people. By the early 1980s, I was living in England and Germany, doing research that would greatly influence my entire career, in particular the foundations of what became the flight and ground software used on all JPL missions, including all Mars Rover missions.

These same friends led to business opportunities that led to me picking up a Swan 65 in Newport Beach CA and spending a sabbatical year sailing to the Med. Half way through that adventure, I met my wife Lisa. We now have another daughter, and my son.

Tomorrow, I am having lunch in Ft Lauderdale with a couple of friends from that era. So the story continues.

  • Like 9
Link to post
Share on other sites

The second owner of Blackfin, let's call him Jefferson Grundstueck, sold Blackfin in late 1977 or early 1978. JG told me this story of the third owner. Note that JG was not a direct witness to this story, so this story is at least X -> JG -> me. Not admissible in a court of law.

The third owner, who we can call XYZ, was a drug dealer living in an apartment building in Manhattan. One day, as always eventually happens, the police came to bust XYZ in his apartment. XYZ, knowing this was inevitable, had an escape plan set to go: XYZ had an escape chute: a ten story chute, similar to the garbage and laundry chutes, but this one ended in the underground parking garage at his rice rocket motorcycle. So when the police broke down the door, XYZ jumped into the escape chute, and roared out of the parking garage on the motorcycle! Unfortunately, during the high speed chase through the streets of Manhattan, XYZ crashed and died.

At the time of the crash, Blackfin was being run by a paid crew in southeast asia. The captain and crew learned of XYZ's dramatic death, and assumed ownership of Blackfin.

Owen Minney told me he accidentally came across Blackfin in Bali in the mid 80s. The boat had no name or port on the transom, it was sailing incognito, and no longer in pristine condition, yet was very obviously Blackfin. The captain and crew were very uncomfortable that Owen recognized the boat, and they were very evasive to any questions.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

This is when we just arrived in St Georges, Grenada, just before Christmas 1976. I'm doing tug boat duties in the dinghy.

IMG_4431.jpg

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Editor said:

Looking amazing back in the day...

 

blackfin sailing.jpg

This was the 2.2oz star cut, made by Hard Sails. Remember their slogan: Sail with a Hard on! Other than the star cut and the radial head runner, all the sails were made by Watts.

Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, carcrash said:

This is when we just arrived in St Georges, Grenada, just before Christmas 1976. I'm doing tug boat duties in the dinghy.

IMG_4431.jpg

A stripe through those ports would have made a big difference to that freeboard.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, carcrash said:

This is when we just arrived in St Georges, Grenada, just before Christmas 1976. I'm doing tug boat duties in the dinghy.

IMG_4431.jpg

Following up on @carcrash great 77 Round Grenada story. 

Tony Maidment, his diminutive (and slightly non-sailing) wife Cindy and I had sailed the red Holland half tonner Scarlet Shamrock down from Antigua for the race.  Somehow lacking fuel (I had dropped the ball there) we anchored off St Georges, intending to go ashore early in the morning, grab a small can of diesel and 2 or 3 crew, and do the race.

Of course we over-slept, and were rudely awakened by the 10 minute gun.  Anchor up, sails up and off we went.  

We did manage to finish and won on time.  Short-tacking up the St Georges Cut with no fuel was interesting!

I remember gybing on the foredeck, with aftguy, foreguy and topping lift in each hand while Tony steered with the tiller between his knees handling everything else.  At that point, Blackfin came hooning past in the trade wind, doing 15-ish.  Just majestic.  It was only my second exposure to a big race boat, after seeing  Stormvogel in the Solent in the late 60s.  I thought that I simply had to do that!  And I did.

So it was really Blackfin that got me into maxi racing.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

she was bought by another notorious personality here in the Philippines.  Leviste.  if i remember correctly, drug involved.  his widow became a senator here.  i have a photo i took from "White Night", formerly White Rabbit, coming out of Bagac Bay, Batangas.  February of 1980.  it was a return race from Montemar Resort.  

Blackfin 1980 Bagac Bay 02.jpg

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ROADKILL666 said:

I had that t-shirt back in the early 80s

And the reaction one from Hood. "If you're sailing with a Hard on you should be wearing a Hood."  

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I was racing as crew on a P-Cat in San Diego Bay, on the wire on a spinnaker reach (yes, they carried symmetrical spinnakers, pole and all) when all of sudden the wind just disappeared. I dropped into the water, as the windward hull came crashing back to the water; looking up we saw that Blackfin had just set her chute about 15 or 20 boat lengths (ours) to upwind of us! Their chute looked large enough to block out the sun when looking up from our position.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Was told the boat in this CSN video is Blackfin. To my eye it looks like her. Crosby had the schooner Mayan here in Santa Barbara for a long time.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, tizak said:

Was told the boat in this CSN video is Blackfin. To my eye it looks like her. Crosby had the schooner Mayan here in Santa Barbara for a long time.

 

Not Blackfin.  Rig is wrong and the bow is different.  

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, George Hackett said:

Not Blackfin.  Rig is wrong and the bow is different.  

I'm sure you're right - forget who led me to believe that was Blackfin. Also, tough to pick out some details in that less than crystal clear video.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's Atalanta (Ondine III) still in excellent shape. Very sad about Blackfin, I always stop and admire the model of her in the lobby of St Francis YC.

Atalanta.01.JPG

Atalanta.02.JPG

Atalanta.03.jpg

Atalanta.04.a.JPG

Atalanta.05.jpg

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/2/2021 at 10:04 AM, tizak said:

Was told the boat in this CSN video is Blackfin. To my eye it looks like her. Crosby had the schooner Mayan here in Santa Barbara for a long time.

 

There is another thread about that boat. I think it was Crosby's own boat. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's the model of Blackfin at St Francis Yacht Club. Atalanta (Ondine III) is very near and dear to my heart, I like many in the Northwest have a long history with the yacht.

BLACKFIN,ST.FRANCIS.YC.jpg

BLACKFIN,ST.FRANCIS,YC.02.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Louis Hoffer said:

Here's Atalanta (Ondine III) still in excellent shape. Very sad about Blackfin, I always stop and admire the model of her in the lobby of St Francis YC.

Atalanta.01.JPG

You would ask for a refund on the waterline stripe

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to be on a website that Beau belonged too at the time he purchased Mayan from Crosby. Interesting story and a worthy new keeper of the flame.

There was a real "You know you've arrived when..." episode in his story when he traded berths with Merlin in SB.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The boat in the southern Cross video is Southern Star.  Also a Tripp design, but slightly larger than Blackfin.  In the 90’s she conducted a circumnavigation of North America completing the Nortwest Passage from east to west.  

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Robert Morton said:

The boat in the southern Cross video is Southern Star.  Also a Tripp design, but slightly larger than Blackfin.  In the 90’s she conducted a circumnavigation of North America completing the Nortwest Passage from east to west.  

That's the third sister I couldn't remember the name of.

IIRC it was completed just as the IOR started which made it noncompetitive so it was never raced.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/3/2021 at 9:44 PM, Louis Hoffer said:

Here's Atalanta (Ondine III) still in excellent shape. Very sad about Blackfin, I always stop and admire the model of her in the lobby of St Francis YC.

Atalanta.01.JPG

Atalanta.02.JPG

Atalanta.03.jpg

Atalanta.04.a.JPG

Atalanta.05.jpg

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/4/2021 at 3:02 AM, Bill E Goat said:

You would ask for a refund on the waterline stripe

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nearly gone.  Sad.

Looks like one of the original Barient pedestals is on that piece of inverted deck to the right of the pic.

May be an image of outdoors

Link to post
Share on other sites

Never stepped foot on Blackfin but admired her at Big Boat Series at the guest dock and Waikiki after the 1975 TransPac.  I spent many hours looking through Diane Beeston’s book Of Wind Fog & Sail as a young teenager. But I must admit, Passage was always my favorite.

85406770-0C4E-4A30-94C4-56E04AF03A7B.jpeg

C4C6CFF6-5263-41FD-9717-D2D4466F25C6.jpeg

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, George Hackett said:

Some more shots I took yesterday.

 

The dude in the pink ski goggles (Fabulous PPE choice btw) doesn't seem thrilled at your presence. Probably thinks you're eyeing that juicy keel lead he just torched open. Thinking about it that's probably what he's getting paid with so I understand his sentiment. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Before I took the pics, I showed the crew the photo up in this thread of the boat they are demolishing.  And they were like wow, so,that is what it looked like?  Plus with a heat index of 50 Celsius, you too would like them. 
 

I am sure since the boat was abandoned and took up space for many years. It is the yard that sold the boat for scrap. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, JEA said:

Pretty impressive cradle it was sitting in!

The rebar cross-straps are a nice touch.   Belt and suspenders.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Rain Man said:

The rebar cross-straps are a nice touch.   Belt and suspenders.

Probably would have made a better candle for My Song

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/29/2021 at 7:14 PM, carcrash said:

This was the 2.2oz star cut, made by Hard Sails. Remember their slogan: Sail with a Hard on! Other than the star cut and the radial head runner, all the sails were made by Watts.

Hard sails slogan "Sail with a Hard on" to which Hood replied "If you sail with a hard on you need a Hood".  I wore that t-shirt until it fell apart.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

I had mentioned the demise of Blackfin to Dr. Robert Kahn a couple of weeks ago.  The other day, Woods Carr posted a picture of Ondine at the finish of the 1973 Transpac.  So, I ran into Dr. Bob at California Yacht Club today, where he lives aboard his Cookson built Farr 55 “Jano II”, and showed him the picture. He was very happy to recall the memory!  He said “I thinK I was driving when this picture was taken!”  He recalled that he had done the Tahiti race on Blackfin with DeMeuse.  He also mentioned that there was a rumor that the bilge was filled with gold bars for the previous owners escape plan. It doesn’t seem that this has any merit!  Sad to see the end of such a storied yacht.   

001BF74C-3C56-4500-B972-22515BAE9FBD.jpeg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...