blackfin

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The the sad end to one of the greatest old school maxi taxis is a total bummer...

Discuss here.

 

Amalfi

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Seattle
Wow, that looks a lot like Atatlanta. Pretty sure she's still in Bristol shape. Scared me for a moment. Didn't know there were more like her.

 

dbottles

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Seattle, WA
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. 

 

Hitchhiker

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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.

 
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IStream

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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.

 

P_Wop

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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.

 

longy

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San Diego
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

 

SloopJonB

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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.

 

Left Shift

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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.)

 

cmonkey

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NW Virgina
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.

 

Somebody Else

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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.

 
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.

 
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