Improbable

Haji

Super Anarchist
1,328
684
Woolwich, Maine
The photo is from "The Sailor's World" by Arthur Beiser.  The photo is probably by Stanley Rosenfeld.  The caption is:  New IOR rating rule encourages closely similar racing boats with sloop rigs and fin keels.  Result is fine performance with strong crews in deep water, as Improbable shows, but most boats built to rule are less suitable for cruising than formerly.  Who benefits from situation is mystery to many yachtsmen.

View attachment 274184
The ironic thing about that caption is that Improbable wasn't really designed to the IOR.

 

sleddog

Member
352
295
In '71, on the Solent, we quickly learned the inferiority of our North "CRS", close reaching spinnaker, with reef points.  The Banks "Star Cuts" were a light year ahead in shape for close reaching and reaching conditions, the asymm or Code Zero of their day.

Once we got the wind aft of AWA 100 we were OK.  In breeze, the further aft the better. Several times in big breeze on the inshore races of the Admiral's Cup, Commodore would go forward and hang fenders off the bow pulpit as we overtook 60 footers.  The photogs loved the audacity...they hadn't seen a fast red boat since RED ROOSTER, two years earlier......

Even Princess Anne, at a RYS cocktail party for overseas entries, commented on "why do you New Zealanders all speak with American accents?"

Note the sun glistening on the IOR "bumps" at Bmax.  And our beautiful transom hung rudder was gone! Dumb.

Sailing on the Solent with a crew of 6 was a workout. Commodore was worth 3, so we actually had 8.

improbable3.jpg

 
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Haji

Super Anarchist
1,328
684
Woolwich, Maine
After dad bought the boat, I was going through all the spinnaker bags and found one named (labeled in felt marker):

C rock of

R uddy

S hit

Always wondered who wrote that on the bag...;-) 

 

sleddog

Member
352
295
After dad bought the boat, I was going through all the spinnaker bags and found one named (labeled in felt marker):

C rock of

R uddy

S hit

Always wondered who wrote that on the bag...;-) 
That would be Jim Gannon, our token Aussie.  "Ruddy" was only used by us Yanks when calling "ruddy about!"

 

P_Wop

Super Anarchist
6,370
3,285
Bay Area, CA
Lovely, Sleddog!  And anyone who says that a staysail didn't provide some serious horsepowder should look at this shot. 

I agree about the skinny kite though.  Not nearly as effective as Bruce Banks' starcut, which meant you carried the pole as low as it could go, just clear of the pulpit sometimes.  Very twitchy to trim, even moving the sheet car fore and aft on the track as needed, but very fast for its time.  Sayula carried a couple in the 73 WRTWR I believe.  Secret weapons.

 
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Never was

Member
387
13
On our 471
Haji, sorry for your loss. But what a great thread you inspired! While I did not grow up in Norcal, sailors like Skip & Dave Wahle, along with several others were who we looked up to as kids.  They seemed more "adventurous" than the hot sailors from SoCal.  When I started doing big boat sailing, they turned out to be down to earth regular guys who would take time out to answer newbie questions. Some of my favorite sails have been beer cans down to Capitola and back with various members of the Santa Cruz mafia. A big part of the legend of Imp, and all that followed, was the crew of Improbable. Hoping you can hang on to her. I think you def. need some Easy Rider singlets!  

Cheers, all!

 
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Haji

Super Anarchist
1,328
684
Woolwich, Maine
Thanks Never Was!

"The Santa Cruz Mafia"...love it.

In my dreams would keep and upgrade Improbable with new sails, our latest energy systems, batteries, monitoring, etc.  However just not in my personal budget.  But I'll dream for a while while cleaning things up and fixing some basics.  It's not an emergency to sell so will see what possibilities develop.

 

RKoch

Super Anarchist
14,865
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da 'burg
Maybe not as hard core as a couple of years later but IIRC Mull was involved in the creation of IOR so he knew from the start what it was going to want.
Hull measurements for IOR were nearly the same as RORC, so any of the designers drawing RORC boats had a good handle on the early IOR era...S&S, Carter, Mull, etc.

 

zenmasterfred

Super Anarchist
1,540
538
Lopez Island
Wow, what a trip down memory lane.  Haji, may your dad find following seas on his journey.  Almost seems like the Robin Williams quote is appropriate, if you can remember it you weren't there.  I remember spinning to top off a bottle of Mt. Gay in Plymouth after finishing the 1979 Fastnet and drinking it with Dave Wahle, woke up in the bilge the next morning.  Damn, those were the days...

 

P_Wop

Super Anarchist
6,370
3,285
Bay Area, CA
Wow, what a trip down memory lane.  Haji, may your dad find following seas on his journey.  Almost seems like the Robin Williams quote is appropriate, if you can remember it you weren't there.  I remember spinning to top off a bottle of Mt. Gay in Plymouth after finishing the 1979 Fastnet and drinking it with Dave Wahle, woke up in the bilge the next morning.  Damn, those were the days...
Dave Wahle was a piece of work, and a great player.  Didn't you guys come to David Carne's DCAC party afterwards in Falmouth?  A major event. Half way through, some of the helicopter crews from Culdrose came leaping via ladder over the back garden wall carrying cases of beer, and wearing special T-Shirts they'd knocked up in St Ives that day with "Fastnet 1979 - Aircrew" on the front.  They'd spent the previous night fishing people out of the Western Approaches and needed to unwind - great lads. 

Carney's other half was not impressed next morning - all her ornamental goldfish in the pond had finished their careers on the grill.  

Happy days.

 

poncho

Member
465
17
So Cal
Dave Wahle was a piece of work, and a great player.  Didn't you guys come to David Carne's DCAC party afterwards in Falmouth?  A major event. Half-hour way through, some of the helicopter crews from Culdrose came leaping via ladder over the back garden wall carrying cases of beer, and wearing special T-Shirts they'd knocked up in St Ives that day with "Fastnet 1979 - Aircrew" on the front.  They'd spent the previous night fishing people out of the Western Approaches and needed to unwind - great lads. 

Carney's other half was not impressed next morning - all her ornamental goldfish in the pond had finished their careers on the grill.  

Happy days.
Dave wahle made my keep in wherever it is just S of santa Cruz!

 

P_Wop

Super Anarchist
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Bay Area, CA
I blame the Australian contingent for the goldfish debacle.  But there may have been a few Kiwis involved too.  Perhaps it was a contest?

 

Haji

Super Anarchist
1,328
684
Woolwich, Maine
Hi all,

Traveling back to the NW tomorrow, and driving from Seattle to the Bellingham area on the 3rd.  May not make it to the boat (in Birch Bay) till the 4th, however will then be there till the 10th.  Will be cleaning, assessing, and dreaming...drop me a line if in the area and want to join in.

Haji/Bruce

 

Haji

Super Anarchist
1,328
684
Woolwich, Maine
Today's project (after much cleaning & prep yesterday), was painting the bilge area around the rudder shaft/tube.  It was pretty gross, possibly the ugliest spot on the boat so had to attack it...

Aft painting 01.jpg

 

SloopJonB

Super Anarchist
65,765
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Great Wet North
As much as any sailboat can be, that is a collectors item.

Needs to be painted red though. ;)

I just read Ron Hollands book and Improbable got a whole lot of ink - probably more than any of Hollands own boats.

It seems to have had a profound effect on both his and Doug Peterson's careers. Quite a legacy for a boat.

 
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