Category: Rigging

Flying Dutchman USA 1441

Refurbishment and upgrade by Paul Scoffin & Pavel Ruzicka

The beginning of this project began as a number of discussions between Pavel and myself over quite a few years. Over these years the geographical location of Pavel living in Pennsylvania and I living in Florida and later San Diego made getting to regattas extremely time consuming and costly, using my existing boat(s). A number of times we were forced to use loaner boats to compete in various locations. Last year we considered this option again but realized the logistics were just too difficult to overcome. 

Dolly Concept

Again we discussed obtaining a second boat that Pavel would keep in Pennsylvania and use for the mid and upper east coast regattas or events. Pavels first choice was to obtain a “Lindsay” but these were increasingly difficult to obtain. Costs were also of a major concern. We were made aware that a 1983 Mader was being donated by it’s owner and that Chris Liberti had collected it from Martha’s Vinyard and had taken it back to Maine with the intention of refurbishing it. He decided early on that it would be better to forward this project on, and after a great deal of back and forth discussion between Pavel and myself, we decided to take it on as a project.

USA 1441 with refurbishment underway.
The horizontal piece of timber across the
centercase area is chainplate jig.
Mast partner condition

After speaking with a number of class personnel, I agreed to report on our intended program and its progress.

The Boat: 1983 Mader foam Kevlar hull with plywood decks. Registered number USA 1441.

The first part of the project was to purchase a trailer and acquire a dolly. Pavel finally managed to purchase the trailer and convert it to accept a dolly. He drove to Maine and collected the boat and towed it back to Pennsylvania on temporary framework, then began the design and fabrication of the dolly.

During this period we discussed at length on how to proceed, particularly financially. We debated on whether to replace the decks with foam /carbon or try and patch the existing plywood decks. We chose the latter to lessen the expenditure and (slightly) more importantly, the time involved. Our aim is to convert the boat from it’s 1983 set-up to a present day accepted set-up.

In 1983 when this boat was launched, the rigs were adjustable but heavy raking and multiple clew cringles were still not the norm. Chainplates were further forward than todays norm, and genoa car arms were not fitted to this model of Mader. These changes are planned for USA 1441. 

Fabrication of parts and layout:

Heavy damage to the bow was discovered and missing was any form of launcher roller, so a mold was built using USA 1497 as a reference for the launcher and also for a number of other parts.

USA 1497 acted as reference

The objective is to upgrade the systems and to create a reliable platform to sail and compete with. A full refurbishment was never contemplated. It is planned to have the boat racing in Canandaigua July 2023.

Systems fit out
            Rudder receiving some
love in San Diego
Nearing paint stage
Console layout
Bottom during refairing

Comparisons Between Early 80s Leonhard Mader and Hans Mader Layouts

Recent heat and hazardous smoky conditions outside prompted me to go through some old photos.  Here are a couple images that may interest you, too.
My brother and I set up a booth for the Austrian FD Class at a big boat show in Vienna, and this is where those photos were taken. The photo of the full double bottom boat is a Leonhard Mader; one of the first models with full double bottom. The cockpit was open all the way to the transom where a narrow beam held up the rudder. What struck me is the simplicity of the controls back then. We already had lowers, but the extreme raking had not been fully developed; we were still sailing with the small spinnaker. Also note how the helmsman’s hiking straps are crossing, probably because the helmsman has long legs.

The second photo shows a Hans Mader all wooden boat from the same period but less advanced, with a half double bottom. This one has a curved traveller track. The controls are set up in a similar way and very simple. I suppose this boat had the spinnaker sack on the port side, which is unusual.


Early Spinnaker Retrieval

From the February, 1957 Trapeze, here is a clever arrangement to stow a spinnaker.  It’s difficult to imagine not having a continuous arrangement for such a key piece of FD gear.  But then there are still many high performance dinghies that still use bags rather than socks.  In any event, wrap your heads around this one:

Shroud Termination

A recent question on the upper shrouds came from Stuart Austin, rebuilding USA 440, a 1969 Dubdam.  Stuart writes, “Rule 62 states that the lower ends of the shrouds should be “impossible” to adjust while racing. How do you achieve controls that can be tuned conveniently but still meet the rule?”

The rule references the “lower end” which is referring to the teminal attachment of the shroud to the chainplate or whatever hardware affixed to the boat. This does not refer to the critical adjustment mechanism that lengthens or shortens the upper shroud.  The rule is stating that the attachment point of the shroud may not be movable while under way.  The effect of this is that on an FD, you are not allowed to move the shroud fore, aft or athwardships while racing.  To be sure, many boats allow for this type of adjustment to be made between races.