Wednesday 25 September 2013

Frans Loots has the answer

This was my last hope, Frans was in the South African Navy and in Simonstown, could he show
some light on the mainsail with the SA1 on it I wondered?

Morning Roy,
Thanks for the e-mail.
Yep, I saw your blog.
The sail in question comes from a boat which was built by Fred Raas on Vaaldam way back in the early 1970's. The design is a Waarschip, a Dutch design. Fred Raas called it a Trident to give it a South African feel. The SA 1 was obviously it's class sail number. It was a 7.25 meter plywood boat. There is a picture and a design spec on the boat In "Yachting in Southern Africa". I recall seeing the boat in Port Elizabeth when I was still at school there. Fred Raas was the designer of the Mistral keelboat.

The person who has this sail was asking was this off the SA Navy yacht Voortrekker? was it from the mizzen she asked?

Her thinking made sense to me excepting this class logo, what was it from and why would it be on Voortrekker? Thanks to Frans we now know that The design logo is from a Waarschip, not only that but from the very first boat!
Of course that logo is the Greek letter “Psi” so perhaps the Class was called PSI ?  Angelo Lavranos.

This was indeed Voortrekkers number SA1 but in this case Frans suggests its the  Waarschip class number only.

 The sails dimensions are Luff 6.70 mtrs and Foot 2.30 mtrs. there are three quite long batten pockets and
what look like 3/4" sail slides on the Luff. There is no sail makers logo but we know that Fred Raas was building the boat and its possible his wife also made the sail?

Regarding the mizzen of Voortrekker.
I did my national service in Simonstown and Bertie Reed was then my Chief Petty Officer at the boatshed.
The entire mizzen rig of Voortrekker was hanging in the loft. When the Navy got a little Flamenca we took the old mizzen sail as a heavy weather sail to use on the Flammy if it was blowing a South Easterly gale (always) in False Bay. Let me tell you, that mizzen was TINY. It was smaller than a reefed Flamenca mainsail. And yes, it had no number on it.
Bertie told me that the original mast of Voortrekker ( from the ketch rig) was given to General Botha Accademy and was stepped as a mizzen for the Howard Davies sailtraining yacht. Trekker was converted to a sloop and stepped a much taller rig than when Dalling sailed her. Bertie always told me that Bruce Dalling was given a under canvassed boat.
The John Goodwin Anna Woolf refers to is THE John Goodwin. He was on the short list for skippering Voortrekker in the 1968 OSTAR. Like Bruce Dalling he had done many miles solo with  a Vertue called Speedwell of Honkong. He later built Speedwell of Goodhope and set off to circumnavigate. I bumped into them at St Helena and many months later in Gibraltar. Happy days way back in 1986.


South African boat builder history on Fred Rass,  what a fascinating story!

Open the link below, then scroll down to page 19 and 21 some great history on the Mistral class here by Lex Raas. you will find a mention to the Waarschip and also to the fact they were making sails themselves.
My thanks to Sail Power SA.

News in from Angelo Lavranos.

Hello Roy,

The Waarschip was a great little boat designed by  Dick Zaal ( long time employee of Van Der Stadt and later designer in his own right) . ¼ tonner in strip ply or “clinker ply”. There were later half and mini ton versions. They were popular “home build” kits.   Very ingenious since it had all the advantages of traditional clinker (a light way to build) without the worst disadvantages which were traditionally  the strakes would fail along the line of (copper rivet fastenings).  With plywood the laminated opposing grains avoided that, and the laps were glued.  Really a great old tech/ new tech for the early sixties.   Viva waterproof glue !



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