Thursday, May 29, 2008


‘A Brush with Sail’ newsletter has been following Californian Chris Welsh’s reconfiguration of the underwater profile of his John Spencer designed ‘Ragtime’. She is an ex Auckland, New Zealand yacht, that was launched as ‘Infidel’, way back in 1964. Here is a reprint of a photo above by Steve Welsh and an update by Chris that was in the June newsletter:

"‘Ragtime’ is back in the water and moving well. As part of the measurement process for IRC we weighed the boat: 23,910 pounds with rig. This has to be the lightest she has ever weighed, with the most sail area and least drag. Net, she weighs 3,000 lbs. less than when I got her, has 10% more sail area (mast is 6.5' taller than the first mast), and 5-6% less drag. Looking back to the original launching, she had the same amount of lead (8,000 lbs +/-), but the C.G. of the lead was three feet higher and the fin had significantly more volume so the righting moment was far less. The original keel fin and skeg rudder had to be very ‘draggy’ by comparison." -- Click here to read on (go to Page 21)

Chris got to wondering what other boats have had as active and successful a career as Ragtime, and sent Scuttlebutt this letter:

"Amidst a slow race this weekend we started to speculate if any racing boats out here anywhere have done the racing miles and total miles Ragtime has done. We calculate she has 14 Transpacs at 5,500 miles round trip, 20 Mexico races at 1,800 round trip, and another assorted 10,000 miles on Coastal Cups, Ensenada Races, and local racing. Add it up and we are at 123,000 miles under the keel, half of which was racing.

"The 2008 Tahiti Race and sailing on to New Zealand will add another 7,000 miles to that. Five or six times around the globe, more or less. Like the Mount Gay hat collection challenge, what mileage under the keel have other race boats done, racing and/or with deliveries?"

Additional links:
Photos of the old and new keel
Background story from May 2007

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At 8:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great article!

As far as "what other boats have had as active and successful a career as Ragtime".............well, in her day the Queen of them all: TICONDEROGA. I had only two great years aboard her and it's still a love affair.

(mention Ticonderoga under Subject)

At 9:21 AM, Anonymous Commodore said...

How about Jim Kilroy's Kialoas---they logged some serious miles as well....


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