March 15, 1977 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News

Third Chesapeake Sailing Yacht Symposium Attracts Over 500 Engineers And Enthusiasts

Snow and icy streets failed to dampen the enthusiasm of the more than 500 people who recently gathered in Annapolis, Md., at Key Auditorium, St. John's College, for the Third Chesapeake Sailing Yacht Symposium.

Papers were limited to only eight this year, in order to allow time for each author's presentation to be followed by one or more discussers and for questions to be directed to the authors from the audience.

Gilbert Wyland of Sparkman and Stephens, Inc. led off the symposium with an overview of the use of aluminum in yacht construction.

After discussing various design problems, he spoke of the importance of drawing a simple enough design to be suitable for building.

Noting that there is no universal scantling rule for fiberglass construction, William J. Goman of C and C Yachts Manufacturing Ltd. discussed the strength and stiffness properties of various types of fiberglass construction.

Admitting that some have described stories of planing downwind in displacement boats as "exaggerations—or worse," John S. Letcher Jr. of Letcher Offshore Design, Inc. concluded in his presentation that there is no experimental evidence which says a boat can go no faster than its so-called hull speed, that surfing does exist, and indeed, has become so common as to be almost "respectable" with the advent of light IOR boats.

William A. Baker of the Hart Nautical Museum of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, reminding the audience that it is only on Chesapeake Bay of all the waters of the United States that a fair variety of local watercraft can still be found, proceeded to describe several of the local types, illustrating his presentation with slides.

Daniel D. Strohmeier, veteran of 11 Bermuda Races and numerous other ocean races, traced the history, trends and development of the sport of ocean racing, beginning with the first ocean race for yachts in 1866, and the beginning of handicapping in 1906.

Stephen Haarstick of Haarstick Sailmakers discussed the complexities of spinnaker design and construction, and his use of computers to make sailmaking a more exact science.

Though confessing a personal preference for the soft rig, author William S. Bradfield, professor at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, presented an analysis of the wing sail versus the soft sail in C-Class catamarans during the Little America's Cup Challenge, and concluded that the wing sail was almost always faster. Mr. Bradfield's co-author was Suresh Madhavan.

Robert E. Doyle of Hood Sailmakers wound up the afternoon with an overview of how to use basic hydrodynamic and aerodynamic concepts in the selection and trim of sails, admonishing the individual sailor to continue to keep these principles in mind while sailing.

Copies of the collected papers prepared for the symposium are available for $20 by requesting them from Ronald L. Ward, CSYS Treasurer, 110 Avondale Circle, Severna Park, Md. 21146.

The Third Chesapeake Sailing Yacht Symposium was planned by a steering committee including Robert W. Peach, general chairman ; William W. Staley, and Capt. Alexander G.B. Grosvenor, USN, co-chairmen; Capt. Richards T. Miller, USN (ret.), past chairman; Gaither Scott, secretary; Ronald L. Ward, treasurer; Karl L. Kirkman, papers committee chairman; Lt. Col. Robert E. Carruthers, USMC (ret.), arrangements committee chairman, and Anne M. Hays, publicity committee chairman.

Sponsoring organizations were the Chesapeake Section of The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, the Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association, and the Naval Academy Sailing Squadron.

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