This double-chined, tunnel-hulled scow was my third design in 1977 and was built in 1978/9. Designed to the International Moth Class rules, the scow won 13 cups and tropies at club level over a two and a half year period at Dovecote S/C. It was designed for my then weight of eleven and a half stone - my current fourteen and a half makes us both distinctly uncompetitive!
The scow was designed for small lake or river sailing and much emphasis placed on manoeuvrablility and quick tacking. The design was radically different to other contemporary Moth scows and incorporated one or two of the ideas of Philip Bolger, but the construction was conventional Aussie scow space frame and 3mm ply. Light airs ability was outstanding, and heavy airs highly competitive, with some truly astonishing bursts of speed broad reaching and running in strong gusts, but marginal planing in waves was a little disappointing, particularly compared with a Laser - but then this scow is only 11’ in length.
For those who do not know about the International Moths, they are a development class with very few rules. Back in the 70’s and 80’s and early 90’s, the main ones were max. overall length ( 11’), max. beam 7’4”, max sail area 85 sq ft with a max 17’ luff, one rudder, one centreboard; no trapeze, no sliding seat, no multihulls. The tunnel on the scows was carefully limited to avoid any progress to catamarans; that’s no doubt why all modern - pre-foiling - Moths progressed to virtual single-hulled 'cats' with 1’ (yes, 12”, 305 mm or thereabouts) waterline beam!
Photo courtesy of MIke Ewart
All of the above comments and observations - apart from the observations on my weight! - were written some 6 years ago, and I dd not expect to add to them. However, after 20 years of being abandoned to its fate on its side, unprotected, against a garage wall outside, I decided to spruce up Lazarus, thinking that at the worst he would end up on the club's bonfire come November the 5th. He has, however, seen out the that month's date of reckoning almost twice now - even though totally uncompetitive and originally sailing on an ultra narrow modern Moth's handicap, and more recently on something more reasonable - as though relatively slow, he is very enjoyable to sail and a darn sight more comfortable than my International Canoe in fresh or strong winds on our fifty per cent tree-ringed puddle. But what has added much interest over the last couple of months  is the arrival of an Australian designed and built scow - one of those with totally rockerless, straight, horizontal buttock lines and seemingly built of 1.5 mm ply, cedar and epoxy and little else - featherlight compared to old Lazarus. Competition has been exceptionally interesting, to say the least, and quite surprising, too, as there has been very little difference in performance and the racing has been surprisingly close for two totally different designs. In light and moderate winds, in marginal planing conditions, off the wind and on, even in a fresh breeze there has been little difference in performance: I can tack faster in all conditions, the Aussie can accelerate faster in a gust - partly due to the light weight, perhaps - but there is little difference in boat speed, and the racing has depended on tactics and luck - and all the luck so far being on old Lazarus' side. Apart from the odd violent gust, strong wind competition has yet to be enjoyed, and as the Aussie has retired for a winter's make-over, we'll have to wait for the blustery winds of March to see who can keep his snout above the white caps the longest and travel the fastest.
Winter's make-over, my foot! Aussie's back, gleaming, breathing vengeance, and has taken some, too: two races each since his return. And talking of carbon fibre masts. Yikes! Old Lazarus is going to have to watch out for his laurels, 'cos he's going to get little extra help from the old duffer at the helm.
Foot note to the above: Lazarus rules ok! After a total of 29 head to head races during the mid-winter and spring 2006 series, including some real heavy weather racing, old Lazarus won 25, Aussie 4. Pity, in a way, as Aussie has now turned tail and seemingly de-camped, to be replaced by some b......g thing. Oh well, the racing was nice while it lasted!
The three photos here of my International Moth Scow Resurrection courtesy of Robin Stubbs
Larger scow photos can be found here