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history fibreglass sabres

Postby peter reid on Tue Mar 21, 2006 2:29 pm

hi just a note to correct a bit of background stuff on sabres re botterill sabres starting around number 1100-
This i know to be not the case as my first sabre was 1209 which was part of a bulk order of 8 sabres made by Daveys Bay Yacht Club in 1986
These sabres were built in South Australia as the then australian committee tried to ban fibreglass sabres - this was possibly because the locally built glass sabres built by smackwater yachts were experiencing separation problems. There were also purists in the cclass that wanted the sabre to be a built and raced by the same person ignoring the fact that there are lots of people out there who are not particularly handy who love to race yachts
The south austrakians threatened to break away from the dictatorial victorians unless fibreglass sabres were allowed and the victorians gave in
Daveys Bay decided on fibreglass sabres as they were being built by a renowned fireball sailor by the name of Kim Snowball and this would be the first time foam sandwich would be used and it was generally regarded that the Daveys Bay members were not that handy and the glass boats would be easy to maintain, These were the Windward mark sabres
The boats were competitive one getting a fourth place in the national titles the year they were launched at Daveys Bay.
The reason that the club ordered 8 was this was the minimum number that the boat transporter would deliver and was probably the only reason i was talked into becoming a sabre sailor
the first Botteril sabres were not made until around 1989 with the 1300 series but windward mark sabres are still around in many clubs on the bay- peter Reid
peter reid
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Postby ronny_f73 on Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:19 pm

thanks for that info peter,
My sabre 1201 was built by Kim Snowball , so it must have been one of the first glass sabres around!.
She is still holding together and still fast after all these years!...
Later On
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Postby fitzwarryne on Wed Mar 22, 2006 11:40 am

My wife's Sabre 982 is either a Snowball or Smackwater, with a label saying it was supplied by a firm in Glenelg. The dinghy previously sailed with Larg's Bay for many years. The bow had slight foam seperation problems easily fixed with the traditional hypodermic syringe load of resin. I there a way of telling who produced 982? Who built the windward mark boats?

Many Smackwater boats had construction problems. I bought a fleet of Pacers from them for the YMCA, and all were totally beyond repair after 5 years with major seperation problems.
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sabre 982

Postby Phillip Johnson on Wed Mar 22, 2006 10:05 pm

This is not recorded as measured. The original plans were sold to W.O'Toole of S.A. probably in 1981.

Phillip Johnson
National Measurer
Phillip Johnson
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Postby fitzwarryne on Fri Mar 24, 2006 9:48 am

This evidence suggests that fibreglass Sabres were being built as early as 1981 by Kim Snowball and sold through an agency in Glenelg. I have checked 982 against photos of 1154, another Snowball, to verify she is identical.

From Peter Reid's recollection 982 must have been produced when the national committee were trying to ban SA built fibreglass Sabres, thus she was not registered as measured. However, she was raced at several SA clubs for over 20 years before I bought her for my wife in 2004 through the SA Sabre Association. She was still set up with the original fittings lay out and Ray Brown sail. Since bought, 982 has been updated with discarded parts from four other Sabres from three different states!

I presume the Victorian concern was that you can get legal shapes from a mold which are faster than from a ply boat. Does this explain why the Botteril mold was taken from an existing boat to avoid wooden boats being outdated as has occured in some dinghy classes?

Thus, the Botteril Sabres were not produced in Victoria until seven years after the Snowball Sabres in South Australia. Of course there is an outside chance Bill O'Toole bought the plans, decided building was too complex, and later bought a Snowball and used number 982 for her.

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Postby peter reid on Fri Mar 24, 2006 12:31 pm

interesting you say that as the current plywood sabres being built by express boat works only have a similar appearance to rex fetells abigail
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