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History of the Clark Boat Company-Insider Story

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  • wormlund
    The Sj23 might sail well compared to a log but not if compared to a Sj24. Many years ago (late 80 s?) when Clark first came up with the 7.7 I almost traded
    Message 1 of 13 , Dec 1, 2012
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      The Sj23 might "sail well" compared to a log but not if compared to a Sj24.

      Many years ago (late 80's?) when Clark first came up with the 7.7 I almost traded my sj24 Snappy Tom for one. Before I made up my mind I "match raced" the two boats with Dennis Clark and had long discussions about the performance potential with him and his brother Don.

      The 23, 26 and 7.7 were all Don Clark and no Bruce Kirby and that was obvious when you sailed them.

      The result of my trade up study was that Snappy outperformed the 7.7 on all points of sail. It was particularly interesting to note that driving Snappy I could consistently outpoint Dennis sailing the 7.7. Downwind it was a close call. When I sailed the 7.7 Dennis got so far ahead in Snappy on all points of sail he had to stop and wait for me.

      The fatal flaw in the 7.7 design was the shallow water low aspect ratio keel. It killed the windward performance. I know Don and Dennis had many arguments about this and during our discussions I tried to convince them to build me a version with a deeper keel. That was not to be. Don could not appreciate the huge benefit a high aspect ratio keel has on pointing ability. Dennis, who was/is one of the most gifted racing sailors I have known surly did. However, Don obviously did have a hard time taking advice from his very gifted little brother.

      It was clear to me during our discussions that Dennis envisioned the 7.7 as a racing class competitor to the j24 with enough room to cruise. Don who was not a racing sailor was looking at the shallow draft cruising market on the east coast. It is my judgement that if Dennis had won that argument they could have given J Boats serious competition.

      The 23 and 26 were so sluggish I did not even consider them a trade up from a 24.

      Since all the boats Clark could offer me as trade up were dogs to sail compared to Snappy I also evaluated the j24 as a possible choice. I really wanted one since it its performance far outpaced Snappy.

      My wife being a cruising person as well as my accountant took one quick look inside the low head room cabin and immediately nixed that because of the limited space. At the time we used to cruised Snappy for weeks with two kids and a dog. To her, cramming us all in to a space much smaller space was NOT a trade up.

      gil

      --- In SJ-24@yahoogroups.com, "Robinson, Mike J." <mike.robinson@...> wrote:
      >
      > In my article on the Clark Boat Company, it talks about these boats - there were SJ 23's produced here ( and abroad under license) that were manufactured with a fixed keel (a few) There was at least one that had an inboard rudder! The keel that they used was a 7.7 keel - and the report is that is sails very well
      >
      > The boat in question is clearly a version of the 23
      >
      > Michael J. Robinson,
      >
    • JIM GRONNEBERG
      Dennis once told me that sailmakers have a scale to indicate pointing ability, with the Mayflower being a 1, and a 12 meter being a 10. He said that on that
      Message 2 of 13 , Dec 1, 2012
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          Dennis once told me that sailmakers have a scale to indicate pointing ability, with the Mayflower being a 1, and a 12 meter being a 10.  He said that on that scale, a SJ24 is about  a 7, and a 7.7 would be a 5 or 6.  Besides not being deep enough, they had to make the 7.7 keel fatter to accomadate enough ballast.
         

        To: SJ-24@yahoogroups.com
        From: glund@...
        Date: Sat, 1 Dec 2012 20:43:12 +0000
        Subject: [SJ-24] History of the Clark Boat Company-Insider Story

         
        The Sj23 might "sail well" compared to a log but not if compared to a Sj24.

        Many years ago (late 80's?) when Clark first came up with the 7.7 I almost traded my sj24 Snappy Tom for one. Before I made up my mind I "match raced" the two boats with Dennis Clark and had long discussions about the performance potential with him and his brother Don.

        The 23, 26 and 7.7 were all Don Clark and no Bruce Kirby and that was obvious when you sailed them.

        The result of my trade up study was that Snappy outperformed the 7.7 on all points of sail. It was particularly interesting to note that driving Snappy I could consistently outpoint Dennis sailing the 7.7. Downwind it was a close call. When I sailed the 7.7 Dennis got so far ahead in Snappy on all points of sail he had to stop and wait for me.

        The fatal flaw in the 7.7 design was the shallow water low aspect ratio keel. It killed the windward performance. I know Don and Dennis had many arguments about this and during our discussions I tried to convince them to build me a version with a deeper keel. That was not to be. Don could not appreciate the huge benefit a high aspect ratio keel has on pointing ability. Dennis, who was/is one of the most gifted racing sailors I have known surly did. However, Don obviously did have a hard time taking advice from his very gifted little brother.

        It was clear to me during our discussions that Dennis envisioned the 7.7 as a racing class competitor to the j24 with enough room to cruise. Don who was not a racing sailor was looking at the shallow draft cruising market on the east coast. It is my judgement that if Dennis had won that argument they could have given J Boats serious competition.

        The 23 and 26 were so sluggish I did not even consider them a trade up from a 24.

        Since all the boats Clark could offer me as trade up were dogs to sail compared to Snappy I also evaluated the j24 as a possible choice. I really wanted one since it its performance far outpaced Snappy.

        My wife being a cruising person as well as my accountant took one quick look inside the low head room cabin and immediately nixed that because of the limited space. At the time we used to cruised Snappy for weeks with two kids and a dog. To her, cramming us all in to a space much smaller space was NOT a trade up.

        gil

        --- In SJ-24@yahoogroups.com, "Robinson, Mike J." <mike.robinson@...> wrote:
        >
        > In my article on the Clark Boat Company, it talks about these boats - there were SJ 23's produced here ( and abroad under license) that were manufactured with a fixed keel (a few) There was at least one that had an inboard rudder! The keel that they used was a 7.7 keel - and the report is that is sails very well
        >
        > The boat in question is clearly a version of the 23
        >
        > Michael J. Robinson,
        >


      • wormlund
        Jim It speaks well for Dennis integrity that he did not sandbag me into buying the boat. Sadly, apart from the keel and a few simple rigging details the 7.7
        Message 3 of 13 , Dec 1, 2012
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          Jim

          It speaks well for Dennis integrity that he did not sandbag me into buying the boat.

          Sadly, apart from the keel and a few simple rigging details the 7.7 could have been a great product for Clark. Some of the boats were modified with a longer keel sleeve but they could not easily move the ballast down. With a decent keel design the 7.7 should easily have rated 8 on Dennis scale. Right on par with a J24. With the nice added interior space that my wife loved the 7.7 that would have been a j24 killer for Clark.

          By the way are you still in Kalispell? I am doing a fair amount of work with Ray Thompson's (ex semitool) and if you are still there we might meet up and exchange old timers stories.

          Gil


          --- In SJ-24@yahoogroups.com, JIM GRONNEBERG <jgro49@...> wrote:
          >
          > Dennis once told me that sailmakers have a scale to indicate pointing ability, with the Mayflower being a 1, and a 12 meter being a 10. He said that on that scale, a SJ24 is about a 7, and a 7.7 would be a 5 or 6. Besides not being deep enough, they had to make the 7.7 keel fatter to accomadate enough ballast.
          > To: SJ-24@yahoogroups.com
          > From: glund@...
          > Date: Sat, 1 Dec 2012 20:43:12 +0000
          > Subject: [SJ-24] History of the Clark Boat Company-Insider Story
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
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          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
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          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > The Sj23 might "sail well" compared to a log but not if compared to a Sj24.
          >
          >
          >
          > Many years ago (late 80's?) when Clark first came up with the 7.7 I almost traded my sj24 Snappy Tom for one. Before I made up my mind I "match raced" the two boats with Dennis Clark and had long discussions about the performance potential with him and his brother Don.
          >
          >
          >
          > The 23, 26 and 7.7 were all Don Clark and no Bruce Kirby and that was obvious when you sailed them.
          >
          >
          >
          > The result of my trade up study was that Snappy outperformed the 7.7 on all points of sail. It was particularly interesting to note that driving Snappy I could consistently outpoint Dennis sailing the 7.7. Downwind it was a close call. When I sailed the 7.7 Dennis got so far ahead in Snappy on all points of sail he had to stop and wait for me.
          >
          >
          >
          > The fatal flaw in the 7.7 design was the shallow water low aspect ratio keel. It killed the windward performance. I know Don and Dennis had many arguments about this and during our discussions I tried to convince them to build me a version with a deeper keel. That was not to be. Don could not appreciate the huge benefit a high aspect ratio keel has on pointing ability. Dennis, who was/is one of the most gifted racing sailors I have known surly did. However, Don obviously did have a hard time taking advice from his very gifted little brother.
          >
          >
          >
          > It was clear to me during our discussions that Dennis envisioned the 7.7 as a racing class competitor to the j24 with enough room to cruise. Don who was not a racing sailor was looking at the shallow draft cruising market on the east coast. It is my judgement that if Dennis had won that argument they could have given J Boats serious competition.
          >
          >
          >
          > The 23 and 26 were so sluggish I did not even consider them a trade up from a 24.
          >
          >
          >
          > Since all the boats Clark could offer me as trade up were dogs to sail compared to Snappy I also evaluated the j24 as a possible choice. I really wanted one since it its performance far outpaced Snappy.
          >
          >
          >
          > My wife being a cruising person as well as my accountant took one quick look inside the low head room cabin and immediately nixed that because of the limited space. At the time we used to cruised Snappy for weeks with two kids and a dog. To her, cramming us all in to a space much smaller space was NOT a trade up.
          >
          >
          >
          > gil
          >
          >
          >
          > --- In SJ-24@yahoogroups.com, "Robinson, Mike J." <mike.robinson@> wrote:
          >
          > >
          >
          > > In my article on the Clark Boat Company, it talks about these boats - there were SJ 23's produced here ( and abroad under license) that were manufactured with a fixed keel (a few) There was at least one that had an inboard rudder! The keel that they used was a 7.7 keel - and the report is that is sails very well
          >
          > >
          >
          > > The boat in question is clearly a version of the 23
          >
          > >
          >
          > > Michael J. Robinson,
          >
          > >
          >
        • Robinson, Mike J.
          The Clark s added a keel shoe as an option....added 6 and 125# and supposedly changes the windward character dramatically I own a 7.7 but bought it as a
          Message 4 of 13 , Dec 2, 2012
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            The Clark's added a keel shoe as an option....added 6" and 125# and supposedly changes the windward character dramatically

            I own a 7.7 but bought it as a cruiser-racer. (Occasional PHRF outings). I can't get this boat to go to windward well with a light crew (which is my normal). You need 3 big people on the rail and still it is challenged. I must say as a small cruiser, it is really nice and in that category is a good performer

            Mike Robinson
            Sent from my iPad2 :-)
          • Walter Garvock
            Will find another SJ24 some day like my last which I sailed Galveston 1990 and had 10 other sailboats since. Gotta say the SJ was the most effective Boat I
            Message 5 of 13 , Dec 2, 2012
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              Will find another SJ24 some day like my last which I sailed Galveston 1990 and had 10 other sailboats since.
              Gotta say the SJ was the most effective
              Boat I have had. Raced it offshore against much larger boats and made mine seem large as well!
              The key was a race inventory of any sail you may need. That will be my next boat.

              Sent from my iPhone

              On Dec 2, 2012, at 8:10 AM, "Robinson, Mike J." <mike.robinson@...> wrote:

               

              The Clark's added a keel shoe as an option....added 6" and 125# and supposedly changes the windward character dramatically

              I own a 7.7 but bought it as a cruiser-racer. (Occasional PHRF outings). I can't get this boat to go to windward well with a light crew (which is my normal). You need 3 big people on the rail and still it is challenged. I must say as a small cruiser, it is really nice and in that category is a good performer

              Mike Robinson
              Sent from my iPad2 :-)

            • JIM GRONNEBERG
              It would have been nice to see you again. I just left Kalispell on friday and am back in Helena now. To: SJ-24@yahoogroups.com From: glund@lundeng.com Date:
              Message 6 of 13 , Dec 2, 2012
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                  It would have been nice to see you again.  I just left Kalispell on friday and am back in Helena now.
                 

                To: SJ-24@yahoogroups.com
                From: glund@...
                Date: Sun, 2 Dec 2012 03:40:27 +0000
                Subject: [SJ-24] Re: History of the Clark Boat Company-Insider Story

                 
                Jim

                It speaks well for Dennis integrity that he did not sandbag me into buying the boat.

                Sadly, apart from the keel and a few simple rigging details the 7.7 could have been a great product for Clark. Some of the boats were modified with a longer keel sleeve but they could not easily move the ballast down. With a decent keel design the 7.7 should easily have rated 8 on Dennis scale. Right on par with a J24. With the nice added interior space that my wife loved the 7.7 that would have been a j24 killer for Clark.

                By the way are you still in Kalispell? I am doing a fair amount of work with Ray Thompson's (ex semitool) and if you are still there we might meet up and exchange old timers stories.

                Gil

                --- In SJ-24@yahoogroups.com, JIM GRONNEBERG <jgro49@...> wrote:
                >
                > Dennis once told me that sailmakers have a scale to indicate pointing ability, with the Mayflower being a 1, and a 12 meter being a 10. He said that on that scale, a SJ24 is about a 7, and a 7.7 would be a 5 or 6. Besides not being deep enough, they had to make the 7.7 keel fatter to accomadate enough ballast.
                > To: SJ-24@yahoogroups.com
                > From: glund@...
                > Date: Sat, 1 Dec 2012 20:43:12 +0000
                > Subject: [SJ-24] History of the Clark Boat Company-Insider Story
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > The Sj23 might "sail well" compared to a log but not if compared to a Sj24.
                >
                >
                >
                > Many years ago (late 80's?) when Clark first came up with the 7.7 I almost traded my sj24 Snappy Tom for one. Before I made up my mind I "match raced" the two boats with Dennis Clark and had long discussions about the performance potential with him and his brother Don.
                >
                >
                >
                > The 23, 26 and 7.7 were all Don Clark and no Bruce Kirby and that was obvious when you sailed them.
                >
                >
                >
                > The result of my trade up study was that Snappy outperformed the 7.7 on all points of sail. It was particularly interesting to note that driving Snappy I could consistently outpoint Dennis sailing the 7.7. Downwind it was a close call. When I sailed the 7.7 Dennis got so far ahead in Snappy on all points of sail he had to stop and wait for me.
                >
                >
                >
                > The fatal flaw in the 7.7 design was the shallow water low aspect ratio keel. It killed the windward performance. I know Don and Dennis had many arguments about this and during our discussions I tried to convince them to build me a version with a deeper keel. That was not to be. Don could not appreciate the huge benefit a high aspect ratio keel has on pointing ability. Dennis, who was/is one of the most gifted racing sailors I have known surly did. However, Don obviously did have a hard time taking advice from his very gifted little brother.
                >
                >
                >
                > It was clear to me during our discussions that Dennis envisioned the 7.7 as a racing class competitor to the j24 with enough room to cruise. Don who was not a racing sailor was looking at the shallow draft cruising market on the east coast. It is my judgement that if Dennis had won that argument they could have given J Boats serious competition.
                >
                >
                >
                > The 23 and 26 were so sluggish I did not even consider them a trade up from a 24.
                >
                >
                >
                > Since all the boats Clark could offer me as trade up were dogs to sail compared to Snappy I also evaluated the j24 as a possible choice. I really wanted one since it its performance far outpaced Snappy.
                >
                >
                >
                > My wife being a cruising person as well as my accountant took one quick look inside the low head room cabin and immediately nixed that because of the limited space. At the time we used to cruised Snappy for weeks with two kids and a dog. To her, cramming us all in to a space much smaller space was NOT a trade up.
                >
                >
                >
                > gil
                >
                >
                >
                > --- In SJ-24@yahoogroups.com, "Robinson, Mike J." <mike.robinson@> wrote:
                >
                > >
                >
                > > In my article on the Clark Boat Company, it talks about these boats - there were SJ 23's produced here ( and abroad under license) that were manufactured with a fixed keel (a few) There was at least one that had an inboard rudder! The keel that they used was a 7.7 keel - and the report is that is sails very well
                >
                > >
                >
                > > The boat in question is clearly a version of the 23
                >
                > >
                >
                > > Michael J. Robinson,
                >
                > >
                >


              • wormlund
                Mike Claiming that the keel shoe was a significant performance improvement is a bit of a stretch. The shoe was essentially a fairing and the ballast stayed
                Message 7 of 13 , Dec 3, 2012
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                  Mike

                  Claiming that the keel shoe was a significant performance improvement is a bit of a stretch. The shoe was essentially a fairing and the ballast stayed topside. The old fat keel profile remained the same to provide room for the ballast needed. All in all most of us who cruise and race the Sj24 had little to gain by trading up to a 7.7. Shoe or no Shoe we can still do a horizon job on the few 7.7's still floating around the Puget Sound.

                  Adding a deep skinny keel section with less total ballast weight at the bottom would have changed the 7.7 to a real good racer cruiser. It would have given a good trade-up option for the 2000 + Sj24 sailors that had been spoiled by its performance but needed a bit more room than the j24 could afford.

                  Fact is that Clark sold very few 23, 26 and 7.7 for a very good reason. They were all dogs to sail compared to the 24. You might say they actually deserved to go out of business.

                  gil

                  --- In SJ-24@yahoogroups.com, "Robinson, Mike J." <mike.robinson@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > The Clark's added a keel shoe as an option....added 6" and 125# and supposedly changes the windward character dramatically
                  >
                  > I own a 7.7 but bought it as a cruiser-racer. (Occasional PHRF outings). I can't get this boat to go to windward well with a light crew (which is my normal). You need 3 big people on the rail and still it is challenged. I must say as a small cruiser, it is really nice and in that category is a good performer
                  >
                  > Mike Robinson
                  > Sent from my iPad2 :-)
                  >
                • Trent
                  There aren t any SJ24 s racing FS in Puget Sound out of Seattle for me to race against. But I did race against a SJ28 in the Fall Regatta this year. I think
                  Message 8 of 13 , Dec 4, 2012
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                    There aren't any SJ24's racing FS in Puget Sound out of Seattle for me to race against.

                    But I did race against a SJ28 in the Fall Regatta this year. I think the results speak for themselves, http://www.styc.org/race_info/Fall%20Regatta/2012/race1.htm

                    There is a SJ24 "Double Trouble" that races NFS in Ballard Cup with rating of 249. He starts 5 mins in front of me and I think I usually pass him before the first WW mark. I don't think the handicaps are really comparable between NFS and FS, but I usually beat him by about 100 secs/mile on corrected time. http://www.styc.org/race_info/Ballard_Cup/SeriesIII/2012/race6.htm

                    --- In SJ-24@yahoogroups.com, "wormlund" <glund@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Mike
                    >
                    > Claiming that the keel shoe was a significant performance improvement is a bit of a stretch. The shoe was essentially a fairing and the ballast stayed topside. The old fat keel profile remained the same to provide room for the ballast needed. All in all most of us who cruise and race the Sj24 had little to gain by trading up to a 7.7. Shoe or no Shoe we can still do a horizon job on the few 7.7's still floating around the Puget Sound.
                    >
                    > Adding a deep skinny keel section with less total ballast weight at the bottom would have changed the 7.7 to a real good racer cruiser. It would have given a good trade-up option for the 2000 + Sj24 sailors that had been spoiled by its performance but needed a bit more room than the j24 could afford.
                    >
                    > Fact is that Clark sold very few 23, 26 and 7.7 for a very good reason. They were all dogs to sail compared to the 24. You might say they actually deserved to go out of business.
                    >
                    > gil
                    >
                    > --- In SJ-24@yahoogroups.com, "Robinson, Mike J." <mike.robinson@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > The Clark's added a keel shoe as an option....added 6" and 125# and supposedly changes the windward character dramatically
                    > >
                    > > I own a 7.7 but bought it as a cruiser-racer. (Occasional PHRF outings). I can't get this boat to go to windward well with a light crew (which is my normal). You need 3 big people on the rail and still it is challenged. I must say as a small cruiser, it is really nice and in that category is a good performer
                    > >
                    > > Mike Robinson
                    > > Sent from my iPad2 :-)
                    > >
                    >
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