Merrick's Histories

Thanks to Sam Merrick

The ILYA and Dr. Thomas Hodgson are grateful to Sam Merrick who made available much of his research on scows, which was most useful in compiling the History of the Inland Lake Yachting Association. One of Sam's articles, published in the National E Scow Association newsletter, is reprinted below. Another comprehensive history, Sam's treatise entitled "Inland Lake Scows: America's Own Racing Class" is a 13 page presentation made in 1989 at the Second Yachting History Symposium at Mystic Seaport Museum. It is available by request from the ILYA Office.

Merricks NCESA article follows:


Prior to 1896 in the United States there had been a half century of sailboat racing as a form of recreation by American ìyachtsmen.î They started by using the work boats of the day. Getting to market early often meant better prices, and there were no doubt canny commercial captains who had learned how to get more speed out of their craft. But it took yachtsmen, with extra money, to study and evolve the elements which produced speed. Expensive materials, for example, lead instead of space-taking iron, costlier light construction necessitating skilled craftsman-ship, sail area that needed more engineered support than a work boat required, all these improvements and many more were introduced as one yachtsman tried to beat his fellows in formal racing. Often they placed wagers on the outcome in the style of horse racing, where owners hired captains and crews and bet money on the outcome while they enjoyed the luxury of steam yachts. drank refreshing thirst quenchers amid female company protected from the sun by veils and parasols.


Speed on water in its liquid form dependent on the power of wind alone - it is what sailboat racing scow fashion is all about.

The limits of speed are bounded by such factors as the perceived requirements for seaworthiness, the materials and methods of construction, the size and shape of the ìsailî and the force of the righting moment (ballast, the lever action of the crew, their weight, their distance from the center of buoyancy). It is the function of the designer to produce a hull that will go faster than its competitors within the parameters and restrictions of these elements. Given complete freedom to design. thereís no telling what kind of a vessel might be produced. But the story of sailboat design is a story of restrictions on excess - excess money, excess size of one or more elements of the whole product.

The crucial input of the Inland Lake Yachting Association is the extraordinary amount of wisdom used in developing these limitations for the purpose of fostering a type of high performance sailboat racing within the financial reach of many. However, it is the theme of this story that while the ILYA family (builders, sailors. clubs and officials) may take satisfaction for having perfected the scow and promoted its racing classes, much of the basic design work was done by others between 1895 and 1905ó especially a Canadian bridge engineer named Herrick Duggan and another engineer, lately from England. who was known for his abilities to use a slide rule, named Fred Shearwood. Dugganís energies in this period were directed to winning races for the Seawanhaka Cup. It was under the forced draft of the Cupís measurement formula that drew him year by year to design the scow in substantially it present form.  That ten-year span, in which the ILYA itself was founded, started with active handicap sailboat racing all over the inland area sponsored by the many yacht clubs which mushroomed after the Civil War. It ended with the ILYA firmly controlling two large classes of scows raced boat for boat.

Thanks to its pre eminence in the yachting world, the Seawanhaka Corinthian Y. C of Oyster Bay Long Island, in 1833 came up with a formula which measured the waterline, added the square root of the sail area and then divided the result by 2.  Thus if you had a 20 foot waterline and put 625 square feet of sail, you had a measurement rating of 22.5, On Massachusetts Bay ratings were based upon waterline lengths alone with sail area not counted.

On Lake Geneva, the handicap was based upon the length of the waterline plus one-third the length of the overhangs. Apparently Lake Geneva felt nervous about basing handicaps on waterline alone, even though up to that time overhangs tended not to be more than a few feet in either direction. Like Massachusetts Bay however, Lake Geneva ignored sail area, so that the latest designs from the East under the Seawanhaka Rule were easy to beat.

As the development of sailboats became more the object of designers encouraged by well-off yachtsmen, more effort went into probing advantages that could be taken of the Sea-wanhaka Rule and its local variants. It was Nathaniel Herreshoff who led the attack with a succession of boats that measured short on the waterline (to get a big handicap) and long overall. So when such boats were heeled on their sailing lines, the waterline stretched. Since long boats are faster than short ones, the advantages of designing in this manner to take advantage of the Seawanhaka Rule were clear enough. Herreshoff typically equipped such boats with deep fin keels for the required righting moment.

As designers worked on this formula, overhangs (the length of a boat extending forward and aft of the actual waterline) became increasingly long, and construction became lighter so the short waterline could support more length. Ballast whether in the form of keels or otherwise was undesirable because it was heavy

The longer overhangs became, the more difficult it became to measure waterlines, the basic element of the Seawanhaka Handicap Rule. Inland lake yacht clubs wrestled with this problem. The Lake Geneva history describes an addendum to its rules in 1895 which required the waterline to be measured after a race with ballast and crew aboard so that the handicap could be accurately computed. Chop or waves from steam launches added to the difficulty. Some yacht clubs built special tanks to measure the waterline rather than attempting the job dockside with the measurer hanging upside down with his tape. As we shall see, the ILYA belled this cat in 1902 by measuring length overall and eliminating waterline measurement entirely. In the East, baby and bath were disposed of together with the abolition of the Seawan-haka Rule.

The Seawanhaka Rule could be used as a basis for level racing without handicaps. Thus if it was agreed that a rating of 15 was the maximum allowed for a given "class" then a 12.5 foot waterline boat with a 306 sq. foot sail area could race boat for boat against a 15 foot boat with a 225 square foot sail area. This was the rating used in 1895 when the first contest was held for the so called Seawanhaka Cup.

The deed of gift for ''The Seawanhaka International Challenge Cup for Small Yachts", the formal name for this famous trophy reads as follows: ''Yachts shall be propelled by sails only, whose racing measurement or size shall not exceed the maximum limit of the so called twenty-five feet racing length class or fall below the minimum limit of the so called fifteen foot racing length class of the Seawanhaka Club as such classification exists at the date of this instrument" (1895). It was the incentives let loose upon the yachting world by this; trophy that in ten years produced the scow - at outcome viewed with misgivings and finally widespread contempt by the yachting oligarchs of the club whose name the trophy bears.

The 1895 contest was precipitated by a British challenge received from a canoe racing enthusiast and amateur designer named Brand who brought over SPRUCE IVó a 15'9" waterline (23'3'  overall) with heavy fittings and a heavy bamboo mast. ETHELWYN, the American boa chosen among a field of seven which were built for the trials. measured I5' 8'' on the waterline with only 196 sq. ft. of sailó20.5 less than she was allowed. She was skillfully rigged and had hollow spars. Such spars were relatively new -- the product of a craftsman in New Haven who had a secret glue.

W. P. Stevens. the designer, expressed some satisfaction that she did not gain sailing length when heeled. ETHELWYN easily won this first challenge, but it was the last time an American boat did so until 1905. It is interesting to note that one of the boats ETHELWYN beat in the trails was QUESTION - flat sided, square chines, a ''barn door' boat without cockpit, a derivative of the so called New Haven sharpie in some respects the real forerunner of the scow. The sharpie had been developed over the years as a work boat by Long Island oystermen.


Late in 1895, the Royal St. Lawrence Yacht Club of Montreal challenged the Seawanhaka Club for the second contest. again under the fifteen foot rating class and, of course. using the Seawanhaka formula. As a tribute to the impact of the Cup's influence, an. incredible twenty-seven boats were designed by the most prestigious naval architects of the eastern yachting establishment including Nathaniel Herreshoff, himself, Starling Burgess. Charles Mower and Clinton Crane. The latter's design. named EL HIERE, was selected. She had 240 sq. feet of sail and measured just under I5 feet waterline. In the Cup races themselves, EL HIERE was soundly beaten in three straight races by the Canadian GLENCAIRN. the sixth boat designed. one after another in preparation for the challenge by Duggan.

A comparison of the final two designs is instructive. No. 5 of the series (called SO THIS) had a SA of 285 with an upright waterline of 13, an inclined 18 degree waterline of 15 feet 2''. She went fast, but No. 6 turned out faster. GLENCAIRN had an upright WL of 12 ft. 4 in., a sail area of 300 with an effective WL of 15. The floor was flat, the top sides flat carried to a round bilge. GLENCAIRN when sailed presented a long narrow hull, 24 feet long and only 3 ft. 11 in. wide when heeled.

The Seawanhaka-Corinthian Y.C. history, which was written by W. P. Stevens, the designer of ETHELWYN, describes the product thus: "The end in view was the creation of a form which, when inclined to a normal sailing angle, would show a load waterline plane reasonably symmetrical about an axis nearly parallel to the centerline of the vessel; that this plane should show the greatest possible gain of length over the upright plane, as measured under the rule; and that the center of buoyancy should shift well to leeward, giving a long lever, similar to the sliding seat of a canoe, for the crew on the weather rail."

Duggan's feat of designing a boat that beat the efforts of the rising crop of American designers received widespread and no doubt grudging acclaim even at this early stage of the Cup's competition. But wait!


Immediately following the 1896 effort the Seawanhaka Club challenged for a return contest in the 25 foot class. After some discussion, it was agreed that the 20 foot racing length be selected with a limit of 5OO sq. feet of sail. Although over 100 boats had been built by this time to the 15 foot rating, The Seawanhaka-Corinthian Club apparently was not pleased with its offspring which it was prepared to abandon for a larger boat. Says Stevens "The contests have produced a fleet of racing craft quite as extreme in design and construction as DEFENDER (America's CUP boat of 1895) herself and open to all the objections of extreme cost, fragile construction and limited utility    (Harper's Weekly 1897). Stevens was probably thinking about the kind of boat which would be produced with Duggan's approach using the larger size than the 15 foot class. He had expressed satisfaction with the transportability and cost of the smaller boats.

The 1897 races were held on Lake St. Louis, a broad and often shallow body of water, formed by the confluence of the Ottawa and St. Lawrence Rivers just about Montreal. This is the "home water" for the Royal St. Lawrence Yacht Club which, as the winner of the Cup until 1905, designated this site as the racing location.

The 1897 contest, between MOMO, designed by Clinton Crane, and GLENCAIRN II, was a repeat of the previous year. MOMO interestingly enough was sold after the races to a Mr. Dee Allen on Lake Pewaukee and did her share of winning races. It is odd that there is no record of Duggan's boats coming to the midwest, although many of the unsuccessful American boats did.

One sideline: The Canadians were incensed by new ballast wrinkles. It seemed that in heavy air, the American crew donned three heavy woolen sweaters and doused them with water. They also substituted heavy crew members for light ones. Such behavior was denounced as unsporting.

Out in scow country on the many lakes a hodgepodge of boats were doing a lot of racing but they were not yet much like scows. Boat builders had already developed a capacity for excellent craftsmanship - a critical ingredient for the light weight construction needed for later scow development. John 0. Johnson (the founder of the present Johnson Boat Works and grandfather of Skip) was already established on White Bear Lake. Johnson was later quoted as giving Herreshoff credit for instituting canoe construction in ALFREDA which he designed in 1897. This boat had ribs running across her full width and was built in the East for a White Bear owner named Milt Griggs. Other than Johnson, the most prominent of the builders at this early date were Gus Amundsen and F.W. Ramaley on White Bear, Andrew Petersen on Lake Minnetonka, the Palmer Boat Company, first located on Fox Lake, Illinois, then at Highland Park, then finally at Fontana at the western end of Lake Geneva. This list would be incomplete without Jones and LaBorde at Oshkosh of which Jimmy Jones was the leading figure. Jones was not only a builder but a talented helmsman and creative designer. He had been winning races on Lake Winnebago since 1876 and would play a prominent role in scow development until near his death in 1932.

There were a few "side walk" boats this early on White Bear Lake according to the pictures in the White Bear history. YANKEE, one of these, was designed by a St. Paul designer, Charles Reed, who had already been involved in the Seawanhaka competition.

YANKEE was built by Ramaley, using the same canoe construction which Herreshoff had developed for ALFREDA. YANKEE was built for Lucius Ordway who, as we shall see, was one of the major figures in these early days of the scow's development. Johnson later described YANKEE as the first true scow he had seen. She was to become a test design against Duggan early in 1899.

In Wisconsin, the latest designs were short on the waterline, long over all but narrow of beamóhardly scows. They were dependent on ballast to carry their sail.

Perhaps the principal event of 1897 of interest to the scow family was the spadework done to form the Inland Lake Yachting Association at a meeting at White Bear Lake on August 24 with delegates from a number of lakes in Wisconsin and Minnesota.


The ILYA was formally launched in Milwaukee  on January 28 with representatives of nearly twenty yacht clubs from four states. It adopted two classes under the Seawanhaka rule for inter-lake competition without handicaps: 1) The 20 foot (racing length rating) class with maximum 500 square feet of sail and 600 lbs. maximum crew weight and 2) The 17 foot class with 350 sq. ft. of sail and 450 lbs. of crew. Since no ballast other than crew was to be allowed, it followed that the sidewalk boats were to be favored since beam was needed to permit the crew to carry the sail area. Bear in mind that if the maximum SA (you could go with less if you wanted) was to be carried by a boat built for the 20 foot class for example, the waterline might be short of 18 feet (because the square root of 500 is 22 plus). Since the overall length was unlimited and useful for more speed, there followed a period of intense building activity and experimentation for the purpose of making the boats lighter as well as longer. This process produced the boats known as "featherweights", and increased concern that limitations were necessary. But this gets ahead of our story.

The first ILYA Regatta was held on White Bear Lake. Each club was permitted one entryóa subject of controversy for the following fifteen years, presumably to prevent local clubs from swamping visitors. MAHTO, a new boat built by Amundsen and looking very much like YANKEE, won the 20 foot class. Lucius Ordway was the skipper. Some evidence has it that in this same year, Johnson built WIERDLING for Frank Douglas, a White Bear helmsman. WIERDLING was to be one of the new light weight boats. Johnson wanted to put (or perhaps actually did put) bilgeboards into WIERD-LING, but Douglas thought she was radical enough already, (or so the story goes) and the boat appeared in public only with a centerboard. The Johnson claim for conceiving in 1898 what after 1902 became a scow characteristic will have to remain unsubstantiated until better evidence emerges from the shadows of history. As we shall see, Duggan came out with bilgeboards in TRIDENT as did Jimmy Jones with COMET in 1902.

But the big event of 1898 was Duggan's response to the Seawanhaka Club's second effort to get its trophy back from Canada. SEAWANHAKA designed by Clinton Crane and built by Canadian builders incorporated all the best of Duggan's thinking of previous years. SEAWANHAKA won the trials against AKABO (only two boats were built) designed by a talented proponent of the emerging scow type named Huntington. AKABO had a bow that appeared to be heading toward a normal point but sawed off, and a curious pancake-like stern. In the trials, SEAWANHAKA was so badly "beat up" and twisted out of shape that a new boat named CHALLENGER was using the same lines as SEAWANHAKA but built lighter.

Duggan designed four boats - three variations of the GLENCAIRN type but the fourth a radical craft that was superior to the others, named DOMINION. As the Seawanhaka Chronicler says, Duggan "had outdone even himself in beating the rule", an epithet which becomes a compliment when one's designer takes unsuspected advantages from the rule's soft spots. DOMINION was often called a catamaran (or worse, but she was only partway) -17'6" waterline, 27 feet waterline length when sailing and 35 feet in overall length, with a tunnel down the middle 2 1/2" above the waterline at the center but which curved upwards' at either end. Although she almost had two separate hulls, DOMINION was fitted with a large steel centerboard and a single center-located rudder.

Duggan described DOMINION as carrying to a logical conclusion the principles of his two previous efforts -designing a boat to sail in the inclined position paying heed to the vertical position only as regards measurement. In any breeze DOMINION was a run away; and she trounced CHALLENGER but not before all the flurries of outrage were stirred up against her from the yachting establishment. DOMINION was not a beauty, for it would have to be reported DOMINION looked somewhat like a sled with runners poking out in front.

Writing in 1928, but reviewing what he had accomplish-ed, Duggan said this: "It may be well to review the experience with the type as now developed. With the boats at a proper sailing angle, the ratio of midship section to effective waterline was so small that wave-making did not seem a serious factor. even at high speeds. At all events, divergent bow waves were not noticeable and the wave of displacement was very small compared to what one had been used to in the ballasted type with limited waterlines. Surface friction. therefore. seemed to be the largest retarding force, and effort was generally directed to getting a small surface or, at least, one of small transverse width. All of these boats with the flat floors were comparatively slow when not well inclined. probably due principally to the large area and poor form of the wetted surface and, in some measure, to wave-making by the short and steeper area curve. The hard bilge boat, with bilges closely approximating a sector of a circle,  gave the smallest wetted surface and the best form when in the inclined position, but when sufficient inclination could not be obtained from the wind pressure, the crew to leeward, being little outside the centre of buoyancy, could not heel her sufficiently to develop her best performance and some flare was generally given to the sides." (from Sailing Craft - Edwin Schoettle, Editor)

All around Long Island Sound when the Seawanhaka rule was in effect came sounds of dissatisfaction and demands for change. Herreshoff, in a formal proposal to the Seawanhaka Club, suggested the use of displacement as a factor. The Seawanhaka Rule, they said, fathered a lot of "worthless boxes" "encouraging a type of craft more worthless and certainly as dangerous as the old gravel wagons" (i.e. sand baggers) which it had been the intention to replace because of their expense to run and hazard to sail.

At the end of the regatta, salvos of protests were filed and icy letters exchanged. The American crews found it necessary to attend the concluding dinner and hop in their private capacity.

Relations between the Canadians and the Seawanhaka, already bad over DOMINION'S rule beating shape became worse when the Inland Lake Yachting Association appeared to have the inside track for an 1899 challenge. A leading Seawanhaka Club member allowed himself to be quoted by a reporter to the effect "interest in the Cup would wither and die if it ever went to the lakes. No foreign country such as England would consider competing in that remote hinterland". Needless to say there must have been more than raised eyebrows over this example of Eastern myopia. Somehow the Canadians and the Seawanhaka Club were able to agree on the terms of still another contest but barring boats of the DOMINION type.


Since matters had been patched up for another Seawanhaka challenge thus depriving white Bear of the opportunity, a special contest was arranged as a kind of "High Noon" test between DOMINION and the best of the Inland Lake scows. The boat chosen for this purpose was YANKEE which to White Bear's satisfaction had proved her superiority over MAHTO, the ILYA champion of 1898. This contest was held in June and attracted a large crowd of spectators from ILYA country. DOMINION proved her clear superiority.

YANKEE, as we said, was designed by an Easterner and was considered by Johnson as the first racing scow he had seen. Duggan described her as an all out scow. YANKEE had appointed bow, was 35 feet overall, 7' 5" beam, 6" draft, 13" freeboard, 3" crown on deck, displaced 1300 pounds, oak ribs on 8" centers, planking of 5/16" cedar. She had a large steel centerboard.

Jimmy Jones was one of the midwestern spectators. It would have been instructive indeed to have been able to listen to the conversation which must have taken place between Jones and Duggan, the two amateur and leading designers of the then scow type. When Jones returned to Oshkosh with the benefit of his trip to Montreal, he set about building ARGO which two months later won the Inlands in the 20 foot class. The Neenah-Nodaway history recounts that Jones and "other experts" (one is tempted to read Duggan) agreed that the flat bottom of YANKEE and the long waterline of DOMINION underway could be exploited further; they discounted the double hull as a speed factor because one hull was always out of water.

ln this same year ALGONQUIN designed by Crownin-shield, a famous Boston navel architect was the first scow type to win Lake Geneva's famous Sheridan Cup. She had been bought immediately after she had lost to CONSTANCE in the Seawanhaka trials leading up to the Cup contest of that year. CONSTANCE in turn was beaten 3 races to 2 by Duggan's GLENCAIRN III in the Cup races on Lake St. Louis. In Duggan's view, CONSTANCE at least in heavy air was the faster boat.

At this point all three areas, Montreal, Long Island Sound and the midwest had approached a stage of near equality -the product of using the Seawanhaka Rule and a sail area limit of 500 square feet. Only Massachusetts Bay which rated on the basis of waterline measurement alone with a maximum crew weight was following a unique course with longer and lighter boats carrying ever increasing sail area. For example, there were HOSTESS designed by Keith for the 21 foot class with 40 feet OA, 11 feet maximum beam (6 feet at the bow and 8 feet at the stern) and CARTOON (a "cruising" scow with a cabin) designed by William Gardner, 48 feet long and 10 feet wide with a fin keel. The extremes were still to come!


In this year, White Bear Y.C. again challenged the Royal St. Lawrence Y.C. for the Seawanhaka Cup - this time not hindered by the Seawanhaka Club which had abandoned its effort to win back its now famous Cup. It was agreed to race under the 25 foot Racine Length Class, but with a limitation on the maximum sail area of 500 square feet. This was the same sail area used for the challenge the year before with the 20 foot class. The use of the 25 foot rating combined with the sail area limit) allowed a waterline length of 27' 6", consid-ered likely to encourage a less extreme form of hull.

At White Bear, two boats were built, MINNESOTA and MINNEZITKA. MINNESOTA was designed and built by Gus Amundsen and sailed by Lucius Ordway; MINNEZITKA by John Johnson and sailed by Milt Griggs. After extensive trials, MINNESOTA was chosen although speed seems to have been near equal.

In Canada, Duggan designed four variations of the scow type represented by GLENCAIRN Ill and one of these, RED COAT, was picked because it was best all around boat.

A detailed description. together with photographs, of all six of these boats appears in a contemporary article in Rudder by C.D. Mower. Mower was a Boston naval architect who frequently covered scow racing for Rudder and designed many scows of the era.

A notable feature of the conditions for the 1900 contest was the specific scantling restrictions to prevent feather. weight construction. This was a step that resulted in the Canadian boats still being sailed 28 years later

Unfortunately for the White Bear cause, RED COAT won three straight races and retained the Cup for Canada.

The ILYA Regatta of 1900 included a new boat designed by Will Davis with a tunnel hull - named CAROLINE. Davis was an amateur designer and able helmsman from Oshkosh with a long record of success. CAROLINE didn't win but she was fast enough to encourage the ILYA to adopt a rule requiring hulls to be no lower than their center point.


Shortly after the first of the year in 1901, ILYA held a kind of landmark meeting which was to establish patterns for racing for a long time. There were three issues over which opinions were deeply divided: the locale for holding regattas, participation of professionals in the racing, and the need for scantling restrictions to prevent the construction of feather-weight scows. The first issue was disposed of by agreeing to make Oshkosh in 1904 the permanent site after completing the round of yacht clubs already in process. Jimmy Jones' career as a helmsman was terminated by a rule barring from Inland racing all who received monetary gain from the sport.

On the construction problem, complete specifications were adopted covering the size and material of planing deck and ribs. Instead of using the Seawanhaka Rule, which in-curred the troublesome problem of measuring waterlines, it was decided to designate two classes more or less equivalent to the two then sanctioned, but based upon an overall measurement. Thus, Class A would be 38 feet long with 500 square feet of sail area and replace the 20 foot class. Class B would be 32 feet overall with 350 square feet and replace the 17 foot class. It is a fair observation that Class A closely re-sembled the type of boat which had been built for the Seawanhaka Cup Races of the year before. The lightweight boats were "grandfathered" and remained competitive, but the scow type was so rapidly developing that new boats took over despite their additional weight.

Since the waterline no longer counted, the tendency to have ends higher in the water which had tong earned the sobriquet 'sow belly'' was no longer necessary. The ends were thus to get closer to the water and thus make more effective the overall length when the boats were sailing in their proper inclined position.

It is worth speculating whether these sound decisions had they been adopted for small boats by the Seawanhaka Club or among the crazies in Massachusetts Bay might not have encouraged the scow type outside the midwest. It would have to be conceded that the heavy seas on Long Island Sound might be too unfriendly, but the yachting establishment failed to adopt the ILYA'S sensible decisions in part at least out of the experience of being so soundly beaten in competition.
The Seawanhaka Cup competition of 1901 was not news-worthy. The races were held under the 25 foot rule (as in 1900). The challenge came from the Island Sailing Club of Cowes (England) which built 3 scows, the best of which GREYFRIAR, was brought over.

The Seawanhaka Club's chronicler, when viewing afar what manner of racing the Cup was promoting, fairly shivers with scorn at the necessity of having to keep "these skimming dishes on their feet" by getting on the windward rail and having to weigh the crew members "like jockeys before a horse race."

The 1901 Inland was conducted on Green Lake after an active period of boat construction under the new rules. In Class A, seven boats were entered that were built by Jones and LaBorde, three by Amundsen, and one by Johnson (his first), the two year old MINNEZITRA. The winner was a brand new Jones boat named EMANON. The detailed eight page description of each of these boats in a Rudder article by Mower is typical of the coverage the scow world was


The Inland sailors' thirst for winning the Seawanhaka Cup was not in the least frustrated by the fact that the Canadians accepted a challenge (again under the 25 ft. length) from the Bridgeport Y.C. (Connecticut - north side of Long Island Sound). Bridgeport announced it would hold trials open to all outsiders. The line-up was this:


TECUMSEH         Bridgeport                    Jimmy Jones                  Jimmy Jones
MASSASOIT       Bridgeport                    Unknown                       Crowninshield
FRONTENAC      White Bear                    Milt Griggs                     Unknown
CRUSADER        White Bear                    Lucius Ordway             C.D. Mower
SEERESS*         Manhasset Bay             C.D. Mower                   C.D. Mower
MONSOON        Boston (area)                Unknown                      Starling Burgess
FILIBUSTER                                             Boston (area)                Crowninshield               Unknown
NUTMEG           Bridgeport                      Huntington                     Huntington

*She was to become Class A Champion at White Bear in 1903.

TECUMSEH won the privilege of going to Canada in trials conducted mostly in light air. She was clearly the fastest boat, in light air, but not until Jimmy Jones was brought as her skipper after earlier failures. Her choice, a Bridgeport syndicate boat by the Bridgeport Committee was critically viewed. This excerpt from Rudder's extensive coverage is glowing evidence of how skillful midwestern sailors had become: ''It has been the custom to decry western yachting and to picture fresh watermen as a lot of lubbers. But though they may be guilty of breeches of etiquette, hoist two flags on one string, fire guns on Sunday and wear the names of their boats on their caps, when it comes to racing scows they know more about the game in one minute than we Eastern people do in a month. It will be a bitter dose for the Easterner to swallow to have to go to the West to learn what he fondly considers to be his own game, but if the West is to be beaten at scow racing, it can only be done by studying the fresh water-man's methods."

Jimmy Jones, by this time branded as a professional in the ILYA, and a crew from Oshkosh, plus one from Bridgeport to give additional color to the Bridgeport nature of the challenge, arrived on Lake St. Louis to find Duggan's last contribution to scow development in the form of TRIDENT equipped with bilge boards. Duggan had left the scow scene for Nova Scotia and other interests, but he had designed TRI-DENT first. He wrote this: "TRIDENT was so named because she originally came out with a box for a centreboard and a box in each bilge inclined something over 19 degrees to the vertical. Experiments with DOMINION demonstrated that with a centreboard of 20% less width than GLENCAIRN her lateral plane was more effective, due no doubt to her small angle of heel. Early consideration was given to the introduction of bilge boards, the lee one of which would be practically vertical when sailing, but owing to the discussion over DOMINION, it was not thought well to introduce them and it was not until 1902 that they were tried. TRIDENT was built with three boxes, now as some suppose, because there was any doubt of the efficiency of the lee boards, but in case the use of bilge boards should be disputed as not being within the spirit of the rules."

Except for one race in light air, TRIDENT was markedly superior - thus proving again that Duggan was ahead of all his competition.

The credit for introducing bilgeboards must remain with Duggan and TRIDENT despite the appearance just before the Inlands of COMET designed and built by Jones and LaBorde. She was not allowed to compete because she had not been ready to participate in the qualifying races on her home lake - Pewaukee. It stands to reason that Jimmy Jones put the bilgeboards into COMET after finding TRIDENT using them. Otherwise. he would have had this feature in TECUMSEH. Unfortunately we may never run this sequence of events down.

While the scow was undergoing healthy development elsewhere. it had been getting unbelievable in Massachu-setts uninhibited by any limit on sail area. The Quincy Cup racing. started in 1898. was the force behind these ever larger, one-season racing machines. The Rudder of 1902 contains a full page picture of OUTLOOK. designed by Starling Burgess --52 feet long, 25 on the waterline, 16 feet beam, 1800 sq. ft. of sail. This improbable object was built around a central steel truss which extended well above the deck. Much of her deck surface was cloth so the crew had to be careful not to step in the wrong places. Tacking meant going through the truss or hurdling it. OUTLOOK beat FLASHLIGHT, another monster 55 feet long, for the Quincy Cup of that year. FLASHLIGHT sailed the series with a crumpled bow. Such were the products of a waterline measurement rule, a crew weight limit of 850 and otherwise no other limitation.

In the next chapter of Seawanhaka competition, this time from the Boston area, Starling Burgess was the designer of KOLUTOO sailed by Dick Boardman. THORELLA II, like TRIDENT from the year before but with two small (9 x 12 in.) rudders as well as bilgeboards was the defender - designed by Duggan's long-time partner Fred Shearwood. Going to windward, her windward rudder was described as always out of water. wiggling in the air like the foot of a duck. KOLUTOO had a single board and rudder and she offered no competition. Her best performance was 12 minutes behind at the finish.

Back in scow country many more new boats were being built under the new class designations. All of them had bilgeboards. COMET II built in secret by Jones and LaBorde for Fred Pabst showed up at the Inlands with two rudders. This feature entitled her to be widely described as a freak -a freak which won the Regatta. Once again, we can speculate, and must, as to whether Jones or the Canadians first came up with this characteristic scow element.

The Inland meeting after the season again struggled over professionalism. It seemed to have turned on the nagging problem of scarce crew especially in view of the weight limits. Why not, it was asked, could not one employ his gardener or coachman at least for the purpose of local lake racing.

Rudder, as was its want. provided a capsule description of racing on Delavan with 30 to 40 active racers of which half were "modern scows", most built by the Palmer Boat Co. The biggest news, as the year 1903 ended, was White Bear's challenge for the Seawanhaka Cup being accepted by the Royal St. Lawrence Y.C. for the following season.


Led by Lucius Ordway and Milt Griggs, invitations were sent to all Inland Clubs to send boats for trials in June to be conducted by a Special Committee. What ensued was the greatest effort by one club to return the Cup to the U.S. Six variations of the scow form were designed and built, five boats were financed by White Bear alone. Some had pointed bows, others had square ones.
ALPHA designed by C.D. Mower, built by Amundsen
BETA designed by Crowninshield, built by Johnson
DELTA designed by Crowninshield, built by Johnson
GAMMA designed by Welch, built by Dingle
SIGMA designed by Jimmy Jones, built by Jones & LaBorde
WIHUJA designed by (unknown), built by Andrew Petersen

DELTA and SIGMA (the latter renamed WHITE BEAR) proved superior and were both sent by rail to Montreal, together with two crews in a private car. Lucius Ordway was the helmsman in the actual contest and his crew included Skipper Milt Griggs; so the first team was very much present. Shearwood's product was NOORNA, very much like THORELLA, but with a new wrinkle: curved boards built in two sections. The lower one telescoping out the top one. She also had wire halyards on a reel. Both devices were trouble causing. NOORNA was a scow with pointed bow. WHITE BEAR was nearly square. Both boats had double rudders and, of course, bilgeboards. The series went down to the wire with 2 wins for each. In the fifth and deciding race, WHITE HEAR had a solid lead going into the last beat, thanks to various extraneous factors. She was being overtaken, and probably for this reason, she split tacks. NOORNA won by nearly three minutes. To come so close and yet lose!

Mower had the satisfaction of seeing his ALPHA, left at home by the White Bear effort in Canada, win Class A in the Inlands against six Jones & LaBorde entries. The skipper was young Jack Ordway from White Bear.

For those who patriotic feelings are ill at ease from these descriptions of Canadian ingenuity and winning habits, let the record show that in 1905, MANCHESTER brought the Cup back "home" in three straight and convincing races. Pictures of MANCHESTER complete with three American ensigns show a gorgeous gaff-rigged A boat complete with bilgeboards and double rudders. Ned Boardman was designer and skipper. His success stumped the experts. Perhaps Duggan's departure had left the Canadians without the creative skill to stay ahead of scow developments.

What had been accomplished, of course, was more important than where the Cup rested. The mother of scows, the Inland Lakes, might have produced a different offspring without the parentage of Herrick Duggan and the Sea-wanhaka Cup as midwife.