(Tip o’ the hat to John Hanson, who reminded me about this post from July. John’s been on the verge of building a Lark for quite a few years.)
This post is on one of my favorite blog sites, Earwigoagin — http://earwigoagin.blogspot.com/2014_07_01_archive.html.
(All images courtesy Earwigoagin). John’s wife Polly tracked down a copy of that book and gave it to him one Christmas.
And I quote:
“In the winter of 1897 – 1898, C.G. Davis designed and built a 16-foot chined scow for his own use. It was a simple build for that time, the hull featuring a shallow arc bottom like the Clapham designed Bouncer (a designer Davis highly respected). Davis claims he designed the Lark scow as a general daysailor but, in 1898, he raced his newly built scow in the fifteen-foot class in several Long Island regattas and won. Sensing a great deal of interest in his little scow, Davis, at the time the design editor of Rudder, printed the plans over three issues in the fall of 1898. The response was enormous and readership in Rudder exploded. When you tap into a successful market, you keep going and Rudder started a How-To series of cloth bound boat plans offering several different boats with the Lark advertised as “How to Build the Racer”.
In the early 1900′s the Lark scow was built everywhere, worldwide. Fifteen Larks were built at the Yokohama Y.C. Builders built to plans and those who couldn’t help themselves built smaller Larks, bigger Larks, Larks with counter sterns. By the 1920′s Lark fleets in the U.S. seemed to be concentrated around the Great Lakes. By the 1930′s the Lark was disappearing as Crosby, a later editor at Rudder, in 1928 introduced his own design, the home-build V-shaped centerboarder, the 15- foot Snipe. Rudder republished the plans for Lark in 1940 but by then, on the eve of World War II, the Lark was now in competition with several popular chined centerboarders available in the United States; the aforementioned Snipe, as well as the Comet, Moth, and Lightning classes.”
According to Tweezerman (author of the Earwegoagin), there is only fleet currently operating in the world, at Rondeau Bay in Ontario, Canada.
But here’s an interesting point he mentions:
“In 1963 Bill Kerr produced plans to build the Lark in plywood and the current fleet in Erieau Y.C has a combination of some new builds as well as restorations. They still retain the traditional wooden spars and have made the rig a gunter rig compared to the original gaff rig.” [Bolding by me.]
Interestingly, I erred last week in saying that Will Sturdy’s Moth at Polly’s Regatta was a Mistral design. In reality, she’s a Tweezer, designed and build by our very own Tweezerman.
What do you think? Has anyone built the plywood version?