Category: DEFIANCE

01946VSource: SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN (May 2, 1914) - The Universal Rule

As Resolute and Vanitie, Defiance has been designed under the new rule of measurement which will govern this year's series of races.
The changes introduced under the new rule were in the direction of producing a more wholesome boat, with a larger displacement, a smaller draft,...

a sweeter form with sharp ends, a form which would have a much easier motion in a seaway than the old scow form, which pounded heavily and was extremely wet in going to windward in a short sea.

A comparison of the cross sections of the three challengers of the present season shows the modifying effect of the new rule. The bilges are easy, the deadrise of the floor is steeper and the turn into the keel at the garboards is much fuller than in the yachts built under the old rule.

Points of Similarity and Difference.

3DefSectionsIn respect of two of the principal dimensions the three yachts are alike. Each is 74 feet 9 inches in length on the load waterline, and the draft of each is 13 feet 9 inches. Also, there is not much difference in the beam, only one foot, in fact, between the narrowest, "Resolute," and the widest, "Defiance," whose width is, respectively, 21 feet 6 inches and 22 feet 6 inches. "Vanitie" comes between with a beam of 22 feet. Of all the drawings, the most interesting and instructive is that showing the midship cross sections superimposed. From this it will be seen that "Resolute" has the fullest and deepest underwater body, with an easy bilge, steep floor, and a full turn from the floor at the garboards into the keel. "Vanitie" shows the least departure from the yachts built under the old rule; and, of the three boats, her bilge is harder, her floor flatter, and she is more cut away at the garboards, where the turn from floor to keel is rather sharp. "Defiance" shows a cross-section midway between the two.

The sail plans

The most interesting feature of difference in the three yachts is the sail plan, and it will come as a matter of surprise that the Herreshoff boat carries a spread of sail which is surprisingly less in area than that of the other two yachts, the "Resolute" spreading 8,188 square feet, "Vanitie" 9,465 square feet, and "Defiance" 9,819 square feet, or 1,631 square feet more than the Herreshoff boat.
3DefSailPlanThe modern tendency to make the rig lofty and relatively narrow is shown in the sail plan of each yacht, and this is particularly noticeable in "Defiance." "Resolute" on a base line of 131 feet has a vertical height from main boom to topmast truck of 125 feet ; "Vanitie" on a base of 144 feet 6 inches shows a vertical height of 131 feet, whereas "Defiance" on a base line of 134 feet 6 inches has the enormous height of 146 feet.

Both "Resolute" and "Vanitie" carry double headsails, and the division of the base line for the forward and after triangle is about normal practice. In "Defiance," however, the mast has been stepped far forward, and the bulk of the sail area is concentrated in the mainsail. Her boom has the enormous length for a 75-footer of 90 feet, as against 85 feet in "Vanitie" and 75 feet in "Resolute." From the forward side of the mast to the end of the bowsprit of "Defiance" is 42 feet 6 inches, as against 54 feet in "Resolute," and 57 feet 6 inches in "Vanitie." It is needless to say that "Defiance" carries only a single headsail.

The concentration of so much of the sail area in one large mainsail has been favored by , George Owen, the designer of "Defiance," in the expectation of securing fine weatherly qualities in going to windward. Theoretically, "Defiance" should point high and foot fast while doing so; but, as everyone who has handled the wheel or tiller of yachts rigged in this fashion knows, she is liable to be a very difficult boat to steer. The possession by "Defiance" of this rig will lend a special interest to the long series of contests which will take place during the present season between these three boats, t o determine which of them shall be selected to meet Sir Thomas Lipton's "Shamrock IV."

Construction of the Defiance.

The hull of the "Defiance" is constructed of steel framing, overlaid by two thicknesses of wooden sheathing. There are 73 frame stations, and every tenth station is a deep web frame. This framing is tied together with diagonal straps, 3/16 inch thick by 6 inches wide, riveted to the outside of the frame. DefianceBuildingThe inner sheathing of the hull consists of ¾ inch fir, and this is bolted to the frames with bronze bolts. Upon this is placed the outer skin of mahogany, 1 ¼ inch thick, which is fastened to the inner skin with bronze screws from the inside. The deck plating is of pine. The lead bulb is 4 feet 9 inches deep at the heel and 7 feet deep at the nose, and it measures about 28 feet along the top.

The hull will be painted with white enamel paint below the waterline and above the waterline the mahogany will be highly varnished.

The mast, 20 inches in diameter at the foot, is built of nickel steel, stiffened longitudinally with six nickel bulb angles. The foot of the topmast houses within the mainmast, footing upon a hollow steel cone riveted to the shell of the mast, as shown in our drawing. About every 10 feet of the length of the mast there is a steel diaphragm, cut away at its outer periphery to allow the bulb angles to pass through, and lightened by having holes drilled out.


 Designer   George Owen
 Builder   Bath Iron Works
 Owner   Syndicate of 15 yachtsmen : G. M. Pynchon (manager), E. Walter Clark (treasurer)
 Cup   1914 -> 1920
 Skipper   Capt. Howell
 Launching   May 11th, 1914
 Type   Sloop à quille plus derive
 Hull material   Composite (double thickness mehogany)
 Mast material   Wood
 L.O.A.   35,08 m
 L.W.L.   22,76 m
 Beam   6,86 m
 Draft   4,19
 Mainmast   29,88 m
 Mainboom   24,47 m
 Bowsprit   0
 Maintopmast   11,26 m
 Maingaff   14,94 m
 Displacement   98,7 T
 Sail area   701 m²
End of life Jan. 6, 1915: the yacht was sold as scrap metal

DEFIANCE, #H1, Indian Harbor Yacht Club, 1914

6 x 8 glass plate negative taken by Rosenfeld and Sons off the Indian Harbor Yacht Club,
Greenwich, CT, 1914. Long shot of the 115' gaff-rigged cutter DEFIANCE, sail #H1
(DS: Owen: BU: Bath, 1914), undersail, port beam view with crew visible on deck.
CREDIT LINE: Mystic Seaport, Rosenfeld Collection.


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