Chapter 49
International 110 Class

sail boat plan

Photo by Nolan

sail boat plan

The 110, with a modern but simple rig, assures the skipper of a lively craft in any company.

Photo by Bond

In winds up to 40 mph or more, when the going is rugged, the 110 will stay out and take it.

Photo by Boyd

sail boat plan

In addition to the annual Class Championships, fleet and district series provide competition.

BEAM: 41/4 FT. DRAFT: 23/4 FT.
Greyhound of the small-boat field is the International 110—the long, low double-ender you'll find streaking along race courses from Maine to Argentina; from Marblehead to the Philippines. Within each of the 29 fleets, you'll find adventurous racing, a healthy code of sportsmanship, and a fraternity that has made the 110 organization one of the closest-knit of all yachting associations.

August 13th to 17th, 1952, will mark the ninth Class Championships of the 110s, to be held at Gull Lake, Mich. Top 110 skippers from all over the country will trail to this important event. In addition to the annual Class Championships, there are both fleet series and district meets in which to compete.

The United States is divided into four districts with the New England area as District I, Long Island Sound south to Florida as District II, the Midwest as District III, and the Pacific Coast and Hawaii as District IV. Many fleets engage in much interfleet activity. In California, the San Francisco Bay 110s, with steady winds of 10 to 20 mph the case all year, find time out from their own racing program to trail as many as 4,000 and 5,000 miles a year in pursuit of additional races in other waters. Seattle 110s, with the beautiful waterways of the Northwest to enjoy, sail as much as 1,000 water miles a summer, just cruising, over and above their busy racing schedule. Marblehead, birthplace of the 110, is still the racing mecca for 110s, with as many as 56 racing during the big events. So many 110s race that to keep the race committee from seeing 110s in their sleep, the racers are split into odd and even numbers in order to sail in two divisions. Division winners and the consolation half then race it off. Many 110ers put the faith they have in their boats to the test by initiating challenge races against any and all comers. These take the form of team races, match races, and spur-of-the-moment "tangles." And the 110s more frequently win than lose!

sail boat plan

Larry Conover, Jr., of Mamaroneck. N. Y., the 1951 champion, at the helm of his Revonoc Jr.
Photo by Rosenfeld
Three jibs and a spinnaker give a complement of sails found usually only on larger racers.
Photo by Boyd

With all her other creditable qualities, the 110 is also modestly priced. The 24-ft. water line, 300-lb. keel, and modest sail area keep her manageable in heavy weather, and safety is assured with twin flotation tanks under the forward and after decks. The lightly rockered, semi-arc bottom is so nearly fiat that in certain winds and seas, the 110 gets up and planes in a most thrilling manner, with and without the challenge of the spinnaker! Close-hauled, she points beautifully and much of her speed over a race course is gained from this high pointing.

The 110 was first the dream of designer C. Raymond Hunt, of Boston, who, together with George Lawley and Sons, boat builders, worked out the perfect proportions of the present 110 after two years of experimentation with similar craft ranging in length from 16 to 35 feet. Mr. Hunt's aim had been to design a boat that would be inexpensive but fast, seaworthy, easy to handle, and fun to race. The loyalty that keen skippers have toward their 110s is a good indication that the performance Hunt dreamed of is more than a reality! Ask any skipper to describe the surge of a fast spinnaker run, the broad reaches when his craft lightly skims the seas, the quiet wake on a leisurely cruise, or the "lift" of a fast beat to weather.

It was in August, 1939, that the first of these slim, unorthodox craft made her mark on the yachting world at Marblehead Race Week, the event all New England turns out for. It was Hunt's first official race in his new design. As she slipped across the finish line, her slim lines and the red numerals "110" on her mainsail were to be remembered, for in her maiden race, this new boat bowed to none but the swift, high-sailed International Class.

Interest in the new craft spread to the four winds, and in the two-and-a-half years before the bombs on Pearl Harbor set boatbuilding to a deadlier task, there had grown a healthy organization of some 225 International 110s. Already, there were 19 fleets organized under the parent International 110 Class Yacht Racing Association. Boats had been shipped to Bermuda, Canada, the Canal Zone, Mexico, and Hawaii. The class had been formally organized in January of 1941, and that summer held the first Class Championships at Grosse Pointe, Mich. Owners of the boats were enthusiastic. They were, moreover, determined to keep the class a complete one-design. There must be no "backyard building," no "gadgeteering." Builders were licensed and they adhered rigidly to the specifications of the class.

During the war years, there were no new boats to add to the roster, but the reputation of the class showed an amazing growth. Everywhere a 110 was sailed, her consistently fine performance won her the respect of racing skippers. Initial doubts as to the durability of her thin plywood hull disappeared. The boats stood up well, requiring a minimum of care. The strict rules of the class appealed to everyone interested in one-design racing.

When building could be resumed in 1946, licensed builders were appointed for the Eastern United States, the West Coast, England, and Canada. The class championships, suspended during the war, were resumed. In the succeeding years, the class more than doubled its wartime membership, with present ranks numbering between 500 and 600. There are now 29 fleets, ranging from three to 50 boats, all of them turning in unequaled records for season-long activity. The Class is closely organized, completely solvent, and proud of its reputation for good sportsmanship at all times.—Doris Klein

sail boat plan

Photo by Boyd

This two-boat caravan shows the compactness of a 110-and-tiailer combination for road travel.

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