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August 8, 2000
Larry Suter
1643 Warsaw Avenue
Livermore, CA 94550
Re: Soubrette, Triton #17

For your Trumpet readers and members of the National Triton Association, I am enclosing photographs of Soubrette with her new bowsprit masthead rig.


As explained in my letter, below, to Cruising World, this is not truly a cutter rig but what Island Packet now refers to as a scutter rig. The small job rigged on the original 7/8 rig is not used simultaneously with the masthead bowsprit sail. As explained in the Cruising World letter, the masthead rig is for light air only.

I expect the first question for many Triton owners will be "how does Soubrette balance with this new bowsprit masthead rig?" The answer is, beautifully. Naturally there is not much helm in light air, 10 knots plus or minus, but notwithstanding the size of the jib and the bowsprit Soubrette still shows a very slight weather helm around 10 knots. Under 10 knots with the boat sailing nearly straight up, the helm is neutral. At no time have I been able to discern a lee helm.


If there is any additional information you would like for your readers, please let me know. Unfortunately, I am not yet connected to the internet, but perhaps you can scan some of these pictures in for your web page if you believe they would be of interest.

This letter is an open invitation to any other Triton owners who are visiting or passing through Buffalo to come and see for themselves and, if in the sailing season, to try the helm underway. A visit would certainly include a stop at the bar and dining room at the Buffalo Yacht Club.

Fair winds and smooth sailing to all you other happy Triton owners.



August 4, 2000
Cruising World Editorial Offices
5 John Clarke Road
P.O. Box 3400
Newport, RI 02840-0992

Re: Soubrette, Triton #17

Dear Sir/Madam:

The enclosed piece from your August issue on Triton #1 has inspired me to respond on behalf of Soubrette, # 17 also of the coming-out class which debuted at the New York Boat Show in January, 1959. Along with current photographs of Soubrette sporting her new scutter rig, I enclosed the purchase order for Soubrette dated February 10, 1959. You can see that the "Skipper" wasted little time in ordering one of the original Tritons.

Perhaps Soubrette's principal claim to fame, other than being a member of the original coming-out class, is the love affair with her owners. I believe she is the only Triton still in the hands of the original purchaser. My dad, the "Skipper," and I sailed in the Soubrette together for fifteen years and I have continued for another twenty-six. Perhaps technically Soubrette changed hands within the family, but not really. It was a love at first sight, joint ownership project from the beginning.

Soubrette's namesake was a gaff rig twenty-eight footer, at Marblehead where my dad learned to sail prior to the turn of the last century. Aside from the gaff and marconi rig the two boats were much alike, in size, sailing characteristics and design.

The enclosed photographs were taken following the installation of a bowsprit and masthead light air jib. With wind 10 knots or more, except off the wind, Soubrette is sailed as a sloop with a club-footed jib. This rig -is the last stage in the evolution to ultimate convenience and safety as a single hander.

In heavy weather, the club-footed jib on the traveler and a reefed main provides the ultimate rig for heavy weather, a favorite of mine and one in which the Triton shines.

In lighter weather, under 10 knots, I found we needed more sail and have been delighted with the new masthead bowsprit jib. This rig takes Soubrette to weather in light air, particularly if there is any slop, much better than her former #2 or #1 Genoa. You can see from the 8x10 enclosed photograph what a lovely curve this new jib takes underneath the main.

There are other improvements as part of the single-handed rig. All lines and halyards come aft to cockpit. Both headsails are roller reefed. The club-footed jib uses the same line to roll thejib and haul the clew out to the end of the jib boom. As the clew is pulled out the end of the jib boom, it creates a slack which feeds forward around the drum in an endless loop.

A similar endless loop is used on the main halyard. The end of the main halyard returns to a block at the foot of the mast and is tied to the headboard. When the sail is hoisted, the tail end of the halyard goes up the mast with the mainsail. When the sail is lowered the tail end of the halyard, fastened to the headboard, serves as a downhaul. For years the mainsail was rigged with lazy tacks. I am currently using a new dutchman rig. With either rig, when lowering the sail, it is necessary to have something hold the head of the sail down on the boom. Using the tail end of the halyard as a downhaul, this can be readily accomplished without anybody leaving the cockpit. With the lazyjacks or the dutchman, all that is necessary after securing the halyard downhaul is a single stop around the body of the sail from the cockpit. Using this rig, I have been able to safely and easily douse the main in heavy seas and winds over 25 to 30 knots, and secure the sail without ever leaving the cockpit.

Other details shown in the photograph reveal how the varnished mahogany cabin windows, bowsprit and mahogany stern letters have complimented the Triton's exceptionally good classical looks. I seldom pass another boat under sail without drawing a comment.

Perhaps your readers would also enjoy this account and pictures of another member of the coming out class of the Classic Plastics.

I would be pleased to furnish any additional details you may wish or to showcase Soubrette anytime. It is obvious she has been one of the loves of my life. In three-quarters of a century of sailing I have never enjoyed under sail in a boat that compares.

In closing let me compliment you on your fine magazine which is also a favorite of mine.

Richard Moot's article on single handing Soubrette #17
Originally published in Sept., Oct., Nov., 1989 YACHTLINE
Great tips for getting more sailing time in your Triton
Part 1: The Single Handed Packet
Part 2: Getting Under Way
Part 3: Self Steering (Try this!)

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