How many IC builders have there been?
This is one for the history buffs. I don’t really know exactly. The major builders were the Cape Cod Shipbuilding Co. (original woodies), O’Day, Stokes, Holby, Menkart, Vanguard, Guck, Inc., and most recently Karls Boat Shop. There were a few other individuals that I have heard of that built limited production boats with little success.
What are the most common problems with older fiberglass InterClubs?
There are a few problems common to older glass InterClubs. Many O’Day’s have transverse cracks in the gunwhale just aft of the partners where there is lots of torque created by the rig. This is easily fixed by re-glassing, boxing the rails, and/or adding gussets to the partners. The 400 and 500 series O’Day’s have problems with the mast step cracking. Many of these boats have re-inforced or replacement steps already. Some very old O’Day’s (like my first boat – IC 235) have problems with the CB pin hole on the trunk. There are fittings glassed in that can basically rot out and/or delaminate from the trunk. Care should be taken to make sure that the threads for the CB plate are not rotted or stripped. Tanks are also potential problem areas. Many old tanks have cracks and leaks.
Who makes the best InterClubs? What is the observed quality of other builders?
I am somewhat biased since I have a Guck, but I think the only IC that comes close to the Guck in overall quality is a Vanguard. The guys at Guck truly have a passion for their work and take great pride in producing a superior product. Guck is the only builder to vacuum bag boats. The Vanguards I have seen are also very nice – especially the ones built while Neal Fowler was working there. The Vanguard boat does not have the same quality resin or bonding putty, otherwise all other materials are identical. Guck has also done substantial work on the molds to improve the way the pieces fit. The Menkart IC varied immensely in quality during their production run. The older Menkart’s may have poor quality in some areas and I have seen glass delaminating on the boxed portion of the rail (easily fixed). Overall weight also seems to vary and some Menkart’s are actually slightly over-weight. Newer Menkart’s (690’s and above) had more consistent quality and are solid boats. Most Menkart’s I have weighed seem to measure in at about 240 pounds. Generally, Menkart’s are good all-round performers and have won many national championships. Holby’s were considered to be mediocre boats, although I have seen a few nice ones. The Naval Academy has three Holby’s all of which are close to minimum weight. I have speculated that these boats were “beefed up” a little to sustain prolonged midshipmen punishment. O’Day’s in the low 200’s are still competitive if maintained. O’Day quality generally improved with time. I have seen a large variance in weight mainly due to some older O’Day’s having substantial modifications (i.e. boxed rails, bulkhead, gussets, new floor stringers, new tanks, etc.). Original O’Day’s came with foam packed into their tanks to assure positive buoyancy. This is safe but slow.
Where can I get IC drawings and plans?
Sparkman & Stevens in NYC can send you a copy for a fee.
Where can I get new blades for my IC?
There are only two builders that I know of currently although many people have built their own custom boards. Waterat Sailing Equipment makes premium spruce core blades. Less expensive glass blades are made by Andy Pimental at Jibe Tech. See “IC Related Links” for contact information.
Why are new InterClubs so expensive?
The Guck IC is essentially a custom boat. The current IC molds are very old and have been rehabilitated by Guck over the past year to repair damage and allow for vacuum bagging of parts. However, building an IC is still a fairly difficult and tedious process compared with today’s modern dinghies. The IC is a 4-piece boat requiring about 60 man-hours of labor to build. The boat is constructed by seasoned professionals and not weekend amateurs. Higher materials costs also drive the price up from previous builders. Fiberglass mat prices have increased substantially over the past few years. Guck InterClubs use a far superior resin system (AME 5000) which is proven to be both stronger and more durable than conventional polyester. A new Guck IC is, in my opinion, the best built IC ever produced, and will last indefinetely if cared for.
Who built some of the older Woodies?
From Bill Healy: Our wood boats were built by the Zypher furniture Company. It burnt to the ground many years ago. Alot of the wood ones were Kings Points dinghy fleet back in the 40’s. I heard you could tell this by the two marks in the transon where they used to hang them in the boat shed.