Great to see Craig Thompson, finish off 9108. The 3rd (I know only 3) of Parker’s most revolutionary addition to the International 505 fleet.
There’s more of a story behind this boat than meets the eye. It’s concept is a combination of inspiration from Bill Parker and John Westell. At a meeting back in the late 1960’s where Bill was talking at a Scott Bader event, with John, they got talking about the rig loadings around the mast-gate (in those days, the mast gate area was open and free standing), lending little support to the side-way pressures of the rig (remember they were initially using wooden spars), so the thought emerged of using an A-frame (of aluminium) to hold the rig.
By 1973, this concept was developed into a real-life 505 driven by the innovation from the French fleet and what you see below, is LouDan sailing one of these twin-concept trapeze boats.
Fast forward a few years (OK a few decades), this picture sat in my Dad’s office for years, under all the trophies that the boats won, it always inspired me to think why didn’t this concept get put into a production boat.
So when we re-launched the business, I sat down with Bruce Parker (my older brother) and we discussed the concept, we couldn’t just get back into the class with a normal (quite frankly boring design or ugly design), so the concept was sown.
This is the final output a 505 that is powerful enough to take a dual trapeze system (out fo the box), with an A-frame and internal flange system and floor moulding stronger than anything ever produced in the class!
The challenge is the additional weight, these boats appear to be a little heavier, with such a large surface area of additional composite carbon, it adds some more weight.
I think we have solved this, using some better layups and simplification, we can probably drop another 5 kg. off the hull weight. However, boat performance is all about centralizing the weight so the “rocker” of the hull (time to travel between 2 points, is reduced), this boat is incredibly stable on a “swing”, so it means all the main weight and power is based around the mast gate and front of the centre-board case!
Bill is now 80 yrs. old, he loves this boat, it’s his final design of a boat that he fell in love with in 1957, through which we as a family traveled the world, met some great people.
I have had the privalege of having a father that I and John Westell considered to be the greatest interpreter and builder of the International 505, ever in the history of this fleet.
So, there you go, a little history, for what I consider to be the only real innovation in the 505 for almost 35 years, since Parker’s left.