MegabyteBy Steve Killing

The Megabyte concept doesn't immediately bring Bruce Farr's name to mind. After all, this new little dingy is a far cry from the 60-foot Whitbread Around-the-World missiles that Farr's Annapolis office has become famous for - for one, the Megabyte has a lot more headroom.

But Farr is just one of the well ­ known names connected with the Megabyte; there are several decades of knowledge and experience behind this boat. Take a good look at the hull for your next hint. Byte Boats' owner Ian Bruce was part of the team that brought us the Laser, and later he worked with Peter Bjorn to produce the Byte. After a sojourn back into the world of industrial fibreglass, Bruce has returned to the sailing industry to spearhead the Megabyte project.

Frankly, choosing between the Byte and the Megabyte is determined by the dial on the bathroom scale. If it registers above 175 pounds, the Megabyte is your boat. (The creators suggest an optimum single-handed weight of 220 pounds). However, if you are on the light side, but you like the boat, there are several ways to increase your weight. Eating more is an obvious possibility, but perhaps not the healthiest, so why not bulk up by having another person join you on the scale? The Megabyte, unlike its smaller siblings, will comfortably hold two people up to a combined weight of about 400 pounds. In Bjorn's mind that means mothers can teach their sons how to sail in a boat that is still manageable. Seating in the cockpit accommodates two with ease, either on the chamfered side decks or right down inside the boat. A thwart forward provides an additional inside seating platform for the crew.

Most sailors have a general knowledge of the Laser (now built by Vanguard in Rhode Island), so a comparison of t he Mega byte's hull shape to this well-known dinghy may be helpful. The hull lines drawing shows a cross section shape in the back half of the boat that you would have trouble differentiating from the Laser - the hull is slightly rounded across centerline, with tighter curvature at the bilge and a healthy amount of flare. Even though the character of the curves is almost identical, the overall beam and height of the boats differs. The Megabyte is eight inches wider, and judging from the drawing, about three inches higher, which together will make for a more stable and drier ride.

The front half of the boat is where Farr has made some significant shape changes. The waterline fines up forward and the hull sides become more vertical. This shape will slice waves well and avoid some of the pounding that dinghies can experience in moderate wind and a sloppy sea. The bow shape is what Bruce calls "typical Farr," which to me means nicely sculpted, fairly vertical, slim water­lines. The hull shape is clean, pretty and functional.

Construction is efficient but not exotic. Through careful use of hand laid fibreglass, polyester resin and Core Cell, vacuum-bagged into a mould, the car top weight is 120 pounds - just manageable for one and easy for two. The mast is a free-standing carbon fibre tube that supports the single sail. The spar is significantly lighter than its aluminum counterparts, which will be appreciated by both young or aging sailors at the launching ramp. Sail area is about 30 percent greater than the Laser.

Another innovation, which I like, is the daggerboard. Two aluminum extrusions forming the forward and aft halves of the board slide together and are capped with plastic castings. The resulting foil-shaped, aluminum board is durable, cost effective and lighter than a composite board.

The prototype debuted at the Annapolis boat show and production models should be available in February of 1999, as the Megabyte has all the makings of another success story.

Originally published in Canadian Yachting’s Winter 1999 issue.

Specifications:
Length 14’ 3”
Beam 5’ 2”
Draft 6.5'
Weight car top 120 lb.
Optimum single-handed crew weight 200 lb.
double-handed crew weight 200 to 400 lb.
Sail Area 98 sq. ft.

Related Articles
Profiles
  • 12 September 2018
  • By Ethan

Bruce Kirby given Order of Canada

On Thursday last week, at age 88, Bruce Kirby has been invested into the Order of Canada for his contributions to the sport. Besides representing Canada three times at the Olympics, Kirby's biggest...

Destinations

  • Prev
We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set ...
The Halifax waterfront has been attracting more and more large yachts in recent years. However, a ...
Ah Canadian simplicity at its finest; small town, big marina. Little Hilton Beach (population ...
Vancouver-based Big Blue Yacht Charters Worldwide owner Emma Murdoch explains that luxury crewed ...
In the 1920s, a small cove in Canoe Bay was used as a shipping point and safe-haven for rum runners ...
Here’s an update from Caroline Swann with some news for the adventurous types who may be heading to ...
The New Glasgow marina is located about six miles up the East River of Pictou in the heart of the ...
The British Virgins took a huge hit last fall from Irma. Boats were stranded on the shore by the ...
Located about half way between Shediac and the Miramichi on New Brunswick’s Acadian Coast, the town ...
Suddenly the once forsaken city of Hamilton, Ontario is booming for at least two good reasons.

Grenada: It was all so inviting...

The Large Island of Grenada

By Katherine Stone

Anytime a Canadian is asked to travel south in the beginning of our spring, which this year was far from inviting, is a dream worth living. The thought of a sailing adventure, tropical breezes, the smell of spices and the warmth of the sun was too much – we HAD to go! The first thing we did was to dig out the copy of Ann Vanderhoof’s book, The Spice Necklace, we had acquired several years ago and to re-read the seven chapters of their adventures in Grenada. Not only should this be your required reading, but the book is loaded with scrumptious Caribbean recipes that are a must-try.

Read more about Grenada...

 

 

Lifestyle

  • Prev
We are home for Christmas this year. Soon we will be heading back to Adamant 1 for another winter ...
This past October we drove to Telegraph Cove with friends and spent a day of wonder cruising the ...
We have kept our subscription to Canadian Yacht Onboard as we have traveled the South Pacific over ...
Stuart Walker a legend in competitive sailing passed away on November 12, 2018 in Annapolis. Stuart ...
“In Grenada, we had about 80 cruiser kids visit our boat...by dinghy of course! Sometimes you ...
Austin Edwards told students and parents at the Saanich School’s “Parents as Informed Partners” ...
As the sole arbiter of the Photo of the Week I, your editor, get to make the choice. This week, ...
Michele Stevens pointed us to this interesting project which recently came to fruition in Cape ...
Our Photos of the week this time come from BC where our friend Rob Stokes sent us a very nice ...
Our little treasure: Montague (Monte) taken at Pirate's Cove in the Gulf Islands. Monte is a ...

Leader 9.0

Leader 9.0By Andy Adams

In the case of baking a cake, Betty Crocker and Julia Child both start off with the same eggs, sugar and flour, but the results can be very different. Naval architects, designers and engineers in the boat business also have many of the same ingredients, but the trick is to make the cake unique and desirable.

With a huge history of innovative design in boatbuilding, Jeanneau brings the sort of skill and artistry to their boats that can set them apart. Their new Leader 9.0 model is a case in point.

Read more about the Leader 9.0...

 

 

 

DIY & How to

  • Prev
Recently I suggested doing an off-season (winter) project with a potential client, and my ...
A recent conversation with a fellow contractor got me thinking: With all of the information out ...
As the cold approaches, shrink-wrapping is a hot topic, and I’ve heard more than a few debates at ...
Nothing stops a vacation faster than a problem with the fresh water system – be it leaks, smells, ...
Pyrotechnic distress flares have been around for decades, while electronic strobe distress flares ...
Most of us don’t give a second thought to our sacrificial anodes – those curious knobs of raw metal ...
In this time of boat show afterglow, many boaters are counting the days until launch. 

Ask Andrew – How to hire a boat repair contractor

hiring a contractorBy Andrew McDonald

A recent conversation with a fellow contractor got me thinking: With all of the information out there, including: Websites showing repairs, YouTube tutorials, Instagram pages and snapchat streams – let alone books, magazines, service manuals, and years of practical experience – how does a boat owner know which method(s) are ‘right’, who to trust, and who to hire to do the job? In short: How do you find and select a contractor?

Unfortunately, most people are forced to hire a contractor due to a circumstance where something has broken or failed, or the task...

Read more about hiring a contractor...

 

  

Marine Products

  • Prev
Looking for a great Christmas gift for the Offshore sailor on your list? This being a Marblehead to ...
Sail shape is long gone. They have stained, feels thin and you see broken threads everywhere. Your ...
Stripping the antifouling paint from the bottom of a boat is physically demanding and is one of the ...
The 2019 Ultimate Sailing Calendar highlights the drama and excitement of blue-water sailing, as ...
Weather nerds and boaters of all stripes will be absorbed by Bruce Kemp’s account of the monstrous ...
Canada Rope promises that its new Night Saver Rope will illuminate at night and act as a reference ...
Take a look as a 68-foot yacht docks itself in between two Volvo Ocean 65 sailing yachts at the ...
Industry Firsts Include Direct Injection and Integrated Electric Steering System
Verviers, Belgium, 18 May 2018 — Mercury Marine, the world leader in marine propulsion technology, ...
Again, we return to the beginning. We started this column with a look at marine navigation for ...