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

Wednesday, 11 May 2016 15:00

“The 29er will be to sailing what snowboarding was to skiing", says the boat's co-developer Ian Bruce. He and others, who have already tasted...

Wednesday, 12 September 2018 03:21

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...

Wednesday, 09 May 2018 02:58

The Canadian Sailing Hall of Fame and the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston announce the 2018 Inductees:

Neptunus 650F

By Andy Adams

Over the years Canadian Yachting has had the pleasure of doing several boat review articles on new Neptunus models and we are familiar with the qualities that Neptunus is famous for. They have all been exceptional yachts, but this is the one I would most want to own myself. It’s a personal choice and a matter of taste as to whether you would prefer to have a sedan express model or a flybridge but in my opinion, the flybridge layout offers some wonderful attributes.

We met with Neptunus Managing Director Jan Willem De Jong this past fall to take the new Neptunus 650F out in Lake Ontario. 

Read More

Destinations

  • Prev
Last summer Waterways TV debuted with host Steve Bull’s tour of Ontario. In this episode Parks ...
I sail on Lake St Clair. Michigan is on one side of the lake, and Ontario is on the other. My ...
The bright summer sun forces its way through magnificent Arbutus trees as I dive off our ...
I was first seduced by the United States Virgin Islands during a ferry ride from St. Thomas to ...
It was the last day of August and we were in Little Current heading south. Our Lasalle winter haul ...
Cowichan Bay is a waterfront village with a row of shops, artisan products, marine supplies and a ...
Instant towns have sprung up in the past, especially on the BC coast. In the late 1850s, Victoria ...
Following the War of 1812, a battle that Canada narrowly won against the United States, the ...
You’ve weathered COVID and you’re ready to book your charter to paradise. You’ve done some ...
If you are looking for an interesting destination for a weekend trip or longer, Quebec City will ...

Sunset off St. John

By Mark Stevens

I was first seduced by the United States Virgin Islands during a ferry ride from St. Thomas to Tortola to begin one of our earliest British Virgin Islands charters nearly twenty years ago.

A perfect sunset off St. John with St. Thomas views for backdrop.

Clearing Pillsbury Sound, surrounded by voluptuous emerald mountains as the ferry sliced through royal blue waters, I was struck by the unspoiled ambiance of St. John, the island gliding past our starboard beam and the irresistible charm of a village called Cruz Bay visible from our quarter stern.

Read More

Lifestyle

  • Prev
Roger Renaud, our Windsor Sailing in Canada correspondent sends along this Photo of the Week ...
Strategist of the Canada SailGP Team and National Sailing Team 49erFX sailor, Georgia ...
Our Photo of the Week comes from AJ Twist in Montreal who was getting away from the off-season in ...
Our Video of the Week comes from Matt Ingram, a reporter at CHCH in Hamilton ON who investigated an ...
Good afternoon. With the possibility that the Kirkfield locks will be closed, we have no choice but ...
Introducing the next graduate in our marine career path series, April Scarlett. A former Ontario ...
Our Photo of the Week this time comes from our CY Team at FLIBS. Perhaps it’s the camera angle or ...
Yes, we are once again going to the dogs, a very popular and always welcome Photo of the Week ...
Last week Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance from Chester NS were named today Sail Canada’s Rolex ...
This week’s Photo of the Week comes from BC. The 99th Grey Creek Regatta was held at the Lakeview ...

DIY & How to

  • Prev
Particularly with the increased costs of ownership, Fractional Ownership may be a better investment ...
As spring approaches, the market starts to heat up, and as you are starting to search for that ...
This is part 1 of a 2-part series on off-season maintenance and upgrades that are ideal to get a ...
For many sailors north of the snow belt, haulout means getting the boat ready for winter, which ...
With boat show season upon us some will walk the show looking to be inspired, others will be ...
This is the time of year for planning next season’s special voyage. This may be a trip up the ...
This is Part 2 of a two-part series on compression testing. Last edition explored how an engine ...
Pt 1: Compression in a gas engine. The massive block of iron sitting in your boat (or mounted atop ...
Last issue we explored NMEA 2000 networking, including the advantages of creating an on-board ...
The fungicide also acts as a biocide and prevents bacteria & fungal growth contamination from ...

Svala at Anchor

Story and photos by Matt Bera

We settled Svala into what my family and I had come to think of as the most desirable anchorage on Lake Ontario, on a sunny summer afternoon. With an abandoned settlement, an old schoolhouse full of swallows, giant snakes and a rum-running past, Main Duck Island had it all.

That we had to sail past the Psyche Shoal, a magnetic disturbance, and into the middle of the rumoured Marysburgh Vortex made an even better sea story. It had taken us two attempts, two years, two boats and a new sort-of experimental engine to get there.

Read More

 

  

Sailing With a Captain

By Zuzana Prochazka

Never chartered? No problem. Here’s how to plan, execute and enjoy a vacation on a charter yacht where life is easy and the sunsets can’t be beat.

Decide on a crewed or bareboat charter

A crewed charter means you have a captain who manages the boat and maybe a chef or mate as well. Crewed charters ensure a safe and comfortable vacation with most everything done for you. The chefs are usually outstanding so if you’re a foodie, you’ll be in heaven and you may be able to pick up new recipes too. Larger crewed yachts may also have a mate who works with the captain and will do things like getting toys (kayaks, SUPs, snorkel gear, etc.) ready for you to use so you do very little work.

Read More

 

  

Marine Products

  • Prev
Televisions on a boat are increasingly commonplace. With the simple-to-install Glomex Avior VT300 ...
With enough brightness to cut through the darkest nights, the Steelcore 1000 Lumen Flashlight has ...
Boating Ontario proudly represents over 500 private & municipal marinas, boat dealerships and ...
Mechanics use sockets instead of individual wrenches because they can complete a project in less ...
Here are some titles that will keep you A-wake (groan). Pike’s long overdue analysis and ...
From cone to cube, the Gobius C from Albin Group Marine precisely measures the exact volume and ...
Whether it's in a wet head on a sailboat or a rocking cruiser, rolls of tissue are typically either ...
Yamaha Motor Canada kicks off 2023 with new product offerings including a new XTO Offshore ...
Plentiful drink holders have become expected amenities on today's boats but can be tricky to ...
January weather got you down? Dive into a Cruise guide (from Canada or down south) and get away ...

News

  • Prev
At the Ontario Regional Boating Advisory Council Meeting held in mid-January, members heard about ...
Serious Fun! The motto of the 43rd St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. Canadian Yachting had the chance ...
Brad Boutilier became a Master Mariner at a young age but, after starting a family, wanted to be ...
Two weekends ago on the Sunday of Australia Sail Grand Prix racing in Sydney, a severe weather ...
For the former tenants of Ontario Place’ 240 slips, this will be a stressful summer searching for ...
More than five decades ago, Mustang Survival began engineering lifesaving solutions that push the ...
Charter company, Dream Yacht Worldwide and luxury catamaran builder, Fountaine Pajot, are ...
David Howard passed way this week. He was the past commodore of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club and a ...
Earlier this month at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Brunswick Corporation ...
Le Boat announces plans to expand further into Ottawa for its 2023 season beginning May 19, 2023. ...

Mercury marine V10 OutboardsOn November 15th 2022, Mercury Marine, a division of Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC), introduced the industry’s first ever V10 outboard with the official launch of its all-new 5.7L 350 and 400hp Verado® outboard engines.
 
Consistent with the award-winning Verado brand, the new V10 engines are the quietest and smoothest in their class running 45 percent quieter than a leading competitor at cruise. In addition to NVH, the new Verado’s are not only compatible with the latest Mercury SmartCraft® technologies but will also be offered with an optional dual-mode 48V/12V alternator to seamlessly pair with Navico Group’s Fathom® e-power system, an integrated lithium-ion auxiliary power management system, providing boaters the opportunity to eliminate an onboard generator system.

Read More