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:

 

 

Beneteau Oceanis Yacht 54By Zuzana Prochazka

Beneteau saw an opportunity to add a little thrill to any cruising adventure, so they took the hull of the First 53 racer (introduced just last year), and with a few fashionable changes, created the Oceanis Yacht 54, the new entry-level of Beneteau’s swanky Oceanis Yacht line. The result is a performance cruiser that sails like a witch and looks like a grande dame.

Design

Roberto Biscontini is the naval architect and Lorenzo Argento created the details of the exterior and interior design. 

Read More

Destinations

  • Prev
Over the course of four days in September 1864, representatives from Prince Edward Island, Nova ...
The new owners of L’Orignal Marina offer boaters a new destination. Located in a charming ...
On Friday, April 2 at 7 pm ET on TVO and streaming anytime after that on tvo.org and the TVO ...
Salt Spring Island, the largest among the Gulf Islands, has a certain mystique—much of it having to ...
Located in Lake Huron, the internationally significant Manitoulin Island is the largest freshwater ...
In Part I, Sheryl Shard ended the story at June and the start of Hurricane Season when they were ...
You likely aren’t quite ready to travel yet, but we have our fingers crossed that we can all fly ...

Riverest MarinaThe new owners of L’Orignal Marina offer boaters a new destination. Located in a charming francophone village in Eastern Ontario, this joined marina and restaurant venue is the ambitious initiative of long-time entrepreneur André Chabot and biologist Alexandra Quester, both residents of L’Orignal.

The purchase of the L’Orignal Marina was made official in November 2020. The new year was barely underway when all 50 available slips were already reserved. No wonder the addition of member and visitor slips is already planned for the 2022 season – the 2021 count is up to 62 power and sail already. At the moment, the Riverest Marina offers boaters a stop where they can launch their boat...

Read More

Lifestyle

  • Prev
Last issue we featured a story about the engagement proposal aboard Via-Mara, a 1969 Trojan 42 Aft ...
With thanks to Sail Canada, here’s a collection of photos that are Olympic quality. Clearly our ...
Wow. That was a lot of fun reading the collection of boat names that came in from all over the ...
No individual had a greater impact on the modern sport of sailing than Bruce Kirby. Known and ...
Just off The Ocean Race European Tour, Daniel is setting his sights on competing in The Ocean Race ...
After being our fearless leader and publisher since CYOB kicked off, Greg Nicoll, handed over the ...
Swim Drink Fish is spearheading the Vancouver Plastic Cleanup by installing, maintaining, and ...
With but four weeks to go, Sarah is in Japan, staying safe while acclimatizing to the heat at ...
MJM is a different kind of boat builder, second generation family owned and operated, we design and ...
Stuart Hendrie, a pro photographer sent along this photo of the pirate ship in Jordan Ontario. Many ...

DIY & How to

  • Prev
It’s a scary thought - whether your boat is made of wood, fiberglass, aluminum or composite – it’s ...
It’s a scary thought – but whether your boat is made of wood, fiberglass, aluminum or composite – ...
Last summer there was tremendous interest in buying a boat to have fun in the restricted world ...
The boat buying or selling market is hot now and has been since the late spring of 2020. Sean ...
Last issue we got up with Montreal sailor Marc Robic who has accumulated a lot of tips and tricks ...
While some parts of the country are lucky enough to have year-round boating, there are plenty of ...
A Transducer is a device that is installed below the waterline that provides underwater data to a ...
Spring has finally sprung! At least it has weather wise here in Montreal, so it is with great ...
For most of us, the thrill of being aboard is associated with the motion of the water, wind in our ...
An important, but often overlooked maintenance item on any type of boat is it’s steering system. ...

Galvanic CorrosionIt’s a scary thought – but whether your boat is made of wood, fiberglass, aluminum or composite – it’s slowly deteriorating under you. Part of this is the nature of the marine environment: Sun, moisture, waves, wind, movement and vibration all contribute to components breaking down.

But there are other factors that are much more concerning and act at a significantly faster rate that the environment can take credit for. One of these is commonly spoken of, but not terribly well understood: Corrosion. As boaters, we’re concerned with two main types of corrosion: Galvanic and Stray-Current. This edition will focus on galvanic corrosion – in two weeks, stay tuned for info on stray-current.

Read More

 

  

Marine Products

  • Prev
Watermakers take ocean water and create perfect drinking water using reverse osmosis. A Schenker ...
If you’re headed out for a weekend afloat or on a week-long cruise you often must park your vehicle ...
Ten years ago, St. Margaret’s Bay (Halifax), Nova Scotia-based SailTimer Inc. made the first ...
Between the odor and working in confined spaces, replacing an onboard sanitation line is never a ...
For many boat owners who have gear to tote and the occasional stretch of bumpy road to negotiate, a ...
The 2022 Sea-Doo Switch is a re-imagined pontoon that makes hitting the water more accessible than ...
On the water audiophile-quality sound is attainable with the new JBL-R3500 source unit. The latest ...
An environmentally friendly product for refinishing your teak, hemp wood finishing oil is an ...
August means cruising, entertaining and enjoying summer at its finest. And that means food and ...
A Bluetooth-enabled phone or tablet is ideal for streaming music, but it's often stowed safely away ...

News

  • Prev
Royal Canadian Yacht Club’s Defiant completed a six-race sweep of the Cup for Canada over Zing, the ...
On September 6, Groupe Beneteau laid out its course to develop new boating experiences, new ...
Last Friday, the first ever Canada’s Celebration of Sailing honoured the season for Sailing in ...
Boating Ontario is very proud to have Transport Canada’s Office of Boating Safety jump on ...
Montreal-based Vision Marine Technologies, Inc. is headed to the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout to ...
Summer is in full swing with Canadians enjoying time outside and on the water. So, while enjoying ...
On July 23 last year, CYOB published a piece on a beautifully restored 1967 Trojan 42 Motor ...
HanseYachts AG presents RYCK, its third motorboat brand carrying the "Made in Germany" label. The ...
“We are all proud of our athletes and coaches who have dedicated themselves to push Canadian ...
Collingwood, ON hq’d Limestone Boat Company – owner and builder of Aquasport Boats, Limestone Boats ...

Mia and Caleb's EngagementOn July 23 last year, CYOB published a piece on a beautifully restored 1967 Trojan 42 Motor Yacht in Oromocto NB. (That piece was also expanded in CY magazine later in the year.)

One of our Canadian Yachting contributors, Denise Miller, had shared the article on my social media and a young man reached out and asked if she could connect him with the owners of the boat, Dave and Barb. Denise leapt into action and Dave and Barb were thrilled. They concocted a plan that the young lady, Mia, thought she was coming to model for a sales brochure for Dave to do charter tours.

Read More