………..someone asked about the Norberg ‘cathedral wing’ design and the thought process behind it.
I asked Dave Knowlen that very question several years ago. The ‘forward cant’ of the verticals was because he wanted to move the center of lift on the hull forward to affect the strut-weight on the prop. The bent wing was an attempt to provide more lift by increasing the overall surface area of the wing. If you flattened it out, it would have been a lot wider than the wing on the contemporary hull. It was designed to compete against (the Blue Blaster).
And though the verticals were shorter than what we see today, the angles of the rear wing itself made up for some of the lateral stability that a standard sized vertical would offer…think of what a V-tailed Bonanza aircraft looks like. Another thing to keep in mind is that the two Norberg hulls were Merlin-powered….but the design itself was supposed to support a Rolls-Royce Griffon. Bernie Little actually came to Dave Knowlen in 1978 and asked him to come up with a Griffon-powered Bud design. But there were some issues in that Dave wanted the boat built exactly as he had designed it, and Bernie’s crew wanted to make changes to the design. This ultimately led to Bernie going to Ron Jones in the off-season of ’78-79 and coming up with the “Juggernaut” Griffon Bud design. After that happened, Knowlen still had a ‘ready-made’ boat design that was shopped around, and Bob Steil (Squire Shop owner) and Bill Bennett (Circus Circus owner) both bought off on it, but with the Rolls-Royce Merlin’s instead.
As a side note, I have talked to both Steve Reynolds and Chip Hanauer about those two hulls, and each have echoed the other’s feelings. That while the boats were fast, there was some sort of design flaw for the way they were configured, as in they just ‘never quite felt right’ when they were airing out on the race course…that they couldn’t put a finger on what specifically it was, but it ‘didn’t’ feel like a race boat should’. That is probably played out most notably on the Squire hull as it was significantly modified for the ’81 season. And when the Circus hull was purchased after the Squire was severely damaged in the testing blow over prior to Acapulco that year, it too was highly modified for the ’82-83 seasons.
The following story was submitted by Brad Haskin, and we here at www.squireshop.weebly.com are not liable for the comments, claims, and or stated facts of this story.