New low-cost "hardware store" racing class; input on proposed rules

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Petros, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    make every competor sail with the same sail plan.

    Let them decide what hull to put under it.

    Select a minium hull weight, max length

    The rules are then very simple.

    Cost ? let them spend what they want.
     
  2. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    Some of us actually prefer to build multi-hulls.
     
  3. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    I have also built multi-hulls. These are the reason I want to start with mono-hulls:

    1) their utility on a small craft is limited, mono-hulls make much better family day sailors, row boats, fishing boats, etc.

    2) all of the wining designs would end up multi-hulls very quickly.

    3) multi hulls usually take more materials and have higher loads, so safe designs made out of inexpensive materials are much harder to accomplish.

    4) multi-hulls are far less popular among both home builders and retail buyers of sailboats.

    If this turns out to be a popular class and works out well, I though of adding a multi-hull class without the cargo requirement, and perhaps a higher $ limit to create a pure racing boat.
     
  4. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member


    That limits creativity. Allow anything and eveyrthing in terms of sail plan, design and type. I want to see wing sails, full battens, schooners, Yall, Cat rigs, junks, you name it, it is up to the designer to try it out.

    There already are classes of racing boats with box rules that do not limit cost, and they build VERY expensive boats, that is not the challenge here. It is intended to challenge designers to make use of low cost materials.
     
  5. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    For 300 dollars ?
     
  6. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    Petros,

    I am not saying that you have to spend $3,000 on a boat to be competitive, but I don't think you can build a highly durable boat for $300, or even $500 in this size range. And a lot of people won't be interested in spending a lot of time building small boats if they can't use the materials to make them last. Just do a search on here for recommendations about building small dinghys, and you will find they almost universally include recommendations to sheath the boats in one layer of glass and epoxy. This actually detracts from performance, but it makes the boats much more durable.

    The same issue comes up in protecting wood. Best practice is three coats of neat epoxy on all wood parts, not for strength, but for durability. Since this prevents the wood from rotting though it does add weight, and reduces performance. But I would do it to any boat I built, because I want the things I build to last.

    I still don't understand why a boat must be retired from racing after it wins something. It doesn't add to the class, doesn't help other competitors, doesn't restrict cheating, all it does it punish someone for doing well. Also it is a bit unfair, if I win nationals once I have to eventually build a new boat, but if someone else gets second for twenty years in a row they can sail the same boat... What's the point, particularly if the plans for the boats are made freely/cheaply available.

    I think you are right on replacing/repairing issues, as long as it is a one for one issue. My thought is that the boat as sailed must be build able for <limit, regardless of the number of permutations it goes through to get there.

    I would be hesitant to make design requirements though, hard chines vs soft is an interesting design question, and since you are already creating a restricted development class anyway why add things that will sort themselves out anyway.

    You might also want to look at the class constitution of the Moth, Aussie skiffs, and Finns, to see how other small home built classes write their rules. The moths for instance are a true development class that basically allows anything with a max leingth of 12' one sail of max size, and one person onboard. What they have developed into is amazing.
     
  7. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    Btw it would be impossible to build a wing sail for $300. Not even in the ball park. The control surfaces are to complicated for that to even be a stretch. The budget you propose restricts you to basically tarp sails, and off the shelf aluminium extrusions for sails, even high tech line is likely out of range. No way could you build a wing sail, or even likely a fully-battened sail for this budget.

    Heck the battens, and batten pockets alone would cost too much. Just the battens on my single sheet boat would be around 10% of the total building price of this boat.
     
  8. sawmaster
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    sawmaster Senior Member

    RE hardware store racing class:I like the idea of staying within a limited budget to "promote entry level sailing and to get more people involved".-,however,300 dollars might be a little restrictive.-A couple of years ago, I built a pretty fast daysailer for around 300.00 but that was for the finished hull only.I had some good aluminum spars and a pretty good dacron sail that I salvaged from an old coronado 15,as well as a centerboard and rudder.If I had to purchase the materials for the homebuilt version (extra wood for spars,tyvek or poly sheet for sails,extra ply for rudder and board It would Have been over 300.00 even in 2010 dollars.However anyone who could match my boats performance on a reach,even with a 450.00 dollar outlay today would earn my respect and admiration.However,even a mediocre designer,with an unlimited budget could blow me away.So what were really talking about,is the best design FOR THE MONEY.There will always be differences of opinion on what constitutes "low cost",some think 300.00 is low(as do I) some think 500.00, some might think 5,000.00 is low.So what is a" limited budget "-can only really be described in terms of what you can get for your money.If there were already an unlimited supply of reasonably good entry level sailboats for five hundred dollars there would really be no point to this class.When your idea of "limited budget"gets up into the range of what a good used vanguard 15 would cost,then just buy the vanguard 15,(unless,of course,you think your less expensive design is faster)Now,we have a reason for this class! Lets pick a class of readily avilable boats,and try to equal,or even exceed their performance around a course with our cleverly designed,low cost alternatives,the winner being the design that exceeds the speed of the chosen boat by the greatest margin(or comes closest to matching it) at the least cost.This gets around the sticky question of what "limited budget" means.by introducing a speed/dollar element.Tru low cost meaning what you get for your money--If I come within 1 knot of matching the Vanguard(or whatever target boat is chosen)speed with my 400.00 boat and you exceed it by 1 Knot with an 800.00 boat,my design would more closely define low cost,i.e.getting the most for your money and should be designated the winner of the race.
     
  9. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    Just a few examples of boat building costs from people who actually built them

    https://www.boatdesigns.com/8-Eight-Ball-sailing-dinghy/products/435/ $800
    https://www.boatdesigns.com/12-Glen-L-12-sloop/products/440/ $1,200

    My one sheeted cost around $150 all up, and that was recycling line, blocks, mast, boom, centerboard, rudder (and hardware). Heck, 2 door hinges repurposed as rudder pinions will run around $10, or about 3% the cost of the total boat.

    Again it might, just barely be possible to get something sailing for $300, but I just cat see it catching on. It would sail like a pig, be slower than an old laser available almost anywhere for free if you tow it away, and be made out of such poor materials it would rot in a year.



    I think the basic idea is a good one, and I like the idea of a class that is cheap enou for everyone to be able to afford, heck I would probably build one for the fun of it. But in a world where home build optimist prams are costing $1,500 I don't see a 16' boat possible for $300. As an experiment go to glen-l and find a rough comparison of the boat you are thinking, then price the BOM they give you as cheaply as you can and see what it would cost.
     
  10. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    costing a build from hardware store materials is one of the things I was planning on doing to see where the materials limit should be set. It is intended that this be a challenge, and one of the creative aspects of this contest is to build a good performing boat without using sailboat hardware. You will find that you do not need all that costly hardware to make a boat perform well, that is part of the object of this contest. I have made perfectly good working cleats out of wood for pennies worth of materials, and a boat this size does not need winches, nor fancy bronze fittings.

    But you are likely correct in that the cost limit should be higher. I have built some 14 small boats, most I have used salvaged materials and costs were very low. Since this in not intended to be a contest to see who can salvage the best materials, retail prices are what we considered using as the measure of cost.
     
  11. sawmaster
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    sawmaster Senior Member

    Regarding low cost builds--I'm a person who actually built a low cost hull -,and I did build it for around 300.00.It has a very narrow entry,with a lot of beam aft,and while it is a bit of a dog upwind,it really flies on a broad reach.By the way,if anyone knows where there actually is an old laser that I can get free for towing it away,let me know--Ill gladly pick up every one I can find (see frankenlaser on youtube)
     
  12. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    I have to go in a different direction here. I am responding, not as a racer, but as a regular person who thinks this whole idea sounds VERY fun and exciting.

    Well, I did think it sounded fun and exciting until I got to all the burdensome rules. :( :confused:

    To me, all these rules take the fun out of trying to come up with a small hardware store boat.

    Limiting it to wood? Why on Earth would you take all that fun away from it? You could bend up all sorts of interesting synthetic sheets from the hardware store to make a hull. The wood limitation (as well as several of the others) makes it feel (to me) like something I wouldn't bother doing.

    On the other hand, if it were just a dollar limit and up to my own creativity, I'd be doing this every single season, trying a new boat each time!

    Way too restrictive and boring.
     
  13. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    My friend built his first boat from corrugated sheet metal roofing. It was a catamaran.
     
  14. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Exactly. I never would have thought about using sheet metal for roofing. Now *that* sounds like fun!
     

  15. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    It was, and it inspired me to build my first one with galvanized screws and regular enamel on primed ac plywood.

    I sealed the seams with DAP bathtub caulk. It never leaked in the 3 years I used it.
     
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