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

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

  1. CT249
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    CT249 Senior Member

    The problem occurs when people stop racing because "super simple and effective" is beaten by "super complicated and even more effective".
     
  2. Skyak
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    Skyak Senior Member

    And the rule that tries to counter that tendency becomes even more complicated.

    I think the saving grace for this rule is that it is so limited in resources that 'super complicated' is just an amusement that everyone loves to see fail. Complicated for this class is like bringing a microwave oven to a picnic.

    Do you guys know of any way to stop the progression of complicated headsails? My thought was dimensional limits on the 'shoulders'.
     
  3. Sailor Alan
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    Sailor Alan Senior Member

    Exactly right.
    Perhaps by now you will have realized I am a Kiwi, but we include 3 antipodians in our team, all well versed in 'Flattie' developent. My memory was my first Cherub Spiniker was symmetric, but my second assymetric, though still on the original mast 'stepped' pole. As these poles were already quite long, they started to work well on a reach, and we started to 'tack' downwind. You will notice modern 'Flattie' spinnakers, with their long poles and raked back leading edge, develop significant vertical vector thrust (lift) and definatley help planning etc.

    I can tell you, all 3 of our boats are fairley conventional looking or 'classic' dinghies of that era, with mainsail and headsail. They are not the same, and in fact represent 3 diferent interpretations of the rules by diferent designers. We are assuming a 'no flying' interpretation of the rule so far, but let us know if we are wrong please, it will effect the design and balance of the boats themselves.

    Just as an asside, I live in a community called 'Spiniker Ridge'.
     
  4. Sailor Alan
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    Sailor Alan Senior Member

    Boat weight

    Earlier in this forum, somone claimed I could NOT build my boat for less than 150lb. They were correct. I have been forced through financial issues to double the thickness of my skin and web material, at nearley double the weight, and therefore double the stringer spacing as well. Only in America would thicker plywood be cheaper than thinner plywood.

    It's the same 'minimum guage' issue facing airplane designers, where the minimum thickness of body skin acceptable to withstand 'ramp rash', baggage handlers throwing baggage about, and the odd scrape with a bagage elevator, is way thicker than the thickness needed to carry local loads. Oh well.
     
  5. Sailor Alan
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    Sailor Alan Senior Member

    First year

    As this is the first year of competition in a new 'class' and a development one at that, we can expect to see quite a lot of diference between boats and interpretations. Indeed, I hope the boats never settle into ruts, and that the short, vs long, vs heavy, vs light, vs beach launch races, etc all in one boat will keep the class fluid for some time.

    The real challange for us is building a good complete boat, rig and all, within the cost parameters. We could offer the sell the boats to a fixed $600 after the competition?
     
  6. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    150lbs sounds about the minimum, assuming you mean the boat in the water and not just the hull. Looks like mine will be about 70kgs sailing. The hull is +/-52kgs

    I agree with Alan and CT. An asymmetric spi is much easier to use and cheaper to fit than a conventional kite.

    Check out the RS100, hiking 14ft singlehander with assy. A carbon mast with shrouds but no forestay. The shrouds stop the mast inverting with the kite up

    I have drawn my 14ft Zest with a 2ft sprit, no real jib, but a wire luffed screecher on a roller, which is essentially the same as used on Merlins etc for 40 years. No problems keeping under 16ft and having a big offwind sailarea that is rolled up to windward

    Richard Woods
     
  7. CT249
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    CT249 Senior Member

    Rules to restrict complication don't have to be complicated. Arguably, even a complicated rule is simpler than a complicated boat, and classes like the Optimist have proven that you can restrict complicated rigging.

    Dimensional measurements on the shoulders seems to be a common and effective way of stopping complicated headsails. It's not hard to take a half girth measurement.

    Sure, a class like this may not need stringent measurement.But surely it has to be accepted that this is a difficult issue and that the best way to avoid hassles later is to learn from experience in other classes.

    So a clear articulation of the aims and objects of the class could be a really good basis for the rules. It's like the way many single-manufacturer one designs set out in clear print that anyone not specifically not permitted is banned- people get an accurate idea of what the class is all about.
     
  8. tdem
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    tdem Senior Member

    Why restrict complexity? Isn't the whole idea to be as creative as possible within the budget? If it's all gotta be cookie cutter, you may as well just use second hand rigs etc.
     
  9. CT249
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    CT249 Senior Member

    /\ Yep, but from the OP's earlier post it seems that the class is also meant to be a highly practical day sailor; something you can also use to take the family out for a picnic, rowing and fishing.

    The OP said he "want(ed) these boats to be practical (useful for more than just racing)" and said * "if we end up with extreme designs that win, but are not practical day sailors, it is not the ultimate goal I was working towards." He describes normal racing dinghies as "Too much work, too complicated, and not practical for just day sailing.

    He banned spinnakers and traps because they were not normally used by non-racing dinghy sailors in his area, so following the same line of thought it would seem that he should ban complex rigging systems that are also not normally used by non-racing dinghy sailors in his area.

    Personally I think you could easily say that using multiple purchases in vangs, cunninghams etc is no big deal. The point is that if the class is going to ban trapezes (which after all can consist of two bits of string and a homemade harness) because they are considered to be too complex, maybe it could also look at banning comparatively complex rigging.

    The rules currently also allow fixed rudders, which are cheap, light, and simple but can be very hard to use when beach launching, as Richard noted. Steve Clark has already provided a copy of a simple rule that bans them.

    In the end it seems that there's significant tension between the various aims of this class, including the aim to have simple rules. Experience proves we can't have everything, and losing a bit of the simplicity of the rules would appear to be the most efficient way to maintain the simplicity of the boat. After all, you can easily express the main ideas of the rules and then just have footnotes for the fine detail.
     
  10. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    There are very few dinghies racing in the PNW. Probably fewer in the whole Salish Sea than at my brothers club in London. But winds in the PNW are generally light (10 knots or less) so trapezes get little use. Whereas easy to use offwind sails will make sailing more fun.

    I agree with the sail control comments. The Enterprise was notorious for capsizing and broaching in the 1950/early60's. Then people started fitting good kicking straps and sail controls that were easily adjusted. The boat suddenly got much easier to sail, safer and faster. As I said before, the OK only became a reliable boat when metal masts were allowed

    Probably people building to this class will drive a car with an automatic gearbox. Why? Because it makes driving simpler, even though it is more complicated and expensive.

    RW
     
  11. Sailor Alan
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    Sailor Alan Senior Member

    We would prefer the rules much as they are, perhaps more clearley banning 'flying' sails, i.e. those without a wire luff. Leave even 'fixed' rudders alowed, the beach landing will sort them out.

    We are all assuming no 'flying' sails, and rigging much as Richard is, though we may have actual jibs for balance. We are curently debating the efecicy of one jib of variable area for beating or downwind work, or a seperate jib and 'screecher' as implied by Richard. Cost is eventually goeing to be the final restriction, a bit of line and some blocks is pretty cheap, but a whole seperate sail is a diferent story.

    I like the idea of calling it a 'screecher' even though I believe this is a multi hull term, it might be a 'code 0' on a monohull, but 'screecher' sounds better in a sound bite.

    Again, we are looking forward to the racing/sailing, as that will show the effectiveness of the various solutions. Yes, we are racing, but we are also carrieing 500lb off a beach, no mean feat at all. We are also 'racing' for many hours, or single handing, a real test of versatility, and a boat/crew has to be fairley consistent in ALL these events to 'win'.

    Richard is correct, winds are generally quite light in Puget Sound in summer, though this REALY depends on exactly where one is sailing. Equally, a picnic type use infers a wide range of wind conditions, we cannot always predict the wind strength here from morning to afternoon of the same day.

    Not to belabor the point, this is the first year of the class, and we cannot expect to be ideal out of the box. How about some more boats please.
     
  12. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    The biggest problem for most people will be making a light strong mast. But the quickest way to spend money and get overcomplicated is the rudder

    So this might inspire some

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0hfuxtnhn0

    looks very simple to make, even in wood

    RW
     
  13. SukiSolo
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    Fixed rudders are not too hard to use even launching off a lee shore IF they are not too long. Depends too, on the stern decking or lack of, and whether you have a permanently attached tiller. The key issue is being able to mount it before you climb in/on from a lee shore - my experience being that most people with lifting ones have them fully down in the same scenario. Also they MUST come off fast when landing ie allow 'paddle' steering to get the boat head to wind. Not had any problems with fixed blades on boats such as Merlins, where they are quite common. Might just be that having learnt with a fixed blade, I don't find them such a problem, I'd accept that.

    The cassette system is a better option than many other lifting types and can be made in timber OK. In fact my peronal preference is for wishbone type tillers and even these can be made to slide on for fixed blades, in timber too and hollow....;)

    That fitting looks OK Richard, although I'd hazard a guess it is a two hand job to raise the blade as the aft 'grip' piece looks as if it will diagonal, causing it to act as a 'jammer'. Could be wrong though, it certainly is a better thought out system than some.
     
  14. tdem
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    tdem Senior Member


  15. zaca60
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    zaca60 Junior Member

    Thanks for this link, a good idea and very well explained. I will try it. This is the kind of information this proposed class needs to reach the budget goal.
     
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