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

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

  1. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

  2. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    there is not a single rule about rudders in the link to the merlin rules, only no double or winged rudders. Not sure that addresses the problem.

    how about adding a section in the length rule, that overall length is exclusive of rudder and rudder fittings. No portion of the rudder(s), rudder mount or assembly shall extend further aft from the transom more than 16".

    Is that large enough to allow flexibility in design and mount, but keep it short and simple?
     
  3. SukiSolo
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    The Merlin rules (2010 edition) contain the following,

    (a)
    The following are prohibited:
    Electronic aids, double luffed mainsails, mainsails passing round the
    mast and attached back on themselves, inside ballast, bowsprits,
    bumpkins, outside channels, outriggers, bilge-boards,winged rudders,
    double rudders and similar contrivances, the use of any apparatus or
    contrivance outboard or extending outboard and attached to the
    hull spars or rigging or to the person of the helmsman or crew the purpose
    or effect of which is or may be to assist in supporting a number of the
    crew outboard or partially outboard.


    Remembering that this is a development class.....;) well the 12s' used or tried 'bumpkins' with rudder fittings attached at one time, until the term gantry became used. Of course they were banned, but later T foils were not. Here's their rule(s)...

    7.6 Between the lowest point of the hull at the transom and 300mm above this point,some point on the axis around which the rudder pivots while steering shall be within 50mm of the vertical transverse plane passing
    through the after-most point of the hull at the centreline.

    7.7 When the rudder is aligned to the fore-aft centreline of the boat,with
    all appendages fixed in place:
    (a)The maximum width of the rudder,inplanview,shall not exceed 1500mm.
    (b)The rudder, excluding any part of the rudder and stock that remains above
    the highest point on the outer skin of the boat at the stern within 150mm
    from the centreline and is also forward of the pivot axis when sailing, shall
    be capable of being positioned so that, when viewed in plan, the fore-aft
    extent does not exceed 600mm.

    Further on various things such as outriggers double rudders and similar contrivances etc etc are banned.

    Gets pretty complicated quite fast, depending on the 'freedom' intended in a Class......;)
     
  4. gggGuest
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    gggGuest ...

    You know chaps, I'm fairly confident I know why I chose to build and fit a rudder gantry on those of my boats that have had them, and having been in one such class right through the time they became universal, I suspect I may have an insight into why my colleagues fitted them...

    Anyway, I would just measure the overall length over fittings including pintle etc, seems OK to me.

    Another source of ideas about rule definitions of items might be the "equipment rules of sailing" on the ISAF website, although it must be said that the last time I studied them they seemed better adapted to the needs of one designs than box rule boats.
     
  5. sharpii2
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    I think having the furthest rudder attachment point considered as part of the Hull Length will prevent a lot of abuses.

    The rudder itself can extend as far aft as necessary for decent control, but its hing point should be on the hull itself to avoid complicated go fast gimmicks.
     
  6. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    That is the dilemma, simple and open rules quickly get outside the intent of the class, specific detailed rules limit creativity.

    Of course the cost limit will prevent a lot of fancy hardware, but the intent is the whole boat be a well performing practical boat. putting the rudder way out the back complicates the build, but how far aft is too much?

    Do we even need a rule for rudders at all? what do you all think? limit how far aft the rudder can be mounted, overall distance, include it in the overall length, or have no specific rule?
     
  7. CT249
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    CT249 Senior Member

    There's nothing particularly creative about having some kind of rudder cassette mounted to the floor forward of the transom - it's an idea that has been seen for decades in Canoes. It may date to the '30s, in fact.

    Cool as these cassettes are and as lovely as an under-hung rudder can be, these cassettes are complicated to build and complicated to use and therefore at odds with the spirit of the class.
     
  8. CT249
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    CT249 Senior Member

    And those who want something sort of like a gantry on a fixed total LOA can just use the old Kiwi R Class trick (insert evil grin emoticon here) although it must have lead to an odd-feeling helm.
     
  9. Segler
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    Segler Junior Member

    Do we even need a rule for rudders at all? what do you all think? limit how far aft the rudder can be mounted, overall distance, include it in the overall length, or have no specific rule?[/QUOTE]

    Too much ruminating about rules, too little building. IMO.
     
  10. CT249
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    CT249 Senior Member

    Didn't Alan (whose team is well down the road of having completed three hulls) indicate that they need the rules clarified?

    Would it be better to leave the rules unclear until some people had built their boats, so they were then forced to modify completed hulls?

    Rule in haste, repent at leisure amidst a pile of protests and glass dust.
     
  11. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    so what do you propose Segler?

    Have everyone show up with boats built to different interpretation of the rules?
     
  12. Jamie Kennedy
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    Jamie Kennedy Senior Member

    1. The rules don't limit sail area except through the $300 total material cost limit.

    2. The rules don't specify a minimum weight other than the 100kg cargo box, and the $300 limit which would tend to discourage more expensive materials.

    3. The rules prohibit trapeze and presumably hiking racks and sliding seats, but they don't prevent a narrow waterline beam.

    4. The rules don't specify the dimensions on the 100kg cargo box, but I presume the intent is that it would be something reasonable, and not just become a ballast box.

    5. I don't think the rules do enough to prevent $100,000 of labour, and tools, going with the $300 materials.
    ( I am now picturing the nuclear collider in Cern Switzerland being dedicated to turning $300 of whatever the cheapest material at Home Depot into some new exotic spider silk microfiber and matrix material. lol )

    So I think the rules as originally proposed would tend to favour a narrow waterline skiff with flared sides and large sail area of a material that would require the sails to be replaced regularly, at low material cost but perhaps high labour cost. The rules would also tend to favour a hull that might have to be replaced regularly. Rules need some work. I think a better idea might be to start with an archetype design, and that right a set of rules that would allow design flexibility and development to improve on this archetype. There should also be a labour cost limit of some kind, meaning that the design should be buildable within some minimum hours by at a certain skill level. If people want to take more than or need to take more than that, that that would be ok, but as judged by some jury of peers it should be buildable within so many hours, including the sails and rigging.

    Is this intended to be a boat only used for racing and day-sailing, or is the intent that it is also to be capable of coastal cruising? What would be an example of an existing design that fits within the spirit and intent, and how might the rules be written to allow development and flexibility around that archetype?
     
  13. Jamie Kennedy
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    Jamie Kennedy Senior Member

    I also think it might be more practical and worthwhile to allow the re-use of old Dacron sails. The rules could identify a standard cost of so much a square foot to count against your cost limit even if you got the sails for free. My own personal bias would be to make it a "sustainable" racing class, with more emphasis on reduce / reuse / recycle and lifecycle costs of materials including impact on the environment. To this end maybe cotton is better. I don't know. But I know there are still a lot of old Dacron sails out there that could be recut or used as they are.

    Also, folks should be able to buy standard aluminum tubing in 20 foot lengths. I don't think you can get this at most hardware stores, but if you can you can probably get it cheaper from a metal supplier. Maybe the rule could be that you can use any spar material as long as it is readily available for less than $10 per pound. I like the idea of people making their own spars out of standard lumber, but I think simple aluminum tubes should also be an option.
     
  14. Segler
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    Segler Junior Member

    I am well past the "proposing" stage and really at the "almost done" stage. I started building in early March to the, then, existing set of rules. I think, I stayed well within them. You can "interpret" forever but at some point you just have to make up your mind. I'm not terribly concerned about fine points, like how you hang the rudder. Gantry-schmantry. I am more concerned about the whole thing coming down on top of me when I first take it out on the water. Hopefully without witnesses. Five o clock in the morning.

    I am done building my hull, mast (wood, 19 ft, 21 lbs), boom, centerboard, rudder stock and rudder. I have made a bunch of blocks from plywood scrap. I am about to make the sails out of white poly tarp. So, sails and rigging left to be done. No idea how long this is going to take. Maybe to the end of July. I'm traveling in August, so September may see my maiden voyage. In due time my two cohorts will join me with their builds. We will see where it takes us.

    I think this thread would be more useful focussing on low cost building methods and material resources than forever refining the rules. Or, maybe there should be a new thread devoted to actually building.

    BTW, my entry for this contest has been named. Henceforth it will be known as the BLUE HERON.
     

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  15. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    Many posts ago I said the GP14 (designed in 1949) would meet the spirit of the class, as would the 16ft Wayfarer from 1957.

    See here

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GP14_(dinghy)

    and here

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayfarer_(dinghy)

    I have just had confirmation that Josh and Dan of Wheelhouse Woodworks will be helping me build one of my 14ft Zest dinghies at the Edensaw 2 day boatbuilding challenge. And, just like last year, I think Petros plans to build a boat then as well.

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs

    www.sailingcatamarans,com
     
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