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

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

  1. sawmaster
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    sawmaster Senior Member


    since some boats are almost complete ,the only fair thing to do would be to NOT include the rudder in the LOA, so they wont have to chop off/redo transoms and to restrict rudder gantries/extensions to a certain length(say 18 inches?)--to cover the original intent of the rule.
  2. sharpii2
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    What's a "rudder gantry"?

    If you allow one, you have to define it very specifically, or your fourteen foot boat can quickly become a sixteen foot boat.

    Personally, I think such things are a bad idea. Apparently their purpose is to allow moving the CA of the sails further aft, along with the Centerboard/Dagger board, so the boat will plane better with a sharp bow.

    For very high performance dinghies, I think this is understandable.

    But I think such goes beyond the original intent of this class.
  3. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    rudder gantry, some I have seen are much larger. I agree, this is beyond the scope of the intent of the rules. I have no issues with leaving the rules, the intent was the 16 ft overall length was to included the rudder (I think it states "all appendages"). But for now we can just use transom mounted rudders no longer than say 16 or even 18 from transom.

  4. P Flados
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    P Flados Senior Member

    Avoiding gantries is worthwhile and easy. The proposed Petros requirement with clear wording could be: No portion of any appendage shall be more than 16" aft of the rearmost portion of the boat included in the overall length measurement. This actually increases the overall length allowance but not much.

    It also allow a builder to move a portion of the "transom" back some if he wants a gantry style rudder but it would make him pull back some up front.
  5. sharpii2
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    It appears that people who are actually building the boats assumed that the rudder was not included in the Hull Length or the Overall Length.

    I believe this mistake was made in good faith, based on the premise that rudders are not traditionally included in the Overall Length in most dinghy classes.

    Now I think it is wise to live with this interpretation, but to limit any further increases in Overall Length, especially those which would allow rudder gantries.

    My personal objection to them is ironically the same as my personal objection to including rudders in the Overall Length; they both just make boat construction needlessly more complicated and expensive.
  6. Dunnage
    Joined: Jun 2015
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    Dunnage Junior Member

    Inexpensive Blocks and Cleats

    First take a look at Siegler's latest post and view the photo of his home made block. After I first handled one I copied it. They are really light and strong and made almost exclusively from scrap materiel.
    The cheeks are 5mm 'underlayment' plywood scraps that are left over from building the hull. The sheave is stacked and glued layers of 5mm plywood; cut out with a hole saw. You do not need a lathe. The 'pilot' for a sanding disk attachment for a drill can be used to 'chuck' the cylinder of plywood that will become the sheave... a 1/4-20 bolt goes thru the hole-saw pilot hole and into the piece that is held in the drill chuck. Clamp down the drill, or use a drill press, or even use / borrow the use of a lathe. In a drill or drill press a coarse round file will quickly make the rope groove.
    I substituted a cylinder cut with a hole saw from 3/4" MDF... do not use MDF. My immersion test showed that the really pretty block I built became useless when the MDF swelled.
    Siegler did not use a hole saw; instead used a circle cutter. The blade on the cutter leaves a disc with a 45 degree bevel. His sheaves are stacked so the groove is already there, glued and clamped (clamped using a bolt thru the pilot hole.)
    The axle of the sheave is a bolt with a locknut. Stainless steel is best and is the only real cost of the block.
    The pin is a glued in piece of hardwood dowel. Use 1/2" dowel; larger if needed.
    The basic idea can be adapted to create 'Siegler Blocks' of just about any configuration; fiddle blocks, double or triple blocks, cheek blocks, etc.
    There are also antique designs for wooden jam-cleats... two-horned cleats with one end having a long tapered undercut. I will try to get a picture of one of these. They are simple and fast.
  7. tdem
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    tdem Senior Member

    Sadly I'm a bit too far to be joining in. I don't understand why the effort to reduce complexity? Who cares if someone wishes to spend the time to make a gantry? If someone wants to glue together a ladder frame mast from toothpics... who cares? If you can't use fancy materials you may have to use fancy construction methods instead to achieve the performance you want. Just because it is a pile of hardware store materials doesn't mean the end product should make that fact obvious.
  8. Sailor Alan
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    Sailor Alan Senior Member

    I don't understand all the fuss either. The cost automatically limits bought equipment, and virtually guarantees the necessisity for cunning and innovative use of materials. This is, or was, a requirement of the original concept.

    Look at the work Seigler has gone too with his blocks, mast, boom, gooseneck, etc. Tthese are real works of art.

    I also will use the same concept as Seigler's block, just using a slightly different cheek design.

    I also don't understand why you don't have a fleet racing in Kiwi Land already.
  9. Jammer Six

    Jammer Six Previous Member

    Money is the cheapest of all treasure.

    The very purpose of this class, as I understand it, is to avoid using money to build high end versions of designs that are not new, and substitute other things for that money.

    Other things like ingenuity, labor, loving attention to detail, experience, expertise and long lists of other treasure I can't think of or be bothered to list.

    The people who question the use of that treasure are the people who didn't think of it first.

    P.S. Anyone racing against Segler is going to have their hands full. If they lose, they lose. If they win, everyone will still be looking at Segler.
  10. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    The only issue with the rules is everyone should be building to the same set of rules so it will be fair. A lot of people are putting in a lot of effort, it would be a shame that one person got a really big advantage over the others because he found a opening in the rules that no one else thought of, rather than building a better design to the same rules. It is just a matter of fairness.

    I can be flexible, particularly if no significant advanage is gained. but it is important we all keep within the spirit and intent of the rules. We will need these sort of clarifications so there is no misunderstandings. It is not so much the work required to build it (that is unlimited as long as no exotic tooling or process is required), it is a matter that we are all building to the same understanding of the rules. The fewer rules the better, to allow maximum creative lee way, but we still need rules so we are building to the same set of criteria.

    What is not clear about "no part of the rudder or any other rear appendages can extend more than 18" past the transom"? does this sound like a reasonable rule that we all can live with? If no objections I propose we go with it.
  11. sharpii2
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    By this, do you mean:

    1.) "No part of the rudder or any appendage can extend more than 18 inches past the transom", and be counted as part of the Overall Length?


    2.) "No part of the rudder or any appendage can extend more than 18 inches past the transom", and be not counted as part of the Overall Length?

    The difference between these two is that, in the first, you can have a six inch bowsprit; in the second, you can have a two foot bowsprit, with the same 18 inch rudder combined with mounting structure.

    Other than that, the only problem is that some boats might not have transoms.

    Once these two issues are clarified, I think you have a good rule.
  12. Jammer Six

    Jammer Six Previous Member

    No, it wouldn't. It would be a victory for literacy and creative thinking.

    It's fair because everyone has equal access to the rules.
  13. gggGuest
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    gggGuest ...

    That depends on what your class is there for. Traditionally there were parties who held that outhinking the rule writers was part of the game of a reasonably open rule class, and in my younger days I've thought that myself. Nowadays though I've been involved with a genuinely multilingual international class, and I've realised in those circumstances its a nonsense., and may not be appropriate in other circumstances either.

    Consider many rule evasions may be done by taking the letter of the law and bending it a way it wasn't intended to go. Fair enough, one might say, but the chances of that letter bending exactly the same way in say Swedish, French, German and English are not great, and if you make one of those languages the master, which is conventional, then really only native language speakers and possibly exceptional linguists are going to have much chance of rule bending, which is not a good thing at all, and, to use your phrase, everyone doesn't have equal access to the rules. Or, alternatively, you can have a boat that's legal if measured using Swedish language rules, but not legal using English...

    And the other thing is what are you testing in your class? Testing verbal ingenuity is all very well, but there's no reason why it has to be compulsory. Its not uncommon for the rules to be supervised by a third party who must approve or disapprove any innovation without making the innovation public, which is one way of cutting down on verbal gymnastics.

    So it seems entirely reasonable, given the stated aims of this class, that they seek to eliminate rule evasion.

    Going back to the original problem, as I suggested before you should look at the "Equipment Rules of Sailing".[13763].pdf
    These are essentially a large set of definitions that can be plugged into rule sets so that the definitions are common across multiple classes and well understood. They are also available in a number of languages.

    Taking a look at ERS, then HULL LENGTH is a measurement excluding rudder and bowsprits etc. There are separate definitions for HULL APPENDAGES and HULL SPARS. All makes sense if you read it. I suggest what you want is to limit overall length as being HULL LENGTH plus any HULL SPARS, but not HULL APPENDAGES. That way the designer use the extra length over waterline length for bowsprit, raked stem, rudder fittings or anything they like, but the more they use for one the less they have available for the other. So if someone wants 8" of rudder gantry they have to have 8 inches less overhang forward.
    And this means that if you build your boat and find you can't keep the damn bow out of the water on a run then you can chop off the bowsprit and build a sort of rudder gantry come seating extension aft to give yourself a bit more leverage, which seems like the sort of flexibility that might be desirable.
  14. Jammer Six

    Jammer Six Previous Member

    The multi-lingual argument is an interesting one.

    Particularly between American, British and Australian.


  15. sharpii2
    Joined: May 2004
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    I agree with most of what you're saying.

    What I don't agree with is not counting appendages, except the rudder, in the Hull Length.

    The possible abuses could include putting a long Cutwater, in front of the Bow, and a long Skeg behind the stern. Then these appendages can be given volume, effectively lengthening the WL, producing a sixteen foot Hull rather than a fourteen foot one.

    Fourteen feet needs to stay fourteen feet, except for the rudder, for Hull Length.

    Overall Length could include everything that extends past the bow or the stern, as well as the fourteen foot Hull itself, that is not the rudder. This would include Rudder Gantries, but not the rudder(s) that attach(es) to them.

    But the "Rudder Gantry" needs to be defined as a structure that attaches to the Stern above the Water Line.

    One of the biggest problems with rule making, is making sure the rules really say what the rule maker really means. For this reason, I think it is often a good idea to put intent clauses in the rules when needed for extra clarity.
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