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

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

  1. Sailor Alan
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    Sailor Alan Senior Member


    Interesting discussion. The real challenge is to actually finish the boat for $600US, and by minimal use of used marine equipment. This latter is discouraged because it assumes a robust sailing enviroment supplying a steady stream of used equipment. In fact we would like these boats to be built eventually in places where there is no existing sailboat racing.

    Just for your edification, here is my ratchet block. The shelve has notches around its perimeter. Note the wooden spring with calibrated thinning for peak performance. It works well.

    Attached Files:

  2. sawmaster
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    sawmaster Senior Member

    Thanks Sailor Alan--I'm sure quite a few of us needed to be edified.However,IMHO,the real challenge is not to build a boat for 600 dollars,but to build one for that amount that excels in one or more of the races called for in the original rules.I'm still working on my design and I'm concentrating on one that should do very well as a single-hander,but unfortunately will probably be a little overloaded when it comes to the five-hundred pound payload test.Even with unlimited funds it would be hard (for me ,anyway) to come up with a design that does EVERYTHING well.PS-I buy all my blocks at the hardware store--they call them Pulleys there--and they're cheap!
  3. Sailor Alan
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    Sailor Alan Senior Member

    Excelent points Sawmaster. I designed my dinghy for the heaviest weights, as did Segler and Dunnage, as well. The idea being that this gave the most room and carrieing capacity for family use. I certainly plan to slab reef my main and roller reef my 'screecher' for the single handed races. I think Segler and Dunnage have reefing plans as well. I would also use a reef if the wind grows excessive during the raid type events, and have oars if the wind falls to nothing. Puget Sound enjoys(?) fairley extrem tides, and light winds in summer.

    I realize reefing dinghies is pretty extreme these days, Richard spent some time explaining how dingy sails are flattened to reduce power during a blow, and we see this competing against Etchel's. I doubt I can cut or shape a polytarp sail to this level of sophistication.

    Please note: the rules call for sharing designs at the end of the 'season' so we should get to compare hull lines, and sail plans at some stage.
  4. DC Landis
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    DC Landis Junior Member

    At the risk of looking lazy, could someone please point me to the page with the latest and fullest set of rules? I started reading through the thread, then jumped around and have only run into partial rules, I think. I know the rules are meant to be simple, but the longest set of rules I've found so far is a short list of 4.

    I'm in the Great Northwest and this sounds like a fun project. I have a ton of new and used marine hardware, but the last page of the thread seems to put actual marine hardware out of the rules?

    I appreciate the help of pointing me in the right direction. Thanks much, DC.
  5. DC Landis
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    DC Landis Junior Member

    Well the title of the thread is literally part of the rules. I assumed "hardware store" wasn't a literal part of the rules, saltwater and the corner hardware store never seemed to go together. You know what they say about assumptions. I'm slowly getting up to speed.
  6. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    I took a slightly different take on the concept. I too have lots of left over dinghy gear and it seemed crazy not to use that up and go buy some washing line blocks etc instead.

    So I designed a simple quick to build singlehander, the Zest that used those old parts. We built one in the 2 day Edensaw Boatbuilding competition at last years Port Townsend WBF

    We started on Friday and on Sunday I was sailing it, see here

    A fast build was a major attraction for me. Whether the hardware class succeeds or not I don't know. But several Zests are now building although mine is the only one in the PNW

    My idea for a new cheap racing class was to have a completely open rule, the only requirement being that the rig was a Laser rig.

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs
  7. Sailor Alan
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    Sailor Alan Senior Member

    To save you looking, here are the last/latest rules.

    Challenge 600 class Rules

    I. Challenge 600 class (aka “hardware store class”) basic definition: a developmental class of practical, good performing sails boats designed to be built with low cost materials in a typical home workshop. The boats can be designed for one or two crew, to perform in a variety of practical sailing events. The class is to encourage creative and innovative ideas for low cost practical sailboats.
    II. All equipment and racing rules not specifically stated will be generally according to the current Racing Rules for Sailing by the International Sailing Federation. The Definitions and figures from the rules shall be used to interpret these rules as applicable. Rules will be generally observed but not necessarily strictly enforced.[8222].pdf

    III Box rule:
    A. Monohull. (hollows or concavity in hull not to exceed 1”, below gunwale, aft of mid point)
    1. Max hull length 14' from bow to transom, max rigged overall length 16’
    2. Max beam 5' (including all appendages, hiking benches, etc)
    3. Max height measured from lowest point of any sail, to highest point any part of sails or rigging: 20'. Note: there is no overall height limit, but mast or other rigging is not to extent more than 20 ft above the lowest point of any portion of the sail.
    B. Multihull.
    1. Max length 18' (including all appendages).
    2. Max height from low point of hull to highest point of rigging or sails: 24’
    3. No beam limit but hull must be able to be reconfigured/dismantled to 8' towing width.

    C. Rigging/Configuration
    1. Number, material or configuration of sails or rigging is unrestricted (except as below)
    2. Sails and rigging must stay at or below height limit and within the max length/width rule when centered or aligned in the fore and aft direction for measurement. Sails, and rigging (booms or jibs, yards, etc.) can go outside the box rule when underway (not centered).
    3. The righting moment of the crew weight shall only be transferred to the sail through the hull, shroud, or sheet or similar, in which case it shall be through blocks attached to the hull (i.e. no windsurfer/sailboard configurations)
    4. No spinnaker, or trapeze allowed, but foot straps and/or bars or bench for hiking out are okay (as long as all appendages are within max size limits). Trapeze allowed for multi-hulls only.

    IV Materials/Equipment
    A. Wood or wood/pulp based materiel must be incorporated into the structure of the hull (but the building method does not have to use wood exclusively-other materials are allowed).
    B. Construction method is wide open, but should be suitable for building in a home shop without extensive tooling or costly machine tools (plywood forms or strong back acceptable, making parts in a numerically controlled mill is not).
    C. Approx half of races will require boats to accommodate a minimum crew-plus-cargo weight of 500 lbs, and have room for a typical 36 quart size cooler to be fixed in place yet accessible on the hull during the race. A box of approximately 24" x 14" x 20" tall may be built into the hull as an option. Any ballast necessary to reach the 500 lb crew-plus-cargo weight is to be carried in the cargo box. Races can be done single or double handed.

    D. Cost Basis
    1. All the materials, fasteners and adhesives purchased for use in the construction of the complete boat, sails and rigging is limited to $600 monohull class, $1000 multihull class (not counting sales tax and shipping costs).
    2. The cost basis will be for normal retail cost available to anyone, purchased new in quantities enough for one boat, at retail prices from any mail order or national supplier, or actual sales receipts from such suppliers in quantities for one boat. Wholesale suppliers or bulk purchase materials may be used but the bulk price is not counted as the cost basis, but the normal small quantity retail price will be cost basis.
    3. The nominal purchase unit of materials shall be used: the cost of full sheets of plywood, fabrics or lines and rigging sold by the running yard or by the foot, counted in whole yard or foot increments. Screws, fittings or fasteners are counted by the box, pound, or each.
    4. The cost of paint, sealant or preservatives will not count toward the materials cost, any type of one-part paint or sealant is allowed. (Bright colors and attractive paint schemes are encouraged) The cost of the thread incidental to any sewing will also not be counted towards material cost.
    5. The entrant must supply documentation of value of materials. All entrants must submit copies of receipts or print out from a national retailer for the cost basis and a list of materials used when a boat is registered for the season.
    6. The cost of maintenance or repairs is not counted toward materials cost, nor the cost of replacing whole assemblies of items replaced (if a sail or rudder is replaced with one of a new design, but the cost of the materials is the same, than it will not affect the materials costs), experimentation is encouraged.
    7. If the replacement component costs more than that being replaced, than the
    difference will count toward the class limit (in IV.D.1.).
    8. Major repairs that significantly affect the cost of materials will require a judge to approve, with the intent that no advantage would be gained.

    V. Design/Plans

    A. At the end of each season, first, second and third placed overall winner must supply suitable plans, or allow design plans to be drawn from their boat, and published for next season and made available to anyone for a reasonable fee (Propose $60).

    B. Sales of the plans must be done through the race organization. The proceeds from the sale of the plans are to be split between the race organization and the boat designer. Or one third race organization, two thirds designer if suitable publish-ready plans are supplied by the designer.

    VI. Racing Events
    A. There shall be three or four race day events for each season (series), with at least one of them an all day “raid” type event.

    C. There must be at least three entrants for each class to score season points, but if less than three an entrant may run with other classes without scoring.

    D. Each short race day event shall consist of two or three (or more) races arrange, but not limited to, the following:
    1. Triangle coarse around 3 markers (with option of circling the "long way" around one, two or three of the markers).
    2. A rectangular coarse with a "bow tie" option around 4 coarse markers.
    3. A straight line coarse out and back around one marker. Each marker must be at least 660 ft (1/8 mile) nominally apart or distance from the starting line, longer preferred.
    4. At least one of the races on each race day shall be required to have crew and cargo equal 500 lbs, with cargo box carried on each vessel, for about half of all races. Crews may be either single hand or two crew.

    E. Scoring for the short race day events toward season total shall be as follows:
    1. The first place shall be awarded 100 points. Second place will receive 60 points. Third place shall receive 40 points. Fourth place shall receive 20 points. Each place after 4th that finishes shall receive10 points.
    2. DNF receives zero points for that race

    F. There shall be at least one Raid type event each season.
    1. It shall last 4 hours or more in duration, first leg out to a distant landmark or location (preferably a restaurant or park with a BBQ), and than back for the second leg.
    2. A beach "Le Mans" style start is required from "high water mark", and all skids, dolly, wheels or launching equipment (if used) must be carried on the boat for the duration of the event.
    3. All gear, refreshments, equipment, clothing, tools, supplies, etc. used during each stage of the race must be carried on the boat or the crew during each leg of the event.

    G. Scoring for the Raid race day events toward season total shall be as follows:
    1. First contestant to return will receive 300 points. Second, 180 points. Third 120 points. Fourth 60 points. Every finisher after fourth place, within the time limit (if any), 30 points each. DNF receives zero points.

    H. Highest point total for crew and boat at the end of the season shall
    be the season winner

    I. Paddles, oars or other muscle powered propulsion may be used on "raid"
    events, and whenever the judges deem there is inadequate wind during any
    of the short race day events

    J. All competitors must wear PFD, and immersion gear for the long distance events. The race officials may disqualify any boat if it appears unsafe (especially for the longer distance events).

    K. If both crews agree, a demonstration "crew swap challenge" can be made between two or more crew and boats. No points except bragging rights earned

    L. Event organizers or event sponsors are free to add other awards or prizes, such as best new design, or most innovative use of non-boat hardware, winner of any individual race, people choice award, etc. But these will not add points toward season total

    VII. Rule Changes. Will be announced by January 31 for that season’s rules. Rule changes should be done by committee, to meet the purposes of the class objectives.
  8. DC Landis
    Joined: Jan 2016
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    DC Landis Junior Member

    Mr. Woods,

    The Zest looks like a fun and exciting little boat. I can understand why the "hardware store" class rules wants to keep the marine hardware out, cost. Marine hardware is a very large percentage of a boats cost. Like you though, I have more marine hardware around then I know what to do with, it would be sad not to use it.

    The Zest looks like a great little boat and the build time is very impressive. I bet there are a few people in PT that know how to build boats though. I can see the reasoning behind both the Zest and the "hardware store" rule. I think the Zest looks like a spendy little Hotrod, so the two are in completely different categories. Beautiful little boat, maybe some day.

  9. Sailor Alan
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    Sailor Alan Senior Member

    I think you can use your old fittings with impunity, as long as you do not gain some sort of extreme racing advantage by doing so. Three of us builders are tending to build all fittings, more to see if we can, partially because we would like to encourage people who do not have access to a large catchment of used fittings, masts, sails etc, and partially to save money. Richards boat is at the lighter end of the displacement spectrum, and our three (at least) are at the heavier end. We judge ours as better for general purpose, a family boat if you will, whilst Richard is appealing more to the single sports person (I think). Time alone, including the longer "Raid" type races might determine which is better, but I think we might see two different purposes being fulfilled. I.e. No boat is "better" just different purposes.
  10. DC Landis
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    DC Landis Junior Member

    Thank you Sailor Alan, I really appreciate both your posts.

    Thanks, DC.
  11. Segler
    Joined: Apr 2015
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    Segler Junior Member

    The letter and the spirit of the rules require these boats to be built for under $600 with ordinary tools in a typical home shop, using materials available to anyone. Shelves full of commercial gear are not available to everyone and (IMO) should not figure in this exercise unless they are costed as newly purchased.

    To me as one of the builders, the innovative use of unusual, cheap materials is actually a major attraction in this effort. It requires an extra layer of creativity and is just a lot of fun to deal with.

    My entry, the BLUE HERON, is finished. Waiting for warmer weather.

    Total cost is under $500, including sails, spars and foils.
  12. Stephen Ditmore
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    Stephen Ditmore Senior Member

    I have been looking for these. Thank you!

    If you're looking for comment, I think the 5' beam is too restrictive if you are including hiking racks within that box. The Classic Moth class has a 5 foot maximum beam. Those are 11' boats that (unlike Internatinal Moths) are not allowed hiking racks. (Neither type of Moth allows trapezing.)
  13. Sailor Alan
    Joined: Mar 2014
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    Sailor Alan Senior Member

    Reasonable suggestion, but we discussed this to tatters earlier in this thread.

    The original, and still current, assumption is that these boats are for recreation and family fun, including sail/camping trips, as well as racing. The racing was to improve the breed, hence including the 'Raid' type events, the wide range of weights in races, and the different crew and payload requirements in races.

    In some minds at least, this is a development of the "Mirror" and other similar type boats of an earlier age.

    Hiking out, using racks, boards (international canoes), plank/pri (Caribean sloops), let alone trapezes, increases the strain on the rig dramatically, to the point where a simple wooden mast may longer be simple, or easy.
  14. Stephen Ditmore
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    Stephen Ditmore Senior Member

    Unless you increase the shroud base along with the width.
    Anyway, racks are currently allowed as long as they do not project outside the 5 foot box, and attach above/inside of the gunwale (so as not to viloate the hollows rule) ...??

  15. Dunnage
    Joined: Jun 2015
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    Location: Bellevue, WA

    Dunnage Junior Member

    Work In Progress

    Progress continues on my build. The hull is now complete and ready for fitting out. I have started on the spars and the boom is completed; the mast, foils and sails are not yet started. I have named the boat 'Naiad'. The two pictures give an idea of what she looks like. The Oct 2015 photo shows the interior in a nearly complete state. The Feb 2016 photo shows the hull complete and painted (and upside down for painting). As Segler has previously completed the Blue Heron, I assume it is Hull Number / Sail Number 001. I would like to claim Hull Number 002 for Naiad.

    I found a source of 'proper' 4 oz. Dacron sailcloth on e-bay for $3.50/square yard. Less than $60 for what I need for a mainsail. My wife is a quilter and has several sewing machines so I expect I will be allowed to use one of them for whatever stitching I have to do. She also has a nifty machine called a 'Scan-and-Cut' that looks sort of like a flatbed scanner. It is a computer controlled stencil cutter / cloth cutter. It can make sail numbers to bond / sew onto my sails. It can also make a 'Class Emblem' for the sail to go with the sail numbers.

    So... What is our Class Emblem? Is it a crossed Saw and Screw Driver representing the Hardware Store Racing Class? Or is it something prosaic like C-600 for Challenge 600? I think I am not qualified for this level of decision; probably it needs to be debated at length. Please help.

    Attached Files:

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