Old Quarter Tonners -Magic Bus

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by steveo-nz, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. Gary Baigent
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    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    Guess you will probably know about these images and measurements? This from the prototype of his book ... before it was changed: Cover, Rocket 31, Rocket 29 Extreme, measurements.
     

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  2. CT249
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    CT249 Senior Member

    Nick, can you tell me how come the NZ TY ratings have rated the Rocket slower than the Ross 780? The Young is less of a cruiser, lighter, and newer and here in Oz even from the first boat (Rapid Transit) they have been kicking the Rosses. That's no disrespect to the Rosses, which are great cruiser/racers, but the idea that Young isn't smart enough to design a faster boat when he has a clean sheet to create a racer is bizarre.
     
  3. NickArya
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    NickArya Junior Member

    Hello CT249. Yes the NZTYA ratings do have some anomalies and in brief it is because it is a purely results supplied by yacht clubs etc driven system. This by and large works fine for the more popular classes Noelex 22 & 25, Ross 780, the various Farrs etc. not so well for classes with smaller numbers. There is an example of a design built under two different names that has different ratings! Prior to the Rocket I had an Elder 762 one of two that was raced in TY events. Its sister ship was an extraordinarily well sailed boat that pushed the rating to an artificially high level. The same happened to the Rocket 780 but in reverse but with an interesting twist.
    The Young and the Restless the first Rocket 780 comfortably beat the Ross 780's etc. when first launched but though she was extensively raced from there on it was not in TY events.
    Meanwhile in the Deep South two Rockets were built one of which Wild South had a huge cabin put on it with the owner intending to use it as a fishing boat! The mind boggles!! The other well I don't know what was wrong with it but it developed a reputation for nose diving. These two sorry excuses with the help of a very strong personality in the southern TY scene resulted in the Rocket 780 rating being pushed down. I remember rubbing my hands with glee when I saw the low rating of the Rocket 780 when I got Wild South. I only wish I had got my hands on a really good Rocket 780 and I would have cleaned up big time. As it was Wild South won a Donald Hay a pretty big deal in the south TY scene.
    Sorry about the rambling reply but I hope it explains.
     
  4. Gary Baigent
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    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    The Ross 930 came out pretty much at the same time as the Rocket 31 Positive Touch - along with the Davidson 34 Wednesday Night Racer, early 1980s. Ross did the 780 trailer sailer a little earlier. This was considered unfair by the other TS designers and competitors. At that time these very light displacement designs were all considered extreme - but the Rocket 31 more so. In fact it was an over-the-top purist racer compared to other monohulls of the times - but which today, this philosophy is pretty much the norm - if you're intending to race with seriousness. So you have to hand the kudos to Young - because he was way ahead. And CT, you seem to be somewhat weirdly criticizing this?
     
  5. CT249
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    CT249 Senior Member

    What???? Where in the world did my post say anything remotely criticising Jim YOung? Please read it again as there is no way it could be correctly read like that, nor was it intended as such. For one thing, I quite clearly stated that the Rocket was faster than the Ross.

    Nick understood the question clearly. My point was that it would have been obvious from the start that the Rocket 780 was going to be faster than the Ross 780, therefore the Rocket should be rated faster by the NZTYA. Nick gave a clear answer (thanks Nick) to this anomaly.

    By the way, in most of the world those who "race with seriousness" on yachts normally do it in one designs, X Yachts, J/boats, Beneteaus etc, often full of pros and raced very seriously indeed. It seems pretty smart - after all, we all know that no ballasted yacht can compare with a kitefoil, Moth, multi or windsurfer for pure speed so why worry about getting ultimate speed out of a ballasted mono?
     
  6. NickArya
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    NickArya Junior Member

    Interesting comments on my post and all good healthy stuff. As one who was involved in TY scene at the time the Ross 780 came out I don't recall them being viewed as unfair. To me they represent the best of TY boats, fast, able to be comfortably cruised etc. The Rocket 780 as designed also had good accomodation though perhaps a bit tender for comfortable cruising. The yacht that did drive a whole through the TY concept was the Elliot 5.9. I also feel the Rocket 780 would have been a better boat had it not been restricted to an 8 foot beam. Gary mentions the Ross 930, Rocket 31 and the Davidson 34 (presumably Fantail).
    All fast boats but not really comparable. The Ross 930 was designed as a quick cruiser with a drop keel and restricted to a 9ft 3 in beam to fit the oversize towing regs of the time, the Rocket 31 as a balls out racer and I don't know what Laurie was thinking of with Fantail.
    Changing topics.
    Yeoman XX a Petersen design and one of the top Admirals Cup IOR boats of the late seventies was subsequently entered into a Whitbread Race as I think Kiss Kiss ( her AC nickname). She came unstuck and ended up in Bluff at the bottom of NZ. She raced in the Bluff to Stewart Island combined TY/keeper race a couple of times. A decade ago she was in a marina berth at Nelson and maybe still there - untidy but sound.
     
  7. NickArya
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    NickArya Junior Member

    By the by. Anyone know how I could get a copy of the book about Jim Young and also "A Ton Lighter" I have looked on Trademe.
     
  8. luff tension
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    luff tension Junior Member

    Hi NickArya, I know more than most about the Big Ruby project and I'm trying to put a name/face to you. I was also closely involved with a few of the other Jim Young boats built around then, and the Y11 class in general- Nick B.....d perhaps?? If so send me a PM.

    BB
     
  9. Gary Baigent
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    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    I did a boat test of the original Murray Ross 780 for Sea Spray; this was a daggerboard design, as was his first 930 which I also wrote up, took photographs. The 930 was considered extreme ... and the Rocket 31 was beyond extreme. I'm talking about the first time people saw/knew about these designs, not a few years later when they were accepted.
    The Elliott 5.9 was a smaller version/copy of the Rocket 31. Young had helped Greg with his first design and Greg had seen the Rocket drawings and Positive Touch being built at Cooksons.
    Of the slim Wednesday Night Racer Fantail, Laurie said later, after seeing the flair on the R31, that he should have done the same with the WNR - and he did so with later 34/36 foot versions (Tim Gurr had one) - which culminated with the beautiful Davidson 42 Spitfire and the 50 plus foot designs like Jumpin' Jack Flash, Honky Tonk Woman and so on.
    Going back to the trailerable Ross 780, R930, Young 780 and Y840, yes, the designers agreed that road width and shipping container restrictions hindered the designs; Young said he should have really made the 10 foot beam 840 Sport version have an 11 or even 12 foot beam, similar proportions to the larger Rockets 29 (see photograph) and 31.
     

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  10. NickArya
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    NickArya Junior Member

    Hi luff tension, sent you a message via FB so will have a catch up via email.
    Gary I left Auckland in about 1990 so am bit out of touch from there on. I remember the Davidson 50's Starlight Express et al. The other Davidson boats I am unfamiliar with.
    For all that nothing I have seen or heard of seems as extreme or as fast as Eztreme excluding catamarans and the like.
     
  11. CT249
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    CT249 Senior Member

    Out of interest, though, wouldn't the Rocket 31 go faster if it was made longer and everything else was left the same? So isn't it slowed down by the "artificial" limit on LOA just as other designs were slowed down by the "artificial" limits on beam?

    The Rocket were fantastic boats, but from some angles the idea of packing more sail and beam onto a short boat doesn't seem to be any better than the idea of creating a more balanced design. Don't the Scandinavians and Germans show us that the idea of measuring a boat by its LOA is just an Anglo-Saxon cultural construct?
     
  12. NickArya
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    NickArya Junior Member

    I guess the correlation is if you made the engines on Formula one racing cars bigger they would go faster. Was it not the Scandinavians who had a class based on waterline length that produced some weird designs with huge overhangs? I believe A class cats were initially based on a beam limitation? Man will always push the limits on whatever restriction artificial or otherwise is placed and yacht design is no exception.
    Previously someone said at the top end sailors raced in one design classes. The Volvo and the AC are not one design. Personally I prefer racing in a mixed or handicap or rating fleet but that is just me. Someone once said that one design ensured all the boats were equally slow (and I guess stifling development)
     
  13. Gary Baigent
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    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    CT, if you check the weight figures posted you'll see that the Ross and Young designs. also Davidson (plus Evans and Wagstaff/Endean), those boats were very, very light displacement for the times. Prior to their arrival moderation was the rule, in fact all Kiwi designs aside from the Whiting/Ross/Davidson/Farr IOR centreboarders had this approach. But the Rocket 31 and the later 29 were radicals. The Ross 930 although also very light, did not carry a large sail area, and it was a bendy dinghy-type rig, small mast section. And neither did the Rockets have tall rigs; Young liked low aspect ratio, long boom, fill-the-boat-length-up, didn't like tall high aspect ratio rigs.
    Should the hulls have been longer?
    He was going for a true big dinghy that planed, hence the astonishing light displacement. Even by today's standards. Also he said that if you can't go longer, then the way to gain high performance was to go wide. But he also designed the 40 and 46 Rockets, the latter was more moderate, see lines drawing. But the 40 Buckle Up was very wide on deck, and although rig altered in Sydney, (which Jim was not happy about) was of the same (terrorist?) ilk.
     

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  14. CT249
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    CT249 Senior Member

    Oh yeah, they certainly were light; and they were great boats. It's just that the whole issue of the design spiral is interesting.

    I raced against Buckle Up a bit on the Skiff 38s, which were 1987 designs and even more radical in some ways - distinct wings, swivelling bowsprits for asymmetric kites from day one, and all wrapped around a cruiser/racer interior on just 3400kg displacement. I also sailed on or against many of those earlier Elliott/Young/Inglis etc designs and never heard a word of complaint about the concepts; far from being "terrorists" they were generally accepted, respected and admired.

    The only real quibbles came from those who had cruiser/racer trailables, who suddenly found themselves racing against empty shells. It affected the TY scene; instead of people socialising together while sailing similar boats, there was an influx of people on racing machines who then went off to sleep in hotels. The collapse of the TY scene indicates that the sportsboats certainly did not enliven TY sailing as some claimed it would, so from many angles the resistance to the sportsboat concept from the TY sailors seems to have been correct.
     

  15. CT249
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    CT249 Senior Member

    Yep, the Scandanavians and Germans had classes with long overhangs because they basically just rated the sail area and allowed the overhangs to grow. It just seems to show that the modern Anglo way of classifying boats by LOA is just a trend or custom, rather than any particularly good way of doing it. Years ago we would have been classifying our boats by Thames tonnage or waterline length.

    Yes, people push the limit but I was just musing that it seems that means that you are hitting the law of diminishing returns, and therefore that something that held designs back from the limits (like a beam limit) isn't always a bad thing.

    Personally I love (and sail) both development classes and OD, but interestingly in dinghies, at least, the OD classes are often faster (all else being equal) because they can be longer. The 12 Foot Skiff, 14 Footer, Cherub and (formerly) the Moth designers all used to talk about how much their designs were restricted by their short overall length. In comparison, boats like the 29er and 49er were in some ways LESS restricted in basic design and therefore faster than development classes of similar sail area, beam, crew, etc.

    It just seems to show that design restrictions aren't bad things.
     
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