S2 7.9

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Steve W, Aug 10, 2014.

  1. Steve W
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    Steve W Senior Member

    We have one example of the above mentioned boat in our club, every few years the topic of whether or not he should be allowed to raise his keel downwind or not comes up and this year with a new race committee it has come up again. While there are the usual arguments concerning rating and self righting i do not want to go there so if you respond please stay away from those areas.
    I personally feel he should keep the keel down for one reason only and that is that with it up pretty much the only lateral plane he has is the rudder, so as long as he is sailing dead down or close to it all is well until everyone is converging on the bottom mark at which point he does not have the maneuverability of the boats around him which means he is not capable of responding should a situation arise where he needs to avoid another boat with rights, this has happened before resulting in a collision. The argument is always that its allowed in one design but this is phrf. In one design they are all equally out of control so that's fine but i feel that its unfair to the fleet to allow this practice but i have never seen this even brought up before. I see it only as a safety issue, i don't care about his safety, just the boats around him. Any thoughts?


    Steve.
     
  2. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    It seems pretty cut and dried to me: if it is allowed in his class then OK-BUT-he has to obey the racing rules. If he is unable to obey the rues he should be protested. I don't see why he wouldn't lower the keel before the mark rounding just out of common sense-I can't imagine any racing skipper going into a downwind mark rounding with the keel (or board) still retracted.
     
  3. Steve W
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    Steve W Senior Member

    I see no reason why, just because the class allows it when racing one design it should be allowed in a phrf fleet as it is a completely different scenario. If you have a whole fleet doing it you have a level playing field, ie, they are all equally hampered by the diminished control/ options inherent in having virtually no effective lateral plane, every boat is fully aware of this and im sure it plays a part in their tactics. In a phrf fleet this is clearly not the case, many of the skippers would have no idea that if they were to force him up he is going to go sideways, he simply cannot respond the way he could with it down so he is/ could potentially be a danger to other boats. Now I recognize that there are always going to be incidents and accidents but when you know you are doing something deliberately that puts others at risk I find that very selfish. Many fleets do not allow the board up but they always argue rating or stability issues but in my mind I don't see either as valid but I sure as hell consider the control issue as a safety issue to the fleet, in these situations one should always favor the fleet over the individual boat. You would think that the keel would be down well before the mark but unfortunately common sense, like common courtesy is not very common these days.
     
  4. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Ultimately it boils down to the skipper's responsibilities and if he can't maneuver (for whatever reason), well guys like me on the race course are going to take advantage of him and quickly. I'd "mug" him on the off wind legs, if only to force him to move, which would cause him to expose some appendage and additional drag, so he has some steerage.

    As far as safety, I don't see this as a problem in 'round the cans sailboat racing. Boats bash into each other all the time, which is more of a concern than a particular boat's ability to respond quickly to a maneuver. Hell, I love to be in a situation with a guy trying this tactic, to gain a decreased drag advantage on downwind legs. I would torture him to the point he'd leave it down, just in case I was anywhere near him. Simply put, this is an easy thing to fix, if your fleet has it come to pass. Crowd and mug him at the mark and climb all over him. He'll have no choice but to drop the appendage anytime someone gets remotely close, defeating any advantage.
     
  5. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Carbon Based Life Form

    What he said.
     
  6. Steve W
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    Steve W Senior Member

    Tempting as that may be its not worth screwing your own race. The issue to me is that in phrf there are a lot of newer skippers who really don't understand how boats work and could find themselves in a collision that should not happen, when people start fending off they can get hurt. While I realize that accidents happen all the time on the race course this is preventable by simply leaving the thing down in phrf.

    Steve.
     
  7. messabout
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    messabout Senior Member

    Competitors in dinghy fleets commonly retract the boards on free legs. Everyone does it routinely and no particular harm seems to arise from that activity because they will lower the board well before the mark rounding. In remote cases where there is a foul current at the mark, the competitor may delay dropping the board until the last instant. He'll still drop the board if he expects to make a decent rounding.

    Mugging the competitor, as Par suggests, is fair enough if he is near you in points and you need to beat him to preserve your point position. That ploy is understood and expected.
     
  8. Steve W
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    Steve W Senior Member

    Yes, i realize that dinghies do it all the time, it takes mere seconds to raise or lower so no big deal. So does the 7.9 when racing in their one design fleets, but it is totally different as i have tried to point out when you only have one boat doing it and much of the fleet are not even aware of it. My contention is if he wants to follow his one design rules, race one design, otherwise fit in with the phrf fleet.

    Steve.
     
  9. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Steve, isn't the idea of phrf that different boats can sail together? Why should one boat be forced to be less different?

    From Wikipedia:
    Performance Handicap Racing Fleet (PHRF) is a handicapping system used for yacht racing in North America. It allows dissimilar classes of sailboats to be raced against each other. The aim is to cancel out the inherent advantages and disadvantages of each class of boats, so that results reflect crew skill rather than equipment superiority.
     
  10. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    You shouldn't penalize or regulate the fleet to the lowest denominator. If you have a fleet of novices, they'll never learn anything unless they are crushed, repeatedly by better skilled skippers. This *** whipping tends to make the novices focus on what the "good" ones are doing and they try to pick up the techniques and tactics. PHRF fleets are a mixed bag, which is the point and you'll always have some, that just simply don't know what's going on, but bringing the rest of the fleet down to their level seems self defeating.

    So your issue is only one boat doing this, providing it an advantage? Where do you draw the line, maybe a percentage of the fleet? If you have a fleet of 10 boats and one is lifting it's appendage, do you need to have at least 20% of the fleet doing it, before it's acceptable? Why is it unfair that a single boat is using his vessel to best advantage?
     

  11. Steve W
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    Steve W Senior Member

    Nothing to do with advantage, there are a lot of things they do in one design fleets that make no sense, an example would be lifting the keel, if its allowed then everyone has to do it or be disadvantaged, if it were not allowed the result would be the same. Removing the outboard and stowing it by the keel is another, as long as its allowed then everyone has to do it at the risk of a back injury when if they left it on the transom ready for use in an emergency the boats would still be equal. Lake Michigan phrf where they probably have the biggest fleets of these boats don't allow the keel up, they can do whatever they want when they race od.

    Steve.
     
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