The WOOD Regatta -- and a New Development Class(es)

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by CarlC, Mar 26, 2010.

  1. CarlC
    Joined: Aug 2009
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    Location: Maine

    CarlC Junior Member

    Dear All,

    I'd love to have your comments about the following design parameters. We want to keep it simple and inclusive.

    This same topic is also on the WoodenBoat Form (, Designs/Plans.

    Thanks in advance for your help and counsel. Carl

    WOOD Regatta 2011 Rules 3/25/10 – Version 4

    The WOOD (Wooden Open & One-Design) Regatta consists of two major components:

    1.One-design, which are historical classes such as Blue Jays, Windmills, Lightnings, etc. They all race under Portsmouth Yardstick ratings, and overall prizes are given. If a class has 10 or more entries, it will be given its own start. Other starts will be determined by Portsmouth Yardstick number. Owners must declare if their boats have been altered from one-design requirements.

    If a wooden boat is NOT a one-design, it is still possible to participate in the one-design component. A provisional Portsmouth Yardstick rating will be issued.

    2.The “Open” portion is for skippers who wish to race under a development or box rule. Class one-designs may elect to join one of these group as well. These are ALL sailboats. In general, this category is for new designs and builds, but by no means exclusively.

    Max LOA 10' 12' 14' 16' 18' 20'

    Max BEAM 4' 5' 6' 6'6” 7'6” 8'6”

    Masthead-bottom of
    centerboard/keel 17'6” 21' 24' 27'6” 31' 34'

    Max # of crew 1 1 2 3 3 3


    1.All hulls and decks must be wooden.
    2.Spars may be wood or aluminum.
    3.Sails must be dacron or polywrap; spinnakers may be nylon. No other materials permitted.
    4.Max LOA measures from the aftermost point of the transom to the foremost point of the bow, including spinnaker pole, extended. Rudders will not be measured unless they are abnormally large (judges' discretion).
    5.Max Beam includes wings or racks (racks may be wood, aluminum, or stainless steel). Trapezes are permitted and are not measured as such. If a boat is a multihull, no Max Beam shall be enforced. But multis will race in a separate class, if applicable.
    6.Masthead-bottom of centerboard/daggerboard/leeboard/keel is measured from the top of the mast to the lowest point on an extended foil. For this first year at least, hydrofoils are not permitted. Gaff rigs may have spars that extend above the masthead, without penalty, unless judged “too extreme.” This is judges' discretion. This may change in the future. In no instance may be the gaff be longer than 50% of the boat's LOA. And it may not be flown parallel to the mast.
    7.Max # of crew is for guidance only. Fewer crew may be used (for boats 14' and longer). There are no crew weight restrictions.
    8.Moveable ballast – except crew – is not permitted.

    The spirit of this competition is fun, safety, and simplicity.

    The event is tentatively scheduled for May 20-22, 2011 at the Rock Hall Yacht Club, MD – pending the club's board meeting in April.
  2. Tom.151
    Joined: Jul 2009
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    Tom.151 Senior Member

    I've read the comments on the forum and am including comments that reference those messages.

    * It seems that the current discussion concerning the boat as being "wooden" is limiting the build to one of basically traditional construction - as opposed to wood/epoxy composite with stitch and glue and taped seam construction being outlawed. If that is your intent (and it would be a shame IMHO) then you should say that explicitly in the rules.

    * As for carbon/kevlar etc., for boats is this size range wood reinforced with carbon is common yet not a large expense. Banning solid or predominantly solid carbon components, whether as part of the boat structure or the rig, is an okay rule.

    * As far as limitations on materials for hardware or rigging - none, as it's not worth the aggro and it allows us to scavenge from our inventory of miscellaneous parts a keep costs down. Hardware to include: chain plates, goose necks, blocks, sheaves, rudder heads, travelers, etc.

    * As for "where to draw the line?"... if you intend to foster development/open classes the you don't draw the line - you define the box.

    * Development of innovative rigs would be fostered by a rule that simply limits the maximum height of the highest part of the sail (not by limiting the mast or other spars) -- and measure from the static waterline as opposed to the bottom of the foils/keel.

    * Rudders not measured in LOA - except rudders that include a surface that is parallel to and an obvious extension/continuation of the bottom surface are measured (better phrasing needed, but it is a 'you'll know it when you see it' thing).

    * Segregate ballasted (fixed or movable) from unballasted boats as separate classes.

    I would be really great to see get behind development classes for self built boats that includes modern shapes, materials, and building techniques.

  3. CarlC
    Joined: Aug 2009
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    CarlC Junior Member

    Thanks so much, Tom. Good comments, all. DEFINITELY embrace wood-epoxy, and stitch-and-glue. I suspect this is what the majority of the new-builds will choose.

    I agree with you on banning solid carbon, vs. permitting it in local applications.

    Definitely we want this (new designs) to be experimental. OK, I'll redraft for max. sail height rather than mast height -- good idea.

    Thanks so much, Carl
  4. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    For what it's worth, it's probably worth drawing a line at sail area. Historically, the unrestricted sail area dinghy classes have arguably been less influential and innovative than the restricted-area classes, and they have definitely been less likely to enjoy large fleets.

    If you look at something as leading-edge as a modern Int 14 (a restricted-area class but with a large SA), you'll see mostly features that have been developed in other restricted-area classes. About the only exception is the assymetric kite.

    Restricted-area classes also tend to give more performance for the buck and create bigger fleets. So maybe thought should be given to SA restrictions.

    Some people in the US seem to baulk at the idea of development classes with small sail areas. That may be why the US development dinghy fleet totals about 110 boats or something like that, whereas in my home state in Oz we get probably 230 development class boats that turn up to championships, and 190 of them are in the restricted-sail classes. It's similar in the UK - the restricted-sail classes are the most popular ones.

    Secondly, the rule allowing a gaff seems to be an open invitation to come in with a very long, light gaff at a rake of about 20 degrees, allowing them to carry a much bigger rig. Can you really chuck them out under the "too extreme" rule if someone's spent their time and money on the rig?
  5. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Carl, sounds interesting but as a suggestion for the future you might not want to limit beam-even for monohulls. There is a new technology about to be tested that allows for on-deck movable ballast-like Herreshoff did in the 1800's- that would have a 12-14' beam and could be built of wood and aluminum. If it works out I imagine there could be some interest in sailing in an event like this. For experimental stuff this is probably not an era where traditional ideas of a monohull "box" are the best limitations.
    Hope it goes well!
  6. Tom.151
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    Tom.151 Senior Member

    1st: Sail area is in fact restricted by limiting the max height of the sail. So no problem. If for some reason it is desirable ((??)) to also limit downwind SA -- then place a limit on (or exclude) the bow sprit, pole, prodder, or whatever you want to call it -- but it's hard to rationalize that in a box rule development class IMHO.

    2nd: I very long gaff may give them sail area but are hardly an invitation to performance. In fact it would be very interesting to see if someone could actually produce a high performance boat by using a very long gaff.

    "Chucking" people who are innovating seems hardly the appropriate purpose of a development class.

    my 2-cents

  7. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    It's not a case of "chucking" people, but an acceptance that many decades of experience in the countries that have major development classes gives substance to the view that most developments come from boats with moderate-size rigs and open rules.

    Off the top of my head, such classes created;

    the trapeze (in Western sailing, anyway);
    dinghies designed to plane;
    lightweight construction;
    wing masts;
    solid wing sails;
    full-batten sloop mains;
    planks/sliding seats;
    international racing in small boats;
    flex-tip rigs;
    flexible bermudan rigs in dinghies;
    trapping from wings/racks;
    trapezing on singlehanders;
    the modern squarehead sail;
    planing skiffs;
    radical flare;
    U-shaped hulls with a planing flat/inverse garboard;
    self-draining cockpits in dinghies;

    and no doubt more. That's many more developments than the few that came from the very small number of unrestricted-rig classes. If you have fewer restrictions on rigs you end up with very expensive boats, so why not till the cheaper and more fertile ground?

    On gaffs - it's hard to see how the extra 9' or so of rig height you could get if you stuck a gaff on the 18 footer version of the class wouldn't be worth the additional weight. That's what (IMHO) you often get with few restrictions on rig - a big and costly expanse of sail that certainly drive you faster, but at a disproportionate expense in dollars, complexity and handling issues. A low aspect main isn't very efficient, for example, but a lot of the time it will beat a cheaper, higher-aspect and more efficient main. That would probably be especially the case in a class like this, where tight restrictions on the kite pole mean you may struggle to tack downwind effectively a lot of the time...and that'll be an issue in itself since you'll probably end up with 1 to 3 feet waterline beam!

    A fragile ultra-light 20 footer with a 3' (ish) waterline beam, 8'6" racks, 28'ish stick and 10' gaff (in the largest of the four rigs) and stemhead (ie hard to gybe) assy and a symmetrical for light winds sounds a bit expensive, but one wonders what would beat it in a series.
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