Join Date: Aug 2002
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I agree, as one newbie boat owner to another, just get it out there and start racing... don''t worry about the boat''s competitiveness level.
PHRF is not for the ultra-competitive, its just an easy system to make it as fair and fun as possible for everyone to use their own boats to race.
My boat (a Dehler DB1) could easily be considered as a poorly suited PHRF racer, although it might not seem so at first look.
It''s a light IOR full-out racing design with enough control lines to make spaghetti, a bad bottom job, older sails, and a novice crew. Definitely considered a "fast" boat for its time. It has also been described as ''difficult to sail to its rating'' even with everything in good condition, because in order to get the best performance out of it (which is what a PHRF rating normally assumes - a good condition and well-sailed boat) all of those controls need to be adjusted quickly and properly. Additionally, it requires a large crew (6+ ideal) to handle all these controls and act as ballast, which means coordinating that many more people to act in concert. It is a difficult boat to sail well. The potential for things to go wrong (and slow down the boat) is quite high, and happened often with the newbie crew.
In contrast, consider more of a cruising-style boat with basically just a main and jib sheet to deal with, and that only requires a 3 man crew. It may be physically slower, but the rating takes that into account so its not a problem. There are very few controls to mess with or people to coordinate, so the odds of adjusting things wrong, having a bad tack, a miscommunication, and so on go way down. As long as it is sailed well this boat will probably sail very consistently to its rating, and probably do well on its adjusted time finishes day-in and day-out. This would probably be considered an excellent PHRF competitor.
Some things to consider. Just go race, and work on getting your boat (the bottom especially) in as good of a condition as you can.