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post #2 of Old 07-15-2009
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I sailed a Tanzer 22 (PHRF 240) for about 5 years in the local PHRF fleet near Boston. We used to get 5 or 6 boats in the D-fleet (172+) on a good Wednesday night. Turnout in that fleet got smaller and smaller every year and has nearly dried up. The old timers tell me that D-fleet used to be the biggest, 10+ years ago, and has shrunk as boat owners have moved into more racing-oriented boats. This is exactly what I ended up doing. This year we combined C (150-172) with D, and the combined fleet is still only getting 5 or so boats. The B-fleet (100-150) and A fleet (<100) get 8-10 boats, most of which are pretty well sailed. My experience as the D-fleet captain for several years is that most of the slow boat owners would rather crew on the shiny new Henderson 30 than try to round up crew for the C&C 26. The Boston area is maybe a little unusual compared to major urban areas. Instead of sailing in one big fleet in Boston Harbor, the fleets are spread out in the harbors all up and down the coast. It can be hard to round up crew down here (Hingham) because people who work in Boston can't often get back from work in time for a Wed night start. This limits crew availability and may be one of the factors that limits the number of slow boats out racing.
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