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post #5 of Old 08-12-2006
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: MS Gulf Coast
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I'm still trying to get what you mean by "rule beater." From my frame of reference, that would mean they were successful at skirting the rules of the day and winning, but in the examples I have seen you apply this term to, you state the boats were not good boats, not successful. So how were they beating the rules?

The CCA form "considered length as the basis for the rating and then had adjustments for beam, draft, displacement, and sail area, plus correction factors for stability and propeller."

So, an example of what would seem to me to be a rule beater would be a certain 40ft fiberglass boat that used a heavy steel pipe for the structural keel, thus reducing actual ballast and receiving a nice ballast credit in the process, as well as a heavy displacement credit...and was very successful because of it. That's a rule beater. It didn't even have to break the rules to win, just exploited them to best advantage.

Other examples: "There were many other innovative gambits. Ray Hunt sailed a sloop as a catboat by not setting any headsails and did quite well. Bill Luders sailed Storm without any mainsail and also won his share. I designed a 33-foot schooner, Ingenue, which was rated with a small Bermudian foresail, which she rarely set. Instead, she raced with a huge "fisherman staysail" that set on the foremast sail track, completely filled the space between the masts and overlapped the mainsail like a genoa jib. She gained quite a bit of silver, too, particularly in races where there was a fair amount of offwind work."

That also touches on another statement you throw out there when you say the boats were dependent on 170-180% genoas. I've just cited two examples of boats built with a particular rig in mind (shall we say, dependent on that rig), but then didn't compete with the rig deployed as built....and won! Dependent? Sail tech has come a long way, and under PHRF, those boats now use 150's. You know this. And with the right skipper, they can, and do still win. So what happened? Did the boats kick their dependence? Maybe that's what was used then because it was all they could do to get a given level of performace, but dependent? Re-rigging and buying new sails is all part of it. Can we say, "Change the setup." No setup is cast in stone.

On the leverage issue. You're citing examples of boats..., who knows how well they were built? Maybe the whiners were wimps. Maybe they were too cheap to buy a decent sized wheel. Sure, maybe they were set up wrong. It also goes to the sailing they're looking at. Mild weekends? Not too much to handle there. Island hopping and stormy weather? That might be too much without some changes. Who knows?

I don't disagree that it probably isn't the best choice, definitely not for most people. However, maybe the guy leaps steep learning curves in a single bound. You never know. I do better jumping in over my head, maybe he does too.

How, exactly, is it the S-J 45 was a rule beater? And what, exactly, does that have to do with someone getting their first boat? He didn't say he was looking for his first racing boat.

Oh, and on the keel issue. I wasn't disputing what you said about different configurations of keels being compromises of one or more designs, resulting in better or worse performance. I was pointing out that your "for the record" description was inadequate. If you followed the link I posted, you see that there are several variations on the full keel, and how they vary from incarnations of the fin, in shape, length, width, leading edge, etc.

Look, heeling in a CCA boat is good. And it's awfully fun. They get better as they heel. That's how they were designed. It's not just my feeling that heeling is good. You want best speed outta one, it's on an ear. It's a difference in execution, that's all. I'm not saying it's better than newer designs that have much stiffer initial stability, but there are those who don't think you're sailing unless the boat is heeling, and I'm one of them. That's a difference in choice. You don't like heeling, get a newer, wider boat...or a very heavy, relatively wide old boat. I'm not blind to changes in sailboats. I get a little envious every time I think about some newer design surfing along when conditions permit. Mine can surf....down the back of a 30ft wave. Otherwise, nope! I start thinking about things like retractable hydrofoils, but that's not gonna happen. Such is life. I can incorporate improvements, and am doing so. I'm not here trying to say only "Old School" can get it right, but it is how we got to this point, and there's lots of knowledge there. But really, these guys whining about having to reef....isn't that why they're there...the reef points, I mean. Come on already. Sounds like they're complaining about the work involved in sailing. I wonder who told them sailing in 30 knots would be as easy as sailing in 5-10 knots? Maybe they should take up something easier, or get good at avoiding heavy air.

Face it. If someone wants a boat, no amount of advice will change their mind. I know of a certain new owner of a certain Bristol 29, or was it 29.9 that you advised strongly against. Damned if he didn't go and buy it anyway, and by all accounts I've seen, is happy he did it. He's active in the community and in the boat. If we were really gonna direct people to an easier-to-sail setup for beginners, everyone would have to buy some little 14ft dinghy to start with, then move up from there after so many hours, just like aircraft pilots....and they'd have to have a license. Here's an idea, why not preface advice on boats like this with a disclaimer. "Personally, I do not like the sailing characteristics of CCA boats. That being said...yada, yada, yada." Something like that. I dunno man, when you get on the subject, it reeks of revulsion for the CCA class in particular (though not exclusively), and I'm not the only one who's noticed.

Bottom line. It'd be great if we could all have nice wide-body, roomy unsinkable, super-stable boats. Not gonna happen. In the real world, opportunities came as they will, imperfect most of the time. Maybe this is a golden chance to get in on sailing for the fellow. After all, it is better to have sailed a "beater" than to have never sailed at all.

Last edited by seabreeze_97; 08-12-2006 at 12:43 AM.
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