Hmmmmm, so if building an old boat out of newer space age materials is still making it an old boat design......Why the hell are folks building the old "J-Boat" from the early 1900 America's cup boats?!?!?!?!? Or has the rules of the J-class boats changed such that they can? I thought the basic design, specs etc were kept the same, but hulls made of aluminum, carbon spars, laminate sails etc, but still needing to come in using the original design specs of that class.
Good question, Marty. You forgot to mention that building an old J-Boat like this can't be done without a lot more $$$ than you'd need to buy an Oyster!!...
The answer is that some of these old Class designs
were almost perfection in themselves (thinking J-Boats, 22-square-metres, 6-metres, Flying Fifteens, Dragons, etc.) and being such incredible fun to race meant that enough have survived over the years in various parts of the world to keep the Class alive. Clever people in the Class Associations then tweak the rules enough to allow advances in materials to be used in construction whilst maintaining the original design (complete with known flaws in some cases!) intact.
If you're curious, have a look around the CIM website
Even though boat-speed and handling is roughly the same in the same wind conditions, it's a very, very different sailing experience racing to windward in an over-canvassed heavyweight Gentleman's Yacht one day and a lightweight Plastic Fantastic the next - particularly in a stiff breeze. Personal taste.. that's why people spend their fortunes doing it.
Paulo should try it one day.