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post #1 of 4 Old 06-28-2005 Thread Starter
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question on term


can anyone please tell me what the term ''half tonner'' means?

is it a type of design? or a class? where can i find more information about it?

thanx in advance


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post #2 of 4 Old 06-28-2005
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question on term

The term "Half Tonner" harkens back to the old days of the IOR racing rules. It was known as "Level Racing" in that boats that were measured to the rules formula of the day, and the result was a particular handicap, they would all race togther, first boat accross the line wins. No handicap involved. The classes were Two Ton, One Ton, 3/4 Ton, Half Ton, Quarter Ton.

In size ranges, Two Ton boats were approximately 42 feet, One Ton about 37'', 3/4 Ton about 32 feet, Half Ton about 28 feet, and Quarter Ton about 24 feet.

The actual term "Ton" is a reference to an old, I think French, term having to do with the drayage capacity of a particular sailing vessel. Commercial boats were rated by their "Ton" regarding their waterline length and their sail area and displacement.
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post #3 of 4 Old 06-28-2005
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question on term

A couple other minor points that I would add is that as the IOR rule changed (and it was constantly changing) the sizes of boats changed as well, so that the Heritage One ton was 37 feet, but the 10 years later J-41, which was also a one tonner, was 41 feet.

I beleive that the term came from an old race cup, "The One Ton Cup" that predated IOR in which commercial vessels rated at one ton of cargo capacity raced against each other. I think the cup was actually English and not French but Simaril may be right about its French origins.

These days old one tonners are a dime a dozen. They were generally poorly built and poorly engineered since the rule was constantly changing and they would be obsolete long before they wore out. There is nothing so obsolete as a an old IOR era grand prix level race boat (except perhaps an old CCA era grand prix level race boat). They were fragile and difficult boats to sail, not especially fast in an absolute sense, they took big crews and very large sail inventories. The hardware was crude and the sail changes were frequent. They took jib sheet grinders with names like "Moose" or "Animal", if you get the picture.

Also as a side note, there was also a mini-ton class that was under 24 feet.

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post #4 of 4 Old 06-29-2005 Thread Starter
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question on term

thank you both for your replies, it''s much clearer to me now.

i have recently finished the basic course of sailing school and starting crewing on a beneteau first 30 halftonner and was curius what that meant.
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