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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Cheap Classic Plastic smokes the fleet in 2013 Down the Bay Race
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Topic Review (Newest First)
06-04-2013 03:52 PM
asdf38
Re: Cheap Classic Plastic smokes the fleet in 2013 Down the Bay Race

I don't have a problem with older boats, I own one, but winning a race with corrected time isn't evidence on their behalf...the whole point of handicapping is to guarantee that slow boats, including older ones, can still win. Older boats must sometimes win, otherwise re handicapping is faulty.
06-04-2013 01:57 PM
Chimbatete
Re: Cheap Classic Plastic smokes the fleet in 2013 Down the Bay Race

I would have to say that I agree with JamesWilson point. I do agree that boats like the Olson 30 has the best $$/Fun,speed ratio, that's almost irrefutable. We have one for sale here in Lake Ontario for $25k. The fact that it can sometimes win in real time against boats 200k more makes it very attractive.

I also I agree with his point on technology. Its real simple. They are making sport boats now that are only a couple of knots faster than some of these 30 year olds ULDBs. It takes no genius to know that compared to cars, planes, that sailboats are not advancing technologically exponentially to $$.

I do agree with Paulos points that you cannot compare the prices since a new Olson would probably cost $150k now.

I'm 29 and there is now way I can just drop 300k on a J111. And we can all agree that its a bit out of reach for many middle/upper middle class people and now think that you're only going 2+ knots more than a 30 year old boat.

At the same time if I can afford it Id get a wally and have a Pogo 30 as my liferaft.
05-30-2013 09:38 PM
BubbleheadMd
Re: Cheap Classic Plastic smokes the fleet in 2013 Down the Bay Race

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeB View Post
Interestingly, in May’s Sailing World there is a nice article about affordable (classic plastic) racers. In addition to the Cal 40, there are the Express 27 & 37s, Santa Cruz 27s, Moore 24s amongst others. Oh, by the way, the blue boat on the two page photo spread is us and yours truly is the guy sitting in the back of the boat.

Got a link to that article or is it only available in print?
05-29-2013 09:55 PM
GeorgeB
Re: Cheap Classic Plastic smokes the fleet in 2013 Down the Bay Race

Ah, classic plastic… As you may know, I race on a Cal 40 that was built back in the sixties. We were San Francisco YRA (HDA) season champions last year, been third in the Rolex Big Boat Series, 3rd in the Pac Cup and have amassed numerous other victories. Old girls can still rock! It still takes a lot of money to race competitively. You can find used Cal 40s for a low as $50k, but expect to put in another $100k to make that boat race-ready. It is still a lot cheaper than a J120 or Elan however.

Competitive sailing is a much different sport here than in Europe. Here it is much more Corinthian than a spectator sport. With sponsors out of the equation, and the owner footing all the bills, racing over here (at least in California) is much more democratic and you see a lot more classic plastic than the latest design. Interestingly, in May’s Sailing World there is a nice article about affordable (classic plastic) racers. In addition to the Cal 40, there are the Express 27 & 37s, Santa Cruz 27s, Moore 24s amongst others. Oh, by the way, the blue boat on the two page photo spread is us and yours truly is the guy sitting in the back of the boat.

What is the name of the hobbie and J24? I’ve sailed on a friend’s Hobbie 33 a few times and it is a lot of fun though a little Spartan with a porta potti, igloo ice chest, and no standing room down below. It is a trailer sailor after all. A “modern” equivalent would be a Melges 32. Once you have thrown the gauntlet down, you need to track them throughout the season and let us know their standings at the end of the year. One race does not make a trend. If it did, my lowly C34 out rates a Santa Cruz 50 because on one DH race I beat one boat-for-boat.
05-29-2013 04:44 PM
anthemj24
Re: Cheap Classic Plastic smokes the fleet in 2013 Down the Bay Race

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCP View Post
The reason there is a lot more new boats used for race in Europe and a lot more sail racing has to do with that. Regular people like much more sailing here than in the US so it is much more easier to get a sponsor to pay at least part of the expenses. Because sailing is looked as "nice and clean" its value for promoting a product is much higher than in the states where its value seems to be associated with "old and rich guys".

Regards

Paulo
That is part of it. I think part of it may also be that you folks have have not lost as much of your free time to the altars of globalization. Sailing takes space, money, time, and desire. Americans have money, the rest .... Of course this is just a generalization, there are still some folks here with all 4, and some with none. Still, my belief is that loss of time and space is a much greater contributor to sailing's decline here than money, marketing, or promotion.
05-29-2013 03:36 PM
PCP
Re: Cheap Classic Plastic smokes the fleet in 2013 Down the Bay Race

Quote:
Originally Posted by anthemj24 View Post
... The cost of campaigning a boat in the 35ft range is very high regardless of the initial price. Plus the logistics are crazy. I had a half baked idea to do more racing and get a sport boat I could trailer around, once I started adding up the costs in time, money, and grey hair, I bagged the whole idea. The price of the boat was the last thing on my mind, instead it was the hotels, gas for the tow vehicle, new sails each year, restaurant bills, and trying to get 5 people to commit to a full schedule given the realities of today's work schedules. The guys who can take that time off, or pay people to put a campaign together for them, pay for all the maintenance, crew, and other expenses, are not going to skimp on the initial price.
The reason there is a lot more new boats used for race in Europe and a lot more sail racing has to do with that. Regular people like much more sailing here than in the US so it is much more easier to get a sponsor to pay at least part of the expenses. Because sailing is looked as "nice and clean" its value for promoting a product is much higher than in the states where its value seems to be associated with "old and rich guys".

Regards

Paulo
05-29-2013 03:25 PM
PCP
Re: Cheap Classic Plastic smokes the fleet in 2013 Down the Bay Race

Quote:
Originally Posted by jameswilson29 View Post
..

Where are the new, production raceboats like the old Santa Cruz 27, J/27, Olson 30, and Hobie 33?

These were superfast for their day, relatively spartan, low tech boats for the average (did-well-financially) Joe to race: regular hand-laid fiberglass hull, regular aluminum single spreader rig, simple layout, simple gear, and regular lead keel.

Now you have to buy a scrimp, vacumn-bagged epoxy hull with a carbon fiber mast, a carbon fiber foil, and a more complicated, expensive rig and gear, not to mention electronics. The entry costs are much greater now. And for what? An incremental speed gain in light air?

The relatively, inexpensive new speedsters don't exist anymore. That fact that those boats are still competitive says something about where modern race design has gone.
I continue without understanding. An Olson, a Santa Cruz or a Hobbie were not in their time more expensive than a Jboat and a Jboat is not comparatively more expensive now than what it was 30 years ago.

There are plenty of new boat like that in Europe, they are not exported to the US because the market for that kind of boats in the US is very small.

Just some boats that go on that category: Surprise, A31, Salona 33, Elan 310, A27, seascape 27, Pogo 30, First 35, Malango 888, Django 7.6, Sunfast 32, JPK 998, Dehler 29....well I could continue to post boats... I find the situation amusing : Americans don't want or buy that kind of boats and then you complain that they don't exist on the market. For having a market it is necessary to have enough sailors wanting a given type of boat and does not count the ones that only buy used old boats.

Well James, that is mot happening on the US. The ones that want new boats want Hunters, Jeanneaus and Benetaus or Bavarias, even in what regards 30/33ft boats. They don't want fast boats with a less big or good interior and James, size for size, quality for quality fast boats were always more expensive than slower boats: You can see that comparing the Benetau with the First or the Cruising line of Elan with the performance line. The reasons are obvious.

Regards

Paulo
05-29-2013 02:52 PM
anthemj24
Re: Cheap Classic Plastic smokes the fleet in 2013 Down the Bay Race

Quote:
Originally Posted by SchockT View Post
Races like that one do not represent the pinnacle of racing in North America, rather it represents a typical "run what you brung" phrf club race. The beauty of races like that is that anyone CAN win, even the oldies. Any given boat can benefit from being on the right side of a big shift, fleet compression on a dying breeze, or other teams mistakes. It is not an indication of one boat's overall superiority, nor is it an indictment of modern technology. (Don't forget, even the old boats benefit from technological advancements in sail, rope, and hardware technologies.) I have been in races like that one where even a lowly San Juan 24 has won overall. I am sure that San Juan owner was happy to get the pickle dish, and his moment of fame, but was under no illusion that his boat was superior to the rest of the boats in the fleet.

The Hobie 33, like the Olson 30 I race on, is capable of getting onto a sustained plane in the right conditions, and when that happens, all bets are off, because any displacement boats, no matter how new and expensive are not going to win a drag race. In a well set up buoy race that advantage may be partially offset by.the upwind legs where the bigger faster rated boats may be able to stretch out enough to hold their lead off the wind.

The J24 owes it's success to good marketing and strong one design fleets. One design crews tend to be more polished and know how to get the most out of their boats. At the same time they have tended to have pretty soft ratings under phrF, since the vast majority race one design so their rating has not evolved as other boats have. They are NOT particularly good boats overall, they are good one design boats. If you compare them to their more modern replacements like the Melges 24 they are complete dogs!
I agree with some of what you say here, but the idea that the J24 has a soft PHRF rating is just not true. The same guys racing their a**es off in regional one design events are also sailing weds nights and other local PHRF events. J24s that do consistently well in PHRF are being sailed hard and sailed well. A rating of 168 is no gift, and with >5000 hulls sailing for over 30 years, it is one of the most well established ratings you could find.

I also think it is a mistake to compare the Melges 24 to the J24, they are completely different boats. If I traded the J for a Melges, my wife would never get on the boat again. You could not pay me to sit on the rail of a Melges 24, hanging over the lifelines by my midsection. They are fast and cool boats, but a completely different design criteria and set of requirements. I can not imagine anyone attempting to do the DTB race in a Melges 24, you might as well be doing it in a Hobie or Thistle. Aside from being boats that are popular to race and the same length, there is very little in common between them.

I don't know that there exists a boat which is "good overall", just ones that meet a set of design criteria and ones that fail to meet a set of design criteria.
05-29-2013 02:25 PM
SchockT
Re: Cheap Classic Plastic smokes the fleet in 2013 Down the Bay Race

Races like that one do not represent the pinnacle of racing in North America, rather it represents a typical "run what you brung" phrf club race. The beauty of races like that is that anyone CAN win, even the oldies. Any given boat can benefit from being on the right side of a big shift, fleet compression on a dying breeze, or other teams mistakes. It is not an indication of one boat's overall superiority, nor is it an indictment of modern technology. (Don't forget, even the old boats benefit from technological advancements in sail, rope, and hardware technologies.) I have been in races like that one where even a lowly San Juan 24 has won overall. I am sure that San Juan owner was happy to get the pickle dish, and his moment of fame, but was under no illusion that his boat was superior to the rest of the boats in the fleet.

The Hobie 33, like the Olson 30 I race on, is capable of getting onto a sustained plane in the right conditions, and when that happens, all bets are off, because any displacement boats, no matter how new and expensive are not going to win a drag race. In a well set up buoy race that advantage may be partially offset by.the upwind legs where the bigger faster rated boats may be able to stretch out enough to hold their lead off the wind.

The J24 owes it's success to good marketing and strong one design fleets. One design crews tend to be more polished and know how to get the most out of their boats. At the same time they have tended to have pretty soft ratings under phrF, since the vast majority race one design so their rating has not evolved as other boats have. They are NOT particularly good boats overall, they are good one design boats. If you compare them to their more modern replacements like the Melges 24 they are complete dogs!
05-29-2013 01:18 PM
CBinRI
Re: Cheap Classic Plastic smokes the fleet in 2013 Down the Bay Race

Quote:
Originally Posted by zz4gta View Post
James, you're missing the point. The ONLY reason the older boats are competitive is because of their handicap rating. That's it. Take away the rating, and they are obsolete. Still a fun boat to sail, but boats that are 20-30 years old will not hang with a new race boat. Period.
Of course, and I don't believe he is missing the point. His point is not that the older boats can beat the high tech new boats head to head. He is simpy saying that they can be very competitive in handicap racing and can give a high bang for your buck fun ratio, which is really the point of handicap racing.
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