Crew Weight Limits

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Postby Guest » Mon Nov 14, 2005 1:25 pm

Bernie- it could not have been said any better!!!

Postby Guest » Mon Nov 14, 2005 5:25 pm


The word " OK " maybe be the biggest under statement I have read in this posting. Congrats to Le Glide's team on another fine weekend on the water.
FYI- Kick's team in Feb 05 when I bought the boat weighed 870 lbs. We made weight for the first time this NOOD.. so it can be done!! Now we can spend time on the water instead of the gym!

Postby Guest » Tue Nov 15, 2005 12:11 pm

Thanks for bringing some common sense to this discussion. The bottom line is that we have an issue that has been identified and we have gotten to the point where an analytical proposal needs to be brought before the membership before emotional outbursts taint the process and the Class. I would like to propose that the Class officers nominate a committee to gather information regarding the effects of incremental weight on the rail. The eventual goal of this group should be a fact based proposal regarding the issue as to whether an amendment to the rules of the Class is necessary or appropriate. Key information for this should be an analysis of righting moments for the boat (J-Boats should have this info calculated) based on the various weights being considered. This should be compared to other similar boats and crew situations. At that point we as a group can vote to decide which direction we will take. One thing I do know is that the craven types of postings I have seen on this site do nothing to advance the Class or it's image to the other sailors who may be considering our boat for purchase. Let's take the high road on this and stop the personal attacks.
Jeff Bodkin

Postby Guest » Tue Nov 15, 2005 10:25 pm

Key West

2006 XXXXXXXXX???? 9 registered

Lets stop talking

Postby Guest » Wed Nov 16, 2005 10:01 am

Hey guys,

I just wanted to thank all of you for letting me rant on your forum.

Because I still live with my mom, it's hard for me to imagine life outside of her house, let alone what it is really like to own any kind of boat. For some reason, complaining about things that I have no experience with on this forum has really helped me stop wetting the bed.

Usually I spend much of my time surfing Michael Jackson fan club websites, but mother said I couldn't go there anymore and I find this much more enjoyable.

Anyway, I have to go back to my room now. Mom doesn't trust me to not visit so I have to sneak into her bedroom to use the computer and I think she is waking up now.

Your best friend,
Unregistered guest

Postby Guest » Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:19 pm

Where have we ended up?

I believe the fleets were polling to determine what the majority of local sailors wanted for the southern circuit. What was the outcome?

Ghost Dancing

Postby Guest » Sat Nov 19, 2005 8:02 pm

RE: unregistered guest's 11/15 posting, I don't know what it's purpose is, but if it is to show declining participation at Key West, that is not the only place to sail. There are a lot more fiscally reasonable places to have fun. I seriously doubt unregistered has ever footed the bill for a week there. If you like Key West so much, go there now, since there is another hurricane heading that way.

Postby Guest » Sat Nov 19, 2005 10:11 pm


Key West is indeed an expensive place to sail and that may account for smaller fleets.

However, Miami Race Week (formerly SORC) hasn't seen J-80's in quite a few years. The Tampa NOOD J-80 fleet seems to be diminishing especially when you factor in the fact that 4 of 8 boats in 2005 were J-World entries.

Looking at posted results it seems that many southern circuit stops have gone from expecting 20 plus boats to hoping for a dozen.

There are exceptions. It looks a few regattas in the northeast are seeing 25 boat fleets. But that was an average weekend in Texas a few years ago and is now a blockbuster turnout.

As secretary I would expect that you could point to some concrete instances of other places that the fleet is gathering instead of Key West. Is the fleet growing? Are more J-80's hitting the starting line now then there were 4 years ago?

I am curious.

In addition, fleet sizes at Key West and the now under new management Miami Race Week continue to grow and maintain strong participation in many classes. Disparaging regattas and a region serves no purpose. Additionally none of our major events on the Florida calendar fall into Hurricane season.

Postby Guest » Sun Nov 20, 2005 12:15 pm

Long Island, NY Fleet#4 has grown to 14 boats from six a few years back. Four new owners this year alone. Two were brand new boats, one was sold by a local owner and one was purchased from Massachusetts. We do not enforce weigh-in for our local series (except for annual championship regatta) and encourage junior sailors participation as 5th crew members. The fleet champs are 70 lbs under weight.

Postby Guest » Mon Nov 21, 2005 11:15 am

The turn out for this years Key West appears to be on track. I personally know of 5 boat who are attending but have not yet registered. It is early. Look at the Melges fleet right now. They cureently have 29 boats registered, They had 58 last year. This year they should draw atleast 60 for Key West being that their worlds are in Florida next month.

Fleets are growing and people are taking measures to retain competitive fleets. California is now on the rise with 9 boats showing for the last regatta. A year ago it was 5. I think, with a little inginuity there will could be 60 - 70 boats at the Worlds in Corpus Christi, even though it will be 100+ degrees.

It is a great boat.

The class has gained a different level of respet amongst competitior due to the appointment of Greg Buck as the class measurer. Keep up the good work.

Postby Guest » Tue Nov 29, 2005 11:59 am

At the risk of poking this fire back into flames, I'd like to add my comments to this perenial theme, since I've been on record as opposing increased weight limits for at least the past five years.

Fleet one does not enforce the weight limit for Thursday night fleet racing. We do require an owner's declaration, implying that we require compliance with the weight issue. Problem is that its impossible to enforce when 18 boats converge from an eight mile radius of home ports. So we do have some pretty obvious cheating (lets call it what it is).

Since we're rounding up the usual suspects in this debate, lets have a lineup:

1) Increasing the weight limit will increase participation.

Exactly how many boycotting boats would sail a full schedule if the weight were increased to 800, 850, unlimited, formula, whatever.

But lets look at the flip side, exactly how many would lose interest in the class if the competition is an 800+ lb crew.

There is a point of balance - I think that we are in balance now.

2) Its very hard to find crew that weighs in.

So heavy owners are finding it hard to get light people to crew. What happens when the limit is increased? Light owners have a hard time finding heavy crew. Same problem - you need new crew.

3) You need big guys to handle the kite when it blows.

I'd prefer a fit 175lb cloth handler to a 225lb anytime. The fit guys are usually stronger and certainly more agile.

4) The helmsman's weight is a special case.

This idea comes to us from the J105 class - where many, if not most, have a wheel. Most of the fast J80 helmsman I know sit well outboard in front of the traveler. There is little difference between the extra helmsman weight and extra crew weight on a J80. 30 pounds of legs outboard vs. inboard amounts to less than 4 percent of the righting moment of the crew.

5) The fact that weight is not an issue for the Europeans is not relevant in the US.

Then why did the class apply for ISAF recognition?
It is myopic to see participation as US attendance. The Europeans not only account for much of the serious racing, they build the boat.

One thing that has changed is that I now see that a previous advocate of increasing the limit has lost significant weight. I know of at least one local sailor in fleet one who has lost significant weight. Encouraging folks to reduce their weight is healthy. Raising the limit encourages otherwise fit people to let their weight increase to less healthy levels.

Someone said it right - this is a sport. The more effort we put into fitness and training - the more we get out of it. For many - the rewards (spelled F-U-N) are measured in those terms.

Postby Guest » Tue Nov 29, 2005 2:06 pm

First let me say that the weight should stay at 745 or the 745 and change. Of course I would like to see the weight increase but that has proper channels to go through and that is not going to happen between now and the foreseeable future. All 5 arguments that were posted are valid arguments in my opinion both for and against the weight change. For those that know me, I am not a light weight person by any means. What this means is that I go and find smaller crew.

In terms of trimming in heavy air, once my trimmer says I can't trim anymore then I drive the boat to the sail. It is really a simple process.

The argument that I do not think should be used under any circumstance is that we should take it on our shoulders to promote healthier skippers by requiring them to lose weight. This is a dangerous thought that should be avoided. It is no one's place to tell someone if they are healthy or not unless it is the individual or their Physician. I have seen several "small" people that have had serious health problems even though they would appear at a cursory glance to be in "good" and "healthy" shape.

Yes this is a SPORT which is why we should play by the rules that are in place. This is why I support the rule of 745. Until it is changed, I will continue to support the rule of 745 pounds. Would I like to see it increased, perhaps. Of course it will be easier on me but I have learned just like everyone else to manage my crew so that I weigh in at the proper weight.

Hank Lattimore

Postby Guest » Tue Dec 06, 2005 1:58 am

If fleet one has obvious cheating and exceeding the class weight gives an unfair advantage, and enforcing the weight would increase participation, it would seem that in the best interest of the fleet and the class, someone should be filing protests.

It appears that fleet 1 and fleet 4 are not enforcing the weight limit at every regatta and they are enjoying strong and increasing interest. Further, it also looks like some of the dominant boats are sailing below the weight limit and doing just fine.

If we were to double the weight limit to 1500 lbs, would anybody load up with 8- 10 people to get to that weight? Does anybody believe that would make them the fastest boat out there?

I do agree with Bob, 745 is a good crew weight for the boat. I don’t think we should change it. I just think that the Southern Circuit should not get so wound up about it. Each of us needs to concentrate on our skills and stop worrying about the other boats. If weigh-ins were limited to the big events: the Worlds, the North Americans, the mid-winters (Key West) etc., any team that wanted to compete sucessfully would try to stay at weight anyway. Then, if a team-mate can’t attend a local event, you have a lot more flexibility in getting a replacement. Similarly, you can have that extra donut now or then, without hosing your boat.

It would be an interesting experiment to have fleets 1 and 4 enforce the weight for a year to see if that would increase participation. While they are doing that, the Southern Circuit could try a year without enforcing it.

Ghost Dancing


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