Extending Sprit before offset

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Postby Guest » Tue Apr 15, 2003 8:17 pm

After racing in my first J/80 event this past weekend on Texoma Lake, I suddenly realized the length of the bow sprit and its possible impact on the rules that use "Two Boat Length" and "Overlap".

I have mainly raced standard spinnaker boats with poles that extend no farther forward than the J measurement. On the race course, I was taken back a little about how to interpret the rules.

Now that I have gotten home and read over the definitions, I am now interpreting the two boat length based on length of the hull itself and not the length with with extended pole. The definition of the overlap includes the boat and all her gear so this clearly includes the pole extended. Am I interpreting this correctly?

Another question I have is can the pole be extended at any point prior to rounding the weather mark or does one have to wait until after rounding? How about on the take-down?
Terry Burke
TopNotch #405

Postby Guest » Wed Apr 16, 2003 7:51 am

The proper interpretation is the boat and equipment. 1 boat length is around 32 feet.

Read the class rules for a full description on the extension and retraction of the sprit. To paraphrase: The sprit cannot be extended until the boat rounds the windward mark and passes an imaginary line drawn from the starting line throughthe windward mark. It must be retracted at the first reasonable opportunity. However youcan use it on a windward leg if there is a massive windshift. The thought behind the rule is that the class did not want the sprit extended by competitors to gain advantage in approaching the mark. The J105 class set a precedence with this and several years ago a lot of 105 bow sprits were getting snapped off!!!

Sorry I missed you guys at Texoma. Boomerang will be ready for Ft. Worth in a couple of weeks.

Scott Spurlin
Boomerang USA 334

Postby Guest » Wed Apr 16, 2003 8:23 am

I have a slightly different take than Scott. The definition of the two boat-length circle uses the term "hull lengths" which I believe does NOT include the sprit. However, if the sprit is out it obviously can be used to establish an overlap (in the same way that a spinnaker does when extending past the bow). Based on the restrictions described in the class rules (paraphrased nicely by Scott), this scenario will occur at the leeward mark only since the sprit will be retracted when approaching the windward mark.

Postby Guest » Wed Apr 16, 2003 1:01 pm

I am quite certain that the in all cases outside of establishing overlap, the rules are quite clear in referencing hull length. It is also stated in the definitions. Otherwise, it would make sense to retract the bow sprit just as you approach the leeward mark before the two boat circle

Postby Guest » Wed Apr 16, 2003 3:39 pm

I agree 2 hull lengths, not boat and equipment as is the case for overlap.

Postby Guest » Wed Apr 16, 2003 11:09 pm


I sail on Javelin, and I want to compliment you on that downwind crossing at the finish of the second race on Sunday. Great boat handling getting your stern around our spirit (I didn't think you would make it)!! Nice to meet you guys - Come down to FWBC in October!!

Postby Guest » Thu Apr 17, 2003 11:50 am

The definitions under Equipment Rules go as such,

Hull length
The longitudinal distance between the aftermost point and the foremost point on the hull(s) excluding fittings.

Boat Length
The longitudinal distance betwee the aftermost point and the foremost point on the boat with sails and spars set as appropiate.

Under the Racing Rules Of Sailing
Two Length Zone and Overlap refer to Hull Length and not to Boat length.
The Bow sprit and Spinnaker are not included in figuring overlap at a mark, but they are included as part of the boat when finishing.

Also, Rule 10 does not apply when boats are approaching a turning or finishing mark and they are overlapped coming into the 2 hull length zone, The starboard tackers must give room for the port tacker to finish, as witnessed by the outcome of the 4 boat protest involving the finish of race 3 in Texoma.


Postby Guest » Thu Apr 17, 2003 5:09 pm

A few clarifications from the RRS:

Clear Astern and Clear Ahead; Overlap
One boat is clear astern of another when her hull and equipment in normal position are behind a line abeam from the aftermost point of the other boat's hull and equipment in normal position. The other boat is clear ahead. They overlap when neither is clear astern or when a boat between them overlaps both. These terms do not apply to boats on opposite tacks unless rule 18 applies.

Two-Length Zone
The area around a mark or obstruction within a distance of two hull lengths of the boat nearer to it.

And from Rule 18:
18.2 Giving Room; Keeping Clear
When boats are overlapped the outside boat shall give the inside boat room to round or pass the mark or obstruction, and if the inside boat has right of way the outside boat shall also keep clear. Other parts of rule 18 contain exceptions to this rule.

If boats were overlapped before either of them reached the two-length zone and the overlap is broken after one of them has reached it, the boat that was on the outside shall continue to give the other boat room. If the outside boat becomes clear astern or overlapped inside the other boat, she is not entitled to room and shall keep clear.

***Note that the RRS definitions specify, "her hull and equipment in normal position." When flying the gennaker, bowsprit extended and gennaker drawing are in "normal position." Therefore, gennaker and bowsprit are considered when determining overlap, regardless of where on the course the boats are located (mark rounding or free leg, etc.). However, according to the definition of the two-length zone, only the hull lengths are used to determine where the zone is located. For the J/80 the "zone" is a circle of 16 meters (52-foot) radius. While within this zone, any overlap of hull and/or equipment in normal position is valid.

Postby Guest » Thu Apr 17, 2003 10:32 pm


After talking to alot of skippers involved with the interesting finish of the first race on Sunday, I got a lot of differing opinions on the rule that you cited in your post:

"Also, Rule 10 does not apply when boats are approaching a turning or finishing mark and they are overlapped coming into the 2 hull length zone, The starboard tackers must give room for the port tacker to finish, as witnessed by the outcome of the 4 boat protest involving the finish of race 3 in Texoma"

Does rule 18.1(b)address this by stating that rule 18 doesn't apply to boats on opposite tacks (as Steve noted in the previous post)? I gave Terry w/Top Notch a "pat on the back" for a great downwind-port crossing to finish race two earlier. Both boats were under the impression that rule 10 was in effect.

Postby Guest » Fri Apr 18, 2003 12:04 am

Here's the RRS text that answers the previous question:
In rule 18, room is room for an inside boat to round or pass between an outside boat and a mark or obstruction, including room to tack or gybe when either is a normal part of the manoeuvre.

18.1 When This Rule Applies
Rule 18 applies when boats are about to round or pass a mark they are required to leave on the same side, or an obstruction on the same side, until they have passed it. However, it does not apply...
(b) between boats on opposite tacks, either on a beat to windward or when the proper course for one or both of them to round or pass the mark or obstruction is to tack.

Essentially, starboard tack boats must give room to port tack boats with inside overlap at a downwind mark or finish. 18.1(b) refers to weather mark roundings.

Postby Guest » Fri Apr 18, 2003 10:17 am

I don't know what happened at the incident in question, but this discussion brings up a question that I have had for awhile.

Unlike the "old days" it seems like more and more of our finishes are downwind. In some venues, when the start line is not also the finish line, the finish line is sometimes set quite short, frequently less than four boatlengths. This creates a situation where the two-boatlength circles overlap.

Two boats are heading for the middle of the line, because there are other overlaped boats finishing at either end of the line. The two circles overlap in the middle, is either boat entitled to room?

In most cases, the finish line is defined in the Sailing Instruction as a line between a Signal Boat flag and a nearby mark. To be clear - boats must pass between the two marks, rounding neither, leaving both on the respective required side.

A similar situation could occur at a short leeward gate if the gate were defined in the SI as a line between two marks, however most gates are defined as two marks, one of which must be rounded on the required side. The difference here is that rule 18 does not apply to two boats intending to round different marks.

So at the finish the boats are only "passing" the marks, not rounding them. Both boats are passing both marks, on the required sides. Is this a recipe for disaster? Or is there a loophole?

The only "out" that I can see is the prescription at the start of section C - "To the extent that a section C rule conflicts with a rule in section A or B, the Section C rule takes precedence". Clearly section C rules do not take precedence over rule 14 in section B. So do the section A rules govern here?

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