French Boats

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Postby Guest » Sun Feb 06, 2005 12:48 am

I have always been disturbed by the idea that the builder controls what is legal or not just by making it standard on new boats. The changes dictated by the French boat, has created confusion about what is legal or not in the class. The French boats came without shockcord to retract the pole. Dose that make it illegal to have shockcord? They have changed the cleats used for the main Halyard, so which type, style and location of cleats is legal? The French boats have also changed the lifeline height, the running lights, and several other things. So then we (USA boats) go to international regattas, and find things that have been used and adopted in the USA as illegal. For the people that have seen the class development from a PHRF boat to a class racing boat. A lot of the things adopted have been for the good. But at the same time are we making some things illegal that have no consequence on the performance of the boat, and were legal in the past. There are a lot of old boats out there that have stoppers for their main and jib halyard, and halyards lead aft to winches and then cleats. My point is that I think we need to address these older boats and write rules to make them legal without them having to change their boats.

The other thing that can be simple; is for the technical committee to recognize a stopper as a cleat. The current class rules allow for the substitution of blocks, cleats, turnbuckles and boom vang by non-standard manufacturers, provided that the replacement part is of similar size, weight, power ratio and performs the same function. What is a similar size? Is it the cleat size that holds a line of the same size? What is close enough? If a stopper is illegal as a cleat, how about the Spinlock PX type of cleats that make it easier to uncleat a line. Where would the ruling for them be?

Postby Guest » Sun Feb 06, 2005 1:25 am

Rope clutches or stoppers have never been legal on the J/80. The fact that they exist on a number of boats (most of which are well aware that they are not permitted) does not change this. Their choice to ignore the rules and the fact that they have not been protested over the non-permitted equipment does not make it any less illegal. The Spinlock PX cleats have been allowed by the technical committee, as they are cleats and not stoppers or clutches. Changing the rules to grandfather in boats that were never in legal configuration is not the answer. Those of us with older boats knew we had to bring our boats into specs and we did.

We all came into this class with the knowledge and understanding that it is a strict one-design class with closed class rules (what is not specifically permitted is prohibited). Most of us have weighed and corrected our boats according to the rules. Should we change the measured hull weight to accommodate older boats that have never been weighed or corrected? Should we all start using aramid sails now because they likely will be permitted in the not-too-distant future?

Let's all honor and support the rules that keep the competition level, and we can make changes through the appropriate channels. As for the different configurations that have been supplied by the builder in the past, a simple list of builder specified equipment from the first hull through the latest hull will clarify what equipment is permitted under the current rules.

Postby Guest » Sun Feb 06, 2005 1:21 pm

Dear Steve and class,

I am a little perplexed by the class rules. I just purchased a new ( French) boat, and I am getting ready to rig of customize it. I want to lead the Spinnaker halyard aft on the starboard side of the boat, just like I had it on my older boat. I also would like to lead the Jib halyard aft on the port side of the boat, to a winch, with a cleat.

Here is where the trouble comes in. I cant find anywhere in the class rules that says that I can add turning blocks at the base of the mast or the cabin top to lead the halyards aft. I know that this has been the practice for a lot of boats, but where is the rule to make it legal?

I have also seen a lot of boats that have changed the Spinnaker halyard cleat, on the side of the mast to a RWO lance cleat. A lance cleat is a nice improvement over the clam cleat as it can be cleated easier on a hoist, and uncleated easier on a drop of the spinnaker. Jay Lutz has been using this cleat for years, with great success. But is it legal and does it make the standard set by the class rules? It clearly is not a clam cleat, of the same likeness to a Harken 150.

One of the other things I noticed on the French boat was the change of the running lights from the hull to the masthead. I preferred the way they were installed in the US boats because it would not have to be rewired each time you removed the mast. ( this is important to anyone that travels a lot) I purposely ordered a Tacktick wireless speed and depth system to get away from handling the wires. Is it legal to wire my French boat to US standards for the running lights?

Postby Guest » Sun Feb 06, 2005 2:30 pm

These are all good questions, and meaningful answers are of interest to all, but is there a functional process for answering them, short of submission to ISAF clarification?

This thread started as a discussion of some potential rule changes. It has degenerated into a discussion of what the rules are. My opinion - there needs to be an official forum in which the class measurer addresses such questions. Maybe ISAF overides those interpretations in the future, but at least there would be a common understanding prior to any ISAF surprises.

As an aside. Can someone point out the rule that says that any changes made by the builder are automatically legal? If an older boat as delivered by the builder can be illegal, why can't a new one? Shouldn't the builder be proposing changes to the class for rules revision?

Postby Guest » Mon Feb 14, 2005 3:28 am

Hi Guys, WOW..... It's great to see all the responses. It seams that we have to make some choices about were we go and do. I'm split as to some of the ideas. But I do think that the builders need to get class approval before making changes, and that the older boats should be able to make the same changes without having to make structural changes to the boats. As far as the sails just use what ever you want when ever you want inside of the current sail purchase limitation rules. I'm not changing my clutches out do to safety concerns...
With all of the differences now between the boats I really don't think it matters...

Dave Hammett
DnA #87

Postby Guest » Mon Feb 14, 2005 10:21 am

Hey Gang,
I'm a newbie to the class...We just picked up Hull #655 (a new French boat) and we are very impressed with the finish and rig differences so far...All the rigging is tagged in French but we'll figure it out. Anyway, our boat comes equipped only with cam cleats for all halyard and tack line controls...Seeing all the chatter on this thread about seemingly illegal,but for safety reasons necessary line clutches, Is this a problem on my new boat? Do I have to intentionally break the rules for safety to add a tackline clutch? Coming from almost 20 years of J/24 sailing, I don't understand what all the concern is about in not gently evolving with technology or improving techniques...I'm not advocating class changes like in the International 14 class, where you have to have the latest hull/rig combo every three years, but I've also seen the One Design 14 class (a Johnstone design) completely die because NO changes were ever permitted and other designs like the 49er, gently evolve with the times after they are originally produced. Originally, the Melges 24 had two fixed winches on it's deck, and a full sized lifeline bow pulpit...Now, with 2:1 jib sheets and ratchet block technology, the winches are not needed. The class also reduced the lifelines to only what is necessary to hike out with. The J/22 in it's original PHRF form, had lifelines all the way around...Now, the class has evolved to making them optional... The JY-15 class allows 2:1 jib sheets with no clew blocks because it makes it easier for smaller crews to bring in the jib with less effort. The Bartlett tuning guide on this very site instructs one to rig 2:1 jib sheets. If it's not legal, someone should take that down from the site, as it misleads people that may be researching facts about the class, like I did, before I decided to buy a boat and join the class. Had I known that it was legal, but really not legal, I may have more strongly considered a Melges24. Previous posts on this board have discussed a video from Key West 2002 describing good tacking technique with 2:1 jib sheets...Why not allow teams to use this technique? 11 years after the J/24 was initially produced, the number of boats was staggering, partly because of the design, cost, ease of maintaing a competitive boat, and partly because the class has gently evolved with the times. The J/80 is an awesome boat, let's not keep it from gently evolving with the times, technology, and techniques. To attract more people to join the class, we should be trying to enhance the performance realistically- not keep it stagnant. Formula 1 auto racing in Europe is constantly trying to slow the cars down for safety reasons by changing the rules the other way...We should have this problem!
Do I need to worry about my Tackline having no clutch?
See you all at Sag Harbor!
Franz Reck
US655 Keyser Soze

Postby Guest » Mon Feb 14, 2005 12:15 pm

It is legal to run 2:1 jib sheets we do it some,
But you cannot add blocks to the jib, nor do you need to.
As for the clutches, Our boat is factory with cam cleats and regular cleats on the mast for the main and We do not have any problems with saftey.

Postby Guest » Wed Feb 16, 2005 2:43 pm

I was doing some checking in the rules section of our website and noticed the timetable for rules changes with ISAF is April 15th. It looks like we we have sufficient support to move on several of the issues discussed in this string. Can one of the Class officers give us an update on which, if any issues they plan to pursue?
Jeff Bodkin

Postby Guest » Thu Feb 17, 2005 10:53 am

It seems to me we should be pursuing the changes in sail limitations (spinnaker use and jib cloth). Clutches would be nice too...

Postby Guest » Thu Feb 17, 2005 12:30 pm

I proposed the changes below last year. I plan to submit them again this year. I did make one change below from last year and that was to delete the minimum cloth weight for the jib. The jibs I believe have only been weighed in the U.S. anyway. I hope the clutch issue will be addressed by the Technical Committees and allowed without a rule change proposal. If it were up to me, and it is not, the ladders would be gone also. Just a thought.


J-80 Rules Change Proposal for 2005
Submitted by Craig White

1. Change Rule C.6.1 (b) to allow the use of 2 gennakers during an event.
I propose to change C.6.1 (b) to read:
"Not more than one mainsail, one headsail, and two gennakers shall be used during an event except when a sail has been lost or damaged to the point where it cannot be effectively repaired while afloat. Only two gennakers may be used for an event."
This rule change proposal is supported by the members of Fleet 5 (Fort Worth, TX) and Fleet 3 (Houston, TX).

2. Change Rule C.8.4 Standing Rigging to eliminate the forestay measurement dimensions.
I propose to change C.8.4 Standing Rigging to read:
"(a) The forestay shall not be adjusted during a regatta, which is defined as a series of races
held over consecutive days including any lay day."
This rule change proposal is supported by the members of Fleet 5 (Fort Worth, TX).

3. Eliminate Rule G.2.2 (c) as I feel it may not be relevant with last years rule change. I do not
see the need for the Sailmaker to affirm cloth weight. This is just my observation.

4. Change Rule G.4.1 (b) to not restrict the type of sailcloth used for the headsail. Delete the minimum weight of the sail in G.4.2 Dimensions.
I propose to change rule G.4.1 (b) to read:
"The body of the sail may be constructed with any material. A #5 or #6 luff tape shall be used for the furling system attachments."
This rule change proposal is supported by the members of Fleet 5 (Fort Worth, TX) and Fleet 3 (Houston, TX).

Postby Guest » Thu Feb 17, 2005 4:02 pm

I completely support your proposal. The voting on the issues seem to support these issues and if we need a signed petition, tell me were to send it.

The only issue that should be up for discussion is consider longer jib battens. Increasing length will likely significantly increase the life of the sail no matter which cloth is used with minimal additional cost or performance.
Terry Burke
TopNotch #405

Postby Guest » Thu Feb 17, 2005 5:40 pm

Interesting thoughts?
Longer jib battens? They work for jibs that don't roller furl (like the Lightning). Functional longer roller battens don't exist. Longer vertical battens only add extra weight to the sail because they project minimally further into the body of the sail - ask your friendly local sailmaker. Mr. White's proposals should be submitted to the Officers of the USA for consideration just like anyone else's who is not a member of the Officers. Need to find out if fleets support are really there (maybe a forms or petition). I can say that all fleets support my ideas but do they?

Postby Guest » Thu Feb 17, 2005 8:40 pm

I agree with Craig's proposed changes. In addition I would propose allowing a block to be used for 2:1 jib sheets and a purchase instead of a winch to be used for jib halyard adjustments.

Adrian Begley,
J80 438, 'cunning plan'

Postby Guest » Fri Feb 18, 2005 11:30 am

I agree with Craig's proposals, with the exception of jib cloth material. General consensus (as well as recent on-line poll) supports allowing aramid cloth, but not "any material". Surely we do not want to allow cuben fiber or similar exotic materials to be used, starting an "arms race" mentality.

Postby Guest » Tue Mar 01, 2005 2:18 pm

I have submitted the Proposals to the Technical Committee as I promised. See futher down in this section of the forum. Some feedback was quick to come especially on the Gennaker proposal. We all need think what is needed to protect our sails while maintaining the most level racing possible. The Technial Committee members are reading our posts here so let your ideas be known. A "Little Birdie" told me that the gennaker proposal would probably not pass as I wrote it because it is not restrictive enough. Would cause Speciality Chutes!! What can we change in my proposal to remedy this? When should we declare our primary and secondary chute? If the secondary chute is hoisted when can you return to the primary? What do you think about declaring the primary chute prior to the start of racing for the event and once the secondary chute is set it must be used for the remainder of that race? Just some thoughts. Please give your thoughts or we will not get anything changed.



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