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Postby Guest » Tue Feb 01, 2005 12:50 pm

Dear J-80 Class,

The Concept of going to a more efficient cloth for J-80 class is significant. The key considerations are, cost, strength, weight, and durability.

I think that the class rules as they currently stand are good in the fact that the weight is high enough to make the sail last for long time, if they were built in more efficient materials. The key is the cost of a sail. A J-80 Jib uses 18 yards of material in a Tri radial cut. If you compare materials, with the same weight, you come up with the following:

Pentex laminate, style: PE15 Weight: 5.0 oz Cost per yard:13.41 Cost of sail:$242

Kevlar laminate, style: X-10 Weight: 4.8 oz Cost per yard:18.31 Cost of sail:$327

Carbon laminate, style: GPL-10 Weight: 5.0 oz Cost per yard:27.90 Cost of sail:$503

These styles are current materials available from dimension sailcloth, Pricing listed is list price. So for under $261 you could have the most efficient material, and a sail that would hold its shape over a far longer time.

In a Tape Drive sail the differences are similar. Our current class Jib, Pentex Laminate with Pentex tapes, with a collision window, vertical battens, and draft stripes has a list price of $1450. If we made the same sail with a aramid laminate, and aramid tapes has price of $1540. . If we made the same sail with a aramid laminate, and carbon tapes has price of $1700.

So for $250 you could have a jib that would last more than twice as long as a Pentex sail. Maybe its time to evolve.

Kerry Klingler

Postby Guest » Tue Feb 01, 2005 5:35 pm

Do Greg Buck and Johnstone make the call? How can we submit a change properly for a world class vote? Kevlar and Carbon would be cool.

Postby Guest » Tue Feb 01, 2005 7:58 pm

Great to see these discussions regarding the rules. From my perspective it's a sign that the class is healthy and trying to evolve and grow. Years ago I raced Mumm 30's and firmly believe that their strict interpretation of equipment rulings retarded the growth of the class in the States. Not only did they limit equipment location changes but also the brand of equipment used on the boat. Dumb. The bottom line in one design racing is to provide a level playing field where the skill of the crew determines the result. The rules should be written to enforce this and make the ownership experience more enjoyable for those who own and sail the boats. Can anyone realistically tell me that changing a rope clutch is going to make one boat faster than another? If not, then let's allow owners to make reasonable modifications to their boats such that they are more user friendly. Personally, I already have contacted APS to replace the Harken cleat that was standard equipment on the boat.

As for the sails I have owned Lightning’s for 7+ years and can confirm that that increasing the batten length in the jibs has dramatically helped jib life. My best guess is that it doubled the useful racing life of the sail. Given the very similar cost basis that Kerry has provided I would love to see the class allow aramids. The Melges 24's with Kevlar / Twaron sails sure looked good out there in Key West this year. Couldn't help but attract new comers to the class. I spoke to several M-24 owners at the event and the acceptance of the materials was universal. My personal opinion is that so long as we strictly enforce the sail replacement policy there is nothing but good that will come from this change. I have taken the liberty to post an excerpt from the Melges rules page that might be of use when drafting a policy on the matter.

G.4. HEADSAIL (main sail was identical)
G.4.1. Construction.
G.4.1.1. The construction shall be: Soft sail, single ply sail.
G.4.1.2 The body of the sail shall consist of woven ply and/or laminated ply made from one or more of
the following materials: polyester, aramids, HMPE.
Sail reinforcement shall be made from one or more of the following materials: polyester, aramids,
HMPE, glass fibre.
N.b. Aramid is marketed under trade names such as Kevlar and Twaron and HMPE under trade
names such as Spectra and Dyneema.

Finally, I would like to strongly support the carrying of two spinnakers. The existing policy encourages the reckless use (abuse) of sails and is not in the best interests of the class or the owners.

Thanks for the discussion. I'm picking up hull #483 this weekend and am looking forward to seeing you guys at the first circuit stop in March!
Jeff Bodkin

Postby Guest » Tue Feb 01, 2005 8:30 pm

I do not like the wording of the poll on the USA page. I would vote to carry two spinnakers and use as you wish. As worded you cannot replace a sail in a race. Even if torn??? The method for submitting rule change proposals is in this web site.


Postby Guest » Tue Feb 01, 2005 11:38 pm

Craig, the reason for the wording is to prevent using a reacher as a second kite just in case we may have a big shift mid race (it happened in key west twice), if 2 spinakers are aproved by the technical commitee then we can make exlusions such as torn sail etc

Postby Guest » Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:11 am

Uzi, I do not not care. What if the wind starts howling? We all want to put on the old chute. Atleast that is what I have been reading into what this thread contains. It's not like we are going to have a reacher, code zero, blaster, runner, .6 AP, .75 AP down below to choose from. Make it simple. Two chutes for the regatta, no more, and use as you wish.

Postby Guest » Wed Feb 02, 2005 12:12 pm

Craig, you are absolutly right, the spirit of this poll is the use an older sail any time you wish aka when wind is stronger, the wording is wrong.

Postby Guest » Wed Feb 02, 2005 1:16 pm

Dave- A quick comment about the step on the french boat. I sail on C'est Nasty, a french boat, and we never put the step in as a "bulkhead." I think you are placing too much value on that thing. For us it gets in the way of our cooler, so it spends it's life sliding around beside the engine.

Postby Guest » Wed Feb 02, 2005 2:17 pm

For a temporary fix can we change our NOR, NOC and/or Sailing Instructions for each individual stop to provide for using two kites anytime we want? Can we then add to this with things like clutches, Kevlar, 2:1 etc.

The purpose of this is to do the economically correct thing today, while the logistics and rules catch up with our needs.


Postby Guest » Wed Feb 02, 2005 4:35 pm

J-80 sailors,

Watch out, we are going to see the class go down the drain if we start making special rules for individual events. At last years worlds the organizing committee changed the sailing rules. They made the 720 penalty turn a 360. The result was terrible. I have never seen so much fowling in the J-80 class as I did there. We had one beat where we were approaching the windward mark on starboard. With the fleet being big, there were a lot of boats on my transom. Two boats approached the line on port, and both boats could not clear me. The first fell off, found a hole, and rounded the mark safely. That boat took at least 10 sterns. The other boat, just fouled us, crossed and tacked in front of us. We had to go head to wind to avoid them. I protested them; they did a 360, and lost 2 boats. That’s the same boat that won the regatta. If you added 8 points to their score, guess where they would have been. By the way John Kolius was the boat on port who fell off and took the transoms.

We need good rules that anyone can use and enforce. Weather you like it or not we need to stand by the rules we have. If we don’t like something we need to figure a way to fix it or change them for the better. If you look at where the class currently stands in the USA I thing you need to realize that we need to reinvent ourselves. We need to make things easier to do, cheaper and safety always should come first.

For the spinnaker rule maybe the best compromise would be a 20 knot rule where the committee can fly a flag, and you can use your backup spinnaker to race with. The committee just monitors the wind speed and if it goes over 20 knots they put up a flag and make an announcement. Then people will not use a better design for a specialized condition.

Postby Guest » Wed Feb 02, 2005 7:50 pm


I like the 20 knot rule. It seems like it solves most of the problems people want addressed (ruining their new chutes) without creating a host of new issues.

Regarding the previous world's. Did you consider protesting under Rule 69? I know it is a serious protest, but the fact that the outcome of the worlds hinged on the foul seems to justify such a protest. It seems that the boat made the decision that fouling you would result in less boats lost. If you had to go head to wind to avoid the collision, it is hard to believe that a crew capable of winning the regatta could misjudge a crossing by that much and truly believed that they could have crossed cleanly.

It is unfortunate that rules do not include a general provision like the one in 31.2 (Touching a Mark) where a boat that gains a significant advantage in breaking the rule must retire.


Postby Guest » Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:56 pm

I don't like a 20 kt rule as Kerry suggests. Adds more complications than needed. Who's going to make the call? Are we talking 20 knot puffs or a steady or average velosity? What if the race starts with 15 to 18 but builds to 20 to 25 kts. Keep the rule simple! Keep the it easy to enforce! The class only allows one new spinnaker per year so there will be no arms race.

As far as implimentation of rules, yes the class rules have to be approved by the ISAF. Unfortunately they meet barely once per year. The Lightning class has similar restrictions. On the other hand, the Lightning's Governing Board has pilot tested potential rule changes on an experimental basis at major events such as their Southern circuit or by special persmission. There have been also decrepencies in the rules needing immediate action. The class has enacted/enforce these rules subject to future approval by the ISAF.

The class should allow owner some flexibility for rigging such as adding cleats, clutches and the like. The class rules are very merky. How is someone suppose to know what is standard equipment on J/80. The rules assumes that the owner is the original boat owner. As the second owner, I don't know what came equipped with the boat or what was added by the previous owners.

2 to 1 blocks for the jib are better than 1 to makes trimming the jib EASIER. It allows my wife and young kids to trim the jib. The biggest selling point the J/80 class has is how easy and simple it is to race the boat. Why not make it easier!!!

I don't understand the deal with the maximum head stay. It makes no sense to measure this item. The primary reason one would mess with it would be to balance the helm. Why is the class member better served by this restriction. There is certainly no expense. Only the added time of measurement. At the Fort Worth worlds, they made me change out my toggle for a being 1/4 too long. Big deal!

I read with interest the discussion at the Worlds last year. I am not a big fan of the 720 rule. I think the 20% penality might be fairer rule. For example, a rule infraction just after the start will likely have a bigger impact than one near the finish line where it is possible to break a rule without lossing a single postion. 20% is 20% no matter where you are on the course. Plus boats doing circles in tight quarters just ask for more disasters

Terry Burke
TopNotch #405

Postby Guest » Thu Feb 03, 2005 12:00 am

I would think that 20 knots of wind would be any puff 20 knots or over. I should not be subject to someone’s personal conclusions. It would require the committee to have an accurate device to moniter the wind speed, and to set the flag only when the wind hits that 20-knot level. Once the flag goes up, it stays up for the rest of that race. I feel that 20-knot is a reasonable level. The place where most spinnakers are damaged is usually a lot more wind than that. This would be in addition to our current class rules. So if someone damages their primary spinnaker they still can use the backup sail.

The decision of not following through with a protest under rule 69 is a decision that I had to make. If I followed through with it the setting of the whole regatta would have changed. I felt it was more important to race fairly and let the judges make fair decisions for the regatta. I was wrong to think that way and not defend our position in the regatta. That afternoon after racing that same boat was reinstated for being over in the first race in the regatta, and became a threat to win the regatta. The rest is history.

Our sailing rules are developed over time. In most cases the rule insure fair sailing. Changing a major rule for a Championship regatta should never happen. It cheapened the regatta and its results.

Postby Guest » Thu Feb 03, 2005 12:00 am

I'm not an owner or a sailmaker, so I really have no vested interest in the spinnaker issue. However, as crew, it makes sense that you should be able to change out kites during a regatta, but not during a race. Major velocity changes may happen between days of a regatta, but very rarely are damaging winds going to develop during an individual race.

In 25+ winds, the advantage of the "quality" of sail is far outweighed by the helmsman and the crew work, so I imagine almost all checkwriters out there would prefer to have an older sail aloft.

As an competetor, the rules state, except for a new owner, that you can only buy one new kite a year. I'm not sure how changing the rules would create an "arm's race" if you only get one royalty tag annually.

The main argument for the status quo is that boats will fly .6 in 5-10 knots and .75 in 20+ knots. I will bet a round of rum that most owners will fly their "good chute" in 5-15, and the "old girl" in 25+.

Money talks. . .

Postby Guest » Thu Feb 03, 2005 1:00 am

The original class rules did not allow a second spinnaker. The 95 NAs in Newport saw two days of breeze well over 20. Everyone had 3/4 oz kites so the playing field was level. When the .5 oz chutes came around the call was for the ability to have a backup. Kerry is right. If allowed to alternate freely between two spinnakers, the money will have a .5 cut for light air and a .75 cut for breeze. One new spin a year restriction will not stop that, and a new boat can order up the dual inventory the first year. Its a different, more complicated and expensive game. I like the simplicity of the all-purpose sail inventory and the ability to race with a crew that maybe can't switch kites in 30 seconds. If you don't like the ladder, howzabout port and starboard spinnaker bags down there?

The solution is to bite the bullet and migrate to a .75 oz (or .6) minimum rule, and keep the current substitution rule. The two arguments against it are: 1) PHRF racers will need a .5 to compete in PHRF - not a class rule problem, and 2) the .5's would have to be grandfathered.

I agree with any headsail material and construction changes that provide a better cost/longevity factor.

I agree with the use of 2:1 jib blocks. The original rules make reference to 2:1 jib setups and as I recall, a couple of boats in Newport were using them in the early 90's, probably with jib blocks. My feeling is that it should be OK to make any adjustment easier, as long as its the same adjustment. That would apply to Vang power, Mainsheet power, Jib power, Backstay power (not range, which probably should be limited). It doesn't change the dynamic of the boat, only makes it easier (and potentially safer) for anyone to sail it.

I know its a tough case to make, but rule 44.1 does not allow a boat to use the penalty turn to gain an advantage. As the incident was described, that boat could still be protested out.

The ladder is just not an issue. Put a couple of quick release pins on it and live with it.


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