Crew Weight Limits

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Postby Guest » Wed Nov 09, 2005 9:00 pm


What's the difference between a 775 lb crew that dehydrated the day before to make 746.5 for the evening weigh-ins and a boat that admitted to weighing 775?

I have the admittedly naive viewpoint that we are all doing this for fun and that crews are trying to get as close to weight as they can, given constraints of friends, family and contacts. I don't really care if those boats run a little heavy. Unfortunately if we allow that to go un-challenged we have no basis to refuse a crew that showed up for a windy regatta way above the allowed weight. If we only weigh the winning boats we have eliminated weight as a performance benefit. That should minimize abuse. We have also reduced the option for de-hydration or other forms of temporary weight loss.

I think there is precedent. Years ago I auto-crossed at the club level. While all the cars were inspected prior to competing, winners were inspected again. (you spent most of the day watching other competitors and tinkering with your car, so there was opportunity to cheat.) Also, I think at the olympic/ world class level some sports require medal winners to submit to a blood test for steroids.

Again, I think the big issue isn't so much how we deal with weight, but how do we revive class participation.


Postby Guest » Wed Nov 09, 2005 9:26 pm

Dear Class,

Is it really that important to weigh in boats for every regatta? Sit back and ask yourself who is winning and why? In most cases it is because they are well prepared and sail well. Maybe for local events we can wave the weight rule and make the crew limit 4 people. If you sail with five you have to make weight. I know that in two northeast events this year I had to have some one sit out because we could not make weight. Both events were sailed in pretty light wind. I don’t think the extra weight would have made any difference. For the bigger more important events let’s keep the weigh in as it is. I feel it is more important to weigh in once in the beginning. Than to have to worry the whole regatta about a weigh in at some other time. During the regatta we have enough distractions as it is, I would prefer to enjoy the event and the people.

Postby Guest » Thu Nov 10, 2005 10:25 am

I like King Klingler’s suggestion of waving the weight rule unless you have 5 or more on the boat.

Would the 3 Texas Fleet Captains be willing to pole each of their fleet members to see if we want to adopt a new weight rule or keep the existing rule for the Southern Circuit?

I think we need to know what the majority of the Texas Boat Owners really want verses just those few folks that are debating it on this forum.

Bob Leonard
Austin #488

Postby Guest » Thu Nov 10, 2005 1:39 pm

What do you suggest as the max weight for a crew of 5 (800lbs / 5 = 160lbs pp - based on some suggestions below).
Just curious what your thinking.

Postby Guest » Thu Nov 10, 2005 6:09 pm

I think the idea is that five people need to make the official class limit of 746#.

This would keep crews from weighing crews weighing 1000# or so.

The whole idea behind sailing is to have fun. This is true whether you are out for a daysail or (for 99% of us) trying to win the nationals or worlds.

The question for the class is how to have the most people have the most fun. And it involves how the class members define fun. For example the class could pass a rule that only the person who is posting anonymously is eligible to sail in the World Championship. Would he/or she find that fun?

I think the majority of the people want to sail against more boats and are willing to explore avenues to get more boats on the line. Would you commit four of five days, a thousand dollars or so and 600 miles roundtrip to go sail against 3 other boats? How about against 30 other boats?

The rules of the class are there help everyone who chooses to sail in the class enjoy themselves. Moses' tablets didn't say: XI Thou shall sail at 746.

On the other hand, I strongly believe that a weight limit is hypocrisy if it is not enforced for the duration of the event. Assuming that more weight equals a faster boat, the enforcement of the rules allows a team to cheat to a greater degree to the extent they are willing to risk their health by dehydrating for weigh in.

Random weigh ins for the entire fleet and mandatory weigh ins for the top boats that day make more sense. Any team that weighs in at between 746 and 756 gets no penalty but most weigh in prior to all subsequent days and be under 746. Any team that weighs in between 756 and 766 gets a ten percent penalty to that days races and must weigh in before all subsequent days. Any team that weighs in at over 766 is disqualified from the days races and would need to substitute a lighter crew member or be disqualified from all subsequent races.

Some sort of penalty system like this could be established. It would keep boats honest for the regatta while not overly punishing a boat that found itself inadvertantly a little bit heavy after a day on the water.

A cent and a half worth from a non-boatowner

Postby Guest » Thu Nov 10, 2005 6:28 pm

The only problem with having 5 people wiegh in at 746 is that the math works out to be 149lbs per person {which would most likely limit you to an all female or mostly female team} I don't disagree with you, I just have to question that a boat with 4 225 guys would weigh 900lbs or 200lbs to make total 800lbs. Right now as the rule stands for a 3 person team to make the Max weight (746lbs) would have to be 248lbs per person. What I'm getting at is that you would be better off going to a regatta with 4 and perhaps drop a crew if the forcast is light. Agree or disagree.

Postby Guest » Thu Nov 10, 2005 7:05 pm


I understand what you are saying. However there is not much advantage to sailing with 5 from a boathandling standpoint. A fifth person would be mostly for ballast. Therefore a team shouldn't be allowed to bring a fifth person above the weight limit. Most people race with four. So losing a fourth crewmember due to a weight limit would be a serious handicap to most boats.

I think that Kerry proposed the four unweighed as a compromise between getting more boats to each event and not making a mockery of those who compete at the weight limit of 746. I think most owners could find four people to fit into 800#.

If boats start showing up at heavy air events with 4 and weigh 1000 and show up the next week at a light air event at 700 we know that the system is being abused and it must be changed. Same goes if light air events are suddenly being sailed by boats of 3 big guys when the 4 mysteriously gets sick with lightwinditus.

But for now I think the class needs to look into ways to get more boats to each event. To those arguing status quo, I say that status quo is dying fleet sizes.

Postby Guest » Thu Nov 10, 2005 8:21 pm

Have the skipper sign the weight in sheet with a statement that the crew weight is actual and will be kept for the regatta. Then spot check crew's during the regatta and at awards. This check may contain a factor as not everyone weighs the same in the morning as they do in the evening. say allow a 4 or 5 lb addition per person. This would take away anyone getting really de-hydrated for weight check only to drink fluids all night and gain the possible 10 or 15 lbs .


Postby Guest » Fri Nov 11, 2005 11:51 am

I cannot support waving weight restrictions in favor of crew limits. I think we purchased one design boats to race level, and these boats are quite sensitive to weight on the rail.

People on this forum are talking about spot checking throughout a regatta to guard against crash dieting for weigh in (which I am totally against and accounts for at most 10 - 15 lbs per crew member). Yet, four big guys on a boat could easily weigh in at 900 lbs, while other boats (including mine) might weigh in at 650 lbs at a local event. That is too big a difference for level racing in any decent breeze.

If increasing the weight to 800#s gets more people out racing, I am all for it. In fact, increasing the weight limit to 800 lbs might reduce the amount of crash dieting that occurs trying to make weight at 746 lbs. But we need a weight restriction.

I think it would also be fine to wave weigh-ins at local events in favor of owner declarations representing appropriate crew weights.

Postby Guest » Fri Nov 11, 2005 12:11 pm

I offered a solution to this issue in my previous recent post. Leave the crew weight at 745. Allow crew weights to exceed this, but only by requiring a penalty weight be added to the boat to the same locations and in addition to any weight needed to meet the minimum hull weight. For simplicity in this discussion, the penalty would be 1 lb added for every lb that the crew is over the class limit. An 800# crew would have to add 50# of lead...25# in the forward compartment and 25# aft of the quarter berths. Add the lead would be a clear disadvantage since not only would it add more weight to the boat, it would increase the boat's moment of inertia.

The advantage of this system will allow skipper's to bring who they want as crew and at the same time make them think twice about doing it because of the penalty. I would think that class would only allow this option for crews of four
Terry Burke

Postby Guest » Fri Nov 11, 2005 3:38 pm

Drug testing? There goes half the fleet. To bad there isn't a J420.

I have seen teams of five. Kolius did it with 3 girls and Farley. The German team (the good one) sails with 5 adult men.

Postby Guest » Fri Nov 11, 2005 8:03 pm

Wait until I promote beer testing!

I perused the various class rules for international classes on the ISAF site. We are not the only class to have struggled with this issue. There are multiple solutions. Its worth the time to read through them.

There were several reasons why I dropped out of the class a couple years ago. The weight rule (and how it affected my ability to find crew)was one of them. But the biggest reason was the growing acrimony between the members. Unregistered guest aside, this has been a very positive discussion toward resolving a real concern. Thanks Chris, Joe, Dave, Tak, Terry, Kerry, Bob, Mark, etc.


Postby Guest » Fri Nov 11, 2005 8:04 pm

and Jud

Postby Guest » Sun Nov 13, 2005 1:18 pm

Gentlemen. There is an awful lot of pent-up energy going into this thread that would be better used for getting your bodies & boats in good condition. The southern circuit tried a temporary 800 lb limit a half dozen years ago to placate & try to keep several heavy owners in the fleet. They left anyway. I don't think the answer is to do anything temporary or in just one region of the country. We have a mechanism in our class for changing rules. There were several rule change submissions sent to ISAF this year for implementation next year that were successful. It would seem to me that if enough of us are passionate enough about this issue, we should be able to submit a credible proposal for change going forward in weight. Like many owners, I have struggled with weight at a lot of regattas, just as I have struggled with finding crew, but I knew the rules going in. Our boat is a beautifully balanced, easily sailed, fun boat, whether raced or day sailed. Lets keep it fun and quit whining, and just go by the rules, or change them, like you have the opportunity to do in this great land of ours.
Sincerely, Bernie Nauta, Secretary.

Postby Guest » Mon Nov 14, 2005 12:23 pm

Guys, This is a big year for J 80's in the USA. We have ISAF recognition, this is still 1 design and the worlds are in Corpus. Lets just get through this year and try to learn the new proposed rules that are being implimented. FYI: Glide sails consistently 20 pounds shy of 745 and we always seem to do ok. Lets concentrate on getting ALL Southern circuit boats out to race next year.


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