Crew Weight Limits

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Postby Guest » Sat Mar 01, 2003 12:18 am

Whats the basis for durable?

A lot of people sailed the point 6 in this wind just fine. Some didn't. Someone flew a .75 successfully. I didn't. Should we set a rule for the best boats, the worst boats?

Someone damaged a main, someone damaged a jib. Should we up the weight for those sails too?

Postby Guest » Sat Mar 01, 2003 12:27 am

Lets take it a step further. The sailmakers cut a light air .6oz optimized to go high in say 4-10kts. They then offer a matching .75 (or .6 if you like) that is optimized for deeper angles in 10-20kts.

The sailmaker owners would definitely show up with them. The affluent owners would step right up for the latest go-fast inventory. Welcome to the next arms race.

In PHRF they have four or five different kites for every conceivable windrange/angle.

Its a sailmaker's dream.

Postby Guest » Sat Mar 01, 2003 1:07 am

I like the two sail rule. I like that I can choose to fly a new .6, and carry an old .6 or a .75 as my backup to the "main chute." No matter what the wind, I guarantee I can damage any spinnaker a sail maker dreams of making.

I would just like the decision point to be 'probably damage' as opposed to "just damaged" It puts the cost and spending decision in my hands for each race. I can't afford a new spinnaker every year, so I end up with a "good" sail and an "old" sail. Right now, I have to choose ahead for two or three days, the first time I set the sail. If we went to a .75 oz minimum, with the same rule, nothing would change. I'd still be faced with: "do I think we will have conditions that will change the chance of damaging/ruining the good sail from "might happen" to "probably happen" based on forecasts, not experienced conditions.


ps. I haven't seen Blues Power signed up yet for the worlds!

Postby Guest » Sat Mar 01, 2003 7:41 pm

I didn't see your keel waving in the air in Houston. Actually, I didn't see YOU either. When you show up & put your pocketbook on the line then you can talk. I may work for a sailmaker (part time) I do not have new sails each year. In fact my new sails went to Key West on another boat. I paid for royalty tags in cash in December, & because I didn't recieve the sails I had to surrender the tags. I have yet to recieve the check for them from Karl. I know of a couple of owners that bought several sails & were trying them out in club racing to decide which ones they were going to stick the tags on. So what is fair?
Unless the participants have rules they can live with there will be "bending" by those that have the money. I have been sailing since 1969 and racing since 1971, & have seen a lot. I was on Donneybrook in Antigua with Jim Muldoon & was hit by a Goober driving a Whitbread Maxi. I suppose that in your mind the President of US Sailing is a Goober. You probably are one.
Tom Gore
#36 Javelin
PS Resume by request is 4 pages long.

Postby Guest » Sun Mar 02, 2003 2:23 pm


My point is that its all relative. One guys goober is another's rock star. Deriding others that DO put their checkbooks on the line and boost attendance at regattas doesn't help attract new people to the class.

We all screw-up. It takes a better competitor to accept what he cannot control and not blame others for his problems.

Sorry if I hit too close to home.


Postby Guest » Mon Mar 03, 2003 12:56 am

The very 1st time we raced Javelin at about 30 seconds before the gun I luffed a competitor above me in the formerly "barging zone." Instead of heading up he tried to duck from 1 boatlength away. He did not make it & the 1st pushpit was crushed beyond repair. There was also 'glass damage. The other guy, Windward boat, never offered to pay for the damage he wreaked on my new boat. As this was a "fun club race" protests were not pressed, & I repaired the damage as well as bought a new pushpit, the expensive one with the light on the stbd. stern.
At the Houston stop last fall, I was 3rd at the layline for the 1st windward mark, another competitor, coming on Port at about 4 lengths from the mark cannot decide what to do, with 1 of his crew screaming at him to duck & the other to tack. There is no room for him to cross, or to duck for that matter, so he tries to tack & realizing that he will not make the mark tries to duck. We hit at a combined speed in excess of 12 knots & my port pushpit was ripped off the stern of my boat hanging around his bow & as we spin out of control interlocked, the force transmitted down the lifelines rips the 2 front legs of the bow pulpit right through the deck. I am on stbd. this time & 4 boats go around us before we can disengage. The other guy's bow chainplate broke at the deck & they did not lose their mast by sheer luck. This guy did pay for the damage although we had to sail the 2nd day with the bow pulpit tied down to the bow chocks, & the pushpit lashed on too. No leaning on the lifelines please.
Last weekend in Houston, we were on stbd. gybe 4th around the windward mark. We have a boat on our leward hip & we are both doing in excess of 12 knots. To not be taken out to the layline we slow & gybe to port assuming a course to pass behind the other guy, still on stbd. I see him come up, effectively shutting the door for me to pass safely, in control, behind him. So I head up more, to pass behind and now we are at 90 AWA, laid over on our side in 30 knots of breeze. My good kite goes Boom & we take it down by the tapes. End of story. No spare because I am poor sailmaker not Dr. or Lawyer & this is MY own boat, I spend all of my disposable income & then some on, as well as all of my spare time. Do you honestly think that I give a crap to be racing in this kind of company. My buget over the last 3 years has been averaging ten grand per year to campaign my J80. I spent 1/2 that racing my J30 in the Caribbean in 3 different countries. P.R., USVI & BVI.. Could sleep on the boat, the weather was nice, etc. Only had to deal with the ordeal of measurement to the CYA rule 1 time & that was that.
So if you get the picture that I am not happy you would be correct. I do not care if fleets build if they are full of guys who will not be able to avoid collisions. I cannot afford the extra tarriff financially or psychologically.
Respectfully yours,
Capt. Thomas K. Gore II
USCG 50 ton license
#36 Javelin

Postby Guest » Mon Mar 03, 2003 11:12 am

I have to give you the benefit of the doubt. I have no idea what its like to sail a J80 with the kite up in 30 kts of breeze. And I don't care to find out.

My hat's off to the goober too.


Postby Guest » Mon Mar 03, 2003 12:15 pm

If the rule were changed to mandate 3/4 oz cloth, I think most people would still carry a back-up spin just as a precaution. In most instances, however, they would have no real advantage over boats carrying only one. I have flown my 3/4 oz in 30+ knots with no qualms about its' integrity, specifically last weekend when I saw several 0.6's self-destruct. Even if it holds together, I think flying a 0.6 under those conditions damages the sail due to excessive stretch.
The problem with the current rule is that most boats feel a need (either real or perceived) to carry two spinnakers. One of the purposes of one-design rules is to level the playing field and reduce the cost of competition.
The J-80 was originally conceived as a one design boat with a THREE sail inventory. It has now evolved to one with a FOUR sail inventory, driving up the cost of competing.
The issue of preserving sails can be addressed the EXPENSIVE way be removing the restriction on changing spinnakers, thereby ensuring that everyone will buy two. It can also be addressed the ECONOMICAL way by increasing the cloth weight to 3/4 oz, ensuring that most boats will only need one (and can carry last year's as a backup).
The argument about the boats being slower in light air is negated for one design racing, since everyone has the same cloth weight. If you race PHRF you can carry any cloth weight you choose.

Postby Guest » Mon Mar 03, 2003 7:42 pm

The expense of sails is capped by C.6.1.g:

"Sail purchases shall be limited to one mainsail, one headsail and one gennaker, in a calender year. During the first year of a new boat, the owner may purchase a second gennaker."

NOT the weight of the spinnaker. While I agree that if we switch to a 3/4 oz minimum sail weight a four year old sail will probably be no worse than a 3 year old 0.6 oz sail is now, we haven't cut the cost to be "maximum performance" at all. The people that can afford a new suite every year will still buy a new suite every year. The guys that can't afford new sails will still want to switch to an old one once the wind gets to pressures where they feel their experience or equipment could lead to damage.

If we want to cut the cost, we could ELIMINATE spinnakers entirely. The boat would be slower, but since its one design we'd all be the same slow.

Allowing the skipper to use his mind and switch sails to get the maximum life out of his equipment is the cheapest implementation. The only person hurt is the guy that doesn't buy a new sail until the old one is damaged beyond repair.

I welcome anyone who wants to sail with a 3/4 oz or AIRX 700 sail to go and buy one. You've shifted your performance wind range to the upper end of the sailing conditions, with a penalty in the lowest windspeeds. But in the middle wind ranges theres no real difference.

Postby Guest » Tue Mar 04, 2003 4:47 am

With my buget restrictions I buy 1 sail per year on the average. Last year I got none. This year I had planned to buy 2 sails. Now I need a new kite because my 1 year old .6 Airex experienced force 7 to it's detriment. If I had a .75 I would of used it no qualms, in retrospect. But at the time it seemed that the wind would lay & I put my best equipment on the line. If I could of changed kites without having to do damage 1st it would have been far less expensive than it was. I have always bought atleast 1 sail per year, replacing my worst sail long before it loses servicability. With this program, & racing 50 races a year, in the Texas heat I always have "B" level sails for club racing & bad conditions when I did not want to risk the "A" regatta sails. They last longer & I do not have failures in important races because the "A" sails are fresh although maybe old age wise. Old being not of that calendar year, but being up less than 20-25 times per year.
I have been no worse than 4th in the Southern Circuit in the last 3 years, being 2nd our 1st year, & being in 2nd until the last race of the last stop last year. Not too shabby I think. We have 17 boats here according to rumors & it gets harder to stay on the top every year. Am I right Craig.
Tom Gore
#36 Javelin

Postby Guest » Tue Mar 04, 2003 9:15 am

Like most of us, I try to stretch my campaign budget every year. A jib or 0.6 oz spinnaker will not last more than one season if you campaign the boat hard. A decent main or 3/4 oz spinnaker can be made to last 2 seasons if used wisely. Sure, the ultra-competitive folks are still going to buy three new sails every year but I doubt my year-old 3/4 oz will be much slower than their new one.
If we changed the rule to mandate 3/4 oz spins, I would be buying a spin and main every two years and a new jib every year compared with a spin and jib every year and a main every two. Looks like a savings of $2500 (+tax, royalty, etc.) every two years. Not to mention not having a regatta which may have cost you a significant investment of time and money blown because of damaged equipment.
I think the sailors will benefit, and the only loss will be revenue to the sailmakers.

Postby Guest » Tue Mar 04, 2003 10:59 am

We are currently racing with 2 Airex 600 spinnakers. The "A" spinnaker is a 2001 year model and the "B" spinnaker is a 2000 year model. We do not use these sails except during our more important events. Club racing we use old sails just like everyone else. I am just stating that we are very happy with the Airex 600 product. I am not sure but I believe that the Poly spinnakers have been the least reliable. It is my opinion that the .6 oz spinnakers are the faster overall spinnakers. We did tear out best spinnaker when we got part of it under the boat and while pulling it out a lifeline stantion put a hole in it. Our club racing .75 oz has less time on it but has many more tears. Go figure!! Which method saves the most money? To me it is saving your best sails for what you consider the Big Events. I noticed in Houston many boats sailed in to the harbor after the last race with both the jib and main. This probably put more wear on the main and jib on this one beat than 2 normal Circuit stops. We rolled up the jib and then could sail without the main flogging. The wind was stronger than what it was forecast to be. Maybe I should have used the older main and jib I always carry to regattas. I have confidence in my "B" sails because I try very hard to take care of them. Easing halyard and outhaul tensions when not needed is very important. So many people leave the sails loaded up when they do not need to. Until I win the Lotto, I will do everthing I can to protect my investment in my sails. No, thats no right, even if I do win the Lotto I will take great care with my sails. Racing on the Southern Circuit has definitely improved. The people who have dominated in the past are getting pushed much harder. The people who are traveling and putting in the race time are progressing. It has always been my theory that you learn more on someone else's pond!!

Craig White

Postby Guest » Tue Mar 04, 2003 11:04 pm

Has anybody else tried using the jib to block part of the chute? When going down wind, think of the jib as an extention of the main. Your going to lose a couple of knots, but you won't be as likely to tear up that new chute.

Postby Guest » Tue Mar 04, 2003 11:27 pm

Nice post by Craig. I may have learned something.

I went surfing other class rules. I didn't see the same "one per year" purchase constraint plus a 3/4 oz (40g/m2) limit for any other class. Nor did any other class that allowed two chutes have our same damage limitation, except the J105 which says what I think our rule intended:

Sails carried aboard, or used during a class event shall be limited to one mainsail, one jib and two spinnakers; provided that the second spinnaker shall only be used if the first ("primary") spinnaker is damaged or, if due to extreme wind conditions, the skipper reasonably believes that the primary spinnaker will be substantially damaged or destroyed. If a second spinnaker is deployed, the primary spinnaker shall not thereafter be used in the same race.

Back to the original thread on crew weight. . .

I had two J24 people at the circuit stop with me. They thought we were being ridiculous with rule IMPLEMENTATION. The way they described the J24 weight rule was that if you were within ~2% of the 880 weight limit, "they" [the event organizer?] would write an automatic waiver. 2% is normally accuracy for spring scales, so the assumption is that you made weight when checking on your own scales.

If your weight was greater than the accuracy band, total crew weight was posted & addressed only if somebody protested. They had know idea what happened at a protest because they hadn't seen one happen. Heavy crews tended to be the folks at the back.

I don't know how true that is, but it makes more sense than the "If you can't make weight, you can't race" philosophy thats seems endemic in our class.

Of course, I will never hear the end of "J80s need a chart to get out of the harbor"

Postby Guest » Wed Mar 05, 2003 10:27 am

You are correct that many of the classes which mandate a 3/4 oz spinnaker (J-22 and J-24 for example) do not limit sail purchases. The hyper-competitive J-24 teams will often show up at EVERY REGATTA with a new set of sails and sell them afterwards in order to buy another set. We obviously do not want to go that route!
I still think 3/4 oz cloth is more sensible for a true all purpose sail, and I think of the 0.6 as a "light air" spinnaker since winds under about 8 kts are the only time it gives a significant advantage.
I think that if we keep the current cloth weigh limit of 0.6 oz, then we should consider wording similar to the J-105 class so that it is not necessary to destroy one sail before switching to a heavier one. Note, however, that even the 105 rule does not allow you to fly a heavy chute and then switch to a lighter one later in an event. It seems to me that if we go this route (not my first choice, but much better than the current rule) it would be sensible to allow changing from heavy to light as well, at least for multi-day events.
As far as crew weight goes, when I started sailing the J-24 circuit in the mid-90's it was "make weight or don't race". More than once I saw boats forced to swap crews in order to make weight. In recent years I think the 24 class has eased up a bit (except at major class events where they measure every sail on every boat and enforce the letter of every class rule), and do sometimes allow the 2% margin you describe. The only problem I have with this approach is that you eventually end up with someone who is 2.5% over and say that is still close enough, etc. People will come to rely on the 2% margin and essentially the weight limit becomes 761 lbs and a crew weighing in at 765 is going to say "4 lbs is no big deal, right?" Organizers at major events such as KWRW are going to enforce the limit as written in the class rules.
I guess the "protest if you want" approach may be workable. Perhaps boats with crew over the weight limit would be ineligible for trophies, or not permitted to count their scores toward the circuit... I, too, want to get as many boats racing as possible but we need to think about the impact of our decisions.
It is heartening to see so much interest in the class rules. This is a sign of an active, involved class and should be encouraged.
See you in Austin!


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