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Weight rule a class wrecker?

Postby Wand on Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:21 pm

I refer to the following rule:

"Weight...If necessary to bring weight of boat to its minimum tolerance, extra ballast must be positioned on transom sternpost section OR under the thwart adjacent to the centreboard case, and be visible by inspection... (3.0 kilograms maximum). (Amended by SGM 24/9/2010)"

And my query is: however did this rule (allowing the lead to be at the thwart) get through? What this rule amendment does is make timber boats uncompetitive against a new (and very expensive) plastic boat (same quality skipper).

Timber boats, if built to specification, will weigh the minimum 41 kilos. It's impossible to build them lighter. On the other hand, plastic boats can easily be built 3 kilos lighter. However, when the rule was that the lead had to be on the transom post, there was no point in building them lighter. But the rule amendment changes all that.

Those three kilos that a wooden boat has to carry in its construction can now, in a plastic boat, be carried on the thwart. That means a plastic boat will necessarily be lighter in the ends than a timber boat, and that advantage is huge in terms of boat speed around a course.

What the association has done by allowing this rule amendment to pass is create two classes of Sabre - a timber Sabre with a minimum weight of 41 kilos, and a plastic Sabre with a minimum weight effectively a couple of kilos lighter.

I wonder if someone on the rules committee, or maybe the measurer, could respond to this post. I'd really like to believe I'm wrong about this because the Sabre is a great little boat but this rule has the potential to wreck the one design character of the class.
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Re: Weight rule a class wrecker?

Postby GuestMember on Wed Dec 25, 2013 1:38 am

I agree mostly with your post, but I can help with the weight of a timber boat, if you use paulownia timber you can build the wooden boat very much under weight. Mine was 3kgs under and it was glass both inside and out, but rememeber not to use too much glue as it adds up.

One of the advantages with paulownia is it does not soak up water.

I would be far more concerned with the new rule changes and the glass boat becoming any faster than they are now.
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Re: Weight rule a class wrecker?

Postby HelterSkelter on Wed Dec 25, 2013 6:20 pm

I agree with Wand as far as glass boats having lite ends but I suspect there would be a corresponding lack of stiffness which would cause the boat to soften quicker but for one championship what the heck.

I have a wooden boat built by a reputable class builder and paulownia was used to achieve literness but cracked and split in ALL high stress areas glassed or not which has required the deck being removed and the boat framing rebuild this time with syrian cedar. To my surprise the weight only increased by 0.85kgs. Yes I was careful with measurements and not using excessive glue and I didn't have to glass to achieve strength. My boat is noticeably stiffer and quicker upwind.

It is hard to know which is better but I don't want to sail a one series wonder. I would like to see a Rule requiring a 41kg minimum hull weight with allowable correctors to 0.5kg equally attached the top centre of the bow and top transom bar. This would not make it worthwhile to build a lite hull.

To stop glass builders resetting the weight to the centre of the boat appropriate Rules can be introduced.

Alan Wilson 1906

Re: Weight rule a class wrecker?

Postby Wand on Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:18 pm

Thanks for both replies to my post. Seems I am out of touch about building light timber boats :oops: But that aside, the rule allowing up to three kilos to be placed on the thwart represents a serious undermining of one of the basic tenets of a one design class - and that is minimum weight.

I've often heard Sabre class reps go on proudly about how the class rules are preserved so that older boats are not knocked out of contention before they hit the water. But this amendment does exactly that. Prior to 2010, all boats were required to weigh a minimum of 41 kilos, with any unders being bolted to the transom post. After the passing of the amendment, boats may weigh just 38 kilos and have the remaining three kilos positioned such that the effective weight is but a fraction of that three kilos.

As a consequence, the class executive has done what they have always proclaimed they would not - and that is make older boats (older than just three years, currently) effectively uncompetitive. And that is both irresponsible and a shame.

HelterSkelter has the right idea. Stop the race to the bottom weight by providing rules that severely penalise light boats. That's much smarter administration than bowing to pressure, probably from the glass boat builders, to ditch a fundamental one design rule and thereby initiate the dismantling of the Sabre as a one design class.
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