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The illegal Sabre

Postby Curious on Thu Sep 01, 2005 11:41 pm

So - who is building the illegal Sabre ????? And how did our national measurer fing out !!

Source unknown but believe boat is in Tas

Postby Barry Eastgate on Fri Sep 02, 2005 4:14 pm

Phil did not disclose the source of his information...it is up to him to comment. A prime duty of the National Measurer is to safeguard the integrity of existing boats and one way is to ensure compliance with our rules. There is a statement in the building notes to the effect that if not mentioned in the building notes, then it is not legal. There may be a bit of subjectivity with fittings at times to fit in with practical requirements, but changing fundemental construction rules is not one of them.
Phil did disclose that the illegal boat is in Tasmania.
Barry Eastgate

Postby Andrew Bradshaw on Fri Sep 02, 2005 6:38 pm

The national measurer can find out anything these days, he has plenty of contacts...
Andrew Bradshaw

Postby anonymous someone! on Tue Sep 27, 2005 9:52 pm

What would be the advantages in having no floor battens?
anonymous someone!

Postby Guest on Wed Oct 12, 2005 6:45 pm

As an observer in this debate (and having purchased a 2nd hand Sabre for my daughter) I have a question in "why is this illegal?" (anything not listed in the plans is a bit broad).

The method mentioned (I am assuming that this is accurate) with a ply-foam-glass laminate in the floor area would be easier to build, stronger, cheaper (considerably less labour in this method) cleaner to sail and easier to maintain (I have just finished hand sanding the floor of my daughters boat between the battern). The method desribed does not place the validity of any existing boats in jeopardy and will not create a rush on new boats etc as seems to be the concern, it just reflects different approaches in gaining the same result. This can be seen in countless other classes without a deterimental effect on the class.

I have long considered the Sabre to be one of the best boats of its genre in the world, this should be guarded. However there should be an element of evolution allowed as long as does not place the integrity of the class in jeopardy.

It would be a shame if the Sabre did not utilize current practices and reap the rewards (lower cost, stronger, longerlasting boats etc). For example, in replacing a Sabre boom recently it struck me as uneccesary to have the towel rail, replace the towel rail with a webbing loop (we use velcro on a 47 ft ocean racer), costs 50 cents, with a bit of lateral thinking a boom could cost half as much without tampering (indeed enhancing) the intent of the class. This is good evolution and should be encouraged.

P.S. I am not building the boat and have no vested interest past supporting my daughter.

Sabre Construction

Postby Split Decision on Thu Oct 13, 2005 6:19 pm

Having just finished building a Sabre I think the above comment is very valid. Anything that makes the Sabre easier/cheaper to build and repair without providing any competative advantage should be considered.

I have a friend who sails an Impulse and advisedly they have amended their rules to accommodate this style of construction for the floor. It is particularly relevant for older boats that might require floor stiffening.

Congratulations on raising this debate.
Split Decision

Postby Guest on Fri Oct 14, 2005 5:00 pm

Having read some other areas of this forum, it strikes me that this is already happening. People are glassing over the ply to increase the strength of the bottom panels.

Why does the inclusion of some foam into the laminate then make it illegal?

Postby Guest on Mon Oct 17, 2005 4:54 pm

There seems to a distinct lack of comment from the class office bearers and national measurer re. this "debate".

Do I take it that the class is not interested in "evolution" as it was put forward. I have children that will be moving from Sabots in the next year or two and will be interested in watching this debate evolve prior to purchasing multiple boats (allbeit second hand).

A well developed argument both for and against will determine the best outcome either way.

Postby Guest on Mon Oct 17, 2005 6:39 pm

I think debate is a healthy thing which will lead to the class development etc.

The state/national measurers and committee probably are reading the debates with interest to hear what the wider sailing community has to say.

Not being an expert or anything , but I think changing the construction rules has to be raised at the next national meeting (Tasmania?) , and voted on or something similar , as construction is probably part of the class constitution.

Additionally changing construction would mean a new set of construction notes to go along with the process to support both straight wooden boat construction as well as the new/modified process, so if any body is happy to put their hand up to volunteer to do this , I guess this is the forum to do so.

Regardless discussion is always a healthy thing and the more comment made on the proposed changes the better.

Postby Guest on Wed Oct 19, 2005 6:25 pm

I would like to hear from the national measurer (or state) as to the technical reason for this boat being illegal.

I guess the questions I have are:
- is sheaving the floor of the boat illegal?
- is there a max thickness on the floor?
- is the removal of the batterns illegal?
- would it be legal to have a wooden boat with the batterns made from foam?
- is it just a "vibe" thing (like the movie The Castle, not specifically illegal but...)
- does the class see this type of thing (changing construction techniques) as being deterimental to the class, if so, why
- what was the process for allowing foam composite boats, assumably they where not foreseen and written into building notes when the building notes (or were they?)

I would be interested in a formal reply from the class association (specifically the measurer) on this boat/issue[/list]

Sabre construction regulations and development philosophy

Postby Sabre on Wed Oct 19, 2005 9:07 pm

This discussion is causing a degree of concern to both national and state committee members.
There is concern that there appears to be an assumption that the Sabre is a 'development' class. This is NOT the case.

The National Measurer has been made aware of the issues raised on the discussion forum and will respond in the next few days...he is currently tied up workwise so I am responding in my capacity as Vic Treasurer, past Vic and past National President, and more importantly, a class member for 15 years.

The Sabre has existed for 31 years by strictly controlling building regulations with tolerances established for amateur construction.
This has resulted in one of the cheapest boats of its size around today and protects investment in boats already in existence...there are still 20 year old boats in the top 15 nationally. The best sailor wins, not the boat built using the latest technology.

Having said that, the class has always been sensitive to developments and regularly reviews construction methods and rules and with consultation between state associations instigates changes through constitutional means.

The Sabre is almost unique today in that it is one of the few classes not controlled by one manufacturer / distributor.

A requirement for competing in class events (and therefore YA events) is that a boat must hold a current 'A' class certficate. This fact is often not emphasised enough when people buy/sell boats. An 'A' class certificate is only issued if measured and passed by a State measurer and ratified by the National measurer. The rules are very specific...most key measurements are available on this website.

Answers to specific questions (where I can)
Timber hulls can be sheaved in fibreglass inside and outside for added strenghth

Timber hull thickness has a min thickness but not a maximum.
FRP hulls "shall be entirely of sandwich construction comprising a) an outer laminate of no less than 300gm chopped strand mat, b) a core of 1mm firet coremat and / or vermiculate Qcell, c) an inner laminate of 300gm chopped strand mat and / or 8oz woven roving."
The use of other than 'E' glass reinforcement and polyester resins is specifically prohibited. All mouldings may have a polyester gel-coat finish.

Removal of floor battens is illegal in timber boats but are not required for FRP boats but it is recommended that stiffeners be used instead.

The building notes/regulations cover timber boats, FRP and plywood/frp composites. The latter refers to an FRP hull with timber decks, in which case floor battens may be removed. Timber hulls must have timber floor battens.

The class considers change of construction techniques detrimental if it would result in existing boats being disadvantaged (strength, weight, performance). The comment has been made that even if there was not a performance advantage but there was a perception of advantage then this might be grounds for non acceptance.

Over the past 6 years or so the National and State measurers have instigated many changes to rules - getting rid of ones no longer appropriate and tightening others and this will no doubt continue...but always based on considerations mentioned above.

Page 6 of the Sabre Construction and Fitting Out Notes refers to the "Sabre Concept"

" The Sabre sailing dinghy is of simple design and construction, relatively simple and inexpensive to build; a one-design class to ensure all boats are similar in construction and performance potential. The one-design concept specifies materials, methods of construction, dimensions and fittings. It provides some latitude to allow for amateur construction and the availability of materials and fittings. However, the finished boat has to be within the limit of tolerances allowed. In addition, the boat has to appear to be within the limit of tolerances which apply to similar parts of the boat. e.g. the hull shape is only checked at specified stations but between those stations it must also be within the tolerances laid down. In addition all parts of the boat have to look like a boat constructed strictly in accordance with these notes.

The FRP Sabre emulates, as near as possible, the construction shape, characteristics and performance of the plywood boat, but makes allowance for the necessity to vary some internal characteristics to meet the requirements of the construction material.

All new/replacement equipment must comply with the Rules of Measurement and Construction at the time of installation or replacement.

No variations outside the Building Notes and Measurement Rules are permitted unless approved in writing by the Sabre Sailing Association of Australia Inc

Inherent in the class concept and Rules is that a dinghy cannot be deemed a SABRE dinghy unless constructed in accordance with the construction notes, complies with the Rules of Measurement, has been officially measured, and bears the appropriate measurement certificate of the Association. Failure to comply with the measurement requirement also renders a boat inelligible to race under AYF Rules.

WARNING - Only items specified in these construction notes shall be included either in construction or fitting out of a Sabre"

The person who built the illegal Tas Sabre has been in the class for a long time...ignorance of long standing rules and understanding what the class is about would therefore appear not to be an excuse for circumventing the rules without consultation.

In summary, the Sabre is NOT a DEVELOPMENT class and a key reason why we are about to crack 1700 boats is the longevity of competive boats built to reasonable rules for the amateur and professional bulder. However, we are not averse to change when it benefits evryone.
If you want to sail in a development class, then the Sabre is not for you, but if you want to enjoy a friendly competive boat in large numbers while retaining investment value, then the Sabre is good chaice for all ages.

Barry Eastgate
Site Admin
Posts: 73
Joined: Wed May 26, 2004 3:39 pm
Location: Melbourne

Phillip Johnson - National Measurer

Postby Sabre on Wed Oct 19, 2005 11:53 pm

The Sabre Class first issued measurement certificates in 1975. The guiding thought at that time was a boat that had the following features:-

. Easily built by an inexperienced home builder
. Low cost
. Simple design
. Suitable for inexperienced sailors but equally interesting for experienced sailors

The above criteria were met by using construction techniques and design features then in use by the Mirror Class.
The result was a lightly constructed boat, broad in beam and slightly under canvassed. Since then nearly 1700 boats have been built. The majority of these boats are home made. The Sabre is the cheapest boat for an adult to sail in Australia. The class is now active in 5 states with an existing boat and 1 building in WA.
The development of the class was aided by the production of comprehensive buiding notes and class owned templates for the plywood panels.

The class was never intended to be a "hot" racing boat or development boat. To this end very few alterations to the original design have been made. The measurement rules were comprehensive in order to keep the one design concept safe. The rules only allow what is written in them. The result has been fleets of boats that include boats of widely differing ages with many older boats being competitive.
This has made access into Sabre Sailing very easy for people of limited means and kept many boats and people active in the Class for long periods. It has also resulted in older boats maintaining their value.

The original boats were entirely constructed from timber but eventually fibreglass boats were allowed and a specification for a totally fibreglass and a fibreglass hull/timber deck was introduced.
Recently the rules were changed to allow fibre glass sheathing to the bottom panels to enable 4mm plywwood to be used in lieu of 5mm plywood which has become extremely difficult to obtain.

The class rules require that any changes to the rules be by a vote of all the state associations. This has meant that decisions that make changes get a thorough airing with the members first.

Although the above appears to show that the Class is conservative in its approach to maintaining the design integity of the boat, in fact when decisions have had to made because of circumstances this does happen but only after full consultation. The class has always rejected changes that in essence are only trends with no particular advantage to the class or changes which makes boats or particular items of equipment obsolete.

The sailing philosophy of the Sabre Class is that winning is done on the water between people who are friends of it. To this end all that is needed is for all the boats to be the same or as close as is practical and let personal skill be the determining factor in the racing.

Phillip Johnson
National Measurer
Site Admin
Posts: 73
Joined: Wed May 26, 2004 3:39 pm
Location: Melbourne

Postby Guest on Thu Oct 20, 2005 1:59 pm

The two recent replys have identified all the things that make the Sabre the class it is, ie. the class that has produced some of the most complete and accomplished sailors in Aust. I have no doubt that a Wayne Bates could win in a 20+ year old boat, the winning should be done on the water.

I dont get the impression that there is a push to turn the Sabre into a development class, but on the other hand the fierce guarding of the "construction notes" have produced an outcome detrimental to the class. The towel rail outhaul fitting is now a custom made fitting, I dont see this sits in with the intent of the class, no one wants an A Class cat, but just as strongly, neither should the class want a Laser.

The difference seems to be in the construction notes "if it is not in the construction notes its illegal". All other one design class' (that I know of) have VERY strict class rule, but stop short of telling you how you must comply with those class rules. Once you start telling people how they must do something you take away their ability utilise their particular strengths

This debate should not concern the National Class executive, you have been voted into your respective positions with the primary objective to safeguard the class as a whole and I would expect that this be done with vigour (the best things are worth protecting).

I hope this debate (beyond the illegal boat) gets the appropriate airing in the appropriate forum, this will ensure the best outcome. I hope the class exec is secure enough in themselves to discuss this and not trot out the "if you dont like it go sail something else", that would be the worst possible outcome for the class.

Postby Guest on Thu Oct 20, 2005 3:20 pm

Not really sure what the problem is in regards to some of the above issues.

The towel rail fitting allows the sail to be attached to the end of the boom with a simple click and pull mechanism. This is easy and convenient system however a little more expensive as it is a one piece fitting designed to slide easy when the outhaul rope is pulled.

My boat operates via two simple shackles which serves the same purpose.
One to hold the sail to the boom and the second to allow the outhaul to work.Total cost $6. I always thought that the towel rail fitting, be it the new version or the old two shackle systems was a personal choice.

Why exactly would you want to remove floor batterns anyway. During a tack there have been countless times the batterns have provide a good place to push off the floor and added grip when really required,especially during a strong breeze.

I undersatnd that rough tape can be used on the floor instead but that has 2 problems - 1) it is not raised like a floor battern and as such does not provide as much push off 2) the tape has a nasty habit of putting holes in wetsuits or knees if scraped a lot such as a beginner may do if spending a lot of time kneeling on the floor or tacking awkwardly.

No doubt the floor battenrs would have been incorporated into the fiberglass hull design, however this seems it was not possible during the transfer between technologies of wood to full fiberglass.

Why would foam and fiberglassing a boats floor be any easier than putting batterns in. Wouldn't the foam and fiberglass add more cost to the boat compared to the cost to install batterns and if this is the case why would the governing body want to add the new construction method.
The idea is to keep the design simple for the home build at the least cost.

Some people seem on occasions to be very critical of the committee and measurers in the above messages. Not so much in the what has been said on occasions but in the way the views have been expressed. Last time I checked the people on the commitee and measurers etc do the job for free and to give a little back to the community.

If a person was trying to introduce a new method of construction into the sailing group , I would hav thought discussing it and getting the go ahead would have been the way to proceed before building the boat.

Wouldn't doing some research such as showing the time and cost savings be a better way of going about it to prove the case for a new possible system. A'll I have seen to date is the argument that the class is not moving with the times. Given the objective of the sabre federation in keeping the playing field fair and costs down, I think they have every right to stick by their views.

Tepara 1061

towel rail fitting

Postby matt westland on Sun Oct 30, 2005 10:03 pm

As a newcomer to the class some of the fittings do seem rather antiquated.
As a comment i think changes should be allowed when they contribute to simplicity and accessability for home builders without changing performance potential.
These days most dinghies rig their booms with rope or webbing loops for blocks and clew. These aren't faster but rather smarter,cheaper, stronger and reduce corrosion problems along with longevity of the boom.
As stainless hangers are around $8 each it seems odd not to allow a loop of rope which costs 50c and does a better job.
matt westland


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