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434 F'n Saint

About dogwatch

  • Rank
    Super Anarchist

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  • Location
    South Coast, UK
  • Interests
    Racing in all forms.

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  1. dogwatch

    The races must go on.

    Good grief guys. It's as obvious as fuck.
  2. dogwatch

    Merlin Rocket Walk Around

    Not really. The control systems, which matter, are still developing. There are nostalgia classes around, and nothing wrong with that, but that isn't the ethos of the MR. What the class doesn't want is a rate of development that rapidly makes existing boats obsolete. Oddly enough, both Ferrari and Morgan are in the nostalgia business.
  3. dogwatch

    Merlin Rocket Walk Around

    Strictly, it's a "restricted class" and you don't need to spend anything approaching £20K for a very nice club-level boat that will last for many years.
  4. dogwatch

    Merlin Rocket Walk Around

    To buy. Not to run. You can put your Merlin in a sailing club dinghy park for a few £100 quid a year or take it home.
  5. dogwatch

    Perfect £150k single/double handed boat

    OP said £150K. More like US$200K.
  6. "Crew and their yacht". I wasn't talking about yachts. The comment that kicked off this discussion within the thread suggested that drivers of safety boats need not be trained. Safety boats relate to dinghies and similar small craft. Yacht races don't have safety boats, yachts are assumed to be self-sufficient. Yacht races may have mark layers, that is not the same activity, nor is it the same skill-set as driving a safety boat. I have not argued that mark-layers have to be qualified. Unless you are setting gates, mark layers can be directed by radio from the committee boat and anyone with seamanship skills who can drive a RIB and knows how a race course is meant to be set up can set marks, at least with enough accuracy for club level. Racing dinghies are not self-sufficient. Running safe events for dinghies, particularly on the sea, possibly several miles from safety, requires safety boats and safety boat drivers need to know what they are doing. How you are supposed to know what you are doing without training is a bit of a mystery to me. Once you are out there in charge of a safety boat, there is nobody to supervise you or to tell you what to do. It's down to you. You may be what is between someone living and drowning. It doesn't get that serious very often but it happens. I drive safety boats, from club races to world championships, it's how I currently give back to the sport and my club. I do rather wonder how many people commenting here have done the same or experienced having to deal with crew in the water, unable to right their boats, heading from cold towards hypothermia and several miles from shore. Then add foiling boats with sharp and expensive sticky out bits that make the boat difficult to approach in a seaway. Easy, no training needed? You reckon? By the way, a well-known south coast UK club was recently sued by a competitor over a matter related to safety. RRS 4 did not come to the aid of that club, after taking legal advice they settled out of court. The club hasn't chosen to broadcast that matter to the world so I won't be going into further details. The idea that a club fires a starting gun and a skipper takes all responsibility and decisions thereafter is a fine and noble concept. It isn't however the world we actually live in. This is getting repetitive and that's my final word in this thread.
  7. Oh God, you made me listen to Ehman droning on and on and on. How I loathe the patronising old fart. But not a good look for WS either.
  8. Firstly, I can think of a number of UK clubs that will send dinghies out to race 30-45 minutes sailing time away from launch. If conditions unexpectedly kick up nasty - and they can - then returning to launch may be far from easy. I mentioned above that I've driven safety boat at a couple of events that turned serious very suddenly. One of those was a well-known regatta attended by sailors from the UK and abroad, in a class in which you need to be an expert sailor to even be able to sail around the course. We still found ourselves rounding up capsized boats over several square miles of sea. Many needed help from safety boats to right themselves. Secondly, around here at least, if a sailor dies during a club event, there will be a Coroner's Inquest. Club Officers and Race Officers will find themselves standing at the Inquest and be required to demonstrate how good safety practice was followed. Is there a national standard in the sport for training safety boat drivers? Yes there is. So Commodore and Race Officer, did you ensure your safety boat drivers were trained to that standard? No we did not. You'd be so screwed and rightly so. The Coroner is not going to give a shit about RRS4. We are talking about racing dinghies, not yachts that might be expected to be self-sufficient. When I sign on to a club duty as a safety boat driver, there's a whole row of boxes I have to tick. Am I qualified as a RIB driver, Safety Boat driver, VHF radio operator, have I attended a First Aid Course in the last 3 years? That's partly to protect competitors but mostly it is to protect the club if the shit hits the fan. I'm a UK sailor but from what I can gather, the legal climate isn't so different in the USA.
  9. As far as safety cover goes, I don't agree. Put 30-40 dinghies onto the open sea in a bit of breeze and shit can turn serious with remarkable rapidity, with capsized boats scattered over several square miles. I know because I've been driving a safety boat when that has happened, twice now. Driving a safety boat is fun 99% of the time but those of us who do it should make the effort to learn the skills so we can be of some actual use the other 1%.
  10. You are conflating "volunteer" with "untrained".
  11. dogwatch

    Showtime capsize on return trip

    Actually "simplicate and add more lightness". Colin Chapman nicked it from Gordon Hooton via William Stout.
  12. dogwatch

    Crew memberships required for racing at yacht club?

    Get over that martyr complex, resign and someone will step up. Yes, I've done my stints on committees. I'm a fan of club structures where people aren't allowed to serve for more than a couple of terms. Otherwise you are liable end up with a group of bitter people with no fresh ideas but a fine grasp on why it can't be done, whatever "it" may be.
  13. dogwatch

    rs aero

    I test sailed an RS100 a couple of years before I got the Aero. It didn't take very many minutes to figure out the RS100 was much too much boat for me. There were a few at my club but they seem to have faded away.