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Thinking about updating nearly all of the running rigging on my Finn. The primary control lines (infucker, cunningham, outhaul, vang) come down through the mast partners to 29mm Harken turning blocks on conical springs, then are deadended onto a 29mm Harken Carbo, while continuous "fine tune" line goes out to either side of the cockpit and is spliced into itself (The whole assembly looks like a "Y" with the vertex represented by the deadended block). Traveler is a standard 2:1 harken ti-lite. I poked around Caleb's boat at pre-OCR's and I know he uses the Antal fairleads for his hiking straps, boom elastic and as the turning blocks for the centerboard line and vang "fine tune", and other boats use them on the traveler blocks. In the interest of saving weight, my thoughts were to keep the mast base turning blocks since that is the first major point of compression and i'd want to take as much friction out of that system as possible. However, the deadended block at the vertex of the "Y" I thought would be great to splice either a friction ring or a Shock into the "gross tune" spectra line, simplifying the rigging, taking out the entirety of the weight of the block, and virtually no banging on the inside of the foredeck. I have Shocks as the turning blocks for the centerboard line and on the mast for the infucker, and they've worked fine. iirc Ronstan has a published 350kg break strength, so it should be able to hold up the boat and me in it. My question is that based on the shape of the Shock vs the various flavors of friction rings, does it have a comparable coefficient of friction? I'd be using Marlow Excel Control. Shocks run $16 for a two-pack which would make them the most economical, Harken 8mils are the next cheapest at $11 a pop. For where it is in the system, and for potential weight savings of around 500g, would it be worth it to switch all the tiny blocks to Shocks or friction rings? The angle is like 290 going into the second block in the system
With both the football Orange Bowl and the real Orange Bowl going on, I got to thinking about Junior Sailing and how classes and programs have evolved since I went through more than a decade ago. Is it headed in the right direction? Are we using the right boats? Are we setting kids up for success whose names are not Melges or Cayard? In the U.S., kids usually start out in Optis at six or seven, and either outgrow the boat around 100lbs or age out at fifteen. High School sailing is almost exclusively done in Club 420's, and high school freshmen are 13-15, while seniors are 17-19. When I coached I tried to put together 250lb combined crews, and it seems like few 420 crews weigh more than 300lbs or less than about 230. College Sailing, with a few exceptions, is done in Club FJ's, Club 420's, and Lasers/Radials. CFJ's have a lower competitive crew weight than 420's, and the high end for Laser sailors in the U.S. seems to be about 185lbs unless you live in the Gorge. A slew of classes exist as the "trainers" or "junior equivalent" of Olympic and ISAF classes: e.g. the i420 is supposed to be the feeder for 470's, the 29er/29erXX is supposed to be the pipeline to 49er/49er FX, the Nacra 15 is supposed to be the trainer for the Nacra 17, etc. What is the entry point for a 12-year old Opti kid to go down the 29er track, or the i420 track? I remember outgrowing the Opti pretty quick and spent a couple summers in FJ's before I got my first Laser a few months before my 13th birthday, but I'm also bigger than the average bear. Laser 4.7's don't really exist in Detroit at least, so what should former Opti kids sail before they're at the 110-140lbs for the Radial? Should they sail 420's first? At what point do you pull them out of the 420 and into the Radial, or do you let them keep going down that path? How do you prevent kids from becoming "skipper-only" or "crew-only" dinghy sailors? In MISSA, there are half a dozen kids on the big teams who do great roll tacks and call wind shifts and are extremely helpful to their skippers, but for whatever reason won't touch the tiller unless they have to. I've seen this continue into college as well, how good a sailor is someone who started crewing on 420's in high school, and now is a college graduate with eight years of 420 crewing experience? With foiling and multihulls, what's the entry point into that pipeline? Seems like the UFO and the Waszp are targeted as entry-level/club-level foilers to get you into the game cheaper than a used Moth, but plenty of Mothies have never touched a Waszp. I'd think that a kid who knows how to trap and fly a kite would be able to adapt to the Nacra 15, so do you end up scalping kids from the 29er->49er pipeine to do that? Seems like there are lots of great boats coming along that kids could enjoy and which will endure as OD classes, like the RS Aero. Should clubs start buying Aeros and 5/7/9 rigs so both the newly liberated Opti kids can play with the post-Laser/pre-Finn size boys? What about asymmetric hiking dinghies like the RS Feva or the Topaz Vibe? The Bic O'pen was supposed to be a nice transition out of the Opti, but it doesn't seem to be going anywhere. What are kids sailing out of college? The Zim 15 was supposed to be the ticket for that, but besides for a promotional video and one race I haven't seen anything happen. How do you expose high school and college aged kids to the "real" classes that we sail, and keep them in the sport? When was the last time you saw anyone older than 22 in a 420?