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redboat

A Mini for the US?

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I appreciate the appeal of the Mini concept yet have watched for years as it never gains traction in the US.

 

Ryan's thoughts in the other Mini thread as follows reawakened the notion that perhaps there are some elements of the current European Series boats that can be adjusted/modified to better fit the US market or notion of shorthanded/singlehanded sailing or perhaps perhaps a fresh Amero-centric new design is appropriate::

 

"An offshore capable 25' footer, rating around 125 phrf would be exciting enough. Simplify the product. No running backstays and no fumbling articulating sprit. A dumbed down TP 52 with a higher disp/length and easier to sail. Even this would require marketing genius to have last more than one big race like transpac or Bermuda 1-2. The Dart is close, but the price isn't. I've sailed a wavelength 24 solo against crewed boats on some local distance races, and it's been lots of fun. It's also been fun with a crew going around the cans. Any mini can't make that claim, which is a problem for the US market. Flame away."

 

 

Get J Boat marketing on board with the notion, simplify, slightly downsize the rig, manufacture in China ala Flying Tiger (maybe not), whatever it takes to broaden the appeal, reduce entry/campaign costs and get this wonderful concept in gear in the US.

 

Like Ryan said.........."FLAME AWAY".

 

If we all close our eyes, clap our heels together and wish hard enough maybe it will,,,,,,,nah.

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It would be a matter of going with what works for the US and series mini boats in Europe.

 

-A B-25 hull mould.

-polyester single skin hull, ala series minis, and cored deck

-Pogo 2 keel (fixed 5.25 draft/ single point hoist)

-series mini freeboard limit (if the 25 doesn't already meet that)

-new deck with deeper cockpit and larger cabin top

-Deck mounted centerline bowsprit (aluminum with bob stay)

-single rudder

-aluminum rig (maybe what the B-25 already has)

-masthead spinnaker with fractional halyard for code 0 and fractional kite

-one design autopilot configuration to keep the arms race to a minimum

- reefable genoa and sail limits on one design sails

- for phrf, the usual whatever you want for sails in your region. (The boat must remain competitive if well sailed)

 

The pogo 2 keel will add about 200 more lbs, plus the additional hull mods to the 25.

The B-25 has pretty good form stability, but isn't so wide that it can't A. go upwind, B. stick to the water in light wind (phrf)

 

Keep it simple. Hold back on the nerdy dreamer techno crap. Focus on good racing, a simple boat that allows you to go sailing more and work on the boat less, and of course, all around performance.

 

A solo Transpac 25' type goal.

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Or resurrect those Flying Tiger 7.5 moulds, redo the deck and cabin and beef things up a bit, uh, maybe a lot.

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Paging Robert Perry: that looks like it could fit the bill with some modifications. Are there any racing in the states? What's the price tag associated with that? Great looking boat! Change the deck and change the rig.

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One of the things I've noticed about Mini sailors in the US is that they tend to be rather young and are stretched beyond their financial limit in buying a new boat. I believe this is a key reason why so many sailors only do the Mini Transat one time, it is just too darned expensive for the age range.

I've often thought that a better approach would be to organize a race or series with an existing and thus cheaper boat. For example, the Moore 24 has a great reputation with singlehanders and many have completed the Transpac. So rather than designing a new boat that will cost $100k no matter how you look at it, organize a race or series for Singlehanded Moore 24s that can be bought for $15k. I think that the $85k difference in price between a Mini and a Moore will bring in a lot more sailors.

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Minis are cool in Europe because:

  1. there's lots of used boats both protos and series to choose from.
  2. There are lots of races of varying lengths to choose from. Here you've got the Bermuda 1-2 on the East Coast and a variety of Transpacs on the West Coast not all of which would let minis enter.

I think 2 is more important because in Europe you can enter weekend or even shorter races to get you up to speed before you ever try something longer. Even fairly major races like a Mini Fastnet are a lot smaller commitment than a Transpac. Of course this isn't just Mini specific but applies to distance racing in most parts of the USA relative to Europe. What is the situation with regard to allowing Minis to race in existing US distance races? Is there a location in the country that has a full slate of shorter distance races that could become a hub for the class? Some things that don't help entering distance races in the US:

  • hodgepodge of safety rules. You could also say unwillingness to utilize the OSRs. I think kitting out a boat to Cat 3 should be fairly straightforward.
  • lack of coordination between races in similar locations such as arranging for race series where one race starts from the previous race's finish etc.
  • travel: I reckon taking a Mini from Southampton in the UK to Lorient in France might be easier than taking one from Marblehead to Chicago.

 

From a boat design point of view a "TP25" would be an interesting idea but the market would be minimal I think for a new design and even the "ubiquitous Moore 24" is AFAIK only ubiquitous on the West Coast. I think for people who want to shorthand smaller boats you just have to pick up what suits you. In England I think a fair number of people like to shorthand J80s (Euro spec ones are set up for Cat 3 IIRC) and other similar sized boats and they race under IRC or OD. Here you'd have to deal with PHRF but that is what it is - if the boat is a well know OD there shouldn't be much difficulty but a Mini, Series or Proto, is going to give most committees a fit.

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Speng, you are absolutely right about the number of races in Europe aimed at the Mini, and the lack of races in NA. Every Mini owner I've ever met dreams of doing the Transat and works their way through the qualification races for it. From what I've seen, there is no other reason that anyone buys a Mini. Is there?

 

From a strictly marketing point of view, the "typical" active yacht club sail boat racer is 45-55 and obviously has sufficient disposable income to allow for this incredibly expensive hobby. On the other hand, from what I've seen the "typical" Mini owner is 25-35 and sacrifices everything else in life to buy that boat. In any sort of marketing program the two questions that should be asked first are 1. are there customers who want to buy the product? and 2. can they pay for it?

 

I would think that the market for a mini type boat/race would be built on teenagers who pass through the many dinghy racing programs around the country. If we can get 1,000 of these kids interested in a program every year, then how many of them could actually pay for it when they get to 25? If we only need 100 to be successful, then perhaps it is do-able.

 

So just off the top of my head I'd say that one way to build a program would be to take minis out to the wealthier sailing clubs and get the 15-18 year olds out on them. These are the kids who can turn to Dad 10 years later for a $100k loan.

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Just so you guys know, I agree with most of what's being said here. The reality is that I think it's really unlikely to build a mini type class here in the states. It would be great, but as said above there is no Lorient type base where you can tap into some great 100 milers on the weekend with great racing and lots of minis racing. Thr truth is those are the most fun races to do in the mini circuit, and hugely less expensive. If Gerome could start doing a cluster of those in CA, I think it would help. There are guys in europe who just pop in and launch their boats for those events, but have real jobs and don't intend on doing the transat. There is even an American who has a pogo 2 over there for that reason. Great racing in a tight box rule. Still cheaper than a class 40. I'd be perfectly happy to race anything that was challenging in the way mini races are from a solo one design perspective. Good racing should be the prime objective. I'd do it in old j/24s or whatever! Just as long as it filled the solo aspect and there were a bunch of other boats on the line. Now that I'm older, t's just not about the boat for me. San Francisco is lucky as hell to have the SSS with so many eager sailors out there willing to race short handed. Bless them. It's fun.

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Jumping around a bit...

 

With all that beam, a series Mini is surprisingly roomy below - much better than a J/80. I think even some of us old farts could enjoy sailing one to Hawaii. As Andy points out, us old farts are the existing market around here. Protos are too uncomfortable and difficult to sail.

 

Speaking for myself (not the SSS) I was disappointed that after finally running a Mini in our SHTP, Jerome decided to go off and do his own thing. I understand the logistical reasons but I think there's still a lot of potential for Minis in the SSS program - our local races then SH Farallones > LongPac > SH TransPac. As SSS's race chair, I'd be willing to look at an SSS-specific rating for the Minis if that would get them off their trailers and back in the water around here. A separate season championship perhaps?

 

Then beyond the existing market, I have to believe there are several RYC, EYC, SFYC (etc.) grads that could be put through a qualifying process (to learn ocean racing) and then provided one or more sponsors/boats that could get them going.

 

I'm not ready to give up yet.

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I feel like this is a good conversation, and somehow not infected with anonymous pricks yet. Just us, talking about what we enthusiasts actually see as a problem. I'm a fan of Gerome's business. I'd love to see it work for solo sailing here. It would cure my pessimism.

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What if................

 

You take a J24 hull and

 

Put a smaller lighter section masthead rig on it

 

Design a deeper balanced rudder rather than the door it currently uses

 

Seal the cockpit lockers if it hasn't already been done and seal the vberth and quarter berth areas to perhaps make it unsinkable

 

Cut off the keel stub, glass over and reinforce and add a lighter moderate bulb keel

 

Add a retractable or fixed sprit

 

 

Wouldn't burn up the race course but if one designed it could get people into level shorthanded coastal racing for cheap.

 

Other mods would obviously be necessary, especially any that would prervent that sinking feeling but it could be like Spec Miatas in auto racing.

 

 

This silly notion only arises from my, in retrospect, totally foolhardy experience with the J24. I owned one when when they first came out and were raced one design with reefs in mains, headfoil headstays, portable heads navigation lights, etc.. Had a huge fleet on the Western end of the Long Island Sound that not only did round the cans day races but there was a one design short and middle distance race series for the class. It was a hoot to sail around those courses with 15-20 small one design boats.

 

Just a silly thought.

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Short distance races are tons of fun. One design even better. A 50-100 miler starting mid day or in the evening so you have to sail all night is a great way to simulate the bigger stuff. What you are talking about with the 24 would still become quite pricey. Something like that could work if you kept the mods to a necessary minimum. Again, who care about going fast if the racing is tight? More sailing, less boat. If you did a bunch of those kind of races every year, you'd get really good. Consider how low tech Figaros have always been compared to the open classes, and those are the best open class sailors. It's possible to have a poor man's version here.

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I used to sail our U20 singlehanded all the time, even though it wasn't layed out for it. It was fun! But I always thought that if the controls were where they should have been for single hand, and the sails were tweaked a little, it would have been the best. Really.

 

Now that Schock is making them, I wonder if they'd be interested in a solo version.

 

Ease of trailering is a real bonus.

 

I've got 2 other projects going, one in build and one in design, so I've got my hands full, but it's an idea I've had floating around since the late 90's.

 

Anyway, I have a suspicion that the price new might be in the ballpark with a modded J24, BUT a U20 planes, is a gas in light air 1up, and goes upwind quite nicely. The performance single handed is a noticeable step up from crewed sailing. #36 would plane in nothing, and she handled 50+ knots with grace....

 

Mostly smaller than a mini, and the rig, at least with the Ballenger spar, was bullet proof. Limit sails to 5, etc.

 

Just sayin'....

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U20 sounds like an appropriate candidate.

 

A few tweaks here and there and voila.............

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I agree. Just looking at the specs, and pricing, I see a potentially great boat for upping the solo sailing game here in the states. $41,000 sail away (boat + trailer,main, jib and spin) and a phrf rating around 140! It would be a perfect boat for over night one design distance races, with the occasional big distance race thrown in for goals sake. That being said, I've never sailed one. It's small but fits the small scene we have here. Good call Amati.

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A view from the right coast.

 

First, pretty much everything that's been said is correct in it's own way, especially that single/doublehanded racing in smaller boats could become more popular. The problem in the East is that many of the coastal races have regs that exclude smaller, less expensive boats. It's typical that a minimum size (say 28') will be stated, A maximum PHRF (~130), and the boats need to have an inboard engine. It seems to be much more inclusive on the West Coast. So the minds of the guys with the red pants and blue blazers will have to change, and you know how easy that is......

 

Rob

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You guys have to do your own thing Rob. That's how the SSS got started out here (in 1977). Some of the establishment still think we're nuts, but we often put more boats on the water than anyone else around here.

 

Ryan, I'm intrigued about the U20. I've raced against them but I haven't personally sailed one either (I've sailed the A27 - it got me into sprit boats). They seem to do fine here on the Bay but would you solo one to Kauai? I know the depth of that question and who I'm asking.

 

Efficient reefing is a given. What about a simple water ballast system? (Great with all that beam.) Runners for offshore? What else?

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I don't know much about the U20.., but it doesn't really seem like an offshore boat.

 

ballast of only 450lbs...

 

The great thing about the mini is that even though it is small, it is a safe and proven offshore boat.

 

I'm sure the U20 is suitable for coastal racing, but probably not for Newport-Bermuda.

 

I guess it's all a question of your risk tolerance.., sailing a mini offshore is a reasonably safe thing to do, and we have the experience of probably over 1,000,000 real ocean miles sailed in the boats that tells us this is true.

 

so - is the aim to come up with a boat for single-handed coastal racing, or is it to come up with a boat for single-handed ocean racing?

 

I think that even if the aim initially is to do mostly coastal races, the boat should be safe offshore.

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BobJ got that. I wouldn't even bother the established races for a class. It's a lot of liability for them. What we'd be talking about is a class race for the U20 or whatever it is. Again I've never sailed a U20, so can't say whether I'd take one to Hawaii, but I'd sail most boats to Hawaii. What I want to know is if I'd feel comfortable going to Bermuda with it. There are some on Mobile Bay. Maybe I can get a test ride on one. It would be great to do some real offshore races, but again I'd focus on a figaro type series first. 100 mile legs, scored together for an overall. Then a Hawaii race the following year.

 

Changes to the boat:

 

- No water ballast. Just stack gear from side to side like the series boats. The sail plan is much smaller on the U20 and the kites are half the size of a protos! Water ballast would be a big additional cost and complication and do less than it would on a series boat. And they seem to do fine.

 

-Runners: again I'd have to sail the boat to have an opinion on that. I know the Antrim 27 definitely doesn't need them. I'd feel better seeing them if I was going to Hawaii, but that could be me just being conventional.

 

-Definitely 2 reef lines for the main, and no roller furling jib so you can slab reef it too.

 

-How self righting is the U20? Does it need to have a heavier bulb?

 

-Floatation for the offshore races (Hawaii etc). Yes.

 

Other design changes like freeboard and cockpit/ cabin top should be looked at, but for the sake of actually assembling a race, it would be nice to grandfather existing U20s in. I want to go check one out and see how viable it is as a U20 stock boat.

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Us7070, that's a good question. Minis are safe. U20 needs some researching.

 

Personally I'd be more interested in coastal races giving the sailors the opportunity to build their skill set to a higher level. Learning the tricks on your way to Hawaii is guaranteed to not be competitive. Also, as I've said before, the shorter races are a lot of fun. Why just focus on going big? You could use the old Worrel 1000 as a model.

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I'm going to race a U20 on Mobile Bay this Sunday. I'll give a full report when it's over.

 

 

Looking forward to a complete report.

 

I'm not familuar with the U20. Saw one for the first time a couple of months ago unrigged on a trailer in the drysail lot at Cherry Creek reservoir in Denver and thought it a nice boat without viewing it with an eye towards doing something stoopid like shorthanded distance racing.

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Ultimate 20s are not offshore boats. Its a nice boat but its not a distance racing boat. By the time you get the safetygear on board needed for distance racing its performance will be compromised. Ideal would be to start from scratch.

 

The thing about Mini's is that they are designed to reach and run really well. and they trade upwind performance to do so. The U20 is an all-around boat. Its not overcanvassed the way a Mini is, and it also lacks the RM and the lines with which to carry the extra gear needed.

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I never did the mini transat, but I still have about 8000 miles on an old proto mini, so I will have enough to compare Another boat against. The U20 wouldn't be a boat for the transat, and probably not even a Bermuda race, but it could be a boat for a multi leg distance race and a race to Hawaii. Also it wouldn't race under class mini, so the safety gear wouldn't be so obscenely plentiful. I've never seen so much gear put on a boat for little 100 milers as they required. I just wouldn't focus on the "extra gear" part yet. Even if the performace is compromised by gear, it would be one design.

 

The u20 normally sails with three, and I don't see adding more than 400 lbs for the short solo races. That said, I'll see what I think the boat can do practically and write it down for you guys.


If there were a few seasons which built some activity, skills and most importantly a breathing customer base, then it might be possible to move into a new boat customized for the market developed off of the U20 experience (or whatever boat it is).

BBandit, are you looking to do the Mini T?

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Maybe on the West Coast, the SSS could add something like a Spinnaker Cup and a Coastal Cup to the schedule in the SSS Transpac off years? Could a version of the Coastal work as a qualifier?

 

It's sort of a "run what you brung" class out here, and I dabble a bit in my no-way-offshore-ready multi, but get me a cheap moore 24 or the equiv and maybe I'd take some of those coastal runs. I won't be able to do any short handed to hawaii trips till the kids are in college(wife rule, applies to motorcycles as well), and I'll be 60 at that point...

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If you really like the U20, I can ask Jim Antrim (principal designer) what beefing up it might need. They did this to the A27 "ET" and then raced 3-4 Pacific Cups on it, with Jim on the crew BTW.

 

Looking at a bunch of photos - the boat clearly needs to be sailed flat, not just for speed but to keep the (single) rudder in the water. This was the reason for my water ballast comment. There wouldn't be much extra gear or sails to be moved down below.

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If you really like the U20, I can ask Jim Antrim (principal designer) what beefing up it might need. They did this to the A27 "ET" and then raced 3-4 Pacific Cups on it, with Jim on the crew BTW.

 

Looking at a bunch of photos - the boat clearly needs to be sailed flat, not just for speed but to keep the (single) rudder in the water. This was the reason for my water ballast comment. There wouldn't be much extra gear or sails to be moved down below.

 

imho i'd be easier to change for a dual rudder configuration than adding water ballast.

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We'll see what r.finn thinks of the helm when the boat heels a bunch. Hopefully there will be some solid breeze.

 

The Minis and larger Open boats have a great water plane when heeled. My 92 does too - the hull sections have to be designed for it. It also makes a big difference for autopilot effectiveness.

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Maybe on the West Coast, the SSS could add something like a Spinnaker Cup and a Coastal Cup to the schedule in the SSS Transpac off years? Could a version of the Coastal work as a qualifier?

 

It's sort of a "run what you brung" class out here, and I dabble a bit in my no-way-offshore-ready multi, but get me a cheap moore 24 or the equiv and maybe I'd take some of those coastal runs. I won't be able to do any short handed to hawaii trips till the kids are in college(wife rule, applies to motorcycles as well), and I'll be 60 at that point...

SSS already has the Long Pac in the odd numbered years (sail to 126 degrees 40 min or 200 miles west of the gate), but I agree a downwind course in addition to the Half Moon bay race coming up in a couple of weeks would be fun - probably more fun than the Long Pac if my experience in it this year is any guide.

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They're looking for shorthanded entries for the Windjammers Race to Santa Cruz (Labor Day weekend). If they get enough they'll split it into SH and DH divisions.

 

I'm thinking about it.

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If you guys are really gung-ho on this - get someone like Paul Bieker (after the AC is over) to design you a boat - he's done offshore boats and lots of go fast innovations in smaller boats

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Well except that's basically a coastal inshore race. I know Michigan can get some nasty storms but a lot of boats on that lake are not blue-water boats. There are a lot of boats that do the Swiftsure Cape Flattery race that are not really blue water ready either.

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I don't think Bandit read your story. That's a really good account of what can happen, an how the U20 actually behaved. Definitely food for thought. Thanks for taking the time to write it up.

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They're looking for shorthanded entries for the Windjammers Race to Santa Cruz (Labor Day weekend). If they get enough they'll split it into SH and DH divisions.

 

I'm thinking about it.

 

My boat should be back, and assuming the weather is standard for that time of year, would be a fun little double handed trip. Unfortunately, if things go pear shaped, there is a lot of lee shore….

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I don't think Bandit read your story. That's a really good account of what can happen, an how the U20 actually behaved. Definitely food for thought. Thanks for taking the time to write it up.

Well this part of it

 

We were knocked flat to the water with the top of the mast going under. I called for everyone to the keel. Matt was the first to arrive at the keel trying to keep the boat from capsizing

 

is why I call them not a blue water boat. That's why I cited Cape Flattery race. If crew was in the water as long as they were in this case, odds are someone would be fighting for their life

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The water in Lake Michigan is blue. Just a point of fact. If you have never sailed it, try it! It might change your mind.

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A view from the right coast.

 

First, pretty much everything that's been said is correct in it's own way, especially that single/doublehanded racing in smaller boats could become more popular. The problem in the East is that many of the coastal races have regs that exclude smaller, less expensive boats. It's typical that a minimum size (say 28') will be stated, A maximum PHRF (~130), and the boats need to have an inboard engine. It seems to be much more inclusive on the West Coast. So the minds of the guys with the red pants and blue blazers will have to change, and you know how easy that is......

 

Rob

 

A coastal race should be Cat 3 by the letter of the OSR doesn't require any of those things. Of course there will have to be some $$ involved as you can't simply take your round the cans 20-something footer, a cooler and a throwable and go do the ALIR or something like that but that 20-something footer should be able to enter if it can meet Cat 3. Of course you don't want to be like some hardheads I've seen here who think it's appropriate to do the Farallones races on a Moore 24 with no lifelines and don't want to do once a year safety briefings.

 

I think if other "hubs" of s/h sailing like SF with it SSS an be setup then people could have their boat in that local during the season and fly in a do a bunch of races without having to move the boat a bunch. To be honest, my guess is most people might "dream" of doing a SHTP or Mini Transat but in reality they can/are willing to do a SH SF to LA or Charleston to Savannah. Even for the people who actually fulfill the dream it's something they do once or twice while a decent mass of sailors are more likely to do 3 or 4 weekend races a year which is undoubtedly better for shorthanded racing in the US than anything else.

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No worries - miscommunication happens all the time. My original post was overly cryptic. Don't get me wrong,, I think U20s are sexy as hell but I wouldn't take them anywhere I wouldn't go in a J-24

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A U20 is a great Port to Port boat... We did 189 mile race on my U20. It was a fantastic race until the waterspout came! http://racineyachtclub.org/News/goombay_cheated_death.htm

 

 

 

Sobering tale. Still a shred of hope though only in that a J24 would more likely have sunk.

 

Not surprised by stability issue but could it be corrected or reduced by a relatively small keel shoe and or hatch/companionway reconfiguration.?

 

Keeping hope alive......

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We were knocked flat by vertical micro gusts repeatedly under Foul Weather bluff in 50+. Main up. furled jib. Pinned us for a few minutes with the masthead in the water, but no farther. Two up (plus dog). We were standing on the (then) bottom side tank. Mast did nothing but touch the water, and then she came up quickly each time, once the wind pressure abated. We had the hatch closed, but the water was never less than 3' from the companionway. Our combined crew weight was appr. #300.

 

Gregg, did you guys close the hatch while sailing into a T storm?

 

So what would have happened if the hatch had been closed, and the interior had inflation bags?

 

We don't have the boat anymore, so I don't have a dog in this hunt, but the U20 impressed me with her manners in a nasty situation of +50 K against the tide and a steep 6'-8' chop up by Point No Point. (In case anybody's wondering we were stupidly caught by surprise by a crappy NOAA/USWS forecast: 10-15K from the SE, 1'-3' chop my ass.)

 

We had a new main with a very stiff bolt rope that made lowering difficult. Once we had it down, everything was fine.

 

She liked being sailed flat, but we always made good progress upwind @ 10-20 degrees heel in 3'-5' chop and 15-20 K even 2 up. The firm bilges shoulder nicely into the lumpy stuff. Fun in a swell too. U20s are very different boats with less weight than the usual #500-#600 lbs crew. Dual rudders would be nice, but I cant say the single Water Rat rudder ever was a problem. (Matter of fact, I was so impressed by it that our 40er has a Water Rat rudder. Has never let go.)

 

Reefing the fathead was cool- she just went faster. The pinhead heavy weather sail was balky and slow. The tin Ballenger rig was pretty bulletproof as far as I could see.

 

BobJ has a good suggestion that might be interesting (talking w/ JIm Antrim) to the current builder and class. Lasers have sailed from the AUS mainland to Tasmania after all. The trick would be to do it without doubling the price of the boat.

 

!!!Boat Porn Gedanken Experiment!!! Speaking about a big Laser, I mean Torch, a very cool boat would be a WylieCat 20-21 with the same general specs as the U20. Kind of a fat little WylieCat 44. Or a slightly modded Wabbit? Although Abbot (Abbott?) (before the fire, at any rate) was talking about an una rigged U20 for a while there. :) At least with me. 300 sq ft main unstayed with a spinnaker.....

 

edit- how much would some righting tests like the open 50's 60's do cost anyway? pull the masthead down to the water with a skipper on board and see what happens? Or do it first without anyone on board if there are worries.

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We did not have a chance to get hatches in since it was not raining when we got hit. It was blowing about 12-15. Then the waterspout dropped on us. Having the hatches in would have made a big difference.

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I raced the Ultimate 20 yesterday on Mobile Bay out of Fairhope Yacht Club with skipper Jim Chapman and crew Jim Collins. The wind was around 4 knots at the start and 10 knots by the finish around a 5.5 mile fixed mark course.

 

Here are my impressions.

Pros:

 

Build Quality: I think, because of the hull/deck lip, I was expecting it to be built cheaply with more emphasis on selling boats than building them. I was basically expecting a big soft Laser hull. That is my baggage though, and immediately I noticed a very well built little boat. Inside the boat, the main structure is one piece of tooled composite that forms the floatation forward, the frame for the mast step/ keel, and the aft running longitudinals. One big composite part bogged to a cored hull and then capped off by the deck. The hull and deck were very stiff when banged on and walked around. Certainly tougher than the Wavelength 24's I grew up sailing (a boat I still sail and freaking love). Construction is definitely not an issue. The internal floatation is also a tick off the list.

 

Deck Layout: The cockpit is very comfortable and as big as this boat could have and still have stowage room below. Because of the U20's size the cabin top isn't far from the helm, so you can easily trim sails with the tiller extension in hand and operate halyards and other running rigging. The boat I sailed used the little windward sheeting system that is stock with the boat, and the 2:1 purchase on the little jib was really easy to trim from the windward side, even when powered up. There are no winches on this boat, and it didn't seem to need them in 10 knots.

 

Stiffness: For such a light boat she was surprisingly stiff at the dock when I stepped on. Certainly no less stable than my 99' Finot prototype mini. She danced a lot at the dock, but that had everything do do with how light the boat is and motor boats coming in and out of the harbor. I haven't sailed a Melges 24 in a while, but this boat felt much less dependent on human ballast from what I can remember. The Melges felt more like a big little boat, while this one felt more like a little big boat.

 

Responsiveness: The boat was quick to accelerate in the light wind we started in. The rudder was deeper than I was expecting, and very powerful. Upwind in 4 knots felt great. I had Jim and Jim go as far to leeward as possible to see if I could make the rudder stall, and it was a non issue at around 20 degrees of heel. Of course there weren't big waves or big winds to really see how she'd behave, but it was encouraging. In real life, you'd never sail a U20 heeled over like that on purpose anyway. The small sail plan drives this boat very easily.

 

Maneuverability: Like many sport boats, the U20 turns on a dime. Even in the near drifting conditions we left the dock in you could easily maneuver the boat, throwing in 180 degree tacks/gybes within a boat length. That was definitely not like a mini :)

 

Simplicity: The U20 is among the simplest boats I've ever sailed on. The roachy mainsail without back stays is awesome for maneuvering. It makes tacking and gybing extremely easy. You couldn't do much about forestay tension without a back stay while sailing. Just make it tight with the shrouds and go sailing. The boat I was on was at base settings for standing rigging, and we were sailing one design against two other boats. Trimming the jib from the helm was very easy. No winch to ease off from, so you could use one hand like you're sailing a Laser and feel every adjustment on the helm as you did it. That seemed fast. Spinnaker pole is on deck and the hoist douses are standard sprit boat affair. Pole out with tack, halyard up and sheet on. Sit down and drive. I haven't sailed a sport boat in years and miss how easy it is to do. Anyway, the boat was very simple to sail, and compared to a mini REALLY simple.

There was some concern about the single rudder noted in this forum. For sailing on every wind angle I wouldn't change a thing. It was really good upwind and good reaching and running. We sailed really close to the wind with the kite up on the last reaching leg, in about 8 knots of wind, and even though powered up, there was not a hint of rudder stall. In fact I showed Jim how impressed I was to still be driving with my finger tips. They seem to be very well balanced boats.

 

Cons:

Size: It matters if you are going well offshore. This boat probably has 50% less volume inside than a series mini. It has less beam, less freeboard and it weighs half as much so has a shallower hull. Basically the interior is bigger than a J22 and smaller than a J24. That wouldn't bother me for one or two days, but a third night would be pushing it. Upwind offshore would be really wet. Again not a problem for a day or two, but you'd want to be close to where you are going soon after that.

 

Life Lines: The U20's have life lines from the cabin top aft, but most don't have a bow pulpit or stanchions forward of the shrouds. That's all good in standard U20 sail handling when nobody has to go forward of the mast. However, if you did have to go up there for some reason, alone and out of site of another boat or land, it would be a good idea to have them. I don't remember actually using them on minis, but it made me feel better about going up there. Plus, what would the sailing majority say if they heard about this!

 

* I need to sail the boat in 25-30 knots to find the rest of the kinks. Basically those are the only cons I can come up with at this point.

 

If there were enough interested sailors to form a series within this class, I think it would be a good idea to design the course around the boat as opposed to the other way around. That's one reason I'm attracted to the series of overnights as opposed to one big fat offshore event. If everyone felt good about it after doing a series or two, maybe throw in a more challenging event. So far though I think this is a damn good boat for the price, ease of use, and quality of design/build. Plus you can race around the cans with your friends in handicap and one design. Also without seriously modifying the boat, it means there are a bunch of used boats on the market that could go directly into plug and play.

 

Okay, done pontificating.

 

-Ryan

 

Note: The race in Fairhope was a staggered start with a bunch of MORC type boats sailing spinnaker and non spinnaker. We finished first in fleet with the second placed boat also being a U20, so the boat seems to hold it's PHRF rating.

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Nice description. You'll enjoy one in 25-30with a reef in.

 

Even more downwind. Just under full main alone in that much is a blast one up. Just gets more stable.

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Thanks Amati, I would love to see how it behaves. From what I've heard in person and on forums, there aren't a lot of red flags with the boats.

 

I've got some ideas for a race, but have to do some research into logistics. I can't afford to get a boat right now, but would be more than happy to run an event.

 

At some point it might be a good idea to move this discussion into a differant forum, seeing as its not about Minis. Ocean racing, sportboat or just the U 20 website forum?

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I still think GP 26 would be a better starting point.

 

i understand that the aim is to start with shorter races..., and i agree that it's a great way grow interest, but why not at least choose a boat that can sail offshore?

 

when it comes time to graduate to the real thing, is everyone going to buy a new boat? what boat will that be?

 

i just don't see the mini and the U20 in anything like the same category - the U20 will never be a "mini for the U.S."

 

it doesn't have the stability and sail carrying power to sail fast offshore except in lighter conditions - it's an inshore boat.

 

I understand that some would sail to Hawaii on a U20.., but i wouldn't..,

 

The great thing about the mini class is that it's not perceived as "wacky" to sail one across the ocean - a guy with young kids can race one and not feel irresponsible.

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The U20 wouldn't be an attempt to compete with the mini class. It would be an attempt to actually have some tight solo distance racing. It's plenty safe for what I'm proposing. Certainly safer than a beach cat ala Worrell 1000/Tybe 500. Again, not trying to divert guys who want to race minis. That's why I think this topic should be moved to another forum.

The Mini class US stuff has been being discussed for a decade. I think it's time to actually do some racing without having to move to Europe.

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Additionally, there hull 252 was built recently at Schock. That means there are a lot of easily transported, rigged and sailed boats to use across the country. I'm working on a course now and projecting an event for about a year from now. I'll post something in another forum when I have something more to talk about.

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I understand the value of trying to maintain OD status however are there a couple of sensible modifications or adjustments to the hull, appendages or rig that would make it safer or bettter handling for the new intended purppose?

 

eg., small, removable bolt on 100 lb shoe to the bottom of the keel for stability or enhanced righting? More protective lifeline arrangement? Modified hatch arrangement?

 

Limitation on electronics? What kind of autopilot, if any?

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I'm thinking limit autopilots to the Raymarine X-5 tiller pilot ( as the maximum allowed) and no wind instruments tied into the auto pilot, to keep cost down. I've sailed thousands of miles on that level unit only and no wind. For a 100 mile race you'd only really use it for sail changes and getting a meal. It's would be very easy to hand steer through a gybe on a U20 and tacking, forget about it.

 

Bulb addition? I'm not sure if its necessary yet. I'll look at it on the water, and I'd like to do a 90 degree test. 450 lbs doesn't sound like much, but on my old proto it was 600 lbs a foot deeper, with a 6' taller rig and twice the upwind sail area. 90 degree test would help answer some questions there.

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....and what about simple lifelines/pulpit? Not quite as young/spry as I used to be and when it gets bouncy, particularly at night, if I have to go forward of the cockpit for some reason the false sense of security they provide would be welcomed. Lifelines would actually make the boat more kid friendly as well. Mine were always running around the boat.

 

Like electronics limitations.

 

Time to more this thread to the main page so it elicits response from the broader audience it actually hopes to attract?

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I have to say as a new mini owner, I really think that minis are the "mini for the us", absolutely amazing boats, next season there will be 2 in western long island sound, and hopefully we can get the fleet to take off a bit around here. The boat is an absolute machine.

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I have to say as a new mini owner, I really think that minis are the "mini for the us", absolutely amazing boats, next season there will be 2 in western long island sound, and hopefully we can get the fleet to take off a bit around here. The boat is an absolute machine.

 

 

All of what you say is true and I share the hope of your vision of Minis in the US.

 

Fact is that Minis have always been wonderful exciting craft but appreciated by only a handful of people in the US who are willing to and can afford to make the leap. This is simply an attempt to discuss creation of a vessel that would make it more appealing to this crazy market and broaden the base of participants.

 

Will you be able to officially participate in the Vineyard and Block Island Races?

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The big barrier to minis in the USA is that in the USA boats are sold on how many bunks they have (how many does it sleep) - That's why Hunters and Catalinas all sold so well. OR Daysailors/round the bouys chasers. Neither of which are a Mini's strengths. Mini's do well in longer distance races, which with the reduction in vacation hours of the average American have seen a serious curtailing.

 

Also smaller boat cruising was really popular when Holiday Inn's were a novelty. Now you have an Inn of Ra Ma Da in every other little podunk town and the notion of camping on a sailboat has lost its appeal. Just look at KOA campgrounds. In the 70s they used to be about 60:40 tent sites vs. Motor homes. Now they are about 80:20 the other way.

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I have to say as a new mini owner, I really think that minis are the "mini for the us", absolutely amazing boats, next season there will be 2 in western long island sound, and hopefully we can get the fleet to take off a bit around here. The boat is an absolute machine.

 

 

All of what you say is true and I share the hope of your vision of Minis in the US.

 

Fact is that Minis have always been wonderful exciting craft but appreciated by only a handful of people in the US who are willing to and can afford to make the leap. This is simply an attempt to discuss creation of a vessel that would make it more appealing to this crazy market and broaden the base of participants.

 

Will you be able to officially participate in the Vineyard and Block Island Races?

I think they'll come around and allow us. Unfortunately the logistics didn't work out for me to race Frogger in the Vineyard (and I didn't have the boat in the water for Block), so I didn't really push to get the boat allowed in. The Around Long Island Regatta allowed the Minis this year, and I did that race, which was a lot of fun in 30 knots and a bit of sea state. Unfortunately it was 30 knots from the wrong direction, but the boat was still gave an amazing ride.

 

Next year I'll have Frogger in LIS and do a lot of the distance races, this year its in NY Harbor for convenience and to get it dialed in.

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limiting resin to poly is false economy, allow vinylester, boat that size would add a couple hundred more, no need barrier coating, more durable

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limiting resin to poly is false economy, allow vinylester, boat that size would add a couple hundred more, no need barrier coating, more durable

 

vinylester can be twice as much as polyester. without getting into the details, you are looking at way more than $200 variance. Besides, although vinylester provides better protection against osmosis, for boat staying in the water, epoxy barrier and bottom paint are still required. on the Pogo 2, the first mat is hand layout with vinyl-ester. the rest of the lay-up is infused using infusion polyester resin.

I haven't read the entire thread but I am not sure why we are trying to come up with a different concept that the Mini established in France. The Minis work for U.S. market. Too many reasons to list them all here :-)

 

cheers

 

Jerome

Open Sailing - U.S. Pogo 2 Mini Transat Builder.

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Jerome, I realise you are in the business of selling these, and have sailed them a bunch, good for you, keep going.

This si some thing that is a bit of a sore subject for me, and yes, I use mostly epoxy in my work, but on a modern cored boat the amount of resin used is quite small, ok, on a series with an uncored hull, maybe 40 gal at the most, so it is an extra $1k, you are right, not 200, but a thick epoxy barrier coat job is more,than that. Keep up the good work.

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limiting resin to poly is false economy, allow vinylester, boat that size would add a couple hundred more, no need barrier coating, more durable

 

vinylester can be twice as much as polyester. without getting into the details, you are looking at way more than $200 variance. Besides, although vinylester provides better protection against osmosis, for boat staying in the water, epoxy barrier and bottom paint are still required. on the Pogo 2, the first mat is hand layout with vinyl-ester. the rest of the lay-up is infused using infusion polyester resin.

I haven't read the entire thread but I am not sure why we are trying to come up with a different concept that the Mini established in France. The Minis work for U.S. market. Too many reasons to list them all here :-)

 

cheers

 

Jerome

Open Sailing - U.S. Pogo 2 Mini Transat Builder.

 

 

Jerome,

 

Please read the thread.

 

Have loved minis for ages, sat on the sidelines waiting for them to gain acceptance and numbers in the US and I'm still waiting....and hoping. Recall being thrilled at the Bermuda Race with 5 (?) entries thinking that it was the start of something truly big.

 

Sadly, this country doesn't share the enthusiasm and mindset of the French about sailing. If it did there would be a Class Mini event every other week.

 

Just trying to tweak the notion of the class towards what might be more successful in the US although it doen't seem like anyone knows the right formula for for infusing enthusiasm for sailboat racing in this country. I say this as I see the numbers in my beloved Vineyard Race next weekend declineyet again even further. And yes I did note with interest that a Mini is entered this year.

 

I truly wish your venture and the class as a whole all the success in the world and admire all your success to date. This is just an idea, perhaps silly, to take a concept and somehow make it more successful in an apparently reluctant market.

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limiting resin to poly is false economy, allow vinylester, boat that size would add a couple hundred more, no need barrier coating, more durable

 

vinylester can be twice as much as polyester. without getting into the details, you are looking at way more than $200 variance. Besides, although vinylester provides better protection against osmosis, for boat staying in the water, epoxy barrier and bottom paint are still required. on the Pogo 2, the first mat is hand layout with vinyl-ester. the rest of the lay-up is infused using infusion polyester resin.

I haven't read the entire thread but I am not sure why we are trying to come up with a different concept that the Mini established in France. The Minis work for U.S. market. Too many reasons to list them all here :-)

 

cheers

 

Jerome

Open Sailing - U.S. Pogo 2 Mini Transat Builder.

 

 

Jerome,

 

Please read the thread.

 

Have loved minis for ages, sat on the sidelines waiting for them to gain acceptance and numbers in the US and I'm still waiting....and hoping. Recall being thrilled at the Bermuda Race with 5 (?) entries thinking that it was the start of something truly big.

 

Sadly, this country doesn't share the enthusiasm and mindset of the French about sailing. If it did there would be a Class Mini event every other week.

 

Just trying to tweak the notion of the class towards what might be more successful in the US although it doen't seem like anyone knows the right formula for for infusing enthusiasm for sailboat racing in this country. I say this as I see the numbers in my beloved Vineyard Race next weekend declineyet again even further. And yes I did note with interest that a Mini is entered this year.

 

I truly wish your venture and the class as a whole all the success in the world and admire all your success to date. This is just an idea, perhaps silly, to take a concept and somehow make it more successful in an apparently reluctant market.

Next year there should be 2 minis on the line for Vineyard. The logistics didn't work out for me to get Frogger up there this year.

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We had 8 starters in the 2007 B1-2. That was unfortunately the high point. From there the numbers fell to the point that the last 1-2 had no mini entries. I knew minis would have a harder time in America than Class 40's, but that was not I expected.

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1 option would be to take an existing 1 design and retrofit with tanks, preferably 1 with a existing mold that could be used, rules out Moore 24, unfortunately unless a benefactor will pay for a new. mold.Be interesting to see what Ron Moore would change. Or an Express 27 if that tooling exists still.

http://express27.org/articles/terrya

Terry Alsberg setting the record straight.

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I believe the Express 27 group owns the molds. Surprised no one has brought it back into production, but would be very costly at its original construction standards. There is a proto mini that was made using the first 20' of the Moore 24 mold, I believe. Have some images somewhere. Has an original Melges 24 bulb keel. Pretty nice looking boat but narrow by today's mini standards. The Moore hull is very seakindly but also punishing to windward.

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Bring back some old molds from the grave?

 

How in the world would that ever be a good idea? What is this pot smoking plan that tells us, just because something is from the good old days, it'll be fast, fun and cheap? It will be the same old boat except built with today's expensive labor and materials. No new magic.

 

Use the mini molds that already are here on this continent. Doesn't logic tell us that a boat designed to be a mini would work better as a mini than one that was designed to be something else?

 

-jim lee

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SHHH!!! logic isn't what's important here.

 

If you want something that is more USish (ie more roomy and faster) there is always the Quest 30 http://www.rodgermartindesign.com/portfolio/quest-30-33/ http://www.rodgermartindesign.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Quest33-pdf2.pdf which you can get with Water Ballast http://208.78.25.145/pier/vendors/quest/q30.html

 

But then again that's more money for a boat that is going to be harder to handle single and double handed. Sure its a bit more family friendly, but I don't see how the negatives outweigh that.

 

Logic tells us that there was a huge economic crash between 2007's B1-2 and today... and that might, just might, have a teensy eensy weensy bit of impact on why you saw a falloff in attendence at a big event that

a) costs a lot of $$$
B) requires a lot of time away from a job that is less secure today than it appeared in 2007

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Bring back some old molds from the grave?

 

How in the world would that ever be a good idea? What is this pot smoking plan that tells us, just because something is from the good old days, it'll be fast, fun and cheap? It will be the same old boat except built with today's expensive labor and materials. No new magic.

 

Use the mini molds that already are here on this continent. Doesn't logic tell us that a boat designed to be a mini would work better as a mini than one that was designed to be something else?

 

-jim lee

 

Agree, a boat designed to be a mini is better at doing mini stuff than a boat designed to be something else.

 

However, part of this discussion is based on the notion that a "mini" in it's current configuration is overkill for the sort of racing/sailing that many people wind up doing. How many are going to Bermuda, going trans Atlantic or trans Pacific?

 

A simpler coastal racer might be more appropriate for the US market, hence the discussion of a tweaked Ultimate 20.

 

I wish the sad state of sailing in this country was simply a rellection of the economy and the demand for cool boats will skyrocket. I don't pretend to know the answer other than it must be Bush's fault.

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Jim Lee, thanks for still building boats in the us, particularly new design high quality race boats.

I wish this was Europe at times, where there is a market for $50k new 21' solo racing machines that can support a dozen builders. I also wish that I was racing the latest and greatest but realistically (ouch) what I see at least on the West coast is that most of the singlehanded racing is taking place in older (Olson 30, Express 27, Moore 24, SC 27, etc,) boats that tend to be slightly rerigged for solo or doublehanding. Unfortunately there is already a shortage of older boats in some of these classes, e.g. Moores, so any boats rebuilt for soloing takes away from class numbers.

 

One solution might be to increase total numbers in some classes and some of them get moded for shorthanding. Another might be to redesign say a M24 and add solo capabilty. Obviously, the best would be to have the most modern designs, built here by American tradesmen, sailed and raced here actively, that would in the best of all possible worlds be my preference. Any sponsors can pm me about where to send checks, thanks.

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I agree, that using old molds to build a boat specifically for solo offshore racing makes no sense. It won't be cheaper than using existing series mini molds. I can think of three different sets of series mini hull/deck molds that are in North America right now. One is being used by Jerome to build the Pogo 2. There isn't a reason to modify a set to be more like a mini than those which already exist.

 

I also don't think significant modifications to an existing class will help build a solo class. The only reason to use an existing class is the plug and play factor. Things like adding lifelines or nav lights are no big deal, but adding freeboard or a new keel moves the goal farther away. Again, no point. I was snowballing earlier in the thread, but this conversation has ended up somewhere more realistic.

 

I also agree that the 08' crash didn't help. As I said before, the survivors of that wouldn't be the middle class. People on the upper end of the economy could still hang into solo specific boats, hence the slow but steady growth of the Class 40'. That' ain't where we are.

 

The reason I'm not pushing the mini is that the market simply doesn't exist in North America. By holding some restricted and fun OD events in another class, I think it would be possible to create interest for a market like the mini. I'm tired of watching people try to jump up an entire flight of stairs with the mini in America and not make it. All I'm suggesting we try walking up, and not make it about the boat right now.

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Illustration:

 

Next weekend the Windjammers Race (67 miles - SF to Santa Cruz) will have a Shorthanded division of seven boats - up from one boat (which got folded into a crewed division) last year. This is great and we're sure not complaining.

 

However unless somebody breaks or doesn't show up, the best we'll do is third in division. The rating spread is 147, with a Class 40 at -12 and a Farr 36 at +9 as the only two boats likely to finish before the wind shuts down. An ocean-capable OD class, or at least a batch of boats fitting in a narrow rating band, would be more fun and competitive. As long as it's not a piece of crap and can take the conditions, the choice of boat is secondary. Maybe we call it the Shorthanded Coastal Circuit.

 

The trip back up the coast won't be that great, so something towable (lifting keel) would be attractive. I think the SCYC hoist is a 2 ton but maybe only 1.5 ton.

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U20 hull is not built to ocean rating regarding the layup. I have a little experience with the U20 and have raced from SF to Hawaii. Couple of things in about 40 knots the U20 lacks forward hull shape ie boyancy it starts to nose dive in anything other than a reach or up wind run. Add the required gear and the 1 gallon per day per person water weight etc no the U20 is a fantastic protected waters boat very good single hander wicked quick when light and sailed solo I've won a few races doing that.

 

You want a mini go talk to Jerome BTW Jerome knows the U20 also I've raced against him a few times very good sailor and he knows boats.

 

If you want 24ft find out who has the Ultimate 24 tooling and have one built to your tastes its the third generation of the Antrim small boat concept started with the U20 - which then the Antrim 27 idea was spawned by the same group talking ideas then the U24 was done. The U24 has the most bow shape of the three and is a wicked ocean racing machine I've sailed #1 a fair bit double handed outside the GG in big conditions and the boat is near perfection when it comes to size, speed and capability. Think of it as sort of a updated Moore 24 in a way. But for the budget nothing beats the Moore 24 when it comes to getting the job done regardless of how horribly bad it gets all with the single hander hooting and whooping it up surfing like crazy.

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What if................

 

You take a J24 hull and

 

Put a smaller lighter section masthead rig on it

 

Design a deeper balanced rudder rather than the door it currently uses

 

Seal the cockpit lockers if it hasn't already been done and seal the vberth and quarter berth areas to perhaps make it unsinkable

 

Cut off the keel stub, glass over and reinforce and add a lighter moderate bulb keel

 

Add a retractable or fixed sprit

 

 

Wouldn't burn up the race course but if one designed it could get people into level shorthanded coastal racing for cheap.

 

Other mods would obviously be necessary, especially any that would prervent that sinking feeling but it could be like Spec Miatas in auto racing.

 

 

This silly notion only arises from my, in retrospect, totally foolhardy experience with the J24. I owned one when when they first came out and were raced one design with reefs in mains, headfoil headstays, portable heads navigation lights, etc.. Had a huge fleet on the Western end of the Long Island Sound that not only did round the cans day races but there was a one design short and middle distance race series for the class. It was a hoot to sail around those courses with 15-20 small one design boats.

 

Just a silly thought.

It's been done already happened many years ago and they had a impressive finish however even those two after doing a CA coastal race SF to Catalina said it was beyond crazy. Mods were full keel modification - all new rudder and mounting system and full flotation inside the hull. As they put it they were camping out on top of a very miserable can with a mast on it for three days. The story ends with the boat in Catalina with kelp wrapped around the top of the mast at the dock and the race officials asking which Socal port they came from. LOL 12yrs doing City Front J/24 racing you know where the AC is now NO Fing way you'd ever want to do anything like that on a J/24. Christ they sink those on lakes almost every year.

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U20 hull is not built to ocean rating regarding the layup. I have a little experience with the U20 and have raced from SF to Hawaii. Couple of things in about 40 knots the U20 lacks forward hull shape ie boyancy it starts to nose dive in anything other than a reach or up wind run. Add the required gear and the 1 gallon per day per person water weight etc no the U20 is a fantastic protected waters boat very good single hander wicked quick when light and sailed solo I've won a few races doing that.

 

To be clear, the latter is what is really being proposed here with the U20. Not racing to Hawaii. A series based on four legs between 50-100 miles and scored together. It's a perfectly good boat for that and a manageable race commitment for most.

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Illustration:

 

Next weekend the Windjammers Race (67 miles - SF to Santa Cruz) will have a Shorthanded division of seven boats - up from one boat (which got folded into a crewed division) last year. This is great and we're sure not complaining.

 

However unless somebody breaks or doesn't show up, the best we'll do is third in division. The rating spread is 147, with a Class 40 at -12 and a Farr 36 at +9 as the only two boats likely to finish before the wind shuts down. An ocean-capable OD class, or at least a batch of boats fitting in a narrow rating band, would be more fun and competitive. As long as it's not a piece of crap and can take the conditions, the choice of boat is secondary. Maybe we call it the Shorthanded Coastal Circuit.

 

The trip back up the coast won't be that great, so something towable (lifting keel) would be attractive. I think the SCYC hoist is a 2 ton but maybe only 1.5 ton.

Well you don't need a lifting keel to be trailerable. J-24s and Minis fit that bill handily. And I've ramp-launched a J24 even without a properly set up trailer its not that hard.

 

The real issue is that on the west coast, you have to drive on average 2 days each way to get to a weekend race, so that turns it into a week long race.

And on the east coast, the racing is much more traditional and shorter distance.

 

So the question also then becomes how come the EU with a lower average disposable middle class income has more of these sorts of boats being demanded. And the answer I would put forth is vacation policy. EU starts with 4 weeks minimum starting vacation (and some like Germany have 6). Whereas the USA starts at 2 and by mid career you might have 4 (but odds are with job changes - 3). Plus the EU has a few more "bank holidays".

 

Net result is that in the EU there are about 6 weeks average holiday time vs. 3-4 in the USA. Subtract out ChrEaster IndyFathers Day and its 3 US vs 5 EU With 5 weeks vaca, it makes sense to take 4 days off on each side of a weekend to sail a 2 day regattae. Nor will my wife resent it if I take 2 weeks of those 5 to go do a TransGascogne or Figaro or Mini Fastnet Heck she might appreciate the break. After all that gives her the option of having 1 day off per month for "girl time" with her friends. All without losing a 2 week family holiday and then a few 3day weekends scattered throughout the year.

 

And the economic crash of 2008 put so many folks in fear of their jobs that they literally stopped taking vacation both as an extra salary buffer in case they are laid off, as well as a fear of "out of sight out of mind out of a job".

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Well, I can't do much about global economics.

 

For us, all these races start in SF Bay so the "commute" isn't too bad for most. You need to move here, Ryan.

 

The longer coastal races (Windjammers, Spinnaker Cup, Coastal Cup) are great races and downwind (great for a Mini for that matter). The difficulty is dragging your sled back up the hill. A lower profile setup (lift keel) would make it easier. The Ultimate 24 is probably the closest boat, but I know of only 4-5 of them.

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Illustration:

 

Next weekend the Windjammers Race (67 miles - SF to Santa Cruz) will have a Shorthanded division of seven boats - up from one boat (which got folded into a crewed division) last year. This is great and we're sure not complaining.

 

However unless somebody breaks or doesn't show up, the best we'll do is third in division. The rating spread is 147, with a Class 40 at -12 and a Farr 36 at +9 as the only two boats likely to finish before the wind shuts down. An ocean-capable OD class, or at least a batch of boats fitting in a narrow rating band, would be more fun and competitive. As long as it's not a piece of crap and can take the conditions, the choice of boat is secondary. Maybe we call it the Shorthanded Coastal Circuit.

 

The trip back up the coast won't be that great, so something towable (lifting keel) would be attractive. I think the SCYC hoist is a 2 ton but maybe only 1.5 ton.

Well you don't need a lifting keel to be trailerable. J-24s and Minis fit that bill handily. And I've ramp-launched a J24 even without a properly set up trailer its not that hard.

 

The real issue is that on the west coast, you have to drive on average 2 days each way to get to a weekend race, so that turns it into a week long race.

And on the east coast, the racing is much more traditional and shorter distance.

 

So the question also then becomes how come the EU with a lower average disposable middle class income has more of these sorts of boats being demanded. And the answer I would put forth is vacation policy. EU starts with 4 weeks minimum starting vacation (and some like Germany have 6). Whereas the USA starts at 2 and by mid career you might have 4 (but odds are with job changes - 3). Plus the EU has a few more "bank holidays".

 

Net result is that in the EU there are about 6 weeks average holiday time vs. 3-4 in the USA. Subtract out ChrEaster IndyFathers Day and its 3 US vs 5 EU With 5 weeks vaca, it makes sense to take 4 days off on each side of a weekend to sail a 2 day regattae. Nor will my wife resent it if I take 2 weeks of those 5 to go do a TransGascogne or Figaro or Mini Fastnet Heck she might appreciate the break. After all that gives her the option of having 1 day off per month for "girl time" with her friends. All without losing a 2 week family holiday and then a few 3day weekends scattered throughout the year.

 

And the economic crash of 2008 put so many folks in fear of their jobs that they literally stopped taking vacation both as an extra salary buffer in case they are laid off, as well as a fear of "out of sight out of mind out of a job".

 

So your position validates the notion that a simpler less expensive boat, with shorter events requiring less time, and even easier trailerability is the ticket for the desperately poor career obsessed Yanks.

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Illustration:

 

Next weekend the Windjammers Race (67 miles - SF to Santa Cruz) will have a Shorthanded division of seven boats - up from one boat (which got folded into a crewed division) last year. This is great and we're sure not complaining.

 

However unless somebody breaks or doesn't show up, the best we'll do is third in division. The rating spread is 147, with a Class 40 at -12 and a Farr 36 at +9 as the only two boats likely to finish before the wind shuts down. An ocean-capable OD class, or at least a batch of boats fitting in a narrow rating band, would be more fun and competitive. As long as it's not a piece of crap and can take the conditions, the choice of boat is secondary. Maybe we call it the Shorthanded Coastal Circuit.

 

The trip back up the coast won't be that great, so something towable (lifting keel) would be attractive. I think the SCYC hoist is a 2 ton but maybe only 1.5 ton.

Well you don't need a lifting keel to be trailerable. J-24s and Minis fit that bill handily. And I've ramp-launched a J24 even without a properly set up trailer its not that hard.

 

The real issue is that on the west coast, you have to drive on average 2 days each way to get to a weekend race, so that turns it into a week long race.

And on the east coast, the racing is much more traditional and shorter distance.

 

So the question also then becomes how come the EU with a lower average disposable middle class income has more of these sorts of boats being demanded. And the answer I would put forth is vacation policy. EU starts with 4 weeks minimum starting vacation (and some like Germany have 6). Whereas the USA starts at 2 and by mid career you might have 4 (but odds are with job changes - 3). Plus the EU has a few more "bank holidays".

 

Net result is that in the EU there are about 6 weeks average holiday time vs. 3-4 in the USA. Subtract out ChrEaster IndyF