ridethewinds

2 man sportboat fleets in California status check

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Hi all,
Soliciting thoughts to better understand the current picture of modern sport boat fleets in CA or west coast USA:
* are there any Yacht Clubs in CA you recommend that would (or might) be open to a new modern + fast fleet  (guessing SoCal more likely, generally friendlier sailing than San Francisco)
* besides the Viper, J70, Open 5.7 (kind of), RS Quest fleets, are there any others (which are active)
* is there even room for new a fleet, or is everyone content with the status quo
* if there is room for anarchy who's game (~10-15 sailors for ~5-7 boats)

The East coast and the Southern US "appear" to have more relatively active communities & events around sport boats, unless missing something.  

Thank you in advance!

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So (kind of) an Open 5.70? Don't be coy. Tell us what you are bringing to the table. I believe there is interest in smaller sporties.  Cost is the killer.

a foiling open 5.70 retro kit?

 

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Yep, the 'kind of a fleet' reference is only rumor (fiction, fact, or fake news?) that the Open 5.7 is not growing / boats aren’t made anymore - could be very wrong here. Not sure on the foiling kit !

Saw today on the SA home page the video below and it made me wonder the above questions, and where are we sailing modern (in this decade) boats + who would be open to changing things up in the West. Group discounts can help a little on cost but yes comes down to $.  People first, then boats also.  I’m sure there are other boats to look at in the 2-3 crew space besides the VX One (sweet!) that have active fleets also, but I'm not up on the sport boat space (just coming out of hibernation!). 

https://vimeo.com/vxone/lakegarda

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9 hours ago, pasta514 said:

why?

C'mon,  loaded one word question. You've got to give us more to form an opinion for response to you. 

6923-001.jpg

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On 3/14/2018 at 8:00 AM, timber said:

C'mon,  loaded one word question. You've got to give us more to form an opinion for response to you. 

6923-001.jpg

OK, I'll bite.  You need a fleet of 20+ in order to get a decent turnout on any given race day. If you have only enough interest for 7 boats then why not get everyone together to buy some underutilized used boats of a given type. That way they may have some shred of aftermarket value and may also be able to get new members to join.

Sport boats are one design and we don't need more options.  If you want to do something radical then join a development class.  

I don't mean to be harsh, just my 2 cents.

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ridethewinds........a humble suggestion:

You should get in touch with the Viper 640 community of sailors and owners on the West Coast.  It offers all you are looking for in a modern 3 person sport boat. The Class is vibrant and growing in CA and the Pacific North West. You mention SoCal, where the class has strong fleets anchored at Long Beach and Santa Barbara. Reach out to Timbo Clark at ABYC and he will hook you up with a ride. For NoCal reach out to Drew Harper. 

There is an active West Coast local circuit with a slew of fun regattas.  There are 16 Vipers racing right now this weekend at the San Diego NOOD with only 1 point separating the front three boats  https://yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=4472&loc=contentwell&lnk=live-results&dom=section-3

Long Beach is hosting the World Championships in 2019 which will bring 70+ Vipers to one location.

The Pacific Coast Viper champs are always well attended. The West Coast Viper tribe are a great bunch of people. I can attest to this because I came over last year to race with them in the Columbia Gorge in Oregon. Phew...talk about "Breeze ON!!!", great location but more importantly what a great bunch of friends to sail against. I really enjoyed meeting them all.  The camaraderie among West Coast Vipers from SoCal to Seattle is really something to enjoy.  "Rig tune and craft beer" !

I own a Viper on the East coast and sail it two up for my local club series on Sunday afternoons and travel to regattas as a team of three. The travel options in the Viper are an added bonus if you want to sail in some special places. I have done the Worlds in Bermuda and Perth and also the Europeans in Garda.  But its also great for local club racing.

DSC_0897.thumb.JPG.a18439a0dfdb74e65ccf087ef165a9d1.JPG

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13 hours ago, us7070 said:

weren't there some K6's in SF, or somewhere near there?

There are a few K6's in SF and at least 1or 2 VX one's (maybe more?).  I don't know much about the sportboat scene anywhere else besides SF but at least around here one of the main issues is with the PHRF committee because they won't allow smaller boats to have PHRF ratings.  That's for sure true with the K6 and probably also with the VX one, though I'm not entirely sure about that.  From what I understand the Melges 20's actually had to add extra weight to get a PHRF.  

You can still race those boats without a PHRF certificate in many of the regattas but you need to get an exception from the RC or sponsoring club so it does limit you somewhat.  At one point there was a push to start a separate sportboat committee that would handle phrf ratings and set up more races but from what I understand there was a lot of initial interest but when it came time to putting in the work to make it happen there just wasn't enough people to help pull it off.  

I'm far from an expert on the sportboat scene in SF but from what I've noticed the best chance of one design sportboat racing in SF is a Moore 24, Melges 24, J70, Melges 20 and Open 5.7. Some of those fleets don't regularly have one design starts, at least as far as I know or have seen.  But before I get death threats I'll be the first to admit I'm quite certain I'm forgetting some fleets.  There's a few J88's and a lot of J105's, etc. but I'm assuming the OP is more interested in smaller sportboats  As with many one design local fleets things seem to wax and wane as far as interest goes.  Once you get that critical mass then things are good for a while.  As an outsider looking in I'd say the Moore 24's are by far the strongest one design fleet in SF.

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There’s a couple of K6’s in SF (my old one is up in Sac and the owners  love it) No VX, there was one in Half Moon Bay but I think it’s long gone. I still have a Viper that sails the Bay. Fun boat here and even BETTER now with the vertical rudder !

Norcal PHRF doesn’t allow any sportie without 400 lbs of ballast to race mixed fleet.  There was a lackluster attempt at a few Sportboat starts but nothing ever developed ...zero momentum. That left only heavy sporties left. Melges 20 has to add 40 lbs of lead on the engine compartment to qualify (lame)  Vipers, VX, K6 are not allowed at all  

Open 5.7 is dead here too. A friend just lost his rig a couple of weekends ago and I’m guessing that will be tougher to source than he’s hoping for. 

A couple of Melges 24’s and Open 5.7 are reasonably active, one Melges 20 active. FWIW, Melges 24’s are great on the Bay and pretty affordable too on the used market.

The Viper is the biggest sportboat class in the West except J70 (I think not really a sportboat by definition?).  The upcoming worlds in the Southeast followed by the worlds in Long Beach 2019 really cements the Vipers position as the number one sportie....imho. 

A strong used boat market with plenty of deals and new boats available for half the price of a J/70 are compelling reasons that will keep the Viper fleet growing. Come for a sail :-)

 

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The earlier posters who said "20 boats make a fleet" is right on...6 - 8 boats will get you a 1 design start for a year or two but in order to have a fleet that sustains over time, you need 20 boats...both Moore 24 and Express 27 are testiment to this.  Folks I've talked to about the J-70 fleet seem despondent about the "pro" element and the related arms race associated with getting a boat to  the top of the fleet.  Local turnout seems low and the boat, while delivering great 1 deign racing, doesn't have the "get up and go" to be to at the front of races like vallejo and ditch run.  I'd love to see a Viper fleet pick up in the bay but more cooperation from both local PHRF and YRA is needed.   Given used boat pricing, a melges 24 renaissance might be the most viable option for the bay.

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Open 5.7 is dead here too. A friend just lost his rig a couple of weekends ago and I’m guessing that will be tougher to source than he’s hoping for. 

Isn't it a stock Hobie Catamaran mast section?

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The  VX one is still based in Half Moon Bay and sails Portmouth or PHRF in many regattas on the west coast except the big boat events on the bay and the High Sierra. It went to the VX 1 nationals the last 2 years; Holland Mi and Dallas Tx.

The Open 5.7 mast is the Hobie 18 section.  

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18 hours ago, Mambo Kings said:

The next Viper World Championship and the first to be hosted in the USA is in Long Beach CA in August 2019(17th -24th) ABYC.

2018 was in Perth : Perth Day One Video

2016 was in Bermuda

 

He is looking for a 2 man SB - while you can certainly sail the V 2 up you won't be competitive unless it is really light.  K6 or VX one would be a fit though they do not have the same number of boats (yet but the VX could get there in time)

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On 3/16/2018 at 10:13 PM, Schoonerman said:

Norcal PHRF doesn’t allow any sportie without 400 lbs of ballast to race mixed fleet.  There was a lackluster attempt at a few Sportboat starts but nothing ever developed ...zero momentum. That left only heavy sporties left. Melges 20 has to add 40 lbs of lead on the engine compartment to qualify (lame)  Vipers, VX, K6 are not allowed at all  

3

This is a problem. I had the pleasure of crewing a doublehanded wylie wabbit in the SSS corinthian sportboat fleet a couple weeks ago and we got in a situation that could have lead to swamping the boat despite the 400 pounds of ballast. The 400 pounds ballast rule does not inherently make a boat more seaworthy. The boats mentioned that are not allowed due to not enough ballast is a copout by NC PHRF.

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On 3/17/2018 at 8:28 PM, Christian said:

He is looking for a 2 man SB - while you can certainly sail the V 2 up you won't be competitive unless it is really light.  K6 or VX one would be a fit though they do not have the same number of boats (yet but the VX could get there in time)

Correct on the request for 2 man crew design from the ground up; it would be a healthy thing for example, to have a thriving community of 15-20 VX Ones across CA / west coast. there is 1 in Long Beach, 1 In NorCal and maybe 1 more.

It’s seems to have its place, represents the latest design thinking / new generation, and a 2 man SB is useful when u can’t track down a 3rd for racing or pleasure and still want to stay out when blowing >14 while keeping the rail flat. Good for husband/wife teams, father/son, 2 friends etc.

There is no (practical) reason why Viper and VX One communities can’t co-exist and grow together as they do on the East coast. It would require sailors (and a dealer) to get onboard.  Growth (and change) is a good thing for the agendaless consumer.

Can we also fix the illogical Norcal PHRF blocking issues at the same time, what is required to make that happen.

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On 3/16/2018 at 10:13 PM, Schoonerman said:

 

Open 5.7 is dead here too. A friend just lost his rig a couple of weekends ago and I’m guessing that will be tougher to source than he’s hoping for. 

 

 

 

Contact Forte carbon-

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