sailor 5467

Who’s responsible for class rules?

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Any class of boat that wishes to compete and race has a set list of class rules. These rules highlight any changes that are allowed, or not in most cases, to be made by the owner of the boat. For example the class rules could state “Additional purchase can be added to any control system but additional controls may not be added.” 

What I want to know is, who is in charge or writing these set of rules for a class? Is the class association responsible for any updates to rules or is it for the manufacturers of a class to decide? 

 

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I doubt it’s universal, so you’d have to name a boat/model to get a meaningful answer?

I believe J/Boats publishes Class Rules for most if not all their designs along with hull #1 of each. A Class Association is also formed, and the Class Rules are changed as needed over the first few years with input from owners. Ultimately J/Boats turns the CA over to owners, after a few years. They’ve done it this way for so long, they have a working template they use with each new model, with just a few tweaks.

http://j105.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Class-Rules-2018-final.pdf

 

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It depends...

Ultimately the Class association is responsible, however they may have written into their constitution that designer and builder(s) also have a say. If they are an International class then ISAF gets a say. Naturally, even if the builder doesn't have a formal say its usually sensible to have the builder on board. After all if you change the rules to something they don't want to build then what happens? Builder and designer may own various IP rights that the CA can't operate without too.

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5 hours ago, sailor 5467 said:

Any class of boat that wishes to compete and race has a set list of class rules. These rules highlight any changes that are allowed, or not in most cases, to be made by the owner of the boat. For example the class rules could state “Additional purchase can be added to any control system but additional controls may not be added.” 

What I want to know is, who is in charge or writing these set of rules for a class? Is the class association responsible for any updates to rules or is it for the manufacturers of a class to decide? 

 

The Class Constitution and Class Rules are usually written when the class is formed. 

More importantly, is how the class rules are controlled and amended. This will be described in the Class Constitution and bylaws.

If you are forming a class for the first time, there are several templates available for a Class Constitution and rules. If you are looking at an existing class and wondering how the rules can be amended, then refer to the Class Constitution.

A common format for amending rules is that a rule proposal is reviewed by a Class Technical or Rules Committee and then submitted to membership for a vote. However there are many variations.  World Sailing classes' rule amendments have to be reviewed and approved by World Sailing.  Builder controlled classes sometimes have a provision that requires approval of the builder.  The AC rule amendment process could take an entire thread on itself.

Strong classes that have survived a long time and amended their rules to keep up with the times and stay relevant typically have a well thought out process for amending rules.

 

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As ex chairman of a class association, we spent many many hours discussing and rewritting the rules. This was  after others and myself discovered that all boats failed the old rules. We  also discovered things like the previous rewrite ( before my time) had allowed the stays to be moved, but the hull attachements had not been allowed to be moved!

We also had requests for things like bigger windows, in sails, because one club in particular in tight waters had to sail our 20ft monohulls in the same waters as fast racing cats, They wanted to see them coming!!

There were of course a couple of those still around, who wrote the previous set of rules, who insisted there  was nothing wrong,..

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As a former measure for a class,  I often times would have to interpret poorly written rules such as what the OP has stated. Situations like the above resulted in how the Sunfish Class started using the halyard for the cunning ham by routing it around the goose neck. The worst is when the class doesn't have much consistency from one boat to an other and the class rules are very specific in location(s) of items and when something is supposed to be there however the deck wasn't laid on squarely and the location is now hovering in the air....

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Who’s responsible for class rules?

 

The boat owners who elect the class officials.

 

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On 9/7/2018 at 10:26 PM, JimC said:

Ultimately the Class association is responsible, however they may have written into their constitution that designer and builder(s) also have a say. If they are an International class then ISAF gets a say. 

And if they are a National Class (common in the UK) then the MNA gets a say. More than a say in fact, a right of veto on proposed changes. Same goes I believe for World Sailing for International Classes. At one time I coordinated rules changes for a class association that was a SMOD national class and the RYA Technical Committee needed to agree all changes. That was more than giving a tick in the box, they'd actually review changes and sometimes suggest alternative wording. They'd also want confirmation that the manufacturer agreed any changes proposed by the class association. Actually for an all-volunteer class association committee, the RYA's input was valuable as they see this stuff all the time. 

 

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Usually the manufacturer creates the initial class rules and sets up the class association as an independent entity. After that is the members of the class (depending on how the by-laws are written) has a way to change the rules. Most classes I have seen are careful to include the manufacturer(s) and parts suppliers in any changes since they are the ones with an actual business interest in selling the boats and any changes or upgrades.

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