socalrider

SA/D, WLL, PHRF and real world performance question: Seascape 27 vs J/92s

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So I'm thinking about smaller, lighter boats for daysailing/weekending with the family and noodling around with a spreadsheet over the holiday break.  Looking at boats in the 27-33' range.  

One thing jumped out when looking at these two particular boats: They have nearly identical waterline length, sail area, and B/D ratios, but the SSC weighs a shocking 45% less (3080 vs 5600) for a SA/D ratio of ~40(!).  Yet PHRF ratings are both around 100. The newer J/88 weighs 600lbs less but also carries less upwind sail and ballast, rates around 84.  

Not trying to start a PHRF shitfight here - really just using it as a proxy for generic performance since it's convenient.  My point is: shouldn't a 45% weight advantage all else equal translate to a really massive performance difference, even in non-planing situations?  I know there are other differences (hull shape, wetted surface, etc.) but I'd appreciate some help in getting my head around this.  

Anyone actually sailed these two boats?  I'd love to have a better intuitive feel for how these huge spec differences translate into subjective factors like comfort, feel, fun, and also speed on different points of sail.  

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If you like to go upwind forget the Seascape. Might be part of explanation on the phrf numbers

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Buy the boat you like, get on the local  PHRF board and get the rating you want.

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21 hours ago, socalrider said:

 My point is: shouldn't a 45% weight advantage all else equal translate to a really massive performance difference, even in non-planing situations?  I know there are other differences (hull shape, wetted surface, etc.) but I'd appreciate some help in getting my head around this.  

Yes: The upwind & downwind performances will be different, on a buoy course they tend to balance each other out.

On a reaching course the lighter boat probably has an advantage, unless there is any kind of lumpy sea state, in which case the lighter boat  can be at a disadvantage. Most SoCal/SD reaching courses are offshore in the lumpy stuff.

Downwind the lighter boat has the advantage for broader courses, but is slightly disadvantaged DDW and especially in more breeze.

See where this is going?

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I've not sailed these particular boats,  so will try to limit my comments - but I've owned an ultralight in this range for about 20 years.

(for reference: 1981 Sonoma30, 29'10" LOA, sub-27' WL, 8'9" B, 3,300# disp, 3'3" board up, 6' board down)

This size has long interested me - just sub-30' - it has a lot to offer even with its limitations,  and I checked out the SC27, FE28 & J/88 extensively in Annapolis a couple years ago.  I liked the SeaScape, my buddy liked the FarEast, and we both wish we could afford the J.

The ballast-mix is a particularly sensitive aspect here,  ultimate stability versus breakout speed potential, sea-keeping versus trailerability, etc.

Like I asked above,  months back - isn't ANYBODY racing some of these in the US yet ?  There has to be some data by now on how they all go versus (for instance) a Soverell33, Express27, J/90,  or a Hobie33 in various conditions.

Sure,  that's a dicey thing to make a lot of evaluations on - just too many variable to be objective:  various crew's aptitude,  & racing situations multiplied by a new boat can handicap a freshly introduced boat, but...there are a good number of SC27s produced at least  (btw,  any idea how many FE28s have sold in the US?)   - time enough for someone to demonstrate the capability in an mixed event.  

Other regions do have events like the Jazz Cup or the Labor Day Lahaina race,  right ?   medium-distance, mostly down-hillers ?

My own experience at PHRF 96 has been that we have  a solid shot at victory when the wind is aft & fresh,  and everything else is pretty challenging to futile - but still fun.... I think we can agree PHRF isn't kind to ULDBs in general,  let along 'Sportboats' - but a single-number is a difficult thing to reckon when the speed potential off the wind is so high

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4 hours ago, Great Red Shark said:

a single-number is a difficult thing to reckon when the speed potential off the wind is so high

The OP is in a triple rating area - the big screw comes when a rating is applied but the conditions don't cooperate.

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I don’t really care about the ratings per se - won’t be racing seriously. But I don’t want a painbox upwind - have to be able to get up the channel in an enjoyable manner with non-sailors aboard. 

What I’m trying to wrap my head around is how (or if) these numbers translate to actual sailing performance - for instance it seems like a high b/d ratio should mean you don’t need a ton of rail meat to get to windward so long as you’re not overcanvassed. But I keep hearing that the Seascape sucks upwind. Why is that exactly?  Hull shape combined with light displacement?  

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No idea about the seascape, but a 30’er goes upwind like a 30’er without a lot of variation.   The SS27 is a pizza slice.  It’ll probably enjoy sailing more wide and free upwind than a narrower boat.   

I find the difference in boats at that range are when boats are starting to breakout above 6.5 knots boat speed.  At that end my experience is less about displacement and more about ability to break free.  

I find there’s a point at 5.5 to 6 knots of bs, that there is not a lot of difference boat for boat with designs.   The edges of that are about 8-12knots wind speed.   Below that, the low ws boats do well, and above the break free and longer wl boats do well.  They still all go upwind at about 5.6 to 5.8knots

 

just my experience.   I have a ~29’ (9m) IMS boat with a little overhang and ~2.5T displacement.  

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If you are mostly messing about weekending with the family etc, variations in PHRF ratings should be the least important consideration......All rating systems are pretty perverse and if you are serious about racing, you need to find a boat which is overly friendly rating wise and then optimise it further.

Theoretically, the Seascape should be the fastest, especially off the wind. Upwind, especially in a chop, I would expect the J’s to be faster, but not as much as you might think, because the Seascape’s deep thin keel is pretty efficient and it has no drag from a sail drive. As Spoonie says, they should all do 5.5 to 6.0 knots max upwind. How important is that last quarter or half a knot?

Back to messing about with the family.....

Which has the best accommodation down below, the most comfortable cockpit? Do you want to mess about with gas outboard motors, or rather have the instantaneousness and convenience of an inboard diesel?

Two rudders give better control in tougher conditions, but then, being so light, the Seascape has to be sailed more positively and  crew location is more important.

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On 12/24/2018 at 2:56 PM, Great Red Shark said:

 

.. I think we can agree PHRF isn't kind to ULDBs in general,  let along 'Sportboats' - but a single-number is a difficult thing to reckon when the speed potential off the wind is so high

Initial PHRF handicaps for a new boat are a wild ass guess as to where it might fit into the regional fleet. Generally, give it a low rating and see what happens. If it's too low the owner will complain and we can adjust it.  And that is only if you have an active handicap committee that is paying attention.

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The J92 will point higher for sure but the Seascape will break out around 14 knots true and be faster downwind 

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15 hours ago, sailorman44 said:

Initial PHRF handicaps for a new boat are a wild ass guess as to where it might fit into the regional fleet. 

C'mon man! No they are not. 

Initial ratings are derived from a comparison to the ratings for boats with similar dimensions, specifications, SA/D, PF, hull shape, materials used in the various components amount of furniture or not, the designers and builders, the conditions the boat will be sailed in and in some cases even perhaps who is going to be sailing the boat.

There is a tendency to rate new & unknown boats lower rather than higher in an effort to "protect the fleet" which is really just another way to say that it is easier to give time than take it away.

Edited by Parma

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On 12/23/2018 at 9:37 AM, socalrider said:

So I'm thinking about smaller, lighter boats for daysailing/weekending with the family and noodling around with a spreadsheet over the holiday break.  Looking at boats in the 27-33' range.  

One thing jumped out when looking at these two particular boats: They have nearly identical waterline length, sail area, and B/D ratios, but the SSC weighs a shocking 45% less (3080 vs 5600) for a SA/D ratio of ~40(!).  Yet PHRF ratings are both around 100. The newer J/88 weighs 600lbs less but also carries less upwind sail and ballast, rates around 84.  

Not trying to start a PHRF shitfight here - really just using it as a proxy for generic performance since it's convenient.  My point is: shouldn't a 45% weight advantage all else equal translate to a really massive performance difference, even in non-planing situations?  I know there are other differences (hull shape, wetted surface, etc.) but I'd appreciate some help in getting my head around this.  

Anyone actually sailed these two boats?  I'd love to have a better intuitive feel for how these huge spec differences translate into subjective factors like comfort, feel, fun, and also speed on different points of sail.  

socal, 

The issue here is indeed hull shape, and wetted surface as then pertain to upwind and downwind performance.  Short of foiling, very few monohulls are capable of "breaking out" and planning upwind.  So upwind its something of an immersed waterline length debate, with wetted surface area, and hull shape each playing a role.  As an owner of an IOR hull shape, you know how good IOR boats are upwind, despite lower SA/D ratios.  Their hull shape and sail plans are made to go upwind.  The J/92s has a much more balanced hull shape, and likely has a longer immersed waterline, meaning it will go upwind faster and point higher then the Seascape in most cases.

Downwind the Seascape's power advantage and hull shape come into play.  As stated, it will break out sooner, and waterline length becomes less of a limiting factor.  So as Jetfuel and others have said, the 92s is likely the better upwind boat, the Seascape the downwind boat.  On short W/L sausage fests under PHRF, I'd go with the 92s.  On the N2E (assuming its all downhill) the SC-27.

Having raced in San Diego on a friends FT 7.5 (rated 91) in mixed PHRF racing, I can tell you the frustration of trying to go upwind against a bunch of masthead rigged, 30-35 footers that we owed time to, that were faster than us upwind, or on a tight jib reach in medium air, where they could carry their 155s upwind, and then sail deeper downwind, while there wasn't enough breeze for us to get on plane.   In light air, esp if we could carry the chute and they were still on their gennys, we could make up time.  In big air when we could plane we could make time.  

Given those challenges, and that both boats your talking about also carry non-overlapping jibs, and asyms, I'd go with the 92s as the more moderate, better suited to mixed PHRF racing...

Crash

 

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Thanks Crash - that makes a lot of sense. Even though I’m mostly not looking at racing, if it takes 14kts true to get the SSC27 up on a plane it’s unlikely we’d see its advantages often as we’re rarely over 10-12kts here. 

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I've followed some of the rating changes of the Seascape 27. In the GYA, I think it started at something like 96, went to 105, and then I think it ended up at 126. I'm expecting the Seascape 24 rating to move in a similar direction, the few that are rated are at 102 (NE PHRF, Lake Champlain PHRF). We haven't seen the 24 be able to sail to that rating, so I expect it will end up around the same 126.

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5 hours ago, Parma said:

C'mon man! No they are not. 

Initial ratings are derived from a comparison to the ratings for boats with similar dimensions, specifications, SA/D, PF, hull shape, materials used in the various components amount of furniture or not, the designers and builders, the conditions the boat will be sailed in and in some cases even perhaps who is going to be sailing the boat.

There is a tendency to rate new & unknown boats lower rather than higher in an effort to "protect the fleet" which is really just another way to say that it is easier to give time than take it away.

I don't know what PHRF heaven you live in but it is not the one I live with. Twenty years ago there were a couple of handicappers in ECSA that kept a graph of SA/D of all the boats in the ECSA fleet. When a new boat came into the area they would plot its SA/D and slot it into the rest of the fleet. This would give a starting point for rating the boat. They haven't done that in ten years that I know of. Now it is "looks fast, let's give it a low rating and see  what happens".

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On 12/27/2018 at 9:44 AM, Parma said:

C'mon man! No they are not. 

Initial ratings are derived from a comparison to the ratings for boats with similar dimensions, specifications, SA/D, PF, hull shape, materials used in the various components amount of furniture or not, the designers and builders, the conditions the boat will be sailed in and in some cases even perhaps who is going to be sailing the boat.

There is a tendency to rate new & unknown boats lower rather than higher in an effort to "protect the fleet" which is really just another way to say that it is easier to give time than take it away.

 

Wild ass guess or we don't give a shit about reality.

A friend had a J 27, good sailor does well, a past ECSA  handicapper. Last season the got a J 28, a much slower, more comfortable boat, trying to get his family more involved sailing. Only J 28 in the ECSA area. Sends in the data for a certificate and gets an off the wall rating. Points out to the handicap committee that in other PHRF areas where they actually have J 28s racing the the J 28 rating is considerably higher than the rating they have assigned. 
 
Don't bother us with facts, we know what we'r doing. Or don't!

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One of the unknowns about the seascape's upwind performance is that because of the square top main, they also lack a back stay.  In more wind, that translates into more headstay sag, camber of the sail getting greater and moving aft into a position where it creates more heel than forward movement.  The effect of this can be significantly offset by the way the jib is cut.  But obviously it will need a different jib than the light air sail.  I am guessing that the heavy air sail shape issues haven't been worked out that well for the Seascapes, yet because they are mostly sailed in light moderate conditions. Once they get this figured out, the Seascapes will be much more competitive up wind.  BTW  The Seascape 27 polars suggest that the true wind angles that support planing will be from about 70 to 150 degrees off the wind. And planing will begin about 12 nmph wind at 70 to 140 degrees, but reach higher levels in more wind and at greater wind angles.  

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On 12/29/2018 at 9:44 PM, sailorman44 said:

 

Wild ass guess or we don't give a shit about reality.

A friend had a J 27, good sailor does well, a past ECSA  handicapper. Last season the got a J 28, a much slower, more comfortable boat, trying to get his family more involved sailing. Only J 28 in the ECSA area. Sends in the data for a certificate and gets an off the wall rating. Points out to the handicap committee that in other PHRF areas where they actually have J 28s racing the the J 28 rating is considerably higher than the rating they have assigned. 
 
Don't bother us with facts, we know what we'r doing. Or don't!

What numbers for each/either? How many secs makes it "off the wall"? Facts matter.

Anyway that does not does not sound like a guess. Sounds more like "protecting the fleet".  And some fleets automatically review new boats after a certain number of races to verify it's rating; could that be happening here? 

Was this a long term chief handicapper or just a member of the handicapping board for a year or 2? 

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9 hours ago, Parma said:

What numbers for each/either? How many secs makes it "off the wall"? Facts matter.

Anyway that does not does not sound like a guess. Sounds more like "protecting the fleet".  And some fleets automatically review new boats after a certain number of races to verify it's rating; could that be happening here? 

Was this a long term chief handicapper or just a member of the handicapping board for a year or 2? 

YRALIS rates the J28 at 177, they actually have one racing. ECSA rated this one, the first in the fleet at 168, 9 seconds a mile faster. The owner was a member of the handicap committee for two or three years. ECSA doesn't invite just anyone onto their board. Most have been on the board for 20 years. The chairman, who now owns a trawler, has been on the board for more than 30 years.

 
ECSA policy is that if we give you a rating don't come back for two years.

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This comment is intended specifically to answer the question of the OP. He asked,

"My point is: shouldn't a 45% weight advantage all else equal translate to a really massive performance difference, even in non-planing situations?" I'd appreciate some help in getting my head around this.  

              I was a PH Committee Chairman for a few years.  PH ratings are intended to rate boats assuming they are being optimally sailed and are not at all predictive of the questions you raise.   But when you are cruising, you are not doing that.  The difference can be substantial. For example, a boat that benefits more from a lot of rail meat is not getting that on a pleasure cruise.  In light and moderate conditions, without big seas, theJ92 and the Seascape 27 may behave similarly, because in those conditions they are sailing as displacement boats sailing in the conditions they were designed for.  More wind and the lighter boat will be pushed around more.  It may go faster up and down wind, if sailed optimally, but reaching optimum performance is a much more active sailing experience than on a moderately weighted boat. For example, especially going upwind and close reaching, more wind may see the lighter boat overpowered more quickly so reefing the main and otherwise adjusting sail area is going to be required, even just for cruising, so for the cruising experience on those points of sail in more wind, the J 92 will be better.  But on the other hand, on the SSC 27 IF you do post the rail meat, move the crew as needed, actively regulate the amount of sail, pay attention to sail shape, using a cunningham, vang, main sheet, outhaul, and traveler adjustments, etc. and if the helmsman is actively negotiating each and every wave,  you can get much superior performance to the J92 even in heavier conditions.  

     Off the wind, the SSC 27, from 90 to 150 degrees, will plane much more easily in more than 12 knots of wind, and thus will regularly give you the thrill of planing which you and your cruising passengers will love, much more than the J92.  To project potential speed from boat design stats, light air speed potential is projected most accurately by sail area to displacement measurement (or even better, sail area to wetted surface).  But in heavier conditions, planing and surfing are much better projected by length to displacement ratio. 

        PH ratings for each fleet include assumptions as to the amount of upwind, reaching and running and the amount of wind most normally experienced, in the particular races in the rating area. They are kind of an average prediction based on likely conditions.  As one commenter reported, in light air conditions like Lake Champlain,  the SSC boats will not live up to a rating based on planing down wind in fresh winds.  On the other side, as Red Shark reported, with a rating intended to balance their upwind and downwind and light and heavy air performances,  downwind with fresh winds, they could walk all over the heavier boats. But with that rating, in upwind and especially in light air conditions,  they could not compete. 

         One last comment, The Seascape designs have relatively flatter bottoms and lighter weight which are intended together to provide more stability to the boats and enable carrying more sail area to promote lighter air planing.  The trade off is less comfort upwind in larger seas, and a need to more actively manage the boat if optimum performance is desired.   

 

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I too have been looking at the 27-30’ racer /weekender range.   The thing about the First (Seascape 27) is its actually only just a few inches over 26’ and its measurements (LWL, beam, displacement, ballast, draft) map much more closely to the J80 than anything else.   100% SA + earlier downwind planing potential alone is what gets it a material notch lower from a J80 rating.  But if you think about the J80 as a starting point (rather than J88 or 92S) then the PHRF for the First 27 makes more sense.   

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Thread drift, but pretty few Seascape 27's thus far in N.America, but there always a few used ones available in Europe/UK it seems.   As they fit, on trailer and 37' mast down,  inside a standard 40' container, I'm wondering what roughly shipping cost might be from Europe to east coast, and optionally onwards overland to inland western NAM (Montana or BC)?   

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There are several on the west coast including BC. Shipping a prepped 27 would be around 4k. You need to build a cradle to tilt it about 30deg as its a tight fit and remove stanchions and push pits. The factory can do this for a price. This assumes you use a high cube container.

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svein99, I subsequently came across your past  post complete with picture of a SS27 in a container.   Very helpful.  Certainly wont get a trailer in there too.    Cheers.  

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On 3/16/2019 at 10:55 AM, Parma said:

What numbers for each/either? How many secs makes it "off the wall"? Facts matter.

Anyway that does not does not sound like a guess. Sounds more like "protecting the fleet".  And some fleets automatically review new boats after a certain number of races to verify it's rating; could that be happening here? 

Was this a long term chief handicapper or just a member of the handicapping board for a year or 2? 

How about a 42 sec per mi difference for 2 boats that have damn near identical dimensions?  When I did the round Martha's Vineyard race 4 yrs ago they had an Arcona 430 rating in the 70s and a J44 rates in the 30s.  Look em up as far as dimensions.  

Wtf are those assholes doing on the rating board?  Playing favorites, that's what.  Ya and I agree with other posters on here that it's the same dickwads year after year who are handing out ratings and they are full of shit.

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On 3/16/2019 at 5:07 PM, sailorman44 said:

YRALIS rates the J28 at 177, they actually have one racing. ECSA rated this one, the first in the fleet at 168, 9 seconds a mile faster. The owner was a member of the handicap committee for two or three years. ECSA doesn't invite just anyone onto their board. Most have been on the board for 20 years. The chairman, who now owns a trawler, has been on the board for more than 30 years.

 
ECSA policy is that if we give you a rating don't come back for two years.

To be fair, YRALIS rates a J-24 at 174 and ECSA rates it at 171.  So the difference is really 6 secs not 9 secs.  

Also without looking in detail at each of the J-28 certificates, we don't know (though you might) if the boat in YRALIS has received some rating adjustment for differences in equipage (like a fixed prop, or roller furling credit, etc, etc.).  

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7 hours ago, Skid51 said:

svein99, I subsequently came across your past  post complete with picture of a SS27 in a container.   Very helpful.  Certainly wont get a trailer in there too.    Cheers.  

Yes you can. You remove the tongue, wheel assembly and pads then build a frame to sit on the trailer frame. The company does this well as there are very small clearances, but its not cheap. Perhaps shipping it on the trailer on a RORO ship? Certifying the trailer is state dependent (Canada is more complicated unless its not a trailer). If you buy in Europe contact Seascape and I'm sure they will give you a quote for crating and shipping. Remember that most boats in Europe have paid VAT so you might get a better deal in the US. There is another wrinkle if importing into Canada - if boat came via the US add 24% import duty (check with agency). Shipped from the EU add ZERO.

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22 hours ago, Crash said:

To be fair, YRALIS rates a J-24 at 174 and ECSA rates it at 171.  So the difference is really 6 secs not 9 secs.  

Also without looking in detail at each of the J-28 certificates, we don't know (though you might) if the boat in YRALIS has received some rating adjustment for differences in equipage (like a fixed prop, or roller furling credit, etc, etc.).  

Interesting.  Where did you get your information? Out of curiosity I checked the ECSA PHRF lookup page and found that ECSA no longer shows seconds per mile for their ratings,. Now the show the time correction factor for spinnaker and non spinnaker so I don't know what the J24 seconds per mile rating is. Also they no longer show the base boat rating. From memory when I had a boat that raced against the J24 the rating was 174 but that was 20 years ago. 

 
I do know that the J28 in question has a folding prop but is otherwise unmodified and has a less than 155% genoa so should be due some credit. The owner decided to drop out of ECSA: 1. unfair rating and 2. most of the ECSA races aren't worth doing,.Only 3 or 4 boats sign up for spinnaker class and then because the Ensigns didn't have enough boats to sail one design, they throw them into spinnaker class and they have won before the start. 

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6 hours ago, sailorman44 said:

Interesting.  Where did you get your information? Out of curiosity I checked the ECSA PHRF lookup page and found that ECSA no longer shows seconds per mile for their ratings,. Now the show the time correction factor for spinnaker and non spinnaker so I don't know what the J24 seconds per mile rating is. Also they no longer show the base boat rating. From memory when I had a boat that raced against the J24 the rating was 174 but that was 20 years ago. 

 
I do know that the J28 in question has a folding prop but is otherwise unmodified and has a less than 155% genoa so should be due some credit. The owner decided to drop out of ECSA: 1. unfair rating and 2. most of the ECSA races aren't worth doing,.Only 3 or 4 boats sign up for spinnaker class and then because the Ensigns didn't have enough boats to sail one design, they throw them into spinnaker class and they have won before the start. 

On the ECSA  lookup page, if you click on the green certificate button on the far right, it will bring up the cert, which has the rating in secs/mile format.  I noticed the the J-28 was no longer rated...and wondered if he dropped out.  

Couldn't find the J-28 in the YRALIS database either though, so maybe a moot point.

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