Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

WillieCrear

A Scows

Recommended Posts

After being chastised and shut down by the Editor, many of us (and many have called me) are going through Sailing Anarchy Addiction Withdrawal, at least as it applies to A scows. Every day, looking into the Sailing Anarchy thread, is like looking for that old girlfriend's letter (OK, let's be ecumenical about this, could be an old boyfriend) in the mailbox.

I have a number of historical (hysterical?) documents queued up, and here is one of my favorites: Buddy Melges, speaking on the record to the Fleet Representative to the ILYA for the A class, Brad Robinson.

In this letter, the recently self-crowned champion of 'one-design' laments the demise of the A fleet, if they should be so foolish as to go down that primrose path of One-designing the A scow, whatever that means.

Reading between the lines, one discovers that Melges 'introduced' the asymmetrical spinnaker that year. No advance notice, no class approval, just several boats showed up at the Inland Championships sporting asymmetricals, and Buddy, with righteous indignation, defending that decision in the following letter.

Not documented anywhere, but also introduced at the Inland Championships in 1992 or ‘93, on KANZA, Bill Koch's new A boat, was the carbon fiber spar. That was also not announced in advance, and was only discovered when the gooseneck fitting, designed by Art Brereton in 1980 for aluminium, failed and drove itself into the carbon fibre laminate.

This is the Melges method of introducing new product to the A fleet. But read on; the letter follows:

_______________________________________________________

 

(Melges Boat Works logo)

 

Melges Boat Works, Inc.

 

Zenda Road

Zenda, Wisconsin 53195

 

414-248-6621 Phone

414-248-8012 Fax

800-633-0494

 

November 16, 1993

 

Mr. Brad Robinson

Excelsior, MN 55331

 

Dear Brad:

 

I saw your earlier correspondence to John Porter and some of the fleet members and I certainly do take exception to your calling our approach a “lawless” one. I think if the Class is going to move forward it has to be open minded with new rules and the use of new sails. Certainly your 3DL had everybody concerned at the Invitational.

 

After sailing around Louie Morgan quite a bit of the time at the Invitational and observing the way he was flying the spinnaker; knowing what the new rule within the IYRU and the fact that the Class allowed for a foreguy more than four feet forward of the mast, I could see no reason for us not to proceed with the legitimate asymmetrical sail. My recollection of Mel Jones’ asymmetrical spinnaker is very much like the sail we put out this Summer.

 

If the A fleet is going to remain status quo and strict one-design, I make a public offering at this time for one set of production A Class molds for $150,000. These molds are for side trusses, strongbacks, hull, deck and other interior molds necessary to construct a Class A scow. I would have absolutely no interest in trying to promote the A Class, if in fact, you “shit can” the asymmetrical and go back to the ways of 1978. The life span of the A boat would be doomed and in five years it’ll be right back to the six boat regatta that we experienced prior to the advent of fiberglass boats and the risk taken by Bill Perrigo and Melges Boat Works.

 

The asymmetrical spinnaker simplifies downwind sailing dramatically. The jibing and handling of the sail can be done with great ease and stability of the craft in all winds at all angles. It is true that we need to add some restrictions if we want to do some control on the number of asymmetrical sails and it can be done either by putting a minimum size restriction or by saying the sail can not be used closer than 100 degrees to the wind. On our shifty lakes this might be difficult but it could constrict the use of the sail so that we would not have a double headsail rig going to windward.

 

The bow sprit is an entirely different issue and I feel needs a submission for one boat to install a bow sprit and have the ability to cut a sail that best suits this bow sprit. Then we can all observe in 1994 and at the end of the Inland have a fleet meeting at trophy presentation and vote on the determination of the bow sprit. Colman [sic] Norris is willing to submit this request and we can install a bow sprit and I think it’s wonderful that Colman will guinea pig the effort. I think he’s a very serious A scow member at this moment and wants to see the fleet move forward and with the times.

 

I’ve not much more to say. A ballot is enclosed and I remain…

 

Sincerely yours,

 

(signature)

 

Buddy Melges

 

BM:jio

Enclosure

 

cc: All A Fleet Owners

 

____________________________________________________

 

 

In responding to this thread, let us be sensitive to the Editor's wishes, and curtail our references to male genitalia, or any other genitalia, for that matter.

 

Willie Crear, Saco, Maine

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks Willie, I find this of interest

and Fuck you frank, just shut up.

 

Which melges is driving this? the elder, or the sons?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OK I can add something.

 

Take a 14 year old kid. Deprive him of US Sailing Accredited training. Put him in a melges and what do you get?

 

Its a pop quiz. The answer will be on FOYD tomorrow.

Hey ASSHOLE!

 

BUY YOUR OWN GODDAMN WEBSITE OR AT LEAST STAY THE FUCK OUT OF THREADS YOU HAVE JACK SQUAT TO DO WITH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
thanks Willie, I find this of interest

 

Which melges is driving this? the elder, or the sons?

Pete, the primary mover behind the boycott of Brad's boat is Buddy, not Harry Melges III. That letter, the one that Buddy sent out on October 22 a year ago, calling for the boycott of Brad's new boat, is on the other thread 'A Scow, very, very ugly'.

 

I'll try to figure out on which of the 500 pages it lies so you don't have to go through the whole thread.

 

Voila! It is on Page 3 of the other thread, here is a link:

http://www.sailinganarchy.com/forums/index...t=100&hl=a+scow

 

Congratulations on your recent Severn regatta win...by the hair of your chinny-chin-chin!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm glad to see this discussion going again and agree with the proposal to keep the conversation more civilized.

 

That's a pretty interesting letter from Buddy Melges. I should point out that the addition of assymetrical spinnakers and carbon masts ended up being successful, because they could be retrofitted to existing hulls and because nearly everyone sailing A scows liked the changes.

 

Willie, Ruffian and anyone else associated with Victory-by-Design - I have a question. Can your new hull shape pass the above-mentioned litmus test?

 

I'd like to respectfully ask a few more questions, if I may:

 

- What do you think about the new proposal to have 2 separate A-scow starts at regattas beginning in 2006?

 

- At the end of the "very very ugly" thread, I asked if you would be willing to share the CAD files comparing the Victory-by-Design and Melges hull shapes. Any thoughts?

 

- Who the hell is Ruffian?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Willie and crew - here is the really interesting question:

 

Are you preparing to build more boats from the Victory-by-Design mold?

 

What is the status?

 

Here's another one - why doesn't Brad participate in this discussion? Or is he Ruffian?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That's a pretty interesting letter from Buddy Melges. I should point out that the addition of assymetrical spinnakers and carbon masts ended up being successful, because they could be retrofitted to existing hulls and because nearly everyone sailing A scows liked the changes.

I don't have a dog in this hunt, so perhaps you think my opinion does not matter. But I would point out that if Buddy felt compelled to write that letter, then obviously the statement "nearly everyone ....liked the changes" is not true. Some number of people apparently disliked the changes, or the way the changes were made, enough to force the publication of that letter.

 

By the way, from an outsider's perspective that letter smells of hipocricy when compared to the Melges camp reaction to Victory. Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would point out that if Buddy felt compelled to write that letter, then obviously the statement "nearly everyone ....liked the changes" is not true. Some number of people apparently disliked the changes, or the way the changes were made, enough to force the publication of that letter.

 

By the way, from an outsider's perspective that letter smells of hipocricy when compared to the Melges camp reaction to Victory. Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander....

What's really interesting is that the main person against the innovations in the past, including the assymetrical spinnaker, was none other than Brad Robinson, the owner of Victory-by-Design and the center of this mess.

 

Now the situation is reversed and the stakes are a lot higher, because the entire fleet is threatened with obsolecence.

 

I wish that Buddy would speak for himself on this forum, but I am pretty sure that he would say he's not opposed to progress and development, but is vehemently opposed to having all of the existing A scows obsoleted in one fell swoop.

 

Buddy is not being hypocritical by fighting for innovation in the above-letter and against Victory-by-Design. IMHO he is fighting for maintaining the long-existing standard of incremental innovation that does not wipe out the fleet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
After being chastised and shut down by the Editor, many of us (and many have called me) are going through Sailing Anarchy Addiction Withdrawal, at least as it applies to A scows. Every day, looking into the Sailing Anarchy thread, is like looking for that old girlfriend's letter (OK, let's be ecumenical about this, could be an old boyfriend) in the mailbox.

I have a number of historical (hysterical?) documents queued up, and here is one of my favorites: Buddy Melges, speaking on the record to the Fleet Representative to the ILYA for the A class, Brad Robinson.

In this letter, the recently self-crowned champion of 'one-design' laments the demise of the A fleet, if they should be so foolish as to go down that primrose path of One-designing the A scow, whatever that means.

Reading between the lines, one discovers that Melges 'introduced' the asymmetrical spinnaker that year. No advance notice, no class approval, just several boats showed up at the Inland Championships sporting asymmetricals, and Buddy, with righteous indignation, defending that decision in the following letter.

Not documented anywhere, but also introduced at the Inland Championships in 1992 or ‘93, on KANZA, Bill Koch's new A boat, was the carbon fiber spar. That was also not announced in advance, and was only discovered when the gooseneck fitting, designed by Art Brereton in 1980 for aluminium, failed and drove itself into the carbon fibre laminate.

This is the Melges method of introducing new product to the A fleet. But read on; the letter follows:

_______________________________________________________

 

(Melges Boat Works logo)

 

Melges Boat Works, Inc.

 

Zenda Road

Zenda, Wisconsin 53195

 

414-248-6621 Phone

414-248-8012 Fax

800-633-0494

 

November 16, 1993

 

Mr. Brad Robinson

Excelsior, MN 55331

 

Dear Brad:

 

I saw your earlier correspondence to John Porter and some of the fleet members and I certainly do take exception to your calling our approach a “lawless” one.  I think if the Class is going to move forward it has to be open minded with new rules and the use of new sails.  Certainly your 3DL had everybody concerned at the Invitational.

 

After sailing around Louie Morgan quite a bit of the time at the Invitational and observing the way he was flying the spinnaker; knowing what the new rule within the IYRU and the fact that the Class allowed for a foreguy more than four feet forward of the mast, I could see no reason for us not to proceed with the legitimate asymmetrical sail.  My recollection of Mel Jones’ asymmetrical spinnaker is very much like the sail we put out this Summer.

 

If the A fleet is going to remain status quo and strict one-design, I make a public offering at this time for one set of production A Class molds for $150,000.  These molds are for side trusses, strongbacks, hull, deck and other interior molds necessary to construct a Class A scow.  I would have absolutely no interest in trying to promote the A Class, if in fact, you “shit can” the asymmetrical and go back to the ways of 1978.  The life span of the A boat would be doomed and in five years it’ll be right back to the six boat regatta that we experienced prior to the advent of fiberglass boats and the risk taken by Bill Perrigo and Melges Boat Works.

 

The asymmetrical spinnaker simplifies downwind sailing dramatically.  The jibing and handling of the sail can be done with great ease and stability of the craft in all winds at all angles.  It is true that we need to add some restrictions if we want to do some control on the number of asymmetrical sails and it can be done either by putting a minimum size restriction or by saying the sail can not be used closer than 100 degrees to the wind.  On our shifty lakes this might be difficult but it could constrict the use of the sail so that we would not have a double headsail rig going to windward. 

 

The bow sprit is an entirely different issue and I feel needs a submission for one boat to install a bow sprit and have the ability to cut a sail that best suits this bow sprit.  Then we can all observe in 1994 and at the end of the Inland have a fleet meeting at trophy presentation and vote on the determination of the bow sprit.  Colman [sic] Norris is willing to submit this request and we can install a bow sprit and I think it’s wonderful that Colman will guinea pig the effort.  I think he’s a very serious A scow member at this moment and wants to see the fleet move forward and with the times. 

 

I’ve not much more to say.  A ballot is enclosed and I remain…

 

Sincerely yours,

 

(signature)

 

Buddy Melges

 

BM:jio

Enclosure

 

cc: All A Fleet Owners

 

____________________________________________________

 

 

In responding to this thread, let us be sensitive to the Editor's wishes, and curtail our references to male genitalia, or any other genitalia, for that matter.

 

Willie Crear, Saco, Maine

Hey Willie,

 

Just returned from a day sail on Victory. 76 degrees and wind at 15 from the south without a cloud in the sky. Hope you're jealous.

 

Ruffian

Now you have me stumped.

 

There was only one female on Victory yesterday (Susana Robinson), I am told, so you must be male.

 

From your earlier posts, which I researched: you don't own a boat now.

 

I have no clue as to your identity. Figuring out that Jib Man was Geoff Evans was easy by comparison.

 

Oh yes...jealous? Yes...when I look at Victory going upwind, higher and faster.

 

Jealous? Yes...when I see Victory break around the weather mark, and set those @#$%&%*# asymmetricals with that high sprit, and don't even come close to shrimping the chute.

 

Jealous? Yes...when I see Victory fall off onto a new tack, with perfect jib trim, every time, no matter who is trimming the jib, since she is self-tacking.

 

Jealous? Yes...when we are waiting around for enough wind to start, and the Victory crew is lounging on that larger-than-life strongback/keelson running down the center of their hull.

 

Jealous? Yes...when my own brother Dan says he's going to sail on Victory in 2004, but isn't interested in sailing on one of the old Melges man-eaters, including my 1985 Melges hull, Adieu.

 

Jealous? Yes...enough to make me want to build a new, carbon fiber, 1200 pound A scow, out of the Victory molds. Let's see here, a 650 pound advantage in weight over the current Victory hull...mebbe that's enough weight advantage to best Tom Burton (the jury is definitely out on that). Now all I need is 3 partners/syndicate members to defray the $90,000 cost of the new, Son of Victory.

 

And what will the new boat be named? Crikey, we got a problem already. The first one was Innisfree, the second Sacajawea, the most recent, defaulted to Adieu, the Chute name. Someone suggested Hollow Victory. How about Pyrrhic Victory? Maid of Victory? Total Victory? Son of Victory? Adieu to Victory? If it is only 1200 pounds, how about Hollowed-out Victory?

 

The mind boggles. Well, OK, just my mind boggles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm glad to see this discussion going again and agree with the proposal to keep the conversation more civilized.

 

That's a pretty interesting letter from Buddy Melges. I should point out that the addition of assymetrical spinnakers and carbon masts ended up being successful, because they could be retrofitted to existing hulls and because nearly everyone sailing A scows liked the changes.

 

Willie, Ruffian and anyone else associated with Victory-by-Design - I have a question. Can your new hull shape pass the above-mentioned litmus test?

Jib Man,

 

Won't the new Melges hull do the same thing? It obviously can't be "retrofitted" to the rest of the fleet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The transition to the asymmetric spinnaker and the carbon mast was really not as easy as one could be lead to believe. In regard to the sprits themselves in the beginning everyone was using different stuff, a few even had aluminum ones like on Burn's old boat ship/captain/crew. A common sprit finally came along a while later. Different diameters, materials, wall section etc.

 

As for masts this was interesting. The carbon sections had the Melges 30 section, the Melges 24 section, and finally the wound masts. If you started in the beginning you could have evolved through 3 sections x $13-15k = ~40kish. This is a steep investment to be competitive, not like a new hull but none the less expensive. The last retrofit also involves a chainplate modification for $5k which includes deckstepping, mast step etc. THis is on top of the mast upgrade for the older boats.

 

The next major modification for the A scow will be in the repostioning of the rudders as so to make the turbulance less and the tracking of the boat more superior. This will involve longer rudders different position, different angles. If you look at Victory the rudders are angled more similar to the boards and also more in line, they are also farther back towards the transom. This modication could yield a decent improvement over the standard Melges configuration. Better steering less drag. Again another change more money.

 

I feel bad for the A class they are getting hammered with no end in sight. This whole debate should not be strictly about the hull shape but about what is best in the long run for the class, the ILYA and sailors in general. One design is great if you keep the playing field level on all counts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, as well the whole issue of spinnakers such as VMG's, whompers and .5 oz whompers, 100 degree blades and the like should be discussed as well. One has them all and many have none. This is a topic for Willie to dig into.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Hey Willie,

 

Just returned from a day sail on Victory. 76 degrees and wind at 15 from the south without a cloud in the sky. Hope you're jealous.

 

Ruffian

Now you have me stumped.

 

There was only one female on Victory yesterday (Susana Robinson), I am told, so you must be male.

 

From your earlier posts, which I researched: you don't own a boat now.

 

I have no clue as to your identity. Figuring out that Jib Man was Geoff Evans was easy by comparison.

 

Oh yes...jealous? Yes...when I look at Victory going upwind, higher and faster.

 

Jealous? Yes...when I see Victory break around the weather mark, and set those @#$%&%*# asymmetricals with that high sprit, and don't even come close to shrimping the chute.

 

Jealous? Yes...when I see Victory fall off onto a new tack, with perfect jib trim, every time, no matter who is trimming the jib, since she is self-tacking.

 

Jealous? Yes...when we are waiting around for enough wind to start, and the Victory crew is lounging on that larger-than-life strongback/keelson running down the center of their hull.

 

Jealous? Yes...when my own brother Dan says he's going to sail on Victory in 2004, but isn't interested in sailing on one of the old Melges man-eaters, including my 1985 Melges hull, Adieu.

 

Jealous? Yes...enough to make me want to build a new, carbon fiber, 1200 pound A scow, out of the Victory molds. Let's see here, a 650 pound advantage in weight over the current Victory hull...mebbe that's enough weight advantage to best Tom Burton (the jury is definitely out on that). Now all I need is 3 partners/syndicate members to defray the $90,000 cost of the new, Son of Victory.

 

And what will the new boat be named? Crikey, we got a problem already. The first one was Innisfree, the second Sacajawea, the most recent, defaulted to Adieu, the Chute name. Someone suggested Hollow Victory. How about Pyrrhic Victory? Maid of Victory? Total Victory? Son of Victory? Adieu to Victory? If it is only 1200 pounds, how about Hollowed-out Victory?

 

The mind boggles. Well, OK, just my mind boggles.

Willie,

 

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say I succeeded in making you jealous. It was my first time on Victory--amazing what can be accomplished by simply quality of execution. The mechanical advantages make every task easy even for an old cripple like myself. I crewed against Brad in 1968 & 69 on Gulliver (E boats) and his passion for sailing and making things function properly hasn't diminished in the past 36 years. I made him an offer for the boat but he wouldn't bite so I may be available for your carbon fiber project.

 

Cheers,

 

Ruffian

 

 

Ruffian, you should contact me to get on board this carbon fiber project as soon as it is practicable for you. 207.423.0061.

 

Cheers, Willie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ruffian, you should contact me to get on board this carbon fiber project as soon as it is practicable for you. 207.423.0061.

 

Cheers, Willie

Willie,

 

Maybe Cayard and Coutts need to be brought up to speed on the carbon fiber project since they're fishing around for an AC series replacement. If they sailed it once they would probably be hooked. Just the cost savings in all those AC winches alone could get a fleet started. Whatya think?

 

Ruffian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ruffian, don't take this personally but you really sound like a clown most of the time. Do you really think those guys are going to be interested in a boat that is only suitable for lake sailing?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ruffian, don't take this personally but you really sound like a clown most of the time. Do you really think those guys are going to be interested in a boat that is only suitable for lake sailing?

It was intended to be a joke. Probably a little lame. I'm not exactly the greatest comedian on the planet. Taking your critique personally? Now that's hilarious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm glad to see this discussion going again and agree with the proposal to keep the conversation more civilized.

 

That's a pretty interesting letter from Buddy Melges. I should point out that the addition of assymetrical spinnakers and carbon masts ended up being successful, because they could be retrofitted to existing hulls and because nearly everyone sailing A scows liked the changes.

 

Willie, Ruffian and anyone else associated with Victory-by-Design - I have a question. Can your new hull shape pass the above-mentioned litmus test?

Jib Man,

 

Won't the new Melges hull do the same thing? It obviously can't be "retrofitted" to the rest of the fleet.

Hi Vachon,

 

No, the new Melges mold is the same shape as the old one. As such, no one expects the new Melges boats to have the same kind of speed advantage that Victory-by-Design has.

 

Only the wiggles have been removed, and those were taken out of the old boats by hand anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With all due respect to melges, we've seen them 'take the wiggles out' of the one design scow molds before - presumably because the molds were in bad shape. they resulted in the 1998 MC Scow, the 1998 E Scow, and the 1999 C scow. These are all now referred to as the 'new' boats and boats of those ages and newer are a must if you want to be competitive. I hardly think the new A scow will be any different, especially because of the fact that the scantlings are so loose as to accomodate robinson's boat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The transition to the asymmetric spinnaker and the carbon mast was really not as easy as one could be lead to believe. In regard to the sprits themselves in the beginning everyone was using different stuff, a few even had aluminum ones like on Burn's old boat ship/captain/crew. A common sprit finally came along a while later. Different diameters, materials, wall section etc.

 

As for masts this was interesting. The carbon sections had the Melges 30 section, the Melges 24 section, and finally the wound masts. If you started in the beginning you could have evolved through 3 sections x $13-15k = ~40kish. This is a steep investment to be competitive, not like a new hull but none the less expensive. The last retrofit also involves a chainplate modification for $5k which includes deckstepping, mast step etc. THis is on top of the mast upgrade for the older boats.

 

The next major modification for the A scow will be in the repostioning of the rudders as so to make the turbulance less and the tracking of the boat more superior. This will involve longer rudders different position, different angles. If you look at Victory the rudders are angled more similar to the boards and also more in line, they are also farther back towards the transom. This modication could yield a decent improvement over the standard Melges configuration. Better steering less drag. Again another change more money.

 

I feel bad for the A class they are getting hammered with no end in sight. This whole debate should not be strictly about the hull shape but about what is best in the long run for the class, the ILYA and sailors in general. One design is great if you keep the playing field level on all counts.

ILYAScow,

 

Regarding asymmetric spinnakers and carbon masts, no one split from the fleet over those issues, and everyone ended up happy quite soon after the appearance of these modifications. I heard of no one who burned through three different carbon masts so why would you mention such crap?

 

Regarding rudders, it should be mentioned that foil rudders were implemented a few years ago and everyone loves them. I like the idea of trying them in a new position, but I would bet that it won't work as good as Victory because the combination of hull shape with rudder placement is part of the magic on Victory. Without the modified hull shape, the new rudder placement simply won't be as good.

 

I feel bad for the A class they are getting hammered with no end in sight.

 

Actually there are some very interesting new developments. I understand that two-start regattas are being strongly considered. It is also very interesting that the Victory camp appears to be ready to make new boats from their mold.

 

Willie, would you be so kind to inform us about what is happening?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
With all due respect to melges, we've seen them 'take the wiggles out' of the one design scow molds before - presumably because the molds were in bad shape. they resulted in the 1998 MC Scow, the 1998 E Scow, and the 1999 C scow. These are all now referred to as the 'new' boats and boats of those ages and newer are a must if you want to be competitive. I hardly think the new A scow will be any different, especially because of the fact that the scantlings are so loose as to accomodate robinson's boat.

emoney, each of the examples that you mentioned definitely did NOT involve a change in the hull shape. There were lots of other go-fast changes, but they had nothing to do with taking wiggles out or different hull shapes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
With all due respect to melges, we've seen them 'take the wiggles out' of the one design scow molds before - presumably because the molds were in bad shape.  they resulted in the 1998 MC Scow, the 1998 E Scow, and the 1999 C scow. These are all now referred to as the 'new' boats and boats of those ages and newer are a must if you want to be competitive.  I hardly think the new A scow will be any different, especially because of the fact that the scantlings are so loose as to accomodate robinson's boat.

emoney, each of the examples that you mentioned definitely did NOT involve a change in the hull shape. There were lots of other go-fast changes, but they had nothing to do with taking wiggles out or different hull shapes.

right, there were no hull shape changes, however they incorporated changes in the hull that were not retrofittable to the fleet at the time.

 

My point is not to distinguish between which characteristics are appropriate to change when obsoleting a group of boats and which characteristics are not appropriate to change when obsoleting a group of boats. It was to indicate that, right or wrong, historically changes that Melges has made in the past in other fleets are very similar to the changes that Mr. Robinson has made in the A scow, i.e. non-retrofittable, somewhat unannounced, and frustratingly fast, encouraging competitive people to buy new boats. The difference is this time Melges didn't make the change, and the A fleet doesn't want to buy new boats.

 

There are a lot more people with a lot less money than the A fleet that have seen there boats devalued by changes melges has made in new model years. In response they have all worked to tighten up their scantlings - they haven't run from the ILYA and made new fleets.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
With all due respect to melges, we've seen them 'take the wiggles out' of the one design scow molds before - presumably because the molds were in bad shape.  they resulted in the 1998 MC Scow, the 1998 E Scow, and the 1999 C scow. These are all now referred to as the 'new' boats and boats of those ages and newer are a must if you want to be competitive.  I hardly think the new A scow will be any different, especially because of the fact that the scantlings are so loose as to accomodate robinson's boat.

emoney, each of the examples that you mentioned definitely did NOT involve a change in the hull shape. There were lots of other go-fast changes, but they had nothing to do with taking wiggles out or different hull shapes.

right, there were no hull shape changes, however they incorporated changes in the hull that were not retrofittable to the fleet at the time.

 

My point is not to distinguish between which characteristics are appropriate to change when obsoleting a group of boats and which characteristics are not appropriate to change when obsoleting a group of boats. It was to indicate that, right or wrong, historically changes that Melges has made in the past in other fleets are very similar to the changes that Mr. Robinson has made in the A scow, i.e. non-retrofittable, somewhat unannounced, and frustratingly fast, encouraging competitive people to buy new boats. The difference is this time Melges didn't make the change, and the A fleet doesn't want to buy new boats.

 

There are a lot more people with a lot less money than the A fleet that have seen there boats devalued by changes melges has made in new model years. In response they have all worked to tighten up their scantlings - they haven't run from the ILYA and made new fleets.

You have some great points emoney. It's hard if not impossible to argue with that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Willie, with a 1200 pound boat, do you envision a new more open A class? Where are you going with this?

 

I will be the first to say that such a boat sounds really really cool. I would be tempted to make the rig bigger and add trapezes for the crew.

Geoff, I never had a vision of a 1200 pound A scow. It was Robbie Evans and Brad Robinson that first put forth that proposal in the year 2000.

 

Now that I see all of these carbon fibre sleds knocking around Sailing Anarchy, seems a bit foolish to me to continue building 1850 pound pigs. The A boat now is a great boat, but would be far superior to the current boats at the lighter weight.

 

An example is that new super-maxi that just got flipped right side up in New Zealand. That boat will be so fast, and develop so much apparent wind, that the spinnakers, almost afterthoughts, will be tiny asymmetricals (I like to call them 'yankee' jibs).

 

To my eye, that boat looks like the 1957 pointed-bow Johnson A that I first sailed with your father in 1968. We didn't have a canting keel, though, and the bow looks a trifle deeper on the super-maxi!

 

As for your comments on sails, the new, lighter boat will be more easily driven, upwind and down, so the sailplan will actually see an area reduction, not an increase. The boat will be faster, and be easier to sail, probably by a smaller crew. The reason Victory has that monster vang 1/2 way back under the boom is to ready the boat for the day when we chop off the boom 2 feet, lose the boomkin, and have a higher aspect rig, even though the main peak could still be 38.50' from the deck.

 

As for trapezes, we have been there as a class, had them for one year, and voted them out at the next meeting, in 1977 or 1978. Been there, done that, ain't nobody in the A fleet that can remember that year is going down that road again.

 

What is happening with new boats? Certainly nothing is coming out of the Melges camp; the development of spectacular high performance hulls all over the world has really dated the 1850 pound A hull. I think Ruffian is right when he says, in 10 years, there will be a dozen Robinson hulls sailing at the Inlands. The old, classic iron will probably still be awarded to the old, heavy hulls (of which Victory is one), but all of the growth will be in newer, more exciting hull configurations. It is not a question of if, it is a question of when.

 

As far as two starts at the Inland regattas, that's a non-starter in my eye (pardon the pun). From my perspective, it is just an attempt to marginalize Brad and Victory. The NCASA has scheduled two regattas for 2005, in direct conflict again with the published dates for the ILYA events, just like they did for 2004. Lake Geneva Yacht Club, who had bid for and been awarded the 2005 ILYA Invitational event, has withdrawn that bid, and will now be hosting the NCASA copycat event. That's Buddy's adopted lake, so I am not at all surprised, but they do look petty. There are plenty of venues to hold an A regatta sanctioned by the ILYA, and we are honor bound as a fleet to go back to Oshkosh and Lake Winnebago to sail for the Felker and Sawyer prizes at least every other year.

 

NCASA has scheduled their Championship event right on top of the ILYA event, and are going to hold it at Green Lake. I don't think the Iowa folks would have been too excited about a copycat regatta in the Okoboji area, and the history of participation by Pewaukee and Geneva A boats at regattas in Iowa or Minnesota has historically been pretty dismal anyway.

 

As far as talking to Brad on this forum, he comes from that male generation that doesn't know where the on-off switch was/is on a typewriter, because there weren't any electric typewriters! He reads every post, though, and anyone can pull up his website, VictoryByDesign.org and e-mail him directly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You have some great points emoney. It's hard if not impossible to argue with that.

A refreshing response on this site. Classy...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Willie, your detailed answer was very informative.

 

I have heard that the ILYA and NCASA are trying to agree on having 2 separate A Scow starts on the same race course for regattas in 2006. I don't know if that's true, but we would sure like to hear Victory by Design's opinion about that solution. That obviously means that the restriction against building more boats from the Victory mold would be lifted. So what's the deal???

 

Near the end of the "very very ugly" thread, Will Gorgen mentioned the prospect of adding something to the Victory hull (a rope in the water?) to slow it down, after careful scientific testing of the two hulls. This would make the boats even when racing, in theory, and get everyone on the same course. What do you guys think about that?

 

Come on Brad! Just click the "Add Reply" or "Fast Reply" buttons at the bottom of the page. Maybe there is some progress... Let's hear your opinion!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm certainly not as knowledgeable or as articulate as Will Gorgen but I'll offer my observations as he did after my day sail on Victory. I'd be surprised if the wetted portion of the hull, at least in plan view, would look that much different than the old hull. I would think it would look different in section view at most station points along the hull. It would be interesting to simply make the observation underwater with the hulls side by side heeled up in racing trim. The backbone is obviously about twice the height which must make for an extremely stiff hull. Also, the camber on the foredeck would have to increase stiffness over the older flat foredeck. Compared to the Adieu the deck feels like a concrete sidewalk. (sorry Willie) When slapping around in the chop at slow speed the hull seems to have almost zero flex. The responsiveness of the steering is what impressed me the most. It actually felt like a huge dinghy. The rudder configuration probably has much to do with the sense of control and turning ability. It also seems to have a much larger "groove" for keeping the hull at speed. The Adieu seemed to have to be at an almost perfect trim to find that same groove. (sorry again) Ultimately, I was impressed by how little physical effort is required for all the sail and board controls. Everything simply works efficiently with little friction. Every task on the boat can be accomplished in a fraction of the time. I think Will said it best previously with his quote of doing 100 things 1% better rather than just one thing 100% better. I don't see where Brad has any agenda beyond the desire to do it right rather than having a "that's close enough" attitude in the construction and execution..

 

My 2 cents.

 

Ruffian

Testing how to post a picture of Victory, if I screw this up, someone please fill me in on how to do it, or find the instructions on SA how to do it...

 

Voila! This is Victory under sail Sunday, looks like they are carrying the 2003 3DL, Quantum self-tacking jib, under spinnaker. Most striking thing about this is the high tack point of the asymmetrical, it is about chest height. Photo came in over the transom to my email box 2 days ago...

post-1-1096460649.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Testing how to post a picture of Victory, if I screw this up, someone please fill me in on how to do it, or find the instructions on SA how to do it...

 

Voila! This is Victory under sail Sunday, looks like they are carrying the 2003 3DL, Quantum self-tacking jib, under spinnaker. Most striking thing about this is the high tack point of the asymmetrical, it is about chest height. Photo came in over the transom to my email box 2 days ago...

One thing I didn't mention was how comfortable the hiking position is--even with jello for stomach muscles I felt like I could hang off the side all day. More like sitting in a living room recliner than hiking on an A boat. That would be priceless in back to back races on a windy day.

 

Now I'm up to 3 cents.

 

Ruffian

 

P.S. Willie, Let's just get it over with and build the second hull. We can do the fit up with Adieu parts and save the old hull to display with Onawa someday.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hey Willie,

 

It looks like Brad is taking a turn on the helm in that picture. Does he do that often? I thought he prefered to sit in the middle and tinker with all the controls. Of course with this boat being so much easier to sail, maybe he is bored in the middle and pulls rank now and then to get a chance to drive....

 

- Will

I think the one on the helm in the picture is MYC Commodore Jeff Solum, aka 'Pokeman'. Close examination shows the tiller stuck between his legs.

 

Brad does appear to have moved aft from his traditional #4 position (Sail Control), to the #5 position (Mainsheet). So you are right...he has ventured aft into Fantasyland. One can tell for sure that it is Brad because there is a piece of that ubiquitous orange duct tape on the back of his cap to keep the adjustment locked in. He probably wore the Breton red shorts because he knew he was going to be behind the vang track; covering his tracks from the nosebleed.

 

I thought back 16 months...I have never seen Brad take the helm on Victory, even under tow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well no vested interest here, but it seems like the main contention seems to be the boat is faster, or at least the boat with good crew is faster. So why not take the fastest old Melges boat and crew and Victory with crew and swap boats and see who comes out on top, that will give some kind of a benchmark on the speed difference.

 

Just a thought..

 

Anyway I'm all for making things better and faster, but I guess I'm not the one that would have to fork out $100000 to buy a new boat...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An interesting point in this thread is the more automatic setup of the Victory rig. Makes me wonder if alot of the issue is in the rig details vs the hull details. Other development classes such as the I14 have experienced the same phenomenon where although the hulls are different there are significant gains to be realized from rig developement into a more automatic response system. Also, the wider groove comment is of interest too. Are the sails similar to what the others are using or has a miracle occurred with the sailmaker(s) getting it right early on?

 

As an observation, anyone with an older A should maybe be looking at the rig mods vs the hull mods. That and tuning up their foils.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest wgorgen

Certainly the first step of overlaying the CAD files could be done with the boats tucked away for the long winter sleep.

 

But my guess is that no one could tell you much about the hull drag from looking at overlaid CAD files....

 

So the next step would be testing. Nothing better for a long winter than to build some scale models and sail them in a tow tank. It would be more controlled and potentially more accurate. And you could explore the appendage placement issue. The downside is that it might be fairly pricey to cut accurate models and rent a tow tank facility...

 

Are there any other boats on Minnetonka that are not put away for the winter yet? Geeze, the Invite was only a week and a half ago. I guess Rob decided to put the boat away after Pewaukee? Well, worst case is you may need to wait until next spring. Sure would be nice to get the data before the winter Inland, so the discussion there (and I'm sure there will be plenty of discussion) could at least make some forward progress.

 

- Will

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Overlaying the CAD lines could be VERY enlightening, as no one seems to know what the real hull differences are. Would be nice to see straight overlay, & heeled /immersed overlays. Lines may be closer than many want to think, which would indicate efficiency of controls & rig adjustment may be more important to race results. Also, (tho it's hard to do) lines of an actual, sailing Melges hull should be contrasted to the intended hull lines to see just how close product are to original lines drawings. This would show the actual differences, & if mold had been distorted during hull lay-up, as some have claimed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lets see them with and without rig tension too. Then we could analyze the at rest shape, the upwind shape, and the downwind shape.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Should be pretty straightforward to measure the fore and aft deflection while on a trailer. Then noodle out the CAD file to see where the volume goes.

 

Torsion would be a challenge to quantify but I imagine those hulls go through some interesting movement when at max power.

 

Once the situation has undergone a quantified evaluation it should be obvious that the Victory boat is different and better mostly because it has a better rig and foils, and a stiffer hull. The hull shape will be mostly irrelevant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ned,

 

You have hit the nail on the head. The assumption that the NCASA is operating under is that it is the hull that makes the difference. That assumption may prove right or it may proove wrong. The most likely scenario is it is part of the answer but not the whole answer.

 

The question is; if it turns out that 25% of the speed difference comes from hull shape and the other 75% from rig differences (including the "automatic" nature of the self tacking jib and vang) is that a problem? To put it another way, if the NCASA boats can get 75% of the speed deficit back by changing their running rigging, does that still obsolete their boats?

 

Everyone who has spent any time sailing knows that one bad tack can erase a lot of speed difference. If Victory's current speed margin is 10 boatlengths per windward leg and with a few key mods you can whittle that down to 2 1/2 boatlengths, are you still out of the game? THe other thing to ask is how close are the current crop of Melges boats (both the old and new mold)? With all the fairing that Melges did, it could be that the current crop of NCASA boats are not within 3 boatlengths per leg of each other in terms of hull drag. That would put Victory right into the mix if the only consideration is the hull drag question.

 

But before any of those scenarios can play out, the hull drag needs to be tested. Right now the NCASA is basing their position on the assumption that the difference is in the hull. But that assumption has not been proven.....

 

- Will

Ned and Will,

 

Which hulls would you use for hull drag testing? Since they have all been re-faired after coming out of the mold, some more than others, which Melges hull would be the test hull? They haven't even built a new boat out of the mold that Melges pulled off a year ago, and by my reckoning, there are none on the horizon.

 

Another problem beckons, as well. A year ago, Brad entered into the 'Settlement Agreement', the agreement to end the controversy. It eliminated the immediate threat of another builder within the ILYA ranks (not a threat, in my book), and left only Victory for them to contend with. From Brad's perspective, the people he was negotiating with purported to represent the interests of NCASA.

 

Four days after the agreement was signed, the boycott was joined, led by Buddy. Buddy and Melges have never signed any of these agreements, and they are highly unlikely to do so, unless economic sanctions, or events, cause them to do so. Olaf Harken signed the Settlement Agreement as Commodore of the ILYA. He was the only Wisconsin 'A' boat to sail in the Felker and Sawyer races, against Adieu and Victory. Then, the next day, and in August, he sailed Stealth in the NCASA events. Brad asks, "Who am I negotiating with?", and "How do I know that they will honor any agreement?".

 

So, once again...why do the hull drag testing, when the outcome could not produce a result that solves the split, no matter what the data show?

 

More interesting news...Tom Burton, helmsman on Victory, has just won the 2004 'E' Blue Chip Regatta, an invitation-only regatta held on Pewaukee every fall, following a runaway win in the 2004 ILYA Championships. I have sailed with him/against him for 25 years, and this guy did not just fall off the turnip truck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's nice to see reasonable discussions going on this time.

 

I mentioned drag tests 10 months ago to both the NCASA and Robinson. Robinson seemed very interested but the NCASA dismissed the idea on the spot.

 

The difference in drag from Melges hull to the Robinson hull probably isn't measurable within acceptable tolerances.

 

I have a friend that works for Boeing as an aero space engineer (fluid dynamics), he claims that each boats measurements could be loaded into a computer program and the results would be way more accurate than any on the water drag test, he claims there are too many variables with actual on the water trials.

 

The University of Wisconsin Madison has the capabilities to run such computer analysis. I would bet the University could be talked into running the numbers for the ILYA.

 

The NCASA will never come to the table and allow or sanction testing of any kind. It could blow their boycott case right out of the water.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Curious if the "agreement" is now null and void due to the actions of parties other than Robinson.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks bloodsport.

 

Although I no longer live in the inland, I still count most of the members of the NCASA as friends. I grew up on Pewaukee Lake where I sailed in the same Jonior fleet as 2 of the current owners from Pewaukee. Andy Burdick was one year older than me and he works for Melges now. I even babysat Olaf Harken's daughters....

 

I moved to Minnetonka in high school and know most of the NCASA owners from that lake as well.

 

But I also know Brad really well. Brad was the best man at my parents' wedding. I worked with him on the design of the foil rudders. He is also a good friend.

 

I know these people well enough to know that they could (and will) come to a solution. I just hope that my objective viewpoint might calm things down enough to get them talking again.

 

- Will

Will, since you brought up this personal history stuff, here is my First Mate Certificate from the Minnetonka Yacht Club, signed by the Commodore John W. Hunt, and also signed by the two instructors, your father Chuck Gorgen and Brad Robinson.

 

There was also a 'Skipper' achievement award, which I never got.

 

Good humor-I was 11 years old, my first with an 'X' boat trainer.

 

The year was 1959.

post-1-1096681651.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Curious if the "agreement" is now null and void due to the actions of parties other than Robinson.

Your point is well taken...if the fleet as a whole is not sailing against the best boat, Victory, their regattas do not crown champions, and the benefit that Brad derives from the agreement is thin at best.

 

He is nothing if not resolute, after putting in about 4 solid years, and more money, I dare say, than anyone has ever invested in A boat molds.

 

The ILYA Fall Meetings, to be held near White Bear Lake, Minnesota, the birthplace of the ILYA, are coming up on the 16th and 17th of this month. For sure, the A boat circus is an agenda item.

 

The ILYA hierarchy has been diligent in the pursuit of possible solutions, meeting ahead of time with representatives of both the NCASA and Brad, at separate venues, but I have heard nothing coming out of those meetings other than an agreement to keep talking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gentlemen:

 

All this thread has been civil (no surprise, some of the antagonists are absent).

 

There are some good constructive suggestions above, but as queried, would NCASA come to the table in good faith? It is to be hoped for and attempted, but one has to wonder. In 3:5 examples given by wgorgen NCASA would have to "reconsider" their position.

 

When considering which A- boats to evaluate against the LEGAL Victory hull, another question comes to mind. Why not scan several Melges A hulls? Since there are many hulls and the argument is Victory might obsolete the (outlaw) One Design fleet ... this would indicate whether they really have a OD class or just a group of similar hulls.

 

It is reasonable to think there might be just as large a variance between numerous existing Melges hulls as that between Melges (take your pick) and Victory. If so, then what? I for one imagine the rig is more the cause of delta than hull shape in this instance ...

 

I realize this item might push the parties further apart instead of draw them together, but feel obliged to post it regardless. Victory fit in the box so was / is legal. The Melgi clan broke away and suggest they have a OD fleet with Victory odd man out. I doubt it's JUST Victory is so different ... the existing A boats are perhaps also quite different (seen through detailed computer analysis).

 

While testing should certainly done, this means the two groups would indeed have to decide on parameters in advance as well as possible remedies. In large part, that would (3:5 times by Will's math) require concessions by NCASA.

 

What will ILYA and the scow sailors do if NCASA refuses to come to the table, agree to fair testing and remedies? This is the rub IMO. If it takes <WC: economic sanctions, or events> to prompt Melges cooperation ... the ILYA and the scow community also need to consider this.

 

Sorry fellas. I am all for efforts suggested here to mend the split and would rather use carrot than stick. But, if carrots won't work ...

 

Egor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It is reasonable to think there might be just as large a variance between numerous existing Melges hulls as that between Melges (take your pick) and Victory.

Egor, that is such patent crap that I can't beleive my eyes. You are either high as a kite, delusional or living on Mars. All the Melges hulls came out of the same mold you bonehead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have a friend that works for Boeing as an aero space engineer (fluid dynamics), he claims that each boats measurements could be loaded into a computer program and the results would be way more accurate than any on the water drag test, he claims there are too many variables with actual on the water trials.

 

The University of Wisconsin Madison has the capabilities to run such computer analysis.  I would bet the University could be talked into running the numbers for the ILYA.

Now that is a really great idea! I can't see any reason why that shouldn't be done ASAP, preferably in advance of the upcoming ILYA meeting.

 

The NCASA will never come to the table and allow or sanction testing of any kind.  It could blow their boycott case right out of the water.

 

That, however, is total BS. The NCASA wants nothing more than to join the ILYA. I'm not a spokesman for the NCASA, but I'd be willing to be that they would support running a computer simulation.

 

By the way, it is Brad Robinson who holds the keys to running the test you mentioned. Only Brad has the design files for both Victory and the Melges A scow hull.

 

How about it Brad? Let's run the test! If you are opposed, please be so kind as to let us know why. A polite and gentle reminder to you: just click that little button on the bottom entitled "Add Reply". It would be good if you chimed in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It is reasonable to think there might be just as large a variance between numerous existing Melges hulls as that between Melges (take your pick) and Victory.

Egor, that is such patent crap that I can't beleive my eyes. You are either high as a kite, delusional or living on Mars. All the Melges hulls came out of the same mold you bonehead.

 

 

Well, what a surprise. Name calling and rants as opposed to intelligible discourse.

 

Who would have guessed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, what a surprise. Name calling and rants as opposed to intelligible discourse.

 

Who would have guessed.

Oh Ruffian. This is Sailing Anarchy not Tea and Crumpets Hour with Ruffian. Here is a lesson taken from cbags:

 

Welcome to Sailing Anarchy, if hell had a YC, this would be it. It would be wise to sit down, STFU, pay attention for a while. Choose your words carefully, certain members are card carrying assholes. By all means...enjoy yourself on Fridays, but I would avoid the wars from the confines of a cubicle!

The Rules of SA

1. You do not talk about SA

2. You DO NOT talk about SA

3. If someone whines, and calls you an asshole; Thats par for the course

4. If this is your first day at SA...You HAVE to fight

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

at what point can we stop blaming the whole thing on the MBW family? Can someone please understand that the majority of a-scow owners have made their decision without a gun held to their head by Buddy or anybody else? Give them some credit to have an opinion, make a decision, and follow through with it. Quit pointing fingers at Zenda, they are only a small part of the masses that have issues with the Victory By Design team.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It is reasonable to think there might be just as large a variance between numerous existing Melges hulls as that between Melges (take your pick) and Victory.

Egor, that is such patent crap that I can't beleive my eyes. You are either high as a kite, delusional or living on Mars. All the Melges hulls came out of the same mold you bonehead.

Jib Boy,

 

As a self-proclaimed expert you should know that coming out of the same mold makes the hulls similar but hardly one-design. So here's your homework assignment. Make a list of all the MBW hulls which have the exact same laminate schedule. Only the boats with identical hull laminates could be considered "one-design". Then we will all know who the "bonehead" turns out to be.

 

Good luck. We'll be waiting for the information. I'm sure it is easily obtainable. Any "one-design" manufacturer could provide the documentation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As a self-proclaimed expert you should know that coming out of the same mold makes the hulls similar but hardly one-design. So here's your homework assignment. Make a list of all the MBW hulls which have the exact same laminate schedule. Only the boats with identical hull laminates could be considered "one-design". Then we will all know who the "bonehead" turns out to be.

Aaaaa.... Hello? We are talking about hull shape Ruffian, not the laminates. Not a single word has been mentioned about the hull laminates on Brad's boat. Why bring it up now??

 

Go fish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
at what point can we stop blaming the whole thing on the MBW family? Can someone please understand that the majority of a-scow owners have made their decision without a gun held to their head by Buddy or anybody else? Give them some credit to have an opinion, make a decision, and follow through with it. Quit pointing fingers at Zenda, they are only a small part of the masses that have issues with the Victory By Design team.

Interesting that all those "masses" of people had the same "opinions", "decisions" and "follow through" within only four days of the negotiated agreement. Could be a speed record for creation of a class organization.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
at what point can we stop blaming the whole thing on the MBW family? Can someone please understand that the majority of a-scow owners have made their decision without a gun held to their head by Buddy or anybody else? Give them some credit to have an opinion, make a decision, and follow through with it. Quit pointing fingers at Zenda, they are only a small part of the masses that have issues with the Victory By Design team.

 

 

Rev Petty makes a good point that the A fleet stands together and are all individuals that have made up their own mind without a gun to their head by the Melges camp.

 

I do however feel that the Zenda camp has a way of being very influential in the A fleet. The Zenda camp could get behind a resolution and could be very influential in a fix for this serious problem that exhists. At this point, the Zenda camp has chosen to be in favor and supportive of the boycott. This is why many people outside of the A fleet that are members of the ILYA feel a rub that doesn't feel very good to them.

 

The deeper issue to many ILYA members is the possibility that the A issues could and will spill over to other fleets, should another builder ever decide to build E's, C's, M's or X's.

 

A guaranteed monopoly in an association like the ILYA can and probably will cause the death of the association quickly. By default, the NCASA has created a monoply for Melges in one class.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As a self-proclaimed expert you should know that coming out of the same mold makes the hulls similar but hardly one-design. So here's your homework assignment. Make a list of all the MBW hulls which have the exact same laminate schedule. Only the boats with identical hull laminates could be considered "one-design". Then we will all know who the "bonehead" turns out to be.

Aaaaa.... Hello? We are talking about hull shape Ruffian, not the laminates. Not a single word has been mentioned about the hull laminates on Brad's boat. Why bring it up now??

 

Go fish.

Just because they came from the same mold doesn't mean the boats are the same shape. The extensive fairing required once out of the mold guarantees this. (Also, I believe there was some discussion about bending and shimming the mold to vary the hulls). Differences in the shrinkage rates of the various resins used compound the matter. Then variability in the structural confiiguration increases the shape differences. They are probably not the same shape at rest much less when under load. But then because the A Scow is a box rule, exact tolerences didn't used to matter. Try to drop a bunch of existing Melges hulls back into the mold to see if they drop right in and fit perfectly. None will, so there are seemingly no legal NCASA boats either.

 

The laminate schedule determines both the stiffness of the hull and weight in the ends, and also durability. How long do the Melges boats stay competitive from a stiffness point of view?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thank you Ned ... just what I was thinking (in my delusional bonehead Mars manner). I doubt the A fleet is so similar, period. Taking into account EVERY A scow (since they ALL might be obsolete it's relevant) we might find a lot of leeway. But it was just an opinion ... of course, until the renegade boycott fleet was formed it didn't matter since the A was subject to a box rule!

 

BTW, I am or was a B Melges fan, but, now grow skeptical. Lots of owners have a stake ... ONE business has a stake and from what I have heard (elsewhere) and read (here) it leads me to believe the fish stinks from the head ...

 

Until this is settled I won't buy Melges or North products. Same goes for anyone I can convince to do likewise. A scow owners are free to make their choices as am I.

 

Egor

 

ps - this is not meant to poison the well on what was largely constructive dialogue ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As a self-proclaimed expert you should know that coming out of the same mold makes the hulls similar but hardly one-design. So here's your homework assignment. Make a list of all the MBW hulls which have the exact same laminate schedule. Only the boats with identical hull laminates could be considered "one-design". Then we will all know who the "bonehead" turns out to be.

Aaaaa.... Hello? We are talking about hull shape Ruffian, not the laminates. Not a single word has been mentioned about the hull laminates on Brad's boat. Why bring it up now??

 

Go fish.

Just because they came from the same mold doesn't mean the boats are the same shape. The extensive fairing required once out of the mold guarantees this. (Also, I believe there was some discussion about bending and shimming the mold to vary the hulls). Differences in the shrinkage rates of the various resins used compound the matter. Then variability in the structural confiiguration increases the shape differences. They are probably not the same shape at rest much less when under load. But then because the A Scow is a box rule, exact tolerences didn't used to matter. Try to drop a bunch of existing Melges hulls back into the mold to see if they drop right in and fit perfectly. None will, so there are seemingly no legal NCASA boats either.

 

The laminate schedule determines both the stiffness of the hull and weight in the ends, and also durability. How long do the Melges boats stay competitive from a stiffness point of view?

Oops, I have a fairly significant piece of data (datum?) for you all...all of the Melges boats are laid up using 5/8" core. Victory was laid up using 3/4" core. The strength goes up by the cube of the...how does that go again?

 

Will and Ned, you can tell all of us the significance of Victory's thicker core.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As a self-proclaimed expert you should know that coming out of the same mold makes the hulls similar but hardly one-design. So here's your homework assignment. Make a list of all the MBW hulls which have the exact same laminate schedule. Only the boats with identical hull laminates could be considered "one-design". Then we will all know who the "bonehead" turns out to be.

Aaaaa.... Hello? We are talking about hull shape Ruffian, not the laminates. Not a single word has been mentioned about the hull laminates on Brad's boat. Why bring it up now??

 

Go fish.

Jib Boy,

 

You're the one claiming the A fleet is "one-design" yet you can't offer the simplest proof that even the hull construction is the same between boats. Whether the shape is different or the laminate either way the term "one-design" becomes invalid for the A fleet if they aren't identical.

 

You flunked your assignment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
the one claiming the A fleet is "one-design" yet you can't offer the simplest proof that even the hull construction is the same between boats. Whether the shape is different or the laminate either way the term "one-design" becomes invalid for the A fleet if they aren't identical.

Now then... the term one deisgn gets used in a lot of different ways. There are plenty of one deisgn classes where different boats in the class are built from quite different materials. Of course even more bizarrely, there's the way the phrase is used in the US to describe smaller boats - there's something quite bizarre from where I sit about people going to "North One design" for a set of custom I14 sails...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
the one claiming the A fleet is "one-design" yet you can't offer the simplest proof that even the hull construction is the same between boats. Whether the shape is different or the laminate either way the term "one-design" becomes invalid for the A fleet if they aren't identical.

Now then... the term one deisgn gets used in a lot of different ways. There are plenty of one deisgn classes where different boats in the class are built from quite different materials. Of course even more bizarrely, there's the way the phrase is used in the US to describe smaller boats - there's something quite bizarre from where I sit about people going to "North One design" for a set of custom I14 sails...

Jim C,

 

That's exactly the point. NCASA magically became a "one-design" class overnight---based on what?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Attention: No one cares about the slight differences in hulls of the Melges boats due to fairing, bracing, or laminates. It is the radically different hull shape of Victory that is the issue.

 

If Victory had the same hull shape, the boycott would have never happened.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Fly on the Wall
It is reasonable to think there might be just as large a variance between numerous existing Melges hulls as that between Melges (take your pick) and Victory.

Egor, that is such patent crap that I can't beleive my eyes. You are either high as a kite, delusional or living on Mars. All the Melges hulls came out of the same mold you bonehead.

Egor is not a bonehead. And there is no reason to bring ad hominem attacks into this debate. It only shows the weakness of your position.

 

Just because boats were built from the same mold does not mean they are identical. And in this case, all parties admit that an extensive amount of "hand fairing" takes place after the boat comes out of the mold. The shape of a mold itself can shift over time, and the interior structure (bulkheads, etc) can change the shape of the completed boat. My understanding is that the various "Melges A scows" all have different interior structures. Is this incorrect?

 

I'm willing to bet that there are some farily noticeable differences in the shapes of the boats that have come out of the Melges molds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Egor is not a bonehead. And there is no reason to bring ad hominem attacks into this debate. It only shows the weakness of your position.

 

Just because boats were built from the same mold does not mean they are identical. And in this case, all parties admit that an extensive amount of "hand fairing" takes place after the boat comes out of the mold. The shape of a mold itself can shift over time, and the interior structure (bulkheads, etc) can change the shape of the completed boat. My understanding is that the various "Melges A scows" all have different interior structures. Is this incorrect?

 

I'm willing to bet that there are some farily noticeable differences in the shapes of the boats that have come out of the Melges molds.

So you really think the shape differences between the various Melges hulls and Victory are just as dramatic? That is a facking joke Fly On the Wall. I've seen your posts in other places and you usually don't sound like such a retard.

 

Egor earned his bonehead moniker by making such a ridiculous statement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is ridiculous is Jib Mans attempt to defend the indefensible position of the MCASA. The reported variations from Victory vs the predecessor is on the order of centimeters. Compare the variations in the MCASA boats and they too will vary as much, especially when loaded in sailing configuration because they bend and Victory doesn't. Such varations in volume can't possibly account for the miraculous speed attributed to Victory. It seems to me that the biggest issues with Victory are the hull stiffness, and fairness, and the rig response and the state of preparation. The hull shape variance isn't so relevent but it's an easily justified rationalization/excuse to exclude Victory and defend the MBW turf.

 

Fact is somebody built a better mousetrap and the cat is scared about losing his job.

 

Many archaic builders have dealt with this transformation as classes both development and one design have evolved. In retrospect the changes that have allowed for greatly increased hull longevity have been viewed as very good for the class because the boats don't get soft and slow. I'll ask again, what is the competitive life in years of a MBW A Scow? If nobody knows, or more likely nobody will talk about it because its embarassingly short, then maybe they should start there with trying to quantitatively assess the true problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What is ridiculous is Jib Mans attempt to defend the indefensible position of the MCASA. The reported variations from Victory vs the predecessor is on the order of centimeters. Compare the variations in the MCASA boats and they too will vary as much, especially when loaded in sailing configuration because they bend and Victory doesn't. Such varations in volume can't possibly account for the miraculous speed attributed to Victory. It seems to me that the biggest issues with Victory are the hull stiffness, and fairness, and the rig response and the state of preparation. The hull shape variance isn't so relevent but it's an easily justified rationalization/excuse to exclude Victory and defend the MBW turf.

 

Fact is somebody built a better mousetrap and the cat is scared about losing his job.

 

Many archaic builders have dealt with this transformation as classes both development and one design have evolved. In retrospect the changes that have allowed for greatly increased hull longevity have been viewed as very good for the class because the boats don't get soft and slow. I'll ask again, what is the competitive life in years of a MBW A Scow? If nobody knows, or more likely nobody will talk about it because its embarassingly short, then maybe they should start there with trying to quantitatively assess the true problem.

Very well put Ned.

 

Let's review some of the terms which keep getting thrown around here.

 

Obsolesence: Ninety five percent of the NCASA fleet is already obsolete. There may be four or five boats which have the speed to win just one race at a major regatta much less the whole show.

 

Investment: This is laughable. The cost of campaigning an A boat probably prorates out at about $500 per hour of sail time on the water. Hardly qualifies as an "investment". If you really wanted to mitigate your depreciation you would find a way to build hulls like Victory--super strong and stiff.

One-Design: The MBW website boasts about the changes they make in hull construction which make new boats "feel lighter and faster". If you want to measure something start with the NCASA fleet. Then maybe there will be a meaningful benchmark to make comparisons.

 

The bottom line is the conduct of Buddy Melges in this affair. Maybe he can get away with his adgenda in a sport but in the real world--the business world--he would get thrown of town.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm Baaaack!

 

keep it civilized yes, I agree, but if you morons continue to spout endless ammounts of BS I will have to bring out my flip flop.

 

 

 

short on time, but rest assured I will be monotoring this thread, and keeping the buffoons in check.

 

You have all been warned, if your head is up your ass you will be dealt with swiftly accordingly.

 

The beatings will continue till morale improves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting quote from Harry Melges interview on Sailing Anarchy:

 

"Much will have to do with how well existing classes keep up with the times and change as technology changes. I have no idea what the next innovation will be, if I did I don't think I would tell you. Sorry!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The bottom line is the conduct of Buddy Melges in this affair. Maybe he can get away with his adgenda in a sport but in the real world--the business world--he would get thrown of town.

There you go again Ruffian. You say a few things that actually make some sense, then spin off and start sounding like a complete, hopeless buffoon all over again.

 

The bottom line is the conduct of Buddy Melges in this affair. Maybe he can get away with his adgenda...

 

I'd like to see you say that to his face.

 

Buddy has done more for the sport of sailing than anyone I know, and trashing his name, Ruffian, is a really stupid move.

 

Allow me to refer you to the good Reverand's comment above about the NCASA and who is making the decisions. Hint: it is not Buddy. This situation has almost nothing to do with Buddy and everything to do with the boat that caused the problem: Victory.

 

Put Ruffian in the town square for a proper pelting with rotten tomatoes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd like to see Brad step up to the plate and let his CAD renderings be compared (Victory vs. the old M100). I think the NCASA guys should continue to insist on this point. There is spin on both sides but even the most ardent Victory guys have to admit that Brad holds the keys to the speed claims. Unfortunately, every time someone brings up this very valid point, the Victory guys scream, "Box rule!". Once they have shut the NCASA guys up they go back to the spin that it's all in the smarter layout and mast innovations. Well is it? Your boy holds the answer. I'd be willing to bet if the Victory hull proves to be no faster than the old M100 it would go a long way towards Victory's acceptance. That is what you want Brad, isn't it???? :rolleyes: C'mon, just do some testing and prove that your boat is no faster.. if it's not this whole thing is over.

 

By Brad not putting up his renderings for testing it proves he doesn't want this to end.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Here are the speed tests that have been conducted to date: the MBW factory teams (Porter, Burdick, Melges) have raced against Victory in the 7 regatta races. The MBW treams won 5 races and Victory won 2 races (And Victory's helmsman, Tom Burton, just beat the MBW teams at the E blue chip so Brad has a championship level team racing his boat). So based on the speed testing that has been done to date, the MBW hulls have no significant speed deficit and it could be argued that they are faster.

Will,

You seem like a reasonable guy but I wonder how objective you can be given your family's relationship with Brad over the years.

 

You've managed to forget (or leave out) that Victory has been dishing out an ass kicking to the Minnetonka fleet for two years of club racing. Why don't the observations (and results) of the Mtka fleet count for anything?

 

IMO you are one of the prime offenders of "speculating" here. You have sited (maybe correctly maybe incorrectly) that a Victory speed advantage is more than likely due to non hull shape reasons; vangs, self tacking jibs, rig innovations, and so on and so on. It appears that "speculating" is only acceptable if you are in the Victory camp.

 

Once again, Brad is the one and only person that holds the keys to the facts on the hull shape. And he's not talking. That doesn't look good to me. Whatever the reason.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The most interesting news on this forum is that an accurate test of the hull speeds can be run on a computer, suggested earlier on this page, at UW Wisconsin.

 

ASAIK this is a new idea. Let's see what the NCASA has to say about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ruffian you are walking a fine line, and sounding like an idiot while doing it. Consider this a shot across your bow, careful what you say.

 

Jib Man and 1 fiddy

 

Keep applying the pressure, I've got your back.

 

Brad should step up and prove things once and for all.

 

C'mon Brad, put up or shut up, well shut your bobo's up anyway, since you don't seem to say anything here or show up at important meetings that might actually help resolve the situation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The most interesting news on this forum is that an accurate test of the hull speeds can be run on a computer, suggested earlier on this page, at UW Wisconsin.

 

ASAIK this is a new idea. Let's see what the NCASA has to say about it.

It really doesn't take that much of a computer to run many flow codes. We run all of our potential flow codes on PCs, and use PCs for much of our RANS (Reynolds Averaged Navier Stokes) work.

 

The thing that is the most time consuming is generating the input geometry, especially for the RANS codes. But for an unappended hull form, like an A scow without rudders and bilgeboards, it wouldn't be hard at all.

 

Of course, you wouldn't be accounting for the hull twisting and bending due to the loads, but a resistance test done by towing two A scows (as suggested once on the other A scow thread) would not cause the same loading (and therefore the same bending and twisting) as under sail. So the measurements (both from the computations and experiments) would be based on somewhat different shapes than the actual boats while sailing.... :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bottom line: would the NCASA be willing to enter into a written agreement with Brad to drop their boycott of the ILYA in the event that the CFD analysis of the Victory hull and M-100 hull shapes shows less than a 5% difference in drag?

 

If the answer is yes, I think the NCASA should edit their "unified position paper" to publicly state their willingness to enter into a fact finding agreement with Brad with pre-defined outcomes.

 

If the answer is no, then perhaps someone from the NCASA can answer this question: Why not?

 

- Will

Ummm.... how many boatlengths does 5% less drag translate to over a 10 mile racecourse?

 

Let's get the facts.

 

As to signing more agreements before getting the facts... could you explain again why? I don't really get that part.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I read in all of these posts, no matter who is the author is, we would all like this issue to be resolved in one form or another.

 

The facts are: The NCASA wants the Robibson boat gone before they will return to the ILYA, period. Robinson wants to race in the ILYA with his boat, period.

 

Jib Man and Wgrogen seem to be very interested in some kind of solution as do I, and semingly so does everyone else that has weighed in in the hundreds of posts between the two threads.

 

Calling names, he said she said won't do any of us any good. Quite frankly, I don't think anyone who has posted here has a say so in the matter anyway. Too bad because I do think a solution could be reached if it were left up to the posters here on SA.

 

With all the crap that has been thrown around and spewed by both sides, I don't see a solution any time soon as neither side has the desire to give in even the slightest amount. Neither side wants to bend over for the other.

 

Another solution would be for both parties to give their blessings to some form of mediation. The findings or determination of the mediator or mediators would have to be accepted by both parties and would put the issue to rest. This is a simple system and would take the monkey off the backs of both parties and the ILYA. My guess is, US Sailing could supply an impartial mediator or mediators that know about sailing and would be fair. Both sides and the ILYA would have the chance to tell their story, the mediator or panel of mediators would come up with a solution and that would be the final say. If Robinson or individual members of the NCASA don't like what's proposed by mediation, they are free to go away. At least the ILYA could move onward and upward without being caught in the middle or being held hostage by either partie. I think the ILYA could force this proposal on Robinson and the NCASA. If one side or the other refuses mediation so be it, it would just show the true colors of anyone that declines mediation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone have a guage for how many boats would participate in the ILYA "box rule" A class, if there ended up being two ILYA A class fleets? It sounds pretty cool, if there were enough boats doing it to make it interesting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Willie, I don't think this discussion has changed since 1980, just some of the names and faces.

 

Chuck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Earlier it was mentioned that the Robinson boat won 2 of 5 regattas.

 

It was also mentioned that at home, the Robinson boat is ruling the fleet.

 

How was the Robinson Team doing at home with their previous boat?  At regattas?

 

Have they been sailing with essentialy the same team?

 

Is there a link or data for the past few years to compare?

 

 

 

The reason I ask is because sailing in our fleet, if someone freshens up the hull, rig, sails, or whatever, they tend to improve slightly.  If they're already at the top, they might be dominantly at the top.  If they're in the middle, they might move up a bit.  Has Robinson's team made a slight improvement overall or have they gone from worst to first with the same crew on this new boat?

 

From the Victory web site, Victory Historical Results, here are the results with the prior Victory, the 1986 Melges hull:

 

The Victory program has had it's share of success over the years.

We've won 13 of 23 regattas with our previous and current A-Scows.

 

1986 - 1996: '86 Melges A-Scow

2003 - Current: '03 Home Built

 

Year Invitational Championship Worlds

1986 1 2

1987 1 3

1988 5 1

1989 2 1

1990 1 2

1991 1 4

1992 1 3

1993 1 3

1994 2 1

1995 1 1 1

2003 1 2

 

As I have said before, this isn't about protecting a one-design (actually, one SHAPE) fleet, it is all about protecting a de facto monopoly. Without the larger numbers in the A fleet, the people of the ILYA are better than this problem. What would be a problem is if the Zenda camp succeeds in doing this to all of the fleets. All of the other ILYA fleets, present and future, must be certain to maintain control over their own destiny. I am confident, as they always have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Willie, I don't think this discussion has changed since 1980, just some of the names and faces.

 

Chuck

Hi Chuck-

Chuck C?

The Chuck I think it is...did you, among many other things, sail an E-22 out of the WYC by the name of Phoenix?

Welcome home.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

solution? bad blood? neither side gives an inch? competitive people all round (with monopoly at stake).

 

In a sense, NCASA breaking away just after Robinson signed the agreement with ILYA was a master-stroke. The combination sealed off options for all parties, leaving no way out ... unless someone cries uncle (fat chance that).

 

Meanwhile, as to other fleets, how is it they control their destiny with just one builder? It may be time to contemplate more builders while hoping North / Quantum never do the Doyle / UK dance. How long does the non-compete last for JBW / White Bear?

 

To think these dregs spring from one guy building a legal boat that fit in the box ...

 

Egor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest wgorgen

Sailboat racing gets more fun for all when there are more boats on the starting line. The A scow fleet has reached a critical mass (quite a change from when it was life support back in the late 70s and early 80s) that is quite impressive. I don't think the A scow fleet could ever muster the participation level of the E scow or the MC but they certainly have reached a level where the racing at both the local fleet level as well as the national level is very exciting.

 

So what happens if the A scow fleet splits into 2 fleets? Does either side retain the critical mass to keep itself alive? Probably the OD fleet has the critical mass initially, but even their ranks are diluted a bit by the 3 or 4 boats that want to race in the open class.

 

There are examples out there of how you can have a fleet within a fleet. Take a look at the Laser class. At their larger regattas, they have a "masters" fleet within the overall fleet for the old guys. Other fleets have junior, female or amature divisions within the overall fleet. All the boats race together and all boats are scored in the overall standings, but then certain boats are seperated out and scored seperately as part of their respective sub-fleets.

 

So for the A scow, you could have the OD division within the overall division. Everyone would be racing on the same race course - same start and same finish. You would be competeing for both the overall title as well as the OD title. Right now, the OD fleet is by far the dominant fleet in terms of numbers. And if you look at the 2003 ILYA championship regatta, the top OD boat also won overall regatta. But that is not uncommon. My father won the overall, "Masters" and "Family" division at several M-20 regattas where such divisions were used.

 

I think that if the A scows were to be split into two seperate starts, one or both fleets might have a difficult time maintaining the critical mass necessary for life. I think the better option is to have a OD division within the overall fleet.

 

- Will

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Meanwhile, as to other fleets, how is it they control their destiny with just one builder? It may be time to contemplate more builders while hoping North / Quantum never do the Doyle / UK dance. How long does the non-compete last for JBW / White Bear?

 

To think these dregs spring from one guy building a legal boat that fit in the box ...

 

Egor

The sale of the Johnson Boat Works molds, rights to the Johnson name, and the non-compete all happened in the summer of 1998. It ran 5 years. The non-compete expired a year ago. Jason, Skip and Marge's son running White Bear Boat Works out of the same location, is now free to build any scow that fits within the class rules, including an A.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"If in winning the race you have lost the respect or your competitors, you have not won the race."

 

Paul Elvstrom

Four time Olympic gold medalist, Sailing.

 

How much respect do you think the "Victory by 'hull' design" team has from the A scow fleet? How many races have they really won? How many races will they ever win? Think about it...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It was also mentioned that at home, the Robinson boat is ruling the MYC fleet.

 

How was the Robinson Team doing at home with their previous boat?  At regattas?

 

Have they been sailing with essentialy the same team?

 

Is there a link or data for the past few years to compare?

 

The reason I ask is because sailing in our fleet, if someone freshens up the hull, rig, sails, or whatever, they tend to improve slightly.  If they're already at the top, they might be dominantly at the top.  If they're in the middle, they might move up a bit.  Has Robinson's team made a slight improvement overall or have they gone from worst to first with the same crew on this new boat?

 

From the Victory web site, Victory Historical Results, here are the results with the prior Victory, the 1986 Melges hull:

 

The Victory program has had it's share of success over the years.

We've won 13 of 23 regattas with our previous and current A-Scows.

 

[/quote=WillieCrear]

 

 

Gosh Willie,

 

We never knew that you were such a key member of the Victory by 'hull' Design team. Were you on board for all the regatta victories? If not all, just how many regatta victories were you on board for? We just want to set the record strait.

 

You have spoken often about the 'real' reason for Victory's success is the unmatched greatness of her skipper, Tom Burton and her crew of magnificent champions. I have done some research and found some interesting facts:

 

In the head to head battles for the Minnetonka yacht club A championship between Rob Evans & Tom Burton: Evans won it every year from 1992 to 2002 (yes, 11 years in a row), usually by very large margins. In 2003 the Victory by 'hull' Design was introduced and the Evans team got a new Melges A boat. Funny, in the 2003 & 2004 MYC champ series Burton, with his new toy, won both series by huge margins.

 

Willie, what a shock it is that you somehow neglected to inform your readers about this little fun fact, what relevance could it possibly have? Willie, when you fell off the turnip truck, I think you hit your head!!! :huh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gosh Willie,

 

We never new that you were such a key member of the Victory by 'hull' Design team.  Were you on board for all the regatta victories?  If not all, just how many regatta victories were you on board for?  We just want to set the record strait.

 

You have spoken often about the 'real' reason for Victory's success is the unmatched greatness of her skipper, Tom (average points, protest flag, baby rattle) Burton and her crew of magnificent champions.  I have done some research and found some interesting facts: 

 

In the head to head battles for the Minnetonka yacht club A championship between Rob Evans & Tom Burton:  Evans won it every year from 1992 to 2002, usually by very large margins.  In 2003 the Victory by 'hull' Design was introduced and the Evans team got a new Melges A boat.  Funny, in the 2003 & 2004 MYC champ series Burton, with his new toy, won both series by huge margins.

 

Willie, what a shock it is that you somehow neglected to inform your readers about this little fun fact, what relevance could it possibly have?  Willie, when you fell off the turnip truck, I think you hit your head!!!  :huh:

Too many questions all at once, but we will whittle away at them. In this letter, I reviewed the historical record of Burton and Robinson. Go to 'Who the hell is Tom Burton?' paragraph, knocked out in red copy:

 

VIA U.S. POSTAL SERVICE

 

December 18, 2003

 

Mr. Jim Smith

Mr. Olaf Harken

ILYA Board of Directors and Rules Committee

Inland Lake Yachting Association, Inc.

 

Dear Jim, Olaf, et. al:

 

Seeing Geoff Catlin’s letter to the ILYA gave me some pause for thought. While the collected 'A’ fleet pretty much knows my position on the issues before us, the Board and Rules Committee may not, so the purpose of this letter is to toss my two cents worth in on the Melges problem.

 

Notice that I did not use the appellation ‘Robinson problem’. I do feel that Geoff’s letter to you is on the mark, and I do not feel that Brad has caused the collective consternation that has manifested itself in most of the extant ‘A’ fleet members. But let us look a bit farther back in history than the last 6 years.

 

LESSONS OF THE VAL-LO-WILL

 

In 1950, the major scow builder was John O. Johnson, a Norwegian immigrant who had come to the U. S. about 1892, working for a boatbuilder in White Bear Lake named Amundsen. A few years later, in 1896, an impetuous Johnson moved down the street and opened up his own shop. His first boat, the Minnezitka, was the predecessor to the modern ‘A’ scow.

 

There were other builders, Jones and LaBorde, Andrew Peterson, Ramalley, Beauvoise, Amundsen, Stamm, and Palmer; later came Larson, One-design Marine, Pegel, Windward Boat Works, and I am certain others that I have never heard of, but in 1950 the Johnsons were the kingdom and the power. Something like Melges Boat Works in 2003.

 

Most of the pre-and-post war ‘A’ scows were built by Johnson, who had survived one of the bleakest years of the depression when they ran out of money in the middle of the winter. They had orders, they had wood, but no money. As Iver Johnson relayed it to me during the ‘70s, the employees worked all that winter with no pay, and the boat works survived.

 

After the war, the trend was to build very narrow forward, pointed bow boats with tremendous ‘reverse curve’ in the underside of the bow. I believe this was a carryover from the days of the ‘First Class Sloop’ that had a waterline length limit of 20 feet, the bow having tremendous overhang to make the boats ‘measure in’.

 

The Val-Lo-Will changed all that.

 

The new boat was built in Zenda, in the spring and summer of 1950. It was radically different from the Johnson boats of the time, with a blunt bow. It was very full forward, and had very hard bilge radii, making it very stiff and stable in a breeze.

 

For the Val-Lo-Will, 1950 was a teething year. She won one race that year, and finished out of the running. The next six years, however, were quite a show: 2nd in 1951, 1st in 1952, 2nd in 1953, 1st in 1954, no regatta(polio epidemic) in 1955, 1st in 1956. The Melges clan co-owned and sailed on that boat all those years. Like Victory, she was a different boat than all of those boats that had come before her. Like Victory, she was a class-legal ‘A’ scow.

 

Both Melges and Johnson built new hulls in the 1957 year, and Val-Lo-Will’s run at the record books ended, but the effect it had on the fleet was profound. All of the hulls from that day forward were bigger, stronger, fuller. Val-Lo-Will basically obsoleted the entire ‘A’ fleet overnight. It was a design triumph presided over by Harry Melges, Oscar Nystrom, and Melges Boat Works. The two boat works, Johnson and Melges, survived. The fleet survived. I sailed one of those 1940s-era Johnson hulls a few times, and I am happy the change occurred when it did.

 

The construction of the hulls got better, too. Johnson started double-planking their boats in 1954, and Melges began hard-gluing the planking with this new stuff called epoxy. Both were great ideas; however, the egos at both operations prevented them from building the obvious: a double-planked, hard-epoxy-glued hull.

 

The point of all this is, there have been revolutionary boats built in the ‘A’ fleet before, and the fleet has survived. (We haven’t even mentioned John D. Buckstaff’s Faith) It is no small irony that Harry Sr. and Buddy, in 1950, oversaw the makeover of the whole ‘A’ fleet. Now, in 2003, Buddy is screaming like a stuck pig. Make no mistake, the Victory, Brad Robinson’s new hull, is evolutionary if not revolutionary, and it will change the way ‘A’ scow hulls are built and rigged from this day forward, regardless of whom he sails with or against. It is a phenomenally easy boat to sail, something I have never said about any ‘A’ boat.

 

THE MYTH OF THE ONE-DESIGN HULL

 

Much of the antagonism towards the new Robinson boat is predicated on the belief that this boat will permanently and finally outdate the hull underneath you, regardless of whether it was built in 1980 or 2001. The truth of the matter is, any ‘A’ boat hull built before about 1990 is no longer competitive; it’s just too old, old hulls flex more than new hulls, and flexible hulls are slow. When they are rode hard and put away wet, they wear out. Look at their prices on the open market: most pre-1990 hulls sell for less than $20,000, while new hulls will run you at least $120,000. We bought Adieu in 1994 for $12,000, and that is about what it was worth. Old hulls slow down, and their market price reflects that loss in speed. In the old days, the hulls rotted out, and you bought a new one. The new reality is, just because your ‘A’ hull has not rotted out, doesn’t mean it is competitive. The new hulls, no matter who builds them, are faster than the older hulls. This fact works greatly to the advantage of Melges Boat Works, until somebody builds a second mold that they do not control! I can understand all of the Sturm und Drang coming out of Zenda, Wisconsin in an effort to stop the Robinson boat; they are trying to protect what until now has been a de facto monopoly. What I do not understand is the full assent of most of the rest of the ‘A’ fleet who have, lemming-like, done everything imaginable to stop this new boat. Economics 101 dictates that it does not serve the best interests of the rank and file ILYA sailor to have only one builder.

 

Over the past few years the crew on our predecessor boat, the Adieu, has observed an interesting phenomenon. The same five boats are always at the top of the fleet, in virtually every race and regatta: Burdick, Melges, Porter, Evans, and Burton. At 55, with one lone ‘A’ regatta victory under my belt in 35 years, I no longer suffer under the delusion that I can regularly best these people, people who are at the top of their craft. The same lesson I have learned applies to everyone else in the second tier. Even if you have a new boat, you are not going to beat them. In virtually every race with steady wind, the same top five boats, like cream on milk, rise to the top, and then one sees the Great Divide: sometimes a 100 yard gap, followed by the rest of the fleet. Of those top five, Evans and Burton were sailing with 1986 and 1985 hulls through 2002, so they bucked the trend of new boats always beating old boats. John Porter’s four victories in the last four years are remarkable and unprecedented in the ‘A’ fleet, but I feel that Robbie Evan’s victories in 1997 and 1999 are more remarkable when one considers the age of his hull.

 

And speaking of new hulls, since we have just concluded that virtually everyone needs a new or newer hull, what is the current cost? As a former (some would say recovering) boatbuilder, I find the cost of the new ‘A’ hulls a little extravagant, and use the current ‘E’ scow pricing for comparison. Take a look:

 

New ‘A’ Scow, less sails and trailer: $120,000+ 1850 pounds

New ‘E’ Scow, less sails and trailer: 28,795 965 pounds

 

What baffles me is, the ‘A’ scow is a whole lot more on a per pound basis than a new ‘E’ scow:

 

‘A’ scow-$120,000/1850# = $64.86 per pound

‘E’ scow-$28,795/965# = $29.84 per pound

 

If one uses the per-pound cost of a new ‘E’, times the weight of a new ‘A’:

$29.84 x 1850 pounds = $55,204.

Add in for exceptional items, carbon fibre mast and boom: 10,000

Carbon fibre bowsprit: 4,000

Projected cost, new ‘A’ $69,204.

 

Is the difference between $69,204 and $120,000 margin?

 

The price-per-pound comparison has legitimacy: Palmer Johnson, the shriekingly successful custom yacht builder in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, starts with the DSPL (displacement) number right off the designer’s plans, to cost out a boat. I don’t know if new ‘A’ hulls at $70,000 per copy is possible, but it would sure be interesting to see the impact of that pricing on fleet numbers! The average number of new ‘A’ scows built per year since 1980 is less than 2, nothing spectacular.

 

In his letter to Olaf Harken and the ILYA on June 24, 2003, Harry Melges III suggested many criteria for certifying a new builder. He should be careful what he wishes for: among his points, he asks that “…the applicant/builder [be] financially sound. Can they stand on their own or do they need financial backing?…Does the applicant [builder] have the financial resources to build proper molds and promote nationally?…The applicant [builder] must present a business plan with financial projections of their sales expectations relative to entire market so that impact on existing builders can be properly taken into consideration….The builder must present a marketing plan….The builder must present a pricing structure….”.

 

Is he kidding? Does he really think that Buddy Melges would present a future marketing plan and price structure to the ILYA for approval? In any class? Without with such approval, Melges cannot build boats for competition in the ILYA?

 

 

WHO THE HELL IS TOM BURTON?

 

Complicating the issue in 2003 and 2004 are the personnel sailing this new boat. Just between Brad Robinson and Tommy Burton, Victory has more than 70 years of hands-on experience with the ‘A’ fleet. I always say, old age and treachery wins out over youth and skill any day, and this pair is prima facie evidence of that. The average age of the crew on Victory is over 50! The lifetime race record for Brad Robinson is outstanding, until compared to Burton. Tom is:

 

X Junior Champion, 1970

X Senior Champion, 1972

M-16 Champion, 1978

E ILYA Champion, 1994 (also awarded Pillsbury Memorial that year)

A ILYA Champion, 1987

A ILYA Champion, 1988

A ILYA Invitational Champion, 2003

E ILYA Champion, 2004

E Blue Chip Champion, 2004

 

He has finished 2nd in the E Championships six times: 1984, 1985, 1986, 1997, and 1999. He has finished 2nd in the A Championships seven times: 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1990, 1994, and 2003. In the last race of the ‘Worlds’ on Lake Pepin in 1980, he was a pickup crew on M-12, Sacajawea. We just look stupid: with the breeze ripping off the tops of the trees, we put him on the helm, his first race steering an ‘A’ scow ever, and he won that race against Porter, Chute, Bowers, Melges, the best the fleet had to offer.

 

What is remarkable about all of this is that all of his racing programs, until he teamed up with Brad Robinson, were seriously underfunded. After joining Brad in 1986, sailing an identical ‘A’ scow to the rest of the fleet, his cumulative regatta tally (Championships and Invitationals combined) is: 7 firsts, 3 seconds, 2 thirds, 1 fourth, 1 fifth.

 

Paired with that is Brad’s record with the original Victory 1986-1995: with either Burton (1986-1992) or Rob Evans (1993-1995) steering, ten years, 20 regattas, he won eleven of them. Remember, this is a 1986 Melges ‘A’ scow, not a different design than the other boats.

 

Given the history for this pair, the Victory’s 2003 regatta finishes of 1,2 are unremarkable.

COMPETITION: THE LESSONS OF THE M-20 AND THE X

 

In 1975, when I was building boats at Johnson, there were only two classes that had ‘sole-source’ builders: the M-20 (Melges) and the X (Johnson). The M-20, except for prototypes, was always built in glass, and the X had not been built in wood for a number of years.

 

While we were building all of the other classes (M, C, E, and even a couple Y and D boats) with top-shelf materials, the X boat was still laid up using urethane core instead of Airex, and cast aluminum blocks instead of Harken. The rigging was minimal, completely lacking in inspiration. Most of the hardware was aluminum sand castings. We still sold 60 X boats per year: we had no competition. Ditto for the M-20: while Melges had a great reputation for their wood boats, and later their fibreglass E, C, and M, the M-20 fleet was pretty unhappy with their sole builder. In the third race of the 1977 Inland Championships at Oshkosh, the wind and wave sets made life difficult for the E scows, but that was nothing compared to how the M-20s fared; supplemental flotation failed in many of the capsized boats (air bags!) and the boats were coming apart at the hull-deck joint.

 

Competition has a way of rectifying these wrongs: when Melges came out with their X boat in the late 70s, they grabbed huge chunks of Johnson’s market share. No wonder: Melges built a better, flashier boat. Dissatisfaction with Melges as a builder ultimately resulted in Johnson tooling up for the M-20. Melges eventually sold their tooling, and have not built an M-20 (or I-20) in years. The quality of the X and M-20 construction is now far superior to what it used to be in the late 70s. Competition. When products compete, they get better.

 

The lesson here should be clear: don’t sole-source your boats. Do not make any fleet, or the ILYA, dependent on any one builder. Let the marketplace thin out the old, and the weak. I do feel that the collective wisdom of the ILYA Board and Rules Committee, over the years, has always maintained this vision. Your actions to date have been consistent with that vision, and I encourage you to stay the course. The ILYA can one-design their shapes if that is the will of the respective classes and the ILYA, but do not sole-source your builder. Builders come and go, the ILYA does not.

 

In one of his final points in the June 24 letter, Harry Melges III asks, “Does the builder have the ILYA’s sincere interests at hand ?” Given the output of Buddy Melges in the last 2 months, what do you think?

 

Now that you made it this far, thank you for listening to this long epistle.

 

Best regards,

 

 

 

Willie Crear, M-1, Adieu

115 Industrial Park Road

Saco, Maine 04072-1877

Cell: 207.423.0061

Fax: 207.282.8489

E-mail: williecrear@hotmail.com

Attachment: A Short History of the Fibreglass ‘A’ Scow

cc: A Fleet, via e-mail

Updated after 12/20/2003 mailing to ILYA Board

 

You mentioned local Minnetonka racing records...you need to tell the whole story. If you can't dredge that information up, I certainly will be able to find it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My goodness Willie! :o

 

I truthfully do not know of any other person that can spew forth so much dis-information in a single posting! You certainly deserve some kind of medal or award. The only three relevant questions that you somehow neglected to answer in your novel like post are these:

 

1: How many regatta wins were you on Victory for?

 

2: Do you agree that in the head to head MYC A scow championships between Evans & Burton: Evans won 1992-2002 (yes, 11 years in a row), Burton won 2003, 2004 (while sailing the Victory by 'hull' design boat)?

 

3: Do you believe in Paul Elvstrom's famous quote?

 

Just the facts, JACK :unsure: Let's see if your man enough to answer directly!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My goodness Willie!

 

I truthfully do not know of any other person that can spew forth so much dis-information in a single posting!  You certainly deserve some kind of medal or award.  The only two relevant questions that you somehow neglected to answer in your novel like post are these:

 

How many regatta wins were you on Victory for?

 

Do you agree that in the head to head MYC A scow championships between Evans & Burton:  Evans won 1992-2002, Burton won 2003, 2004 (while sailing the Victory by 'hull' design boat).

 

Just the facts, JACK  :unsure:

During the last fifteen years, Rob Evans ('Cosmic Warrior' on this comic strip) won the Minnetonka Yacht Club Championships in the local 'A' fleet. During the same time, Burton was giving him sailing lessons in the 'E' fleet, look at the records there. Burton has won the 'E' Championship in the Minnetonka Yacht Club for as far back as anyone can remember, except for 2003, when Van Johnson sailed what Tom called a brilliant season, and bested everyone easily. Robbie was close one year, and his crew has been whining about losing that one ever since. Look at the most recent record:

 

E Scow CHAMPIONSHIP, Minnetonka Yacht Club

POS SAIL # NAME 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 TOTAL

1 9 Tom Burton 3 1 5* 4 0A 0A 3 2 2 0A 1 15* 17

2 4 Bill Allen 1 4 2 6* 0A 0A 7* 5 4 0A 4 6 28

3 2 J Dennis & T Meyer 5 13* 6* 5 0A 0A 1 1 5 0A 3 5 30

4 20 Van Johnson 4 13* 7 3 0A 0A 4 3 1 0A 6 8 36

5 1 Rob Evans 6 6 3 7 0A 0A 10* 8* 3 0A 7 3 38

6 3 Chris Jewett 2 8 1 1 0A 0A 14* 14D 16* 0A 2 9 41

7 53 P Slocum & D Chute 7 3 8* 9* 0A 0A 5 7 8 0A 5 4 46

8 12 Jeff Solum 8 5 10* 8 0A 0A 9* 4 6 0A 8 1 48

9 11 Gordy Bowers 11D 2 4 2 0A 0A 14* 14D 16* 0A 9 2 50

10 7 Jule Hannaford 11D 7 14* 14* 0A 0A 2 9 11 0A 12 11 75

11 10 J Strothman & D Tem 11D 9 14* 14* 0A 0A 6 6 7 0A 13 12 76

12 77 W Jewett & M Kyle 11D 11 14* 14* 0A 0A 8 10 12 0A 10 7 81

13 26 J Zimmerschied & M 11D 10 11 12 0A 0A 11 12 16* 0A 14* 13 92

14 22 Rob Davis 11D 13D 14* 14* 0A 0A 14D 14D 10 0A 11 10 95

15 111 Doug Kuller 11D 13D 9 10 0A 0A 14D 14D 13 0A 17* 15* 96

16 39 S Dickel & L Hester 9 13D 14D 14D 0A 0A 12 11 14 0A 17* 15* 97

17 35 Carl Zinn 11D 13D 14D 14D 0A 0A 14D 14D 9 0A 17* 15* 101

18 41 Buzz Shepard 11D 13D 12 11 0A 0A 14D 14D 16* 0A 15* 15D 102

 

As for me, none of this is about Willie; I have only been on Victory for a handful of races in the last two years, none during regattas. But since you asked: As helmsman, I won the 1973 ILYA Invitational Championship at Pewaukee with my wood 1961 Melges hull, in a fleet of 19 boats that included Bill 'Curly' Perrigo, My performance that year was very ordinary, but my crew dazzled the spectators with what they could, and did, do. Crewing for Burton on Adieu in 1996, we reprised that Invitational victory again at Pewaukee. At some point, my crew had added up that I was 2nd six or eight times in the ILYA A Championships as helm or crew, but that really doesn't matter, since no one remembers who came in second anyway.

 

I post the E records since it is easily arguable that the E fleet is closer to what would be considered a 'one-design' fleet. In the A fleet, I was introduced at Oshkosh to a new appellation about the Melges A boats: NTA, meaning, No Two Alike.

 

This isn't about Willie Crear, it's about Tom Burton, a helmsman with such an amazing resume that the collective fleet is now afraid to sail against him.

 

Best regards, Deserved Victory

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If someone is going to put the hull shapes into a computer it might be very interesting to also include the 1963 Johnson hull AKA "XXXX". It is currently residing on a lift at White Bear Lake, it's in excellent condition for a boat of it's age, and the results may show that the Victory hull shape is not that different than those of some other historically fast "A" boats.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Willie, I noticed that the Victory team with Burton and Robinson dropped from the winners circle, in ILYA events, on or around 1995. Was that possibly around the same time the new Porter boat was delivered?

I know they were always in the top five, just never the winner for several years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Willie,

 

As Cool Hand Luke's prison Warden once said, "What we have here is a failure to communicate!!!"

 

It's quite simple, Willie:

 

Please respond directly to the relevant questions:

1. ???

2. ???

3. ???

4. Are we talking about E scows or A scows?

 

Why won't you answer Willie?; why won't you talk strait to us??? <_<

Just the facts, JACK!!! :unsure:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The way I see it....

 

It doesn't matter who is sailing what boat and how they performed from year to year, it just isn't relevant. It doesn't matter what boat has what shape of hull or who it was manufactured by, it just isn't relevant. It doesn't matter which boat is faster, it just isn't relevant. It doesn't matter who said what and when it was said, it just isn't relevant.

 

What is relevant, the ILYA and A scows had a set of scantlings when the Robinson's tooling and boat were produced, the tooling and boat were measured by the ILYA measurer and complied with the scantlings at the time, the tooling and boat are CLASS LEGAL. The rules are the rules, you can't change them after the game is played... End of discussion.

 

My vote is for the ILYA to go on with their business, allow Robinson to start up the next A fleet, (let the NCASA do as they wish), focus on their other classes and the other 95% of their membership. The other members of the ILYA deserve the undivided attention of the Officers and Board, way too much of their time has been wasted on this crap. The sooner the ILYA puts this festering sore to rest, the sooner the healing will begin.

Share this post


Link to post