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#1 Great Red Shark

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 07:32 PM

First and foremost, THANK YOU for the work you've done compiling that record of sailing activity - I think we can all agree that while not definative, it certainly seems indicitive of a level of participation in the sport and it's value, over time, to have an objective measure of small-boat racing vigor is both interesting and useful (although I'm not sure to whom)

Second, - while I FULLY understand and appreciate the place these classic craft have in the hearts of thier adherents, I cannot look at number of people reported racing three of the top 6 ( Thistle, Flying Scot, Lightning) and NOT think to myself, "Right there are 209 crews that really would be having more fun if they had a Viper..." (or similar modern boat). "Tradition" and all that stuff aside, sailing a modern design really is just plain so much better its not funny. It's almost as if the durability of those boats is thier worst enemy ( "Why buy a new boat ? this one sails FINE!" -- & then later "We stopped sailing because it wasn't as much fun anymore and hurts too much")

( for the record, I have no affiliation to ANY sportboat class )

#2 Steam Flyer

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 07:56 PM

...
"Tradition" and all that stuff aside, sailing a modern design really is just plain so much better its not funny. It's almost as if the durability of those boats is thier worst enemy ( "Why buy a new boat ? this one sails FINE!" -- & then later "We stopped sailing because it wasn't as much fun anymore and hurts too much")

... ...


Exactly right.

In fact, many years ago, I invited a friend who was a Thistle sailor to come out with my wife & I on the daysailer/weekender we had at the time (along with our Lightning) and he said (this is an exact quote) "I don't want my wife to find out that you can sail & not be wet & miserable."

About 4 or 5 years later, my wife was fed up with Lightning racing, and we moved on. But to most of the dedicated Thistle or Lightning (or whateveer) sailors, if it's not in a Thistle or Lightning (or whateveer) then it's not sailing... they'd rather quit altogether than switch. Kinda sad IMHO but it's a free country.

FB- Doug

#3 Great Red Shark

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 08:04 PM

In a way, it reminds me of a bit from an old Windsurfing magazine in thier "latest gear" review issue - where they started with something like:


Hey, we KNOW you guys will look at the new generation of gear and think you old stuff is fine, saying to yourself, 'Robbie Naish could still win with this gear.' -- Which may well be true, but you need to remember two things; 1) You aren't Robbie Naish, and 2) When Robbie hit the beach he'd tell you, "Dude, you need to upgrade."

The number of people I've taken sailing on my little Impulse and remark "Wow, it's nice to be comfortable and not stub my toes" is significant.

#4 RogerJolly

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 08:24 PM

There is no denying that newer designs are often better than the older designs that most people race. I don't think the question is '"are new designs better than the old designs?" The real question is "are the new designs better enough?" Translation, is new design X really so much better than old design Y that I'm willing to start a new fleet from scratch with all the associated hardships, and how many others will come with me?
I think that sets a very high bar, but it does happen from time to time.

#5 Rum Runner

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 08:47 PM

Roger - A big thank you for all the work you do on this project. I believe the information is very valuable.

I would be interested if anyone could do something on handicap racing as well. It would be useful to see how many boats are participating in PHRF, ORR, IRC and any other handicap system. I believe, based on my observations in the Midwest, that you will see an even bigger decline in participation among handicap racing during the past 10 years.

#6 Red Dragon

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 08:49 PM

When I started racing sailboats, around 1977 or thereabouts, we had on Mobile Bay healthy and active fleets of Rhodes 19's, Lightnings, Thistles, Stars, Fish (a local class), Hobie 16's, and Flying Scots. There wasn't very much singlehanded stuff going on, and our handicap classes for larger boats would usually draw 30-40 boats for a weekend event. Something else that we always had at our major events on the Bay were Portsmouth One-Design fleets with Windmills and Kestrels and Daysailors racing against one another. Now the only fleets that survive are the Fish and Scot fleets, and it's not unusual to see fleets of no more than 20 boats for the PHRFers our racing. We do have a very active Finn fleet now, which is something to be happy about, and from what I can see it looks like beach cats are making a small comeback, but the rest of all those boats were sold away, given away, or sit rotting on trailers and at moorings just waiting on the next hurricane to come along and finish them off.

In the Dragon class in Europe the trend has been for sailors to travel to one or two major events per year and then cover the boat for the rest of the year. In that case you'd have to believe that the biggest problem is lack of time to sail in. I know that here a lot of our Star events went to one-day regattas so that we could spend Sundays with kids and spouses, but that didn't help save the fleet at all. I have heard a lot of people say that the advent of windward/leewards killed one-desing sailing, but personally I always liked w/l's and never understood that attitude.

I don't really believe it's about money. You can find any number of great boats for less than $5K US. Of course, insurance and yacht club fees and the like ARE very high for a lot of us and rising all the time. Still, I think it's more about time and lack of availability. In 1977 it was rare for the guys I knew to have to work on the weekends. Now it's rare for them not to. I have NEVER worked a 40 hour week, and now it's around 55 hours a week. Plus, for those of us with smaller kids, it's almost a full time job hauling them around from place to place, and almost everyone I have ever known would sacrifice their own leisure time to make sure their kids were happy.

Other than making it affordable and making it fun I don't have a single answer except for this one: encourage Portsmouth racing at your club. That's all I got. Give everyone with a boat a chance to race and maybe they will.

RD

#7 On the Hard

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 09:03 PM

Plus, for those of us with smaller kids, it's almost a full time job hauling them around from place to place, and almost everyone I have ever known would sacrifice their own leisure time to make sure their kids were happy.

RD



My best memories as a kid were sailing. Why do adults think that their kids need to be in soccer, T-Ball, karate, etc. Hell, take em sailing! Beating an old horse, I know. And preaching to the Choir at that. I just remember my youth being a lot less organized, and I suspect a lot more fun! My 16 yr old has finally revolted and refuses to go to any more tennis tournaments.

(BTW, headed for Mobile on Monday for Thanksgiving. Always have a wonderful time there! Great town. (My wife is from there))

#8 Great Red Shark

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 09:11 PM

The real question is "are the new designs better enough?"

Translation, is new design X really so much better than old design Y that I'm willing to start a new fleet from scratch with all the associated hardships, and how many others will come with me?
I think that sets a very high bar, but it does happen from time to time.


I compete agreement on the reality of the situation, it's just one of those cases where I think the One Design Czar needs to step and initiate a "Cash for Clunkers" program or something, I mean if the ol' magic wand waved overnight and the local Thistle, Scot & Lightning fleets awoke to new FT 7.5s under the tree and the old boats just mysteriously dissappeared, I'd bet most would be overwhelmed with joy and Advil sales would plummet.

I know it ain't gonna happen, and heck the beauty of OD is in the fleet, not the boat - but at some point....

#9 DaveK

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 09:54 PM

I started racing in '69 at the age of 7 on a OD 4knsb. Seems tradition to race what other people race in your area. Change just doesn't happen so fast. Although I'm sure there are some exceptions. We have had exceptional growth of the Viper class here in Texas in the past 3 years. But we still race C22 and SC21's because they are here and just not going anywhere. Interestingly, there has been this huge shift of Laser sailors move to the Sunfish locally but Fred's regatta still brings them back. But tradition seems to hold a group of people to the same thing year after year and change is hard thing to make happen. People will look at you like your crazy if you think they should race anything other than a FS. I love racing my Weta in Portsmouth and although newer boats are easier and faster, I have to respect that FS sailor for sailing OD and keeping with that tradition of a 1950's sailboat. So a very large part of sailors are those dedicated to OD racing no matter what.

#10 RogerJolly

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 11:25 PM

There are a few requests for more classes so below is the top 40.


1 Laser Radial--125.33
2 Sunfish--85.67
3 Laser--79.67
4 Thistle--78.00
5 Flying Scot--66.00
6 Lightning--65.33
7 E scow--64.33
8 Albacore--55.33
9 MC scow--55.00
9 C scow--55.00
11 J/22--52.00
12 Hobie Cat 16--50.67
13 29er--48.67
14 Snipe--47.67
15 Formula 18--46.67
16 Vanguard 15--42.33
17 A-Class Catamaran--41.67
19 J/24--40.67
18 505-3-9.67
21 Lido 14--39.33
20 Star--39.00
22 Butterfly--38.33
23 Ensign--37.33
24 Etchells--37.00
24 Inter Club--37.00


26 Shark--36.67
27 Catalina 22--36.33
28 Interlake--35.67
29 Cal 20--35.00
30 Y flyer--33.33
30 Rhodes 19--33.33
32 Sonar--33.00
33 J/80--32.00
34 Bucaneer--31.67
35 J/105--30.33
36 Tartan Ten--28.33
37 Bettle Cat--27.67
37 Harbor 20--27.67
39 Windsurfer--27.33
39 Finn--27.33

#11 DaveK

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 12:41 AM

Beattle Cat..... I just never saw one before

Posted Image

And the Finn is last on that list of some awkward looking boats.

#12 trenace

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 12:57 AM

There are a few requests for more classes so below is the top 40.

1 Laser Radial--125.33
2 Sunfish--85.67
3 Laser--79.67
4 Thistle--78.00
5 Flying Scot--66.00
6 Lightning--65.33
7 E scow--64.33
8 Albacore--55.33
9 MC scow--55.00
9 C scow--55.00
11 J/22--52.00
12 Hobie Cat 16--50.67
13 29er--48.67
14 Snipe--47.67
15 Formula 18--46.67
16 Vanguard 15--42.33
17 A-Class Catamaran--41.67
19 J/24--40.67
18 505-3-9.67
21 Lido 14--39.33
20 Star--39.00
22 Butterfly--38.33
23 Ensign--37.33
24 Etchells--37.00
24 Inter Club--37.00

(25 ????)

26 Shark--36.67
27 Catalina 22--36.33
28 Interlake--35.67
29 Cal 20--35.00
30 Y flyer--33.33
30 Rhodes 19--33.33
32 Sonar--33.00
33 J/80--32.00
34 Bucaneer--31.67
35 J/105--30.33
36 Tartan Ten--28.33
37 Bettle Cat--27.67
37 Harbor 20--27.67
39 Windsurfer--27.33
39 Finn--27.33


So the only modern or modernized, high performance boats in the top 39 are the 29'er and A-Class, it would seem. We might also count 505 as it has had modernizations.

That's it, it looks like...

#13 Foghorn77

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 01:56 AM


There are a few requests for more classes so below is the top 40.

1 Laser Radial--125.33
2 Sunfish--85.67
3 Laser--79.67
4 Thistle--78.00
5 Flying Scot--66.00
6 Lightning--65.33
7 E scow--64.33
8 Albacore--55.33
9 MC scow--55.00
9 C scow--55.00
11 J/22--52.00
12 Hobie Cat 16--50.67
13 29er--48.67
14 Snipe--47.67
15 Formula 18--46.67
16 Vanguard 15--42.33
17 A-Class Catamaran--41.67
19 J/24--40.67
18 505-3-9.67
21 Lido 14--39.33
20 Star--39.00
22 Butterfly--38.33
23 Ensign--37.33
24 Etchells--37.00
24 Inter Club--37.00

(25 ????)

26 Shark--36.67
27 Catalina 22--36.33
28 Interlake--35.67
29 Cal 20--35.00
30 Y flyer--33.33
30 Rhodes 19--33.33
32 Sonar--33.00
33 J/80--32.00
34 Bucaneer--31.67
35 J/105--30.33
36 Tartan Ten--28.33
37 Bettle Cat--27.67
37 Harbor 20--27.67
39 Windsurfer--27.33
39 Finn--27.33


So the only modern or modernized, high performance boats in the top 39 are the 29'er and A-Class, it would seem. We might also count 505 as it has had modernizations.

That's it, it looks like...


and Formula 18.

#14 trenace

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 01:57 AM

I missed seeing. Oops.

#15 Cliffyk

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 02:24 AM


The real question is "are the new designs better enough?"

Translation, is new design X really so much better than old design Y that I'm willing to start a new fleet from scratch with all the associated hardships, and how many others will come with me?
I think that sets a very high bar, but it does happen from time to time.


I compete agreement on the reality of the situation, it's just one of those cases where I think the One Design Czar needs to step and initiate a "Cash for Clunkers" program or something, I mean if the ol' magic wand waved overnight and the local Thistle, Scot & Lightning fleets awoke to new FT 7.5s under the tree and the old boats just mysteriously dissappeared, I'd bet most would be overwhelmed with joy and Advil sales would plummet.

I know it ain't gonna happen, and heck the beauty of OD is in the fleet, not the boat - but at some point....


I love my Thistle. You hit the nail on the head in your last comment. It's the fleet. The numbers, quality and temperament of the people who make up the fleet. There is amazing and deep talent among Thistlers, including a lot of people who sail other types of boats, too.
The Thistle is also remarkably cheap to buy and own. $6 to $8k can buy a very competitive boat, and older boats remain highly competitive. Club-competitive boats are available from $3k and up. Sails are inexpensive. The boat, all up, is only 515lbs and really easy to tow or move around on its trailer.
Many Thistles are sailed by families (often just "2-up"). My impression of the Viper is that the forward and middle need to be pretty powerful when the winds get above 12 knots. Thistles are a handful in that breeze, but they require mostly finesse and not brute strength. (You'll want strong abs for hiking, however.) How many wives or daughters could handle the Viper kite in 12 to 18 knots? It's common in a Thistle.
Many smaller venues aren't amenable to Vipers with their bulb keels.

And the Thistle excels in really light air. We pass Vipers in winds under 8. (Looks fast at the dock....)

But I'm not a hater. I'd love to have a Viper. I hope that fleet grows like crazy. It's a cool boat. When I have $25 to $30k for one -- and the fleet is rocking near me -- I'm all for it.

If we're worried about participation in One Design, we shouldn't disrespect the older boats/fleets.

#16 usa7776

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 02:38 AM

I don't think anyone would argue about how great many of the new designs sail, but the cost to enter into the newer designs for many is the difference between sailing or not sailing.
Also, many of these newer designed boats require the crew to be powerful in order to compete.

I have 3 younger kids I want to bring into racing.
I will probably get a flying scot for this.

It's not because I love the way the scot sails, it's because it meets the criteria for me and my kids.
Used, it's fairly cheap, it is decent racing(although on the slow side), it's easy to rig and you don't have to be a 220lb power lifter to fly the kite.


I never thought I would be thinking of getting a scot, but nothing else that I know of fits the criteria(decent racing for me and my kids on a tight budget) better for me and my family.

#17 Peragrin

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 01:15 PM

wow What a great amount of information What I see is

1) the majority of national level events are held in the frozen wastelands of the north. NY, ON, MA, MI, WI, etc where one can only sail for 4-5 months of the year.

2) most of the designs have been around for a long time, and more importantly have a huge used secondary market(thus making them affordable.

3) the majority of the designs are raced with less than 4 people. and can be handled without having massive muscles.

Thus to improve the future of sailing we need to come up an easy to sail boat, less than 25' in length that can be sold new for less than $20,000.

#18 Phoenix

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 01:29 PM

I appreciate the effort that has gone into assembling this data. However, the group that travels in one designs is not the core group that determines the health of any one fleet. It's the owners who participate in weekend events bolstered by the beer can types for mid week series that determine the health of the fleet for both present and prospective owners. The consistent travelers are the hard core folks who have made decisions regarding their disposable income. The others participate or not depending on the amount of fun per dollar they are having. If it just isn't enough fun, the boat gets parked.

It is my belief that after this recession eases a bit and folks feel more comfortable spending money on toys, those designs that are suitable for family use will recover first. They will have large numbers of affordable used boats and annual expenses will be minimal. The additional cost of cempeting at the local level will be minimal. Local events will feature fun with a family focus. Although there will still be classes that attract the pros, the local fleets will be slow to recover.

#19 trenace

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 02:51 PM

I have to agree with usa7776 on the Flying Scots. I'm almost in the same place. I see exactly what he is talking about.

On the one hand, I'm tired of them. When I moved, I said that's it, along with other antiquated not-fast boats. I'm going newer and much faster for next purchase. But I have to recognize these points, there's a ton to be said for them.

Maybe a smart boat for a builder could be a modernized Flying Scot. Retain all the family positives, add some speed, subtract some weight, do some modernizing.

Carbon mast, fathead mean, asso. Modern cockpit. Viper-style wings, or short racks with netting that are comfortable to lean back against while hiking. Lighter hull but still long-lasting and smart-built for cost/strength/weight. Being setup for a trapeze (obviously non-mandatory) would be nice.

On the strength-and-skills-required aspect: it's got to be designed where kids can participate in a lot of it though not necessarily do every job. So I'm not saying to go nuclear with the sail area (unfortunately.) But considerably more power than presently, for sure.

Not so good, obviously, from the standpoint of those wanting the highest performance, but from the standpoint of building big fleets, maybe.

#20 Foxxy

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 08:39 PM

I think the survey may be somewhat slanted in that for any class, you can have a good turnout in an area where they are popular and a low turnout in an area with fewer boats. Especially with the price of gas the way it's been and people worried about their jobs.

The really important thing is to have a good group near where you live. There is a Viper 640 near us, but he is one guy sailing by himself or in Portsmouth. At the cost of the boat, he will be sailing that way a long time. There is a good and growing fleet of J-24's, mainly because there are plenty of them around at low cost and they have enough numbers that there is always a reasonable fleet.

#21 trenace

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 08:41 PM

Well, not slanted, but limited to being exactly what it says: How many boats at Nationals, or North American.

#22 White Trash 216

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 08:43 PM

Product development and evolution is critical for the continued growth of anything, our sport included. I think that our sport has developed some great new products and I respect the early adopters who not only have invested in these new products but are also out beating the drum to build their choice. I think that the classes which survive in the 20' sportboat niche will ultimately be a great category of sailboat racing. I think it is already happening, and when these boats start getting older and their values become more attainable you will start seeing that much more growth.

I think those of you who are playing down the 'classic' one designs are a little off the mark however. There is a reason why ice cream comes in multiple flavors. Go out and make your classes as publicly exciting as possible, find great venues for your championships, have huge crazy parties, market the excitement. Also, don't get bent about the attendance rankings because the classic boats have had decades to develop their communities. Just keep pushing forward, marketing your successes and keep it positive.

I personally have a Thistle, and crew on both Thistles and Lightnings primarily I also sporadically sail a variety of big boats. Triple handed centerboard boats provide the sailboat racing I enjoy most. I don't want to sail bigger boats with keels, I also don't want to sail skiffs. I turn down lots of offers to sail on more modern, even grand-prix boats so that I can race triple handed dinghies. I'm not going to get into why I make my choice, I'm just saying that it is a clear choice.

If you want to grow your class, sell your boat and get another. The biggest problem with all of our one design classes is the availability of really good used boats. Back in the golden days of one design, it's my understanding that every region had someone who worked as a so-to-speak dealer for the boat builders. That person would always have a boat for sale and was ready to get another. Now a'days we all eventually get the boat we are happy with and use it for thirty years.

A common thought in most one design classes is the "starter boat". It is the worst idea ever. If you're going to get into a one design class, get a boat that is in good shape and rigged right. If someone at the pinnacle of the class won't sail the boat and be successful what makes you think you will be able to? You're setting yourself up for disappointment and frustration, and to ultimately leave that class. Good boats are more valuable but they also are more desirable and more marketable so if you decide whatever class is not for you -it'll sell swiftly. Also: bring new people into the sport -otherwise we are all competing for the same ever-weakening audience.

Oh, and my boat is far far far from being a "clunker".

#23 frostbit

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 12:39 AM

There are a few requests for more classes so below is the top 40.


1 Laser Radial--125.33
2 Sunfish--85.67
3 Laser--79.67
4 Thistle--78.00
5 Flying Scot--66.00
6 Lightning--65.33
7 E scow--64.33
8 Albacore--55.33
9 MC scow--55.00
9 C scow--55.00
11 J/22--52.00
12 Hobie Cat 16--50.67
13 29er--48.67
14 Snipe--47.67
15 Formula 18--46.67
16 Vanguard 15--42.33
17 A-Class Catamaran--41.67
19 J/24--40.67
18 505-3-9.67
21 Lido 14--39.33
20 Star--39.00
22 Butterfly--38.33
23 Ensign--37.33
24 Etchells--37.00
24 Inter Club--37.00


26 Shark--36.67
27 Catalina 22--36.33
28 Interlake--35.67
29 Cal 20--35.00
30 Y flyer--33.33
30 Rhodes 19--33.33
32 Sonar--33.00
33 J/80--32.00
34 Bucaneer--31.67
35 J/105--30.33
36 Tartan Ten--28.33
37 Bettle Cat--27.67
37 Harbor 20--27.67
39 Windsurfer--27.33
39 Finn--27.33


In 2009 the Sonar fielded 53 boats for a world championship at Noroton YC.

#24 RogerJolly

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 05:08 PM




In 2009 the Sonar fielded 53 boats for a world championship at Noroton YC.


I don't count world championships, just North Americans and Nationals.

#25 Dawg Gonit

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 09:27 PM

In 2009 the Sonar fielded 53 boats for a world championship at Noroton YC.


It's too bad the Sonar is just a 23' Day Sailer, with no interior to speak of. It might have really been a big class instead of an East Coast / Paralympic boat with a limited appeal.

It's a good boat, but for the price it don't offer much.


I hear the Sonar Factory is closed. No orders. I bet you could buy the molds, set up shop in TJ and make it for an affordable price.

#26 Tornado_ALIVE

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 11:51 AM

F18 and A Class..... one design. :blink:

Who puts together these surveys..... are they sailors?

F18 - Formula (development class)
A Class - development class.

Never have been, never will be even close to OD.

#27 J Buoy

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 02:46 PM

I get so tired of the constant "this boat is better than that boat" discourse. I know it's 'Anarchy' here but it really does become tiresome. Race or sail what you want where you want and promote sailing in general. The nay-saying ninnies are getting to be so predictable. The classes with the high numbers aren't that way by accident or by way of dictatorship so they must have something going for them.

This survey should be seen to be interesting and not complained about. Thank you for producing and sharing the information.

#28 Phoenix

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 03:28 PM

It's interesting to me that so many informational bits from the front page end up being "my choice is better than yours" debates. Every time someone has asked about joining the Etchells fleet, my first question has been to ask what they want to use the boat for. None of the boats in the survey are gping to satify the needs of every sailor. Get over it. I hope you bought the boat that satisfies your particular desires. If not, you did not choose wisely. Sell it when you can and be more careful about choosing next time.

#29 kent_island_sailor

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 03:51 PM

+ 1,000,000 x infinity
After school got out we loaded up on the boat would be gone for *weeks* when I was a kid.
Last year I spend a week anchored in front of the club while my son did the Opti sailing class. He thought he was king of the world coming in to class in the dinghy while the other kids showed up in their parent's cars. This year we did TWO weeks and he had a friend on board who has now talked his family into joining the club :D

Of course you are going against the grain to do this - I swear 99% of what kids do and their parents as well is all organized around the soccer/football/whatever teams.



Plus, for those of us with smaller kids, it's almost a full time job hauling them around from place to place, and almost everyone I have ever known would sacrifice their own leisure time to make sure their kids were happy.

RD



My best memories as a kid were sailing. Why do adults think that their kids need to be in soccer, T-Ball, karate, etc. Hell, take em sailing! Beating an old horse, I know. And preaching to the Choir at that. I just remember my youth being a lot less organized, and I suspect a lot more fun! My 16 yr old has finally revolted and refuses to go to any more tennis tournaments.

(BTW, headed for Mobile on Monday for Thanksgiving. Always have a wonderful time there! Great town. (My wife is from there))



#30 echak

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 03:59 PM

There is no denying that newer designs are often better than the older designs that most people race. I don't think the question is '"are new designs better than the old designs?" The real question is "are the new designs better enough?" Translation, is new design X really so much better than old design Y that I'm willing to start a new fleet from scratch with all the associated hardships, and how many others will come with me?
I think that sets a very high bar, but it does happen from time to time.


Well-said and couldn't agree more... two years ago, I bought my first boat (a 1988 Lightning, #14313). At the time, I briefly considered buying a Viper, and I'm happy to concede that, all things being equal, the Viper is a superior boat. However, all things are not equal.

Decision (Lightning):
1. Reasonable cost to get into the class;
2. Establish sail designs with easy access to new and gently-used sails at discounted prices;
3. Many established fleets within 3-hours drive (Dixie District, Chesapeake)... I race my boat ~20 weekends a year.

Decision (Viper):
1. Moderate cost to get into the class (about 50% more than a Lightning, at least), though finding a good used boat would be harder, simply based on availability;
2. Gently-used/discount sails available, but noticeably more expensive.
3. No established fleets within a 6-hour drive and very little Portsmouth racing within a 3-hour drive. Many class events are big $$ events.

Considering:
1. Late 20's and soon to be married;
2. Live in an urban area where storage is difficult;
3. Biz travel >150 nights per year

#1 for the Viper was tolerable, while #'s 2 and 3 for the Viper were non-starters.

I'm no one's role model, but if you're talking about fleet-building and finding new owners who can develop a lengthy - ie multi-decade - affiliation with a class, then I'm the type of person you want to attract. Picking a Lightning over a Viper or similar was an easy choice. Until builders and class promoters can help reduce the barriers to entry from the points above, people like me will continue to make choices similar to mine.

PS - We had three new boats join our informal "Fleet 50 Owners Under Age 50" group in 2011... all are under age 35, and we've another newb lined up for 2012. Perhaps the notion of a "starter boat," as described in this thread, isn't so bad after all?

#31 trenace

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 04:16 PM

F18 and A Class..... one design. :blink:

Who puts together these surveys..... are they sailors?

F18 - Formula (development class)
A Class - development class.

Never have been, never will be even close to OD.

Yes, I noticed that, but personally it works much better for me to try to go by what I think people are trying to say and do, how they may be using words, rather than discrediting them based on meanings of words. So on noticing this I just took it as, he means classes of boats where the boats are defined as, or in practice are, very similar to each other and in some key measures identical.

As opposed to say various meter classes.

#32 my nuts

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 05:07 PM

I've been sailing my entire life, growing up screwing around cruising on my parents C&C 26 on Erie, eventually racing a variety of leadmines, all OPB. When I finally decided to get my own boat, I started looking at all of the various factors: hull cost, campaign cost, crew requirements, local fleet strength, ease of sailing, trailerability, storage, family friendliness, etc. I quickly narrowed down to one of the three Sandy Douglass designs, the Day Sailer, and the Lightning. All things being equal, I'd love to have a Highlander, and if I had stayed in Cleveland, I probably would, but in Annapolis there are very strong Thistle and Lightning fleets, and there happened to be some affordable hulls available. I ended up choosing an old (1967 Lippincott) beater of a Lightning that I spent the better part of 3 years restoring/refitting to get it into sailing shape. I've spent considerably less on this than I would have on a new boat, which is important given that I have two small children. Furthermore, I can get beat up by the fleet in this old boat just as well as I could in a brand new boat, while I'm learning to sail it and figure out what does and doesn't work.

what I didn't realize when I bought my boat was just how strong and supportive the class would be. the long and detailed conversations I've had with Tom Allen and Bill Clausen about getting my old boat up to snuff have been great. Having Allan Terhune and Brian Hayes help me with teh tuning, not to mention talking and sailing with our own locals. locally, I was sailing around annapolis earlier this year on an outing with my parents and my 5-YO. the next day, I received an email with two great photos of my boat taken by a previous owner, who later filled me in with some history, like when it fell off its trailer on the highway, and when the gas tank on the boat next to it blew up.

when I finally got it in the water this past summer, it was great. I've entered it in a few races and have yet to have a DFL. I take my kids out on it at every opportunity, they are loving it. I can sail it around with just the main while my wife holds my 2-YO and my 5-YO steers. we can have snacks and drinks. I can get the boat into and out of the water by myself in under 30 minutes. all for a fairly reasonable cost.

yes, vipers are sexy, so are a multitude of other boats. you don't need sexy to have a good time with your family on the water. it does help to have a planing hull, though.

#33 NYBOZO1

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 05:54 PM

Gee whiz mr. Nuts!

How bout I send your fine comments to the lightning class office?

Good stuff, and I couldn't agree more.


Lightning #15272

#34 Mr. Swordfish

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 09:29 PM

As someone who sails one of the "old traditional classes" I have to say that I'm not adverse to moving on to something new and better. But first someone has to design a boat that actually is "better" ( that is, for my definition of better, which is the boat that meets my particular needs. )

I've tried a lot of boats, and I haven't sailed anything that comes close to tempting me away from the class I own now. I guess I'm just not seeing anything "better." If and when it shows up, I'll think about it.

#35 my nuts

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 09:54 PM

Gee whiz mr. Nuts!

How bout I send your fine comments to the lightning class office?

Good stuff, and I couldn't agree more.


Lightning #15272

At the Frigid Digit, I was lucky enough to have the Rhulman family park their two boats next to me, one of which they loaned to Tom Allen, who had Laura Jeffers and Todd Johnson crewing for him. I love how large and close-knit the lightning family is, and have been impressed with the way that I've been welcomed. I've also noticed that everyone has sailed a Lightning at some point in their life. it seems like you can't get on the water without running into someone who has experience in these boats.

#36 Tcatman

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 10:33 PM

F18 and A Class..... one design. :blink:

Who puts together these surveys..... are they sailors?

F18 - Formula (development class)
A Class - development class.

Never have been, never will be even close to OD.

You are late late late to this party and picking on a nit!

The formula issue was addressed years ago by Roger...These formula classes are more or less one design for the purpose of CLASS rankings. (Which is the whole point of the list)

#37 Tcatman

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 11:40 PM

There is no denying that newer designs are often better than the older designs that most people race. I don't think the question is '"are new designs better than the old designs?" The real question is "are the new designs better enough?" Translation, is new design X really so much better than old design Y that I'm willing to start a new fleet from scratch with all the associated hardships, and how many others will come with me?
I think that sets a very high bar, but it does happen from time to time.



I look at the data and see that the two and three person boats generate far more people on the water and at the party then do the single handers at a NA's. Phoenix points to the local scene as being far more important to class and fleet health and argues that NA statistics are misleading.

I conclude that sailboat racing has a huge social factor which far and away trumps the merits of the particular one design boat. It is hard to believe that any new design could be that much better then the old one design that comes with that sustainable community (Roger Jolley's point). Furthermore, I would say that NA numbers don't give you a complete picture of class health and note regions in the US where the local catamaran OD fleets have cratered because they did not maintain the social community yet the region still maintains representatives at NAs. (These sailors adjusted their sailing to just race a few national events (like the EU Dragon experience). Bottom line... more anecdotal info are needed on all of these classes to gain real insight.

One question that is not answered is whether a shakeout of one design dinghy classes is occurring. The catamaran class shakeout over the last 15 years eliminated all prindles, nacras, tornado's, supercats, some hobies and moved these sailors into three dominant fleets. (F18's, A class and Hobie 16s as national classes) It's hard to tell whether the OD dinghies are seeing a similar shakeout.
Anyone see such a thing in their area???

#38 NYBOZO1

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 12:26 AM

Hey nuts....you gotta go to the Charleston regatta next year. 37 boats, wonderful place.

I also used that Ruhlman boat. Masters worlds in Brazil last summer.

Jr. Allen is the key guy in the Class. Crewed for him in Charleston then Nashville a couple of weeks ago. Very
pleasant to be on a boat with.

#39 Tornado_ALIVE

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 04:50 AM


F18 and A Class..... one design. :blink:

Who puts together these surveys..... are they sailors?

F18 - Formula (development class)
A Class - development class.

Never have been, never will be even close to OD.

You are late late late to this party and picking on a nit!

The formula issue was addressed years ago by Roger...These formula classes are more or less one design for the purpose of CLASS rankings. (Which is the whole point of the list)


I quiet like them included in the data but I hope they don't exclude other formula and development classes in these figures, multi or mono. Just call them popular sailing classes, not OD. It really isn't that hard.

#40 my nuts

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 05:10 AM

Hey nuts....you gotta go to the Charleston regatta next year. 37 boats, wonderful place.

I also used that Ruhlman boat. Masters worlds in Brazil last summer.

Jr. Allen is the key guy in the Class. Crewed for him in Charleston then Nashville a couple of weeks ago. Very
pleasant to be on a boat with.

i hear it had a tough ride back in the container, something to do with a customs inspection unpacking and repacking it.

I'm going to start traveling locally within Dixie first, but I do want to make it down to chucktown. I really like it there. plus, I can get Greg Fisher's notes on sailing tuning an old Lippincott.

back to unhijack the conversation, the NA metric is not perfect, but it is a measurable quantity with easily confirmable data, which has something going for it. that being said, getting to a better and more meaningful metric would likely require much more time and resources than have been devoted to this thus far. perhaps going down a level or two to total participation in district or regional regattas would be something. what would also be interesting would be attendance versus number of hulls. given that most regattas have results placed online, with bigger ones linked to the class site, some of this data should be relatively easy to get to.

#41 Tcatman

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 08:57 PM



F18 and A Class..... one design. :blink:

Who puts together these surveys..... are they sailors?

F18 - Formula (development class)
A Class - development class.

Never have been, never will be even close to OD.

You are late late late to this party and picking on a nit!

The formula issue was addressed years ago by Roger...These formula classes are more or less one design for the purpose of CLASS rankings. (Which is the whole point of the list)


I quiet like them included in the data but I hope they don't exclude other formula and development classes in these figures, multi or mono. Just call them popular sailing classes, not OD. It really isn't that hard.

in the USA... we would rather cut off our left nut then sail our handful of boats in anything that looked like Handicap... SO.... it better be called OD... or it will be ignored.

#42 Mr. Swordfish

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 10:02 PM

I don't know about that. I'd rather race a boat I like in a mixed fleet than race one-design in a boat that I don't. If it's scored PY, so what? YMMV.

#43 Tcatman

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 11:11 PM

I don't know about that. I'd rather race a boat I like in a mixed fleet than race one-design in a boat that I don't. If it's scored PY, so what? YMMV.

Yup... for many in the US... it certainly does.. (I agree with your point of view btw)

#44 RogerJolly

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 01:11 AM

Permalink is at:
http://www.sailingan...le.php?get=8409

#45 Steam Flyer

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 02:23 AM

I don't know about that. I'd rather race a boat I like in a mixed fleet than race one-design in a boat that I don't. If it's scored PY, so what? YMMV.


Agreed, with the caveat that it depends on the boat, the fleet, the people... I would much rather just daysail in a boat I like than win the Worlds in a miserable POS... but it can be fun sailing around the course if the boat's not too painful and the crew is good for laughs. Around here the only one-design going is Ensigns (yeh) and San Juan 21s (meh). The crew I race an Ensign with are great guys, a lot of fun, and the sailing is mostly fun even if we're not competitive. San Juan 21s I can live without, but there are some relatively fun events and every once in a while it's worth bestirring for.

Wait, we have one event in FJs... that's a lot of fun even if I'm too big for an FJ. Maybe this year I can slim down a little and have a steady crew.
http://nbnjrotc-sail.blogspot.com/2011/05/2nd-annual-regatta-is-it-tradition-yet.html

I'm still toying with the idea of getting a Viper to race "seriously" but probably not... if you gotta travel to do a good one-design then you might as well get a boat you -really- like.

FB- Doug

#46 View from the back

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 07:01 AM

I own a Finn... perhaps an antiquated design since it was designed in the early 50's? I also used to do middle on a Viper for several years. I'd love to trade up from the Finn to the viper, and we even have a growing Viper class here in Long Beach. But, it comes down to money, plain and simple. Finn's worth what, $10k? A competitive Viper with upgraded bulb and carbon mast and good sails is about $20k.

See the problem?

Newer designs are sexy, but just too damned expensive for us working folks.

#47 Marie Laveau

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 02:54 PM

I'd rather race a boat I like in a mixed fleet than race one-design in a boat that I don't. If it's scored PY, so what? YMMV.


MMV in that very direction, yeah you rite, as they say down here

#48 Phoenix

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 03:06 PM

The reason that handicap racing exists is because many people select the boat they like first. Then they figure out how to race it.

#49 SpoonCYC

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 11:49 AM


There is no denying that newer designs are often better than the older designs that most people race. I don't think the question is '"are new designs better than the old designs?" The real question is "are the new designs better enough?" Translation, is new design X really so much better than old design Y that I'm willing to start a new fleet from scratch with all the associated hardships, and how many others will come with me?
I think that sets a very high bar, but it does happen from time to time.


Well-said and couldn't agree more... two years ago, I bought my first boat (a 1988 Lightning, #14313). At the time, I briefly considered buying a Viper, and I'm happy to concede that, all things being equal, the Viper is a superior boat. However, all things are not equal.


#1 for the Viper (Higher Purchase Cost) was tolerable, while #'s 2 and 3 for the Viper (Higher OpEx and No Racing Fleets nearby) were non-starters.

I'm no one's role model, but if you're talking about fleet-building and finding new owners who can develop a lengthy - ie multi-decade - affiliation with a class, then I'm the type of person you want to attract. Picking a Lightning over a Viper or similar was an easy choice. Until builders and class promoters can help reduce the barriers to entry from the points above, people like me will continue to make choices similar to mine.

PS - We had three new boats join our informal "Fleet 50 Owners Under Age 50" group in 2011... all are under age 35, and we've another newb lined up for 2012. Perhaps the notion of a "starter boat," as described in this thread, isn't so bad after all?


Precisely. The same decision process my wife and I went through: StartUp Cost we could afford. But the compelling questions will almost never be about another 6 seconds per mile advantage on PHRF, it's about what OD has fun, great fleet in the area, and allows for competitive sailing to be a part of our lives. Locally we came down to: Lightning, Snipe, Interlake, Jet-14, J22 and Y-Flyer with active fleets within an hour drive. Snipe and Y-Flyer were within a 30 minute drive...or 90 minute bike ride. That bike ride option, which we do regularly, and the regional vibe, welcoming fleet captain of very competitive local Y-Flyer devotees, sealed the deal.






#50 Beau.Vrolyk

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 06:50 PM

The reason that handicap racing exists is because many people select the boat they like first. Then they figure out how to race it.


Many of us use the boat for more than racing. Specifically, drinking, sleeping, canoodling, fishing, star gazing... You get the point. If the definition of "better" includes only sailing characteristics while racing, one is talking about a tiny fragment of the sailboat using population.

Choosing a fleet to race in is a process of choosing a large group of people you'll spend a great deal of valuable leisure time with. The specific charateristics of the boat are secondary to the characteristics of the people.

BV

#51 Tcatman

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 07:25 PM


The reason that handicap racing exists is because many people select the boat they like first. Then they figure out how to race it.


Many of us use the boat for more than racing. Specifically, drinking, sleeping, canoodling, fishing, star gazing... You get the point. If the definition of "better" includes only sailing characteristics while racing, one is talking about a tiny fragment of the sailboat using population.

Choosing a fleet to race in is a process of choosing a large group of people you'll spend a great deal of valuable leisure time with. The specific charateristics of the boat are secondary to the characteristics of the people.

BV

hmm.. are you saying that OD fleets attract a large group of people with him you WANT to spend leisure time with...
whereas... Handicap fleets... not so much???

Brings up the question... why do PHRF classes never seem to operate as a proper fleet? The ties that bind the group together are usually very very weak. I never get a good explanation for this.

#52 misconseption2348

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 08:59 PM

The reason that handicap racing exists is because many people select the boat they like first. Then they figure out how to race it.


As opposed to getting a boat that you're not really fond of and then learning how to race it? Now you are good at sailing a boat that you don't really like. I'm not just going to bash on older designs, but considering that above anything else, it is getting harder and harder just to make it out onto the water. Time is more valuable than anything else. I commend people who can either build their own boat, or spend a long time re-building a shitter into something great. I on the other hand have no desire or the time to do that. All boats are going to be expensive to maintain and race. A brand new Albacore sails away for ~18k. Thats outrageous. Sure there are used ones available to really cheap, but why would I jump into a project boat, when I'm not 100% sold on them in the first place. Again there are dozens of sharks in the area, and there is no way in hell you could get me to sign a check for one. Mind you I am in a different place in my life than others commenting on here, but I would rather pick up a Catalina 30 and daysail if I want to bring out the wife and kids. If the I want to go sailing in those classes I will jump on a friends boat and go racing, I have no problem doing that, well maybe everyweek. But there is just no value to me in a boat that is not exciting (for me) to sail. Racing on one sorta, but not owning one. I am well aware that I am not helping the problem.

Nationals and NA's are a good slice of the picture of the health of the class. In most local fleets, lets say maybe (on average) 20% of those boats will travel to the national championships. More if it is closer less if it is further away, but on average 20%. If you are consistently getting high numbers at these events it means that either you have very large local fleets (good thing), many local fleets (good thing), or very competitive fleets that are willing to travel (often seen in newer designs, really helps to build the fleet). If your class is pulling low numbers at the championships, then the opposite is true, and if you are blaming the venues then your class isn't being managed very well, which is not healthy either and can kill fleets. Every once and while there is a bad venue choice, but if consistently? then something needs to happen. Strong local fleets are necessary to build the attitude that makes people want to travel to their North Americans.

#53 Beau.Vrolyk

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 11:31 PM



The reason that handicap racing exists is because many people select the boat they like first. Then they figure out how to race it.


Many of us use the boat for more than racing. Specifically, drinking, sleeping, canoodling, fishing, star gazing... You get the point. If the definition of "better" includes only sailing characteristics while racing, one is talking about a tiny fragment of the sailboat using population.

Choosing a fleet to race in is a process of choosing a large group of people you'll spend a great deal of valuable leisure time with. The specific charateristics of the boat are secondary to the characteristics of the people.

BV

hmm.. are you saying that OD fleets attract a large group of people with him you WANT to spend leisure time with...
whereas... Handicap fleets... not so much???

Brings up the question... why do PHRF classes never seem to operate as a proper fleet? The ties that bind the group together are usually very very weak. I never get a good explanation for this.


Tcat,

I think you're asking two things. First, regardless of what one chooses, you'll spend a lot of time with your crew and fleet. I have friends I've enjoyed for 25 years that i found in the Moore fleet. The personality of the people in a fleet will have a much bigger effect on how much one enjoys sailing than specific traits of a given boat. That's a big part of why older OD fleets do well, great people as opposed to specific boat characteristics.

Second, with respect to PHRF fleets, I don't think it has as much to do with OD vs Handicap as it does with where everyone goes after racing. If a PHRF or IRC fleet sails into the same harbor and parties together they will bond. If they go to different harbors and don't hang out they won't bond.

BV

#54 View from the back

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 01:20 AM




The reason that handicap racing exists is because many people select the boat they like first. Then they figure out how to race it.


Many of us use the boat for more than racing. Specifically, drinking, sleeping, canoodling, fishing, star gazing... You get the point. If the definition of "better" includes only sailing characteristics while racing, one is talking about a tiny fragment of the sailboat using population.

Choosing a fleet to race in is a process of choosing a large group of people you'll spend a great deal of valuable leisure time with. The specific charateristics of the boat are secondary to the characteristics of the people.

BV

hmm.. are you saying that OD fleets attract a large group of people with him you WANT to spend leisure time with...
whereas... Handicap fleets... not so much???

Brings up the question... why do PHRF classes never seem to operate as a proper fleet? The ties that bind the group together are usually very very weak. I never get a good explanation for this.


Tcat,

I think you're asking two things. First, regardless of what one chooses, you'll spend a lot of time with your crew and fleet. I have friends I've enjoyed for 25 years that i found in the Moore fleet. The personality of the people in a fleet will have a much bigger effect on how much one enjoys sailing than specific traits of a given boat. That's a big part of why older OD fleets do well, great people as opposed to specific boat characteristics.

Second, with respect to PHRF fleets, I don't think it has as much to do with OD vs Handicap as it does with where everyone goes after racing. If a PHRF or IRC fleet sails into the same harbor and parties together they will bond. If they go to different harbors and don't hang out they won't bond.

BV


You hit the nail on the head in your second paragraph. When I race my Finn, we all help each dolly out and roll sails, and we all hang out together. In PHRF, everyone goes back to their particular slip, so there's not camaraderie after sailing, which is one huge reason why I enjoy the one design sailing, vs. PHRF. On our PHRF boat, other than saying hello to the various boats as we congregate around the start line since we recognize one another's boats, I don't even know their names! In the various one design fleets where we're all sailing out of and back into the yacht club together, way different.

#55 kent_island_sailor

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 01:32 PM

My mother met my father because he had a Lightning and could take her sailing. I was sailing a Lightning in utero. Sadly the boat perished during a hurricane. She survived the first half, but after the eye passed she was stern to the wind and capsized on her mooring :(
Anyway, if I were to buy a daysailor/dinghy type boat, the local fleet and the people would be 100 times more important than the boat. What fun is it having the ONLY xyz-wiz-bang in the area?


Gee whiz mr. Nuts!

How bout I send your fine comments to the lightning class office?

Good stuff, and I couldn't agree more.


Lightning #15272

At the Frigid Digit, I was lucky enough to have the Rhulman family park their two boats next to me, one of which they loaned to Tom Allen, who had Laura Jeffers and Todd Johnson crewing for him. I love how large and close-knit the lightning family is, and have been impressed with the way that I've been welcomed. I've also noticed that everyone has sailed a Lightning at some point in their life. it seems like you can't get on the water without running into someone who has experience in these boats.



#56 Steam Flyer

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 02:18 PM

... ...
What fun is it having the ONLY xyz-wiz-bang in the area?


Hopefully, because it's fun to sail

:blink:

FB- Doug

#57 dolphinmaster

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 02:37 PM

First and foremost, THANK YOU for the work you've done compiling that record of sailing activity - I think we can all agree that while not definative, it certainly seems indicitive of a level of participation in the sport and it's value, over time, to have an objective measure of small-boat racing vigor is both interesting and useful (although I'm not sure to whom)

Second, - while I FULLY understand and appreciate the place these classic craft have in the hearts of thier adherents, I cannot look at number of people reported racing three of the top 6 ( Thistle, Flying Scot, Lightning) and NOT think to myself, "Right there are 209 crews that really would be having more fun if they had a Viper..." (or similar modern boat). "Tradition" and all that stuff aside, sailing a modern design really is just plain so much better its not funny. It's almost as if the durability of those boats is thier worst enemy ( "Why buy a new boat ? this one sails FINE!" -- & then later "We stopped sailing because it wasn't as much fun anymore and hurts too much")

( for the record, I have no affiliation to ANY sportboat class )


Just popped in here, only read this post, and........ virtually everyone I know that sails a Thistle or Lightning, also sails on everything they can get

there hands and butts on. I think your whining is a moot point.

Just in the small group of folks who sail in the Lightnings around here, the owners or crew, their additional boats or the additional boats they sail on are,

J24
M24
M20
Hobie 18
Custom 35' Tri
Melges 32
Bennie 36.7
Tartan 10
Sunfish
Laser
420
Thistle
505
Fireball
Hunter 29.5
Capri 22
Soverel 33
Hunter 47
J125
Etchells

Just a bunch of poor, disadvantaged UTES, not a one of us has sailed on a Viper yet that I am aware of.

P.S. pm me and I'll send my physical address for the Dec 25 drop off of the FT 7.5 :) :) :) :)

#58 kent_island_sailor

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 02:48 PM

+1
My boat has been a buoy racer, offshore racer, Bermuda racer, fishing boat, daysailor, weekend cruiser, weeks-long cruiser, and a floating house at various times.


The reason that handicap racing exists is because many people select the boat they like first. Then they figure out how to race it.


Many of us use the boat for more than racing. Specifically, drinking, sleeping, canoodling, fishing, star gazing... You get the point. If the definition of "better" includes only sailing characteristics while racing, one is talking about a tiny fragment of the sailboat using population.

Choosing a fleet to race in is a process of choosing a large group of people you'll spend a great deal of valuable leisure time with. The specific charateristics of the boat are secondary to the characteristics of the people.

BV



#59 kent_island_sailor

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 02:50 PM

True, but just "fun to sail" is taken care of by the boat I have now, which also allows me to go below and take a dump ;)


... ...
What fun is it having the ONLY xyz-wiz-bang in the area?


Hopefully, because it's fun to sail

:blink:

FB- Doug



#60 Beau.Vrolyk

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 05:04 PM



>....snip.... <

Tcat,

I think you're asking two things. First, regardless of what one chooses, you'll spend a lot of time with your crew and fleet. I have friends I've enjoyed for 25 years that i found in the Moore fleet. The personality of the people in a fleet will have a much bigger effect on how much one enjoys sailing than specific traits of a given boat. That's a big part of why older OD fleets do well, great people as opposed to specific boat characteristics.

Second, with respect to PHRF fleets, I don't think it has as much to do with OD vs Handicap as it does with where everyone goes after racing. If a PHRF or IRC fleet sails into the same harbor and parties together they will bond. If they go to different harbors and don't hang out they won't bond.

BV


You hit the nail on the head in your second paragraph. When I race my Finn, we all help each dolly out and roll sails, and we all hang out together. In PHRF, everyone goes back to their particular slip, so there's not camaraderie after sailing, which is one huge reason why I enjoy the one design sailing, vs. PHRF. On our PHRF boat, other than saying hello to the various boats as we congregate around the start line since we recognize one another's boats, I don't even know their names! In the various one design fleets where we're all sailing out of and back into the yacht club together, way different.


VFtB,

We have a small harbor with only one yacht club here in Santa Cruz. As a result, everybody ends up on the same dock and at the same bar (pretty much) at the end of racing regardless of One-Design, PHRF, IRC, stand-up paddleboards, dog sleds, or whatever they are racing. This is probably one of the BEST features of this place. Similarly, there is only one room, so you've got everyone from the guy who owns the 70' big boat to the kid who was just given an old wood Parker 5O5 at the same bar chewing the fat and yucking it up. This builds a fleet and a community.

It has nothing whatever to do with the boat design or how fast/slow it is. After all, the fastest boat any of us races goes about as fast as my car does in second gear; if someone really wants excitement caused by "speed" they've chosen the wrong sport. They should pick up pylon racing in airplanes.

Just my 2cents,

B

#61 kent_island_sailor

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 02:11 AM

There was a time PHRF was like this in the Annapolis area. People stayed on the boats and everyone got together after the races.




The reason that handicap racing exists is because many people select the boat they like first. Then they figure out how to race it.


Many of us use the boat for more than racing. Specifically, drinking, sleeping, canoodling, fishing, star gazing... You get the point. If the definition of "better" includes only sailing characteristics while racing, one is talking about a tiny fragment of the sailboat using population.

Choosing a fleet to race in is a process of choosing a large group of people you'll spend a great deal of valuable leisure time with. The specific charateristics of the boat are secondary to the characteristics of the people.

BV

hmm.. are you saying that OD fleets attract a large group of people with him you WANT to spend leisure time with...
whereas... Handicap fleets... not so much???

Brings up the question... why do PHRF classes never seem to operate as a proper fleet? The ties that bind the group together are usually very very weak. I never get a good explanation for this.



#62 my nuts

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 09:46 PM

My mother met my father because he had a Lightning and could take her sailing. I was sailing a Lightning in utero. Sadly the boat perished during a hurricane. She survived the first half, but after the eye passed she was stern to the wind and capsized on her mooring :(
Anyway, if I were to buy a daysailor/dinghy type boat, the local fleet and the people would be 100 times more important than the boat. What fun is it having the ONLY xyz-wiz-bang in the area?



Gee whiz mr. Nuts!

How bout I send your fine comments to the lightning class office?

Good stuff, and I couldn't agree more.


Lightning #15272

At the Frigid Digit, I was lucky enough to have the Rhulman family park their two boats next to me, one of which they loaned to Tom Allen, who had Laura Jeffers and Todd Johnson crewing for him. I love how large and close-knit the lightning family is, and have been impressed with the way that I've been welcomed. I've also noticed that everyone has sailed a Lightning at some point in their life. it seems like you can't get on the water without running into someone who has experience in these boats.

let me know if you ever want to relive your formative days, it's just a short trip across the bay.

#63 freewheel510

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 01:52 PM

VFtB,

We have a small harbor with only one yacht club here in Santa Cruz. As a result, everybody ends up on the same dock and at the same bar (pretty much) at the end of racing regardless of One-Design, PHRF, IRC, stand-up paddleboards, dog sleds, or whatever they are racing. This is probably one of the BEST features of this place. Similarly, there is only one room, so you've got everyone from the guy who owns the 70' big boat to the kid who was just given an old wood Parker 5O5 at the same bar chewing the fat and yucking it up. This builds a fleet and a community.

It has nothing whatever to do with the boat design or how fast/slow it is. After all, the fastest boat any of us races goes about as fast as my car does in second gear; if someone really wants excitement caused by "speed" they've chosen the wrong sport. They should pick up pylon racing in airplanes.

Just my 2cents,

B

One of my best sailing memories from the 1980s was sailing a 420 out of Santa Cruz for an SBRA regatta. We had a great race then flew the spinnaker from the trapeze after the race. Great place to sail, imho.

You are absolutely right about the speed thing. What we call "fast" on the water is slower than I normally ride my bicycle. I've sailed on a Tornado and Hobie 16s, various windsurfers, various keelboats and dinghies, and for my money the greatest sensation of speed has been at about 15-20 kt in a Santa Cruz 27 sailing under spinnaker in the ocean off San Francisco. A close second has been in a Laser in 20kt of wind on a broad reach. Probably was going 10-12 kt, but man it felt fast!

I think the *sensation* of speed is far more than just speed, it has to do with proximity to the water, and imminent disaster. Windsurfing and catamarans never seemed all that fast to me, I think because my head is 3+ feet above the water, where on the Laser, it is Right There.

Thanks for putting together this list, and reading the comments has been really enlightening. I am shocked to learn how old most of the big OD fleets are, and how few fast boats are in the top 40. Am thinking about joining the huge group of Laser owners.

#64 RogerJolly

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 02:34 AM

There are a few requests for more classes so below is the top 40.


1 Laser Radial--125.33
2 Sunfish--85.67
3 Laser--79.67
4 Thistle--78.00
5 Flying Scot--66.00
6 Lightning--65.33
7 E scow--64.33
8 Albacore--55.33
9 MC scow--55.00
9 C scow--55.00
11 J/22--52.00
12 Hobie Cat 16--50.67
13 29er--48.67
14 Snipe--47.67
15 Formula 18--46.67
16 Vanguard 15--42.33
17 A-Class Catamaran--41.67
19 J/24--40.67
18 505-3-9.67
21 Lido 14--39.33
20 Star--39.00
22 Butterfly--38.33
23 Ensign--37.33
24 Etchells--37.00
24 Inter Club--37.00


26 Shark--36.67
27 Catalina 22--36.33
28 Interlake--35.67
29 Cal 20--35.00
30 Y flyer--33.33
30 Rhodes 19--33.33
32 Sonar--33.00
33 J/80--32.00
34 Bucaneer--31.67
35 J/105--30.33
36 Tartan Ten--28.33
37 Bettle Cat--27.67
37 Harbor 20--27.67
39 Windsurfer--27.33
39 Finn--27.33


Just updating some late year events and able to go to the top 50

41 Melges 24--26.00
42 Day Sailor--25.33
42 Viper 640--25.33
44 Mercury 18--24.67
44 Shields--24.67
46 Hobie 17--24.33
46 Hobie Wave--24.33
48 Laser 4.7--24.00
49 Benetau 36.7--23.67
50 Jet 14--23.00
50 Windmill--23.00

#65 Asymptote

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 06:24 PM

One take-away from the chart of participation in class championships is apparently...Don't have your regatta in Texas. For the four classes that held Texas events in those three years, Texas had the lowest turn-out every time.

A statistical anomaly, perhaps?

#66 Steam Flyer

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 06:36 PM

Is there any way to get data on how many boats are starting local... or even regional... races at the local level?

FWIW I'd guess the Nationals participation pretty closely follows the overall one-design racing participation, but I know a lot of sailors who race in their clubs and never go to a Nationals.

FB- Doug

#67 rgscpat

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 07:32 PM

Holy thread revival time?

It would be interesting to see the number of raw data points for each boat type that come in to Portsmouth, i.e., number of races participated in by boats for each boat class, and see how that is rising or falling each year. With a hundred or so clubs reporting to Portsmouth, and reporting numerous races per year, that would be a broad-based measure of dinghy and many smaller boat class participation, and would also capture a decent sample of especially the smaller keelboats.




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