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Member Since 21 Sep 2009
Offline Last Active Nov 26 2015 07:34 AM

Topics I've Started

How much work is this lay up?

09 October 2015 - 09:22 AM



Because of some stupid work done on my boat, before I bought it, the deck by the mast foot was showing quite deep cracks. I had them repaired and the mast base extended a little and levelled out, so that the mast foot (which is a custom metal job to allow the mast to be lowered) would be level. All the work seems to be ok, but I am now being confronted with a ridiculous bill. I would like to know how much time it would take to do this layup, fair it and paint it? I reckon laying up to be a few hours at most, followed by another few hours to finish, say a full 8 hours max? But I have no real experience in this at all. What would you say?


Thanks a lot for your help!






Two AC Puzzles

08 September 2015 - 11:23 AM

Having followed the AC on SA for a long time now, I have come across 2 questions, mainly of motivation and drive. This topic was spurred by a reference to a Sailworld article in a different post (http://www.sail-worl...tocol/137604),


This article made me question 2 basic motivation puzzles: (a)  that of the accepting SA (and wider) public of the AC shenanigans and (b that of the defender and challenger.


Puzzle 1


I find, having read the Sailworld article linked before, that the current situation is astonishing. I very much remember the outcry, the villification, the vitriol, the hatred, that was poured out over EB when he proposed some big changes, including defender sailing in the challenger series, to the protocol.


The current changes that have been approved by the pink poodle challengers, expertly money wrangled by Oracle, now not only include sailing in the challenger series, but actually being possibly docked points as a challenger in the final (thereby having to come from behind)! The last time that happened, was when Oracle was fined points for cheating. Maybe losing the challenger series to the defender and still progressing to the AC is also classified as "cheating" in Oracles book? Add to that, the built in country farce (sorry, but a bow section!!), the one design rule, the nationality rule, and the ludicrous ACWS (what has that to do with AC?). This goes way beyond anything tricky Berti contemplated! If these crimes had been perpetrated by EB, a posse of SAers would have flown down to Switzerland, picked him up, tarred and feathered him and paraded him down to the New York Yacht Club, to be permanently exhibited, as a warning to future holders of this cup!


But the current outcry, whilst fairly vocal and even spread, falls far short of that. The debate is almost rational (sorry), the emotions do not run high, LE has been completely ignored and RC has been put up as (non-US?) scapegoat in the debates. (but we all know who pulls the strings). In contrast, previously we had "evil bertie and the fat friar". "enemy to sailing", "liar", "crook", followed by more evil evil evil!


Where is this passion, this feeling of righteousness, this "no mess with the cup" attitude! Is is because the Cup is in american hands and even though the changes are not liked, it means the likelihood of it staying in the US is greater by a far margin now (reflecting the forum user bias?)? Or is it just tiredness with it all? Or plain plain lethargy... over to the floor :-)


Puzzle 2


But the motivation behind it all from defender and challenger is also funny. The motivation of Oracle is easy  to understand: a they want to retain the Cup, but b without having to pay (another) fortune for it.


As for b the one design rule does that nicely for them: not much room to spend on R&D (only foils, control systems = small items), and only 2 smaller boats to fund, with associated crew. That is peanuts compared to the previous 2 iterations. They will also build the majority of the boats for some other competitors, thus recouping some of their investment fees.


As for a) it is really clever: 

if competitive advantage = ((1) boat speed advantage) + ((2) operating advantage) and

(1) boat speed advantage = (1.1) basic boat design + (1.2) R&D optimisation and

(2) operating advantage = (2.1) best team selection + (2.2) training



for (1.1) the basic boat, they can't do much about, it is a one design after all. Advantage = none


for (1.2) R&D Oracle have 2 boats to try out against each other, optimise these tiny areas with almost identical setups and have a far longer time to test and develop. This should offset any huge imaginative leaps other teams might be making, plus they can try out some wacky stuff without taking huge risks as they have 2 horses in this course. Distinct advantage: Oracle


for (2.1) best team Oracle can sail 2 teams against each other on practically identical boats and that, combined with loads of money and no nationality restrictions, will allow them to pick their dream team. That should be good enough, but if that offsets natural talents such as Ben Ainsley and the NZ team's, or even the french for that matter, remains to be seen. But still, slight to distinct advantage: Oracle

for (2.2) training Oracle have 2 boat training, which is more productive, they can also sharpen their skills in the challenger series (and get a free point to boot!) and have then also much longer to practice. Distinct advantage: Oracle


Competive advantage = Boat( no advantage + distinct oracle advantage) + team(slight oracle advantage + distinct oracle advantage) = Orance retains cup.


That sums up to a nicely stacked deck of cards for Oracle. Stacking the odds is the Cup holders game. The challengers game is to even them as much as possible. And that is where it gets puzzling. Why do they agree to these odds? What is their motivation? I see only a few options:


a They think that they can make a huge leap in (1.2) R&D and/ or have the better sail team i.e. no matter the odds, they think they can win.


b They are not really in it to win, just to sail, and the only way to do that is by keeping costs low so that they (and their sponsors) can take part.

c It is really a long term path, where they go for the Cup in 1,2 or 3 iterations time. But if that is the case, is having one design and limited R&D flexibility but massive build and team flexibility the right way to develop a sound foundation to build this challenge on?


I don't know. I think NZ and BAR are probably a, Japan is probably b AR have said they are c but I think they might be b. France might think they are a but are probably b....


What do you think? Is this assessment right? And what drives these teams?