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GBH

RORC lost it's marbles - from the front page.

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You'd have to think the RORC thinking of allowing in autopilots on all offshore races is truly a reflection of the lunatics in charge of the asylum.  One thing for the two handed brigade but for fully crewed?

Would end up with the classic case of everyone thinking someone else is keeping their eyes out of the boat and the boat happily driving itself into oblivion.

And then the shit hits the fan and nobody on board knows how to steer to protect the boat.  FFS, there have be some bizarre decisions from St James but this really takes the biscuit.

 

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???? Have you seen a lot of cases of good sailors suddenly becoming bad because they can leave the helm to trim sails or have a cuppa, move some stacks, or manage something else that affects speed?

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My hope is that this allows those that believe a pilot is faster than rotating in a fresh human driver every hour or two to try it - and probably figure out that in most conditions it isn't!

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1 minute ago, Snowden said:

My hope is that this allows those that believe a pilot is faster than rotating in a fresh human driver every hour or two to try it - and probably figure out that in most conditions it isn't!

same good sailors who sail the boat well and fast will not suddenly get slow because autopilot - folks who don’t pay attention to the details won’t suddenly discover fine tuning and get the most out of the autopilot. 

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Also now us short-handers should get a rating credit for lack of self-stacking ballast ;-)

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Why are we even crewing sailboats at all? Instead ocean races should be decided by using polars and routing software against wx predictions... /s

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""same good sailors who sail the boat well and fast will not suddenly get slow because autopilot - folks who don’t pay attention to the details won’t suddenly discover fine tuning and get the most out of the autopilot.""

Not fussed by the good guys, its the newcomers that you have worry about, and the casual racers that don't like sailing at night and think this will sort it out for them.

Effing stupid - the really good autopilots that the 60's have are something way above the norm and $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ as well so you want to start an arms race on autopilots?

What is the point...powered winches will/can be linked to the pilot..and you think this is what offshore racing is supposed to be about?  Why do so many top sailors spend time in Etchells and Dragons - no instruments, using their skills and brains. 

 

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I really don't see the slippery slope??? A NKE or H5000 setup with the basic data input will suffice - if it lets a double handed crew tend to their sails or get the sail change or simply to have one down below to make a cup of tea while the other catches a break from the helm... what's the big deal? I can't imagine any fast cruising boat that's also participating in RORC events not having autopilots installed - delivery without it? I don't think so.

You seem to be saying autopilot increases negligence when... the dumb people you speak of will be negligent with or without the autopilot. 

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7 hours ago, Snowden said:

Also now us short-handers should get a rating credit for lack of self-stacking ballast ;-)

Already built into the IRC Short Handed TCC

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8 hours ago, GBH said:

You'd have to think the RORC thinking of allowing in autopilots on all offshore races is truly a reflection of the lunatics in charge of the asylum.  One thing for the two handed brigade but for fully crewed?

Would end up with the classic case of everyone thinking someone else is keeping their eyes out of the boat and the boat happily driving itself into oblivion.

And then the shit hits the fan and nobody on board knows how to steer to protect the boat.  FFS, there have be some bizarre decisions from St James but this really takes the biscuit.

 

I don't see the issue.  I very much doubt an autopilot is faster than a real helm most of the time, on most boats.  It will encourage short-handers, of course, and that can't be bad.  A good crew will sail faster with a good helm most of the time.

Sure, on IMOCA 60s and the like it may well be competitive or better - but that's a very specialised case and it's as much a function of the constraints of single-handed sailing in long races than the inherent superiority of today's technology - good as it's become.

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48 minutes ago, DickDastardly said:

Already built into the IRC Short Handed TCC

A common misconception. The IRC SH certificate does have a lower max crew number (and sometimes a different SSS), but the TCC won’t change unless you submit a different sail plan (ie smaller max headsail / different kite config) or include moveable ballast etc.
 

The vast majority of boats that race SH do not have a specific SH certificate (I do, I get a 0.011 credit for the J3 versus the J1.5)

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2 hours ago, Snowden said:

A common misconception. The IRC SH certificate does have a lower max crew number (and sometimes a different SSS), but the TCC won’t change unless you submit a different sail plan (ie smaller max headsail / different kite config) or include moveable ballast etc.
 

The vast majority of boats that race SH do not have a specific SH certificate (I do, I get a 0.011 credit for the J3 versus the J1.5)

I stand corrected!

 

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This is brilliant.

The future is better boats, learning the layout lessons for less crew from short handed boats.

You can now happily go offshore with 4 people, everyone gets loads to do, no one has to do superhuman stuff. Why take a football team?

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8 hours ago, DickDastardly said:

Would end up with the classic case of everyone thinking someone else is keeping their eyes out of the boat and the boat happily driving itself into oblivion

This seems to happen without an autopilot too.

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3 hours ago, canstead said:

This is brilliant.

The future is better boats, learning the layout lessons for less crew from short handed boats.

You can now happily go offshore with 4 people, everyone gets loads to do, no one has to do superhuman stuff. Why take a football team?

So now tell me what happens to the rating?  Should there be a penalty for being able to carry fewer crew and weight around the place or a credit for a crap driver?  As of now RORC has refused to encompass rating credits for reduced crew numbers except for the two handed certificates.

As ever it's all the unintended consequences that need to be thought through, and on the face of it they haven't.

The philosophical angle remains though - what is the point of having all the automated systems steadily eroding the skills of the participants?

Sat nav was bad enough in dumbing down the navigational skills now you now exactly where you are all the time, nav and routing apps to help or take over the decisions, and now to start taking out the physical skills and finally whats left?

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1 hour ago, GBH said:

So now tell me what happens to the rating?  Should there be a penalty for being able to carry fewer crew and weight around the place or a credit for a crap driver?  As of now RORC has refused to encompass rating credits for reduced crew numbers except for the two handed certificates.

As ever it's all the unintended consequences that need to be thought through, and on the face of it they haven't.

The philosophical angle remains though - what is the point of having all the automated systems steadily eroding the skills of the participants?

Sat nav was bad enough in dumbing down the navigational skills now you now exactly where you are all the time, nav and routing apps to help or take over the decisions, and now to start taking out the physical skills and finally whats left?

OK, OK, we’re getting off

 

(Your lawn)

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GBH,

Staighten up son.

Almost all modern keelboats sail faster with more crew weight, as reflected by orci and 1,000 tests.

An autopilot will never steer as well as a good human, so that should just be permissible for eveyone.

Capiche?

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24 minutes ago, Black Sox said:

OK, OK, we’re getting off

 

(Your lawn)

You might need to use maritime signal flags - can't have skills eroding.

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7 hours ago, canstead said:

This is brilliant.

The future is better boats, learning the layout lessons for less crew from short handed boats.

You can now happily go offshore with 4 people, everyone gets loads to do, no one has to do superhuman stuff. Why take a football team?

4 blokes is not nearly as much fun in the bar when you get there!

Our boat races to Hobart with 11,  including 4 or 5 of the more attractive sex & a couple of "youth" sailors,  basically we bring a party.

As for auto pilots,  they're great for deliveries & cruisers but racing is supposed to include a crew against crew component.  With GPS,  good weather data, good routing software, stored power to move sails & keels & an auto pilot to steer,  there's not a lot of crew input required mental or physical.

We are going to need a much bigger fridge for the drinks as that is all we will need to do!

Yes I'm old and raced in the days of 26 man crews,  (now THAT was a crew party).  But I still like to think that I have made a difference to getting the boat to the finish safely & quickly,  rather than having sat on it while it does it's thing.

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Need to keep up with the times Frogman, modern offshore boats and folks have started to add up the weights of crew plus the associated safety/consumables and whatever and seen that the gains uphill from say half a ton of meat and baggage don't equate to the gains down hill without, particularly offshore. 

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3 hours ago, Miffy said:

You might need to use maritime signal flags - can't have skills eroding.

semaphore, bitch!

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:D:D:D  Got no problem at all with technology until it starts to take away the human involvement and elements, that's the issue.

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23 hours ago, GBH said:

So now tell me what happens to the rating?  Should there be a penalty for being able to carry fewer crew and weight around the place or a credit for a crap driver?  As of now RORC has refused to encompass rating credits for reduced crew numbers except for the two handed certificates.

As ever it's all the unintended consequences that need to be thought through, and on the face of it they haven't.

The philosophical angle remains though - what is the point of having all the automated systems steadily eroding the skills of the participants?

Sat nav was bad enough in dumbing down the navigational skills now you now exactly where you are all the time, nav and routing apps to help or take over the decisions, and now to start taking out the physical skills and finally whats left?

Would you like a return to Loran, sextants, red sails and yellow oilskins?? :P

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Loran no thanks! Red sails were fine and fun on gaffers, sextants are a real skill and if back on long trips yes I'd dig mine out again,yellow oilskins :unsure:

No, it's the steady erosion of physical and mental skills and strengths that takes away part of what racing should be about.  If it's all too easy then wheres the fun and challenge?  

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My Dad was a successful racing sailor when foulies leaked, Navigation was guesswork, and sailors were drunk a lot more often. He would have thought the decision was completely sensible, and will hopefully allow more people to go offshore racing without the need to have a full complement of rail bait. 

Not sure why GBH thinks this is the beginning of the end. Sailing is, and always has been, an equipment based sport. We have moved from oil lamps to LED, compasses and time keeping to GPS and tracking, gollywobblers to wing sails. I am sure that everyone has their preferred moment when sailing was epic, but just because a pilot is allowed does not immediately mean a decline in seamanship. Indeed you could argue, that with Covid increasing the short handed sailing classes, this is a seamanlike decision by RORC to improve watch keeping in boat that may be shorter handed than desired. 

 

Back in 'the good old days' there were plenty of examples of poor seamanship... They just weren't on social media... 

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2 minutes ago, Potter said:

My Dad was a successful racing sailor when foulies leaked, Navigation was guesswork, and sailors were drunk a lot more often. He would have thought the decision was completely sensible, and will hopefully allow more people to go offshore racing without the need to have a full complement of rail bait. 

Not sure why GBH thinks this is the beginning of the end. Sailing is, and always has been, an equipment based sport. We have moved from oil lamps to LED, compasses and time keeping to GPS and tracking, gollywobblers to wing sails. I am sure that everyone has their preferred moment when sailing was epic, but just because a pilot is allowed does not immediately mean a decline in seamanship. Indeed you could argue, that with Covid increasing the short handed sailing classes, this is a seamanlike decision by RORC to improve watch keeping in boat that may be shorter handed than desired. 

 

Back in 'the good old days' there were plenty of examples of poor seamanship... They just weren't on social media... 

Nailed it.

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Plus the reactionary luddites always freeze frame some fictional version of event that never existed. 

If you don’t want autopilots? Don’t use one. If you can summon the crew? Use the crew. 

Being out on the water, the normative thing that has always been true is pragmatic attitude is the winning attitude for all time. If you want, you can go back to canvas sails, full time rigger and sailmaker and carpenters maintaining your wooden ship with a wood stove and wet bildge with ballast stones and banish women from the boats. 
 

No one is stopped you except your own reality. 

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That. And the good thing about rating is that you may (almost) win in compensated time on your long-keel boat with canvas sails... or mroe reallistically, with a full crew on board you have more ballast hence enhance your chances to win... and to keep people busy you'll be encouraged to have several helmsmen, hence no need for the autopilot... at the end of the day, whatever your choice, more time on the water means more learning and more seamanship

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6 hours ago, mad said:

Would you like a return to Loran, sextants, red sails and yellow oilskins?? :P

loran, sextants yes...  the rest not so much... 

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5 hours ago, GBH said:

Loran no thanks! Red sails were fine and fun on gaffers, sextants are a real skill and if back on long trips yes I'd dig mine out again,yellow oilskins :unsure:

No, it's the steady erosion of physical and mental skills and strengths that takes away part of what racing should be about.  If it's all too easy then wheres the fun and challenge?  

Loran at least gave you an excuse to use all the fiddly bits in the chart table...  Made navigating interesting bordering on the dark sciences...

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1 hour ago, shaggy said:

Loran at least gave you an excuse to use all the fiddly bits in the chart table...  Made navigating interesting bordering on the dark sciences...

For those of us in NW Europe, please may we have Decca back?

Helmsperson: "Navigator, where are we?"

Navigator: "Decca says about two miles north of Bournemouth"

Meeting Loran in the Med was a pleasure, both in usability and accuracy.

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Race boat had an ancient one growing up..  Loved it as a teenager.  Parents got one for the cruiser in the early 90's.  He had 10 EE's on the boat at various times and none of them could get the damn thing to throw out the right #'s.  Best I could do was coming back from kenosha one year, it put us in frigging Oshkosh...  

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On 8/13/2020 at 12:32 PM, DickDastardly said:

I stand corrected!

 

Partially correct Dick, there is no reduction under IRC but there is a benefit under ORCi 

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On 8/14/2020 at 11:43 AM, shaggy said:

Race boat had an ancient one growing up..  Loved it as a teenager.  Parents got one for the cruiser in the early 90's.  He had 10 EE's on the boat at various times and none of them could get the damn thing to throw out the right #'s.  Best I could do was coming back from kenosha one year, it put us in frigging Oshkosh...  

You just have to watch out for those pesky Base Line Extensions....

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GBH,

Keep up ffs!

You might notice this other modern idea of asymmetric boats that use full RM almost 100% of the time.

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There are a significant number of hours in most offshore races where it's so dark drivers don't have any frame of reference. If you don't think having the ability to use an autopilot on those occasions isn't a huge benefit, then you haven't been out there and done that. 

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7 hours ago, Tom O'Keefe said:

There are a significant number of hours in most offshore races where it's so dark drivers don't have any frame of reference.

Never ever experienced that, makes me wonder...

 

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Tom,

The dark arts indeed. But in a boat well stocked with steerers offshore, usually one or two can ski in the blizzard...

Hobart race is often very dark, with various left over wave bits, no horizon etc..

The best human is still way better than an AP,  because the human operates on prediction and the AP on reaction.

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1 hour ago, Frogman56 said:

The best human is still way better than an AP,  because the human operates on prediction and the AP on reaction.

Are people steering with NVGs now? How far can you see between 6pm-5am?

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As long as you can see the luff of the frontsail... is enough

Setup for limit condition:

Steerer eyes up, head still.

2nd calling eccentric waves

3rd calling verbal heading and wind (twa and strength)

Front sail held without much sheet movement.

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40 minutes ago, DtM said:

Don't all the boats anchor at night ??

Depends, sometimes it's easier to just run them aground, ask Nico or Wouter...

 

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I can recall about 4 rshyr where 'into the black hole' was a feature.

Most recently with about 35 tws from the NEacross Bass St, three swell elements, survived the night with fractional chute.

Twice where fog and drizzle sufficient that visibility was abouthe luff of the chute.

And one where we had pea soup in a light E for two days! Not so scary that one.

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19 hours ago, Tom O'Keefe said:

There are a significant number of hours in most offshore races where it's so dark drivers don't have any frame of reference. If you don't think having the ability to use an autopilot on those occasions isn't a huge benefit, then you haven't been out there and done that. 

You really have no idea do you?  And btw, i do have well North of 200K offshore miles, most  of those racing...inc the bad Fastnet and S2H and you think an autopilot would be good new then...ffs.

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3 hours ago, Frogman56 said:

I can recall about 4 rshyr where 'into the black hole' was a feature.

Most recently with about 35 tws from the NEacross Bass St, three swell elements, survived the night with fractional chute.

Twice where fog and drizzle sufficient that visibility was abouthe luff of the chute.

And one where we had pea soup in a light E for two days! Not so scary that one.

I delivered back from Hobart in January during the bush fires along the coast.  Zero visibility at night - thick smoke obliterating all stars and moon, TWS 35-40 from the south.  Focuses the mind.

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12 hours ago, Fiji Bitter said:
19 hours ago, Tom O'Keefe said:

There are a significant number of hours in most offshore races where it's so dark drivers don't have any frame of reference.

Never ever experienced that, makes me wonder...

Happens racing on catamarans.

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29 minutes ago, astro said:

Happens racing on catamarans.

Only with split personalities, and only if you focus the mind on port and stbd at the same time.

Sorry, it's getting a bit technical now, but two compasses and even more two rutters can drive you round in circles.

Best to have two AP's in that case, and see which one will win...

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9 hours ago, Frogman56 said:

As long as you can see the luff of the frontsail... is enough

Setup for limit condition:

Steerer eyes up, head still.

2nd calling eccentric waves

3rd calling verbal heading and wind (twa and strength)

Front sail held without much sheet movement.

So you’re running 3 person fully engaged watch hour after hour to essentially get apparent wind mode on NKE with wave response 

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Close enough, yes. The eccentric waves the hardest part... but lots of concentration for the driver to maintain heel angle.

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3 hours ago, GBH said:

You really have no idea do you?  And btw, i do have well North of 200K offshore miles, most  of those racing...inc the bad Fastnet and S2H and you think an autopilot would be good new then...ffs.

I've done more than my fair share of driving in the absolute pitch black and/or fog where you couldn't see the bow. Where you had to steer AWA and Binnacle because the processor wouldn't respond fast enough. And yes pretty much every time we made miles on the competition. But, with the Autopilots available today that they are using on the single handers the processors are so fast and they teach themselves the rhythm of the sea state. I can honestly say there were a few Mr. Wizard times when I would have preferred to be able to switch one of those on.    

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Here the ORCV allows AP on boats racing with 4 or less crew. It reduces the need to get a full crew for offshore with the intention of getting more boats on the water.

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"lost" pressuposes they once had them...

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