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The marketeers as well as a few promoters here on the forum seem to be the driving forces behind our sport today are following their determined dogma that somehow the best interests of the sport will be served by accelerating the churn rate towards ever faster versions of boats that in the past had been 'sailable by all' and were now increasingly just the domain of the practised and fit few.

This mindset, that new boats should be for 'the elite and not the lot' is just one of the factors that is behind the increasingly worrying loss of critical mass of participation in sailing. Yet that headlong drive towards ever higher performance is taking place at a time when all the indications are of a strong statistical co-relation between performance (as expressed by PY number) and loss of numbers. 

It has been said on this website so many times before, yet it is such a strong message that it pays to say it again. Sailing, first and foremost, should be about having fun and there would be few that would argue that going fast IS having fun. But you don't have to foil to go fast, you can have just as amazing a 'thrash' in whatever you sail.

Single-hander or double-hander, the fun is on how you can sail your own boat fast, for speed, as we have seen, is all relative to what you do it in. Following that Greed for Speed may get you from A to B a bit quicker, but to what point, when there is so much more fun to be had going slower, often in nicer locations and with more company.

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I don't agree with all that you are saying.  For example, by bringing in new generations of boats, the older boats suddenly become available to us amateurs at a reasonable price while the pros, or just rich guys, can afford the big bucks of new boats.  If they want to pay $110k for 2/10ths of a knot, go for it!  Just look at the Figaro 3 versus Figaro 2.     Us amateurs are racing PHRF anyway, so it really doesn't matter if we have the latest boat.

However I do agree that you can have fun with any boat.  You just have to push it to the boats limit and your own limit.  

 

 

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I have really enjoyed racing this year short handed and solo in short handed and fully crewed races in beer cans and weekend long run regattas. although I have sailed nearly all my life, i am finding that i am still picking up things and learned more about what my boat needs every time I am out. Yeah, there are times I wish i carried the speed of a newer ULDB going down wind but the comfort afforded to my stiff solid sailor can't be discounted.

I only got one 1st in 20 races this year with several bottom or DNFs. The time i spent has been great.  Damn I love my boat but sometimes I wish I wasn't passed down wind as much. Maybe in the races to come, i will find the answer to that too. It just might be a new boat, or just a new idea or just need to drop a few more boat bucks to cover that gap between winning and finishing.

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On 8/25/2021 at 1:52 PM, Black Jack said:

The marketeers as well as a few promoters here on the forum seem to be the driving forces behind our sport today are following their determined dogma that somehow the best interests of the sport will be served by accelerating the churn rate towards ever faster versions of boats that in the past had been 'sailable by all' and were now increasingly just the domain of the practised and fit few.

This mindset, that new boats should be for 'the elite and not the lot' is just one of the factors that is behind the increasingly worrying loss of critical mass of participation in sailing. Yet that headlong drive towards ever higher performance is taking place at a time when all the indications are of a strong statistical co-relation between performance (as expressed by PY number) and loss of numbers. 

It has been said on this website so many times before, yet it is such a strong message that it pays to say it again. Sailing, first and foremost, should be about having fun and there would be few that would argue that going fast IS having fun. But you don't have to foil to go fast, you can have just as amazing a 'thrash' in whatever you sail.

Single-hander or double-hander, the fun is on how you can sail your own boat fast, for speed, as we have seen, is all relative to what you do it in. Following that Greed for Speed may get you from A to B a bit quicker, but to what point, when there is so much more fun to be had going slower, often in nicer locations and with more company.

This need for speed is unfortunate

boats are  becoming too weight sensitive , expensive and fragile 

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Is that really the case? I agree that prices for new boats (other than the cheapest of production jobs) are well outside the realms of what's affordable to ordinary mortals. I don't know if that's always been the case, but certainly for younger working people it is today. 

But as Foolish pointed out, these boat's trickle down. I probably couldn't afford what I'm sailing today back if it was built new today, but we need new boats & people to buy them to keep the used market alive. No different than with cars really. 

Disagree again about the elite skillset. Sure some out & out racers use foils, but there's still a huge market of boats that are easier to sail, if anything easier than the boats of old. I'd rather deal with the big main & small jib on a J/99 / SF3200/3400/300 / JPK and any number of other boats than a ridiculously large deck sweeping genoa on some old IOR stumpy masted lead mine. Given the surge of double & single handing I'd say they're much easier to handle today. 

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13 hours ago, MiddayGun said:

Is that really the case? I agree that prices for new boats (other than the cheapest of production jobs) are well outside the realms of what's affordable to ordinary mortals. I don't know if that's always been the case, but certainly for younger working people it is today ... J/99 / SF3200/3400/300 / JPK

I have the VAT invoice from when my boat (sort of like a UK-built J/92) was built in 1997 - £45k including racing sails or about £85k in today's money according to the Bank of England. A J/99 is going to be at least double that? Cape 31 is £250k+ with electronics and sails?

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7 hours ago, Snowden said:

I have the VAT invoice from when my boat (sort of like a UK-built J/92) was built in 1997 - £45k including racing sails or about £85k in today's money according to the Bank of England. A J/99 is going to be at least double that? Cape 31 is £250k+ with electronics and sails?

That is a massive change tbf. 
I think (and I CBA to check the receipts right now) that my MGC 27 was in the mid twenties back in 1986  when she was built. 
Which would be about 74k today. So a long way short of what a French semi custom job would cost. But probably not too far from a 'full production' boat of the same size.
And she certainly didn't come with great electrics, shore power and the rest. That all got added over time. Then added again when it went out of date. 

Fortunately she's still quick enough to compete, & Rob Humphries was smart enough to specify a more modern 7/8 rig with a big main and smaller genny. 
That said I'd love to upgrade to something like an A-31 or SF3200. Can't justify spending the money right now. 

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On 9/12/2021 at 3:28 AM, slug zitski said:

This need for speed is unfortunate

boats are  becoming too weight sensitive , expensive and fragile 

I wouldn't agree that to go fast means the boat needs to be weight sensitive or fragile. Example: if I added a 1000kg in weight to my cruiser/racer it needed an extra knot of wind to plane (weight sensitive?). It had no backstay (fragile?) but I sailed enough times in 30+ knots with the resultant sea state to almost forget about it as an issue.

It also comes down to your definition of fast. Being the fastest but getting firehosed and being cold and miserable sucks balls. albeit it exhilarating. But going fast with dry decks and in comfort and short handed? That's fun and exhilarating.

On the expense I agree. In my case the penalty for the nice stuff was the purchase price. The resale was just over half of the purchase price but after 5 years and comparing apples for apples.you'd add to that the cost of new sail wardrobe, but that's all that was needed. 

But trucking along two up at 15-16 knots under white sails with loads of control...for me, even paying the new price, it was worth every cent. Next time I might consider being buyer number 2 of a new boat, IME you get a lot of bang for your buck.    

     

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Your absolute statements are not correct.

I spent this Saturday drifting around the Southampton Boatshow in the UK.  The vast majority of boats offered were for the Plebs, not the Elite.

From a sail-ability point of view it was all about simplicity.  Even to the detriment of race-ability.  Of all the yachts there, I would define around 2 as 'cruiser/racers'.  So, maybe 5% of yachts offered.  There were maybe a few that offered a 'sport' version.  The vast majority of the cruisers would not be practically capable of being raced.  The trend is towards squeezing all sailing tasks to within the aft 6 feet of the boat.  1 wheel, 2 winches (powered) and a bank of clutches, repeat on Starboard, job done.  And as far as being weight sensitive; they've got soooo much volume, you could dump an Aga on them and they wouldn't blink.

These things are caravans on water.  And this isn't about marketing, this is about market.  People are buying these boats.  So people make them.  And as far as being too expensive; I'm not sure there's a lot of people getting all that rich out of making boats.

So yes, the status-quo is under threat, but not because of marketeers, but because of market.  There just isn't much of a market for Cruiser/Racers anymore; If you can find more people to buy the boats you hanker after, then someone would make them.

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20 hours ago, Snowden said:

I have the VAT invoice from when my boat (sort of like a UK-built J/92) was built in 1997 - £45k including racing sails or about £85k in today's money according to the Bank of England. A J/99 is going to be at least double that? Cape 31 is £250k+ with electronics and sails?

While I'm a big fan of your particular boat, it's worth pointing out that the company that made them fairly quickly went out of business.

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16 minutes ago, canstead said:

While I'm a big fan of your particular boat, it's worth pointing out that the company that made them fairly quickly went out of business.

:-) you are not wrong there.

Small volume cheap boat building in the UK has always been a tricky business... some minor teething issues such as all the boats needing new keels and chainplate reinforcement didn't help either.

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21 hours ago, shaggybaxter said:

Next time I might consider being buyer number 2 of a new boat, IME you get a lot of bang for your buck.         

It is great when boat builders produce the latest, greatest and fastest boats. Fantastic used boats get cheaper and more available.

My SF3200 will be a little bit slower than the 3300, but at a 1/3 of the price, I'm not going to care. 

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On 9/14/2021 at 1:42 AM, canstead said:

Your absolute statements are not correct.

I spent this Saturday drifting around the Southampton Boatshow in the UK.  The vast majority of boats offered were for the Plebs, not the Elite.

From a sail-ability point of view it was all about simplicity.  Even to the detriment of race-ability.  Of all the yachts there, I would define around 2 as 'cruiser/racers'.  So, maybe 5% of yachts offered.  There were maybe a few that offered a 'sport' version.  The vast majority of the cruisers would not be practically capable of being raced.  The trend is towards squeezing all sailing tasks to within the aft 6 feet of the boat.  1 wheel, 2 winches (powered) and a bank of clutches, repeat on Starboard, job done.  And as far as being weight sensitive; they've got soooo much volume, you could dump an Aga on them and they wouldn't blink.

These things are caravans on water.  And this isn't about marketing, this is about market.  People are buying these boats.  So people make them.  And as far as being too expensive; I'm not sure there's a lot of people getting all that rich out of making boats.

So yes, the status-quo is under threat, but not because of marketeers, but because of market.  There just isn't much of a market for Cruiser/Racers anymore; If you can find more people to buy the boats you hanker after, then someone would make them.

Rustler 33 there?  Probably looked tiny…. Saffiers?  Any of the weekender 30ers?

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On 9/14/2021 at 10:42 AM, canstead said:

Your absolute statements are not correct.

I spent this Saturday drifting around the Southampton Boatshow in the UK.  The vast majority of boats offered were for the Plebs, not the Elite.

From a sail-ability point of view it was all about simplicity.  Even to the detriment of race-ability.  Of all the yachts there, I would define around 2 as 'cruiser/racers'.  So, maybe 5% of yachts offered.  There were maybe a few that offered a 'sport' version.  The vast majority of the cruisers would not be practically capable of being raced.  The trend is towards squeezing all sailing tasks to within the aft 6 feet of the boat.  1 wheel, 2 winches (powered) and a bank of clutches, repeat on Starboard, job done.  And as far as being weight sensitive; they've got soooo much volume, you could dump an Aga on them and they wouldn't blink.

These things are caravans on water.  And this isn't about marketing, this is about market.  People are buying these boats.  So people make them.  And as far as being too expensive; I'm not sure there's a lot of people getting all that rich out of making boats.

So yes, the status-quo is under threat, but not because of marketeers, but because of market.  There just isn't much of a market for Cruiser/Racers anymore; If you can find more people to buy the boats you hanker after, then someone would make them.

The problem with racer cruisers is  deck layout 

not the best layout for racing and not the  best for cruising 

difficult to optimize  ergonomics for dual use 

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With a race boat , the crew... 8 or ten ballast pieces  .. need a clear walkway to rapidly move from port to starboard and not interfere with the sail trimmers  

on a cruiser this is not needed

 

 

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Well rounded race boats that sail well in all conditions rarely win the sexy cool bar-bragging, magazine-headline, forum-bragging contests. But they are great to own. Similar can be said for cars, motorcycles and wives. 

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21 hours ago, slug zitski said:

With a race boat , the crew... 8 or ten ballast pieces  .. need a clear walkway to rapidly move from port to starboard and not interfere with the sail trimmers  

on a cruiser this is not needed

 

 

Helm & trimmer cross the cockpit, foredeck man around the fwd end of the mast & everyone else under the boom. Easy! 

 

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