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Why is everyone still sailing boats designed in the 1930s


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I grew up racing a 18’ one design with my dad in South East Michigan and am looking  to getting back into sailing with my kids. I would like to find an active fleet with more modern boats but can’t find anything anywhere.

I’ve been following sailing closely enough over the years to know there have been lots of cool small boats designed and built l, why haven’t any caught on in any of these clubs? 

 

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Because modern boats aren’t any better at lake sailing than  an C,E or MC scow? 

because a properly built and cared for boat from the 1930's is more fun to sail than a oil-canning thowaway chlorox bottle of modern times \

Because sailing in a class where tactics & strategy are rewarded is more satisfying that going faster in a less exacting, and therefore less interesting, class. This is basically a different

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1 hour ago, Sail4beer said:

Because modern boats aren’t any better at lake sailing than  an C,E or MC scow? 

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My club , main classes 

Yare and Bure one design, designed 1908, so 113 years old, 

Rebel keelboat. Designed 1949, so 72 years old,

Reedling Keelboat, designed 1963, so 58 years old,

Yeoman keelboat designed 1969 so 52 years old,

Laser designed 1970, so 51 years old,

Topper, 1977, so 44 years old.

Optimist, 1947, so 74 years old.

We have a scattering of more recent designs. But none are more successful, so why choose something more modern? Yes they may be built of lighter, stronger materials, but do they sail any better ? Probably not. Do they give more enjoyment? Probably not.. do they cost more? Certainly..

 

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Its an interesting question. Do we know more now about boat design to do a better job than was done 90 years ago, and the answer is undoubtedly. So why do more modern boats so often fail to catch on?
One answer, I suggest, is a tendency to believe performance is everything and introduce ever faster and more extreme boats without recognising that what people want by and large are moderate performance boats.

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Because sailing in a class where tactics & strategy are rewarded is more satisfying that going faster in a less exacting, and therefore less interesting, class.

This is basically a different version of the same question about what the AC should be.

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1 hour ago, Geff said:

Buy a Weta and race the CRAM circuit all over our State and region.  Just my 2c.

I love the idea and have been looking at a few NACRAs but Wouldn’t be able to commit to the weekends away. 

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57 minutes ago, LionessRacing said:

 because a properly built and cared for boat from the 1930's is more fun to sail than a oil-canning thowaway chlorox bottle of modern times

\

 

44 minutes ago, JimC said:

Its an interesting question. Do we know more now about boat design to do a better job than was done 90 years ago, and the answer is undoubtedly. So why do more modern boats so often fail to catch on?
One answer, I suggest, is a tendency to believe performance is everything and introduce ever faster and more extreme boats without recognising that what people want by and large are moderate performance boats.

 

27 minutes ago, Parma said:

Because sailing in a class where tactics & strategy are rewarded is more satisfying that going faster in a less exacting, and therefore less interesting, class.

This is basically a different version of the same question about what the AC should be.

I understand your point but would love to understand how your fleets have grown with this strategy the last 10-20 years? 

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47 minutes ago, DetroitOD said:

 

 

I understand your point but would love to understand how your fleets have grown with this strategy the last 10-20 years? 

The guys in charge of the AC followed that same logic and moved to a new platform causing interest & followers to fall dramatically.

I understand what you're saying but don't think a new boat is the only answer; cost, inclusion & outreach as well as attacking common perceptions are more likely to produce the results you're looking for.

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You pose an interesting question I think learning how to sail first, easily,  has to be front and center of many designs. Mastering the subtitles comes later.

There are parallels to the de Havilland Tiger Moth, the trainer for many RAF pilots( and many other Air Forces) from 1934 to 1959

The plane is a bi plane with cloth wings and fuselage with an engine delivering just 130 h.p yet after learning the fundamentals in a Tiger they would throw the better candidate into prop fighters with 1200 h.p. and of course jets in the 50's 

This excerpt about the tiger could sum up a number of sailboat designs over the years:

The Tiger Moth exhibits the fundamental requirements of a training aircraft, in being "easy to fly, but difficult to fly well"; the aircraft's benign handling when within its limits make it easy for the novice to learn the basic skills of flight. At the same time techniques such as coordinated flight must be learnt and used effectively, and the aircraft will show up mishandling to an observant instructor or attentive pupil. As training progresses towards more advanced areas, especially aerobatics, the skill required on the part of a Tiger Moth pilot increases. The aircraft will not, like some training aircraft, "fly its way out of trouble" but will instead stall or spin if mishandled. However the stall and spin remain benign, again showing up deficient piloting without endangering the aircraft or the crew. These characteristics were invaluable to military operators, who must identify between pilots with the potential to go on to fly fighter aircraft, those more suited to lower-performance machines and those who must be relegated to non-pilot aircrew positions. Sorry for the slight thread drift.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Havilland_Tiger_Moth

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Because fundamentally a displacement boat of x length from 1930 will sail nearly as well as a displacement boat up to today, sure it may be slower, loads heavier, smaller volume and not suited to certain conditions but in yachting length isn't everything, just 90% of everything.

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6 hours ago, DetroitOD said:

I grew up racing a 18’ one design with my dad in South East Michigan and am looking  to getting back into sailing with my kids. I would like to find an active fleet with more modern boats but can’t find anything anywhere.

I’ve been following sailing closely enough over the years to know there have been lots of cool small boats designed and built l, why haven’t any caught on in any of these clubs? 

 

The biggest reason is $$$. There are a lot of cool new boats but until people spend money on them they never catch on.  The question is do you spend $10K for a Melges 15 or $2K for a good used Laser or Sunfish? If you want a bigger boat the costs go up as well. There are so many used boats out there that are competitive that spending all that money on a new one makes little sense. 

My thought is find a fleet you like, buy a good used boat and have fun sailing.  

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5 hours ago, Sail4beer said:

Because modern boats aren’t any better at lake sailing than  an C,E or MC scow? 

:lol:

It depends, of course, on exactly what you mean by "better" but there are certainly a hell of a lot of boats that are a hell of a lot better in a hell of a lot of at least a half-dozen or so characteristics.

The two reasons that the USA class racing is done in dinosaurs: the dinosaurs are already here and are cheap; there are a number of zealots who insist that only REAL sailing is done in their particular favorite dinosaur.

FB- Doug

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Sailing is a relative speed sport, its not fast. Planing boats other than dinghies only plane in "their" conditions which are not as common as you might think for a keel boat. The last AC was not a sailors regatta, it was an engineers and gym workout regatta. For all intents and purposes they may as well have been playing x box for all the relevance it has to sailing as we know it.

The reason why these old boats are still going is that they still sail well, you can be competitive and practice the art of sailing. Essentially you are on a moving chessboard with a myriad of factors to manage and anticipate while you practice your tactic, strategy, boat handling, crew management etc etc etc..... On faster more more powerful boats the need for professionalism grows to the point where a bunch of amateurs probably shouldn't be on a TP 52 over 20 kts... plus the classics that are still around have an X factor that keep them going, whether that may be aesthetics, handling or economy. Boats come and go but the good ones with good associations hang around.

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1 hour ago, Rum Runner said:

The biggest reason is $$$. There are a lot of cool new boats but until people spend money on them they never catch on.  The question is do you spend $10K for a Melges 15 or $2K for a good used Laser or Sunfish? If you want a bigger boat the costs go up as well. There are so many used boats out there that are competitive that spending all that money on a new one makes little sense. 

My thought is find a fleet you like, buy a good used boat and have fun sailing.  

I guess that’s the problem the fleet i used to be a part of always had 10+ boats on a Sunday start line. Now best they can do is 4-6 and the marina now has less than 10 sailboats in total but they added more docks for all the pontoons.

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Sailing as we old fucks know it is a dying sport, its dying with the boomers and dying with the expense. But we few remain,

and Storm’d at with shot and shell, 
Boldly we rode and well, 
Into the jaws of Death, 
Into the mouth of Hell 
   Rode the six hundred. 
Flash’d all our sabres bare, 
Flash’d as they turn’d in air 
Sabring the gunners there, 
Charging an army, while 
   All the world wonder’d: 
Plunged in the battery-smoke 
Right thro’ the line we broke

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19 minutes ago, onepointfivethumbs said:

 

I learned on a C175 built in 1959!

 

@DetroitODWhat did you have in mind for the "new hotness"?

There have been whispers that Detroit is ripe to become an Aero hotbed...

RS Areo? I’ve never seen one. Not sure what specific model  but want to be 2-3 up. Asymmetric, nice open cockpit. Melges 15 looks fun, something bigger from the RS line… 

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58 minutes ago, onepointfivethumbs said:

 

I learned on a C175 built in 1959!

 

@DetroitODWhat did you have in mind for the "new hotness"?

There have been whispers that Detroit is ripe to become an Aero hotbed...

150 for me.  Slow and old but an Aerobat could be fun.  Interesting, 150’s were very much individuals.  One would leap into the sky and fly very close to its book speeds.  Another all but had to be lifted into the sky and was maybe as much as ten mph slower than book speeds.  (In those days we were still flying by mph instead of knots. However, knots makes more sense) 

In all my years I never could get it clear in my mind how quickly the 150 transitioned into a spin.  Looked so gentle from the ground.  Oh for the days and the fun in the air.  Final thought, it took me too many years to learn how to stick a Skyhawk’s landing.  Gotta get the airspeed just right and she hits the runway like she was glued there.  150 & Cutless, no problems.  Skyhawk, if not handled right, floats like a hot air balloon.    

What were we talking about?

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57 minutes ago, DetroitOD said:

RS Areo? I’ve never seen one. Not sure what specific model  but want to be 2-3 up. Asymmetric, nice open cockpit. Melges 15 looks fun, something bigger from the RS line… 

Probably because there are "close enough" boats for all of those categories. J/70's blew up because of some teams upgrading and some teams downsizing, 3-5 up, trailerable, Asym one design that would hold its value. Vipers the same to a lesser extent. Real speed freaks are on F-18's. Thistles and Lightnings are EVERYWHERE as the family 2-4 up one design dinghy. 

The problem with introducing a new boat is that you have to invest in something that might not pay off. Someone here brought a whole container of Melges 15's to New Jersey and they're having a blast because everyone bought one at the same time. If you want to be the fleet cheerleader you really need to buy more than one boat and tons of spare parts to be able to get other people to play with you and convert them to the dark side  your fleet of choice. 

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On 8/28/2021 at 2:37 PM, DetroitOD said:

 

 

I understand your point but would love to understand how your fleets have grown with this strategy the last 10-20 years? 

Fleets of many of these classes have maintained across generations... A new dinghy has a trajectory of rapid growth, and then obsolescence as people go on to the next new thing. A Star/Snip/Comet/Lightning sailor with 40 yrs at the helm is a very worthy competitor, even if they are not agile on a trapeze

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On 8/28/2021 at 10:07 PM, DetroitOD said:

RS Areo? I’ve never seen one. Not sure what specific model  but want to be 2-3 up. Asymmetric, nice open cockpit. Melges 15 looks fun, something bigger from the RS line… 

3 up asy is Viper 640

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4 hours ago, LionessRacing said:

Fleets of many of these classes have maintained across generations... A new dinghy has a trajectory of rapid growth, and then obsolescence as people go on to the next new thing. A Star/Snip/Comet/Lightning sailor with 40 yrs at the helm is a very worthy competitor, even if they are not agile on a trapeze

Young sailors need todo what I do: owner crew a 505. You can grt older sailors to helm. They love it. You csn also put 11 yo kids back there. They also love it.

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23 hours ago, onepointfivethumbs said:

Probably because there are "close enough" boats for all of those categories. J/70's blew up because of some teams upgrading and some teams downsizing, 3-5 up, trailerable, Asym one design that would hold its value. Vipers the same to a lesser extent. Real speed freaks are on F-18's. Thistles and Lightnings are EVERYWHERE as the family 2-4 up one design dinghy. 

The problem with introducing a new boat is that you have to invest in something that might not pay off. Someone here brought a whole container of Melges 15's to New Jersey and they're having a blast because everyone bought one at the same time. If you want to be the fleet cheerleader you really need to buy more than one boat and tons of spare parts to be able to get other people to play with you and convert them to the dark side  your fleet of choice. 

Fleet builderd are central to ALL small boat sailing. Including thistles for instance. Fleet builders often spend quite a bit buying boats.

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On 8/28/2021 at 7:33 PM, adrianl said:

our fleets

Atlantics - 1928

Stars - 1911

Thistle - 1945

Lightnings - 1938

Laser - 1970

Vanguard - 1992

RS Aero - 2019

and everyone is happy with the fleet they chose to be part of.

Westport is a cool place to sail.

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On 8/28/2021 at 4:14 PM, JimC said:

But no-one learns to fly in a Tiger any more.

 

I wouldn't say that for sure, but it would cost more than learning in a metal airplane that can sit outside and not need expensive fabric replacement. The newer planes don't fly better, they are just cheaper to run ;)

 

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The basic problems are these:

1. If you want to sail OD, you need a fleet.

2. That fleet sails boat X. If you don't buy an X, you have no one to sail with.

3. It is very close to zero-sum, if you can convince local sailors to form a fleet for boat Y, most of them are going to come from boat X and that class will die or you will end up with two weak classes instead of one strong one.

Take a look at the 12 Meter class. It is over 110 years old and seems to be doing as well as ever while the Americas Cup that had to have the newest cool toys seems to be circling the drain.

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9 hours ago, fastyacht said:

3 up asy is Viper 640

The 640 looks perfect, but as I’ve been taught in this thread it’s basically the same as a Snipe or lightning. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. This reminded me of an old joke on SA where every new member would be assigned a j/24.

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56 minutes ago, DetroitOD said:

The 640 looks perfect, but as I’ve been taught in this thread it’s basically the same as a Snipe or lightning. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. This reminded me of an old joke on SA where every new member would be assigned a j/24.

Loghting and V640 are as aloke as a crab and an oyster.

J24 assignment lol

I race 505. We have veen on dame coirsr as j24. We tend to catch them during the race. We are 5 mon faster. On the other hand the darned vipers are always faster.

 

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Take the Opti. IMHO these are horrible boats. I sure am glad I didn't have to learn to sail in a box that needs constant bailing!

It is about impossible to get rid of them, if your club does then your kids have no other clubs to race with and few clubs want to spend the cash to buy their fleet all over again. A new class won't have huge numbers of cheap used boats floating around either, even a beat-to-shit $500 Opti is still in the class ;)

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On 8/28/2021 at 7:37 PM, LionessRacing said:

 because a properly built and cared for boat from the 1930's is more fun to sail than a oil-canning thowaway chlorox bottle of modern times

\

You need to compare like for like, modern "cruiser racers" are very exciting to sail, once you've experienced a day (or a night) kite up with the boat literally "singing", it is hard not to find older boats a bit dull even if these older boats are enjoyable to sail.

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At the end of the day, this is a sport based around one of the most ancient forms of transportation on the planet. Doesn't have to be on the technological bleeding edge to be fun.

I thought about this in the context of the AC debate (I'm on the displacement monohull side): if you view sailing more as a "game," i.e. you find most of your excitement in the tactics, strategy, and teamwork, then raw speed will be less important to you. In many ways, more speed is less desirable in that context. I have fun sailing keelboats not because they're fast but because it's satisfying to sail them 0.1 knots faster than the other guy.

If you view sailing more as a racing sport, then technology and speed matters more to you. You want to race as fast and/or as efficiently as is possible in a wind-driven craft.

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1 hour ago, Sisu3360 said:

At the end of the day, this is a sport based around one of the most ancient forms of transportation on the planet. Doesn't have to be on the technological bleeding edge to be fun.

I thought about this in the context of the AC debate (I'm on the displacement monohull side): if you view sailing more as a "game," i.e. you find most of your excitement in the tactics, strategy, and teamwork, then raw speed will be less important to you. In many ways, more speed is less desirable in that context. I have fun sailing keelboats not because they're fast but because it's satisfying to sail them 0.1 knots faster than the other guy.

If you view sailing more as a racing sport, then technology and speed matters more to you. You want to race as fast and/or as efficiently as is possible in a wind-driven craft.

Specific to one-design, you are joining an extended family and investing money in something with exactly ONE* use that can be taken away at any time. You'll be traveling with and racing with the fleet, so the fleet needs to be active and needs to be people you want to spend time with. If there are 100 party animals in Lightnings around your area and three Soling sailors, two of which are assholes, I know which fleet I would be in even if I loved Solings and hated Lightnings.

* Some ODs have second and third lives doing other things, but at the small end of the scale racing dinghies are frequently uncomfortable enough or demanding enough that almost no one would have them as a daysailor or other use that wasn't racing. If the fleet dies, the boat is now a lawn ornament.

 

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3 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

 ...    ...    ... racing dinghies are frequently uncomfortable enough or demanding enough that almost no one would have them as a daysailor or other use that wasn't racing. If the fleet dies, the boat is now a lawn ornament.

^ this ^ is why I switched to Buccaneers although am not really very active in that class. Simple boat, not really an ergonomic delight but still fun enough to sail that I daysail it occasionally.

I never knew -any-body who daysailed Lightnings. Or Thistles. etc etc.

I love to sail and would rather have a practical fun boat than a hot one-design. But that's just me, I am very far past having to prove anything to anybody. If I were to race one-designs nowadays, it would be something like the Oday Javelin only with a fleet rule that they have to be antifouled and kept in a wet slip. They'd be perfect for racing in our inner harbor or creek.

A new boat? It would have to be responsive (a different thing, and more fun, than "fast"), easy to keep clean, easy to rig and unrig, and strongly built enough that I would not worry about putting my foot thru the foredeck or something. Racing dinghies tend to be hothouse flowers too, fragile and so wildly impractical as to be a total PITA to anybody who isn't obsessed with them.

FB- Doug

 

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I can't imagine taking my wife out in a Lightning, Comet, Star, Snipe, or 101 other ODs and still being married the next day. The J-70 or J-80, can't recall which, looked very nice for casual day sails with the nice comfy seats.

* one time my wife saw a somewhat dirty Melges for sale. Taking into account the dirt and uncomfortable looking design, she guessed a fair price to be $350 to $500 max :lol::lol:

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Wife and I still daysail our Lightning a lot.  Wife goes out on occasion, (we raced it hard in the 80's).  However, being on a lift in front of our house we are lucky that it is so quick and easy to do.  

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On 8/30/2021 at 8:24 AM, DetroitOD said:

The 640 looks perfect, but as I’ve been taught in this thread it’s basically the same as a Snipe or lightning. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. This reminded me of an old joke on SA where every new member would be assigned a j/24.

Then get a Viper...

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17 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

You say that like it's a bad thing....

FB- Doug

Hey, I have nothing against any age.

I sail with people between 12 and 80 years of age.

I do have something against building "new" old boats. I think it's stupid, I think everything has a life-time and a huge number of boats are way past theirs.

Like imagine if we were all driving Model T Fords now, and said "old cars are better than new ones", while a small percentage of people drove around in their Hiluxs and Teslas looking at those people like they are the Amish in their horse drawn carts.

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One problem with many new boats, is they are no longer suitable for everywhere. Keels have generally got deeper , with weed collecting torpedos on the bottom. Many are now designed for planing...

Ok my current club is extreme in it's limitations, but we have sailing boats  from Optimists up to 45ft yachts. But anything with over 4ft keel will run aground, the chances of planing are limited, as the general direction of the wind is either dead down wind or upwind and the average wind speed about 12mph. If you turn up with a planing boat, you are never going to sail anywhere near your handicap..

So what modern designs could fit the brief for the above limitations?

 

Then you come to cost, we have 400 members in our club the number of new boats? (even to old designs) maybe half a dozen.. If you were to insist on new designs, the majority of our club members would have to leave, they just couldn't afford it, even in the dinghy classes and that would apply to 99% of people sailing in the UK.

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On 8/28/2021 at 10:28 PM, pusslicker said:

They learn in the modern equivalent Cessna 172.

I think that's rather the point. I note that in the UK the RAF is now migrating its basic training to a carbon composite turboprop first flown in 2010. Not much Tiger Moth about that!

And in most cases the so called old boats are much changed from how they started out. seen many wooden masts recently? How about cotton sails, hemp ropes and wooden blocks with generous amounts of friction? Planked carvel construction?
And although there are some long term survivors, by and large the leadmine folks seem to go in for new one design classes at regular intervals.

But its obvious how a modern car is better than a 50 year old one, a modern computer better than an old one. I'm not sure that people have really worked out what a modern mass market unballasted boat should be like and how it should differ from the old stagers.

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Jim pretty much covered ehat i was going to writ a day ago.

Note that cars are nit boats. Furthermore car sheetmetal is 90% styling. Boat hulls are 95% hydro+build method.

Try sailing an original snipe against a new one.

Good luck.

The rig has evolved! It is not old!

Btw i drove to lunch--in a steam car--not long ago. Only thing faster off the lne is a tesla

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7 hours ago, darth reapius said:

Hey, I have nothing against any age.

I sail with people between 12 and 80 years of age.

I do have something against building "new" old boats. I think it's stupid, I think everything has a life-time and a huge number of boats are way past theirs.

Like imagine if we were all driving Model T Fords now, and said "old cars are better than new ones", while a small percentage of people drove around in their Hiluxs and Teslas looking at those people like they are the Amish in their horse drawn carts.

If all car racing in your area was Model-Ts, you could buy one, convince everyone to buy another kind of car at once, or race by yourself ;)

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5 hours ago, The Q said:

One problem with many new boats, is they are no longer suitable for everywhere. Keels have generally got deeper , with weed collecting torpedos on the bottom. Many are now designed for planing...

Ok my current club is extreme in it's limitations, but we have sailing boats  from Optimists up to 45ft yachts. But anything with over 4ft keel will run aground, the chances of planing are limited, as the general direction of the wind is either dead down wind or upwind and the average wind speed about 12mph. If you turn up with a planing boat, you are never going to sail anywhere near your handicap..

So what modern designs could fit the brief for the above limitations?

 

 

modern Twin keel...

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4 hours ago, JimC said:

I think that's rather the point. I note that in the UK the RAF is now migrating its basic training to a carbon composite turboprop first flown in 2010. Not much Tiger Moth about that!

And in most cases the so called old boats are much changed from how they started out. seen many wooden masts recently? How about cotton sails, hemp ropes and wooden blocks with generous amounts of friction? Planked carvel construction?
And although there are some long term survivors, by and large the leadmine folks seem to go in for new one design classes at regular intervals.

But its obvious how a modern car is better than a 50 year old one, a modern computer better than an old one. I'm not sure that people have really worked out what a modern mass market unballasted boat should be like and how it should differ from the old stagers.

A carbon composite turboprop may or may not be a better trainer than a Tiger Moth. It for sure can sit outside and not need wood and fabric repairs. I used to fly a T-34 and didn't think it was as good a primary trainer as a C-150 is.

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On 8/28/2021 at 12:06 PM, Parma said:

Because sailing in a class where tactics & strategy are rewarded is more satisfying that going faster in a less exacting, and therefore less interesting, class.

This is basically a different version of the same question about what the AC should be.

We sailed an Ericson 39 back in the day 118.  Had a j35 in the fleet that horizoned everyone basically every wed that it did not blow 20.  I don't think that would be fun.  I raced a couple wed with them and it was more of a "shit, we blew that tack, how many secs did we loose" than "Where are the other boats..?? We gonna make that cross??"  IMHO, the close crosses, tactical starts and downwind shitfights make this sport fun.  Why I race OD...  

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On 8/30/2021 at 2:28 PM, Steam Flyer said:

^ this ^ is why I switched to Buccaneers although am not really very active in that class. Simple boat, not really an ergonomic delight but still fun enough to sail that I daysail it occasionally.

I

 

I love to sail and would rather have a practical fun boat than a hot one-design. But that's just me, I am very far past having to prove anything to anybody. If I were to race one-designs nowadays, it would be something like the Oday Javelin only with a fleet rule that they have to be antifouled and kept in a wet slip. They'd be perfect for racing in our inner harbor or creek.

A new boat? It would have to be responsive (a different thing, and more fun, than "fast"), easy to keep clean, easy to rig and unrig, and strongly built enough that I would not worry about putting my foot thru the foredeck or something. Racing dinghies tend to be hothouse flowers too, fragile and so wildly impractical as to be a total PITA to anybody who isn't obsessed with them.

FB- Doug

 

 

never knew -any-body who daysailed Lightnings. Or Thistles. etc etc.   

Good point...  We sail on a puddle so there is no "Cruising".  Our fleet consists of 10 or so S20's that race regularly..  18 or so in the state.  10-12 lightnings and a bunch of lasers.  Safe to say no one (Racers) really goes out other than Wed and Thur as weekends are a washing machine w all the frigging ski boats etc.  These fleets have literally been here for 20+ years.  Had a few u20's for a few years, but when you are looking at 10-20K for a used u 20 to sail against 3-5 boats or 2 k for a decent S20 with a fleet of 10...  No brainer to me....  Local guy has 3 M15's I think in the PL...  Haven't seen em move all summer...  0 U20's out nowdays.  

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22 minutes ago, shaggy said:

We sailed an Ericson 39 back in the day 118.  Had a j35 in the fleet that horizoned everyone basically every wed that it did not blow 20.  I don't think that would be fun.  I raced a couple wed with them and it was more of a "shit, we blew that tack, how many secs did we loose" than "Where are the other boats..?? We gonna make that cross??"  IMHO, the close crosses, tactical starts and downwind shitfights make this sport fun.  Why I race OD...  

you don't need OD.. though some of these fleets are..

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1 hour ago, fastyacht said:

Jim pretty much covered ehat i was going to writ a day ago.

Note that cars are nit boats. Furthermore car sheetmetal is 90% styling. Boat hulls are 95% hydro+build method.

Try sailing an original snipe against a new one.

Good luck.

The rig has evolved! It is not old!

Btw i drove to lunch--in a steam car--not long ago. Only thing faster off the lne is a tesla

Note that the Tesla CyberTruck avoided the costs associated with the metal presses for “style” and use the body panels as part of the chassis. That’s how they are keeping the costs down and making for a strong truck at the same time.

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On 9/1/2021 at 7:55 AM, kent_island_sailor said:

If all car racing in your area was Model-Ts, you could buy one, convince everyone to buy another kind of car at once, or race by yourself ;)

Herein lies the answer. A major part of “having fun” is actually having fun.  Just because its supposed to be fun, does not make it so.  New designs may be great but do they make the race more fun.    

 Fast is fun, but only if it is in context.

 

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On 9/2/2021 at 1:38 AM, Sail4beer said:

Note that the Tesla CyberTruck avoided the costs associated with the metal presses for “style” and use the body panels as part of the chassis. That’s how they are keeping the costs down and making for a strong truck at the same time.

I think they avoided the costs by avoiding making them

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On 8/30/2021 at 3:19 PM, kent_island_sailor said:

 

Specific to one-design, you are joining an extended family and investing money in something with exactly ONE* use that can be taken away at any time. You'll be traveling with and racing with the fleet, so the fleet needs to be active and needs to be people you want to spend time with. If there are 100 party animals in Lightnings around your area and three Soling sailors, two of which are assholes, I know which fleet I would be in even if I loved Solings and hated Lightnings.

* Some ODs have second and third lives doing other things, but at the small end of the scale racing dinghies are frequently uncomfortable enough or demanding enough that almost no one would have them as a daysailor or other use that wasn't racing. If the fleet dies, the boat is now a lawn ornament.

 

Yeah, I missed the part where we were mostly talking OD classes. Building critical mass for a new design is risky. Everyone in the fleet has to leap together, and odds are that everyone will end up with just another orphaned design after a few years when the fleet peters out. If you race a proven class, you have access to a robust used market and opportunities for strong competition outside the club level.

I think the scows are the gold standard in classes that are mostly OD but modernize every few years to stay fun, with mostly bolt-on improvements that can keep old hulls competitive (at least at the club level). Obviously the A-Scow drama of a few decades back was an exception to that.

I do have to say though, your point about single-purpose is why I race a keelboat out here in scow land. It's easier to justify the investment if you can take your boat out without a skilled crew on occasion and have a few beers, or go overnight somewhere. The Dolphin makes me really appreciate the design philosophy of the '50s, where a racing keelboat meant a fast racer/cruiser (at least outside of stuff like the meter classes).

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I don't want to mock anyone specifically, but the idea that newer boats are not better, somehow, is really stupid.

Designers and builders have learned NOTHING in the past 60 years? Really?

It's true that a lot of new boats have pursued improvements that are useless or meaningless to 99.9% of sailors, but many are significantly better in several respects. It's a matter of priorities. For example, I dislike sailing J-24s and Thistles because they are so uncomfortable. Might as well stay home and have a neighbor kid beat you in the shins with a 2x4. Tweaky specialized rigging that cannot be sailed by a person without special indoctrination also bugs the shit out of me. I like to sail with friends, and I have a lot of friends that are not expert sailors.

The question is, what specific characteristics did the designer of this specific new boat try to emphasize? Probably not something you particularly like or even notice, if your focus is on one-design fleet sailing.

FB- Doug

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20 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

I don't want to mock anyone specifically, but the idea that newer boats are not better, somehow, is really stupid.

Designers and builders have learned NOTHING in the past 60 years? Really?

It's true that a lot of new boats have pursued improvements that are useless or meaningless to 99.9% of sailors, but many are significantly better in several respects. It's a matter of priorities. For example, I dislike sailing J-24s and Thistles because they are so uncomfortable. Might as well stay home and have a neighbor kid beat you in the shins with a 2x4. Tweaky specialized rigging that cannot be sailed by a person without special indoctrination also bugs the shit out of me. I like to sail with friends, and I have a lot of friends that are not expert sailors.

The question is, what specific characteristics did the designer of this specific new boat try to emphasize? Probably not something you particularly like or even notice, if your focus is on one-design fleet sailing.

FB- Doug

Better at WHAT is the point. If racing in a large fleet of identical boats is your goal, then the boat with the big numbers is the best one even if it otherwise utterly sucks. I do agree with your post, why anyone decided severely uncomfortable boats with horrible ergonomics and 1,450 different things to adjust every time the wind changes or you change course was a good idea is beyond me :rolleyes:

I used to have a Penguin that not only was not self-rescuing, it wasn't even that easy to right with a rescue boat on hand. This was originally a frostbite boat? WTF?

So we can and do build faster vastly more comfortable easy to sail boats, but the wholesale changeover just doesn't look to ever happen.

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38 minutes ago, fastyacht said:

I sold my two pengies to a paintong contractor from Buffalo who was doing some fleet buolxing.

Must have been at leatv $25 years ago.

I have done some fleet buolxing in my time.... I'm not proud of it.

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2 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

I don't want to mock anyone specifically, but the idea that newer boats are not better, somehow, is really stupid

I bought the Fareast28R because it seemed like a good idea to spur a move toward sportboats in our area. It’s an orphan. 
 

A fast, sexy orphan.

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1. Not "everyone" sails 90,  or even 50-year old designs, even in OD,  just ask the J/70, Viper or Aero guys or the Bic kids.

2. Due to the nature of fleets and character of some local designs & communities an old boat makes sense:  Atlantics, Scows, Wayfarers, El Toros

3. A lot of older stuff ain't half bad: Due to the all-around nature of things as 'mediocre' as a Catalina22 or Shields,  the sailing really isn't bad - depending on the suitability to the local conditions.  Old or medium old isn't the same as a sucky boat.   My 35 year old Impulse21 is hardly anything radical in performance but in 12-15 knots it's plenty of fun without needing to be a sportboat or foil - I just want to go sailing and not spill my drink. (be safe)

4. Some "old stuff" is just epic.  Ever sail a Star, Flying 15 or 5o5?    Medium old?  I mean the Moore24 and Taser are 50ish

 

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1 hour ago, Sail4beer said:

I bought the Fareast28R because it seemed like a good idea to spur a move toward sportboats in our area. It’s an orphan. 
 

A fast, sexy orphan.

I hope you can find some good relevant competition in a fleet somewhere,  I know how ya feel  - had the only ULDB in a section for a long time and kinda sucked if you judged by the scoreline.

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