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IC37 by Melges, a new era of One Design racing in North America?


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It’s been 20 years since the last big wave of offshore-sized one designs really hit the marketplace and helped foster a revolution in big-boat racing. With the NYYC selecting for their regatta, Flying Jennys success in the SF Big Boat Rolex Series and this next week running the IC37 championships (17 boats already signed up for Oct. 1-3 event) some think there is already significant writing on the North American sailing wall. 

https://yachtscoring.com/current_event_entries.cfm?eid=14814

Seahorse wrote: 

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/59b2e4ee9f8dce4dd22b7033/t/5b900e5440ec9a8d10ab2f96/1536167511070/Thought+Through.pdf

Thought through.  And in every respect… The launch of the IC37 by Melges marks not just the appearance of a very tidy new raceboat but the start of a new class which has been tailored from the start to ensure maximum participation.

The IC37 is fast racing yacht, yet it is not a sportboat, and has inherent stability from a low-VCG carbon keel fin with a large bulb, and a powerful hull form that maximises crew.  A 37ft hull length was identified as the right balance point, being small enough to sail without a large crew and relatively cost-effective to transport, yet large enough to deliver proper big boat racing. All rigs are supplied by Southern Spars and all sails by North. The first 20 hulls out of the moulds will be owned and managed by the New York Yacht Club and made available for its members to charter. A key aim of the NYYC’s design brief was to create a fast and modern boat that offers a genuine ‘turn-key’ racing experience induced stability without resorting to extreme droop hiking to produce this performance. The forward sections in the hull form are full enough to allow for easily-initiated planing speeds in as little as 15 knots of true wind, while remaining under full control and discouraging the bow from submarining. The net result is a stable, seaworthy platform that is easier to sail at higher-than-average speeds and through a more diverse range of conditions than conventional sportboats can manage. 

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Can we expect the class to become the new standard for yacht club racing and growth that challenges the more athletic new boat designs that get pushed all over this place? 

The quoted price for the boat, with sails and basic GPS-based electronics, tops out at $340,000.

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25 minutes ago, Editor said:

Jesus, do you work for Melges? Buy a fuckin ad.

LOL.  I am just a working stiff and usually get the bums rush when I try to enter any yacht club. The closest i have gotten to one of these was on the interstate heading east.

But seriously during this guilded age like every other one i ever read about, the NYYC dominates regatta sailing in North America with some west coast and lake exceptions.  Those f'ing boats are entering everything with folks that want to be in the clique. I see this as a minor return to crewed racing in new boats. The OD rules with woman as crew and limited sail inventory does make it interesting. Moreover these boats are geared for older rich sailors who want to have crew. San Diego I expect will have enough in a few to have thier own start soon enough with a following photo of your skinny ass aboard with a shit eating grin.

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I've got a couple of photos of my fat smiling ass aboard these boats. Athletic crew is a must for week long regattas. Cheese cutter tight lifelines make for nasty bruises across your beer gut. Sit down and hike, stand up and run 20 feet, sit down and hike. Pull lines in between runs. Oh, and never ever volunteer to be the guy/gal who pulls that damn spin takedown line unless you have a great orthopedist and/or chiropractor. The angle down to the turning block is perfect for blowing your guts out your arse. Leave it to the young strong kid on board.

Great fun otherwise. Parties and venue make it worth it.

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8 hours ago, Black Jack said:

The quoted price for the boat, with sails and basic GPS-based electronics, tops out at $340,000

That price feels pretty low (sales tax?). Converted to GBP that's not much more than a race-ready Cape 31 over here...

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Seems to have a lot of the qualities that make keelboat OD classes successful. With the limits on speed variables it strikes me as a "tactician's boat," which are my favorite to sail and tend to attract owners with the promise of getting up to pace quickly. Hopefully the class breaks out of the northeast. As @Black Jacksays we haven't really had a generational OD keelboat in that size range in a long time.

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J105 NAs have 35 boats signed up a month out.  The IC37s are great boats for sure, and the class rules are very attractive, but I'm not sure the IC37 class should be sucking their own dicks quite yet.

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3 minutes ago, bloodshot said:

J105 NAs have 35 boats signed up a month out.  The IC37s are great boats for sure, and the class rules are very attractive, but I'm not sure the IC37 class should be sucking their own dicks quite yet.

It's funny, I was thinking of the J/105 as a favorable comparison to the IC37, even though the two aren't really in the same size or performance classes. The J/105 is another good example of an amateur class that is easy to sail, hard to sail well. They also have similar limits on sail inventory, though the IC37 is going for an even stricter rule (we'll see how long that lasts).

The one thing that the J/105 has that the IC37 doesn't is that it can moonlight at a daysailer/weekend cruiser and also has some offshore capability. The type of owner those features attract isn't always the most competitive on the inshore circuit, but it brings more into the fold and helps the class reach critical mass.

It's odd that we're comparing the two, because the boats have very different design philosophies. The J/105 was really intended to be an honest racer/cruiser (didn't the original OD rules regulate onboard cutlery or something like that?), while the IC37 is a minimalist inshore racer.

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NYYC has 20 club owned boats to charter out. 

NAs have 17 boats entered, of which 8 are privately owned boats. So NYYC has 11 boats just sitting there empty and not racing. 

They ditched the Corinthian element and voted to allow Pro tacticians.

They have a strict weight limit but made the boats inefficient enough that you need 9 people, so crew is back to purging for weigh-ins.
 

The number of sailing days top boats are doing makes it almost impossible or hideously expensive to find a regular amateur crew for the whole season and be competitive.

The rigs are all tuned (and sealed) identically by the class measurer, but only using a tension gauge not visuals, so the club boats are all hopelessly disparate in their tune out of the box.

Oh and in response to the issues with getting boats on the line…..charter fees are going up, not down. 

North Sails raised the cost of a set of class sails by many thousands, and make them light enough that you have to replace them all every year if you hope to stay competitive. 

That tells you something about the direction of this class.

 

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Yeah, they are nice boats and all, but guaranteed I can have the same amount of fun on my 5ksb and have a lot more fun hanging out with my crew and drinking a lot more beer and rum for the $1200 entry fee to the NA Championships. 

These boats are solely designed to appeal to insecure people with a lot of money.  

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41 minutes ago, jackolantern said:

NYYC has 20 club owned boats to charter out. 

NAs have 17 boats entered, of which 8 are privately owned boats. So NYYC has 11 boats just sitting there empty and not racing. 

They ditched the Corinthian element and voted to allow Pro tacticians.

They have a strict weight limit but made the boats inefficient enough that you need 9 people, so crew is back to purging for weigh-ins.
 

The number of sailing days top boats are doing makes it almost impossible or hideously expensive to find a regular amateur crew for the whole season and be competitive.

The rigs are all tuned (and sealed) identically by the class measurer, but only using a tension gauge not visuals, so the club boats are all hopelessly disparate in their tune out of the box.

Oh and in response to the issues with getting boats on the line…..charter fees are going up, not down. 

North Sails raised the cost of a set of class sails by many thousands, and make them light enough that you have to replace them all every year if you hope to stay competitive. 

That tells you something about the direction of this class.

 

^ That is NYYC sailing.  This is about the direction of a social class and the one design itself. The people involved are resetting a trend.  It is just like the other boats 20 and 30 years ago. This is all about leasure class race sailing.  They have the money, they control the venues, they set the rules, they have the class boats. Having a boat like this -  prepped for one, trucking a boat to an event, attending the social events and leaving the boat for the boys to pick up and take home makes sense.  Just look at the names on the list as skippers who are racing in the IC 37 championship. They fall into a catagory that is about all about financial and social connections that crisscross.  The non club IC37 owners themselves may or may not be listed. No one at this time is worried about sail costs or anything other than the weekend. The entry fee is cheap and it gives them reason to gather and compete with wives and friends with a few pros mixed in.

As you are all familar - very few boats ever leave your dock and race. Fewer have organized crews.  These boat in 8 to 10 years will trickle down to us poppers. I am glad to see there is some movement in crewed sailing with boats built domestically. It does give me hope in this limited and changing reboot that we will have OD boats that fit a segment of the recreation that will keep many connected.

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26 minutes ago, Black Jack said:

^ That is NYYC sailing.  This is about the direction of a social class and the one design itself. The people involved are resetting a trend.  It is just like the other boats 20 and 30 years ago. This is all about leasure class race sailing.  They have the money, they control the venues, they set the rules, they have the class boats. Having a boat like this -  prepped for one, trucking a boat to an event, attending the social events and leaving the boat for the boys to pick up and take home makes sense.  Just look at the names on the list as skippers who are racing in the IC 37 championship. They fall into a catagory that is about all about financial and social connections that crisscross.  The non club IC37 owners themselves may or may not be listed. No one at this time is worried about sail costs or anything other than the weekend. The entry fee is cheap and it gives them reason to gather and compete with wives and friends with a few pros mixed in.

As you are all familar - very few boats ever leave your dock and race. Fewer have organized crews.  These boat in 8 to 10 years will trickle down to us poppers. I am glad to see there is some movement in crewed sailing with boats built domestically. It does give me hope in this limited and changing reboot that we will have OD boats that fit a segment of the recreation that will keep many connected.

Highly unlikely there will ever be a OD class of those things outside of Newport RI and the NYYC supported class......... 

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28 minutes ago, Norcal said:

Highly unlikely there will ever be a OD class of those things outside of Newport RI and the NYYC supported class......... 

Maybe not but the pesimissism in this direction is understandable.  it might not be that comparable but the 1D35 from 1998 to 2001 delivered 48 boats and provided many folks platforms to race one design. They sure have there faults but also provided for some decent racing. i am not going to critize anyone who has achieved some leasure time and money for wanting to have what we all had in the decades past; a domestically built boat, crew team sailing and clubs that held great social parties because of them. 

I usually am a single handed/short handed sailor-racer here in San Francisco. I sail a boat that won't qualify for or win the big races. i scratched together enough for a new main and a bottom job this year.  One thing for sure is that I missed racing with crew after each small thing i did that helped. One thing the pandemic taught me is to value my friendships when I see them and we are doing things together. In the past year when we could, I have found i really like sailing and racing with others.   In the end it is about doing something fun, fast and with something new that has a familarity and tradition that can be passed on. 

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a mere 5 years ago....

https://www.sail-world.com/Australia/CandC-30-One-Design-Class-announces-first-North-American-Championship/-143141?source=google

 

Quote

The class has grown steadily since one-design racing began in 2015; 11 teams recently competed at the 2016 edition of Quantum Key West Race Week. With the rapid introduction of new teams, and with boats in build for early 2016 delivery, the fleet is expected to number at least 20 for the July event.

'The class is honored to hold our first North Americans at the NYYC,' says C&C 30 One Design Class President Dan Cheresh. 'The conditions in Newport are always spectacular, and the NYYC logistics and hospitality are top-shelf. I'm thrilled to be competing in such an exciting event; we'll be training hard all summer. The competition gets tighter at every regatta - I can't wait to get to the starting line.'

 

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4 hours ago, Sisu3360 said:

I was thinking of the J/105 as a favorable comparison to the IC37

It seems the classes with owner managed associations have much more longevity than professionally managed classes.  The IC37 will last as long as the NYYC keeps them.  In a few years they will be beat to hell and they'll send out RFP's for the latest NYYC OD class.  It will be what the well healed membership wants.  While the initial rules make for nice copy none of the owners or charterers actually want to sail with all armature crews and single sailmaker sails.

 

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Sailed on the boats a few times. Super competitive racing and a fairly simple boat at a low price point for what it is. It's pretty quick but at times feels a bit sticky.

I'm not a fan of the electronics rules, but I guess thats part of trying to keep the cost down.

As someone noted above, it is very difficult to find qualified amateur crew who have the availability needed to be competitive with the top of the fleet.

All that said, I will probably and happily race on them again.

I know there are some UK boats now. Not sure how many.

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19 minutes ago, bsavery said:

What do you mean by "sticky" 

You’ve never heard that term?  It just means they don’t feel too quick in light air. It’s common with most big flat bottomed boats. Lots of wetted surface to drag around. 

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5 hours ago, Monkey said:

You’ve never heard that term?  It just means they don’t feel too quick in light air. It’s common with most big flat bottomed boats. Lots of wetted surface to drag around. 

That's why you see E-scow and A-scow crews hiking out on the low side in light air. Lengthens the waterline, but it also gets some of that wetted surface out of the water. 

 

There is something to be said for the fun in boats that require a big crew. It's almost like some rich guys from the NYYC saw the A-scow racing in the midwest and said "gee, the parties and teamwork are really great... but gee wiz, a 38 foot hand-sheeted dinghy? Geez, that's a lot of work... I dunno. If only we could have the parties and the fun crew without having to work so hard and get so wet!"  At least that's how I see it.


What does a suit of sails for one of these things cost?

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1 hour ago, JM1366 said:

That's why you see E-scow and A-scow crews hiking out on the low side in light air. Lengthens the waterline, but it also gets some of that wetted surface out of the water.

But looking at the aft sections, there isn't a significant reduction in wetted surface area on the IC37 when heeled. I like a little deadrise aft which seems to help break the surface tension somewhat. Chines are the heeled equivalent of deadrise.

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16 hours ago, Black Jack said:

No one at this time is worried about sail costs or anything other than the weekend.

You say that, but look at the original 2019 scratch sheet compared to today. By my count, some 9-10 teams who were in the game two years ago are not racing in this event. 50% of the fleet, and a net loss of 3 boats on the line, is huge turnover for a class that is supposedly thriving and certainly says that someone is worried about “sail costs or anything else”

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21 hours ago, Norcal said:

Highly unlikely there will ever be a OD class of those things outside of Newport RI and the NYYC supported class......... 

I predict in about 20 years time there will be enough of them in the Great Lakes to have their own start somewhere :)

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8 hours ago, jackolantern said:

You say that, but look at the original 2019 scratch sheet compared to today. By my count, some 9-10 teams who were in the game two years ago are not racing in this event. 50% of the fleet, and a net loss of 3 boats on the line, is huge turnover for a class that is supposedly thriving and certainly says that someone is worried about “sail costs or anything else”

Covid is a heck of a thing. We could look at a number of things that aren't like 2019. Regatta numbers are down across the nation. I also want to point out the top 5 percent are richer now than they were in 2019. They have changed habits and where they live to better, more comfortable lives. Crew sailing is a thing they do like skiing or vacations not a way of life that many of us take up. Moreover 50k in sails are less significant for someone who makes 700k or more a year - they often wear daily watches that are more expensive.  Moreover many of these current IC37 owners belong to yacht clubs that one does not buy into but are invited to join - a distinction not lost on them nor lost on us when we attend an event in them. Sailing together in a hosted one design regatta by these places represents something more than what we think. It is another level of something else. Still that does not mean some of this will not trickle down to us sailing plebs which set the base lines and add color and background to the sport.

The New York Yacht Club's prominent members (past and present) include JP Morgan and Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Oh, and convicted ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff was a member, but he has since resigned.  Another perk of membership is that big names might come to speak.  For example, bond god Jeff Gundlach, the founder DoubleLine Capital, recently gave a presentation to investors at the New York Yacht Club. 

 

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I heve never belonged to a yacht club that was open application like a pibliccswim club. I thoigjt oprn eas exceedingly rare.

Nyyc is an enigmacthouhh.  Until quite recently it didnt even have any of its own actual sailing facilities. Just "stations"

Everyone belonged to real uacht clubs too....

But yeah, so nyyc is very infliential but not a model of anything else.

I doubt thesr 37 will live on thr eay NY 30
, NY 40 NY50 and other wooden classes do--(even if only one left...)

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3 hours ago, fastyacht said:

I heve never belonged to a yacht club that was open application like a pibliccswim club. I thoigjt oprn eas exceedingly rare.

 

Both YCs I've belonged to here in cheesehead country are open membership (and one of those was a real one with facilities and everything). We're not terribly picky.

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46 minutes ago, Sisu3360 said:

Both YCs I've belonged to here in cheesehead country are open membership (and one of those was a real one with facilities and everything). We're not terribly picky.

My club, also in cheesehead land is open membership but prospective applicants must meet with the people on the membership committee. Not aware of anyone being turned down.  Once upon a time, back in the 1980s, the powers that be were concerned that too many FIBs* were joining the club. So they instituted a bylaws change that something like no more than 1/3 or 40% or something like that of members could be from out of county.  So when I joined my application was immediately approved. Two people from Illinois who tried to join the same time as me had to several months until the in-county, out-of-county ratio was restored.

That bylaw did not last very long once membership began to decline and anyone with a credit card and checks that didn’t bounced could join.  
 

we too are real. Clubhouse, bar, galley, slip system, drysail space, parking lot, juniors program etc.

*FIB= Effin Illinois boater.

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3 hours ago, jerseyguy said:

My club, also in cheesehead land is open membership but prospective applicants must meet with the people on the membership committee. Not aware of anyone being turned down.  Once upon a time, back in the 1980s, the powers that be were concerned that too many FIBs* were joining the club. So they instituted a bylaws change that something like no more than 1/3 or 40% or something like that of members could be from out of county.  So when I joined my application was immediately approved. Two people from Illinois who tried to join the same time as me had to several months until the in-county, out-of-county ratio was restored.

That bylaw did not last very long once membership began to decline and anyone with a credit card and checks that didn’t bounced could join.  
 

we too are real. Clubhouse, bar, galley, slip system, drysail space, parking lot, juniors program etc.

*FIB= Effin Illinois boater.

Ah. We're too far north to be threatened with such riffraff 

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I love the assumption NYYC members are the bank. The vast majority of members I know are working stiffs, white collar but swinging the proverbial hammer. Those I know don't have Tartan 10 money to toss around, much less IC37 coin.

While I get non-members presume NYYC folks all have deep pockets, the even funnier version exists internally. The club has been trying desperately to get younger members to field a 37. It's hard to drop the cash, commit to the logistics of managing crew and take the time to be competitive when you're grinding at a law firm/hustling in tech/moving street level pharmaceuticals. 

Another oddity is the nouveau riche don't give a shit about the sport. Your local Google/Facebook/Apple JR exec has the pockets to run any type of program they want. However, sailing is considered too old for them and they don't care. We could use a couple Dinhoffers to goose the machine (https://nymag.com/nymetro/urban/recreation/features/5083/).

I don't think the IC37 is going to save sailing as a sport. But, it's a solid move after the shitshow of the J70 class, which was our earnest promise for reinvigoration. ICs brings fair competition, team spirit, great venues and something for a solid local club to aspire to.  I look at Macatawa YC in Holland, MI, or North Star north of Detroit (Rock City!) and compare them to the the Irish contingent at the Invitational. With limited time in the boats, they'd be handicapped but it would be one for the books, which is how the Irish club set it up. Something to aspire to and a grand stage to give it your all.

The NAs are going to be a great event, but the NYYC Invitational is the event to look at  impact. Teams are taking 10+ days off work, chartering to get time on the boats and really getting after it. That's a solid representation. 

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9 hours ago, penumbra said:

However, sailing is considered too old for them and they don't care. We could use a couple Dinhoffers to goose the machine (https://nymag.com/nymetro/urban/recreation/features/5083/).

He sounds like a fun guy, but I don't think articles like that would be great for modernising the perception of the sport or increasing participation these days!

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21 hours ago, fastyacht said:

I heve never belonged to a yacht club that was open application like a pibliccswim club. I thoigjt oprn eas exceedingly rare.

Nyyc is an enigmacthouhh.  Until quite recently it didnt even have any of its own actual sailing facilities. Just "stations"

Everyone belonged to real uacht clubs too....

But yeah, so nyyc is very infliential but not a model of anything else.

I doubt thesr 37 will live on thr eay NY 30
, NY 40 NY50 and other wooden classes do--(even if only one left...)

Mr Yacht, Snags has got your password.

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On 9/29/2021 at 8:09 PM, Monkey said:

You’ve never heard that term?  It just means they don’t feel too quick in light air. It’s common with most big flat bottomed boats. Lots of wetted surface to drag around. 

They do feel slow in light air but not awful. There’s very little rocker so it is difficult to get the ass out of the water. I was actually referring to the upper wind ranges. It feels like it should “pop” earlier than it does. I haven’t helmed one yet so I’m not sure how much of that is the driver.

 

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10 hours ago, penumbra said:

I love the assumption NYYC members are the bank. The vast majority of members I know are working stiffs, white collar but swinging the proverbial hammer. Those I know don't have Tartan 10 money to toss around, much less IC37 coin.

While I get non-members presume NYYC folks all have deep pockets, the even funnier version exists internally. The club has been trying desperately to get younger members to field a 37. It's hard to drop the cash, commit to the logistics of managing crew and take the time to be competitive when you're grinding at a law firm/hustling in tech/moving street level pharmaceuticals. 

Another oddity is the nouveau riche don't give a shit about the sport. Your local Google/Facebook/Apple JR exec has the pockets to run any type of program they want. However, sailing is considered too old for them and they don't care. We could use a couple Dinhoffers to goose the machine (https://nymag.com/nymetro/urban/recreation/features/5083/).

I don't think the IC37 is going to save sailing as a sport. But, it's a solid move after the shitshow of the J70 class, which was our earnest promise for reinvigoration. ICs brings fair competition, team spirit, great venues and something for a solid local club to aspire to.  I look at Macatawa YC in Holland, MI, or North Star north of Detroit (Rock City!) and compare them to the the Irish contingent at the Invitational. With limited time in the boats, they'd be handicapped but it would be one for the books, which is how the Irish club set it up. Something to aspire to and a grand stage to give it your all.

The NAs are going to be a great event, but the NYYC Invitational is the event to look at  impact. Teams are taking 10+ days off work, chartering to get time on the boats and really getting after it. That's a solid representation. 

This is extremely true. NYYC makes it extremely affordable for young members to join, substantially cheaper than any of the other more prominent clubs and even a lot of local clubs. There are definitely plenty of big money guys at the club but there are thousands of members and plenty do not fall into that “rich” category.

With how easy they’ve made it for youth to join, I’m pretty surprised they haven’t made a club owned boat available to a youth or young adult team. Seems like an easy win for the class and the club. 

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59 minutes ago, EastCoastHustle said:

They do feel slow in light air but not awful. There’s very little rocker so it is difficult to get the ass out of the water. I was actually referring to the upper wind ranges. It feels like it should “pop” earlier than it does. I haven’t helmed one yet so I’m not sure how much of that is the driver.

 

Agree. The kites are too small and keep them from popping up IMO 

50 minutes ago, EastCoastHustle said:

This is extremely true. NYYC makes it extremely affordable for young members to join, substantially cheaper than any of the other more prominent clubs and even a lot of local clubs. There are definitely plenty of big money guys at the club but there are thousands of members and plenty do not fall into that “rich” category.

With how easy they’ve made it for youth to join, I’m pretty surprised they haven’t made a club owned boat available to a youth or young adult team. Seems like an easy win for the class and the club. 

There was a five figure young member discount this year……so long as almost everyone else on the boat is also a NYYC young member.

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I was excited about the IC37 when announced and was hoping critical mass would build on the Great Lakes. Having one jib and one spinnaker is really appealing to me especially since they were the same sail design for everyone. I was crewing on a J/111 and thought it was silly that you had 2-3 jibs and 2-3 spinnakers of roughly the same size.  You double the sail costs for everyone to go a couple percent faster in broader conditions. Why didn't the J/111 go with the J/105 rules of 1 jib and 1 spinnaker? However, critical mass for the IC37 didn't develop on the Great Lakes and the couple boats that were on the lakes had an entirely different set of sails for offshore sailing so I went ahead and bought the J/111 as I would rather be racing one design in the Mackinac races than handicap.  Maybe one day I will get some buddies together to charter a IC37 for a NYYC event, but it may not be an easy boat to step into without a lot of practice.  With their big mains and runners, it does seem like a boat that requires time in the boat to get it dialed in. Chartering costs aren't cheap but if you factor in everything, chartering on a per race basis is cheaper than owning. I think it is a good model for certain people and applaud NYYC efforts in putting it on. I just think if the boat were about 3 feet shorter, costs and loads and crew requirements would be 30% less making it somewhat more accessible and certainly easier to sail for smaller sailors (i.e. females and youth) and just as much fun. Nine crew is a lot.

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22 hours ago, penumbra said:

I don't think the IC37 is going to save sailing as a sport. But, it's a solid move after the shitshow of the J70 class, which was our earnest promise for reinvigoration. ICs brings fair competition, team spirit, great venues and something for a solid local club to aspire to. 

Wait, what's the issue with the J/70 class? Forgive me for being naive, I've never been to any of the big J/70 regattas. I do crew on a local boat, and the only negative thing I have to say about the J/70 is that it could really do without those two winches.

Seems like they got most things right. Sails aren't too crazy expensive for them, the sails seem to last reasonably well, and the boat is physically pretty manageable. Certainly a hell of a lot easier on a person's body than any of the scow classes, and I think a lot better than the J/80 was in that regard.

I mean, a jib is like $1800 for a J/70, and they don't seem particularly short-lived compared to any other jibs. 

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4 hours ago, Donkey687 said:

I was excited about the IC37 when announced and was hoping critical mass would build on the Great Lakes. Having one jib and one spinnaker is really appealing to me especially since they were the same sail design for everyone. I was crewing on a J/111 and thought it was silly that you had 2-3 jibs and 2-3 spinnakers of roughly the same size.  You double the sail costs for everyone to go a couple percent faster in broader conditions. Why didn't the J/111 go with the J/105 rules of 1 jib and 1 spinnaker? However, critical mass for the IC37 didn't develop on the Great Lakes and the couple boats that were on the lakes had an entirely different set of sails for offshore sailing so I went ahead and bought the J/111 as I would rather be racing one design in the Mackinac races than handicap.  Maybe one day I will get some buddies together to charter a IC37 for a NYYC event, but it may not be an easy boat to step into without a lot of practice.  With their big mains and runners, it does seem like a boat that requires time in the boat to get it dialed in. Chartering costs aren't cheap but if you factor in everything, chartering on a per race basis is cheaper than owning. I think it is a good model for certain people and applaud NYYC efforts in putting it on. I just think if the boat were about 3 feet shorter, costs and loads and crew requirements would be 30% less making it somewhat more accessible and certainly easier to sail for smaller sailors (i.e. females and youth) and just as much fun. Nine crew is a lot.

I kind of agree on the size thing. Things under 35 feet always seem a lot more manageable in terms of cost than things over 35 feet. The crew is the big killer though. Even if you make enough that affording new sails every race isn't a problem, organizing nine people's lives is a lot of work. Hell, even maintaining a crew of five other people is a lot of work. I can definitely see the crew requirement putting a lot of people off. 

Also, and this is just my opinion, the cost of sails is one of the biggest determining factors for how easy it is to get new and younger people into a class. An E-scow / J/70 is still pretty manageable, and an upper-middle-class person can afford a new jib every year and a new main every couple years without feeling like they're blowing too much of their income on sails. This is doubly true with used sails available.

When the only option to be even remotely competitive is to spend $30,000 on sails every year... that pushes a lot of people away. I know the boat is expensive (I heard something like $300k), but the higher the costs the smaller the pool of potential candidates is. 

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8 hours ago, JM1366 said:

Wait, what's the issue with the J/70 class?

The fact that many many people will spend thousands of dollars a day on crew to race on a 21 foot boat.

It’s a 21 foot boat. 21 feet. If you need a professional to race a 21 foot boat, you’re losing the plot somewhere.

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1 hour ago, jackolantern said:

The fact that many many people will spend thousands of dollars a day on crew to race on a 21 foot boat.

It’s a 21 foot boat. 21 feet. If you need a professional to race a 21 foot boat, you’re losing the plot somewhere.

There are also plenty that don't,and  it's a really fun boat to sail.

I love my J70, I like racing it, I like just going out to sail it with friends or family. I don't pay crew, and I don't have an issue with those that do.

Maybe having the pros there is not to everyone's tastes but I don't think it makes it a shitshow.

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12 hours ago, jackolantern said:

The fact that many many people will spend thousands of dollars a day on crew to race on a 21 foot boat.

It’s a 21 foot boat. 21 feet. If you need a professional to race a 21 foot boat, you’re losing the plot somewhere.

I guess I never realized that you were allowed to do that in the J/70 fleet. Mind you, any rules against doing so are pretty easy to circumvent. "I pay him to wax the boat" or whatever. 

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He'd be classed as a group 3 professional then. https://www.sailing.org/news/1018.php

(ii) managing, training, practicing, tuning, testing, maintaining or
otherwise preparing a boat, its crew, sails or equipment for
racing, and then competed on that boat, or in a team
competition, in a boat of the same team; 

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18 hours ago, fastyacht said:

I see a LOT of people spending $30,000 a year on diesel and billfish gear...just saying.

$30k a year on a fish killer is a deal as compared to a few of the J70 budgets. $30k won’t even cover a week long regatta for some boats.

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11 minutes ago, sunseeker said:

$30k a year on a fish killer is a deal as compared to a few of the J70 budgets. $30k won’t even cover a week long regatta for some boats.

For each of those $30k + J/70 campaigns there are hundredfold amateur teams, probably having more fun.

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3 hours ago, Somebody Else said:

For each of those $30k + J/70 campaigns there are hundredfold amateur teams, probably having more fun.

If talking about the class as a whole, your math is sort of close, but if you look at the really high end regattas, like a worlds, there’s probably 30 boats paying crew significant amounts, so it’s not a hundred fold difference. 

Nothing wrong with paying people to sail, it’s just a different game. 
 

Classes like scows are way more fun than a J70, and no one pays anyone to sail (or at least it’s not obvious). 

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Back to the title of this thread, no, the IC 37 is not a new era in sailing. The North American builder retired and closed up shop. Haven’t heard of anyone acquiring those molds and building more boats. Is the builder in the UK (or was it some place in Europe) built any other boats?

sure it provides fun for those at NYYC who want to charter for a season, and the invitational is fun for those who compete, but by any other measure the IC 37 failed as a class. That said, I’d be pretty sure NYYC didn’t give a shit about building a class, why would they care? If you aren’t a member, basically you are pond scum is the way most NYYC members view the rest of the sailing community. I do rather enjoy drinks at their facility though, the Underhill’s are wonderful hosts.

The Canada’s Cup tried to hitch a ride with the IC 37, but that looks like a failed experiment. Class growth could have come from the Great Lakes as a result, but that looks dead now.

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On 9/29/2021 at 12:52 AM, Black Jack said:

But seriously during this guilded age like every other one i ever read about, the NYYC dominates regatta sailing in North America with some west coast and lake exceptions.

???

The club’s results in their own biannual Invitational have been perfectly respectable, but can in no way be described as ‘dominating’  (only one win, and that 12 years back):

2021 (IC 37s): 5th

2019 (IC 37s)- 6th

2017 (Swan 42s) - 4th

2015 (Swan 42s) - 2nd

2013 (Swan 42s) - 9th

2011 (Swan 42s) - 2nd

2009 (Swan 42s) - 1st

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18 hours ago, sunseeker said:

If talking about the class as a whole, your math is sort of close, but if you look at the really high end regattas, like a worlds, there’s probably 30 boats paying crew significant amounts, so it’s not a hundred fold difference. 

Nothing wrong with paying people to sail, it’s just a different game. 
 

Classes like scows are way more fun than a J70, and no one pays anyone to sail (or at least it’s not obvious). 

I agree that scows are more fun than J/70s, but that said, there aren't too many classes that are more fun than scows, at least in my opinion. I'm not aware of any people who are "paid" to race scows. I think a lot of it is that the culture really frowns on that kind of behavior.

As sport boats go, the J/70 is one of the better ones.

 

I think that part of the problem the IC37 has is that there isn't anything to really get people excited about it. For a boat to succeed these days, there needs to be something game changing about it. For the J/70, that was the idea of an affordable (relatively speaking) trailer launchable boat that is light and agile.

When we look at ideas that haven't taken off, they were mostly things that didn't bring a whole lot to the table. For example, the Melges 17 is really just a lighter, modernized and less forgiving I-20. All it's really doing is competing with the I-20, and that hasn't gone well for either class. J-boats has built a lot of different boats that never took off. Why? They were all pretty similar to what was already on the market, so people went with the established fleet.

What does the IC37 bring to the table that you don't get in other established fleets? Class rules aren't enough to build a fleet. It takes a boat that has characteristics people like. Then it takes builder support, and it takes one or more really, really enthusiastic people who will do almost anything to build the class. 

What about the IC37 makes someone buy it instead of a Farr 40 / Melges 32 / other sportboat?

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23 minutes ago, fastyacht said:

The viper 640 predates the J70 by two decades. What the 70 did was dumb it down to exactly the right J point.

Yup,

When I first saw the J70 my reaction was that it was dumbed down compared to the soling I was crewing on. I still crew on the soling, and enjoy it. And while there are a lot less strings to pull on the J70 I'm beginning to think it was dumbed down to exactly the right point.

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One thing you are not seeing are larger boats traveling to major events.  Most championship events have a majority of their attendance through the local fleet.  The IC37 makes sense for NYYC.  If you want to race, charter or buy a boat and leave it in Newport.  It makes sense to keep a boat there for the summer season and have a guaranteed fleet. Saves a lot of effort on logistics.  

As far as sailing the boat, it can be sailed by a wide range of crew ability.  Now to be in the top of the fleet, its like any other amateur class.  You need good physical sailors that can get around the corners and understand big boat tactics.  

Compared to the 105, you don't need to be as physical, but crew work, tactics, and boat speed are the winner.

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The fleet of melges 40s in Auckland need professional level crew and lots of them.  They failed as a class, and a bunch of kiwis bought them for cheap but maybe there is a reason people dont really want small boats that are hard to sail, expensive to maintain an crew?

Farr 40's seem pretty good value.

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Part of me is a little surprised that the Farr 40s haven't converted to asymmetricals yet. I know it's a one-design fleet, but one design fleets can (and do) vote on changes to keep the boat up to date. The A-scows and E-scows have both converted, and in both cases it's made the boat faster, safer and more fun to sail. The conversion was easy enough to do, and ultimately it proved to be a really good thing for both fleets.

I think the point that I'm making (and it seems that I'm not the only one) is that there needs to be a compelling reason to buy the new boat rather than the existing fleet.

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1 hour ago, Norcal said:

But it does have winches that are never used.....

Ok, the winches on the J/70 are one of those things that never should have been a thing. I call them ass bruisers for a reason. My girlfriend is 110 pounds. She's reasonably strong, though not exceptionally so, and she can trim the kite on a J/70 in 20 knots of wind without using the winches. 

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11 minutes ago, JM1366 said:

Part of me is a little surprised that the Farr 40s haven't converted to asymmetricals yet. I know it's a one-design fleet, but one design fleets can (and do) vote on changes to keep the boat up to date. The A-scows and E-scows have both converted, and in both cases it's made the boat faster, safer and more fun to sail. The conversion was easy enough to do, and ultimately it proved to be a really good thing for both fleets.

I think the point that I'm making (and it seems that I'm not the only one) is that there needs to be a compelling reason to buy the new boat rather than the existing fleet.

The speed potential of a scow is signoficantly greater than a farr 40. I guarantee you tjat in a winfward leeward course the spinnaker is faster than the balloon flying jib on farr 40

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On 9/29/2021 at 12:06 AM, Black Jack said:

Can we expect the class to become the new standard for yacht club racing and growth? 

The quoted price for the boat, with sails and basic GPS-based electronics, tops out at $340,000.

No, we cannot expect that. Your hope/wish that the IC 37 will be generally taken up and prompt a renaissance of club racing is implausible.

You’ve indirectly answered your own question. A new class that costs US$340,000 per boat is simply too expensive to have wide appeal.

Newport will remain a relative hot-spot for IC37 racing, until the boats are eventually dropped by the club (either due either to decreasing member interest, increasing cost of upkeep, or some newer design coming out the stage). A few boats have been or will be purchased and sailed in other locations: especially by individual members of other clubs that want to do well in the NYYC Invitational. But that’s pretty much it.

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3 minutes ago, fastyacht said:

The speed potential of a scow is signoficantly greater than a farr 40. I guarantee you tjat in a winfward leeward course the spinnaker is faster than the balloon flying jib on farr 40

Depends how quick it gets up on a plane, I guess. A pet peeve of mine is displacement boats that fly a-sails on W/L courses for no reason other than convenience. Either train your foredeck or race jib and main.

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1 hour ago, Svanen said:

No, we cannot expect that. Your hope/wish that the IC 37 will be generally taken up and prompt a renaissance of club racing is implausible.

You’ve indirectly answered your own question. A new class that costs US$340,000 per boat is simply too expensive to have wide appeal.

Newport will remain a relative hot-spot for IC37 racing, until the boats are eventually dropped by the club (either due either to decreasing member interest, increasing cost of upkeep, or some newer design coming out the stage). A few boats have been or will be purchased and sailed in other locations: especially by individual members of other clubs that want to do well in the NYYC Invitational. But that’s pretty much it.

Way too often we equate our labor/pay to the cost of things. Our perspective is skewed based on our actual economic class. (There are a whole bunch of people doing much better than we are and sobering to think how different it is for them to do such things) Many here work really hard to pay for what is recreational sport subject to lead nowhere except in longtime friendships and fond memories. We sacrifice a good portion of our income/wealth to run our/their 15 to 20 year old boats and racing season and remain somewhat competitive. Although the cost seem high for these IC37 boats, I do not beleive the boat prices are out of line with modern recreational racing with a new class sailed in more recreational elite circles. the club was able to buy enough for a sizable charter fleet. 

I just looked to see what Swans 42 One designs were available. https://www.boats.com/sailing-boats/2006-nautor-swan-clubswan-42-7280834/  This 2006 former NYYC club racer is listed for 285k. That still is way too much for most on this on-line forum. There is a local Farr 40 built in 1999 for sale for 70k in good condition but needs new complement of sails to be competitive.  Two years ago, I helped a friend refresh a 1 dollar 1999 1D35.  After consideration, effort and cash - he might have been better off buying a new J88/J99.

No doubt those who buy new (or newer used) lose on the recreational investment. I am glad there has been always someone with money and ego who steps up and buys a new one. without them, most of us would not be sailing on the faster platforms we have nor would we have the trickle down developments, support and market that give our boats any chance to field a good, nearly modern crewed racer.  Most of the big regattas are beyond common men and women sailors. I just hope that the trend continues that allows for us to sail with folks who do make the social racing sailing investment. The chances of me sailing on a competive J70 out of the St. Francis Yacht club or new IC37 in the NYYC are very low.  In 10 years, my odds will be much better to sail on them once those who use them now have moved on.

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I spent the '70s - 2000 on Solings and enjoyed them immensely. The west coast USA had a strong fleet with several world-class competitors and we regularly raced at venues from San Diego to San Francisco. The teams I raced with never ventured north of San Francisco though we did do a few CORK regattas, again, very much enjoyed. In my youth and young adulthood I reveled in the physical aspect of these boats.

I see the J/70 as a decent old man's Soling not so much dumbed down but definitely made less physical. When I race now, I most definitely prefer ergonomic layouts. This leaves out the majority of cruiser/racers which are, almost by definition, NOT ergonomic. While not perfect (WTF is up with those winches?!) by any means, the J/70 is in a completely different ergonomic sphere than, say, the J/24.

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1 hour ago, Black Jack said:

Way too often we equate our labor/pay to the cost of things. Our perspective is skewed based on our actual economic class. (There are a whole bunch of people doing much better than we are and sobering to think how different it is for them to do such things) Many here work really hard to pay for what is recreational sport subject to lead nowhere except in longtime friendships and fond memories. We sacrifice a good portion of our income/wealth to run our/their 15 to 20 year old boats and racing season and remain somewhat competitive. Although the cost seem high for these IC37 boats, I do not beleive the boat prices are out of line with modern recreational racing with a new class sailed in more recreational elite circles. the club was able to buy enough for a sizable charter fleet. 

It's likely that the cost of this, or any future NYYC, class boat is out of whack to the rest of us because the builders designers etc all say to themselves that "It's the NYYC, so we can charge whatever we want (or think we can get away with )" so you end up with a nice boat that can never become a widely accepted class outside of the NYYC.

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6 hours ago, JM1366 said:

Part of me is a little surprised that the Farr 40s haven't converted to asymmetricals yet. I know it's a one-design fleet, but one design fleets can (and do) vote on changes to keep the boat up to date. The A-scows and E-scows have both converted, and in both cases it's made the boat faster, safer and more fun to sail. The conversion was easy enough to do, and ultimately it proved to be a really good thing for both fleets.

I think the point that I'm making (and it seems that I'm not the only one) is that there needs to be a compelling reason to buy the new boat rather than the existing fleet.

Having raced a Farr 40 with a sprit & assys against class legal boats I can assure you that the symmetrical is consistently faster on the w/l courses these guys race,  Long racing with reaching legs the assy is faster and the boat more controllable,  but the one designs fleets don't do these types of races.

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2 hours ago, Parma said:

It's likely that the cost of this, or any future NYYC, class boat is out of whack to the rest of us because the builders designers etc all say to themselves that "It's the NYYC, so we can charge whatever we want (or think we can get away with )" so you end up with a nice boat that can never become a widely accepted class outside of the NYYC.

My guess is that they're priced so that they can still make sufficient profit with the relatively small number of boats sold. I'm sure that Melges, the fabricator and the designer knew they weren't going to be selling hundreds of these things, and they priced them where they had to to make it worthwhile. Designing a boat, tooling up to make it and then getting the initial promotion going is not insignificant. The design process takes a lot of time from very expensive people. The tooling to build the boats is very expensive and labor-intensive to make. Keep in mind, they have to build the tooling to make all parts that are unique to the IC37 - it's not just the hull and deck molds. The sailmakers have to design and test the sails. Then someone has to put in a huge amount of time, energy and money into promoting the boat in hopes that maybe it will take off. NYYC saying "we want this boat" isn't enough for them to have confidence that it will succeed, and I suspect Melges has known this whole time that there isn't a huge market for this thing. Those guys in Zenda aren't idiots - they've been playing this game for a very long time, and they've had their fair share of successes and failures.

This whole thing is a massively expensive proposition, especially for a boat as big and complicated as an IC37. An A-scow or a Melges 32 or a Farr 40 is less expensive (if a new Farr 40 is cheaper - not sure it really is) because the expensive stuff has already been done. The Melges 32 has proven to be a successful class (and Melges probably knew it would be when they created it), and the A-scow tooling was largely a DIY effort that has taken place over the course of the last 70 years.

I'm sure that it being a NYYC boat plays into this, but probably not as much as some would think. Still, a $340,000 boat isn't going to sell well. It's a small pool you're drawing from. You've eliminated the "very upper middle class" people from the game. The engineers, typical lawyers, doctors, college professors and medium-size business owners would really struggle to afford this kind of thing. The pool of people who like sailboat racing who could afford this is small, and they've got quite a lot of options in their price range.

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1 hour ago, JM1366 said:

My guess is that they're priced so that they can still make sufficient profit with the relatively small number of boats sold. I'm sure that Melges, the fabricator and the designer knew they weren't going to be selling hundreds of these things, and they priced them where they had to to make it worthwhile. Designing a boat, tooling up to make it and then getting the initial promotion going is not insignificant. The design process takes a lot of time from very expensive people. The tooling to build the boats is very expensive and labor-intensive to make. Keep in mind, they have to build the tooling to make all parts that are unique to the IC37 - it's not just the hull and deck molds. The sailmakers have to design and test the sails. Then someone has to put in a huge amount of time, energy and money into promoting the boat in hopes that maybe it will take off. NYYC saying "we want this boat" isn't enough for them to have confidence that it will succeed, and I suspect Melges has known this whole time that there isn't a huge market for this thing. Those guys in Zenda aren't idiots - they've been playing this game for a very long time, and they've had their fair share of successes and failures.

This whole thing is a massively expensive proposition, especially for a boat as big and complicated as an IC37. An A-scow or a Melges 32 or a Farr 40 is less expensive (if a new Farr 40 is cheaper - not sure it really is) because the expensive stuff has already been done. The Melges 32 has proven to be a successful class (and Melges probably knew it would be when they created it), and the A-scow tooling was largely a DIY effort that has taken place over the course of the last 70 years.

I'm sure that it being a NYYC boat plays into this, but probably not as much as some would think. Still, a $340,000 boat isn't going to sell well. It's a small pool you're drawing from. You've eliminated the "very upper middle class" people from the game. The engineers, typical lawyers, doctors, college professors and medium-size business owners would really struggle to afford this kind of thing. The pool of people who like sailboat racing who could afford this is small, and they've got quite a lot of options in their price range.

I fit that demographic you described in your last paragraph. I still had to save up for five years to swing a sporty little 30 foot offshore boat while making sure I had spare cash for sails. A modern 37’ race boat is well outside the realm of the middle class now. 

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7 minutes ago, Monkey said:

I fit that demographic you described in your last paragraph. I still had to save up for five years to swing a sporty little 30 foot offshore boat while making sure I had spare cash for sails. A modern 37’ race boat is well outside the realm of the middle class now. 

Yup, and that's just the reality, and I think that's one of the reasons the J/70 has been as successful as it has. A new boat is under $60k (last time I checked), and sails are under $6k for a suit if I remember correctly. While that's not cheap, it's within the realm of possibility for a reasonably successful engineer or lawyer, and there are a lot of engineers, lawyers, doctors, professors, etc. 

I know a lot of people (probably at least 100) who could afford to buy and race a J/70 or E-scow. I know maybe one or two people who could realistically afford to buy an IC37. You know what they buy? A-scows. Melges 32s. J105s. Why? Those are the fleets with the best racing right now.

So not only have we eliminated the vast majority of sportboat sailors, we're down to people who can afford to spend $340,000 on a boat, plus at least $30,000 per year on sails alone. Now of that group of people, how many of them do you know who will spend that kind of money on a boat, without knowing whether it will be a successful class. How many of them want to buy a racing boat at that price that requires nine people, but doesn't have much of an established fleet?

like I said before, the J/70 gave people something they wanted. An affordable (relatively speaking), trailerable sportboat that doesn't break the people who sail it. It was appealing to a lot of people looking for a more manageable sportboat. In other words, there was a market for it, whether J/boats realized it at the time or not.

I don't think that sort of market exists for the IC37. 

The boats that are going to breathe new life into this sport aren't going to be boats like the IC37. They're going to be the boats where the manufacturer found clever ways of making it affordable and generally easy to manage. That means physically manageable (doesn't take superhumans to sail it), financially manageable (reasonable sail costs), and logistically manageable (doesn't require nine highly skilled people to race) and most of all, fun. 

I know people say "on a 37 foot boat, nobody is worried about the cost of sails". That's not true. I know five or six people who used to be some of the most dedicated A-Scow sailors in the ILYA. They were at every regatta, did the most to build their local fleets, and having more fun than almost anyone else. They're now sailing E-scows or C-scows. Why? They're upper-middle-class people. They're engineers, lawyers, professors, medical technicians, etc. They make $80k - $100k a year, but buying $20,000 worth of sails a year is really a struggle for someone in that demographic, especially if they're trying to send kids to college, etc. I know this is midwest scow sailing I'm talking about, but that's not to say that the same thing doesn't happen in other fleets.

Sorry for some very long posts, this is a topic touches on some issues that I think are a whole lot bigger than the IC37.

 

 

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There was a time when 37 feet automatically meant a cruising boat or at least an ocean racer. (Forget the pre-war days of metre boats and the pre prewar days of universal rule boats).  What is this "sportboat" thing when it is 37 feet long?

That is part of the problem. Vision. I don't see it.

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11 hours ago, fastyacht said:

There was a time when 37 feet automatically meant a cruising boat or at least an ocean racer. (Forget the pre-war days of metre boats and the pre prewar days of universal rule boats).  What is this "sportboat" thing when it is 37 feet long?

That is part of the problem. Vision. I don't see it.

It does come off as the sort of boat you'd get if you wanted a modernized take on the Farr 40 class, based it on the current generation of inshore TP52s, and then nerfed it. The boat for someone who wants to race inshore with a big team but doesn't want something too tweaky or complicated. I agree that my image of a "sportboat" ends with the Melges 32 size. To me a sportboat is a small-ish, light keelboat with a planing hull and lots of canvas. The IC37 is slower and more tactical, not that this is always a bad thing. They're great as loaner boats for a top-level amateur inshore event, which is what they were designed to be.

All of that W/L optimization cuts into the value proposition quite a bit, though. I'll admit I've been out of the big boat scene for awhile (if I was ever in it) but back when I was in New England most of the IRC/PHRF boats, and many of the larger OD keelboats, that did BIRW or BBR also did Bermuda. Even the Mumm 30s, the most dialed-in round-the-buoys boats of the time, did the occasional overnighter. I'm guessing the IC37s don't come out of the barn except to sail W/L courses. Then again, the Swan 42s were built to be versatile and evidentially NYYC said "let's not do that again."

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