Crew limits in Cruising classes

Alaris

Super Anarchist
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Annapolis
So PHRF of the Chesapeake wants to entice cruisers to race. Most of the rule seems reasonable. Complete rule here: http://www.phrfchesbay.org/page/rules/cruising

I think it’s a really good idea actually. But then they go and do something really counterproductive:
Crew:

o The number of crew allowed is limited to the number of berths.
Equipment:

o Single Berth: minimum width at head end of 22', minimum length of 68', parallel to waterline, minimum 8' elevation from floorboard

o Double Berth: greater than 44' width at head width, minimum 68' length, 8' minimum elevations from floorboard

o Cushions, minimum 2' thick, for those berths counted for crew limits, must be in place when racing.
This class should be begging people to bring out as many crew as possible! Want to bring 10 people on your 34’ 4ksb? Sure! Have a great time. Who cares if a cruiser with a SA/D under 22 has some extra people on the rail? Are they even going to be on the rail? Exposing more people to the sport is absolutely necessary to keep it from dwindling any further than it already has.

I want the idea of a cruising class to succeed. Whether it is PHRF, ORR, ORC, whatever, I don’t care. But I don’t think that limiting participation through crew limits is a productive way to try to make the idea succeed.
 
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sailman

Super Anarchist
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443
Portsmouth, RI
It is a bit of a joke with the base qualifying numbers they are posting (upwind and downwind SA-D) it basically includes all boats except high end sport boats/ORC/IRC. The crew limitation to number of crew berths is not necessary but adding the qualifiers of what a berth is is just dumb and will create problems with people that want to push rules around. I think the only part they go right was the sail material criteria. They limit the number of headsails but not the number of spinnakers and allow Code sails and large roach headsails. It is not much of a "cruising" rule.
 

Alaris

Super Anarchist
1,853
668
Annapolis
The crew limitation to number of crew berths is not necessary but adding the qualifiers of what a berth is is just dumb and will create problems with people that want to push rules around.
Notably it does not limit it to the number of berths as built. So you could fill up your cabin with berths if you really wanted to be crazy.
They limit the number of headsails but not the number of spinnakers and allow Code sails and large roach headsails. It is not much of a "cruising" rule.
The code sail section caught my eye as well.
 

giegs

Anarchist
911
452
Arid
So any # of pipe berths provided they have a 2" cushion? And it reads like you could just stack those since there's no vertical requirement.
 

Neutral President

New member
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Texas
So PHRF of the Chesapeake wants to entice cruisers to race. Most of the rule seems reasonable. Complete rule here: http://www.phrfchesbay.org/page/rules/cruising

I think it’s a really good idea actually. But then they go and do something really counterproductive:


This class should be begging people to bring out as many crew as possible! Want to bring 10 people on your 34’ 4ksb? Sure! Have a great time. Who cares if a cruiser with a SA/D under 22 has some extra people on the rail? Are they even going to be on the rail? Exposing more people to the sport is absolutely necessary to keep it from dwindling any further than it already has.

I want the idea of a cruising class to succeed. Whether it is PHRF, ORR, ORC, whatever, I don’t care. But I don’t think that limiting participation through crew limits is a productive way to try to make the idea succeed.
Every time you make a new rule, a lawyer gets his wings
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Crash

Super Anarchist
5,198
1,104
SoCal
This class should be begging people to bring out as many crew as possible! Want to bring 10 people on your 34’ 4ksb? Sure! Have a great time. Who cares if a cruiser with a SA/D under 22 has some extra people on the rail? Are they even going to be on the rail? Exposing more people to the sport is absolutely necessary to keep it from dwindling any further than it already has.

I want the idea of a cruising class to succeed. Whether it is PHRF, ORR, ORC, whatever, I don’t care. But I don’t think that limiting participation through crew limits is a productive way to try to make the idea succeed.
Actually I like their basic premise for a couple of reasons

1: The available "pool" of people willing to crew, in my experience is somewhat limited at every club I've ever been to/at. Finding enough crew is always a challenge. If you come up with extras, I'm sure there are boats in the fleet desperate for crew and would love your "extras"

2: If you have 10 people on a boat that has 6 berths, and a sistership has 4, you have a distinct advantage in moveable ballast, and hence sail carrying ability in anything over 8 or 10 kts of breeze. For example, your average 30 foot racer/cruiser (lets use a J-30 as an example) really only needs a crew of 5 to get it around the race course. But they are allowed 8. Most guys try very hard to get 8 for every race, even though a number of them are really nothing but moveable ballast. But if you only have 5, and the other guy has 8, he has greater sail carrying capability, and all other things being equal, beats you every time.

3: Part of the "great part" of racing BITD was rafting out or sleeping on the boat at the end of a race, or god forbid, during a race week. Back in the early 80's we routinely slept aboard at race weeks like Block Island, or on overnights on the bay, like the race to Saint Michaels and back. Having 10 crew and 5 berths is not really all that conducive to sleeping aboard once your "not a kid" anymore. Limiting crew to the number of berths makes it easy to sleep the crew, and might be a way back to the "fun" part of racing that we used to have, before everyone got all crazy about winning at all cost, and not a gram of extra weight on the boat. This is, after all, a Cruising Class....
 

TwoLegged

Super Anarchist
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When I was a youngster in day racing in Dublin Bay, nearly all the boats had more crew than berths.

I agree with @Alaris that it seems very odd to limit the number of people able to participate. Do they want the number of sailors to shrink even further?
 

Crash

Super Anarchist
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SoCal
I know it sound counter-intuitive, but I think its actually a way to grow numbers. Really, who needs 8 guys to race a J-30 or S2 9.1. Or 10 guys to race a J/109. Those are the crew limits on the Chesapeake Bay. Right now, in many ways there are more owners than there are crew. The "quality" programs, or the boats that have been racing at a club for 20 years, get crew cause the boats are "cool" or are well known. Everyone else suffers trying to get crew. And if they can get folks, there all brand new to the game, so its a long process to train them up. I used to run a crew list of almost 20 folks to try to get 6 or 8 on a weekend race. I raced a lot of races short of of the crew limit, because I simply could not come up with a warm body to put on the boat.

The challenge, particularly in the cruising classes is to get owners participating. the number of boats actively racing on the Chesapeake has fallen year after year. 99% of those owners struggle to get crew, and don't want to have to run a 20 person crew list to get 6 folks together to race. Alaris might be the only guy on the Chesapeake that has crew coming out his ears :D

The rest of us? Not so much. The days of crew walking the dock with a six pack looking for a ride are largely dead and gone. And if a crew shows up doing that, he is jumped on by a half dozen owners trying to recruit him.
 

TwoLegged

Super Anarchist
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@Crash , that seems to be based on a notion that crew are a kinda commodity to be shared out.

It seems to assume that if someone is barred by rules from being the 10th body on a cool boat, that they will go crew on an uncool boat. My guess is that won't always be the case.
 

bgytr

Super Anarchist
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677
On some cruiser oriented boats, often the number of berths is low for the size of the boat. The accommodations are setup to have 2 or 3 private staterooms with berths for 4 to 6 people. Not really enough to effectively race a 50 foot boat as the accommodations were set for cruising.
I did a Bermuda race on a 46 foot boat years ago that had 4 bunks in fwd and aft cabins. The main saloon had one of those rounded dinette areas that could not be used as a berth at sea. So the bulk of the off watch slept in the sails on the sole. Very uncomfortable boat at sea, but great for 4 people at anchor or in a marina.

Would be absurd trying to race it with 4 people.
 

slug zitski

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The ability to muscle a boat around the course with a big crew is the biggest performance advantage
crew limits are the only way to equalize boats and these limits obviously save on crew costs
what the limit shall be could be a question…number of berths is a good, simple to enforce choice and it encourages proper racer cruiser accomodation
you might be able to consider kids as half a crew .
if your boat has few berths your best choice is to sail with massive 300 lb crew
on a short Wednesday night course your food bill for these beasts will not be significant and after the race they can discipline and intimidate other competitors at the club bar
 

bgytr

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The ability to muscle a boat around the course with a big crew is the biggest performance advantage
crew limits are the only way to equalize boats and these limits obviously save on crew costs
what the limit shall be could be a question…number of berths is a good, simple to enforce choice and it encourages proper racer cruiser accomodation
you might be able to consider kids as half a crew .
if your boat has few berths your best choice is to sail with massive 300 lb crew
on a short Wednesday night course your food bill for these beasts will not be significant and after the race they can discipline and intimidate other competitors at the club bar
I would suggest a simple formula based on sail area makes the most sense. The berth count makes no sense at all.
Reason being that most cruising boats have fewer berths for their size than race boats that have enough berths for the off watch to sleep. Again, racing a 46 foot cruising boat with 4 people that has heavy loads is unsafe.
 

slug zitski

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I would suggest a simple formula based on sail area makes the most sense. The berth count makes no sense at all.
Reason being that most cruising boats have fewer berths for their size than race boats that have enough berths for the off watch to sleep. Again, racing a 46 foot cruising boat with 4 people that has heavy loads is unsafe.
It’s up the the authorities to find the best compromise

and if you choose an odd ball interior layout for a cruiser racer , you made a mistake
typically the first thing I look for on a racer cruiser is sea berths in the saloon…silly boats with saloon galleys and wrap around saloon tables , two heads and no sea berth , don’t work well for sailors
 

bgytr

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It’s up the the authorities to find the best compromise

and if you choose an odd ball interior layout for a cruiser racer , you made a mistake
typically the first thing I look for on a racer cruiser is sea berths in the saloon…silly boats with saloon galleys and wrap around saloon tables , two heads and no sea berth , don’t work well for sailors
I don't disagree on a sensible offshore layout for racing. However, look at the cruiser market, that is not what you got. The boats are purpose built to cruise comfortably with a small crew. Forcing an offshore racing interior to get the berth count up for berths that will never be used to do a day race in the Chesapeake Bay is beyond stupid.
 

slug zitski

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I don't disagree on a sensible offshore layout for racing. However, look at the cruiser market, that is not what you got. The boats are purpose built to cruise comfortably with a small crew. Forcing an offshore racing interior to get the berth count up to do a day race in the Chesapeake Bay is beyond stupid.
on passage nobody sleeps in the forepeak…only saloon sea berths and aft pilot sea berths

for a boat at sea it’s critical to have at least two leeward sea Berths ..nobody lasts long in a windward berth

these are not really race boats they are simply well designed seamanlike boats that should be encouraged
 

bgytr

Super Anarchist
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on passage nobody sleeps in the forepeak…only saloon sea berths and aft pilot sea berths

for a boat at sea it’s critical to have at least two leeward sea Berths ..nobody lasts long in a windward berth

these are not really race boats they are simply well designed seamanlike boats that should be encouraged
The aft cabin berths are typically used at sea in cruising boats with the berthless saloon cruising layouts. Again, requiring sensible sea berths for coastal cruisers, especially those on the Chesapeake that will NEVER be used for an ocean passage to get the berth count up for a day race is stupid. It ignores the fleet of cruising boats that already exist. So those that might race in a day race, never will race given this idiotic berth requirement rule.
 

TwoLegged

Super Anarchist
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requiring sensible sea berths for coastal cruisers, especially those on the Chesapeake that will NEVER be used for an ocean passage to get the berth count up for a day race is stupid. It ignores the fleet of cruising boats that already exist
^^^^^ this

The racing rules should be designed to serve the fleet that actually exists, not somebody's idea of what the boats should be like.
 




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