Happy New Year!
We ought to bring the Rule Changes discussion to a close now. Thanks to everyone who has contributed over the past three months. This post is my take on the way forward. I have, I hope, taken account of your views and spent some time thinking it through, including researching how other National and one-design Classes manage it. What I propose below may not be word-perfect, and I am happy to take your comments on the detail but I hope you will agree with the intent.
These discussions started with the two (carried) motions at the 2012 AGM regarding crew substitution and a corrector weight as an alternative to saloon berth cushions. The decision was that we remove Rule C21b (crew subs) and allow a corrector, weight to be determined. Would someone like to weigh their saloon cushions and tell us the result? Thanks. Then we can enact these two changes.
The discussion of Rule Changes in general then broadened out and threw up a whole raft of topics for two reasons:
Technology (instrumentation, mobile phones, hi-tec rope) has improved hugely since our rules were drafted. More relevant, it is affordable and, in practice, any of us with a smart phone have a lot of it in our pockets anyway.
Our Closed Rules (“if it doesn’t say you can, then you cannot”) which are a product of our National Class status, appear to exclude items which everyone carries aboard/adds for safety reasons or are open to silly or confusing interpretations.
However, as Martin Hartley, our Technical Officer, pointed out (Class Rules Changes Post) the current rules were the result of extensive revision (mainly by him) to retain our National status and conform with the ERS format and I said in reply “the last thing we want to do is jeopardise our Class Status”. I think we all agree with that. Martin admitted that a couple of topics may have been mislaid or forgotten in the process and we can correct those without further ado.
I am also acutely aware of Mark Taylor’s “Notice to” post which seeks to re-assure potential Sonata owners that the important message is that “they mostly sail at the same speed so racing is very close and generally conducted with great sportsmanship”.
So, we need to tread carefully. Edward Harrison (Class Rule Changes post) came up with two very simple additions to the personal and equipment lists, C3 and C5 which said, respectively:
“All other personal equipment is optional”
“All other equipment is optional, subject to restrictions in C”. (ie the Mandatory list). And then added a heading for us to prohibit anything we felt should not be carried aboard whilst racing.
Although this neatly avoids the need to examine in detail the content and wording of permitted items, I am concerned that for ‘other equipment’, it enlarges the scope to such an extent that it may take the rules outside the “Closed Rules” definition, which we don’t want, and implies that we would have to think hard about the ‘Prohibited’ list to exclude any kit which could contribute to performance. On reflection, my suggestions to include an “Ethos” statement would also be open to problems of interpretation at any protest hearing.
Our intentions in formulating rule changes therefore are:
to update them to allow for new technology
to clarify the Closed Rule interpretation under ‘personal’ and ‘equipment’
not to exclude the carrying of additional safety kit whilst racing
to (mainly) make the changes ‘optional’ so that individual owners can choose depending on the type of racing they do.
In making these changes we must not affect our strict “One Design” status or change the original Sonata concept of ‘affordability’.
So here are the proposed changes: (wording changes/additions in italics)
C.3 PERSONAL EQUIPMENT
The boat shall be equipped with personal buoyancy for each crew member to the minimum standard ISO 12402-5.
All other personal equipment is optional
C4 ADVERTISING – no change
PORTABLE EQUIPMENT – delete the word PORTABLE
1 – 4 (Fire Extinguisher, Bucket, Anchor, Hand Pump) – no change
Marine steering compass with a minimum of 60mm card. Correctly installed and adjusted. Replace with: A minimum of one fixed marine type compass of magnetic card or digital read out type capable only of instantaneous readout.
6. Two saloon berth mattresses made from foam rubber or similar and upholstered in fabric or vinyl. Each mattress shall be not less than 1830mm x 600mm x 100mm. The mattresses shall be positioned on the saloon berths, one to port and one to starboard.
A corrector weight of x gms positioned where we decide
7 – 8 (Galley, Toilet) – no change
9. A minimum of one marine
hand held VHF radio. (delete hand held)
10. (Outboard) – no change
11. Heavy items: Anchor, Outboard Motor (above) and any heavy additional equipment (below, eg batteries) shall be secured against movement in the event of a knock-down.
12. The Notice of Race and/or Sailing Instructions may proscribe safety equipment in addition to the minimum standards contained in the Class Rules.
1. Electronic or other devices to record, measure and calculate;
speed, distance, water depth, wind direction and speed, water temperature and position. Any device maybe linked to another.
2. Additional safety devices and equipment to owner’s requirements or to comply with local regulations
3. Additional equipment or fittings that contribute to the practical and seamanlike operation of the craft without enhancing performance or contravening other Class Rules.
I hope the intention of these changes is clear and that, particularly 2 and 3 above, remove ambiguity about whether or not it is legal to carry additional safety kit whilst racing, from flares to a liferaft if racecourses or conditions warrant it and winch handles, wash boards and a spare plug for the outboard, because we all sensibly do anyway.
The change to allow any combination of electronics is because the posts showed that some owners wanted it. Others felt it would be of little or no benefit. It is down to the type of racing individual owners do. So it is included as a specified option. In any event, policing whether a crew is using the Navionics app on their mobile in one hand and getting COG and SOG off the Garmin in the other is an impossibility. I have also amended the compass rule for similar reasons. I have left the guardrails rule alone.
I hope you are all in agreement.
A Happy New Year to you and yours as well.
Very well done for all this.
Firebird is hull number 6 and still has the original cushions (1976) which have been stored in the dry and warmth of my house for 3 months. The weight of the 2 cushions that make up each berth in the saloon is 9lb or 4.1kg. (N.B. it is not a single cushion)
I also note that the corrector weight for the forward cabin cushions not being carried (rule D.3 b(1) ) is only 5kg though we probably don’t want to go down the route of changing that.
I agree with Peter and you have done a great job shepherding this through all the different views and opinions, so well done!
I think your proposals give a sensible updating of the rules and recognise that the various electronic devices and applications are so much cheaper nowadays that it doesn’t seem sensible to continue their restriction……….and the very real probability is that as many races will be won by the tattiest boat in the fleet (with an outboard that occasionally works) as those that have “all the toys”, in which case we have got it just right, again!
I’m fully in agreement with the others, great work and looks good to me.
Just made 2 saloon berth cushons for my sonata, they are slightly bigger than minimum size @ 1880x650x100 with vinyl covers and weights 5.3KG each.
This all looks very well thought out to me!
I think this is excellent. We end up with a rules that are in fact simpler, make sensible provision for new technology and additional safety equipment but don’t prejudice our National Class status as far as I can see.
Can we assume these changes will go through as we prepare out boats for the new season.
as new to snarter racing wouldnt mind some clarification on the requirement for a “ronson lighter”to be on the boat under the class rule C.5.1 a) (7) , where “chemical or marine toilet ” is mandatory,
there has been discussion that merely a second dedicated bucket may fill this requirement in our club , is this the case ??? Does this bucket (if allowed ) have to be labled for its specific use ? , if so a rather fine specimen of vintage portaloo of top provenance , purchased from morningside in Edinburgh will be available ,
Although we at present carry said portaloo , use of same is a hanging offence ,
Do my eyes read true when I read in rules that if I strip out the forepeak wood , cushions etc , I only have to replace with 5kgs lead ????
I take it that as published class rules are dated July 2012 , changes proposed above have not been implimented to date ????
I don’t know if anyone could argue that a second bucket wasn’t a chemical toilet especially if it had a seat and was labelled as such but I think most boats now have a portaloo although as you say it is a hanging offence to use it. Regarding the forepeak D3 b1 is what it says but it doesn’t have to be lead so you could get something else like gold in your case.
For EP racing there are 2 rules that we wave although this is not written down anywhere but is what I was told 20 years ago when I started. One is regarding what sails you carry – you must carry the minimum ie main, no1 genoa, no2 genoa, storm jib and spinnaker but you can carry any other sails you wish but not use them during a race. The other was the no of crew – we don’t insist on having 3-5 as occasionally people only have 2 of a crew but I don’t recall anyone having in excess of 5. This is because we don’t wish to preclude anyone from racing because they are short of crew.
Remember we are the friendly class and like to help one another when possible.
cheers Peter ,
would be nice to get confirmation on q’s from technical rep .
gold ! , you trying to up the image of my boat ??
need the money to buy a storm jib !!!, not that I would ever use it .
guess ill nae be racing tonight or foreseable future , unless someone can spare a knackered ancient storm jib for a pitance or liquid compensation – shared , contrary to peters conjecture i couldnt even afford lead at the minute ,
if this is a local rule can I propose that the requirement to carry storm jib is dropped or can we carry a blue container with water to equivalent weight instead , ill gladly donate containers to others who may not have storm jibs either
Mark I would agree with that as in 20 years I have never used the storm jib and never spoken to anyone who has and you should definitely be sailing tonight as it might be quite nice.
I wasn’t aware there was any minimum list of sails you had to carry………..is that an East Patch rule?
Sorry all,I have reread the rules and the only mandatory sails are Main and Genoa No1.
is a bucket with a can of guiness init a stout bucket ????
hows the concluding of the conclusion getting on ,dont see any changes in class rules last time I looked , so i guess no changes then .
My understanding is that rule changes have to be approved at the AGM which is typically but not always held at the National Championships.
So, discussion on this forum very useful for socialising ideas and getting broad consensus on what we want to happen (which I think we have on all of the points raised in the above topic stream)and should allow us to draft the revised rule(s) and put it on the agenda for the AGM. I would hope that the AGM vote would be more of a formality given the quality of discussion on the forum but the problem with democracy is you can’t always be sure of the outcome of putting it to the vote!
If I am wrong on my interpretation of the constitution then apologies and happy to be corrected!!
any news on these rule changes yet ???????, was there an agm at nationals ?????
We did not have an AGM at this years nationals but hope to hold one maybe at the London Boat Show. The Technical rep is working on them with the RYA
Any progress ?