First of my separated out topics for discussion about rule changes – refer back to the previous posts for history. Lets get more posts on each individual topic before we think about possible rule changes.
I think Dyneema and webbing straps make sense for the reasons I previously stated.
4mm Dyneema has a break strain of nearly two tonnes. If you knot it, that reduces by about 30%. I cannot imagine a worst case scenario (towing an 18 stone crew member attached by his lifeline (stupidly, but whatever) to the guardrail) breaking it. More likely, you would pull the stanchions/pushpit out the deck. There is no evidence it is subject to UV degradation. Anyway, I would include the rule that it had to be sheathed with braided polyester to prevent chafe and protect it from UV. (Dyneema is just the core weave). I have some knowledge about this having owned a rope company. There are 40ft yachts out there using Dyneema and it’s derivatives for standing rigging.
Webbing straps are so much more comfy I cannot imagine helming without them. Run the Dyneeema from pulpit to pushpit, as we specify with wire, and the strength is built-in.
On the other hand, wire, as Peter says, can invisibly degrade (inside swaged ends mostly) and if it separates, the exposed strands are pretty lethal. Lets take advantage of this technical advance and allow it.
I would suggest we align with ISAF Special Regs Cat 4 which is what the majority of non one-design racing uses as the safety standard, this allows dyneema if it is spliced i.a.w. manufacturers recommendations BUT it doesn’t allow webbing and it requires the guard rails to the “taut” which does result in a slightly less comfortable helming / hiking position.
Also it doesn’t allow plastic coated guard wires as it is not possible to see what damage / corrosion is going on under the plastic.
This would mean that boats racing one design (with webbing) would not then need a second set of guard rails when racing in a Cat 4 race like RTI.
My thoughts anyway….
on paper the figures for dyneema are good, however it will chafe badly where it goes through the stanchions, but if people feel that it would save them costs then allow it
I am definitely in favour of allowing Dyneema guard wires.
I’d also like to allow webbing. I agree that takes a Sonata outside of Category 4: but I had a look at what Category 4 requires:
Bringing a Sonata up to Category 4 is a lot of work, and significant expense, and maybe even seriously difficult – depending on how you interpret the requirement that cockpit and bow well shall be quickly self draining (section 3.09).
If you really want to conform to Category 4 you could always re-enforce a webbing guard wire with 3mm Dyneema.
So: overall I think allowing webbing guard wire is fine.
Category 4 in a Sonata is relatively easy and in comparison with some of the “toys” being added in the other, rule change postings, Category 4 is a lot cheaper and does contribute to safety! Important point on the drains and some other rules is to note that the design date is what determines the standard required and as David Thomas can design a good boat, Sonata is easy……..I even got my old Medina up to Category 4 with an SSS of 20 so I could enter the overnight race for the then Rover Series (now the Scottish Series).
Saraband still has the two sets of permanently installed navigation lights from those days when we did the overnight racing and her predecessor Frank 8025 routinely raced across the Irish Sea, and on one occasion sailed backed from Tarbert to Anglesey as we had a trailer problem! I admit Sarabande is now down to a single battery, rather than the two previously required to satisfy “separately wired and powered” rule.
Regarding guard lines I will stay with wire, with hose pipe over the wire adjacent to the cockpit, but recognise that dynema is allowed in Cat 4, so will vote for that when it goes to the membership for approval. I will oppose webbing because its not allowed in Cat 4……as the meerkats say, “it’s simple”
If you got to Cat 4 easily.. then it must be easy.
But I’m a bit confused….
There is quite a lot of equipment required. On quick reading:
2nd Fire extinguisher
First Aid Kit + Manual
Storm Jib and Trysail
Harness as well as Life Jackets
Much more extensive flares
I doubt that lot will come in at much under a couple of Grand. If it were possible to do it more cheaply I’d be in favour of simply making the Sonata Class rules specify Cat 4.
However, despite the specific, and age related requirement for drain holes Cat 4 3.09.1 states:
Cockpits shall be structurally strong, self-draining quickly by gravity at all angles of heel and permanently incorporated as an integral part of the hull.
and last time I had a yacht checked “quickly” meant that if you filled the cockpit up completely it should drain in under 60 secs. I can’t see how you would ever get a Sonata cokckpit (or bow well – included by virtue of 3.09.5) to drain that fast without cutting huge holes in the stern and bow topsides.
For a boat of the Sonatas age the Regs specify 2 x 25mm dia drains which they have, they don’t specify what the definition of quickly is but they are self draining and have drains of the requisite size so I think it would be difficult to argue that they don’t comply.
The kit you list does cost money but it would be very useful if something goes wrong….short circuit causes a fire, mast falls down and is hammering a hole in the hull because its still attached by the rigging, a member of the crew gets caught up in ropes under load which you can release etc etc.
No tri-sail is required for Cat 4 (or even Cat 3), for Cat 4 its just a heavy weather jib.
I’m not sure I would go as far as suggesting the class specify Cat 4, as clearly from this and other discussions people are not keen on the extra financial burden, however I would suggest that class rules don’t conflict with Cat 4.
Richard – thanks for that, you saved me the response…….I could also add that Peter’s comment of “much more extensive flares” is actually………..4 red hand flares and 2 orange smokes!
I also carry two parachute flares as in Scotland I can be cruising with few boats around me and if I’m in trouble I want to be seen and heard, hence also have both fixed DSC (with GPS) and handheld and mobile!
I agree that stuff is useful, and I think ‘d prefer to see Sonatas required to comply with Cat 4 (if the definition of “quickly” really has become so relaxed lol)
But for many people the cost might be significant.
peter, i think you need to re read cat 4 regs again, as its very easy to get the boat up to it, you just need a storm jib, trysail is an option if you read it,
2nd Fire extinguisher- you should have a fireblanket and a 2nd extinguisher is only 15 quid
Cockpit Knife- should be standard on all sonatas
Nav Lights-again alot of people have these as standard but you can get battery powered ones for about 20 quid
Bolt Croppers- we have a hacksaw in our boats toolbox for disconecting the rigging so not needed
First Aid Kit + Manual- standard
FogHorn- about 5 quid or a vuvazalaia
Radar Reflector- again about 10 quid
Storm Jib and Trysail- we used an old mirror jib which is red and the correct size
Harness as well as Life Jackets- most lifejackets have these built in
Much more extensive flares- i would rather spend another 40 quid and know i was going to be rescued
Interesting… if the Mirror jib is made of heavy enough material and the scrutineers will allow you to carry a hacksaw rather than proper bolt croppers then the cost does come down.
The battery powered nav lights were certainly NOT regarded as adequate last time I raced to cat 2 – 4.
Most of the life jackets I’ve seen on Sonatas don’t have harness built in though mine does and I agree it’s a good idea.
So: if it really is that easy and cheap should the Sonata class rules just specify OSR Cat 4.
if you read the osr rules it states that a suitable means of severing the rigging, which could be an anglegrinder(battery powered), bolt gun, croppers or hacksaw
and as long as the lights have the correct 2nm vis then they are ok, which the battery powered versions do,
as for the storm jib, we carry ours, just incase we have a large squall come through and can then finish the race just under storm alone, (40 knots plus)
It’s just that I have in the past (in my first yacht, a long time ago,- granted) been refused entry to races when I turned up equipped as you describe.
The word “suitable” is open to interpretation, of course.
Anyway – back to Dyneema and Webbing.
If I read this thread correctly there is broad support for the objective of allowing Dyneema and Webbing Life lines (as is currently fitted to many Sonatas), but with the specific objection is that it would help if the Sonata Class rules implied compliance with ORC Cat 4.
So, what about:
(4) The lifelines (or upper lifelines if more are fitted) shall be of stainless or galvanised steel multi strand wire, or of Dyneema, with a minimum total cross sectional area of 12 mm^2. They shall be tensioned such that they shall be a minimum of 460mm above the sheerline.
i.e specifying the total cross sectional area rather than the diameter. Note: a 4mm circle has a cross section of 12.56 mm^2 – just over 12 mm^2
1. Since Cat 4 allows 3mm Dyneema for Yachts under 28 ft long, the increase in strength by specifying 12 mm^2 about 80%) will more than compensate for any loss of strength caused by using knots rather than the appropriate splice
2. Anybody who wants to fit webbing merely has to re-enforce it with a loop of 3mm diameter Dyneema (i.e 2 strands) as this has a greater cross sectional area than a single strand of 4mm Dyneema.