[MHml] Open Racing offshore vs closed course was Cats vs Tri
proa at iinet.net.au
Mon Nov 6 00:18:35 EST 2006
> Capt. Len wrote: Hate to rain on the parade but the "D" was a day racer,
were about 750 lbs and 2-3 man crew.
Rob: I know, I am copying it as it is the ideal rule for determining the
best type of boat with only sail area limitations.
L Not an offshore racer. If you mandate safety gear you have a heavy and
expensive multi period..
R The safety gear for solo transpac weighs 107 kgs/235 lbs. Costs
$AUS10,000/$US7,500 retail, less if you hire the liferaft, ssb and epirb.
It is all reusable at the end, and can be bought and sold second hand.
The boat gets expensive and heavy if you need technology to sail it. Wind
driven self steering gear, no instruments, no gen set keeps it all light and
cheap. My boat ex safety gear costs $Aus17,000/$US12,750. That includes
finite element anaysis of some of the structure and everything is built from
carbon with honeycomb cores.
L Look at the mini transat with the 6.5 meter limit.
R Mini Transat and Ostar are both driven by rules, which type form the
boats. Specifically, a max length which leads to over powered, exciting,
expensive, technology laden, very hard to sail boats.
L 400 sq ft would be a really under canvased downwind sled if big enough to
carry the gear. mho
R See Dave's reply on weight. Surely you can improve on a Val?
L Your mixing two different rules proposals for open racing.
R One rule: 400 sq' of sail. The course I have chosen is the solo
Transpac. Look at this as the first of many races for the class. Actually,
make solo Transpac the second race. I will also put up a trophy for a race
3 times round a one mile diameter circle course in SF Bay 2 weeks before the
Transpac. As many crew as you like. Rabbit start, so no committee needed.
L Still retired.
R But tempted?
Might be a bit small of a boat at 400 sq ft sail area, for crossing oceans
and all. I carry 2,000 sq ft working sail on a 52' boat, 4,400 sq ft max
downwind. This has me picturing 400 sq ft as a 14' long boat. Then there
are supples. This is going to take 2-4 weeks at sea. Hawaii isn't that
close to California and little boats aren't especially fast. And solo?
You're placing a pretty heavy seamanship requirement on what is supposed to
be a boat design competition. The guy who can go 3 weeks without sleep will
win regardless of boat. This is all pretty far outside of my comfort zone.
Of course I could hire Ross to skipper my design....
R What Dave said about the weight and size.
Your sail area figures might just indicate how inefficient (not slow, just
inefficient) a big cat is. Course is 2,120 miles. Record is 8 days, an 11
knot average, so it should be possible in well under 2 weeks.
Ability is always an important factor, inshore or off. The guy who designs
his boat so he is not exhausted from sail changes and fixing broken stuff
will do well. I don't think you will need to hire Ross or any other of the
non sponsored offshore experts. Provide them with a boat and they will jump
at the opportunity. I think this would cost a lot less than hiring an
equally competent round the buoys racer.
B An in harbor buoy course may be more appropriate, you know, the kind that
takes 1-2 hours, and you do 3 races in a day, with time for repairs in
between. I expect these boats will need lots of repairs. Little boats are
trailerable and shippable making multiple venues possible.
R Building, shipping and storing Cogito (already proven to be by far the
best use of 300 sq' of sail around the buoys on the planet) would cost a lot
more than a solo ocean racer with 400 sq' of sail. But, see above for the
round the buoys race, just don't tell Steve Clarke!
B You guys go right ahead and spend weeks in a little untested boat solo in
the Pacific dodging hurricanes, squalls, and really big waves. I'll host
the class party in Hawaii, after all finish :-)
R Transpac is (compared to OSTAR) a slide down the tradewinds. It is the
best ocean racing course in the world north of the southern ocean for people
who want high speed thrills, plus an easily accessible start and a
spectacular destination. Solo Transpac is a low key race where huge amounts
of time and money have not yet been invested in winning, so innovative boats
are in with a chance and the organisers welcome them, unlike the Europeans.
The boat does not have to be little. Mine is 50' long x 27' wide, not much
smaller than Afterburner. No hurricanes at that time of the year, just
consistent 20 knot trade winds, squalls to 30 during the night, all up the
bum, with large swells to surf down. Gotta beat the hell out of drifting to
Ensenada to pick up yet another pickle dish with the second boat a couple of
hours behind. ;-)
Testing is an integral part of ocean racing. You have to do a proving
voyage first. It helps avoid the "I would have won but my boat fell apart"
excuse and all the down time doing repairs. Also reduces the risk of
Thanks for the party host offer. Hope to take you up on it in 19 months.
It could be held after the third race for the 400 sq' class: 'Round the bay
in Hanalei', each boat to have at least 2 local people, wives, supporters or
crew from other boats on board. Start from the beach, reach out 3 miles by
gps and return, drop off the locals, pick up 2 more and repeat everyone
wanting a sail has had one. Bill to start, finish and arbitrate it as
part of his host's responsibilities ;-)
In either event, the sail area needs to be just as small as possible, for
pure cost reasons.
R Not just for boat cost reasons. Low sail area also makes you think about
what is really necessary on the boat. A genset, fuel and wiring that is 5%
of the total boat weight is more likely to be left behind than if it is less
than 1%. This encourages thinking about efficiency rather than technology
as the solution to the problems.
D Offshore downhill is a pretty "easy" course, I'll grant you, but is
this really a good "test" of a sailboat? I'll take one of Diedre
Costes' "Zeppy-2s" for my attempt (now called Liftium, in French):
R You find the course easy, Bill finds it hard. I like it because it is
fast and exciting, the people organising it are open to innovation and it
starts and finishes in nice places. True, it is mostly downwind, but the
first few days can be a bit tricky.
Suspect Liftium would be in Mexico before it got to the downwind bit,
assuming a 400 sq' version could actually lift off. Didier, not Dierdre ;-)
Jesse/Dave on claiming
R I don't think claiming adds anything to it. Too many variables of
materials and labour costs and people's wealth. Plus it is another
complication. Keep it simple. However, feel fre to try and organise it on
the back of any of the races mentioned.
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