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Luffing rights

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JimC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Sep 15 at 8:49pm
Originally posted by Rupert

but it is still luffing, were all know that!


the trouble is tho' Rupert, you and I and our contemporaries know that, but the youngsters shouldn't have that concept so much, and a fair bit of rule debate confusion is caused by use of out of date concepts (overtaking boat keeps clear for example!)
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Brass View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Sep 15 at 10:25pm
Originally posted by Rupert

And yes, the idea now is whether you are not constrained from sailing above your proper course, but it is still luffing, were all know that!


Luffing used to be defined simply as changing course towards the wind.

You have no notion what weird meanings people put on it.

Even in the old days many people used it to mean a tactical engagement between a windward and a leeward boat, usually resulting in contact.

I've seen other turkeys insist that it only happened when rule 17 applied, or you were only Luffing if you sailed above close hauled ....the list is endless
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Sep 15 at 7:54am
I like your tactical engagement description. The term is obviously far wider than this, as it can be used in all sorts of ways to describe turning towards the wind, but we are only really looking at one aspect of it.

However, thinking further, our understanding of it is certainly shaped by early encounters. Firefly sailing on the Thames in the 70s surrounded by ex team racers means luffing was an aggressive tactic to say the least.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote about  a boat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Sep 15 at 11:50am
OK. I am not sure if my logic is correct but I thought the reasoning behind the rule to give entitlement to luffing rights was probably as result of other rules.

Thus a boat establishing an overlap from clear astern and within two boat lengths does not gain luffing rights to protect their wind since their favoured course would be to go to windward rather than leeward. Am I correct in proper course does not apply?

A boat that does establish luffing rights can protect their wind right up to forcing the other boat to head to wind at which point if windward boat pass head to wind would be required to keep clear until on a close hauled course.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Sep 15 at 11:57am
The sentence "I'll luff you off the course if you go to windward of me" is one I don't hear much any more... maybe I simply sail in more gentlemanly classes these days? Or were sailors farmore rude and aggressive in the olden days?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Presuming Ed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Sep 15 at 12:57pm
I would think it was more common as a tactic on the old triangle-sausage-beat Oly course - luffing to defend your wind on the long reaches. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Oatsandbeans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Sep 15 at 3:09pm
I also think that as boats have become faster luffing is not a worthwhile tactic. A fast assymetric has a very limited course in any breeze, too high and they fall over too low and they also fall over. Although some slower boats do give it a go trying to luff a faster assymetric, it is not normally a good idea. Sometimes I wonder what would happen if we just ditched this rule!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Sep 15 at 3:59pm
Originally posted by about a boat

OK. I am not sure if my logic is correct but I thought the reasoning behind the rule to give entitlement to luffing rights was probably as result of other rules.

Thus a boat establishing an overlap from clear astern and within two boat lengths does not gain luffing rights to protect their wind since their favoured course would be to go to windward rather than leeward. Am I correct in proper course does not apply?

A boat that does establish luffing rights can protect their wind right up to forcing the other boat to head to wind at which point if windward boat pass head to wind would be required to keep clear until on a close hauled course.


I tried to explain it politely, but I apparently didn't persuade you to join us in the 21st Century.

There is no longer a rule that gives an entitlement to 'luffing rights'. Rule thirtywhateveritwas, which said 'a boat may luff as she pleases' was removed in the 1995 rewrite.

Luffing to protect your position and your clear air is not prohibited, but is subject to the limitations in rules 16, 17, and 14.

Luffing rights, such as they were, were only enunciated in the rules as a starting point so that limitations could be imposed upon those rights.

I don't think the concept of tactical defensive or offensive luffing, or rules affecting it have ever been as a result of, or facilitative of any other rule or rules.

In the language of recent rules, a boat does not 'establish an overlap', boats 'become overlapped'.

Any boat that becomes overlapped (to leeward) from clear astern gains right of way, subject to limitations on changing course under rule 16, and initially, under rule 15.

If that boat became overlapped within two boat lengths, she is additionally limited to not sailing above her proper course, by rule 17. You are not correct to say that proper course does not apply.

Your last paragraph is not clear to me.

A leeward boat may change course towards the wind.(luff), and a windward boat is required to keep clear as long as the leeward boat stays on the same tack, that is, up until the leeward boat passes head to wind, when rule 13 While Tacking applies.

Originally posted by about a boat

Why is a boat (with luffing rights) allowed to push another up to head to wind? and;

Why is the method of establishing the overlap so important as to give rise to this right?


I can only answer your first question with another:Why should she be prohibited from doing so?

In answer to your second, The right of any boat to change course is limited only by other applicable rules.

The RRS in general, are an 'open'rule set: Anything which is not forbidden is permitted, in contrast to a 'closed' rule set, like some class rules, where Anything not permitted is forbidden.
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JimC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Sep 15 at 5:13pm
Originally posted by Oatsandbeans

Sometimes I wonder what would happen if we just ditched this rule!

The rule in question is windward boat gives way to leeward boat. If you ditch that what would you replace it with?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Oatsandbeans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Sep 15 at 7:42pm
Don't quite know. Just my attempt to deal with 2 issues at the same time -rule simplication and the problems of agressive sailors that think its really smart to get into agressive luffing matches- not really what I go sailing for.
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