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Rock n Rolla RS200 content

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Printed Date: 18 Oct 17 at 9:13pm
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Topic: Rock n Rolla RS200 content
Posted By: iGRF
Subject: Rock n Rolla RS200 content
Date Posted: 30 Jul 17 at 7:20pm
I wasn't, like a fair few sensible types, going to go out, although it looked tame enough, the wind being in the west with a touch of North lifting off the shore, the forecast was for it to back and get up a bit so I downed my Tea and was preparing to shuffle off, get some kites and come back to catch low water when one of the Guys comes up, "I don't suppose you fancy crewing for young Zoe, I'm in the rescue boat and she's on her way down, she's keen, don't want to disappoint her..."

Now I've never been in an RS200 and have often fancied a go in one, suddenly it didn't look that bad so I mooched off to the dinghy park to take a look and start getting it ready. Zoe has been around for a while, in Feva's and the club 420 so I didn't give it a second thought.

By the time we got ready the sets rolling in were becoming interesting from a windsurfing wave sailors point of view, but couple with inexperienced working relationship and the crew not really a crew at all but a press ganged helm who, like all helms thinks he knows it all hmmm. Had explained the law earlier, if anything goes wrong always blame the crew. So I thought I'd better enlist some help to get us clear of the break, it's quite a heavy old tub for a small boat I was quite surprised anyway we counted the sets and piled in at a low point and were away with not much of a problem. Then about twenty yards out no idea what happened but the boat sort of bore off and death rolled, before we'd had time to put the plate down..

It's a long way from the plate to the deck isn't it? Not the easiest boat to right, lucky there were some righting lines, but they took a massive water kick and leap to reach, Zoe got the plate down and we are up again, once it's up it does at least sit there so you can get in. We missed the start but dipped the line and set off up the beat, it seemed a nicely balanced boat, I was trying to encourage a more 'finger tip' approach to the helm death grip of the wiggle stick and to relax and get to feel the lifts that were coming off the land, whilst wondering why I couldn't crank anymore Cunningham on as the wind notched up a tad past 20.

The boat is a consortium purchase a couple of guys and Zoe and crews and men generally being not as reliable as your dad, Zoe has elected to share the boat with two of them and even then she'd had to draw the short straw today and have me up front. We soldiered on just about keeping pace with a late phantom and went round the first mark to roll in again as we hadn't born off enough to take the first surge from the kite another muddle, getting the kite down with the boat upside down, always fun. This time I think we both got on the plate, Ican't remember wether it was this time or another, but I found myself in the boat drifting off leaving her, my flippant remark about her being a crap helm anyway so i thought I'd leave her didn't quite draw the laugh I thought it might, but we regrouped got settled on a two sail reach for a bit, then I had another go and bunged the kite up and we had a blinding reach out to our fixed mark which is quite a way out, now this time we had control, I'm calling the bear offs on the waves, but she (the boat) is a bit of a Rock n Rolla, ~Zoe was concerned about nose diving, I didn't get that vibe at all, my sensation was more a sense of side slipping into the trough rather than taking the cross wave directionally. By now it's knocking on the door of 25knots windspeed (you can tell this easily by the sail sizes the windsurfers were using.) and I was getting a little concerned, Zoe is a fearless young lass but stacking it again this far out wasn't on my to do list so I suggested wearing round, chicken that i am and we duly did successfully, then heading off for the shore and the rudder came up apparently and we had that same bear off and roll in, I'm not sure if she has a nervous habit of pulling the helm in towards her when things go pear shaped or the boat itself has a tendency to roll but this was the fourth time and I'm become weary of climbing in, this being the most I've capsized in the last five years, having said that accidents happen and rudders do come adrift, but all in all the boat isn't the most forgiving of mistakes I've experienced.

Underway once more a two sail reach seemed appropriate as it was a bit tight, hardening up and going for the first tack on the new beat it just won't go round, second or third time in Irons and the main isn't transitioning, maybe not enough Cunningham, maybe not enough kicker, by now another major gust came through and we elected to call it a day as the number of boats over or already on the beach mounted. Zoe understandably is nervous of the landing they can be a bit hairy on days like these but everything went OK, and other than someone dropping the mast by ditching the jib halyard without spotting you need to attach a wire to hold the rig up first we got the boat back into the boat park and agreed to try it again in more clement conditions.

So, on my difficulty scale of ten with MPS & Moths being 10 an L3k and the Alto being about a four & five I'm minded to give the 200 a 6 or 7 even, would that be right or were we just pushing our luck in that weather, what is the general consensus of the 200? It's definitely a bit of a Rock n Rolla, but I guess they get easier with practise.

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Replies:
Posted By: piglet
Date Posted: 30 Jul 17 at 8:38pm
Shame I missed the spectacle, I could have sold deck chairs tickets.
Worse than the 300?


Posted By: I luv Wight
Date Posted: 30 Jul 17 at 10:14pm
The 200 is a bit round and rolly, a 400 is more stable. Moths and Cherubs and other light flat things are tippy, but not rolly like a 200. It's just a style you have to get used to.


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Freedom 21 Codling


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 30 Jul 17 at 10:18pm
Originally posted by piglet

Shame I missed the spectacle, I could have sold deck chairs tickets.
Worse than the 300?


No, nothings worse than a 300!


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Posted By: jaydub
Date Posted: 30 Jul 17 at 10:31pm
You just need to keep the 200 reasonably flat.  You get it too far off the straight and narrow and it takes over.

We came out of Enterprises, which aren't the most stable of boats, and spent a lot of our first season swimming, as a result of broaching or death rolling to windward.

11 years on and it still teaches a few lessons.  It's just a boat that rewards being sailed well and penalises you if you don't.

No way would we go back to Enterprises now.




Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 30 Jul 17 at 11:08pm
Well I'm glad to read all that, it'll make her feel better she's still at the beginning of the learning curve and she's very keen, I don't think it's a bad boat, but like you say it needs practise and takes no prisoners.


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Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 31 Jul 17 at 8:16am
I tipped them in on gybes a lot when sailing them in windy weather at Minorca. They are rolly, but it was mainly user error. The rudder is pretty big, and I think I was simply over steering.

Suspect that building up to that kind of weather is a good idea, whether in a new boat or with a new helm.

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Leader, Topper 44496, yellow Minisail


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 31 Jul 17 at 11:08am
It's funny how someone builds a sh*tty boat that tips over all the time and we all end up blaming ourselves for user error.. Ever considered it just might be the crap design from RS?

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Posted By: furtive
Date Posted: 31 Jul 17 at 11:13am
IIRC the 200 prototype didn't have the mini-skeg that features on the production model. This was added to reduce the twitchiness. Of course if it's too tippy for you, you could always sail a 2000 or a wayfarer, or a yacht...


Posted By: piglet
Date Posted: 31 Jul 17 at 11:18am
We were out in the 200 yesterday, a good few gybes, no swims. Alright some of it was a bit scruffy but we felt fine.
My mantra for windy gybing as helm is Speed & exit angle.
It's all to easy to start faffing in preparation for the gybe and while you faff the speed is draining away. The ratio of main:kite is a lot bigger than, well, any other racing assymetric, so getting the boom over softly is key and for that you need speed.
Before the gybe I take a 'bearing' on a fixed point or anything so I know where I should be pointing as the boom powers up on the new side.
Crew that must be obeyed gets in position and ready, then dives across grabbing the kicker falls as I grab the strop, so we are both in tune with what the boom is doing, and the boat stays flat.
The rest is easy.

If you kept rolling in to windward I would suspect not enough kicker, or just not flat enough.

Bizarrely I think sailing the 300 has helped my 200 sailing even though they are very different boats.


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 31 Jul 17 at 11:21am
But isn't it some sort of kids 'pathway' boat, recommended by our good friends at the RYA? There's a couple of complete beginners at our club have just bought one brand new, they were going to come out with us, but luckily obviously thought better of it, probably watching us spew it in off the beach, so, what's the logic of recommending something like that when quite clearly (we can't all be wrong) it's not the tame thing I was certainly given to believe.

None of this stuff comes with any 'health warnings' we're all expected to just 'understand'.


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Posted By: furtive
Date Posted: 31 Jul 17 at 11:23am
200 is a bad choice for complete beginners, no idea about RYA recommendations.


Posted By: Ardea
Date Posted: 31 Jul 17 at 12:20pm
I'd say the 200 is a fairly robust boat which has a strong class, rewards being sailed well, and doesn't seem to have too many bad habits.  It's possibly a little more challenging for the first month or so, but most likely a better prospect for long term ownership and enjoyment than many other options out there.

I'd happily trade off sitting out a few force 5-6's until I've learned the boat over buying something that I'm bored of within a year or so.


Posted By: Pierre
Date Posted: 31 Jul 17 at 5:07pm
Graeme....Don't be a cnut. It's a racing dinghy for smaller grown up folk generally. Going straight out in 25 knots in something other than a cross channel ferry is going to be a challenge for anyone. It takes time and swimming otherwise.
  I think you'd be better suited to a 2000 for the odd two handed jaunt. Much kinder on your sphincter muscles.......Wink


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 31 Jul 17 at 5:21pm
If I'm not going to blame myself when those around me seem to be happily staying mast up, who would I blame? As Pierre has suggested for you, we switched to a 2000 until the wind abated, as my crew got fed up with my ineptitude.

The 200 has traded tippiness in a breeze for excellent light wind, confined water speed. The 2000 parks in the light stuff in comparison, but is more stable when it honks. Design choices by the same man, I believe.

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Leader, Topper 44496, yellow Minisail


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 31 Jul 17 at 8:08pm
Yes it occurred to me it might be a bit of a light wind demon and anyway I wasn't driving, I was being helmed by a girl with green hair, I should probably have spotted there could be issues, I had had a bit of a heavy night and wasn't entirely firing on all cylinders, it was just a nasty shock, traumatised I was, but I'm feeling much better now, thanks for asking.

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Posted By: fab100
Date Posted: 31 Jul 17 at 10:57pm
Interesting and frank write-up.

Did the crew put the plate down as far and soon as it would go? Not doing so would explain the initial swim. there should be a carbine hook to hold it down. I always cleat rudder downhaul, then tie off the tail, belt and braces style. Screw-clamp on stock should also be pretty tight, belt, braces, squared.

On hoists and drops, the helm's primary job is to provide a stable platform for the crew to do the necessary.

In the gybe, as above, the helm should 'spot' a target exit reference point or scenary-failing that, wave angle, ballet-spin style. The 2's kite is small, so if you dont come out hot enough, it's easy to roll in to windward. As said before, speed is the friend; if the mainsail needs firmly pulling over, you've not been agressive enough in the turn and big danger lurks.

In a capsize, with the kite up, heaviest gets on tne plate double-fast to try and prevent inversion. Crew stays in water, no weight on the boat, and pulls kite in and lets kicker off. If can pull up on own, person in water comes up in boat. otherwise get them on plate too.

downwind in waves, both should be behind the thwart in that much wind; pitchpoling is slow and wet.

Generally, it's a joy to sail in a breeze, takes a bit of listening to its nuances perhaps, but rewards good technique and punishes you only for operator-error.

final thought to leave you with. Below planing conditions particularly, when you need to be in soak mode downwind, brilliant kite-trimming combined with communication and direction changes (use heel) are essential. Do not under-estimate the skill required or gains that ensue. But its great when it comes together.






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Posted By: zippyRN
Date Posted: 07 Aug 17 at 5:25pm
Originally posted by iGRF

It's funny how someone builds a sh*tty boat that tips over all the time and we all end up blaming ourselves for user error.. Ever considered it just might be the crap design from RS?

or have you conisdered that , given the  bloodlines of the RS200 and RS400 ,  it;s   the same as  modern fighter jets, where you have to actively keep them stable  in normal use to allow them  to be able to turn  and manouvere   at the speeds rates desired ... 


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 07 Aug 17 at 6:36pm
Er modern fighter jets, don't they use computers to do all that and I'm fairly sure I read somewhere impossible to fly without the tech back up, but yes I'd be all for a fly by wire sailboat so all I had to do was make decisions as to where and when to point it. I even considered the idea of a big horizontal fly wheel to keep it the right way up, gyroscope style except the boat would end up being heavy as a Finn.

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Posted By: Peaky
Date Posted: 07 Aug 17 at 8:31pm
The 200 is a very tippy boat for the performance it provides. There are plenty of inexperienced crews who have been caught out, believing that because it is cheap, robust and popular that it must be easy.


Posted By: piglet
Date Posted: 07 Aug 17 at 9:48pm
Cheap??
At the show, the Hartley Wayfarer was cheaper than the 200, and there must be 2 or even 3 200's in a Waybarge.


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 07 Aug 17 at 10:26pm
The gyroscope has been tried, but can't remember what on.

Agree 200s are tippy and not cheap, yet very popular. Must be doing something people want?

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Leader, Topper 44496, yellow Minisail


Posted By: Peaky
Date Posted: 07 Aug 17 at 11:22pm
Cheap to own perhaps, rather than cheap to buy. Didn't realise a waybarge was cheaper, but Hartleys do seem to do some cracking deals.


Posted By: Fatboi
Date Posted: 08 Aug 17 at 1:28pm
You can pick an old and solid 200 up from as little as 3k and be part of some quality racing at a lot of clubs and also on the circuit. 

Hard work in breeze, all about cranking on the kicker to flatten off that big old main and then getting the weight back downwind and blasting! 

The Rushall DVD is excellent and provides some very transferable skills a great watch to learn the best practices and great to watch James Peters (Ex 200 national champ and current 49er bronze medalist) show us how to do it. There used to be a lot of clips on YouTube - Definitelyworth watching. 


Posted By: turnturtle
Date Posted: 08 Aug 17 at 2:52pm
The 200 is a cracking little boat - part of their charm is how engaging they are and how well they respond to active rather than passive sailing.    


Posted By: Do Different
Date Posted: 08 Aug 17 at 4:23pm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t565448VD5I



Posted By: piglet
Date Posted: 08 Aug 17 at 4:56pm
That's why I sail one.
SO,
We make a point of going out when it's blowing good & proper for the above reason and to keep chipping away at the gybes.
At 25Kts we are probably at about 80% success rate, but the other 20% is proving elusive.
The 20% is almost always blown flat immediately after the boom crosses.
We are going in flat out, I take a bearing, reverse the helm etc.
would love to know where we're going wrong


Posted By: Fatboi
Date Posted: 08 Aug 17 at 4:59pm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUD1mjwie_k


Posted By: fab100
Date Posted: 08 Aug 17 at 7:14pm
Originally posted by piglet

That's why I sail one.
SO,
We make a point of going out when it's blowing good & proper for the above reason and to keep chipping away at the gybes.
At 25Kts we are probably at about 80% success rate, but the other 20% is proving elusive.
The 20% is almost always blown flat immediately after the boom crosses.
We are going in flat out, I take a bearing, reverse the helm etc.
would love to know where we're going wrong

In the 100, the trick is to be crossing the boat before he boom starts moving, so that you hit the gunwale before the boom lands



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Posted By: jaydub
Date Posted: 08 Aug 17 at 8:11pm
Holding onto the gybing strop as the boom cones over takes a lot of the slam out of the gybe. We tend to reverse helm back onto a very broad reach and then power it up. Not as quick as the very best, but we survive the majority of gybes which is obviously much quicker than swimming.


Posted By: piglet
Date Posted: 08 Aug 17 at 8:58pm
[QUOTE=fab100] Holding onto the gybing strop as the boom cones over takes a lot of the slam out of the gybe. QUOTE]

[QUOTE=jaydub] In the 100, the trick is to be crossing the boat before he boom starts moving, so that you hit the gunwale before the boom lands. QUOTE]

I can see good reason in both but being a bit short in stature doing both is a bit of a stretch.
I suspect not hitting the new gunwale hard enough might be part of the problem.


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 08 Aug 17 at 10:28pm
Trouble with hitting the new gunwale hard is tipping in to windward. This will be where Being on the broad reach would help, I guess.

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Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Leader, Topper 44496, yellow Minisail


Posted By: piglet
Date Posted: 21 Aug 17 at 10:15pm
Being as we had a windy club week last week, we had a chance to progress this a bit and made some progress.
Not swimming is essentially down to me getting my backside to the new gunwale in a timely manner while being more accurate with the wiggle stick. My failing here is that I tend to grab the new gunwale with my tiller hand which doesn't make for fluid steering.
Anyway we are now more confident in 20Kts+

However there is a new problem that we don't have an answer for.
Wineglassing.
STMBO has the kite well sorted in most conditions but now we are new territory at 20Kts+ it's going wrong again.
Suggestions much appreciated.
Tim


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 21 Aug 17 at 10:20pm
Try sheeting in pre gybe.


Posted By: Tessa
Date Posted: 22 Aug 17 at 6:56am
Originally posted by JimC

Try sheeting in pre gybe.

I think that's a safe option with the kite. Actually, it's a good option when gybing the main too. Generally we go carefully into gybes, keeping an eye on maintaining boat speed, and faster on the way out. But for the kite, one trick that had to be explained to me, suitable for all but the windiest occasions, is to make sure it is the first sail to start the gybe - let it fly out ahead of the forestay and then be sheeting in on the new gybe while the helm is still doing whatever it is they do in a gybe. Helm needs to choose a heading to end the gybe enough to keep the kite filling, as boat speed helps.
 




Posted By: piglet
Date Posted: 22 Aug 17 at 9:59am
Originally posted by Tessa

Originally posted by JimC

Try sheeting in pre gybe.
Generally we go carefully into gybes, keeping an eye on maintaining boat speed, and faster on the way out. But for the kite the first sail to start the gybe - let it fly out ahead of the forestay .
 

That all sounds really tricky, maybe I am steering into the gybe too fast.
We get ready, then choose the wave and when the boat feels 'light' I call it, stand up and steer through promptly so as to maintain the hull speed, flicking the boom as I cross. There aint a lot of time for kite sheet management it's more a case of drop it and grab it on the new side.

I could try and post some GoPro from the mast of what we are doing.


Posted By: Tessa
Date Posted: 22 Aug 17 at 11:29am
I don't see many helms actually stand up to gybe. Not sure if that is just a turn of phrase, but try keeping your weight low. I don't get much chance to see what they actually do in the back of the boat ... but I remember going through a phase where himself tried a hundred ways of moving across the boat, sometimes falling over in the back of the boat.  Nowadays it's a sort of dive and glide but trying not to slip and paying attention to the roll. Not sure how we manage the roll. Not very fast I guess, but I have to try not to move to leeward too soon as we need the boat to be flat for the gybe and not heeled to leeward. Hope it helps!


Posted By: piglet
Date Posted: 22 Aug 17 at 2:00pm
Well, when I say stand I mean lunge.
We try and set set a touch of heel to help the steer in, mostly by me dumping an armfull of sheet, then try and come out flat.
SWMBO steps in, grabs the kicker falls and yanks when I yank the strop so we are in sync, she then jumps up dragging the new sheet with her.
This bit seems to go fairly well now, albeit with a few moments of Scooby Doo legs and stick dropping going on in the back.
It's what happens with the flappy thing that's eluding us.


Posted By: Tessa
Date Posted: 22 Aug 17 at 9:28pm
A little heel to windward going into the gybe sounds good. You will need to ease some main but I don't know how much. I cannot think of any good reason to touch the kicker, as grabbing it may alter the shape of the main and disturb the flow. I don't grab the kicker, but I do need himself to count me into the gybe ... 3, 2, 1, go. Regarding the flappy thing and the wineglass, I don't think it can do it if there is not enough rope, so hold onto it. There's not enough time for mucking about with ropes, so the sheets have to be tied together in a continuous loop and be just long enough for sitting out behind the thwart. Any longer and you end up with rope around your ankles. Then, another tip that had to be explained to me by the younger generation, is not to move your hand on the rope all the time, but straighten your arm and raise it high, then when you drop your arm you let out that 'armful' of sheet and you are still holding it, so no wineglass? I don't think I let the old sheet go until I am sure it's safe to do so. Aim to let it out until the clew of the kite is just floating near the forestay, then you are instantly ready to sheet in on the new gybe. Does not work so well when it is very windy in which case do what Jim says. Hope that makes sense!

So I watched some of the Rs 200 videos on YouTube and it all happens so quickly, it's hard to see what's going on. Main and kite seem to gybe together, but you cannot do that unless you start letting out the old sheet first. 

How does that sound?

Tessa

PS I have been known to grab the tiller when himself got his foot stuck under the old windward toe strap and could not move Smile



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