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Are weight equalisaiton systems safe?

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Matt Jackson View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Matt Jackson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Dec 04 at 8:37am
Originally posted by mpl720

 ...The Blaze is now slightly slower in very light winds, but points higher and when it blows it really comes into its own.

It sounds like the sail has been totally redesigned for useability. I always find with fully battened sails they are only good for performance in medium to light windspeeds as in the very light stuff they tend to support such a deep draught it's hard to keep the airflow attached and they give very little feedback in terms of sail movement. In very strong winds it's harder to depower because there is less stretch in the cloth (unless using traditional cloth like the Tasar) and they are always producing drive because they sail is forced into a wing shape - ever tried holding on to an RS400 by the forestay in any wind? it just wants to sail off on it's own all the time.

I always thought the Blase looked right but was put off because the original rig was criticised so much - it just needs to lose a few kilos and I might be tempted to try one.



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Post Options Post Options   Quote mpl720 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Dec 04 at 8:07pm

"I always thought the Blase looked right but was put off because the original rig was criticised so much - it just needs to lose a few kilos and I might be tempted to try one"

Matt - You are right about the rig - And the current Blaze weights about 74kg with centreboard in the hull and with wings and all lines and fittings.  Rule minimum is 72kg (The hulls come out of the mould at around 56kg).  Without wings it could be 7-10 kg lighter possibly but we reckon they are worth every gram when the wind gets up !  This is far from being as light as it could be built but its also far from being a heavyweight.  The 'new' rig is also relatively light, a by-product of being 'semi soft' now - ie less battens and a switch to carbon booms about 3-4 years ago. ---- Now remind me, cos I have forgotten,  how much exactly does a Contender weigh ?  Seriously though just try a Blaze out - as I've said before we're biased so make your own mind.

 Cheers - Mike Lyons

PS - Chris - I'm glad you love your 400 and I'm more than happy to borrow one from time to time ....

 

 

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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Dec 04 at 10:02pm
Originally posted by mpl720

 how much exactly does a Contender weigh ? 



a hell of a lot more than Benny wanted it to! Maybe the class should consider a move towards the original design spec [grin]
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Matt Jackson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Dec 04 at 8:17am

Right, stop there. The Contender is the perfect weight for it's height . OK a Contender bare hull weighs more than a fully rigged Blaze but the Contender is a big boat remember.

There is always talk in the class about reducing it's weight, mostly from newcomers and those thinking of buying one. My response would be that if it was much lighter it would be impossible to tack in F4+ as you need to get so far back in the cockpit. The class has always resisted changing the weight rule although most boats are now built with maximum correctors (6kg).You really don't notice the weight when sailing it - just when pulling it up a ramp. This is the reason I'd like the Blaze to be lighter because at Scaling the ramp is pretty steep (not that I'm seriously considering a Blaze ) The Phantom only weighs 61kg and sails of the same PY - Imagine what a Blaze would do if went on a diet! All the Topper boats seemed to have been built on the heavy side which is probably why so many seem rather dated now - IMHO.

Incedentally did it really put on 5kg when the X design came out? The specs are both shown on the website and the hull weight goes from 65kg to 70kg?

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Post Options Post Options   Quote mpl720 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Dec 04 at 10:40am

"The Phantom only weighs 61kg and sails of the same PY - Imagine what a Blaze would do if went on a diet! All the Topper boats seemed to have been built on the heavy side which is probably why so many seem rather dated now - IMHO".

Matt - Yes I did really know how much a Contender weighted - I've sailed them !!.  The Blaze has never been below 74kg with plate in regardless of what you might have heard.  Our class rules are the only source that counts and define what it should include.  Note it does include the centreboard - say 3-4kg and everything except the rig and rudder. The Phantom is now getting near their revised minimum weight which was almost impossible to produce (the old rules had 57kg)  but before the switch to epoxy and revised build a great many were nearer 75-80kg or extremely fragile.  However this comparison is without the Blaze wings which certainly pay their way when the wind blows.  Across a range of wind strengths the boats do sail boat for boat on average - however the Phantom has a definite edge against the Blaze in lighter stuff, as well as against most other classes, and the Blaze walks away whenever it blows.   It's a bit like a Contender against a Laser - different boats and sometimes even a Laser can 'beat' a Contender.  But would you switch either !!  The two classes have very different characteristics.  As said earlier - decide which one suits you and sail it !  No class is necessarily 'better' unless there was universal agreement on what 'better' means.

As for Topper boats being heavy - understand your point but its a bit of a generalisation.  The Blaze is produced in the very same facility and with the same people as some of the country's fastest cats and a surprising range of 'non-topper' classes, many of them extremely light.  Topper simply market the Blaze design that is built by Rob White and in fact the design rights are actually owned by John Caig and Ian Howlett.  

Don't buy into the overall argument that says weight is 'good' when tacking. Could only possibly help in very windy conditions and would be a real disadvantage the rest of the time - it's a big price to pay even if partly beneficial.  I'd argue for progressively dropping the lower weight limit for the Contender - Think you too could get down to mid 70's without any problem   

Cheers - Mike Lyons

 

 

        

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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Dec 04 at 11:23am
Originally posted by Matt Jackson

Right, stop there. The Contender is the perfect weight for it's height .



Possibly, but as I understand it Ben Lexcen's prototype was some 80lbs lighter...

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Scooby_simon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Dec 04 at 11:36am

ever tried holding on to an RS400 by the forestay in any wind? it just wants to sail off on it's own all the time.

Even with the downhaul very slack ?  All cats need to have the downhaul very slack otherwise they do this big time - made worse by the rotating mast....

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris 249 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Dec 04 at 11:47am

[/QUOTE]

It sounds like the sail has been totally redesigned for useability. I always find with fully battened sails they are only good for performance in medium to light windspeeds as in the very light stuff they tend to support such a deep draught it's hard to keep the airflow attached and they give very little feedback in terms of sail movement. In very strong winds it's harder to depower because there is less stretch in the cloth (unless using traditional cloth like the Tasar) and they are always producing drive because they sail is forced into a wing shape - ever tried holding on to an RS400 by the forestay in any wind? it just wants to sail off on it's own all the time.


Gee, you must be talking about very deep fully-battened sails. Moth, skiff, windsurfer and cat sails are fully battened and incredibly flat. As you say the Tasar main is a bit different because it has stretchy cloth.

I can only think the difference in your experience (and that of others in the UK on RSs etc) is due to the fact that some boats require deeper mains and they don't depower as well by simply being flattened. The effective flat fully battened sails don't really need to luff, when you ease them to reduce angle of attack the wind just seems to stream by each side of a dead-flat piece of cloth. We can regularly sail around with the head pushing us to windward, the centre streaming and causing (apparently) no drive or any other fuss, and the bottom driving normally.

I suppose the only slow boat I've sailed with a fully battened sail (apart from some kids boats) is the Solo, and that was only once. The boat I was sailing was set up lik ethe national champs (although we had a tiny and low-standard fleet here) and the thing had no gust response at all.

PS

Jim C is right, Ben/Bob wanted the Contender to be much lighter than it was. The IYRU introduced a minimum weight based on the freeboard, LOA and beam; that's one reason the Contender is fairly low-sided. The prototypes were just hard-chine ply boats, in films I've seen they look bloody quick in the right conditions.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Matt Jackson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Dec 04 at 1:11pm

Good old IYRU/ISAF, at least we can depend on them to know what's good for us .

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Post Options Post Options   Quote hurricane Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Dec 04 at 6:05pm

can we rebel and ignor them completely!!!

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