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Square tops

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: Dinghy classes
Forum Name: Dinghy development
Forum Discription: The latest moves in the dinghy market
URL: http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=13950
Printed Date: 01 Oct 22 at 5:30am
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Topic: Square tops
Posted By: ChrisI
Subject: Square tops
Date Posted: 07 Jun 22 at 3:17pm
Originally posted by The Q


Some of the punts have gone square top, not sure if they've found an advantage yet. We'll see if more go that way.


Square tops are in a sense just a modern interpretation of the traditional gaff rig.

But is it only carbon masts that they work with, that can flex and produce the desired 'gust-response'.... or can they work with aluminium/much stiffer spars?
Or could batten technology ensure that they do? (spring loaded battens!)......






Replies:
Posted By: Mozzy
Date Posted: 07 Jun 22 at 3:43pm
I actually think square tops are easier to get to work with a solid mast, like those used by cats rather than a whippy carbon mast seen in some other classes (skiffs). So I think they can be made to work with a pretty solid mast which is designed with very little compliance. 

Cats go for rotating masts which are very stiff and need less in the way of stays to keep them upright. Then use sheet tension, Cunningham and battens to control the stability of sail (response to gusts). I think the use of carbon masts in cats is less about bend characteristics and more about weight. If you're using a stiff mast you don't have to rely on stays to keep it upright so much. And if you don't have to rely on stays you don't have bake in rig setting with stay tension and spreader length and deflection before going afloat. The penalty is having to rotate the tree trunk of a rig each tack. 

Trapeze skiffs with square tops don't have rotating rigs, so it pays to keep the mast diameter down. The downside of this is you need to rely on spreaders to keep the mast where you want it. It means the whole system is very complex and it's hard to get the control on that 4th corner so can mean more tuning on land.... but removes the faff of tacking the rotating the mast on the water. 

Personally, I don't want the tip of my mast for my square top bending dropping off to leeward in gusts at all. If the mast drops to leeward that is affectively sheeting you on. What you want is for the the fourth corner to open up or even the top batten to pop inverted. Getting that to happen is more a play with batten tension, batten stiffness, cunningham and sheet tension / kicker. 


Posted By: eric_c
Date Posted: 07 Jun 22 at 3:58pm
I think 'gust response' can happen without a square top sail.
Anything with a lot of roach will surely de-power as the wind loads it, bends the mast more and the leach falls away?
Doesn't tthst happen a little with a triangular sail, except it's the middle of the leach which falls away, not the top where it's wanted?

Cynically, I think the move to square top rigs is 90% about 'looking modern' by apeing the skiffs.
The skiffs I think partly use square tops for the same reasons Merlins have 4-sided sails, it's the most area within class rules and more of it is up where the wind is?

There's also an element that lots of sail development is done in the big money 18ft skiffs, a lot of knowledge gained by direct comparison in racing. So probably a class looking to tap into the latest thought on sail design will do well to tap into that and follow the skiffs?

Probably true that it's cheaper and easier to tune battens than masts?

Carbon masts can be made with all sorts of characteristics, which is less easy to achieve by tapering extruded ali tube. The carbon is also lighter so maybe springs back quicker for a given 'spring force' and the characteristics of the resin perhaps affect the damping?

Don't forget there is a lot of history with glass tipped masts in the B14 and AFAIK Finn and maybe OK? Likewise some catamarans have used carbon battens as well as glass.

For a cheapskate club sailor like me, I think some of these sails have a lot of stress in them, resulting in shorter usable life than you get from a more traditional roached sail?

And don't forget, the elliptical plaform is supposed to be most efficient?
(Blah Spitfire Wing blah......)

I'd be interested to know more about it, not sure what's been pubished since Bethwaite?


Posted By: eric_c
Date Posted: 07 Jun 22 at 4:06pm
Mozzy makes some good points.


 
I'd  add that cats developed their rigs mostly without the masthead asy's that need a lot of stays to resist the forward halyard tension.
The upper shrouds on a skiff rig should be making the mast tip move back and not to leeward?
These issues make a lot of pre-bend in the upper mast a sound approach?


Posted By: ChrisI
Date Posted: 07 Jun 22 at 4:15pm
Originally posted by Mozzy


I actually think square tops are easier to get to work with a solid mast, like those used by cats rather than a whippy carbon mast seen in some other classes (skiffs). So I think they can be made to work with a pretty solid mast which is designed with very little compliance.†Cats go for rotating masts which are very stiff and need less in the way of stays to keep them upright. Then use sheet tension, Cunningham and battens to control the stability of sail (response to gusts).†


But doesn't the 'gust response' you get in a cat with a stiff aluminium mast come from the fact there is no kicker tensioning the leach i.e. the gust hits and the mainsail clew rises slightly (and comes inboard slightly) opening the top of the sail...?


Posted By: eric_c
Date Posted: 07 Jun 22 at 4:15pm
Weight aloft is also worth thinking about, if you can put the same sail area mostly as high up with a fat head sail on a shorter mast, that is a big saving in pitching moment, which will help perforamce in choppy sea.


Posted By: eric_c
Date Posted: 07 Jun 22 at 4:22pm
Originally posted by ChrisI

Originally posted by Mozzy


I actually think square tops are easier to get to work with a solid mast, like those used by cats rather than a whippy carbon mast seen in some other classes (skiffs). So I think they can be made to work with a pretty solid mast which is designed with very little compliance. Cats go for rotating masts which are very stiff and need less in the way of stays to keep them upright. Then use sheet tension, Cunningham and battens to control the stability of sail (response to gusts). 


But doesn't the 'gust response' you get in a cat with a stiff aluminium mast come from the fact there is no kicker tensioning the leach i.e. the gust hits and the mainsail clew rises slightly (and comes inboard slightly) opening the top of the sail...?


If you're thinking about e.g. Dart 18, there is no kicker, but high leach tension with a 6:1 main sheet on a traveller? Easing sheet is more like easing the vang on a dinghy?


Posted By: ChrisI
Date Posted: 07 Jun 22 at 4:26pm
There's no question that for us a square top rather than a pin head is not fashion but a key part of the design - in light wind conditions and esp when tide and wind are from the same direction we go forwards when other boats are going backwards.


Posted By: eric_c
Date Posted: 07 Jun 22 at 5:31pm
Originally posted by ChrisI

There's no question that for us a square top rather than a pin head is not fashion but a key part of the design - in light wind conditions and esp when tide and wind are from the same direction we go forwards when other boats are going backwards.


That's just area high up though?
You can think of a square top as either a triangular sail with roach added by a long top batten, or as a triangle with the top cut off.

You could get the same light air performance with a taller mast and more triangular sail?

It's all comparative and with a SMOD you don't really have a sensible framework to say square top is 'better'.  Better performace per sq ft of sail? Better performance within the limits of mast length? Better performance within a £ budget?                                                                         
                          

In a development class, we're talking about best performance within an arbitrary set of rules which 'tax' roach to arbitrary degrees.                                                    
                          

So what baseline do we use when evaluating a square top's all round performance?                                                                  

Presumably what we want is a rig which keeps the heeling moment constant as the wind increases above the design point of the crew hiking/trapezing to the max? Is that more about the squareness of the top or the characteristics of the mast etc? Can an elliptical sail ever be as good in this respect?                       
          
 How do we model this when designing a rig? How many rigs are actually rigorously designed and how many are just a case of sketching a sail and see how it goes?


Posted By: H2
Date Posted: 07 Jun 22 at 7:28pm
Never had a square top before my H2 which also has a bendy carbon mast, very easy to make work in medium and strong winds but has taken us time as a class to make the rig work really well in light winds if that helps!



-------------
H2 #115 (sold)
H2 145
OK 2082


Posted By: eric_c
Date Posted: 07 Jun 22 at 7:29pm
See the old thread I bumped.
I also found a thread about the re-hash of the RS400 rig, when they tried a square top main and rowed back to just changing the cloth:    

 




https://www.yachtsandyachting.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=7237&PN=4&title=rs400-proposed-changes



    
Divided opinion. some were very positive about the square top, but as I recall, it looked very nice but got spanked by Merlins around the cans?


Posted By: eric_c
Date Posted: 07 Jun 22 at 7:33pm
Originally posted by H2

Never had a square top before my H2 which also has a bendy carbon mast, very easy to make work in medium and strong winds but has taken us time as a class to make the rig work really well in light winds if that helps!


What are the symptoms of it 'not working well' in light winds?


Posted By: H2
Date Posted: 07 Jun 22 at 7:42pm
Originally posted by eric_c

Originally posted by H2

Never had a square top before my H2 which also has a bendy carbon mast, very easy to make work in medium and strong winds but has taken us time as a class to make the rig work really well in light winds if that helps!


What are the symptoms of it 'not working well' in light winds?

The boat feels "sticky" in light winds, essentially its easy to stall the rig in light winds. We have had to learn how to flatten the fully battened sail so that the flow remains attached. This has been achieved by reducing rig tension to straighten the mast whilst also experimenting with kicker to control the roach twist. Put another way - when the H2 first came along it seemed like we could sail to our PY in medium or heavy winds but when it went light we got a total kicking in PY racing but after several years of trial and error we have found some new "gears" that keep the boat powered up as the breeze falls. Hope that helps?


-------------
H2 #115 (sold)
H2 145
OK 2082


Posted By: turnturtle
Date Posted: 07 Jun 22 at 7:59pm
I always understood square tops were a development class thing to maximise sail area with a constraint on spar length in the class rules

If a new one design class has been developed with one, then it probably has more to do with aesthetics and commercialisation than good sail design

More than happy to be corrected if this isnít true!!


Posted By: eric_c
Date Posted: 07 Jun 22 at 8:17pm
Re H2



Yes that's helpful.
Maybe that's general to sails with a lot of roach rather than being specific to flat-head, I've seen a few sails which are hard to make sense of when the wind gets too light.
Some boats you can leave the kicker off  in light air because the sheet gives the right blend of pulling the boom across and leach tension.
A lot of factors than can't be isolated from one another, too many variables.


Posted By: ohFFsake
Date Posted: 07 Jun 22 at 9:33pm
If you watch the (truly excellent) 18 footers tv coverage on youtube, and pick a windy race you'll see plenty of examples of what they jokingly refer to as "flappage".

This is the top section of the fully battened mainsail completely inverting in the gusts, so the battens more or less pop the wrong way.

This is probably the clearest demonstration you will ever see of automatic gust response, and explains at a glance the whole reasoning behind square top sails.  In the gusts the bottom half of the sail is providing drive with leach tension giving good pointing, whilst the top of the sail is completely feathered for minimal drag and heeling moment.


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 07 Jun 22 at 9:47pm
Yes, one of the key things is the mid leech. If the mid leech doesn't stand up then the boat won't point. So in my dream world the top of the sail would flop off completely and the bottom 2/3 of the sail wouldn't move an inch. AFAIK that's pretty much unachievable, but with all full battens and stable cloth it goes a substantial way towards.
Overrotating rigs march to an utterly different drummer because the mast tip bends up to windward...


Posted By: Oatsandbeans
Date Posted: 08 Jun 22 at 5:06am
I agree-the reason that the mid leach has such an effect on pointing is that it effects the upwash on the air hitting the jib luff. Having a mid leach close to the centre line makes the wind in front of the jib bend -in effect giving you a lift. If you ease the main and the mid leach moves away from the centre line you lose this.


Posted By: The Q
Date Posted: 08 Jun 22 at 6:28am
I think on the Norfolk Punt it's a case of getting sail area up high as in many areas of the broads we are badly affected by trees. 
Many of the Broads cruisers have jackyard tops'ls, some now have them permanently fitted, so their only reefing is at the bottom..

The Merlin has a Size limit (10sqm?)  so for them by moving as much area as they can up high, they should get stronger clearer winds.

Currently on my one off, I'm using an old Kestrel Sail (and mast), that has a long top batten, a sort of semi square top. Even with just that it sometimes decides to stay curved the wrong way, needing a sharp tug on the main to "pop" it. 

When  the new sail made I was thinking of going square top, but my one off is very round bilged with little form stability and also I need to move the sail area aft a bit. So now my current thinking is she needs a longer boom and just go for a conventional top.. But there's another couple months trials needed before a final decision needs to be made.


-------------
Still sailing in circles


Posted By: H2
Date Posted: 08 Jun 22 at 8:31am
Originally posted by turnturtle

I always understood square tops were a development class thing to maximise sail area with a constraint on spar length in the class rules

If a new one design class has been developed with one, then it probably has more to do with aesthetics and commercialisation than good sail design

More than happy to be corrected if this isnít true!!

The H2 was a new class designed with a square top from the outset. The rig was designed by Jim Hunt from HD sails and not a man I would use the words "aesthetics or commercialisation" in connection! Of course it is possible that you are a respected founder of a sail loft and multiple world champion TT - I know I am not - but I reckon Jim designed a rig that he felt would work well rather than look pretty.


-------------
H2 #115 (sold)
H2 145
OK 2082


Posted By: eric_c
Date Posted: 08 Jun 22 at 9:12am
The H2 has a PN of 1034?
The Phantom, with almost no roach at all, 1004.
Blaze with a big round roach, 1033.
Dzero 1029

It's not looking like sailing's answer to nitrous oxide is it?


Posted By: CT249
Date Posted: 08 Jun 22 at 9:17am

[/QUOTE]

Square tops are in a sense just a modern interpretation of the traditional gaff rig.

But is it only carbon masts that they work with, that can flex and produce the desired 'gust-response'.... or can they work with aluminium/much stiffer spars?
Or could batten technology ensure that they do? (spring loaded battens!)......

[/QUOTE]

With respect;

I"ve spent a lot of time researching design history, and there seems to be little evidence that squaretops and gaffs have much to do with each other at all.

The traditional gaff rigs almost never used gust response in anything like the way we do, and that comes from a LOT of reading of books and articles from the 1800s and early 1900s. 

The gaff's advantages were due to low centre of effort, fewer problems in keeping the stick aloft and things like that. After reading many hundreds of pages (my mag collection dates back to 1894) I can find no information that indicates that gust response was seen to be better with gaffs than with contemporary bermudans.

The gaff rigs were almost always low aspect, whereas squaretops tend to be fairly high in aspect ratio. The gaffs normally had too much twist, way more depth than we use, and were sailed at wider angles of attack upwind and downwind.

In cats like the Taipan 4.9, which has a very big and stiff wingmast even for a cat, the former large roach gave way to a squaretop over a decade ago, and the class opinion was that the gust response was very much better. To give an idea of the stiffness of the 4.9 mast, Glenn Ashby (who was a champ in them before he was famous) told me that the mainsheet load on the 96kg 16' Taipan 4.9 was higher than that of the vastly larger Tornado - and yet the very flat squaretop on the 4.9 gives good gust response. You don't need much movement when the head is already very, very flat.

Incidentally the Taipan's co-designer Greg Goodall is credited by many (like sailmaker Ben Hall in an old article in US mag Sailing World) with introducing the true squaretop in an A Class that his brother used to win the worlds in back in the '80s. Greg followed on by also winning two world titles in the class, but if I recall correctly he reckons the increase in squaretop area is (like so many things) largely down to improved materials that allow sailmakers to make sails that don't distort and therefore suffer from leaches that either blow open or slam shut. I haven't seen him in years so this is just from memory.



Posted By: CT249
Date Posted: 08 Jun 22 at 9:22am
Originally posted by ChrisI

Originally posted by Mozzy


I actually think square tops are easier to get to work with a solid mast, like those used by cats rather than a whippy carbon mast seen in some other classes (skiffs). So I think they can be made to work with a pretty solid mast which is designed with very little compliance. Cats go for rotating masts which are very stiff and need less in the way of stays to keep them upright. Then use sheet tension, Cunningham and battens to control the stability of sail (response to gusts). 


But doesn't the 'gust response' you get in a cat with a stiff aluminium mast come from the fact there is no kicker tensioning the leach i.e. the gust hits and the mainsail clew rises slightly (and comes inboard slightly) opening the top of the sail...?

Nope, or not from my experience owning and sailing a couple of them. The cat don't need as much gust response as their higher upwind speed means that a gust is a lower percentage of apparent windspeed. They also (as far as I can recall) use flatter sails than skiff types, so it needs actual less twist and mast bend to create a similar depowering effect.

I've never seen my F16 or F18 clew rise or come in to windward, personally. The mainsheet loads are way too high. We took the mainsheet off our old 20' cat and stuck it on the 36' 5 ton offshore mono we have, and it's easier to work on that than it was on the cat!

The proof may come in A Class cats. They have had extremely light carbon wingmasts, rather than stiff alloy rigs, for eons. Despite the fact that they could probably design in as much bend as they want (ie by shifting from carbon to 'glass etc) they have extremely straight masts - so straight that they don't use halyards at all but just push the sail straight up the mast from the bottom because there is basically no luff curve to create resistance.  But (AFAIK) the mainsail chord is so flat that the minimal amount of mast bend created by downhaul pressure is enough to completely flatten the sail when needed. Mono sails are still deeper (AFAIK) so have more draft to be taken out so need more mast bend.

This is just my belief and there are many people who know much more; I'll grab one of them when our season starts again.


Posted By: CT249
Date Posted: 08 Jun 22 at 9:37am
Originally posted by eric_c


For a cheapskate club sailor like me, I think some of these sails have a lot of stress in them, resulting in shorter usable life than you get from a more traditional roached sail?


I bought another Tasar the other week, just to sell it within the club in the hopes of generating more boats. Unlike our good Tasar, it only had dacron sails.

We took it out for a race to see how it went and it was very interesting to drop back into dacrons from the flatter, bigger, roachier Mylar sails the class now has. The old deep dacron main required vastly more mainsheet and traveller work in gusts to keep the correct amount of twist. The mylar's bigger roach and larger, flatter shape has far more gust response and it was a shock to go back to the old way. IMHO the fleet closed up with the Mylar sails because they required less work to optimise twist.

BUT..... the Mylars stay in top "championship podium" shape for longer and then lose structural integrity far faster. The old dacron sails, unless flapped and crunched, can't be killed with a stick. The Mylars, no matter how well cared for, will tear a decade or so before dacrons would start to lose any noticeable strength.

I'm still far from sure that moving to Mylar was the correct choice for the class overall.  It's not conservatism (I've had Mylar sails for decades, and love my amazing membrane yacht headsails to bits) but as you imply, for a SMOD the durability of less-stressed pinhead dacron sails makes a lot of sense.


Posted By: H2
Date Posted: 08 Jun 22 at 9:41am
Originally posted by eric_c

The H2 has a PN of 1034?
The Phantom, with almost no roach at all, 1004.
Blaze with a big round roach, 1033.
Dzero 1029

It's not looking like sailing's answer to nitrous oxide is it?

I don't think I have ever considered the sail shape on the H2 to be about maximising speed as such, its a concept that tried to balance out all the factors that people wanted from the boat. But as you raised it the H2 sail area is 9.3 sqm and the Blaze is 10 sqm and we sail off virtually the same PY and are similar lengths and widths so I would say that in this case the H2 rig would seem more efficient than the blaze one.


-------------
H2 #115 (sold)
H2 145
OK 2082


Posted By: ChrisI
Date Posted: 08 Jun 22 at 10:07am
Originally posted by CT249



Originally posted by ChrisI

Originally posted by Mozzy


I actually think square tops are easier to get to work with a solid mast, like those used by cats rather than a whippy carbon mast seen in some other classes (skiffs). So I think they can be made to work with a pretty solid mast which is designed with very little compliance.†Cats go for rotating masts which are very stiff and need less in the way of stays to keep them upright. Then use sheet tension, Cunningham and battens to control the stability of sail (response to gusts).†


But doesn't the 'gust response' you get in a cat with a stiff aluminium mast come from the fact there is no kicker tensioning the leach i.e. the gust hits and the mainsail clew rises slightly (and comes inboard slightly) opening the top of the sail...?

Nope, or not from my experience owning and sailing a couple of them. The cat don't need as much gust response as their higher upwind speed means that a gust is a lower percentage of apparent windspeed. They also (as far as I can recall) use flatter sails than skiff types, so it needs actual less twist and mast bend to create a similar depowering effect.
I've never seen my F16 or F18 clew rise or come in to windward, personally. The mainsheet loads are way too high. We took the mainsheet off our old 20' cat and stuck it on the 36' 5 ton offshore mono we have, and it's easier to work on that than it was on the cat!
The proof may come in A Class cats. They have had extremely light carbon wingmasts, rather than stiff alloy rigs, for eons. Despite the fact that they could probably design in as much bend as they want (ie by shifting from carbon to 'glass etc) they have extremely straight masts - so straight that they don't use halyards at all but just push the sail straight up the mast from the bottom because there is basically no luff curve to create resistance.† But (AFAIK) the mainsail chord is so flat that the minimal amount of mast bend created by downhaul pressure is enough to completely flatten the sail when needed. Mono sails are still deeper (AFAIK) so have more draft to be taken out so need more mast bend.
This is just my belief and there are many people who know much more; I'll grab one of them when our season starts again.



Thanks for your real life experience (I am not a cat sailor). The point about relative speeds and angles makes complete sense - i.e. travelling at such speeds they don't need it. And re the A Class and ultra straight masts - I guess that shows they are experiencing the flip side of 'gust response' which is lost energy from the wind, which they don't want.


Posted By: eric_c
Date Posted: 08 Jun 22 at 10:25am
Originally posted by ChrisI

.....And re the A Class and ultra straight masts - I guess that shows they are experiencing the flip side of 'gust response' which is lost energy from the wind, which they don't want.
If the mast is a spring without much damping, the energy of a gust is stored rather than lost. The energy is recovered as the gust eases.                                  
                                         
I think to some extent modern materials mean the flexing is better handled in the battens and sails than the topmast.


Posted By: ChrisI
Date Posted: 08 Jun 22 at 10:27am
Originally posted by H2


Originally posted by eric_c


Originally posted by H2

Never had a square top before my H2 which also has a bendy carbon mast, very easy to make work in medium and strong winds but has taken us time as a class to make the rig work really well in light winds if that helps!
What are the symptoms of it 'not working well' in light winds?

The boat feels "sticky" in light winds, essentially its easy to stall the rig in light winds. We have had to learn how to flatten the fully battened sail so that the flow remains attached. This has been achieved by reducing rig tension to straighten the mast whilst also experimenting with kicker to control the roach twist. Put another way - when the H2 first came along it seemed like we could sail to our PY in medium or heavy winds but when it went light we got a total kicking in PY racing but after several years of trial and error we have found some new "gears" that keep the boat powered up as the breeze falls. Hope that helps?


Thanks for this. This is exactly where we are - exploring how one uses a square top in light winds and where I guess those Punts with square tops are. I think we were (although very happy to stand corrected) one of the first modern monohull dinghy designs to use square top rigs in a lighter wind boat (I don't count A Raters as a dinghy .) On the Thames in tide and with regular huge shifts in wind direction kicker control is critical but as per my OP bendy 'gust response' masts are important too. We still have lots to learn.


Posted By: eric_c
Date Posted: 08 Jun 22 at 10:30am
Originally posted by CT249

Originally posted by eric_c


For a cheapskate club sailor like me, I think some of these sails have a lot of stress in them, resulting in shorter usable life than you get from a more traditional roached sail?


I bought another Tasar the other week, just to sell it within the club in the hopes of generating more boats. Unlike our good Tasar, it only had dacron sails.

We took it out for a race to see how it went and it was very interesting to drop back into dacrons from the flatter, bigger, roachier Mylar sails the class now has. The old deep dacron main required vastly more mainsheet and traveller work in gusts to keep the correct amount of twist. The mylar's bigger roach and larger, flatter shape has far more gust response and it was a shock to go back to the old way. IMHO the fleet closed up with the Mylar sails because they required less work to optimise twist.

BUT..... the Mylars stay in top "championship podium" shape for longer and then lose structural integrity far faster. The old dacron sails, unless flapped and crunched, can't be killed with a stick. The Mylars, no matter how well cared for, will tear a decade or so before dacrons would start to lose any noticeable strength.

I'm still far from sure that moving to Mylar was the correct choice for the class overall.  It's not conservatism (I've had Mylar sails for decades, and love my amazing membrane yacht headsails to bits) but as you imply, for a SMOD the durability of less-stressed pinhead dacron sails makes a lot of sense.
I never said anything about Dacron, I had in mind more the Solo and RS400 etc sails in old fashioned planforms but more modern cloth. Dacron is for cruising yachts and things you're happy to replace frequently like Merlin jibs and replica Laser sails.


Posted By: eric_c
Date Posted: 08 Jun 22 at 10:34am
Originally posted by H2

Originally posted by eric_c

The H2 has a PN of 1034?
The Phantom, with almost no roach at all, 1004.
Blaze with a big round roach, 1033.
Dzero 1029

It's not looking like sailing's answer to nitrous oxide is it?

I don't think I have ever considered the sail shape on the H2 to be about maximising speed as such, its a concept that tried to balance out all the factors that people wanted from the boat. But as you raised it the H2 sail area is 9.3 sqm and the Blaze is 10 sqm and we sail off virtually the same PY and are similar lengths and widths so I would say that in this case the H2 rig would seem more efficient than the blaze one.

Or maybe the hull design is significant, the Blaze having a lot of wetted surface and a generally 1990s air about it? not to mention being made out of slate.


Posted By: andy h
Date Posted: 08 Jun 22 at 10:45am
Here's my NS14, which is quite square-topped.  Some are even squarer now.  Like the Tasar, this has a rotating mast.  Mine is quite flexi carbon, tapered above the hounds.  On the water rig adjustment is very limited, so you rely on the main and mast's built-in gust response to a large extent.  It's pretty user-friendly.




-------------
NS14 2015 & FF 3615
National 12 3344, Europe 397 and Mirror 53962 all gone with regret


Posted By: H2
Date Posted: 08 Jun 22 at 10:50am
Originally posted by eric_c

Originally posted by H2

Originally posted by eric_c

The H2 has a PN of 1034?
The Phantom, with almost no roach at all, 1004.
Blaze with a big round roach, 1033.
Dzero 1029

It's not looking like sailing's answer to nitrous oxide is it?

I don't think I have ever considered the sail shape on the H2 to be about maximising speed as such, its a concept that tried to balance out all the factors that people wanted from the boat. But as you raised it the H2 sail area is 9.3 sqm and the Blaze is 10 sqm and we sail off virtually the same PY and are similar lengths and widths so I would say that in this case the H2 rig would seem more efficient than the blaze one.

Or maybe the hull design is significant, the Blaze having a lot of wetted surface and a generally 1990s air about it? not to mention being made out of slate.

Well the blaze and H2 are closest in terms of hull dimensions and wetted area of the examples you gave - the Phantom and D0 are considerably different concepts. Besides - as stated, I am not advocating that a square top main is really about maximising power; in the H2 it fits the designers desire for a well balanced boat that is both easy and fun to sail.


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H2 #115 (sold)
H2 145
OK 2082


Posted By: eric_c
Date Posted: 08 Jun 22 at 11:24am
Originally posted by H2

....

Well the blaze and H2 are closest in terms of hull dimensions and wetted area of the examples you gave - the Phantom and D0 are considerably different concepts. Besides - as stated, I am not advocating that a square top main is really about maximising power; in the H2 it fits the designers desire for a well balanced boat that is both easy and fun to sail.




Butr isn't the point supposed to be that square top will give better gust response, make the boat easier to sail efficiently and hence give better performance around the course? I don't think any is saying it's about more peak power, apart from the river sailors who want to poke more area above the bushes, as British Moths were doing before any skiff or cat sailors were thinking about 'square tops'.  If the H2 rig is genuinely more 'automatic' it should be easier to sail well and have a lower PY. So why is it significantly slower than a Phantom? Does anyone race those against one another in conditions where gust response matters? Is the superior planform of the square top simply trumped by the amount of multi-sailmaker development that's gone into Phantoms? Or would the PYs just be wrong if you put the two boats around a course in F3 gusting F5 or whatever? The two boats must have pretty similar LWL and SA/Disp(loaded).?


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 08 Jun 22 at 11:33am
Just looking at it the H2 seems a fair bit narrower than the Blaze at the waterline, more 'Merlin like' (not surprisingly) if you like, making it more easily driven in displacement mode? And the absence of racks makes 'proper' roll tacks a possibility both of which help compensate for the 1.1m2 sail area disadvantage (though whether that's accurate depends on how the sails are measured).



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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 08 Jun 22 at 12:20pm
Originally posted by eric_c

If the H2 rig is genuinely more 'automatic' it should be easier to sail well and have a lower PY. So why is it significantly slower than a Phantom?

Length I imagine.


Posted By: H2
Date Posted: 08 Jun 22 at 12:21pm
Originally posted by eric_c

Originally posted by H2

....

Well the blaze and H2 are closest in terms of hull dimensions and wetted area of the examples you gave - the Phantom and D0 are considerably different concepts. Besides - as stated, I am not advocating that a square top main is really about maximising power; in the H2 it fits the designers desire for a well balanced boat that is both easy and fun to sail.




Butr isn't the point supposed to be that square top will give better gust response, make the boat easier to sail efficiently and hence give better performance around the course? I don't think any is saying it's about more peak power, apart from the river sailors who want to poke more area above the bushes, as British Moths were doing before any skiff or cat sailors were thinking about 'square tops'.  If the H2 rig is genuinely more 'automatic' it should be easier to sail well and have a lower PY. So why is it significantly slower than a Phantom? Does anyone race those against one another in conditions where gust response matters? Is the superior planform of the square top simply trumped by the amount of multi-sailmaker development that's gone into Phantoms? Or would the PYs just be wrong if you put the two boats around a course in F3 gusting F5 or whatever? The two boats must have pretty similar LWL and SA/Disp(loaded).?

I really do not want to get into a PY discussion, I think we have done that to death. I do sail against Phantoms at my club, they destroy me in the light and I often beat them over the water in medium or strong wind in part because my rig is so much easier to control. Perhaps my preferred point of reference is the opinion of my informal "training partner" who has been national champion in both Phantom and H2 as well as in many other classes who always comments on how sweet the rig is on his H2 when he takes it out to do some two boat tuning with me!


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H2 #115 (sold)
H2 145
OK 2082


Posted By: eric_c
Date Posted: 08 Jun 22 at 1:04pm
Originally posted by JimC

Originally posted by eric_c

If the H2 rig is genuinely more 'automatic' it should be easier to sail well and have a lower PY. So why is it significantly slower than a Phantom?

Length I imagine.

Waterline length is the same, within mm?


Posted By: Grumpycat
Date Posted: 08 Jun 22 at 1:19pm
There really is no point comparing boats then trying to draw conclusions about the speed of them by only looking at the rig . Itís like looking at British moth with its 8m high aspect rig and deciding it must be fast, with out taking into account its only 11í foot long with a scow front. 
The only way would be  to test rigs on the same hull and even then some rigs suit certain hull shapes and conditions.
Any way please IGNORE my ramblings and carry on Smile Its been a great thread so far .


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D-zero
Ex Laser x2
Ex British Moth x4
Ex Lightning 368
Ex Supernova


Posted By: Cirrus
Date Posted: 08 Jun 22 at 1:29pm
The Blaze keeps getting mentioned here ... and not necessarily by its owners !  Funny that - might make you think that its got something going for it.   A very different paradigm of course.  My summary ? - It would be a very boring world if we all liked the same things- I'm personally happy that people sail or race anything frankly..  Most Blaze owners refrain from comparing it to other approaches here because it is so different.

A few leave us for 'greener pastures' each season of course, but then a very high proportion do return within a couple of years.  Don't just compare boats on forums via your keyboards  - just sail them.   Go on ...Try the lot for real, you've mostly got the time and any good proactive class will willingly assist !! Wink


Posted By: eric_c
Date Posted: 08 Jun 22 at 1:55pm
Originally posted by Grumpycat

There really is no point comparing boats then trying to draw conclusions about the speed of them by only looking at the rig . Itís like looking at British moth with its 8m high aspect rig and deciding it must be fast, with out taking into account its only 11í foot long with a scow front. 
The only way would be  to test rigs on the same hull and even then some rigs suit certain hull shapes and conditions.
Any way please IGNORE my ramblings and carry on Smile Its been a great thread so far .

Indeed, I'm looking at the H2 hull and can't understand why it would be slow in light air.

I recall a conversation a few years ago about Harrier dinghies, forefather of the H2 (?) which allegedy went well with a rig from a Phantom, in light air. Of course transplanting rigs is only going to work if the mast step happens to be in the right place.


Posted By: eric_c
Date Posted: 08 Jun 22 at 2:13pm
Originally posted by Cirrus

The Blaze keeps getting mentioned here ... and not necessarily by its owners !  Funny that - might make you think that its got something going for it.   A very different paradigm of course.  My summary ? - It would be a very boring world if we all liked the same things- I'm personally happy that people sail or race anything frankly..  Most Blaze owners refrain from comparing it to other approaches here because it is so different.

...


When we go PY racing, we inevitably end up comparing with other classes.
Blaze seems like a fairly useful benchmark.
Not new, but not really 'oldskool'.                        
Not a particularly heavy or light person's boat.                 
Enough of them about that most have sailed against them.                  
In the right PY group to be on a lot of people's radar.                                    
There's not actually very many una rig s/h classes which tick all those boxes


I just raised it as being a fair example of a big curved roach rig, midway between the Phantom and the H2 conceptually.                       


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 08 Jun 22 at 3:07pm
The Harrier rig was
a) awful
and
b) smaller than the Phantom.


Posted By: eric_c
Date Posted: 08 Jun 22 at 3:24pm
Originally posted by JimC

The Harrier rig was
a) awful
and
b) smaller than the Phantom.


It was 50 years ago!  Hull shape looks quite nice. Don't mention the weight!


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 08 Jun 22 at 3:31pm
No, it was awful for 50 years ago too. Untapered mast, Solo sail planform with a extension above the top batten, we knew better even then too.


Posted By: eric_c
Date Posted: 08 Jun 22 at 7:49pm
Originally posted by JimC

No, it was awful for 50 years ago too. Untapered mast, Solo sail planform with a extension above the top batten, we knew better even then too.



Fair comment, I sometimes tend to forget most of the junk I remember from the 70s was made in the 60s. Some of it before the 60s.


Posted By: turnturtle
Date Posted: 09 Jun 22 at 8:26am
H2 - it wasn't a criticism; no need to be quite so defensive.

FWIW, I quite like the look of a square top sail; and if someone can tell me why it's a performance benefit, I'd happily believe them.


Posted By: eric_c
Date Posted: 09 Jun 22 at 8:46am
Originally posted by turnturtle

H2 - it wasn't a criticism; no need to be quite so defensive.

FWIW, I quite like the look of a square top sail; and if someone can tell me why it's a performance benefit, I'd happily believe them.
If someone offered me one which worked as well as H2 says in a breeze, but also outperformed Phantoms in the light stuff, I'd be tempted.


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 09 Jun 22 at 8:59am
Main benefit I can see in a racing situation is it might not capsize so much, plus more likely to catch slightly clearer air at the top of the sail over someone with a standard sail.   
Would keeping a better look out for gusts remove need for flat top? I look out for gusts hoping for a lift.

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Robert


Posted By: Mozzy
Date Posted: 09 Jun 22 at 10:40am
The 800 square top is quite interesting, as it was fairly openly done purely for aesthetics. In that there was a specific design brief to not be slower than the pin head, but also not make the pin head uncompetitive. 

I think in theory a square top should be a good idea for dinghies for a given mast height. In light winds when you have more RM than power you can generate lift up high where there is usually more wind and cleaner winds. Then when the breeze pick up and you have all the power you RM can balance you can dramatically lose power from up high, which lowers the CoE in sails which allows your available RM to hold down more power. 

In practice, generating power up high in light winds may sound great, but is limited by tip losses. If you force the wind to do something hard where nearby there is an option to just go around, it will usually just do that. Similar to setting a really deep foot and them all the wind dropping out under the boom. Obviously the theory to elliptical sail shapes is to taper off toward the tip as it becomes increasingly inefficient to try and generate lift toward the end. 

If you could end plate the sail against the deck, and put wind lets on the head then it would be really nice... but both are impractical in many cases.  


Posted By: Cirrus
Date Posted: 09 Jun 22 at 4:04pm
The most recent Blaze sails are made by Hartley 'in-house' - and are cosmetically more of a 'square-top' than the pre-existing North one.  The informal talk within the class has suggested that they are 'better' for the lighter crews in the fleet (esp in higher breeze) as they do shed power more easily - however the results are still mostly inconclusive and very mixed.   At my own weight (80ish KG) they seem almost identical in terms of performance - but as times go on the newer sails will no doubt dominate the front as the North supplied ones age. 
   

National Championships 2023


Posted By: eric_c
Date Posted: 09 Jun 22 at 4:19pm
Difference between that and the H2 is not so much the angle of the very top, but more the chord at say 80% height, which on the H2 looks to be a very big % of the foot?
Or in other words, the H2 sail is a big % area of luff x foot ?
Nearly a rectangle?

I suspect what matters is developing the whole thing to work together, mast, sail, battens, other controls, not just picking the best planform.

Sailmakers have learned a lot across dozens of classes and dozens of yearly iterations in some of those classes, so radically moving away from what we know works pretty well is a big risk.


Posted By: turnturtle
Date Posted: 09 Jun 22 at 4:24pm
it's a classy looking boat still Mike... especially in when they have a bit of space to literally stretch those legs.


Posted By: Grumpycat
Date Posted: 09 Jun 22 at 6:35pm
Originally posted by Cirrus

The most recent Blaze sails are made by Hartley 'in-house' - and are cosmetically more of a 'square-top' than the pre-existing North one.  The informal talk within the class has suggested that they are 'better' for the lighter crews in the fleet (esp in higher breeze) as they do shed power more easily - however the results are still mostly inconclusive and very mixed.   At my own weight (80ish KG) they seem almost identical in terms of performance - but as times go on the newer sails will no doubt dominate the front as the North supplied ones age. 
   

National Championships 2023
Mike , looks like the top batten is different? If it is , thatís a little more than Ď cosmeticí . Smile


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D-zero
Ex Laser x2
Ex British Moth x4
Ex Lightning 368
Ex Supernova


Posted By: Cirrus
Date Posted: 10 Jun 22 at 2:48pm
looks like the top batten is different? If it is , thatís a little more than Ď cosmeticí


As it makes damn all difference to performance either way it's main real benefit may be that it is apparently lower cost to produce..  Some like the darker material, some do not...  This picture was taken about a year ago and today about 50+% of boats at Stone SC currently for the Nationals will most likely sport a 'new' version  (10th to 12th inclusive).  At my weight I cannot see any advantage/disadvantage against a 12 month old North - I'm lucky as I like both sails equally. ... But erm .....slightly maybe less lucky in that I have to be at a wedding tomorrow !!


Posted By: Grumpycat
Date Posted: 10 Jun 22 at 4:50pm
Err its still a change to the sail plan which I am sure you all voted on , because itís not like Hartleys have any past history of imposing changes on the classes they own whether the class wants it or not is it LOLWink

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D-zero
Ex Laser x2
Ex British Moth x4
Ex Lightning 368
Ex Supernova


Posted By: Sussex Lad
Date Posted: 11 Jun 22 at 9:31am
Originally posted by Cirrus

looks like the top batten is different? If it is , thatís a little more than Ď cosmeticí


As it makes damn all difference to performance


Another alteration to the Blaze that makes no difference to performance? There's been a few of them over the last 12 years or so.LOL 

Without mentioning the elephant in the room (it start with P and ends with Y) it's difficult to discuss this any further I guessWink

Quick question that's been asked before: When does a one design become a development class?




Posted By: turnturtle
Date Posted: 11 Jun 22 at 10:21am
Moderate improvements:, voted on democratically by the class in a open and honest manner Ö whatís not to like?


Posted By: Sussex Lad
Date Posted: 11 Jun 22 at 10:31am
Originally posted by turnturtle

Moderate improvements:, voted on democratically by the class in a open and honest manner Ö whatís not to like?


Absolutely, no quibble with that at all and I think its's a great little boat

......it's that the litany "no improvement to performance" is getting a little predictable.  Who knows? it may well be true in this case.

Maybe I'm just getting old and cynicalLOL

It would be interesting to see a list of modifications (I'll not call them improvementsWink) since Topper dropped it........again, I'm getting old and I've lost count.


Posted By: Grumpycat
Date Posted: 11 Jun 22 at 1:22pm
Originally posted by turnturtle

Moderate improvements:, voted on democratically by the class in a open and honest manner Ö whatís not to like?

Totally agree with you , that doesnít happen often does it LOL. All one design have to adapt or die/ or become a niche boat. 

But the thing is not all moderate improvements are voted on democratically by a class in a open and honest manner. 
1) Some are just waved though by a class. ( which is not necessary wrong )
2) Some are forced on a class by a manufacturer that owns the design rights. Like the new mk3 cockpit design on Lightning 368 or the weight change to the Supernova. Donít get me wrong , I am not saying the changes were wrong just the fact the class had no control over the change .  



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D-zero
Ex Laser x2
Ex British Moth x4
Ex Lightning 368
Ex Supernova


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 11 Jun 22 at 6:29pm
Originally posted by Sussex Lad

 

Quick question that's been asked before: When does a one design become a development class?


When individuals are able to make changes to hull, rig, foils etc without needing a class vote.  You canít put any mast you like on a Blaze, or any sail, or indeed any sailmaker.  You canít put a different rudder on the back.  You canít design your hull or pick your builder.  Name a class that has never updated anything?


Posted By: RS400atC
Date Posted: 11 Jun 22 at 7:57pm
Originally posted by A2Z

Originally posted by Sussex Lad

 

Quick question that's been asked before: When does a one design become a development class?


When individuals are able to make changes to hull, rig, foils etc without needing a class vote.  You canít put any mast you like on a Blaze, or any sail, or indeed any sailmaker.  You canít put a different rudder on the back.  You canít design your hull or pick your builder.  Name a class that has never updated anything?

You can do all of those things, it just means your 'Blaze' ceases to be a Blaze Class Dinghy.
Like you can put a Rooster 8'n'a bit rig on a Laser and race it as a PY boat. You can put foils on it if you want. The owners of the 'design rights' can't control what owners do with it. Class associations may be embedded with manufacturers, but there's nothing to stop a bunch of owners forming a new class association where people race hulls sold as Lasers, or RS600s with foils. You can buy a class yacht like an X-99, change the rig and race it under IRC. Some CA's are bound by the RYA or WS due to being adopted National or International Classes. When you buy a boat to race, if you want to go beyond club PY races, you need to buy into the class's 'ethos' and rules and MO, or pick a different class.


Posted By: Sussex Lad
Date Posted: 11 Jun 22 at 9:45pm
I really don't have an issue with changes per se.

It's just that with every change (and there have been many incremental changes) there is the same assertion that there is no performance improvement.

It's the boat that always stays one step ahead of the slow to adapt PY numbers.  Great marketing strategy.......I'd probably do the same.WinkLOL


Posted By: Grumpycat
Date Posted: 11 Jun 22 at 10:40pm
Originally posted by Sussex Lad

I really don't have an issue with changes per se.

It's just that with every change (and there have been many incremental changes) there is the same assertion that there is no performance improvement.

It's the boat that always stays one step ahead of the slow to adapt PY numbers.  Great marketing strategy.......I'd probably do the same.WinkLOL

Err these days the py system is quick to react as they use real race time data. So if a class really gets faster is shows . As I mentioned Supernovas, they took 25 pounds out of the boat and loads of slow sailors joined the class so the py got a little better Smile


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D-zero
Ex Laser x2
Ex British Moth x4
Ex Lightning 368
Ex Supernova


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 12 Jun 22 at 7:58am
Originally posted by Sussex Lad

I really don't have an issue with changes per se.

It's just that with every change (and there have been many incremental changes) there is the same assertion that there is no performance improvement.

It's the boat that always stays one step ahead of the slow to adapt PY numbers.  Great marketing strategy.......I'd probably do the same.WinkLOL
Ah now, this I agree with!

Originally posted by Grumpycat

 Err these days the py system is quick to react as they use real race time data. So if a class really gets faster is shows .
Itís not that quick to react.  The numbers only get published once a year (and not at all during CV19, understandably). And I seem to recall that the last three years returns are used in the calculation so any change will take at least 3 years to filter through properly even if every boat makes the switch straight away. However, there STILL isnít any published info on how the RYA derive the PY list as far as I can find, so I may be wrong about that.


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 12 Jun 22 at 9:02am
MK3 Enterprise is the same speed, but if its a blustery capsize day, going to have a massive advantage.

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Robert


Posted By: Riv
Date Posted: 12 Jun 22 at 10:44am
Just looked at the Mk3 Ent from Rondar.
It seems to be a self drainer. Am I correct?
If so yes massive advantage, just capsize pull it up and sail off, no worries!


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Mistral Div II prototype board, Original Windsurfer, Hornet built'74.


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 12 Jun 22 at 11:45am
Yes, it's self draining, race winner, same PY.

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Robert


Posted By: RS400atC
Date Posted: 12 Jun 22 at 4:49pm
I think most instances of an Ent capsizing will be discarded in working out PY corrections..


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 12 Jun 22 at 5:04pm
Yes, could have worded that better, would be more effective class racing.

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Robert


Posted By: The Moo
Date Posted: 12 Jun 22 at 5:55pm
As the owner of a Mark 3 Rondar Enterprise, I would describe it as semi self draining. It has a lowish false floor with tubes through the transom but still has self bailers set in recesses.

Capsized once since buying the boat. It's certainly an improvement over our Rondar Mark 2, which had buoyancy bags that could have been a tad bigger, but it is far from the real deal imho as you are quite reliant on the bailers to finish drying the boat out.


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 12 Jun 22 at 6:48pm
Only speaking for myself, I have never finished a race with a mk1 capsize, mk3 you can.

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Robert


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 12 Jun 22 at 6:52pm
Originally posted by 423zero

Only speaking for myself, I have never finished a race with a mk1 capsize, mk3 you can.


So that would make the yardstick slower?

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Firefly 2324, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446 Mirror 70686


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 12 Jun 22 at 6:57pm
No idea , not sure how py committee works. Boat is no quicker, just recovers from a capsize better.

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Robert


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 12 Jun 22 at 7:36pm
No race finish, no return. Slow race due to capsize but reasonable recovery, below average race time, but maybe above the cut off point.

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Firefly 2324, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446 Mirror 70686


Posted By: RS400atC
Date Posted: 12 Jun 22 at 8:15pm
If it's windy enough for the top guys to capsize, the transom flaps do the trick fairly quickly.
Most series have a discard, so maybe the odd disastrous capsize doesn't change the trophy winner very often. Even in self draining boats (RS 400, Laser,....) some people recover from capsize much quicker than others, I could point out people who capsize more often than I do, but lose less places from it.  Self draining really comes into its own in those comedy capsize events when there's not enough wind or space to sail the boat dry. I know a few handy Ent sailors, I don't hear them whining about the self draining boats being unfair, I do hear them liking more 'improving' sailors in the fleet and congratulating them when they finish a breezy race despite capsizing. Self draining doesn't make capsizing fast. My Dad used to have an Ent with a bow bag, no tanks at all, in the 2020s, we really don't want to be sending people to sea in that kind of thing!


Posted By: NickA
Date Posted: 12 Jun 22 at 9:03pm
Article by Bethwaite the younger here:

https://bethwaite360.com/square-head-vs-pin-head-rigs/

Reckons the ultimate sail design is still a carefully shaped pin head, but that it doesn't work so well with carbon masts .. which are lighter.  So if you want the benefits of the light but stiff carbon then you might need a fat head main.

This is annoying as my new boat has a carbon mast but a very pointy main sail ... worst of both worlds?



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Javelin 558
Contender 2574


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 12 Jun 22 at 9:21pm
Originally posted by NickA

Reckons the ultimate sail design is still a carefully shaped pin head, but that it doesn't work so well with carbon masts ..
This is annoying as my new boat has a carbon mast but a very pointy main sail ... worst of both worlds?

Don't forget that was Julian's thinking 5 years ago. I'm not sure to what extent he'd agree with all of that now. Ultimately though what matters most is how well the sail and the mast are matched. A random sail on a random mast is rarely going to work well. If the sail has been cut to match the mast then it should work a whole load better. And don't forget Julian's comparison was with highly developed glass topmasts. A tin mast is another matter, because there are physical limits on what you can do with taper and bend and still have the thing stay up.
There's some reasonable empirical evidence that every class that has adopted carbon sticks has seen a significant performance increase. Such increases are often difficult to spot within a class for the simple reason that if one boat is 5% faster than another its astonishing boat speed, but if one crew is 5% faster than the other that's about the difference between top quarter and top half of the fleet.


Posted By: turnturtle
Date Posted: 13 Jun 22 at 7:55am
Originally posted by Grumpycat

Originally posted by turnturtle

Moderate improvements:, voted on democratically by the class in a open and honest manner Ö whatís not to like?

Totally agree with you , that doesnít happen often does it LOL. All one design have to adapt or die/ or become a niche boat. 

But the thing is not all moderate improvements are voted on democratically by a class in a open and honest manner. 
1) Some are just waved though by a class. ( which is not necessary wrong )
2) Some are forced on a class by a manufacturer that owns the design rights. Like the new mk3 cockpit design on Lightning 368 or the weight change to the Supernova. Donít get me wrong , I am not saying the changes were wrong just the fact the class had no control over the change .  


within the narrow field of dinghy racing, or more specifically drifting in dinghies inland and making it vaguely competitive, maybe not; but on wider social issues, I doubt we're that dissimilar on outlooks. Wink

I note your points though about feeling like a builder is pushing through changes, not something I've not experienced it personally and any time I've been around a class when changes were proposed I've never considered them bad for the class... XD controls being my most memorable I guess.  

I think it's worth pointing out that there's also some discussion around one designs and how it affects PY:

"let's upgrade our sail plan / move to carbon spars to rig the PY system" said no class chairperson or dinghy builder ever.

Usually it's all about making a boat they love to build and/or sail just a bit nicer with the technology that becomes available.  I doubt it's even really about performance in its purist sense.


Posted By: Cirrus
Date Posted: 13 Jun 22 at 8:49am
SMODS .... We've surely covered this type of organisation many times in recent years.  Yes - poorly run by the manufacturer and/or in league with a lacklustre class association it can work against the interests of the  owners.  However there are also examples where 'strong' or even just 'democratic' CA's  with control of the designs have nevertheless managed to pull down otherwise thriving classes in hindsight through naivety or just simple poor management.  Change, and as often the need to change, over time can trip up the most well meaning....  Ask owners what they want and you do not always get answers that automatically maintain  the class.   If the manufacturer cannot make a crust for whatever reason, including CA pressure, long term classes do tend to die.  In my experience those that thrive over time have proactive owners and proactive builders under any form of structure.  It is only an idiot builder who does not take into account the wishes or advice of the owners - and it matters not a jot under what formal structures exist.  Equally  if owners discount the input of the builder (usually or often the design rights holders) who must make a working profit and has to deal with such issues as 'warranty' and product liability it does not matter what CA's  might vote for or against.   And if you really still do not like even the concept of the modern SMOD then you still have plenty of choice out there...  Just be glad that you can choose.       


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 14 Jun 22 at 4:38pm
Just got back from the Blaze Nationals and interested to note the event was won with a North sail not the latest Hartley version.

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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: Grumpycat
Date Posted: 14 Jun 22 at 5:07pm
Originally posted by Cirrus

SMODS .... We've surely covered this type of organisation many times in recent years.  Yes - poorly run by the manufacturer and/or in league with a lacklustre class association it can work against the interests of the  owners.  However there are also examples where 'strong' or even just 'democratic' CA's  with control of the designs have nevertheless managed to pull down otherwise thriving classes in hindsight through naivety or just simple poor management.  Change, and as often the need to change, over time can trip up the most well meaning....  Ask owners what they want and you do not always get answers that automatically maintain  the class.   If the manufacturer cannot make a crust for whatever reason, including CA pressure, long term classes do tend to die.  In my experience those that thrive over time have proactive owners and proactive builders under any form of structure.  It is only an idiot builder who does not take into account the wishes or advice of the owners - and it matters not a jot under what formal structures exist.  Equally  if owners discount the input of the builder (usually or often the design rights holders) who must make a working profit and has to deal with such issues as 'warranty' and product liability it does not matter what CA's  might vote for or against.   And if you really still do not like even the concept of the modern SMOD then you still have plenty of choice out there...  Just be glad that you can choose.       

Totally agree , what ever the set up between CA and a manufacturer, boats have to be sold and money needs to be made . 
Re the two examples of manufacturers (Lightning and Supernova )  forcing change ( in the nicest way ) I gave.
1) The Lightning 368 sold more boats in the 18 months after the cockpit mould change that they had sold in the preceding decade. 
2) The Supernova now regularly gets over 100 at their nationals .

So looking back , who am I to say these decisions were wrong or taken in the wrong way Smile


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D-zero
Ex Laser x2
Ex British Moth x4
Ex Lightning 368
Ex Supernova


Posted By: RS400atC
Date Posted: 14 Jun 22 at 8:19pm
Originally posted by Sam.Spoons

Just got back from the Blaze Nationals and interested to note the event was won with a North sail not the latest Hartley version.


It can be a little sophist to say things like that with no background.
Was the sail a big deal? Noticeable edge in any way?

Or was it by any chance one of the lightest boats with one of the better helms who sailed a great series and deserved to win?

It's like back in the Jurassic era of Lasers, certain sails were thought to have tiny advantage, which became a huge issue to some people because when everything is identical apart from X, X is king, even if in reality, it only makes less difference than the drag factor of the helm's hairstyle.

With a Blaze, there are a lot of variables. Your man with the North sail might just have his rig set up to work well with the sail, rather than the sail itself being 'better'. He might just be better at windshifts, starts, waves etc.

But very few people ever got laughed at for choosing North Sails.


Posted By: Grumpycat
Date Posted: 14 Jun 22 at 9:19pm
My only knowledge of north sails is very limited as it only  comes from the British moth class and now  the D-zero. Not overly impressed considering the price premium over other brands. Smile

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D-zero
Ex Laser x2
Ex British Moth x4
Ex Lightning 368
Ex Supernova


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 15 Jun 22 at 9:53am
Originally posted by RS400atC

Originally posted by Sam.Spoons

Just got back from the Blaze Nationals and interested to note the event was won with a North sail not the latest Hartley version.


It can be a little sophist to say things like that with no background.
Was the sail a big deal? Noticeable edge in any way?

Or was it by any chance one of the lightest boats with one of the better helms who sailed a great series and deserved to win?

It's like back in the Jurassic era of Lasers, certain sails were thought to have tiny advantage, which became a huge issue to some people because when everything is identical apart from X, X is king, even if in reality, it only makes less difference than the drag factor of the helm's hairstyle.

With a Blaze, there are a lot of variables. Your man with the North sail might just have his rig set up to work well with the sail, rather than the sail itself being 'better'. He might just be better at windshifts, starts, waves etc.

But very few people ever got laughed at for choosing North Sails.

This was more of a reply to the suggestion that the claim that all updates to a SMOD class must automatically be performance enhancing and that new Blaze sail must be faster than the old. And, yes, the sailor using it is a past National Champion and was sailing a fairly recent epoxy boat.


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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: RS400atC
Date Posted: 15 Jun 22 at 10:00am
Originally posted by Sam.Spoons

.....
This was more of a reply to the suggestion that the claim that all updates to a SMOD class must automatically be performance enhancing and that new Blaze sail must be faster than the old. And, yes, the sailor using it is a past National Champion and was sailing a fairly recent epoxy boat.
In reality, many 'updates' to a SMOD class are intended more as 'profit enhancing'.

Take the sail manufacture in-house and make more cash, or enable sub-contract manufacture from whichever source is cheaper for the next batch and slap your own label on it.

 
 
 
Not necessarily a bad thing, some savings might even get passed on to sailors....


Posted By: Cirrus
Date Posted: 15 Jun 22 at 11:50am

The Blaze has switched sail makers - yes - and shock horror the 'replaced' sail is at no apparent disadvantage.  I was not there this year but was at Paignton when Ben H. also won last year .. but with the more recent Hartley version on that occasion.  Cynics cannot argue it both ways with regard to the imagined class / manufacturer motivations surely ?!  A more reasonable and reasoned analysis might be that both sails are in fact very very similar in terms of performance.... the sort of thing that a good SMOD Class Association  or SMOD builder in fact would want in the first place.  (I'm sure a few of you will still be able find a bit of conspiracy in it .... somehow ! Wink)



Posted By: turnturtle
Date Posted: 15 Jun 22 at 12:46pm
Originally posted by Grumpycat

My only knowledge of north sails is very limited as it only  comes from the British moth class and now  the D-zero. Not overly impressed considering the price premium over other brands. Smile

when given the choice, I would choose HD over North; but I fully accept North are an exceptionally good loft.

If no choice is on the menu, then I'd happily take North over other some other well known options from SMODland.  (I thought the D-Zero sail was very, very good and easy to tune in my non-expert opinion)

I now live on same street as a North Sails retail shop... it's right preppy garb around here. LOL



Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 15 Jun 22 at 2:54pm
Originally posted by RS400atC

Originally posted by Sam.Spoons

.....
This was more of a reply to the suggestion that the claim that all updates to a SMOD class must automatically be performance enhancing and that new Blaze sail must be faster than the old. And, yes, the sailor using it is a past National Champion and was sailing a fairly recent epoxy boat.
In reality, many 'updates' to a SMOD class are intended more as 'profit enhancing'.

Take the sail manufacture in-house and make more cash, or enable sub-contract manufacture from whichever source is cheaper for the next batch and slap your own label on it.
 
Not necessarily a bad thing, some savings might even get passed on to sailors....

I think it's a bit of both, the new sail, built in house, is a little cheaper (about 8%) than the North but AIUI the North had been getting more expensive with every batch. Hartley Boats do have a new sail loft, sailmaker and some very expensive machinery to pay for so hopefully they'll be able to keep costs down over the next few years as last year's capital expenditure gets absorbed.


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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: davidyacht
Date Posted: 15 Jun 22 at 3:50pm
Surely in SMOD land the key issues with sails are 1) how much the boat manufacturer is prepared to pay per sail 2) how much R&D goes into the original design.  I suspect the name on the label has little to do with the final product save to say that some sailmakers are more capable of manufacturing a consistent product than others.

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Happily living in the past


Posted By: turnturtle
Date Posted: 15 Jun 22 at 5:39pm
1) yes - and mark up

2) yes - this too

Also, 3) longevity of competitive life


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 15 Jun 22 at 6:42pm
I have got some nice North sails gear, T shirts etc, looks good, nice to stand out with designer gear, that no one else is wearing Smile

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Robert


Posted By: The Q
Date Posted: 16 Jun 22 at 4:44am
Not surprising no one else is wearing it, paying £25-£30 to be an advertising hoarding for an American company is just ridiculous..
They should give them away..

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Still sailing in circles


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 16 Jun 22 at 6:27am
Everything you buy is advertising, cars for instance.

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Robert


Posted By: Grumpycat
Date Posted: 16 Jun 22 at 7:28am
Originally posted by 423zero

I have got some nice North sails gear, T shirts etc, looks good, nice to stand out with designer gear, that no one else is wearing Smile

Hope the sizing was correct  LOLWink.
North once brought five sails to the British moth nationals . Four didnít measure , so North took them away and recut them and brought them back a couple of days later. Three were ok and one still didnít measure . The sailor concerned let them have one more go at correcting it but it still didnít measure. North then offered to make him a new sail or have his money back and keep the first sail . He took the second option and he went to HD sails who made him a new sail and recut the north so it measured.
I am not saying anything about Norths customer service which was second to none but perhaps the original problems shouldnít  have happened in the first place . 😀


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D-zero
Ex Laser x2
Ex British Moth x4
Ex Lightning 368
Ex Supernova


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 16 Jun 22 at 8:55am
The one arm was a bit longer than the other two.

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Robert


Posted By: Grumpycat
Date Posted: 16 Jun 22 at 9:08am
Lol 

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D-zero
Ex Laser x2
Ex British Moth x4
Ex Lightning 368
Ex Supernova


Posted By: rich96
Date Posted: 16 Jun 22 at 9:53am
Originally posted by 423zero

I have got some nice North sails gear, T shirts etc, looks good, nice to stand out with designer gear, that no one else is wearing Smile

Crumbs - this is a statement I never thought I'd see on this forum !




Posted By: The Q
Date Posted: 16 Jun 22 at 10:21am
Originally posted by 423zero

Everything you buy is advertising, cars for instance.
I buy a car because it fits a specific purpose not because of the advertising. I can buy many T shirts That fits the purpose of the  North one, that don't advertise and cost much less.

I built my own boat, Wood, Plywood, Fibreglass, resin, paint, screws.. No one can tell what companies supplied the stuff.. The only things that have  logos are the sails and  I could remove the advert in the corner...


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Still sailing in circles


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 16 Jun 22 at 12:02pm
I just got a Rolling Stones T-shirt, you know the one with the lips on it, expensive, but worth it     
Look around your kitchen, every item is named, visitors come in and say, how you finding the Neff cooker? If you say OK, they will probably get one, sitting down for lunch, I have counted seventeen manufacturers names. Can't see how you can go through a single day without seeing manufacturers names.

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Robert


Posted By: The Q
Date Posted: 16 Jun 22 at 12:21pm
I can see 17 manufacturers names without turning my head at this lab desk... They are all the same one .. The company I work for. oh and Dell on this computer..

If I get visitors in the kitchen, the cat will have to leave, there ain't enough room..
 
Never bought anything because of an advert, If I need something I'll research the best product for the job, and that won't include looking at manufacturers lying adverts.

The only things that I have deliberately bought with a logo on them, are Three Rivers Race polo shirts, various sailing and model railway association / event shirts to support their activities, and The British Legion Poppy which is a logo in it's own right. 


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Still sailing in circles



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