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1/4 tonners + the cup

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: Keelboat classes
Forum Name: Keelboat news and development
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URL: http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=5881
Printed Date: 21 Aug 19 at 5:31am
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Topic: 1/4 tonners + the cup
Posted By: detente
Subject: 1/4 tonners + the cup
Date Posted: 28 Aug 09 at 12:30pm

Having looked indepth into possible campaign into the quater tonner class revival it seems that the class has lossed the spirit of the event as it was intended. In order to have a competitive 1/4 tonner these days owners are spending between 20 - 50k on optimising their old quater tonner boats making them IRC friendly. It is getting ridiclious as the event quite rightly will not allow new built boats however some crews are taking old quaters throwing rigs, keels rudders, even entire deck away and rebuilding them to optimise them to suit the IRC rule under which the event is run. The hull might be origional but are they still able to class them as quater tonners? 

This may be all well and good producing a more interesting boat to race but is becoming cheque book sailing. The old unoptimised quaters still racing in IOR config. do not stand a chance at winning against those that have thrown silly money at rebuilding old quaters. Should the RCYC be splitting the class providing a cup for optimised boats and those that still are racing in the spriit of the quater ton class under IOR config??

The jury might be out on this one......




Replies:
Posted By: Roy Race
Date Posted: 28 Aug 09 at 3:18pm

I've heard about this. Why don't they race them under the original format. IOR or whatever it was they were designed to in the first place?

Not sure about your split fleet idea. How do you define what has been optimised and what hasn't, or what is within the spirit and what isn't? One person's definition of "within the spirit" may be different to the next person's.

That would get very ugly very quickly.



Posted By: Stefan Lloyd
Date Posted: 28 Aug 09 at 3:28pm

Originally posted by detente

 but is becoming cheque book sailing.

The ton classes always were cheque-book sailing. There's obviously enough people who want to play this game and good luck to them.

 



Posted By: Stefan Lloyd
Date Posted: 28 Aug 09 at 3:30pm

Originally posted by Roy Race

Why don't they race them under the original format. IOR or whatever it was they were designed to in the first place?

Because you can't get IOR certificates any more. Because 90% of the racing these boats do is in general IRC classes anyway. Because they are just much nicer boats optimised for IRC. IOR produced horrible boats in its later years, which is why it died.



Posted By: craiggo
Date Posted: 28 Aug 09 at 5:54pm
I think you have to look at where a lot of these boats are coming from. Most that have been heavily IRC optimised were found rotting in barns and had to be re-built anyway. The likes of Morty et al, who happen to have a bit of cash, have got a lot of these boats back on the water and competitive and yes they cost a lot of money. That said there are also several highly successful production 1/4 tonners like Boleros, MG Spring 26s, and GK24s which should be able to compete under IRC reasonably well for little cost.
A lot of one off 1/4 tonners were ply boats built to minimum weight and longevity was not their strong point.


Posted By: detente
Date Posted: 03 Sep 09 at 12:24pm

'Should the RCYC be splitting the class providing a cup for optimised boats and those that still are racing in the spriit of the quater ton class under IOR config'

The RCYC can race both classes together under IRC as one fleet but just have a sub breakdown of prizes for the ones still in IOR config. and those that had been optimised. Yes We all know by the end of IOR it was a cr*p rule as it was encouraging slow bad boat design features such as massivly bumped sterns for example and other slow your boat down features in order to bring the rating down. 



Posted By: MattK
Date Posted: 03 Sep 09 at 12:47pm
This past weekend i was sailing a quarter tonner in my local yacht club
regatta, built by my dad in 1986, with original everything, even sails!
Unfortunately it was only ever raced of the club PY and never got an IOR
certificate so we cannot race in the cup even though it is an original and
more with the spirit of the rules than these moderised ones!


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 03 Sep 09 at 2:24pm
Originally posted by detente

those that still are racing in the spriit of the quater ton class under IOR config??

Couldn't you argue though that a boat in a more IRC config is one that you can use every weekend, whereas one in an IOR config (which presumably means silly bow down trim, lumps and bumps etc) is one that would only be of use in a ton cup event or under Portsmouth Yardstick...


Posted By: laser193713
Date Posted: 03 Sep 09 at 5:55pm

You've completely missed the point! We bought our bolero almost by accident, we were looking for a sonata and while searching we came across the bolero.  The bolero was never designed to be competetive under 1/4 ton rating which is where boats like Purple Haze came from, she was an optimised bolero, smaller than standard with more sail and slightly different lines aft, not really a bolero as most seem to believe! That is beside the point though, our bolero was what was known as a Mk2, the difference being she has a lead keel, a small sugar scoop, an inboard engine and a slightly taller rig with jumpers and swept back spreaders (the standard bolero had a 3/4 swept back rig and an outboard with an iron keel).

Since buying the boat we have taken the inboard out becuase on a small boat IRC doesnt favour it. We replaced the old rudder with a new modern design because the old one was rotten and very very heavy! We have cut the scoop off the back to reduce overlaps now that the boat floats higher with 200kg of engine parts removed!

That was the end of our work on the boat until last years cowes week when we T-Boned runaway bus as they broached into us. We had some damage to the bow so while we got that fixed we also moved the forestay out to the bow from its previous position about a foot back. This gave us some extra fore triangle so we had enough room to make the genoa slightly smaller, turn it into a jib and sheet it inside the shrouds.  Doing this we went from 150% overlap to 115% which IRC also like.  We lost 2m of sail area from this which we added to our spinnaker and this allowed us a slightly longer pole for more projection because the SPL is a function of spinnaker area. Roughly 0.456 times the squareroot of the area.

For the price of some new sails and some patching up holes where engines used to go on top of the new rudder we have ended up with a much better boat to sail with much more room down below which is also faster around the windward leeward courses that we race on.  Fast enough to trouble the 50k boats at the top of the fleet at the quarter ton cup this year and finish in 9th overall. 

My advice if buying a 1/4 tonner is to either buy a really sorted one which should set you back no more than 20-25k and do nothing to it apart from buy new sails and sail the boat fast. Secondly you could buy a knackered old boat, the bigger ones tend to be more popular but just look for clean lines. Stick it in a shed, sand it back and strip everything out by hand.  All this should only have cost 7-8k.  Then spend the remaining 15k on a rig and a new rudder and some new paint.

Don't do what we did and buy a boat that someone had lovingly restored for cruising and then buy new sails for the old rig and then not have enough money for a new paint job and a new rig a year or so down the line!  You really have to take the time to get the boat right first time in the shed and then you can fiddle with it to make it faster.

As I have said though, most importantly look for a boat with clean lines, some of the boats had strange creases etc to make them fit the rule, perhaps these days the production boats that just happened to fit are a better bet because the lines may be cleaner.  Just a thought!



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Posted By: Stefan Lloyd
Date Posted: 04 Sep 09 at 4:35am
I remember Sergeant Pepper from the late 80s. A smart looking and fast boat! Have fun.


Posted By: Pabs
Date Posted: 04 Sep 09 at 9:02am
Okay for some one who is not massivly experianced in yachting but is intrested in and the idea of the 1/4 tonners can some one give me an idiots guide to IRC/IOR what they are how they work etc

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Boatless and Clubless


Posted By: Stefan Lloyd
Date Posted: 04 Sep 09 at 10:03am

IRC and IOR are/were measurement-based handicapping systems. There are around 8000 IRC certificates in issue worldwide and it's the main handicapping system in the UK for boats with beds. IOR was an alternative system that began in the 60s and died around the early 90s. Ton Cuppers were IOR boats built to a specific target IOR rating so they could race together without handicap - a concept somewhat like a development dinghy class. There has been a revival of the quarter-ton (around 26 foot) and half-ton (around 30 foot) classes for boats that previously had IOR ratings that made them eligible for those classes. However for reasons discussed elsewhere in this thread, they race today under IRC.  

 

Quarter tonners



Posted By: craiggo
Date Posted: 04 Sep 09 at 10:24am
IOR and IRC are measurement based handicap schemes.

IOR was used extensively until the mid 80s but the current scheme used around the world is IRC.

IOR basically allowed you to calculate a length in ft which was then used to correct the boats elapsed time. From this several open classes formed ie, 1/4, 1/2 and 1 tonners. Basically these boats dont actually weigh 1/4, 1/2 or 1 ton but end up with an IOR length which is less than a given value for that class. From memory 1/4 ton IOR length was around 19ft by the mid 80s.

Unfortunately IOR created some strange designs, with hulls having large bumps to reach girth measurements and relying on lots of movable ballast, ie crew, to keep them going. The boats when measured had very low ballast ratio. Also the measurement was performed with the boat upright so large overhangs were used to gain waterline length when heeled. In the aftermath of the notorious Fastnet race, the IOR rule was heavily criticised for creating un-seaworthy boats, and some small mods to the rule were made during the 80s to try and sort this but the rule had already moved into decline.

IRC is the current measurement system in use, and I have to say I dont know exactly how the calcs are performed but it does seem to favour boats of a certain length. Ballast ratios seem high as do sail areas but I believe there has always been a 'fudge' factor applied by the ratings office which has often been the subject of much contriversy.

Anyway the re-born 1/4 ton cup is being run under IRC so many 1/4 tonners have been optimised with increased ballast (ie bulbed keels), fractional rigs with non overlapping headsails and larger spinnakers (area taken from the overlapping jibs).

The joy with any measurement based rule is that you can always optimise your boat to suit it, but it costs!!


Posted By: Stefan Lloyd
Date Posted: 04 Sep 09 at 10:46am

Originally posted by craiggo

Basically these boats dont actually weigh 1/4, 1/2 or 1 ton but end up with an IOR length which is less than a given value for that class. From memory 1/4 ton IOR length was around 19m by the mid 80s. !

Eighteen feet in fact. The rating is just a number though: the boats were typically around 26 feet LOA.

 



Posted By: alstorer
Date Posted: 04 Sep 09 at 11:34am
As I understand it, one of the differences with IRC is that the formula used is NOT public, and that it also also revised quite often. Part of the idea is that whilst designers can make good guesses as to what will rate "better" (ie essentially create a boat faster than those on the same calculated rating) they should not be able to know for sure. I think it also essentially gives bonuses to features which improve seaworthiness and onboard comfort?

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-_
Al


Posted By: laser193713
Date Posted: 04 Sep 09 at 11:38am

The rule for IOR is actually under 18.5 ft not anything to do with metric!

The whole point in the IRC rule is that we dont know how it works, but through trial and error sail makers and designers have managed to work out a few general formulas, the important thing though is that it is not a performance based handicap.  Unfortunately there is a measurment called "hull factor" which is a measure of the racyness of a yacht, in quarter tonners this seems to change a lot and is known to be a fudge factor that they use to performance equalise the boats. The ratings office would not agree of course.

If anyone is confused, a performance based handicap is one like in golf, where the skill of the player is equalised by their handicap, a measurement based handicap would take measurements such as the height and weight of the golfer and the clubs they used and give them an expected handicap.  This would favour the better golfers of course which may be a good thing, but it is much harder to please everyone with a measurment based handicap system.  People spend a lot more money to get their boats right on a system like IRC than a performance based system like PY, so the sailing industry prefers measurement based systems.



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Posted By: craiggo
Date Posted: 04 Sep 09 at 11:48am
Originally posted by laser193713

The rule for IOR is actually under 18.5 ft not anything to do with metric!




Laser193713, I meant to write 19ft not m, so my previous post has been edited and is now correct.


Posted By: laser193713
Date Posted: 04 Sep 09 at 12:04pm
ok, i thought u meant it, i just wanted to clear that up, the metric system had hardly been heard of back then!

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Posted By: Stefan Lloyd
Date Posted: 04 Sep 09 at 12:32pm

Originally posted by laser193713

If anyone is confused, a performance based handicap is one like in golf, where the skill of the player is equalised by their handicap

In general in sailing performance based handicap doesn't mean that. It's meant to be a handicap for the boat, not the helm and crew. I say "in general" because some clubs do apply personal handicaps to some racing but that's different from what systems like PY and PHRF set out to do, which is to handicap the boat or class.

How the administrators of performance-based systems can actually differentiate between the performance of the boat and the skill of the crew for one-off boats is perhaps, like the manufacture of sausages, something best not looked into too closely.  



Posted By: laser193713
Date Posted: 04 Sep 09 at 1:52pm

Dont let this forum make them sound boring! They're great boats to sail despite looking funny in some cases, we're glad our boat looks normal though!



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Posted By: detente
Date Posted: 08 Sep 09 at 12:47pm

Dont get me wrong I have nothing against optimisation of any boat (quaters included) to what the owner interprets as IRC friendly mods. My gripe is that in order to take any quater tonner to a competitve level, (as generally they have either been neglected for years in a shed or turned into a cruiser), it costs a huge amount of cash in order to do so.

But at the end of the day if you can justify spending lots of money on a little old race boat fine...I suppose this is indicative of Keel boat racing in general, Its an expensive sport!



Posted By: laser193713
Date Posted: 08 Sep 09 at 3:48pm
Originally posted by detente

 My gripe is that in order to take any quater tonner to a competitve level, (as generally they have either been neglected for years in a shed or turned into a cruiser), it costs a huge amount of cash in order to do so.

 

 

No not really, we didnt spend a lot, we have done more than we needed to, and 9th in that fleet is good i would say, there are a lot of  top crews and our crew for the event had never sailed together before!



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Posted By: detente
Date Posted: 10 Sep 09 at 1:02pm

Does any crew who have put a campaign together wish to publish the costs they have spent and then each to their own can judge the costs as to whether it is expensive or not!

 



Posted By: detente
Date Posted: 14 Sep 09 at 12:19pm


Posted By: tgruitt
Date Posted: 14 Sep 09 at 2:09pm
Originally posted by detente



I'm hoping they have replaced the lawnmower engine in that thing by now!



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Needs to sail more...


Posted By: detente
Date Posted: 15 Sep 09 at 12:34pm
you should be so lucky! That mowing my garden by now!


Posted By: laser193713
Date Posted: 16 Sep 09 at 10:13pm

That little electric engine was funny, not really made for a boat that size i'm afraid!

 



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Posted By: Juggs
Date Posted: 24 Sep 09 at 6:56pm
One of the things that has been lost to everyone posting so far is that under the old IOR rule, every boat competing in a level rating class was measured, optimised and prepared to conform to a single figure rating such as 18.5ft for the quarter ton class.
Now it just depends on how deep the owner wishes to hammer their cheque book to achieve the lowest IRC figure his rating consultant/drinking partner thinks they can get. It would have been much fairer to state a band width that all the boats could be optimised to fall into. 875 to 910 as a suggestion. This opportunity has now been lost unless the class makes a big decision on it's future on how to trim the costs that rumour control keeps pumping out!
I think it's great that these old boats are going out racing just as hard as when they were new, but some of the changes are possibly not for the better.


Posted By: laser193713
Date Posted: 25 Sep 09 at 10:29am

Since we have had sgt pepper the rating has gone from 0.869 up to 0.874 and now its back down to 0.869, the boat is also now going faster than ever, so you could say we have optimised well.  The way we did it was make the boat go fast with more sail, and taking the engine out and the new rudder, then tweak things like the forestay position, which we moved to the bow, this allowed us to fit a jib (115% sheeting inside the shrouds) instead of the 150% genoa which was harder to use around a windward leeward course and was wasted sail area in anything over 8 knots. We lost about 2m of sail area from this change which we added to the kite and added a longer spinny pole. Moving area around like this is the best way to optimise a boat without having a new rig, you need new sails every so often so why not change them around a bit, having said that our quantum main has lasted about 4 years now, still looks new but starts to flutter a bit in strong winds, genoas take much more of a battering though, another reason to change to smaller overlap sails!



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Posted By: padigram
Date Posted: 20 Feb 10 at 9:29am
Originally posted by detente

Does any crew who have put a campaign
together wish to publish the costs they have spent and
then each to their own can judge the costs as to whether
it is expensive or not!




We bought our (one off) Quarter tonner for 4k (after
months of searching for the right boat) then spent a year
rebuilding her, new deck, cockpit, coachroof, new (second
hand) rig, new deck gear. The materials cost was around
5k plus sails. We did all of the work ourselves

Running costs - depends on where you moor & how much you
race.

The bottom line is you can go out and spend upwards of
20k on a sorted boat or as little as 2-3k on a fixer
upper.

PBO is running a series of articles at the moment
following the rejuvenation of Minestrone by her owner.

We love the QT fleet, great racing at a very high
standard and a fleet full of people who will advise, help
and support any new entrants to the class.


Posted By: padigram
Date Posted: 20 Feb 10 at 9:48am
Originally posted by MattK

This past weekend i was sailing a quarter
tonner in my local yacht club
regatta, built by my dad in 1986, with original
everything, even sails!
Unfortunately it was only ever raced of the club PY and
never got an IOR
certificate so we cannot race in the cup even though it
is an original and
more with the spirit of the rules than these moderised
ones!


Matt,

the lack of an IOR certificate may not be a problem - I
suggest you contact Louise Morton via
www.quartertonclass.org - she may be able to help.


Posted By: Juggs
Date Posted: 08 Jul 10 at 5:18pm
Originally posted by padigram

Originally posted by detente

Does any crew who have put a campaign
together wish to publish the costs they have spent and
then each to their own can judge the costs as to whether
it is expensive or not!




We bought our (one off) Quarter tonner for 4k (after
months of searching for the right boat) then spent a year
rebuilding her, new deck, cockpit, coachroof, new (second
hand) rig, new deck gear. The materials cost was around
5k plus sails. We did all of the work ourselves

Running costs - depends on where you moor & how much you
race.

The bottom line is you can go out and spend upwards of
20k on a sorted boat or as little as 2-3k on a fixer
upper.

PBO is running a series of articles at the moment
following the rejuvenation of Minestrone by her owner.

We love the QT fleet, great racing at a very high
standard and a fleet full of people who will advise, help
and support any new entrants to the class.


Having been dismasted , I took the opportunity to update the deck gear, stanchions and push/pulpit's on my old quartertonner anong with a new rig from Proctors with discontinuous rigging and some sails from North's. I reckon that the final bill was getting on for 10,000 and that was back in 1997 so I hate to think what the costs are today...........


Posted By: MSmith
Date Posted: 09 Jul 10 at 7:39pm
I looked at buying a quarter for quite a while, but ended up with a mini tonner, who a just trying to get the class reorganised. Upshot is, I got a sorted boat with cradle, sails, outboard, dinghy for 4k. I'd seen some nice quarters, but coudl not justify the extra expense.


Posted By: detente
Date Posted: 02 Aug 10 at 12:15pm

I'd seen some nice quarters, but could not justify the extra expense.

This statement just about sums up the quater tonners taking it to silly levels/expense!



Posted By: Stefan Lloyd
Date Posted: 03 Aug 10 at 5:05am
Ton classes have always been about silly expense and the quarter ton class is doing just fine.


Posted By: gordon
Date Posted: 17 Aug 10 at 5:24pm
I still believe that IRC could be adapted to provide level rating racing. It is now within most designers capacity to guesstimate the probable rating of a boat. Providing that they fall within a stipulated band width, couldn't IRC offer a service which expresses the necessary alterations (only in sail area of corrector weights) to hit the exact rating. This would not necessarily destroy the "black-box" concept of IRC

This would not  provide cheap racing (on the contrary) but would allow cruiser racing to return to the best format yet found for attracting interest from owners, designers and the public.

Gordon




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Gordon



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