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Gavin Watson

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Everything posted by Gavin Watson

  1. The official role was District Senior Measurer, unlike the ranking regulations team that was disbanded by incoming MYA officers, another mistake! I don't recall any mention of making District Senior Measurers redundant. Perhaps someone could point me to the relevent MYA council minutes with reasons for not contrinuing with District Senior Measurers? Someone might also want to tell the District Senior Measurer for the Scottish District "Steve Taylor". Steve is still listed as DSM on the MYA Scottish District website.
  2. As many will be aware I own a Falmouth based sail loft. Ten years ago, we were a IHC loft (In House certified). Having been through that process perhaps my comments might further enlighten those that are interested. What is involved, you need to be trained as a RYA Sail measurer or undergo a AA or MNA course depending on where you are based. Undergo IOM (Internal Official Measurer Training) Partake in Audits of sytems in place ensuring that data is kept on file for ten years, these Audits vary between every three and twelve months. Costs, the last Audit we participated in cost in the region of £1000 by the time costs of travel and accomodation had been factered in. Obviously whether you run a full size sail loft or a radio sailing loft costs are costs. These costs get absorbed into the business which then reflect the end price of goods. Do i believe the costs of IHC could be absorbed for a radio sailing sail loft? Quite simply no, I believe the cost of that service would not be efficient to suppliers or cost effective to the end consumer. To my knowledge there are no IHC based radio sailing lofts or suppliers. The list of the current IHC lofts worldwide can be found https://www.sailing.org/classesandequipment/ihc/ihc-who-is-involved.php Having checked the IRSA website there is no mention of any IHC sail lofts for radio sailing. Therefore anyone buying sails from overseas and paying for measurement should do so with caution. Lets say a French radio sailing sailmaker can get his sails measured in France by an appointed sail measurer, that sail would not be officially measured in the UK as that measurer has not been appointed by the certificating DNM (IRSA Member) or MNA (WS Member National Authority). On a seperate note with regards to measurers, issues have been ongoing for far too long.............. The approach that MYA affiliated measurers need to undergo a RYA sail measurement course is simply not fit for purpose, as an example the MYA sail measuring course will not teach you how to measure sails on a rig. I understand our TO still has not undertaken the course yet himself and perhaps it would of been prudent for him to have taken the course to understand the shortfalls prior to pushing it on to 100 MYA measurers? As Brad mentioned in an earlier post, "Would it not be better to fix a system that has been unnecessarily sorted with a sledge hammer as opposed to tweaking what was largely not broken?
  3. Michael, there is only one school of thought for a PG mast and that is a single hole in the front. The hole in the front still offers the same support athwartships as a hole in the each side however it does limit excessive fore and aft bend. The other thing to bear in mind that the weakest link in any alloy tube or cause of failure down the line will be due to holes in the mast tube and corrosion. The long and short being the less holes you drill in the tube the less likely there will be a failure. A single hole for the shrouds is the current status quo for the majority of the IOM class, BG's mast layout is the adopted norm now for most top skippers. http://www.bgsailsanddesign.com/toptips.html
  4. SoftSail It is normally quite easy to establish if a sail is soft without having to fold it and risk "damaging the ply". However, in cases of doubt, if it is claimed that the sail is soft, a measurer should fold the ply, usually in an area of secondary reinforcement. If the measurer is unable to flatten the ply when applying pressure between forefinger and thumb or the sail suffers damage more than a crease line, then the sail is not soft.
  5. As many of you will know, i'm not an active owner of either of the classes that this discussion could possibly affect. However, with over 24 years sailmaking experience and with a decent understanding of ERS from full size classes perhaps my thoughts might give an unbiased view from someone that does not have a commercial or financial interest in any outcome. 1 Do nothing, the good news here being that whilst some might think there is a loophole, no commercial supplier has tried to exploit this loophole. This either means that Commercial suppliers have not given any such loophole thought, have thought about it but decided that it is not in the spirit and intent of the rules or have tried it and been unconvinced by any benefit, all good stuff however once the seed has been planted with a loophole as in this case you can bet your bottom dollar that suppliers will try their upmost to gain an advantage, nothing new there, therefore moving forwards doing nothing is probably not an option. 2 Change The Class Rules to preserve the intent and spirit of the current class rules, This is exactly what should be happening, measuring thickness is commonplace in many full sized one design classes, is it difficult? No, bearing in mind measurer's for full size classes will be measuring ply thickness from light weight nylons, woven polyester & paneled laminates, i'd suggest measuring ply thickness for RC classes is going to be easier than full size classes, this would need to be worked in conjunction with Primary and secondary reinforcement size, with thought and discussion with commercial suppliers to find common ground as to current materials in use and a workable rule moving forwards. From my understanding after discussion with five RM measurers you require a PHD to navigate the RM measurement spreadsheets so measuring ply thickness should be a walk in the park. 3 Do what you (that is Robert Grubisa/IRSA TC) propose, If you follow Formula 1 i'd use this scenario as like using a new version of car, everybody hopes it has a beneficial affect, evens the playing field, makes measurement easier, better following, for fans etc.... The reality has always proven to be the polar opposite, one constructor gets it spot on whilst the rest of the field plays catch up! Graham mentions lifting restrictions would bring the RM in line with the 10r, funnily enough the use of full length battens in a 10r mainsail was not used as an example however seems commonplace on smaller rigs with a pocket luff, those full length battens are obviously there for a reason! Therefore it would be naive to suggest loosening the rules would have little affect on performance. In fact, if you were to use full length battens i'd suggest the sail body can be of lighter material(s) leading to obvious gains. Summary The loosening of class rules to allow full length battens or more battens will lead to development, unfortunately development will cost class skippers money, an arms race where there has been continuity. That would seem a complete nonsense to me where class rules can be changed to preserve the current intent.
  6. Michael, lets start with your prebend question. Could you get away with no prebend? possibly in a Zephyr, anything above that would simply not work. There would be insufficient tension on both the forestay and jib boom topping lift allowing the jib boom to rise uncontrollably, causing excessive weather helm, that won't be quick! I notice you are not a million miles from Catsails so i'd suggest that possibly the best course of action might be to contact Nigel and ask nicely if he could add prebend to a tube, when Covid restrictions allow. With regards Richards post, if you are using a genuine french PG mast and it is prebent correctly the prebend will not flatten off over time. Prebend will flatten out on the sails etc and similar tubes which are softer however they are easier to bend in the first instance! As mentioned it is tricky to add pre bend to PG tubes, they are not soft, therefore don't flatten out with age. If you venture to the top of a IOM fleet anywhere in the world, PG masts are used for a reason, if bent and built correctly they last a long time, they recover quickly from any side bend offering good gust response. With regards to Carbon spars, you can buy cheap carbon tubes however we all know that if the class were to move to Carbon we'd all end up using expensive high modulus sections. Many would argue that IOM's are expensive enough without adding high modulus carbon tubes to the list. Secondly, it wouldn't end at Carbon masts, all experienced IOM designers will design a boat around a set of parameters, mast stiffness will reflect hull design, foil design and placement and rig placement, IMHO to change to Carbon would completely open the floodgates to a generation of completely different hull designs, more cost. Finally, sails have to compliment the mast, a carbon mast will have very different bend characteristics, therefore the distribution of both luff curve and camber for the mainsail would change, the cut of the jib would also change as rig tension would be different. Unfortunately its never as easy as changing the material of the spars! There are some great tips and webinar videos updated most days at present on the BG sails and design website that i'm sure would be very useful for anyone looking to update rigs or update an older design. http://www.bgsailsanddesign.com/toptips.html
  7. Hi Ian, with regards to the Bantock method that will work with Sailsetc tubes which are softer than the French PG tubes. French tubes are best bent with a mast bending tool. Sailsetc now produce a full and short kit https://www.sailsetc2.com/index.php/products-a-spotlight/mast-bending-tool.html For those that have bent masts over the years they will know it's not as straight forward as it looks. Each tube will bend slightly differently this will very much depend on whether it was extruded at the beginning, middle or the end of the extrusion cycle. Therefore you would normally weigh the tube prior to bending to ascertain the amount of alloy content, a heavier tube would require slightly less bend to achieve the same results. The Long and short of this being that there is plenty to learn before you'll work out what works for you. If you are only bending a couple of rigs to replace masts i'd suggest you are best speaking with David Potter, or in the case of the Britpop, Robot Yachts or BG, it will save you money in the long term. If however you fancy learning a new art probably best to source plenty of PG tubes and start the learning experience. Please see image of my bending tool which is a modified Sails etc kit and works well.
  8. Bearing in mind the very close result at the IOMICA AGM of hull materials specifically around 3D printing Graham Elliott has started a thread on the IOMICA forum which can be found here: http://www.iomclass.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1923 There is no doubt a willingness to embrace the latest technology, and the thread has been set up to look at the materials and the wording of the rules moving forwards with a rule change. If you have 3D printed a boat, have specific technical knowledge or just have an interest in the future of the IOM class, it's time to share your opinion.
  9. Change of ownership is undertaken by the class registrar. All registrar details can be found in the 2020 MYA yearbook pages 48-49 and in the MYA members area under officer contacts. I'm not sure about other classes but the IOM class registrar details are not listed on the GBR IOM website due to data protection of our registrar.
  10. Hi Paul, hopefully it materialises sooner rather than later, as for a Fractal I've only ever sailed against Graham Bantock or other very good skippers that have been sailing it. So, very difficult to make any informed comment as to how good the design is compared to the Asbo. Familiarity with any design and time on the water is key, further enforcement of this can be found by looking at the Birkenhead Winter series results http://birkenheadrspc.co.uk/2018/01/14/iom-2017-18-winter-series-3/ namely Graham Elliott finishing second to Rob Walsh with a ten year old Widget! If you get really stuck on design selection by all means send me a mail and i'll try my best to help further. Gav.
  11. Paul, what depth of water is the boat in? If it was me i'd probably try and see whether it can be salvaged either by getting a diver or by grapnel hook. if you can raise it the cost of electrics, new sails and a rig is a far cheaper option than buying another boat.
  12. There is a push to run SHRS by a few IOMICA member nations. When this motion was voted on initially HMS vs SHRS two years ago the vote to retain HMS was unanimous. Earlier this year a different motion to offer alternative tested systems was adopted. A few on the IOMICA forum are now suggesting that SHRS should now be used at major events. For those unaware SHRS uses rounds of seeding races for up to 80% of an event and then fixed fleets i.e. gold, silver, bronze etc. In essence doing away with a promotion system used first off by EORS and then by HMS. Recent GBR voting to the IOMICA motions suggests we would prefer to use the tried and tested HMS and not to use a untested elite system. The most alarming point would be that SHRS has not been thoroughly tested. To our knowledge it has not been used in more than two fleets! The IOMICA forum has been stagnant for a while, however it is important that GBR IOM class skippers have their say. More info can be found http://www.iomclass.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=8&p=11754&sid=f26b3f33396f05197d3ba71e2e664134#p11754
  13. The GBR IOM Registrar Nick Cowern will be taking a well deserved break and will be out of contact over the following dates: June 16th to 3rd July & July 16th to 30th July. If you require a hull number or certificate please bear in mind that you will not get a reply from Nick whilst he is enjoining some R&R.
  14. John, If you need any advice when buying a used boat by all means give me a call on 07885526408 or send me a pm. There will be a guide to buying a used IOM on the GBR IOM website in due course, however if anyone requires any assistance prior to this going online, don't hesitate to get in touch.
  15. Not sure on the growth of the DF boats, whilst popular there are very few down here in the SW with no District series. It would seem they are popular but only in pockets of the country and do not hold nationwide appeal or a proper regional series. Whilst I can understand a new Spangly DF might seem attractive it will not provide the skills required to make the step to the IOM easier. As the IOM has a heavier ballast and taller rigs the boat will handle differently. Combine that with rigs that have been developed over the years with pre bend and proper seamed sails learning to trim correctly is more advanced than the soft carbon masts and flat sails found on DF boats. Don't be fooled that point of sale cost offers value for money, it doesn't. Whilst an IOM might cost a little more depreciation on a used boat if looked after is minimal, so when coming to upgrade getting your money back is not an issue. Combine the above with the opportunity to sail an IOM at club, district and national level and actually use the boat the IOM offers fantastic value for money. Whilst we all look to fast track our way up the fleet there is no golden bullet, time with the boat learning how to properly trim rigs and sails can only be learnt sailing that class of boat, if the design is a little older it really does not matter, the skill set learned is the most important thing. We all have to to start somewhere and having been in the fleet now for 4-5 years i only wish I'd attended a ranking event earlier, with the top guys on hand to offer advice and show how a boat is properly trimmed without any doubt the best way to fast track the learning process. The social is pretty good as well By all means ask away at the IOM worlds, i'm sure the majority of the worlds best skippers will further emphasise the points already made.
  16. Further to my post earlier today, please see a post below by Brad on a different thread on starting out in the class and sport. It made sense to re-post on this thread as offers some sound advice to newcomers.
  17. A very good question, I can understand the quandary to a newcomer to our sport. As I own a design other than a Britpop I can happily say you don't need a Britpop to finish at or near the top at a ranking or National championship. Would I of finished higher than my 8th position @ the 2016 nationals if i'd been sailing a Britpop? No! quite simply i was beaten by better skippers, hull design had nothing to do with it, I'm sure if you were to ask Graham Bantock he would give a similar answer. Will there be a design breakthrough? Very unlikely at present, if you are to look at the history of the class it would seem that approx every 10-15 years a new breakthrough comes to the fore, there is no sign of this at present and many of the current crop of top designs will be competitive for many years. All of the Britpop's at the front of the fleet are using standard foils and are all built to strict tolerances, quite simply there is no difference in the hulls. The rigs would most likely be built to BG's rig guide albeit with the owner building them, so have the Britpop's been heavily modified, NO. So what does the IOM offer beyond a DF 95? Class racing at hundreds of UK clubs, all UK districts, national and international level. Diversity within the fleet, don't forget Brad Gibson's POP is a home built boat! The IOM also gives the opportunity to sail against the best in the business. Is there a reason that the likes of Brad Gibson, Rob Walsh, Martin Roberts and Colin Goodman and many others don't sail a DF95? Yes, there is simply not the level of competition within the DF95 fleet and for that reason many of the top DF 95 skippers sail at IOM district, ranking and national championship to test themselves. If you do have any questions, or need any help to find a boat or club feel free to reply or send me a private message.
  18. Kieran, take a look at the IOM Gear guide from last years nationals https://gbriom.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/gear-guide-2016.pdf The PG mast is the current fashion and can be sourced from CM Yachts or Dave Potter It is worth asking the designer of your IOM for the recommended pre bend curve which is as important as the mast material. The PG mast can be tricky to prebend and i'm sure if you ask CM yachts or Dave Potter they could also pre bend a PG mast for a small fee.
  19. A gear guide Compiled by Victoria Gibson after surveying the whole fleet during the 2016 IOM nationals can be found on the GBR IOM website, thanks Victoria. https://gbriom.wordpress.com/ Whilst you are visiting the GBR IOM class website why not sign up to get all of the latest news via email? Details on how to do so are here https://gbriom.wordpress.com/2017/01/19/iom-gbr-sign-up-for-news/
  20. John, the structure of the MYA is a bit off topic and i'd suggest it is best discussed in its own thread, why don't you start one in general discussion? Can we get back to Darin's original post
  21. Derek I'm saddened to read that you think a RM or IOM NCA would be interested in suppressing the national classes, that clearly would not be the case. Surely its in everyones interest to keep this pathway open? John, I think standalone class associations clearly means separate to the MYA, logic would suggest that the MYA would be responsible for promoting the sport and some technical areas for non international classes, so basically the radio sailing or free sailing version of the RYA. As Graham mentioned some of the ranking races over the last couple of years have been criticised by the skippers competing for various reasons. If we have active skippers willing to take the burden from the MYA whats the issue? By thinking progressively and a willingness to change, standalone class associations might be able to give the sport and class fresh impetus to move forward. Or we can carry on as is, Is there really a decision to be made? My two pennies worth, surely we have more skippers out there with an opinion?
  22. Terry, a slight pin end bias is normally preferred in full size for a couple of reasons. 1) Some competitors are incapable of working out any minor bias and will start at the windward end regardless. 2) On a square line boats starting at the windward end have a starboard tack advantage, depending on line length, bias to the pin starts to negate this. 3) For full size the windward end is normally occupied by a committee boat, if the line is square or has any windward bias, being on the committee boat can be like taking your life in your hands, i have witnessed committee boats being holed on three separate occasions by barging boats getting it wrong! The actual amount of bias required to give a fair start really depends on the length of line and other factors, at some of our venues we are constrained in certain wind directions and obviously these factors need to be taken into account. I haven't acted as a PRO at a ranking or national event, all i can say is that start line length at the 2014 IOM nationals and 2015 IOM Northern district ranking seemed as good as you could get in at times tricky conditions. Hopefully either Chris Harris or Peter Stollery could advise further on what has worked for them.
  23. Malcolm if you download the ISAF case law http://www.sailing.org/documents/caseandcall/case-book.php and read case 25 that should answer your question. Failing that John Ball will see this thread at some point and give his experienced opinion.
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