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Difficulty in measuring!

Michael Thomas

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I own an older Starker's Marblehead and unfortunately the previous owner to me did not update the class registration measurement certificate when he acquired the boat.

Therefore in compliance with the class rules I technically need the boat to be re-measured before I can sail her in competition, even at club level.

I have only made some small  improvements including a new bulb to the fin and a new A Swing rig which is the same size as the original, everything else including the rig and sails is as was when the boat was originally measured.

I found a measurer, the closest to where I live albeit 30 miles away and arranged to have him re-measure the boat.

It was obvious that he hadn’t measured a Marblehead for some time, hardly surprising as many of the club’s that previously sailed them including his own no longer did.

What was painfully obvious was that the measurement forms for the class has been updated over the years to a point where unless you hold a B-tec in computer science, to the ordinary layman they are totally incomprehensible. The chap did his best and I phoned Martin Roberts for some guidance while I was there. Unfortunately although Martin gave some advice it was not until I got home and phoned David Creed that I realised what had been done was not what was required as the on line forms had not been completed and I and the measurer had wasted about 3 hours of our time each and a 60 mile round trip.

There is no guidance on the web site about how to edit and complete the forms and the demo form makes it all the more confusing.

The class registrar is not available to answer any queries on the phone while the procedure is being completed.

Most radio sailors are getting on in years and are not fully computer literate. It is not acceptable to have a system where the measurer has to complete an online form without some guidance of what is required and how to do it.

The Marblehead class has shrunk in recent years and this does nothing to encourage sailors to join the class and have their boats measured and take part in competition.

A good example of a simple measurement form can be found on the American One Meter class website. The old adage of Keep it Simple needs to be adopted here!

Apparently I am not the only Marblehead owner who has struggled with this.

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Hi Michael,

The MYA is trying to address this issue of measurers and training, however,it is the measurers responsibility to stay current but it was brought to the councils attention by the registrars who were being presented with information that was incorrect or poorly presented that this is not happening in all classes, it was agreed that this was for a number of reasons and that the existing system had no formal provision within its processes to either gauge a measurers level of on going competency, or to offer retraining.

The TO is trying to address this but with Covid restrictions the work has been delayed.

Within the Members area you can find the list of measurers for each class, and if you have any concerns it may be worth contacting the registrar to find out who they would recommend.

BTW I am not a measurer, but I would expect that if I was to undertake a task that I hadn't done for a while I would prepare with a "run through" prior to the task. if a measurer is not sure of all the details he can contact the MYA TO for assistance, but they must be given chance to consider the questions.




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Hi Michael

Totally understand your words above, and it's been echoed by others many times.
As Darin states above the TO is in the midst of addressing the measurers ability - will result in fewer measures but hopefully fully trained. Side effect for most owners is that they will have to travel further and cost substantially more than it does currently to get their pride and joy measured.

I don't know where you live but taking a guess somewhere close to Liverpool/Manchester. I live in Huddersfield and as the the Northern District measurer I'd willingly meet you half way, take your boat and rigs away to measure and meat up a few days later to pass back to you.



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  • 3 months later...
  • 1 month later...

Please bear with me while I continue this thread.

I have been given some Marblehead sails which I wish to check measure the sq. area before I visit a measurer for certification. 

I have now digested the information on the Marblehead sail measurement form and am happy that I can enter the relevant information to check the sails are compliant. However there is no information on how to find the 1/4 measurement points. I did briefly speak with a measurer and the below is I think what he told me but I need confirmation. The sails are standard luff with luff rings.

Measure the Luff perpendicular by taking a measurement from the luff at 90 deg. to intersect the point of the clew.

To find the 1/4 points. Take a datum line from the hoist side of the head of the sail to the clew. Divide this measurement into 4 equal parts and mark this point on the datum line.

To identify the measurement point, take a line at 90 deg. from the luff to intersect the datum points to the leech. This will give the 1/4 1/2 3/4 measurements.

Is this correct?

Thanks Michael.

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Hi Michael,

Definitions on how to find girth points and measure cross widths can be found in the World Sailing - Equipment rules of Sailing. https://www.sailing.org/tools/documents/EquipmentRulesofSailing20212024-[26661].pdf

Look for

G.5.1, G.5.2 and G.5.3

then go to 

G.7.4 (a), G.7.5(a) and G.7.6(a)

Don’t get lost in there as nothing sucks the fun from sailing quicker than a walking rules encyclopaedia 😉



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Your method sounds right but it is easy to check if you have got them right.  The straight line distances from the half height point to the head and clew should be the same similarly the distances between the 1/4 point and the head and 1/2 point. Ditto 3/4 point and 1/2 height / clew.  The 1992 version of the rules had a useful diagram.

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