Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 21 to 30 of 33

Thread: Power-Assisted Sailing - the Slippery Slope

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    3,132

    Default

    I disagree with your recharacterization of the issue (you like to do that). Most skippers (who currently race) are concerned with having a fair competition. We recognize this is PHRF with its issues, but skippers have agreed to race under this rating system and want to feel like the boats are reasonably rated against each other. So if a boat with powered sail handling systems is able to point higher, round the marks more crisply, etc. then a rating adjustment for those systems may be appropriate. If they merely allow a skipper to get back out there and keep racing, that doesn't take anything away from the rest of the skippers.

    Scott is willing to risk his own capital and has the skills to innovate in this area, enabling some to keep racing. You want to throw his efforts under the bus because it doesn't seem "enough like sailing a boat" to you?
    .
    Last edited by BobJ; 08-05-2020 at 10:02 AM.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Bodfish, CA
    Posts
    197

    Default

    Singlehanded sailing has been innovating for a half century or longer. Mechanical (winches etc) and electromechanical (autopilots etc) have been constantly changing. The physical capabilities of each skipper changes with time also. Usually, the non-skipper advantages come with trade offs. A bigger winch will allow easier trimming but the reefing and sail handling of a larger sail is a bigger challenge. A simple boat seldom fails, but complexity invites failure.

    I think an extreme advantage would garner attention and treated accordingly by the SSS governing body. I can only think of a few items in short handed sailing that have been banned outright (extreme length - Vendredi 13, and uranium keels with higher density).

    Adjustments by the SSS to this evolution of equipment seems to be working. Equipment that gets the skipper back to port safely is always a good thing.

    Is the fully electric boat a risk to other sailors? Is a fully electric boat a risk to it's skipper? Is a fully electric boat a good investment to winning races?

    But, most importantly, does a fully electric boat offend the other participants?

    I don't have a clue.

    Ants

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    3,132

    Default

    Ants, your comments prompt me to re-post Greg's quote of the organization's purpose:

    "The Singlehanded Sailing Society (SSS) was conceived to provide a forum where sailors and others interested in the sport of singlehanded sailing could share their ideas and experiences. It is the intent of the SSS to make it possible for such sailors to compete in seaworthy sailing vessels of various types and designs on a fair and equitable basis. The purpose of the races is to provide an organized arena in which ideas, equipment, designs, and vessels specifically created, built, modified, or equipped for long distance singlehanded racing may be tested and evaluated through friendly sportsmanlike competition. The development of personal skill in singlehanded sailing is encouraged through sailing events and seminars."

    I see a lot in there that encourages innovation. Brains over brawn.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    434

    Default

    I see a lot in there that encourages innovation. Brains over brawn.
    I do too..... but those boats should not be racing against boats that use manual power. Transpac has a first to finish (nearly always a power assist vessel) and the handicap Barn Door for manual power only boats. Everyone should be able to compete and I do see a division for such down the road. But where does the SSS want to draw the line now that we went from "some" power assist to full on only power assist?

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    397

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BobJ View Post
    I disagree with your recharacterization of the issue (you like to do that).
    I don't believe I recharacterized the issue. To paraphrase Greg's initial question is asking a response to whether or not the SSS should allow power-assisted boats to race, but if so should they be in their own division? How a particular boats places in a race has nothing to do with Greg's question.

    Quote Originally Posted by BobJ View Post
    We recognize this is PHRF with its issues...
    Does the PHRF committee adjust a boat's rating to factor in the perceived benefit of using power-assisted devices? I have no information on this.

    Quote Originally Posted by BobJ View Post
    If they merely allow a skipper to get back out there and keep racing, that doesn't take anything away from the rest of the skippers.
    When I am wearing myself out short-tacking up the Napa River or the City Front while the boat next to me is simply pushing buttons to do the same thing, then yes - the use of the powered winches on the boat next to me *is* taking away from my ability to compete with them.

    I don't want the discussion to be specific to any boat or person; the issue is broader than that. I like the idea of bringing in new ideas. In this case the new ideas could be set up in their own division if the SSS wants to allow the new ideas onto the race course.

    Quote Originally Posted by BobJ View Post
    What's the plan for when SSS has no more singlehanders? I'm starting to wonder if that's actually a goal of the current board.
    The Board can not control or mandate whether or not boat owners want to race singlehanded, doublehanded, or not at all. What the Board can do is set out the NOR, the SIs, and see who shows up. If people stop singlehanding then the SSS carries on with doublehanders - those are the people showing up. If you want to force singlehanded participation then drop the doublehanded divisions or limit the number of times in a year a particular boat may sail doublehanded; I think that would be a bad idea, as it's clear from the race participation that more people want to doublehand than singlehand. Whether or not others are singlehanding should have no impact on a skipper's decision to enter a race singlehanded, though it might.

    - rob

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    25

    Default

    I find PHRF very important, it reduces the influence of money in sailing and helps the better sailor, not the better boat, to win. Certain improvements carry a penalty, for example an aftermarket bowsprit.

    Is the mentioned standard that an alteration has to lead to better results to affect PHRF generally followed?

    While it is clear that some changes make a boat faster, I do not think that this improvement can be statistically proven in most cases, the numbers are too small and there are too many parameters. There are only very few boat types where you can compare 100+ race results with a smaller and 100 with a larger genoa, and correct for crew, wind, etc.

    On the other hand, some improvements obviously can make boats faster, even without bullet proof stats. So I would say the "improvement in race results" standard is too high and PHRF involves probably a lot of eyeballing, traditions and generalizations to determine how many seconds the penalty for that larger genoa is.

    In my view an electrical winch can have an obvious advantage in some (not all) situations, like tacking up the city front to Blackaller, especially when single-or double-handing. Like adding a bowsprit, like a larger genoa. The PHRF committee should try to find an appropriate penalty for this.

    Cheers

    Jan

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    3,132

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tiger beetle View Post
    Does the PHRF committee adjust a boat's rating to factor in the perceived benefit of using power-assisted devices?
    PHRF doesn't adjust ratings for perceived benefits, they adjust ratings for changes in observed performance. That's why to appeal a rating you submit race results. This is in their regulations.

    When I am wearing myself out short-tacking up the Napa River or the City Front while the boat next to me is simply pushing buttons to do the same thing, then yes - the use of the powered winches on the boat next to me *is* taking away from my ability to compete with them.
    How so? In both quotes above, you're hung up on how it looks to you rather than whether it's improving the boat's performance in a race.

    The Board can not control or mandate whether or not boat owners want to race singlehanded, doublehanded, or not at all. What the Board can do is set out the NOR, the SIs, and see who shows up. If people stop singlehanding then the SSS carries on with doublehanders - those are the people showing up. If you want to force singlehanded participation then drop the doublehanded divisions or limit the number of times in a year a particular boat may sail doublehanded; I think that would be a bad idea, as it's clear from the race participation that more people want to doublehand than singlehand. Whether or not others are singlehanding should have no impact on a skipper's decision to enter a race singlehanded, though it might.
    The SSS needs to decide if it will remember its roots and use creativity, education and innovation to enhance singlehanded sailing, or if it will focus on maximizing total race entries - mostly doublehanders in recent years. The board can tailor the club's program to encourage more singlehanders if it wants to. But one prominent SSS officer wrote to me that he wants the numbers and perceived success. That's not the club I joined and have supported over the years. Years ago there was probably an SSS article titled "Doublehanders - the Slippery Slope."
    .
    Last edited by BobJ; 08-05-2020 at 01:20 PM.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    250

    Default

    Bob

    "Make SSS great again"???

    Why do you think the club is not meeting its mission of: "use creativity, education and innovation to enhance singlehanded sailing". In any case this is a topic for its own separate thread.

    To keep the focus on this thread, two things are clear:

    - Rule 52 of the Racing Rules of Sailing disallow any non human powered support during racing, because it provides an advantage. I don't see any other reason for its existence otherwise. There is no question here, we don't need to debate this.

    - SSS has traditionally made narrow exceptions to that rule and other rules for the benefit of single handling, 1.c.i and 1.c.ii. I think there is no debate that those rule exceptions are both: (a) generally available to the broad SH community and (b) improves our collective ability to race the boats fairly and equitably.

    I think the topic for discussion in this thread is whether the current wording of 1.c.iii meets that bar, and if not should it be removed, reworded or put in an experimental class.

    I don't think the case has been made to broad community, at least the active one here, that 1.c.iii should stand as is, given its potential for abuse. Myself and others have made some proposals on this thread already that are inclusive in their goals, no need to repeat them here.

    I'm not on the board, so all I can do is provide my unsolicited input. But as the membership we are the ones that put people in the board, so if we are unhappy with it we know how to fix it....

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    7

    Default

    Regarding the progression of NOR Rule 1 c iii, I pulled up the oldest NOR I could find on jibeset : 2011. As you can see 1 c iii has been there since at least 2011.

    For 2020 we (the SSS Board) decided to rewrite the NOR to discourage the powered behavior, by requiring that the PHRF specifies allowable usage for the powered winches. This was based on a report of a young healthy sailor short-tacking SF using powered winches. If you're not racing you can use all the powered stuff you want. Once you are racing, and you want to use power winches, you now have to have the PHRF committee spell out what you can use for their rating. This was what we did to limit the use of powered winches, somewhat on the reasoning that the PHRF Committee will only give you one rating, so most likely the only person who would ask for this degraded rating would be an SSS-only racer, since other races don't allow powered winches. Any way, here's the cut/paste from over the years:

    2011 NOR 1 c iii: Powered winches, hydraulics, or furling devices – only on boats that have declared this information on their PHRF application and have been rated accordingly. This modifies RRS 52.

    Remains identical through 2019.

    2019 NOR 1 c iii: Powered winches, hydraulics, or furling devices – only on boats that have declared this information on their PHRF application and have been rated accordingly. This modifies RRS 52.

    2020 NOR 1 c iii (Jan 1, 2020): Powered winches, hydraulics, or furling devices – only on boats that have declared this information on their PHRF application and have received a PHRF rating that specifies allowable usage for the powered winches.

    2020 NOR 1 c iii (Posted around 1/30/2020 for Corinthian race) : Powered winches, hydraulics, or furling devices – only on boats that have declared this information on their PHRF application and have received a PHRF rating that specifies allowable usage for the powered winches. This modifies RRS 52.

    At some point prior to Jan 30 I noticed that 1 c iii left off "This modifies RRS 52" and so I added it back in, which is what's posted on the Corinthian jibeset page. Unfortunately there are other versions of the NOR out there that leave out "This modifies RRS 52" but all versions out there have the 2020 change shown above regarding specifying allowable usage.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    250

    Default

    Thanks for the history Jim.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joyride View Post
    Regarding the progression of NOR Rule 1 c iii, I pulled up the oldest NOR I could find on jibeset : 2011. As you can see 1 c iii has been there since at least 2011.

    For 2020 we (the SSS Board) decided to rewrite the NOR to discourage the powered behavior, by requiring that the PHRF specifies allowable usage for the powered winches. This was based on a report of a young healthy sailor short-tacking SF using powered winches. If you're not racing you can use all the powered stuff you want. Once you are racing, and you want to use power winches, you now have to have the PHRF committee spell out what you can use for their rating. This was what we did to limit the use of powered winches, somewhat on the reasoning that the PHRF Committee will only give you one rating, so most likely the only person who would ask for this degraded rating would be an SSS-only racer, since other races don't allow powered winches. Any way, here's the cut/paste from over the years:

    2011 NOR 1 c iii: Powered winches, hydraulics, or furling devices – only on boats that have declared this information on their PHRF application and have been rated accordingly. This modifies RRS 52.

    Remains identical through 2019.

    2019 NOR 1 c iii: Powered winches, hydraulics, or furling devices – only on boats that have declared this information on their PHRF application and have been rated accordingly. This modifies RRS 52.

    2020 NOR 1 c iii (Jan 1, 2020): Powered winches, hydraulics, or furling devices – only on boats that have declared this information on their PHRF application and have received a PHRF rating that specifies allowable usage for the powered winches.

    2020 NOR 1 c iii (Posted around 1/30/2020 for Corinthian race) : Powered winches, hydraulics, or furling devices – only on boats that have declared this information on their PHRF application and have received a PHRF rating that specifies allowable usage for the powered winches. This modifies RRS 52.

    At some point prior to Jan 30 I noticed that 1 c iii left off "This modifies RRS 52" and so I added it back in, which is what's posted on the Corinthian jibeset page. Unfortunately there are other versions of the NOR out there that leave out "This modifies RRS 52" but all versions out there have the 2020 change shown above regarding specifying allowable usage.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •