2 mainsails

flaming

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I've noticed recently that quite a few regattas are starting to use an SI that changes IRC rules, or OD rules, to state that a spare mainsail may be used during the regatta providing that it is carried aboard for the whole regatta. For example both Cowes and Dartmouth this year have that stipulation.

Does anyone know why? Seems to me that if you damaged your mainsail and couldn't repair it a request to the Jury to use a spare kept ashore would be granted, so this can only mean that they expect some boats to carry more than one mainsail and pick which to use on the day. The logical conclusion of that is people having light and heavy mains with different cuts, and those with only one main being uncompetitive.

That'll be great for keeping costs under control...
 

lw395

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Inshore mains with no reef points?

In the long run, many dinghy sailors keep costs down by keeping their 'best' main for nice weather and using an old one for windy days.
That way you don't devalue a new sail by 50% on the first day of a windy regatta.

If you want to control sail costs, look at the classes where only N sails are allowed every x years.
In those classes you really can't afford to shag a sail that you're going to be using for the next 2.95 years.....
So you use an old one if it's above F4.
 

flaming

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Inshore mains with no reef points?

In the long run, many dinghy sailors keep costs down by keeping their 'best' main for nice weather and using an old one for windy days.
That way you don't devalue a new sail by 50% on the first day of a windy regatta.

If you want to control sail costs, look at the classes where only N sails are allowed every x years.
In those classes you really can't afford to shag a sail that you're going to be using for the next 2.95 years.....
So you use an old one if it's above F4.

Appreciate that the intent may be to allow competitors to save their best main from a 30kt thrashing, but how soon before it's just the norm to have multiple mainsails? This is my 0-10 knot main, this is my 15 knot main, and this is my strong wind main. I just don't see it being a cost reducing measure in the long run, as it's just going to become necessary to have more sails. Then when your light main is up and a squall comes through, you can't just peel it like a jib, so that sail is now blown out - get another...
 

lw395

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Appreciate that the intent may be to allow competitors to save their best main from a 30kt thrashing, but how soon before it's just the norm to have multiple mainsails? This is my 0-10 knot main, this is my 15 knot main, and this is my strong wind main. I just don't see it being a cost reducing measure in the long run, as it's just going to become necessary to have more sails. Then when your light main is up and a squall comes through, you can't just peel it like a jib, so that sail is now blown out - get another...
I'm not sure there's anything new about multiple mainsails? Many yachts have had light wind mains, delivery mains and offshore mains in the past.
It's not a game for average earners is it?
Why look particularly at sails for cost reduction?
The biggest costs are probably depreciation and marinas for many people.
Short circuit racing is more sensitive to spending money than 'passage' offshore racing I suspect.

Personally I mostly race dinghies these days, but I would be reluctant to enter a long series that forced me to use my new(est) sails on a windy day.
I would guess that places like Dartmouth are wanting to attract yachts from afar, many of which will be carrying a delivery main as shoreside storage for such things is not trivial.

At the end of the day, as entrants we vote with our entries.
The flip side, is do you want to have an offshore capable boat and lose all the light-medium wind regattas to a boat that specialises?
 

Quandary

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Despite the strict one design rules both our Sigmas had 'cruising' mainsails and I think many others in the class had them too. On the 38 it was a much safer sail and could be gybed without risk of decapitation, they were used for delivery to events a a long way off like Cork week or Isora where many of the crew found an excuse to drive to the venue or for family cruising. We even had a clip on Furlex and a couple of roller reefing genoas.
But I agree that multiple racing sail combinations turn it into an arms race favouring the guys with the fat wallets.
 

Alan ashore

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I'm with Flaming in seeing this trend as a bad thing. In fact the wording of the Cowes rule (quoted below from the Notice of Race, I presume the SIs themselves are the same) makes it clear that the intention is nothing to do with the concept of a spare:
"IRC Rule 21.1.5(e) shall not apply. During the regatta,
boats may use up to two mainsails, changing from one to
the other without restriction, so long as both are carried
onboard while racing for the whole regatta. "

I believe that the long-standing mainsail rules in IRC and elsewhere have helped in cost control, and if this change is indeed a trend it really would price some people out of being competitive. Although I suspect there is more money in the sport now than there has ever been, there remains a strong "Corinthian" tradition and I've known many owners who have been successful on very limited budgets, but for them there's always a tipping point, a last straw if you will.

A.
 

lw395

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I suspect this is part of IRC evolving from the second-string rating system for cruisers it was conceived as, in the days of IOR, IMS and all that, to being the only show in town?

TBH in dinghy events, it's the cheapskates (like me!) putting up old sails on windy days, while the well funded hotshots will happily take a new sail out in anything. They'll have a new one for the winter series.
It would be interesting to know why this was changed, in the SI's, could it be there was widespread changing to old sails by the cheaper end of the fleet that they wanted to legitimise?
 
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I'm not sure there's anything new about multiple mainsails? Many yachts have had light wind mains, delivery mains and offshore mains in the past.
It's not a game for average earners is it?
Why look particularly at sails for cost reduction?
The biggest costs are probably depreciation and marinas for many people.
Short circuit racing is more sensitive to spending money than 'passage' offshore racing I suspect.

Personally I mostly race dinghies these days, but I would be reluctant to enter a long series that forced me to use my new(est) sails on a windy day.
I would guess that places like Dartmouth are wanting to attract yachts from afar, many of which will be carrying a delivery main as shoreside storage for such things is not trivial.

At the end of the day, as entrants we vote with our entries.
The flip side, is do you want to have an offshore capable boat and lose all the light-medium wind regattas to a boat that specialises?

Is that approach still as valid with modern o stretch sail fabrics. Sure you might want ( if you can affird) to have a different delivery sail to minimise wear and tear on a more exotic race sail but I would have thought that the old argument about shape and stretch was largely historic.

And I'm not sure about your marina / depreciation argument either. I dont have seperate race / non race sails but my boat maintenance costs at least match my marina costs. I think you are basing your ideas on Solent numbers and most of us dont sail from there.
 
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lw395

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Is that approach still as valid with modern o stretch sail fabrics. Sure you might want ( if you can affird) to have a different delivery sail to minimise wear and tear on a more exotic race sail but I would have thought that the old argument about shape and stretch was largely historic.

.....
Modern sails still wear out, and still wear out faster if you race with them on windy days.

Has anyone who does like this SI taken it up with the people who write the SI's or are they just mumbling on here?
 

flaming

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Has anyone who does like this SI taken it up with the people who write the SI's or are they just mumbling on here?

I'm planning to, but I just thought I'd check that there wasn't something obvious I hadn't thought of before I make a prat of myself!
 

savageseadog

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I'm planning to, but I just thought I'd check that there wasn't something obvious I hadn't thought of before I make a prat of myself!

A mainsail on a 38/40 ft (ours p15.5 / E5,5m) racing boat comes in to the tune of £6-8k depending on discounts and loft.

Ever tried using a older mainsail in heavy air, it's shite, if you can get it flat, sooner rather than later the bloody leech with blow out the Mylar or something will tare, normally when your trying to reef it... We do carry as well as our membrane a heavy weight Dacron, that's a flat as a board. But it weighs as much as twice that of the membrane.

If boats start carrying heavy weighted taffeta membranes as well as the standard stuff then that's not fair...
 
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