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New Hornet Builder !!!

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Harry Ashworth View Drop Down
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Joined: 01 June 2004
Location: wolverhampton
Status: Offline
Points: 735
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Harry Ashworth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 April 2007 at 03:52
Hi - am reading this in Perth W.A - v.little time  to respond and no diary - will post on my return this weekend
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stevec View Drop Down

Joined: 09 December 2004
Status: Offline
Points: 83
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stevec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 April 2007 at 15:01

At the risk of upsetting folks with my 2-penn'orth, I thought I would add a few(!) comments.

I applaud all that has been said above re the marketing efforts, and could I also suggest one or two contentious extras - remove the requirement for at least one member of the crew to be a member of the association at open meetings and only have one crew member for the nationals, to encourage outsiders to have a go and experience the thrills of buzzing.

As far as thinking about any new boat is concerned, I would compare other classes that have gone through the same process. I've been considering a single-hander to fill in between Horneting, and for winter sailing, and short-listed the OK, Solo and, reluctantly, the Laser.

While the OK has most appeal on technical and aesthetic grounds, the class is not very widespread, being mainly in the southeast(which is OK for me!), but there are very few boats available second-hand for entry into the class. I think this is due to stagnation in development of the hull as they seem to be copies of copies(sic) of shapes from the '80s and '90s and only the materials seem to have changed with the introduction of carbon and epoxy. Most change has occurred in the rig with carbon masts, so owners have kept the hull and just upgraded the rig.

The Solo has recently undergone a rebirth, with several new boats in the last 2-3 years from Speed and Winder using epoxy, and in older years the mast section was derestricted from the old Proctor C to allow a wider range of helm weights to be competitive. The new boats proved sufficiently better to offer hope to the second tier of competitors to jump to the front of the class but not too much of a difference that a well-sailed woodie would be just as good (and look so much better). This generated a better used boat market and the class growth has been one of the best in the UK over the last few seasons.

Contrast this with the Phantom where the introduction of the epoxy version and the permission for carbon rigs immediately outclassed all previous versions, much like the Goodwin in our class. I don't want to talk about the Laser!

While we would not want a step-change again, we must try to make a new version of the Hornet sufficiently attractive to existing members and new blood hoping to hit the front of the fleet running, to encourage a better second-hand starter boat market.

As we have no builder prepared to make in wood, new boats would be in FRP but they must be capable of improvement/development from the start, so for instance having the ability to have higher rig loads, a wide centreboard case with the ability to insert a liner if a thinner board is preferred, and the facility to move the c/b pivot position easily, a layout that allows individual choice in running control systems and the ability to fit cleats/blocks without worrying about not having a hatch near to be able to reinforce the skin, to think of a few areas.

What about going further in the removal of development restrictions in the rig, to permit movable shrouds, mylar laminated sailcloth as it's now as cheap as dacron, even - shock, horror, carbon masts!

This would allow the boat to become more competitive in mixed-fleet regattas and gain recognition. To grab the new entrants to sailing, and possibly offer something different to the sailing school market, a builder should be able to offer a basic starter boat with non-ball blocks, basic fittings - fixed fairleads etc, to keep the initial cost down(that's the only way I was able to buy a Javelin when they first came out) and then have suggested improvement packs to upgrade as an oem or aftermarket sale, as Laser have done with their XD packs.

I'm sorry if this sounds like a tirade against the current rules and restrictions - it certainly isn't meant as such, but I think the class could do with some freedom to manoeuvre and give itself some headlines in the press, which could also create demand for new boats, as happened in Int 14s and 18" skiffs, and moths to a lesser degree.

Whatever happens, keep buzzin!

more power, more prizes!
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Bovver boots View Drop Down

Joined: 10 July 2006
Status: Offline
Points: 80
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bovver boots Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 April 2007 at 20:31

Well said. some really good points made and I think we will need to take some of your suggestions seriously if we are to progress as a class.


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Sven View Drop Down

Joined: 18 February 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 30
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sven Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2007 at 17:55

Has anymore news come to light on the new builder?

Steve (2047)  


'Slippery When Wet' 2047

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