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New transom design

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Harry Ashworth View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Harry Ashworth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 April 2008 at 13:09

Tom, correct, re sheerline. Bas Edmonds at RYA says they are content to let us administer our own affairs, however I am concerned not to set any apparently binding precedent here.

The present circumstances are unusual - Ivor has come along as a White Knight, has built boats which buyers have committed to - BUT any future changes MUST be considered BEFORE implementation on receipt of detailed advice as to the rules then applying.

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Eric Marchbanks View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Eric Marchbanks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 April 2008 at 14:32

The class has been fortunate in securing another builder for GRP Hornets in Devon Boats in Association with Ivor Woodland.

Firstly, the committee would like to thank Ivor for the time and effort he has put into producing these new boats.

To explain fully the situation:

The hull and deck moulds belonging to our class Association (of which we are all part) were collected from Dave Edge who built the last glass Hornet and taken to the workshop of Devon Boats (in Somerset)

These were assessed and a new hull was produced as a prototype from that mould.

Devon Boats have some expertise in building boats including producing for RS and they assessed the existing deck mould and saw its complications and condition. They reported back that a new deck mould was needed for them to be able to produce competitively priced Hornets (this still leaves the original Speeds deck mould free should anyone want to build from that in the future). They started building this using Ivor’s financing and a lot of time an effort for free, when they ran out of funds, they approached the committee and asked the committee for a cash injection – in return the committee would own the new deck mould.

It was decided rather than have moulds part owned by a builder and part owned by the association that the Hornet association would invest in the new deck mould and for a very modest fee we secured that. The Association (i.e. us all) own the moulds from which the new prototypes were to be built.

After the first prototype was produced I viewed the product down in Devon and when asked my opinion commented that the front was good but to be truthful the transom was a “dog’s dinner”. It looked awful - probably it looked worse from standing beside it than the photos you may have seen depicted.

Ivor explained that they didn’t like it and were going to alter the transom anyway–  a later telephone conversation noted that they would be sloping it – I queried at the time as to whether this would measure and was informed that they thought it would.

 

Devon boats then built another new prototype incorporating the sloping aft topside and cut away transom as displayed at the dinghy exhibition. Certainly most people seemed to be impressed by the styling and the build quality.

The general view point from the Committee and others is that the new styling will not affect performance, but will need a rule change to the aft stations and this will need to be ratified by an EGM or at the AGM for the boats to become Hornets

 

In the mean time, subject to any of those boats having had their building fee paid to the RYA and thereby been given a sail number by the RYA (which has to be etched into the transom) and subject to those boats meeting all other measurement criteria including being weighed, then these boats will be allowed to race until any EGM or AGM. Assuming the necessary rule change be ratified, then an extension to that allowance will be made until the RYA gives its final approval.

 

The Committee notes that the Class desperately needs new boats and a new builder and is 100% behind the need for this all to go ahead smoothly, if anything we have a super product, but the situation has not been handled well – indeed Ivor in his efforts to promote the fleet probably has overshot the mark by producing production boats early and the committee has been rather slow and unwieldy in responding -products of both sides wanting to do the best for the class. This indeed would be best not discussed with Yachting press as that would be detrimental to the class.

 

Above all, remember that the moulds are the assets of your class association, it will be likely that the class cannot afford finance to alter them again and I know Ivor has invested all his savings along with free time from both Devon boats and himself and has run out of time and funds to give freely. The whole idea of Ivor’s crusade was to produce cheap hulls so that people could cheaply upgrade from their old rotting timber hulls – there hasn’t been a plan to force the design down the associations throat and in owning the moulds the association can effectively control any further developments in the future. This modification effectively takes the Hornet into the next decade and whilst things haven’t been as open as they might have been, it has been done with the best intentions – No one will make a fortune from building Hornets and Ivor really is unlikely to see any return on his investment.

The committee is in no doubt that this is the way forward, and notice of EGM or AGM will be posted shortly to resolve the issue. However, now is a good time to air your views on the forum

Best Regards

Eric Marchbanks

Hornet 2178
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Brett View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Brett Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 April 2008 at 12:58

Would the boat not measure if a simple beam (aluminium) was added across the stern to create the reference point?

The dutch boat has an open transom and a batten across the stern.

Brett

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tom Guy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 April 2008 at 13:03
Originally posted by Brett Brett wrote:

Would the boat not measure if a simple beam (aluminium) was added across the stern to create the reference point?

The dutch boat has an open transom and a batten across the stern.

Brett

Nice idea but the Dutch boat actually has some wood at the right height to sit the batten. The new boat is missing this as the side deck is sloped (pictures would easier!)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tom Guy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 April 2008 at 13:21
Originally posted by Harry Ashworth Harry Ashworth wrote:

the new owners need to pay the building fee to be allocated sail numbers, and, have their boats measured and weighed, expecting them to "not measure" in respect of the transom only. I dont know whether Ivor is handing over partly completed measurement forms, I am aware that measurement, I assume formal, has been carried out in Devon. Dispensation will not apply otherwise . It will not be possible to avoid hull measurement simply because a boat has been supplied by Ivor.

I

I understand the dispensation regarding the transom, but this statement implies that it only applies if the boats are formally measured and weighed (with the owner expecting a non-compliance for the transom). Have, for example, all the boats at Maldon this weekend be formally measured and weighed? If not, the dispensation does not apply.

It might seem a point of order, but this dispensation is also applicable at clubs who have strict rules regarding compliance with class rules. If you don't stick to this principle you can have boats which may for example be sailing underweight  or using illegal class logos on their sails.....

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Brett Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 April 2008 at 13:39

I bow to Tom's superior understanding of the detail, but surely something could be fabricated to drop into the stern to create a measurement point.

No question it would be easier to understand for all of us with some photos and or drawings. 

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Harry Ashworth View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Harry Ashworth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 April 2008 at 13:42
"Dispensation will not apply otherwise" -no implication at all, what I said was serious, an absolute requirement. Of course it will be a matter for Maldon, or any other club for that matter, to consider any boat being allowed to race
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Eric Marchbanks View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Eric Marchbanks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 April 2008 at 15:57

I have now spoken in depth with a number of people regarding this issue.

The main problem is the fact that Ivor has been premature in pushing this project forward to building boats for sale - before evaluating the project, although my understanding is that the boat has appeared at several clubs and in the main people have liked what they saw.

I suspect he has been pushing this hard because he has spent a lot of his own money (and time) making the moulds which he has sold to the association at a loss with a view to promoting the class. I am also sure that had there been time for discussion I think most people would have had a lot better feeling for the project. In Ivor’s defence, I think he probably needed to sell a few to try and mitigate the financial implications – probably in the same set of parameters most of us would have reacted the same way.

I don't think we should loose sight of the fact that this isn't a money making venture for either Ivor nor for Devon Boats.

I also think that they were given some very good feedback about the boat from a lot of different places and people – both in and out of the class. So as I see it the main problem is that it has been pushed forward rather than going through correct procedures. They are not going to be making heaps of money on this venture & I understand that the boat is not thought to be any quicker than a good wooden boat which is a good situation as you could get a builder as with Wayfarers etc that wants to blast everything else out of the water with his new product – not good.

I understand that quite a lot of people within the fleet also thought the boat as produced looked sleek and modern, so the class really needs to decide whether it wants new boats or not, and if the answer is yes, is what has been turned out actually going to be detrimental to the class and/or if we bin the design, can the association afford to pay for the moulds to be altered again as I understand the builder can't afford to do that for free to the moulds that are owned by all of us and finally if we say we want it altered back, will adding on bits as suggested to the existing boats produced be detrimental to its looks and therefore stop it from selling and might that leave us with another builder walking away? If that happened I DON’T THINK WE WOULD EVER GET ANOTHER BUILDER – Ages back the grp mould was left to rot, I took it to Speeds – Speeds lost money on every boat, it then went to Bobs – I believe his company folded trying to produce them – again no money to be made – Dave Edge piped up and said he could build them, then well only Martin’s and a year of hard work later and we still haven’t seen the product on the water. If we make this builder move on or go pop would you honestly see another builder taking over – I seriously doubt it. Think deeply about this and the implication of what that might do to the class.

At the moment we have a builder if we eventually pass the rule that enables this project to run as it stands we can show that we have built 6 or so boats in a year. When it comes to press releases showing new boats is better than stagnating as per the previous few years – perhaps new & younger faces will join the class – the design is aimed at that market and that’s really the right market to aim at. No new boat and the class stagnates and values of the boats drop - with a new boat available I would suggest that if yours is competitive it won't drop as much. 

However, neither should the stalwarts of the class that turn out year after year and have no intention of buying a new boat be forgotten. Without their backbone there is no class, but there has to be a compromise and I think those of us that are long in the teeth stalwarts need to help push he class forward for the next 10years

I will speak to Ivor regarding a drop on pod - actually a wing or bar off an upstand off the centre pod would make the measurement, it would have to drop down where the topside is missing and I would suggest would look awful, however it could fulfil the rule – then is it what you really want – suddenly we’ve gone from a sleek product to a bodge up – can’t really see that’s right or is it? 

Whilst no one wants a builder owning the class as per Wayfarer and others and no one wants radical alteration, we aren't talking anything here that could make the boat substantially faster. We all own the moulds (or at least those that have paid their annual subscriptions this year, so a Wayfarer situation where the new boats are trying to outclass the old boats cannot happen - the committee just needs to feel its way forward trying to keep everyone happy - inevitably in this instance there will be some from one or another standpoint that will be unhappy which is a pity, however we need to get it resolved.

Please remember we really are all on the same side, and I think that what Ivor did I he genuinely thinks as do quite a number of people in the class I have spoken to is for the betterment of the class as a whole 

  

Best Regards

Eric Marchbanks

Hornet 2178
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Simon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 April 2008 at 18:53
Surley adding 3 words to the rule (or projection thereof) would resolve this?  Its used extensively elsewhere in the rule book to cover situations like this.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Eric Marchbanks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 April 2008 at 11:18

Sorry another long screed;-

The problem can be come overcome by a rule change – that rule would need careful consideration so that should it be accepted by the association no one is able to blast a hole through it. I would agree that the RYA were wrong in their comment that you cannot use projections as our rules patently do allow it and it has been carried out elsewhere at least since Revolution days. In particular I believe that every Goodwin and every boat built off the Lovett frames could be argued to be out of class because the same method of extension has been used on the stem measurements to get the boats to measure - so there could be argument that there is precedent for allowing this, however that is not what the rules say at present.

 

With regard the possibility of a rule change, I believe that people are upset in this instance by the way the situation has been presented and handled and this needs to be addressed before an EGM or the AGM. Some people I have spoken to feel they are being bulldozed into accepting something that a builder wants rather than having the chance to discussing it first however, others seem quite happy with what’s been done. I do need to pint out that there was discussion at committee level, but with everyone spaced out across the country it has been difficult to totally keep abreast of everything that has gone on, also with the speed at which things have been produced - after all, we have been used to builders taking 18 months to build a boat and the Speeds deck moulds took similarly a long time to get underway in the same way (partly due to the complication of the moulding process and the parts needed to mould it), so the committee may have added to those negative feelings by being slow to release information. However, as noted before we all have other jobs to do and there are other issues that show why things progressed as they have, especially if you consider the financial implications - see my previous entry.

There was however a measurement form completed for the hull of the prototype of these new boats and I understand this was submitted by the measurer to the RYA - I have a copy of this. I also understand that all other hulls have been similarly measured and now measure except for the points measured by extension (leaving aside the stem).  

On that form it shows that initially the measurement stations of the transom were measured by extension by a noted on the bottom of the form which was dated 6th of February 2008. There was no indication from the RYA that this wasn't acceptable until Dave Chivers flagged this up as a problem at the Dinghy exhibition when the RYA was then re-approached. In the mean time, the builder had continued building - assuming there not to be a problem and wanting to move forward.

 

There could be all sorts of ramifications here, I know that neither the builder, the measurer, the RYA or ourselves want to be involved in such matters (even though our chairman is a feisty solicitor) and we all need to work together to solve the problem.

 

Questions to ask:

1/ Will this new hull out perform the existing - doubtful I certainly wouldn’t offer favourable odds on one winning the Championships if a similar jockey with the right wooden or composite boat entered.

2/ Does this look like a Hornet - well not entirely although a progression can be seen - this isn't the 1st space framed boat which is the immediately noticeable item and that is clearly within the current rules - the transom - yes that is different, but it is infinitely better than the original mock-up - yes it could be "bodged around" to meet current measurements, but does this actually achieve anything? It looks clean sweet and modern, but some have an argument that it isn’t a Hornet.

3/ what are the pros and cons for the fleet if we leave as is:

Cons:

(a) We mustn't alienate existing pro active sailors - without a fleet of existing boats there is no Hornet Fleet as such and we can’t afford to have any good solid members walk away from the class in disgust.

Pros:

(a) We don't have the hassle in arranging for the moulds to be altered again and possibly the cost

(b) We retain a builder who is keen to build the product and makes a reasonably good job at a cheap price

(c) there is a cheap option for a lot of members in the class to upgrade from their 25year old boats to a new hull maintaining their old rig - and this is possibly the most important aspect of the project – the builder is looking to sell hulls to upgrade the fleet rather than complete boats that only one or two have been able to afford from new. This has to be important because the supply of sound wooden boats is dwindling.

(d) We are able to show the fleet is growing - people with new boats have a feel good factor and will show them off attracting new members. New members means more at open events and championships which in turn means the hassle in trying to get championship venues becomes much easier for those involved with organising the events (which in itself is a thankless task) as clubs don't want to waste time on smaller classes. If we don't expand a bit we will inevitably end up having shared championships or even at worse join in as part of a club regatta.

(e) The boat is designed to attract youngsters - it looks "sexy" compared to the fireball which must still be our main rival for new boats.

 

I think in considering this, one needs to look at it as a progression rather than a blatant outright change - if you stand a classic hornet against a revolution hornet against the Speed design there has been a steady progression, just as say you stood an early Morgan car beside a new Morgan - however in both cases the pedigree is certain, neither would exist if they still marketed only the existing.

The pedigree of the new hornet still shows through.

We have had a period of stagnation with no new boats being sold (and no builder) which indicates that the product as was did not meet current market requirements, therefore a need for alteration may have been necessary to go forward. I myself would have liked to have seen composite boats but that's just one point of view and from one of the older members of the association, who has spent a lifetime working with wood.

 

There were problems and opinions with the Speeds and Bob's boats as well, but what would championship numbers have been if those boats hadn't been made, what will championship numbers be if we don't proceed. Difficult choice and balances have to be struck.

 

The other option seems to me is to stay as we are keeping to the bunch of people that sail at the moment and watch numbers gradually dwindle as people like me keel over

 

I have tried to maintain an impartial balance and I hope to see lots of constructive comments both ways so at least there is feedback.

 

Thanks 

 

 

Best Regards

Eric Marchbanks

Hornet 2178
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