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Dacron Main #5477
05/30/08 05:32 PM
05/30/08 05:32 PM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 369
Rockwood, MI, USA
Russ Atkinson Offline OP
Senior Member
Russ Atkinson  Offline OP
Senior Member
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 369
Rockwood, MI, USA
Time to start the fireworks... I received the e-mail requesting me to update my Class association data and to become an active member by sending in $50.00 I responded with what is included below. I have since been contacted by Bill Kneller with a request that I present the issue to the forum. Here is my e-mail:
Thank you for the e-mail and for the tremendous web page that the organization has provided.
I have owned my J/30, Wildcat for 20+ years, having bought her new in 1986. While I have only praise for the boat, the web page, the forum, the work of the Association, etc., I will not be sending dues for active membership. It's neither the money nor the amount. Please know that it is my strong disagreement with the decision by the board to not allow current technology in main sail cloth that keeps me from active membership.
I live in Eastern Michigan and race PHRF on Lake Erie. This year we will sail with a new #1, new "A" sail, a 1 year old #2 and all purpose kite. The main is 3 years old and will be replaced at the end of this season. Aside from mainsail technology, the boat is otherwise raced in class configuration, is competitive and is a strong representative for showcasing J/30 performance. Given the reasonable cost of newer technology and our desire to race competitively, there will never be another Dacron sail on the boat.
As long as the board maintains its desire to live in the Stone Age, there is no incentive for me to pursue any participation in one design events, which is too bad because we really would like to come out to play.

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Re: Dacron Main #5478
06/01/08 10:42 AM
06/01/08 10:42 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 482
Chicago, Il. USA
D. Bartley Offline
Governor at Large
D. Bartley  Offline
Governor at Large
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 482
Chicago, Il. USA
Just some observations from sailing on Lake Michigan...

I race J/30 Class when I can (maybe once a year), and PHRF most of the time. So far, I haven't found that the class main has hurt us against other boats.

Two years ago we sailed the NOOD here in Chicago with a 14 boat PHRF section. J/30s were the slowest rated boat racing, including a brand new J/92S with a very good sailmaker. J/30s placed 1st and 2nd in section.

Last year we were again condemned to racing PHRF. This time the wind was light, and the 30s placed 7th and 8th. No difference in sail technology could have changed that outcome.

Our toughest competitor here is an S2 9.1. When we sail well, we beat them. When we don't, they beat us. Again, from what I can tell, a change to a high tech main wouldn't change that.

When I have priced new mains, the difference between a kevlar and a dacron main has been about 25%. For me that's significant (with a kid in college anyway)... and for no real difference in race results seems like the wrong place to spend my $.

Ullman sailmakers has done well in lots of different classes. In the Melges 24 class, they choose to construct dacron mains when they could use laminated sails. Technology is a good thing (I'm in computing), but just for the sake of technology seems to be unwise.

I do understand that having to buy 2 mains to be competitive is really expensive. I suggest however that the class main is perfectly fine, and perhaps more adjustable than a kevlar.

Anyway, my $.02


Dennis Bartley
Planxty, s/n 23994
hull 205
Re: Dacron Main #5479
06/01/08 04:43 PM
06/01/08 04:43 PM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 140
New Orleans, LA
Rambunctious Offline
Senior Member
Rambunctious  Offline
Senior Member
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 140
New Orleans, LA
Although, I am unopposed to retaining or changing the class rule, I understand your position. That said, I would still encourage you to contribute to the class. Your voice will speak louder as a member - if you believe that rule change is that important, then advocate for it.

It is important to keep in mind that the J/30 Class Association does more than simply make rules for One Design sailing. They keep the J/30 relevant as a class by organizing the annual Nationals, hosting this website (which is a tremendous resource for anyone that has an interest in the boat), encouraging local fleet activities, and providing a means to establish the class rules.

Without a National Class Association, there wouldn't be any rules to protest. If everyone abstains from membership because of a rule they (perhaps legitimately) disagree with, then there won't be a class or rules with which to disagree. We all benefit from the class whether we go to the Nationals or not; without it, we'll all have just another 25+ year old boat.

Surely that's reason enough to contribute?

Re: Dacron Main #5480
06/02/08 10:37 AM
06/02/08 10:37 AM
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 649
Marblehead, MA
dbows Offline
Senior Member
dbows  Offline
Senior Member
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 649
Marblehead, MA
At the Marblehead NOODs the J/30s had our own start and were scored under PHRF. My boat won 4 of 5 races and second in the one we did not win with a dacron main. The second boat had a very nice "high-tech" PHRF main.

David
#397


David Bows
Mallorca - Hull# 397
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Re: Dacron Main #5481
06/02/08 05:06 PM
06/02/08 05:06 PM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 369
Rockwood, MI, USA
Russ Atkinson Offline OP
Senior Member
Russ Atkinson  Offline OP
Senior Member
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 369
Rockwood, MI, USA
Thank you Dennis, David and Jason for your inputs. To those of you that have won with Dacron mains, congratulations. As Dennis indicated, winning a sailboat race is a function of a lot of variables including wind conditions, but also so is it a function of the level of competitors sailing skills, bottom condition, etc, etc along with sails and occcasionally some amount of luck.

When the class association changed the rules on head sails, did everyone run out and buy new high tech sails? Did everyone run out and buy a new carbon fiber tape drive, 3DL or some other wiz bang number 2 and number 3? I didn't! I still have my 22 year old original number 3 that we carry around on long distance races in the event that it blows hard enough that I need something small and reefable to put up - yes my #3 is reefable. I'll bet that if there are 200 boat owners in the association then there are at least 400 opinions on what head sails to buy. If there is such a strong opinion that a Dacron main is "good enough" or better, then why do you have a problem with me or others buying something besides Dacron. I learned long ago that products don't determine markets, markets dictate products. Won't the "market" determine what sails to buy? If I want to "blow" my money on a high tech main that apparently will bring no benifits, why should anyone care.

Re: Dacron Main #5482
06/03/08 11:37 AM
06/03/08 11:37 AM
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 649
Marblehead, MA
dbows Offline
Senior Member
dbows  Offline
Senior Member
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 649
Marblehead, MA
I think with current sail technology in regards to the J/30 mainsail there is almost no advantage with exotic materials. So one could argue that we should ease the restriction. However what happens if next year there is a breakthrough on mainsail technology but they are 10k a piece and anyone that has it will smoke people that do not. We have ruined the one design class racing. The spirit of the rule on mainsail cloth restrictions is - no arms races - and currently a well designed main of any material is going to make the boat go well so currently I do not think we have an arms race in the class and that is a very good thing.

Numerous other very large classes restrict to Dacron because of this very reason (J/24, J/105, Etchells, Sonars, etc.). It protects the class from technology out pacing the rules in an unfair way.

That being said I really do not have a problem with protecting the "spirit of the rule" and allowing other material as long as it protects from the "killer sail" showing up right before the North Americans.

It is a reality that most of us race PHRF and the occasional OD and if slight modifications to the rules increased OD participation then I think that is a postitive thing for the class.

David
#397


David Bows
Mallorca - Hull# 397
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Re: Dacron Main #5483
06/03/08 12:47 PM
06/03/08 12:47 PM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 450
Highland Park, NJ
Steve Buzbee Offline
Senior Member
Steve Buzbee  Offline
Senior Member
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 450
Highland Park, NJ
I really think the dacron mainrestriction is fine. I race in a very competitive PHRF fleet of J-29's, S-2 9.1's, Olson 911 and 30, Santana 30/30 as well as a few other J-30's. Most of the other boats have high tech sails all around, and I see no noticeable performance difference between us on that basis. Age of sails and boat weight vis a vis conditions are the key points (along w/ boat handling and tactics of course).

High tech jibs are much more useful because headsails have fewer possible adjustments to shape than mains-a jib that holds a proper foil through a broad range of wind conditions is very important. The main has multiple adjustments to tweak the shape in conjunction with pressure, so having low stretch material is far less critical.

I would encourage you to update headsails before worrying about a high tech main. And I know that I will do whatever I have to to keep in one design configuration-nothing is better than sailing at J-30 OD events!


Steve Buzbee
Blue Meanie J/30 #485
Re: Dacron Main #5484
06/22/08 08:35 PM
06/22/08 08:35 PM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 369
Rockwood, MI, USA
Russ Atkinson Offline OP
Senior Member
Russ Atkinson  Offline OP
Senior Member
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 369
Rockwood, MI, USA
Steve, FYI
Number 1 is new high tech Quantum 2008
Number 2 is new high tech Doyle 2007
Number 3 is original 22 year old
All purpose kite is new 2007
The "A" sail is new 2008
Main is late 2004 UK/Doyle Kevler w/Carbon fiber tapes
We are investing in our sail invnetory.

Also,
3 of the 4 acitve racing J-30's on Western Lake Erie all have non class mains. I don't know what is on the fourth

Just raced one of the other active J/30's in a 54 mile race. We beat him boat for boat by about 3 minues but he corrected over me (he carries a smaller head sail and rates 3 second higher).
Winds blew 15-20 all night, winds 25+ at the start, neither carried a number 1. Both boats had non class mains.
So much for one design.

If you want to attractthe active PHRF sailors to One design racing, I would suggest a change in the rule on the main.

Re: Dacron Main #5485
06/23/08 03:49 PM
06/23/08 03:49 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 128
Summit, NJ
Michael L Offline
Senior Member
Michael L  Offline
Senior Member
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 128
Summit, NJ
Quote
Originally posted by Steve Buzbee:
I'm with Russ. I'm a newcomer to the J/30 world and love the boat. I'll use it for family day sailing, Wednesday night club racing, and will (at first) bring up the rear in any OD events I can muster up a crew for. Most of my racing will be PHRF and it seems to me that the boat is hard to sail to its rating. Sure when Bengt gets into a groove with Fuzzy Wuzzy he'll win, but more often than not, the J/30s don't do so well in PHRF. If a better main could help nudge us up against the fleet - I say let's do it. Better PHRF results may attract more J/30s to the fleet, and maybe that would mean a OD class which seems to be what everyone wants...

I really think the dacron mainrestriction is fine. I race in a very competitive PHRF fleet of J-29's, S-2 9.1's, Olson 911 and 30, Santana 30/30 as well as a few other J-30's. Most of the other boats have high tech sails all around, and I see no noticeable performance difference between us on that basis. Age of sails and boat weight vis a vis conditions are the key points (along w/ boat handling and tactics of course).

High tech jibs are much more useful because headsails have fewer possible adjustments to shape than mains-a jib that holds a proper foil through a broad range of wind conditions is very important. The main has multiple adjustments to tweak the shape in conjunction with pressure, so having low stretch material is far less critical.

I would encourage you to update headsails before worrying about a high tech main. And I know that I will do whatever I have to to keep in one design configuration-nothing is better than sailing at J-30 OD events!


Michael
Re: Dacron Main #5486
06/23/08 04:39 PM
06/23/08 04:39 PM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 450
Highland Park, NJ
Steve Buzbee Offline
Senior Member
Steve Buzbee  Offline
Senior Member
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 450
Highland Park, NJ
I have to disagree again with Mike and Russ. I have had no major problems being competitive in PHRF-and I have a cabinet full of silver to show for it! Certainly we suffer when the wind goes light, but a kevlar main isn't the problem in those conditions-it's the basic weight of the boat. And I don't really understand the 54 mile race result Russ cites-as I read it, he was sailing with a hi tech main? I suspect the more likely culprit was 1) in heavy air, the rating advantage of carrying a smaller jib is huge-because no one uses the large OD jib that causes the tougher rating that we sail with and 2) In 25 plus, I would imagine that the #3 is in use-which in Russ's case is 22 years old! The test of the rating versus a boat sailing with a smaller headsail would be in light air, when the 163% can be used.

The problem with the 30 is light air performance, particularly downwind. This is why I have argued for years that the OD configuration should allow for a 1/2 oz chute. Almost every boat in our PHRF fleet uses the 1/2 oz up to about 15 knots-and they get noticeably more lift and power, and can sail deeper than we can in very light conditions. Being able to carry a 1/2 oz would be a much more helpful performance changer than would having a hi tech main, in my opinion.


Steve Buzbee
Blue Meanie J/30 #485
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