Brands of mainsheet blocks on Boom?

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by phish133, Feb 7, 2005.

  1. phish133

    phish133 Sunfish sailor

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    Question?
    What are the rules about the type of mainsheet blocks allowed on the boom?
    Do they need to be "original" equipment manufacturer (Racelite, etc...) or can Harken be used. I am getting conflicting info. and want to be sure before installation. Someone commented that Sunfish class had just, or was about to, allow the use of "third-party" (such as Harken, Ronstan, etc...) blocks.
    Thanks for any help,
    Phil
     
  2. jsdeimel

    jsdeimel Member

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    The sunfish rules state
    1.1 Unless specifically prohibited, any equipment that has ever been supplied by the Builder may be used on any boat.
    It looks like we need to find a list of all equipment that has ever been supplied with the boats. Old Geezer any help with this I'm not that old? :)
    BTW I think this thread may have been on the old board.
     
  3. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

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    Chances are that nobody has a list of every variety of boom block that was ever supplied by every manufacturer on every Sunfish made over 55 years. So if you find some old blocks that you want to use and some idiot challenges you, then you just say something like, "These were the blocks supplied by Alcort on boats built between October 1955 and August 1959. My grandmother sailed in the 1959 Nationals at Lake Whatsitooyer and these are from her boat that we found in her garage after she died last month." Then stroke the blocks affectionately and stifling a sob say, "I'm sailing this regatta in her memory."

    Of course if you try this trick with the lastest low friction, super lightweight, thin profile, asymmetric scuplted sideplate, Hardkote anodized, Torlon ball bearing, Teflon impregnated magic airblocks..... you are screwed.
     
  4. Tim Polaski

    Tim Polaski 79429

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  5. phish133

    phish133 Sunfish sailor

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    Thanks all for info.
    Strange as it seems, the Harken block actually costs a little less than the best "legal" alternatives.
     
  6. supercub

    supercub Member

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    Hello All,

    I check with Gail Turlock (USSCA Secretary) about the Boom Block situation and this is her reply:

    "Unless a change was approved at this past World's, only original supplied equipment can be used as boom blocks for boats that will be raced. I haven't received a report from the World's meetings yet. This has been a bone of contention for a number of years. US Sunfish Class keeps making a directive for its reps to make such as motion at the World Council but somehow it keeps getting stymied (this is not officially coming from me <grin>). We put more teeth into the directive this year, making it part of the US published minutes, with the intent that at least it would be voted on. Watch for the next issue of Windward Leg which should have the World Council and Advisor Council minutes which would provide the answer to the question. For this year.

    Thanks for checking. I hope we meet some day!"


    Per her reply, it looks like we will have to use the original blocks. If more of us contacted our regional reps or class officers and asked them to raise the question to the World Council, maybe we can get them to resolve the Boom Block question (and the rudder and other questions).
     
  7. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

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    Quote from Minutes of ISCA World Council Meeting held at 2004 Worlds (as published in Windward Leg). "Mainsheet blocks were mentioned but no discussion took place in the Advisory Council Meeting. A discussion took place but no action was taken". Brilliant piece of minute writing Terry! ;)

    If anybody present at either the Advisory Council or World Council is reading this forum, perhaps you could shed a little more light on what discussion took place and why no action was taken? :confused:
     
  8. supercub

    supercub Member

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    Ok Fellow Sailors,

    Let’s see if I have this question on Boom Blocks straight. At the council meeting they (boom blocks) were mentioned but not discussed and discussed without taking action. Sounds like they are a bit confused. They way I see it, they have already set a precedent to allow “any type” of boom block. If you should happen to check the ISCA Rules you will find that the Mainsheet Block (3.1.1), the kind of liquid finish (3.1.4), the Tiller Extension (3.4.1), the Gooseneck Bolt (3.5.2), the Eye Straps (for the boom blocks) (3.5.5), the Mast Cleat (3.5.9) and the Lines (3.7), all have been approved as “any type” replacements.

    I can understand Vanguards position on the subject, it would cost them to supply the parts we sailors feel are better. They are in the business to make money. Nor do they want to change overhead or contracts with suppliers. Many of us have already replaced the above mentioned parts without cost to the manufacture and would probably replace the boom blocks in the same way.

    The ISCA needs to decide if this is a “manufactures” or “developmental” class, it seems that they are not sure. I believe it is a manufactures class. They do state "No addition or alteration may be made to the Sunfish as supplied by the Builder except as is specifically authorized by these rules" and “…that the Sunfish sailboat, when raced, is a strict one-design boat where the true test is between sailors and not boats and equipment.” Over the last 50 plus years, there have been many changes to the Sunfish such as the material of the hull (wood vs fiberglass), hull edge (aluminum vs rolled), rudder mount and rudder, Top cap and the elimination of the top mast pulley, the change to a bulls-eye from pulley, cockpit storage and dagger board shapes and style and the sails. Some changes were done by the manufacturer in house, the supplier of the parts (sails), some seem to have been done by clubs experimenting (dagger board) and later incorporated and made by the then “current” manufacture. Since these changes were made by or supplied by the manufacture, I do not believe that ISCA had to approve the changes “1.1 Unless specifically prohibited, any equipment that has ever been supplied by the Builder may be used on any boat.” I may have some of the changes and how they came to be wrong, but feel I am basically correct. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    We, as sailors can either get the ISCA to approve “replacement” boom blocks or get the manufacture (Vanguard) to supply the blocks. The difference between the present blocks and replacement blocks would be minimal and not give an equipment advantage to the sailor, thus maintaining “…the true test is between sailors…”.

    If we all write separately to each of our respective US representatives to the ISCA Advisory Council, the ISCA President, the ISCA Vice President, the USSCA President, we may be able to get this change approved and implemented. The addresses and e-mails of the reps and officers can be found under Class Officers on the Class home page. By amending rule 3.5.3 to read “The location of the boom blocks may be changed and may be replaced with any type of boom block of the same size.” (new worlds in bold). This would seem to be the best way as it would not cost the manufacturer anything and not raise the cost of a new Sunfish due to new parts.

    Now I may be wrong on some points and you may correct me, but hopefully you all get the jist of what I am saying.
     
  9. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

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    I can understand you being confused. But remember there are two councils - the Advisory Council which is there to advise the World Council on equipment and measurement issues, and the actual World Council itself. I think the minute means that the Advisory Council mentioned boom blocks but didn't discuss them. And the World Council discussed boom blocks but took no action. Or perhaps it means that boom blocks were mentioned and discussed and no action taken in the World Council, but not discussed in the Advisory Council. But I could be wrong. I wasn't there.
     
  10. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

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    Or you could get yourself elected to the Advisory or World Council. Remember according to class rules "In addition, all ISCA Advisory and World Council members and committee chairpersons qualify for the World Championship". So once you are on one of these councils you can go and sail in the World Championhips and spend every free hour in committee meetings debating whether to mention and discuss certain issues, or just mention them but not discuss them, before deciding to take no action on them. Then you can go to the World Championship the next year and do it all over again. ;)
     
  11. supercub

    supercub Member

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    OG,
    Thanks for trying to clear up my confusion. My intention for the post is to let them (council members of both councils) know that we sailors are a bit fed up with one or both councils dragging thier feet. The councils apparently have been aware of the boom block problem for some time now and have done nothing. OK, the USSCA has made the boom block issue a directive and a part of their minutes with the intention that the issue would be voted on. As to which council mentioned, discussed (or not) and then took no action, I do not know. Hopefully, if enough sailors let their representitives (thats what they are there for, correct?) know that they want this issue resolved soon, it will be. Why keep dragging this boom block issue out year after year.

    As to becoming a member of either council, that is a possibility, but not very practicle for me at this point in time due to other personel commitments and responsibilities. But thanks for the suggestion.
     
  12. NE Sunfish

    NE Sunfish 40725

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    Then why do we need the change?
     
  13. dphoye

    dphoye Regular Member

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    John,

    It is my opinion that one of the reasons the Sunfish is by far one of the most successful classes is because is because of its simplicity and its strict adherance to being as one design as possible. Even it attempting to stick to a strict guidleine of one-design class rules there have still been developments over time to make improvements that have sometime been quite different that the original design. Point in case would be the new daggerboard design and the new rudder that is in development. These changes are important because they keep the Sunfish current with regards to the latest technology and that too is important to keeping people interested in this very fun little boat. The simple fact is the original boom blocks are antiquated when compared with the current technology and they should be allowed to bec changed to a more current design. The same holds true for the not allowing digital compasses to which I posted a message several weeks ago on this board and received all positive responses to. While we all want the Sunfish to remain a one design and not a developmental class it is still important the builder/councils/reps take notice to the ideas that the class members bring forward to keep the Sunfish class exciting and encourage the next generation to participate. That next generation will not be as likely to particpate if the boat and the class rules remain "antiquated".
     
  14. supercub

    supercub Member

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    John,

    David says it better than I could. There is no comparison between the old blocks with plain bearings (WC, Race-lite) to the newer, ball bearing blocks (Harken, Ronstan). As David said, look at the dagger board, there have been four, the original "old" style round board, "new" or Shadow, the "Barrington" (current wood blade) and the new, larger composite "Race" board. They all perform the same function, so why the change? Performance and technology. The Race board performs better than the old boards. Perception is another factor. Many younger people "perceive" that wood boards are old and plastic is better. This same perception carries over to the blocks. They perform the same function, but the ball bearing blocks are perceived to be better than plain bearing. As David points out, to keep our class alive and well, to bring the younger generation into the sport, we need to make some changes to keep up with the times without changing the basic design of the Sunfish. About the only parts that have not been changed over the years are the hull bottom shape and the bow handle. The boom blocks may be a small part of the overall package, but need to be changed to stay current.
     
  15. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

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    This debate is really interesting as it exposes the views of two communities within the Sunfish class.

    There is one group - let's call them "traditionalists" or "geezers" who just love the boat as it is and who enjoy sailing and racing because they delight in being in the wind and the waves and racing against their friends. This group couldn't care less about digital compasses and modern blocks - indeed some of them seem to feel that using more technology would in some way detract from their enjoyment of the sport.

    Then there is a group - let's call them "technophiles" or "geeks" who just love to have the latest gizmos and gadgets and get frustrated if class rules don't let them experiment with more modern technology.

    It would seem that most of the current management of the class are geezers rather than geeks. So you geeks, it's up to you. If you want to drag the Sunfish class into the 20th (sic) century then get yourselves elected to the USSCA committee, be a regional rep or class officer, go to all the meetings, write up your views in the Windward Leg, speak out in these forums, organize, campaign.

    Geeks of the World Unite.
     
  16. supercub

    supercub Member

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    OG,
    Thanks for bringing the point up about two camps. Let's have the differences bring the camps together instead of apart and not have a geezers "old tech." division and a geeks "new tech." division within the class (thanks for the division titles OG). As most SF sailors do not race, upgrades are more for making things more comfortable and enjoyable than to search out the last bit of speed out of their hull.

    Thanks to this Forum, we have at least one representative's attention (Thanks for reading this John). Hopefully, more representative's from the US and around the world, will read this and understand that the class members would like to have this item resovled, one way or the other, at the earliest possible date.

    As I am unable to become a rep at this time due to other obligations, I use this forum to speak out. Those who have the inclination and desire to be a representitive or member of council, I encourage you to do so. If not, write to your representative, post a comment here or in the Windward Leg.
     
  17. Tim Polaski

    Tim Polaski 79429

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    You guys ever hear of mouse milking? That's where I think we are here. Spending alot of effort for something non-substantial.

    There may be a tiny (less than $5) savings if the block issue is opened up, but why bother. The allowable replacement blocks are readily available and there really isn't a substantial load on them warranting a structural reason to replace them so why bother. IMHO, a flashy new carbo block isn't going to get young or new members in the class. What will is the strong organization, regatta turnout, nice people, and overall affordability of the class. Why create confusion within the class.....is there a difference in the blocks, maybe I should get new ones bucause they are new and maybe somehow better...The mainsheet system works great now, they aren't breaking all over the place, so why bother. Could it be that I'm a Geez at 35? :mad: Bah humbug.
     
  18. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

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    LMAO. Of course it's mouse milking. It's a symptom of cabin fever. When it's too cold to sail we have to focus on sailing trivia. So we get obsessive about stupid stuff like those blocks on the boom.

    I'm getting bored with this thread. Anyone want to start a debate about something really important such as the new Racing Rules. Does new Rule 16.2 actually make a difference and, if so, why? How does new 42.3(d) change the game. Or perhaps we could consider lobbying our class officials to allow plastic bow handles or anticlockwise threads on the bailer? ;)
     
  19. NE Sunfish

    NE Sunfish 40725

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    I think it is important to tell you that if I were asked to vote on this I would vote no. Here is the way I see it.

    The notion that these blocks are “Antiquated” is lost on me. I have blocks from my first sunfish, a 1975 hand me down from my mom, which are still working today. They are strong and simple and are rarely prone to failure. Keep in mind that the simplicity and low maintenance of the block design allows recreational sunfish sailors to enjoy more leisure time, hassle free. I think they are simple but not antiquated.

    There is no great argument that has been made for the change. If it’s the cost then there are other ways to address that, bulk discounts and other such channels. If it is a performance issue then I stand by my NO vote. I think it is completely unnecessary to change the specs on equipment that is still doing its job. If there is a difference in performance how is it translated to the race course? What are the benefits? What conditions are these benefits realized in?

    Of course there is no great argument not to change either. But with that being the case then I will always vote for leaving what isn’t broke alone. I don’t believe we should change things just because the other classes do! We have an obligation to try and maintain the integrity and heritage of this Classic Boat!

    Try this out;

    If Eduardo and I were to race and I had _________ and he had _______. The results would be……

    For instance:

    If Eduardo had Old Blocks and I had New Blocks…..

    If Eduardo has Old Daggerboard and I have New Daggerboard…..

    If Eduardo has Old Extension and I have New Extension….


    See what I am saying? Changing these blocks is NOT going to improve the boat, so why should we change? I don’t believe in change for the sake of change….that’s just me.

    As for needing to change to keep the interest up, particularly with the juniors, I agree completely with Tim. I think we fail as an organization if kids are turned away because we don’t have “Cool” carbo blocks on our boats.

    I will always keep an open mind and as a Rep I will always present the opinions and Ideas of any member that approaches me. But as of now no one has convinced me that the change is needed or warranted.
     
  20. NE Sunfish

    NE Sunfish 40725

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    I was thinking the same thing.....I don't feel comfortable being an old geezer in my mid 30's. Where do we go from here?
     

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