Class Approved Sunfish Upgrades (from Vanguard)

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by Bradley, Jun 23, 2005.

  1. Bradley

    Bradley Administrator Staff Member

    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    18
    After final testing at the 2005 World Championships, two new International Sunfish Class approved upgrades for the Sunfish are available now.

    Fiberglass Rudder Blade:
    The design profile for the fiberglass blade is the same as the wood model, with great surface finish and shape. The fiberglass blade also provides excellent durability. All future Sunfish Worlds Boats and Sunfish Pro Boats will be equipped from the factory with the FRP rudder blade. The new Fiberglass rudder blade is also available as an after market item.

    Mast Sleeve:
    Sleeves for stiffening and strengthening the mast are now installed on all Sunfish masts. The stiffener consists of an aluminum sleeve inside the bottom of the mast section that inhibits lower mast bend for a stiffer more durable mast. A mast sleeve retrofit kit is available to equip previously purchased masts.

    Ned Jones
    Product Manager
    Vanguard Sailboats
    401.683.0960
    www.teamvanguard.com

    (post stolen from the Sunfish Email List)
     
  2. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    16
    That's great news. Are the two new items available now? How much do they cost? Can't wait to get that new rudder and start beating all the local young hotshots.
     
  3. joannek

    joannek New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The changes are good. A few questions...I guess for our officers.

    When will we get the specific information on these changes?
    Will the wooden rudders that have been refinished still be class legal?
    What are the costs for both the rudder and the mast?
    Are these the only changes. I heard that the boom blocks have also been changed on the "Sunfish Pro" is this correct? Is this class legal?

    Unless you are attending major regattas you tend to be left out of the loop on changes. This is pretty big information. Will it all be posted on the website?

    Thanks for updating us Ned.
     
  4. Strumy

    Strumy Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    i was up at my local shop last night and the new rudder was like $192. it seemed to be a little bit lighter than the wooden ones.
     
  5. Strumy

    Strumy Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Does anyone know the status of the new rudder? If we are going to be getting a new rudder within the next year or two why would we spend an additional $200 to upgrade our boats? Is this fiberglass rudder taking the place of the new design?
     
  6. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    16
    WHAT??? :eek: Just for the rudder blade.

    APS lists the old Sunfish wooden rudder blade at $137. And just for comparison they are selling the Laser rudder blade at $129.65.
     
  7. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    16
    On the other hand this is good news. No way the kids are going to fork out $200 for a new rudder balde with all the uncertainty about future changes. Only rich fat old guys like me will buy them and we will beat all the kids now. :)
     
  8. mike4947

    mike4947 Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Since vanguard's promo blurb says the new plastic fantastic rudder blade duplicates the original wood blade my questions are:
    What's happening with the class development of a "new" rudder blade?
    Can the new plastic one be modified like the original wood ones or is it a no touch part like the palstic daggerboard? If it's a duplicate and no touch then racers will be keeping the wood ones so they can still modify.

    JMHO, but someone dropped the ball on this. Either Vanguard or the class or both.
     
  9. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Nobody has told us that the class rules have changed. And the class rules permit us to modify the rudder. So it must be legal to modify the new rudder too. I'm going to paint mine with a wood grain finish!
     
  10. mike4947

    mike4947 Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    To be really authentic, you could grain a crack or two into the finish. LOL

    I also noticed they are only using it on the "world boats" and their "pro" ie racing equipped boats. If they do go to a "new design" that means just one more thing recreational boats will need to compete with the race equipped boats.
     
  11. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    16
    The World Council and Advisory Council were presumably held in Martinique some weeks ago. Is it too much to ask that the minutes of those meetings should have been posted on the class website by now so that we all know what has been decided?

    There are lots of questions being asked about this on the Sunfish email list too. A couple of class officers Susan Mallows and Gail Turluck have attempted to respond but it's clear that they don't really know what's going on either. No response here or there from the ISCA President, the USCA President ot the Class Secretary - who ought to know what's going on. Come on guys - you need to do a better job of communicating with us.

    By the way, elections for class officers happen every year at the NAs (or by postal vote before then). I'm going to support those officers that do their best to keep us informed and vote down the guys that keep us in the dark.
     
  12. phish133

    phish133 Sunfish sailor

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    I'm confused, is the "new" rudder discussed here the same as the "new and improved" prototype discussed (at length) by Tom Whitehurst and others recently? The one with different shape and less angle between the hull and rudder (i.e. less than 120 degrees).
    If not, it seems odd that Vanguard is making a rudder like this. What is the status of the "new and improved" prototype rudder? Also, why is it that we are finding out about this new (Vanguard) rudder in such a round-about way?

    I have a feeling I know the answers to some of the above, but was curious if we can get an "official" reply from the Sunfish Class about this.
     
  13. mike4947

    mike4947 Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Well I got an email off the sunfish listserve this afternoon that reported the class measurer doesn't know anything about the plastic rudder. Sounds like Vanguard didn't notify anyone in the class office about it before they started advertising.
    Like I said before a real FUBAR situation.
     
  14. ssmeulders

    ssmeulders Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Re: Meeting Attendance

    The class measurer was represented through proxy
    at both the AC & WC meetings in Martinique.

    The builder representative attended the meeting in person.
     
  15. Gail

    Gail 24186

    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Dear Sunfish Class racing fans,

    Here's the situation as I understand it.

    Rudder #1: The current wooden rudder has been a problem for a long time. Can't get good wood for many years, so they split. The manufacturer's jig has been redone off the old ones so many times that the new wood ones weren't up to full original specs. A couple years ago it was decided that effort would go to building a composite rudder that was built to full original specs (and a couple were produced that were too big, this slowed the process down). Turns out that this "exact same dimension" rudder blade project was completed in time for use at the 2005 Worlds. Perhaps the manufacturer's representative slightly misspoke when reference was made to "testing" at the Worlds, as it truly was an implementation and launch. Because this blade is built by the manufacturer and is to spec (reportedly), the answer is, yes, it is Class legal. Yes, so are all those home-built-ups that people have been lovingly sweating over for all these years. And, a woodie, off the shelf, is still completely legal, too. And, yes, the list price on the composite-still-current-shape rudder blade is $190. Likely because the engineering is 2000's engineering, not 1970's (when Laser was developed).

    Rudder #2: There is a redesigned rudder blade that is in the developmental phase. It is vertically mounted in the same rudder head and takes the same tiller. Tom Whitehurst has been leading this effort. Testing thus far has shown that it helps lighter sailors and has no effect on others. Apparently it has a little better "touch." It is still only a development question. Testing is ongoing. Because it is a completely different shape, it will have to be approved by the ISCA Advisory Council, the ISCA World Council, the Manufacturer, and ISAF. The earliest this developmental rudder blade could possibly occur would be early 2007.

    Mast Sleeve: For a number of years now there have been issues with new masts snapping at the deck and/or bending badly, even at the World's. It's one thing when a mast has been used for years and/or has salt corrosion, but it has been a problem for some time. The Class asked the manufacturer to examine the situation and apparently the decision was made. Since all masts going forward will have the sleeve, and its provided in a manufacturer built spar, that effectively makes it legal. Don't know list on this one, but your nearby Dealer will be happy to answer that question for you.

    (Personally, I'm going to watch those who sail with the new one to decide whether or not I want to give up the bendiness in those big blows ...)

    There may be a little more to all of these stories, and you can watch for the details in the next issue of Windward Leg when it arrives in your mailbox (and no, I don't know when that will be).

    Sincerely,

    Gail
    ~~~/)~~~~/)~~~/)~~~~~/)~~~~~~/)~~
    Gail M. Turluck
    Sunfish 24186
    USSCA Secretary
    1245 West Gull Lake Drive
    Richland, MI 49083
    (269)629-0425
    gail@collegesailing.org
    ~~~/)~~~~/)~~~/)~~~~~/)~~~~~~/)~~
     
  16. Gail

    Gail 24186

    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Bad news there buddy. First you'll have to incur damage on that new blade. You can't put a finish on it unless you are repairing it. :confused: :D ;)
     
  17. mike4947

    mike4947 Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Gail, seeing as how the rules haven't been updated to include the plastic rudder with the notation that it can't be modified like the note for the platic daggerboard, that's a little premature.
    If the rules do get updated then the racers will stick with their wooden rudders so they can modify them to an advantage and again making the Sunfish less of a one design boat.
     
  18. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    16
    What is going on?

    1. "The class measurer doesn't know anything."
    "The class measurer was represented at the Advisory Council and the World Council." Which is true? Who was the measurer's proxy and didn't he report back to the measurer on what happened at the meetings?

    2. Who was at these meetings and will they please fill the rest of us in as to what was discussed?

    3. Where are the minutes of these meetings and when can we see them?

    4. Is the new rudder faster than the standard wooden rudder or not? If so, does this mean that there will effectively be two fleets at the NAs -- the fast (new rudder) and the slow?

    5. Is the new rudder faster than a " home improved" wooden rudder or not? If not, are we allowed to improve the new rudder?

    6. What is the real status of the Whitehurst rudder? Was it discussed at the World Council or Advisory Council? If so what was discussed and what was decided? We need to know if yet another new rudder is coming out in 2007 (as Gail implies may be possible) or not. Is it likely Vanguard will pay for the tooling to create two different new rudders only two years apart?

    Hey class officers - we are your members - we elect you (or not). Answers please.
     
  19. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    16
    I respectfully disagree. The current ISCA rules say "nothing herein shall preclude minor adjustments to the rudder by way of sharpening the trailing edge, rounding the leading edge, refinishing or repairing damage provided that the rudder has dimensions in accordance with the measurement diagram in Rule 5 Figures 2 & 5. Refinishing may include covering the rudder with fiberglass and/or resin."

    They specifically allow changing the profile of leading and trailing edges and refinishing without a requirement that the rudder be damaged first. Even if there were such a requirement how do you think it could it be enforced?

    Unless of course this rule has been changed at some secret meeting in Martinique that nobody will publish minutes for?
     
  20. Gail

    Gail 24186

    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Things likely will not be perfect this year as far as what the published rules state. If folks want to get really crazed over it, people with the new blades will likely be told to leave them home (or in their car and to buy/borrow a woodie), and that the published rules fully stand. Will something official be published in time for the NA's? Unlikely, as Windward Leg accomplishes that goal, and one came out not very long ago. As to who was at the meeting in Martinique, well, let's just say not very many folks from the US. A stand in for the Secretary is preparing minutes and when they are ready, they will be shared. This rudder blade has been in process for years, it just got dropped off the radar screen for a while. This blade is built to the maximum dimensions of the current rudder, saving clods like me from having to try to build a woodie up myself.

    Truthfully, is a "perfect" rudder going to be the determining factor in who wins the NA's? HECK NO! One bad tack and any gain from that "perfect" barn door on the back of the boat will be obliterated. Folks, let's concentrate on going out on the water, sailing fairly, under the rules, and HAVING FUN.

    Gnash your teeth all you want on the issue. You've got some information and more will simply have to wait for now.
     

Share This Page