Class Approved Sunfish Upgrades (from Vanguard)

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

  1. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

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    Thanks for all the information you have provided on this Gail. While some of us still have some questions, we appreciate that you keep us so well informed. But what is this suggestion that we may not be allowed to use the new blades at the NAs? This doesn't make any sense to me at all....

    1. Why is a class officer speculating that people who have purchased rudders from Vanguard (who say they are legal) and that comply with the class rules as currently written may not be allowed to use those rudders in the North Americans?

    2. Of course the published rules fully stand. And they say that any rudder supplied by the manufacturer that complies with the measurement diagram (evn if it has been modified in ways allowed by the rule) is legal.

    I suppose a restriction on not using the new rudders could be written into the NOR or SIs. Is it really the intention of the class or Lewes YC to impose such a restriction? Those of us contemplating buying a new rudder - and the folks who already have one - need some clarity on this please.
     
  2. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

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    Can someone who has actually seen a new rudder, or someone from Vangaurd, clarify Gail's statement please?

    Is the new plastic rudder from Vanguard actually built up to maximum dimensions, just like someone who glassed and reshaped a wooden rudder could achieve, with optimal shapes for leading and trailing edges?

    Or is it more like a plastic version of the existing wooden rudder?

    Or something in between?
     
  3. Chip Johns

    Chip Johns New Member

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    I was at both the Advisory Council mtg and the World Council mtg in Martinique. I am sure that the minutes for these meetings will be written and posted in due time.

    We should all remember that minutes from international meetings take a fair amount of time to write and they are all done by volunteers. These volunteers sat in 2 meetings after racing until late at night while others enjoyed dinner and socializing. Please be patient.

    The Advisory Council discussed the new rudder options and narrowly approved bringing the new "Whitehurst concept" to the WC mtg.

    The WC was overwhelmingly negative about changing the rudder design (the minutes will reflect the votes) and overwhelmingly supported the new fiberglass version of the existing shape.

    Pleaase note that these are not the official minutes, just my notes from the mtg.

    Chip Johns
    Builders rep to the AD and WC
     
  4. Neil

    Neil Member

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    I'm sorry to say this, but after reading some of the posts about the new fiberglass rudder, my conclusion is that some of you need to get a life. There is no way that the new fiberglass rudder, the same size and shape as the old wooden one, is going to be "faster" in any measurable way than a properly maintained wooden one. I'm 100% sure that people like Derrick Fries and Bob Findlay are not going to rush out and get a new one to replace the old rudders they used on their old boats to sail circles around the rest of us at our recent regional regatta. The new fiberglass rudder should be more durable, easier to maintain and more dimensionally consistent. If you want to sail faster, take your old rudder, put it on your boat and go sail. Concentrate on learning to spot and use windshifts to your advantage and you’ll sail faster. Its good therapy, too.
     
  5. beldar boathead

    beldar boathead Well-Known Member

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    1) Neil is right. There will be no appreciable speed difference.
    2) Great news from Chip. The Whitehurst rudder would require everyone to go buy a new blade, with no improvement in the one design nature of the boat. (I refuse to believe that a rudder with less drag and less weather helm would somehow NOT be faster - everyone would have had to get one.) If you want to sail a boat with a Laser-like rudder and Laser-like handling, buy a Laser.

    BB
     
  6. joannek

    joannek New Member

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    I found this wording under the 2004 WC minutes linked on the Class website. This is from the October 2003 WC meeting. Maybe this will help answer the question on being able to modify the plastic rudder? (Sounds like this has been in the works for awhile??? I don't know, I have been a bit out if the rules loop and have not been keeping up with the changes.)

    Anyway...here is what I found.
    "A motion was made and seconded to accept the Advisory Council position on allowing you to adjust the plastic rudder to equal what we can do with the wooden rudder. The motion passed. Todd Edwards will supply the rule wording."
     
  7. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

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    Thanks Chip. We appreciate that someone who was at the meeting is using this forum to keep customers and class members informed.

    If the current World Council was overwhelmingly negative about a fundamental change in rudder design then I think it is safe to assume that such a change is not going to happen for a few years if ever. So anyone who buys one of the fiberglass rudders with the existing shape will be making a good investment.
     
  8. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

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    Great piece of detective work Joanne! In any case, if I read the rules correctly, they already allow such changes. But it's good to know that the AC had the intention that the new rudder can be "adjusted". So hopefully our chief measuer won't have a problem if he sees an adjusted new rudder in Lewes.
     
  9. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

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    The Sunfish Class Office sent out an email today with the following message..

    To all of you concerned about the announcement of the fiberglass rudder and mast sleeve: Both of these items have been discussed and approved at previous World and Advisory Council meetings.

    Thie history of this is fascinating.

    The 2002 AC minutes say, "The new high density foam rudder is available to purchase. It is class legal, the same size and shape as the existing wooden rudder. No modifications are allowed to the new rudder." (Interestingly the class rules were apparently never changed to implement that last wish of the AC).

    The 2002 WC minutes simply say that the items discussed in the AC were presented to the WC and no action was required from the WC.

    The 2003 AC minutes say "The new high density foam rudder was discussed. To date 25 have been maufactured. Two showed up at Barrington and neither of them passed inspection. They were too thick." Clearly at this stage the new rudders were illegal.

    The 2004 AC minutes say, "Various rudder designs were discussed. Vanguard supplied two rudders for evaluation and testing. One of the rudders was a fiberglass version with the same dimensions as the current rudder. The other rudder was the current wooden version modified to allow the rudder to sit deeper in the water (105 vs. 120 degrees). A proposal from Tom Whitehurst was presented as well as an older proposal from Larry Cochran. The rudders will be tested by a cross section of sailors and the results will be documented to the Advisory Council for further discussion."
    At this point the AC seems to think both new rudders still need to be tested.

    The 2005 WC and AC minutes, according to Gail, are still being prepared by an unnamed person who stood in for the class secretary at the meetings.

    Forgive me if I am confused. :confused: Is "high density foam" the same thing as "fiberglass".

    If so, apparently the new rudder was appoved in 2002, measured as illegal in 2003, and still needed to be tested in 2004. 2005 discussions still secret.

    If they are not the same thing, then I'm unclear as to which meeting, if any, approved the fiberglass rudder.
     
  10. beldar boathead

    beldar boathead Well-Known Member

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    This topic seems to be getting boring. Anybody else bored?
     
  11. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

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    "If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all." --John Cage.


    "Somebody's boring me. I think it's me." --Dylan Thomas.
     
  12. tom whitehurst

    tom whitehurst Senior Member

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    I would like to try to clear up some of these questions:

    1 The fiberglass rudder is the same profile as the current blade. It is NOT a new design but a change in construction material. Vanguard asked at the Worlds in Hyannis if they could make a “plastic” blade for this years worlds in Martinique but everyone needs to understand that this is NOT rule change either nor is a rule change required. Its is the mfg’s right ( Vanguard ) to supply the rudder out of any material they chose but it must still measure within the current specs. This fiberglass blade has not been officially measured by the Sunfish Class measurer. Sunfish Class Templates were not available to do this in Martinique. All the current rule still apply with respect to modifying this blade or any other blade supplied by the mfg as long as it still measures within specs. The rudders supplied in Martinique were of excellent quality and profile shape. These blade will be stock equipment on the pro sunfish model.

    2 The mast sleeve is to reinforce the lower section of the mast. Several year ago, Vanguard changed the extrusion to the same alloy used in the Laser. This was done because it was not cost effective to get a different alloy just for the Sunfish. This upgrade is only necessary if you own a sunfish built within the last several years. If you have not bent your mast, then you should not be concerned with this upgrade. Vanguard will offer a reto kit for those that want upgrade. ( see cost below ) All new sunfish mast will have this sleeve but check with the dealer to make sure it is not old stock.

    3 Boom blocks. The world counsel did NOT approve the USSCA proposal to allow the boom blocks to be changed. It is still NOT legal to do so.

    These items were proposed at last year worlds in Hyannis and published in the Windward Leg for discussion at this years Worlds in Martinique.

    NEW Rudder Design:

    I was at the AC meeting representing the class measurer and there was NO proposal on a new rudder design made in Martinique. The initiative to propose a new design is still in testing and on-tract. Delivery of sample prototypes has been slow and our testing will most likely continue for another year. Although, I believe that we have an excellent design. Ample testing is still required and getting everyone (World counsel members) onboard will be an uphill challenge. I would encourage anyone wanting information to contact the design & testing team: SunfishRudder@yahoogroups.com. I am disturbed that some have chosen made statements with no facts whatsoever with regard to a new design. I will be at the NA’s in Lewes and anyone that wants to try one of the prototypes is more than welcome to test one and make there own conclusions.

    Here is the part numbers and prices from Vanguard:

    Item # Description Retail Price
    64113 FRP Rudder Blade $191.66
    66601 Rudder, rigged w/ FRP Blade $262.55
    20147 Mast Sleeve Retrofit Kit $32.81
    99441/99442 Sunfish Pro Boat $3615


    Tom Whitehurst
    8689
     
  13. Tim Polaski

    Tim Polaski 79429

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    thanks for the info Tom

    I would really like to test drive a prototype rudder. Perhaps Tuesday or after racing some day. I'll look 4U.

    Tim
     
  14. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

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    Thanks Tom. We appreciate all the information on the current status of the Sunfish rudder.

    However, at the risk of boring beldar boathead, I have to say I am still confused. Chip Johns and Tom Whitehurst were both at the AC meeting in Martinique and seem to have different memories of what happened.

    Chip says, "The Advisory Council discussed the new rudder options and narrowly approved bringing the new "Whitehurst concept" to the WC mtg. The WC was overwhelmingly negative about changing the rudder design (the minutes will reflect the votes) and overwhelmingly supported the new fiberglass version of the existing shape."

    Tom says, "I was at the AC meeting representing the class measurer and there was NO proposal on a new rudder design made in Martinique."

    How could the AC have approved bringing Tom's rudder design concept to the WC if no such proposal was ever made?

    As the unnamed person writing the official minutes of the meetings still seems to busy scribbling away at the task, can anyone else who was at the meetings clarify what actually happened?

    More importantly if the WC really is "overwhelmingly negative" about changing the rudder design, why is Tom still working on this project?
     
  15. tom whitehurst

    tom whitehurst Senior Member

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    All I can say is this is why someone is responsible for taking the official minutes. So you’ll have to read them in the next WL.

    As for “the WC overwhelmingly negative” Let me put this in perspective. The world Counsel is negative about making any changes to the Class rules. Also, the views reflected in Martinique do not all the voting members because they were not present in Martinique.

    So, it is true to say that any change will be an uphill challenge but not impossible. That is why I will do all that is needed before we actually make any recommendation for a new rudder design. Until that time, try to check out a sample prototype for yourself.

    Tom Whitehurst
    8689
     
  16. joannek

    joannek New Member

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    Thank you Tom for clearing up the questions! :D
     
  17. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

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    Tom is right about one thing. Someone - a mystery person - is responsible for writing the official minutes. And one day we lowly Sunfish Class members and humble Vanguard customers will be told what really happened at this meeting in Martinique from an official, impartial source. Keep scribbling away dear proxy secretary. We await your stone tablets of wisdom with baited breath.

    It's important to know what really happened at the WC, because I for one am not shelling out big bucks to buy a new plastic rudder from Chip Johns if in a year or two there is going to be yet another "essential" upgrade to the Sunfish in the form of a faster rudder thanks to Tom Whitehurst. It was bad enough having to buy a new daggerboard and a new sail when the class decided they want to "improve" the boat a few years ago. Another unnecessary change in design to a so-called one design boat would be the last straw.

    It sounds like the current WC is against even more changes to the boat. Good for them. Let's hope that the moderate conservative view prevails.
     
  18. samfish

    samfish New Member

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    I dont understand what the problem is. The new rudder is just made of plastic, thats it. This is no reason to go and buy it. If yours is working fine, you should have no problem, and just wait until a new different design comes along, if it ever does.

    I join the group of few people that support a change in the design to make the sunfish handle better.
     
  19. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

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    There's absolutely positively nothing wrong with the way the Sunfish handles. If you have a problem then the source is the nut on the end of the tiller.
     
  20. Mike Fortner

    Mike Fortner New Member

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    I think that in the interest of preserving the one-design nature of the boat, the idea for a new rudder design should be dropped completely.

    I run the Jr. Sailing Program at the Rochester Canoe Club. Every year we get a number of kids interested in purchasing a used Sunfish and racing the boat. It is very difficult to find a used boat with a racing sail and dagger board.

    Sure, the new boats come with all the new items, but in my 14 years of teaching sailing, I have yet to run into a parent that is willing to fork over the cash for a new boat just because their son/daughter has discovered sailing.

    It is hard enough for the parents to buy the boat only to discover that two other "upgrades" are needed. A third item would very likely keep people from making the purchase, subsequently keeping a potential sailor off the water.

    Mike Fortner
    Rochester Canoe Club
    57923
     

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