Digital Compass Anyone???

Discussion in 'Laser Class Politics' started by oldfart, Oct 26, 2010.

  1. oldfart

    oldfart Member

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    A fellow senior citizen buddy with failing eyesite is wondering why the class doesn't allow a digital compass with big numbers so we can actually see it. Seems like a good idea. Just saw one in new Sailing World with MSRP of $336. TackTick is a little more. A good Suunto is about $150 and many of us have a hard time seeing it well. He has submitted a request to Chief Measurer for a rules change.

    If you agree with this proposal, please email your support to the Chief Measurer at:
    technical@laserinternational.org

    Here's what is being proposed:

    1. What is the current rule that you would like to modify?
    a. Rule number and sub section.
    b. Current rule wording.
    Rule 23: One compass is permitted mounted on any part of the deck or the cockpit provided that the hull cavity is not pierced by anything other than the fasteners. Compasses shall not be fitted to inspection ports. Electronic and digital compasses are prohibited.

    2. What is your proposed wording?
    One compass is permitted mounted on any part of the mast, boom, deck or the cockpit provided that the hull cavity is not pierced by anything other than the fasteners. Compasses shall not be fitted to inspection ports.

    3. Describe the current situation.
    Currently those of us who cannot see without their glasses cannot read a currently Laser legal compass because the numbers are too small. Once it gets windy and the salt accumulates on the lens, we need to remove our glasses. A simple solution is to allow digital/electronic compasses like the Tack Tick that can be mounted on the mast.

    4. What are the advantages of the proposed change?
    We will have the ability to use a compass that can be read without glasses because of the larger numbers and digital display. This would allow us to compete on a level playing field with those who do not have to wear glasses to read tiny numbers. This could be a Masters only rule if that is easier to get through the system.
     
  2. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    I don't mind either way but, as I understand it the Laser class rules are Napoleonic in that if something is not explicitly permitted then it is prohibited. Thus, you might want to look at other functions included in such devices and consider if they are included in the term "compass". For example, if the device includes a head/lift indicator, can that be considered a "compass" or is it an additional function - because if it is considered different then were your proposed wording accepted then a device including e.g. head/lift indicator would still be prohibited.

    I've never looked at them in much detail so don't know what functions they include but if you are going for a rule change it would be worth making sure it is adequate to include a decent range of commercially available devices. (Also a rule change that allowed only a single manufacturer might not be as acceptable as one that included offerings from several competing suppliers).

    Ian
     
  3. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    The argument that one hears is that a digital compass typically involves other functions as well. And that it would be impossible to control the illegal (by Laser Class standards) use of those other functions.

    But there is a solution. Find a (simple) digital compass with only that function. Make this compass a Laser branded one (like virtually all the other pieces on our boat) and change the rule(s) accordingly to only allow the Laser-branded digital compass. Yes, that would double or triple the price, but hey, likely to be less expensive than eye surgery.
     
  4. pirouette

    pirouette Member

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    Yes, that would double or triple the price, but hey, likely to be less expensive than eye surgery.[/COLOR][/FONT][/QUOTE]

    And a lot more reliable and less permanent in the case of the screwup. The proposed digital compass fails, you are out money, the opthamologist screws up and you have still to pay him or her and try to live with their mistake:(
     
  5. Rob B

    Rob B Active Member

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    I think all the old farts should be required to race with readers perched on the tips of their noses.
     
  6. torrid

    torrid Just sailing

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    Would using Depends while racing violate the rules against wearing water ballast?
     
  7. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    and nobody could get them from the out of stock builders....
     
  8. sailman23

    sailman23 laserguy23

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    digital compasses are illegal.
     
  9. bbcoahu

    bbcoahu New Member

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    just allow dble side deck ritchies, cheaper and non-electronic, e.g. stupid class rules
     
  10. AlanD

    AlanD Former ISAF Laser Measurer

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  11. bbcoahu

    bbcoahu New Member

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    Not a current class member, I believe this change was suggested in the past and rejected in favor of maintaining class purity.
     
  12. sorosz

    sorosz Member

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    So join the class and be part of the change for good. Talk it up among your fellow class members at the local and regional level and convince them that you are right by making a cogent argument. Submit your case (as listed above). Encourage your fellow members to voice their support and enlist your local and regional class officers to do the same. Class associations rely on membership to get things done. If you sit back and wait for others to solve all the problems and make it the way you want then you're likely to always be disappointed.
     
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