Resurfacing of Centreboard and Rudder

Discussion in 'Laser Class Politics' started by boataid, Dec 27, 2009.

  1. boataid

    boataid New Member

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    According to the rules as stated in the "Laser Current Rules- Class One" Part Three, Section 14, article C and Section 15, article B (see below), it is stated that resurfacing may be done to both centreboard and rudder "provided the original shape, thickness and characteristics are not altered". I did indeed resurface a centreboard and rudder by sanding them with 220 grit, one thin coat of dark grey polyester primer, wet sanded with 320 grit, then one thin coat of white hi-gloss Linear Polyurethane. Together the primer and paint are perhaps .020-.030 inches. In other words, paper thin. I do not see how the resurfacing work i did is outside of the stated rules. However the customer that i did the work for is stating that "she was told by a Laser expert that the manner in which I resurfaced is illegal and will disqualify her boat". She was told by this expert that the required technique for resurfacing is one coat of white gelcoat, two coats of Flat LP. Furthermore I just received an email in which she states that "FYI...Last year a sailor who was quite good and performing well at this regatta was disqualified based on his Centerboard being painted incorrectly. One of the issues was the color (dark grey/black) and the other was that they were shiny.". I would appreciate clarification on the subject. Thank you. Gary/BoatAid

    14. CENTREBOARD
    (a) A rope handle passing through not more than two
    holes of maximum diameter 12.5 mm above a line
    drawn from the bottom of the centreboard stop,
    parallel to the top of the centreboard is permitted.
    A plastic/rubber tube and/or tape are permitted on
    the handle of the centreboard.
    (b) The trailing edge of the centreboard may be
    sharpened by sanding the blade between the
    trailing edge and a line 100 mm parallel to the
    trailing edge, provided the distance between the
    leading edge and the trailing edge of the blade is
    not reduced.
    (c) Surface refinishing of the centreboard is permitted
    provided the original shape, thickness and
    characteristics are not altered.
    (d) One layer of general purpose self adhesive plastic
    tape (includes duct and gaffer tape) of maximum
    2mm thickness and of a maximum size of 30mm
    x 30mm may be applied at the top front corner of
    the centreboard case.
    (e) A wood centreboard shall not be used on a hull
    that was originally supplied with a non wood
    centreboard.
    (f) A tie line or shock cord shall be attached to
    the small hole in the upper forward corner of
    the centreboard, and any of the bow eye, the
    cunningham fairlead, the “Builder Supplied” deck
    block fitting and the mast to prevent loss of the
    centreboard in event of a capsize. The tie line or
    shock cord may be looped around the bow, but
    shall not be attached to the gunwale. Attachment
    can be by knots or loops in the shock cord, and/or
    tie lines, shackles, clips, hooks or eyes.
    (g) The components of the "Builder Supplied"
    centreboard stopper may be secured together by
    glue, screws, bolts, nuts and washers, provided
    the original shape and dimensions are not
    reduced.

    15. RUDDER
    (a) The trailing edge of the rudder blade may be
    sharpened by sanding the blade between the
    trailing edge and a line 60 mm parallel to the
    trailing edge, provided the distance between the
    leading edge and the trailing edge of the blade is
    not reduced.
    (b) Surface refinishing of the rudder blade is permitted
    provided that the original shape, thickness and
    characteristics are not altered.
    (c) The rudder blade and/or rudder head holes may
    be enlarged up to a maximum diameter of 10mm.
    The rudder bolt and bush set may be replaced
    with a larger diameter bolt to fit this hole. The bolt
    head, nut and washers shall fall within a 20mm
    diameter circle.
    (d) To achieve the maximum 78 degree rudder angle
    relative to the bottom edge of the rudder head, the
    leading edge of the blade may be cut away where
    it touches the spacing pin.
    (e) To restrict the rudder angle to maximum 78
    degrees relative to the bottom edge of the rudder
    head, the lower forward spacing pin shall be
    wound with flexible adhesive tape.
    (f) The rudder pintles may be fitted with spacers to lift
    the rudder head to allow the tiller to clear the deck
    at the transom.
    (g) The rudder downhaul line may have multiple
    purchases.
    (h) A hole may be drilled in the top rudder pintle and
    a pin or clip inserted in the hole to prevent loss of
    the rudder.
     
  2. AlanD

    AlanD Former ISAF Laser Measurer

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    Although it's always difficult to give an absolute decision without seeing the actual item. Similarly it's difficult to determine why another measurer would have rejected an item without seeing it. Additionally, some measurers do not understand the rules correctly and will misinterpret the rules.

    However, what you've described is legal and your customer should not have an issue with measurement. As long as you didn't change the shape, thickness etc, except as permitted by the rules, and didn't apply any special coatings (think about some of the stuff tried for the Americas cup), then everything should be fine other than having advertising on the board, which is illegal.
     
  3. AlanD

    AlanD Former ISAF Laser Measurer

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    That's a new one for me, no such rule applies to the best of my knowledge.
     
  4. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    blah blah...

    The enforcement by the class is limited to measuring thickness and profile.
    Stock blades from the 180s until very recently were one design for teh laser Class and made from teh same molds. They were virtually identical as delivered from teh factory but were 28 MM thick.
    The rule says no more than 33 mm but also admonishes against changing the shape or thickness.

    But the measurement as enforced is simply "33 mm max."

    Definition by enforcement has said, "If the blade is under 33 mm the thickness has not been altered."

    Nobody gives a rats patoot what coating is used or how well it is polished.

    Finally know this:

    In major events the boats are supplied and teh blades must be used as is. Those who really are interested in ding well in real major regattas know that practicing with better blades than those which will be available in the big event is bad for personal performance in those events.

    As the top sailors don't mess with their stock blades, the other sailors who want to race with "equipment just like the top sailors use" also do not mes with their blades.

    This leaves the wannabe also ran never will be worth a squat sailors clammoring for special improved gain a slight advantage blades.

    The rest of us get to watch them as they try helplessly to buy into a part of the fleet where their lack of talents and dedication will never otherwise allow them to play.

    Here's the scoop:

    If you want to coat your blade with a nice hard material so you won't have to constantly maintain and resurface the blades, sand them down, splash on some VC Performance Epoxy, sand it smooth and go play.

    if you are thinking about making a super set of blades or buying a set of the new cheater specials from Austrailia that the class hasn't the gonads to ban from the racecourse, enjoy yourself.

    The rest of us will still laugh out loud at your choice of shifts and total lack of ability to skillfully tack and gybe.

    Best part?? Most of us are just as bad at sailing as you are and when we are next to you at the finish, ( your blades aren't gonna help that much and you are still going to sail among the hacks) we will feel like we kicked your butt because we aren't using special tricked out blades.

    Really!! I just beat another guy 5 of the nine sailed races at the masters worlds and he had some special cheater blades, a Hyde sail, and a special imported Aussie hull. HA!!!... and I saved about $5,000

    If your boat isn't a stock boat or very close to it, it isn't a Laser and you aren't even playing the game.

    Too bad for you. The game is fun.
     
  5. AlanD

    AlanD Former ISAF Laser Measurer

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    Let's not forget some special cheater spars from Europe and cheater fittings from North America. :rollseyes:
     
  6. SFBayLaser

    SFBayLaser Member

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    We see lots of refinished blades at events and I can't imagine how a set of blades refinished exactly as described would draw undue scrutiny, or be ruled illegal by any ILCA approved measurer.

    On the other hand, I would offer that if a competitor did show up to an event with a new'ish boat and beautifully refinished blades that just scrape through the template then they should be prepared for some extra scrutiny. While ILCA Class Rules 14(c) and 15(b) allow the blades to be refinished, and page 45 of the 2009 ILCA Handbook has a diagram, both rules prohibit you from altering the original shape, and rule 2 tells you that are not allowed to use the diagrams to alter the shape. As was pointed out, "modern" blades are significantly narrower than the max dimension so blades that just fit signify something is awry. Thanks to the continuing influx of replica equipment, major events (particularly in Europe) will see more measurement and measurers will now be faced with determining if a blade is replica or manufacturer supplied.

    At the end of the day, I agree with Fred's philosophy that when it comes to the important events this kind of stuff is not going to help you. Best to train and sail with stock stuff and win using better sailing skills.
     
  7. SFBayLaser

    SFBayLaser Member

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    Come on, those GRP foils are not only legal, the LCM has specified the technique since nearly the beginning of Laser time. The particular PSA foils available down under have been submitted to strict testing and shown to match the Crompton foils in all regards.

    More importantly, there are no regatta results which show that either set of blades is faster.
     
  8. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    If the new blades are really the same we don't need them; If they are different we shouldn't allow them.

    The new blades are different than the ones supplied for the previous 120,000 boats. The new blades are different from the former fiberglass over foam blades provided with a few boats in the early 1970s. ( Those horrible blades are the ones the class rules covered. As the old glass blades were inferior nobody came to events with those blades with the intent to gain an advantage so the class never bothered to ban fiberglass blades on boats other than those few old boats supplied by the (learning) manufacturer with those blades....An unfortunate oversight.))

    The new blades are parts built by a company that didn't want to buy from the supplier who built the last 120,000 nearly identical blades.

    The new blades are nothing at all like the fiberglass blades supplied in the seventies.

    The new blades are not two hand laid gelcoated parts sandwiched over a foam core.

    The new blades are built with techniques which were unavailable to the boating world in the 1970s.

    The class had the option to say "NO! Your different blades will not be allowed in sanctioned events."

    The class chose to allow a different blade.

    I think the new blades have a slightly diffferent shape.

    I think the trailing edge sections are stiffer.

    I think the different blades take different tricky repair techniques that must be used to prevent making repaired blades even more different.

    I think the new blades , when inconsistent, have those inconsistencies in different places with, as compared to teh struturaql foam blades, impart different impact on their sailing function.

    I think the new blades add an unnecessary variable to our one design game.
     
  9. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    I am no expert so cannot comment on interpretation of the rules. However, sounds to me like she just want to avoid paying you for the work or to extort some new ones from you FOC. Another point worth noting is that there are a lot of "Laser experts" around. Just look at some of the rubbish advice spouted here by some who present themselves as "experts". Just visit any dinghy park and they are full of experts expounding how things should be done.

    My own response to such a customer would be that if she believes that they are now outside the rules she should get that certified in writing from an official Laser measurer (or the manufacturer, etc.) and then return the items to you so you can also have them inspected be a measurer. But then I do not work "in the business" so can only comment from the perspective of dealing with difficult customers.

    Ian
     
  10. jeffers

    jeffers Active Member

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    I am with you on this Ian. Having done my own foils a couple of years ago I paid attention to the rules prior to doing it. In the end I just filled and faired the deeper scratches and knocks and gave it a couple of coats of paint prior to flatting back with 1200 wet and dry. The boat does not hum anywhere near as bad now.

    Paul
     
  11. AlanD

    AlanD Former ISAF Laser Measurer

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    Tell me this, if the Crompton factory for some reason was unable to supply any boards for 6 months (fire, bankruptcy etc) where are your boards going to come from?

    The class policy has been for a very long time been to have multiple sources for all equipment, yet the one area where this policy has not been met has been the boards. The Australian builder saw an opportunity, looked at the various class legal ways of building boards and went with a technique their people had previously been involved with, it still took a few years to iron out the bugs. Setting up a duplicate Cromptom where they had no experience and the Crompton factory wasn't going to help them made no sense.
     
  12. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    I edited the prevous post to make it more accurate. The red lettering is mine.


    The asnwer to your question.
    If Compton were to fail to rebuild and begin production beofre our builders exhausted their supplies of already purhcased and stocked blades, I would do as all other future purchasers of Lasers would do and buy mine from the next company who would be willing to build boards of the exact same materials and in the exact same shape as the Compton supplied blades we have been using for the previous 30 years.

    Your post suggests belief of an ongoing behavior by builders and the ILCA whose acceptance as reality demands ignorance of the operation of the International Laser Class Association and the builders who supply our toys. NO one has been regularly contacting varous potential suppliers of molded plastic devices and attemting to set up a business relationship with an alternative supplier of the exact same blades we had used successfully since the late 1970s to play our one design game.

    The phrase in the rules allowing fiberglass and foam blades was there to make it possible for those who still own old Lasers with horrible old fibreglass blades to participate in our events. The rules were never written with the intention of allowing a destruction of our one design game by a supplier of a fururistic machine laminated device.

    Last but something for readers to ponder:

    If the sudden loss of Compton as supplier were a significant concern to either the builders or the class, wouldn't the class and builders long since have purchsed a few thousand blades to be held in a strategic reserve??
     
  13. SFBayLaser

    SFBayLaser Member

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    You are certainly entitled to think what you want, and I can respect that you have a highly calibrated eyeball when it comes to these particular objects. At the same time, the LCM does specify the profile of the blades, it specifies their dimensions, it specifies their weight, it specifies their bend characteristics, etc., etc., etc. Statistically valid samples of randomly chosen PSA blades have been tested and shown to conform to the LCM specs and, importantly, match that of the Crompton blades.

    To my less calibrated eyeball, the one difference I see between the two sets of blades is the out of the box finish, in that the Crompton foils sometimes have a bit more orange peel than the PSA blades. My understanding is that the Crompton foils need more handwork when taken out of the molds, this can lead to the slight difference in finish.

    Still, in my mind the ultimate test is regatta performance and here I would challenge someone to show definitive proof from racing results that these blades are in any way superior, or inferior, to the other blades.

    Finally, I would offer that the builders as a group do not share your opinion regarding the best business practice to apply with respect to the potential for something happening to Crompton. All I can say here is that even within the lifetime of the Laser we have seen that nothing is permanent.
     

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