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Extra Line Storage Legality


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This post refers to both the discussion of the new 15:1 vang system and a new discussion on the legality of storage of the free ends of control lines. Rule 21 of the laser bylaws stated "CLIPS AND STORAGE BAGS
Clips, ties or bags to stow or secure safety or other equipment may be used on the deck, in the cockpit, or around the mast." Does this include the storage of the extra line needed in the cockpit while using the new 15:1. If this is legal I was thinking about storing all of the extra line from the vang in a bage i would make to hang from the mainsheet ratchet block fastener. Is this a good idea? I'm not sure there would be much chance to put the line in the bag but this was just a thought. I have seen this arrangement on a Hobie 33 Magic and that's where I got the idea from.


> Is this a good idea? I'm not sure there would be much chance
> to put the line in the bag but ...

No, it's not a good idea.

True, keelboats use such storage bags, but primarily for storage of halyards and control lines away from the damaging effects of sunlight over the extended periods of time the boat is not racing (between weekends).

On a Laser (and on any racing boat), you do not want your control lines securely tucked away just to keep your deck or cockpit clean. Racing a Laser as she should be raced, you will not have the time to either store the tail of the vang line in such a bag or to reach over to retrieve it out of the bag. The vang control line should always be immediately accessible, at close proximity to your hiking position.

Regarding the "legality" issue, IMHO, Rule 21 does allow for "clips, ties or bags" to store or secure portions of the control lines. I will try to demonstrate that based on two assumptions:
A1. "the rule writers wrote THE RULES" (i.e., were ABLE to expres in By-Law 1 the envisoned rules).
A2. "the rule writers were careful" (i.e., did not write conflicting rules).

As Laser racers, we have ample historical evidence that both of these assumptions are actually untenable. Nevertheless, here we go:

The wording of Rule 21 applies equally to "clips, ties or bags". That is, rules governing usage of "clips" can not be different that those governing usage of "bags".

Now compare that with the wording of Rule 3(b)x about the "free ends of the controil lines". This rule allows the control lines (except mainsheet) to be "tied" (or equivalently "secured") to any "deck fitting" (including "clips").

Thus, if Rule 21 did not allow the vang line tail to be "secured" to a deck clip, that would contradict Rule 3(b)x. Therefore, Rule 21 must be allowing this. And therefore, Rule 21 must be equally allowing the vang line tail to be "stored" in a "bag" - since the wording of Rule 21 does not differentiate between
(i) "clips" versus "bags", and
(ii) "stowing" versus "securing".


IMHO, (and as I mentioned it various times in other public Laser media) the more interesting questions here are the following:
1) Given Rule 3(b)x, is it legal to use specially designed clips that will keep all control lines (ALL DOUBLE-ENDED) right at the rail, within reach and ready to use from our upwind hiking position, regardless of the tack we are on?
2) Can we not capitalize on 3(b)x AND OTHER RULES to construct "self-tacking" control line tails (that always remain on the windward rail)?

Which are (of course) not the topics of this thread.

Shevy Gunter
Someone Who Is Not Afraid To Sign His Name Under His Public Posts