Measurement at the champs

24/07/2013 10:40:44
Chris M
Hi all,

Steve Watson will be heading up the scrutineering at the champs this year, assisted by me and Phil. Boats will be weighed and pole length and band presence checked. Other checks may also be made. It will not be possible to remove lead at scrutineering.

Sail measuring. I would very much appreciate it if you could organise getting your sails measured before arrival. If this is not possible and the sob story good enough I MAY be persuaded to do them in exchange for significant liquid refreshment and the usual fee. Obviously I will be sailing as will Sophie and Graham so our focus will be on our own boats.

See you there if not before!

24/07/2013 18:39:37
spoke to mr watson this morning...he will be ordering his stickers this week..a heads up would be helpful...

25/07/2013 16:09:34
Andy Hay - Business as Usual
Hi Guys, further to the discussion at the AGM, can we discuss (at some point after the Champs) your records of boat weights in the "as presented" trim? Could be a useful resource in the discussion about moving from a weight including "rigid" fittings to something more akin to the ERS definition.

What would make your lives easier? An all up weight of the boat in a ready to sail state, inc. rudder & boom? If so where should this be pitched, 105kg?

Just a thought ..... probably best discussed on a different thread or off forum. Good luck to all involved with the Champs and I look forward to reading Tim's reports with interest.

Fair winds.

25/07/2013 17:09:44
Chris M
To be honest with our current set up there is no particular need to do anything as it takes about two minutes maximum to weigh a boat. If we were still using suspension scales things might need looking at.

Most boats come out about 100kg. We start to worry at 99kg with bits in but boom lifted. When I was doing we sanity checked with the newest/most recently measured boat to ensure accuracy.

25/07/2013 20:26:14
Chris M
Further to the above post in my opinion after some thought last week the current rules regarding fittings, rigging and weight are pretty good in that you weigh the boat in the state that it's in when you sail it less easily removed items.

It's no problem to remove the boom weight from the equation - equally there is no incentive to artificially reduce your hull weight by having a lead one.

It's no problem to remove the rudder, but again no incentive to have a heavy one.

Tie on blocks and "rigid" fittings. I can't think of too many items that fall foul of this almost regardless of how they are attached. The compass would be one if it's a tack tick but these weigh next to nothing and are dead easy to remove - so you take it off to weigh the boat. The tie on blocks given as an example in your presentation are just as rigidly attached as ones that are screwed on, if not more time consuming to remove. I suppose the problem is that the rules were not written with tie fittings in mind, however I would not ask you to remove them because they fall within the spirit of the rules. Yours is not the only boat I've seen with tied on spinnaker sheet blocks and certainly not the oldest!

The main, jib and spinnaker sheets should really be removed. We make an allowance for these when I scrutineer (Steve will do the same), and only ask for them to be removed if the weight is dangerously close ie 99kg or less. Since nearly all new boats come in at 100 - 101kg much less than that in my view is an anomaly and should be bought up to standard. Different scales can also give different readings, I know our platforms are accurate to 0.25kg as they are calibrated every year. David's boats are remarkably consistent and a good benchmark.

All that said the scrutineering weigh in is only a check, and we are looking to be certain that all boats are at or above target weight with their correctors present as per the certificate. If you should have lead according to the certificate and you don't you are out of class.

Back to all up weight. On reflection I don't think we need to do this. It won't benefit the class in any obvious way because all the awkward stuff is weighed anyway. It'll be either a weight increase or a closet reduction depending on which way we were to go. It's about perception really but I don't think either is desirable given the current buoyance of the class.

30/07/2013 10:57:55
Steve Watson
The scrutineering is an audit not an opportunity for re-measurement.  We will be looking for exceptions to compliance to the equipment rules. 

Scrutiny is required before registration. There will be a boring form to submit.

Please be in attendance at weighing to provide muscle and many hands.

General principles.
The Umpire's decision is final. Scrutiny not mutiny.
Toys can be thrown out of pram and will be ignored unless R69.

RYA measurement certificate required for the boat. MROA Associate or Full membership for Helm. Double fee if joining on the day.

No mast!

Boat must be dry as practicable. Too wet ones will be refused until compliant to the prevailing "rule of wet" on the day. (1 litre water weighs 1 Kg). Water and/or mercury will not be permitted in tanks or buoyancy bags.

We will allow a weight for any sheets. This will be based on ordinary rope quality not super light or 3/4" hemp.
We will lift the boom and poles at weighing.

Method of attachment of standard 'fixed' fittings will not be questioned. (ie screws, bolts, rope, shackles). Additional fittings, such as water bottle holders may be taken into account. Drinks must be removed.

Sponges will be removed. Tanks may be inspected for materials accidentally left inside them. (eg praddles behind the buoyancy bags; wet, heavy-knit seaman's jersey left inside front tank; or toolbox with 2Kg lump hammer, just in case. (DA always has a toolkit).

If the boat is above the scrutineers' weight threshold (98Kg plus allowances), it's a pass. You cannot take any weight out. The number of correctors and their weights is on your measurement certificate, know where they are please. They must be in place.

Marginal weight boats will be subject to intense inspection.
If the boat is too light you will be asked to add some lead or equivalent (no radioactive material allowed) in a manner which is satisfactorily fixed for the duration of the event. The boat must be re-inspected at the discretion of the scrutineers. Found underweight boats will be in the public domain to permit peer policing during the event. Even National Champions have had to add weight in the past. Heavy boats will not be ridiculed.

Finding lead in a small town can be difficult.(I was lucky in Hayling Island some years ago). Phil Scott may be able to supply at significant cost. No guarantee.

The weight of the boat found at the event will not be permitted for RYA official re-measurement.

Band markings on your spars are required in contrasting colour. 2 on mast, 1 on boom.
Sail sizes marked on boom at nominal correct size but must be coherently legible. (DW usually writes them too small, don't know why!). We will have suitable paint and a brush which will be very expensive. Marker pen is not sufficient nor is electrical tape.

Length of spinnaker poles, including fitting arrangement. Don't get caught out on this one. We will have a dummy comparison stick so its easy for us to pass or fail yours.

We will not be checking the sails, whether measured or not or the actual the number carried in your boat.

We will not be explicitly checking centreboard/rudder, boat construction materials unless suspicion of breach.

Bring a Merlin Rocket not something that looks like a Merlin Rocket.

Any questions?

Remember, we are here to help, but not necessarily you.

30/07/2013 13:15:36
Steve, Are you sure the Helm is allowed to just be an associate member?? I thought anyone helming would need to be a full member to participate in an association event.

Also, the certificates need to have a bouyancy endorsement don't they?

30/07/2013 20:47:31

Full members have to be owners - if you don't own a boat you can't be a full member (and can't vote at an AGM). Associate membership is fine for champs, salcombe, etc.


30/07/2013 21:27:45
Steve Watson
Buoyancy is now self policing.
Gone are the days when I could blow up the tanks!

30/07/2013 21:42:30
And after scrutineering fill the Buoyancy bags with Helium, It is colorless, odorless, tasteless and non-toxic. It is also the second lightest element.

30/07/2013 23:35:45
Chris M
but it makes you talk in a high pitched voice.

31/07/2013 08:55:44
Fair enough Will.

I know there is no formal Bouyancy test now but my understanding is that it still needs to be signed by the owner and witnessed by a senior club or association representative.

I had this very same conversation last year and thought this had been cleared up. However this seems to change on a yearly basis, almost as much as the importance of the Certificates themselves.

31/07/2013 09:00:06
Incidentally. If I wanted to be an associate and therfore pay less, could I not register my boat as someone elses and then borrow it for events? There is nothing to say that an owner MUST be a member is there? Therfore we get a boat at the champs where neither the owner or crew are members and the helm is just an associate?

Doesn't seem fair to those who put so much effort in to the class and pay a whopping £10 extra a year!!

I think we should look at our membership personally.

31/07/2013 09:00:31
RH .
You could fill your bags with helium but it may not be worthwhile. 2 x 90L bags of helium would generate lift of approx 0.2 Kg...........

31/07/2013 09:34:26

The measurement rules (rule 21 (a)) specify that the owner must be a member of the association. This, coupled with para 3.1 in the Champs Notice of Race which requires that the helm is a member, means that where someone other than the owner is helming then both the owner and helm must be members of the association. Hope that helps.

31/07/2013 10:50:02
Will, that contradicts what you just said??

So the helm DOES need to be a full member to compete, but can't be a full member if they don't own a boat??

But an owner does not have to be a member to own the boat but if someone wants to borrow it for the champs then they do have to join, even though they are not sailing it?

Am I confused or this a bit of a mess???

31/07/2013 11:08:14
Frances Gifford
Hi Jez,

I don't think its a mess. What Will is saying is right.

The helm must be a member. If not an owner then an associate member is all they can be and this is a form of membership, so they are indeed a member of the class (once associate membership paid up).

It is right that they cannot be a full member as it would be wrong for a non-owning occasional borrower of a boat to have a vote at the AGM.

Your scenario above to save £10 would cause you a world of pain in relation to boat ownership and insurance so is not really a good reason to suggest that the system isn't how it should be.

Being a member of the class association has many benefits, and being an associate member allows individuals to benefit, despite not owning a boat at that time.

These benefits include:
Entitlement to sail at class run events
A wonderful magazine and yearbook
A class that is publicised and promoted to encourage strong fleets at club, regional and national level
Management of rules of the class to maintain its strength whilst allowing development within the restrictions as laid out by the rules.
A feeling of belonging.

And all of this for £25 or £15.... Money very well spent.

I hope that helps (Jez - clearly the last part is not aimed at you, just hoping that it stimulates people to pay their membership or become associate members if not already).


31/07/2013 11:33:11
Hi Fran,

I am not suggesting that people should try to avoid being a member, quite the opposite. I actually feel that for such a small amount of difference financially, it would make sense for all members to be full members regardless of whether they own a boat or not.

I realise this means non boat owners can vote at the AGM but look at who we are talking about here. People like Jilly Blake, Pippa Taylor, Richard Parslow, Sophie Mackley Etc. All very active and succesfull Merlin Sailors who don't get a vote, and they were all at the AGM!!

Maybe a topic for discussion at the next Committee Meeting?

31/07/2013 14:17:12
Dumb question alert:  What's the dimension for the boom band and where's it measured from?

31/07/2013 17:44:17
Andrew M
It will be on your certificate (standard is 2503mm) and is measured from a point formed by the intersection of the top edge of the boom with the rear face of the mast INCLUDING the sail track, extended downwards if neccessary (it will be) to the black or white band.

31/07/2013 21:22:53
Back to the helium how much extra lift would u get if the buoyancy tanks was someho filled with helium. Also as the second smallest atom how long would the gas stay in the bags or tanks?
If nothing else I want to hear Chris M speak squeaky../

31/07/2013 21:27:30
RH has answered this already see above!

31/07/2013 22:00:22
d.h dont need helium...i find a a swift kick to the googleys has the desired effect...ill show you how it works at tenby!!!

01/08/2013 11:40:42
Chris M
Jon, I never knew you cared.......

01/08/2013 21:39:26
Steve Watson
Boat must be measured and valid (registered to owner)
Owner must be member MROA (full)
Helm must be member MROA

01/08/2013 21:52:15
Steve Watson
10mm width
Clear to see (any colour)
Top of boom not lower than upper edge of lower band.

The tack is the junction of luff and foot and is therefore aft of the mast track.
Foot length then defines inner edge of boom band from the tack.

01/08/2013 21:55:58
Steve Watson
To be valid the measurement cert must be signed.
Owner signs to say boat is compliant with buoyancy rules.
Official signs to witness signature. Official is not verifying compliance.

02/08/2013 00:26:01
Dave Charlton
Sorry but pointless surely.  I am I gonig to ask someone else to sign it in my name?

Or am I missing something at this time of night?? :-)

02/08/2013 08:40:20
Dave, you sign it to say it floats and someone else (in office) signs it to confirm it was you that signed it.

It does appear pointless but it is there to demonstrate due dilagence on behalf of the class and the RYA. Ergo, if you sink, it's your fault!


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