rules, i love rules.

23/06/2020 10:54:35
Section F – Rig
(1) One mast spar.
(2) One boom spar.
(1) Spinnaker Pole
(2) Whisker Pole
Does this rule prohibit extra spars? like a gaff?  We don't have a spar count limit (i thought we did). I was under the impression that if it doesn't say you can't then you can(try)?
Also i notice that we are only allowed a singular spinnaker pole? 

24/06/2020 08:44:34
Stuart Bates
Reading through that I would say that the Gaff, or Sprit, as it is not listed as optional, is not an allowed item.

24/06/2020 08:46:25
That's right. the MR Class Rules are OPEN Class Rules.
ERS definition:
"C.2.3 Open Class Rules
Class Rules where anything not specifically prohibited by the Class Rules is permitted."
So, looking at MR Class Rule F.1, I guess that the list of optional items is superfluous, as all things are optional unless specifically prohibited. E.g. two spi poles are allowed, and 2 masts, even. The only LIMITATION imposed in section F is that masts shall not be permanently bent.

24/06/2020 08:51:05
Perhaps there is a case for making the Class Rules CLOSED instead of OPEN.

24/06/2020 09:02:31
An example to further emphasise the point about OPEN vs CLOSED rules:
The Hadron H2 Class Rules have statements similar to MR Rule F.1 above, which list mandatory and optional items. But the H2 Rules are CLOSED rules so anything not specified as mandatory or optional is PROHIBITED. 

24/06/2020 09:29:38
Stuart Bates
Thanks Keith, I guess many people don't see the rules as Open, though to have the freedom to build different hulls and have such a variety of rig options it makes sense that this is the case, but does open the door for some changes that can have a real impact on the boats.  There is a section that is listed as Closed (Part III Section H).
Section C does mention some Spars as not allowed.
Internal ballast other than that listed in C.6.3, outriggers, bowsprits, bumpkins, bilgeboards, outside channels and other similar devices are prohibited.
I guess then I can have a Trapeze if they aren't mentioned?

24/06/2020 09:40:31
Stuart Bates
I have to say that the switch to the ERS has certainly thrown open a whole case of cans of worms and I can fully understand the frustration that those who were involved in the re-writing will be feeling everytime one is opened.
I think that we need to show consideration to the tough task that was involved and not be silly with what we do whilst all these holes are found, as we still want to have forward progress in the class without getting to a situation where we cause the class to stagnate.

24/06/2020 12:13:48
Stuart, I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments about the monumental task involved in changing the MR Rules to ISAF format. I know that they went through at least 18 drafts and dozens of hours of painstaking unpaid/voluntary work would have been involved in producing them.
But if people see a loophole there is nothing to stop them exploiting it. I gather that this has caused big issues on more than one occasion in the recent past and my inclination would be to redraft the Rules in CLOSED format and to do this ASAP. The freedom to have different hull shapes, rig variations etc. does not in any way preclude this approach.
As for trapezes, pre-ISAF rules had the following paragraph:
(a) The following are prohibited:
Electronic aids, double luffed mainsails, mainsails passing round the
mast and attached back on themselves, inside ballast, bowsprits,
bumpkins, outside channels, outriggers, bilge-boards, double rudders
and similar contrivances, the use of any apparatus or contrivance
outboard or extending outboard and attached to the hull spars or
rigging or to the person of the helmsman or crew the purpose or effect
of which is or may be to assist in supporting a number of the crew
outboard or partially outboard
I have just scanned the current rules and can find no such statement. A san of the MS Word version of the Rules discovers no occurrence of the word 'outboard'. Therefore (unless I've missed it) trapezes are allowed. 

24/06/2020 12:32:55
There is another option. Ditch ERS and go back to the MR rules, they worked pretty well before and it allows us to keep the spirit of our class alive . 

24/06/2020 13:40:04
Matt 3494
ERS works fine in general and i dont think you need to close the rules. Currently the rules are a mix of ERS and old school (see mast diameter for reference) all that is being found are areas of the rules that need refinement because a few bits haven't been spotted. Hopefully nothing to taxing to bring up to date.

25/06/2020 20:35:30
Martin Smith
This thread has sparked a flurry of behind the scenes e-mails today, I have to say that the committee welcome feedback from anyone who thinks they have spotted an error in the rules, such as the spinnaker pole one which has already been brought to the attention of the RYA some time ago actually.
As for trapeze I’m afraid they appear to be prohibited, don’t forget that class rules and ERS as well as RRS have to be read together to get the full picture.
Below is an extract from the flow of e-mails of today which I hope demonstrates this and clears up the trapeze question.

Trapezes are banned under RRS 49.1 and cross referenced under ERS  Appendix 1. Thus classes who wish to have trapezes are required under RRS  86.1 (c) to amend their class rules accordingly. 
The Merlin Rocket Class has not done this.
It appears the interrelationship between RRS ERS and Class Rules are sometimes overlooked.

26/06/2020 11:02:26
Phew! That's sorted that possible issue very promptly. I don't think anyone wants trapezes on Merlin Rockets.
It is rather cumbersome, though, to have 3 sets of documentation which are relevant to the construction and use of our boats. The RRS is 188 pages; the ERS is 50 pages and our rules are 17 pages. 
So that's the 'Trapeze' issue safely kicked into touch. But what about the 'Spars' question? 

26/06/2020 14:54:33
Martin Smith
Matt Stuart Keith thanks for raising the above points.
Albatross I am not fully up to speed on the back story but the need to go down the ISAF format was not a straightforward one, retention of the classes national status was part of the reason.  
Keith the Spar question I'm sure will be answered shortly, it might take a day or two, its also worth pointing out that the RYA Tech department are either on furlough or working from home so there is not quite the ease of contact that there was pre-virus. 

30/06/2020 17:51:14
Jo & rod sceptical
Maybe there should be a new word to replace previously;- previrusly  .


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