"Most equipment based sports have the problems of upgrading and new technology requiring the spending of more $. The best thing that can be done is to ensure that any upgrades made are of benifit to the class and not just change for change sake. This is where the try (and talk) before everyone buys comes in."
Ok, Ive read ALL the posts, just an idea here : Colmc raised a valid point : Upgrade costs vs normal wear and tear/usage costs. You will gladly order a new Mozzie mainsail (class legal) when your old one is clearly no longer capable of producing results. An often-sailed boat will have to change mainsails more often, so the top competitors (ie those who sail often, rule no. 1 of being close to the top) will buy new sails more often than those who sail less often.(ie back or middle of fleet).
Now, if a squaretop mainsail cost 10% more than a standard main, and is proven to produce more speed, power and control in a wide range of conditions, surely it would be a GOOD thing for the CLASS (not necessarily all the class MEMBERS). It could also(no promises here) promote the class more, attracting sailors who would otherwise go elsewhere for more performance.
And the beauty of it all, is that you`d buy one when your old dacron main is screwed anyway, at only 10% more (remember?) than your new one-design main. Then, when everyone has a squaretop main, it BECOMES the new one-design sail, at NO ADDITIONAL COST (ok sorry, 10% more...)
So IF the class changed to a squaretop main, a natural progression would take place. The SA (as in Africa) Mozzie class didn`t adopt the spinnaker immediately - we never even proposed it as a rule change - until 5 boats were sailing with spinnakers and making the rest of the class members green with envy, for at least a season.
We tested and tried it in all conditions, tried to break it, the boat and the crew, until it was a PROVEN idea. Then we put it to the vote and got 100% positive response, because everyone could SEE that it made the boat faster and more fun to sail, with NO ADDITIONAL BREAKAGES.
That`s what has to happen with squaretop ideas - someone has to try them out, and after a season or so once it has been PROVEN a success or a failure, can we sit back and make an objective decision as to whether it works or not. If it does, the adventurous sailors will go with it whether it`s class legal or not. If it doesn`t work, well then at least it was tried. If it works, the class can vote on it, and the outcome will be whatever it may be. Experiments are good for the class, brave folks are prepared to try new ideas at their own expense, and the best ideas that WORK can be adopted to keep the class at or at least close to the sharp edge of catamaran design.
I love the boat for what it is, and I`m not kidding myself that it can be a full F16. But there is NOTHING more satisfying than rounding the A-mark 50m ahead of a Hoboe Tiger (sp. mistake intended), and reaching the C-mark with the same margin advantage, and it happens. The only thing better is when the skipper of the Tiger (who in this case is my ex-skipper) approaches you after the race and says "man, I just couldn`t catch you downwind !"
Makes me want to own a Mozzie.
And that`s how to get other people to want to own a Mozzie.
Please accept my "badgering" for what it is - an unbounded enthusiasm for a beautiful "classic" design boat, that with subtle upgrades with moderate costs, can still be a great performer 40 years after it left the drawing board.