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N20 Owner's Meeting Update #207795
04/09/10 12:38 AM
04/09/10 12:38 AM
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Solomon's Island, MD
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samc99us Offline OP
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samc99us  Offline OP
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All,

6 N20 owners met last weekend at Spring Fever to discuss class changes and updates. The biggest issue discussed was the sail plan:

1) Nacra has agreed to modify the sail plan following a written proposal, which the N20 class president has agreed to write.

2) This proposal states that a new spinnaker will be developed no later than Q1 2011, a new mainsail will be developed no later than Q1 2012, and a new jib will be developed no later than Q1 2013.

3) The owners at the meeting agreed to be active in the sail development. Effective immediately, this means the following:

a) Prototype spinnakers (2) will be acquired from Nacra. This will travel to regattas and rotate boats. The southeast fleet (NC through FL) will likely have them first, followed by the WRSC fleet and the west coast fleet.

b) The sailors agreed not to protest users of the new sails when they are under development, and rotate them amongst boats to better evaluate their performance.

c) The sailors present agreed to put a deposit down for a new spinnaker to help fund R&D costs.

At this point, little interest from Nacra Europe exists in the class. We need to take matters more into our own hands, however, changes won't happen without $$. The other driving force is class membership; if 50 boat owners sign up to be class members ($5, http://www.nacraclass.com/Nacra%20Class%20Member.pdf), we gain a controlling interest in the class and have ~ equal voting rights as the Nacra board of directors in the say of all things N20.

The other idea brought up at the meeting was a southeast points series, similar to the Harken points series run several years ago. 5 events will be selected, and the best score out of 3 of the events will have their name engraved on a perpetual trophy.

-Sam


F18 Infusion
-- Have You Seen This? --
Re: N20 Owner's Meeting Update [Re: samc99us] #207808
04/09/10 07:58 AM
04/09/10 07:58 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
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Portland, Maine
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ThunderMuffin Offline
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Thanks for the update Sam. Good to hear about the sail plan. Its nice to know that after many years of being in the dark regarding the owners participation in the class - we can have a say in the future development of the boat.

BK will surely be surprised! :P

Re: N20 Owner's Meeting Update [Re: ThunderMuffin] #207849
04/09/10 09:39 PM
04/09/10 09:39 PM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 267
Ocean Springs, MS
Capt_Cardiac Offline
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Capt_Cardiac  Offline
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Ocean Springs, MS
I'm all in.

I'm sent in the registration. And I'll buy into the sail development. Get the sails started. What do you need and when?

5? races:
Tradewinds
Performance Midwinters
Spring Fever
Round the Island
Performance Nationals
Steeplechase

I know i put six but this boat is a distance racer and a can racer. we need some of both to round out the challengers.

what other races make the cut? I'll go to more if the fleet shows up.

CC


Capt Cardiac
Ocean Springs Yacht Club
Sailor
Nacra20 - Flight of Ideas #5
Re: N20 Owner's Meeting Update [Re: samc99us] #207861
04/10/10 07:30 AM
04/10/10 07:30 AM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,301
Gulf Coast relocated from Cali...
TeamChums Offline
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Quote
, a new mainsail will be developed no later than Q1 2012,


Seriously? 2 f'n years? Why can't we just start running the European ones made by Performance Sails? They look like they've had a little more developement than we get over here. Can't EP just get one of those and copy it to cut down on a HUGE amount of time? I'd like to keep my dollars in the US but not sure if I want to waite that long.


Lee

Sail fast or get the hell out of the way.
Re: N20 Owner's Meeting Update [Re: TeamChums] #207863
04/10/10 08:09 AM
04/10/10 08:09 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
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Portland, Maine
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ThunderMuffin Offline
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Lee,

The waiting period, is, as I have heard, to let people have time to "save up the coin" to buy these new sails when they come out and plan their sail replacement schedule.

Not everyone can drop $3k at a time for a whole new suit at once.

Re: N20 Owner's Meeting Update [Re: TeamChums] #207864
04/10/10 08:10 AM
04/10/10 08:10 AM
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 3,355
Key Largo, FL and Put-in-Bay, ...
RickWhite Offline

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Key Largo, FL and Put-in-Bay, ...
Dumb question here? But since you are forming your own class association, why not set up sail measurement rules, and then open up to all sailmakers? That is what we did with the Wave Class, and consequently have better sails, better sailmakers, and they cost less.
Rick


Rick White
Catsailor Magazine & OnLineMarineStore.com
www.onlinemarinestore.com
Re: N20 Owner's Meeting Update [Re: RickWhite] #207866
04/10/10 08:11 AM
04/10/10 08:11 AM
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Portland, Maine
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ThunderMuffin Offline
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We're not forming our own class association. We're getting a voting stake in the nacra board.

Its a bit different - but the idea of openning up the sailmakers would not be supported by Nacra.

Re: N20 Owner's Meeting Update [Re: ThunderMuffin] #207869
04/10/10 09:04 AM
04/10/10 09:04 AM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,301
Gulf Coast relocated from Cali...
TeamChums Offline
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Rick,
I agree with what you said but it seems the general consensus is that it would be the last nail in the coffin for the N20 class. I'm not really sure if I agree with that but I'm trying to be a team player with my buddies who race them as well.
I've been messing around with a different spinn and am just now getting the bugs worked out. I had one made that is the same dimensions as the N20 spinn but a more updated cut. At first I hated it. Not going to mention where I ran it. Next big race, we got a little better with it. Now it's pretty stretched out but flying very nicely. I have another season left in it I believe and will get another one made from the same guy but with a few small changes. Where we're running in a Nacra 20 class, I'll continue to run EP sails.


Lee

Sail fast or get the hell out of the way.
Re: N20 Owner's Meeting Update [Re: TeamChums] #207872
04/10/10 09:30 AM
04/10/10 09:30 AM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 1,022
Lake Zurich, IL
MarkMT Offline
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MarkMT  Offline
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Lake Zurich, IL
Originally Posted by TeamChums
the general consensus is that it would be the last nail in the coffin for the N20 class.

Really? Do you mean that more people would leave the class if there was a little more flexibility in the rules to allow owner choice while still preserving fundamentally equivalent performance within practical limits? I know strict SMOD is conceptually appealing, but if you look at the spectrum of variations allowed by different catamaran classes, more flexibility doesn't seem to have hurt participation in those with more relaxed rules. Am I misunderstanding your point?

Re: N20 Owner's Meeting Update [Re: MarkMT] #207874
04/10/10 10:11 AM
04/10/10 10:11 AM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,301
Gulf Coast relocated from Cali...
TeamChums Offline
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Going by history, this is what could happen. The P19 when Randy Smyth came out with the MX upgrade. The N5.8 going to the NA. The N6.0 adding chutes, ect.


Lee

Sail fast or get the hell out of the way.
Re: N20 Owner's Meeting Update [Re: TeamChums] #207890
04/10/10 02:40 PM
04/10/10 02:40 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,459
Annapolis,MD
Keith Offline
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Keith  Offline
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Originally Posted by TeamChums
Going by history, this is what could happen. The P19 when Randy Smyth came out with the MX upgrade. The N5.8 going to the NA. The N6.0 adding chutes, ect.


Hmmm.

I'm with Rick. Especially if Nacra Europe has said there is little interest in the class anyway. They are interested in selling boats. A vibrant owner class that replaces the factory class should mean nothing to them if they are selling boats.

The boats mentioned above are interesting cases, but I think for a different reason - the updates came too late - the classes were already dead IMO, people had moved on. I therefore believe the changes failed to resurrect, which is different from killing in the first place. The lesson in my eyes is to stay on the curve or ahead, don't get behind as catching up is hard to do (just like racing).

As for developing sails at the schedule mentioned - is it wise to develop a main and jib on different time schedules? Given that all three sails are up off the wind (we don't put the jib away when the spin is up), is it wise to not develop the sail plan all at once? Will we end up with another compromise - the new main works with the old jib, so when the new jib comes along it has to work with a main that worked with the old jib, the new spin worked great with the old main and jib, but with the new, etc...

Sounds like I'm carping, just thinking out loud. I applaud the effort, will send in my $5 to help it happen, as it's better than we have. But I still think it might be best to ditch and go measurement. Nacra can supply sails that measure in, if they're good we'll buy them.

Re: N20 Owner's Meeting Update [Re: Keith] #207893
04/10/10 04:02 PM
04/10/10 04:02 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 885
Crofton, MD
Chris9 Offline
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I agree with -
Quote
The boats mentioned above are interesting cases, but I think for a different reason - the updates came too late - the classes were already dead IMO, people had moved on. I therefore believe the changes failed to resurrect, which is different from killing in the first place. The lesson in my eyes is to stay on the curve or ahead, don't get behind as catching up is hard to do (just like racing).


And this -
Quote
. But I still think it might be best to ditch and go measurement. Nacra can supply sails that measure in, if they're good we'll buy them.


Chris Allen
Nacra 20 Gertie
www.wrcra.org
Re: N20 Owner's Meeting Update [Re: Chris9] #207895
04/10/10 04:38 PM
04/10/10 04:38 PM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 3,221
Roanoke Island ,N.C.
Team_Cat_Fever Offline
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Team_Cat_Fever  Offline
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Originally Posted by Chris9
I agree with -
Quote
The boats mentioned above are interesting cases, but I think for a different reason - the updates came too late - the classes were already dead IMO, people had moved on. I therefore believe the changes failed to resurrect, which is different from killing in the first place. The lesson in my eyes is to stay on the curve or ahead, don't get behind as catching up is hard to do (just like racing).


And this -
Quote
. But I still think it might be best to ditch and go measurement. Nacra can supply sails that measure in, if they're good we'll buy them.


Unfortunately, it could be a matter of catch up already. I think it would be nice to get the new sails out sooner to avoid more loss, but something is better than nothing. I advocated opening up the sails and recieved a good amount of backlash. I even got Ding to show me how to measure in a set of sails at Spring fever (Thanks Ding) and it's a lot more to it than most realize. I honestly don't think many would go through with it. Because of this it would probably detract from the class even more.If the new sails that come out aren't cutting edge and just another design that shows no improvement, than I will once again advocate opening the sails and soft goods.By the time all of this is hashed out it may be too late or we may be back on a resurgence curve, only time will tell.
Todd Hart


"I said, now, I said ,pay attention boy!"

The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea
Isak Dinesen
If a man is to be obsessed by something.... I suppose a boat is as good as anything... perhaps a bit better than most.
E. B. White
Re: N20 Owner's Meeting Update [Re: Team_Cat_Fever] #207896
04/10/10 05:10 PM
04/10/10 05:10 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 3,116
Annapolis, MD
Mark Schneider Offline
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Mark Schneider  Offline
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Annapolis, MD
The question of whether it's too late for the N20 class is only resolved by an agreement among the class members as to the vision going forward.

You should look at the Viper 640 class for inspiration... The boat was given up for dead but a new rig was part of a clear vision and buy in from the sailors resulted in a big rebound centered around a great regatta circuit and now they have a full page add in Sailing World listing their major regattas!

How not to manage the future??? See those dead boats that you just listed....



crac.sailregattas.com
Re: N20 Owner's Meeting Update [Re: Team_Cat_Fever] #207898
04/10/10 06:07 PM
04/10/10 06:07 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,459
Annapolis,MD
Keith Offline
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Keith  Offline
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Originally Posted by Team_Cat_Fever
Originally Posted by Chris9
I agree with -
Quote
The boats mentioned above are interesting cases, but I think for a different reason - the updates came too late - the classes were already dead IMO, people had moved on. I therefore believe the changes failed to resurrect, which is different from killing in the first place. The lesson in my eyes is to stay on the curve or ahead, don't get behind as catching up is hard to do (just like racing).


And this -
Quote
. But I still think it might be best to ditch and go measurement. Nacra can supply sails that measure in, if they're good we'll buy them.


Unfortunately, it could be a matter of catch up already. I think it would be nice to get the new sails out sooner to avoid more loss, but something is better than nothing. I advocated opening up the sails and recieved a good amount of backlash. I even got Ding to show me how to measure in a set of sails at Spring fever (Thanks Ding) and it's a lot more to it than most realize. I honestly don't think many would go through with it. Because of this it would probably detract from the class even more.If the new sails that come out aren't cutting edge and just another design that shows no improvement, than I will once again advocate opening the sails and soft goods.By the time all of this is hashed out it may be too late or we may be back on a resurgence curve, only time will tell.
Todd Hart


I agree it may be too late.

But just a though on the measurement thing, however - the three fastest growing classes IMO are the A-Cat, F-16, and F-18. All require measured sails and measured boats. So I'm not sure which is worse - the hassle of measuring or everybody using sails that are assumed to be equal just because they have the appropriate sail maker's patch (either through quality control or "repairs").

Re: N20 Owner's Meeting Update [Re: Keith] #207905
04/10/10 09:15 PM
04/10/10 09:15 PM
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Solomon's Island, MD
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samc99us Offline OP
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Couple of thoughts:

1) Measuring sails is a PITA, but it needs to be done to ensure fairness, if the sails are factory or not. If the class starts doing this before major events (Tybee, Nationals, Tradewinds, Spring Fever), we will seriously up the quality control from EP.

2) Opening up sail development won't work-there aren't enough sailors to warrant an additional manufacturer imo. I do think we should be able to use Performance Sails, if they measure in per 1. If the class starts growing (i.e, doubles in size), this may be a viable option.

3) Current Performance Sails, my understanding, don't fit our carbon rigs, i.e, they were built for the aluminum mast.

4) Parts: My personal opinion is open parts has no real negative effect. Enforce stock rudders, dagger boards, mast and sails, and open everything else up. This will have a positive effect in reducing the cost of parts, making it cheaper to go sailing, and Nacra has to keep quality up to keep us customers.

My biggest point is we should measure sails, even if they are supposedly all one design. In order to keep the N20 alive, we need to get new sails asap. The dates I listed are only no later than dates-EP can update the entire sailplane tomorrow, but that could exile many sailor who can't afford a new suite tomorrow. The other options available to current N20 owners are the following:

1) Buy a F18
2) Buy a F20

Who is seriously considering either of those options? The N20 with new sailplane should be faster than any F18 on any point of sail, and the F20 costs $30k and doesn't have an existing class. The only reason to go F18 is for the larger class, but if you want to distance race, the N20 is the real option (unless you are rich).


F18 Infusion
Re: N20 Owner's Meeting Update [Re: samc99us] #207913
04/11/10 12:57 AM
04/11/10 12:57 AM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,459
Annapolis,MD
Keith Offline
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I think out of your two options listed what will happen is #1. It's already happening for distance racing.

With respect to the sails and other things, I worry about a price effective source of the masts. One bad launch day at Tybee and your boat could be an insurance write-off. Will performance support the alum or carbon stick with the new sails? Both? If we break a mast, what will our source of masts be?

The last price quote I heard for a new N-20 was also pushing the $30k mark (carbon mast contributing significantly?). Are we hoping for significant class rebirth so that new boats will be purchased, or are we just trading the old boats? Is anybody considering the purchase of a new N-20 (given the price comparison to the F-20)? A thing to ponder here is that by the time the new suite of sails is complete two things will have happened - 1) our boats will be several years older and 2) the f-18s will have advanced their sail plan by at least two iterations.

Re: N20 Owner's Meeting Update [Re: Keith] #207918
04/11/10 07:11 AM
04/11/10 07:11 AM
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Posts: 756
Newport, RI
wildtsail Offline
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Sam, opening everything else besides rudders, daggers, mast, and sails.. what else is left? Parts? That would really piss Nacra off, more so than sails I think. And it's certainly not worth that risk over a few things. You can already make your own rigging.
What Keith said about F18s having developed sails two iterations is something to consider why open sails is so successful. For the most part, since the designs refined to current technology, changes in sail design have been so small that someone going out and buying the latest and greatest isn't a game breaker unless your at the very top of the fleet in which case your willing to part with that money if your competing at that level. But even so it's been a couple years or more since a sail like that has came out. It becomes a continuous cycle that is very advantagous to the life of the class.

Re: N20 Owner's Meeting Update [Re: wildtsail] #207922
04/11/10 08:49 AM
04/11/10 08:49 AM
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Portland, Maine
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ThunderMuffin Offline
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Quote
It becomes a continuous cycle that is very advantagous to the life of the class.


I can't even count the number of manufacturers of the F18 on two hands.

I can count the number of manufacturers of the N20 on one finger.

The number of F18 sailors are 10-fold that of the N20.

The scale of the situation makes it different for the N20 in regards to sail development. I think you'd be hard pressed to get economies of competition by opening up the sail plan to all lofts when a lot of those lofts will be starting from scratch on sail development - and they'll likely need at least three different sail versions before a competition one is ready. With the chance that they would maybe sell a handful of those sails after they are developed - I don't know if a loft would be willing to put the R&D effort into an N20 sailplan that they would into a F18. We have a commitment from EP because they would be the only legal game in town.

I'm not OPPOSED to opening up the sail plan completely, but I don't think its fair to hold up the A-cat and F18 classes as comparable. I think that what others have mentioned - that if this does indeed lead to the resurgence of the class - then opening up the sail plan would be a definite possibility.

Re: N20 Owner's Meeting Update [Re: ThunderMuffin] #207923
04/11/10 08:52 AM
04/11/10 08:52 AM
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Portland, Maine
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ThunderMuffin Offline
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Quote
I think out of your two options listed what will happen is #1. It's already happening for distance racing.


http://www.tybee500.com/index.php?module=page&func=display&pageid=5

And there's another N20 that I know is doing the race that isn't on the list.

If the F18's are going to claim the distance moniker - then they at least need to show up at the premier distance event in NA.

And - if what you say is true about the prices being nearly the same on the N20 / F20, then we have a bigger problem than just sail plan development.

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