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Re: N20 Owner's Meeting Update [Re: Team_Cat_Fever] #208348
04/14/10 10:37 AM
04/14/10 10:37 AM
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Solomon's Island, MD
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samc99us Offline OP
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I agree with Todd. I think the R&D from the factory is really going to be Elliot updating the sail plan to modern F-18 style main and spin with correlating jib (I don't consider the Tornado modern anymore as they have stopped development with no Olympics in the foreseeable future). I am by no means a sail designer, but have spent a bit of time in the loft (summer job); the materials Elliot uses are top notch, very comparable, if not better than (longevity wise), than the latest TP52 sails coming out of Quantum. I am personally willing to stick with this level of build, even if it means a weight penalty. One thing to keep in mind is that a flatter spin may mean a small penalty in downwind vmg during a bouys race, as you'll need to point higher to keep the speed the same. On a distance reaching race, i.e, Tybee, the flatter spin is the way to go, IF the conditions are reaching.

Performance Nationals: Great event, middle of the semester for us college boys=not going to happen. Its also tough for people to take 2 weeks off work (1 week for Tybee and 1 week for Nationals). In many ways the class is split because of this, i.e, you commit to distance racing or buoys racing, with many people who distance race doing buoys racing in the summer etc.


Scorpion F18
-- Have You Seen This? --
Re: N20 Owner's Meeting Update [Re: waterbug_wpb] #208349
04/14/10 10:39 AM
04/14/10 10:39 AM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 3,222
Roanoke Island ,N.C.
Team_Cat_Fever Offline
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Originally Posted by waterbug_wpb
Originally Posted by Team_Cat_Fever
If I went to an independent loft, I would show them what I had and explain what I was looking to improve on and let them change within measurement constraints as they see fit.


So, in effect, you are shouldering the burden of R&D costs yourself:
- you're paying for the sail with its new configuration
- you are sailing it and judging your performance change
- if it turns out to be a dog, you wasted your dollars on that sail, and will have to buy another one
- if it's a clear winner, the loft will sell the "new" design to other sailors

I guess if we're constraining our sailplan change to only sail shapes, perhaps this open development is feasable. What if the class considers an entirely different sailplan that incorporates a wing mast?

In my opinion, I think that something major like that should be undertaken by the factory (since their name's on the back) and I would be more likely to pay more for equipment to offset their R&D costs which would presumably be much higher.

For instance, with a new mast, would you want to change shroud/forestay measurements/angles? Would you need to reshape the leading sails to optimize the wing mast? Would a different boom/rotator configuration be more effective? How about mainsheet system? Would there be any changes to the mainbeam to accommodate these other changes? All those answers cost R&D money... likely far in excess of just trying out a new sail or two...


I agree with you on the mast stuff( I think), but right now we are talking carbon mast sail upgrades, because that's what 99% of the folks have. Changing masts starts encroaching on the OD aspect entirely.I don't want to go there in this thread, let's try to stay on track.Another thread on that discussion would be great, just not here.


"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: waterbug_wpb] #208359
04/14/10 10:51 AM
04/14/10 10:51 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 887
Crofton, MD
Chris9 Offline
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Jay,

My expereince buying a suit of sails for the 6.0 directly from "my" sailmaker was this:

He comes to the boat, makes measurements and takes pictuers, looks at other boats, rigs my boat, sails my boat, takes existing sails with him, makes sails, bring them to boat, rigs boat, sails boat, takes the sails that need minor adjustments with him and adjusts and then redelivers. The spin didn't need any adjustment and it was GREAT! The Jib needed the zipper opening to be a little bit bigger to allow the halyard to travel thru it. The main needed a luff curve adjustment and different battans. All service and adjustments included in the initial cost of sails which we agreed not to share because it was very reasonable. All was very good after that.


Chris Allen
Nacra 20 Gertie
www.wrcra.org
Re: N20 Owner's Meeting Update [Re: Team_Cat_Fever] #208361
04/14/10 10:56 AM
04/14/10 10:56 AM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,197
Vancouver, BC
Tornado Offline
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Seems to me all this fuss of the I20 sailplan is coming from the Tybee500 race last year...which was primarily a beam/close reaching course and not DDW. The F18's could handle those angles better...so now I20's want to match/beat them in those conditions...but won't this just exchange superior downwind performance for better reaching performance? On standard short courses, the current I20 should beat F18's Up/Down wind.

Why change the boat/class to make it better for special-case racing like the Tybee? Better to make a distance racing sail plan and a standard one for round-the-buoys short stuff.



Mike Dobbs
Tornado CAN 99 "Full Tilt"
Re: N20 Owner's Meeting Update [Re: Team_Cat_Fever] #208362
04/14/10 11:02 AM
04/14/10 11:02 AM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 5,590
Naples, FL
waterbug_wpb Offline
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Then I would agree with your consensus that just tweaking the sails is probably not worth paying all the extra markup on. Especially if the sails are being adapted to an existing and proven design (allbeit on a different boat class)

I agree that the current sail materials are very durable (with the possible exception to the spin, which after one season looked more like sailtape than spinnaker in my case) and should be kept to encourage part-time enthusiasts to remain in the sport because it's cost-effective over a development class

If the sail profile itself changes dramatically to favor one type of racing over another (distance vs. cans), then expect a change in the class demographics. A study of the current population of distance and buoy racers or turnout may be helpful in this regard.

I love medium distance stuff (25 - 75 miles) because it's not too taxing on the body/budget/vacation time, but I favor buoys as the most economical use of my time because you can get a lot more work on starts, turns, transitions in a given race day. That, and you have more opportunities to go from "worst to first" than a one-race distance day.

So, that being said, I'd favor an improvement of the sailplan itself as long as performance around the buoys didn't suffer dramatically.

I have been a light air sailor who feels this is a good measure of sailing ability in terms of boat handling and racing tactics. Heavy air sailing is (to me) an entirely different realm which requires much more emphasis on boat handling and survival sailing than course strategy.

To that end, I would like the ability to de-power in heavy air better than what exists currently, be it in the form of a shortening sail, ability to flatten sails better, or something else..

Having spanned the entire gamut of crew weights, I really love the ability of the N20 to handle the heavier crews and offer plenty of space to move my tall keister around (wouldn't mind the shorter platform if my crew was a supermodel nympho, but I don't recall being that lucky)


Jay

Re: N20 Owner's Meeting Update [Re: Team_Cat_Fever] #208363
04/14/10 11:04 AM
04/14/10 11:04 AM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 3,116
Annapolis, MD
Mark Schneider Offline
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Why don't you guys just write down the Nacra 20 sail measurement rule and be done with it. The class measures the sails or you show an independent cert of measurement at events that are important.

If an owner wants a custom sail... they will go where they feel they get the best service and design. Locally, our sailmaker would pull the mast off... Measure it's static bend properties. Discuss with you what you want.... Factor in your crew weight and modify his basic design with this custom luff curve..

Fly the sail and make sure you are happy with the product.

Big Boat sailmakers work the same way.... This idea that you purchase a sail off the rack (and it works for you as is... or you go and spend more and have it recut) is relic of the past... Great if you are selling 1000 sails a year and you control the rules which give you this monopoly. ...

In your case... What design parameter do you give the sailmaker who is to do all of the RandD.... I want a sail for a 325 min team... it should be flat and fast.... versus... I want a sail for my 425 lb team... it better be full and tunable with a lot of grunt...

hmm... In the end... you spend 2K and you are still not happy with your sail.... it's not the sailmaker... its the underlying philosophy WHY?


crac.sailregattas.com
Re: N20 Owner's Meeting Update [Re: waterbug_wpb] #208368
04/14/10 11:31 AM
04/14/10 11:31 AM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 3,222
Roanoke Island ,N.C.
Team_Cat_Fever Offline
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Originally Posted by waterbug_wpb
Then I would agree with your consensus that just tweaking the sails is probably not worth paying all the extra markup on. Especially if the sails are being adapted to an existing and proven design (allbeit on a different boat class)

I agree that the current sail materials are very durable (with the possible exception to the spin, which after one season looked more like sailtape than spinnaker in my case) and should be kept to encourage part-time enthusiasts to remain in the sport because it's cost-effective over a development class

If the sail profile itself changes dramatically to favor one type of racing over another (distance vs. cans), then expect a change in the class demographics. A study of the current population of distance and buoy racers or turnout may be helpful in this regard.

I love medium distance stuff (25 - 75 miles) because it's not too taxing on the body/budget/vacation time, but I favor buoys as the most economical use of my time because you can get a lot more work on starts, turns, transitions in a given race day. That, and you have more opportunities to go from "worst to first" than a one-race distance day.

So, that being said, I'd favor an improvement of the sailplan itself as long as performance around the buoys didn't suffer dramatically.

I have been a light air sailor who feels this is a good measure of sailing ability in terms of boat handling and racing tactics. Heavy air sailing is (to me) an entirely different realm which requires much more emphasis on boat handling and survival sailing than course strategy.

To that end, I would like the ability to de-power in heavy air better than what exists currently, be it in the form of a shortening sail, ability to flatten sails better, or something else..

Having spanned the entire gamut of crew weights, I really love the ability of the N20 to handle the heavier crews and offer plenty of space to move my tall keister around (wouldn't mind the shorter platform if my crew was a supermodel nympho, but I don't recall being that lucky)


Mike and Jay,
I would hope there would not be a tradeoff, if there was you could use the cut now provided as a fuller DW sail vs. a reacher. There doesn't seem to have been a tradeoff for the Tornado or other classes with current flatter designs.
The T-500 was a wake up call not a design determination,IMO.
Keep in mind this is a 12 year old sail design with little to no intentional changes in that period.
As far as the durability of EPsails,a few of the F-18 folks I've talked to said they get a year out of their Performance sails sometimes less on the highly campaigned boats,but they are lighter. I get 3 years on an EP main, as Jay said maybe a year on the spin, but I think that's the nature of the beast(light spin cloth). So I guess the weight /durability issue is one you'd have to prioritize for yourself.


"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] #208383
04/14/10 12:59 PM
04/14/10 12:59 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 3,655
Portland, Maine
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ThunderMuffin Offline
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Simple yes or no question:

Do you think that you could go get a set of sails made from an independent loft that is:

1) Less expensive than the EP/Nacra US sails
2) Better performance all around than whatever the new sails that EP releases
3) as durable as the EP sails
?

Again, solid number quotes from independent sail makers would be nice.

I think right now,

Main - $1600
Jib - $800
Spin - $1400

Assuming the "new" sails would be the same price (hopefully less expensive - hey a guy can dream right) ... would we be getting a better deal all around by going open? I have my doubts but I'll be doing some of my own research in this regard next week.

Re: N20 Owner's Meeting Update [Re: ThunderMuffin] #208384
04/14/10 01:01 PM
04/14/10 01:01 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 12,310
South Carolina
Jake Offline
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Originally Posted by Undecided
Jay

I don't think the factory will dish out any $$ for development of the new sails. I think what Todd says is true - they'll just hand a set of the Performance sails from the EU and tell Skip to make his own copy.

If this ISN'T going to be the case, and there is going to be a documented R&D process involving several sets of different versions of the sails to be produced and feedback documented by the sailors and returned to the loft, then I'm all for THAT solution. If that isn't going to be the case then I'm not so gung-ho about it.


How much "development" do you guys really think is going to happen here? They're going to take the shape parameters from the latest F18 kites and mains, scale them, make an accommodation for the different mast bend characteristics (hopefully) and cut a new sail. There's really not much magic to it unless you guys are expecting something like an Olympic sail development cycle. Sailmaking is down to a pretty fine science for the kind of leap we're talking about. It's going to take one guy an afternoon or two to layout the new main and an afternoon for the kite.


Jake Kohl
Re: N20 Owner's Meeting Update [Re: Jake] #208390
04/14/10 01:21 PM
04/14/10 01:21 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
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Portland, Maine
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ThunderMuffin Offline
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Jake: What I don't want to have happen, is "here is what you get" without any but the most privileged in the class's input.

Re: N20 Owner's Meeting Update [Re: ThunderMuffin] #208417
04/14/10 02:56 PM
04/14/10 02:56 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,021
Australia
macca Offline
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Seems pretty simple to me:-

do you trust that EP or Performance will put enough effort into developing a new set of sails?

Do you trust that another sailmaker/sailmakers will put in the required effort?

I know from where I sit, Performance sails will do the hard yards as long as there is commitment from the class. If it's a development project for one boat then it's impossible to justify the time and materials. But for the class it's feasible.

Prices are another issue: you all work or own businesses. Does any of you feel happy if someone says your markups are way too much? Do you think you are charging too much for your work?


________________________
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Re: N20 Owner's Meeting Update [Re: ThunderMuffin] #208418
04/14/10 02:58 PM
04/14/10 02:58 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 12,310
South Carolina
Jake Offline
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Originally Posted by Undecided
Jake: What I don't want to have happen, is "here is what you get" without any but the most privileged in the class's input.


So your proposal is a "design by committee"?

One thing I do NOT want to see is 6 different versions of "development" spinnakers on boats around the country, based on who knew who, used over the next four years. I want my SMOD class. If I race you on the race course I want to know I either won or lost with the same equipment. I also don't want to have to buy 3 spinnakers before they settle on a design.

This really isn't some magical mystical thing to design a faster sail than what we have.


Jake Kohl
Re: N20 Owner's Meeting Update [Re: Jake] #208456
04/14/10 08:26 PM
04/14/10 08:26 PM
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Solomon's Island, MD
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samc99us Offline OP
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So, if we start 2 sail testing spinnakers in the local fleet you aren't going to be a happy camper? I'm not saying 6 different spin cuts, I'm saying two boats that have different spins from the stock. Then by Q1 2011 one of these designs (or slightly modified) becomes the new spinnaker.


Scorpion F18
Re: N20 Owner's Meeting Update [Re: samc99us] #208460
04/14/10 09:26 PM
04/14/10 09:26 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
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South Carolina
Jake Offline
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Originally Posted by samc99us
So, if we start 2 sail testing spinnakers in the local fleet you aren't going to be a happy camper? I'm not saying 6 different spin cuts, I'm saying two boats that have different spins from the stock. Then by Q1 2011 one of these designs (or slightly modified) becomes the new spinnaker.


I think the cart is ahead and around the corner from the horse here and I suggest we get some sailmaker input (Elliot / Vink) about the direction of the sail improvement before we start laying down any specific plans. There have been volumes of sail development that has taken place on very similar platforms that we can draw from and gain an immediate and gratifying improvement - including the sails Nacra Europe developed for this same boat. There have been several sail changes ON this platform in the past...some of which we probably aren't even aware of. Why exactly do we need to do boat on boat testing? What is the point in spending the time, energy, and money in extracting an extra .01% of potential when the ultimate goal is to race each other with identical sail plans?


Jake Kohl
Re: N20 Owner's Meeting Update [Re: Jake] #208462
04/14/10 09:40 PM
04/14/10 09:40 PM
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On the Water
P.M. Offline
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Originally Posted by Jake
Originally Posted by samc99us
So, if we start 2 sail testing spinnakers in the local fleet you aren't going to be a happy camper? I'm not saying 6 different spin cuts, I'm saying two boats that have different spins from the stock. Then by Q1 2011 one of these designs (or slightly modified) becomes the new spinnaker.


I think the cart is ahead and around the corner from the horse here and I suggest we get some sailmaker input (Elliot / Vink) about the direction of the sail improvement before we start laying down any specific plans. There have been volumes of sail development that has taken place on very similar platforms that we can draw from and gain an immediate and gratifying improvement - including the sails Nacra Europe developed for this same boat. There have been several sail changes ON this platform in the past...some of which we probably aren't even aware of. Why exactly do we need to do boat on boat testing? What is the point in spending the time, energy, and money in extracting an extra .01% of potential when the ultimate goal is to race each other with identical sail plans?

What you said Jake. It's been done already. We just have to all agree on what rules exist on how to get there.


Philip
USA #1006
Re: N20 Owner's Meeting Update [Re: Jake] #208464
04/14/10 09:42 PM
04/14/10 09:42 PM
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Solomon's Island, MD
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samc99us Offline OP
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I fully agree that we need sailmaker input before we start doing testing, and drawing on other boat experience is valuable, but why do we as a class want to authorize a sail for class use if it hasn't been used in boat on boat scenarios? I.e, why use a sail plan that isn't GUARANTEED to be faster than the current sail plan. IMO, this requires a good sailor to use the new sails and NOT GET SCORED at a major regatta, i.e, nationals or tradewinds, and do some boat on boat reaching. From what I've seen, the top 4 boats at Tradewinds all had roughly the same boat speed, so it should be easy to see the differences.


Scorpion F18
Re: N20 Owner's Meeting Update [Re: samc99us] #208466
04/14/10 09:50 PM
04/14/10 09:50 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
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Atlanta, Ga
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I've read all of this, and it is starting to seem like we want this brand new golden sail that is years ahead of its time. Here are my simple thoughts.

1) The 20 is fast as ****.. even with current sails.

2) We could use a little updating; nothing wrong with that. But I don't think we need a mass-scale reconstruction of sails.

3) The most current F18 sails are the most modern and competitive catamaran sails around. So what's wrong with taking what is known about these sails, and converting it to the 20? Why do we need all this R&D? If you ask me, all the R&D is already there; now take that knowledge and make the sail fit the 20.

4) Other than using the '09 Tybee example, do we really want a spin that is flatter that makes us sail closer to the wind to maintain the same speed as the current ones which let us keep that speed but sail further off the wind? It seems to me that if the wind direction had been a little more in our favor we would be happy to keep the spins we have now because we could sail deeper downwind at the same speed as the F18's who would have had to sail closer to the wind.

Honestly, how much faster is a new sail plan really going to make this boat? I'm looking for legit reasons here: It will increase speed by X amount; it will allow us to sail X degrees closer to the wind, etc,...

In other words: whats the goal here? My topic of study centers around making and defeating arguments, and so far I haven't heard much argument for new sails other than "we want new sails because ours are old," or "we want new sails for better performance." But what I'm fishing for is a decent understanding of how new sails will increase performance.

BTW: I'm all for a new sail plan. But the reason there is so much debate here is because there are hardly any solid objective reasons for new sails. What makes me most proud about this topic is that there are people like Todd, Tad, and Sam who are extremely dedicated to this boat and doing everything in their power to keep it alive and make it as competitive as technology will allow. Keep it up.



Re: N20 Owner's Meeting Update [Re: samc99us] #208470
04/14/10 10:28 PM
04/14/10 10:28 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,490
On the Water
P.M. Offline
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Originally Posted by samc99us
I fully agree that we need sailmaker input before we start doing testing, and drawing on other boat experience is valuable, but why do we as a class want to authorize a sail for class use if it hasn't been used in boat on boat scenarios? I.e, why use a sail plan that isn't GUARANTEED to be faster than the current sail plan. GUARANTEED? Your kidding? IMO, this requires a good sailor to use the new sails and NOT GET SCORED at a major regatta, i.e, nationals Ain't gonna happen at a nationals! or tradewinds, and do some boat on boat reaching. Why? From what I've seen, the top 4 boats at Tradewinds all had roughly the same boat speed, so it should be easy to see the differences.

Sam, your really hung up on this boat on boat testing, research, etc. Look, the sail design is twelve years old, built under the SMOD environment. Any sail built today will be better. That's the reason we're even having this discussion. It ain't rocket science. Even the first set of sails for the aluminum rig hit its mark, right out of the box. The time and testing was time on the water to learn the new sails sweet spots, how to tune it, how to sail it.
You know you're making your own argument to open up the sails.


Philip
USA #1006
Re: N20 Owner's Meeting Update [Re: P.M.] #208472
04/15/10 03:45 AM
04/15/10 03:45 AM
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+31NL
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Didnt Nacra already design a new sail/rig for the European N20 market a few years ago in order to revive the class?

Re: N20 Owner's Meeting Update [Re: samc99us] #208478
04/15/10 06:25 AM
04/15/10 06:25 AM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 12,310
South Carolina
Jake Offline
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Based on where we're at with the age of the N20 sail plan:

1) Sail design improvement over what we have for a 2 to 5% (heck, maybe even 7% in some conditions) gain may well be a simple push-button science for sailmakers with the right equipment and experience.

2) Sail design for the last 1 to 2% of the speed potential is an art form and requires an influx of resources on an ever increasing exponential curve.

3) I have this sneaky suspicion that deep down you guys are eaten up with this "must beat the F18" mantra. I believe that there are some incorrect conclusions that are feeding this emotion and I think it's a bit of a short sited view. First; the one time the F18 has shown a strong advantage is last year's Tybee 500 on the several days of tight spinnaker reaching. There's no doubt that the N20 has an achilles heal here with the very full kite and main and the gobs of sail area. However, around the cans, the F18 (the boat) is still not beating the N20 (the boat) in most conditions. Granted, it's been about 1.5 years since I dialed up on a start line against one, but it wasn't that long ago that Nigel on his F18 was following me and my rookie crew around the race course for too many laps on more than one occasion and one event (I used to stink at getting the course number...now I can't count laps damnit).

Let's make sure we all have the right reasons in mind here for this sail change. If you want to do it to beat the F18, you guys can have all of that on your own. Just open up the sail plans and be done with it - it's an exercise that will serve to fracture a class that has survived to this point based on a very different philosophy. If you want the sail change to increase the class's marketability with an outward appearnce of a gently and thoughtfully "refreshed" sail plan that makes the boat a little more manageable on the race course then I'm all with you. Keep in mind that if you make some huge leap, you're obsoleting all legacy boats and sailors who don't have the jack for $3200 worth of new sails. You know that phrase they use in Texas about that famous fort that fell during the Texas Revolution? Well... "Remember the 6.0".

Let's not make this so complicated that we can't figure out which end of the gun the bullet comes out of.


Jake Kohl
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