One Design Classes - Pros and Cons

I would like to open a discussion on the pro and cons of allowing modifications within the One Design Classes of the AMYA.

Has allowing or disallowing modifications helped or hurt the recruitment of new members to the local clubs?

What type of a criteria do you use to jugde whether a modification is justified or not?

I am new to this sport and I would like to hear from skippers who sail in these One Design Classes.

Those who want to discuss technology need not apply.

Seawind #80

Tom - an observation and opinion…

The bigger the group affected, or the higher the cost to upgrade, will seriously deter classes from making changes. Not that it can’t be done, but the Soling 1 Meter is a recent example where most proposals were accepted - or rejected, based on the perceived value to the members.

Part of the reason for one-designs is to try to insure the value of the boat remains constant. If a boat quickly falls out of performance range and requires significant costs to upgrade and maintain, then the initial value of the boat is quickly lost, and the owner will either vote “NO” to changes, or he will simply not renew his memebrship in that class.

There really needs to be a good reason and vision to make changes after the class has developed. A couple new (proposed) classes are going through that right now. People have purchased and modified the boat for local sailing. they don’t want to open the class up for more expense, but would like to see “THEIR” modifications adopted… AND … at the same time keep the class from becoming a runaway on-going development class. Development classes are great - but going into the class you at least understand there will be (perhaps) costly upgrades to remain competitive. On the other hand, someone purchases a boat billed as one-design and thinks that there will be no future costs.

Not to throw stones, but the Laser was billed as an out-of-the-box racing boat at $300 - $400 yet, to be competitive, another $200 - $300 had to be added in for the additional big and small rigs, the stand and the travel bag. In reality, the cost was soon near $650-$700 if an owner purchased all options - some of which really did add to performance of the boat.

Tough one to grapple with.

My personal opinion on a boat like the Seawind, or the CR914, or whatever, because the boats are already $400-500, they are nearly priced out of the ‘entry-level’ range, so allowing very many mods will negatively effect things due to the price they sometimes cost. Who wants to plunk down $500 or whatever for a boat that you immediately need to add another $100 for carbon spars, mylar sails, etc, etc, etc? If you’re going to spend that kind of cash, then why not just buy/build a US One Meter?

The Victoria is an example from what I’ve seen of a class that has made those kinds of mods work, but the big difference is a Vic’s starting cost is $200 or more less than our boats.

I am in favor of allowing mods that help make the boat easier to adjust and use–not performance modifications because the whole point of a one-design class is to level the playing field when it comes to equipment, and allow the skipper with the best sailing skills and tactics to win. Granted, boats like the Seawind are far from perfect, and as we know they have some flaws–but everyone is working from the same handicap, so it’s fine.

There are plenty of other classes in the AMYA that are geared towards those who like to tinker and build, but there should be some classes (and there are) that are geared toward those who just like to sail with the minimum of building. (CR, Seawind, Laser, etc).

Only my opinion, of course.

Seawind #149
Victoria #556

Air Capitol Model Sailing Club

I like oneo-designs because I can be competitive on a limited budget. I do have issues with, for instance, the Victoria class. In essence, to be competitive, you keep the hull/keel/bulb/rudder and toss everything else. Granted, in the Vic’s case, you’re still in the running for probably under $500 - but the boat bears no resemblance to an original Vic.

There is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Kenneth Graeme, Wind in the Willows.

Thank you for the well thought out comments. [:-hspin]
It is a difficult decision to allow mods or not. I want to do what is best for the Class. The SeaWind sails quite nicely right out of the box. Sure there are upgrades that would help performance. But the question still remains on whether they are needed. [:-?help]
The playing field should be 100% level to insure that the best man wins.[:-captain]
Not the best boat. That is what I believe the One Design classes are all about.
Those of you not familiar with the SeaWind here is a link to a few photos:
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Seawind #80