This is duplicate post from the boatdesign.net, but I thought if any on this forum not on the other might have some useful ideas to contribute.
A small group of us in the Puget Sound area are exploring the idea of creating a new class of low cost sailboats. We are in the process of developing rules, format, etc. to promote and encourage entrants for a competition for next season (Spring/summer 2013). The format of the races would be similar as lazier or PD type events.
The object is to create a class of good performing day sailors that allows maximum creativity on the part of designers and builders, and stay within a limited budget to promote entry level sailing and encourage more people to get involved.
A condition of entering the race is the winner of each season must make their designs available as plans for a reasonable fee so anyone can build the wining design for next season. This will encourage new designs and eventually build up a catalog of low cost good performing sailboat plans.
We are going to start out locally, and than perhaps encourage other regions to start their own chapters so we eventually can have regional and perhaps national championships.
We want to keep the rules simple, and promote maximum creativity. The proposed rules (so far) are as follows:
Primary structural material for the hull must be wood or wood/pulp based. All the materials, fasteners and adhesives purchased for use in the construction of the complete boat, sails and rigging is limited to $500 (not counting sales tax and shipping costs). All materials must be purchased new in small quantities at retail prices from any mail order or national hardware store chain (such as Home Depot, Lowes, or Ace hardware stores), this means no wholesale suppliers or bulk purchase prices to make it fair for everyone.
All entrants must submit copies of receipts and a list of materials used when requested by rules committee. Construction method is wide open, but should be suitable for building in a home shop without extensive tooling.
The cost of paint, sealant or preservatives will not count toward the materials cost, any type of paint is allowed. Bright colors and attractive paint schemes are encouraged. The cost of the thread uses in any stitching of fabric will also not be counted towards material cost.
Max length 15', max beam 8', max mast length (step to peak) 20' including all appendages (except external detachable rudder). No spinnaker, or trapeze allowed, but foot straps for hiking out are okay. (the size limit is to keep it inexpensive to transport on car top or trailer, storage requirement low, keep the deign safe and practical and still suitable as a day sailor).
Races will be with two man crew or singled handed. To make sure the boats stay practical, an optional rule is all boats must have accommodations for large cooler sized box weighing 100 kg, some races will require the "cargo box" with cargo be in place.
At the end of each season winner must allow design plans to be drawn from their boat, and published for next season and made available to anyone for a reasonable fee (TBD). The proceeds from the sale of the plans are to be split between race organization and the boat designer.
Any construction method, design, sail plan or type, and materials can be used within these limitations.
This would create a supply plans of good performing low cost practical boat designs that anyone can build. And allow people to use their creativity and construction skills to build low cost high performance sail boats. Building and racing workshops can be held by the local chapters or wooden boat centers or schools. These rules allow builders and racing crews can team up to build good performing boats, or even for entrants to hire professional designers and builders to get a competitive design, that will
eventually become available to everyone.
Also, I want to limit the purchase of materials to national suppliers so the cost limit rule can be fairly applied nationally when the time comes. So if all purchases are done from a national hardware store chain, or a mail order supplier, everyone around the country can compete fairly. It also might be possible to get one of the national hardware chains like Home Depot or Lowes to sponsor the races. Than the martial purchases would be limited to the one sponsoring store chain. This would bring a lot of customers to their stores to buy materials,
tools and other building supplies.
Comments, ideas or suggestions?