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Pages: (4) [1] 2 3 ... Last » ( Go to first unread post )

 Where is the class heading
Yabs
Posted: Jan 19 2013, 09:41 AM


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Hi all I want to start a conversation of what people think about where the class is heading
Since making the move away from the class due to work I've been able to look in rather
than being the one looking out and there are a few points I would like to make
1 The Inters I feel that the timing of the event is not in the best interest of the class to maximize
numbers at the event hence being to close to New Years isn't a good idea.
2 Results from events ie inters , states , nationals , etc should be the most important thing
to promote the class
3 My last concern is that i feel the class is turning into a regatta class nothing against the 18 guys
but we should qualify for the inters like we used to . It all starts from our club racing and supporting
the class

What are everyone's thoughts we need to start building the class proactively
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sowanpigs
Posted: Jan 22 2013, 01:20 PM


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Hi Yabs,

About 50 people have looked at your post but not one of them appears to have any idea as to where the class is going or perhaps they are not willing to admit where they think it may go.

I see a small elite and aging group on both sides of the Tasman that has been in the class for a long time. The class has got so small that we cant even have two full teams of twelves at the Inters any more. When I came into the class there were seven
12 Footer clubs and now there is one original club and one that came into being a few years ago.

I see a highly technical and expensive class that isnt attracting younger sailors any more even though there are a heap of cheap boats around. Not too many seem have signed on as crews either.

When I started sailing at Abbo in the 60s most of the dads finished work on Friday arvos and could therefore sail themselves and/or take an interest in their kids sailing. Some could even build a boat for there son or daughter. Once I had started all I ever wanted to do was sail a Twelve and so did most of the boys. When wed finished sailing the training classes most of the boys either bought a twelve or signed on as a crew.

This enthusiasm for sailing and twelves continued into the eighties. The eighties saw a decrease in 12 footer clubs and an increase in skiff technology. With the technology came an increase in expense.

By the 90s there were 2 12 ft skiff clubs left with juniors and therefore less potential twelve sailors. The River cats started to kill Abbo and soon there were very few skiffs left.

Since 2000, Saturdays and even Sundays have become work days. The number of young people available to sail 12s has dropped appreciably because of work commitments on weekends. The number of kids sailing at 12 footer clubs and therefore getting the bug to one day sail a twelve has dropped to very few.

So, finally as to where the class is heading. I honestly think that when the current twelve sailors finish sailing that sadly, the class will die. Many other classes are also heading the same way. Advertsing and exposing the class regularly to as many juniors as possible may help. Arrange to race as a group a various clubs. Get down to the club early and get he kids around to the boats early to check out the boats. Give out pictures of 12s in full flight. Tell them all the plusses of sailing twelve Foot Skiffs.

I hope to hell Im totally wrong

Bun
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the dancing man
Posted: Jan 22 2013, 11:24 PM


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Well things up in Qld are looking pretty positive at the moment. Ben's new hull has everyone excited about being in a development class. We have new boats on the water with new crews and with the move to join the Brisbane 18 footers everyone is just getting out and going skiffing.

The Inters were great from my point of view, a well organised regatta in which we got to race through the full range of our rigs. The race for the teams trophy went down to the wire. I think the NZ guys had a great time. They have heaps of experience and are incredibly helpful. It is a great class for newcomers where you get to race against the guys that make your masts and sails and then get their input after the race about tuning and rig set up etc.

As for the materials it is so exciting to be building something in carbon. You can make something out of the most amazing technology in the shed! Our old woof hull Squid (ex Bays) was the second woof built and is still stiff, quick and on weight. We worked out the new carbon stays we are building are costing us a fraction of the stainless ones. And likewise the carbon masts from C-tech are unbelievably good value especially compared to the old aluminium ones which always seemed to come up in two pieces when I was sailing my contender.

So as someone relatively new to the class (3 seasons) who doesn't know what it was like pre-2000 I can say from my point of view I love sailing a twelve. Every week the Qld guys just can't wait for the weekend so we can all get out there and just send it!!
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sowanpigs
Posted: Jan 23 2013, 06:29 AM


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Keep it happening up there Damcing Man. Have you got plans in place to make sure the class keeps growing?

It must be just here in Sydney and in NZ that class growth looks to be slowing down as noone down here or over there has taken me to task yet.

I'd love to have my arguments ripped apart and be shown that the class is gowing down here and how we are making sure that keeps happening into the future.

I hope the Sydney boys can....

Bunny
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Ben G
Posted: Jan 23 2013, 08:25 AM


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QUOTE (sowanpigs @ Jan 23 2013, 06:29 AM)
Keep it happening up there Damcing Man.  Have you got plans in place to make sure the class keeps growing?


Bunny

Yep I think the choices we've made over the last year or two have been good. We've had a good start to the season and have started work on a four year plan.

I think it's important to listen to new people to the class, they'll give you the reason why they started sailing a 12.

My answers to Brad's questions:
1/ Timing of the Inters has been pretty good for me, it's an easy time of year to take leave (for me). A couple of days after New Years allows just enough time to get to the regatta.
2/ Culture is more important than results. I rarely check 'regatta results' sections.
3/ Need guidelines for the inters team.

As Terry Ellis said:
"More help from other sailors, as the culture we have and I believe we always have had here in Brisbane/QLD will go a long way in the reduction of cost to get ON THE WATER.

Team effort is the best effort. Queenslanders always look after each other."
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Hobbo2
Posted: Jan 23 2013, 12:06 PM


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Our numbers here in Sydney have certainly reduced in recent years, especially at states and intersclubs.
There are several boats within our class that do not travel outside there own clubs for whatever reason.

The biggest concern is that there is no new blood coming into the class, and that some guys currently in the class will be thinking retirement in the next few seasons.

Bunny is right that we need to be promoting the class to the younger guys in junior/intermediate classes.
As for the details of how we best go about that im not sure.

People's time seems to be so precious these days (actually im not sure if it were less precious in years gone by, as i was not around!!). But I think people find it hard to keep their own boats on the water (time wise) due to work and family commitments etc, that there isn't much time left over to think about the class as a whole and what they can do to help.

As for a solution, again, i am not sure right now, though It would be nice to see more involvement from all sailors (past and present) across the board at things like association meetings. Many hands make light work, and with more people come more ideas of how we can solve some of these problems.
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Reido
Posted: Jan 24 2013, 05:47 PM


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Tough subject. If you think back when you first got a stiffy for a skiff it was as a youngster in your opti or sabot just gawping with your mouth wide open like a stunned mullet watching these crazy boats fly by.

We had the javelins buzzing our club and it pretty much sealed the deal for me!

What were trying to do over this side of the ditch is get out to different venues and 'flash mob' the buggers. It may not be an instant solution but it plants the seed.

The biggest barrier seems to be getting some members to drive a little further and get out of their comfort zone. If you do the research a find out where these kids hang out and roll up with the 12 it should get them asking questions.

Growth wise we are shaking trees to find boats and are getting some results.

My crew for the last four years (Ben) has picked up his own boat and another crew in the fleet is looking at getting into an old nash. thinking positively were probably looking at getting a club build programme underway within the next 12 months so we can ungrade and build the fleet up hopefully as our flash mob factor comes to fruition.

In regards to the subject in question Mel from Wellington had an objective veiw on it. Instead of focusing on reducing rigs/sails/cost ( all good stuff ) we need to promote the positive things. i.e. the culture, the comradarie and friendships that are created and the competiveness on the water. also all the people who are so eager to share their knowledge and experience that helps the fleet improve, then there's the aftermatch functions!

Sure the results could get out quiker but there's so much to do after racing. If the Goat comes to Wellington and takes on the press officer job then we should be sorted! haha!

and that's my 5 cents worth.


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Phil S
Posted: Jan 29 2013, 08:16 AM


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Here is some observations form an interested outsider.

In the 70's my interest in 12s was due to the spectacle and the thrills, but also because there were 6 clubs in Sydney and 85 boats in the state champs. I had 6 great years in 12s.

Now when I visit a regatta or interclub and see 20 boats max and half of them look like they have seen better times, patched hulls and sails, ill fitting sail/mast combos, lots of visible carbon patchwork and sticky tape. Basically a collection of bits. It makes a bad impression, looks like the class is on the skids, which may well be the truth.

If you are trying to sell boats to newcomers and they can only afford the patchwork boats they will go elsewhere. The quality boats are either not for sale or unafordable, and they are getting rare as well.

I can understand how these boats get that way, there is a huge amount of kit that makes up a multi rig 12. Maintaining it all is not a small task, and most people do not have anywhere to do the work or even store the huge trailer, everyone now lives in smaller homes with smaller back yards and sheds. Hands on skills also seem to be disapearing as more people do office work in the modern economy.

I do not have a solution, and I am in no place to tell you what to do with your class. It would be a real shame if something as exciting and historic as the 12s were to die out, but it does look inevitable unless you can come up with some real changes.
Phil Stevenson

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Ben G
Posted: Jan 29 2013, 11:11 AM


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True, what got me interested in the class was a couple of well presented and newly built Mk2 Matthews hulls (The Wingman aka PB towage and Ghetto Sled aka Harsco Infrastructure).
To quote one of the new guys at the inters:
"In comparison to other skiffs and even other 12 hulls the Woof (in my opinion anyway) looks outdated and it's their limited difficulty to sail in place of outright speed that makes them attractive."

We've been discussing the possibility of setting aside some space in the 18's shed for boat maintenance and fitout. The two oldest boats in our fleet are getting re-painted. An association boat may be a good way to have an older boat 'for sale' to interested people who will actually go sailing.
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Yabs
Posted: Jan 29 2013, 02:27 PM


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It's good to hear from a few about what is happening in the class im a bit surprised though as a number of guys in the class that normally voice there opinion are very quiet .
It's great to see things are moving forward in QLD I think the trick is that everyone helps out and the guys want to sail 12s and not both 12s and 18s. They are at a club that is willing to help out as much as possible . A credit to the people involved.

The quote that the woof hull being out dated etc. I find that a little hard to understand as a fast 12 is one that is upright and you can turn corners quickly and one which the older guys in the class can sail competitively . I did try to make mods to the woof hull shape 5 years ago but no one would do it for me so decided to do new masts instead. How can something be out of date if nothing is going quicker.

Personally I would like to see the inters timing move to either middle or end of Jan why ? because New Years is Family time and in past years people have said they won't go if its run at this time but still seems to be run around these dates. Last year and this year I would have been going if the dates were different. Past years extra containers would have gone as well .h

The NSW 12 committee needs help the same faces have been doing the Jobs for too long there doesn't seem to be any new ideas coming through maybe the class needs to move from Woollarah SC and align themselves with the Double Bay 18s this may help with sailing from a professional club on the harbour and take some of pressure off the guys sailing that are on the committee and getting sponsors for boats that really need it .
I think changes need to happen in Sydney heaps of boats not a lot of sailing and not a lot of traveling . I travelled from the coast every weekend for sailing and when the Sara event came around everyone winged about the travel don't understand

The quote that the 12 is some second hand boats are unaffordable I don't think that's true. A new one on the water will cost around the 50k mark if you buy it all but if you do the Maths there has never been this many good boats on the market and for reasonable prices. It's all about commitment and patience it took me about 10yrs to get my current boat and a lot of work

I maybe talking out of turn but no one seems to be voicing there opinion



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Ben G
Posted: Jan 29 2013, 10:36 PM


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Yabs I agree with most of what you've said.
There's two sides to the travel thing; if what you need is more training and time on the water, having a good club race, travelling can be a pain. On the other hand, if there's a clear purpose for the travel and everyone understands it then it can be a good thing (exposure to a fleet of younger sailors, a good group practice session, or part of a larger event for eg.)

The comment about the Woof is from a newcomer who previously sailed Cherubs I think. I understand where he's coming from. You've listed the strong points of the Woof and I think you're totally correct. But it looks out of date; there's also been 15+ years of rig and boathandling development centred around that one design, the majority of the (NSW fleet) are Woofs, so it's no surprise that it's a hard nut to crack. It's domination is both good and bad.

There's no doubt in my mind though, that the Matthews hulls can be amazingly fast. Brendan Matthews spent all inters sailing past me in every way imagineable. Up behind me, underneath and around.. first to the top mark after starting four minutes late.. a leg ahead on the first triangle another day. If only he sailed for more than one week a year! Over a 7 day regatta though, its hard to stay consistent and the woofs just make it easier.
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Yabs
Posted: Feb 5 2013, 09:17 PM


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Just been thinking about the last post the Mathews hull shape maybe quick but only in certain areas of a course. The skinny boats I think just lack all round performance, straight line speed is no good if you can't get the benefits down wind . I think we don't need to reinvent the in hull shape design cause I have always thought small changes to the shape can be an advantage but just remember parts of the hull are designed for a very good reason
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nzrat
Posted: Feb 6 2013, 05:14 AM


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Woof is the safesest and the most sucessfull and most (now) conventional also sailed by the best crews ,So its hard to evaluate much unless you took 2 good boats of diffent designs woof and skinny and match raced them all season changing crews and timing results and then access it.But back to the issue at Hand .Phill when you had your boat in the 70s a Holden kingswood cost $3300 dollars in nz a new boat probably cost around $500-$800 boats were Plywood had 1 mast and approx 2 sets of sails maybee 3 kites ,Now a new Comodore cost $44k in NZ and I would think a 12 costs $50k from scratch( no one has actually built one from the ground up new for years)But the boats are carbon/foam 3 sticks(usually) 4 mains 4 jibs 4 kites.Boats are pretty simple these days,
but lots of gear makes them look expensive and complicated ,I have always wondered what would happen if the class was to introduce rules to limit Mainsails back to 2 no reefs 2 jib s and 2 kites boats can have whatever size Rigs they want to tailor these to there crew weight But can not have new sails for a season once measured they can recut them but not add area once measuered
in .This means you would have to make them operate accross a range of conditions would make the boats appear simpler reduce cost reencourage development and allow experimientation,

Just an idea ?
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wolfie
Posted: Feb 6 2013, 10:04 AM


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Rat, you have your numbers wrong. In the 70s (I was sailing then) a new Kingswood and a new 12 were the same price within a couple of hundred dollars($2.5K), circa 73. I just put a new boat in the water after my old boat was destroyed. With two new rigs it cost $26k. I reused my old big and 4th main /jib/kite. Add another 6 for the big rig and about 4 for the 4th and you get $36k. Thats about the cost of a new Commodore, if you have the hull professionally built then add another 10K and you have the cost of a top of the line commodore. But wait how much is a 49er , thats about $35 but you need two boats to race seriously.

The real issue is we don't have rich kids in the class like we did in the late 70s. There were about 4 of them and they put new boats complete on the water every season. They were there for about 4 seasons. That put a lot of quality boats into the fleet and pumped boats that were ok down the fleet as well. People use to change there hulls every 2nd of 3rd season. 70% of the fleet were amateur built with gear being bought and sold all the time.

Cost is NOT the issue. What is the issue is that the class is not visible enough. Case in point during the inters, people watching the regatta didn't know which class it was and couldn't differentiate the boats one from the other. The NZers are your own worst enemy, no names on boats and no sail signs. No one knows who or what you are.

I am told world by those in international sailing circles that 12 ft skiff sailors are in demand on yachting teams for their sailing skills and their ability to get boats working. So why are trying to be a pop out plastic toy!
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Yabs
Posted: Feb 6 2013, 09:30 PM


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I dont think cost is the issue it took me about 10 years to get my current boat. I bought what i thought was the best boat in the fleet and learnt how it worked then started to put together a package i now have. A new 12 with the right gear will coat around 50k if you do it right thats why we get our boats built in NZ. A hull painted in sydney will cost about 18k or you do it yourself like Hobbo and a few others. The people that sail 12s do because they love it. Which is why my previous post of Harbour sailing and associating the class with professionalism i believe this will help the class move forward
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