Measurers Corner

Measurer’s Interpretations and Recommendations

Topic:Basic Rules
Question:Is there a limit on crew number or weight?
ID Number:000018
Date:2008-08-04
Short Answer:Yes 
Answer:Proposed rule change: The number of persons aboard a boat shall be not less then three and not more then five except if more then five a weight limit of 950 lbs. shall apply. Each boat shall be required to carry, throughout all races, the same number of persons on board as at the start of the first race.

This rule has been rejected and will not be in effect for 2009.

Latest Proposal for the 2009 Members Meeting:

The number of persons aboard a boat shall be not less than three. There is no weight limit on crews of three or four persons. For crews of five or more a limit of 1000 lbs shall apply. Each boat shall be required to carry, throughout all races, the same number of persons on board as at the start of the first race of the regatta. The Notice of Race and/or Sailing Instructions shall address the methods for enforcement of this rule.

This was passed at the Members Meeting in Chicago, IL on September 16, 2009 and is in effect for the 2010 National Regatta. 
Section:§VI-2.2 
Status:Affirmed
Action Date:2009-09-16
Fri Nov 15 05:06:25 2019
DateNameComment
2008-08-04Richard RobbinsCurrent Rule: The number of persons aboard a boat shall be not less then three. Each boat shall be required to carry, throughout all races, the same number of persons on board as at the start of the first race.
2008-09-04William BerryI think we should seriously start to discuss the issue of crew weight. I don't see that it has been a problem, and it could be difficult to address, but I can imagine someone showing up at a Marion Nationals with 1300 lbs. of crew and having that be the deciding factor in the event. I think we should discuss 950 or 1000 lbs as a limit?
2008-09-09William Berry1. The boat was originally a three person boat. I crewed for my dad in a Larchmont Nationals where all boats were sailed by three. It evolved into a four person boat due to the speed advantage of the added crew weight and now seems to be best with five with the dance floor getting crowded. I recollect a top boat at the last Marion Nationals having six, and being particularly fast in the heavier air, 20 Kt, but also winning the lightest air race in 6 Kt.
2. I think this is actually a bigger issue than hiking aids since a large discrepancy in weight compromises the one design intentions of the class.
3. This has to be balanced since I doubt we want weigh ins or to restrict people from sailing with family and friends.
4. We could use this opportunity to return the boat to a four person boat with less stress on our crew lists.
5. We could discuss a rule with an alternative weight limit to accommodate a larger number of smaller individuals.
6. I would propose the following as reasonable and a good starting point. Limit the crew to five unless with six the total crew weight remains below 950 lbs.
2008-09-12Richard RobbinsBased on discussion of the Technical Committee on 9/11/2008 the following is the proposed rule (VI-2.2) The number of persons aboard a boat shall be not less then three and not more then five except if more then five a weight limit of 950 lbs. shall apply. Each boat shall be required to carry, throughout all races, the same number of persons on board as at the start of the first race.
2008-09-16Kristian Martincic950lbs seems like a very high number for this boat! Also, with crews of 5 not having a total limit it really opens the door for someone to come in with 5 especially heavy sailors (know many Star sailors?) and really have an edge in big breeze. It seems like this hasn't really been much of an issue, but if our class stays strong like we hope it will, eventually people are going to start sailing at max weight like other classes, and then we're going to have issues with teams that can put together specific weight or crew combinations. It's a lot easier to be more conservative now than have to try and reign in a rule later! I would suggest a cap of 5, and a weight limit that applies to all crews of 875. This still gives us an average crew weight of 175lbs, which seems like plenty when looking at most of the Shields crews I know. I doubt this is going to exclude anyone who is currently participating, but could prevent future problems.
2008-09-25Richard RobbinsThe rule as proposed only applies to the National Regatta. The rule for other races can be left quiet or be handled by their SI. When the crew for the National Regatta is 5 or fewer, no weigh in is required; for 6 or more, the National Regatta committee would have to describe the weigh-in or weight certification process in the SI.
2008-10-09Peter SulickI don't see any proposed date for the resolution of this item. Is it going to be raised at the annual meeting prior to the National Regatta? If so it may affect crew selections for the upcoming regatta. I would suggest further input over the next year then a determination or a determination now to go into effect in 2009.
2008-10-09Richard RobbinsThis item is being voted on at the members meeting on October 15, 2008. It would not effect crew for 2008 but would for the National Regatta 2009.
2008-10-20Richard RobbinsThis proposed change was adopted by the Governing Board but is NOT in effect for the 2009 National Championship regatta because it was rejected by Fleet #9.
2008-11-13Richard RobbinsSee analysis of crew weight for Etchells at: http://etchells.org/odt/crewweight.pdf
2008-11-17Reed BaerFleet 9 has OBJECTED to this proposed rule meaning that it cannot take effect unless and until put to a vote of the class membership.
2009-08-05Reed BaerBill Berry says he does not want to "restrict people from sailing with family and friends", but the proposed change DOES JUST THAT! I have been told one boat at Marion regularly sails with 5 200 pounders -- that is 1000 lbs! Under the change, they can sail at the Nationals with a huge advantage over a team that, regularly sailing with the same 5 these past 8 years, includes a 120 lb. spouse, and totals out at 870. The 950lb. limit means to increase our weight we have to find an anorexic 80 pounder -- impossible -- so we are at a 130 lb. disadvantage vs. the 5 beefers! So do we have to kick the spouse off and replace her with a beefer just so we can be competitive? Is that "family friendly"? In fact, the age-old rule allowing 6 people is designed to even the playing field and let the lighter crews add on to be competitive against the big boys! It ain't broke, don't "fix it"!
2009-08-05Richard RobbinsThe proposed rule (which is only for the National Regatta) is a compromise that allows for no weigh-in in most cases and tries to eliminate some potential weight issues. How about changing the proposed rule to the following: "The number of persons aboard a boat shall be not less than three and not more than four except if more than four a weight limit of 950 lbs. shall apply. Each boat shall be required to carry, throughout all races, the same number of persons on board as at the start of the first race."
2009-08-07Richard RobbinsJ105:
The maximum crew weight (in swimming apparel) for one-design racing is 475 kilograms (1045 lbs.) with no limit on numbers of crew. An Owner who is the sole Driver for a regatta may elect a weight of 100 kg (220 lbs.) for that regatta, in which case he or she shall not be subject to weigh-in or other weight check. If the sailing instructions require a weigh-in prior to the start of a regatta, a boat complying with the weight restrictions at weigh-in shall not otherwise be subject to a weigh-in during or after the regatta, except for weighing substitute crew.

Star:
S=Skipper's weight, C=Crew's weight in kilograms: C = ([100 S] / 1.5) + 100
Weighing before the event is required. Weighing during or after the event is optional at the discretion of the organizing authority as posted in the Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions. Crews found to be in violation of the rule shall be subject to disqualification from any race sailed on the day of the violation.

Etchells:
Crew - There shall be three for four persons on board when racing and their total combined weight as measured wearing light clothing shall be no more than 285kg (628 lbs.). For any sanctioned event a boat shall sail with the same crew throughout.

J80:
The maximum crew weight in swimming apparel is 338.6kg (746 lbs.) with no limit on numbers of crew, or 3 people of unlimited total weight. In non-class events there is no crew weight or number limit.
Crew weigh-in is required at all Member events unless it is specifically waived in the J/80 Class Notice of Race or by other notice of the event. As part of the crew weigh-in, the owner shall be required to sign a Crew Weight Declaration.
2009-08-17Richard RobbinsSimplification of the language: The number of persons aboard a boat shall be not less than three. There is no weight limit on crews of four persons. For crews of five or more a limit of 950 lbs shall apply. Each boat shall be required to carry, throughout all races, the same number of persons on board as at the start of the first race. The Notice of Race and/or Sailing Instructions shall address the methods for enforcement of this rule.
2009-08-23Kristian Martincic This weekend we tried sailing with six, which I'd never done before. It was partly for weight (we have 3 light girls) and also to get someone out sailing whose boat wasn't ready that morning. I was shocked at how much of a difference it made. It was 10-20kts with big waves, and we were considerably faster and higher than all the other boats. I'd like to try this again in light air to see what the penalty is, but I definitely feel 6 is a big advantage, to the point where it didn't feel fair. While it sure worked for us, I don't think it's keeping in the boats character to stack bodies like that. There was a boat with 5 that was actually about 100lbs heavier, but it seems that having more bodies that can hike is better than just flat out weight. Just my 2c, but it's like having a howitzer at a knife fight!
2009-09-03Reed BaerHi Kristian, thanks for the feedback. I don't get what you mean about "more bodies than can hike", since the rules prohibit hiking. Perhaps you mean more bodies that can sit on the rail. In my experience (and according to physics), it is the weight that matters, not the number of bodies. So if you sail regularly with "3 light girls", you ARE going to suffer in a blow against 5 beefy guys even if you add 2 beefy guys to your crew. You okay with that disadvantage? Don't seem fair to me. The Blue Book has said FOREVER that if you need to sail with 6, you can. I am glad the latest change still allows that, if you need it, and want it. But I still say, the rule ain't broken, don't fix it!
2009-09-03Richard RobbinsThe following NOR sections are proposed:
A. Crew weight shall be certified as part of the signed Certificate of Compliance at registration by the skipper and shall not be subject to protest by a competitor but may be protested by the Race Committee. Crew substitutions may occur but must be certified by the skipper to be in conformance.
-OR-
B. Weigh-in shall occur during registration on ___________ from ________ to __________ at location __________. Weigh-in shall be in light clothing. Conforming weigh-ins shall not be subject to protest. Crew substitutions shall be weighed from ________ to __________ at location __________ each day of racing.
2009-09-05Ted SleeI have no problem with the proposed changes for number of crew or crew weight. My only comment would be to require the "same individuals must compete throughout a nationals regatta and may only be substituted if injury occurs". I offer this suggestion to level the playing field for visiting yachts during a nationals regatta where the local boats may have multiple crew that they may choose to switch out based on the conditions. Our boat in Oxford weighed in around 940 lbs for four ppl. On the light air days we suffered, but on the heavy days we held our own. I think a team should be chosen that starts and finishes the regatta together.
2009-09-22Andy BurtonFor what its worth, I spoke to Dave Pedrick about this during the Six Metre Worlds. His assessment was that more people on the rail makes no more difference on the Shields and metre style boats than filling the bilge with water. The object is sinking the boat down--not too far, Bill--in order to lengthen the waterline. If there's anyone more qualified to speak to the subject, I don't know who it is. And he's very familiar with the Shields as both his sons sail with me, one is part of the regular crew.
2009-09-22Andy BurtonFor what its worth, I spoke to Dave Pedrick about this during the Six Metre Worlds. His assessment was that more people on the rail makes no more difference on the Shields and metre style boats than filling the bilge with water. The object is sinking the boat down--not too far, Bill--in order to lengthen the waterline. If there's anyone more qualified to speak to the subject, I don't know who it is. And he's very familiar with the Shields as both his sons sail with me, one is part of the regular crew.