Name: Dan Bornarth
San Juan 21 Class thoughts
Please allow me this reflection ! In my sailing experiences I have had the opportunity to sail one design keel boat classes or level rated classes from the twenty foot range up to the 65 foot range as well as many hanicapped fleets up to almost 200 ft (Perini Navi's - if you call that sailing). When I moved to New Bern N.C. in 2006 to work for a local boat builder I was introduced to the San Juan 21. When I first saw the boats I was less than impressed as I had been sailig on boats with very recent technology. After about a year I was invited to sail in one of the local events. That was it, I knew I would end up owning one of these "old School" boats. They just work for the area I live in here in Eastern N.C. and I bought mine last May.
Lets look at the economics:
1. Cost of ownership. There are boats through out this area and it would be hard to spend over 3,500.00 for one in good shape. Stack that up against owning some "new technology" and see what you get. A new Melges 24 will run you about $20,000.00 for an OK boat.
2. Cost of operation. Most of the boats out there need some level of work. Most of it is sweat equity. Updating the boat is one of the best ways to understand how it works and updating it with the latest gear within the rules should be encouraged to. Overall it takes very little updating to be competitive. I know this from experience, but I have a lot of sweat equity cleaning and preparing the boat.
3. Cost of replacing the sails. This class has some of the most reasonable sail costs of any class. I know sails that are a decade old and can still be competitive. My sails are early 1990 vintage and I have had reasonable success with them, but they will be replaced for the next season. Purchasing a main and a jib for less than $1500.00 is a great value. The Twelve Meter I crewed on had a main that cost $60,000.00.
4. Cost of entering events. The last Melges 32 event had a regatta fee of of over $1200.00 just to enter the event. The New Years Days regatta at Blackbeard sailing club is only $15.00. Yes that is for only one afternoon of sailing and a hot dog lunch versus a week sailing out of the Lauderdale Yacht Club, but my point is that in this day of economic trials those of us with small financial options can still participate in the sport we love so much with this class.
5. Community and friendship. This is a nationwide groups of people interested in the same thing. We have our little boats and they may not draw national attenetion from the sailing elite (and that is most likely for the best),but they are venerable boats that have with stood the test of time. It is almost a sort of cult following in some respects. When I first sailed this boat boat I had no idea the effect it would have on me and my family.
Now releasing some pent up aggrevation with the class is healthy but what are we going to do about it? We all want to grow the class and increase event participation, but what are we going to do about it? We want the class to eveolve and grow, but what are we going to do about it? Look at the 505 class or Star class. Why have they sustained for so long?
If we all step back and look at who have been the back bone of this class you will see a strong group of committed people who have carried the torch for many years.If we have have a true interest in continuing the legacy of the San Juan 21 class then there needs to be new memebers willing to step up to participate and help carry the torch. If there was ever a time to build the class it is now with everything I had mentione above.
I very much want to increase the participation in Eastern N.C. There is a strong class here, but they have been sailing the same events against the same boats for so many years that the excitiement level is lacking. With the current affordability of the boats there are a number of new people just like me getting boats and getting involved. A bunch of th
Unfortunately, there is a 'form' size limit on the website, which is rarely exceeded. I've emailed Don asking him to forward the ending to his post, and will post it when he responds. I think this is a very important topic and hope everyone considers the future impact on the Association. - Jim
[Return to Harbor Messages | Create New/Followup Message]