Name: Mike Chesser, Chief Measurer
In response to several comments / requests relative to the class rudder:
Rudders are considered "Rigging and Equipment" in the Class Specifications and as such "...must conform strictly throughout in respect to design and dimensions to the current official plans and specifications..." Additionally, "In the event of any inconsistency between the printed statement of the specifications and the drawings, the printed statement shall govern." (Section 3.1, Article I: General)
Rudder thickness is then clearly specified in the TEXT of the specifications in section 3.4, Article IV: Rigging and Equipment and is therefore not an item subject to a ruling.
Any rudder not meeting those dimensions is therefore a rudder that DOES NOT meet the Class Specifications, and may be declared ineligible or subject to disqualification at Class sanctioned events.
It is very unfortunate that a dedicated member of the Class fabricated a series of rudders that reportedly fall outside of these dimensions due to an error in interpreting the drawing tolerances, but the Class specifications require the text to be the be the overriding authority and make a ruling on the matter inappropriate.
I plan to review this matter with the Exec Committee during an upcoming conference call at the end of this month. Additionally, and as indicated in my previous note on 11/4/09, I have requested, but not yet confirmed volunteer support to prepare improved engineering drawings of the rudder assemblies to lessen the likelihood of a similar mis-interpretation in the future.
I will also be asking the Jibsheet editor to post pertinent content of both this note and my prior 11/4 note on this subject in an upcoming issue of the "official" Class newsletter to formalize these comments, as required by the By-Laws.
From all of the messages that have appeared recently on the website, it appears to me that a considerable number of our boat owners have had new rudders made over the years, or made new ones themselves. Were they all constructed to exact specifications? It's a possibility that many of these replacement rudders were not exactly to "specifications". With that in mind, I wonder just how many boats would pass 'official' sanction now? Many of our boats have been owned by one or more other people, yet some of the current owners will want to race. It seems to me you're going to have to inspect every boat at every race function to keep within "official" specifications. It's not just one "dedicated member of the Class" that may have made an "error". - Jim
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