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RL 24 Class Rules

Which version of the class rules will we be using at the National titles in Paynesville?

This RL web site only has the 1989 version of the class rule on display! The current 1992 version has a rather silly and highly irregular appendix 3 which restricts swing keel RL 24’s from modifying the as originally constructed centreboard box when racing in a RL24 class event! You will note that there is no grandfather clause in appendix 3!

All I did in the early eighties was to fit the wider and heavier mark 2 keel to my mark 1. This work along with a filler / keel lockdown device (fitted through a hatch in the top of the raised box) improved my boats performance and also made her much easier to handle in the heavier breezes.


Para Handy

I. Swing keel division shall be restricted to yachts whose centre cases are as originally constructed prior to 1992 and that no device be fitted to close the centre case slot.

II. Keels shall not be lifted beyond a point which leaves exposed 600 mm vertical depth of keel, and that a locking device be fitted to prevent raising beyond this point.

Alastair Russell24-Jun-2004    Edit    Delete 
RL24 Class Rules
Alistair, it is important that a couple of things be born in mind when discussing this issue. Firstly, this web site is in no way a product of the RL24 Association. It will be nice if one day the two could be brought together but so far they have operated independently of each other, therefore no one is really to blame if information on the site is not really up to date as far as official association material is concerned.

Secondly, there is a lot of history behind the development of the class rules, which are the responsibility of the Association. When restrictions were placed on the development of the swing keel division of the RLs it was in recognition of the fact that the majority of swing keel owners at the time did not want to make continual modifications to their boats in order to remain competitive. The "development class" status of the RLs, which in my opinion has kept the class alive longer than most, has also had the effect of alienating some members along the way who found the cost and effort associated with keeping their boat competitive prohibitive. This rule was in recognition of that according to my recollection.
James Shannon1-Jul-2004    Edit    Delete 
Swing Keel Class rules
Thank you for your reply James

I have to disagree with some of your reasoning. I feel the Australian RL class association is duty bound to inform this international RL web site and all the State CBH committees of any changes to the class rules. You cannot have a set of class rules for the National titles and another for the CBH committees. A handful of swing keel owners at a poorly attended national titles cannot disfranchise 100 or so rl's who have already modified their boxes. It is now impossible to change my boat back to make it comply and I do not feel inclined to upgrade to a drop keel with a bulb. I cannot even sell the boat as an rl 24 swing keel because is does not comply with your class rules.

I have never seen a swingkeel RL 24 that has not had some mods carried out on the centre board box and I am actually amazed that you managed to find 5 or so swing keelers as built by Rob Legg for the titles last year. I wonder how many of the 14 swing keel RL 24 's that competed in this year's Queensland's Bay to Bay race would have passed muster for the titles?

Anyway James, thanks again for your input i will now go ahead and put a submission into the Victorion CBH committee requesting a modified rl 24 swing keel rating. I sure do want to compete in TY races using the bulb keel rating of .760
alastair Russell1-Jul-2004    Edit    Delete 
RL24 Class Rules
Alistair, I am surprised that you would describe RL Nationals as being "poorly attended" I am sure that the fleet size stacks up very well against other trailable yacht classes, particularly over a period of 30 years.
Given that at least six championships have been contested in waters relatively local to you it is not as though you have not had the opportunity to provide any input into changes to class rules in the appropriate forum, as opposed to describing the rules as "silly" in a public forum.
Further, please do not put words into my mouth. I am sure the relevant authorities have been furnished with updates to class rules as they have been made. To my knowledge, the rules are the same Australia wide and there is no differentiation between events. Whether individual boats sail to the rules is a matter for them. You have said yourself that altering your keel and closing the slot improved the boat's performance. Are you suggesting that the Association disenfranchise the majority of boats that have not chosen to take this path? Or are you suggesting that the class be divided further into three even smaller divisions?
Finally, I am only aware of 2 boats that have put bulbs on their drop keels and having witnessed their performance both before nad since, I am convinced that it has made no difference whatsoever so any implication that a drop keel needs a bulb on it to be competitive is in my opinion without foundation.
Any sport, but particularly trailable yacht racing, is about participation and enjoyment. Very few participants get to win championships but almost all come away from championships knowing more about sailing and their boat. We can always strive to improve the administration of the class, particularly by offering to be involved, but let's not lose sight of what is really important, getting people to get out sailing and not giving them reasons not to.
James Shannon1-Jul-2004    Edit    Delete 
RL24 Class Rules
Alex, your question is most certainly not naive. Historically, the rl being a development class, some owners altered their swing keels to improve performance. This was subsequently taken a step further with the advent of drop keels and with time, the drop keels proved superior in performance to the extent that two divisions were formed. Due to popular demand at the time, the Association then drew a line in the sand restricting the development of keels in the swing keel division to keep the class attractive to those who did not wish to spend the time and money on renovations to their boat. Thus, those who have altered their keels and closed the slot, as described by Greg, are expected to compete as drop keel RLs. All of this was most prevalent in Victoria and I would be surprised if there were many competing in the Bay to Bay who are affected by this, but I will stand corrected. Looking quickly at your history, I assume you own Jazzee, it is unlikely that your boat was altered therefore you would be likely to be a legal swing keel. Please remember that I was only a young bloke at the time so I may have some of my history wrong.
James Shannon2-Jul-2004    Edit    Delete 
In reply to James

Thank you for your reply. I have to say that you are really getting me confused. One minute you are for a development class the next agin and on several occasions you completely misquote me and use incorrect facts. You even have me living in the wrong part of Australia at the time the titles were on ! Your lecture in the last paragraph I found quite insulting being that I have been involved in some way or another with sail boat racing for over 50 years.

I have really enjoyed racing, rebuilding and upgrading my mark 1 RL24 Parahandy over the years and being what I would call a cost concious technical racer I found the rl24 the perfect boat for me. I have been looking at other trailer yachts recently ( more room and comfort) but have come away so disappointed. My upgraded Rl 24 (mark 1 to mark 2)is so responsive,eficient and a well behaved racing boat. what can I say but thank you Rob Legg.

I have always been an honest racer and every change and performance improvement I have made I have always complied with the current class rules and the racing rules of sailing. I must be different from you James because being an addicted sail boat racer (since I was a boy} my idea of real fun would be to finish a proper race in front of Simon Walsh, Ian lane and the Rainy boys.

I would like to clear up any mis-understanding and state the following:

I believe that as in the past there should on be only one RL 24 champion.

I believe that all the previous and the current class rules should be placed on this web site for all to see.

I believe appendix 3 clause 1 Is a badly thought out,worded and unworkable class rule and that it should be removed before the next titles.

I do not believe that the majority of swing keel Rl 24 owners in Australia were in favour of Appendix 3 clause 1.

I believe James's statement "whether individual boats sail to the rules is a matter from them" is wrong and is contrary to the RRS.

If my boat is found to not comply with the current class rules I believe I have the right to apply to Yachting Victoria for CBH RL 24 modified boat rating.

I believe that with the correct naca section keel and the right shaped lead bulb, a bulb keel would improve performance substantially.

Alastair Russell2-Jul-2004    Edit    Delete 
reply to Alex

I was really pleased to hear that there was a race in Australia this year with 14 swing keel RL 24s competing together. I don't think there was one swing keeler in the Marley Point race this year.

The appendix 3 in the 1992 version of the class rules is restricted for use 'at RL24 Class regattas'. I would take a guess at this as meaning State and National Titles. How the various state CBH handicap committee handle appendix 3 is anyones guess.

Appendix 3 States that the 'Swing keel division shall be restricted to yachts whose centre cases are as originally constructed prior to 1992'. I regard 'as originally' as the killer words for me. This means the centre case cannot be touched or changed after it leaves Rob Legg Yachts' factory or his licensees' factories.

From what you say I think your centre case has been modified. In the early days many RL racers drilled a hole higher up in the trailing edge of the keel. This was to reduce the waterflow drag from the wire and the shackle. It also meant altering the purchase ratio of the winch or installing a new tackle arrangement like yours. You would have to ask the man himself if he produced any rl 24s with a keel lifting system like yours.

I highly recommend that you read rule 3.03 (watertight integrity and movable keels) in special Regulations Part 1 for racing boats in the current version of the Racing Rules of Sailing. You will need to fit a positive non friction device to prevent the keel from moving in a knock down. How you can do this without changing the centre case is anyones guess! Your boat is pre 1977 so you may have to install some flotation blocks high up near the sheerline to comply with 3.03 (b).


Para Handy
Alastair Russell3-Jul-2004    Edit    Delete 
Reply to all
Thanks to those who have answered my question (sorry I asked now). All sounds like too much hard work to me. I didn't buy the boat to race so I don't think I will bother with all the nitty gritty to get her up to spec. I will still enter next years Bay to Bay enjoy the company and the sailing and if I win and the boat doesn't clear the scrutineers then tough titties. Meantime I'll just cruise blissfully along on Moreton Bay in my not too modified, not too fast Jazzee with my mates and few tinnies.
Thanks again
Alex4-Jul-2004    Edit    Delete 
Alex is 100% correct
Alex is correct it is too hard and i am now going to do a little research to try and prove that it is not only too hard but it is bloody impossible owning to the rules and regs conflicting. Exactly 1 year ago I placed the following in this forum:

have just returned to RL 24 racing after break of 18 years. I refitted my RL out and tried to get it to comply with the latest TYA,AYF,CBH, Vic boat safety and RL24 rules and regulations and I can tell you it is not easy!!

I was for a start working to the 1989 version of the RL 24 rules that are published on this web site. I have recently been sent a current set of rules which were approved in 1992! This version bans my modified mark 1 RL from competing as a swing keel in RL titles.

Twenty two years ago I modified the original centre board box to fit the better and safer mark 2 swing keel and this is a no no in the current version of the rules. I am not objecting to the change, I just wished that I had not been missled by reading the wrong version of the rules on this web site!

I have phoned around and I have received conflicting information and hear that other changes to the rules have been approved at the AGMs since 1992 and they appear to have not been published as yet!

If someone wants to email me all the changes from the AGMs, I am willing to make up a nice new RL 24 set of rules ready for approval and posting on this web site.

I have been pulled up by another trailer yacht competitor for having toe straps on my RL. I have been told that the RL24 association has a dispensation from the Victorian CBH committee to cover the toe straps. Could anyone help me on this?

I am looking forward to racing my old mark one as a drop keeler at the titles in Loch Sport. I can assure you the boat will not let me down, it will be my old and weary body and brain.

Alastair Russell

PS please note I have since found out that toe straps are allowed in the RRS book. They are mentioned under the defination of a type 1 trailer boat ( page 131 rule 1.03). The rules states 'Hiking devices other than toe straps are not permitted'

alastairrussell2@bigpond.com5-Jul-2004    Edit    Delete 
RL24 Class Rules
Alistair, my understanding, and I have checked with those involved in altering the rules at the time, is that if you modified your keel 22 years ago, providing you don't put in a slot closing device, you can legally race as a swing keel. The rule was designed to cease modifications to swing keels as at 1992.
Now in reviewing what I have written, I don't believe that I have argued for or against the RL24 being a development class in this discussion. As it happens, my personal view is that the class should be a development class and that there should be no restrictions on keels whatsoever. Had I been an owner in 1992, that would likely have been the view I would have put forward. I wasn't, therefore I didn't. But I was involved in the class at the time, and have been for about 25 continous years. I know the efforts that all who have been in the Association have gone to to try to ensure the ongoing strength of the class as a whole, and to try to encourage participation by all. Any decision made by the Association has had the broader RL24 community in mind.
Now the 1992 rule regarding swing keels may well have been worded better, but it is not for anyone to jump on to a public forum and to ridicule decisions made democratically and in good faith by volunteers with nothing but the good of the RL24 class at heart, particularly when those people have had opportunities to air their views in the appropriate manner and forum.

Greg, as I have pointed out to you before, and my views were supported by Rob Legg (May 2003) the RL24 Drop Keel is a development class. There is no such thing as a standard drop keel RL, although there are many that are similar, mine included. The integrity of the class is in its developmental nature, and to restrict development now would in fact be more likely to devalue the boat than to continue to allow development. People actually get involved in RL24s because they have the opportunity to fiddle and experiment. There are plenty of classes available to those who seek One Design racing. Further, to those who believe that bulbs on the keel maketh the boat, Pete Hackett, sailing a converted Mark 1 with a "standard" drop keel, had no trouble winning the last titles in which he competed in Sasha. This was because he was a good sailor, with a good crew, a good set up on his boat, and he sailed well. There are still plenty of "standard" drop keels for you to race against, or you can exercise your right to simply cruise. But please do not use bulbs on keels as an excuse not to race.
Finally to everyone else who may be enjoying reading this debate, please do not be discouraged from racing your RL24. We would love to have as many boats as possible down at Paynesville for this year's championships and I can assure you that if you come down looking for some fun, competitive, and social racing, you will absolutely get it. You will find the atmosphere friendly and it is the best way to learn more about how to get the best use out of your boat. I know this because I have enjoyed immensely being at both ends of the fleet.
James Shannon12-Jul-2004    Edit    Delete 
In Reply to James

Which version of the class rules are you and your colleagues working to? I was under the impression that the keel filler ban was lifted in the 2003 version of the class rules!

My centre board box is now not as built as I had to raise the top of the box 100 mm to fit the safer, improved and wider Mark 2 keel. The only way out for my boat ParaHandy is for me to convert her to a drop keel (just like yours). I refer you to rule 78 in the AYF RRS rule book where I would be automatically disqualified.

I have tried to seek change by going through the proper channels and I suggest you speak to Trevor Jones and Bernie Ryan. I feel that it is not me who has failed the broader Rl24 community, It is the association. Sail boat racing is a highly regulated sport especially when conducting a national titles and I refer you to the AYF Race Management Manual.

With regard to Greg every man and his dog knew he was refering to an 'as built by Rob Legg type keel'. The way I see it, all he wants to do is the odd trailer yacht race on the Bay and it appears that the association has stuffed that up too. My advice to Greg is that he should put his stock standard boat in for a CBH modified boat rating. It would be interesting to see what rating he would get because I believe that the JOG formulae penalises bulb keels heavily.
Alastair Russell15-Jul-2004    Edit    Delete 
Application Form

You can download an application/measurement form from the YV web site. YV will now be the official CBH site for both Victoria and NSW. YNSW has thrown in the towel with CBH rating system and they say if you feel the need for such a system use the one from Victoria.

I think YV realise that some trailer yacht class associations are not weathering the current down turn in the need for sailboat racing. YV appear to me to be now encouraging individual or modified boat CBH rating applications for the first time.

Alastair Russell16-Jul-2004    Edit    Delete 

Why bring me into the debate,
I’m only the coordinator offering the association a format to make it more interesting, hence a “supplementary prize program” that will be available soon.
Now while on rules, I’ve only been in the association a short time and when I joined ,I received a set with a drawing of a mk1, measurements in inches No mention of fillers, flaps, etc. and my boat did not have a filler, so I can only presume that it was within the rules to have a filler.
Now while you’re so pedantic on class rules and R.R.S. 2001-2004 may I remind you of rule 3.23 [b] page 151. Talks about the engine and defines “Trailable boat motor shall be mounted in the normal operating position at all times” Now to operate at all times it must be in the water? Don’t forget it makes a statement “For boats competing in races for trailable boats 5 R” the first part is for cat 3,4,5? Now let’s not get to bogged down and “look at the donut and not the hole” come and have enjoyment and fun. Realizing winning is much more fun, but!!!!!!. Don’t forget racing and owning an RL24 you are a winner ask Hugh Hetherington.

bernie ryan17-Jul-2004    Edit    Delete 
In reply to Bernie

I did not think I was dragging you into this debate! I thought I was asking you some very reasonable questions about the titles in Paynesville. The two Questions I asked were 1 "which version of the rules would we be using at Paynesville and 2 "Could you arrange to have my boat measured as a swing keeler as I intend to race at the titles at Paynesville".

I don't want to appear too pedantic but your reluctant submission has me a wee bit confused and I now have to ask you more questions and they are as follows:

1) When I rejoined the association last year I was given a copy of the 1992 version of the rules with appendix 3. Which version were you given?

2)Are you saying all RL24s will have to upgrade to Safety Category 5 from 6 to compete in the titles?

3) Which one of the two outboard mounting arrangements fitted to Para Handy do you think is contrary to the RRS book?

4) Did Parahandy compete in a category 5 race last year when she was checked out to category 6?

5)Did the sailing instructions at the last titles have a variation to rule 3.23(b) and were boats allowed to tilt their motors?. (Note: As built mark 1's cannot tilt their outboards)

Bernie i do not want to bog you down in mere details but you do realise that we will all have to buy new rule books for the titles in January. I will try not to drop any cream or jam from donuts onto mine.

Alastair Russell17-Jul-2004    Edit    Delete 

In your discussion to Alastair 15th July you make comment, “fair Handicap”, “standard RL24”, “nothing modified”, “giveaway association membership”, and then say to Cook on 17th July “different mast section”, “modified space frames”, “hull reinforcement”, “no such thing as two RLs exactly the same”. Now on 4th July you stated, “fill their socks” and “valuable standard boats”. Could you look up dephenision of “viable” and as to rating I presume CBH .760 that was achieved with no bulb and sailing every weekend to build a crack crew and boat.

Get real to back to Harley TS16 that is not allowed exotic sail material, etc there not a development class but be careful you don’t buy a 1960 moth and end up in a class sailing on a foil.

There are two bulbs there was two wishbone booms.
18foot skiffs rules only says 18’long, Moth rules are in megabits.

bernie ryan18-Jul-2004    Edit    Delete 
I am having trouble, so I typed in “meaning heavily modified” yahoo search came up with the Public Toilet Urinal Association. As you are not a member of RL24 Owners Assoc. of Aust. Inc. but want to change our rules through a discussion and web site that the RL24 O.A. of A. Inc. has nothing to do with, join it, the Public Toilet Urinal Association.
By the way having trouble winning, I presume your boat complies with R.R.S 2001-2004 page 139 3.03(a) use the rule if you’re a bad loser, in your club (which I presume again, you are a member) you will win every time at no cost and no friends.

bernie ryan19-Jul-2004    Edit    Delete 
Now Alastair
Now Alastair
I’ll try and answer you as best I can. “rules” “measured”. I will enquire.
1/ As you are aware my paperwork is everywhere over the table, (afternoon debates with George and yourself) and I cannot find them.
2/ What has safety requirements at the titles to do with me?
3/ It is not for me to talk about outboard arrangements, I asked define “normal operating position”
4/ You mentioned Parahandy in cat. 5 then Para Handy was in question 3.Do you have two boats, a Robb Legg 24 and an RL24. I am suspicious.
5/ See answer to 1/.


bernie ryan20-Jul-2004    Edit    Delete 

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