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Testing the Waters?
Are there any RL24 owners interested in spending a few dollars to fund a performance prediction comparison between the different versions of the RL24? The money raised would be used to hire a yacht design organisation using a top level Velocity Prediction Program (VPP) software package. A report on the exercise along with the computer print outs would be displayed on this website with copies going to all CBH committees and all Rl24 associations. All communication and any decision making would be conducted between the contributors by email. I would like to start the fund off by pledging two $50 shares.

The company that I have in mind to carry this out is the prestigious boat design company, Murray, Burns and Dovell of Sydney. I have heard that MBD are the leading VPP company in Australia and they have been carrying out design performance predictions for yacht owners using their own in-house developed computer program for many years now.

I have spoken to Andrew Dovell from MBD about our CBH problems with the RL 24 with it being a restricted class where certain areas have been left open to development. This appears to have created problems with some of the handicapping committees around the country. I explained that with bulb keels being fitted to a handful of RL 24 recently, the drop keel versions CBH rating has been increased to .760 for all the drop keel versions.

I told him that the RL24 was a very popular trailer sailer back in the 70’s when 600 boats were built here in Australia and another 500 in the USA. The design had been targeted back then at the older ex dinghy racers and that Rob Legg designed the boat to plane downwind from day one, even though the fore and aft sail area of 20 sq metres was quite conservative in comparison to other designs at the time. Andrew said that he had just completed a performance comparison exercise on a twenty four footer for a client.

Many Rl 24 owners with 'as built' and unmodified boats who race occasionally in CBH trailer yacht events are being taken to the cleaners by either modified RLs or other trailer yacht designs. The present situation is ludicrous with some state committees either poorly managing or poorly policing their handicapping system while other States have just thrown in the towel and given the system away! This problem has been compounded too by some T/Y owners and their class owners associations who have turned a blind eye to the declared published class dimensions in the CBH documents. One example of this is the Seaway 25 association who have adopted the much larger Etchells spinnaker without even bothering to tell any CBH committee and as a result they have not had their class CBH rating altered!

The present CBH system as run by the different States is at the point of collapse with Yachting Australia’s recent attempt to introduce a National CBH system failing. Only the Queensland YA appears to be recording the new National CBH numbers in their website! Surely a totally computerised VPP system has to replace the defective 'hands on' CBH committee system!

If enough pledges are made and we go ahead with the exercise I would like the performance comparison exercise be restricted to following conditions and versions of RL24:

1. We use only the 1989 version of RL 24 class rules as published in the Rob Legg Yacht website.

2. The rig and sail system being restricted to the current ‘North’s of Sydney’ system as published in the Rob Legg Yachts website.

3. All boats to comply with YA’s RRS category 5 requirements and the trailer yacht specifications as laid down in YA SR part 1.

4. Only toe straps in the cockpit are allowed (No leg straps allowed).

5. No special letters from any RL 24 committee approving major modifications to the as built mouldings are allowed e.g. lightweight special cockpits are banned.

6. Mark 1 (as built) with its smaller lateral area 100 kg cast iron, non laminar flow cast iron keel with an open outboard trunking and with no centreboard box modifications or filler. Note: This mark was known as being a bit tippy and required heaps of crew weight on the gunnels. It also made a bit too much leeway when going to windward. You could not tilt the outboard and it had to be removed from the trunk.

7. Mark 2 (as built) with its bigger lateral area 120 kg cast iron, non laminar flow swing keel with an open outboard trunk and with no centreboard box modifications or filler. Note: This mark went much better to windward in the breeze with reduced crew weight but the construction of the hull and deck was heavier than in the mark 1.

8. Mark 3 (as built) with its 100 mm of extra freeboard and its heavy 155 kg cast iron swing keel with no centreboard box modifications and filler. Open tilting type outboard trunking.

9. Mark 4 (as built) with the extra 100 mm of extra freeboard but with a lighter 125 kg laminar flow drop keel and rudder. Outboard trunk plugged when racing. Note: This mark was built as an improved racing version to improve on the slower as built mark 3.

10. Mark 1 and 2 modified to fit laminar flow drop keels with lead ballast and a laminar flow vertical rudder. Outboard trunk plugged when racing.

11.Mark 1, 2 and 3 fitted out with a standard non laminar flow cast iron keels but fitted with centreboard box filler and a vertical laminar flow rudder blade. Outboard trunk plugged whilst racing.

12. All marks with 125 kg lead bulb drop keels.

13. All marks with 140 kg lead bulb drop keels.

14. All marks racing two up without a spinnaker.


Please feel free to correct or discuss the above. For the record, I am retired and live in Paynesville in Victoria. I am a silver card member of the Port Kembla Sailing Club and also a member of the Trailer Yacht Association of NSW and ACT. I own a Mark 1 swing keel RL 24 which was modified over 20 years ago. She was fitted with the mark 3 cast iron swing keel along with a centreboard box filler, the boat has a Coxon skiff rig, a Holm brother’s laminar flow rudder, along with a plugged outboard trunk.

Alastair Russell1-Feb-2008    Edit    Delete 
Re: Testing the Waters?
Count me in for $100 and if it takes more let me know.

It will be money well spent given I have a standard Mk4 which is probably the most disadvantaged model in the current handicap system. A decent handicap should help maintain value of the fleet and help the RL association write a set of rules that controls configuration sensibly.

Might even get to go racing if I have a chance of loosing fairly.


Greg1-Feb-2008    Edit    Delete 
Re: Testing the Waters?
Might even get to go racing if I have a chance of loosing fairly ..

Love it ...
John3-Feb-2008    Edit    Delete 
Re: Testing the Waters (corrections)?
I have made the following corrections to my original input today

1. Changed the Mark 2 keel weight to 120 kgs.

2. Changed the modifications made to my RL 24 to

fitting Mark 3 keel and not a Mark 2.
Alastair3-Feb-2008    Edit    Delete 

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