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How do you ensure the future RL 24 sailing?
Hi all.

Just want to start by saying that the RL24 is a great boat for so many reasons. Hence I wanted to open up a discussion on how the class can build in numbers?

My story goes like this.
In the beginning I wanted to buy a cheap boat so I could teach the kids how to sail while sitting next to them, rather than putting them in a skiff. I found an RL24, looked at all the back-up the website provided and purchased a Mark 4 for $12,500 with no idea what I was in for.

Looking at photos of other boats it became obvious the cruising rig was slow so I engaged North sails.

After purchasing new rig and sails I went to the nationals in 2012. The new rig and sails helped in the lighter / shorter races but after talking to a few RL people I had not fully realised the keels impact on the boatís performance.

I battled with the thought of chopping up a beautiful Mark 4, which meant removing the cruising interior and installing a new drop keel. I didnít have the expertise to do this job effectively so I sold it on the basis that I could do one more national title with Legacy. We did the nationals on Lake Hume (January, 2013) and we surprised ourselves with our results.

We enjoyed the company of the other RL sailors and competing as a family. I cannot put into words how proud I was of Jess (13) and Tyler (11) steering the boat to a second overall. It was then I realised I had made a mistake selling Legacy.

Ross Corben advised us of a boat for sale already modified so we detoured from the family holiday, ending up in Bairnsdale where I met Bernie and Ruth and purchased Spud Gun. At the time Spud Gun was the only boat on the market that had the modifications I was looking for.

This boat already has a modified keel, rudder, rig tension, spinnaker chute, outboard well plate etc. With the greatest respect to the previous owner who has invested a lot of hours and money, it is going to take a huge effort to get this RL up to speed and this brings me to the question, how do you keep the class building in numbers?

Here are my ideas and I hope a discussion follows:

Has any thought been put into taking the same design and approaching a new manufacturer to build new hulls with modified keels all set up ready for racing or cruising?

I would imagine in the initial stages if there are no boat owners willing to commission a new hull then maybe the association could do this and use it as a marketing tool, paying for itself as a charter boat for nationals or bay to bay?

Once a new boat is floating and going quick then existing owners can start ordering new boats, which will supply a load of pre-loved boats to new owners (likely be their own children and in some cases grandchildren) wanting to come into the class.

The people involved in this class are incredibly resourceful; it would just take a combined effort. If you like this idea letís keep discussing and hopefully we will hear from the RL24 committee.
Finally thank you to everyone at the last nationals for making it such a great event.

The Ratcliffs are now proud owners of Spud Gun 126 (mark 1 with a modified cabin, keel, rudder etc.)


Luke Ratcliff16-Jan-2013    Edit    Delete 
Re: How do you ensure the future RL 24 sailing?
Hi Luke,
Wow! what a can of worms you have opened! My personal thoughts are 'if aint broke dont fix it'!

Supposing you purchased a second hand F1 Ferrari would you enjoy it or modify it?

Rob has said in the past that development is important, my thoughts are that the RL24 should remain as designed, eg No membrane sails, No internal bracing, No high aspect sails, No rotating masts, No bulb keels, etc,etc etc.

This way will ensure that the RL24 you're racing is the the same as your nearest rival.

I also beleive that in Cat.4 or 5 you should be required to O'night on board and cook a meal! (I do recognise that is being a little pedantict!)

Family racing should not be dictated by budget, or who has the latest 'widget' but good old sailsmanship and boat handling as you mentioned in your first sentence! Sure many of the 24's were delivered as a hull and fit out was by the owner in many cases, so 'heavy hulls' and 'light hulls were acheived (mine was a 'heavy').

Easy, at Nationals, hire a crane with a strain gage and determine handicaps based on weight!.

Sails, all dacron as was designed, all to exact measurment as was the intention.

I didnt race my '24 very often because I got frustrated that 'go fast boats' left me behind, sure handicaps and corrected time should equalise everything but when your sailing along all by yourself it becomes very boring!

Your comment, family racing, make it just that, equal for every one. best way? dont muck with a great design for the sake of an extra knot leave it alone and sail the best 'you' can!

These are my thoughts and are not prompted by any person or manufacuturer.

Please, all enjoy your sailing in an RL. I'm so glad I am a lucky owner
Martyn
Martyn17-Jan-2013    Edit    Delete 

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