RL24, RL28, and RL34 Trailable Yachts
from Rob Legg Yachts

RL Yacht Owner's Discussion Forum

Return to the Forum List

Modification of RL24s for racing
I am concerned that the intent of class racing is being neglected by sailors that use the freedoms within the RL24 rules to modify boats beyond the spirit of the class to gain advantage on the race course.

In particular, I believe boats with heavily modified keels, rudders and rigs should be excluded from racing in the class when modifications are not in the spirit of the class rules.

The owners of RL24s need to know that they are not going to be thumped by a lightweight Mk1 with a bulb drop keel, space framed structure, carbon sails and rig, fully battened main and asymmetric spinnaker at the next class race.

If people want to get into a technology war with the current rules, it would be easy to rebuild a RL24 into a Eliot or Young type sports boat but who benifits and who looses.

The original concept of the RL yachts is still excellent but needs to be protected otherwise most owners will not be able to use their boats in class racing or mixed fleets due to the variation of performance of the modified yachts masquerading as one design yachts.

We should consider singling out those heavily modified yachts as Mark 5s and make it clear to the handicappers that they are different to the single class yachts for cruising and racing.

Class rules for standard yachts need to protect the integrity of the racing, the value of the fleet and assure that the winner is probably the best sailor. I believe the rules need to ban carbon fibre, control the keel section, limit ballast more strictly, ban internal structures reinforcing the mast structure to the chainplates and exclude using drop keels in Mk1 and Mk 2 yachts. Spinnaker sailplan needs to be rationalised for standard classes. Let the Mk 5 have all the goodies and make it clearly a new class.

Greg 26-May-2003    Edit    Delete 
Modification of RL24s for racing
Greg,you raise some interesting points regarding the RL24 and you are certainly not the first to raise such points. It is particularly relevant to me as I have just purchased a Mk1 RL and am wondering just how much to spend on it to get it right. I think it is important to recognise that the RL24 was never designed with the intention that it be a one design class. There is no doubt that it is this very feature that has allowed the class to survive as a class for 30 years now whilst others have come and gone. I have crewed for my father in an RL for 20 years now and I think it is fair to say that we have provided the main competition to the current National Champion over the past 10 years. The first time we beat him in a championship was the year he got the bulb on his keel. The key to the success of the current champ has always been his decision making and his crew work. He is simply a bloody good sailor. For our part, we built the fastest boat we could and improved our crew work and we have still only managed to defeat him once. I would like to think that whilst we definitely have a quick boat, the key to any success we have had has been our crew work.

For my part, I will be stealing some of Dad's old sails from the garage, getting them recut, and seeking out Paul Corben and Jim Castles at Loch Sport. The beauty of the RL is that you can be an all out cruiser, an all out racer, or something in between, and still have a good time with it.

For those who do have concerns about the class rules, there are three things to do: Join the association, get to Loch Sport for the championships, and make your concerns heard at the AGM. See you there for the 30th Champs.

James Shannon29-May-2003    Edit    Delete 
RL24 class rules
Well said James. The class was never meant to be one design and I could never envisage a fin Keel being an advantage on a boat of that hull shape which is not over canvased and I feel that the existing rules simple as they are also cover sails and rig very well.However if at some time something needs changing I am sure it will be fixed by the association.
Rob Legg29-May-2003    Edit    Delete 
class rules
How about puting the class rules on this discussion page. Many people I know are still having trouble even getting a copy of the class rules.

It may help others contribute to the discussion.

However I warn all, that the NS 14 association has just recently been through a great deal of heart ache when they started to see some people interpreting rules in different ways. This simply resulted in many arguements, great distrust between many which all resulted in a marked down turn in entry levels at the state and national championships, a whole lot less boats getting built and a reduction in the resale of those boats that were still sailing.

So be very carefull as any playing or smart interpretation of rules which have worked for years except for those who want to play games with words is very dangerous. The bottom line is, sail the boat with the intent that it was originally intended for and if that doesn't suit your needs in a boat design, go and buy a sports boat.

Leave well alone.

Steven Lymbery30-May-2003    Edit    Delete 
Class rules are already on web site
The class rules are already on the RL web site accessible from the RL24 page, then click on "RL24 class rules" at the top of the page.
Keith Merkley11-Jun-2003    Edit    Delete 
Class Rules
I 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

Alastair Russell6-Jul-2003    Edit    Delete 
Development class
I agree with James and Rob, the RL24 allows you to experiment with your own "go fast" ideas and that is what has kept the class going. My opinion is that there should only be one handicap rating for the RL24, there are many swing keel RLs that are quicker than most drop keel RLs. There are other developments that improve performance and I believe you should be able to try your own ideas within the basic class rules.
Trevor Jones29-May-2003    Edit    Delete 
class rules
The class rules have looked after us for thirty odd years and will do it for another thirty. With only three changes that i can remember 1 Taking the trapeze off in 1974? some bloke with a whole bunch kids who were not quite big enough to keep it flat bought it up(sorry james) but it was the right decision,but going to winward on a trap was fantastic it was dry for the forehand. 2 Was at eden when we had to protect the (profile) to stop another fast jacks radical lady 11. 3 Jack walsh asking and getting the nod to modify the cockpit area which i think is a terrific idea. the boats are going faster through developement over the years and thats why they are still the best TS ever built.
kevin troy29-May-2003    Edit    Delete 
Hey no need to apologise to me, Kevin. I reckon I have swallowed more water at the front of an RL than anyone and my bony derriere would have been far more comfortable over the years with a trapeze!!
James Shannon30-May-2003    Edit    Delete 
Regarding Trapezes
James are you talking about the trapeze being a short horizontal bar suspended from two parallel ropes, used for gymnastic exercises or for acrobatic stunts, or an article of women's clothing, such as a jacket, dress, or coat, that is cut so as to hang down from the shoulders and swing out and away around the hips and legs? If I'm sailing with you I need to protect my precious ass from the ravages of Port Phillip Bay and the Gippsland lakes. Any trapeze will do! Yours sincerely. Anthony
Anthony Purdon19-Dec-2003    Edit    Delete 
Is it any wonder we came stone motherless last at the titles?
James Shannon22-Jan-2004    Edit    Delete 
coming to grips with class rules
We attended last years titles and did time at the back of the fleet in a fairly simple mk1. I've no problem with that, the racing between the last 6 or so was pretty tight and not that far from front either.The ideas & minor mods we came back with have made our boat even more rewarding to sail and in real terms the cash to have the top sails & gear is smallish beers compared with a weeks hire of a 40 footer at the Whitsundays (and we hung out there for a couple of months for freeee in our RL!). As James rightly points out its skill & crew work that gets you to the front & keeps you there( we are working on this) in the mean time I've no probs with the fleet leaders doing the development, chasing ideas (& blind alleys) & then passing on the best of it... they are an open & friendly bunch! The RL rules actually work brillantly for three areas...racing, cruising and mucking around in the shed time. We chose an RL for all three reasons & our family has never looked back. PS this a good point to add "Good on yer & Thanks Rob Legg!"
Wayne Hill4-Jun-2003    Edit    Delete 

Return to the Forum List       Add a message to this discussion