I read with great interest the recently distributed "proposals for the 2014 AGM" to be held at the Kiel 2014 worlds event on August 21st 2014. I don't think in my 40 years of involvement in the class I have ever seen such blatant "gerrymandering" of the rules to benefit those who don't clearly comply with them!
Since John Westell designed the International 505, the templates were there as a guide to the builders to provide tolerances to enable them to build boats without fear of them not measuring. So accelerate from 1954 to 2014 (some 60 years) and we find ourselves clearly in a place where some builders cannot manage to build boats that measure.
So instead of being honest with themselves and looking at the rules in more details, some decide that it may be easier to propose measurement changes at the AGM so their "boat building mistakes" can be incorporated into the rules.
Some of the recent behavior by the class leaves a lot to be desired, I suspect I know fairly well (who) is behind this suggested change. A few/or one very influential individual who benefits enormously from the class sailors, enough so, for them to make a very reasonable living. However, too naive to admit that the so called perfect "computer designed 505" probably doesn't comply with the current rules and therefore is not actually a 505 (by the way this doesn't offer a pass to the other builder, who has blatantly broken the rules for years)!
For an actual country class association (Germany) to suggest such changes is "ballsy" to say the least and damn right blatant at best. Then to include phrases like "current boat builders had difficulties to meet the required height range for the top of gunwale" - are you kidding me! You mean you cannot make a boat that is deep enough not to have the templates touch the center-band of the boat or the hull, clearly making it illegal!
To be then follow-up later with "current boat builders had difficulties to meet the required height range for the keel band." So lets change the rules once again, because someone cannot measure between 3mm and 4.5 mm in height of the keel band from the hull!
At this stage, the rules are beginning to resemble a new boat called a "506" and simple suggestions like, why don't we reduce the weight by 20lbs become sensible, considering the age of the sailors in the class.
In the same proposal Rondar's (or someone representing them in the German 505 association) declare "that a builder would like to add more buoyancy chambers to the boat, because it will be a good idea, good idea for who apart from the builder?"
Or perhaps, they have already built the boat with the additional elements (which are not within the current rules) and now are asking to repent for their sins by another change to the rules? I remember when Parker's built the new 2013 boat we followed the rules and wrote to the IRC and it's executives indicating that we had checked our boat had complied with the Section B. rules of the International 505 class.
Quotes like this are totally unprofessional and unbelievable "boat builders (e.g. Rondar) have taken actions to improve both the production process and the quality of the finished boat by improving the deck mould design and the deck/hull assembly process. As a free side effect additional buoyancy chambers could be offered (what's a free side effect?):
a) left/right from the mast
b) at the transom
Additional buoyancy chambers are welcome for security and would be acceptable as long as the current chambers stay separated and their bulkheads stay unchanged. While option a) is acceptable without a rule change option b) would need a small rule adjustment."
No, what Rondar's have really done is build an illegal boat, but instead of talking to the 505IRC, they obviously ignored the rules and built a boat that "they" think is advancing the class, well Rondar's are wrong and if someone buys one of these boats then you have a 505 that doesn't measure!
Comments like "small rule adjustment", suggest that the German 505 association are now judge and jury and think it's their right to interpret the rules on behalf of boat builders. While you are at it, why don't you put in a double floor (oh, sorry just read your website and you've done that as well another illegal adaptation) or extend the hull a little bit on the waterline and make the boat a little wider at the stern that would only need a "b) would need a small rule adjustment." as well, why not make the centerboard a little longer and the spinnaker pole!
The 505 world association is getting into deep trouble with "rogue builders" there are only a few and everyone knows who they are but are too scared to mention names. It's obvious to me - since we measured some 9XXX series boats some time back and we couldn't get them to measure - we were perplexed to why and how they passed international measurement rules at any events, until we realized that no-one was really measuring the hulls anymore?
To check our findings we actually compared our templates to the 505 master's, ours are a perfect match and our measurer (20 years on the IYRU technical committee) had probably measured 1,000 505's over his life as well as designing 4 complete models, so I trust his abilities to measure a 505 hull and they didn't measure and still don't.
When we did mention the issues found and confronted the IRC committee (at the worlds in La Rochelle) with our findings, great silence descended everywhere, like we were the problem! When in fact it's the IRC continual inability to deal with the measurement issues in the 505 class that are the problem. We even wrote to the ISAF, no response! At some stage the ISAF will have to take charge if some firm control over the behavior of these people and builders is not put in place.
Finally the most unfortunate thing about this whole issue is the way the class has treated the class sailors. Many dedicated over the years expecting the Int. 505 association (as they pay there membership) to ensure that when they relinquish their hard earned money for a boat, that at least they could expect to be buying a boat that actually measures but no.
My advise, most people in Europe are covered by the EEC directive on the "sale of goods act" that protects the consumers rights to ensure that what they think they are buying is what they are buying. So if your boat doesn't measure you have legal right for recourse and compensation through the EU courts.
I have been informed that similar issues have happened to the contender class, to such an extent that the rules were changed to accommodate a "rogue" builder who decided to use the tolerances to alter the boat shape, these then led to a rule change! Similar happened with the Lark and 420 builder in recent years in the UK (the same builder by the way). So what does the ISAF do? Nothing!
Lets just hope that these proposed rule changes are given short shrift during the meeting and buried forever, so the class can get back to business as the best high-performance dinghy ever to have hit the water!
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Now is your chance to vote on the proposed rule changes which made it through the voting process at this years AGM in Kiel!
In some cases discussion is necessary as the AGM does not give the opportunity to fully explore the issue. That is the purpose behind this forum.
Take the proposal regarding the keelband height tolerance being increased from 1.5mm to 3mm. The standard aluminium bar thickness used for the slot gasket rails is 3.17mm and when adding a centreboard gasket made of a double layer of heavy sailcloth with a thickness of about 0.25mm per layer plus 1 layer of rubber inner tube at the front with a thickness of 0.9mm will just exceed the remaining 1.33mm of tolerance, assuming you tighten the screws holding the alu strip down and compress the rubber, you could easily get to the 1.33mm or an overall thickness of 4.5mm. Why is the rule change necessary?
Ok maybe someone wants to use a thicker more stable centreboard gasket material, and two layers of rubber up front.
Are there any other suggestions as an alternative to changing the rule?
Then regarding the minimum jib and spinnaker cloth weight. Personally I think it is a good idea to place a minimum limit on the sailcloth weight, to ensure that sails last longer, however sailcloth weight is not the only parameter which affects the lifetime of the cloth, there are several others. Another question which arises is why must this rule be imposed from the 01-01-2016, as some of the sails made of lighter cloth may still be around at that time. We need to consider the effects of these changes on the budget sailors out there who cannot afford to just go out an buy new sets of sails every year or two.
Regarding the "new" buoyancy tank across the stern, there are still several old Rondars on the water which had a hollow transom thwart, which was effectively a small buoyancy tank. Are these now seen as outlawed, or was the fact that this chamber effectively joined the two side tanks into one a cause for rejecting these boats in the past? Many of them just sail on regardless.
Lets see some debate on these issues before we cast our votes!
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