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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:17 pm 
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Assuming the boat/s are used sans the Mirage Drive, are there any Portsmouth handicap numbers for the AI/TI?


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2013 2:08 pm 
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Tom:
I would refuse to participate if I couldn't use my mirage drives, even with all my massive sails on my TI I still pedal 100% of the time, force of habit I guess.

Good question though, I'm curious what the numbers would be also.
Bob


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2013 2:53 pm 
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The thing is, it's not allowed. Even a "regular" sailboat may not rock the sail nor pump the rudder to create forward movement. So I'm not concerned about the Mirage Drive and will gladly remove it or lock it, so that it can't be used. I understand and am happy to accommodate the rules.

But, without Portsmouth numbers, there is no way to handicap it against different boats raced at the same time. I'm unaware of any such handicap number, but am hoping that I've just overlooked it. I'd like to put this boat in the mix and see what it does. After serving in a regatta committee boat today and watching all the proceedings, I suspect the Islands could be very competitive given a fair Portsmouth number.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:30 am 
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First post from a new guy:

I checked the multi-hull tables and none of the Islands are listed.

The quick and dirty is that you would probably need a class association first to establish the class rules to define a conforming hull design, sail and crew complement, etc. That would need sanctioning through US Sailing in North America or RYA in Europe. Once you are legit in the eyes of the governing bodies, then club race results can be submitted and a DPN established for active classes based on race results against the "yardstick" boats. Correct me if I am wrong but I don't believe such an association exists for this boat.

Having done some club racing before, I am really wondering whether or not "Island" sailors who enjoy pedaling through tacks and light/no winds (me too) are going to be real interested in leaving our Mirages at home. I only say this because in order for a class to be successful you have to have a lot of participation and folks willing to go to formal races (read: follow rules and deal with BS) instead of following the beat of a different drummer as I am very much enjoying doing these days.

That being said, I would join. Racing can be fun with the right people, it makes you a better, more savvy owner/sailor and you are socializing with folks with a common interest. Any volunteers?

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:32 am 
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I guess my feeling is that this is a boat that lets you do so many things, it would be nice to be able to race it in a mixed fleet as well. Sure, you'd have to either pull the drive or perhaps insist it's an additional center board device and lock the pedals so the fins could not be moved. While most wouldn't do that for any other activity in the Islands, they might be willing to do it just for racing. I doubt many will ever buy an Island specifically for racing, but it would add just one more thing that could be done with these boats, increasing their value just that much more.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:41 pm 
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Yes I agree. After I posted-I noticed that there is an AI group in MD who were seeking class association. I don't know if they ever got it and I can't find the websites that they have linked in the post but it is on this forum.

viewtopic.php?f=72&t=14479

In Texas, we have the Texas Centerboard Circuit who call themselves "the classless fleet". A fun group who hold a lot of races around the state but as you say, along with a centerboard, you must have a DPN to compete. They have Wetas, so multi-hulls don't bother them at all as long as you can "correct". Too bad we can't.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:36 pm 
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Of course this is just my opinion but the AI/TI were designed from the ground up around the mirage drive system. Everything on the boat is optimized to be used with the mirage drive. I for one would not be willing to remove my mirage drive ever ( you would have to pry it from my cold dead feet lol). When creating a class it should be for that specific boat as it comes from the factory. You would be competing against other islands equally equipped. Now I can understand why a massively modified boat like mine would not be allowed, but a lock stock TI should be allowed to run as it comes from the factory. By the way I pretty sure I couldn't do a standard tack with my TI (without the jib). Without the mirage drive it's my experience with just the standard sail I can't get much closer than 45 degrees to the wind, and with the tiny rudder these things have it's near impossible to tack these boats without the mirage drives ( the way they were designed).
Of course there are many out there who will insist that we can't use them, but their reasoning is only to make us look like idiots and fools. The AI/TI is what it is by design, you can't and shouldn't sabatoge the boat and design just to conform to some stuffy old rules from days gone by in my opinion.
Bob


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:46 pm 
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I couldn't agree more, however in sailboat racing you're not allowed to advance the vessel by means other than the sails (and there some stipulations as to what you can do with those as well). It's not about "stuffy old rules" it's about what's allowed if you did want to participate with others in different boats.

Sure you could have a single class fleet with the Islands and let all owners use the Mirage Drive, but then you couldn't get the Portsmouth numbers to allow you to sail in a mixed fleet race, which is about all some may have local to them. If I was limited to sailing against other Islands around here, I'd be racing against myself. There are no others, well perhaps one, within 50 miles of me.

I'm not saying the boat is better or more fun to sail without the MD, I'm saying if you want to participate with it in a mixed fleet regatta, then you have to sail without the MD. And you'd have to have a handicap number which we currently don't have and you're not going to get one under power from the MD.

I can tack my boat without the MD (not as easily) and would like to see what I can do with it in a local race against other type boats. It would be fun.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 12:06 am 
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I agree that the TI is not designed to race in a mixed fleet and when I purchased mine, it was the farthest thing from my mind. However, I can't wait to show it off to the traditionalists I know-mainly so they can see what fun I am having and what little work I have to do to achieve it!

Seriously, one thing that you have to keep in mind when it comes to Portsmouth ratings is that the system is really designed to handicap a race around a triangular course with the race lasting at least 30 minutes. Or at least that's what the purists used to tell me as the subject always comes up when you use DPN to handicap a distance race.

In our case, my limited experience with the TI tells me that fusioneng is correct and 45 degrees is probably about it upwind on a standard boat. Couple that with the facts that tacking the TI smartly in light winds is not so easy, the rudder can be overcome close-hauled when the wind is up and that most sailboat races are won upwind; I am not so sure that the TI would be very competitive on a traditional course with monohulls; especially with no jib to point higher and then back wind when needing to swing those amas around. I guess if the legs were long enough and you had some room at the windward mark, you might be able to recoup some time on the reaches.

To the other point: The Mirage is an integral part of the design so if you had a one-design class, it should certainly be a part of the mix. According to what I read, the group in MD with the AI's allowed it in their races and just limited the number of pedal strokes that could be taken in certain maneuvers like tacking. I think that would be easy to do, be fair and probably more fun in the long run. Otherwise, in a mixed fleet to have any chance to win, I think you would need a jib, a bigger rudder blade and I wouldn't mind a barber hauler downwind in light air because my arms are getting tired. While people have experimentally added those items to these boats... that's really a whole other boat as fusioneng says.

I have friends with monohulls that are rated. When I get a chance to sail with (against) them, I'll see if I can find a comparable boat speed-wise that has a number. I'll post it and maybe we can get an idea where the TI fits in. My best guess is close to 100. That's very misleading though because we fly on a reach.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 4:24 am 
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The Islands can be sailed around a triangular course, or a windward/leeward course, or any other course. The Islands will not point as high as some, but will point higher than others. You can sail an Island anywhere you want to go, although perhaps not in a straight line. Same with any sailboat. None of this is unique to the Island series boats.

The point of having the Portsmouth numbers is so each type boat is handicapped in order that they are all equal. In other words, the sailor who sails the best race wins, not the boat that is the fastest, can point the highest, etc. The fastest time doesn't win - the fastest adjusted time wins.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:39 am 
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Good points. In theory and in a pure environment, that is the way it is supposed to work. I've always wondered in mixed fleets however, if a boat can have a quirk or a shortcoming that is so exacerbated when sailed against other types that it results in some inherent competitive disadvantage when the rules of racing are applied or at certain wind speeds and just can't be compensated for. It just always seemed to me that certain types of boats can be counted on to do pretty well in certain situations and others not so much regardless of the crew and I wonder whether any type of handicap system can fully compensate.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:46 am 
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The handicap numbers are assigned per wind speed on the Beaufort scale. You don't necessarily have the same number under all conditions.

No, there is never going to be a completely fair system when you have different boats racing against each other, but if people want to compete in mixed fleet races, this is about the best you can do.

Since sailing regatta rules do not allow auxiliary propulsion devices, such as the Mirage Drive, any such handicap numbers would have to be for the AI and TI sans the drive. Which is fine by me. My question was posted in order to find out if there were any numbers for these craft, as I haven't been able to locate any.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:43 pm 
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You'd be crazy to leave the drive in, but locked. If you're not pedalling, the AI is much faster and tacks way better with the drive pulled.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:06 pm 
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I suspect it would have to be pulled, but apparently it has yet to come up before the association that derives the numbers.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 4:05 pm 
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Well anyway... I wonder if there is truly interest in some type of class association? The growing TI community might be an opportunity. That would be the best way to approach the governing authorities who would then issue you a class code. That's the first step in the eventual assignment of a handicap.

The group I read about in MD had several categories of races and I think you could really have a fun one design class with this boat because of its versatility.

-Single or double-handed
-no drives, one drive or two drives
-unlimited pedaling or stroke limited
-tri or windward/leeward courses
-distance races including overnighters
-AIs or TIs

Someone who is well-known and respected in the Island community would probably have to ramrod it to get it going. Also, it wouldn't hurt if the manufacturer was supportive of racing the boat. My best guess is that the manufacturer of this boat never envisioned it as a racer and to be brutally honest, probably feels the true commercial value of new sales and aftermarket support probably lies in the fishing/camping community with family weekend entertainment as a close second. They offer other products that are more designed for racing, have been doing so for decades and would want the interest and checkbooks directed there.

As a result, are you going to see a manufacturer designed and provided jib, bigger rudder, heavy-duty tramps or anything else that pushes the AI/TI design and materials toward their performance limits and higher warranty costs? I would say no because there is just not enough demand to justify it.

On the other hand... what a golden opportunity for third party entrepreneurs to fill a niche market. If I am not mistaken, we have several of those aboard this forum.

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