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The tape shows up!

1 March 2015 Phil Smidmore

AUS1422 Land Rat at the Nationals, Adelaide

"AUS1422 Land Rat at the Nationals, Adelaide"

Photo by:
Kylie Wilson,

Two of our new fittings for this season, the forestay swivel joiner and the mast lever, have both been selling well, including some to overseas customers. Thanks to a couple of collisions and a crane accident, I have also sold a number of masts from the batch I completed late last year.

I think we have made our booms too well and for too long, as the number of these breaking now is way less than was previously the case.

In response to concerns raised by some members, the Etchells Chief Measurer, Bill Abbott, recently came to Australia. I spent four interesting days working as his labourer, as he took lots of measurements on a number of boats. He had some great ideas on to how to measure certain difficult to measure areas, and we obtained lots of data. He will continue collecting data in the USA. The figures we collected showed there was very little difference over the boats.

One area he noted as troublesome at the Worlds in 2014, was with rudders being too big. This happens when a wedge is added to the top of the rudder to close the gap between the rudder and the hull. Several of the boats we checked in Australia had this particular problem. While a number of items like keels, rudders and skegs are hand finished, the tolerances are tight and, as per the fundamental Etchells Class rules, moulded surfaces are never to be altered.

With the exception of carbon poles, the rule changes voted on last year passed the membership vote, but, to date, the rule changes have not yet been ratified, so those items are not currently allowed under Class Rules. Note that carbon poles were voted, "No".

Once again the season has seen some great regattas held over a variety of conditions. A number of people have commented on John Warlow's improved performance since he got his new boat, and with some more time in the boat I'm sure he will be getting even better results in the future.

Good Sailing,
Phil Smidmore.


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