GPS

I just found out that the use of GPS devices are not allowed. I had been using a handheld GPS to get boat speed. Are there any legal devices for monitoring boat speed during a race? Thanks

Comments

OK, perhaps a better question is why are they prohibited? Si

OK, perhaps a better question is why are they prohibited? Since you can get heading and boat speed with analog devices, what performance advantage do they provide?

I think it is mainly to keep the boats a pure one-design.

I think it is mainly to keep the boats a pure one-design. If the class allowed every new gadget, then each boat would need to constantly buy stuff to stay in the game. There are ways to use a GPS to create a performance advantage both in the race itself and in analyzing performance after. Sandy felt that the Thistle class got to be a boat-tweaking arms race and made sure the Scot would have as even a playing field as possible. It is part of what has made the class so strong, in my opinion. Phil Scheetz FS 4086

Phil Scheetz

FS 4086

Fleet 163, Nockamixon Sail Club

Doug, What Phil says about the one-design philisophy is absolu

Doug, What Phil says about the one-design philisophy is absolutely correct. The specific measurement ruling on electronic devices can be found in paragraph 7 of Racing Restrictions on page 31 of the Constitution and Bylaws. You can view or download the document here. The ruling prohibits any electronic device except for timers and compasses while racing. Note that the ruling says "while racing". Personally I carry a VHF radio at all times, for informational and safety purposes. I always turn it off before the warning signal of a race, however. You could use your GPS, or any other digital or analog device when not racing, as defined in the Racing Rules of Sailing, i.e. from the warning gun of a race until you have finished. Hank Hank Sykes FSSA Forum editor

Thanks for the response.

Thanks for the response. I understand and agree with the one design philosophy as that is one of the reasons I bought the boat. Last year was the first year that we actively raced. It was mostly portsmouth club races, and we found the feedback from the GPS invaluable in helping us up the learning curve with respect to sail trim. We still have a long way to go, but the improvement has been noticeable. Analyzing the tracks after the race showed us we were missing headers, and that led us to learn how to pick them up with our analog compass. I'm convinced that GPS usage is a great tool for improving your sailing. I'm not sure that gps usage would constitute an arms race now that gps data is available for so many devices from handhelds to watches and cell phones at prices much lower than upgrading a 70's vintage boat to the "radical racing package". Lighter lines, better deck layouts, and new sails are absolute performance enhancers for any boat. But, to me, GPS data is just another bit of information to use for decision making on the race course. No different than what I get from tell tales, the masthead fly, the angle of heel, or the tug on the tiller. It doesn't help the physical performance of the boat at all, it is just another piece of information to be considered. I still have to decide what to do with it to make the physical changes that will improve performance. With prices in line with a harken block, it is a shame to miss out on the opportunity to have that speed and heading data as well as your track after the race to analyze your performance. Thanks again for the response.

Doug, You are correct, class leadership is out of touch of wh

Doug, You are correct, class leadership is out of touch of what the real costs and benefits are with these devices now. They are tools that if used even partially correct, will help the average sailor tremendously.

Travis: I believe you may be right in that the class leadersh

Travis: I believe you may be right in that the class leadership has not explored the benefits in performance or learning curve that these devices could provide. I don't believe that it is a lack of awareness, but a conscious decision to keep most electronic devices out of the class. The most popular GPS device available is the iPhone, and you may have noticed that it can also be used to communicate on the water. This is also prohibited in the class rules. Texting your buddy to "tack now" or downloading the weather to see the approaching change, would all change the game. If sailors want to have fancy electronics and carbon spars, cleaner foils and boats laid up out of carbon, there are classes that accommodate them. You may have noticed classes like the Melges 24, with which I think you are familiar, that are attuned to the higher-tech, higher-budget, skipper-owner. My question, is whether devices such as this, help the RACING or just a RACER. I think we should use that as a guide. By the way, what have other one-designs done? Thistle, Lightning, etc, all have similar crew sizes and could be looked at to see if we are behind the times. The last I heard the Thistles had just banned VHF again, after a test of allowing it. Phil Scheetz FS 4086

Phil Scheetz

FS 4086

Fleet 163, Nockamixon Sail Club

Here is a page from the Thistle Class, who recently clarified th

Here is a page from the Thistle Class, who recently clarified their rules on electronic devices during racing. http://www.thistleclass.com/contacts/CMR65.shtml Also a note from the Lightning Class: Question: Can I use a watch that provides GPS related information? Response: No. Any electronic device shall not provide wind information, boat speed, GPS-related information or compute correlation between time and bearing. This info can be found at: http://www.lightningclass.org/classRules/documents/interpretations.asp Phil Scheetz FS 4086

Phil Scheetz

FS 4086

Fleet 163, Nockamixon Sail Club

Thanks for the continued discussion on this topic.

Thanks for the continued discussion on this topic. The lightning and thistle links are very interesting. It never occurred to me that people may use a cell phone or vhf to collaborate during a race. Would it be illegal/unethical to discuss the previous race between races? I don't have any problems with the class rules as they are, but now I'm a bit confused about what information you are allowed to use during a race. Is it the electronics, or the information that is not allowed? Is a non-electronic knotmeter legal?

Any form of outside assistance is banded per the RRS doesn't mat

Any form of outside assistance is banded per the RRS doesn't matter what method is used to communicate it. There are a few exceptions - see rule 41 http://www.sailing.org/tools/documents/RRS20092012with2010changes-%5B822... Randy

quote:[i]Originally posted by sawyerspadre[/i] [br]Travis: I

quote:
[i]Originally posted by sawyerspadre[/i] [br]Travis: I believe you may be right in that the class leadership has not explored the benefits in performance or learning curve that these devices could provide. I don't believe that it is a lack of awareness, but a conscious decision to keep most electronic devices out of the class. The most popular GPS device available is the iPhone, and you may have noticed that it can also be used to communicate on the water. This is also prohibited in the class rules. Texting your buddy to "tack now" or downloading the weather to see the approaching change, would all change the game. If sailors want to have fancy electronics and carbon spars, cleaner foils and boats laid up out of carbon, there are classes that accommodate them. You may have noticed classes like the Melges 24, with which I think you are familiar, that are attuned to the higher-tech, higher-budget, skipper-owner. My question, is whether devices such as this, help the RACING or just a RACER. I think we should use that as a guide. By the way, what have other one-designs done? Thistle, Lightning, etc, all have similar crew sizes and could be looked at to see if we are behind the times. The last I heard the Thistles had just banned VHF again, after a test of allowing it. Phil Scheetz FS 4086
Phil. You are taking what I am saying completely out of context. I didn't say that the class should allow carbon lay ups and developmental items although lets hope there are tougher measurements at this year national events. I said i felt the class was out of touch of some tools that help all people sail better for a low / reasonable cost. To use a velocitek or the like is very simple and it will help you understand that basics of how the boat should be sailed better. The goal with all sailing should be to increase participation. Making it easier and more fun to sail are at the top of the list. Phil would you like to know what would happen to your boat speed an angle if you eased the sheet three inches? I am sure you would like to know if you picked up speed and increased flow over the foils or went sideways. I think that helps the racing and the racer, they are two in the same. You create better racers and the racing becomes even more competitive. One of the hardest thing for the average sailor to understand is; did what I just did in trimming the boat make a good change or bad change. If you read the most recent survey, the last page shows people's interests. The most responses and with the highest ratings came from the question of "would you be interested in "optimizing boat speed". That got 532 responses with almost all of them being a 4 or very interested. I think its unsafe and silly that the class will not allow basic safety equipment like a VHF, but requires a whistle. Good luck hearing that in 15 - 20 knots of wind when you are in trouble. You mention the Melges 24 which I am a past President of being "High Tech / High Budget" boat. They are completely different, but for $399 you can get a compass / GPS unit (we sell one at Layline.com). Not sure how that makes it high budget. You can go to the extreme and install the full blown system and spend $2k or do nothing, there are plenty of people winning doing it every way. In my opinion any class needs to be looking forward and saying ok, where are we going to be in 10 years how are we going to get there. With this class, more than other classes, the average age is older; something like 75% above 50. So the real question is what can be done to get the future of the class involved. I am not saying it is GPS or VHF, but the class and the overall members should be listening to what the younger generations are saying. They may or may not be right, but everyone needs to keep them involved and maybe try what they are saying. Travis

quote:[i]Originally posted by dougc[/i] [br]Thanks for the cont

quote:
[i]Originally posted by dougc[/i] [br]Thanks for the continued discussion on this topic. The lightning and thistle links are very interesting. It never occurred to me that people may use a cell phone or vhf to collaborate during a race. Would it be illegal/unethical to discuss the previous race between races? I don't have any problems with the class rules as they are, but now I'm a bit confused about what information you are allowed to use during a race. Is it the electronics, or the information that is not allowed? Is a non-electronic knotmeter legal?
Doug Depending on the class rules, every class is different. But I am pretty sure, but could be wrong with the Scot, that you can have assistance between races. Whether that is a coach on a boat, talking with a fellow sailor on another boat or calling your buddy from his house.

I would like to keep the racing rules as they are with respect t

I would like to keep the racing rules as they are with respect to electronic devices. I enjoy the challenge of seat of the pants sailing and judging wind conditions, wind shifts, boat speed and possibly good tactics with just the things that I can feel or sense without the use of a speedometer or other device. I would much prefer to let the cruisers play with GPS and VMG computer programs for perfecting their sailing and keying in their optimum downwind sailing angle. It is bad enough that I need to worry about keeping the key fob to my car dry when I go sailing on the Scot. If you push the racing to the edge then one day you will take a knock down and possibly turn over. If you never do take the knock down or turn over then you are probably not taking enough risks during heavy air racing. If you are just starting in the class or are just starting to race then I suggest that practice behind the tiller and time on the water will improve your sailing more than any GPS or other electronic device. Sailing the boat at top speed needs to be second nature and you need to develop a feel for boat performance so that you instantly become aware of the "slows" without thinking about it. Constantly look at all the boats around you to get sailing input.

I bought my Scot because I wanted to race a one design boat that

I bought my Scot because I wanted to race a one design boat that I wouldn't feel uncomfortable racing with my famil. Being fairly new to racing, what that meant to me was that the boats would all have the same sails, hull, spars, and appendages. I never imagined there would be any limitations on what you could bring into the boat such as a VHF, GPS, or cell phone. I brought my gps on the boat last year just for the fun of looking at the tracks after the races. I do that when I'm backpacking/hiking. Being a geek, its fun to display the track in Google Earth and check out where you hiked. Likewise, it was fun to look at tracks from the race and see what the max speed was, what leg it occurred on, and how far we had sailed. Then I realized I could also see where I had missed wind shifts, and how much time is lost in tacks. This got me to reading more about boat handling and sailing tactics where I learned about oscillating winds and that you should try to figure out the median wind and use that as a reference to help decide whether to tack on a shift or not. Since I am just not good enough to judge the median wind by "the seat of my pants", I bought a tactical compass. As far as I know, this is legal even though it and recording some close hauled headings does provide information on the apparent wind that makes up for my "seat of the pants" handicap. So, I never imagined that recording tracks or having boat speed displayed would be illegal. I'll admit that I don't have a good "seat of the pants" feel for boat speed. Unfortunately, I just don't get enough time in the boat to really develop it. And, I did notice that on numerous occasions when I thought we felt slow, we were actually pretty much on the polars. I had been reading about improving downwind sailing by sailing the polars. I don't how you do that without knowing the boat speed and apparent wind speed, but all the racing books say it's the only way to go. There is no question that the GPS and the compass improved some aspects of my racing much quicker than if I had relied only on time in the boat. They played as important a part as refining our crew work and improving our starts. And it was just fun to use them and play with the data after the race. My opinion is that if the boats are physically the same, I don't care what anyone brings into their boat whether its a GPS, nav stations, color weather radar, or Ouija board (although I don't allow bananas on my boat, they are strictly bad luck). If they think it helps them improve, or just adds some fun, then let them use it. And likewise, there is no way I am looking to remove anyone's highly developed pant seats!

Electronics are great to help someone improve during practice (t

Electronics are great to help someone improve during practice (that is why its called practice), but the race should be in equal boats vs other sailors. If some device is telling you what to do, it is not sailing against other sailors, nor are you even sailing/racing anymore. You are just following. If that is what someone wants, no problem, there are boat classes that allow that. Hopefully, this class will not be one of them.

Travis: I didn't mean to get you all wound up by mentioning t

Travis: I didn't mean to get you all wound up by mentioning the Melges, which I knew you sailed. Electronics are great, for practice, but I don't think they belong in the race. A VHF is not illegal to cary on the boat, only to use it to communicate during the race. If you have an emergency, and turn it on to call the race committee, that is not illegal. My point with devices like GPS, is that, you create another level of arms race, as you note that you can buy a basic unit at $399 or a fancier unit at $2000. Who buys the $2000 unit, if there is no performance benefit? The reason I mentioned the layup issue, is that the Flying Scot foundation had a clause that talked about research for "improving" the boat. It was deleted when the charter was approved, but that would have been another potential game changer. In my opinion a One Design is a boat that does not change. It may be become an anachronism at some point, but that is more true to the one-design concept than tweaking the boat specs on an ongoing basis. By the way, I also agree that the class needs to figure out how to get more participation by younger sailors. At 48, I look young in my fleet and at most big events. Phil Scheetz FS 4086

Phil Scheetz

FS 4086

Fleet 163, Nockamixon Sail Club

Transom, I have to disagree.

Transom, I have to disagree. I don't know of any electronics that tell you what to do and get you around the course first. Did you see the America's cup races? All the electronics money can buy and a skilled navigator to use them and the Swiss boat commits 2 silly fouls, both boats stall in tacks on the starting line, BMW fails to cover and gives a lead away until the Swiss boat overstands the layline and gives it back! They should have thrown those electronics overboard before the start just like they did the weatherman. If you have a problem with electronics and want to go mano-a-mano in the boats, we should throw out the compasses, tack-ticks, masthead flies, tell tales, wear blindfolds and get around the course by the feel of the breeze on our neck! Actually, that might be fun. Make no mistake, even if you have a gps and boatspeed readout that gps is not sailing the boat. The guy on the tiller still has to make the right decisions and have the sailing skills to get the boat around the course. The arms race argument is just nonsense. Some people buy new sails every year, and that's a definite performance enhancer. I'm sailing the original sails that came with my 10 year old boat. I don't know when I'll get the extra cash saved up to get new sails, but I do own a $99.00 handheld gps!

quote:[i]Originally posted by sawyerspadre[/i] [br]Travis: I

quote:
[i]Originally posted by sawyerspadre[/i] [br]Travis: I didn't mean to get you all wound up by mentioning the Melges, which I knew you sailed. Electronics are great, for practice, but I don't think they belong in the race. A VHF is not illegal to cary on the boat, only to use it to communicate during the race. If you have an emergency, and turn it on to call the race committee, that is not illegal. My point with devices like GPS, is that, you create another level of arms race, as you note that you can buy a basic unit at $399 or a fancier unit at $2000. Who buys the $2000 unit, if there is no performance benefit? The reason I mentioned the layup issue, is that the Flying Scot foundation had a clause that talked about research for "improving" the boat. It was deleted when the charter was approved, but that would have been another potential game changer. In my opinion a One Design is a boat that does not change. It may be become an anachronism at some point, but that is more true to the one-design concept than tweaking the boat specs on an ongoing basis. By the way, I also agree that the class needs to figure out how to get more participation by younger sailors. At 48, I look young in my fleet and at most big events. Phil Scheetz FS 4086
I am not wound up, there are big difference on a full integrated electronics package..anyway, those would not work on a Scot. Today people can use the tack tick race master which gives heading and you can set an angle from the breeze, that costs $800 or so. You can buy the smaller one for something like $500. You can get an integrated GPS compass for $400. These are tools to help you. By no means is it going to tell you where to go or what to do. I have a real problem with the VHF side of the rules just due to the argument that is brought. It makes no sense. We dont want to have VHF in the class as its too expensive for the $99 hand held, but we encourage you to have one for safety. I am for keeping boats one design. The nature of one design are boats that are the basically the same. Which I can tell you right now, the top boats and the middle of the back boats are NOT the same. Phil the real arms race is in the boat prep, not the silly gps or handheld. The class needs to step down on (and they are making ok strides) on fairing of bottoms, boards, custom rudders etc. That is where the real issues are. My comments of using new tools, is to help the everyday guy. Most people dont even realize that there are / were a number of boats sailing with faired boards and boats. Far more gains there then anywhere else. To answer Doug's question on just having is GPS tracking, I am not sure the rule says you cant have it on the boat, you just cant use it. So if its sitting in the back cubby, I would think you would be fine.

Funny thing is that I'm quite happy with the rules about not all

Funny thing is that I'm quite happy with the rules about not allowing GPS, VHS, etc during races even though I'm one of the younger FS owners (35), I don't have a fleet near me so I can't practice against other boats, and don't have a great feeling for boat handling either. I like the low-tech aspect of sailing the Flying Scot. I bet we wouldn't do anybody any real favor by adding GPS. The sailors that know how to sail don't need it. The sailors who don't, like me, need to keep their head out of the cockpit and pay attention to what's going on. It's just like with an outboard. I think most cases outboards are just a hassle (along with an added cost, smelly, more things to break, ...). One gets by quite well by without one. I've sailed some quite narrow channels that requires tacking like crazy, but hey you'll feel proud after you did it. Same with GPS, we'll loose a lot of skills if we start to read the digital displays instead of the wind and waves. I much rather put the $300 in some good lessons that in a little electronic gadget. Also I'd like to pull the bull card on the $300 vs. $2,000 GPS are the same. While I don't have any experience with marine GPS, I do have some with car navigation systems and there are a night and day difference between the low budget and high end models. I'm also not convinced that allowing GPS will make it more attractive to newcomers and novices to sail Flying Scots. I just can't see it. However, the cost of the boat just has gone up cause most newcomers will have the perception that without a GPS system they will have major disadvantages.
quote:
[i]Originally posted by tweisleder[/i] To answer Doug's question on just having is GPS tracking, I am not sure the rule says you cant have it on the boat, you just cant use it. So if its sitting in the back cubby, I would think you would be fine.
But does it need to be off (i.e. not recording GPS data) or can it be on? What about if I just accidentally can see the display of the stowed away GPS while on? Looks like more potential to be in the protest room than the beer tent after the race.

Claus FS5074 Ames, IA

Like most class rules discussions, it's a question of class cult

Like most class rules discussions, it's a question of class culture. Why do people race Scots? Do they race because they want to fool around with electronic gadgets? I don't think most of us race Scots for that reason; if we did want to do so, we could race in a class which allows such gadgets. (I don't include the electronic compass in the "gadget" class because there have always been compasses and the electronic one is just one which is easier to read). I think most Scot sailors want to race using the traditional sailor's eyeball and seat of the pants to judge wind, speed, vmg, etc. I don't think a basic GPS unit with a price point which is in touch with the class culture (to use Travis' example, one which costs $400) is going to help any racer very much. The Scot is a relatively slow boat and therefore the minor incremental changes in boatspeed or VMG arising from, for example, a sail trim adjustment are typically not going to be apparent in the speed readout on the GPS. How would you be able to tell whether the change in speed was due to what you did, vs. a puff or a lull or a flat spot or a wave? Boat-to-boat speed testing, or just watching whether you are catching up to or falling behind the boats around you in a race, is much more effective. Although a beginner might find a GPS useful, he also might find that too much attention paid to the GPS or to his polars (really!?!) means he is neglecting other, more important items which would increase his speed even more, like a slight increase in the velocity of the wind on the back of his neck, a dark spot on the water 400 yards upwind and over on the left side of the leg, the angle at which another boat is sailing upwind, whether the boat behind him is about to steal his wind downwind, etc. At a different point on the price scale are the new systems where every boat carries a GPS and then the data for ALL the boats is downloaded (either after the race or wirelessly on a current basis) to a computer program which shows the tracks graphically and over time -- just like on TV when you watch the America's Cup. And shows a lot of other data too like relative boatspeeds (which is far more important than absolute boatspeed). That strikes me as a fascinating and useful tool, enabling racers to see what each did right and wrong during a race, AFTER the race. But because they require a GPS unit in each boat and an investment in the software, we are probably a few years away from using those in the Flying Scot class, at least until the price comes down (as it will). And the problem of the slippery slope would have to be addressed: if you allow GPS devices, what is to prevent someone from installing one which is all out proportion to the class culture in terms of its expense (for example a $2000 unit)? Would we place a dollar limit on how much you can spend on your GPS? How would THAT be enforced? Require a receipt at measurement? As for VHF radios, I am not aware of anything in the class rules which prohibits them from being carried, or used in the event of an emergency. Certainly we need to bring new, younger members into the class, but we have to remember what kind of person the boat appeals to. We will never capture the 20-something crowd with a 50 year old design, 800 lb boat built like a tank with a tiny jib, tiny chute, no spreaders, a centerboard on rollers and a blade aluminum rudder. No matter how much we gussy it up with electronics. We can't win an electronics arms race with other classes. Jay Lott FS 5698

Jay makes a good point here.

Jay makes a good point here. "I don't think a basic GPS unit with a price point which is in touch with the class culture (to use Travis' example, one which costs $400) is going to help any racer very much." If they don't help, why ban them? My frustration is understanding what the intent of class rule Article S-V, 7 really is, and what constitutes complying with it. Except for compasses and timers, it specifically prohibits "the operation or use of electronic devices that are used as an aid to the boats performance during a race" and then gives a list of devices, "VHF radios, CB radios, Cell phones, GPS, PC lap top, and compasses that calculate lifts and headers". I have a plastimo tactical compass that you could say calculates lifts and headers. I don't believe that it is banned by the rule, but may put me in the weanie sailor category for using it. The tactical compass has the degrees marked on the top of the card add is hard to read from the helm, so I have my GPS set up to display my heading and my boat speed. The GPS doesn't calculate lifts and headers, and personally, I wouldn't consider boat speed an "aid to the boats performance". I also record the track, but I don't look at or use this information during the race. Does this type of use of a GPS violate the rule? The same kind of issues are inherent with the Cell phone and VHF. Most Coast Guard safety courses recommend monitoring channel 16 while on the water, and some people may have reasons to answer a cell phone call during a race. Neither of these uses are "aids to the boats performance", so are you violating the rule if you "operate or use" them during a race? Don't misunderstand me, I am not trying to change the rule, just interpret and comply with it. As you can see from this thread, some people take the rule to mean that none of these devices can be used or even turned on during a race. Others have a more open interpretation and, for instance would not see a digital display of compass heading from a GPS, recording the boat's track with a GPS for later download, or monitoring channel 16 with a VHF to be violations of the rule.

For reasons of cost.

<> For reasons of cost. The cost of racing competitively in the class is reduced by prohibiting devices which, relative to their expense, provide only a minimal aid in performance. If the class were to allow the use of GPS devices during the race, then the racers at the upper end of the competition spectrum (who don't blink at a mere $400 to $2000 expense) would acquire them, and everyone else who wanted to stay even (even if the increase is performance is minimal or marginal or whatever word you want to use) would feel either (a) they need to acquire one in order to stay competitive or (b) they are starting at a disadvantage if they don't have one. That discourages racing participation, which we are constantly fighting to encourage. Jay Lott FS 5698 Fleet Captain Fleet #44, Ephraim, WI

An interesting thread.

An interesting thread. Let me offer an alternative perspective. Electronics are a distraction. I've raced on PHRF boats with a full complement of instruments, OD boats with a compass only, and my compass-less and masthead fly-less Scot. Over the years I've found that when there are instruments on board, everyone's head stays in the boat and not out on the race course where it belongs. Wind shifts are missed, puffs and lulls go by, waves are misread, while all eyes stay glued to the knotmeter and AWI. Without those instruments, the skipper's eyes stay on the tell-tales, other crew watch other boats and gauge speed and angle, and landmarks ashore are used to call headers and lifts. So, leave the electronics ashore. With that said, handheld VHFs are relatively inexpensive and extremely helpful when there is a problem. It is worthwhile to have them onboard. At least on Lake Ontario, there has been a trend towards the RC using them to inform the competitors about the race course and sequence. This practice has greatly improved race course management and reduced second guessing the RC.

Doug C, let me see if I can help you with your questions.

Doug C, let me see if I can help you with your questions. "...I have my GPS set up to display my heading and my boat speed. The GPS doesn't calculate lifts and headers, and personally, I wouldn't consider boat speed an "aid to the boats performance"....Does this type of use of a GPS violate the rule?" You would have to check with the chief measurer to know for sure, but the language of rule seems pretty clear to me: "...electronic devices which are used as an aid to the boat's performance shall not be operated or used while racing. This includes but is not limited to...GPS [devices]" I don't see how the use of a GPS device while racing, to know one's speed, can be reconciled with that language. "I also record the track, but I don't look at or use this information during the race. Does this type of use of a GPS violate the rule?" If you turned on your GPS, enabled the tracking function, and stuck it in a duffle on your boat before the race, and did not view it until after the race was over, you might be in technical violation of the rule prohibiting "operation" of a GPS device, but I can't see why anyone would complain or care. As for your examples of cell phones and VHF: if one receives a phone call which is so important that one must answer it during the race, or if one is monitoring channel 16, I doubt any other racers would complain -- because taking phone calls and rescuing others are going to slow a boat down, not speed it up. The problem of course is if racers start seeing other racers talking on cell phones and listening to the VHF during a race, suspicions start to arise as to what conversations are actually taking place or what VHF channel is actually being monitored. So it's better not to allow their use at all during racing. A boat can always drop out of the race to take that very very important phone call** or if it needs to place a distress call on a handheld VHF. And as for any USCG recommendation to monitor channel 16, I don't know that the USCG actually expects that recommendation to be followed by 19' daysailers which are racing in the vicinity of multiple race committee powerboats all of which are equipped with VHF radios. Jay Lott FS 5698 ** I am trying imagine the phone call which I would feel I had to answer during a race. Maybe if my wife was expecting a baby or someone in my family was near death, I might want to stay available by phone. But of course in those cases I probably would not have raced in the first place.

"If you have a problem with electronics and want to go mano-a-ma

"If you have a problem with electronics and want to go mano-a-mano in the boats, we should throw out the compasses, tack-ticks, masthead flies, tell tales, wear blindfolds and get around the course by the feel of the breeze on our neck! Actually, that might be fun." In college we had a drill where the skippers were blindfolded and had to race by feel by from verbal instructions from the crew. It was a tremendous riot. Not to be tried except in light air. Jay Lott FS 5698

Thanks for your input, Jay, I do appreciate it, and thanks for h

Thanks for your input, Jay, I do appreciate it, and thanks for having a sense of humor as well! I'll admit to being a geeky nerd. I like to play with the gadgets and do enjoy them on the boat. Whether they are a help or hindrace will remain a matter of debate and perhaps best left to personal tastes. However, I like to abide by the rules and will sadly leave them ashore. I may have to replace my gps with a 2 inch grid of tell tales on the main and jib though! :.)

It seems every few years a sailor comes along and wants to settl

It seems every few years a sailor comes along and wants to settle in the Scot class because the illusion is that the Class is soft and they will come in and make changes, all in the name of progress. My advice, then and now, is please go back to whatever class it is you sailed in, but the problem is your arms race dismantled that class. Please leave the Class alone, we don't need your help.

Well, I'm one of the mid-range older members of my fleet at 58.

Well, I'm one of the mid-range older members of my fleet at 58. And I do not race due to my work schedule and then my wife's church schedule. But I do find the discussion about electronic devices interesting. Seems to me there is truth in what everyone is saying. I think anything that gives "feedback" to the salior to enhance awareness and connect the dots of what one feels on the water to one's boat performance can be both fun and useful for training. The nature of the feedback chosen is a matter of preference. Some old salts may prefer to get the feedback "by the seat of their pants"---a true down to earth art in making extraordinary discernments of wind and water and sail with only the five senses. Others prefer to let instruments pick up information that they either cannot and/or are unwilling to train themselves to pick up by their own five senses. Either way, it's preference----and training is the objectve. Having said that, what is wrong with a group of people arbitrarily agreeing to limit the nuber of devices WHILE RACING? IT IS ARBITRARY. It is whatever the group decides and this group decidd to keep it simpler. Why not? I understand that some infomation while racing may be lost in not using GPS, but so what? Use all the gadgets for personal training and then drop them for the race. Since it is arbitrary, why fight for something different? But, then again, since it is arbitrary, why not fight for something different??!!! If others agree, then it changes. If others d not agree, it doesn't. I suggest having fun with your dialogue, don't get serious, and realize everyone has a piece of the pie of truth here---and any decision is an arbitrary one.

Just for the record, I never advocated changing any class rules.

Just for the record, I never advocated changing any class rules. I was merely trying to get clarification on the extents and interpretation of that rule to make sure that I could comply with it. I am new to the class and thought this forum was a place for open discussion those kinds of things. All of my posts were intended to be lighthearted and fun; my apologies if I missed that mark with anyone, and my thanks to all who responded in kind.