Is the cvrda the way to go?

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trebor
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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by trebor » Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:19 pm

Hi David , read your article and liked it, I always think your posts are deliberately aimed at promoting discussion about contentious issues, you shake the tree and see what drops out, keeping people on their toes as it were. Rob.
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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by JimC » Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:08 pm

The CVRDA is certainly a way to go. Not mainstream, but there are still a reasonable number of people who like working with their hands as well as sail boats.

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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by ent228 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:49 pm

I've read through this thread and have found it stimulating and have also read the Y+Y thread referenced, what I'm going to say here may not be on topic enough but I'll put it in anyway. It a thinking tool thought up by Everett Rogers, his idea was that the rate of diffusion of an innovation was decided by five factors. The innovation could be the CVRDA, or Dinghy sailing or mobile phones. The five factors are these: (taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diffusion_of_innovations)

Relative Advantage. How improved an innovation is over the previous generation.

Compatibility. The level of compatibility that an innovation has to be assimilated into an individual’s life.

Complexity or Simplicity. If the innovation is perceived as complicated or difficult to use, an individual is unlikely to adopt it.

Trialability. How easily an innovation may be experimented. If a user is able to test an innovation, the individual will be more likely to adopt it.

Observability. The extent that an innovation is visible to others. An innovation that is more visible will drive communication among the individual’s peers and personal networks and will in turn create more positive or negative reactions.

If you consider the mobile phone with regard to these criteria you will understand why they are so widespread.

Now thinking about Max's question "is the cvrda the way to go?" and attracting more people to our sport. Look at the relative advantage of sailing over ...let's say football or video games.....hmmmm

Relative advantage. Well does dinghy sailing have advantages over cycling or ball sports?

Compatibility with people's lives. The Y+Y forum talked a lot about time. Many of us are time poor, sailing takes a lot of time on and off the water.

Complexity or simplicity. I have always seen sailing as a very complex and fascinating business. However think of all the skills a newbie will need to learn to get much enjoyment from it.

Trialability. Difficult with sailing, you can't just step in and go. Think about what has replaced sailboards on our beaches?
The Sit on top Kayak, so simple, so compatible, so easy to trial, so much better than an inflatable, and observable on top of every 10th car coming into the south west and hired out everywhere.

Observability, well, how close can you get to dinghy racing? Watching dinghys racing on Torbay is a waste of time, they are too far out. The best place to observe dinghy racing is on the river Thames where it is only 50m across and you can walk down the towpath following the race:). Which is where I started at Abingdon.

I write this not as a particular answer to any of the previous posts but as something I find useful in my personal and professional life when trying to make decisions or analyse a situation. I have also put it here because I think that those posting here will be thoughtful and may find it useful.

So where does this leave sailing and the CVRDA, analysing the CVRDA leads me to the conclusion that it is not a way of increasing participation in Sailing. Also that actually dinghy sailing may have reached saturation in this country and may start to fade in its current form no matter what the RYA may do over the next 10-15years. However I do think that it is open to new structures, RS and other manufacturers may have staved of a collapse and with more imaginative management ideas may be able to deal with the challenges of the next 20yrs to develop dinghy sailing structures and equipment in ways not yet imagined

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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by Rupert » Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:05 am

Interesting post, thank you.
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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by Bill-Conner » Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:48 am

Well done, you have just defined the problem, perhaps you should write to Y&Y and Scuttlebut to name a few maybe even the RYA but they tend to suffer from NIH thats the problem what is the solution?

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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by trebor » Wed Dec 12, 2012 6:41 pm

a fully automatic sail system that adjusts sail settings has you steer, whilst you are tootling round pool, computer system handling sails tells you what it is doing and why, after a set period it tests you in manual mode, but will jump in if you get in trouble, also useful for Sailability sailors, obviously it would have to be a keel boat to prevent people from getting wet, also an high boom so sailors will not get injured by boom. hopefully new sailors would then be challenged to try sailing a normal dinghy with a proper coach.
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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by ent228 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:37 pm

R.D Culler wrote a book called Skiffs and Schooners, in it he says that engines are simple things and oars are really complicated. After all anyone can bolt an outboard on the back of their launch and it will go, to make a pair of oars and set them up right is much harder.

There are so many easier (than dinghy sailing) ways of getting on the water, using less time (higher compatibility)and having lower levels of complexity. The SOT (sit on top) the SUP (stand up paddling) the RIB and all the other versions of power boats including PWCs

Driving a fast RIB in a 3ft chop is loads of fun! If I wasn't already a dedicated small boat sailor and wanted to get afloat I'd buy a second hand RIB and a two stroke outboard for a few grand and blast around on Torbay on those hot summer evenings we enjoy down here when the bay is a sheet of glass and there are no speed limits and you feel like you are flying........:).The skills needed to have fun in a safe environment like Torbay are not dissimilar to driving a car. So fun can be had for little investment in time or skill acquisition, and here is the good bit...you can take a few friends as well and a BBq and several cases of beer, land and camp in a deserted cove. So that makes it really compatible with people's social life's as well. The newbie can get on quick and then later do a PB2 and maybe an advanced powerboat course and then go and bounce around off Salcombe in a southerly F6

Sailing boats are like oars, complex, interesting and subtle, and so their appeal will always be limited. The question is not so much how to increase participation but how to keep up the levels we do enjoy against so many other options. Technology change may help, the ever increasing cost of oil extraction may change the appeal of powerboats but I think the biggest changes may come from changes in ownership styles, and methods of financing dinghy sailing as well as changes in government subsidies and taxes to support low carbon leisure activities.

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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by davidh » Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:43 pm

Ent 228

Can only say a big thank you for restoring my faith that I'm not the only one who thinks along these lines!

I've been working on things today and can now confirm that the revised presentation 'The slow death of fast dinghy sailing' is ready to go! If any of you want the illustrated talk at you club, let me know

D
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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by Rupert » Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:43 am

Whilst I certainly see your point, I'm not sure your comparison of making oars and bolting an engine on a boat are comparable. Making an oar is rather more simple than making an outboard engine, but both are pretty easy to buy. I'd say less knowledge is need to buy some oars, though. They are equally easy to fit to a boat which is designed for them, and equally difficult to fit to a boat which isn't. Learning-wise, the engine probably edges it (fewer crabs caught, but you do have to know how to fit fuel lines and how to stop yourself craching into things at high speed) but to me the really killer for the oars (and for performance dinghy sailing) is the amount of effort needed to go at a pretty slow speed. It takes a lot of effort to go at 1/10th the speed of a rib in a rowing boat.

The silent, eco friendly aspect of rowing will appeal to some, of course, and always will. In fact, as fuel prices spiral, it may grow, just as sit on tops at the beach have.

This is where it differs from fast dinghy sailing. This remains far harder to learn than blasting in a rib or learning to row a small boat. More akin to the dedication needed to race a rowing 8, I suppose. Cruising a slow dinghy, on the other hand, is a rather more simple thing to do, and judging by the number of designs and kits available, not unpopular.
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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by Rupert » Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:48 am

The other thing to look at is the death of sailing canoe racing in the USA at the end of the 19th century. As the canoes ceased to be general purpose boats and became specialist racers, numbers plummeted. Now, dinghy sailing has a broader base, so things are less precarious, but the example is there, just as it is from windsurfing. As the fast end of dinghy sailing gets faster (a Fireball is considered slow by many these days in the world of Y&Y forum) so more and more people find it no longer appeals. And instead of sailing what is now perceived as a slow boat by their peers, they may well go and find their speed rush in a rib.
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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by davidh » Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:46 am

Rupert...I'm not saying you are wrong, for your view is as valid as any other. BUT.... I do feel that too many people are only looking at this from a too narrow a perspective. When I have the talk before (to find that I had a goodly handful of RYA top brass in the audience) one of the slides that caused me to think "oh ****, what have I done now" was a cartoon of the Titanic sinking - but at the same time a painter is busy with brush and pot touching up the superstructure! No real problems there apart from the fact that I'd photo-shopped out the name Titanic and replaced it with 'HMS RYA'!!

The problem can be as complex or as simple as you want it to be.... with solutions to match.

I hope that as this thread is in the 'banter section' we'll not be getting a 'get back on topic' message from Neil - though in this case he has allowed us all a great deal of freedom to wander around BUT - we ought to get back on topic.

Is the CVRDA a portal to bring more people into the sport; that is what I understood the question to be?

My view is a resounding no - it's not, I hope it never becomes it and to be honest, I think the chances of it happening are 'slim'.
In the past I have attracted a fair share of critical comments for being too robust in my suggestions, yet in all truth I do have the best of intentions and wishes for the future of classic dinghy sailing. Now I have nothing at all against clubs running a '£500 or less' class to allow people on limited incomes to get afloat. But then the focus might well change to 'what is the best option for a sub £500 boat if I'm sailing at location X?'

Of course, many of these sub £500 boats might not be classics at all..... and herein is where the idea of the CVRDA as a portal starts to get a bit skewed. The C in CVRDA stands for classic, not 'cheap'! That is not to say that some real classics have been had for a 'song' but to then do a restoration that puts the boat back onto the race course in a 'good' state my well result in the answer being anything BUT cheap. Your Minisails make this point very well for me! You can pick up a Minisail fairly cheaply off e-bay, but if you do a 'back to bare wood' restoration, then put a new sail on, your final budget might well have bought you (as an example) a club competitive Laser.

One of the things the CVRDA could be doing, rather than trying to be the 'portal' that kicked off this thread, is to work at moving the classic scene 'up' the value chain - rather than risk trying to attract people into the sport via the bargain basement and driving the classic genre in the other direction.

D
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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by neil » Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:16 am

I have to say that I find the value proposition abhorrent.

Over the past 10 years+ I've met some great people who have used the CVRDA to get back into sailing, it's provided them a route to get their old boat back on the water or buy the class of boat they've hankered after for many years, but can't afford / be arsed with buying a new one. The CVRDA allows the weird / wonderful/ knackered boats to get together and sail.

The CVRDA has also encouraged a number of people to have a go at rebuilding / restoring / fixing boats that would otherwise have died. so what if you can get a laser for the same as as invested in a 6 months refurb of another class. Half the fun is tracking down the bits and pieces, making stuff and seeing it come together. We don't all send our boat to a little man to be sorted.

The market for turn key restos is limited, most of us are on a budget and the rebuild over time spreads the cost, and you end up with a far superior boat at the end of it.
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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by Rupert » Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:57 pm

neil wrote:
The market for turn key restos is limited, most of us are on a budget and the rebuild over time spreads the cost, and you end up with a far superior boat at the end of it.
And you end up with the boat you WANT at the end of it, which for many, isn't a Laser.

I suppose it would be nice if interest in old (avoiding the word classic) racing dinghies meant that they stopped having negative value (you can sell a trailer for more without the boat on it, in other words) but given how many old boats are out there, it seems unlikely. So, we are left with the people who want a hobby which involves not only sailing, but handiwork as well. Good. I get on well with such people. And if we are joined by people who would like someone else to do the work, but love the older boats and sailing them, then good. I like them, too. If we are taken over by people who see classic boats as an investment, and only think that ones of pedigree are worth saving, then, no, sorry, not my scene any more.
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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by JB9 » Thu Dec 13, 2012 1:29 pm

I agree with Rupert.

The CVRDA will hopefully endure and if it attracts others of like mind to sail/restore/own eligible boats then that is a bonus.
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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by Nessa » Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:07 pm

Buying an older or possibly 'classic' boat might not be a way of getting people in to sailing, but my experience is that it is certainly a way of keeping them there. Hunts runs a great many adult sailing courses, after which many participants start looking around to buy a cheap dinghy. Fortunately they are plenty of cheap, beginner friendly dinghies to be had and sooner or later these appear on the lake, enjoying a cruise, possibly doing some race training and then being pestered by me to take part in our next cvrda event. I have seen this path into boat ownership happen at many smaller clubs, not just Hunts, and those that buy these boats tend to put lots of time and effort anf love into keeping them afloat. Just up the road at 'the best inland sailing in the country' or whatever it says about itself not so many golden oldies are seen, but the boatpark is full of unloved unused plastic fantastics. Ho hum.

Upping the value? Yuk. I am very convinced that had my stricken dinghy been something wonderful and wooden it would not have been left foundering on the slipway with no care having been taken in its recovery, and no assistance forthcoming in getting it away from where it had been dumped in the mud.

To me my dinghies are measured in terms of the pleasure they give me, not in terms of monetary value. I am very emotionally attached to that kestrel because Nikky and I did our first races together in it and I fitted it out myself. It is worth little or nothing in financial terms, thank goodness, otherwise it would never leave the garage!

Classic and older dinghy meets such as those run by the cvrda succeed because no one is embarrassed by the state or shape of their craft. The scrapes and scratches they bear are part of their history, and part of the story we share with them. Up the value and snobbery creeps in, people become ashamed to come out with the old grp hulled dinghy they love, and numbers go down. Please, let's not go there.
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