Drwyndwn Tyne is vice-commodore of Fishers Island Yacht Club. He’s also the builder and clubhouse manager of FIYC’s new home base in Sailors Rest.
Three weeks ago Drew contacted Analyse Dean to discuss a possible new ‘Committee Boat’ to use at FIYC for races and other regatta functions. He wrote:
“We’d like a committee boat for our race lines. I own one of your 570 Bimini’s, and I think with some modification, it would be perfect. What we would require would be:
• an open cockpit, without the fishing chairs, but with more of a bench seat inside the transom.
• the ability to raise and lower flags and sound a horn as per the Racing Rules of Sailing. This could be from a menu system, but timing might be an issue.
• the ability to have a yacht club burgee and a race committee flag hoisted.
• the ability to turn off or eliminate scripts not required for the function of a committee boat, i.e., I’m pretty sure the sex anims would be superfluous (although, one never knows :-).
The concept here is that the racers can TP to the committee boat to rezz their boats, and return to it after the race, if they wish, then the committee boat would return them to the yacht club for the after party. The flag system would make racing that much more realistic, rather than using chat or gridtalkie, or possibly in combination.
Analyse agreed with Drew, and they both decided Analyse’s Bandit 580 might be a better starting point. They’ve been working on the idea and soliciting sailors’ opinions since.
Here are Ldewell Hawker’s thoughts on the issue:
A committee boat is needed for formal racing, it as in RL is always anchored so that it is the basically delineated starboard layline. It is never the port end! It serves a series of purposes in RL – close observation point in a ‘barge’ protest i.e, leeward rights – prevents a beam reach to the line. It ALSO represents the mark that the line is judged by TO THE PIN END.
Often a mast or flag pole is on THE BOAT for hosting various flags. In match racing the committee boat becomes part of the pre-start tactics.
NOW most Yacht Clubs even dangle a rubber boat, or dingy which now actually become part of the BOAT/MARK – see new rules 2013-2016 (the real reason is to protect the committee boat from damage)
MOST CLUBS in RL now use an automated system for starts, even touted as being ‘fool proof’ (joke) gives beeps to raise flags etc, and sounds horn at clock start, and other programmed times.
HOWEVER, in SL if you are out of the SIM you won’t hear any sounds – of course you can see the flags if your draw distance is set for that. I have a pair of binoculars as when I race most of the time there are at least 4 classes competing so that means I am buzzing around for 15-20 min….waiting for a start sequence – my class is usually last to start.
Hay’s START LINES and timer have enhanced SL considerably, because if you start a stop watch to use – and use it to time a run to the line …you can often BE OVER EARLY as it does not LAG with SL! Hay can correct me (sure she will) but the line clock responds by SL clocking. IT also determined is you are over early….
I used Yuu’s flag system with running match races, and still have his lines and gantry for hoisting them. I found that many SL sailors were simply confused by the flags….and it became a dimension of frustration for some.
In RL many clubs are having various starts from the same lines…and each fleet has: (1) course flag (can be same for all fleets or not) (2) A fleet flag which is hoisted at the 5 min warning (3) followed by PREPARATORY flag WITH penalties for over early (I, Z or Black flag)- FINALLY, WITH 1 MIN TO GO… THOSE FLAGS ARE DROPPED, AND AT THE START THE NEXT CLASS FLAG IS RAISED if multi-class races. NOW the flags are needed as you cannot hear, nor do committee boats shout the start sequence….
I can assure you…unless you do this all the time…it will be confusing – event then still unclear…….which is why most RL sailors have a ‘cheat sticker’ and a ‘flag sticker’ in their boats – AS WELL AS A radio scanning the RC frequency!
Finally, a Committee boat should not be huge, in RL many lake clubs use pontoon boats, and on the ocean – larger boats BECAUSE they are stuck on it ALL day! It needs some room as many whom do race duty are volunteers for the RC chairperson – or Race Director.
If you do one for SL, it should NOT be a vehicle – keep the boat a free of prims, scripts and avatars hanging out as possible…
NOW what would be cool, would be a Committee boat that turns with wind veer or shifts, as well as responds to the tides and currents…or responds to tides/currents and has a FLAG on it that shifts with the wind….WWC wind…
Smart ocean sailor use the anchored boats, for clues…to tide strength, shifts in wind and a host of other things….(can’t give out all the secrets….)
So bottom line….EVERY RACE LINE should have a committee boat, KEEP Hay’s timer, you can see it a couple of sims away…KEEP the boat small, AND don’t get hung up on the FLAGS – YOU MAY have to spend more time educating than you will racing!
If you must have flags….well… make it automated, and sort of…for ‘atmosphere….’ // Hawk…
Jeremia Spotter commented:
Well said by Mr Hawker, there is nothing to add.
Btw: afaik the original “Yuu-line-set” came not with one of Twoheads vessels , it came with joepie Korobase’s BIGhorn tugboat, which belongs to the historical section of SL boating and sailing. I have used Mannie Madonna’s “Cabin Cruiser” for a long time, also with an eye on the historical side …
So – the boat really doesn’t matter at all. My favourite would be one of this kind:
Hawk’s last words are a good resumee: “If you must have flags….well… make it automated, and sort of…for ‘atmosphere…”
At least : I first can see some mesh-boats … if its too late – and i bump into that boats. I’m using the running SL-viewer and did no changes to the LOD-factor – and would never do when i race. So its important for me, that a committee boat which marks one end of the startline can be seen from a long distance by everyone.
Jane Fossett’s initial comments:
Here is a picture of Analyse Dean’s draft build of a possible new committee boat, sitting next to the older one by Twohead Janus that came with Yuu Nakamichi’s raceline.
Analyse’s boat has LOD=32 and is not yet scripted. The plan is to (hopefully) incorporate ISAF Race Flag signals and interface with the Hay Ah line for those clubs and regattas that want a committee boat option.
This is a first draft to promote discussion so interested sailors and RDs can give input to Analyse as she puts this together. Please send her your comments. 🙂
Here are my own first thoughts:
1. I understand the new boat will have a smaller LOD than the old Yuu setup. That should help prevent ‘denial of entry’ errors on small raceline parcels.
2. I am not sure if the draft boat is too long to serve as a Starboard raceline end mark. I defer to Jere and Hawk on that point.
3. The Flag signals could be hard to see by racing skippers. I wonder if the Flags could also have a ‘shout’ attached to them so the whole race fleet is notified.
4. The detail on the committee boat is nice but I think most RDs will want the canopy ‘down’ so racing skippers can easily see boats approaching from the other side.
Armano Xaris said:
I’m pro progress and think it’s a good plan that analyse dean builds a modern committee boat.. I’m against shouting flags haha :-).
You don’t look to flags, but to your slsa timer in sl racing. So i think flags is more of a window dresser for public then usefull for racers…
Please keep everything as slim as possible to create minimal lag, and consider this boat might be used under heavy sim conditions in bigger races also. Every tiny bit can add to a boat crashing when we stretch sim usage to it’s limits again.
I think the size of the boat is in a technical way not relevant when you can adjust the position of the startline buoy next to the committee boat.
Analyse might want to consider a startline buoy next to boat, that is part of the boat and movable on this size…
I have no opinion if this boat is a beauty concerning the size, and the fact that it might stay online for a longer amount of time next to startlines in blake sea for example. I vote neutral and think others have opinions about that :-).
Ok. These are my first thoughts.. I wish all could luck who are busy with this project.
I put a copy of Analyse’s ‘draft discussion boat’ in the small bay at DYC for anyone who’d like to check it out themselves, and I’ve also put a copy near the dock at Strawberry. 🙂 If there is broad consensus on its merits and features, a new committee boat might be a desirable option for many racelines in SL Sailing.
Please give Analyse Dean your opinions and ideas on this, or you can post your comments below. 🙂