|International Square Metre Skerry Cruiser Class Meeting
Date: 29th January 2005
|Organiser: The Swedish Association of the Square Metre Skerry Cruiser Classes (SSKF)
Location: Carat Hotel, Munich, Germany
Participants: See Attachment (abbreviations are used in text)
Introduction The meeting was held on the initiative of the Swedish Square Metre Skerry Cruiser Association (hereafter referred to as SSKF) in the framework of the decision reached with the German International Association of the 30 qm Class (IV30SK e.V.) at the last international meeting in Friedrichshafen to have international meetings for co-ordination and co-operation of class interests about every second year. The date and location for the meeting was set and invitations and an agenda were sent on 1st November 2004 to currently active national and international Square Metre Skerry Cruiser (hereafter referred to as SC) Class Associations in Germany and Hungary, as well as to active enthusiasts. A reminder and formal invitation was sent on 10th January 2005 to all potential participants. Munich was chosen as the location as it was considered to be the most convenient to access for all intended participants.
The meeting had the form of a round table discussion, led mainly by OM or other SSKF members. The intention was to exchange ideas and information regarding activities and intentions in different countries and the various SC classes.
Agenda 1) The Rule 2) Measuring procedure 3) International connections and co-ordination 4) The 100 years anniversary 5) AOB
1) The Rule.
OM presented the history of the original class measurement rule from the point of view of the SSKF: The Square Metre Skerry Cruiser Class Rule (hereafter: The Rule) originated in 1908 and covers 9 classes (15, 22, 30, 40, 55, 75, 95, 120 and 150qm SCs). It was altered in 1925 and since then, The Rule has in its essence remained constant, with minor alterations primarily to accommodate changes in technology. It is highly regarded by the Swedish Sailing Association (SSF). It is the task of the SSKF to classify all designs aspiring to be SCs, and to issue measurement certificates for those that meet the requirements of The Rule and qualify. In this sense it is the role of the SSKF to protect The Rule and what boats can be regarded as Square Metre Skerry Cruisers. This has been historically and is now again of increasing importance as international exchange of activities (e.g. competition) and trade of boats increases. It was attempted to protect the name Square Metre or Skerry Cruiser in Sweden as a trade mark, but without success. It was however stated that no boat could be marketed as a SC if it was not built and classified according to the rule. After this decision there have been no problems with the right to the name in Sweden.
All boats built up until 1925 are still recognised as SCs and can be re-measured and measurement certificates can be re-issued under the old rule, but since the old rule has been discontinued, no newly built boats can be classified under this old rule. Neither are replicas accepted or certified by the SSKF. All boats now built must meet the current version of The Rule in order to be certified as a SC. In Sweden in 1930, the Mälar 30 class was established with restricted design and construction rules that fall within The Rule, and are therefore still certifiable as SCs. Similarly, in Germany in the 30qm class, the Tabelle B based on Bijou boats are within The Rule. In Hungary, boats are largely within The Rule, but there are some differences which fall clearly outside of The Rule. Since there has been no formal measurement according to The Rule, it is currently impossible to define the exact differences. SCs according to The Rule are not recognised as an international class by the ISAF criteria for this have not been met. Each country is sovereign in how they deal with their own local situation. It is the aim of the SSKF to have all boats that are known as SCs to fall under The Rule.
Discussion: - Germany: The German Sailing Association (DSV) accepts The Rule in its form since 1935, when freeboard was increased, for the 22, 30, 40, 55 and 75qm classes.
- The 40qm class in Germany (about 25 boats currently, of which about 20 are German-built and 5 are ex-Swedish boats) has the problem that all boats in fleet were built before 1925 (at that time to old international rule). The change in rule at that time affected the 22s and 30s but not the 40qm class. Seen according to The Rule, any new build would need to be by new rule, and thereby not fit into the German fleet (and have little chance of racing success in inland conditions, where most of the fleet is now located). The German 40qm Association accepts new builds to old rule (currently one being built to 1923 design). This is different in Sweden, as OM described. The 40qm class in Germany would like to have the possibility to build new boats according to the old rule, in order to help its fleet grow. It was questioned why this shouldnt be possible. It was agreed that the German Association should take points of old German rule and make a direct comparison with The Rule, to see if it fits.
- It was questioned why old boats need to have rig according to new rules. OM/PT explained that the old rule was too liberal, allowing too much interpretation. This requirement is to ensure comparable equipment with newer boats.
- It was questioned if the changes in 1925 may be considered similar to German introduction of Tabelle B: are there similarities? After discussion it was agreed there is no parallel. The changes in 1925 restricted tolerances but essence of The Rule, that the class is a construction class, remained unchanged. Tabelle B makes class effectively one-design.
- Hungary: First SCs in Hungary were 40qm in 1927. All boats were to new (post1925) rule. First 30s in Hungary came from Sweden/Germany. Main differences to The Rule in Hungary: differences mainly in rig, limited size spinnaker attached at 9,50m, carbon spars (since 8 years), J maximum 2,20m, minimum hull weight 3 tons. All boats built before 1986 are considered SCs, but new builds must be measured. There are 4 classes represented: 22s, 30, 40s and 75qm SCs. Hungary has one 55 which is not measured. 75s: 3 boats, 22s and 40s: too few boats to race as class. The 30qm is considered Königsklasse and highly regarded. Approx 20 boats race actively. Since 1980s, an average of 1 new boat has been built per year, mostly in plastic. Carbon spars are popular. The class members have interest to race internationally and are therefore interested in becoming compliant with The Rule. This is considered important for the class to survive. As there are many considerations to address, this change needs to be gradual. It was agreed it is natural to have local developments. Some differences can be overcome (e.g. mast can be ballasted). It may be worth considering as a starting point to build new boats to The Rule. This however was thought to be unlikely people want new boats to be similar to existing fleet for fair sailing. Hungarian carbon masts are all made from one mould taken off a wooden mast which was bent (whip). It was considered that being fixed to only 1 supplier has possible negative consequences. The carbon masts are overbuilt, making entry into class easier as these rigs are considered stronger and safer. Since carbon masts are a Hungarian speciality, consideration needs to be given on how to measure these rigs and enable them to race fairly internationally. The Hungarians feel we should aim for a flexible boat suit all situations (local and international). Optically rigs are attractive: have wooden veneer (appear natural). Full set of spars costs approx ¤12-15,000 in Hungary.
- SSKF also covers other countries with small fleets (UK, USA, Australia, NZ, France, NL). Most countries within The Rule, but tendency for countries outside framework to work back towards unification of The Rule and international integration.
2) Measuring and Classification of SCs
OM explained the classifying process: A design is received by the Classifying Board (SSKF) for classification. If it meets the requirements of The Rule it is classified and then built. During and after the building process it is checked for meeting The Rule and if all requirements are met, the boat is certified as a SC and a measurement certificate (m/c) is issued. The m/c is issued with a validity of 5 years, at which time it should be re-measured to ensure continued compliance with The Rule. This is usually only done by people actively racing and having an interest in maintaining a valid m/c. There are approximately 10 measurers in Sweden who are all volunteers. The SSKF offers an annual refresher course to keep people in practice and encourage similar approaches to measuring. It could be arranged, if interest is indicated internationally, that a full course on measurement procedures be given in English.
Discussion: - In Hungary, there are currently no certified measurers. While 1 measurer may be adequate for 20 boats, it was suggested that a second would be useful to ensure unbiased measuring.
- In Germany there is only 1 measurer (MD) for 30qm, who is recognised by the DSV. It is the requirement of the DSV that each class nominates its official measurers. A measurer may not measure their own boat. Although MD has many years of experience, and the DSV also holds an annual symposium on measuring, he has very little practice in recent times (very few boats needing measurement). Therefore attending a refresher course would be useful, but he would need to clarify whether the IV30SK e.V. would be prepared to finance it. In Germany, it is generally not the case that boats are re-measured every 5 years, although this is needed for racing. Only boats having major alterations will be remeasured, but it depends on the honesty of the owner to declare this. Boats are weighed at championships. The German Association has a form covering the standard re-measurement requirements. All boats need to be weighed by the Associations standard scale. There are no boats in Germany with added weight. New boats to Germany (e.g. from Sweden) are re-measured, but this is difficult with little information from Sweden. MD requested more information from SSKF. PT agreed more exchange of information is needed.
- Hungary: The standard re-measurement form as used in Germany was requested (See Attachment 2). The Hungarian boats are built mainly in plastic from a (thought to be) slightly modified Reimers design and should be compliant to The Rule. The first measuring since WW2 was done in 1994 all local modifications were accepted. The problem in Hungary is that construction methods may differ from international procedures (e.g. no frames needed), and the construction process is not controlled by any guideline. The Hungarian boats are nevertheless very strong and new boats have great rigidity advantage over older boats, thereby having a performance advantage.
- In Germany, old boats are comparable to new built boats: requirements are according to The Rule for frames and bulkheads are the same. For plastic boats, there is an additional rule covering the floors. This has proven to be a good regulation, ensuring the strength and longevity of boats.
- Hungarians would like to be able to compare theirs with Swedish standards. There is discussion in the Hungarian sailors about introducing new regulations some want to introduce new guidelines, some dont want change. It will be suggested at the next General Meeting that guidelines should be introduced and a measurer suggested for training. If agreed, contact will be made with OM to suggest a person. It was pointed out that after each Olympics, the ISAF changes the sailing rules this is considered positive and the intention is to achieve improvement. The Hungarians feel more international exchange (e.g. boats travelling to Hungary to race, and vice versa) will help them orientate where they fit in internationally. They are concerned that their boats are overweight and may not be competitive. The
- Swedish boats tend to be heavier than the German boats, but show no clear tendency to be slower. Weight should be no concern (e.g. for Hungarian boats) as long as the boat floats on the marks in this sense it is the nature of The Rule to be self-adjusting.
- Measuring boats every 5 years also identifies unintentional changes, such as the ends hanging, as is sometimes seen in older boats. This is generally accepted for older boats, but can be good for newer boats to identify such changes early and enable maintaining compliance to The Rule.
- Sails should all be made according to the new rules. This certification is done by the sail-makers themselves. This self-control was considered to be less than ideal by most at the meeting, and may be reconsidered.
- Most difficult to control are changes to underwater designs (e.g. keels) here the 5yearly measurement is advantageous.
- Hungarian and German attendees at the meeting are going to suggest at their AGMs (23 February and 16 April respectively) that measurers be elected to take part in the international measurer training. The SSKF could organise such training this autumn or next spring as required.
3) International connections and co-ordination
OM and various Swedish enthusiasts currently receive many enquiries and much information relating to SCs and suggest that it would benefit from some international co-ordination. Activities would include replying to mails, possibly producing a newsletter, and co-ordinating and filing correspondence and information. Perhaps the establishment of an international website should be considered. There were no immediate volunteers to fill this position.
Two regattas are planned in Sweden to commemorate the 100 Years celebration of The Rule: one in Saltsjöbaden (mainland, near Stockholm, easily accessible) after the Sandhamn Week. A tour of the Stockholm Skerries is being considered.
MK Kroll Miklós Enthusiast Hungary 30: HUN 11 Vészmadár