In House Sail Certification

Discuss measuring an IOM and being a measurer

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Rob Davis
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Sail number: USA 32
Club: TRYC
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In House Sail Certification

Post by Rob Davis » 22 Jan 2004, 05:31

In the IOMICA's report to the RSD, you will find the following comment:

Sail maker self-certification scheme
Contact has been made with a number of sail makers to get their initial opinions and views regarding the potential Sail Licensing scheme. So far, the general opinion is highly favourable, most seeing it as a benefit for all involved. This theme is ongoing and will be one of the major areas for development in the coming months.


I was asked to review it and did not find it favorable for a sailmaker. Have others seen this and what where thier opinions? Can this document be made available to the skippers to see what has been proposed?
Rob Davis
USA 232

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Post by Chairman » 22 Jan 2004, 14:16

I understand that the draft document is still under discussion within the Measurement Sub-Committee. There are questions about how far a production sail can deviate from its licensed pattern before it cannot be self-certified. I expect the MSC will release the document for consultation in the near future. In the meantime, this is a summary.
IOMICA sail maker self-certification scheme wrote:Outline A sail maker self-certification scheme is proposed. Run by the IOM ICA, it is designed to suit the small, one-person part-time sail makers who make up the majority of IOM sail manufacturers. Under the scheme, a sail maker provides an example of a sail to an official measurer, a pattern. If the sail passes measurement, a license is granted to the sail maker to self-certify sails of that pattern or type. The sail maker keeps the pattern safe and available for inspection. At national and other events, an event measurer specifically samples self-certified sails and checks for continued conformance.

Technical summary IOMICA may enter into a licensing agreement with any eligible sail maker whereby the sail maker is authorised to self-certify his IOM sails of a specified pattern. IOMICA may license a sail maker only if the Member NCA or NCS of the country of manufacture shall participate in the IOMICA licensing scheme. An Official Measurer in the country of manufacture shall measure a pattern of the sail to be licensed for sail maker self-certification. Participating Member NCAs or NCSs shall follow a specified procedure for the event measurement of sail maker certified sails.
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Roy Thompson
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Post by Roy Thompson » 22 Jan 2004, 19:22

Rob, can I ask why you find it unfavourable for a sailmaker?
The negative comments so far have centered around the cost to the sailmaker of sending all 3 sail sizes for each of the permitted luff attatchments made by the manufacturer (typically, rings, slides and jackstay pocket) = 3 x 3 sails = 9 complete sail sets. I also understand the problem that 'prototypes'and modified sails will not be able to be certified in this way, but so far the manufacturers we have spoken to think that since the majority of there sails are 'standard' and with the added marketing benefit they would achieve, it would be worth it. It may well be that more dynamic sail designers and manufacturers find this limiting them, but it must be remembrerd that the scheme would be in no way obligatory - it would be an free choice of each manufacturer to become licenced or not, and which sails it includes in its licence.
Roy Thompson
"WE DON'T SEE THINGS AS THEY ARE, WE SEE THINGS AS WE ARE" A.N.

Rob Davis
Posts: 58
Joined: 23 Nov 2003, 17:50
Sail number: USA 32
Club: TRYC
Design: Disco

Post by Rob Davis » 22 Jan 2004, 21:15

I provided my comments to Lester, I take it you've not seen them and will forward them directly to you. Fundamentally, restricting the sailmaker's certification to only their NCA is restrictive and anti-competitive. For instance, a sailmaker in Mexico must wait for the NCA for Mexico to exist and support In-House certification before he could enjoy the advantage of selling certified sails. So I'd prefer allowing sailmakers to attain certification differently.

Another weakness of the draft scheme I see involves event measurement, what constitutes event measurement is not prescribed in the class rules nor any qualifications are needed of the event measurer. In-house certification as written relies on event measurement to attain quality control. Upon implementation, event measurers will now need to know the nuances of sail measurement. Essentially the event measurer will need to be a class measurer. So the net effect of In House Certification is that skippers with certified sails will be subject to additional scrutiny potentially more often becuase instead of getting measured once or posibbly once a year at Nationals they could be lucky enough to be measured at each sanctioned regatta they attend.

I hope the writers of this process are thinking of the skipper as well as maintaining integrity of the measurement process. Let's not implement a process that adds complexity.

Rob
Rob Davis
USA 232

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IOMICA Chairman
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Post by Chairman » 22 Jan 2004, 23:19

Rob Davis wrote:I'd prefer allowing sailmakers to attain certification differently
Hi Rob

What is this different way?
Rob Davis wrote:Another weakness of the draft scheme I see involves event measurement
How would you arrange for the quality control of self-certified sails without event measurement?
Rob Davis wrote:skippers with certified sails will be subject to additional scrutiny
Just to be clear, under this scheme it is only the self-certified sails which might attract event measurement at a national event. But let's look at this more closely.

A skipper without self-certified sails will be subject to sails scrutiny with 100% certainty, at the time of fundamental measurement of those sails. On the other hand, a skipper with self-certified sails is subject to 0% sails scrutiny at the time of fundamental measurement, while (according to the current draft proposals) being subject to roughtly a 5% chance of event measurement scrutiny of his sails at any national event. All things considered, I think this represents an overall drop in scrutiny...
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Roy Thompson
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Post by Roy Thompson » 23 Jan 2004, 02:09

Rob said
Essentially the event measurer will need to be a class measurer
Good point! Is there no requirement for an event measurer to be qualified at all? Where are the regulations stipulating the qualifications/experience of class and event measurers? It's an important point that needs bringing out and discussing. Maybe event measurers should be class measurers, at least at major events of national or above status, it makes a lot of sense even without the scheme.

Rob said
For instance, a sailmaker in Mexico must wait for the NCA for Mexico to exist and support In-House certification before he could enjoy the advantage of selling certified sails. So I'd prefer allowing sailmakers to attain certification differently.
I realise that your example is exactly that, but I would like to see a list of manufacturers interested in the scheme, and their geographical distribution to see if there are many that fall into the type described by your example. The major manufacturers situated in US, AUS, GBR, NZL etc.. are all likely to have NCAs soon -and the in-house cert scheme will be an added benfit for those sitting on the fence trying to decide. Obviously, some manufacturers in some countries (as per your example) won't have the choice initially, so how would you suggest we monitor the scheme if it's not by NCAs? MNAs seems like the ISAF prefered choice but that takes it out of the hands of the class.
An alternative that has been aired is to use International Measurers (IM)for the fundamental measurement for the licence (method used by other international classes???). This has the attraction of a highly qualified/experienced measurer doing the job and it would mean almost all sailmakers would need to post the sails 'abroad' for measurement, but the disadvantages at present are the total lack of IOM IMs at present and the added cost of overseas postage. Maybe we could use IMs for those countries where an NCA doesn't exist, (there are plans to get some qualified IMs for IOM as soon as possible.) We still don't have it exactly clear how the NCAs would be involved in this proceedure anyway, simply agreeing to monitor the scheme keeping numbers or more active involvement?? - ideas welcome if you can help us out with this.

Rob said
Upon implementation, event measurers will now need to know the nuances of sail measurement.
Another good point. They need to be able to decide whether the sail is class legal or not for use in the regata (section C rules). If the sail has a pre-certified mark I would suggest that we need to have a official class measurer (not event measurer) to do the event measurement/check of the small number of in-house-certified sails, but that shouldn't be a massive problem in major events (national and above) where one may reasonably expect there to be a official (class) measurer present anyway. It does again raise the question of qualifications/experience for event measurers though and the significant difference between event and fundamental measurement. you only have to look in the various forums to see the confusion when people talk about plys, soft sails etc... to see that it's not so clear.

Rob said
I hope the writers of this process are thinking of the skipper as well as maintaining integrity of the measurement process. Let's not implement a process that adds complexity.
I think skippers will be gratefull of the opportunity to buy a product that doesn't require further fundamental measurement which in some countries is an incredibly difficult, time consuming and expensive process depending on how many official measurers you have in your country, the size of your country and where both parties live - especially because it's often only one set of sails you have changed and some times only one sail -jib or main - that has changed. You may have to have it meaured at a national event - but if you're there anyway, you don't have to go out of your way at all and it won't cost you a penny extra. As Lester comments, it should reduce the number of times a sail is measured overall for those with an in-house cert mark. When the scheme is more fully developed and some of these important details sorted out it would certainly be usefull to put it to the class - sailmakers and owners - for their opinions.

I think the principal of the scheme is solid but we certainly need to sort out the fine print. I am not exactly sure as to who has seen the draft scheme - at some point it should become 'public'.

Just some thoughts.
Roy Thompson
"WE DON'T SEE THINGS AS THEY ARE, WE SEE THINGS AS WE ARE" A.N.

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IOMICA Chairman
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Post by Chairman » 23 Jan 2004, 15:16

It might be worth pausing to see what kinds of measurement and measurers we have according to the Equipment Rules of Sailing.
ERS wrote:C.4 MEASUREMENT AND MEASURERS
C.4.1 Fundamental Measurement: Measurement required to ensure compliance with the class rules.
C.4.2 Event Measurement: Measurement carried out in accordance with RRS Appendix J 2.2(10).
C.4.3 Official Measurer: A measurer appointed, or recognised, by the MNA of the country where the measurement takes place, to carry out fundamental measurement.
C.4.4 Event Measurer: A measurer appointed by a race committee.
C.4.5 International Measurer: A measurer appointed by ISAF to act as event measurer at international events and to measure prototype boats.
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Roy Thompson
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Post by Roy Thompson » 23 Jan 2004, 16:23

OK, so official measurer is defined, but not 'measurer'. Worrying eh?
Roy Thompson
"WE DON'T SEE THINGS AS THEY ARE, WE SEE THINGS AS WE ARE" A.N.

pdavis
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sailmaking

Post by pdavis » 11 Jan 2005, 23:59

I am new to IOM but am a sailmaker by trade.
In other International classes sails are required to be measured prior to leaving the sailmaker.
The entire nature of our sport is self policing.
The sailmaker has little or no intention of providing illegal equipment, but mistakes can happen.
Sailmakers should be allowed to measure sails and provide a measured product that would satisfy the fundamental measurement.
Sailmakers must provide knowledge of the class rules, ERS and the ability to consistently provide a class legal product.
The nature of the IOM tollerances make "patterns" an unreasonable request. The sail either meets or does not meet class rules
Event Measurement will check for mistakes and anomolies. Sails should not be able to be presented for event measurement without prior measurement by the supplier.

Roy Thompson
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Post by Roy Thompson » 15 Jan 2005, 02:25

pdavis said:Sails should not be able to be presented for event measurement without prior measurement by the supplier.

The responsibility for having 'legal' sails falls onto the shouldes of the owner. He/she does of course have the backup of official measurers who are there exectly for the benefit of the owner - to ensure his sails (and hull etc) are within the class rules and legal. In our class (IOM), when one acquires a new rig or boat, it should be fundamentaly measured by an official measurer for a (measurement) Certificate to be issued (parts of IOM class rules and ERS). At (major) events, the certificate will be checked and the rigs (and hull) checked for conformity with class rules as well as ERS and RRS.

The idea of In house Certification of sails is to relieve the need of the owner to have his sails fundamentaly measured/certified when he buys them. It does not relieve him however of the neccesity to keep the sail/rig legal in all other respects during use/competition.

The number of sailmakers for our class may well be growing, but the majority are very small outfits, one guy in his garage making sails in his spare time - and the number of makers with a significantly larger turnover is very small indeed (maybe less than half a dozen 'big' manufacturers in the world, and many only make a few dozen sails a year.)
Our sport has not reached the level of other international classes and we must be careful not to escalate costs. An inhouse cert scheme must benefit the end user primarily whilst helping to provide a gauranteed product. We cannot enforce sailmakers to certify their products but they obviously are aware that it is in their best interest to make legal sails - wether they are small or large manufacturer.
Our sport is probably more self policing than many others and all the time it works, well that's about fine.....[/quote]
Roy Thompson
"WE DON'T SEE THINGS AS THEY ARE, WE SEE THINGS AS WE ARE" A.N.

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