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Battery Weight & Placement

Posted: 10 Feb 2009, 07:06
by RoyL
With the next AGM coming up shortly, I thought it important to raise the issue of battery weight and placement. Currently, IOM weight and balance can be altered during a series of races by changing both the placement of battery packs and by putting in packs of heavier weight. It has been suggested that all battery packs must be of the same weight (if too light, extra weight would be added just as with masts and hulls) and a single designated spot for mounting the battery be required. Thoughts?

Posted: 10 Feb 2009, 08:13
by Lester
((d) Remote control and/or related equipment if temporarily removed and or replaced:
(1) shall be refitted in the same position.
(2) shall be replaced by equipment of similar weight.

Posted: 10 Feb 2009, 12:01
by Alfonso
Well, as Lester has pointed out I don't think we need to clarify anything else.

I remember in one of our Nationals we had to weight the batteries and the measurer took notice of the position in the boat.

Posted: 10 Feb 2009, 16:13
by RoyL
I've thought about whether or not the provision sited by Lester is applicable to the battery. Is a battery "remote control equipment"? Current practice in the class is to move the battery around the boat and to have battery packs of different weights, so it would seem many do not have the same sense as Lester.

Posted: 10 Feb 2009, 19:09
by Nigel
The battery is not remote control equipment.

It is related equipment (i.e no battery = no radio :D ) which is also defined under rule C 5.3 (d) and therefor may not be moved around the boat to change trim.

If you have evidence of skippers doing this during a race you have a valid protest. :twisted:

Posted: 10 Feb 2009, 23:08
by Olivier Cohen
Nigel wrote:The battery is not remote control equipment.

It is related equipment (i.e no battery = no radio :D ) which is also defined under rule C 5.3 (d) and therefor may not be moved around the boat to change trim.

If you have evidence of skippers doing this during a race you have a valid protest. :twisted:

I agree with that

Posted: 10 Feb 2009, 23:42
by Robert Grubisa
Remote control equipment is listed in IOM Class Rule D.2.4 (a). Under item (4) you will find "Battery cells assembled in one or more packs." So, on IOM boat , battery is part of remote control equipment.

IOM Class Rule C.5.3 (d) is written in Part II of the IOM class rules. In the preamble of Part II it is stated that crew and the boat shall comply with the rules in Part II when racing. Term racing in italics means that it is RRS defined term according to IOM CR A.5.2. Definition of Racing in RRS is:

A boat is racing from her preparatory signal until she finishes and clears the finishing line and marks or retires, or until the race committee signals a general recall, postponement or abandonment.

There are some views that according to the above mentioned, a skipper may change the position of any part of remote control equipment between the races! Well, it is stated that the RC equipment shall be refitted in the same position but the rule C.5.3. is applicable when racing......

Posted: 11 Feb 2009, 09:55
by Alfonso
Well I think that Robert has highlighted a different face of the same coin which is even more interesting. Now I change my mind and I think we have to make something.

Posted: 11 Feb 2009, 10:04
by Lester
E1.1 Terminology
[...] For ‘race’ used as a noun outside this appendix and outside Appendix A read ‘heat’. In this appendix, a race consists of one or more heats and is completed when the last heat in the race is finished. An ‘event’ consists of one or more races.

Posted: 11 Feb 2009, 10:21
by valpro
Sorry, but this is just playing with words. The rules that apply could not be clearer. The battery is past of the remote control equipment and has to be placed/replaced in one position. The boat and Skipper have to comply with the rules while racing.
The proper way to deal with this is by protest under the Racing Rules or the Class Rules but in general people are unwilling to do this. If you are all not going to enforce the rules we have, there is absolutely no point in adding yet more rules that you wont want to enforce either. Sorry folks, its down to you. Use the ones that we have, they are perfectly adequate.

Posted: 12 Feb 2009, 07:24
by RoyL
Perhaps then, the real answer to this question is that we need to update our pre-race measurement practices to require the measurer to note the battery location in the boat and to weigh all of the batteries proposed to be used by a competitor.

Posted: 15 Feb 2009, 01:36
by JThompson
This is another item that I cant help but say WHO CARES!! At initial measurement you have to show that you have a legal IOM. If at any time during the races you are found not to have a legal IOM, then you can be protested. As long as people are not using means to move the batteries while the boat is underway why does it matter if heavier or lighter batteries are used. The rules say you have to weigh 4000g. Any more than that is the owners prerogative.

Finally, what is "the same position"? Is 25mm close enough? Is 10mm close enough? Is 1mm close enough? And who gets to decide what "the same place" is?

A very smart friend of mine once told me "Let stupid people do stupid things." If someone wants to put their battery in the bow during a light air race and in the stern for a heavy air race I say let them.


Posted: 15 Feb 2009, 10:29
by valpro
And just where is it that you sail? Let me know and I will be there as soon as I can, waving my certificate and sailing my illegal boat that I have modified in all sorts of clever and hidden ways. God forbid that we should end up being seduced into doing the Lamboulli Swing test or anything like it but lets have a bit of common sense here. These are the rules. In some ways they are useless and in others, inadequate, but the owner has signed up to them, both in the NOR, Class Rules and Racing Rules and so is obliged to abide by them when racing and that's all of them, not just the bits you remember. I've been involved in several measurement protests over the years and they are never pleasant. One resulted in a R69 protest and the elimination of a top skipper. Of course moving loose 'ballast' is acceptable, it happens in the big boats too but if the rules say keep it in the same place then I find that quite clear enough. Sticking it in the ends of the boat clearly doesnt comply with either the letter or spirit of the rule, unless you want it there permanently.

Posted: 15 Feb 2009, 17:01
by RoyL
Jim: I don't think you are right on the weight question. I do not think the rules freely allow you to add weight to an IOM whenever you choose so long as you are above minimum weight. I also know some pretty successful sailors who balance out their IOM's by moving battery weight back and forward and by going heavier when the wind increases. I also know that Mike Eldred firmly believes that adding and moving weight can have an effect on boat performance and not only is he the class measurer, he is the builder of the boat you are presently sailing,

Posted: 15 Feb 2009, 19:25
by Lester
RoyL wrote:I do not think the rules freely allow you to add weight to an IOM whenever you choose
Which rule would that be?

Posted: 15 Feb 2009, 21:59
by valpro
The rules might imply that adding weight but it isnt actually prohibited. What is far more important is that the battery is defined as being part of the remote control equipment (D..4(4)) and C.5.3 (d) makes it very clear that such equipment, and so , specifically, the battery may not be moved around the boat but must be placed and replaced in the same position each time. Likewise C.4.3 requires that corrector weights, if used, must be 'fixed in/on the hull'. Of course trimming the boat has an effect on performance - any dinghy sailor knows that- but the rules make it clear that the battery and any correctors must stay in the same place. By all means stick a heavier battery in if you want to but put it where its predecessor was.

Posted: 16 Feb 2009, 00:22
by JThompson
So what is "the same position"? How close is close enough? And who decides how close is close enough?

The same position means the exact same position. I doubt anyone could remove and replace a battery in the EXACT same position.

@ Val - I sail in Michigan. By all means show up with your certificate. Just because you have a certificate does not mean that you are not going to be subject to on site measurement prior to the beginning of the regatta.

I was taught Sailing is a Corinthian sport. If people need to win some stupid toy boat regatta so badly they are willing to blatantly cheat, then they have bigger issues than the IOM class rules can address.


Posted: 16 Feb 2009, 04:24
by RoyL
Jim: You seem pretty upset about this issue, not sure why. You also seem to take both sides of the issue--on the one hand you say that if people want to move batteries around that's not important; on the other hand you say that if people intentionally break the rules then they are violating the corinthian spirit of sailing. You also seem to want an exact answer to what it means to replace a battery "in the same place' with "similar" weight and seem upset about nothing being quite "exact'. To me its pretty simple, you put a battery pack with the same number of cells and the same size in pretty much the place where you removed it. If you had a five cell, 900 mill amp pack on the left side of your trunk, that's what and where you put the replacement.

Mike Eldred, when he measures boats for races in San Diego or otherwise, has each competitor submit each battery to be used for weight check and asks the competitor to put an "X" mark in the boat where the battery is placed. If batteries are not pretty much the same weight, he takes the heaviest pack and makes the competitor add weight to the other lighter packs so they are similar in weight. The procedure is simple, straightforward and not particularly time consuming.

Unless there is some valid reason not to, I think this procedure will be adopted for the upcoming World Championship.

Posted: 16 Feb 2009, 05:01
by JThompson

Not upset at all. I am sorry as my sarcastic tone is sometimes difficult to discern in my written words. I believe the more precise people try to make rules the more loopholes they open.

I am trying, albeit poorly, to explain the matter of degrees. For example - two boats. One guy puts in a new battery and puts it in the boat further back (say by 25 mm). Someone decides to protest him. Is 25mm "the same place"? I would say it is. Some would say it isnt.

Other boat puts his battery in 5mm further forward. I would say that is close enough to the same place as well. But why is 5mm any more the same place than is 25mm? How close is close enough is really my point...

I hope I have, after beating this dead horse senseless, made my opinion a little more clear.

I will try to use less sarcasm in my posts or mark them accordingly.


Posted: 16 Feb 2009, 11:00
by valpro
On site measurement - yes, of course but are you then going to check up race on race because if not then the smart alecs will be changing things as soon as you have gone. Funny but it never seems to be them that win..........
A corinthian sport, yes I was also raised that way. It doesnt mean I dont enjoy winning whather it's overal or in some private battle with another sailor. What really annoys me is to find that someone thought it was funny to sail with an illegal boat. That is definitely not Corinthian
Toy boats- well arent they all, whether 1 metre or 101 metres. I hear Bill Gates has a particularly nice toy as, indeed has Larry Ellison (several in fact) so it seems to me that in this context,size doesnt matter.
I see you are with me on the dangers of defining things and trying to tie it all down with words. As I keep saying, understanding the rules is hard enough for someone whose first language is English and even worse for those who's language isnt. Lets keep it simple and apply a layer of commonsense.
Oh and if you see a cream Isis on your lake, driven by a tall woman, that's me.

Posted: 17 Feb 2009, 08:40
by Lester
It may be worth remembering how we got here. A while back, ISAF removed the bilge water and non-moveable ballast business from the RRS, saying that these were class issues. In response, IOMICA added C.5.3 to the class rules, as well as some other rules dealing with weights and water.

The RRS only apply while racing. (In between races, you could do what you wanted, provided of course you did not so modify the boat that it failed other clauses of the class rules.) Hence, the additional rules for the IOM were added to Section C -- the rules that apply while racing. So it is clear that yes, you can change your battery placement and size (so long as you do not violate any other class rule) between races (but not between heats in which you are racing).

In discussion at the time, I seem to recall general class approval for this, including explicit recognition that, because C.5.3 would only apply during racing, it would add an interesting and useful dimension to class racing. In due course, C.5.3 was voted and accepted by the World Council.

It seems to me that, to stay "alive" and attractive, a class must move. Otherwise its owners will move. It is always a judgement call whether a given rule tweak is a "good" or a "bad" thing, but up till now C.5.3 has been considered a "good" thing.

I would be interested to hear specific arguments, both pro and con, for the rule, before making a judgement about changing it.

Posted: 18 Feb 2009, 10:43
by valpro
Lester, you are dangerously wrong. You speak of racing as if each individual race was independent but in fact each race in a competition aggregates to give a final result. So it is not true that you can change things between each race. Once the boat is signed off at event measurement it is signed off for the event and it is presumed to sail in that state for the regatta. otherwise we should be checking the boats before each race, which would be hell for the competitors,not to mention the race team.
You may be a Judge but you are not a measurer. The class is an International ISAF class and so is required to be measured by ISAF methods and standards of which you are clearly ignorant. Just as Judges have to be trained and periodically re-assessed, so do measurers and I have to sign up to the ISAF standards and methods every year to be able to continue as a measurer as well as having to be reassessed regularly. The answers are always in the rules but the problem lies with people who either dont read them or who dont understand them (or worse, who dont want to understand them).

Posted: 18 Feb 2009, 11:35
by Lester
valpro wrote:The class is an International ISAF class
Hi Val

No, the class is not an ISAF International class. It is an ISAF-RSD class (quite a different animal, I assure you).
ISAF methods and standards of which you are clearly ignorant
You are in a glass house and it is unseemly of you to throw such stones. How should you like it now if I were to accuse you of ignorance of the above fundamental fact about the IOM class? I would appreciate it if you would moderate your tone to one which acknowledges that we may simply have different views of what the rules say. This happens, apparently, even amongst the most knowledgeable. Let's quit with the name-calling while we are drawn at 1-1, eh?
The answers are always in the rules
No, the answers are not always in the rules.
... the problem lies with people who either dont read them or who dont understand them (or worse, who dont want to understand them)
That may be. I am confident it applies to both of us from time to time. I have never claimed my understanding to be perfect or error-free, and am always open to polite correction.

But in this particular case, to correct my understanding, could you please quote to me a measurer's or measurement rule which says that, although the class rules may permit changes to the boat between races, this cannot be permitted at an event comprising a series of races. Many thanks!

By the way, it may be helpful to recall the RRS definition of "racing", which is the definition I think we need to use when discussing Class Rule C.5.3:
RRS definitions wrote:Racing. A boat is racing from her preparatory signal until she finishes and clears the finishing line [...]

Edit: Add defn of "racing"

Posted: 20 Feb 2009, 22:43
by valpro
Get the quotes right Lester. I said it was an International ISAF class. It is an International class. It is not an ISAF administered class. It comes under RSD which at present is not a division of ISAF. However it uses ISAF Rules and ISAF standard forms for the various functions and now, I am pleased to see it being referred to on the ISAF website so it is at least acknowledged by ISAF.
When it somes to measurement I am most certainly not in a glass house at all and since I have been measuring boats officially for 44 years, I am most certainly ahead of someone who doesnt measure them at all.
I am sorry that you dont like my tone, but that is mutual I do assure you.
Tha answers are always in the rules and when developments overtake them the correct way forward is to seek an interpretation and on the basis of that, decide whether the rule needs changing or replacing. Constant infighting destabilises the class and does no service to the owners and I know of some who have just put the boat away and found something else to do. What a pity!
Now Lester, we can keep going like this for ever because I won't give up. All I ask from you is a little respect for my expertise and a willingness to accept that, in this area, I do know what I am talking about. After all I dont challenge your skills as a Judge or in your daily job.
As to your other points I have put them before an IJ and an IM and I will get back on the forum when I have an answer.

Posted: 20 Feb 2009, 23:48
by Lester
valpro wrote:Get the quotes right Lester
Get your logic right Val. (Now, just how does this exchange raise the level of debate or show respect for different opinion?)
I said it was an International ISAF class
And I think you got that wrong. Using your word order, the IOM is an International ISAF-RSD class. It is not an International ISAF class.
When it somes to measurement I am most certainly not in a glass house
You are in a glass house when you call someone (anyone) 'clearly ignorant'. And you are in a glass house when you express your opinion that the battery pack cannot be moved from bows to transom between races. In these and other matters I simply suggest you refrain from throwing stones, no matter how secure you feel in your judgement. You may just be wrong. That's all.
I am sorry that you dont like my tone, but that is mutual I do assure you
You leave me in no doubt about it. More to the point, I don't like being called names. I just don't see how that raises the level of debate or shows the respect for others that you call for.
The answers are always in the rules
No, they are not. Rules are always incomplete, and any sufficiently rich set of rules wll have inevitable errors and imperfections. I even have a page on this theme:
The nature of rules wrote:It is logically impossible for a set of rules to be 100% complete, consistent, and correct.

There is always the unexpected and unanticipated which occur after the rules have been drafted. These events can never be fully covered by the rules.

Rules are socially constructed. That is, their meaning is given within and by a social context. Rules have no meaning in themselves, outside the social context in which they are created, used, interpreted, amended, and deleted. And within their social context, their creation and use is by fallible humans with certain, possible differing, points of view.
A set of rules is inevitably imperfect.
Constant infighting destabilises the class and does no service to the owners
Perhaps if you would stop wagging your finger under my nose for a moment, you may notice it takes two to tango. What responsibility are you willing to take for perpetuating this testy pissing match? I make the score a draw at 2-2 at the moment...
I won't give up
I would be disappointed if you did. But please do give up with the name calling and finger wagging!
All I ask from you is a little respect for my expertise and a willingness to accept that, in this area, I do know what I am talking about
I am sure you have a valuable contribution to make to the debate, and I look forward to your insights. But I will not respect and will not accept being called ignorant or having your finger so agressively wagged under my nose.

Can we now just turn to a discussion of when a battery pack can be moved? I offered an opinion in my post of Tue Feb 17, 2009 8:40 am, and suggest we try and debate the rule, before making a judgement about changing it.

Posted: 21 Feb 2009, 01:12
by RoyL
Let me try to bring a little light to this question; there is certainly enough heat.

Does anyone believe that it is permitted during a series of "heats" (usually casually referred to as "races") that constitute an overall "event" (or an overall "race") to significantly move the battery placement between such "heats"?

Similarly, does anyone believe that it is permitted between a series of "heats" that constitute an overall "race" or "event" to replace the battery with one that is substantially heavier?

I believe that neither of the above is permissible. I also think that our sailing instructions should be modified to make this clear.

Disagree? Why?

Posted: 22 Feb 2009, 10:33
by valpro
I have been reviewing your various comments in this series.
(1) you accuse me of 'name calling'. Where did I do that?
(2) what do you class as 'finger wagging'?
(3) re your comments about the imperfections in the rules you make much of having an opinion. Indeed so. It is, as with the Law of the Land, the case that anyone may hold and express an opinion, but before a prudent person acts on that, they take advice from a lawyer as to whether their opinion has any basis in fact. And also, as a prominent barrister told me many times, the Law evolves in reponse to changing circumstance. The expression he used was 'As is the custom, so follows the Law' I would say that the same is true of Class rules but in both cases hasty change without consideration usually brings yet more problems and certainly more loopholes in its wake.

Posted: 23 Feb 2009, 07:12
by Barry Fox CAN262
Any chance of just dealing with the topic???

Posted: 23 Feb 2009, 08:15
by Lester
In getting back to the light, it may be worth using the official definitions of 'heat', 'race', and 'event', rather than the way we might casually talk. It makes a difference when seeing what the rules currently say about being able to change or move the battery when there is more than one heat per race.

If you are currently in E heat, for example, and gain promotion to D heat, you are still 'racing' between the end of E and the start of D, and so you cannot change or move your batteries. Those fellow sailors who are due to start in D fleet *can* change their batteries before they start (they are not yet racing). Hmmm... Not quite a level playing field then.

Posted: 24 Feb 2009, 05:18
by Dick Carver
Hi Lester.
With all due respect, I would disagree with this statement:

<< If you are currently in E heat, for example, and gain promotion to D heat, you are still 'racing' between the end of E and the start of D, and so you cannot change or move your batteries. >>

Still racing or not, the way I interpret Appendix E 4.5 Launching and Relaunching, a boat can be hauled out and taken ashore at any time.
While ashore, she may have her radio equipment changed.

In my opinion, IOM CR D.2.4(a)(4) establishes that batteries are remote control equipment.
I also believe that CR C.5.3(d)(1)&(2) requires that a battery of similar weight be refitted in the same position as the one it replaced.

So I am of the opinion that battries cannot be used to trim the boat, but can be changed at any time.

The only restriction in my opinion, is that a boat cannot be relaunched between her preparatory (1 min to go) and starting signal.