Survey To Measure PDRacer Hulls
( the survey is closed )
Rule #1 has always said we use the same shaped hulls and at the top of the rules page it has always explained that further and shown our rocker shape for free. We have always had free download boat plans available. It became known that some duckers were intentionally modifying their rocker shapes and building outside our tolerance range, thinking that they would end up with faster hulls - even though this directly violates the concept of our class. The online discussion of this issue degraded into arguments fussing over who's rocker shape is faster causing new builders to wonder what shape they should build, and duckers with older hulls to think their boat was no longer competitive. All because people were intentionally violating rule #1, the rule intended to prevent this problem.
To fix the problem, we needed to reduce the tolerance range so that any variance within the range would be small enough that nobody would believe a claim their shape was faster. Next we started measuring hulls for racing so there are no questions or hard feelings later of whether a hull is class legal.
The original 1/2" tolerance was just a guess at what people needed. Below is the hull shape survey data collected between 3-31-10 and 5-24-10. It shows for class legal racing, we could use a much smaller tolerance range. I released the new 1/4" tolerance range May 24, 2010. This range is still loose enough that the average builder can easily make a hull that is class legal. Since the new range was released, careful builders have built with less than 1/8" difference from the ideal shape.
At the same time, I created Rule 7 to require that non-class legal hulls be allowed to participate with a penalty. The combination of these elements allowed us to stop the fussing over different shaped hulls and get back to our original concept that we build & race the same shaped hulls. We can have serious competition with the class legal hulls out front, casual non-class legal racers with them, and everyone goes home with a trophy. For more information about rule 7, see the class rules page and the rules explanation page.
A Puddle Ducker is someone who has a PDRacer hull number, and there is no requirement that you must race your boat. For duckers that do not care about class legal racing, the standard has always been to simply try to build a class legal hull and go have fun with it. If your hull is measured out of tolerance, thats OK, you retain your hull number, the important part is that you honestly tried to make a class legal hull. If any time you want to race without the delayed start, you can fix it or build a new hull and move your number over to it. Basic concepts of being class legal.
Michael Storer OZ Racer Sailboat Plans (not class legal)
Michael Storer was selling plans called the OZ Mk-II as PDRacer plans, the sales page shows a copy of our hull shape and explained a guarantee they were class legal. (Storer's site PDRacer.info here ) Customers that built them, discovered the boats were not class legal, and the plans use a different shape. Storer's plans are in metric, use different station marks measured from the top side, and our class hull shape is specified in imperial from the bottom, so it was not very obvious.
At the bottom are dimensions from OZ Racer hulls. The first line being the dimensions that are specified in the OZRacer plans. The PDRacer has a 6" rocker, and the OZRacer has a 5" rocker (after conversion from metric), and as you can see the dimensions are listed in red, meaning the OZ Racer Plans did not comply with the original 1/2" tolerance range.
Storer disassociated himself and his various plans from our club. Having experienced the huge problems that the OZ plans caused and since the other professional boat designers were offering their plans for free, I added the restriction to prohibit sales of boat plans related to our club.
|Defined Hull Shape||2,5||0,5||0,0||0,0||1,0||2,3||4,3||2,0|
|Measurements not within OLD tolerance range|
|Measurements not within NEW tolerance|
|Str Len||Shift||S1||S2||S3||S4||S5||S6||S7||over bow|
|Dimensions from OZ plans||3,3||1,4||1,0||1,0||1,6||3,1||5,0||1,5|
Source Of The Data
Some of the duckers that submitted data were just casual builders and did not race, while some others were precise builders and hard core racers. So we do have a good variety of data to view.
The data in the table are the actual measurements submitted from duckers. When submitting data, I checked the email they sent with the email listed in our membership list, so it is data from our members. I list just the measurement data to the table below. Upon completing the survey, to protect the privacy of our members, I deleted all the source emails and flushed my cache so it is not possible to track backwards to see who submitted which set of data.
Hindsight About Measuring Hulls
The string line system and tolerance range has been with the club since the beginning, but we had no penalty. This was naive on my part, I thought everyone would simply be honest and follow the rules. With the experience of having to resolve this problem, I can now see the importance of having a soft penalty for breaking our rules.
It is about the same as traffic police and speeding tickets. When driving down the road, 95% of the people will follow the speed limit because that is what is asked of them. Unfortunately there is about 5% which will blatantly ignore the speed limit, especially if there is no way to give them a speeding ticket.
When the few were caught, they made a fuss in various online forums starting all sorts of confusing arguments to conceal they were caught cheating. They were joined by a few other people who seem to enjoy arguing, just like the monty python argument sketch. With online forums, just a couple of people can make a small issue seem like a huge one.
We now measure hulls for racing and like speeding tickets, we have a soft penalty for violating our class rules as stipulated in rule 7. The most important part is this motivates the 5% to go ahead and follow our few rules like the rest of us. Our tolerance range is still very big and the penalty is only a soft annoyance, not like your boat is going to get confiscated. The hull shape cheating is the only real problem we have experienced, and I hope this delayed start penalty can fix it so we can get back to our original concept without further problems. Only time will tell if this is will fix the problem or we need to make more adjustments.