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Reducing the weight of YOUR Twelve!


Patrick on how to loose weight.

l'm sure there are quite a lot of you out there, who are wonderIng what to do. Something like: I've got a nice boat that I like and goes pretty well, but how can I get it close to the new weight limit?' Here are some ideas.

1 . Get a new boat.

Done that! However at the start of the season it wasn't going so well, so I kept on to the old one as a suitable trial horse. Eventually I had to rerig Physalia with the mast 1OOmm further aft, and now it is on the pace. So if you go for the new option, make sure you listen closely to what the designer / builder tell you rather than copying your rig plan from your old design.

2. Put the old boat on a diet.

The second hand price of Annie Oakleywill be reduced by the fact that the existing weight is 77.5 kg. What can I do to reduce this? Actually quite a lot: Remove keel strip, keel and bilge keels. I estimate 2.Okg to come off, but allow a bit of extra reinforcement to stop the hull falling in two. Save 1.8kg. Centreboard 5.Okg at present. I think light carbon / foam ones can be down to 2.5, but say 2.8 to be on the safe side. Save 2.2kg. Plane down gunwhales forward of the shrouds, and on the back foot. Remove as much 'non structural' wood as possible. Estimate O.5kg.

Fittings! Lots of little things add up: You don't need U-bolts for shroud anchorage of spectra though the deck, a small backing plate and a knot. Save O.l. You don't need 3OOmm long jib block tracks, or huge 55mm ratchet blocks. Save O.15. Jib halyard tensioner. Replace two triple blocks with 25mm sheaves by a cascade of 18mm block, Save 0.2. According to the manufacturers figures, the 18mm Ronstan ball blocks are strong enough for any of the forces likely in a Twelve, so why have anything bigger? At the low tension end of a cascade go to thinner spectra. Save 0.1 5.

That's probably a realistic estimate for what I can do to Annie. Total saving is 5.1 kg.

But now the new rule about mast weight helps.

Suppose I can reduce from existing 7.5kg to a carbon one at 5.5, saves another 2.0 making 7.1 in all. Pretty close to the 7.5kG desired! Incidentally you don't need 3mm diameter shrouds, 2.5mm will do, saving another O.l kg aloft.

Some of you may have other opportunities for reducing weight. Are there any unused fittings? Whoops, I've just remembered the now redundant Barber Hauler controls on Annie! Wherever you have a muscle box, replace it with a cascade. A mast ram adds O.4kg. Can you get away with fixed chocks, and using Jib and shroud adjustment instead - some helms do!

There are other things you can do to reduce all up sailing weight that don't get onto the certificate. The rudders for Annie and Physalia are interchangeable. The new one weighs 2.0, the old one 4.3kg. Replacing an alloy boom with a carbon one will save another 2.0kg.

So if I decided to do it, I could be sailing Annie Oakley next year with an all up weight reduced by 11.4kg - as near as dammit 25 pounds. The trouble is, it would cost a lot more than 25 pounds to do it. Would the resources committed be cost effective? It's a gamble, like getting a new boat!

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