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Proper course off the start line

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Brass View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 16 at 11:37am
Originally posted by JimC

I know we old salts talk about luffing rights, but with the concept basically gone from the book, is it still sensible? Wouldn't it be better to think about restrictions on the ROW boat's right to change course, which is the way things are worded now? 
You know, there are no special circumstances in which the leeward ROW boat gains the right to change course, but there are special circumstances in which that right is restricted.

Agree.  I've said so before.

Under the post 1995 rules, a leeward boat is ALWAYS entitled to luff, ALWAYS subject to rule 16, and SOMETIMES subject to rule 17.

Originally posted by andymck

You will note that I put them "luffing rights" in quotes. It is something that most sailors understand as the right of a boat to sail above its proper course.  
Strongly disagree.

No sooner does someone start talking about 'luffing rights' than someone mentions 'luff as she pleases', which used to be all about the aggressive hard luff, NOT about proper course.

Originally posted by andymck

 Most also understand the limitations as set out in 17 and refer to them as such. You will see we tried hard to put it into rules language. This is what we see at the bar, a confused look until we use terms people understand. It's the same when you go and see the doc.

Agree that you pretty much expressed your comments in current 'rules speak'.

But IMHO if you continue discussing rules in language and concepts that were abandoned over 20 years ago, even round the bar, people will continue to be confused, as long as you do it that way.

Originally posted by JimC

Originally posted by andymck

You will note that I put them "luffing rights" in quotes etc etc
 All fair comment, but...
New sailors who come into the sport have never seen that language in the rules and won't ever see it, and arguably these days they learn more from coaching and on line sources than from sailing and bar talk with older sailors. So by using out of date language are we not at risk of creating even more confusion for those who most need clarity? Sometimes it seems to me the worst messes in rules discussions are from those who learned the rules 30 years ago and haven't kept up to date.

Strongly agree.


Edited by Brass - 30 May 16 at 12:00pm
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andymck View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote andymck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 16 at 1:10pm
To luff, is just the correct nautical term to alter course to windward. We can of course just abandon the rich and vast English language and only use lawyer speak. But for people who still use obsolete words, it is useful to use them to clarify a concept with which they may be struggling and is entirely acceptable.
I do however, agree that when explains the rules we should aim to use the language in which they are written. But I find constantly that we end up with generations that can't communicate with each other, so using terms that they are familiar with is useful and inclusive.




Edited by andymck - 30 May 16 at 1:11pm
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piglet View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote piglet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 16 at 1:56pm
Originally posted by JimC

Sometimes it seems to me the worst messes in rules discussions are from those who learned the rules 30 years ago and haven't kept up to date.

+1 on that one. Something I hear a lot at the club is:
"There is no such thing as proper course"
I apologise for bringing the term 'luff' into this thread.
But you must admit it is a handy term compared with 'sail above proper course'

Edited by piglet - 30 May 16 at 2:00pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote GML Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 16 at 2:21pm
Originally posted by piglet

I apologise for bringing the term 'luff' into this thread.
But you must admit it is a handy term compared with 'sail above proper course'

But they mean two different things! "Luff" means to change course towards the wind. "Sail above her proper course" means what it says. A boat that is sailing below her proper course can luff up to her proper course (subject to rule 16) even if she is subject to rule 17. Rule 17 doesn't say you can't luff, it says that in certain circumstances you can't sail above your proper course.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 16 at 2:26pm
But luff doesn't just mean sail above proper course.

What I'm objecting to though, is the phrase "Luffing rights" which has long gone from the rules.

A ROW boat normally has the right to change course as she pleases, to luff or bear away. That's the default state as defined by Section A.

In a few situations that right is partially restricted by Section B and Section C rules.
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