Print Page | Close Window

Improving ORC and IRC handicaps .

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: Keelboat classes
Forum Name: Keelboat news and development
Forum Discription: All the latest developments for yachts
Printed Date: 13 Jul 20 at 11:59am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.665y -

Topic: Improving ORC and IRC handicaps .
Posted By: Five Star Sailor
Subject: Improving ORC and IRC handicaps .
Date Posted: 06 Feb 17 at 2:47pm
I recently bought a Corel Farr 45 20+ years old for my sailing school to race in the UK and in the Med including the Rolex middle sea race where we can sail in IRC and/or ORC, it was not built to any rule, and sailed for many years in one design mode.
I'm advised that these boats were one of the first designs since the decline of IOR, It is a wonderful boat to sail that surfs and planes readily I am surprised with how it is treated on handicap by IRC! it rates at about  IRC 2016 1.215. which seems high, difficult to sail to. whereas in  ORC2017 GPH 514,5 seems very sailable to! The boat is still in one design mode.
My question is this, What can I do to improve my speed to handicap ratio without spending lots of money? as a sailing school we don't have deep pockets.
regards, hoping for some helpful replies, Regards, John

X john

Posted By: Quagers
Date Posted: 06 Feb 17 at 8:24pm
If you are talking it offshore I'd spend any money you've got on making sure it holds together, Farr 45's don't exactly have a reputation for sturdiness.

Otherwise if you can try to chat to some of the old Farr 45 guys down in Hamble, there used to be a fleet down there which raced regularly under IRC, they will probably know the necessary tricks. 

Posted By: Five Star Sailor
Date Posted: 06 Feb 17 at 10:29pm
Thanks Quagers, I did the Rolex Middle sea race last year, two handed, was doing quite well till we got 30 knots on the bow and didn't have any rail weight to hold the course,.
Then 40 Knots on the way back to our base in Palma, I think the boat is very strong.
Two 45's did Fastnet last time around, so I am very comfortable with the strength of the boat.
Regards, John

Oh and sailed her round from Hamble  to Malta with no hull problems.

X john

Posted By: FreshScum
Date Posted: 07 Feb 17 at 2:05am
As Farr as I remember the UK 45's weren't owned to excel on inshore IRC. Their main attraction was the big fleet at that size point, including DK46's and Swan 45's. 
The challenge that it has on IRC is that it has a lot of things that IRC gives a higher rating to, but isn't fast enough to sail to the handicap that comes from being a race boat. 

Having done a lot of sailing on one of them that has done a few Fastnets and RBI's, I can confirm that they can need a serious amount of work to  keep them together. Possibly if you have one of the boats that had a bit more TLC/money thrown at it earlier in its life it may be a different case.

Posted By: FreshScum
Date Posted: 07 Feb 17 at 2:16am
Are you sailing the rebuilt as was Werewolf?

Posted By: laser193713
Date Posted: 07 Feb 17 at 11:51am
John, my advice would be to keep everything in OD spec. Buy as many sails as you can on the cheap now before they disappear for good. New sails are going to be the killer for any low budget boat. 

Keep it all as it was, it was possible to sail a Farr 45 to an IRC rating, it takes good crew work because they are relatively unforgiving compared to more cruisy alternatives. 

As a general rule for IRC if you do want to optimise, upwind sail area is expensive, reducing this will bring your rating down considerably. Spinnaker area is cheap, so keep as much as you dare. 

IRC is actually relatively good these days so long as it is rating boats with similar performance curves. That's one of the issues with the system. Clubs want boats in the same fleet to be finishing at the same time for obvious reasons. Really for the best racing the boats should be grouped by DLR, SA/D or some concoction of the two. The issue then is that you would have boats finishing at different times. Not such an issue offshore or on distance races, but when you try and pack 3 or 4 races into a day inshore its much harder to manage. 

On the other hand, one theory for why IRC appears to favour heavy boats is that it actually favours long boats. Your relatively light 45 footer will have to race against relatively heavy 50+ footers. The theory goes that IRC doesn't account very well for the advantage of length in waves. A 25 footer pitching and rolling upwind in relatively small waves will have a disadvantage against your 45 footer which probably spans these waves and will not pitch around nearly as much. By bringing your sail area down you then begin to race against more similarly sized boats so do not take this disadvantage. 

There are lots of theories and there is also a lot of development going in to the rating rules. Another reason not to go chasing that magic rating. Sail the boat as it was designed, the Farr45 is a brilliant boat to sail so risking changing that for a magical rating number is probably a bit of a mistake. 

The Farr 45 is not an intrinsically fragile boat. They are quite old so they've clearly lasted well, therefore not fragile. Unfortunately they are heavily loaded boats so things can break rather spectacularly, even if it is just a snapped jib sheet or halyard. The problem for boats this age which have now depreciated is that the owner paying current prices still has to pay the same price for his new sails and new jib sheets etc as the owner who's just bought a Fast 40+ for 10x the price. It's the same reason not many people buy old Jaguars as a cheap runabout, you can pick them up scarily cheap, but the tyres and parts are still very expensive. 

For that reason, keep it simple, keep it OD, for the price of a new set of sails you could probably pick up a second boat to join your fleet and have someone to race against.

Posted By: Five Star Sailor
Date Posted: 07 Feb 17 at 5:21pm
Yes, Werewolf we are based in Palma, and after a little work Espresso Martini  will be sailing in the Solent, including Round the Island and Cowes week, and possibly Fastnet as well.

X john

Posted By: ontzi
Date Posted: 19 Sep 18 at 5:43am
Hi John,
I see that you have modified the boat for A-sails. ANy conclusions?
We sail #6 in Biscay since 2002, pretty much in OD configuration, more or less. The boat is really solid, have never had any significant issue but have recently started to appear issues related to wear in winches, the engine, etc; most blocks have been serviced, etc.
We race around 30 days a year, locally mostly but have traveled to Cowes, La Rochelle, Galicia most years, Cascais and a couple times down to Cadiz.
The boat is very nice to sail even though the IRC TCC is bad, as is the ORC, but we still have a chance in low wind speeds and also in 20+ with waves, specially beating.
The spanish navy Aifos (#1) was modified a couple of years ago for ORC with A-sails, shorter and lighter keel and lots of lead inside; I do not believe that it was worth it. We have considered A-sails in the past but the cost was high and the expected gains not very large; I wonder of your experience.
We have also studied an squared top mainsail, but the gains were slight and required an extra crew member aft.
I look forward to your comments,

Print Page | Close Window

Bulletin Board Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 9.665y -
Copyright ©2001-2010 Web Wiz -