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Ronstan Or Like Calibrated Turnbuckles

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For a Class Association not afraid to welcome hired crews, with multiple paid positions on some of the top boats, the only answer I have been given from the Class as to why we are not allowed to upgrade the turnbuckles on the J70 is for cost.  Is this truly a logical argument?  I understand not creating an arms race with sails, and other technologies, but why are we stuck in the dark ages 'counting' turns on the premier sport boat in the world?  


Lets stop the non sense and push the class for an amendment to the Class rules to allow a calibrated turnbuckle on the cap shrouds as well as the lowers.  Everyone tuning the rigs of the boats knows it is only a matter of time, thinking 'when am I going to miss count these turns between races'.  Lets upgrade, each turnbuckle retails between 75-95 bucks, a small cost for a legitimate upgrade.   For the price of no more then 400.00 you can stop the turn counting and know every time you look at your rig you are spot on your numbers.  All Melges 20's, 24's, I believe Vipers, and most other small boat classes are allowing the ease of a calibrated turnbuckle.


I ask that the Class Association takes my request seriously and pose a vote to the owners.  If the vote passes great, then every boat can upgrade or keep counting.  If the vote fails we shall move forward.  


Tom Jenkins

J70 USA 72  DFZ

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I too would like to see class approval to use calibrated turnbuckles.  One, it is not a very expensive upgrade.  Two, it doesn't really give one an advantage like modifying the keel or hull of the boat would.  It just makes it easier to tune the boat.  Someone without the calibrated turnbuckles can be just as fast as someone with them.  They just have to be more careful about counting the turns.  In fact, it may make it easier for novice racers to turn their boats and be fast for the conditions compared to advance sailor who have more experience with the boat and can tune it through experience and intuition.  


All in all, I have found the North Sails tuning guide and the rig tension gauge to be very effective in getting the boat tuned right for the conditions.  However, I haven't done the best job on counting turns of the buckle and I'm sure my mast isn't centered anymore.  


One way you can keep track of the position/length of your shrouds without using calibrated turnbuckles is to use a caliper to measure the length of the shrouds between two points close to the turnbuckle.  Its not the quickest system, but does give you a way to record the setting of your rig in a precise manner.


I am in complete agreement about not creating an arms race with sails, other technologies, or modifications to the boat.  This is one design racing where the skill of the sailor and his/her tactics and strategy determine the winner, not the ability of the boat to reach a higher top speed than all the other boats.  All the boats should be on a level playing field.  It concerns me when you hear stories about people spending time and money to modify their boats so they go faster.  In my opinion, they are really missing the point of one design racing and could potentially ruin it for the rest of us.  Anyway, I'll get off my soap box now.  

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