Mercury Class Yacht Racing Association

At the annual meeting last weekend in Paso Robles, three issues related to measuring were thoroughly discussed. Though the discussion led to no rule changes, it did lead to some adjustment to procedures that all members should take note of.

 Measuring (including weighing): 
It is each owner's responsibility to ensure that their boat meets all MCYRA measurement requirements. Boats once measured are not required to be re- measured unless a change is made in a measured feature of the boat. However, historically, we would weigh all boats and measure a publicly announced aspect at the nationals. This was dropped over time due to a sense of the class that it was burdensome on the host fleet. It was the consensus of the meeting attendees that we re-institute some form of measurement at the nationals; a class that gets too lax on measurements can be perceived as not being serious about the rules and therefore itself. As such, it is my intention that various measurement points be randomly checked at the nationals: a boom band here, shroud location there, weight around the corner, mast step location up the block....you get the idea. All of our measurement points are defined in the yearbook. As such, each owner can check their measurements themselves. If you have questions about how to interpret or execute a measurement contact either your regional representative or me. If you find something out of compliance, make arrangements with your regional representative to approve and sign off the change so the boat can continue to show as a measured Mercury. If you want to be weighed that's a little tougher but we will try to make pre-nationals weighing opportunities available both north and south.  

Sail Measurement
As you know, only measured and signed off sails can be used at the nationals. Last year, a few mainsails did not measure in. Because the noncompliant sails did not offer an advantage (were indeed a little small), I chose to allow them to be used in that regatta. However, that decision and their potential continued use in non-championship events has drawn some negative attention.
The discussion at the meeting, like the boat measurement/weight conversation, turned on the fact that it is the responsibility of the owner to make sure their sails are legal. Whether owners measure new sails themselves, ask for help from other Mercury sailors or insist that the sailmaker confirm that the sail measures correctly before delivery, waiting until the nationals to get a sail measured for the first time is not advised! Sails which do not meet all the requirements at the nationals will not be allowed to be used in the future. So measure them in advance, or bring a pretty fresh backup pair in case they don't pass muster!

Alterations to hull and keel
The third area of conversation led to some clarification but no changes in procedures, to wit: Measurement, Article II Certification, Section 5 states: “Alterations may not be made to the shape of the hull or keel of a fiberglass or a measured Mercury.”  Occasionally a question arises over the relationship between altering a shape and fairing. The intent of this rule is to disallow changing the shape of the keel or hull, i.e. their dimensions, from the original without disallowing the act of fairing, or smoothing, the existing shape. As such, knocking down high spots and filling low spots to achieve a smooth, fair surface is allowed. Thickening or thinning any portion of the keel or hull beyond the minimum necessary to smooth the existing surface is not approved. 

David West

MCYRA Chief Measurer