FAQs for the IC37 Project
The following FAQs will hopefully answer any questions you may have on the IC37 project. They are organized into a few sub categories so please scroll all the way through. If you don’t see an answer to your question below, please send it to Communications Director Stuart Streuli and we’ll endeavour to get you an answer as soon as possible. Be sure to also visit the Melges IC37 Class Association website and Facebook page for more information.
ON THE IC37 PROJECT
Q: Why is the Club investing in a fleet of 37-foot boats?
A: The New York Yacht Club and its partners have put substantial time and effort into building the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup into the premiere regatta for Corinthian sailors. The event is an important component of the Club’s international leadership in our sport, and a significant revenue generator for the Club, both in terms of sponsorship revenue and facility usage by the competitors and their friends and family.
After a decade of great one-design racing, the Swan 42 fleet in the Northeast United States is shrinking, and it’s unlikely we’d have enough boats in the area to support the size fleet we need for the 2019 IC. The primary impetus for this new fleet is to sustain this great event into its second decade and beyond.
“The dispersion of the [Swan 42] class away from the Northeast United States has made it harder and harder to get enough boats to meet the continued interest in the Invitational Cup,” says Commodore Philip A. Lotz. “To ensure the future of this great event, the Club decided to build its own fleet of raceboats. From 19 submissions from top yacht designers around the globe, we have selected a 37-footer drawn by Mark Mills. We think it’s the perfect choice to carry this regatta forward and build upon the substantial legacy established by the Swan 42.”
Q: Why does the Club want to own the boats, as opposed to relying on a fleet of privately-owned boats, as was done with the Swan 42?
A: Again, the answer lies largely in what’s best for the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup. By owning and managing the fleet, the Club can ensure the ultimate one-design platform for this event for many years to come and a consistent fleet size. Owning the fleet also enables the Club to build a design that is perfectly suited for this event. Finally, the fleet will help address an emerging trend among younger members away from buying boats. The fleet will be made available for member charter during the summer sailing season.
Q: When will you start construction on the boat? When do you hope to finish?
A: Construction of the tooling has already begin, with the goal of having hull No. 1 sailing early in 2018. A small fleet is expected to be sailing by next summer with the full fleet ready to go in the spring of 2019.
Q: Once the Club has finished building its fleet of 20, will this design be available for private purchase?
A: Yes. We anticipate a good number of privately-owned boats to be available by the spring of 2019. However, buyers are lining up quickly and interested skippers should contact Melges Performance Sailboats for more information.
Q: Which hull numbers will private owners be able to buy?
A: Hull numbers will correspond to the Hull Identification Number (HIN) on each boat in sequence as the boats are built and sold. An owner who prefers a specific hull number will need to submit a deposit for that boat and wait for it to be constructed. We will do our best to accommodate hull number requests, but they will not be guaranteed.
Q: After the sea trials, who will make change recommendations?
A: The IC37 Committee Chair Paul Zabetakis, Project Manager Barry Carroll, Ken Read, Lynn Bowser, Mark Mills and Harry Melges will be involved with making any change recommendations after the sea trials this winter.
Q: Who will oversee the build quality?
A: Build quality is a critical component of this project. Build quality starts with a boat builder known for high quality production, such as Westerly Marine. They are recognized for quality construction techniques and meeting tight build tolerances. The project will be overseen by our project manager, Barry Carroll, and the IC37 Committee Chair Paul Zabetakis. The IC37 is engineered to be rugged, durable and as low maintenance as possible. The IC37 will be a light, exciting boat to sail. It will plane. But it is moderate displacement by planing boat standards. There is virtually nothing on the boat that does not contribute to the structure and function of the sailing platform, with the exception of the head. That is one way we have reduced weight and maintained structure. The other is that the boat is built with wet-preg epoxy, uni-and multi-axial e-glass fabrics, and high-quality foam core. There is liberal use of local carbon fiber reinforcement. The entire structure is post-cured in an oven. Our initial plan was that we would use infused VE Resin for cost purposes, like many other production boats. Westerly Marine are masters of wet-preg epoxy construction and it is their experience and dedication to the project that has allowed us to use this expensive, hi-end construction method and still meet our cost goals.
Q: What is range of build tolerances?
A: Detailed build tolerances are being developed and must be met for acceptance of the boat and issuance of a valid Boat Manufacturers Declaration.
ON THE MELGES IC37 CLASS ASSOCIATION
Q: Why is the yacht called the IC37 or IC37 by Melges but the class association is the Melges IC37 Class Association? What's the distinction between the two?
A: This project was developed by the New York Yacht Club, with Melges Performance Sailboat brought in, after the designer and builder were chosen, to handle the sales and marketing and the class organization. This makes the IC37 different from most other Melges boats, including the Melges 20, Melges 24 and Melges 32. The focus of Melges Performance Sailboats is building the global class, both in terms of structure and numbers, while the Club looks to create the concierge charter program for its 20-boat fleet and plan for the next edition of the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup.
Q: Is the private IC37 class intended to be a Corinthian class?
A: Yes. To be clear, there is no separate class for privately owned IC37 yachts. All IC37s will belong to the Melges IC37 Class Association and follow the Class Rules during sanctioned one-design regattas.
Q: Will privately owned boat be allowed to race against NYYC charter boats since the private boats may be altered by speed shops and further optimized?
A: No. Class Rules are being drafted that would require a privately owned IC37 to be sailed in the same configuration as the NYYC fleet boats during a sanctioned OD regatta. Contractually the builder, Westerly Marine, and Melges Boat Works may only build and sell IC37 class yachts in one-design configuration. They are not allowed to build or sell any boat or component thereof that would not conform to the IC37 One-Design Rule.
Q: Will privately owned IC37s have their own OD start?
A: No. Class Rules are being drafted that would require a privately owned IC37 to be sailed in the same configuration as the NYYC fleet boats during a sanctioned one-design regatta.
Q: Will there be any restrictions on coaching at class regattas?
A: This aspect of the Class Rules has not yet been finalized, but coaching during the day of racing will not be permitted.
ON THE IC37 YACHT
Q: Is it expected that privately owned boats will race IRC, ORC or PHRF?
A: Yes. It is anticipated that privately owned IC37s will on occasion race IRC, ORC or PHRF when not competing in sanctioned IC37 one-design events.
Q: Will privately owned boats be issued measurement certificates?
A: Yes. All boats will be issued a one-design measurement certificate. It is expected that IRC and ORC one-design certificates will be readily available to owners.
Q: Will the IC37 be marketed with non-one design options? (for example: different interior options, IRC sail package, and other variables)
A: No. The boats will only be constructed in a manner that will allow them to qualify as an one-design IC37 (see Question 3). However privately owned boats may choose certain options that are allowed under the rule. These options must be purchased through Melges and installed by Westerly Marine. The boats will be weighed and measured with the options, and a valid one-design certificate will be issued. Aftermarket options for the same or similar items, built and installed outside of Westerly and/or MBW, are not allowed. At this time, a partial list of those are options is: wheel steering, fresh-water system, sink, butane stove, interior cushions, additional pipe berths, 110 VAC with battery charger. IRC/ORC sails will be purchased independently by the owners from their choice of sail makers.
Q: Will the boats be offshore capable?
A: The IC37 is being engineered to ISO 12217 Category A. As such, it will be capable of offshore sailing including overnight costal races. The Club-owned boats, however, will not be configured for offshore sailing. In order to meet our price target and to reduce maintenance costs, the only interior elements will be a head and two bunks for the crew to get out of the elements during deliveries. Provisions will be made with builder to offer additional interior modules, such as a sink, galley, and pipe cots, to accommodate owners of the boat who desire more offshore functionality.
Q: Can the boat be sailed without a grinding pedestal for the primary headsail winches given the proposed crew weight of 660 kg and a crew configuration of seven to eight crew with one or two females?
A: Yes. The designer, Mark Mills, and the NYYC Selection Committee do not think the IC37 needs a pedestal. The boat is identical in size to the Bolt 37 and the Matt 1180, neither of which has a pedestal. The Mills 40 and Swan 42 have larger kites and are jibed safely and efficiently in ocean breezes with top-handled winches. In addition, the Farr 40 masthead kite is larger and works with a string takedown without a pedestal. While there is always a premium on strength and speed for any crew, we do not think the current deck lay out or equipment selection increases the premium over and above any other similarly sized boats. Finally, the overriding philosophy for this design has been to keep the boat both simple and low-cost. A pedestal would increase both the cost and complexity. As a one-design class, we feel the deck layout and equipment is “fit for purpose.”
ON THE ROLEX NEW YORK YACHT CLUB INVITATIONAL CUP
Q: How can my Club request an invitation for the 2019 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup?
A: For international yacht clubs, we will start accepting requests for invitation toward the end of 2017. Watch InvitationalCup.org or the event’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/NYYCInvitationalCup/) for further updates. We had more requests than boats available for the 2017 edition and we expect demand to increase for 2019. For United States yacht clubs, the 2018 Resolute Cup will serve as the qualifier for the 2019 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup. We will open the request for invitation process for the Resolute Cup in the fall of 2017.
Q: Will I be able to bring my own boat to the Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup?
A: In the past we have permitted invited yacht clubs to bring a member-owned yacht to achieve a fleet of 20 boats, which we think is the ideal size for this event given the sailing venues both inside and outside Narragansett Bay and the course distance required to ensure an orderly first mark rounding. With the 20-boat fleet now owned by the NYYC, additional yachts from invited yacht clubs should not be needed.
Q: How much does it cost to enter the 2019 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup?
A: The entry and charter fees for the 2019 event have yet to be set. You can view the NOR for the 2017 event here, which should give you some idea.
Q: What sort of campaign is required to be competitive?
A: For each successive edition of the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, the competition gets more serious. The current holder of the trophy, Royal Thames YC finished 13th in 2009 and third in 2013, and made multiple training trips to Newport during the summer of 2015. Of course, there are other routes to success. The team representing Middle Harbour Yacht Club in Sydney, Australia, had never sailed a Swan 42 until they arrived for practice three days before the first race. But they had a veteran big boat skipper and a crack crew that had sailed many miles together on other big boats. They finished fourth.
Q: Should my club get an invitation to the 2019 Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup, will there be an opportunity to train on the IC37 prior to the regatta?
A: It’s too early to say anything definitive at this stage. However, we do recognize that to make the 2019 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup as fair as possible and to encourage high-quality racing, some practice opportunities for invited yacht clubs is important. We hope to have a more concrete answer by the time invitations for the event are sent out in the spring of 2018.
Q: What can you tell us about the class rules?
A: The class rules are nearing completing. The Club is committed to Corinthian yachting and to the promotion of female and youth involvement in the top levels of our sport. The class rules are likely to reflect all of those goals. In addition the class rules are being developed to keep the annual operating costs to a minimum. Other Invitational Cup rules, including the minimal sail inventory (one spinnaker and one jib) and prohibition against rig tuning, are not likely to be a part of the one-design class