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 endeavor to get you an answer as soon as possible. Be sure to also visit the Melges IC37 Class Association website (the class rules and constitution can be found here) and Facebook page for more information.
ON THE IC37 PROJECT
Q: Why did the Club invest 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 (IC) 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 race boats. 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.
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 and FIBRE Mechanics. They are both recognized for quality construction techniques and meeting tight build tolerances. The project was overseen by our project manager, Barry Carroll, Melges Boat Works and Rear Commodore 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 plaining 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. Initially we planned to use infused VE Resin for cost purposes, like many other production boats. Both builders are well versed in wet-preg epoxy construction and their experience and dedication to the project 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 were developed and must be met for acceptance of the boat and issuance of a valid Boat Manufacturers Declaration.
ON THE IC37 YACHT
Q: Is it expected that privately owned boats will race IRC, ORC or PHRF?
A: Yes. Multiple privately owned IC37s have successfully raced in IRC, ORC and PHRF 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. 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 or FIBRE Mechanics. 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, FIBRE Mechanics and/or MBW, are not allowed. Approved options include: 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 IC37 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 I order an IC37 with wheels instead of a tiller.
A Yes. Contact Melges.
ON THE ROLEX NEW YORK YACHT CLUB INVITATIONAL CUP
Q: How can my Club request an invitation for the 2021 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup?
A: The process to request an invitation for the 2021 event will start in early 2020. For United States yacht clubs, the 2020 Resolute Cup will serve as the qualifier for the 2021 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup. We will open the request for invitation process for the Resolute Cup in the fall of 2019.
Q: Will I be able to bring my own boat to the Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup?
A: NO. 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: 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 2017 champion, the 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. The skipper for MHYC, Guido Belgiorno-Nettis, sailed for the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron in 2017 and 2019, finishing second and first, respectively, despite not sailing the Swan 42 and IC37 outside of Invitational Cup-sanctioned practice times.