Does a typical rc yacht balanced headsail boom meet the ERS definition of a boom?

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Question Details

Does a typical rc yacht balanced headsail boom meet the ERS definition of a boom?


The ERS definition states:

F.1.4 (b)  BOOM

A spar attached at one end to a mast spar or a hull and on which the clew of a sail is set and on which the tack and/or foot of a sail may be set. Includes its rigging, fittings and any corrector weights, but not running rigging, running rigging blocks and/or any kicking strap/strut arrangement.

The question is raised because the attachment of a typical rc yacht balanced headsail spar to the hull is not at the very end but some distance, typically 10-20% of its length, from its fore end.

For a definitive answer this question would have to be answered by seeking an interpretation from the WS ERS Working Group. There are certain problems with the ERS definition(s) relating to spars which have been made known to the ERS WG and it may be that a defnitive answer would not be made. In the meantime the following discussion is offered.

Points to consider

1     Where it is important to identify the very end of a spar the ERS has such defintions e.g. the mast top point and the mast heel point. If it were necessary to require the very end of a boom spar to be attached to the mast or hull then we can assume a 'fore end point' would be defined. It has not been and so we should not take the ERS defintion of boom to mean that the very end of the spar is the critical point.

2     Experience shows that all practical main booms are attached to the mast using a fitting with the attachment point some distance from the very end. As these booms are not attached at the very end we should be able to assume that the very end is not intended as the required attachment point.

3    Spars can be considered to have two ends and a middle. If each of these regions is 1/3 of the total length then the attachment point of a typical rc yacht headsail boom is well within the end region.