Aug 12, 2017

Nacra 17 MKII Recall details & World Sailing Responsibiltiy

Nacra 17MKII current Fixed bearing 
Nacra 17 MKII Current dagger case exit & fixed bearing
Nacra 17 MKII New designed rolling Bearing
Nacra 17 MKII New designed rolling Bearing
GC32 Rolling Bearing
Dna F1 Rolling Bearing - Click to enlarge
Sailing photo Pedro Martinez/ saling Energy.
Update by Nacra on the bearing  here.
 -- Nacra 17 MKII  Recall 
What happened now in short: Hull bottom daggercase bearing (pic left) has a sharp edge that in certain load conditions is making daggers to break.

Solution: Nacra will replace bearing with a rolling & self aligning one (renders to left) as used already in the GC32 , Dna F1 A-Cat or even Dario Valenza's Paradox and other cats.

Design aspects: Has the current type of bearing (the one making board to break) been tested in other flying boats? Yes  , some A-Cats have a similar fixed bearing with no moving parts bearing and is working Ok.

How reliable is the rolling bearing system? Well, it depends on the material used, some A-Cats used a plastic printed material which failed, later was improved. Material strength will be key for new bearing parts replacements on the MKII .

Another Key aspect is to replicate GC32 system (see photo of white bearing to the left) , where the rolling part can be replaced easily, new part should not break, but if so, a removable system should be implemented by Nacra.

Equipment failure considerations: As stated many times, things fail all the time no matter the brand or type of boat, the main aspect is how the builder or the Class reacts.

Could Nacra have done better? Yes, they could have used this rolling bearing since day 1, but again the fixed bearing with no movable parts was tested on the A-Cats, although main problem is loads are awfully different from current Nacra 17 MKII  compared to A-Cats.

How hard is to solve and fix current bearing issue on the Nacra 17 MKII: It is a rather simple fix in the end, the big problem is the time & money being spent by sailors on non sailing hours, tough situations from those travelling from abroad.

Who is main responsible in the end? Well former ISAF/World Sailing is the ultimate responsible as they awarded Nacra the sole monopoly on the one builder OD Class,  and they are the ones who should be taking care of the sailors which are original source of WS incomes aside sponsorships.

Sailors need to pay to their local clubs, who pay their local Feds and so on. Also aside your sailing club membership, sailors pay their sailing Class fees, locally and on international basis. Along of course paying entry registration fees. All this goes to WS and local Federation arcs.

Many of the sailors making Olympic campaigns are not top professionals with wide resources , say a Tennis Pro player, who even got their rather inexpensive equipment for free.
Here Nacra 17 sailors have to pay around 30k to even start thinking to get involved, and then spending on travel, expenses, replacements parts, coaching, ribs , accommodations and else.

Think this x 10 to those living abroad Europe.

So with above scenario, and taking account fails can happen, is time for former isaf and current World Sailing organization to pay for this "party''. Stop taking sailors time & cash as the only way to "solve" issues beyond their capabilities to address needed solutions.

Use sponsorship funding plus the resources collected form the sailors itself , to refund Nacra 17 Class members on their equipment delays, changes of schedule and non sailing time.
They are the ones to put pressure on Nacra , sailors already do the hard and expensive part.

If World Sailing fails to react I think is time for sailors to stand up loud and call for a collective action against World Sailing itself and demand legally economic compensation on all the money being throw by Nacra 17 Class members.
The Ncara 17 management we praised past week should step ahead towards defending their own members economic health.
Sailors are not here to serve builders  or World Sailing itself, they are customers who pay hard cash and WS should be serving sailors as their "masters" and reason to exist. If you hold a World Sailing administrative position is cause you like to serve others, if  not leave your chair to actual sailors or those wanting to help them in first place.

Bearing issues is again rather simple to solve by Nacra. But the cash and time sailors are spending and wasting should be compensated fully by World Sailing as main responsible.
Nacra of course should respond to warranty and in time on customer service. As always, getting the benefit of the monopoly is a double edge sword.

Above all remember many sailors already spent on travel expenses on a cancelled / delayed MKII delivery.

All this mess it's a real pity on the good performance the MKII and crews delivered past weeks.

Read full details on the bearing and failures at Nacra 17 Class web: