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Forerunners and 2.4mR designs over the years
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TOPIC: Forerunners and 2.4mR designs over the years

Forerunners and 2.4mR designs over the years 2 years, 3 months ago #206

  • Pål K
  • Administrator
  • Posts: 48
I like to know my sport. When I came into this class a few years ago, I gathered as much information as possible. That may be a little tricky because history and information from different sources can be simplified and fragmentary. Sometimes the editor is badly informed, and many 2.4 web-sites are coloured by the organization that present it and by the situation in that specific country.

By cross-checking the sources the overall picture emerges. In this context Peter Norlin´s article in Newspaper 2011 is of great importance. He was "hands on" from the start, and he tells also which considerations that were considered as important when the main shape, size and sail plan of a 2.4 was established.

Another way to overlook 2.4 during the years is to concentrate on designs. That is my approach in this post. Fortunately pictures of next to all designs can be found on the Internet.

I have so far found five forerunners from 1979 - 1980 and onwards; all downscaled from 12-mR or 6mR boats and adapted to one person crew. These boats were all One Designs, not 2,4mRs, and three of them, Illusion, Deception and Millimeter, are still raced in certain clubs. Some of them were built in huge numbers. The forerunner group contains of these designs:


Then, from around 1983 equal sailing potential was achieved by the basic requirement that all boats had to measure to the figure 2,4 on the meter R formula, approved by the Scandinavian Sailing Association in 1986 - 88 and by the ISAF in 1993. Then the real 2.4mR history started. I do not claim that the list of designs is complete, but these are the 2.4s I have found until now, here listed in alphabetic order:

Cook MkI......................1)
Cook MkII.....................1)
Howlett MkI...................1)
Howlett MkII..................1)
Jofs Mk I.....................1)
Jofs Mk II....................1)
Norlin MkI
Norlin MkII
Norlin MkIII..................4)
Odd Lindquist MkI (Odd 1/5?)
Odd Lindquist MkII
Odd Lindquist MkIII...........2)
Ole Eide MkI
Ole Eide MkII
Ole Eide MkIII
Stradivari MkI
Stradivari MkII
Stradivari MkIII..............4)
Stradivari MkIV
Stradivari Hc.................3)
Sødergren MkI (Sødergren 1/5?)
Sødergren MkII
Sødergren MkIII
Sødergren MkIV
Sødergren MkV (Pure Sailing)..4)
Sødergren MkVI...............(2)

1) Most often only one or a couple of boats built by the designer
2) Uncertain if it is a specific design or the same hull as one
of the predecessors.
3) Hard chine plywood project, the first under construction 2011
4) Designs in production, from small to large series.

There is also a design for two persons sitting in line, Olsen Twin, designed and produced for coached training, but I doubt that it measures to 2.4. Combinations also exist, often a hull that is given a more modern keel, e.g. Sødergren MkI/III and MkII/III. Designs that have been produced over a number of years are often very different from one year to another when it comes core material, lead weight, rig designs, shroud fastenings, trimming rope routing, innerliners, seats and reinforcements.

Which design is the best one ? To evaluate designs is a risky business, I am obviously an amateur in that respect and my views are strictly subjective.

Over the years designs have developed and of course there is a tendency that later designs are superior, but not always. Some designs seems to have hit closer to optimum than others. Anyway I feel that Peter Norlin´s Norlin MKIII from 1986, only three years after the start, was a lucky shot and the serial production and several improvements over the years have provided the basis for the OD efforts on this particular desigen.

The two 2.4mR designs produced in small series in 2011, Sødergren MKV (Pure Sailing) in Holland and Stradivari MkIII in UK are in my view very interesting challengers. I hope we will see them soon in international racing. I assess Ridder and Ole Eide MKIII to follow closely in the wake. Please be free to disagree.

As cheaper introduction boats to 2.4 sailing we have successfully used the Norlin MkII and the Sødergren MkIII. Some Sødergren MkIIIs have been modified to a little smaller main and a little more lead. Better RM helps the upwind ability. Both designs are available on the market for used boats, offers good value for money and may be ranked under the ICA "Classic Rule".

In a young construction class as 2.4mR it is not likely that the very best design has emerged yet. Personally I would like it to be a little drier and with a little more hull lift forward in order to reduce the submarine tendency downwind, but I don´t understand the Rule well enough to know if that will give new disadvantages.
Last Edit: 2 years, 3 months ago by Pål K.

Re: Forerunners and 2.4mR designs over the years 2 years, 3 months ago #207

  • Pål K
  • Administrator
  • Posts: 48
Oh, sorry, I forgot the Defender. That design is also one of the forerunners, designed in 1983 on the US west coast. Some years later the design was licenced to be built in Norway. I do not know how many built, but at least three of them still exist, one of them in top condition.

Re: Forerunners and 2.4mR designs over the years 2 years, 3 months ago #208

  • kallew
  • Junior Boarder
  • Posts: 24
In 1999 to the WC in Marstrand, Sweden the Italian designer Felci introduced his design, 3 off were built, no success to mention. These boats has not shown up since in int. events.
The main difference to other constructions was that the boats had no skeg. The consequence of this was (according to the designer who sailed one himself) that the boat was like being on "roller bearings" to steer.
Regards KWe

Re: Forerunners and 2.4mR designs over the years 2 years, 3 months ago #209

  • Pål K
  • Administrator
  • Posts: 48
Thank you, Karl; that information adds another one to the list.

Re: Forerunners and 2.4mR designs over the years 2 years, 3 months ago #212

Some additional info:
The Sodergren Mk VI is an entirely new design differing a lot from what we are used to from H Sodergren. As far as I know only one boat of this design, actively racing in Gothenburg.

Many of the designs you have on the list are competitive designs as far as hull geometry is concerned but unfortunately many of them were poorly built mainly suffering from overdimensioned laminates resulting in far to little lead in the keel and poor righting moment. Verified examples of this is the Norlin Mk I and II, both designs would be compatible at top level built to modern specifications.
The same goes for The Sodergren Mk III, VI and V.

Interesting to read the comment on the Italian 2,4. There are some other designs without the traditional skeg/bustle in front of the rudder and they all seem to be very difficult to control. I have sailed the Ridder design in windy and choppy conditions and it was very difficult to control. The SWE 274 now sailing in Norway was a solid performer in Sweden during the nineties in the hands of its owner who spent many ours sailing and it. So yes it is difficult to sail well but once you get to grips with it it is fast. The destiny ofthe Italian design might have been another had they spent more time sailing it.

12 Stradivari Mk I was built and those of them that has been upgraded structurally to modern standards are competitive at top level. I had the pleasure to see this proven myself in our last ranking regatta here in Sweden this autumn.
The overall result was nothing to brag about but speed and pointing good enough to win races against top competition in an old pram from 1998.

The Stradivari Mk II was an early UK attempt that failed because of poor build quality.

The Stradivari Mk III is the latest UK attempt on building a boat for the 2,4mR class. It has not been raced yet.

The Stradivari Mk IV is a set of stock plans sold to home builders. I havent seen any sailing yet. It is a refinement of the MK I, a little but fuller in the ends and more narrow.

Carl Ossianssons one off is a good performer. Unfortunately he is not with us any more to prove it. If anyone is interested it is for sale by the estate.

In general it is my perception that the biggest advantage for the Norlin Mk III is that it is sailed by the greatest number of sailors. If any of the top ranked sailors in the class had sailed any of the other competitive designs available the picture would most probably have been different. One often hear sailors say that they choose to sail the Norlin because it is the design that is winning all the time, what they forget is that it also is the design that always close the gate of almost every race which means that there are other factors more decisive involved.

Designers and builders has been tweaking the rule to gain an edge over the competition for more than 100 years.
In essence the history of the Metre Rule shows us that there hardly is room for any design break through. Small gains are the fruit of hard work and the persistent will be rewarded.
As in all other sports having the whole package in tip top shape is the trick.

I would like to state that the men who put the rule together in 1907 should be given credit for their work.
No other design rule comes close to the achievements of the Metre Rule and we should be proud to carry that legacy into the future.
The 2,4mR yacht is the smallest of the yachts from the Metre Rule but it may well be the diamond that outshines the bigger sisters of the rule.
Last Edit: 2 years, 3 months ago by stradivari.
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