Manufacturer's Statement February 2017
1) ANY EQUIPMENT SUPPLIED BY THE MANUFACTURER AS ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT OR BY THEM AS REPLACEMENT FOR ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT IS PERMITTED.
2) LINES, BLOCKS AND CLEATS CAN BE SUBSTITUTED FOR ORIGINAL ITEMS FROM OTHER SOURCES PROVIDED THEY ARE OF SIMILAR SIZE, DUTY AND LOCATION.
3) NO MODIFICATIONS TO ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT OR AUTHORISED REPLACEMENTS (SEE ABOVE) CAN BE MADE WITHOUT WRITTEN AUTHORISATION OF THE CA AND MANUFACTURER
4) THE FOLLOWING EXCEPTIONS ARE PERMITTED:-
i) Adjustable lowers are permitted
ii) Trampolines - any design or supplier or none allowed
iii) Rudder stocks - any metal stock is permitted provided the rudder blade is located in approximately the same position in the view of the manufacturer and CA.Tillers and extensions are unrestricted
iv) Any sheeting system for the mainsail is permitted
v) Additional purchase can be fitted to control lines and sheets.
vi) A maximum of four control line cleats on each side of the deck is permitted. These must be sited within 100mm of the cockpit leading edge.
5) SPECIFIC EXCLUSIONS - IE THE FOLLOWING ARE NOT ALLOWED:-
a) Additional holes made in the hull for any purposes except for the attachment of trampolines to the adjacent gunwhale OR where the boat is converted to 'off the boom' sheeting when a strop may be attached to the gunwhale on both sides of the hull
b) Adjustable (whilst on the water) forestays or shrouds. The forestay ban will be effective from 1st January 2016. The adjustable shroud ban is effective immediately.
c) Including but not limited to the following - sails, spars, foils, hulls not originally supplied by the manufacturer are banned.
d) No use may be made of the 'Blaze' Logo for any purposes without the written authorisation of Hartley Boats Ltd. - Free CA use of the logo is permitted for all purposes except where use of it could reasonably be assessed to be to the commercial disadvantage of Hartley Boats Ltd.
Statement from Cirrus Raceboats – 4th January 2015
The ‘ban’ on adjustable rigging including forestays effective 1st January 2016
Last year when we had a series of major storms in the UK several masts were damaged or destroyed in the high wind conditions. We expect a few breakages each year like any other class and while this is always regrettable it is perfectly normal. However at this time the damage was very specific and we asked our carbon mast supplier to review more than one returned mast where owners has asked about warranty.
The supplier view was that they had not been adequately supported by the standing rigging in high winds leading to failure. When pointed out to me it was obvious as to what had occurred from the pattern of damage.
Then we saw an alloy M7 fail in exactly the same, relatively unusual, manner with the damage and break location almost identical. This is not something previously seen with the M7 which is renowned for being particularly ‘robust’ – the common factors were the type of break and control of standing rigging fitted.
We again conferred with our mast suppliers and the previous points on rigging support were reiterated. They asked me about whether adjustable standing rigging was permitted on the Blaze. This then led to discussions and concerns about implied and actual warranty.
1) Our mast suppliers are concerned about the damage reported and have made their position very plain. They wish, very understandably, to ensure supplied masts by them do not become subject to an excess number of ‘warranty claims’. They suggest, given what they have seen, that they would not be able to warrant masts supplied for the Blaze in the future without some reasonable restrictions on use.
2) Cirrus cannot supply masts under the historic ‘open’ warranty if our suppliers in turn cannot pick up the cost. In other words we are ourselves unwilling to pick up a potentially ‘open-ended’ financial liability for mast manufacture and damage in use.
3) We have even considered asking new owners to sign a warranty ‘disclaimer’ if they fit any sort of standing rig adjuster (forestay/shrouds) when sailing as a way of keeping everybody happy. (I have absolutely no issue with adjustable forestays per se or all other things being equal). However the practicality within the class and legal efficiency of doing this is not clear under the Sale of Goods Act and other consumer legislation.
4) Cirrus could just have withdrawn warranty for masts when fitted with an adjustable forestay during the standard initial 1 year warranty. This might even seem a good way and practical forward BUT it then creates an additional problem with insurers. Their argument would be that while the mast maker and mast supplier (Cirrus) have removed any warranty risk from themselves they, the insurers, are then being left to deal with a higher rate of claims in following years than they would otherwise face
5) A desire to promote the ‘One Design status of the Blaze and collectively, to maintain the reputation of the Blaze as a simple, fast, fun and robust boat.