From the Blaze Forum - 3rd March 2008
Re: [blaze-sailing] V3 Pics
Well, perusing the V3 photos from Blaze CA site now. So much has changed! The centerboard casing looks to be completely gone and the mainsheet ratchet now stands on a (I have no doubt very sturdy) metal stand. Foredeck appears polished to a shine and now of course, progrip-less, the hull sweeps in toward the rudder stock at the transom and cockpit leveling is just gone (through toe-baresque ridges remain), clearly aimed at reducing water intake (and improving disposal) in light airs. Tube fixings have changed...improvements across the board it seems.
Only a couple of questions from me...
:::What are the bent metal pins that appear inserted in the fixed tubes, are those the new wing pins and how/why have they changed?
:::Has anything actually moved? The forward wing tubes appear to come farther foward then they did and in at a steeper angle, probably an optical illusion mind.
Finally, better make sure you've got a solid slot strip or risk getting a spout of water to the face when running at high speed...still can't get over the vanishing centerboard case. It'll be interesting to see if the V.3strash the lot of us, so much that was superfluous has gone, can't help but wonder if they'll be lighter/faster but I suppose time will tell. All in all it looks pretty godamn sexy and certainly more 'modern.' Looks like the new Blaze will be ready to cut-off anybody who dares suggest that it looks like a plastic product of the 90s!
Re: V3 Pics
A few answers:
1) Pins are now stainless steel as standard if the early ones prove to work - they seem so obvious the boat should have used them from Day 1 - the finish will remain better longer of course than the previously paint coated ones. They are smaller diameter as well.
2) Fixed tubes are now continued to the centreline both ends - stronger at the cost of a little weight gain - however now stainless fixings go into stainless 'plate' that is bolted through deck mould and new internal subframe - again stronger and unlike the pre-07 boats does not mix brass with stainless. Angles are the same and 'extending' tubes are identical and can be interchanged with V2 ones (28 degree sweep in both versions for the anoraks!).
3) Checking your slot sealer should be much easier now. And if it needs a bit of TLC it will certainly let you know.
4) The centre-main jammer and support is now a priced option on new boats - the default is a simply a floor mounted ratchet on one side of the plate case. For those who prefer this arrangement it makes the cockpit even more clear and simple. I'm going to give it a go myself - and if I do not prefer it I'll retrofit the tower - we've now got the choice.
5) The new arrangement also allows the plate to come up a bit further when retracted so there is no chance of it 'resting' on the centreboard sealing strip when not in use - the slot sealers should last longer as they can more easily 'ping' back and not hold the sealer inside the plate case where they will get distorted over longer periods between sailing (and/or fall off far to often!)
6) The forward hatch allows easy access to mast base area, front of plate case, toestrap anchors, deck cleats, wing anchor points - a massive improvement. All can be bolted, checked etc etc.
7) Plate case glue lines - 3 times as wide now, a natural fit and so so much easier to ensure 100% sealing. We had a few problems last year in this area with the inherited tooling and while a good and certain fix was available we would rather design this out completely - hence the development of the V.3 deck tooling in the first place. We hate unnecessary warranty work as much as anyone.
8) There are loads of other detail changes as well. Overall most allow us to build more reliably and quicker. The move to epoxy allowed us to do this without incurring a weight penalty at all - if we had stayed with polyester the boats would have been heavier.
Several said the boat looked unchanged .... it is not radically different and is still very 'Blaze' as well. You really need to put a V3 and a V2 alongside each other to see everything.
Again - thanks to all involved in getting the V3 together, suggesting changes, and particularly those helping at the show and behind the schemes. The website is also a real credit to the CA - the equal of anything out there even at the beginning compared with other classes sites.
Lastly - although we encouraged anyone thinking of selling to post their ads on the stand at Alexandra Palace not a single one made it! I did hear though of one boat sold to a newbie standing there before the owner could get the card on the wall! Our greatest problem remains the shortage of used boats. Can we tempt you to sell yours?