Originally Posted by NCC320
Paulo and others,
Thanks for your discussion of the merits of modern wide beam boats for cruising vs. the more narrow ones in previous years. Based on what you have said and shown, we'll probably see more wide beam cruising boats in the US in the future, as people over here get adjusted more to the concept that a good cruising boat doesn't have to be narrow at the stern. After looking at the information that has been presented, especially on the Opium 39, I believe that the reason that the helm must be attended closely in downwind and quartering wind on my own boat probably has to do most with the nature of the chop that we get in the shallow water, and being inshore, we tend to have considerably less wind than in an offshore situation, resulting in lower downwind speed for the boat. If the boat speed was higher, the rudder and keel would have a more pronounced effect on directional stability, and the helmsman should have less work to do maintaining course.
Yes, speed does give stability. Still there is a difference between the realy purist boats (Erics Pogo 12.50 is a good cruising version of these), and slightly heavier boats with a more "normal" interior, of which the Opium 39 is a exampel, even if it is still pretty light and wide. As Paulo stated before, I also "need" more stuff to be autark up here in the archipelago for longer periods so I am also carrying a lot of extras so crusing speed is not as high as Erics Pogo but still higher than most other boats I encounter.
And even in these more modest speeds and winds there is a difference in rolling compared with narrower boats (aft). But also more on the wind I can leave the boat at autopilot (if I wish even if that is very seldom). Above 90 degrees TWA the boat is still tracking like on rails. Crew falling asleep on wide side decks in 20-22 knots of TWS