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post #2 of Old 09-14-2003
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Confused about overhangs...

Long overhangs help smooth a boat''s motion through the waves by spreading out the center of gravity over a longer space. This same principle applies to a high-wire artist who uses a pole (often with weights in the ends) - or spreads out his arms - to steady himself. Spreading the center of gravity makes for a longer period of pitching in a boat, which is more comfortable and predictable for the crew. Racers nowadays avoid this approach because spreading the center of gravity tends to increase the amount of pitching (the inertia of the heavier ends makes them move more, even if the pitching is slow and more comfortable) and pitching slows the boat. Newer racing boats center as much weight as possible amidships and go for the maximum waterline length (plumb bows & transoms) for speed, not comfort.
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