We got caught out in 30- 40+ against the east Australian current recently, in our 37 sloop. It was coastal but we had 4-5 m short seas. To remain out of the worst of the current we had to steer about 150 off. The experience has left us wondering if we have the right boat.
What we experienced:
She surfs easily to around 7-8 kn. If you hand steer you can keep her straight easily. If you don't she occasionally pings off to windward with the monitor. We ended up on beam ends, then, if a breaking crest hit.
She is quite a rolly, tender, boat, though with a sweet soft feel through the water.
For sail we ended up with a scrap of roller genoa poled out, then bare poles. By the time we saw we needed to put up the storm jib it was too late.
I ended up partially hand-steering for about 12 hours straight. Water in the cockpit about every 30 mins kept me wet and very cold.
Our pole and furler both ended up damaged. Hull deck join leaked. Splashguards got torn by waves breaking over stern.
Wife was thrown onto the stove and galley portlight. She will not do any more long offshore passages in this yacht, not from safety factors but comfort. She wants a less tender, stiffer boat with a dry/ protected steering position, or to give it all up.
My decision is to add a staysail, make the cockpit drier with a deeper hard dodger with more weather protection, fix all the leaks, maybe turn the standup nav station around to make a better seat for watch keeping, and try heaving to sooner. From there we will play it by ear. We came off an allied seawind 32 and to be honest while slow she was better in very rough conditions. We took her from FL to Australia.
We do love this boat but I wonder if the 40 would have been better for us. We no longer consider going anywhere when we might get 30 knots. This might change as we learn the boat better, but right now I think we will end up finishing our circumnav in a 43 footer. Our friends in their Roberts 44 never got wet once. In the interim we will not complete our trip around Australia, but will turn it into a coastal hopping trip up and down the east coast.
Last edited by johnbanfield; 06-27-2011 at 08:46 PM.