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post #4 of Old 08-27-2006
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Hi Jeff,

While certainly not "statistically valid" (only a few data points), and there's a lot of variability in conditions, etc..., here are some interesting data:

5-week voyage from New Hampshire to Newfoundland and back aboard a Cape Dory 36 Cutter -- nearly 300 hours of engine time, which AVERAGES to almost 8 hours per day! We generally relied on a 4-knot rule *

A week's passage from Maryland to Rhode Island aboard a Irwin 37 Mk V -- there was only about 5 hours where we turned the engine off!

7-day voyage from Maryland to Maine aboard a Peterson 34 Sloop -- only 9.5 hours of engine time total, and that mainly due to transiting of canals*

From another source, a reported 19 day Maine cruise aboard a Pearson Triton, 269.4 miles cruised, approx 57 hours underway, 27 hours under power*.

With the Peterson 34, we generally sail in and out of anchorages, through crowded mooring fields, on and off the dock, etc... The performance advantage over something like the Cape Dory 36 in these situations has as much to do with manuervability as it does with being able to sail in light and/or fickle winds.

Day sailing in and out of Boothbay Harbor this summer, our windward ability was noticably better than that of many of the other boats out there. Except in the lightest of winds, we might be likely to get to a windward destination quicker under sail than under power (propbably especially in heavy weather).

When we're sailing (versus motoring), the propellor is folded up and I don't have to worry about it snagging on lobster pot lines (they can still get caught on the rudder, though).

My dad's Cape Dory 36 Cutter is a rather "comfortable" boat by Brewer's ratio (FWIW); my Peterson 34 Sloop, much less so by that ratio. Nonetheless, both my Dad and I agree that overall the motion is really not all that different, even on boats rather far apart on the design spectrum. I posted this in a discussion on another board, and Bob Perry responded:
My philosophy on "comfort" offshore due to the motion of the boat is that we are really dealing with degrees of discomfort. No small sailing yacht will be comfortable offshore. I don't think first class in a 747 is "comfortable". I think the post comparing the comfort of the Peterson 34 to that of the Cape Dory is right on. The difference in "comfort" is not that noticable as long as you avoid a radical design. Boats that have a slower motion are usualy more initially tender and most sailers would prefer initial stiffness to a slower motion. Initial stiffness while providing a quicker motion may make a boat more "comfortable" because that boat will sail on it's feet and not on it's ear. We may all have differring personal definitions of comfort.
Isn't that what most people are trading off versus sailing performance? Perceptions of comfort and seaworthiness?

My boat has a relatively high SA/D ratio. To some that might suggest big sails that are hard to handle (and thus perhaps less "seaworthy" offshore). But with a relatively light displacement, my sails are not necessarily any bigger than they would be on a heavy cruiser. I think it might be easier for me to reduce sail when the wind picks up than it would be for another boat with lower SA/D to try to add sail area in light conditions (kinda tough for them to make their mast taller!)

Anyway, I'm happy with my choice to go for a relatively more performance oriented boat. Don't know if this answers your question (What was your question?)


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