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post #15 of Old 08-27-2012
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Re: Ranger 33 or Ericson 35-2 for Offshore?

Still no significant downwind experience to report, but I was surprised to find out yesterday that the R33 heaves-to fairly nicely. An inexperienced friend and I had set out early in light wind to beat into it for the better part of a day (after spending the night rolling in the waves at anchor.) We had an 180% genoa on that became too much as the apparent wind probably rose above 15 knots, and the waves averaged 2-3 feet with many around 4 feet. She lost control a couple of times, and the boat hove-to with a very calm motion, drifting at a knot or two straight downwind. The rudder appeared to do nothing in this condition (it was easy to get back to regular sailing by switching the jib to the downwind side.) The only problem is I think it lay beam to the seas. That could hopefully be changed with a different set of sails to change the balance, or different sheeting. We later switched to the storm jib, a process on the bow that made me seasick, and I also accidentally hove-to with that one, and it was also stable and calm hove-to with that combination. I didn't note the angle to the waves, but think it was about beam to as well, which isn't good because I'd think the full main and a storm jib might angle into the wind more. I probably won't have a downwind update for you this year, since we also managed to find some rocks with the keel and let in a little water. The boat got hauled today - I haven't seen the damage yet
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