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  #11  
Old 11-28-2004
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J-40 for Long Distance Cruising ?

Are you saying that you used 40 gals of fuel from SF to Sydney? How many days did you spend on this trip?
What did you use for self-steering/auto-pilot?

Paul
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  #12  
Old 11-28-2004
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J-40 for Long Distance Cruising ?

I am not sure how relevant this is to your question, when I was researching my boat I exchanged email with a fellow who single-handed a Farr 11.6 (Farr 38) from South Africa to the Carribean (a much shorter trip). The boat was set up with a windvane and minimal electronics. He said he came up on one tank of fuel (something less than 17 gallons). Of course that kind of low fuel useage is only possible with the absense of refrigeration and electronic autopilots. He thought that his biggest draw was running his tricolor at night.

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Jeff
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J-40 for Long Distance Cruising ?

Chris, thanks for the informative, lengthy reply. Neat info and a good reminder for those of us who prefer all-chain rodes, too.

Jack
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Old 11-29-2004
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J-40 for Long Distance Cruising ?

Great post Chris.

Many sailors forget the fact that boats behave quite differently when loaded and that the balance of the load out can be critical to her motion at sea. Carrying too much weight on the bow is typical and your example is very helpful.

Recently was aboard a 36'' cat someone was cruising and living aboard. It was loaded up with so much that its waterline was 3 inches higher. That basically killed any performance gain.

Higher displacement boats have a greater carrying capacity. That is one advantage. Given all the high tech gear we have today though ....smaller electronics, multifunction electronics, ultra light cold weather and foul weather gear, better designed ground tackle....cruisers who need to can lose a lot of the weight. It all adds up.

Best

John
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Hood 38
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Old 11-29-2004
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J-40 for Long Distance Cruising ?

John

I think that is only partially true. In a general sense, I would think that the payload that any boat can carry in supplies and gear before it begins to lose performance is generally in a range somewhere around 15-20% of its overall displacement. That is true even of very light race boats which will often carry that much in crew and spare sails. (Think of a 14,000 lb 40 footer with a 9 man crew and all of their gear.)

If you compare a longer boat with the same displacement as a shorter boat, the longer boat will have much greater carrying capacity with smaller impact on performance than the shorter boat. Even if you compare equal length boats, the lighter boat may lose more of its ultimate speed advantage but it still may be faster than the heavier boat when each is carrying the same payload.

Respectfully

Jeff
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J-40 for Long Distance Cruising ?

Hi Jeff

Good point on boat length and performance. I agree. LOA and LWL being equal, the boat with the greater displacement should have a greater carrying capacity. Displacement being equal, the boat with the greater LOA or LWL should be able to carry more.

I was really trying to address the issue of overloading. Many cruisers I have witnessed recently are carrying tremendous amounts of...just stuff. Every possible electronic, more ground tackle than the titanic as well as all the comforts of home with a nice heavy genset thrown in. The result is more and more boats being used as barges and not sailing vessals. I understand the reason for this, to each his own. But...in my mind, I think a lot of the ''stuff'' is needless and wasted. Much will hardly ever be used, much could be replaced perhaps even less expensively with more modern, lighter equivalents.

I do think many of us in this forum in particular are alike. No matter whether we cruise or not, we got our boats because we want to sail them. I believe one can and should reasonably match the load out requirements to the performance parameters of the given vessal (not just take a given vessal and load it up without regard). People should give this thought to this as they do route planning etc.

The J/40 issue might be a good exemplar. Here is a boat made for sailing. A pleasure to sail. It can be loaded out for reasonable cruising but overloaded, it becomes the leaded pig that any boat will. There are two more attractive alternatives. Either plan the fitting out and loading out with careful consideration as to weight carried. Or get a boat more suited to being loaded down.

It is essentially the same thing as making an energy budget. Everything you could think of taking on a boat has specs you can look up.

Look forward to chatting with you soon.

John
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J-40 for Long Distance Cruising ?

I very much agree with you about the idea of picking a boat that will meet your needs in terms of what you personally need aboard. That is at the heart of my arguement for sellecting a boat by the displacement that you need. Weight only breeds more weight so unless you have an idea about how much weight needs to come aboard, it gets harder to achieve performance as more stuff creeps down below. Looked at another way, you pay a price for performance in terms of either going a little spartan for given length and lighter displacement, or else going longer to get the comfort and performance. There is nothing worse than sailing a boat that is way overloaded in terms of decreased motion comfort, seaworthiness and performance. I also like your point about the an energy budget. All to often you see boats that are compromised by the fuel cans lashed to the deck and bilges and lockers filled with spare tanks syndrome that comes with stuffing too many comforts of home into too small an envelope.

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Jeff
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Old 11-30-2004
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J-40 for Long Distance Cruising ?

Yep, I am saying 40 gal for roughly 8000 miles and 9 months worth of cruising. Basically, with the tank holding 30 gallons (roughly 250 mile range), you don''t turn on the engine when you are becalmed on a 2000 mile passage, because it really wouldn''t help anyhow. So you use the engine to get into and out of anchorages. Even then, we tried often to sail in/out, just to keep in practice. Having light-air sails, and doing frequent changes, is part of the game though in this case.

You might wonder why we did this. Here''s a short story to illustrate. We were loosely part of a HAM net. At one point, the engine of this particular boat died, while at anchor. So he is sitting there for days on end, and can''t get out, because its either blowing to hard and he''s worried about the reefs at the entrance, or it''s not blowing enough (and he''s worried about the reefs at the entrance). Now to make matters worth, when it''s blowing really hard, he gets injured (literally the coat-hook in the eye thing), and he still can''t get out. Finally, someone else sailed to the anchorage and towed him out. Then he caught a flight to Australia to have his eye looked after (the anchorage was, I think, in Papua New Gunea) - it all turned out well.

For me, this gets at two things: boat''s too heavy to sail in light air, and many sailors stay comfortable and don''t push themselves to the edge (my wife and I had more than one friendly argument about sailing into tight spaces, until this ham-net thing unfolded real-time for over a week with us watching)
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Old 12-01-2004
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J-40 for Long Distance Cruising ?

John, Jeff & the Group:

I sure wish the recent discussion you two are sharing on how a boat is equipped, energy budgets, and how it sails had a higher visibility in the long-term, long-distance cruising venue than it does. Simply put, it''s just very common to find overloaded boats in today''s anchorages, and I''m convinced that in most cases the owners/crews really don''t have any concrete notion of how their boat''s sailing qualities have been incrementally effected. And the issue isn''t just ''weight'', either. The windage inherent in a dodger, bimini, weather cloths, easy-drop mainsail cover, radar arch, solar panels and jug farm(s) looks to my eye like it not only spoils the inherent aesthetic appeal a boat may have (''tho many cruising boats seem to be built ugly) but this windage must surely retard sailing ability to windward significantly. (Jeff, have you ever seen any empirical data on this in your design work? It would be interesting to know if it were quantifiable in some way). I have noticed this incremental degradation in performance becomes noticable when Ma & Pa Kettle return from their Caribbean Thing, offload the boat to the point where it''s ready to be sold, and then they do a sea trail with a prospective buyer or daysail her for fun. Oh Lordy, are they surprised...

That SSCA Panel I was on this year, if I didn''t mention it before, was a real eye opener: 6 panel members representing 5 boats, all of whom had crossed at least one ocean and been out for some years now. The average boat, WHOOSH excluded, was 45'' LOA, between 16-20 tons (yet in each case, only 2 crew), ''needed'' 250-300 amp/hrs/day in DC consumption, had every system known to the CW advertising staff, had 2 dinks and 2 outboards (''one might break, you know...'') and of course every conceivable kind of canvas. Most had generators. As the panel began, I hadn''t thought of Patricia and I as the ''minimalists'' in the group; after all, we make big/clear/hard ice cubes, get real-time wx info and do email onboard, use lots of electronic thingies and have what we consider all the comforts of home. Hah! When I mentioned we used 70-80 amp/hrs/day and haven''t so far needed a water maker, eyes rolled and we might as well have been Lyn & Larry Pardey.

John''s caution about selecting a boat that''s not going to be *too* overburdened by a given crew, given each crew''s own tastes in systems and personal effects, is right on...but there are several reasons why I don''t think it occurs often. First, folks start out with little experience and so can''t imagine the loading issue being as significant as it is. Second, systems (and also sheer boat junque) are acquired incrementally, without a thought about their collective impact. Third, boats are viewed as RVs these days, with the entitlement notion that a boat really should provide all the comforts of a condo simply because it can. Fourth, I wonder how many of us actually like and seek out good sailing, when our motivations are often in other areas. And I suspect the biggest reason is represented in the old saying ''The best boat to go cruising in is the one you have'' and so folks make do with what they have, and just ''load her up''.

I remember when we were in the shopping mode that led us to WHOOSH (a Pearson 424 ketch), I used Dave Gerr''s Nature of Boats and estimated the #/inch immersion measurement for her - it was roughly 1 ton, which I liked. Even so, one of our winter projects while in our berth is to - once again - pull every single thing out of every locker and see what we can whittle down or eliminate altogether. (It felt very silly to be out sailing this past summer with a dehumidifer bubble-wrapped and tied down in the forward cabin). When flying home for the holidays, our bags were loaded with only one change of clothes but we sure had a lot of boat ''stuff'' in there. Without consistent effort, the weight just keeps getting added...much like what happens to all of us around the holidays. <g>

Jack
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Old 12-01-2004
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J-40 for Long Distance Cruising ?

Jack and Jeff, I think those were two very very important posts. Hope many will read carefully more than once.

Jack - glad you are back. You raise many important points. Cruising boats have gotten larger...for a certain segment of the cruising world. It is something that is getting some press and enters into the long debated topic of what is the perfect boat. This in itself bears another topic thread for some lengthy discussion.

As Jeff points out, you pay for capacity one way or another. A larger boat means more expense, much much more work, heavier mainsail to haul, heavier ground tackle etc etc. A smaller boat can take less without encountering its own penalty.

Case in point. I sailed a boat similar to mine in FLA once. The owner was a liveaboard and had fit the boat out for convenience at the dock and not sailing. He made up some monster davit/arch setup for the stern himself. Unreal. And then hung everything you can imagine off of it. RIB, outboard, TWO wind gens, solar panels and radar. Unreal. We sailed and the heeling moment of this boat was almost scary. I really felt that the owner had created a potentially dangerous situation for cruising. Sailing a sistership in Annap later that was set up for serious cruising...with sailing in mind...was a completely different experience. They could have been two different boats. It was a good lesson.

The same boat with a rib on nicer lighter davits (which are also lower to the water), ob hung on the transom, two newer (lighter higher capacity) solar panels fitted to the bimini, no wind gen and radar off the backstay sailed just great. In fact, at the risk of being prideful, I will say that SAILING this boat ...for me at least...is the thing that adds joy to cruising (that and my new sea kayak :O).

There is no perfect boat. There are plenty of choices, however. Each optimal for a different approach.

Great discussion.

My best to all

John
s/v Invictus
Hood 38
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