Join Date: Oct 2004
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How Heavy Is Too Heavy
I have noticed some other stuff as well, which, not being a naval architect, I have experienced but cannot adequately explain.
One of my previous boats, a 1956 Winthrop Warner Cambridge Cadet, was 28 or 29 feet on deck with a 5 foot draft and 9 feet of beam. She was so alarmingly tender when you first set sails that I always thought she was going down, but when she just got her scuppers gurling, that was it. I one time had so much weather helm that I had my feet on the opposite seat and held the tiller with both hands. At this time she was what I called ''on her shoulder'' and bashed through waves with impunity, the wind in her sails seeming to lend a great deal of ''weight'' to the boat. At any rate, she was a different animal under sail than sitting still. By the way, yes, I learned to reef and ease weather helm.
Another thing I have noticed after going to a schooner, is that a short rig does little to help dampen fore and aft lunging under power. It acts almost like a powerboat and can''t get any stabilizing help from the rig. Not so when under sail, but under bare poles, when 22,000 pounds says ''fly forward'' , those little sticks do.
A lighter boat with a big stick and a long waterline can actually have a better ''crossing the bay'' temperment.