Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Thanked 235 Times in 186 Posts
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Sailing ability is very different than speed. My comments were far less concerned with speed of these boats than with how poorly they sail at either end of the wind range. (I had hoped my parenthetical had distinguished between sailing ability and speed). My problems with their sailing ability was that I found them to be brutal to sail in higher winds, to tack unreliably in a short sea, and generally poorly set up to deal with changeable conditions.
I also found them to have a miserable motion in terms of rolling and pitching through huge angles. As has been discussed before on this website, there are two characteristics that define motion comfort in any direction of movement on a vessel; the acceleration of the motion and the amount of the motion.
While the sheer weight of these boats means a slower motion, their comparatively high centers of gravity (especially in the wooden spar versions), poor dampening characteristics, and their large mass results in huge ranges of motion (both roll and pitch), which I personally find exhausting, dangerous, and uncomfortable.
For some people, these large ranges of motion are acceptable, but in my experience, compared to more moderate designs where both the range of motion and speed of motion are better controlled, these would not be very good offshore boats. I also consider it to be a dangerous anachronism to go offshore in a boat which counts on a bowsprit for primary mast staying and on which the primary jib has its tack.