LWL v. Wave Length - SailNet Community

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Old 10-08-2006
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kreton is on a distinguished road
LWL v. Wave Length

Hello Everyone,

I occasionally meet people in Bodrum, Turkey who insist that hulls shorter than 40 feet are at a disadvantage as the waves of Aegean Sea have an average wave length (I mean distance between two crests) close to 40 feet and that shorter boats repeatedly fall in between two wave crests and have a hard time pounding waves. When I tell them I sailed in the Atlantic aboard 28-38 feet boats they say Atlantic waves usually have longer wavelengths so you can not avoid pounding there even if you have a much larger boat.

I do local sailing aboard my Beneteau 473 which is a very comfortable but not solid boat and given the million dollar prices of larger seaworthy boats I am considering to go for a 38-40 feet solid cruiser that will enable longer distance sailings.

What do you think about this wave length, hull length stuff, especially have you experienced such discomfort/comfort ?

Many Thanks !
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Old 10-08-2006
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yotphix is on a distinguished road
Hmmm...
What a very odd thing to say! What I can tell you from personal experience is this. I have sailed extensively on the great lakes on a vessel with a 45' waterline and the short period (though heights can reach 8 feet in a decent blow, even low twenties on superior) waves caused it to pound where my current 25 footer in 6-8 feet with 25 or so foot periods is much more comfortable(though one does feel very small!)

I have sailed a 28' waterline vessel in the pacific with very long period waves and again been much more comfortable.

I work on a 110' power boat, much longer than any wave length we have encountered and it gets beat to snot heading into waves on the atlantic, in the carribean the med and the pacific to long waterline doesn't seem to smooth things out so much.

I think that all boats, based on lwl fineness (if that is a word) of bow, deadrise or flatness of bottom will have particlular conditions that are good or bad for them but the blanket statement your turkish friends are meaking seems...odd.
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