Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: MS Gulf Coast
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I wish I could talk with Ted Hood, but unless I just happen to run into him, I doubt it. All-in-all, pretty much what I was thinking, especially about catching a bit more air up top. Not sure why they shortened things, but it took 10 years into the production run to do it. It also appears the boats lost a few hundred pounds (close to 1,000lbs) in displacement at the same time. The boom was also shortened minimally, maybe a foot.
On heeling, as I understand it, the 32's heel readily until around 20-25 degrees anyway, then hunker down, so that's gonna be there no matter what, but a bit more weight stuck out there with a longer mast, so a bit slower righting.
Now the curveball. Since these boats can have some stout weather helm, especially with big headsails (though my recent experiences on a Cat 310 tell me this isn't just a CCA boat issue) could a taller mast and sail setup compensate for a shorter-footed main, say down from 13.5ft to around 10ft? Thus, reducing weather helm by moving the CE forward some, but maintaining sail area with more height. Yes, I know there's the Lee Helm issue, but that not-withstanding at the moment.....
With the headsail providing so much of the thrust, is a shorter-footed main that big a deal? In light air it's gonna poke anyway, and once it picks up a breeze, I'll have to reef fairly soon, but maybe not quite as soon with a shorter-footed main. So, when the breeze is strong enough to matter, would I really miss the larger, low-aspect main that would already be reefed as opposed to a shorter-footed main that could stay up til a few knots more breeze kicked in?
I asked Deiter Empacher, who was involved in the design of the '32, and he referred me to the Bristol owner's homepage. Yawn. That's the first page I found last January. Ted's a recluse from what I've gathered. I guess they're tired of talking about the old days.
I posed the question to Ted Brewer and he just said he couldn't answer about my boat. I asked what he'd do to the Douglas 32 (very, very close in basic specs, rigging included--I mean like Discovery Channel US/Russia cold war espionage close) with newer rigs in mind and he made no comment. All he would commit to was if the sails were matched to the boat, weather helm shouldn't be a problem. Well, yeah, that much I figured.
I don't want to make any crazy mods. Just posing questions and pondering alternatives before making the cut. I have a replacement mast that is 44'5". It had an above-deck height of, woohoo!, 38.5ft. on the C&C 29 it came from. Ultimately, I'll probably take the easy way and cut for 38.5ft. That'll put the boom at the proper height without relocation, etc., then deal with weather helm by bending the mast, flattening the main, etc. I know all this is kinda out there without hands-on. I'm not a purist. New stuff that makes the experience better is a plus to me, just as mods to the rig are. Comments?