Hull Speed? - SailNet Community
Old 07-24-2007 Thread Starter
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Hull Speed?

Can someone explain hull speed to me? I thought I understood it but a thought occured to me as I was talking over a "Dark and Stormy" that caused me to question my understanding.

Does hull speed mean the maximum speed a boat (displacement hull) can travel while under power or the max speed under sail?

My 32' boat motors about 5.5 to 6 knots full power from it's 18 horse aux, but I've seen higher speeds (even touching 8 knots for a second)on the knot meter while sailing and the KM speed was consistent with my GPS.

I'm thinking when I hear the term "hull speed" it applies to the theoretical max speed while under power and not heeled over resulting in a longer water line allowing a higher speed.
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Old 07-24-2007
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Midliefesailor

Yes, its correct, you can get higher speeds than theoretical hull speed, (which is a calculation based on hull lenght at water line, based on bow wave height and separation between the bow and aft waves), if your hull starts planing, meaning it rode the wave and is now "surfing" on it, so the wave is no longer an obstacle, or if as you well said, when healing, the water line increases due to the overhangs, but so does drag and other limitations.

HULL SPEED

GZ

and this site. In this site if you place the cursor over the rectangles, it explains what is what.

SAILCALCULATOR

Hope it helps

Last edited by Giulietta; 07-24-2007 at 09:52 PM.
Giulietta is offline
Old 07-24-2007
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I was going to say that Alex or Jeff would be along shortly, but Alex beat me to it.

Alex, I get error messages on all the sites. Is it me?

I was looking this up the other day. I know that the theoretical hull speed on my C34 is in the mid to high 7's. I also know that I have surfed it at much higher speeds. I need to do a little more looking and I know that your references will probably give me some answers.
tommyt is offline
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A displacement hull does not plane... that is a sailboat, It can slide down a wave or surf at more than hull speed.

The notion is that the displacement hull creates a bow wave as it pushes the water aside. The wave gets steeper and longer as it moves faster. At some point the vessel is in a trough and it would be trying to go uphill. I don't think a powered sailboat will create a longer and longer wave... steeper and steeper as more power is applied to drive it up the back of the wave.

I think the hull speed is 1.34 x square root of the LWL.. which does change a bit depending on the hull shape. So a 36' LWL would have a hull speed of 8 knots... 25' would be 6.7.

jef
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SanderO is offline
Old 07-24-2007
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Any formula you use will give you a "theoretical" hull speed. As some boat designer named Bob Perry told me once, the 1.34 x the sq. root etc. will get you in the ball park for most cruising boats.

SailorMitch
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Note also that very narrow hulls can exceed the hull speed defined by the formula 1.34 X sq. root of LWL. High performance multihulls are a good example of this.

Destroyers are another example. The WW II HMCS Haida had a maximum speed of 36.5 knots - LOA is 377 feet (estimate LWL as say 20 ft. less) and you get a ratio of 1.93.

http://hmcshaida.ca/tourintr.html
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Performance multihulls are not displacement hulls.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SanderO View Post
Performance multihulls are not displacement hulls.
Are you sure about that?
USCGRET1990 is offline
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I think the reason we can sail or motor faster than hull speed can be accounted for largely by considering the speed at which the current is moving us at.

I don't know if the asymmetrical shape of a heeled boat affects the formula or if it is only the waterline length, but I think its the latter only.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnrb View Post
Note also that very narrow hulls can exceed the hull speed defined by the formula 1.34 X sq. root of LWL. High performance multihulls are a good example of this.

Destroyers are another example. The WW II HMCS Haida had a maximum speed of 36.5 knots - LOA is 377 feet (estimate LWL as say 20 ft. less) and you get a ratio of 1.93.

http://hmcshaida.ca/tourintr.html
With two steam turbines generating 44,000 hp I certainly hope the Haida can exceed the 1.34 multiplier. I don't think that is not the kind of boat this discussion is about.

As for high performance multi-hulls, they most certainly do plane.

SailorMitch
Sailing winged keels since 1989.
1.20.09 Bush's last day the end of an error !! Hopefully we still have a constitution and economy left by then.

"Compassion and tolerance are not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength." The Dalai Lama

good planets are hard to find-- a song by steve forbert

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know no way of judging the future but by the past.-- Patrick Henry.
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