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Old 05-06-2002
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Light vs heavy boats

I have been considering buying a T10, Pearson flyer or an Olsen. I''m not really looking for something to race but I would like something a little faster and more fun to sail than my old Catalina. Some of the people I sail with are dead set against these "light" boats and say that they won''t go to weather if there are any waves or swells because there too light. Is there any truth to this "light boats don''t go to weather" or are they just worried that I might have a faster boat than them?
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Old 05-06-2002
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Light vs heavy boats

It is just plain horse-hockey that light boats won''t go to weather. While it is true that some light boats do lose a lot of their speed advantage upwind in heavy air (the Olsen being one of those), boats like T-10 and to a lesser extent the Pearson Flier have very good upwind performance in a breeze, especially when compared to heavier boats with less easily driven hulls and less efficient foils.

This myth that light boats don''t go upwind really derived from the early prototypes of light weight boats, the IOR type form. Their light weight was also accompanied by minimal ballast and a high center of gravity. As a result they did not go upwind very well. This image was further bolstered by the ULDB sleds which were optomized for downwind flying and so were not very good upwind in a blow.

But light weight boats can have very good upwind performance and reasonable comfort in a seaway if properly designed.

Jeff
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