Why are some boats slow? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 17 Old 08-30-2008 Thread Starter
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Why are some boats slow?

Today I solo'ed about 25 miles in 5-10 steady wind, on a lake with considerable powerboat chop. I sail a 5800# Bristol 24, full keel, inboard with 2 blade fixed prop. The PHRF is about 282. the thing that was so unusual today, was that I passed just about every boat I came up to. There were at least 100 sailboats out on the lake that is about 8 miles by 2 miles. I passed, on a close reach, a 30 + foot Benetau with full main and roller furling genoa. The guys onboard were obviously trying to tweek their boat to keep me from passing, and kept trying to catch up for some time. Later, I caught and passed a Catalina 30, on a broad reach, that was flying a full main and Gennaker. I was flying a full main and hank-on genoa. I was doing 4-5 kts as I caught and passed them. They also made an effort to keep up. Their sail trim looked ok to me. I passed other 24', and 26' macgregors and Hunters with ease.

There's no way my Bristol is as fast as these boats! So, what causes boats that have a much faster rating than mine, to be slower? Could the weight of 2 or 3 more people make the difference?
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post #2 of 17 Old 08-30-2008
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They wernt running there motors like you were.....


Just kidding....
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post #3 of 17 Old 08-30-2008
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Turn off your engine
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post #4 of 17 Old 08-30-2008
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It could have been that the wind was light enough that it enabled your smaller boat to still be carried at 5 knts or so even though it is a heavier full keel...where as the larger boats need more wind to get moving. I know I had a 25' sloop last year and in 5-10mph of breeze I would always out run and pass larger boats. Now I have a much heavier 32' and I need at least 10-15 to get the thing moving 5 knts.

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post #5 of 17 Old 08-30-2008 Thread Starter
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Don't think I haven't thought about doing that But these guys were so close they would hear it. LOL

Not bragging, The guys in my sailing club usually beat me, even with my high PHRF. but 30 footers that can't keep up with an old, slow 24 footer?
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post #6 of 17 Old 08-30-2008 Thread Starter
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What about SA/D?

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It could have been that the wind was light enough that it enabled your smaller boat to still be carried at 5 knts or so even though it is a heavier full keel...where as the larger boats need more wind to get moving. I know I had a 25' sloop last year and in 5-10mph of breeze I would always out run and pass larger boats. Now I have a much heavier 32' and I need at least 10-15 to get the thing moving 5 knts.

Isn't the sail area to displacement what counts? It seems most bigger boats have a better SA/D than similar shorter boats. Also, aren't longer hulls faster?
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post #7 of 17 Old 08-30-2008
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Some boats are slower then others. But a PHRF rating of 282 is pretty darn high if that is at all accurate. I have a Tartan 27' from 1967. It has a partial full keel and is probably similar shaped down below to your Bristol 24'. Our base PHRF rating is 240 which is about the same as an Ensign as well as a Ranger 23' that we sometimes race against (yes, I do race this boat on Weds. night meets).
There are many factors that could explain your good results from your solo sail today. You stated that you were on a reach (broad reach is what you typed) and it may be that your boat had it's sails perfectly balanced for pulling you ahead with minimal need to use the rudder (the rudder is also a brake if overused). If you have jib sheet fair leads then they were set perfectly also. Your boats bottom could be cleaner then the other boats (do you trailer sail or keep her in the water?).
If none of that makes any sense then the Lady of the Lake (el Donna del Lago) was smiling up at you and Aeolus gave you just the perfect wind for your boat.
Sounds like fun and it is possible and happens to us too if rarely.

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post #8 of 17 Old 08-30-2008
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It's a phisics thing....which can you blow across the surface of a kiddy pool first a plain old wine bottel cork or an Ice cube with a tooth pick sized sail?.
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post #9 of 17 Old 08-31-2008 Thread Starter
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PHRF ratings

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Some boats are slower then others. But a PHRF rating of 282 is pretty darn high if that is at all accurate. I have a Tartan 27' from 1967. It has a partial full keel and is probably similar shaped down below to your Bristol 24'. Our base PHRF rating is 240 which is about the same as an Ensign as well as a Ranger 23' that we sometimes race against (yes, I do race this boat on Weds. night meets).
There are many factors that could explain your good results from your solo sail today. You stated that you were on a reach (broad reach is what you typed) and it may be that your boat had it's sails perfectly balanced for pulling you ahead with minimal need to use the rudder (the rudder is also a brake if overused). If you have jib sheet fair leads then they were set perfectly also. Your boats bottom could be cleaner then the other boats (do you trailer sail or keep her in the water?).
If none of that makes any sense then the Lady of the Lake (el Donna del Lago) was smiling up at you and Aeolus gave you just the perfect wind for your boat.
Sounds like fun and it is possible and happens to us too if rarely.
I looked up the ratings for a Catalina 30, and it is 180. The base rating for the Bristol 24 is 276. (282 with the fixed prop.) Using the base rating; the Catalina should be 96 seconds per mile faster. In about 4 miles, I went from 1/4 mile behind, to 1/4 mile ahead. It seems unlikely that a clean bottom, ( I do dry sail my Bristol) or even minor differences in sail trim could make that much difference. The cat had what looked to be a proper size Gennaker set and drawing well.

I also think the Laborday weekend brought out sailors that maybe don't get out that much. It's kinda nice for once to see the other guy getting frustrated because he getting passed so easily. It's usually me who says, "how can they be moving so good, when we're just sitting here?"
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post #10 of 17 Old 08-31-2008
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When I read the title to this thread I knew Catalina's would be involved.

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