Beating upwind by keel type - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 14 Old 02-01-2010 Thread Starter
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Beating upwind by keel type

I sail typically anything I can rent in the summer-time cheaply. This is mostly for a day or two and the occasional full week. I have a lot of sailing on little guys from 12'-22'. Needless to say these all are drop down keels, daggerboards and the the occasional fixed keel.

My dream boat, I would have to say, is the Island Packet Estero which recently was introduced. I would like to sail the coast, gulf, Keys, and Bahamas. It seems like the right size for my wife and I , easily handled, good quality, and comfortable.

I was curious though about the full keeled design. I understand the drag aspect and that it is slower to tack. It points a little less into the wind. I guess I wanted to know specifically how much performance is lost. If I am beating upwind, how many degrees am I losing to a winged keel, or a fin keel? How much leeward action am I giving up? HOW MUCH LONGER WILL IT TAKE ME TO GET THERE?

Anyone out there get delivery of their Estero and want to tell us?
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post #2 of 14 Old 02-01-2010
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I sail a full keel Bristol 24 in PHRF races against similar sized and larger boats with mostly fixed spade keels and rudders. Some of the better set-up boats point higher than my Bristol. The difference is not that much on cruising style boats. On a 12 mile windward-leeward course, I might be 5 minutes slower for a 2 1/2 hour race. (against a boat with similar hull speed) The key to good windward performance in a full keel, is to keep the sails well powered and avoid pinching. Actually, when the conditions get rough, my heavier full keel seems to punch into the waves better than the lighter spade keel boats.



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post #3 of 14 Old 02-01-2010
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Threre are two aspects to your question: leeway and pointing ability.

Close hauled full keel boats will make about 2 to 4 degrees more leeway that fin keel boats.

The pointing ability of fin keel boats varies depending on the depth of the keel plus some other factors. Some deep fin keels can get to 30 degrees off the wind. Most are about 45 degrees. I have sailed full keel boats that cannot get closer than 60 degrees.

But remember "Gentlemen never sail to weather."

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post #4 of 14 Old 02-01-2010
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In are area the TYPE of racing clearly shows the difference on a short W/L leg race race type boats will finish 20 minutes ahead in 4 miles

IF on the other hand we go out on a race with long reaching legs pretty much anything will move at its hull speed given a decent breeze

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post #5 of 14 Old 02-01-2010
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I'm a big fan of Bob Johnson and IPs. I do tend to like the older two-digit boats more than the newer three-digit boats. I think Bob has done a masterful job in addressing the desires of his market with the Foil-Keel on his newer boats. I have not sailed an Estero. I did come very close to buying an IP 370 before purchasing Auspicious and presume that the performance is similar. Sailing upwind I found that the IP didn't point particularly well and had a significant amount of leeway. On the other hand the outfit (most of which is done at the dealers, not the factory, so check on your dealer as carefully as the factory) and arrangement are wonderful. IPs are wonderful boats in anchorages, and in fact (IMHO) can save you a lot of money by being sufficiently comfortable that you anchor out instead of getting a slip in a marina. I don't regret my boat choice at all, but suspect I would have been pretty happy with an IP as well.

Have you been to the IP factory in Tampa? It's a great visit, and flights from most places are not too expensive. I recommend it.

If you decide to buy an IP, consider factory delivery (which means factory outfit) and sailing her home. I do still have a soft spot in my heart for those boats, so PM me if you plan to do that and I might be able to come along. I took factory delivery on my HR and sailed home from Sweden to Annapolis, so may have something to contribute. *grin*

Check out ipphotos.com and the associated websites. There is a huge and very loyal owners group.

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post #6 of 14 Old 02-01-2010
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From watching Island Packets underway, they give away a lot to windward as compared to more moderate cruising designs such as a Valiant or Pacific Seacraft (With leeway they appear to be making probably 10 degrees less COG) plus they give away huge amounts of speed to the more moderate cruising designs. They appear to be at their worst at either end of the spectrum, not being able to point in worth a darn in wind much below 8- 10 knots true, and making huge amounts of leeway and not being able to punch into a chop in winds much over 20 or so knots.

Of course compared to a similar length modern design, they roughly have half the VMG upwind. Where I really see this most clearly is in situations where you are beating in something like a river, and where each tack might be something like a half to a mile long. By actual observation on a number of occasions, even in moderate winds (around 12 knots true) an Island Packet will make roughly twice the number of tacks and move at roughly 2/3 the speed through water as compared to a more modern design.

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post #7 of 14 Old 02-01-2010 Thread Starter
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What would be a comparable boat ( 35'-38') to the Estero with better performance?

I don't want to lose too much of the single-handed ease and quality of construction.

Also, for all the cruisers out there... If you are out in a leisure cruise, how much upwind sailing are actually doing? I assume it is inevitable that we all will have to get to a point where the wind is blowing from but do you avoid tacking at all costs or do you relish the challenge of making efficient headway?

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post #8 of 14 Old 02-01-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnavitdani View Post
What would be a comparable boat ( 35'-38') to the Estero with better performance?

I don't want to lose too much of the single-handed ease and quality of construction.

Also, for all the cruisers out there... If you are out in a leisure cruise, how much upwind sailing are actually doing? I assume it is inevitable that we all will have to get to a point where the wind is blowing from but do you avoid tacking at all costs or do you relish the challenge of making efficient headway?
In my experience, the destination more often than not is upwind. Especially if you are a coastal sailor on a schedule, you should expect a fair bit of windward work as a matter of course.

Keep in mind that almost any boat will sail reasonably well off the wind. And when heading for a downwind destination, for the most part the only variable is speed, whereas the difficulty of reaching a destination to windward is compounded by pointing ability. In evaluating a design, I would place a fairly high priority on windward ability.

Man, there are gobs of 35-38 footers out there. Are you only interested in new boats? What is your price range?

That Estero is an interesting design. Seems like they are taking the trend toward simplified daysailers and applying it to their cruising boat formula. Also, it's the first time in a while they've introduced a smaller model (rather than the upward progression we've seen in the past). It might be ideal for your intended purposes especially if you're more likely to motorsail to a windward destination or use light air as an excuse to charge the batteries. What does IP want for an Estero?


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Estero is approx. $300,000, tis a little steep especially after I found out that a new tartan 37 is only $190,000.

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post #10 of 14 Old 02-02-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnavitdani View Post
Estero is approx. $300,000, tis a little steep especially after I found out that a new tartan 37 is only $190,000.
...and what I would imagine to be a much better performing boat on all points of sail. Yes, the IP's are nicely finished,etc...
But honestly, there are just a tremendous number of great used boats on the market that could be bought, professionally upgraded, etc for well below the cost of anything new, and be preferable to the IP in terms of performance on any point of sail.

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