Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Swarthmore, PA
Thanked 88 Times in 78 Posts
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I have a buddy who really thinks he know how to sail. He rents a daysailer once every year or so when vacationing at Martha's Vineyard. He mostly singlehands because his wife refuses to get on a boat with him.
First time we invited them on our boat, I learned why she refuses to sail with him. (She agreed to come this time because he wasn't the skipper.) He first complained that the we were wimps for reefing, so we shook it out to accommodate him. Later, every time I looked away, he was pulling on the mainsheet to trim the main as tight as he could get it, even though we were on a reach. He got the boat up to about 40 degrees heel (and much less than hull speed) before I ordered him to keep hands off the sheets and let my wife do it.
A year later we went out together because my wife was out of town and I needed crew. He did the same thing again, and didn't want to reef for the conditions, arguing that "we would lose power." I told him that once we hit hull speed, any extra power was wasted on turbulence and dragging the hull form down in the water. I also told him my hull design is made to sail optimally at 15 degrees, and heeling beyond that pushes the belly of the beam down into the water (more drag), as well as having to constantly fight the rudder to prevent rounding up (more drag again). I reefed, loosened the sail trim, got the boat back to 15 degrees, and increased our speed by 1/2 knot with a much more comfortable ride and no weather helm.
In retrospect, it seems this guy is used to sailing planing boats, and knows nothing about the limitations of displacement boats.
I don't know how much the OP knows about his own boat, but it sounds like he might be overpowering his boat, which generates an uncomfortable ride, disgruntled crew, potentially dangerous conditions, and will still not succeed at exceeding hull speed.
A bigger boat is harder to overpower, but it's an expensive way to solve a problem that might be more easily solved through refining your sailing skills.
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1998 Catalina 250WK Take Five (at Anchorage Marina, Essington, on the Delaware River)
1994 Mason 44 Firefly on loan from my BFF (West River, Galesville, MD)
1991 15' Trophy (Lake Wallenpaupack)
1985 14' Phantom (Lake Wallenpaupack)
Last edited by TakeFive; 10-26-2011 at 04:01 PM.