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  #21  
Old 01-06-2013
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Re: Beating to windward

If you see only snatch blocks on the toerail for jib sheets, unless it's a very narrow boat your sheeting angles are going to be restrictive.. if on a similar boat you see deck or cabin-top tracks for jib cars, with easy to use adjustments then you're likely looking at a boat that will point better because it's able to create narrower sheeting angles for a finer luff entry angle, which will translate to higher pointing.

But, as mentioned, that's just part of the story.. sail condition, helmsmanship and the condition and shape/type of underbody is just as important.
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  #22  
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Re: Beating to windward

Would note until you can "throw up the hook" for good many of us cruise from and back to the same harbor as we are working stiffs. That usually means beating away from or back to a home port.You may go "down Maine" but sooner or later you have to beat it home. Even though I'm reaching a point in my life that will not be a concern windward ability was a major component in choosing my "last boat". Having a boat that doesn't pound and has a good VMG is important to my spouse. When she is happy life is good. Agree wth posters stating published polars can be quite misleading particularly in a seaway.
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  #23  
Old 01-06-2013
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Re: Beating to windward

Quote:
Originally Posted by outbound View Post
Would note until you can "throw up the hook" for good many of us cruise from and back to the same harbor as we are working stiffs. That usually means beating away from or back to a home port.You may go "down Maine" but sooner or later you have to beat it home. Even though I'm reaching a point in my life that will not be a concern windward ability was a major component in choosing my "last boat". Having a boat that doesn't pound and has a good VMG is important to my spouse. When she is happy life is good. Agree wth posters stating published polars can be quite misleading particularly in a seaway.
We lived and sailed for nearly 25 years at the end of a 25nm long coastal fiord. Daily inflow winds 20+ knots were 'normal' in summer, stronger outflow winds often occurred in winter. Either way you're beating coming or going.

We put a lot of stock in windward ability, and learned (and loved) to sail the weather. If you didn't you'd never have left home!
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  #24  
Old 01-06-2013
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Re: Beating to windward

Quote:
Originally Posted by outbound View Post
...Agree wth posters stating published polars can be quite misleading particularly in a seaway.
Outbound, those are not Polars made by the boat designer. Polars that boat manufacturers show are normally made by the designer when the boat is designed based in computerized previsions taking into account all data regarding the boat. They are normally close but as you say there can be some variation and they are interested in showing a somewhat flattery Polar.

The speeds and the certificates that I had linked are used for racing at the highest level (ORCI).

They take not only into account the boat characteristics but also the real RM and stability curve. They are not a completely computer generated based on boat data but have as base the real boat stability evaluated through an inclining experience. There are two levels of precision on the ratings, one for Club Racing (ORC) more simple (less accurate) and another one more complex and precise for international racing. The certificates I have utilized for the speeds are from the last class.

Here is quite the opposite, a boat owner would be interested in having the lower possible speeds on the certificate to be able to beat the handicap but those speeds are quite accurate anyway. That does not mean that a boat would not be better than other in some conditions, regarding the previewed speeds.

Have a look:

http://www.jahtklubi.ee/uploads/medi..._dobbs_orc.pdf

Regards

Paulo

Last edited by PCP; 01-06-2013 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 01-06-2013
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Re: Beating to windward

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Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
Delta,

It all depends on your objectives. I sailed on a boat that had a million dollars a year budget. The entire point for the owner was to win at any cost, so we did things on that boat that I would dream of on a cruising boat. I can't say the plan was wrong, it was just different.

For instance to jibe the spinnaker we disconnected the forestay then reattached it on the other side of the pole. It cost the boat a new mast every two years or so, but also allowed us to use a 65' spinnaker pole on a 70' boat. Average cost per year $100,000.

We tossed sails regularly as they 'wore out' (this meant more than 7 days sailing on them). Average cost per year $150,000.

We had three different keels that were swapped depending on the water depth the boat was sailing in. From the 17' deep off shore keel, to the 12' inshore keel. No idea what this cost.

All new lines at least once per year

New PBO rigging every year

Was this budget crazy? Maybe a little, but the owner had the money, and loved the game of it. So as long as we won, it didn't matter what we spent.
Stumble, what boat was that? Do you have any pics of the boat flying at 65ft spin pole? That seems a bit...odd!

Personally I think upwind ability will always be important to me, even if I am not racing. Sailing upwind is FAR more comfortable than motoring. In seas our sailplan is much more powerful than our engine, so chances are we will get there faster even if we have to throw in a few tacks to get there. Much of our sailing is done in confined areas where we might be sailing between the shore and a line of reefs, and being able to point high often allows us to do so with a minimal number of tacks.
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Old 01-07-2013
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Re: Beating to windward

If you're not close-hauled, it's boring ;-)
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Re: Beating to windward

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Originally Posted by nolatom View Post
If you're not close-hauled, it's boring ;-)
Or surfing with a chute. Either way you've got to pay constant attention.
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Old 01-07-2013
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Re: Beating to windward

Quote:
Originally Posted by rlltrash View Post
Thank you to all who have replied. I had no idea! I had thought that, among "normal" boats, pointing was more a matter of sailor skill than rig and design. Apparently, some boats do if fact point better than others.

If that is true, then what are some of the better pointing boats? The Star, Beneteau First, and Etchells were mentioned above. For boats < 30 ft. LOA, can you think of some other boats that are known for being fast to windward? I, too, enjoy beating to windward (and unless I use the motor, I have to in order to get out of my harbor.)

Thanks again, Richard
Careful -- 'fast to windward' is not always the same as 'pointing high'. The two are often mixed up, usually resulting in fruitless arguments. Toss in the issue of leeway, and things can get ugly.

Fast to windward usually means VMG: who gets from point A to point B first. The winner there may actually be an Open40 or multihull. Sure, they are tacking thru a miserable 110 degrees; but they are traveling 18kts, which makes up for lousy pointing angles. OTOH, your Soling can tack thru 70 degrees (sailing 35 degrees to the true wind). But it is only moving 5kts when pinched up like that. Quite a lot of effort is expended figuring out which is best: high and slow, or low and fast.

As some have noted here tho, great VMG numbers wont help you thread that reef entrance or weather that headland; you'll have to tack the Open40 or beach cat more times than the Soling; and footing off for more boat speed can lead to vicious pounding. Sometimes high and slow is a more comfortable ride in sloppy seas. That's where a boat that can point high is your friend.

Tradeoff: most boats that are witches to weather are dogs downwind. An Etchells might get to the windward mark ahead of a Farr 30. Wave and smile as they launch their big spi & head for the bottom mark, cuz that's the last time you'll be seeing them. Your displacement hull settles down to a rolly 5kt DDW leg, while the Farr surfs along in the 20s.

Finally, it's interesting to note the difference between course and heading. Your compass may tell you the boat is consistently tacking thru 90 degrees. When you get home, pull up your GPS track and see what your course-over-ground really was. Especially on choppy days, you might be surprised (shocked, appalled) at how wide your effective angles are. S'okay. It's just another thing to keep in mind when you are aiming to clip that rock point.

(BTW, maybe one of the all-time champs at both pointing angles and VMG has to be the Schock Wavelength 40.



Canting keel, narrow hull, and a second rudder foil at the bow that could be cranked to the proper attack angle. That sucker could actually climb above its layline -- make negative leeway -- due to lift generated by its foils. And it went really fast. Until the canting keel fell off, which tended to slow you down.)
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Re: Beating to windward

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobmcgov View Post
... Quite a lot of effort is expended figuring out which is best: high and slow, or low and fast.

... Sometimes high and slow is a more comfortable ride in sloppy seas. That's where a boat that can point high is your friend.

Tradeoff: most boats that are witches to weather are dogs downwind. ...)
Regarding to be more comfortable to ride sloppy seas at a smaller speed close to the wind....well, certainly with less speed your motion would be more comfortable.... without the trade off: You are getting the waves much more frontally and that can make for a very uncomfortable ride specially if you are sailing steep waves. Some times that can be more more uncomfortable than if you bear off 7 degrees and sail with more speed.

I guess that it will depend on the boat and sea conditions.

Regarding good boats upwind being dogs downwind, as you point out it is not always the case. Take for example a J70 or J 111.

The really disadvantage is that even some narrow boats can plane very fast downwind it is always a difficult affair that needs normally a crew. It is an act of delicate balance while on beamy boats, the type used on solo races, the upwind performance will be not as good but planning downwind fast will be safer, can be done solo and even on autopilot.

Not easy to design a fast boat, specially one that will not be sailed by a big crew. Lot's of trade offs.

Regards

Paulo

Last edited by PCP; 01-07-2013 at 02:22 PM.
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Re: Beating to windward

Bringing high performance mono and multihulls into the discussion is complicating the discussion because any boat that can break free of it's theoretical hull speed has to deal with significant swings in it's apparent wind angles when doing so. As the apparent portion of the total wind speed increases, the boat will be forced to bear off to maintain the minimum angle it can sail to. Have you ever noticed how high performance boats look like they are sailing close hauled even when they are actually sailing on a broad reach according to the true wind angle?

With regards to conventional displacement boats, there is a large element of helmsmanship involved in being able to point high. You have to understand your particular boat and how it's keel and sails work. For example, my old Hotfoot 20 had a deep draft, short cord keel. As a result of the short cord it stalled easily at slower speeds. If I tried to make the boat point before I got up to speed, well, it just wouldn't! When I learned to foot off and build up speed the boat suddenly was able to point. If I hit some waves I had to foot off to power through them, then go back to pointing. You have to be really active on the helm and trim in order to get the most point out of a boat.
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