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  #1  
Old 09-30-2013
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Running Speed vs Close-Hauled Speed

Yesterday winds were N-NW about 8-10 mph. A nice day, although cloudy. A boat followed us out of the creek- it could have been a Cape Dory. 3 round portlights on each side? I could vaguely read a C on the mainsail, and I think it was a 27. I let them get ahead about a third of a mile, and then thought maybe I could catch it. We were right between running and a broad reach, and the current was also helping us along. We got up to 5 knots with no heel. 100 Working jib and main both off to starboard. I had the main situated almost perpendicular to the boat. BUT I could not catch the other boat, even when I tried pinching closer to the wind. Our boats were going almost exactly the same speed. It was probably due to my consumate lack of skill, coupled with my old sails? The other boat looked a lot newer, and the sails looked really nice and crisp. Yeah, that's it. He beat me because of the newer sails and boat.
Anyway, on the way back in, we got a nice run for a while, and got another 5 knot reading. Is this just a characteristic, that we are getting similar speeds, despite going in opposite directions at the same wind speed? One would think that running with the wind and current would be faster? It also seems a lot more fun sailing close-hauled, no?
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Last edited by FirstCandC; 09-30-2013 at 01:54 PM.
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Re: Running Speed vs Close-Hauled Speed

Quote:
Originally Posted by FirstCandC View Post
...I could not catch the other boat, even when I tried pinching closer to the wind. Our boats were going almost exactly the same speed. It was probably due to my consumate lack of skill, coupled with my old sails? The other boat looked a lot newer, and the sails looked really nice and crisp. Yeah, that's it. He beat me because of the newer sails and boat.
He could have beaten you because he had a newer boat or newer sails, or more sail trimming or helmsmanship skills, or because your boat's bottom was dirty or rough, or for a gazillion other reasons. Your C&C is a good design, and, if it has decent sails and a smooth, clean bottom, it should be capable of competing with most conventional cruiser/racers.

Quote:
Anyway, on the way back in, we got a nice run for a while, and got another 5 knot reading. Is this just a characteristic, that we are getting similar speeds, despite going in opposite directions at the same wind speed? One would think that running with the wind and current would be faster?
My first question is whether you were measuring your speed with a knotmeter (which measures speed through the water), or with a gps (which measures speed over ground)?

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It also seems a lot more fun sailing close-hauled, no?
Fun is wherever you find it. I love to sail closehauled, and wing-and-wing, and on a reach, and in light air or in a blow. It all has it's challenges. Learning how to sail well in each of those conditions is a separate mystery, and it's always a joy whenever you can solve one of those mysteries.
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Re: Running Speed vs Close-Hauled Speed

I like sailing close-hauled the best
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Re: Running Speed vs Close-Hauled Speed

I've found broad reaches with just a main and jib to take a bit of playing around with the position of the main and jib. Having the main perpendicular to the boat will blanket the jib, which may provide the most power in this situation. In our boat, having the main hauled in a bit and the foresail out tends to provide the best power.
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Re: Running Speed vs Close-Hauled Speed

Was measuring speed with the GPS. On the way back, I tried to run down a San Juan 23. This boat had 4 people in it, all in the cockpit. It sure seemed to be riding low.
This time I was really closing in, and Sea Mist was in the groove! It felt great! And then, due to some inexplicable reason, the San Juan tacked hard right in front of my bow. I mean a HARD starboard tack. I wasn't really upset, but the channel wasn't very wide at that point, so I MADE A CIRCLE, which probably made me look like I was under the influence at the wheel. There was no way I could have cut to port to avoid him, but I guess I could have dumped some sail to drop off my speed until he passed. That ___ San Juan! I will see you this weekend San Juan. Oh yes, this weekend INDEED!
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Re: Running Speed vs Close-Hauled Speed

The first boat was a Com-pac 27. Gorgeous boat!!
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Re: Running Speed vs Close-Hauled Speed

Ha, ha, ha - time to buy a spinnaker!
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Re: Running Speed vs Close-Hauled Speed

Might want to look into downloading a sailing polar for your boat. It will give you a fairly good idea if you are sailing your boat up to it's potential. It is always better to compete with yourself than with others. That way as time goes on you always will do better. If polar is not available at least get the local PHRF number. That way you at least know what speed you should be doing on average. If that's not available at least calculate hull speed ( sq root of LWL x 1.32). In anything over ~10kts I strive to get to that number. Sometimes successfully ( grin).
Always compare SOG ( speed over ground-e.g.gps) to speed from log ( speed through the water). That tells you how much "set" you are getting from tide/current etc. Use log speed to compare with info from sailing polar.
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Last edited by outbound; 09-30-2013 at 04:46 PM.
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Re: Running Speed vs Close-Hauled Speed

Quote:
Originally Posted by FirstCandC View Post
The first boat was a Com-pac 27. Gorgeous boat!!
Your C&C 27 III's mean PHRF is between 177 to 183, depending on inboard or outboard.

US Sailing does not even have a rating for the Com pac - apparently it has not been raced. Locally, it appears to rate between 207 to 237, so in a race you give it a minimum of 24 seconds, maybe even 60 seconds a mile to catch up with you.

You got some 'splainen to do...

Seriously, in 8-10 knots, if you don't have a spinnaker, you should be carrying your largest genoa (not your working jib), probably poled out to leeward on a broad reach and wing and wing downwind. Your IOR-influenced sailboat has a large foretriangle for large headsails, and a relatively small mainsail. Your "J" measurement is 11.75' and your "E" measurement is 10' (roughly the same as a Pearson 28-1). There is your advantage for speed - big jibs and big spinnakers hanging from the very top of that tall masthead rig. You need more sail up front!

If you care about speed and passing other boats, you need at least an asymmetrical spinnaker and, one would hope, a symmetrical spinnaker.
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Last edited by jameswilson29; 09-30-2013 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 10-01-2013
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Re: Running Speed vs Close-Hauled Speed

Thanks. Hanging my head in shame over the Com-pac! I do have a 150 in good shape. I have been using the 100 exclusively since my June launch. Thought it might be a good idea to learn with the smaller sail.
Not into racing, but something about a Com-pac getting smaller and smaller off the bow just isn't right..
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