Port tack faster than starboard tack, same point of sail? - SailNet Community

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Old 08-28-2011
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Port tack faster than starboard tack, same point of sail?

On my boat I've noticed that sometimes when I'm close hauled, wind and waves from the same direction, that starboard tack is faster than port tack, sometimes by a whole knot. I can't figure out why.

My rig is balanced, straight mast, I've tuned the shrouds at very nearly the same tension. I do have a bit of a rake, about 2-3 inches. Rudder isn't bent, keel isn't either.

At dock there is a slight list to the port side as there's more weight there, but I can't imagine that's the reason. If anything, shouldn't that make me faster on a port tack?

Am I missing something?
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Old 08-28-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zAr View Post

At dock there is a slight list to the port side as there's more weight there, but I can't imagine that's the reason. If anything, shouldn't that make me faster on a port tack?
That is quite a good reason. The boat will sail flatter on a starboard tack than on a port tack.

Is this true in all winds? In very light air, it might be faster on a port tack. The slight amount of heel will keep the boom over on port. Many boats sail better with a some heel.
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Old 08-28-2011
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Jack has it right. May not seem a big deal at dock but that slight weight differential makes for a big deal when sailing.
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Old 08-28-2011
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And to add to my prior post I can only assume you have a smaller boat and/or light displacement. Again this only exacerbates things. My boat sits fuel and galley heavy to port and sure enough without full water tanks and rail-meat to starboard I sail a half knot better on a port tack.
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Old 08-28-2011
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Some fiberglass boats, and all boats I suppose, are not perfectly symmetric. Even a very small asymmetry in the hull, particularly with respect to the alignment of the keel and rudder, could cause a noticeable difference in performance on different tacks. Moore 24's were supposed to have this problem in some of the early boats. That, and/or the listing you've noticed could easily explain the performance difference you're seeing.
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Old 08-28-2011
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Well, I guess to "scientifically" confirm the diagnosis I'll have to remove the list completely, put more weight starboard.

What's confusing me is that if the list were to starboard that would be the equivalent, when sailing on a starboard tack, to having rail meat on the starboard side. But I guess, now that I think of it, putting meat on starboard causes the port side to dig in more....

JackDale: I haven't really sailed much in lighter winds lately, mostly 10+ knots. It's happening in 15-20 knots and 1-2 meter waves.
DrGamble: It's a CS30, so yep - light displacement boat.
SlowButSteady: I don't think my model of boat is known for it, but I guess it's possible. Love the sig, by the way!
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Old 08-28-2011
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zAR,

You said it's noticeable when you're close-hauled.

Are the sails absolutely symmetrical? Like, does the jib have luff foam or luff rope on it? Could be disturbing wind at the leading edge.
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Old 08-28-2011
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SlowButSteady:... Love the sig, by the way!
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Old 08-28-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjablonowski View Post
zAR,

You said it's noticeable when you're close-hauled.

Are the sails absolutely symmetrical? Like, does the jib have luff foam or luff rope on it? Could be disturbing wind at the leading edge.
It could even be dissimilar shroud tensions; the are a myriad of possibilities. I will stick with my first guess based on your list to port.
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Old 08-28-2011
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Unless I'm confused the OP said he has a list to port (more weight on port side) and he consistently sails faster on a starboard tack. If weight distribution was the cause you would think that the boat would be faster on port tack because it would sail flatter (as the OP said). I would suspect rigging tension but there are a lot of unknowns to explore.
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