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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation > Why the Bristol 32 backs so poorly
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Thread: Why the Bristol 32 backs so poorly Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
01-22-2014 03:08 PM
L124C
Re: Why the Bristol 32 backs so poorly

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
In order to predict what the boat will do in reverse I have to think in terms of how the current and wind will move the bow much more than in a fin keel boat.
What do you think?
I think that's called boat handling (though it sometimes feels more like boat wrangling!). Before having newbies back out of the slip, I tell them: "This is how she will probably act given the conditions, so this is what we will ask her to do. If she doesn't cooperate, we'll work with what she is willing to do to get us moving in the direction we want to go".
I've been told later: "That didn't make sense to me when you said it, now I see what you mean!"

Sometimes I can't even get her turned bow forward without a fight, yet she will back down the fairway like she is on rails! It used to frustrate me. Now I just laugh, and see it as part of her character. The good news is...she sails like a dream, and I usually do that going forward.
Some boats back like Corvettes. Ours aren't two of them.
12-23-2013 11:46 AM
Delta-T
Re: Why the Bristol 32 backs so poorly

I'm sorry, I did not mean to imply that is a replacement rudder. That is OEM, I was just working on it. Just pointing out that the original design works well here in Lobster country where the Bristol's were built. I have seen more than one sailboat stopped in their tracks from being hung up.
12-23-2013 11:39 AM
mstern
Re: Why the Bristol 32 backs so poorly

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delta-T View Post
What I do love about my setup is I can walk all over lobster pot lines all day long without getting hung up. And that includes under power.
Delta: how did you accomplish your rudder replacement? Professionally designed? Cost (if I may be so bold as to inquire)?
12-23-2013 11:36 AM
seabreeze_97
Re: Why the Bristol 32 backs so poorly

Agreed, and that goes to what I was saying. There gonna be a trade-off. So where do you want the function to be best, a few minutes here, or the rest of the time out there? Don't get me wrong. I actually learned on a Catalina 310 (spade rudder). That thing would spin so easily you could almost just think it, and it'd do it (marina maneuvering under way was great, but even it suffered prop walk in certain situations), but out in some chop the rudder authority was not so great because it was constantly aerating. See how your rudder is deeper behind the prop? If the non-centerboarder had that extra depth in the same place, and for the full length of the rudder, I think it'd be the best compromise to achieve somewhat better backing control.
12-23-2013 11:28 AM
Group9
Re: Why the Bristol 32 backs so poorly

Why? Probably the same reason every inboard sailboat I've ever had backed poorly. Because they are designed to be going forward 99.99999 per cent of the time.
12-23-2013 10:12 AM
Delta-T
Re: Why the Bristol 32 backs so poorly

What I do love about my setup is I can walk all over lobster pot lines all day long without getting hung up. And that includes under power...
12-22-2013 10:40 PM
seabreeze_97
Re: Why the Bristol 32 backs so poorly

Found it. It is a 1963 Pearson Vanguard 33. Check out that rudder mod.
Pearson Vanguard 33 yacht for sale
12-22-2013 04:30 PM
seabreeze_97
Re: Why the Bristol 32 backs so poorly

I think it's just a bad place for a rudder when backing is the issue. I had seen a boat a couple years back that was, I think, an Alberg 30. It was a Texas boat and was for sale. On the hard, it was obvious it'd been modified. The keel was all there, but the rudder was decidedly out-of-place. The aft edge of the keel was clean, no rudder. It'd been faired out, looked good. The rudder was much further back. I wrote the guy and he explained that they'd done it for improved handling. While the original rudder was fine for cruising (in forward), they wanted more. He'd had a spade rudder installed. He said the difference was incredible, that it'd turn much faster, and controlled backing was actually possible, even enjoyable. He went on to say that they had to re-work the steering ratio because it was so much quicker responding to steering inputs. He did also relate the common malady of the spade being that in rough water it was in the air often, so it wasn't a sales pitch. I made it clear I was curious about the rudder and was not a buyer in my opening sentence. Had questions about the trailer as well. Anyway, I think that, as much as anything demonstrates the poor rudder authority of the Bristol 32, and similar designs when backing. It really seems to have been an afterthought at best, and not a big concern. "Where do you want best performance, a few minutes backing, or hours, even days going forward?" Maybe that's what they were thinking. Seems to me, a modest stern-hung blade would suffice for such maneuvering situations. Perhaps one that could be flipped up out of the water once clear to navigate. I've often wondered how much better it would perform if the Bristol 32 rudder extended even maybe another 6-8 inches back on the trailing edge. There's really not much there to begin with. The upper third of the blade is pretty useless since most of it is not there (prop aperture). It keeps with the overall lines visually, but that only matters when not in the water. It should be lengthened. Another, say, six inches would give more bite on the lower part, and actually restore function to the upper third of the blade. Maybe, one day, I will be able to test that theory, but I won't be upset if someone else does it first.
12-19-2013 06:01 AM
Delta-T
Re: Why the Bristol 32 backs so poorly

And all this time I thought it was just me, 38 years on this boat. I have also been in the same yard and in the last few years they have brought in a sailing teaching school and I see them practicing backing up long distances and am in awe. My dream is to retire on a 40+' with a bow thruster. That is my idea of heaven.
12-18-2013 06:34 PM
Tallswede
Re: Why the Bristol 32 backs so poorly

My Hunter 23.5 water ballasted trailer sailer can be a handful to back out of a slip when the wind is side on to the slip. The bow blows down so easily I have to really try to predict how I'm going to be blown when I clear the finger. I have backed all the way down the fairway before being able to turn. I have done this in larger boats too when propwalk was such an issue that I couldn't turn into the wind. It doesn't embarrass me anymore to back all the way down a fairway when I have to. I can't imagine not being able to predict which way your boat will propwalk or being able to control once having steering way.

Kevin
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