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MC1 01-09-2010 09:09 AM

How did your Pacific Seacraft do when the going got rough?
Bjung’s tale of how the PSC 31 Asylum held up under some pretty rough conditions (see the “Sealing Cockpit Lockers on 31” thread) got me interested in hearing how other PSCs have done under adverse conditions.

Any other PSC owners care to share your stories? If so, please let us know which model PSC you have, what happened, what the boat handled well and what it didn’t handle so well. Any lessons learned? Any product improvement suggestions for the manufacturer based on your experience?

s.runals 03-18-2010 02:39 PM

Spent 22 hrs hove-too on the way to Bermuda several years ago in my PC 34. Winds were 45+ with seas 12-15. Double reefed main, staysail and tiller tied off. Boat handled very well. We watched tow DVD's (not perfect storm), contacted Bermuda radio by SSB every 6 hrs for a wx update and to report conditions. Sailed into Bermuda several days later with no problems.

MC1 03-18-2010 06:20 PM

Thanks for that report - I was beginning to wonder if any other PSC owners (beside BJung) actually ever used their boats in challenging conditions :). As I have a 34' myself, I'm glad to hear she took care of you in that situation.

In another thread, there was some discussion about the best way to heave-to in a 34. Good to hear the standard approach works well, as I haven't tried it myself yet. Another 34 owner indicates there's enough windage up front that it can also be done without the staysail, which was the first time I'd heard of that approach. (See )

delivered 07-28-2010 06:53 PM

Have a 37. Hove too in Bay of Biscay with 40+knt winds boat comfortable and stable despite steep breaking seas, triple reefed main and about 3ft of staysail.
Ran under bare poles in 45 knts wind between Azores and Canaries windpilot pacific windvane handled steering without problems. Suprisingly few seas broke over the stern. The wake seems to interfere with the formation of a breaker.
The boat handles so well downwind that it is now my standard practice to turn downwind if caught out by a squall or williwa. This reduces wind over the deck and blankets the foresails behind the main allowing me to furl them without drama.

MC1 07-28-2010 08:44 PM

Thanks for that report Delivered. It's always good to hear about PSCs "out there" and managing well under adverse conditions. I've wondered whether rolling would be a problem down wind under challenging conditions, but it sounds like you've managed quite well.

delivered 07-29-2010 08:21 AM

Like all boats she will roll going downwind, however unlike a lot of boats that I have sailed this has little effect on her ability to track in a straight line. The roll is more of a crew comfort/safety issue:puke This is partially dealt with by the sensible layout both above and below decks, and partially by this boats stability combined with a good wind vane reducing crew fatigue because you dont need someone on the helm all the time.

The motion has never seemed extreme and the boat just feels solid and stable. Difficult to describe exactly why but it does inspire confidence.

The worst part of the winter storm south of the Azores turned out to be the anticipation between the forecast and the winds building. I got the main off early and ran under the yankee for probably too long. Despite being overdriven at times the boat handled very well and gave the impression that she would continue to do so until the mast came down. Under bare poles she was still making about 6 knots, more surfing down the waves. As the wind dropped she slowed down, started to get a little less stable and we got clobbered by a couple of breakers from behind. Putting sail back on solved the problem.

I learned that downwind as the wind drops with big seas still running it is best to increase sail and drive these boats hard. Speed gives good control, lowered relative speed of the waves and a turbulent wake to disrupt breakers.

MC1 07-29-2010 09:57 PM

Thanks for relaying your experiences once again Delivered. I'm curious about another thing . . . there's been some discussion on the forum concerning hobby-horsing to weather of relatively short water-lined boats with long overhangs (in general, not necessarily PSC's specifically). What has been your experience in this regard Delivered? I've found that in moderate conditions, I've not had much of a problem with this on my PSC 34 (falling off just a little has stopped it the couple times it's begun, the boat cuts nicely through the short chop we sometimes have here on Lake Ontario) but my experience with this boat in really challenging conditions is nil.

teejayevans 07-30-2010 06:06 PM

re: hobby-horsing
Cutter rigs are much better than sloops because a staysail forces are
centered and lower then a reefed genoa.

Jeff_H 07-30-2010 06:27 PM


While it is a broad generality, and while there are longitudinal dynamic balance advantages to a cutter rig, cutters do not offer any advantage in terms of hobby-horsing since they generally have more weight near the ends of the boat (extra forestay and often a bowsprit as well) resulting in a greater pitch moment of inertia and therefore a greater pitching angle of rotation.


delivered 08-02-2010 04:56 PM

A lot of good technical discussion about hobby horsing here. I can make Deliverance hobby horse. If she is hitting waves at her resonant pitch frequency it will happen. This frequency depends on how much weight I have hanging of the ends. It can be avoided by bearing away a little or tightening up so we no longer hit the waves in synch with the pitch.

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