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post #1 of 8 Old 06-11-2010 Thread Starter
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Rail Meat

In general, when racing, where should the excess weight be?

I thought it was best to put the crew on the windward side to counteract some heel and straighten her out a bit. Then I read some heel is good becasue it lengthens the hull at the water line. Last night we were constantly on the leeward side while the rail was in the water.

So, where to be? I know there is an optimal heel angle for specific designs. (Tanzer22) Where should the weight be for maximum speed when you are tacking up, running down, and beam reaching???
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post #2 of 8 Old 06-11-2010
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In general, flat is fast. Wind speed and boat characteristics will be a big part of the decision making process on where to place the crew. Light boats may place everyone on the windward side while a heavier cruising boat may do the opposite in the same wind conditions. Once you get past 15-20 degrees of heel the boat will begin to lose both aerodynamic and hydrodynamic efficency.

So what does it all mean? With a Tanzer 22 I would think that you are going to have people on the rail most of the time keeping the boat flat and in light air you may put a body or two on the leward side to induce a some heel. If you have bodies on the leward side and the rail is burried, that's a problem and not fast.
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post #3 of 8 Old 06-11-2010
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Rail meat is among my duties on the boat I've been crewing on. In normal to heavy wind, crew is on the windward rail to help counter act the heeling motion and make it easier on the helmsman. If we're in a drifter, we will sit on the leeward rail to induce some heel, increase lwl and keep the boom from flopping and spilling whatever wind there is.

The point of diminishing returns seems to be around 20 degrees of heel on the mid sized keel boats I've sailed on. If you start heeling more than that, you'd probably be faster if you made whatever adjustment you need to reduce the heeling, even if it means reducing sail. Before reducing sail though you might try adding twist at the top of the main by easing the mainsheet and bringing the traveler above center.

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1991 Catalina 36
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post #4 of 8 Old 06-11-2010
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Originally Posted by trailblazer1229 View Post
In general, when racing, where should the excess weight be?
On shore

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I thought it was best to put the crew on the windward side to counteract some heel and straighten her out a bit.
"Stand her up" is a bit more accurate a description.

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Then I read some heel is good becasue it lengthens the hull at the water line.
Wellll... it depends. Yeah, for most, heeling will increase the wetted surface, but it also reduces sail and rudder efficiency. So... there really is no simple answer to this one.

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Last night we were constantly on the leeward side while the rail was in the water.
If your leeward rail was in the water, there's no question: The rail meat needed to be all on the windward side, preferably near or behind the keel, on the rail. (I'm not going to suggest "leaning out," because that's unsafe, but...)

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Where should the weight be for maximum speed when you are tacking up, running down, and beam reaching???
Depends on the boat and conditions. First of all you rarely want anybody forward of the keel (approximately), because you don't want to bury her nose. Secondly: You want to get rail meat on the high side anytime heeling angle starts getting into the "optimum" range for conditions and boat. (Generally somewhere in the vicinity of 20 to 25 degrees, but dependent on the conditions and the boat.) In very light air you may want to get crew on the leeward side to induce heel--not so much for the wetted surface, but to persuade the sails to fall to leeward so they're more likely to fill more quickly on errant puffs and more likely to stay filled. Likewise, sometimes on reaches you may wish to put crew forward of the mast for the same reason.

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post #5 of 8 Old 06-11-2010 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input, and as I am relatively new to the racing thing, I figured I would shut up and do as told. Wind blowing at 15-20knts... So, the rail was wet most of the time. I thought it made sense to "stand her up a bit."
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post #6 of 8 Old 06-11-2010
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Looks like everyone responded for uphill trim. Downwind you want everyone lieing down over the keel on the cabin sole, that's not going to happen, so the cabin top is a close second. This keeps the boat from hobby horsing. In light air go to leeward a bit. In heavy, move aft to encourage surfing and get the nose out of the water when going downwind.

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post #7 of 8 Old 06-11-2010
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running in lightweight boats without spinnakers, we frequently heel a little to windward, it keeps the center of effort directly above the center of lateral resistance, so you can use less rudder.

Upwind I always found 5-10 degrees of heel was faster than vertical.
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post #8 of 8 Old 06-14-2010
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Tanzer 22's want to heel upwind.. 10-15 degrees or so in light winds.. so you want the meat on the leeward side but don't overdo it.. we move people around a lot on ours

in higher winds, try to keep the heel below 20 if possible.. past 15 knots get everyone on the high side and just drive her where she wants to go.. those boats will bury their rail and half the cockpit in the water at 20 kts.
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