Help explain why our charter boat would not point - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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Old 07-21-2003
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Help explain why our charter boat would not point

As described in our trip report (posted today under Chartering), our boat would not point worth a darn. We could not tack through less than 110 degrees. Actually, that was when conditions allowed for full sail (rare during this trip).

When we had the headsail partially furled, the shape was so horrible that I could barely tack through 125 degrees Ė thatís pathetic. Add the leeway in there and you are making very little distance upwind.

My observations and tactics (in random order): The sails appeared to be baggier than I would expect, especially the (slab reefing with partial battens) main, despite using halyard and outhaul tension. The genoa tracks were located adjacent to the cabin trunk. I adjusted the fairleads so that all three telltales broke at the same time. I trimmed the headsail (135%) first for maximum pointing, then trimmed the main. I used the traveler in various positions to maximize pointing.

We were towing a dink with the engine down since it would not secure in the up position. The keel was a shoal draft version and the bottom was quite fouled with soft growth. In a beam reach with >20 kt winds, our max GPS speed (non-functioning knotmeter) was 6.5 kts.

The leeward shrouds got quite loose with the heavier winds while beating, depending upon how much reefing we did. Most of the time, we were sailing in about 15-30 kt winds. At 15 kts, we carried full sail. At about 20 kts, we had a full genoa and one reef in the main. Above 25 kts, we had the headsail furled to about 80% and a double reef in the main.

So, with all that info, can anyone explain to me if our poor upwind performance should be a surprise? Thanks in advance.

Duane
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Old 07-21-2003
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Help explain why our charter boat would not point

I should have noted that the boat was a Jeanneau 37, whose LWL was probably about 32''.
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Old 07-21-2003
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Help explain why our charter boat would not point

I would think that the fouled bottom, shoal keel, and towing a dinghy with the engine down could account for that poor performance all on its own.

Add to that the fact that charter boats rarely have good sails, and most have cabin top travelers making it difficult to properly blade out the main in winds approaching (or exceeding) 20 knots, and generally loose backstay tension which permits larger headstay sag than ideal, and being stuck with only a 130% genoa or a roller furled genoa, its is amazing that you did that well at all.

Jeff
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Old 07-21-2003
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Help explain why our charter boat would not point

Thanks, Jeff. I appreciate your opinion. I guess I got lucky with last year''s boat (a Jeanneau 45.1), since we could tack through less than 100 degrees with her.

Duane
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Old 07-21-2003
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Help explain why our charter boat would not point

Has anyone considered a bad helmsman? Maybe to many Mt Gays and coke?
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Old 07-21-2003
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Help explain why our charter boat would not point

Denr, me bucko, you did not disappoint! I had a bet with myself that you would chime in with your cutting wit - and you came through.

I think I only had two rum/cokes while underway on two occasions. The rest of my time at the helm I was as sober as could be - just high on sailing.

I''ll admit there were times my course wandered since my lovely wife was often sunning au naturel in the cockpit.

Duane
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Old 07-21-2003
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Help explain why our charter boat would not point

Ah yes, naked wommen in the cockpit while underway can be distracting, but isn''t that what autopilots are for......distractions?
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Old 07-21-2003
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Help explain why our charter boat would not point

What autopilot? This was a bare-bones boat - no pun intended (or maybe it was?).
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Old 07-21-2003
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Help explain why our charter boat would not point

Perhaps you didn''t pay enough!
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Old 07-22-2003
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Help explain why our charter boat would not point

Yes, PoCA, we went with the discount outfit. But what challenge is there sailing a perfectly functional boat? LOL

Duane
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