Good for heavy AND light winds? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 5 Old 09-29-2003 Thread Starter
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Good for heavy AND light winds?

Hey all,

More questions from the resident noob.

So, what makes a boat do well in both heavy weather and light air?

I know that being able to reduce sail area quickly (preferably without trips to the foredeck) is essencial, but what else?

Raw Displacement seems to be the rule for heavy weather boats, but that generaly kills you when the wind drops into the 5 knot and less range.



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post #2 of 5 Old 09-30-2003
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Good for heavy AND light winds?

Actually there is two ways to deal with heavy weather conditions. Traditionally heavy displacement was the preferred method. This was the build it so tough that nothing can do it any harm and then let it survive on its own abilities to avoid being bashed to a pulp. The second approach counts on an easily driven hull form and an easily manageable rig. While this approach existed in traditional forms (Tancock whalers for example) it is really been developed much more comprehensively in recent years.

The key elements of this approach is a light enough displacement that the boat has a low wetted surface, and a hull form inteded so that the boat rides over rather than colliding with waves, high ballast stability and a low VCG, moderate to low form satbility, efficient foils, sophisticated engineering so that the boat has the necessary strength to withstand an assault without damage but light enough to have a decent ballast to weight ratio and adequate carrying capoacity. A long waterline length helps with seakindliness because it can reduce pitching, allows a boat of equal displacement to be easily driven, and reduces the depth of the canoe body which helps with ballast stability and foil efficiency.

Interestingly enough, an easily driven hull form also results in better light air performance.

The worst case having poor performance at both extremes is the case of a heavy displacement cruiser where much of its weight is located in interior furnishings, heavy decks (either teak or solid cored), and heavy spars and rigging. This is especially bad when the company uses low density ballast and a long keel. You end up with a boat that in heavy going requires a lot of drive to keep it going but does not have the stability to stand up to its rig. Similarly the large drag associated with boats like these make them poor light air performers.

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post #3 of 5 Old 09-30-2003 Thread Starter
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Good for heavy AND light winds?

Suggestions of a few good boats/designs that do this? if someone wanted to round.. eg: The Horn, 2 people, small boat (30 feet or so, I know you think only in displacement first, and then to feet, but I still have a time rapping my head around that, and displacements dont jump readily to mind) also, what would you think of looking for a boat like this which could be brought into docks with oars instead of a motor?


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post #4 of 5 Old 09-30-2003 Thread Starter
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Good for heavy AND light winds?

Also, when a roller reefed headsail is reefed down to a napkin (storm jib) is it realy going to be flat enough to bleed wind and not get ripped/abused beyond what it can be expected to endure/what the boat needs to track?


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post #5 of 5 Old 09-30-2003
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Good for heavy AND light winds?

A roller furling jib should only be used partially furled if the sailmaker has strengthed the sail with cloth reinforcement at the furling point. Sailmakers will only reiinforce up to 30% of the sail size, as furling the sail more than that produces an aerodynamic mess. Should one attempt to use a roller-furled sail as a storm jib, the attempt would likely be brief as the forces would quickly shred the sail, small area or not. Storm jibs are made out of fabric up to twice the weight/strength of a normal sail, and more heavily reinforced.
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