SailNet Community banner

1 - 20 of 242 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
At the end of the Summer my wife and I will be moving into the Pac NW (Puget Sound area) and we will begin actively looking for our retirement boat. Previously we've owned a Pearson 365 Ketch and an Omega 36 Sloop.

Question for the masses: Just how bad are full keel boats at making way under sail in light to moderate winds - say 7-15 knots?

We've never had a full keel before and would be interested in knowing how well they perform in the conditions we can expect in the PNW.

V/R

Dave
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
222 Posts
The keel is only one part of the boats performance. One full keel boat my be fine another may not move unless its blowing 20. How did you like the performance of your 365 compare that against the specs of the boats you are looking at. Giving the 365 the edge for not being a full keel. Also walk the docks and get a few rides to see what you think.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
We loved sailing on our first boat, an Omega 36 sloop. Kind of like a sports car - fun to 'run around' in but not sufficient for what we were looking for in a live-aboard cruiser. We sailed the Pearson across the Gulf of Alaska and absolutely loved the way she felt in a heavy sea. The deal breaker for her was the lack of a dedicated second berth. When we took our son and his family on a weekend cruise we found (to our chagrin) that you couldn't make out the settee into a double without completely blocking the path from the v-berth to the galley. We are looking at yachtworld by way of a preliminary search and have noted several interesting candidates, several of which are full keel boats. Great reputation for heavy weather cruisers but just how bad would they sail under 'normal' PNW weather?
 

·
grumpy old man
Joined
·
5,893 Posts
Dave:
I would warn you against lumping all full keel boats into the same performance basket.
And I will also warn you that in the PNW we don't consider 7 to 15 knots "light air". Here light air is 2 to 4 knots and we get a lot of it. Couple that with a 3 knots tide current and you can have a challenging few hours.

In light air wetted surface is your enemy and pretty much any full keel boat is going to have more wetted surface than a modern split appendage design. But the term "full keel" is used to describe a wide range of boats and there are full keels and all variations on that theme and some will have less wetted surface and more artfully shaped keel foils.

You should pay attention to the SA/D of the boats you consider. Horsepower is a huge help in light air as is overall height of the rig.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
222 Posts
The ones I come across out on the lake are pretty doggy. Island packet 465, CT 41 and the like. My old boat H37c was not light wind rocket but would easily out run the CT and others like it similarly sized. The 465 would walk away once wind speed hit 12-15 kts.
If you liked the 365 how about a 424? Might be a good compromise as all boats are in one way or the other.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
222 Posts
Bob types faster and better. And yes 12-15 true is a good breeze here also. My numbers are for apparent by 15 true my boat is/was powered up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
We'll probably take a look at the P424 - there are apparently a couple in Anacortes. Engine access would have to be better than on the P365 - I didn't mention that one. On the 365 you have to lay on the galley floor, reach thru a hole in the back of the locker under the sink and feel blindly for the engine dipstick. Not a good incentive for doing regular maintenance. Changing the impeller on the backwards facing engine requires getting into the lazarette along with some pretty athletic contortions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Bob types faster and better. And yes 12-15 true is a good breeze here also. My numbers are for apparent by 15 true my boat is/was powered up.
Thus far our only sailing experience has been in Resurection Bay, Aialik Bay, Day Harbor and across the Gulf. We hope to VASTLY expand the scope of our experience once I retire.
 

·
Senior Moment Member
Joined
·
13,282 Posts
Around here, they post "Strong Wind Warnings" at 20 knots and most people stay home. :D

Listen to the Maestro and get as much sail as you can handle - trust me.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Seaduction

·
grumpy old man
Joined
·
5,893 Posts
Thanks Jon. I'm not sure why the OP is limiting himself to full keel boats. Why not look at some fin keel, more modern designs? There is nothing going on here that makes a full keel more appealing. Just the opposite. When the wind pipes up and it's gusting to 6 knots a nice modern boat will still move you along.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks Jon. I'm not sure why the OP is limiting himself to full keel boats. Why not look at some fin keel, more modern designs? There is nothing going on here that makes a full keel more appealing. Just the opposite. When the wind pipes up and it's gusting to 6 knots a nice modern boat will still move you along.
Didn't mean to mislead. We are definitely NOT limiting our options to full keel boats. It's just that I have absolutely NO experience with that design and was hoping for comments/advice from fellow sailnetters. Our Omega was a FAST boat but, due probably as much to our inexperience as her design, was pretty spooky if the winds got above 15 knots and the seas built to anything over 3 foot. However, when the weather was more tame, she was REALLY fun to sail! The P365, on the other hand, handled two gales in our crossing without scaring us too badly but was at a disadvantage in any winds less than 8 knots.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Look for a boat that has the potential to put up clouds of efficient sail but can be reduced easily.
So you're recommendation would be a ketch or cutter rig?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
222 Posts
I loved my cutter, the new boat (gulfstar 50 ketch) gets trucked here in 5 more days. So not sure on the ketch rig.I like the idea of the rig, but I also like to use light air sails (drifters spinnakers) so looking forward to mizzen staysails. You can make slower boats perform it's just more work and the ultimate performance is lower.

Did you use any on your 365( mizzen staysails ect)?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Ours was a straight ketch (vice a cutter-ketch) - hence no staysail. We used the mizzen occationally but, frankly (and I'm ashamed to admit) I suspect we flew the mizzen more for how it LOOKED rather than trying to squeeze more speed or balance the rig.
 
  • Like
Reactions: davidpm

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,434 Posts
:mad: Okay, What gives here??? Did somebody paint a big bullseye on Island Packet sailboats or what?:confused: It seems like every post asking "What kind of boat should I buy?" has someone making very disparaging comments about IPs. Mine will sail at 3 knots in 5 knots of breeze! One can state their opinion about various makes and models if they so choose; but it would lend to ones credibility to note that it is strictly an opinion based on little else but hearsay. There are many sailboats that provide great sailing characteristics and some that are not rated for "Category A Offshore Use." Intended usage of the vessel should be the main factor in decision making.:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
222 Posts
Easy there sea, I stated a specific example. Ip's are fine boats, the op asked about full keel performance and I regularly sailed with a 45 IP.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,434 Posts
Easy there sea, I stated a specific example. Ip's are fine boats, the op asked about full keel performance and I regularly sailed with a 45 IP.
I didn't mention any names because there are other threads on here that contain worse comments that yours. When I read your comment, it happened to be the proverbial "straw" that did the camel's back in.
One of the nicest boats that I sailed on was a Swan 68 but it would be a piece of crap on the Chesapeake. (could have something to do with its 12 foot draft.) OK, we all know that a Frers or S&S design Swan is not a piece of crap, its design is perfect for its intended usage.:)
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
9,047 Posts
:mad: Okay, What gives here??? Did somebody paint a big bullseye on Island Packet sailboats or what?:confused: It seems like every post asking "What kind of boat should I buy?" has someone making very disparaging comments about IPs. Mine will sail at 3 knots in 5 knots of breeze! One can state their opinion about various makes and models if they so choose; but it would lend to ones credibility to note that it is strictly an opinion based on little else but hearsay. There are many sailboats that provide great sailing characteristics and some that are not rated for "Category A Offshore Use." Intended usage of the vessel should be the main factor in decision making.:)
"Did somebody paint a big bullseye on Island Packet sailboats or what?"

Yes, Island Packet did when they chose the design approach that they did. Its simply a physics thing; huge amounts of wetted surface, a poorly shaped underbody, and foils, a dearth of sail area and an excessively inefficient rig proportion.

That is not hearsay, its just plain basic physics. And it is easy to quantify the relative impact of that design approach. When you look at the PHRF rating in any Region with light to moderate prevailing winds, the Island Packets are typically 60 to 90 seconds a mile slower than boats of an equal length, and 2 to 3 minutes a mile slower than more normal designs of an equal displacement. Those kind of number are huge difference in speed, and in cruising modes, slower boats generally do worse than their ratings might suggest. PHRF normally spots cruising boats a little time in racing mode, and so while these numbers may do Island Packet a 9-12 second disservice in racing mode but they clearly show that Island Packets are a bit doggie.

And that matches what most of us have observed out there on the water. In reality, my observations sailing IP's and observing 100's of them under sail for decades is that they really do not perform at the low end of the wind range.

While you may be able to crowd a large enough genoa on a Island Packet to close-reach at "3 knots in 5 knots" of true wind, that would result in an apparent wind of somewhere around 7 knots. In the same conditions a decent light air boat, i.e. one that is not a little doggie, without an oversized genoa, would be generating closer to 8 or 9 knots apparent wind in those same conditions and would be moving closer to 5 knots through the water, in other words doing close to the true wind speeds. And that is the precisely the point being made when people say, Island Packets are a little doggie in light air. But not only are they slow in light air, but they also make gobs of leeway compared to boats with more efficient keels.

In the end, what counts is you are satisfied with the performance of your boat, and that is a good thing for you. As such it should not matter to you when other speak of the relative capabilities of the IP's.

But when someone asks for a relative description of the performance of these boats and thier suitability for use in a predominantly light air venue, the alleged offshore capabilities of an Island Packet (I say 'alleged' since the A Offshore rating really does not really define the suitability of a boat for offshore use, just its likelihood of surviving out there) may be relevant for some, offshore characteristics were not the question being asked. What is relevant, is the observable light air performance, and IP's poor light air performance is easily observable by anyone who has sailed one in light air or seen them try to sail in light air.

Jeff
 
  • Like
Reactions: JomsViking
1 - 20 of 242 Posts
Top