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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Why don't more manufacturers, or even more accurately, why doesn't the general public demand more information on boat performance?

Since my current boat is rather slow, I've been shopping for a much faster boat. However determining speed performance has been nearly impossible. About the only rating common to most boats for comparison purposes has been PHRF, which seams to give some indication of performance but not much. SA/D doesn't seam to tell you much, as my current boat has a pretty good SA/D ratio, but is still pretty slow, even in light winds.

A comment made to me by the manufacturer's rep concerning the Hunter Edge was that anything under 20 feet with a keel will be slow, however from what little bit I have seen, the Edge seams like it would be slow as well, even though it is a pretty long boat. But its difficult to know for sure. Why can't one find polars, or even some indication in the boat reviews, some sort of indication like on a beam reach, with ~10 knots of wind, the boat was moving X knots. Then what angle at a close reach does the speed really start to fall off. But no one ever seams to want to publish that. Beneteau seems to be about the only company that publishes polars, which seems very useful for shopping.

Last question, can one sail a water ballasted boat with no ballast in light winds? In other words, if the wind is under 10mph, or maybe even 8 mph, can one just leave the ballast out, and make the boat perform much better, or even partial ballast? In theory, an adjustable ballast would be very desirable if it worked.

( I started looking at tirmorans, but they are all way out of my budget league)
 

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Why don't more manufacturers, or even more accurately, why doesn't the general public demand more information on boat performance?
Most people don't care all that much. If the opening shot in an advertisement is a boat's interior--common to Hunter's--performance isn't the selling point. Some class and owner's associations compile Polars.

...Last question, can one sail a water ballasted boat with no ballast in light winds? In other words, if the wind is under 10mph, or maybe even 8 mph, can one just leave the ballast out, and make the boat perform much better, or even partial ballast? In theory, an adjustable ballast would be very desirable if it worked.
Yes
 

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I haven't even found a boat that comes with a decent owners manual. I believe that boat manufacturers don't even know the basics, let alone all the customized commissioning that is commonly done.
 

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Why don't more manufacturers, or even more accurately, why doesn't the general public demand more information on boat performance?
...
You can ask and if they think you are really interested in the boat they should provide you with a boat polar and a stability curve. If they don't its because they don't want (the designer should have made both) and that is a bad sign, if you are interested in a fast boat.

What is the size of boat you are looking and your budget?

Regards

Paulo
 

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Discussion Starter #5
What is the size of boat you are looking and your budget?

Regards

Paulo
Size limits are to what is trailer-able. Budget should be limited to around $10K used. In theory, I could go much higher on budget if the sailing concept was more palatable to the rest of the family. In other words, I could afford more, but for something that only I enjoy, it should not consume that high of a % of available funds. DW sort of got interested in the concept of a power sailor because she does not like to be so dependent on something so fickle as the wind. But if it is a dog under sail, what is the point? Anything moving less than ~4.5 knots gets pretty boring for the rest of the family. Trimoran could be perfect, but way beyond the budget unless I got real lucky. Boat needs to have at least a cabin where one can sit fully upright. (not that I was interested, but a Capri22 cabin is too short)

I had been previously interested in the smaller Beneteau's Firsts, but after seeing a larger First at a show, I was very unimpressed with the quality of the interior. Don't have enough experience about boats to judge the exterior and rigging, but if the interior construction was any indication, I was disappointed. Was made like a cheap RV.
 

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Size limits are to what is trailer-able. Budget should be limited to around $10K used. ...

...
The only one I know that comes close to that price (new) is the Varianta 18.

Varianta Segelyachten - from Dehler with love

It is made by Dehler, now Hanse group and is sold exclusively by internet.

It is a fast and amusing boat that has made a big success in Europe for its Price/Performance.

I don't know if Hanse is going to import it for the States.
 

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Why don't more manufacturers, or even more accurately, why doesn't the general public demand more information on boat performance?
Most people don't care much about this as said previously, so the manufacturers generally don't have the numbers.

Since my current boat is rather slow, I've been shopping for a much faster boat. However determining speed performance has been nearly impossible. About the only rating common to most boats for comparison purposes has been PHRF, which seams to give some indication of performance but not much. SA/D doesn't seam to tell you much, as my current boat has a pretty good SA/D ratio, but is still pretty slow, even in light winds.
SA/D is just one of many factors that goes into determining how fast a boat is. If two boats have the exact same SA/D but one is a longer, more modern design with a high-aspect bulb keel and high-aspect mast and sail plan, and the other is a shorter, full keel with gaff rig, the first is going to be a lot fast that the second because it will have a longer waterline, less underwater drag, and a more efficient sail plan.

A comment made to me by the manufacturer's rep concerning the Hunter Edge was that anything under 20 feet with a keel will be slow, however from what little bit I have seen, the Edge seams like it would be slow as well, even though it is a pretty long boat. But its difficult to know for sure. Why can't one find polars, or even some indication in the boat reviews, some sort of indication like on a beam reach, with ~10 knots of wind, the boat was moving X knots. Then what angle at a close reach does the speed really start to fall off. But no one ever seams to want to publish that. Beneteau seems to be about the only company that publishes polars, which seems very useful for shopping.
Manufacturers often don't generate polars. Also, polars are a bit subjective. If you have a lousy sailor, the polars generated by the boat will be quite different that those by an excellent sailor. There are a lot of variables in how fast you can get a sailboat to move, beyond its design. The skill and quality of the captain and crew matter a lot, unlike on power boats. So does the maintenance of the hull cleanliness, etc.

Last question, can one sail a water ballasted boat with no ballast in light winds? In other words, if the wind is under 10mph, or maybe even 8 mph, can one just leave the ballast out, and make the boat perform much better, or even partial ballast? In theory, an adjustable ballast would be very desirable if it worked.
No, you really don't want to do that. There are serious risks involved and there's also a good chance that your insurance won't cover you if you capsize the boat and damage it with empty or partially empty water ballast tanks.

( I started looking at tirmorans, but they are all way out of my budget league)
Too bad, they're great boats, but my opinion might be a bit biased. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Too bad, they're great boats, but my opinion might be a bit biased. :D
It may actually be your fault I started looking more seriously at them. Some post you made on another thread in contrast to a power sailor, suggesting a trimaran which if properly power would go just as fat as the power sailor or on a windy day, go that fast anyway. Just got me kind of thinking about my goals and the best way to achieve them. That and multi-hulls being familiar territory with the HobieCat. That may be some of the reason for the disappointment with my current boat.

SA/D is just one of many factors that goes into determining how fast a boat is. If two boats have the exact same SA/D but one is a longer, more modern design with a high-aspect bulb keel and high-aspect mast and sail plan, and the other is a shorter, full keel with gaff rig, the first is going to be a lot fast that the second because it will have a longer waterline, less underwater drag, and a more efficient sail plan.
And that is the reason for the discussion, trying to really determine what to look for in a boat that you want to be fast. Even from you comments, I would not know the B235 was that much faster than the Hunter Edge.

I'm really amazed more people don't care more about speed. Its that effortless forward motion that makes sailing relaxing. If the boat always feels like its struggling to move, your brain struggles too. I remember the very first boat I ever road on as a kid. It was a large under powered cabin cruiser that struggled against the waves. I remember hating it, because the motor working hard, made me work hard. Later learned to sail on lightweight fast dingies and found it very relaxing as there was no effort. The boats just glide along. The cat does the same thing and just effortlessly glides along. My current boat just feels like I'm trying to sail a bowling ball. I've been on some larger boats that were nearly the same way, not as bad as my boat, but never got that gliding feeling either.
 

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"Why can't one find polars,"
BECAUSE THEY COST MONEY. You can in fact have any boat measured and have polars (a VPP profile) run on the boat, if you want to pay for it. And racers regularly DO pay for it.
But the pikers in the mass market only want to know that this boat costs $19,995 and can be financed for $299 a month, while that other boat costs, ooh, $20,495 and $319 a month, and that's way more money, way too much.
So they buy the cheaper boat and who cares about all those confusing NUMBERS on the POLARS?

That's reality in any mass market, Dave. Get used to it. You want facts, you want numbers, you don't want to buy what the nice man in the shiny suit is best for you? You're gonna have to spend money and do homework, because you're bucking The System and they won't stand for that.

You want a fast boat? That's easy to find. Go racing. Go hang on a committee boat and work with the RC, every one of them needs and welcomes help. See which boats are winning, see which boats have one design (OD) classes. See which boats are part of the "sail of the month club" where the owners buy new sails every month to keep their competitive edge. (Nice if you have the wallet for it.)

But don't expect the guys who are in the business strictly to make a profit, to make your life easy. They'd rather sell you the wrong boat four or five times than sell you just one. There's no money to be made in selling just one.
 

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But don't expect the guys who are in the business strictly to make a profit, to make your life easy. They'd rather sell you the wrong boat four or five times than sell you just one. There's no money to be made in selling just one.
Sure there is, but there's a lot more in selling four or five boats. ;)
 

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define trailerable? Retracting keel is what will make all the difference. And how fast do you want it? Got a PHRF # for your 'dream boat'?
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Yah, a Hobie 33 with a raised cabin roof, but also too expensive. My point reference was the Beneteau 235, which has a PHRF around 200 depending on who you ask. The only reason it is a point of reference is because the do publish polars for their boats, so I at least know what to expect. I surely would not want anything higher/slower than that. After seeing some of these trimarans, I struggle to keep looking at monohulls, but that is where my budget is.

Trailerable to me means 8.5' wide, and can be put in without a crane. Weight is not much of an issue, although typically that would make the boat slower. I would target somewhat of a length limitation, because I would expect to tow it behind a 31 foot motorhome. 65' total is the max length for towing. Longer would not totally rule out anything, as I can always tow it with the Jeep if I had to.
 

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Most people don't care all that much. If the opening shot in an advertisement is a boat's interior--common to Hunter's--performance isn't the selling point. Some class and owner's associations compile Polars.



Yes
Another reason why the information that you are referring to is not often made available is that the publications that would be likely candidates to publish it depend on advertising from those manufacturers to continue to exist. Not just performance information -- when was the last time you read a really poor review of a boat in a sailing or yachting magazine?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I guess you missed the part about under 10k.

Try the Fun 23
FUN 23 Sailboat details on sailboatdata.com

Dave, the total tow length need to be under 65'? How does the mast measure in that computation?
The mast could probably go above the back of the motorhome if need be, the motorhome is low profile, so plenty of height above it. Trailer length from ball to the motor should be under 33 feet, although if the motor weighs less than 100 lbs, I could always pull it off. I've never heard of anyone getting pulled over for exceeding maximum length in a motorhome + trailer, but I should try to be close enough that no one would bother me.

...Not just performance information -- when was the last time you read a really poor review of a boat in a sailing or yachting magazine?
I read a review of the Imus power sailor. The comment in the review just causally mentioned they had a wind of 8 knots and were sailing along at around 4 knots, which they thought that was very good. Good or not, they got away with making the statement. As long as it is contextualized as a positive, they should be able to get away with it. Bike and car magazines give zero to sixty times. Of course that caused the bikes to get very competitive.
 

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In other words, I could afford more, but for something that only I enjoy, it should not consume that high of a % of available funds.
Souds like a resonable way to think about it, but I use a different formula.

Amt_to_spend_on_boat = ((available_funds * 15%) / (wifes_opposition - husbands_nagging_tolerance_factor))

But then math was never my strong point.
 

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You'll be limited a bit with a mast height of 30' unless you put it on the motor home. The outboard shouldnt' weigh in more than 60 lbs and you don't want to trailer it with the motor on the back anyway. Throws the weight off, especially on small boats.

You still haven't given an explaination on what you define as "fast". Are we talking Colgate 26 'fast' at 156 PHRF, or are we talking TP52 fast at -87? Or are you talking as fast as you can get for 10k? Define your limiting factors better and we can help you more.
 

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And what are you going to use this boat for? You mention you want a cabin with full sitting headroom. Some of the really fast boats won't have that.

About the only rating common to most boats for comparison purposes has been PHRF, which seams to give some indication of performance but not much.
PHRF numbers are given time differences in seconds per mile with the base boat apparently being the 12-meters once used to race for the America's Cup (e.g. that's "0"). In other words, a boat that has a PHRF rating of 180 would be about 3 minutes per mile slower than a 12, on average. Of course, there are a lot of problems with single number rating systems like this - are we talking upwind, downwind, on a reach; strong wind, light wind, or nice moderate breeze. In addition, the system really doesn't work well at quantitative comparison across wide ranges. E.G. we know a 0-rater will be a lot faster than a 180-rater, but will it really be exactly 3 minutes per mile? The system works better for comparing boats that are more similar to each other.

SA/D doesn't seam to tell you much, as my current boat has a pretty good SA/D ratio, but is still pretty slow, even in light winds.
What do you define as a "good" SA/D ratio?

What you really want is a ratio of sail area to wetted surface area, unfortunatley few people really know the wetted surface area quantitatively. Qualitative comparisons are relatively easy, though.

But there are other factors besides just sail area, like rig height, that are also important.

Other than having an opportunity to sail on a bunch of different boats in different conditions, I think PHRF numbers are probably going to be the next best way to get a sense of the relative performance of a selection of boats. In other words, look for boats that meet your criteria: under 10K, fit on trailer, launchable without a hoist, cabin with sitting headroom, and then you can start to filter your list by PHRF....
 
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