SailNet Community banner

61 - 80 of 102 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,146 Posts
I was ready to jump on it. If their ad had been more in order, and the salesman happy to inspire confidence by following through with detailed responses, I might have got a good surveyor, ordered up a captain, and bought sight unseen!
It's not unheard of to sign a purchase and sale agreement and put a deposit down, sight unseen. Especially, when the boat is in another country. I've done it.

However, I'd never complete the sale, without laying eyes on it. That's insane, unless is highly specialized, well known and you have a very personal reason to trust the players. In my case, my offer was accepted and I booked a flight to attend the survey. Then I rejected the boat and got my deposit back. Good lesson.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Rush2112

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,361 Posts
If that's true, and I'm not saying it's not, then boat salesmen are in for a no effort grift, it couldn't have been a half hour of his time in total answering my questions. And I'd think he'd be more motivated considering it's been for sale for over a year.

It wouldn't be the first time that I've heard that many of these guys really don't earn their money...
Well, if you heard this on the internet, then it must be true. :cautious:

IMO, boat brokers are no different than other salesmen. There are good ones, and bad ones. But don't be so quick to judge. It may be that he knows something that indicates that you will not like this boat. He can't tell you that because he is contractually and ethically obligated to represent the seller's interests. So he tells you nothing. Maybe he thinks that you're too far away, and lacking the skills to get it home, and/or lacking the money to hire someone to do it for you.
Besides most of my questions surrounded discrepancies in the ad itself- one part saying that a fully custom keel was created at a specific cost, from a specific manufacturer, then later saying they just replaced the bolts. That was bizarre... Another part said the engine was 1999 and well maintained, while in description it said it was 2007 and replaced. Hmm...
OK, I bit and looked at the ad. I couldn't find the discrepancies that you mentioned. I did see that it has a 2007 Beta, so I think it's the right boat that I'm looking at.
Funny thing about that Grampian, I was ready to jump on it. If their ad had been more in order, and the salesman happy to inspire confidence by following through with detailed responses, I might have got a good surveyor, ordered up a captain, and bought sight unseen! I had a good sense about the boat fulfilling my needs from Jeff_H and MikeOReilly's feedback, and the sheer amount of money poured into it was practically a deal sealer.
The boat is still there for you to buy if you want it. The only thing apparently standing in the way is your unwillingness to actually go see it. It looks like a nice boat online, but the Internet is full of nice looking boats that have a fatal flaw when you go to see them. But once again, the broker represents the seller, and may not be able to disclose it unless you build his trust enough to get him to open up. Rather than try to find "gotchas" in the ad, you could ask, "Tell me everything you know about the boat that is not in the ad." That's worked for me before with some brokers, though I've also driven hundreds of kilometres to see boats where the broker didn't disclose something. It's part of the expense and hassle of shopping for a boat.
...Hence the market for apolloduck.com and sailboatlistings.com.....Maybe I should be selling boats!
Things are different in different regions, but around here in my part of the US, the typical broker's sales commission is 10% of sales price, with a minimum commission of $3000. That was as of 10 years ago - the minimum may have gone up since then. With your $30,000 price limit, you really are bottom fishing. Often the boats you find at that price are listed by the broker as a favor to a friend (trying to unload a boat as a favor to the widow of a deceased friend - I've seen a few like that) or as a "back end deal" to sell the boat for someone who bought a bigger boat from him (which appears to apply to this boat). Regardless, if this guy has a fresh inquiry for a $500,000 sportfisher or a third email picking on discrepancies in his ad for a $30,000 boat, guess who jumps to the front of his list? It's not laziness, it's just business.

At your price range, you might find better selection on sailboatlistings.com or even Craigslist. My prior boat, which I bought for $14,000, was purchased off of sailboatlistings.com. A broker friend suggested that I look there in my price range (for the same reasons I described above), so I'm just paying it forward with his advice.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Rush2112

·
Registered
Joined
·
254 Posts
Well, if you heard this on the internet, then it must be true. :cautious:
Well the argument I heard was that they do nothing for the buyer, anything they say you will want to verify with a surveyor anyway, they're not in your court, and for the seller as in my case they brush people off if they think it's not worth their time. I wonder if the seller himself would have answered my questions, after a year of trying to sell.. probably.

It may be that he knows something that indicates that you will not like this boat. He can't tell you that because he is contractually and ethically obligated to represent the seller's interests.
I think with the details I was asking, that this is certainly possible.

OK, I bit and looked at the ad. I couldn't find the discrepancies that you mentioned. I did see that it has a 2007 Beta, so I think it's the right boat that I'm looking at.
He updated the ad for both the keel misinformation and the bad engine dates. He told me he had done so. So I guess I'm their official proof reader. The quotes that I posted earlier were direct quotes, they're gone now.

The boat is still there for you to buy if you want it.
Yeah I had read about people buying boats sight unseen so I thought it was normal- just trust the surveyor I guess. Also I didn't think it would matter as I don't think I could add anything to the inspection- I wouldn't have a clue what I was looking at anyway. I think the community here has convinced me to see the boat first, and to get out and see some to get ideas/preferences and a referance point. That's basically where I'm at now.

Rather than try to find "gotchas" in the ad, you could ask, "Tell me everything you know about the boat that is not in the ad." That's worked for me before with some brokers, though I've also driven hundreds of kilometres to see boats where the broker didn't disclose something. It's part of the expense and hassle of shopping for a boat.
Good point I'll take it onboard.

Regardless, if this guy has a fresh inquiry for a $500,000 sportfisher or a third email picking on discrepancies in his ad for a $30,000 boat, guess who jumps to the front of his list? It's not laziness, it's just business.
Fair enough I suppose.


At your price range, you might find better selection on sailboatlistings.com or even Craigslist. My prior boat, which I bought for $14,000, was purchased off of sailboatlistings.com. A broker friend suggested that I look there in my price range (for the same reasons I described above), so I'm just paying it forward with his advice.
Thanks yeah maybe the brokerless deals are better for my price range.

So yeah I've been out to see a few this weekend because they were at the marina by my house. All of the viewings now are by appointment and I didn't want to bother as they were both far outside my price range.

One of the ones Jeff_H mentioned, the cruiser is near Monikendam which is pretty close to here. There is also a Trintella 3 which was on his earlier blue water list, in Huizen, which also is not too far. I'll try to see both of those this week.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,073 Posts
I thought catamarans had lower limits in high seas. A very vague statement I know, that's my vague understanding. I just know very little about them vs monohulls, and in The Netherlands I literally haven't seen a single one.
I thought you were now planning to stay out of high seas and gale winds? Either way, not a problem with a catamaran. Probably better than a mono for this if one is single handing, or have crew that are not experienced - a stable, flat, and wide platform in comparison. All I was pointing out is that your newest criteria is best fulfilled by this boat than the others so far.

Mark
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
9,181 Posts
Discussion Starter #68
I really wanted a very stable boat, not only for the North Sea, but hopefully to get a few friends on board for day sails at least who are a bit averse to sailing and not at all liking 'when they lean suddenly'. And I also like the idea of as stable and firm a boat as possible in case I'm solo and changing sails or reefing I just want as stable a platform as possible. So by descriptions the Kalik sounds more interesting to me than the x-boat. Fun and exciting is not the 'vibe' I'm going for, more like chill and relaxed
While it is true that the X-boat is a sportier boat, it is also a wildly more stable and an easier to sail boat than anything that you have looked at so far. If you have concerns about heeling, then that would be the boat to buy because a boat like that can get by with smaller sails and will teach you to sail well in a much shorter time so the surprise knockdowns will occur less often. Easy to sail boats may look less chill, but if you had more experience sailing you would find them to be more chill to sail since you have the tools to quickly adapt to changes in wind speed. The Kalik a little less so, but its masthead rig is little harder to sail shorthanded.

If that's true, and I'm not saying it's not, then boat salesmen are in for a no effort grift, it couldn't have been a half hour of his time in total answering my questions. And I'd think he'd be more motivated considering it's been for sale for over a year.It wouldn't be the first time that I've heard that many of these guys really don't earn their money. Hence the market for apolloduck.com and sailboatlistings.com.
I respectfully suggest that the role and compensation of the broker is a little different than you imagine. To begin with, if you are looking for a $30,000 sailboat, assuming that you spend the full $30,000, the entire commission will be somewhere between $2,100 and $3,000. That $2100 to $3,000 gets split 50%-50% between the listing brokerage company and the selling brokerage company. The individual selling broker typically gets 40-50% of what the selling brokerage company gets. And the individual buyers broker typically gets 40-50% of what the buyer brokerage company gets. But since almost no one pays the asking price for a boat, the broker knows that the Grampian will probably sell for somewhere between $23,000 and $27,000. So the individual buyers broker is looking at taking home ($25,000 x .05 x .5) about $625. If the broker was the listing and selling broker then the individual broker might take home as much as $1,250.

What that broker does for that is to pay for advertising to list the boat in multiple places, shows the boat to a bunch of prospective buyers, and will attempt to negotiate a several low ball contracts between the owner and potential buyers, each time sitting in hours long meetings writing contracts.Often the Broker acts as an advocate for the two parties, performing delicate shuttle diplomacy as needed to bring the parties together. Once a deal is made, the brokerage escrows the funds (escrow accounts do not come free). The brokers is typically present for the sail trial and survey, Then begins the next round of negotiations, as the buyer and seller work out terms to address the items discovered during survey. That often means that the broker coordinates with a repair facility to price the needed corrections. The broker also typically coordinates the registration/documentation, tax escrows, financing and funds transfer. Collectively there can easily be 40-80 hours even in a simple deal. But then you add a international purchase, with a buyer who is peppering the broker with questions (no matter how valid they may be), and a seller who is not making this easy on the broker, and a boat that is clearly a wreck, an experienced broker would conclude that its highly unlikely that you are a real buyer and that the risk that you are a real buyer is greater than the chance that he will make a commission on the deal, so he is cutting his losses.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
254 Posts
While it is true that the X-boat is a sportier boat, it is also a wildly more stable and an easier to sail boat than anything that you have looked at so far. If you have concerns about heeling, then that would be the boat to buy because a boat like that can get by with smaller sails and will teach you to sail well in a much shorter time so the surprise knockdowns will occur less often.
Really? I find that surprising. The X-99 strikes me as an unstable racing boat.
Its displacement/length is 129, which is ultralight. I would imagine it would be thrown all over in rough seas.
Why do you say it's stable?
I've seen several videos with people hanging and sitting legs off the side and one entire side in the water.
I've seen videos of people doing 18 knots.
All of that is precisely what I hope to never do!
If I'm doing over 15 knots then something has gone terribly wrong.
And this guy doesn't look relaxed in the least. Sure it's in fast motion but his effort seems almost manic.
Far from they style of sailing I see myself doing...

Regarding brokers, OK points taken, they do a lot more work in the sales process than I was aware of. And I could see why it might not be worth their time at all to sell a boat for under say 75 grand.

Really curious why you say the X-99 is stable. I would have expected the Trintella 3, Contest 34, The Rasmus, and the Westerlies to all be more stable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,073 Posts
I think JeffH meant more form stability - less heel, less roll, etc. You should try to get out on a lighter, more easily driven boat than a crab-crusher to see what it is like. They really are more stable, more nimble, and more fun to sail. They are also safer in bad weather. There is nothing worse than being slammed and rolled around at the mercy of the sea in a boat that can't get out of its own way. That is not stability, that's just blind faith in scantlings. A boat that can really sail is far better in bad conditions, and provides one with more options for coping with the conditions. Including getting out of those conditions.

The above is anathema to everyone who grew up with, or drank the koolaid of the Pardey, etc line. If that was ever true, it is no longer the case with more modern designs and equipment.

Mark
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,664 Posts
And this guy doesn't look relaxed in the least. Sure it's in fast motion but his effort seems almost manic.
Far from they style of sailing I see myself doing...
Do you really think that the video shows manic effort? That sailor seems to me to be a model of efficient movement for a solo sailor. I don't see any wasted energy. Granted, once the sails are up and you have chosen a course, you can just sit back and not worry about fine tuning the trim. But you have to do all of the things shown in the video when you raise sail or tack, even if you are just out for a relaxing day sail. And once you get good at it, you'll look like this guy. Until then, count on looking herky-jerky and yes, maybe even a bit manic.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,410 Posts
Just looks like sailing to me.

I would expect you will be up and moving more on the slow boats you like because they are less efficient to weather. Will result in more tacks to acheive the same distance as a faster more efficient hull.

If you want to sit back and relax, get a boat that sails well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,146 Posts
I've seen several videos with people hanging and sitting legs off the side and one entire side in the water.
That’s simply what racers do and would do do on any boat. It is not required to hold the boat up on a ballasted keel boat. It’s only marginally taking out some of the heel to either reduce leeway, or allow for more speed, if leeway isn’t negatively impacting speed to waypoint (ie velocity made good).

Having not learned to sail yet is a major disadvantage. Intuition is very unreliable.

I've seen videos of people doing 18 knots.
All of that is precisely what I hope to never do!
If I'm doing over 15 knots then something has gone terribly wrong.
One can overpower any sailboat. While every other sailor I know would drool over the thought of 18 kts (and never see it) you can easily learn how to keep this under control. Start sailing an unballasted dinghy and it will become second nature.

And this guy doesn't look relaxed in the least. Sure it's in fast motion but his effort seems almost manic.
Of course, you recognize the beginning of that video is in fast forward. Afterward, it looks like normal sailing, in a good breeze, to me. You‘re not required to sail hard on the wind, or in stiffer wind, like that video, until you’re comfortable doing so. Everyone builds that tolerance quickly, assuming they take to the sport.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Rush2112

·
Administrator
Joined
·
9,181 Posts
Discussion Starter #74 (Edited)
I am not going to quote post #69 since I am only have time to address the issue of why the X-99 would have a much greater useful stability and motion comfort than the older overweight boats previously under consideration. I think others have done a good job of explaining why that video (which was presented as a primer on single-handed racing an X-99) is not representative of how a new sailor, daysailor or cruiser would sail the same boat. But I would quickly add that if you a new sailor who was sailing that boat in those conditions, you would be using a AP #3 genoa and not a genoa that is as large a sail as shown in the video. (For clarity, the term AP #3 means an All Purpose #3 genoa which on most fractional rigs would be roughly a 110% jib that is cut to be good across a wide wind range, rather than the typical #3, which is cut flat for high winds. These sails work on fractional; rigs because they can be depowered quickly eliminating the need to furl, reef, or do a sail change. Tacking and trimming an AP #3 sail would be wildly less difficult and frenetic as compared to tacking the larger overlapping headsails required by the boats you had originally been considering.)

But back to the stability question....(I recently answered these same sort of questions for someone else and so in the interest of time I am quoting the answer I gave them. I hope you and they don't mind.)

Although this may seem counter-intuitive, the heavier the boat (L/D) the less usable stability it is likely to have. Useful stability is tough to visualize so non-designers tend to focus on the easily quantifiable numbers without having a way to evaluate how the realities of the design actually impacts the behavior of the boat. Dangerously useless surrogate formulas like the Capsize Screen Formula, and Motion Comfort Index simply add to the confusion since neither contain any useful information about the behavior of a boat and have formulas do that not consider the majority of the most critical factors that do control stability and motion.

To explain why a boat with a high L/D tends to be less stable within the usable heel range (i.e.tends to be relatively tender compared to boats that have a lower L/D), you need to think of a boat as a system. When a boat has a high L/D it either needs to be some mix of being beamy at the waterline and/or have a hull that is comparatively deeper in the water to be able to have a lot of displacement in a short length.

On a narrow boat, such as the older designs that you had been contemplating, the only way to carry that larger displacement is to push the volume of the hull deeper into the water. All other things being equal, the deeper hull volume means a lowering of the vertical center of buoyancy. Since stability is the displacement of the boat times lever arm between the center of gravity vs the center of buoyancy, and that lever arm can be quite small when the vertical center of buoyancy and gravity are close together, this results in a boat that has comparatively little stability. The net result is that it needs to heel further to produce the same stability as a boat whose vertical center of buoyancy is higher. This deeper hull and lower vertical center of buoyancy is generally the case with narrower boats that have long overhangs.

Back to the boat as a system, as a boat gets heavier and the hull gets deeper in the water, it develops a lot more drag, and with that drag the boat needs a lot more sail area to move through the water. So these boats with high L/D's not only do not much stability, and/or does not develop a much stability until it heels a lot and can get its topsides are in the water, but which also needs a lot of sail area to move. That needed added sail area combined with a proportionately small amount of form stability makes a boat that wants to heel excessively mostly because of its L/D being so high.

The other piece of this is how SA/D plays into this. While this is also counter-intuitive, the higher the SA/D the easier a boat is to handle. This is significant since the SA/D on the X-99 is quite large (SA/D=24). And so its easy to think "If I go with a lighter boat with higher SA/D, doesn't it become more challenging in the worst weather conditions?" That is a complex question to answer, one which also falls heavily in the "boats are designed as a system' category. I will try to give you the Cliff's Notes version.

First of all, in and of itself, adding weight to a boat does nothing positive for the inherent stability, motion comfort, or strength of the boat. What really counts is the weight relative to stability. Since a heavier boat tends to have more drag, that means a heavier boat needs more stability in order to carry big enough sail area (per above). As a boat gets heavier, it gets harder to create enough stability to permit the boat to safely carry enough sail area to be able to even sail in light air to moderate winds and on the other hand to punch through waves in heavy air. Typically, because a lighter boat has less drag, it can get by with much less sail area than a heavier boat. But because the the canoe body (the portion of the hull in the water that is not the keel or rudder) is shallower on a lighter boat, and on boats with longer waterlines, the amount of usable stability is often greater on a lighter boat relative to its drag and relative to its sail area. (per above)

That greater stability (relative to drag) allows the lighter boat to carry a more efficient sail plan than a heavier boat, and in theory (and in reality) safely carry proportionately less sail area in any particular condition. That might suggest that a lighter boat should have a smaller L/D than a heavy boat. That would be the case if SA/D were measured differently, but its not. Properly measured SA/D uses the 100% foretriangle of the boat. (By typical convention, the 100% foretriangle is triangular area measurement from the point at which the forestay hits the mast, the point at which the line of the forestay hits the deck, and the point at which a line drawn in the leading edge of the mast hits the deck at the rail.) Similarly the sail area for the mainsail is also the triangular area measurement from the point at which the maximum hoist of the mainsail occurs on the mast, the point at which the line of the top of the boom hits the mast, and the point at which the foot of the sail terminates on the boom. By convention all curves and overlaps are ignored.

To sail in light winds, it takes an SA/D minimally around 22-24 and in moderate winds minimally around 20-22. So a boat like the X-99 can by with minimally overlapping headsails and sail well in lighter winds.

In order for boats with lower SA/D's to get to that much sail area, they need to use larger overlapping headsails (jibs that overlap with the mast further aft) . But larger overlap headsails have lower aspect ratio and so are way less efficient than minimally-overlapping headsails. As a result a sail plan that depends on large overlapping headsails needs to have considerably more sail area to produce the same drive as a sail plan that does not depend on overlapping headsails.

Sails with larger overlaps tend to be more expensive per square foot, much much harder to tack, have shorter useful lives, and have a much smaller wind range that they can safely be used in.

To explain why this is so, by example, in a general sense, if a larger overlap sail uses the same weight fabric as a minimally overlapping headsail, because there is a more sail area in the larger overlap sail, the sail will physically weigh more. That added weight means that the larger overlap sail will be more likely to droop under its own weight and not hold a proper flying shape in light air. In order to help the sail hold its shape, larger overlap headsails tend to be made of a lighter fabric than a smaller overlap sail of the same sail area. In heavy air, no matter what their overlap, all of the sails need to be as flat as possible to minimize heeling, weather helm, and leeway. But all sails stretch and as the wind speed increases, the forces that cause that stretch increase non-linearly as well. So at the time that you need to have your sails as flat as possible, they are stretching out and becoming fuller. All sails do that.

But because larger overlap sails tend to use lighter cloth, and have more area than a smaller overlap sail, the stretch is amplified greatly. That combination of greater stretch and larger sail area means that these sails have a narrower wind range before they overpower the boat (i.e. too much heel, too much weather helm, too much leeway, not as much speed through the water.) The typical response to that is initially to partially furl the sail. When a sail is partially furled, and to a lesser extent even with a foam luff, the sail basically rolls flatly onto the furler, pushing the curvature of the front of the sail back into the smaller area of the exposed part of the sail. The bigger the overlap the more that area gets pushed into the exposed unfurled remnant of the sail, and the more the exposed part of the sail gets rounder and wants to heel the boat relative to driving the boat forward. On most sails, even with a foam luff, the most that you can furl a sail is perhaps 15-20% of the sail area, after which sail shape becomes a serious determent to safe sailing.

On the other hand, mainsails are much easier to flatten out and to quickly reduce in sail area while maintaining a desirable sail shape. Because most boats develop increased weather helm in higher winds, flattening, or reefing the mainsail results in more control over the steering as well.

So getting to the bottom line, the larger the SA/D that a boat has, the less it is dependent on large overlap headsails. The less the boat is dependent on larger overlap headsails, the easier it is to tack and jibe, the easier it is to quickly and safely adapt to changeable weather conditions and the less expensive the boat is to maintain. Plus a boat that has a larger SA/D typically is designed with more usable stability in order to be able to carry that larger SA/D in a breeze, all of which are all good things.

Lastly, when a new sailor looks at a boat like the X-99, they are often concerned that the boat has a lot of control lines. While seemingly intimidating, those controls are tools that allow adjustments that can be made easily and that result in the sailing being more docile. In other words, it is easy to think at first, "I surely don't want all of that stuff since I won't want to use any of it, and its way too much to learn." As a beginning sailor, the idea that you won't use that stuff, may initially be 100% correct since your goal it to learn the board strokes of sailing. But over time, after you have built basic sailing skills, you might begin to experiment with some of those controls..... A little here and there. You may never use all of them, but the ones you use you will find to be very handy to have and make the sailing more comfortable, easier, and safer.

To visualize why this is might be so, think of this example, if you were an amateur mechanic rebuilding an engine, you might look at the tools in a professional mechanic's tool box and consider them excessive and too complex to deal with. Before you have done any mechanical repairs, you might think that you could get by with a vice-grip and a couple screwdrivers. Pretty soon, you would realize that its much easier to work with a good set of box wrenches and socket wrenches, perhaps adding extensions and universal joints. Maybe then adding higher quality screw drivers with different tips, adding a torque wrench and feeler gauges,. and so on. Over time, as you got more skilled, you would end up owning or borrowing a variety of increasingly specialized tools. And with each tool, there is a little learning curve but quickly you find that these tools make the job easier, maybe safer, and faster. Its the same with the control lines on a boat. Starting out you can ignore them and keep it as simple as you want. But over time once you have learned the broad strokes, you will begin to experiment and as you learn to use the tools, the boat (any boat) will get easier and safer to sail.

Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
254 Posts
I think JeffH meant more form stability - less heel, less roll, etc. You should try to get out on a lighter, more easily driven boat than a crab-crusher to see what it is like.
Yeah I really need to get this one first hand, its just not clicking.
I think some experience on different boats will go a long ways.

And once you get good at it, you'll look like this guy. Until then, count on looking herky-jerky and yes, maybe even a bit manic.
Yeah I'm sure once I actually understand what he's doing it won't look like so much busy work.

If you want to sit back and relax, get a boat that sails well.
Having not learned to sail yet is a major disadvantage. Intuition is very unreliable.
Well I can handle the little rental boats all right, but they really are very simple compared to larger boats.
I don't think I've seen a field where intuition was less reliable than with sailing!
This topic is always throwing me curve balls.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
254 Posts
I am not going to quote post #69 since I am only have time to address the issue of why the X-99 would have a much greater useful stability and motion comfort than the older overweight boats previously under consideration...
Jeff
Well as usual I'm going to have to chew on your post for a while.
Thanks again for the detailed response :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
254 Posts
I am not going to quote post #69 since I am only have time to address the issue of why the X-99 would have a much greater useful stability and motion comfort than the older overweight boats previously under consideration. I think others have done a good job of explaining why that video (which was presented as a primer on single-handed racing an X-99) is not representative of how a new sailor, daysailor or cruiser would sail the same boat. But I would quickly add that if you a new sailor who was sailing that boat in those conditions, you would be using a AP #3 genoa and not a genoa that is as large a sail as shown in the video. (For clarity, the term AP #3 means an All Purpose #3 genoa which on most fractional rigs would be roughly a 110% jib that is cut to be good across a wide wind range, rather than the typical #3, which is cut flat for high winds. These sails work on fractional; rigs because they can be depowered quickly eliminating the need to furl, reef, or do a sail change. Tacking and trimming an AP #3 sail would be wildly less difficult and frenetic as compared to tacking the larger overlapping headsails required by the boats you had originally been considering.)

But back to the stability question....(I recently answered these same sort of questions for someone else and so in the interest of time I am quoting the answer I gave them. I hope you and they don't mind.)

Although this may seem counter-intuitive, the heavier the boat (L/D) the less usable stability it is likely to have. Useful stability is tough to visualize so non-designers tend to focus on the easily quantifiable numbers without having a way to evaluate how the realities of the design actually impacts the behavior of the boat. Dangerously useless surrogate formulas like the Capsize Screen Formula, and Motion Comfort Index simply add to the confusion since neither contain any useful information about the behavior of a boat and have formulas do that not consider the majority of the most critical factors that do control stability and motion.

To explain why a boat with a high L/D tends to be less stable within the usable heel range (i.e.tends to be relatively tender compared to boats that have a lower L/D), you need to think of a boat as a system. When a boat has a high L/D it either needs to be some mix of being beamy at the waterline and/or have a hull that is comparatively deeper in the water to be able to have a lot of displacement in a short length.

On a narrow boat, such as the older designs that you had been contemplating, the only way to carry that larger displacement is to push the volume of the hull deeper into the water. All other things being equal, the deeper hull volume means a lowering of the vertical center of buoyancy. Since stability is the displacement of the boat times lever arm between the center of gravity vs the center of buoyancy, and that lever arm can be quite small when the vertical center of buoyancy and gravity are close together, this results in a boat that has comparatively little stability. The net result is that it needs to heel further to produce the same stability as a boat whose vertical center of buoyancy is higher. This deeper hull and lower vertical center of buoyancy is generally the case with narrower boats that have long overhangs.

Back to the boat as a system, as a boat gets heavier and the hull gets deeper in the water, it develops a lot more drag, and with that drag the boat needs a lot more sail area to move through the water. So these boats with high L/D's not only do not much stability, and/or does not develop a much stability until it heels a lot and can get its topsides are in the water, but which also needs a lot of sail area to move. That needed added sail area combined with a proportionately small amount of form stability makes a boat that wants to heel excessively mostly because of its L/D being so high.

The other piece of this is how SA/D plays into this. While this is also counter-intuitive, the higher the SA/D the easier a boat is to handle. This is significant since the SA/D on the X-99 is quite large (SA/D=24). And so its easy to think "If I go with a lighter boat with higher SA/D, doesn't it become more challenging in the worst weather conditions?" That is a complex question to answer, one which also falls heavily in the "boats are designed as a system' category. I will try to give you the Cliff's Notes version.

First of all, in and of itself, adding weight to a boat does nothing positive for the inherent stability, motion comfort, or strength of the boat. What really counts is the weight relative to stability. Since a heavier boat tends to have more drag, that means a heavier boat needs more stability in order to carry big enough sail area (per above). As a boat gets heavier, it gets harder to create enough stability to permit the boat to safely carry enough sail area to be able to even sail in light air to moderate winds and on the other hand to punch through waves in heavy air. Typically, because a lighter boat has less drag, it can get by with much less sail area than a heavier boat. But because the the canoe body (the portion of the hull in the water that is not the keel or rudder) is shallower on a lighter boat, and on boats with longer waterlines, the amount of usable stability is often greater on a lighter boat relative to its drag and relative to its sail area. (per above)

That greater stability (relative to drag) allows the lighter boat to carry a more efficient sail plan than a heavier boat, and in theory (and in reality) safely carry proportionately less sail area in any particular condition. That might suggest that a lighter boat should have a smaller L/D than a heavy boat. That would be the case if SA/D were measured differently, but its not. Properly measured SA/D uses the 100% foretriangle of the boat. (By typical convention, the 100% foretriangle is triangular area measurement from the point at which the forestay hits the mast, the point at which the line of the forestay hits the deck, and the point at which a line drawn in the leading edge of the mast hits the deck at the rail.) Similarly the sail area for the mainsail is also the triangular area measurement from the point at which the maximum hoist of the mainsail occurs on the mast, the point at which the line of the top of the boom hits the mast, and the point at which the foot of the sail terminates on the boom. By convention all curves and overlaps are ignored.

To sail in light winds, it takes an SA/D minimally around 22-24 and in moderate winds minimally around 20-22. So a boat like the X-99 can by with minimally overlapping headsails and sail well in lighter winds.

In order for boats with lower SA/D's to get to that much sail area, they need to use larger overlapping headsails (jibs that overlap with the mast further aft) . But larger overlap headsails have lower aspect ratio and so are way less efficient than minimally-overlapping headsails. As a result a sail plan that depends on large overlapping headsails needs to have considerably more sail area to produce the same drive as a sail plan that does not depend on overlapping headsails.

Sails with larger overlaps tend to be more expensive per square foot, much much harder to tack, have shorter useful lives, and have a much smaller wind range that they can safely be used in.

To explain why this is so, by example, in a general sense, if a larger overlap sail uses the same weight fabric as a minimally overlapping headsail, because there is a more sail area in the larger overlap sail, the sail will physically weigh more. That added weight means that the larger overlap sail will be more likely to droop under its own weight and not hold a proper flying shape in light air. In order to help the sail hold its shape, larger overlap headsails tend to be made of a lighter fabric than a smaller overlap sail of the same sail area. In heavy air, no matter what their overlap, all of the sails need to be as flat as possible to minimize heeling, weather helm, and leeway. But all sails stretch and as the wind speed increases, the forces that cause that stretch increase non-linearly as well. So at the time that you need to have your sails as flat as possible, they are stretching out and becoming fuller. All sails do that.

But because larger overlap sails tend to use lighter cloth, and have more area than a smaller overlap sail, the stretch is amplified greatly. That combination of greater stretch and larger sail area means that these sails have a narrower wind range before they overpower the boat (i.e. too much heel, too much weather helm, too much leeway, not as much speed through the water.) The typical response to that is initially to partially furl the sail. When a sail is partially furled, and to a lesser extent even with a foam luff, the sail basically rolls flatly onto the furler, pushing the curvature of the front of the sail back into the smaller area of the exposed part of the sail. The bigger the overlap the more that area gets pushed into the exposed unfurled remnant of the sail, and the more the exposed part of the sail gets rounder and wants to heel the boat relative to driving the boat forward. On most sails, even with a foam luff, the most that you can furl a sail is perhaps 15-20% of the sail area, after which sail shape becomes a serious determent to safe sailing.

On the other hand, mainsails are much easier to flatten out and to quickly reduce in sail area while maintaining a desirable sail shape. Because most boats develop increased weather helm in higher winds, flattening, or reefing the mainsail results in more control over the steering as well.

So getting to the bottom line, the larger the SA/D that a boat has, the less it is dependent on large overlap headsails. The less the boat is dependent on larger overlap headsails, the easier it is to tack and jibe, the easier it is to quickly and safely adapt to changeable weather conditions and the less expensive the boat is to maintain. Plus a boat that has a larger SA/D typically is designed with more usable stability in order to be able to carry that larger SA/D in a breeze, all of which are all good things.

Lastly, when a new sailor looks at a boat like the X-99, they are often concerned that the boat has a lot of control lines. While seemingly intimidating, those controls are tools that allow adjustments that can be made easily and that result in the sailing being more docile. In other words, it is easy to think at first, "I surely don't want all of that stuff since I won't want to use any of it, and its way too much to learn." As a beginning sailor, the idea that you won't use that stuff, may initially be 100% correct since your goal it to learn the board strokes of sailing. But over time, after you have built basic sailing skills, you might begin to experiment with some of those controls..... A little here and there. You may never use all of them, but the ones you use you will find to be very handy to have and make the sailing more comfortable, easier, and safer.

To visualize why this is might be so, think of this example, if you were an amateur mechanic rebuilding an engine, you might look at the tools in a professional mechanic's tool box and consider them excessive and too complex to deal with. Before you have done any mechanical repairs, you might think that you could get by with a vice-grip and a couple screwdrivers. Pretty soon, you would realize that its much easier to work with a good set of box wrenches and socket wrenches, perhaps adding extensions and universal joints. Maybe then adding higher quality screw drivers with different tips, adding a torque wrench and feeler gauges,. and so on. Over time, as you got more skilled, you would end up owning or borrowing a variety of increasingly specialized tools. And with each tool, there is a little learning curve but quickly you find that these tools make the job easier, maybe safer, and faster. Its the same with the control lines on a boat. Starting out you can ignore them and keep it as simple as you want. But over time once you have learned the broad strokes, you will begin to experiment and as you learn to use the tools, the boat (any boat) will get easier and safer to sail.

Jeff
Jeff_H,
OK, well you made quite a number of points there so I'll do my best to catch up. BTW, thanks again for all the data points. The voyage of discovery continues :)

Regarding overlapping Genoas, since many boats I'm looking at have them, if I've got this straight, it seems that one way to make them more versatile is to go with less overlap, in other words say 110% overlap instead of 150% overlap, as this will allow for: 1) a thicker more durable sail to be used, 2) more wind range of usability of that sail, and 3) greater ease of tacking. But this will be at the expense of SA/D and therefore stability, so there's a tradeoff (as always it seems!)

Re: fractional vs masthead rigs, fractional rigs according to your arguments should be worse for stability than masthead rigs since they will need more sail overlap to get the same sail area to displacement and power, and being lower aspect they will be less efficient.

Regarding the lever arm between center of buoyancy and center of gravity, the longer that lever arm, you say the greater the stability. But this seems counter intuitive as that lever arm is longer when a boat has say a lot of weight on deck, and a higher center of gravity. Yet we know this makes a boat more tippy and unstable. Also, a long lever arm is problematic as the more leverage is being applied when a boat heels too much, the lever switches sides, and becomes a lever of capsizing. In other words by this logic of the longer the lever arm, the more stable a boat, but when it gets too far heeled, the longer the lever arm, the more likely it is to capsize.

So the more stable a boat, the more likely to capsize when pushed to extremes. That's quite a trade-off to consider. And if true, perhaps a less stable boat is better for blue water. Definitely some irony in there.

Also, I get the center of buoyancy vs center of gravity argument you are making, however there is a problem with the experience of sailors, and in discussions of safe stable blue water boats pretty much everywhere that I'm having trouble reconciling, that the consensus still seems to be that the best thing for blue water is a heavy boat. Just look at bluewaterboats.org:


Literally every one of them is a super heavy tank.

Even look at the offshore cruiser list posted here some years ago:


Again bunch of heavy tanks.

And on researching a different subject (secondary rudders) since I'm now considering boats with spade rudders I found this circumnavigator who said he had no choice but to heave to in bad weather because his boat was "too light" to stand up to the conditions:


Again, I don't know how to reconcile these two opposing positions, when so many circumnavigators still swear by their tanky heavy boats.

One additional piece of data I was able to dig up on the subject that may explain this disparity at least to some extent is the argument that a heavily built boat is less affected by a lot of weight of stores and tankage typical of long distance cruisers. They say a light boat when weighed down for cruising with all the extra gear- solar panels, dinghys, davits, radars, wind generators, extra batteries, food, water, fuel, etc, is highly affected by the weight and sails much worse, while a heavy boat is less affected by all the extra weight. So that argument at least partially bridges the gap. However they still swear that the heavy boat is more stable, sea worthy and sea kindly. And that I'm having trouble reconciling with the science and physics of what you've presented.

This one is a real mind bender for sure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,361 Posts
Definitely paralysis by analysis.

How many boats have you actually gone inside? And refresh my memory: What boats have you actually sailed?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
254 Posts
Definitely paralysis by analysis.

How many boats have you actually gone inside? And refresh my memory: What boats have you actually sailed?
So far I've sailed a Cal 39 once, a Laser once, and Polyvalks about a dozen times now. Polyvalk in case you don't know it's the most popular rental sailboat in The Netherlands:

I get what you're implying, but there is one thing special about this particular boat search which is a bit limiting- there is a bit if a flu going around which has a lot of people kind of freaked out, a lot of places have been closed, all boat viewings are by appointment only, and they prefer if you are very serious, not just window shopping. The whole just go out and see a bunch of boats and volunteer crew on boats for exposure is kind of out the window right now, and unfortunately in these times, more learning than what might ordinarily be normal must be done online, books, etc.

I'd love to just go casually browsing boats and window shopping. But it really is more than a little frowned upon at the moment. So I want to know that the one's that I go see I am well educated as I can be, and have my questions ready and waste as little time as possible from the salesperson.

Unfortunantly analysis paralysis is the order of the day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
254 Posts
The Trintella 3 I wanted to see is under offer.

The X-99 looks like a truly fantastic performance boat, but is unfortunately too lightly equipped for a liveaboard / cruiser with no heater, no hot water, no bimini or dodger or sun protection, 36L water tankage and 24L fuel, no anchor or chain or windlass, a tiny galley and heads, no refrigerator or freezer, or holding tank, or solar or extra batteries or AP. All that extra 'stuff' doesn't sound like much but add it up and you're buying another boat!

The Kalik is a similar story unfortunately.
Its a tricky business trying to get into cruising on this budget.

Truth be told I'll take all of these considerations in mind, but I'll probably just end up getting any one of the boats Jeff_H has recommended so far, or a Contest, that happens to be in the best condition and is the best equipped. The pure cost of equipping for cruising can be more than the cost of the boat.

And to find a boat that already has all the equipment, in good shape means I'll probably end up buying from somebody currently cruising as they tend to be the ones where everything is actually working now. In a few months time I'll be able to raise my budget a bit to deal with the financial realities of cruising that keep hitting me in the face. Or I'll end up settling for a well equipped, frankly crappy performing boat.

This information is still totally useful as it has tremendously limited and refined my search to about a dozen or so boats. It's just a matter of time now until I nab one.
 
61 - 80 of 102 Posts
Top