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The improvements have been evolutionary rather then revolutionary. (That was my point in posting the picture in post #56) Before the 1970's, it could take a 3-4 fast designers weeks to generate a stability curve for a single design and it would not be terribly accurate since it did not include the impact in stability that resulted from changes in trim. The first reasonably successful Velocity Prediction Program (VPP) came out of the work of Jerry Milgram and George Hazen at some point in the early 1970's and filtered into the yacht design world at some point in the early 1980's

But the computers of the day were slow and so the analysis results were not especially detailed, granular or accurate. I remember hearing that a mini-computer could be set up to run and would run over night and into the next day, but could produce stability curves and a VP. That seemed miraculous.

Since then there has been a vast amount of research on developing more accurate calculation methods and validating the data produced. (Validation in this case is comparing real world measured values to computer simulated values, and incrementally improving the accuracy of the computer simulations.) The research has certainly looked a being able to quantify performance oriented characteristics such as lift to drag, and load paths for real world forces. But it also has looked a motion as well. The ability to quickly compare the impact on motion from perhaps moving a battery bank or making the stern a little fuller is a pretty recent tool (I would think less than 5-10 or so years) and can be done in minutes and not days on a laptop computer, so the designer can tweak to their hearts out, until they have the best design that they are willing to keep looking for.

But its not just about computers since there are other non-computer driven innovations. As these newer boats, within a boat's normal usable service range, have greatly increased stability and reduced drag (as compared to similar displacement older designs) , sail plans have gotten much more efficient allowing smaller sails to accomplish the same thing as larger sails and in turn be much easier to handle across a much wider wind range. Better sail handling gear has added to the making sail handling easier as well.

In other words, there is no one point in time that there was a sudden change, and it is not one single thing that suddenly changed, it has been a slow and steady improvement, incremental improvement to hundreds of smaller components that make up a boat.

I will add this one last example. You and I sail boats that are roughly the same age, and while the hull forms are very different and your boat is nearly 50% heavier than mine, the rigs are very similar. Our fractional rigs were state of the art rigs in the 1980's for performance cruising boats. Compared to modern fractional rigged performance cruising boats, they were pretty small fraction (7/8 or so) rigs as compared to 15/16th or 16/17th rigs of today. So what changed? When our boats were designed, performance cruising boats only used panel-cut broad seemed Dacron sails. There was a limit to the aspect ratio before leech stretch made those sails ineffective, That meant that there was a limit to the aspect ratio of both the mainsail and jib, and as the foot of the mainsail became bigger, and the foot of the jib became smaller on a fractional rig, the luff of the jib became smaller relative to the height of the mainsail.

At some point better stress mapping in the sails allowed the fiber orientation to be rotated on panel cut dacron so that there was less leech stretch and that allowed the jib's aspect ratio to increase and the fraction to get bigger. At the same time small improvements in the fabric itself reduced stretch so the forestay crept further up the mast. Then cruising laminates came on the scene and once again the aspect ratios increased. That increased aspect ratio required more stability, and coincidentally stability was increasing during this same period as well. And in combination these changes produced boats that were wildly easier to sail, much more forgiving in changing conditions, cheaper to own, faster, and so on. And that is just one small slice of the myriad changes going on behind our collective backs.

Jeff
OK...
So what is the year of "modern designs" if this was... and I accept and agree an evolutionary process. I am not an observer of production yachts... so my impression is mostly what I see where I moor my boat and pass close enough to see the "design"... sailing somewhat... but I don't get a close look. Can a date be fixed for the beginning of the modern cruising yacht design?
 

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I have a 30 year old boat. Everyone I know has a 20-40 year old boat. I feel like I have a decent handle on the relative qualities of many 80's-era production boats (I don't claim to be an expert). But I know very little about modern boat builders. I'd like to be a little less ignorant.

I won't ask you what you don't like, as I'm not interested in bashing other people's boats. But what modern boats do you like? Who do you think is building good boats right now? What would you buy if you could?
I enjoyed this for a while but I think it went askew somewhere. Could you start another one, since it is yours and ask what would be your next boat if money was no object. Dennis
 

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OK...
So what is the year of "modern designs" if this was... and I accept and agree an evolutionary process. I am not an observer of production yachts... so my impression is mostly what I see where I moor my boat and pass close enough to see the "design"... sailing somewhat... but I don't get a close look. Can a date be fixed for the beginning of the modern cruising yacht design?
I would unequivocally say that any boat designed after 10:39 a.m. EST on May 3rd 2012 is modern, and anything that precedes that date and time is obviously old and obsolete.

Okay, seriously, I would suggest that modern is in the mind of the beholder and can't be boiled down to one universal right year of demarcation. If I read the original question, it is asking each of us to describe what we each think of as our favorite modern cruising boat(s).

But what is modern for one person, say Pacific Seacraft, might seem hopelessly dated for someone else. But also, there are boats whose design principals span a broad spectrum of ideas from different periods and intended for different purposes. Those boats may be seen as very modern for their purpose, but not exactly leading edge. For example, I think the most recent Hallberg Rasseys and Amel are modern, slightly conservative, distance cruising designs, but the hull forms and rig proportions are basically early IMS derived and so could have been designed in the late 1990's.

Jeff
 
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I would unequivocally say that any boat designed after 10:39 a.m. EST on May 3rd 2012 is modern, and anything that precedes that date and time is obviously old and obsolete.

Okay, seriously, I would suggest that modern is in the mind of the beholder and can't be boiled down to one universal right year of demarcation. If I read the original question, it is asking each of us to describe what we each think of as our favorite modern cruising boat(s).

But what is modern for one person, say Pacific Seacraft, might seem hopelessly dated for someone else. But also, there are boats whose design principals span a broad spectrum of ideas from different periods and intended for different purposes. Those boats may be seen as very modern for their purpose, but not exactly leading edge. For example, I think the most recent Hallberg Rasseys and Amel are modern, slightly conservative, distance cruising designs, but the hull forms and rig proportions are basically early IMS derived and so could have been designed in the late 1990's.

Jeff

Imma thinking it was at 10;41 a.m.!

maybe we should call them newer designs, kinda like a newer house vs an older one. More modern materials, better infrastructure but the basic purpose unchanged.

One of the things I left the Annapolis Boatshow with last year (first one since we first gave up sailing in 1989) was the rise of the multi-hull and simultaneously the rise of the newer mono-hulls with commodious cockpits, and much improved livability below decks secondary to the flatter hull designs, higher freeboard and much of the beam moved aft. Along with that comes a faster hull with much initial stability, not unlike the multihulls. Must admit was pretty impressed! I cannot begin to have the same wealth of knowledge the many here have (Jeff in particular) but am very aware that for every design change comes a new set of compromises as ALL designs are compromises for something. In the intervening years between 1989 and when we took up sailing again (2016) I did much white water paddling (actually got paid to teach it!). In those years boat materials and design also changed much with a shift from displacement hulls to planing hulls. Each had it's own benefit and challenges. I still own many (more than my wonderful wife would like to see) boats from that period with the latest a 21rst century design. Here's what I know for a fact, my favorite boat (a displacement hull) is a Dagger RPM, considered radical when introduced well over two decades ago (Radical Performance Machine) but eventually replaced by the new planning hull boats which gave much initial stability, easier ability to surf, play, and maneuver. This all came with a price, they were not suited to changeable conditions as much nor as able to get the paddler downstream as effectively. Inna a nutshell, they were not 'cruisers'. OBTW...Dagger re-introduced the RPM for it's anniversary just a few years back, it sold out immediately.

Now we jump to yacht design and the 'newer' designs we saw at the boat show. Some parallels can be drawn. I have included a link to a Practical Sailor article (since I am not a subscriber anymore the diagrams and pics are missing but the content is still there) that did a very good job helping me understand the newer designs vis a vie the older designs. Hopefully everyone will take the time to read it as it does not laud one over the other and only hopes to explain.


Hope this helps explain why 'better or worse' is not the appropriate way to describe any design over another unless you are choosing only certain parameters, which are personal choices.

Interlude
 

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Imma thinking it was at 10;41 a.m.!

maybe we should call them newer designs, kinda like a newer house vs an older one. More modern materials, better infrastructure but the basic purpose unchanged.

One of the things I left the Annapolis Boatshow with last year (first one since we first gave up sailing in 1989) was the rise of the multi-hull and simultaneously the rise of the newer mono-hulls with commodious cockpits, and much improved livability below decks secondary to the flatter hull designs, higher freeboard and much of the beam moved aft. Along with that comes a faster hull with much initial stability, not unlike the multihulls. Must admit was pretty impressed! I cannot begin to have the same wealth of knowledge the many here have (Jeff in particular) but am very aware that for every design change comes a new set of compromises as ALL designs are compromises for something. In the intervening years between 1989 and when we took up sailing again (2016) I did much white water paddling (actually got paid to teach it!). In those years boat materials and design also changed much with a shift from displacement hulls to planing hulls. Each had it's own benefit and challenges. I still own many (more than my wonderful wife would like to see) boats from that period with the latest a 21rst century design. Here's what I know for a fact, my favorite boat (a displacement hull) is a Dagger RPM, considered radical when introduced well over two decades ago (Radical Performance Machine) but eventually replaced by the new planning hull boats which gave much initial stability, easier ability to surf, play, and maneuver. This all came with a price, they were not suited to changeable conditions as much nor as able to get the paddler downstream as effectively. Inna a nutshell, they were not 'cruisers'. OBTW...Dagger re-introduced the Dagger for it's anniversary just a few years back, it sold out immediately.

Now we jump to yacht design and the 'newer' designs we saw at the boat show. Some parallels can be drawn. I have included a link to a Practical Sailor article (since I am not a subscriber anymore the diagrams and pics are missing but the content is still there) that did a very good job helping me understand the newer designs vis a vie the older designs. Hopefully everyone will take the time to read it as it does not laud one over the other and only hopes to explain.


Hope this helps explain why 'better or worse' is not the appropriate way to describe any design over another unless you are choosing only certain parameters, which are personal choices.

Interlude
That is an interesting article. Most of us don't have the benefit of being able to compare so many different boats. The author does make some pretty sweeping generalizations; it would be more interesting if he had examined a few examples of specific boats that he found handled in the way he describes.

I think it is also a matter of perspective and expectations. My last boat was a racer/cruiser designed in the '70s and it was a lot of work to sail in gusty, rough conditions. My current boat is the epitome of a modern cruising boat design, and in those same conditions it handles like a dream! It is downright relaxing to sail! Sure, you have to counter increased weather helm when a big gust hits, but it is not difficult or concerning, it is just normal helming.

I suppose if you are coming from old-school cruising boats and stepping onto a modern design you might find it disconcerting. When a friend of mine who has an old pilot house cruising boat came for a sail with me I gave him the helm, and the first time he tacked he was startled by how fast the boat turned. He is used to a boat with a heavy helm that takes a lot of steering input to change course. I will take the responsiveness of a modern boat every time!



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Imma thinking it was at 10;41 a.m.!

maybe we should call them newer designs, kinda like a newer house vs an older one. More modern materials, better infrastructure but the basic purpose unchanged.

One of the things I left the Annapolis Boatshow with last year (first one since we first gave up sailing in 1989) was the rise of the multi-hull and simultaneously the rise of the newer mono-hulls with commodious cockpits, and much improved livability below decks secondary to the flatter hull designs, higher freeboard and much of the beam moved aft. Along with that comes a faster hull with much initial stability, not unlike the multihulls. Must admit was pretty impressed! I cannot begin to have the same wealth of knowledge the many here have (Jeff in particular) but am very aware that for every design change comes a new set of compromises as ALL designs are compromises for something. In the intervening years between 1989 and when we took up sailing again (2016) I did much white water paddling (actually got paid to teach it!). In those years boat materials and design also changed much with a shift from displacement hulls to planing hulls. Each had it's own benefit and challenges. I still own many (more than my wonderful wife would like to see) boats from that period with the latest a 21rst century design. Here's what I know for a fact, my favorite boat (a displacement hull) is a Dagger RPM, considered radical when introduced well over two decades ago (Radical Performance Machine) but eventually replaced by the new planning hull boats which gave much initial stability, easier ability to surf, play, and maneuver. This all came with a price, they were not suited to changeable conditions as much nor as able to get the paddler downstream as effectively. Inna a nutshell, they were not 'cruisers'. OBTW...Dagger re-introduced the Dagger for it's anniversary just a few years back, it sold out immediately.

Now we jump to yacht design and the 'newer' designs we saw at the boat show. Some parallels can be drawn. I have included a link to a Practical Sailor article (since I am not a subscriber anymore the diagrams and pics are missing but the content is still there) that did a very good job helping me understand the newer designs vis a vie the older designs. Hopefully everyone will take the time to read it as it does not laud one over the other and only hopes to explain.


Hope this helps explain why 'better or worse' is not the appropriate way to describe any design over another unless you are choosing only certain partmeters, which are personal choices.

Interlude
So we will keep our narrow little CD30, sits low in the water with a lot of lead down low. I can sit and see over the cabin top. We have notice in lite air larger lighter boats blast by us but when the wind picks up and we heel to 25 or 30 degrees we pass these same boats. Don't know why, they should be faster but it is our experience. Dennis
 

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I have wanted to respond to this thread ever since it popped up. I think that this is a great topic, but as I thought about it, I could see how my answer to the question that is the title could have no more relevance that the question, “What is your favorite color?” and my answer being ‘green’.

As I contemplated my response I concluded that this is not a problem with the original post. I think that the questions “What modern boats do you like? Who do you think is building good boats right now? What would you buy if you could?” do a nice job of setting this up as a worthwhile discussion.

But as I thought about my response I wanted my answer to be placed in context rather than to be a simple preference taken as an abstraction. And while I have not sailed on most of these boats, I have had a chance to see them under sail and been board most of them.

I will also note that the article from Practical Sailor is very poorly written and way out of date in terms of defining what is a modern boat and/or how they are designed. In all time frames there are better and worse designs, the article seemingly is based on the Tartan 3400, which is a really poor design that was outdated before it ever went on sale. And yes, the article is right that it is an ill-mannered design but where the article goes wrong is that the Tartan 34 is not representative of the current crop of designs that are designed and evaluated by means of computational fluid analysis so that the boat remains balanced and under control up to very high heel angles even if the newer cruising designs are intended to be sailed much flatter than more historical designs. But it also fails to understand that much of what shapes these modern performance cruisers have little to nothing to do with more speed. That is in many ways a byproduct of the advances rather than the driving force and mission statement that has shaped the current design concept.

What the article in Practical Sailor does not say is that the current crop of advanced designed yachts are much more difficult to design, and that without use of modern design tools and the modern science that was used to develop those tools, it is impossible to design a boat with using the current design concepts that sails well across a broad range of conditions and which is easy to sail. But those tools exist and by employing those tools, the resultant designs are way easier to sail, way more forgiving, way more stable, and way more seaworthy than the older designs.

I will say that there is no stock design out there that I truly would want to own. If money were no object I would probably collaborate with Farr Yacht Design to on a custom 40 footer that employed the DSS system. I will explain why there are no stock designs that I would want to own later in this post. But to go back to the original question…..

If I had to pick just one stock design, my first choice would probably be the Xp38 by X-yachts. I would pick this boat for a variety of reasons, none of which have anything to do with bleeding edge design considerations. Frankly, designed in 2013, these are not the most advanced designs, nor the fastest. But they are well rounded designs that sail well in a broad range of conditions. From talking to an owner who took one offshore, they apparently have no bad habits. X-yachts build quality and engineering is impressive. The interior of the cabin layout is about perfect for my tastes. The ergonomics on deck are appear to be well thought thru would work well as a full crewed boat or short-handed. My sense is that these are tough, go anywhere (that is deep enough) designs.

I also like the Italia 11.98, for many of the same reasons as the Xp-38. I am not convinced that the Italia is as robust as the X-yacht but it seems well engineered. I also think that the ergonomics would not work as well for short-handed sailing. But these seem to be boats that handle a broad range of conditions well, and should be easy to sail. The cabin layout is less appealing to me than the X-Boat. I would rather have one aft cabin, one head and a larger galley.

Some other also ran’s,
I have not seen a Dehler 38 sq in real life but the sound like a really nice design. Also I am not sure what I think about square head mainsails on cruising boats.

I would include the J-112. These seem to be well designed and well-rounded boats.

Similarly I like the looks of the Elan E5, but I have no direct experience. I have seen a prior generation Elan and thought that the workmanship looked good, and the ergonomics seemed well thought through. The E5 seems to be more gimmicky than that earlier design. It is also surprisingly heavy, which is not a good thing in my book.

If this were biased more towards performance, I really like the looks of the JPK line. They seem be extremely well thought thru and constructed. I particularly like the JPK 1010. I also like the Pogo 36 and Pogo 12.5. I have seen the older Pogo 40 up close and thought it was a very well done design, and conceptually liked the swing keel.

But back to why I would not buy any stock design that is out there. Disqualifiers would be:

Tee Keels. I know that they are very efficient, but they are also not practical enough for this old sailor.

Outdrives: I had one and don’t want one ever again. Give me a straight drive prop shaft any day.

Wide open cockpits: They look good on paper or with big race crews, they are too much real estate to cross short-handed.

Chines: While chines work really well on very light, high speed race boats, they are a dumb idea on a cruising boats. They do nothing useful for motion comfort or performance on boats that are displacement cruisers.

Wave piercing bows: They look sexy but do nothing good for a cruising boat. They bring a lot of water onto the fore deck and toss it quite far aft. Any theoretical advantage of not having as much weight from a plumb or slightly raked bow is quickly lost from the weight of water on the deck.

Plumb topsides: The theory is that the topsides ideally never touch the water, but all cruisers eventually end up heeled over more than ideal at some point. When you heel over a plumb topside until they touch the water, that results in a notch in the stability curve and that notch impacts motion comfort and stability. But more significantly, a slight flare (especially in the bow area) keeps water off of the deck and so makes the boat drier and safer to sail.

Too much complexity: Modern cruisers have way to much stuff on them. I am a keep it simple kind of guy.

Too much weight: This one gets me. I sail 38 foot boat that was designed as a performance cruiser 41 years ago. The dry weight on that design was around 10,500 lbs. (Fully loaded they are closer to 13,500 lbs.) When I look at new 38 footers their dry weight on all of them ispretty much 2,000-3,000 lbs heavier. I get that they have considerably longer water line lengths (similar D/L), and I get that they have way more sail area (and bigger SA/D’s) but I don’t get why they are so heavy. To me more than anything else, more displacement translates to more cost to built and maintain, and more work to sail. I just don’t get it.

But hopefully, this puts my answer in context.
Jeff
 
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So we will keep our narrow little CD30, sits low in the water with a lot of lead down low. I can sit and see over the cabin top. We have notice in lite air larger lighter boats blast by us but when the wind picks up and we heel to 25 or 30 degrees we pass these same boats. Don't know why, they should be faster but it is our experience. Dennis
I don't know why you might have an impression that you are faster than more modern boats of a similar size in heavier winds, but if you compare the CD 30 to similar displacement modern designs, the speed advantage of more modern designs is readily evident in light winds but a modern designed performance cruiser would have a wildly faster speed advantage in heavier conditions over a CD 30. and would be sailing flatter and with a more comfortable motion.(less roll and pitch at a slower roll and pitch rate)

For example, my boat isn't all that modern, but it does have roughly the same displacement and ballast as the Cape Dory 30. Last week I was sailing in 25 to 32 knots of wind, Close reaching into a big chop, we were moving at a pretty steady speed range around 7.5 to 8 knots. Once we bore away, most of the time we were maintaining speeds in the 8-8.5 knot range with bursts of sustained speeds into the mid-9 range and a high speed of 10.5 knots. And more modern designs would be way faster than my boat in those conditions. While the Cape Dory 30 has a lot of virtues, I am sorry, those are not speeds that a CD- 30 can hit let alone sustain.

Even if you compare boats by length, a modern design, say something like a Dehler 30, would be wildly faster than the CD-30 (or my boat for that matter) in heavy air on all points of sail.

Now then, there was a time when a boat like the CD 30 was faster than newer race boat designs. The Cape Dory is a 45 year old design (35 if yours is a Mk II) but it's design is based on race boat design principles from the 1940's thru 1960's. If by modern designs you are comparing the speed of a CD 30 to (1970's - 1980's) IOR era derived designs, then yes, your are probably correct that you can stick with them in heavy air, especially reaching, and you would not need to reef as early.

Regarding 25-30 degrees of heel, you might want to experiment to see if that really is faster. Even these older shorter waterline boats were generally faster at flatter heel angles than that, and made way less leeway when sailed flatter resulting in much better VMG's. One way to do that is set your GPS to go to some point that is vaguely upwind and then try sailing the boat a number of cycles a various heel angles. Watch the arrival time at that mark and not the speed over bottom. Sooner or later arrival time will give you the best sense of your VMG. Try that again close and broad reaching as well. I would think that less heel will prove to have a faster VMG, require less tacks, and may be more comfortable even if it does not seem as fast.

Respectfully,
Jeff
 

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I don't know why you might have an impression that you are faster than more modern boats of a similar size, but if you compare the CD 30 to similar displacement modern designs, the speed advantage of more modern designs is readily evident in in light winds but a modern designed performance cruiser would have a wildly faster speed advantage in heavier conditions over a CD 30. and would be sailed flatter and with a more comfortable motion.(less roll and pitch at a slower roll and pitch rate)

For example, my boat isn't all that modern, but it does have roughly the same displacement and ballast as the Cape Dory 30. Last week I was sailing in 25 to 32 knots of wind, Close reaching into a big chop, we were moving at a pretty steady range around 7.5 to 8 knots. Once we bore away, most of the time we were maintaining speeds in the 8-8.5 knot range with bursts into the mid-9 range and a high speed of 10.5 knots. And more modern designs would be way faster than my boat in those conditions. While the Cape Dory 30 has a lot of virtues, I am sorry, those are not speeds that a CD- 30 can hit let alone sustain.

Even if you compare boats by length, a modern design something like a Dehler 30 would be wildly faster than the CD-30 (or my boat for that matter) in heavy air and on all points of sail.

Now then, there was a time when a boat like the CD 30 was faster than newer designs. The Cape Dory is a 45 year old design (35 if yours is a mk II) but is based on race boat design principles from the 1940's thru 1950's. If by modern designs you are comparing the speed of a CD 30 speed to (1970's - 1980's) IOR era derived designs, then yes, your are probably correct that you can stick with them in heavy air, especially reaching, and you would not need to reef as early.

Regarding 25-30 degrees of heel, you might want to experiment to see if that really is faster. Even these older shorter waterline boats were generally faster at flatter heel angles than that, and made way less leeway when sailed flatter resulting in much better VMG's. One way to do that is set your GPS to go to some point that vaguely upwind and then try sailing the boat a various heel angles. Watch the arrival time and not the speed over bottom. That will give you the best sense of your VMG. Try that again close and broad reaching as well. I would think that less heel will prove to have a faster VMG, require less tacks, and may be more comfortable even if it did not seem as fast.
Respectfully,
Jeff
I think we are faster when the wind picks up because the modern flat bottom fin keels with a transom as wide as a Basheba Butt (one of the butt sisters) get uncomfortable and bare off the wind. I KNOW we should not be as fast but that's the way it works out more often than not. Obviously I can't exceed my 6.5 or so hull speed and come anywhere near 10 knots even surfing down waves. No sure where you were going with that. And I did give the disclaimer that I know I should not be faster. Dennis
 

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So much of it is more or less theoretical. A couple years ago I absolutely blew the doors off a 40 something foot Manta catamaran that was motoring with my 16 foot beach cat in semi rough conditions in the GOM. He should have been so much faster than us in those conditions, raising his sails would have been a good start. There are a lot of boats out there not being sailed to their potential.
 

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I don't know why you might have an impression that you are faster than more modern boats of a similar size in heavier winds, but if you compare the CD 30 to similar displacement modern designs, the speed advantage of more modern designs is readily evident in light winds but a modern designed performance cruiser would have a wildly faster speed advantage in heavier conditions over a CD 30. and would be sailing flatter and with a more comfortable motion.(less roll and pitch at a slower roll and pitch rate)

For example, my boat isn't all that modern, but it does have roughly the same displacement and ballast as the Cape Dory 30. Last week I was sailing in 25 to 32 knots of wind, Close reaching into a big chop, we were moving at a pretty steady speed range around 7.5 to 8 knots. Once we bore away, most of the time we were maintaining speeds in the 8-8.5 knot range with bursts of sustained speeds into the mid-9 range and a high speed of 10.5 knots. And more modern designs would be way faster than my boat in those conditions. While the Cape Dory 30 has a lot of virtues, I am sorry, those are not speeds that a CD- 30 can hit let alone sustain.

Even if you compare boats by length, a modern design, say something like a Dehler 30, would be wildly faster than the CD-30 (or my boat for that matter) in heavy air on all points of sail.

Now then, there was a time when a boat like the CD 30 was faster than newer race boat designs. The Cape Dory is a 45 year old design (35 if yours is a Mk II) but it's design is based on race boat design principles from the 1940's thru 1960's. If by modern designs you are comparing the speed of a CD 30 to (1970's - 1980's) IOR era derived designs, then yes, your are probably correct that you can stick with them in heavy air, especially reaching, and you would not need to reef as early.

Regarding 25-30 degrees of heel, you might want to experiment to see if that really is faster. Even these older shorter waterline boats were generally faster at flatter heel angles than that, and made way less leeway when sailed flatter resulting in much better VMG's. One way to do that is set your GPS to go to some point that is vaguely upwind and then try sailing the boat a number of cycles a various heel angles. Watch the arrival time at that mark and not the speed over bottom. Sooner or later arrival time will give you the best sense of your VMG. Try that again close and broad reaching as well. I would think that less heel will prove to have a faster VMG, require less tacks, and may be more comfortable even if it does not seem as fast.

Respectfully,
Jeff
I just looked at SailData for your boat. These are approximate numbers. You are 8 feet longer, your draft is 2 feet more, you are 3 feet wider and the boats displacement is almost the same. Your water line is longer than my boat. Just thought it was interesting. We sail the lower bay in some pretty rough conditions, probably far more than you get in the upper bay on a regular basis and I don't notice a lot of pitch and roll. Wet at times in a 4 or 5 foot chop but very comfortable. The steep heel angles are going close hauled they are much less when we bare off the wind, probably 15 to 20. Thank you for all the feed back. Dennis
 

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I just looked at SailData for your boat. These are approximate numbers. You are 8 feet longer, your draft is 2 feet more, you are 3 feet wider and the boats displacement is almost the same. Your water line is longer than my boat. Just thought it was interesting. We sail the lower bay in some pretty rough conditions, probably far more than you get in the upper bay on a regular basis and I don't notice a lot of pitch and roll. Wet at times in a 4 or 5 foot chop but very comfortable. The steep heel angles are going close hauled they are much less when we bare off the wind, probably 15 to 20. Thank you for all the feed back. Dennis
Dennis,
You are correct that my boat, let alone any other more modern boat than mine that had the same displacement and ballast would be roughly 6-8 feet longer, roughly 1-2 feet deeper, and would have a much longer waterline than your boat. The hull form and buoyancy distribution would be very different as well, so that there would be much higher stability and much better damping as well. Those are some of what has improved to make modern boats more seaworthy and more comfortable than the older boats. The net result is that what you think of as rough conditions might not seem like particularly rough conditions on one of these boats.

But I will acknowledge that you are correct that the Southern Bay can get some pretty rough going a larger percentage of the time. I noticed that when I have sailed my own boat down there. The short chop really isn't any worse than up here; its just more frequent, so it really places a premium on motion comfort. Last spring, I did a delivery on an older design down there and was amazed at the difference in motion between that older hull form and more modern boats. By comparison the modern boats rode like a Cadillac.

Jeff
 

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I think we are faster when the wind picks up because the modern flat bottom fin keels with a transom as wide as a Basheba Butt (one of the butt sisters) get uncomfortable and bare off the wind. I KNOW we should not be as fast but that's the way it works out more often than not. Obviously I can't exceed my 6.5 or so hull speed and come anywhere near 10 knots even surfing down waves. No sure where you were going with that. And I did give the disclaimer that I know I should not be faster. Dennis
I think your assumptions are incorrect. It is very unlikely that the modern boats are bearing off because they are uncomfortable. Indeed, they are likely far more comfortable than a skinny old boat that is heeling excessively. (Yes, I think heeling over 30° is excessive!)

On older boats such as your Cape Dory there is little room in the cockpit, and the coamings are skinny and uncomfortable to sit on, so your only option is to stand behind the wheel or sit on the bench with a vertical backrest and brace yourself on the leeward seat. Modern beamy boats have plenty of space to allow for nice wide coamings that make very comfortable seats when sailing to windward. Many of them are curved so that when the boat heels there is always a level surface to plant your butt on. Believe me, the ergonomics of modern boats is light years beyond boats designed in the '60s.

The thing about comparing your speed to other boats on the water is that unless both boats know you are racing it doesn't really mean much!

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