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Old 25-07-2005, 20:30   #16
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7 Knots Cruising

Well, our trip to Bermuda from the East Greenwich Yacht Club, upriver from Newport, took exactly 5 days. As well, we had some westerly in our heading for the first 24 hours, waiting for better weather and the right location for the crossing of the Gulf Stream. That gave us 127 miles per day average over 5 days, for an "as the crow flies path". Our actual average would have been higher. However, it suggests we should stick with the 5 knot expectation for planning.

From Bermuda to Tortola, we took a little longer than 6 days. for one 24 hour period, we averaged 7.0 knots, with a 15 knot wind just behind our beam for the whole time. It seemed as if we had a storm cloud that was stationary on our port quarter for most of that time, moving with us. That was a 168 mile day over the bottom.

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Old 25-07-2005, 20:41   #17
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FJ ought to be capable of the required 7 knots, but is very much dependent on how much extra weight you are carrying. The snowgoose elite is a much better load carrier than the older goose, but is still somewhat overweight at abt 6 tons + liquids. The woods designs appear to be faster especially the new design eclipse, and broadblue have also improved their capabilities.
My old catalac needs a decent wind to get going, but hates going to windward in a slop unless there is enough wind to drive her through the waves.

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Old 25-07-2005, 21:07   #18
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sono in trini?

Hey Sonosailor I think I walked past your boat in the yard down in Trinidad when I down from Canada buying a boat a few weeks back. Nice to see you made it south of the hurricane zone.
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Old 26-07-2005, 19:38   #19
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What Do You Mean, "Day"?

I guess this has already been addressed in a roundabout way, but a bluewater cruiser has the luxury of using a 24-hr "day," whereas the coastal cruiser's "day" can vary significantly, but usually is affected by simple sunrise/sunset and the sailor's own diurnal rhythms. They are different kinds of sailing.

So the question of how far can one sail in a day needs to be qualified not only by boat type, LWL, whether one is running or beating (VMG), and all the other above-mentioned factors, but also by what constitutes one's "day."

Since the original poster doesn't provide any context for his question, it's impossible to give any kind of meaningful answer.

Maybe asking him for clarification would help.
s/y Elizabeth— Catalina 34 MkII
"Man must have just enough faith in himself to have adventures, and just enough doubt of himself to enjoy them." — G. K. Chesterfield
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Old 03-08-2005, 04:41   #20
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heavy and fast

We averaged 118 nm/day through the water over 15,000 miles of ocean sailing on our Westsail 32. Used the engine for getting in and out of port and charging the batteres for running light usage, only. Did a whopping 15nm one day and 900 miles in 6 days on another stretch. Best day was 178nm. The Aries drove it the whole way.

For planning purposes, we figured 4 knots average or about 2/3 theoretical hull speed.

Keeping the speed up in light air really helps to increase the average. With any real wind, you will easily exceed 4 knots. Most displacment hulls won't exceed theoretical hull speed no matter what the conditions. Ultra lights and those with flat aft sections designed for planing might spend enough time on the plane to significantly exceed hull speed under ideal condtions. Day in day out, those days are going to be the exception, however.

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Old 03-08-2005, 06:33   #21
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Jettison the Head!


The W32 is a heavy boat. What exactly did you do to "keep the speed up in light air"?

Here's your chance to defend the WetSnail.
s/y Elizabeth— Catalina 34 MkII
"Man must have just enough faith in himself to have adventures, and just enough doubt of himself to enjoy them." — G. K. Chesterfield
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Old 03-08-2005, 08:06   #22
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Light air.

Since we didn't have an auto pilot and I hate to drive, had to keep the boat moving to get the Aries to work. We had a spinnaker and a Reacher/Drifter off a Morgan 35. We set the spinnaker tacked to the head stay very occasionally. Mostly we used the reacher drifter up to about 4 knots of boat speed. Found that sheeting the reacher drifter to the main boom instead of the genoa track opened up the slot between the main and R/D. That would add up to a knot of boat speed depending on conditions.

Our boom was a foot longer than the stock sail plan and we ordered the sail with maximum roach. We had to reef early but the main really added horsepower off the wind and drive in light air.

We had a Yankee jib that was larger than usually carried. The staysail was loose footed and as large as sheeting angles would allow. Tried a genoa staysail which worked really well but the sheet fouled the forward lower shroud. It was either put in a baby stay or give it up. We sold the sail before we left. So our working sails, that we used more than 50% of the time, gave us more drive than the typical boat.

We had a misunderstanding with the factory about our ballast configuration. Our boat was #163, early in production before they started using cast lead ballast. We ordered an extra 1,000 pound of lead than standard. When we launched we were way down on the lines so think they gave us an extra ton of ballast. Ballast was also so high in the bilge that we had cut down the size of the tanks. So think the ballast was more concentrated in the center of the boat.

Our progression in sail configuration was 1. 100% main and R/D, 2. Reef the main to the 2nd reef, we never used the first reef point. 3. Drop the R/D hoist the staysail and yankee. 4. tuck the 3rd reef in the main. 5. drop the yankee and sail under staysail and triple reefed main. By that time it was getting really stinky out and we were just to stay as comfortable as possible. Fortunately, we almost had to reduce sail beyond the 3rd reef in the main. Since we didn't have roller furling on the headstay, the cutter plan was great. We only made one sail change between flat calm and 30-35+ knots of wind.

Sailing in SoCal, we learned early what we had to do to in light air. Almost never had what I condider a decent wind except North of Point Conception. Trying to pinch up was absolutely stupid in light air. I actually managed to sail the snail sideways with all sails full and drawing. The boat just wouldn't go forward, hard on the wind, in light air if there was any chop. Get the boat speed up and you could head up but you couldn't do the reverse. So it was important to first get the boat moving and then worry about where you were going, after. For open ocean sailing, that worked very well for making fast passages. Not quite so good for coastal cruising, though. Reccomend it for any cruiser on a long passage, however.

We also had a two bladed prop that we always locked in place behind the deadwood. Don't know that that really made a difference as we made our best days run in another boat that had a three bladed prop. Did 187 nm day in one and 181 nm in another W32 that had 3 bladed props on deliveries. These boats didn't have self-steering so I had to drive the whole 24 hours while the Aries always steered our boat so that could also have made a difference. Our best day in our boat was 178 nm. These runs were all through the water as measured on a Walker Log, btw.

Basically, we found that if you concentrated on getting boat speed up, irregardless of heading, the snails were quite fast. Also, I really work at keeping any boat sailing that I'm on. Think that a lot of W32's got sold on the lifestyle by Lynn Vick without really knowing much about sailing. I started sailing as a kid, raced, cruised coastally fairly extensively and the W32 was my fourth boat so had thousands of ocean miles under my belt before the Snail.

Peter O.
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Old 03-08-2005, 16:47   #23
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If you're talking about a conventional monohull keelboat of "average" speed (neither "greyhound" nor "stone"), then your hull speed will be the square root of the waterline length times about 1.3, or in other words, 6.5 knots for a 25' waterline (roughly 30' overall length) sloop.

Don't count on making hull speed all day, unless you've got a nice strong continuous wind between a reach and a run. Figure on about two-thirds of your hull speed as a comfortable goal, or just over 4 knots for that 30-foot cruising sloop as a reasonably attainable distance. On a good day reaching or running, you might indeed average 6 knots, so 10 hours of sailing gives 60 miles, that's a good long day. On a bad day, light wind, adverse current, or adverse wind you have to beat into, it could be much less, maybe just 20-25 miles. Daylight is also a limiting factor, you don't want to have to enter an unfamiliar harbor or anchorage after dark if you don't have to.

Best plan if possible is to have a short, medium, and long port of refuge in mind for the day, then adjust your destination to fit the kind of progress the conditions are permitting you to make good.
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Old 16-10-2007, 18:19   #24
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Going back and checking our log, we averaged 131 nm per day on our run to the Marquesas. Didn't really push hard, just running with the wind under twin gennies for the most part.
Didn't do so bad with our heavy boat, but then I didn't push hard.
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Old 17-10-2007, 06:34   #25
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I would hate to plan on 7 knots to Bermuda.

We find that the limiting factor in miles made good in the mighty catamaran Sunspot Baby is wind speed and direction.

The best average we ever made was motor sailing up the Gulf Stream when we bought the boat in 2001. We went from Ft. Lauderdale to Cape Fear in 60 hours. The distance from sea buoy to sea buoy is 510 nm so we were averaging 200+ miles per day. The 60 hours including leaving the dock in FL and getting tied up in NC.

We have seen 10 knots in perfect conditions, but have learned to be content if we can keep her above 4.

When we make crossings to and from Bahamas and US, we plan on 6 knots and if the wind won’t keep us there, we turn on an engine. This is not an option for longer distances; we would run out of fuel.

As stated elsewhere on the forum a sailor has three kinds of wind: Too much. Too little. Wrong direction.

She took my address and my name
Put my credit to shame
Sunspot Baby, sure had a real good time
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Old 17-10-2007, 07:25   #26
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Shiva has a 29 LWL and I like to plan for 150 / 24 hrs. I've done more, but often less. I think our best day was 176.

It's all a matter of conditions and that includes current and a clean bottom.

sv shiva
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Old 17-10-2007, 07:30   #27
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On our recent Delivery/Cruise from Callam Bay, WA to Astoria, OR we left Callam Bay and got to the Columbia River BAr Buoy at 0900. The twenty four hour run was about 166 miles. This was done on a 41' boat with 36' of waterline. She Motors comfortably and economically at 7 to 7.5 knots and flat out at 8 knots. Since we didn't have a breath of air most of the time we had to slow down to 6.5 knots so as to approach the bar in the daytime. We must have had a good 1/4 to 1/2 knot current going with us. I can hardly wait to see how she performs with the wind as her power source for a full 24 hours.
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Old 17-10-2007, 07:40   #28
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Your figures approximate mine, in percentages. With a 29' waterline, your hull speed should be about 7.0 knots. My waterline is just over 34', giving me a hull speed of 7.6 knots or so.

In many thousands of miles of ocean and coastwise voyaging over the past 18 years, I've come to count on 160nm per day. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but on average we do 160.

Figured as a percentage of hull speed, that's about 88%. Example: 7.6 knots x 24 hours would give me just over 182 nm per day. And the 160 which I generally make is 88% of that.

Your 7.0 knot hull speed x 24 gives you a "hull speed potential" of 168 nm per day, and the 150 nm which you plan for is about 89% of that.

Which leads me to the following thought.

If a cruising boat is reasonably quick (like the Contest you have or the Golden Wave I have)....


If she is well sailed (hey....we're great sailors, right? :-)


She might make about 88% of her "hull speed potential" in an average day's run.

To make an equation of this thought:

Take the square root of the LWL, multiply it times 1.3 to get the hull speed.

Take the hull speed x 24 hours to get the "hull speed potential".

Take the "hull speed potential" and multiply it times .88 to get the average day's run.

Or, to simplify the equation, take the square root of the LWL and multiply it times 27.5 to get the average day's run.

Example: What's the average day's run for a boat with a 34' LWL?

Square root of 34 = 5.83 x 27.5 = 160.3 nm per day

Now, wasn't that fun?


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Old 17-10-2007, 10:56   #29
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point of reference

As a point of reference a cat, name escapes me, just set an Atlantic crossing record as well as the 24hr record of 796miles, average 33.1kts!!

Your mileage may vary....

Cape Dory 25D Seraph
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Old 17-10-2007, 17:44   #30
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125 miles per day over 40,000 miles in a 32 ft.

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