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Old 30-09-2014, 10:45   #16
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Re: Bristol 27 Sailing down Chesapeake in 22-28 knots.

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Originally Posted by boat_alexandra View Post
I use a wind vane.

I don't need to hand steer, when it was blowing 35-45 knots (gusting 55) for 3 days leaving new zealand in winter. The gusts kept shaking the hanks loose.. The other issue is the waves about mast height made the (very small head sail) slack in the trough and bulge looking like it could burst on the crests. I got pooped 100 times in 12 hours.. often it was full again before it can drain. The scary part was the meter breakers which when impacted the side of the boat, caused the hull to flex several inches breaking some of the plywood interior.

Last week I was running in 25-30 knots with full main and poled out genoa (wing and wing) and surfing the swells. Going 7.5 knots on the gps. I decided after dark to reduce sail so I would not arrive at night... Also on a single genoa, I can run at 7.5 knots in 35 knots of wind. Always using wind vane to self steer.

My bristol 27 was only $1000 though.
Must be nice having all that room out there in the ocean. It's a little different here in the bay due to low water and closely spaced waves, etc.

I was above and below 7 knots also for maybe 4 hours of my run South. (on a broad reach)

I do wish I had a wind vane steering system though if it works as well as you guys say. You would still have to keep a close eye on things though in the Chesapeake Bay with all the shallow spots, buoys, channel markers, obstructions markers, and shipping traffic.
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Old 30-09-2014, 12:40   #17
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Re: Bristol 27 Sailing down Chesapeake in 22-28 knots.

Keep an eye on Craig's List in whatever area is your closest major sailing center. Used Monitors seem to show up regularly around $2,000. Should work great on your boat and Scanmar can probably sell you any mounting hardware you might need already cut and just bolt together. If you aren't planning on keeping the boat, just sell it when your ready to move on. Might even make a little money on the vane if you buy it right.

With tiller steering and the long keel, your boat is a perfect candidate for self steering. I like the click heading change mechanism on the Aries but they may be too heavy for your boat. The Monitor is a copy of the Aries so will work just as well. Didn't like the line controlled heading as the line would constantly jump off the sheave on the vane. An intermediate sheave close to the vane or a bail to keep the line on the vane's steering sheave would probably cure that problem. Self steering vanes steer better as the boat speed increases. Even severe weather helm is easily compensated for if the boat isn't severely twitchy on the helm. About the only issue in high winds is the vane 'losing its mind' in high wave situations as Boat Alexandra experienced. Only really a big issue running in survival conditions where a momentary change in direction can get you sideways to breaking seas. By that time you should be dragging warps/drogue, etc. which would solve the heading issue.
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Old 30-09-2014, 14:21   #18
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Re: Bristol 27 Sailing down Chesapeake in 22-28 knots.

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Originally Posted by thomm225 View Post
Must be nice having all that room out there in the ocean. It's a little different here in the bay due to low water and closely spaced waves, etc.

I was above and below 7 knots also for maybe 4 hours of my run South. (on a broad reach)

I do wish I had a wind vane steering system though if it works as well as you guys say. You would still have to keep a close eye on things though in the Chesapeake Bay with all the shallow spots, buoys, channel markers, obstructions markers, and shipping traffic.
Wind vanes work extremely well downwind. I mentioned using one in 50+ knots of wind...that was crossing the Atlantic and we were running bare poles at over 7 knots in a big following sea. During the night, when it was pitch black and you could not see a goddamn thing, the vane was a godsend, as otherwise hand steering you had to stare at the instruments to keep the boat on course.

Yeah the Bay is an obstacle course of pots, weirs, shoals, channels, etc. I use my vane when I'm headed on longer legs up and down the Bay, but I always keep a lookout. The point of using the vane is just to not be lashed to the wheel or chew up amps running the autopilot. It would be even more of a relief with tiller steering.

Keep an eye out for a used one. They hold their value really well, so if you let the boat go you can probably recoup most of your investment by selling it off separately.
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Old 30-09-2014, 14:26   #19
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Re: Bristol 27 Sailing down Chesapeake in 22-28 knots.

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Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
The Monitor is a copy of the Aries so will work just as well. Didn't like the line controlled heading as the line would constantly jump off the sheave on the vane. An intermediate sheave close to the vane or a bail to keep the line on the vane's steering sheave would probably cure that problem.
I run the control line to a dinghy block on my pushpit , and rigged a bungie cord to the side which keeps the line tensioned. Has never come off, and helps keep the setting where you set it.
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Old 30-09-2014, 14:33   #20
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Re: Bristol 27 Sailing down Chesapeake in 22-28 knots.

Add more reef points. It's cheap.

As you keyed-in, it isn't just about strong wind, it is about balance. Knowing you were going to run all day, you might well have set a jib and 3 reefs in the main; enough to get you out the creek, and then a nice down wind balance for the rest of the day. I often reef the main reaching more for balance than because I am over powered. If it lightens, shaking it out is easy, if it picks up it is easier to shorten jib or to dowse a short main.

Nice day.
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Old 30-09-2014, 16:06   #21
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Re: Bristol 27 Sailing down Chesapeake in 22-28 knots.

All good advice above, Thanks!

I haven't added a Wind Vane Steering System or done much more than the basics because this is my first monohull after racing catamarans for 15 years.

I thought I would sell this boat in a year or two after I bought it for $2,000.00 in 2011 and get something larger, but when I do get on boats I am willing to pay for, they seem to be light weights compared to this Bristol.

Granted the Bristol is overbuilt and slow, but you get used to certain things.

I thought I wanted a fast fin keel boat like an Ericson 35 (phrf 123) or something like that but I have discovered that when you aren't racing speed is quite relative.

There is a Sea Sprite 34 that I have seen in Deltaville that seems to be a nice boat, but I'd hate to lose it on a first voyage, and it has wheel steering which mean very little room in the cockpit on that style boat.

So I may stay with the Bristol for a bit which still means I'm not sure how much money I want to put into it.

Having a few more reef points added may be the right call at this time especially since I'm still working.

And I did buy a new tiller autopilot since I somehow lost mine overboard on this day June 14th.
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Old 30-09-2014, 17:17   #22
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Re: Bristol 27 Sailing down Chesapeake in 22-28 knots.

Thomm225....... send me a pm. I would love to come over and see your boat. I'm only a 1/2 mile away.
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Old 30-09-2014, 17:30   #23
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Re: Bristol 27 Sailing down Chesapeake in 22-28 knots.

[ATTACH][/ATTACH]Sent.

The boat looks like this in the slip is bow in at present.

Btw, do you think this is a contracted ship for the navy? He's heading out Thimble Shoal Channel as you can see.
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