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Old 25-06-2013, 20:25   #1
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How much Heel?

Just a question for the list. I'm wondering how far of a heal is safe for the Catalina 30. I've been reading some books on how certain configurations of sailboats determine the amount of heal that's still safe. I realize it can be uncomfortable but I'm just wondering how far over a person can take this boat. not that I will take the boat this far but knowing that it's still fine up to a point would give a person knowledge of where to not go should something go harry. Knowing that it's still good beyond say in a heavy gust.
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Old 25-06-2013, 20:46   #2
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Re: How much Heel?

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Originally Posted by dnimigon View Post
Just a question for the list. I'm wondering how far of a heal is safe for the Catalina 30. I've been reading some books on how certain configurations of sailboats determine the amount of heal that's still safe. I realize it can be uncomfortable but I'm just wondering how far over a person can take this boat. not that I will take the boat this far but knowing that it's still fine up to a point would give a person knowledge of where to not go should something go harry. Knowing that it's still good beyond say in a heavy gust.
If its a "real" sailboat you should be able to just about bury the rail ..
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Old 25-06-2013, 21:55   #3
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Re: How much Heel?

If you're knocked down, it's too much heel. Optimal would probably be about 18 degrees... more than that you begin to spill wind out of your main if close hauled. That would be if you did not have a reef in her main.
We routinely sailed with the rail almost buried in an Ingrid 38 and would change out head sails and tuck in a reef if we found the rail under for more than a few minutes.
Remember to reef early, like when you think you might need to rather than waiting until you have to. Catalinas are more tender than I'm used to so go out and play and find out what she'll do and how she performs. A 120 genny will give you a lot more weather helm than a smaller head sail. Catalinas are known for not having enough handholds below so in a heavy sea you can get chucked about the cabin pretty severely so be careful out there.
Each boat is different depending on underwater configuration, full keel vs spade, etc.
Most boats will take more than the crew IMHO... Phil
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Old 25-06-2013, 22:36   #4
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Re: How much Heel?

By all rights and if your rigging is in good shape you should be able to bring the mast to the water,
BUT obviously you don't want to do that.

Too much heel just over works the rigging and looses performance. On the average a good sloop should sail economically at around 20║. More then that and most boats start dragging their rudder causing weather helm.

Some people though like to be macho and want to see how hard they can pull on the tiller.

Because of the design of my boat it sails best at 22║, and I adjust my sails to that point then ease off over that.
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Old 25-06-2013, 22:45   #5
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Re: How much Heel?

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Originally Posted by dnimigon View Post
Just a question for the list. I'm wondering how far of a heal is safe for the Catalina 30. I've been reading some books on how certain configurations of sailboats determine the amount of heal that's still safe. I realize it can be uncomfortable but I'm just wondering how far over a person can take this boat. not that I will take the boat this far but knowing that it's still fine up to a point would give a person knowledge of where to not go should something go harry. Knowing that it's still good beyond say in a heavy gust.

If the boat is heeling deeply AND rounding up, alarm bells should be going on. The boat is trying to broach.

However, if the boat is heeling well but holding her track well, you might just have everything perfectly balanced. I have heard one expert say that most boats get the best gain (speed) from heeling at 22║. On my boat it seems to be a little more than that, which can be pretty scary, especially to beginners/first time sailors. In fact I don't do that to beginners/first time sailors. I'm not interested in scaring people away from the sport.

But the real test is how well the boat is in control ... and whether you secured the contents of your cabin or not ...
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Old 25-06-2013, 23:12   #6
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Re: How much Heel?

121 degrees

That's the angle of vanishing stability, when the boat will turn upside down and stay that way.

according to post #142 here:
Pocket cruising boats - Page 10 - Boat Design Forums
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Old 26-06-2013, 03:35   #7
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Re: How much Heel?

if it cant take a knockdown or two you shouldnt be putting sails up. BUT heeling beyond a certain point is just wasting energy - either ease the sails a bit or learn the gentle art of luffing.
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Old 26-06-2013, 15:03   #8
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Re: How much Heel?

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121 degrees

That's the angle of vanishing stability, when the boat will turn upside down and stay that way.

according to post #142 here:
Pocket cruising boats - Page 10 - Boat Design Forums
I don't think the AVS means the boat will stay upside down once passed. It is the angle at which it will continue through a complete 360 roll, rather than right itself by reversing rolling direction - assuming no other forces come to act upon it.
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Old 26-06-2013, 17:03   #9
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Re: How much Heel?

A number of the flat bottomed beamy boats reach a point of negative righting moment when they go somewhere past 90 degrees of heel. You will only get a boat over 90 degrees of heel with a combination of wind and waves, however. All keel boats are designed to go 90 degrees with wind generated force and pop back up.

The issue is really at what angle do they sail best. The older narrower boats were quite happy with heeling angles greater than 20 degrees. Not so the modern designs. With their flat bottoms and wide beam healing angles much beyond 20 degrees puts the keel in the shadow of the hull seriously reducing it's ability to combat leeway. Also, the rudder starts coming out of the water. Couple that with burying all that hull sideways creating a bunch of drag and you seriously hurt performance. Modern boats liked to be sailed on their feet. I'll make that stronger, modern boats need to be sailed as upright as possible commensurate with getting as much driving force out of the sails as possible. Keep heel angle below 20 degrees on you Catalina and even less in some condiions and you will get the best performance.

Don't worry about a safe heeling angle when you have control of the boat. You are not going to be unsafe, just slow and uncomfortable.
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Old 27-06-2013, 08:50   #10
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Re: How much Heel?

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Originally Posted by HiAndDri View Post
I don't think the AVS means the boat will stay upside down once passed. It is the angle at which it will continue through a complete 360 roll, rather than right itself by reversing rolling direction - assuming no other forces come to act upon it.
Take picture of your deck from the the bow, turn it upside down. Evaluate its shape as a hull. Does it look more round like a semi circle or closer to flat like a power boat hull? If your deck is round, you're right. Look at a stability curve, the line above zero shows how much the boat tries to roll to the upright position. When the line goes below zero, that is showing how much it wants to roll to the upside down position.

Yes, nearly all boats are stable upside down, but it takes a wave to get your boat past 90 degrees to its AVS. Since the stability of the boat is much less upside down it takes a much smaller wave to get it heeled over enough while upside down to roll it back upright.

General discussion of capsizing:
Good Old Boat - Planning for an unplanned inversion article

Stability curve found in this article:
SetSail╗ Blog Archive ╗ Evaluating Stability and Capsize Risks For Yachts
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Old 27-06-2013, 08:55   #11
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Re: How much Heel?

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Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
A number of the flat bottomed beamy boats reach a point of negative righting moment when they go somewhere past 90 degrees of heel. You will only get a boat over 90 degrees of heel with a combination of wind and waves, however. All keel boats are designed to go 90 degrees with wind generated force and pop back up.

The issue is really at what angle do they sail best. The older narrower boats were quite happy with heeling angles greater than 20 degrees. Not so the modern designs. With their flat bottoms and wide beam healing angles much beyond 20 degrees puts the keel in the shadow of the hull seriously reducing it's ability to combat leeway. Also, the rudder starts coming out of the water. Couple that with burying all that hull sideways creating a bunch of drag and you seriously hurt performance. Modern boats liked to be sailed on their feet. I'll make that stronger, modern boats need to be sailed as upright as possible commensurate with getting as much driving force out of the sails as possible. Keep heel angle below 20 degrees on you Catalina and even less in some condiions and you will get the best performance.

Don't worry about a safe heeling angle when you have control of the boat. You are not going to be unsafe, just slow and uncomfortable.
Couldn't have said it better.The Catalina 30 is a light beamy boat,so as Roverhi states above ..."keep her on her feet".
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Old 27-06-2013, 09:10   #12
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Re: How much Heel?

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By all rights and if your rigging is in good shape you should be able to bring the mast to the water,
BUT obviously you don't want to do that.

Too much heel just over works the rigging and looses performance. On the average a good sloop should sail economically at around 20║. More then that and most boats start dragging their rudder causing weather helm.

Some people though like to be macho and want to see how hard they can pull on the tiller.

Because of the design of my boat it sails best at 22║, and I adjust my sails to that point then ease off over that.

I have a good friend who has a Cape Dory. He has won many a competitive race (as in serious racers in the competition, not casual sailors who say "What the hay -- why not try the race today?" -- by keeping his boat at a 22║ heel. This gets him the most waterline without a lot of sideslip, in other words moves the boat fastest over the race course. You just have to test your boat, and of course your sail trim and rudder have to be right as well. The boat has to be well balanced while heeled. Then it's a simple matter of speed vs. sideslip.

It doesn't matter what the heel is if the rest of the boat isn't set well, but any more than enough heel for optimal performance is unnecessarily uncomfortable.

It's foolish to sail the boat but not have her well under control. With excessive heel you don't have as much control over the boat. It FEELS like a wild ride but things can go sour quickly, exponentially related to your amount of experience.

This is also a place where the skipper has to be the skipper and the crew has to follow instructions. You don't need some crew member deciding that the sails should be changed or that more heel is OK. You might even have more speed over ground, but is it efficient speed -- speed taking you toward your destination, whether it's your next tack point, or the next buoy on the race course, or the most efficient line to your intended port?
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Old 27-06-2013, 09:16   #13
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Re: How much Heel?

I'd always assumed that the efficiency of forward motion was related to LWL? A healing boat will "generally" have a longer LWL and therefore will drive forward - well to weather at least.

For me heel angle is a compromise between speed and comfort. With the wife on board less the 20% is where I want to be (God forbid if I in any way disrupt here ability to catch the suns healing rays) and when racing the rail is just above the water and sometimes in.

At the helm you're, in my experiance, going to be working against the boats desire to head up and that is usually my measure of too much heel and approaching the dreaded broach.
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Old 27-06-2013, 09:32   #14
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Re: How much Heel?

I agree. Aside from a knockdown (and I will assume we are not talking about those kinds of conditions), the limiting factor for me is how much weather helm is induced. When I balance the rig, the heeling takes care of itself. So maybe I would suggest you try worrying less about how much heel angle you have and focus on how much you are fighting the helm. pete
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Old 27-06-2013, 09:58   #15
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Re: How much Heel?

What's heel?
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