I've seen pictures of one NS27 that has a bow thruster installation
My guess is that it is most useful when docking
with tidal current
or brisk wind
because the boat has a cutaway full keel
and a substantial amount of exposed surface for wind
effects. The turning radius of the boat underway is remarkably tight with the large outboard rudder
. I have never felt a need for a bow thruster in my 32 years of ownership
I have never found tacking through the eye of a light breeze to be a problem, but when it's blowing half a stink I have had to fall off and get hull speed
up as high as possible to get that bow and deck
house through the wind...or wear ship...to get onto the opposite tack.
Others with more miles of experience or ocean going experience will hopefully weigh in on this. Most of my experience is bay and sound sailing.
From the Owners' Group Newsletter number 17...an article by the founder/builder who sold the business and went sailing on a NS27...
By Dean Wixom
TACKING IN HEAVY WEATHER
Some NorSea owners have become expert at the heavy weather
jibe, not necessarily to sharpen their sailing skills, but because they have no success tacking in heavy winds. Sometimes the only way `round is the long way `round - to "wear `round" [a controlled jibe]. This is sometimes hard on gear
and overly stimulating to captain
and crew. It's usually avoidable.
Our boat will do the tack, but needs gentle persuasion. Why? The same reason that creates some of its virtues - the cutaway forefoot. This feature that among other things helps the boat tack in light air, allows waves to knock the bow downwind when pinching into heavy winds and seas. This takes additional weather helm
to counteract, stalls the rudder
and keel and causes the boat to wallow.
Did you catch that key word:"pinching". It's key because it's what you don't do. Here's how it's done.
1. Fall off 10 - 15 degrees and let the boat build up speed, [the rudder will regain its normal angle, the rudder and keel are foils again, they are now working].
2. Time your turn to occur at the top of the oncoming wave. [You should be about 1/3 through your turn as the bow breaks free at the top of the wave].
3. Backwind the jib
. [Don't let go the jib
sheet until the jib fills from the opposite side. This causes the backwinded sail to pull the bow around quickly].
4. Once the tack is near complete let the jib sheet go and sheet in as you would normally.
As with many things about the NorSea, this goes against conventional wisdom. Well, our boat was never conventional. Resist the urge to go as high as possible before the tack. Resist the urge to let the jib sheet fly at the start of the tack, but let it go quickly once the boat goes through the eye of the wind. If you delay too long you'll get a lot of heeling and stall the boat an the new tack.
To condense it all:quit pinching up [what are you doing up there anyway?]. Fall off, build up speed. Time your wave, backwind the jib.
Easy as 1,2,3.