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Old 04-12-2009, 05:14   #16
Don't ask if you can't handle it
 
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To me light air performance would be a boat that sails in 5-7 knot wind like most of us do in 10-13 knot wind. And does it it with normal sails. When I hear light performance I think light displacement with a lot of sail that unless you are the brave type sailor are going to have to reef at 15 knots.
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Old 04-12-2009, 05:18   #17
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I't really a question without answers....

How much time do you have, how much fuel, upwind or down, what sails are in your forepeak, what is the sea state, how hard do you want to work and on and on........

I've raced in miserable light air conditions where the short chop shakes the rig so badly you wonder if it's gonna stay up. I've raced in fantastic light air conditions where the boat builds speed and the apparant moves forward and suddenly your making very good time and it doesn't get any better.

We love flying our light air sails but not everyone does.


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Hey you guys set the parameters... Im the dummy asking.
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Old 04-12-2009, 07:06   #18
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Now I really dont know what everyone considers light winds nor the performance level which would be classified as "Good" by ever one either...


Light wind for me is when the drifter will fill, but the main won’t – or doesn’t stay filled without moving everyone to the lee-side of the boat… mine makes hull-speed about where yours does...
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Old 04-12-2009, 07:23   #19
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Light air performance is as much a function of the sailor as it is the sails or the yacht. As an example, last Sunday on our return from St. Pete, we had no wind until we reached the Skyway Bridge and then only about 4-5 knots over the deck. With that, we fell off to a very broad reach, eased the halyards on our main and 135, freed the outhaul on the main and hauled the sheet-leed for the genny forward a few feet. With this the yacht (21K lbs) began to move, 2-3-4 knots. Over the course of the next 15-20 minutes we inched up to the wind, gently increasing halyard and outhaul tension as the apparent wind increased. We eventually got the boat up to 5.9 to 6 knots (although the True Wind had, by then increased to 6 knots). While I thought that was pretty good, it was no match for our boat's sistership which managed 6.5 knots but it did allow us to catch or pass most of the other yachts in the fleet (including one that declared there was insufficient wind to sail and simply motored). In a seaway one might have to give the boat a "push" with the engine to get things going but I have found that with a little patence one can generally get things moving in all but the lightest conditions.

FWIW...
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Old 04-12-2009, 08:37   #20
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light air is when you have no hope of doing hull speed, even on a reach. I used to race an Olson 30, one of the original ultra-light displacement boats. In handicap racing (PHRF), we figured that we could win in any race where the breeze was 9 knots or less, and we were never proven wrong. It wasn't that we'd go faster than the heavy boats, but that we accelerated so much better after a tack, and were able to out-point everyone else in light air. In as little as six knots true, we were still able to tack through 70 degrees, while the heavy boats were lucky to tack through 90.

Want to talk light-air performance? We were able to do 4.5 knots DDW in 5 knots of breeze.
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Old 04-12-2009, 12:38   #21
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[QUOTE=FSMike;369033]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stillraining View Post
.. in my origional post I can reach hull speed in 10 to 12 with Genny alone..../QUOTE]

Just curious - what exactly is the hull speed of an Irwin 41' ketch?

Thanks
Stillraining -
You say your Irwin does 8 knots in 10-12 knots of true wind with only the genoa up. Forgive me for asking, but have you calibrated your knotmeter?
I don't mean to be obnoxious, but I'm having a hard time with the concept of your ketch being faster in those conditions than our cat is with working sail. I usually anticipate boat speed up to about 60% of the true wind with working sail, which in this case would be about 7.2 knots.
Thanks,
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Old 04-12-2009, 13:39   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joli View Post
I't really a question without answers....

How much time do you have, how much fuel, upwind or down, what sails are in your forepeak, what is the sea state, how hard do you want to work and on and on........

I've raced in miserable light air conditions where the short chop shakes the rig so badly you wonder if it's gonna stay up. I've raced in fantastic light air conditions where the boat builds speed and the apparant moves forward and suddenly your making very good time and it doesn't get any better.

We love flying our light air sails but not everyone does.
I know what you mean !

I managed to break a full batten in my main in about 3 knots of wind when I underestimated a tide rip just West of Port Townsend.

On the other hand, burdened with full cruising gear while headed across the Straits, we managed 5.5 knots on a close reach when the water was like glass with occasional cat's paws.
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Old 04-12-2009, 13:58   #23
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[QUOTE=FSMike;369284]
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Originally Posted by FSMike View Post

Stillraining -
You say your Irwin does 8 knots in 10-12 knots of true wind with only the genoa up. Forgive me for asking, but have you calibrated your knotmeter?
I don't mean to be obnoxious, but I'm having a hard time with the concept of your ketch being faster in those conditions than our cat is with working sail. I usually anticipate boat speed up to about 60% of the true wind with working sail, which in this case would be about 7.2 knots.
Thanks,
Mike
Yepp!!!! try to calibrate the knotmeter, in light air with just the geny a irwin runing at 8!!???¿¿¿ hard to believe, maybe im wrong!!! Cheers.
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Old 04-12-2009, 15:32   #24
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I may be the biggest offender here. I have frequently described our old Hunter 34 as an excellent light wind performer. This isn’t based on doing X knots in Y knots of wind at Z point of sail under N sea conditions. It is an objective but comparative or relative description based on experience. In the course of sailing the thornless path, there were many times when multiple boats had occasion to set out from point A to point B at about the same time. I don’t know whether "light winds" are less than 8 or 10 or 12 knots or 5-7 or 0 to 5. But I know that there were many times in what I felt, and most would probably agree, were light winds when we sailed away from bigger boats that I know from experience were faster than us in stronger winds. I’m talking about fully loaded cruising boats in a variety of "light wind" or X, Y, Z, N conditions. And, it had nothing to do with superior sail trim - we were lazy set ‘em forget ‘em sailors.

No real cruising boat is particularly "fast" in lighter winds, but some are faster than others, and the faster ones are not always the ones you would expect.
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Old 04-12-2009, 15:36   #25
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[QUOTE=FSMike;369284]
Quote:
Originally Posted by FSMike View Post

Stillraining -
You say your Irwin does 8 knots in 10-12 knots of true wind with only the genoa up. Forgive me for asking, but have you calibrated your knotmeter?
I don't mean to be obnoxious, but I'm having a hard time with the concept of your ketch being faster in those conditions than our cat is with working sail. I usually anticipate boat speed up to about 60% of the true wind with working sail, which in this case would be about 7.2 knots.
Thanks,
Mike
Can I refer you to the thread entitled "Are Cats That Great?"...
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Old 04-12-2009, 15:42   #26
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[QUOTE=paradix;369336]
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Can I refer you to the thread entitled "Are Cats That Great?"...

Why would you do that?
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Old 04-12-2009, 16:13   #27
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Sorry - just lighthearted stirring... I'll retreat back to the rafters.
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Old 04-12-2009, 17:09   #28
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10-12 knots is not my definition of light winds.

My take on light winds is anything below 5 knots. Light wind performance is (to me) not about hitting a particular speed, but rather about a boat's ability to keep on going in light conditions rather than stop and call for engine time.

My particular boat (25' LWL, 7k displ.) will be fine upwind - we will build up speed and off she goes. Beam reach is OK too - we have a nice flattish MPS that will pull us, or else we will pole out and flatten a slightly rolled genoa. The trouble starts downwind - because with any swell above say 6ft she will roll and shake off the wind. I believe a bigger / more stable boat is the answer here.

Our tricks are - smaller, flatter sails: go for speed and comfort and forget about the VMG ;-(.

I also found that the longer we have been together, the better I can sail my boat in light conditions.

b.
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Old 04-12-2009, 17:53   #29
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Quote:
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...
Our tricks are - smaller, flatter sails: go for speed and comfort and forget about the VMG ;-(.
....
By going for speed you are probably actually increasing your VMG, especially in light airs.

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Old 04-12-2009, 19:23   #30
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[QUOTE=FSMike;369284]
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Originally Posted by FSMike View Post

Stillraining -
You say your Irwin does 8 knots in 10-12 knots of true wind with only the genoa up. Forgive me for asking, but have you calibrated your knotmeter?
I don't mean to be obnoxious, but I'm having a hard time with the concept of your ketch being faster in those conditions than our cat is with working sail. I usually anticipate boat speed up to about 60% of the true wind with working sail, which in this case would be about 7.2 knots.
Thanks,
Mike
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