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Old 26-03-2010, 18:24   #1
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A Question of Sailing Efficiency

am looking for the right balance between comfort and sailing effeciency. for instance can anyone tell me if you would notice much difference while tacking up wind comparing a C&C and a catalina of same size, say a 36fter, say with the same winds and same experienced skipper. this is my first boat and am getting quite confused by all the brokers reccomendations.
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Old 26-03-2010, 19:43   #2
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Never been on a Catalina but learned to sail on a C&C-36. Both are normally called cruiser-racers, but would say that the C&C in this size more a racer than cruiser as far as comfort. I would guess the C&C if you more want speed, and the Catalina if you more want the comfort.
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Old 26-03-2010, 20:30   #3
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My neighbor has a C&C 36. It's pretty spartan. I wouldn't want to do any extended cruising in it. Him and few other guys at the marina are pretty hot on the C&C's for sailing though.
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Old 26-03-2010, 21:11   #4
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Quote:
this is my first boat and am getting quite confused by all the brokers recommendations.
Sounds like you really are not ready to buy just yet. I would forget about brokers for a while. Nothing beats getting out on some boats. Being confused is something natural when you really don't know. Lots of people like a lot of different boats and it's more about them than the boats. Brands are just a small part of the ownership issue. No brand name alone will get you the right boat.

Given your friends are hot on C&C boats I would hit them up for some time on the water. Learning to sail and being able to sail gives a big leg up on picking a boat. Without much experience you really won't be able to tell until you do some sailing and at that point you may own the perfect boat - for somebody else.

You need to find your own boat best for you. Lots here to read. That can be a good place to start. If you can find ways to get out and do some sailing, take some classes, and just be on some boats you'll get more familiar and be able to pick a boat best for you.

Lots here on owning boats and getting ready for that is important too. It's a lot of money and that is after you buy one. Put the time in before you buy and save money by knowing more. I would say you need 25 solid reasons why you would buy any any boat. More would be better.

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am looking for the right balance between comfort and sailing efficiency.
A sailboat will never get you any place fast so you might think about comfort more. Buy all the comfort you can afford. The Admiral knows when she is comfortable.
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Old 26-03-2010, 22:51   #5
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My $0.02:

Most of the time you won't be squeezing out the 3-5 degree tighter performance that you can get out of whatever boat anyway. Sailing a boat like a racer requires a lot of attention, a lot of trimming, and a lot of "care" factor. Honestly I'd rather end up tacking a few more times and arriving more casually.

With the exception of a 200' trimaran, there are no "fast" sailboats when you get right down to it, just varying degrees of slow (talking about the racer/cruiser or cruiser class here). Having a boat that can make 200 miles in a day is nicer than one that can make 100, but most often that will be the result of the wind (which you can't control) and the crew's ability to sail properly (which happily doesn't require money just experience).

While it's quite true that some boats can point (sail to windward) better than others, your sail inventory and desire to constantly adjust your travelers and clew track will make just as much if not more difference.

In short: I wouln't worry about it much. I have a cutter which points quite poorly and it's never been a problem.
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Old 27-03-2010, 07:56   #6
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All boats involve design/build compromises between cost, performance, quality, luxury, and size. If you want "it all" -- performance, quality, luxury -- prepare to empty your wallet.

I agree with the other responses, but if boat ownership is your dream go for it. Buy a used boat in very good condition (there is a learning curve even in the simple maintenance involved in keeping a good boat up, and project boats are not right for the inexperienced first-time boat owner, IMHO). Ultimately your personal preference will evolve based on your experience and your dreams.

In deciding between a performance boat and a boat that's intended for cruising comfort, ask the following:
  1. Where do I sail? If you sail where light winds are prevalent during the sailing season (e.g. Long Island Sound, Chesapeake) you want a boat that will move well in a wisp of wind, so look for a high SA/D (sail are to displacement) ratio. A heavy cruising boat with conservative sail plan will leave you frustrated and motoring while others are sailing. If you sail in sheltered sounds and bays, or small lakes, you might not need a boat that can handle big seas, but if you sail in open ocean or plan to head offshore, you will need a boat that is built stronger and can handle the conditions.
  2. How do I plan to use it? Day-sailing and week-ending with an occasional 2 week vacation sail is typical for a working couple. Performance is more important than comfort in that case, because your sailing time is precious and the joy of sailing increases with good sailing performance. If you plan to live aboard or take long offshore voyages you will need to favor comfort, tankage and stowage and may need to sacrifice performance to get that.
  3. How fit are you and your wife? Comfort and ease of sail handling may need to take priority over performance. You may need all lines led aft to the cockpit if you're not agile. You may need to get a boat with powered winches and an anchor windlass. (A 36-foot boat should be carrying an anchor that weighs at least 35 lb. and 5/16 chain (minimum size for that boat) weighs about 1 lb per foot, so even if you use a rope/chain rode you need to be able to pull at least 50 lbs. and that doesn't include wind load against the boat.)
  4. What styling do I like? Do you find beauty in high tech? Does shiny stainless appeal, or do you prefer the green patina of weathered bronze? Do you appreciate lots of varnished wood bright-work, and if so do you have the time/energy to maintain varnished exterior wood?
Whatever you like is important and nobody else can "recommend" that -- it's emotional. At the end of your day on the boat you need to be able to look back at her in slip or on mooring and feel something like pride or love or excitement. If the boat doesn't have a relationship to you that tugs at your heart you will find ownership a burden.
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Old 27-03-2010, 09:58   #7
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While there may be no truely "fast" sailboats some are relatively faster than others and the difference can be material. On our boat we routinely use 6 knts for estimating passage times but if we push her we can easily do 8 or better with any wind. From our home-port to Key West is about 200 miles and the difference in passage time--about 8 hours--can easily be the difference between being safely and comfortably moored up with Sundowners in hand and having to beat down the northwest channel through the squalls in the dark. A rather nerve racking process, eh? Fortunately, we also have the advantage that the yacht is very comfortable, even when hard pushed

FWIW...

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Old 27-03-2010, 17:11   #8
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sailerbg,

I you want to sail to a destination directly upwind, then an efficent sailboat is crucial. That means that would need a tall rig and a deep keel. ( probably 6 ft deep or so on a 36 ft boat ) It also requires caring about trim and good helming. You will heel over.

Some people don't care about sailing upwind, and prefer to motor. You get to decide which category you are in. If you don't know where you fit, then do what Pblais said and sail a bunch before you buy.

On the C&C in particular, I did a 1 week charter in Maine on one with 4 people and enjoyed it. It would be a comfortable boat for local daysails and weeklong cruises. It might be a bit spartan for months on end.

Todd
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Old 27-03-2010, 21:01   #9
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sailerbg,

I you want to sail to a destination directly upwind, then an efficent sailboat is crucial. That means that would need a tall rig and a deep keel. ( probably 6 ft deep or so on a 36 ft boat ) It also requires caring about trim and good helming. You will heel over.

Some people don't care about sailing upwind, and prefer to motor. You get to decide which category you are in. If you don't know where you fit, then do what Pblais said and sail a bunch before you buy.

On the C&C in particular, I did a 1 week charter in Maine on one with 4 people and enjoyed it. It would be a comfortable boat for local daysails and weeklong cruises. It might be a bit spartan for months on end.

Todd
You don't have to heel much -- hardly at all in fact. There is the multihull option. We sail a Dragonfly 1200 trimaran and point as high as a C&C36, and never heel more than about 5-10 degrees.

Here's a shot of our wake at 14 knots in flat water. Note the angle of the top aft rail in comparison to the horizon.

I actually considered a C&C 36 -- it was on my short list and I think it's a nice boat. But I decided on my dream machine and went for the performance and comfort of the Dragonfly.

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Old 27-03-2010, 21:03   #10
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If you are in a rush then don't get in a sailboat. Book a flight.

The pleasure is in the journey.
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Old 27-03-2010, 21:14   #11
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If you are in a rush then don't get in a sailboat. Book a flight.

The pleasure is in the journey.

Performance is important because my sailing time is precious and the joy of sailing increases with good sailing performance. Even in light air I would rather sail at 3-5 knots than be forced to motor. A good light-air-performing monohull or multihull can sail faster than true wind speed on a reach.

In stronger winds -- if you haven't experienced the joy of sailing a performance sailboat such as a dinghy that can plane (e.g. Laser), or multihull that can sail in the teens, then you are missing one of life's treats.

Sail fast, live slow: I've got the T-shirt Yes -- The pleasure is in the journey
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Old 28-03-2010, 11:26   #12
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If you are in a rush then don't get in a sailboat. Book a flight.

The pleasure is in the journey.
If you are on a multi month or mult year cruise, you can wait for the wind to change. But if you are on a weekend cruise to Block Island, you have to be back at work on Monday. ( unless the conditions are actually dangerous )

If there is a headwind headed home, you either need an efficent sailboat or you have to motor.

Motoring is not as pleasant as sailing ( to me ).
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