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Old 21-03-2012, 04:00   #16
Don't ask if you can't handle it
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Re: At what size, style and sail plan does heel become manageable?

Aren't all boats manageable far as heel? It isn't up to the boat to manage it, it is up to those carbon based units to be in control.

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Old 21-03-2012, 04:58   #17
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Re: At what size, style and sail plan does heel become manageable?

Our last boat was a Crealock 37 - cutter. What felt like the shortest stoutest mast in the harbor and while not super heavy, she was pretty heavy for her size. Se had 3/4 keel.

We recently went to a 44ft Outbound with what feels like the tallest mast in the harbor, with fin keel - fast boat. I was expecting significantly more heel - ended up with hardly any!

I'd attribute it to hull shape - flatter bottom than the Crealock, distribution of weight (BIG bulb at base of keel) and efficient sail plan. My wife loves the reduced heeling! (I have not measured it but would guess the max heel we've seen to date is probably 20 to 25 degrees and that in a 45kt nor'easter - 15 degrees is probably more normal.

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Old 21-03-2012, 06:12   #18
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Re: At what size, style and sail plan does heel become manageable?

As I read thru the posts I see the point behind the shorter masts. It is like I interpret towards 'roll' where OP implicitly said heel. This is probably because we reef to avoid any excessive heel thus we never sail heeled (badly). Now any excessive roll kills the joy so I would go for a boat that (may) heel more but will roll less.

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Old 21-03-2012, 07:25   #19
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Re: At what size, style and sail plan does heel become manageable?

There is some good info above, esp. Ex-Calif. I wont repeat any of it, suffice to say, if we go past 12 deg. we shorten sail, we CAN beam riach with everything up in 20 knots, do about 8, heel about 20, reduce sail, drop to 7 still fine speed, but you can live like civilized people inside, with 10 deg heel.
I must disagree with the wide transom comment above. Yes, at anchor, or in a beat, but when you are running in 30-40 ft seas that wide transom is an adrenaline trip! I have a windsurfer, surfboard, and kite rig for that.

There is a little clip of Gilana sailing in the Azores in 20kts with seriously shortened sail, but look how comfortable she is. Yes we could have flown more, but then we would have heeled too much for comfort.

Funny you know, when we started sailing we wanted the rail in the water, but that was just what we saw and heard about. Our first lesson came when we were going to arrive too early after a crossing, and we shortened sail, damn if the boat did not flatten out and accelerate. We like the Ketch rig for many reasons, Air draft, low center of effort, more options, etc.
Our boom is low and the boat is flush deck, so you have to mind your head, but hey, we sit most of the time. Look out for these apartment building centre cockpit bimini on top where the boom is way high. Some newer Catamarans have a flybridge! The boom is about 4 metres above water, jeez.
Click on our web page link and then the button called "The Boat" you will find the clip I mentioned there.

In short, heeling is not the answer, balance is. You want the keel as vertical as possible. There is a great resource on the web about sail trim, here, Relocate

The thing about a cruising boat is that you must trim to take a huge amount of air and change its direction "just a little" and that converts to thrust, once the air spills off the sail at 25deg, and the water spills off the keel, you might look great for a magazine cover, but that is all. Of course this only counts for a heavy displacement boat, once you start talking about sleds that can sail faster than the wind its a different theory.

Shortcut for you, if you want to go fast and not heel, get a catamaran.

good luck!
Tight sheets to ya.
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Old 21-03-2012, 08:54   #20
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Re: At what size, style and sail plan does heel become manageable?

Really great all, thank you

sy_gilana good thoughts

ex-calif - simple explanation thank you

Simply put, like in life, this is going to be a compromise between what we want and what we can afford, but we will get there.

And between what I feel is important and what my better half feels is important. My focus is on the yacht, how safe she will be in a blow and how she sails and wife's is on whether she is a comfortable, light (as in bright) platform on which to travel. All of which are very important
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Old 21-03-2012, 09:10   #21
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Re: At what size, style and sail plan does heel become manageable?

You can make your boat heel as much or as little as you want, provided you have enough wind. Basically, you have more control over this than you might be thinking.

Some boat have more righting moment than other boats, which allows for more sail area to be exposed to the wind. For boats with less righting moment you expose less sail area to the wind.

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Old 21-03-2012, 10:13   #22
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Re: At what size, style and sail plan does heel become manageable?

I like to calender my sailing days by AC and BC In my BC (before Connie) days I liked to sail FAST, I was in love with those long mile days !! if I could hit those 200 mile days I was in Sailor Heaven!! the hell with creature comfort !! eat a can and get on with it !!Now in my AC years,(after Connie for you slow folks LOL)I sorta have changed a LITTLE now it's whats more comfortable a ride !! and ya know I really like the ease of less heeling. less slaming into waves more easing into em is so much better for your body !!Makes me remember the Old Swede Sailor from Cresent City CA who taught me to sail 60 or more yrs ago telling me that if ya make the boats ride easy on you ! the boat will be fine in most any weather!! and he was right !! Easy is where it's at for me!! just my 2 cents
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Old 21-03-2012, 10:49   #23
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Re: At what size, style and sail plan does heel become manageable?

Umm, Sundowner, if you want better ability to shorten sail, you are better off with a smaller boat with smaller sails. Best solution, if your wife is really bothered by heeling, is a cat, and one can be purchased for about the same kind of $$ as a recent 40 - 50 ft. monohull. If I were you I'd be looking for a Gemini, unless you were planning lots of blue water sailing,
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Old 21-03-2012, 13:11   #24
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Re: At what size, style and sail plan does heel become manageable?

get a boat with an "old fashioned" gaff rig. why? because the aspect ratio is low, so less leverage on the sail so less heeling. and add a decent motor to motor into the wind when it is coming from the wrong direction.

a "modern" rig, i.e. marconi/bermudian, is tall because the sail plan is designed to act like a wing which drives the boat well when it is sailed close to the wind, as in racing, for which it was designed.

before sailing became a leisure activity for the masses, boats were used for work. and a gaff rig worked very well (for hundreds of years). a hundred years or so ago people, mainly rich, started building boats to race, at which time the modern rig was designed to sail around a race course, which always had a windward beat. windward beats usually mean heeling.

a low aspect gaff rig will actually push you along faster than a higher aspect marconi rig on any point of sail with the wind abaft the beam, unless you fly a spinnaker from the taller rig.

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