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Old 06-08-2015, 16:16   #31
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Re: Comparing other heavy displacement boats to a Hans Christian

Our Swanson 42 weighs in at 17 tons dry weight, down from the 18 when we bought her. The same boat can weigh as little as 12 tons depending on the ballast choice. Canoe stern design is, I believe, Colin Archer inspired, Steady Hand may be able to comment on that possibility? I mainly sail solo, so keep this in mind with the following comments.

Upside: very, very smooth ride. Does not heal very much at all in anything I would consider "normal" conditions. A very comfortable and reassuring boat under way, particularly good for passengers unused to sailing and the ride at anchor is silky smooth. Very good at holding a course, possibly due to the modified full keel too, but mainly the inertia of the whole system.

Downside. Needs a light gale to start moving. Multiple EXPERIENCED sailors have got behind the wheel and ended up doing 360 degree rotations when tacking because the rotational inertia is insane. Local slipway limit is 18 tons so they struggle to pull us out of the water, and yard master always looks like he needs a Bex and a good lie down after pulling us out. Helm response is akin to continental drift, so steering the boat is an art learned over a long time.

Neither up nor downside: handling such a weight is mixed blessing. In some ways the weight is helpful, ONCE YOU ADJUST. The inertia makes steering easier, once you learn to react early. Coming into the pens involves killing off a lot of kinetic energy but at least wind gusts don't move the boat around while you are on approach.

If I had a choice tomorrow, would I buy our boat in the 12 ton or 17 ton configuration? Not sure to be honest. If I remain "not in a rush" and get started on the round Oz trip we have planned I suspect I will be glad of the extra weight. But if the boat remains a day sailor as it is now I would wish I'd found the lighter version.

In summary, horses for courses. Figure out what you want the boat to do, suitable weight will be influenced by that process. I am not sure how common it is to find boats with variable weight configurations, so I don't know if you'll have a choice if you settle on a particular design, but do check this option.

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Old 06-08-2015, 16:25   #32
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Re: Comparing other heavy displacement boats to a Hans Christian

You misunderstand gaff rig. Advantages of gaff:
1. Shorter and stronger spars.
2. Set significantly more working sail area and with a significantly lower center of effort.
3. Able to set topsails which give a lot of very efficient, lightweight sail area up high for light conditions. Topsails can be very efficient, with small mast disturbance.
4. If you don't understand the advantages of a bowsprit I'd guess you haven't sailed with them much. If you want a lot of sail area you can either spread it out horizontally or vertically. Horizontally results in a lower center of effort. Bowsprits increase the leverage of the jib, allowing the sailor to use it to good advantage for increasing maneuverability at low speeds. Anchoring off the bowsprit really settles the boat down, it is far superior to anchoring from the bow. Sailing at anchor is greatly reduced/eliminated and the bow is held down in a chop.

Summary - gaff allows you to have a heavy displacement boat and still have a high sail area to displacement ratio, which is a prime factor in how fast the boat will sail. It has definite advantages for a cruising boat.
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Old 06-08-2015, 16:30   #33
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Re: Comparing other heavy displacement boats to a Hans Christian

RS10 Christiana, after nearly two years at 500m.



Beautiful again....



Linked from: Christiana: from shipwreck to sailing | Classic Boat Magazine

She's probably been mentioned here before, but let's drool again....
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Old 06-08-2015, 16:33   #34
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Re: Comparing other heavy displacement boats to a Hans Christian

You have to have some sort of mast to hoist that light air sail that fills the gap above the gaff. Don't know what it's called. Traditional gaffers had a stout lower, heavy mast for the gaff main and a secondary lighter spar above for the jib and that sail. Looks like the pictured boat has combined a lighter taller single piece stick to do the same thing. In wood or carbon, it would be relatively easy to design a stick to handle the two different loads in one piece. The sail that fills the gap at the top of mast is a necessary sail if you plan on mostly sailing for light air performance.

Personally like bowsprits though I'd want one with some sort of platform. With roller furling, you don't have to go out there much if at all. Some of my happiest hours at sea were sitting at the end of the boat as the boat sailed on a reach with a bone in her teeth. Could sit out there mesmerized for hours. Really great for unsuspecting power boats that get in the way, as well. Bitch to have to pay for in Marina fees if they charge for overall length and most do. Would want a hinged sprit that is easily deployed in that cast.
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Old 06-08-2015, 16:53   #35
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Re: Comparing other heavy displacement boats to a Hans Christian

One other thought to the OP, we don't take part in any of the club racing. I'm not into racing anyway, but if I were, our weight would make the exercise too dangerous. Heavier boat generally means slower helm response and bigger turning circles, and the club racing guys are jockeying all over the place. I've watched a few race starts from a safe distance and I can honestly say the average formation flying aircraft display creates fewer "OMG! They're gonna die!" moments than watching a club race assembling at the start line.
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Old 06-08-2015, 16:54   #36
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Re: Comparing other heavy displacement boats to a Hans Christian

Christiana?

In the first photo I thought that was the Black Pearl or some ship from Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

What a story! To rise from the deep dark cold of Davy Jones' Locker to see the sun again and sail again!
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Old 06-08-2015, 16:55   #37
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Re: Comparing other heavy displacement boats to a Hans Christian

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
You have to have some sort of mast to hoist that light air sail that fills the gap above the gaff. Don't know what it's called. Traditional gaffers had a stout lower, heavy mast for the gaff main and a secondary lighter spar above for the jib and that sail. Looks like the pictured boat has combined a lighter taller single piece stick to do the same thing. In wood or carbon, it would be relatively easy to design a stick to handle the two different loads in one piece. The sail that fills the gap at the top of mast is a necessary sail if you plan on mostly sailing for light air performance.

Personally like bowsprits though I'd want one with some sort of platform. With roller furling, you don't have to go out there much if at all. Some of my happiest hours at sea were sitting at the end of the boat as the boat sailed on a reach with a bone in her teeth. Could sit out there mesmerized for hours. Really great for unsuspecting power boats that get in the way, as well. Bitch to have to pay for in Marina fees if they charge for overall length and most do. Would want a hinged sprit that is easily deployed in that cast.
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Old 06-08-2015, 17:32   #38
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Re: Comparing other heavy displacement boats to a Hans Christian

Have only recently sold my beautiful HC 38 (in favour of a catamaran!).....And having sailed her halfway around the Australian coast, I can vouch for the solid ride. Nobody seems to have mentioned yet that HC's, if fitted with a good, strong engine (ours was a Beta 50), motor sail magnificently in light air...... So the disadvantage of not hoisting sail until over ten knots, isn't really a disadvantage at all if you don't mind a bit of growling diesel noise.


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Old 06-08-2015, 19:13   #39
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Re: Comparing other heavy displacement boats to a Hans Christian

Some issues are noted in other replies, but sometimes the research becomes a tad mind boggling, so in an attempt to simplify:
Long keel - results in a very stable straight line experience, she keeps tracking well, but, takes a long time to turn. Racing yachts want precision and the helmsman is in control (needs to be in control) so they want narrow fin keels, cruisers want something longer. Long keel is almost always a challenge to motor in reverse, so not the best if you spend long time in the Med or other areas with stern to the quay mooring.
Fine entry - big bulbous bows make for a spacious fore cabin, but do not cut through the waves, it lifts to the waves instead.
Broad stern - makes for a spacious aft cabin but again, lifts to the waves. Fantastic if you want to surf downwind when racing a fully crewed boat but not good for cruising an ocean.
Narrow stern - will corkscrew downwind. You need a balance between them, or a canoe stern (Colin Archer etc)
Deep keel - gets the weight low and increases stability
Shallow keel - great access to bays and beaches but less ballast low down means increased tenderness to gusts.

That gives a brief visual start to the research, then look at the numbers from there. Sadly, there is not a recognised performance number for attractiveness. If you will live on-board for extended periods then you want to be proud of your home and attractive lines help this - they can be fast or slow, tender or stiff so no ready answer there, it is your judgement. Now I do not cruise offshore, so can enjoy fine lines, full(not long) keel and moderate freeboard. I put-up with less accommodation and potentially wetter at sea (low freeboard = more spray comes over) but I am happy.

Enjoy the research and look at plenty. The Mk 1 eyeball is better than pics and stats on the internet.
Roger
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Old 06-08-2015, 19:42   #40
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Re: Comparing other heavy displacement boats to a Hans Christian

Hi Peter,

The lighter, smaller diameter mast you're referring to is called a topmast. Because the loads are much less up there it can be made smaller, with less weight and windage.

One of the nice things about a topsail (the sail that fills in above the gaff) is that it is frequently made with its own lightweight spar (called a yard) attached to its luff. The yard acts like a mast extension. It's top is several feet above the top of the mast. It gives a larger, higher setting light air topsail, and when the topsail is lowered you end up with a lower, less windage mast. They're more work to set but are a very efficient sail.
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Old 06-08-2015, 20:24   #41
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Re: Comparing other heavy displacement boats to a Hans Christian

Check out Gozzard. I just bought a Gozzard44 , love it! Classic line.
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Old 07-08-2015, 08:12   #42
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Re: Comparing other heavy displacement boats to a Hans Christian

Not surprised you noticed the difference straight away. Becomes even more apparent mid ocean.
My vessel is an Irwin43 and loaded for passage displaces 30,000 lbs, other vessel I've sailed is a Moody45, both recommended for reasonable cost.
I've delivered many Beneteau's, Hunters, etc and frankly never feel completely comfortable in storms.
The Northern European vessels are heavy displacement and more suitable for ocean than Southern European and most NA; however, more costly.
Depends on how much ocean passaging you intend?
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Old 07-08-2015, 08:54   #43
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Re: Comparing other heavy displacement boats to a Hans Christian

Well, I remain unconvinced, but I admit it's as much a matter of personal taste as anything else that has to do with sailing. My real objection to bowsprits, aside from possible docking inconvenience, is the possibility of having to go out on one in heavy weather to fix something (jammed furler drum? blown tack fitting?) Anchoring from the sprit sounds cool, my boat sails almost as well at anchor as with the sails up. I still think, though, that it's easier to reef a conventional main when the wind comes up than to hoist a sail and spar to the top of the mast when it goes light.
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Old 07-08-2015, 08:59   #44
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Re: Comparing other heavy displacement boats to a Hans Christian

having been taught to sail heavy deep keeled boats from an early age(try 7 yrs old) i enjoy th efeel of these bruisers over the feel of the feathers that launch out the water in a big wake situation. my ericson did that..
most of the boats i have owned have been heavy displacement, with short bouts if memory loss during which times i sailed lighter boats and wished i had the stability under me the heavy displacement boats offer.
now i have my cruising formosa, and i LOVE her looks, her movement thru water, and her stability and ease in sailing. yes ease. handles nicely in 60+kts as well as 20, but doesn t go worth a squat in light air, but then that is why perkie was born.
other boats roll and leap in ocean swells. my heavy baby just keeps on going.
there are many heavy cruiser marques, enough different styles for all tastes.
i was raised sailing a sloop, but the ease of sailing a ketch has me totally in love with the rig. and oh, th esprit!!!! whooot with a platform for standing, an dwide enough not to launch ye into ocean while making sail changes....mine has roller furled headsail....
all is from cockpit except main, which i do not normally use.
the difficulty is turning is tight spaces is alleviated by knowledge of the heft and needs of the boat in steering and maneuvering. no i cannot yet flip her end for end in her own length, as i could my fin/spade ericson, but, i feel a lot more comfortable in a sea in formosa than i did in my fin/spade or skeg smaller performance style sloops.
try saiing more heavy sailing boats-- try different rigs and learn how these babies work. they are awesome.
formosas were designed to sail tradewinds, as were hans christian and others-- try em all, learn what you like, and have fun!!!

what i cruise,,, and what i learned on...
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Old 07-08-2015, 09:13   #45
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Re: Comparing other heavy displacement boats to a Hans Christian

And heavy displacement is also very much a matter of personal preference. Some people, usually ocean cruisers, prefer the solid feel and load-carrying capacity of heavy-displacement boats, and some, usually coastal cruisers, prefer the livelier feel, (possibly) improved performance, and lower gear loads of medium-displacement. All about intended use, and what you like.
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