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Old 03-01-2009, 15:40   #16
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If the weight and hull design of all boats were equal the sloop would win in light airs because the taller mast height would let you spread more lighter sails further aloft. There are several boats with "tall rigs" such as Catalina which just means they have a longer mast on the same boat. In higher wind areas such as SF it means that they have a reef in the main nearly all the time but in PNW it means they can perform better in the normal light wind days of summer.
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Old 03-01-2009, 16:12   #17
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Skipper John,
Interesting about the tall rig. I have seen some of the tall rigs as I look at boats and have wodered about them and what the advantage was to them. What you say makes sense, but is a tall rig more susettapable to a knokdown?
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Old 03-01-2009, 16:29   #18
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The higher the center of effort is, the more ballast (or deeper ballast)compensation will be needed to lower it. If the effort is to high a boat is knocked down easier than one with a lower center of effort. A tall rig needs more ballast to keep everything equal. Not sure if I have explained this adequately.
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Old 03-01-2009, 16:39   #19
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So what you are saying is that as long as the engineering was done correctly a tall rig should be as stable as any other boat.
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Old 03-01-2009, 18:37   #20
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Its not quit that simple... draft constraints mandated buy customers in certain demographic have a lot to do with a boats overall tenderness as well as hull form...Doesn't mean its not designed corectly..just with in parameters..

Modern ocean racers have 11' deep drafts for a reason..and there even canting them to exaggerate the righting moments..

Edit: There is also a differance in initial tenderness and overall stability..some boats will heal quit easily to the first 10 to 15 or so degrees but harden up after that...
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Old 03-01-2009, 18:47   #21
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I hate to throw a wrench in the works, but...

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Originally Posted by READY2GO View Post
Lets say there is a 5 knot breeze and you are on a beam to broad reach.
...on a beam reach in 5 knots true, nothing will beat a schooner rig. It gives you the best opportunity to spread canvas higher off the water, which is where you'll get better pressure.

Close hauled, a sloop is still more efficient, especially as the apparent wind builds. But not on the beam reach specified in the original question.
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Old 03-01-2009, 19:26   #22
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So what you are saying is that as long as the engineering was done correctly a tall rig should be as stable as any other boat.
Thank you for simplifying it...Yes, correct. Every boat has specs as to their righting moment factor based on keel weight, keel depth, mast height and sail area.
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Old 03-01-2009, 21:34   #23
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Thank you to everyone who has posted, this is very interesting to me. I don't have much sailing experence ( one day off the coast of Florida, Two weeks in the Pamlico sound, and one season on the Ohio river). But it seems like there is either no wind or to much, with a few perfect days in between.
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Old 03-01-2009, 21:43   #24
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Thank you to everyone who has posted, this is very interesting to me. I don't have much sailing experence ( one day off the coast of Florida, Two weeks in the Pamlico sound, and one season on the Ohio river). But it seems like there is either no wind or to much, with a few perfect days in between.
Oh...Normal sailing!!!
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Old 04-01-2009, 14:26   #25
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Aloha Ready,
I've even seen shoal draft tall rigs advertised. If all you can count on is light wind sailing in shallow areas that might be the way to go but it certainly sounds scary if a wind comes up doesn't it?
Good luck on your sailing choices.
John
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Old 04-01-2009, 14:35   #26
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Have a look at the boats that are winning big regattas. Their sail / mast / rigging configuration is almost undoubtedly that which is best in light winds. Whether or not that is transferrable to a heavy cruising scenario... well, you pays yer money and takes yer chance
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Old 05-01-2009, 19:54   #27
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::grin::

I remember sailing my 18' 4k+ pound gaff catboat right through the laser racing fleet in 3kt conditions. Their masts were nearly as tall as mine, but I had a 17' boom and 15' gaff (and a full keel - don't ask me, blame Benford.)

Sail area and rig matched to the right boat on the right point of sail win races. Tall pointy-headed sails on a sloop go upwind best to win races, but you don't see them racing long beam reaches or only downwind. Being honest, a ketch usually will not sail as fast even off the wind - they sacrifice mast height which limits sail area in order to be more comfortable and easier to manage.

Given your three options, I would go with the cutter but, as others have pointed out, preferably with a break-away inner stay so it can be a sloop on light air days.

And a tiny correction - although the Maltese Falcon looks square rigged, it is actually Dynarigged (and managed by computer rather than hands in the rigging.)
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Old 05-01-2009, 23:46   #28
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I've made long ocean delivery passages on every rig imaginable.

Cruising is not racing. If you want a racing boat and are willing to push the envelope and sacrifice safety, a sloop is the way to go. As stated before, that is obvious by the # of sloop rigged race boats. Not many people take an Indy Race Car across a long deserted desert road with the family.

However, when cruising, it's all about safety and comfort and much less about how long the passage will take. Granted, limiting your time at sea, limits your exposure to foul weather. However, when the going gets tough, it is sure nice to have more options than just a mainsail and jib.

I find schooners to have the best and most well rounded options for sailing in foul weather. Ketches are second. I've noticed far less gear failure on schooners and ketches and you can keep the boats moving comfortably in a strong gale when I would have a sloop on the parachute storm anchor for comfort and safety.

My Passport 45 was a ketch and I would run her under jib & jigger in up to 50kts of wind and feel safe. I have never felt safe on any sloop in more than 40kts of wind.

In over 35kts, I don't like to use a mainsail on most any vessel under 60'. The reasoning is, if conditions worsen, it is dangerous to be on deck trying to secure the mainsail in 40+ kts of wind and breaking seas.

Using just the jib on a sloop in heavy weather is risky. Rigging failure could be disastrous. That's why I like a boat with 2 sticks. They balance the boat out better, she steers easier and there is less stress on the entire boat.
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Old 06-01-2009, 02:26   #29
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In the Liveaboard report most people cruising would trade their current rig for a cutter rig than any other.

Two furling sails ahead the mast, a jiffy reefed main keeps everone off the foredeck during the stressful times.
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Old 06-01-2009, 05:38   #30
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