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Old 11-03-2010, 17:52   #166
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Originally Posted by matoi View Post
...please explain why is it in your experience better to rake the mizzen when sailing upwind?
Mato
Reminds me of the most important lesson I ever got about sail trim. On a race I asked a locally famous racer why he tweaked the sail like he just did. "Because that's what I want the sail to look like to go fast." He really had no idea other than it was the fastest setting. He wasn't being a wise-ass. Was the best thing I ever learned.

So I suppose they rake the mizzen to go faster. On a full keel boat like that the rudder is almost useless for balancing so it's all sail and rig trim.
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Old 11-03-2010, 17:57   #167
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I'm going to disagree with you again, CarlF.

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I fear another reason that in-mast furling is so widely accepted is that few know how to trim a mainsail for upwind power - regardless of shape or even on a ketch . The headsail's doing all the work. But if you get close to hull speed, who cares?
The implication here is those who really know how to trim a sail would never opt for in-mast furling. Let me begin by saying that, back in my racing days, at least during the period when I was still crewing for other people, I was usually assigned the position of main trimmer. It's what I do best. As a mainsail trimmer I've won six yacht-club overall championships, I've placed in the silver in five different national championships, and I've won the Windjammer. But I still own a boat with in-mast furling. How could this be?

There is a certain point where the sails become too big for a shorthanded crew to safely handle in a blow. This is especially true if the crew is a husband and wife past the age of 50, on boats where the total sail area is 1,000 sq ft or more. At that point you've got two options (other than to go with a smaller boat): you can spit the rig or you can go to a mainsail furling system. Either option involves a compromise in performance, at least in some points of sail.

I took a hard look at this situation when I purchased my present boat. We were already in our 50s, and we wanted to set this boat up as the one we'd cruise once we retired. In essence, we wanted as much waterline as we felt we'd be able to handle throughout our 60s and hopefully even into our 70s. For us that ended up being 46 feet LOA.

The in-mast furling system is less additional weight aloft than I'd have if the boat were rigged with a second mast. The boat points higher than it would with a ketch rig. It's far easier to get set and strike the sails. Even with just my wife and I aboard, we can go from being under full sail to having both sails completely furled and stowed in under two minutes. It used to take us longer to put on the sail cover, after the main was already flaked, than it now takes us to put both sails away completely.

The fact that we have in-mast furling doesn't mean that we're idiots who don't know better. It means that we've found a way to sail shorthanded into our retirement years without becoming dependent on crew. Twenty or thirty years ago the only way we could have done this on a boat with significant waterline would have been to go to a ketch rig. Now we have another option.

In-mast furling doesn't have to be slow. When I first got this boat I beer-canned her a few times just to see how she'd do. I'll admit I had an unfair advantage in that I'm the faculty adviser to my university's sailing team, and I was able to recruit some fairly impressive crew to grind the winches. We entered the boat in maybe 10 races the first year we had her--races in which 20-30 boats would participate--and won four of them. I will admit that the windier it was the more likely I was to win. But the fact is that a liveaboard/cruising boat with 300 ft of chain, in-mast furling, a wind generator and a BBQ grill on the rail was able to kick some serious butt.

A lot of the fellows we beat had to open their minds about in-mast furling while they were being rolled to weather. I wish you could have been one of them, Carl.
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Old 11-03-2010, 20:33   #168
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Sorry if my defense of the ketch made it sound like I hate in-mast furling. Got carried away. Actually I agree with you. A good sailor can get a lot out of an in-mast furling main - just most don't (and most don't from a non-furling main too.) I just hate the assumption that "performance" is obviously better in a sloop than a ketch. Skill trumps equipment any day.

I also spent a good bit of my youth trimming a big main in races. A noble - but unappreciated - role. Especially since the foredeck monkey gets the girls after the race. Maybe it was those stories of cutting spinnakers loose at the masthead with his teeth he liked to tell while swirling his gin and tonic

As I said, the ability to reef by the inch with a furling main to keep the boat on her feet and balance the helm is a huge win. To my mind, more valuable than what is lost from the roach. You can also dial in a pretty nice leach if the sail hasn't stretched. You sound like a pretty fair sailor - I bet that headsail trim and slot were perfect in those races! You didn't need no stinkin' mainsail.

I once owned a 50ft sloop with in-mast furling main and like it a lot. I found that I got more sailing time than my previous 42ft conventional rig boat because it was so easy to unfurl that sucker (I would set sail to cross the harbor to the fuel dock - kinda woke up the dock boys when they saw me coming).

With a 46 foot boat, I'd also go with a furling main sloop over a ketch. Over 50 feet, I favor the ketch but partly because I want to get under 65ft bridges. I also love the challenge of trimming a ketch (e.g. settle the headsail telltales by tweaking the mizzen). I don't experience a tacking angle or VMG difference compared to a sloop in cruising attire.

Just interested - did you have the option of a furling boom? The fixed angle is annoying since the leach is never quite right but I sure do love the rest of the shape.

Carl
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Old 11-03-2010, 21:45   #169
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Dockhead: the reason that these racers in the ARC got that (for them) low average is that they didn't managed to maintain hull speed. This is logical because the ARC isn't tradewind sailing at the first part. If the data would be available, it should show that they made much higher daily averages once they got in the tradewind belt. On a broad reach, they will reach hull speed with less than 20 knots wind I think?

200nm isn't silly to me; it's silly for Beowulf. I think she did more than 380nm once.

Daddle: yes, you got me there, I should have written "dead run" instead of just "run". But I think everyone, incl. you, understood that I meant a dead run so why make it so difficult...

Beowulf is flying her reachers on that photo, but she has asymmetric spinnakers too. I think asymmetric spinnakers will live longer than the symmetrical version.

When I see Beowulf I see a ketch; a bigger version of the Sundeer.

Matoi: yes, good example that Swansea pilot. I must admit that I am not sure of the details but I think it is related with trim for upwind sailing... not speed but purely mizzen trim. Every sail that is behind another sail must be sheeted in more than the sail in front of it or it will start luffing. For a ketch the mizzen sail is the first one to start luffing and I think the extra rake is to counter that.

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 11-03-2010, 21:47   #170
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Oh, I almost forgot... that racer in Mexico going upwind and barely able to do 40 degrees wind angle.... I am thinking that maybe that was 40 degrees to true wind instead of apparent?

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 12-03-2010, 00:44   #171
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not that i'll ever get a bigger boat...

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With a 46 foot boat, I'd also go with a furling main sloop over a ketch. Over 50 feet, I favor the ketch but partly because I want to get under 65ft bridges. I also love the challenge of trimming a ketch (e.g. settle the headsail telltales by tweaking the mizzen). I don't experience a tacking angle or VMG difference compared to a sloop in cruising attire.
Carl
...but, yes, I agree. If the next boat is any longer, it will be a ketch.
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Old 12-03-2010, 00:44   #172
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Oh, I almost forgot... that racer in Mexico going upwind and barely able to do 40 degrees wind angle.... I am thinking that maybe that was 40 degrees to true wind instead of apparent?

cheers,
Nick.
Are you talking about my adventure? That was not a racer; it was a high performance cruising boat, a kind of pocket superyacht. A good friend of mine made some money and that's what he spent it on.

No, it was apparent wind. We were bashing into a fairly heavy sea running, which might have affected the angle to the wind, but in general the boat subjectively did not seem to point dramatically better than mine, which surprised me.

If I had been trimming the sails, maybe that could have been put down to this factor, but I was only steering. The trimming was being done by far better sailors than I.
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Old 12-03-2010, 08:19   #173
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I don't have the polar for a Swan 90, but here's some figures for the Swan 60 and for Beowulf (which is 78' and a ketch). These figures are for 20 knots wind and are TWA so angles to true wind.

Swan 60:
52 deg. : 9.4 kts
60 deg. : 9.7 kts

Beowulf:
52 deg. : 11.7 kts
60 deg. : 12.7 kts

As you can see Beowulf profits much more from the wider angle which is typical for a ketch. I don't have the time now to do the simulation to find optimal VMG plus these polars are for average conditions. They are in MaxSea so if you have that you can do the sim.

If the main started luffing when pointing higher then there must have been something wrong with trim, but that might have been on purpose to develop more power to beat the seas (traveler out a bit). I can do better than 40 deg. apparent and a modern sloop that is also bigger should easily beat me in that game. Swan's are disguised racers and many models are available in a racing version (taller rig and less interior basically).

We're off for a two day outing to the city here (need a fix, too long in the jungle) so polar diagrams aren't gonna be in my mind for a bit ;-))

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 12-03-2010, 09:01   #174
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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
I don't have the polar for a Swan 90, but here's some figures for the Swan 60 and for Beowulf (which is 78' and a ketch). These figures are for 20 knots wind and are TWA so angles to true wind.

Swan 60:
52 deg. : 9.4 kts
60 deg. : 9.7 kts

Beowulf:
52 deg. : 11.7 kts
60 deg. : 12.7 kts

As you can see Beowulf profits much more from the wider angle which is typical for a ketch. I don't have the time now to do the simulation to find optimal VMG plus these polars are for average conditions. They are in MaxSea so if you have that you can do the sim.

If the main started luffing when pointing higher then there must have been something wrong with trim, but that might have been on purpose to develop more power to beat the seas (traveler out a bit). I can do better than 40 deg. apparent and a modern sloop that is also bigger should easily beat me in that game. Swan's are disguised racers and many models are available in a racing version (taller rig and less interior basically).

We're off for a two day outing to the city here (need a fix, too long in the jungle) so polar diagrams aren't gonna be in my mind for a bit ;-))

ciao!
Nick.
Hmm. Well, I don't know. Maybe the wind instruments were off. The main did not luff at all; it was the big overlapping genoa that started to go. Or maybe I just don't remember it correctly -- also possible.
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Old 15-03-2010, 21:35   #175
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Lets not forget the importance of the keel....maybe not optimal on that boat compared to yours.
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Old 15-03-2010, 21:57   #176
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My keel is no good for performance. It is a NACA foil but it's thick and looks like someone chopped the lower half off it. My draft is just 6'2". Swan's are real performers and the 90 is much like a Wally:

cheers,
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Old 16-03-2010, 06:20   #177
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Though yawl might like to relax and watch a nice ketch sail...or is that a sketch?

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Old 16-03-2010, 11:10   #178
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Beautiful boats no doubt about it...but I don't like the cockpits in them for the same reason I don't like cat cockpits...I want to feel like Im sailing not driving my SeaRay.

I'll trade my ketch for the Swan 90 and be a happy convert though ...
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Old 16-03-2010, 13:56   #179
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I want to feel like Im sailing not driving my SeaRay.
What if I told ya that you could take the autopilot remote and go sit up on the bow?
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Old 16-03-2010, 14:17   #180
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Yes, but this is the aft- vs center-cockpit story again. What the video does show is that the Amel is a good sailboat (going to windward pretty good) and the type of boat that will take care of you during world cruising.

I would not want to do the same with that Swan 90.... you'l have skin cancer after a month of that.

cheers,
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