Originally Posted by Ericson38
If your rudder is balanced and the skeg is partial, there is not a lot of skeg to start with, about 1/3 the way down on the leading edge, but since the rudder top edge slopes up to follow the centerline rise at the stern, about 1/2 way down from an overall planform view.
49 Taswell soda blast, Gel skim-peel, barrier - 67 :: Job Photos :: Solomon Yacht Restoration, LLC
49 Taswell soda blast, Gel skim-peel, barrier - 51 :: Job Photos :: Solomon Yacht Restoration, LLC
I think your Dixon boat is close to this Taswell 49.....but I don't know for sure. You aren't going to gain anything measurable in pointing angle or downwind boat speed by removing the partial skeg. There is more drag from a non-folding prop by far, and as far as lift to windward, that has about 80% to do with the keel's lift to drag ratio than the rudder lift to drag, being proportional to planform area.
Sailing upwind happens more than 50% of the time it seems to me, and beam and broad reaches of any distance are less common, since apparent wind shifts forward. Out boat goes to windward well for a cutter
with a roller main. No complaints at all.
How close can you sail to the wind, apparent wind angle, effectively, with and without your staysail ?
How is your main furled and does it have battens ?
My boat has a different set of compromises -- the rudder is oversized, for power, and that increases wetted surface and drag. You are right that the short skeg doesn't make a big difference in the hydrodynamics, but still it is worse than a full spade. The oversized and very powerful rudder is because my boat was designed for sailing above 50N and for very hard sea conditions.
As to sailing "more than 50% upwind" -- you are absolutely right about that. Sometimes it seems to me that it's 80% of the time. And that's why you either need to make the boat capable of making miles upwind, which is hard, and expensive, or just be happy to motor
quite a lot of the time (as my Father was).
To answer your other question -- my goal when I re-rigged my boat was to be able to make 5 knots VMG to windward in good conditions (20 knots apparent wind, +/-, reasonably smooth sea state). I don't think I quite made it, but I can now get upwind reasonably well in most conditions. If the sea is not too rough, I can usually manage 8 to 8.5 knots on about 30 degrees apparent, which results in a real tacking angle with no current
of 95 to 100 degrees over ground, and I get a little less than the longed-for 5 knots VMG to windward, say 4.8 on a good day. But that's more than 100 miles a day, and I think that's not actually that bad.
To get to that point, I had to sell a much treasured 1970 Porsche 911S Targa, with the proceeds of which I had carbon laminate sails
made, including a roller furling
main with straight leech and carbon battens, and an alternative principle headsail made especially for hard going upwind in 20 to 30 knots -- a 90% blade jib
, which can be sheeted inside the shrouds.
It's probably more reasonable and definitely cheaper, to just say screw it, and put the motor
on, but I love to sail.