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Old 20-08-2019, 10:17   #1
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Wringing Some Extra Performance Out of a Cruising Boat

After multi hull sailing, I'm really having some issues sailing my monohull.

Any tips for wringing a little extra performance out of it?

It is a 50' Gulfstar Sailmaster. Built like a tank. Not like other Gulfstar boats. Quite easily a blue water model and originally came from Florida, then the Pacific/Hawaii, then back here to the northeast USA.

https://sailboatdata.com/sailboat/gulfstar-50-sailmaster

S.A./Disp.: 13.62

200 gallons diesel
350 gallons water

It's got a freshly scrubbed bottom, all sails brand new this year (main, genoa, Yankee). Does 8 knots at 1500 RPM, but isn't doing so great (compared to what I'm used to with multihulls) under sail.

Getting like 5-6 knots generally on a reach in average 10 knot wind conditions. As it gets closer to a run, it dies out from the main blanketing the Genoa. It does better just dropping the main and running genoa only on a very broad reach or run.

There is no downwind sail. Do I need an assymetric? Code 0?

Iím sure she does 8 knots all day long in a hurricane, but I donít enjoy sailing in rough sea states. So, im usually out in 5-15 knots of wind. How can i get this boat moving in lighter airs?
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Old 20-08-2019, 10:40   #2
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Re: Wringing Some Extra Performance Out of a Cruising Boat

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Any tips for wringing a little extra performance out of it?
Boat that size and type about all you can focus on is good sails, rigging, and dropping weight. Look below and see if you can...er, are WILLING to toss anything taking up space with mass slowing you down. I'm looking right at you 18th century heavy as hell teak wood inlays and floor decking.

Lose some weight brother, and you'll probably gain an extra knot or 2 here or there in light air.

Just remember that they're designed to sail at a target weight of BOAT + CREW and provisions, so altering the weight hi or low could impact the way she sails.
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Old 20-08-2019, 10:53   #3
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Re: Wringing Some Extra Performance Out of a Cruising Boat

Sayer weights about 8 lbs. per gallon. If just daysailing or Doug 2-3 day trip, lose some water. Personally, I would always keep the fuel at half load or better.
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Old 20-08-2019, 10:54   #4
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Re: Wringing Some Extra Performance Out of a Cruising Boat

Sorry, WATER weighs about 8 lbs. per gallon . . .
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Old 20-08-2019, 10:57   #5
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Re: Wringing Some Extra Performance Out of a Cruising Boat

41,000 pound displacement....I think you are doing what the boat can do and you want to go faster you need a different boat.
But, what kind of prop you running? I know that when I feather my three blade AutoProp I see the speed jump up a couple knots. Couple times I have forgotten to feather the prop I thought I was dragging an anchor.
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Old 20-08-2019, 11:37   #6
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Re: Wringing Some Extra Performance Out of a Cruising Boat

I doubt there are polar diagrams for your Gulfstar but what youíre making as far as SOG is concerned doesnít sound unreasonable. Is it possible that your expectations are too high?

Good luck, fair winds and calm seas.
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Old 20-08-2019, 11:41   #7
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Re: Wringing Some Extra Performance Out of a Cruising Boat

At 41,000lb and sail area to displ of 13.6 you will not be seeing lively light wind performance out of this boat any time soon. It is heavy for it's length, has high freeboards, and other design aspects which do not encourage performance. It makes me wonder why someone who enjoys multihull performance would choose to sail a heavy cruiser?

However, the hull shape and keel/rudder configuration is OK. Maybe you have something to work with.

The main problem is the Sa/Displ of 13.6.

I would not go on a weight reduction program. You would need to take out 20,000lbs to get the sa/displ over 20. Forget it.

So that leaves sailarea. A 153% genoa would increase your sa/displ to around 18, a big improvement. An asymmetrical spinnaker will definitely help off wind. Even just poling out the genoa so you can sail wing on wing will help. But the main thing is: don't sail so deep, reach up and keep the foresail filled. Jibe downwind like a multihull. If you like offwind sailing put a pole, afterguy, and tacking line on the tack of an asymmetrical and pull the tack back, amazing!

I don't think you can wring enough performance out of a code zero to justify the cost.

But the main thing is that this boat will come alive in 15-20knots but it will never be a light wind flyer. Work the problem the best you can, but enjoy it for what it is.
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Old 20-08-2019, 11:53   #8
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Re: Wringing Some Extra Performance Out of a Cruising Boat

Get a Hobie 16 for daysailing?

Otherwise, I think wingsail is on the right track.
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Old 20-08-2019, 16:04   #9
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Re: Wringing Some Extra Performance Out of a Cruising Boat

I asked this question once regarding our Hudson Force 50...but then I realized 1000 or even 3000lbs of crap inside the boat just didn't matter. She's not a Performance Cruiser...she is a Comfort Cruiser/Floating Condo Cruiser. Once I got my mind around that I moved into other questions, like why these other boats were bouncing around so much at anchor in the lite chop while I wasn't...…
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Old 20-08-2019, 16:08   #10
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Re: Wringing Some Extra Performance Out of a Cruising Boat

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Sorry, WATER weighs about 8 lbs. per gallon . . .
That's got to be one of the most incongruous posts on a computer I've ever seen!
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Old 20-08-2019, 16:35   #11
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Re: Wringing Some Extra Performance Out of a Cruising Boat

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I asked this question once regarding our Hudson Force 50...but then I realized 1000 or even 3000lbs of crap inside the boat just didn't matter. She's not a Performance Cruiser...she is a Comfort Cruiser/Floating Condo Cruiser. Once I got my mind around that I moved into other questions, like why these other boats were bouncing around so much at anchor in the lite chop while I wasn't...…
Thanks for all the responses. I feel she particularly needs a downwind sail.

I am lazy sailor too. I set my course bee-line and adjust the sails to that course. I strongly dislike all the effort jybing my way downwind or excessively having to tack more than once an hour or so. I single hand when sailing. Even though other people are aboard.

So downwind, I wanted to see if putting up a ton of sail area would get me moving. And I'd sure love for that monster sail area to be attached to my furler on my forestay. Again, I'm a lazy sailor. I'd like to furl it out like a screecher on a cat. Especially because this boat is all electric sheet winches. Piece of cake.

On a reach or closer to the wind, would a huge Genoa give better results, as described in the above post?

Taking weight off is tough because that means I'm building new things to replace what's removed.

Water wise, I'm lazy about going to the fuel dock too. We like to carry a lot of it to last. However, I do have a water maker I need to get running on this thing. That could help a lot.

There's a beefy 9kw North Lights generator in here too.

Prop wise, I've never even seen it. I'm sure it's a standard fixed prop, 4 or 3 blade though. Just picked this boat up recently. This is the first real extended trip on her.

Lastly, addressing the post above, I quoted. I completely understand what you mean! Coming from my catamaran, I was thinking this boat would be rolly, uncomfortable at anchor, bad motion. Everything I remembered my old monohulls to be. However, this boat really opened my eyes up to the fact that a monohull can actually be almost as comfortable as a cat. I can see Kenomac's strategy with the 63' Oyster. Larger monohulls are very comfortable. But with this boat I was amazed. It's so smooth and easy to be on. It sits like a rock in the anchorage. The high freeboard keeps the chop away when sailing or motoring. It can take the wake from a 50-60ft spurt fisher without much concern. Just like my cat can. It's a remarkable boat, so I was exploring ways to hot rod it up a little.
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Old 20-08-2019, 16:42   #12
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Wringing Some Extra Performance Out of a Cruising Boat

Prop is a big deal. So is gybing down wind. If you are wing on wing sail with a pole on the jib and run the jib by the lee. That keeps the jib out of the wind shadow of the main. Trim the pole high as the flow is reversed downwind when doing this. The flow is leech to luff. Backwards. Raising the pole allows the top of the jib to swing out and hold the rest of the sail in better trim. Meanwhile the main is perpendicular to the wind and is effective too. I am about 36000 pounds and 46 feet. But on a reach? Man. Thatís when the off wind sails add a knot or more.

<grammar snot hat on> Btw kudos on using and spelling wringing. Iíve got low expectations I guess. </hat off>
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Old 20-08-2019, 17:17   #13
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Re: Wringing Some Extra Performance Out of a Cruising Boat

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On a reach or closer to the wind, would a huge Genoa give better results, as described in the above post?
This is where youíll get some performance. I switched from a 100% jib to a 135% genoa and it revolutionised my boat for 15 - 25kn. For lighter air I got a biggish gennaker which runs up to 15kn apparent. I used to be satisfied with 130nm a day on a passage. Now we routinely get 160nm. Thatís a substantial improvement. Friends with a poorly canvassed ketch have just taken 12 days NZ to Fiji. We regularly do it in seven.

But most of this is off the wind. Cruising boats generally are designed to create comfort and mostly they sail off the wind. If you do a lot of beating, be prepared for slower sailing.

But the shabby performance of a 50ft multi weighing in at 41000lbs They say the best way to turn a cat into a dog is to add weight. I must say though, Iím often envious of the living space of a big cat when weíre cruising.
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Old 20-08-2019, 17:24   #14
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Re: Wringing Some Extra Performance Out of a Cruising Boat

Yes, definitely check that your prop folds or feathers and change it asap if it doesn't. I single-hand so was scared of the big downwind sails, but I bought a top-down furler for my asymmetric which makes an enormous difference. Under 10 knots the boat is completely transformed downwind. It's simple to raise and lower on my own. I also fitted a very long pole and use that for the genoa on the other side if going dead downwind.
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Old 20-08-2019, 17:39   #15
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Re: Wringing Some Extra Performance Out of a Cruising Boat

Hi, Chotu,

You will probably do better off the wind with just poling the genoa out on the windward side at - or just before- the point when the main blankets it. And of course, a 135, or maybe even larger might do. With headsail driven boats it was not uncommon to have a light 165 and a "heavy" 165: Our previous boat came with that setup, and the heavy #was dynamite for on the wind sailing. (The light 165 was the #1). The boat had a foil, not a roller. We later went down to a 135 for it, on a furler.

I completely agree about the prop. It's like towing a bucket of water behind you, and changing to a folder will help the light air performance, and medium air, too.

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