Originally Posted by cal40john
Look at any racing video or talk to any racing skip. See where they put crew and materials in and on the boat. Boat trim makes a difference, it doesn't matter what kind of boat.
Yes Sir, trim AKA proper weight placement makes a Huge difference in both boat; speed, & motion. Especially when it's light.
And you can steer most any boat which has it's sails
well trimmed, by using weight placement alone. And showing folks this when I'm teaching (formally, & otherwise) definitely makes a few jaws drop.
Particularly when, I'll tie off the rudder
on centerline, & then move weight (bodies) around to show'em that a boat can even be steered this way. And then I'll make them figure out how to steer a boat this way, sans instruction.
It's a good tool, & Definitely helps people in developing a better sense of feel for the boat. Especially where as they learn how to sense much better, when the boat is out of tune, why, & the various options available to correct it.
And it's also why IMOCA (OPEN) 60's (amongst others) have fore & aft water ballast tanks
, as well as the standard ones on the boat's hull
sides, for increasing righting moment.
So then, if you think about weight placement from a different angle. If you have much weight in the wrong place, onboard, then you're causing excess drag, & improper trim for that boat. As well as having to compensate for the weight imbalances (boat trim), via using the rudder
Which, any & everytime you use the helm
, it's acting as a "brake" to some degree. As there's a big drag component to steering
, in addition to the lift
which the rudder generates.
Done right, balancing out the boat can give you easily 1/4 - 1/2kt of boatspeed, especially when it's light. And decent gains when there's a breeze too. In addition to increasing the comfort levels on the boat, when done right.
Plus, it lowers the need for sail trimming, which keeps the boat powered up better, etc., etc.