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Old 05-10-2014, 03:01   #1
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L400 performance

We picked up our Lagoon 400 in May this year and its been mostly downwind sailing from Les Sables to the Canaries so I haven't had a chance to test her upwind performance until yesterday when we sailed North along the coast of Lanzarote for a 25M sail to Graciosa. The trip was expected to take around 5 hrs with 15-20K NE forecast and 1.5-2m swell. I was expecting to make similar tacks to our last cat, a lagoon 380, but was disapointed with the actual results.
On our 380 we would set the autopilot in wind vane mode, around 35 degress, and make actual COG of 45 degrees at good speed (approx 7K in 20K breeze), so I was happy with 90 degree tacks.
Yesterday we couldnt do much better than 120 degree tacks and speed ranged from 5-6K in the 15-20K true wind, so basically slower and at least 15 degrees lower pointing.
That said I think there may have been 1K of current against us which would equate to about 10 degree lower tacks. The log consistantly read up to a knot more than the GPS so perhaps speed through water was 6-7K.
As the wind freshened to 20-25K at the top of the island, angles and speed improved and we adjusted the course down to 35 degrees and were making 6-7K and closer to 50 degrees over the ground. Once off the wind speeds were over 8K across the top of the island.
I had hoped for a much better outcome, but at this stage Im not counting out the possible current which would explain the very low angles.
AT the end of the day, it was a great days sailing, albeit twice as long as planned and we arrived at the anchorage on dusk. Once the frustration of pointing lower than expected past we enjoyed the day and were very comfortable.
I usually modify the route in OpenCPN as we sail to keep an updated course which allows me to plan tacks and see the ETA updated as we sail. The wind stayed pretty constant from NNE and we didn't tack for windshifts anywhere along the way.
At most points of sail I find the L400 slightly slower than the L380 until the wind is around 18K, then the L400 slightly faster. We are loaded pretty similarly to as we were on the 380.
Anyway, draw your own conclusions, I just wanted to share the good with the bad, and if anyone has any local knowledge on currents in this area, Id be interested to hear (Nick?)

Monte
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Old 05-10-2014, 04:01   #2
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Re: L400 performance

The Canary Current flows SW and the archepeligo bisects the current which flows down to Senegal. The velocity is highest in Winter but runs all year round ranging in speed from 15-75 cm/s (ie. 0.5 to 2.5Km/hr).

Don't be too disappointed until you have collected severl more of these plots in differing conditions and locations. Supermaxi's rounding Fraser Island in The Brisbane to Gladstone Race when in a NE'er show similar tracks influenced by the Great Australian Current. So imagine how bad they feel!
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Old 05-10-2014, 09:41   #3
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Re: L400 performance

From the many race results I have collected, I'm sure the 380 is faster than the 400. We are crewing ind the Catamarans Cup this year - 3 400 and 5 380 have entered so we will see. According to their ratings, the 380 should be faster:PARTICIPANTS LIST
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Old 05-10-2014, 10:16   #4
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Re: L400 performance

It is a cat without daggerboards I would not expect stellar upwind performance. You did fine. Most would start the motor.

Avoid upwind. Remember you can easily beat this shortcoming by motor-and-sailing. This dramatically reduces your leeway. Not practical in open waters but excellent technique for such short day-trips.

Clew. Ooopps. Clue: yes, you had current there. It was an upwind / upcurrent slog and you did just fine.

If your next leg is to SW, sail the windward coast for a change.

Nice anchorage off Papagayo, if you have not been yet.

Decent marina at Rubicon, if you do not like Papagayo.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 05-10-2014, 10:56   #5
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Re: L400 performance

You might have been pinching. I suspect that a cat without daggerboard will be much more susceptible to slipping off to leeward if you pinch. You should experiment with different wind angles until you get the best VMG to windward -- it might not be the same as on your previous boat.

A 90 degree tack over ground, at maximum VMG to windward, with no boost from a current, is extraordinary -- don't expect every cruising boat to be able to do that. Anything under 100 is doing really well in my book, for a cruising boat loaded down with stuff. If you were bucking a one knot current, then naturally that will distort your tacking angle. Try it again without the current.
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Old 05-10-2014, 11:27   #6
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Re: L400 performance

people I have talked to who have owned both 400 and 380 agrees the 380 usually is faster
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Old 05-10-2014, 11:34   #7
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Re: L400 performance

Thanks for the tips, and yep, hoping the current had a lot to do with the poor performance. We did try several angles to get the best VMG, around 35-40 was ok but a bit (OK a LOT) slow until the wind increased so we kind of settled around 45 which is closer to 60 over ground so twice the distance. Bearing away increases speed but I was hesitant and didn't want to end up tacking back and forth over the same ground :P
Also maybe some tweaking of the sails might have helped but I pretty much sailed it as we would have our 380.
Thanks for the tip B, will head down that way at some stage and yep we'd prefer sail than motor even if it takes twice as long. I think I see why they say to cruise the Canaries from North to South now!
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Old 07-10-2014, 04:37   #8
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Re: L400 performance

i was laughing when in 25 kn beam reach sporty catana 43 could not touch 10 kn, no matter how hard skipper was trying.

then i realised that loading boat to human level makes every cat go more or less the same. going fine 60 deg true against wind is fine. Any sharper, repair costs up exponentially in decent against wave drive due to cat stability. Ask how do i know

me happy to live with this.
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Old 07-10-2014, 04:56   #9
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Re: L400 performance

Hey Monte,
Didn't realize it until I saw your route and an Aussi Lagoon 400 that you are parked right beside us here in the anchorage. We would have dropped over for a visit except we are heading for the marina today, assuming this poor Moody can get enough northing today to make the right turn. Sorry we missed you. Cheers, Robert
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Old 07-10-2014, 05:35   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monte View Post
Thanks for the tips, and yep, hoping the current had a lot to do with the poor performance. We did try several angles to get the best VMG, around 35-40 was ok but a bit (OK a LOT) slow until the wind increased so we kind of settled around 45 which is closer to 60 over ground so twice the distance. Bearing away increases speed but I was hesitant and didn't want to end up tacking back and forth over the same ground :P
Also maybe some tweaking of the sails might have helped but I pretty much sailed it as we would have our 380.
Thanks for the tip B, will head down that way at some stage and yep we'd prefer sail than motor even if it takes twice as long. I think I see why they say to cruise the Canaries from North to South now!
Well, 45 AWA will give you 120 tacking angle over ground in many boats and conditions even without any adverse current, so all that sounds quite reasonable. Maybe your memories of L380 performance have grown a little rose-tinted with time?

Tacking angles over ground of less than 100 are really hard to achieve in even pretty good sailing cruising boats, in my experience, and usually require AWA of less than 35 and lots of boat speed. If you maintain a tight AWA but let boat speed fall off, you lose your tacking angle over ground to increased leeway. Even a slight adverse current will exaggerate this,
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Old 07-10-2014, 06:00   #11
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Re: L400 performance

Hi Robert. Yes sorry we missed you too. Not much fun Sitting out 30K+ for a couple of days really. Hopefully catch up with you on the way back down. Where are you headed now?

DH, we sailed the L380 for the last couple of years in the med so my recollection is pretty good on its performance. I think the main reasons for better windward performance are being 3t lighter and lower top sides/ less freeboard and windage, but I'm certainly hoping for better results with less adverse current..
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Old 07-10-2014, 06:33   #12
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pirate Re: L400 performance

Quote:
Originally Posted by monte View Post
I think the main reasons for better windward performance are being 3t lighter and lower top sides/ less freeboard and windage, but I'm certainly hoping for better results with less adverse current..
^^^^^^.....
Sounds as bad as the Baltic.. just maybe not as wet.. or cold brrrrrrrrrr
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Old 07-10-2014, 06:48   #13
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Re: L400 performance

Yeah Phil. 25degree water and about the same air temp so we're not complaining. Btw what kind of AP are they installing? Thinking of getting a cpt wheel pilot as backup on sephina
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Old 07-10-2014, 12:12   #14
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Re: L400 performance

Monte,
We are in Lanzarote Marina, tight fitting marina. We will be here for a week or so then heading to Santa Cruz in Tenerife for a couple of weeks and then Grande Caneria for 3 weeks before heading across to St. Maartin....what are you guys doing?
We have a CPT wheel pilot as back up and we use it more often than our below decks elec/hyd. Ask me about it if you like. Cheers, Robert
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Old 07-10-2014, 12:20   #15
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Re: L400 performance

Thanks Robert, pity I did t get to see you and the cpt while we were neighbours!
Yes we were in marina lanzarote the other day, I managed to bounce off the pontoons trying to dock with a 20k crosswind. Lesson learnt, next time pick the berth myself instead if blindly heading down where the marinero is pointing!
We are planning on crossing with the Atlantic odyssey from marina lanzarote mid November so till then we will be slowly exploring the islands. Finally the wind has dropped off here and the suns shining so it's all good. I hope you had a good sail down and it was faster than our sail up
Enjoy lanzarote, skip the volcano bus tour/national park though!
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