Were those waves so steep they would have capsized you if broadside on a reach?
I think a big worry going downwind is if you carry enough sail to be powered-up enough that slowing the boat would cause you to be overpowered.
Did you deploy a drogue
? Did you shift movable weight aft to keep bows from submerging? Did you drop the main and leave a bit of jib
to keep your sail's center of effort (CE) forward of center of lateral resistance (CLR)?[/QUOT
To be frank I was a newbie at the time. I have no idea if we were really close to the edge. I didn't like the feeling of the starboard hull rising above the port in a significant way. Most or all of the lift
was likely the wave being higher on that side than the other as we swung to 90 deg. but the centrifugal force made me feel really uneasy. Those sorts of conditions were synonymous with 20 to 25 knot
winds at 30-40 deg. aft stbd. and 15-20 ft. rollers that were at least 100 yards or more apart.
I have an engineering background so I understood centrifugal force really well and while my crew was cheering at 18 knots going down a wave I was frantically hanging on to everything on the table to keep it from flying off with the centrifugal force. To top that off I didn't like the arc effect moving broadside to the rollers and the wind also but I had, and still do not have, any idea when the boat will actually go over. I just don't like even feeling like I may be getting close to the edge or going over it. I have done a lot of sailing since and rarely has the surfing issue been an issue except during the Atlantic crossing
where those big long gradual rollers are.
No drogue, just reefing a bit. I don't think a drogue would have stopped the arc as it would normally be placed behind and in the middle so arcing would still happen but at the lower speed it would be much less of a problem and probably easily handled by the auto piolot. The problem was only intermittent so placing a drogue on the port hull would really throw things off during the 99% of the time when things were working like they should.
Like I said I was a newbie. I was really happy with the 10 and 12 knots s.o.g. We had a big crossing so 200 mile days were important so we had a lot of sail up most of the day and reefed a bit at night. The effect was so intermittent the easiest way to counter it was to man the helm
at all times when the effects were noticed and simply cut out the auto pilot when the speed got too high on the way down the ocaisional wave and turn the rudder
appropriatly to counter the effect.
We did not see any bad weather
at all during our crossing!
My real point in posting
this is to share my experience with folks and advise people in cats (I don't have any mon hull experience) to beware. I have heard a lot of stories from sailors that enjoyed surfing waves with their boats. I just want to bring balance to that. Surfing may seem like fun but there are danger signs to watch for or bad things can happen if corrective action is not taken.
I never got the sense that the bow would bury into another wave because by the time I got to the bottom of the wave, when I experienced the problem, we were going closer to 90 deg to it due to the friction issues I referred to initially here and the next wave was still a long way behind and ahead of us. Frankly I have been in way worse rough stuff since also and I never had a sense that I was even close to the bow going in.
Perhaps this is one advantage that the Privilege
49.5 has with the nacel (3rd hull) in the middle. It rarely is used for bouyancy but it sure can add a lot of extra lift
to keep the bows out of the water when nosing down hard.
Re: moving weight around. This is a really big boat with a lot of storage
. We don't have much heavy stuff forward. I could consider moving my anchors and rode
but I never did in this instance.