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Old 20-10-2014, 17:22   #1
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How Much Weight In The Bow Is Too Much?

Yes, I know, that's a "how long is a piece of string?" type question: so let me add some qualifications. Suppose the boat is a 30' LOA monohull, 9' beam, 14,000lbs displacement - or thereabouts.

I'm thinking ground tackle at the bow.

What is a reasonable maximum weight?

100lbs?

200lbs?

300lbs?
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Old 20-10-2014, 17:41   #2
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Re: How Much Weight In The Bow Is Too Much?

When you are sailing, how can you tell when you have to much weight fwd?
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Old 20-10-2014, 17:45   #3
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Re: How Much Weight In The Bow Is Too Much?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy View Post
When you are sailing, how can you tell when you have to much weight fwd?
If you're asking me how I can tell when I have too much weight forward, the answer is: I can't, because I don't have a boat (yet). I'm in the planning phase.

I know if I already had the boat I could just test it out, but I need a general idea before I get the boat, because it's a factor in deciding which boat to get. I don't want to get a boat and then discover that it's unable to carry the type of ground tackle that I feel is necessary.
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Old 20-10-2014, 17:50   #4
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Re: How Much Weight In The Bow Is Too Much?

If I had to gander a guess I would say not much more then 200lbs. I have a 30' Catalina which is roughly those dimensions. I have very light tackle because we're on a lake, but when sailing with 1 adult sitting on the bow pulpit you dont notice much difference. 2 or more people and you start to notice it.
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Old 20-10-2014, 17:57   #5
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Re: How Much Weight In The Bow Is Too Much?

If the waterline is still nearly level you are good to go!
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Old 20-10-2014, 18:31   #6
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Re: How Much Weight In The Bow Is Too Much?

Ontherocks83,

Good observation. We've noticed the same thing on all our boats, too, but after we had the anchor and chain aboard.

IMO, you really need to have chain if your plan is to anchor in deep, coral infested anchorages, as the rope rode gets chafed through so quickly; also, in wind against tide situations, rope rode can get wrapped around your keel and chafe through in that way.
And, unfortunately, chain is heavy. There are some 60-80 ft. deep anchorages in French Polynesia.

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Old 20-10-2014, 18:36   #7
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Re: How Much Weight In The Bow Is Too Much?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ontherocks83 View Post
If I had to gander a guess I would say not much more then 200lbs. I have a 30' Catalina which is roughly those dimensions. I have very light tackle because we're on a lake, but when sailing with 1 adult sitting on the bow pulpit you dont notice much difference. 2 or more people and you start to notice it.
Excellent info, thanks.

I was thinking a rather heavy tackle: a #55 anchor and 200' 1/4" G43 in the bow full time (with some additional chain in reserve belowdecks for specially deep anchorages), which comes to about 187lbs. Sounds like that might work.

@Ann, yep, I'm convinced (from what I've read) that all chain is the way to go for someone who's going to be on the hook all the time.
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Old 20-10-2014, 18:50   #8
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Re: How Much Weight In The Bow Is Too Much?

A 55# is huge for a 14000# 30-footer! We anchored our 31' 20,000lb boat in all sorts of bottoms and all conditions with a 45lb anchor. Had 200' of chain, but never deployed it all. Had 600' of line in three separate pieces which we could use to extend the chain for those deep south Pacific anchorages (as long as the chain is in the upper section, away from the coral, it would be fine), but we never had a chance at those. But how much weight bows can carry depends on the design: how full are the bows? any overhang? how far forward is the beam carried? How low can the chain be stored, bearing in mind that below the waterline is far to be preferred? That really matters more than length/beam/disp. numbers.
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Old 20-10-2014, 19:16   #9
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Re: How Much Weight In The Bow Is Too Much?

I have added 300' of 3/8 g4 chain and a 85 lb anchor to Komaru that's 544 lbs. The boat behave's very differently and I am now looking to stow the chain back against the mask base while voyaging and or when coastal conditions warrant the effort. My boat has a pretty sweet motion, sails well up wind for such a heavy displacement vessel. I would guess that anything beyond 100 lbs will adversely affect the performance of the boat you are proposing, you may need to consider finding a way to move the weight aft. As others have said it does depend on the boat and what you want out of it.
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Old 20-10-2014, 22:17   #10
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Re: How Much Weight In The Bow Is Too Much?

That's an impossible question to answer on a forum like this. Suggest you sail the boat with a few friends and have successively more go sit on the bow as you sail the boat. That will let you know how much weight will adversely affect handling. Can do the same thing for trim at the docks.
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Old 20-10-2014, 23:22   #11
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How Much Weight In The Bow Is Too Much?

In their website EStarzinger and BLeonard indicate they use 150' of chain on the anchor and have another 150' kept in the bilge for deep anchorages or to replace the main rode if lost or if they need another anchor out. Their current boat is 47'.

http://www.bethandevans.com/systems.htm#8.

I would think that dropping the length of the pieces to 100-130' would be reasonable give the much smaller boat you are planning.


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Old 21-10-2014, 00:27   #12
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Re: How Much Weight In The Bow Is Too Much?

There's a LOT more to it than just the weight of the chain & anchor. You kind of need to take a look at the weight of the whole "package", or system, if you will.

Odds are you're going to want to do some reinforcing of the boat's laminate to take the load of & in the areas of: the Bow Roller, Chain Stoppers, Cleats, Windlass - and if you're being diligent, also extending this reinforcement down the insides of the bow a bit as well (to assist in spreading out the loads).

There's many a factory boat out there with laminate in the bows which isn't up to heavy anchoring or mooring loads. Witness some of the post storm images of cleats pulled out of the boat with fair sized pieces of the deck still bolted in place.

In addition to any reinforcements, you have to factor in the weight of: the Roller(s), Chain Stoppers, Heavier Duty Cleats, Windlass. And, beefy metal Backing Plate for all of these items.

Between the weight of reinforcing the extra laminate, your anchoring & mooring hardware, plus it's backing plates, etc., it's easy to add 1-2x the weight of your anchor (or more - SIC) to the bow. Prior to dropping in your ground tackle.

Needs be, I can delineate with numbers, but the bottom line is that it's not just the weight of the ground tackle alone which you're adding to the bow.
That, & odds are, if you're like most of us, at a minimum you'll have a 2nd rode stowed in the bow also. Not necessarily the #2 hook per say, but still, the weight of the #2 rode's substantial on it's own.

Sorry for the semi-rant, I just want you to get a bit clearer picture of what's realistically involved. And that it's easy to wind up "accidentally" adding a LOT of weight to one's bows.
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Old 21-10-2014, 01:02   #13
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Re: How Much Weight In The Bow Is Too Much?

KISS- in reality, the weight inthe bows is not necessarily significant. It depends more ont the trim of the boat. If your boatis trimmed incorrectly, even a small extra bow weight will be too much.

There are exact formulas, but basically think about a leverage arm. Find the exact midpoint (fulcrum) on your boat. Now you need to distribute the various weight equidistantly around this point to maintain a level trim (note some boats sail a little bit better with either a "heel" or "to" trim).

If you put a heavy anchor/chian/reinforcement on the bow, you'll need to counteract that weight with an equal weight an equal distance fro the fulcrum at the stern (or any combination of weight/distance from the fulcrum that is equal to that)
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Old 21-10-2014, 01:31   #14
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Re: How Much Weight In The Bow Is Too Much?

There are two issues to consider here: trim and increased polar moment in pitching. As Carsten notes, you can keep the vessel in trim by stowing similar weights (actually weight times distance from pitch center) aft in the boat. But as you increase those masses, the polar moment increases and this can lead to severe hobby-horsing when going into chop. Our previous boat, severely overloaded but in good trim, could be stopped in her tracks by fairly small waves if the period was such to be in phase with the pitching frequency. When we emptied her out, back to her racing displacement, the difference was astonishing -- went right through the same sort of stuff with hardly a bobble. We had cruised and lived aboard for 17 years in her, and the weight just kept increasing, both fore and aft. Big lesson for us!

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Old 21-10-2014, 05:57   #15
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Re: How Much Weight In The Bow Is Too Much?

Jim beat me to it.
Much as I would like to have a generator in the aft lazarette and lots of chain to keep her in trim in the bow, it's all that inertia I'm afraid of, I'm afraid she might hobby horse.
Right now she doesn't hobby horse at all, but I'm very light and don't even have a windlass yet and nothing in the lazarette.
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