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Old 21-03-2014, 21:26   #16
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

I think possibly the single biggest learning from racing -- whether it be in organised races, or the usual 'cruising' race where several boats are heading in the same general direction but none are sure if the other boat is racing them...

is that the tribulations of the other boats are a great help to visualising the invisible airflow.

This is particularly so in enclosed waters, with interesting topography.

For over a decade we sailed our first sailboat extensively in the Marlborough Sounds, in NZ, and by the end of that period we could predict with remarkable reliability what wind strength and direction we would encounter around the next corner, and whereabouts the 'holes' in the wind were to be found.

Which those who've sailed in the area more than a couple of times will probably have noticed is quite difficult to do.

And this without ever entering a single "formal" race.

Our only consistent habits resulting in this familiarity were firstly to treat the motor as a last resort, strictly for use only in flat calms.

And secondly, if any yacht was in sight, our sole aim was to walk away from them, regardless of size, if at all humanly possible.
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Old 22-03-2014, 06:46   #17
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

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Well, yes, I'd have to say that your boat does tip towards RACER/cruiser pretty heavily! An interesting concept boat, and apparently well thought out and constructed.

Now, have you actually done any long distance/time cruising in her? That's where the rubber meets the road! We cruised for 17 years in an old IOR one-tonner, a practice which was considered radical at the time. Your boat is far more sophisticated in just about every way possible, but I wonder how well she "lives the cruising life"? Our Insatiable was a good home for us over 86,000 miles despite her racing heritage.

At any rate, she must be a blast to sail, and I don't think many cruising boats of less than mid-50's length will give you much of a race.

Cheers,

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I had a look at your boat and that was a good thing because I found out about Jon Sayer. Interesting stuff and at a time well ahead of its time. A pity NZ designers not to be more well known. Your boat also looks ahead of its time and it is a nice and I am sure it is a fast cruiser.

Regarding mine it is in fact a cruiser-racer, or a performance cruiser like I prefer to call it and the previous owner used it mostly to race. It is a 2007 boat and still a IRC/ORC competitive boat with some good results on Italian offshore races.

The boat is fast but it has a very good cruising interior:



The above movie is a sister boat but the below video is on mine, solo sailed very conservatively to be able to take the video comfortably, as you can see the wheel almost does not move.



Regarding sailing I retired and bought this boat in 2012. Since then I cruise for about 3/4 months a year doing about 3000nm for season. On 2012 and 2013 I had been sailing on the Eastern med and I will continue this year before bringing it to the Atlantic.
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Old 23-03-2014, 05:58   #18
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

Racing doesn't have to be those short beer can races. I've been participating in single-hand and offshore races to help amp up the learning curve. There's nothing like milling around a starting line with 70 other boats to help with close quartering and maneuvering, or watching other boats get stuck in wind shadows and eddy currents to better know how to read these condition and avoid them. You can gauge whether your choices were good based on what the other boats are doing. I NEVER thought I'd be a sailboat racer, which sounded like an oxymoron for someone who enjoyed racing cars and bikes. Now I know the benefit has been to improve my capabilities quicker than if I were just cruising about. That said, whenever someone wants to take the wheel when we're casually sailing and happens to luff the sails a bit, then I just sit back and enjoy the day. It's essential to turn off the competitiveness!
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Old 23-03-2014, 07:24   #19
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

Rules on my boat - if you can hold a drink in one hand and steer with your feet, your cruising and good to go. If you tack more than 3 times in an hour you're racing and overboard you go...
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Old 23-03-2014, 17:21   #20
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

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Rules on my boat - if you can hold a drink in one hand and steer with your feet, your cruising and good to go. If you tack more than 3 times in an hour you're racing and overboard you go...
I like your philosophy, my idea of stress is waving as racers go by trying to beat me. I have found since I retired getting there slowly is a lot less stressful and definitely more fun.
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Old 23-03-2014, 20:38   #21
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

I am cruising with a couple of independent ladies. Both green sailors and like it that way.

Tonight I am a few miles off of Destin Florida. The forecast was 15 mph winds with gusts to 25 N-NE. Perfect for my old Morgan. Instead we have 25 sustained with gusts to 45.

Not a major issue. I rolled the genny to 80 % and double reef in the main an hour before dark. The ladies are fairly content. Can't say as much for my wife's 14 yr old cat.

Certainly not in race mode.
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Old 23-03-2014, 21:13   #22
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
What I have noticed:

If there is another yacht sailing in the same direction as Insatiable II, we are racing.

Unless, somehow, the other yacht seems to be winning... then we are cruising!

Cheers,

Jim (retired racer)
I haven't raced in 25 years...

... but I did extend the transoms, move the jib leads inboard, modify the keel, order a new main, and shave some weight this year.

I don't care about winning... I just like passing people.
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Old 23-03-2014, 21:57   #23
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

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I had a look at your boat and that was a good thing because I found out about Jon Sayer. Interesting stuff and at a time well ahead of its time. A pity NZ designers not to be more well known. Your boat also looks ahead of its time and it is a nice and I am sure it is a fast cruiser.

Regarding mine it is in fact a cruiser-racer, or a performance cruiser like I prefer to call it and the previous owner used it mostly to race. It is a 2007 boat and still a IRC/ORC competitive boat with some good results on Italian offshore races.

The boat is fast but it has a very good cruising interior:
OK, that does indeed look like a cruisable interior, and very nicely fitted out, too. So, seems like the "performance cruiser" title is apt. That's how we describe our boat for that matter. The performance would be emphasized a lot more if it was not our sole home, and repository to all our worldly goods (might be a few too many of those!). It is a niche in the boating spectrum that I'm comfortable in, and we have enough time and miles aboard to not worry about folks who condemn such craft as unfit.

BTW, the Jon Sayer who designed our boat was a Kiwi, but has been Australian for most of his adult life. Current location is in Mooloolaba, Qld. He mostly draws ULDB race boats, but a few cruisers have come off his boards, and I think he is sadly under rated. His father (also a John Sayer IIRC) was a designer/builder in NZ. His forte was, of all things, ferro cement... even race boats! And apparently some of them were quite successful... go figger!

So, while we gave up racing when we went off cruising in 1986, we still enjoy a quick and responsive vessel, and simply shrug it off when told that you must have a long keel and lots of displacement to be a cruiser. And we particularly enjoy passing cruising catamarans... doesn't always happen, but when it does we giggle a lot!

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 23-03-2014, 22:09   #24
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

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Originally Posted by gamayun View Post
Racing doesn't have to be those short beer can races. I've been participating in single-hand and offshore races to help amp up the learning curve. There's nothing like milling around a starting line with 70 other boats to help with close quartering and maneuvering, or watching other boats get stuck in wind shadows and eddy currents to better know how to read these condition and avoid them. You can gauge whether your choices were good based on what the other boats are doing. I NEVER thought I'd be a sailboat racer, which sounded like an oxymoron for someone who enjoyed racing cars and bikes. Now I know the benefit has been to improve my capabilities quicker than if I were just cruising about. That said, whenever someone wants to take the wheel when we're casually sailing and happens to luff the sails a bit, then I just sit back and enjoy the day. It's essential to turn off the competitiveness!
I can quite agree with this! Before becoming a born again sailor, I was a professional drag racer for a lot of years. When reality struck and I gave that up, I bought a little day-sailor dinghy. Folks asked me if I was going to race it, and I said " how in the hell can you race something that only goes five MPH"?

Two weeks later, hardly knowing the sharp end from the blunt end, I entered my first race (with predictable results, but I was hooked). Some years and two boats later I added single hand racing in SF Bay to the list of sailing activities. First with the original SSS, then OYRA/ASH (Assoc. of Single Handers), doing the full OYRA ocean schedule. Four seasons of that (44 races) were a great learning experience... things that often have had applications in our short handed cruising life, and things that I doubt I would have otherwise learned. As you have discovered, a good learning tool!

"Real cruisers" often sneer at such activities. They are often the ones that you see motoring along with their sail covers on...

So, keep up the s/h racing, and when you go cruising, the benefits will be there for you!

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 24-03-2014, 07:32   #25
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

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....
I would observe an odd thing, though ...

I've derived great benefit from sailing with some exceptional racing skippers.
....
Skippers who quite frequently race short-handed can be good value, and often have a lot more to teach someone whose primary focus is cruising.

But there are exceptions: I never sailed with Tabarly, but several friends of friends did, and he was clearly a lot better suited to solo sailing than to skippering a big crew, at least later in his career.
Yes I agree with that and also that sometimes racing skippers or sailors used to race boats with a big crew don't know much about cruising or solo sailing.

When I was looking for a boat to substitute my previous one I was looking for a fast cruiser racer with lots of stability and a good AVS and the J133 was one of the boats I was interested in. I sail solo with my wife and she does not like sailing, I mean to fiddle with the sails, so pretty much I solo sail.

One of the J133 I saw was showed to my by a top racing sailor that used to race the boat in major races and he could not understand how I could sail that boat alone, in fact he tried to convince me not to buy the boat. He said that himself never tried to sail it alone and did not know if he could. I did not bought the boat because the interior was in not a nice shape, having suffered from a lot of hard racing and lots of sails being tossed around.

Having always sailed solo I end up buying a boat with not very different performances than the J133. I don't race the boat, I cruise only and after two years and several thousands of miles I am very satisfied with it. it was really the kind of boat I was looking for. I had not any problem in sailing the boat but I am sure that I sail it very differently than that racing sailor with a full crew. He was talking about sailing the boat at 100% and I sail it at 70 or 80% and that makes a huge difference in what regards easiness of sailing. Of course, even at 80% I am faster than almost all cruising boats.

So, crew racers and skippers are not always a good choice to learn something about cruising or solo sailing.

Tabarly was a mostly a solo sailor, one of the greatest. That are not many top sailors that, like Cammas, have the flexibility to be a top racing crew Skipper and a top solo racing sailor. Different skills are required.
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Old 24-03-2014, 08:30   #26
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

My experience has been that racing teaches one the intricacies of sail trim faster than cruising.
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Old 24-03-2014, 08:55   #27
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

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My experience has been that racing teaches one the intricacies of sail trim faster than cruising.
Sure, I agree with that and while racing you sail sometimes with much more experienced sailors and you cam learn more about that on one a day that sailing alone for many months. It was not what I wanted to say. If that was implied in my words, I am sorry. It was not meant to.
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Old 24-03-2014, 09:29   #28
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

You can learn much more than just sail trim from racing although you can lose a race from over or under sheeting.

You also learn about current and how land affects the wind.

Then there's your approach to the start. Which end is the favored end? Committee boat or pin?

Then there's mast rake, mast prebend, downhaul, weight distribution, sail selection, proper steering technique, (rudder alignment and mast rotation for catamaran racers), sail high to make gains toward the mark, or sail off for speed.

Then there's calling the laylines (deciding when to tack) which is always fun especially if you are on a singlehanded boat. (and) Especially on the final leg if you are in contention or have the lead with a boat right on you.

But then cruising is hard to learn also for an exracer. Once you clear the slip and get out the creek and get you sails up and set then what? Set the auto pilot. Select a book?

Then when you arrive at your destination there's the anchoring thing? Even more fun in heavy wind is the part when you pull up the anchor. We're talking a singlehander here.

I raced/sailed for 15 years and never anchored once. I didn't have an anchor or a light onboard except a flashlight for the 100 mile races (and a few light sticks)
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Old 24-03-2014, 12:24   #29
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

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But then cruising is hard to learn also for an exracer. Once you clear the slip and get out the creek and get you sails up and set then what? Set the auto pilot. Select a book?
This is not the issue, the key to cruising and I mean long distance cruising, is to protect the vessel and arrive. Racing in general stresses pushing the vessel, because in the main , the boat is "over crewed" and organised rescue is to hand.

Hence often racing skippers make bad cruisers, until they learn to slow down and protect the boat, Ive delivered a few with racing owners, its was often an eye opener for then , the priority of decision making.

Hence its wrong to present racers as sail trim experts, often on race boats you only learn one thing, on a cruise you learn everything.

dave
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Old 24-03-2014, 12:35   #30
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

Cruising is what I do on my boat, Racing is on OPB's
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