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Old 28-03-2014, 02:09   #46
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

When a racer tells me...."I know how to push my boat to the limit", I always wonder how they found that limit and what it has cost them?
Have found nothing in the seamanship manuals that addressed a safe way to push your vessel to it's limit
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Old 28-03-2014, 04:40   #47
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

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When a racer tells me...."I know how to push my boat to the limit", I always wonder how they found that limit and what it has cost them?
Usually in small boat racing things just start breaking or you flip or pitch pole the boat.

Other things include sails coming apart/being blown out or a spin lock that refuses to lock anymore all the way (for the big money/big boat guys) to breaking a boom, ripping a spinnaker, or breaking a boat in half.

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Old 28-03-2014, 09:16   #48
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

In the last Single-handed TransPac, there was a grad student who wanted to better understand the psychology of the racers. I saw his write up and the ones who did the best in relation to their standing in the race responded that they were constantly pushing themselves and their boat. This is the mentality of a racer. On the return trip, I was told by a friend that even though they didn't want to make the trip stretch out forever, it was a completely different and relaxing cruise because there wasn't any need, for example, to keep sail up to the very edge of control. This mentality - to shut off and on when needed - and not whether you race or not, is the best differential for how someone sails their boat. I can see the benefits of learning to race in a cruising situation where you might need to beat a weather system, and you know how to push the limits of your boat, and you are able to keep focused and mentally sharp for long periods of time, etc. I'm sure many cruisers already do this, but a lot of racers tend to do this on a regular basis. This is why you might not want to buy a racer's boat because they do tend to break things. When I recently asked someone how close to shore they get to help counter a prevailing flood or ebb, he said "are you racing your boat or someone else's?"
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Old 28-03-2014, 09:47   #49
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

Please...I accept that when your cruising you do everything possible to be easy on the boat and crew but please don't tell me that cruisers are equal to or even in the ballpark of racers when it comes to sailing skills. I can guarantee you that if you put the average cruiser on a race course he would be so far behind a skilled racer it wouldn't even be funny.
Cruising is a different set of skills of which sailing is one of them, skills many racers do not have, the opposite is true for racers.
I have met so many cruisers over the years that certainly got around safely but overall were crappy sailors.
If you want to learn to sail then jump on a race boat, you'll learn a lot in a short time.
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Old 28-03-2014, 15:36   #50
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

Absolutely agree with Robert Sailor.

What I find is some cruisers seem to cary animosity towards racers however racers hardly think about cruisers. Kind of like Kiwis hate Aussies but Aussies tend to think of Kiwis as quaint friendly neighbours similar to Canadian's and Americans.

Whoevers boat I crew on whether racing or cruising I always respect the owner/skippers wishes and try to fit in with them as best I can.
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Old 28-03-2014, 15:59   #51
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

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I just enjoy being out on the water.

Racing and cruising are quite different skill sets. Participating in both, if you have the opportunity, will make you a better sailor.
Absolutely, what's with the "vs" attitude many of either camp develop? I've done lots of both. All good for building skills.
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Old 28-03-2014, 16:51   #52
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

I think this video tells the story of the difference between cruising and racing. This race just started it appears and the Tornado in the picture is in excellent position.

If you have a decent monitor (because the video isn't real clear) you can see the crew making adjustments to the mainsheet, downhaul, and mast rotator for the first few minutes.

He is making the boat come back down with the downhaul alone when it pops up due to a wind gusts. (but) the skipper is constantly communicating with him as you can see.

This type sailing is quite different than your average cruiser sailing......

at about the 2:22 mark it's pretty cool to see just how little the 20' Tornado Catamaran is disturbing the water as compared to that dinghy with the outboard filming.

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Old 28-03-2014, 16:59   #53
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

I suppose broken down to base nature the cruiser wants to enjoy getting there and the racer wants to get there first.

Which is more likely to prepare early for heavy weather? Which is more likely to broach?
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Old 28-03-2014, 17:27   #54
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

The point is racer guy knows how to make his boat go very fast or very slow. It's all part of racing .............he knows which strings to pull or the proper steering technique.

Plus I've raced in weather that I would probably not normally even go out in several times. The fee was paid, many miles had been driven just to get to the venue, so it's your choice. Watch the regatta go on without you or race.

When you race in these conditions you also learn to deal with it.............

When racing when a big gust is coming you better see it and you better adjust your steering by heading up a bit or you will lose positions. (or head down a bit if on a spinnaker run) The boat needs to keep the same attitude/heel.

When you pitch pole your boat it sorta stays with you and you consider things you may have done differently for the next race. How many cruisers go thru this?

When you are coming in to the downwind mark at 20 knots with your spinnaker up and some jackass is going around slowly and maybe arguing with guys on another boat you better be able to react.

It just makes it easier when you are cruising to handle situations at 5-9 knots I'm thinking on a boat with maybe 4 tons of ballast..

Point is as a racer you should be able to learn this cruising business. So many cruisers spend years prepping a boat then go out and try to sail the thing with very limited skills.

On the other hand, I (as an exracer) get an old boat for a couple grand, paint the bottom, by new sails and go out and try and learn this cruising business. Thankfully, an old cruiser owned the boat before me

'cause his anchors have saved me a few times in the middle of the night!

I must also say that cruising can be quite nice on a pretty day for an exracer:
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Old 28-03-2014, 21:17   #55
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

I personally have cruised, delivered and raced. My comments where not about whether one group is better or worse. Just that in my experience racers make poor cruisers ( at the start ) because there instinct is to push the boat. Equally cruisers make bad racers. ( at the start) be cause often they have less interest in sail trim etc.

Both groups usually learn the keys to the other, cruisers can become great racers and vice versa. They all have one thing in common , they love boats.

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Old 29-03-2014, 01:57   #56
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

Does anybody remember the America's Cup Jubilee (150th anniversary) regatta in Cowes in 2001? The tactician for Enterprise had broken broke his leg. They asked me to be their tactician after the tactician for (Ferrari owned) Stealth that was going to help them had to bail on them because the owner decided to only wanted them to race in a few races then he left and wouldn't let the crew stay on. Since Enterprise had been sold to the French, almost all of the team spoke no English, and even though I wanted to do it more than anything in the world, I felt that I would be in over my head and something might go terribly wrong.

My gut feeling was right. That next morning, Enterprise hit Intrepid head on when they were about to start. Could I have prevented it? Maybe, but then again, possibly not.

The point of this story is to know not only your strengths but also your limitations in racing, in cruising and in life.

Am I still sad that I didn't get to race against some of the most famous boats and racers of all time? Of course!!! It's really my only serious sailing disappointment.

My friend Martin says that learning to be a good captain means making the right decisions for the safety of the ship and crew. So maybe that's yet another thing I learned from racing.

My boat is made for crossing oceans. She's not the kind of boat I would race. I do highly recommend racing for teaching a sailor how to really feel the natural forces and how they affect the boat plus how to work with other people seamlessly as an efficient team.
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Old 29-03-2014, 07:20   #57
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

The adage of blind men describing an elephant holds true.
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Old 29-03-2014, 17:52   #58
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

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T...

When I am boat shopping though as I am now, I do definitely stay away from any boat that has been raced hard, or has been raced period.
I don't see why. Some have been raced very lightly and a cruiser-racer (performance cruiser), if it has a good cruising interior will have more stability (power) than a cruising boat. The power can be used to sail faster but in bad weather the extra stiffness and stability is an advantage with reduced sail and can be translated in seaworthiness.
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Old 30-03-2014, 02:49   #59
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

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The adage of blind men describing an elephant holds true.
Quite right. Before we bought this boat, we sought out a yacht broker, who took us aboard a Tripp 47. The poor dear! She had a dehumidifier running, she had water stains [this may be a tiny tad of an exxageration]EVERYWHERE!, and could not have been well sailed by only two people. Had some lovely hardware.

So, a racing background can inform a cruiser's gaze at potential cruising boats that are "outside the nine dots." The realm where some brave souls are converting racers "of a certain age" to cruisers. And, truly, ex- racers can make beautiful cruisers. It takes imagination, but we've seen a few that worked out quite well, in spite of some difficulties. If you have an ocean competent vessel, that's your foundation. What you choose to add--maybe that's your inspiration!

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Old 30-03-2014, 05:49   #60
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

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I don't see why. Some have been raced very lightly and a cruiser-racer (performance cruiser), if it has a good cruising interior will have more stability (power) than a cruising boat. The power can be used to sail faster but in bad weather the extra stiffness and stability is an advantage with reduced sail and can be translated in seaworthiness.
I will still stay away from a racing boat that has been pushed hard/raced a lot where you see lots of pictures with 8-10 people onboard. It's just hard on the boat and equipment, but I am looking at two relatively fast racer cruisers and one straight up cruiser as my next boat.

The boats are an Ericson 35 PHRF 123, a Wauquiez PHRF 138, and a Pearson 36 Cutter which has the most room/best interior for a cruiser I'm thinking. Both the Ericson and the Wauquiez draw 6' are more. The Pearson 5'6" and weighs in at 17,700 with 7300 ballast. (and LWL 30)

1984 Ericson Mk III Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

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