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Old 20-03-2014, 23:01   #1
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Racing vs Cruising

I love getting the sails trimmed in a good breeze and seeing my boat clip along at hull speed and hold course without a hand on the helm and the AP turned off and un-needed.

On days when wind speed and direction are variable I am happy to furl the genny, pull the mainsail in tight and see heading swing by 45 degrees.

Those calm nights when the moon is high and the sky is clear are some of favorite on a passage.

I don't have the racing spirit when it comes to sailing. I have done a bit of it but enjoy a different motion.
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Old 21-03-2014, 01:54   #2
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

I prefer cruising as well. I race, however, to improve my skills and for the camaraderie. Most of the boaties in my neighbourhood don't cruise much (we are in a marina in Texas) so we race mostly for social gatherings and an excuse to have a party. The other reason I race is my commodore is a bit competitive and enjoys the banter back and forth. Made lots of new friends on the Harvest Moon Regatta.
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Old 21-03-2014, 02:11   #3
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

I enjoy both ,racing certainly improves your boat handling ,sail trim,and I find that on those marginal days weather wise ,if you are racing you will go where as if it is a cruise you would perhaps not, it is surprising how much wind you can fly a spinnaker with a competent crew , and how much punishment the boat can take, and you , also if it is a winter series , a race every other week or so for two or three hours keeps you sailing, not just waiting for the summer , just my thoughts.
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Old 21-03-2014, 05:20   #4
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

Every cruiser is a bit of a racer when another boat gets nearby. We all look up at the sails and see if those telltales are flying just right. We all check our speed and think of what can be done to raise it.

We were coming up the gulf stream about 22:00 one night when I spotted a green nav light off the port bow. It wasn't showing up on radar yet so a close eye on it determined we were running roughly the same course and speed. In the wee hours of the morning it finally consistently showed up on radar, pretty normal for this radar when encountering other sailboats, you could see them before the radar could. It took nearly 12 hours but we finally overtook them. As soon as we did the other skipper turned to starboard and passed about 150 feet to our stern and, with a wave, we parted ways.

That was a race.

We sold our boat and moved about 250 miles inland. My wife and I just joined a local "yacht" club and start racing our 420 in three weeks on a local lake. I'm quite certain that we will be schooled in the art of dinghy sailing by the long time members and racers. I've no dillusions that we will be immediately competitive against these people.

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Old 21-03-2014, 05:45   #5
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

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.
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Old 21-03-2014, 09:49   #6
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

I think a good cruising boat should have a little race in it's blood. As mentioned above, when two boats are heading in the same approximate direction, it's a race. It's just how sailors are wired. But more improtantly, for safety reasons any boat needs to be able to sail itself off a lee shore, something some heavy comfy cruisers have trouble with.
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Old 21-03-2014, 17:56   #7
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

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)
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Old 21-03-2014, 19:39   #8
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

Quote:
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)
Humm, that's why I cruise in a boat many would consider a racer
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Old 21-03-2014, 19:52   #9
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polux View Post
Humm, that's why I cruise in a boat many would consider a racer
And she is...?
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Old 21-03-2014, 20:28   #10
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
And she is...?
a sister of this one:

Yachts and Yachting Magazine – Expert Sailing Techniques for Dinghies, Keelboats and Cruiser Racers, Bob Fisher's America's Cup Blog - Comet 41s Review
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Old 21-03-2014, 20:56   #11
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

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,

Jim
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Old 21-03-2014, 21:08   #12
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

I definitely have a cruiser mindset as opposed to a racers'. But in reality I often compete against myself more in the way of predictive navigation. Analysing wind and tidal shifts, adjusting sail trim and speed for onboard reasons of comfort, desired eta and sometimes to just be in harmony with the music.
I compete internally with my past performance and I win when the smiles and delight of my crew mates tell me it was a "near" perfect day.
That inspires me for next time
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Old 21-03-2014, 21:09   #13
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

Our raceing is limited to seeing another boat sorta heading the way we are, and tryin to catch it and pass it !! At sea not in harbors and such LOL
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Old 21-03-2014, 21:17   #14
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

I agree with Jim and Noelex.

I would observe an odd thing, though ...

I've derived great benefit from sailing with some exceptional racing skippers.

But when it comes to the run of the mill club racer: there's a few litmus tests which seem reasonably reliable guides to whether it's worth joining up.

Firstly: if they blithely say "You'll never know anything about sailing unless you race", I suggest passing.

Secondly: if they haul down the sails the minute the race is over (assuming they're not the sort of sails which depreciate at 100s of dollars an hour) and motor flat out everywhere and anywhere when not racing,
and/or there is no decent anchor, with a shot of chain on board, I suggest passing.

Thirdly: If they're inclined to inflate their credentials in proportion to how many drinks they've taken onboard after a race, I suggest passing.

Fourthly: If you can hear them shouting in annoyance at the crew more than once a race, or they consistently have trouble retaining crew, I suggest passing.


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.
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Old 21-03-2014, 21:19   #15
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Re: Racing vs Cruising

Good Analysis Andrew
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