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Old 01-03-2014, 15:14   #31
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Re: Performance Anxiety

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It depends on how you use your boat. I do not have, or want, a race boat. I want a safe and comfortable boat. I've read somewhere that most cruisers spend over 95% of their time at anchor/dock. I want to make sure that my boat is comfortable for that 95% of the time so that my wife will enjoy the experience. If she does not, there will, probably, be no boat...

For my speed thirst, I have a smaller sailboat and other hobbies. I've done motorcycle and car racing, airplane flying, mountain biking, etc. I enjoy being on the edge.

For me, boating is for relaxation.

That's my 2 cents...
You'd be getting better speed performance with your good sized Lagoon than almost any monohull sailor here.

But I agree with your thinking totally. We live on the hook and our boat is a pretty comfortable old lady. On passages I'll sometimes head off course for an hour so Sandy gets the best conditions we can find in grumpy seas to knock up a meal.
If we're doing 4 knots I'll fiddle for that extra half a knot. If we're doing 6-7 I'll look for the most comfortable setup and if I lose half a knot, who cares? We're at home anyway

Vic
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Old 01-03-2014, 15:26   #32
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Re: Performance Anxiety

Just an observation...

The OP and many responses equate 'performance' with speed. That's a very narrow view. Stability, comfort, safety, and of course skipper and crew performances are all as important, although not as cool
Everyone has to find the ideal mix of all those that gives them the best enjoyment of their time on the water.

Vic
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Old 01-03-2014, 17:16   #33
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Re: Performance Anxiety

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Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond View Post
Just an observation...

The OP and many responses equate 'performance' with speed. That's a very narrow view. Stability, comfort, safety, and of course skipper and crew performances are all as important, although not as cool
Everyone has to find the ideal mix of all those that gives them the best enjoyment of their time on the water.

Vic
+1 Very true, especially on a Cruisers forum
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:34   #34
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Re: Performance Anxiety

A comment elsewhere prompted my original post. Someone suggested they didn't think adding X pounds to the top of a mast wasn't a big deal, and to them I am sure it is not.

Personally, it is a big deal to me because my mast is 60 feet tall and my already tender boat suffers from having a very convenient shoal draft keel. In my mind adding weight aloft is a big deal.

This has made me consider that for all the things discussed on this forum, I feel rarely is performance at the front of people's discussion making process. I had all the cash in the world I would hire a guy like Chris White to design me a sixty foot open bridge deck cat with planned accommodations for four.

But I don't, I have what was for me a very inexpensive 40' moderate displacement mono, and I do the best I can with.
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:38   #35
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Re: Performance Anxiety

Well that is completely different from your original post on the thread. Adding weight to the top of your mast that has a huge negative impact on boat stability and weight down low in your boat that has a positive effect are different subjects.
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Old 02-03-2014, 08:00   #36
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Re: Performance Anxiety

I guess what I am getting at is that I think of performance as representing a mindset that seems to take a back seat to comfort in some discussions here.

Cabin top main sheets travelers are great! You can have a dodger that zips to your Bimini and you can adds sides to it and be totally protected from the environment around you! Not to mention you get an uncluttered cockpit out of the deal.

Well you know what? I think cabin top main sheets suck! I think a main sheet that leads to a self tailing winch that is beyond the reach of the helmsman trapped behind the wheel is dangerous.

I think that people should put on a set of foulies and deal with it rather than cower inside their performance-degrading bioshield.

I think all kinds of thoughts like this and I think I am in the minority here which is fine. As Ann T. Cate points out, it's life. People are the way they are. Some are string pullers, some not.
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Old 02-03-2014, 08:01   #37
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Re: Performance Anxiety

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Michele often thinks that our boat would benefit greatly through reducing its weight by 160lbs.

But she never mentions speed as a reason…

Mark
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond View Post
You'd be getting better speed performance with your good sized Lagoon than almost any monohull sailor here.

But I agree with your thinking totally. We live on the hook and our boat is a pretty comfortable old lady. On passages I'll sometimes head off course for an hour so Sandy gets the best conditions we can find in grumpy seas to knock up a meal.
If we're doing 4 knots I'll fiddle for that extra half a knot. If we're doing 6-7 I'll look for the most comfortable setup and if I lose half a knot, who cares? We're at home anyway

Vic
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Old 02-03-2014, 08:13   #38
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Re: Performance Anxiety

Riddle me this? How many times has someone come on this forum to say they were planning on enlarging their house battery bank to make room for new gadgets and what should they get rid of to make up for the increase in weight? How many?

My answer is none.

If they did ask, what would you tell them to get rid of?

Frankly, my ass is already sitting noticeably out of the water as it is for all the things I have taken off the boat that I think my extra batteries are going in the back of the boat so she sits on her lines proper.
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Old 02-03-2014, 08:16   #39
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Re: Performance Anxiety

Traveler location on a race boat should not be on the cabin top but it makes a lot of sense on a cruising boat for the very reasons you mention. The reality when passage making is that most people will not be spending much time tweaking the traveler and all you have to do is look at some of the odd ball dodger/bimini setups on some ex-race boats to know they are less than ideal. Normally the vane is steering or the autopilot and your access to the mainsheet while not perfect with cabin top travelers is more than adequate in my opinion.
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Old 02-03-2014, 08:21   #40
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Re: Performance Anxiety

Personally, I hate compromises when it comes to boats. I know that all a boat is, is a compromise.

What I mean is, I hate cruising boats that try to incorporate racing elements, and vice versa. I feel the same way when it comes to cars. I hate big, heavy sedans that try to focus on "performance," when they will never be as fast or as fun to drive around a track than a lightweight, purpose built car.

If I were highly obsessed with performance, mainly speed, I would make sure I had a boat that was built for that purpose. Forget any creature comforts, I would outfit the boat to be a demon and sail well. Personally, I love expedition style boats. I love rugged, go anywhere, loaded vessels with tons of tankage and the ability to self sustain themselves for extended periods of time. On boats like this, I don't really like the looks of carbon sails or gutted interiors. I prefer hard dodgers, arches with davits, etc. I think boats like this seldom worry about speed, but like others have said that is not to say they are not performance vessels.

I think it's fine to try and squeeze out some extra performance from your rig, but there is definitely a line that, when crossed, it becomes non-productive and not worth worrying about. Each boat has it's potential. If you can't do what you want to do in one boat, perhaps you should consider a different design.

Although I understand you say you would switch to a big fast cat if you had all the money in the world, but what about something reasonable, such as a faster hull design monohull?

Sorry, I'm on a long road trip and just ranting.

David
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Old 02-03-2014, 08:51   #41
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pirate Re: Performance Anxiety

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... I think a main sheet that leads to a self tailing winch that is beyond the reach of the helmsman trapped behind the wheel is dangerous.

When I asked my PO why he had put up with this exact set up when he "solo cruised the Caribe for nine years," he launched into a blah blah ... I knew then and there it was bull waste, a 9 year fantasy. Later, when he mentioned the deck core was dry as a bone, I laughed out loud.

I think that people should put on a set of foulies and deal with it rather than cower inside their performance-degrading bioshield.
Well, me too but this is a real nod to the 95% of the time at anchor thing. I'm more interested in a bigass mossie net. Also I don't go to the cold weather spots some do but still, when I see a full enclosure, I figger their next boat will be a trawler with a washing machine.
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Old 02-03-2014, 09:04   #42
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Re: Performance Anxiety

I bet a lot of people have the wrong idea of a "cruiser" as far as the sailing for speed verse the sailing for comfort thing.

When it is calm out and the wind lighter I definitely sail and trim for better speed. Which means I have to be at the helm all the time. But this probably also means I'm not really trying to get somewhere and am just out for a sail, or I'm trying to get somewhere close and am on a short schedule.

If it is windy and rough out I'm already going as fast as I like to go and start sailing for comfort. This is also to to reduce the stress on the boat as sailing on the edge just increases wear on tear on the boat and me. The comfort choice as has more to do with not stressing the boat to the breaking point and not increasing the chance that someone is going to get hurt. An example is that for me heading into the wind and doing 7 knots I will put the reef in and slow down some (probably to 6.5+).

Another good example is when in calm conditions and only 2 hours to go is it worth the trouble to put up the spinnaker to cut the time to 1.5 hours when I don't really care if it takes longer. (is the weight of the spinnaker worth having based on the original post of reducing weight for speed)

On long trips I set it and forget it as it all is going to average out.
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Old 02-03-2014, 09:16   #43
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Re: Performance Anxiety

The helmsman is the largest performance differential on any boat. Take out all the bulkheads, cabinetry, etc you want, but a better helmsman on a Westsail will eat your lunch.

Much of this discussion is about daysailing and not full-time cruising. When one wants to spend 6 months completely out of civilization, there is no getting around weight. Just in food alone. Then there are the spares and maintenance items that can't be kept in your basement, the comfort stuff that becomes important when you don't have a house to go back to every night, the toys that can't be kept in your garage, the egregiously large dinghy that is your everyday SUV equivalent, the gas and diesel that needs to be stored aboard because you can't just drive to the corner station, etc.

Most of the time passagemaking in the Caribe, we are working to keep our boat at 8kts and below simply for comfort - particularly at night. The fewer light-air times are when the weight starts to effect performance, but with a large watermaker we can dump 800lbs off the boat easily during those times. I don't think all our doors, cabinetry and bulkheads together weigh 800lbs.

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Old 02-03-2014, 10:12   #44
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Re: Performance Anxiety

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The helmsman is the largest performance differential on any boat. Take out all the bulkheads, cabinetry, etc you want, but a better helmsman on a Westsail will eat your lunch.


SNIP
Back in high school I crewed on a SORC boat. I was a skinny kid who raced one designs with lots of older, stronger, more skillful sailors. But I was also a surfer and when there was a following sea I got to drive the boat because of my surfing skills.

As has been pointed out many times boat speed increases when surfing down a wave and the longer you are surfing the higher the average speed.

While good surfing is probably the biggest improvement in boat speed there are tons of other things to do like sail selection, sail trim, and just plain good driving.

Not to say weight is unimportant. I am a cat owner who flys a big square top and checks VMG on the chart plotter. But while this vid is about cats it does illustrate an interesting point about surfing/speed/weight and other stuff.



The good stuff starts around 2:20
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Old 02-03-2014, 12:28   #45
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Re: Performance Anxiety

There is a funny thing amongst racers where they will spend thousands to decrease kilos or increae pointing angle by a thousandths of a degree but a single crew or skippering mistake around a mark will cost them 100x the distance they just gained by spending thousands of dollars...yet the idea of practicing and paying for crew lunches and pints in the offseason for many skippers is anathema to good racing...

As a racer and cruiser I totally get the desire to "sail optimally" and I practice it myself. For me though there is another element to the equation...

When racing with an unlimited budget and with a crew with an unlimited amount of time the equation is easy - spend more and train more, however when cruising we have limits on money, crew and most importantly a new variable: Inconvienance.

At the end of the day if we are one of those cruisers who likes to sail optimally we have to balance our desire to go fast with the level of "pain in the ass" required to do so.

I have a 40'+ boat with a tiller and can say it is alot less work to sail then a wheel - especially with a tiller extension and balanced sails. But there is the tradeoff when doing everything else besides sailing with the tiller....

Before spending time and money altering the vessel one can just optimize the balance of weight within the boat. One the the big killers of speed in cruisers is "hobby horsing". We all love to keep all out chain and anchors in the bow and engine parts and other weight in the bow or aft lazzerettes as well. One quick way to increase boat speed is to center the storage of weight in the vessel, but here is an example of the need to balance the benefits of perefoance versus "pain in the ass". For us I still keep chain in the bow and even worse woodworking tools in the aft storage because the middle storage is the most convienant and inside the boat where we store our food etc.

So here is a great example where a given boat owner can determine their level of performance versus comfort.

The next option is sail plan. Here I went aggressive, I dramitically increased our sail plan size, this increased the frequency of reefing, decreasd our visibility forward and increased the need for more than one person to deal with sail downwind - this increase in "pain in the ass-ness" fit into our sailing style.

Last bust certainly not least is the fact that the peoples knowledge and skill that are actully sailing the boat will do more per dollar to increase its passage making time than anything else and investment in their skills is the best by far.
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