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Old 28-02-2014, 10:57   #1
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Performance Anxiety

To me, performance is important. If for nothing else, I consider it a safety feature and to this end I make every possible effort to maximize my boat's potential.

I have made a number of small changes as well as some more noticeable ones to my mid-eighties production boat including having removed several partial bulkheads, most of the interior doors, and any superfluous cabinetry.

Elsewhere I have done things like removing the steering wheel and replacing it with a tiller, removed a mast pulpit I felt was a tripping hazard, or traded the cabin top main sheet traveler with a cockpit arrangement.

I do these things to reduce weigh and increase ease of handling because even though I am a cruiser, I think a couple pounds here and there can make a difference and because things like being able to instantly ease the main in a puff while driving the boat single handed is more important to me than having an uncluttered cockpit.

I can't say I have seen this topic directly addressed and sometimes I wonder if I am the only one who thinks this way....
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Old 28-02-2014, 11:14   #2
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Re: Performance Anxiety

If you were a cyclist you would be known as a "Weight Wienie". Maybe in boating we should come up with our own term:

Displacement _____
Ballast _____
Tonnage _______

Fill in the blanks
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Old 28-02-2014, 11:22   #3
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Re: Performance Anxiety

With an extra half knot of boat speed, a boat that is otherwise traveling at six knots can complete a 2,000 mile leg a day sooner. Am I the only one who sees value in this?
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Old 28-02-2014, 11:30   #4
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Re: Performance Anxiety

Performance is all in your mind as a cruiser and because you are cruising, many things are a weight of what is more important.. and to cut the weight by removing items within the boat is in my mind useless.. if your boat is anything like ours, a mid 80s production boat, the major amount of the interior weight is at or below the water line, and not helping by removing it, except in very light air..
Don't know how you cruise but our boat is our home, and weight is not as much an issue as comfort.. a full dodger and bimini made of 1 and 1/4 stainless is not quite racer mode but it helps keep the sun off.. for us its a good trade off..
I would go to say we have an additional 5 thousand in stores and supplies as we are full time cruisers.. and as performance, ours is probably one of the top boats in its class for being fast.. and we've always felt a fast passage is a major concern, but for crossing oceans and full time cruising, cutting the weight by removing items is a waste of time....
My experance comes from years of racing, and the last 10 in cruising...
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Old 28-02-2014, 11:35   #5
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Re: Performance Anxiety

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delancey View Post
With an extra half knot of boat speed, a boat that is otherwise traveling at six knots can complete a 2,000 mile leg a day sooner. Am I the only one who sees value in this?
Except steering with a tiller is much more hands on and tiring then with a wheel. You have to look big picture not just weight. Comfort and ease makes up for speed in my book.

But hey if stripping you boat down to nothing to save 1 day over a couple week voyage is important to you then have at it. While you're at it you can fish for all your food, catch your water, get rid of the engine, throw the anchor and chain away (think how much weight that will save). The options are endless.........

OR you can leave all that stuff and show up an entire 1 whole day later over a 2-3 week trip. But even on top of all of that I will bet dollars to donuts that proper seamanship will save you way more time then any amount of weight you could get rid of.
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Old 28-02-2014, 11:41   #6
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Re: Performance Anxiety

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With an extra half knot of boat speed, a boat that is otherwise traveling at six knots can complete a 2,000 mile leg a day sooner. Am I the only one who sees value in this?
Sure but it is a lot more complicated than that. Lighter weight may affect how the boat handles off-shore. Crew fatigue could factor into a boat that is pounding just to get a little extra speed. I would think you would have to remove quite a bit to get an extra 1/2 knot in typical sea conditions. I have known of some folks who will bear off a little just to reduce pounding despite not getting somewhere sooner. If you are running watch on watch than this becomes very important.

If you are already pushing hull speed than there is no gain.
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Old 28-02-2014, 11:47   #7
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Re: Performance Anxiety

The more you remove, the faster you go until there's no boat left.
Somewhere before that point is probably a good place to stop trying to save weight.

I once got a tour of Cheekee Monkee.
Everything he did to about boat was all about saving weight, and there were a million little details he changed.
It was fast, but Kim crashed it a few times too.

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Old 28-02-2014, 11:52   #8
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Re: Performance Anxiety

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim R. View Post
If you were a cyclist you would be known as a "Weight Wienie". Maybe in boating we should come up with our own term:

Displacement _____
Ballast _____
Tonnage _______

Fill in the blanks
Funny thing, and we laughed at it at the time.. I owned a performance bicycle shop years ago.. when you walked in we only had a hand full of bikes on the floor but had a couple hundred frame sets hanging off the rafters and overhangs and stocked a couple dozen different groops... we would build the bikes to fit your individual needs..
Now the funny.. we would sometimes see a wana-be racer with all the go fast LITE stuff on his bike bring it in for a service.. and under the seat is a bag, loaded with all kinds of little tools and sometimes as much as 10 dollars in spare change adding 5 to 10 pounds of weight.. and even more when he would go next door for pizza and beer..
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Old 28-02-2014, 12:00   #9
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Re: Performance Anxiety

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If you were a cyclist you would be known as a "Weight Wienie".
You can always try dumping your water bottle before you begin your sprint to the finish line.
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Old 28-02-2014, 12:11   #10
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Re: Performance Anxiety

Personally I don't see you picking up a 1/2 knot with those changes on a cruising boat. The good thing about the race boats built in the 70-80's is that they were not all that light and the sail area was more than adequate for a real performance cruiser and they could carry a decent load and not lose that much in their performance. If you added the latest and greatest plastic sails I could believe a real increase in pointing and overall performance but a bit of weight and windage....meeh!
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Old 28-02-2014, 12:13   #11
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Re: Performance Anxiety

I once had a hobby that turned into a business supplying custom, light weight "equipment" to race teams (yes, I'm being deliberately vague). One customer was constantly pressuring us to redesign components to save weight. After one particularly ill considered request, the engineer turn to me and said, "For God sake, just tell him to take a good sh*t before the race. It'll be more effective".
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Old 28-02-2014, 12:23   #12
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Re: Performance Anxiety

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"For God sake, just tell him to take a good sh*t before the race. It'll be more effective".
I was trying to get to that idea in my post but never quite made it there. I love the statement for its truth and its humor Good show!
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Old 28-02-2014, 12:53   #13
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Re: Performance Anxiety

Is the boat a monohull? If so, I think every formula I have seen to calculate the speed of a boat depends on the water line length of the boat. Some use the boat displacement or wetted area as well but I think they all used LWL at some level.

A boat with a 40 foot water line length has a hull speed of 8.5 knots. 1.34 X sqrt( water line length)

To go an extra 1/2 knot, a 40 footer would have grow about 6 feet.

For a monohull, I don't think it is going to matter how much weight can be removed from an existing design/boat, hull speed and the ability to power over hull speed is going to be the limiting factor.

Later,
Dan
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Old 28-02-2014, 13:10   #14
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Re: Performance Anxiety

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Is the boat a monohull? If so, I think every formula I have seen to calculate the speed of a boat depends on the water line length of the boat. Some use the boat displacement or wetted area as well but I think they all used LWL at some level.

A boat with a 40 foot water line length has a hull speed of 8.5 knots. 1.34 X sqrt( water line length)

To go an extra 1/2 knot, a 40 footer would have grow about 6 feet.

For a monohull, I don't think it is going to matter how much weight can be removed from an existing design/boat, hull speed and the ability to power over hull speed is going to be the limiting factor.

Later,
Dan
you might want to take ALL that "hull speed" info and dump it.. and we've been over all this before in other posts..
our boat, a FIRST 42, and its common to sail at 12 knots and our best has been 16 with the kite up.. your hull speed formula is for full displacement boats, and many of the boats cruising now days don't follow that rule.
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Old 28-02-2014, 13:16   #15
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Re: Performance Anxiety

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Originally Posted by Randyonr3 View Post
Funny thing, and we laughed at it at the time.. I owned a performance bicycle shop years ago.. when you walked in we only had a hand full of bikes on the floor but had a couple hundred frame sets hanging off the rafters and overhangs and stocked a couple dozen different groops... we would build the bikes to fit your individual needs..
Now the funny.. we would sometimes see a wana-be racer with all the go fast LITE stuff on his bike bring it in for a service.. and under the seat is a bag, loaded with all kinds of little tools and sometimes as much as 10 dollars in spare change adding 5 to 10 pounds of weight.. and even more when he would go next door for pizza and beer..
I know exactly the guys you are speaking of Randy.
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