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Old 30-07-2017, 13:46   #1
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Why the endless need for speed?

So many products tempt us to want to sail faster.. From newly fashioned foil based monohulls to folding propellers.. But why do sailors want to go faster? Let's say that you could go at any speed you wanted.. What would that speed be and why.. Should we not rather relish the slowness of sail?
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Old 30-07-2017, 14:14   #2
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Re: Why the endless need for speed?

On a multiday passage the longer your out there directly corresponds with higher risk of deteriorating weather. A faster passaging = less risk!
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Old 30-07-2017, 14:46   #3
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Re: Why the endless need for speed?

Bill Lee of the Santa Cruz ULDB movement years ago summed it up for many:

FAST IS FUN

Works for me!

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Old 30-07-2017, 17:10   #4
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Re: Why the endless need for speed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathancpwalsh View Post
So many products tempt us to want to sail faster.. From newly fashioned foil based monohulls to folding propellers.. But why do sailors want to go faster? Let's say that you could go at any speed you wanted.. What would that speed be and why.. Should we not rather relish the slowness of sail?
)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) )))))))))))))))))))))))


1. Why faster?
Some just for fun, others like the speed to be able to outrun weather or get out of the way. I usually like to get where I'm going if on a long passage, so speed is required for me.
2. What speed if I could choose?
I would be happy with 15kts speed downwind all the time with clear skies and a calm sea.
3.Should we not rather relish the slowness of sail?
NO ....rather....relish....and slowness....I get a little seasick thinking about those three words.
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Old 30-07-2017, 17:28   #5
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Re: Why the endless need for speed?

Wifey B: Adrenaline hormone. Testosterone. Here's an interesting page with the science:

https://www.scienceabc.com/pure-scie...-by-speed.html

Of course, I still like "Fast is Fun".
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Old 30-07-2017, 18:03   #6
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Re: Why the endless need for speed?

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Originally Posted by Jonathancpwalsh View Post
So many products tempt us to want to sail faster.. From newly fashioned foil based monohulls to folding propellers.. But why do sailors want to go faster? Let's say that you could go at any speed you wanted.. What would that speed be and why.. Should we not rather relish the slowness of sail?

Good question. I'm often amused by this theme is a sailing/cruising forum. Seriously, if speed is important then get a power boat. Or better yet, buy a plane ticket. Sailing has to be nearly the slowest way to travel the world. If speed is paramount, then you've picked the wrong vehicle.

That's not to say speed is never important. But this constant need-for-speed, in everything from boat knots to anchor retrieval speed, always leaves me amused.
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Old 30-07-2017, 18:03   #7
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Re: Why the endless need for speed?

I doubt many, if any, sail for the sole purpose of going slow.
Maybe slow down, the boats heeling too much, or surfing, or too much wind for the sails/rigging, too rough with wave action, ect. But not just because going faster than 5 knots is just too damn fast.
Innovation is what we do. It's why we don't live in caves any more. It's why we have triangular sails and keels instead of square sails and rowing slaves.
To answer the question though;-) 15 to 20 knots as long as it's smooth would be great. Fast enough to stay safely away from bad weather, slow enough to enjoy the journey.
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Old 30-07-2017, 18:05   #8
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Re: Why the endless need for speed?

Yep. Next time out we're putting out the 130% foresail; probably manage 6 knots instead of 5.
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Old 30-07-2017, 18:14   #9
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Why the endless need for speed?

One word, money
Wanna go faster, spend more money, speed sells. Reason why all US cars are capable of speeds that they can never legally achieve on the highways anyway, and only a tiny fraction are ever raced.

The concept of a fast sailboat makes me smile.

Reminds me of being a W1 at Ft Hood Tx., an AH-64 was doing a low approach right at VNE and I was impressed. The CW-4 instructor pilot with me smiled and said "even when they are hauling ass, they are slow"
I got to thinking about it and decided he was right, jets are much faster.
On delivery of our boat we were motoring past Miami and a Lady was speed walking on the sidewalk, I watched and she was going faster than we were.
It was then that I realized that our travels no matter how far we went, would be done at walking speed.
Every been on a nice day sailing in the bay and been passed by a butterfly?
A fast sailboat, even an America's cup boat is like a helicopter, even when they are hauling ass, they are slow.

Nothing wrong with that, people will race anything, big trucks, lawn mowers, even camels and ostriches.
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Old 30-07-2017, 18:19   #10
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Re: Why the endless need for speed?

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Originally Posted by Emerald Sea View Post
On a multiday passage the longer your out there directly corresponds with higher risk of deteriorating weather. A faster passaging = less risk!


There are places and times to go slow, and places where you want to get through it (to your destination) as quickly as possible.

And speed is relative. Some boats will feel fast at 5 knots, and others will seem very slow at 5 knots.

On a recent voyage from Halifax Nova Scotia to St. John's Newfoundland, across the Grand Banks and the Cabot Strait, we had good weather, with following seas and southerly winds. Ideal conditions. But, since the passage was to take several days, it meant there was always the possibility of bad weather (we caught some stronger winds and rain and higher seas at the very end of the passage). I was glad we were making 7 - 8+ knots for most of the passage.

Later, off the coast of Newfoundland, we were making 8-10 knots with a double reefed main and a reefed Yankee jib. It was fun sailing at the higher speeds (for that boat, a J42) and in good conditions. The helm was balanced, with fingertip control of the wheel as we sailed along, watching the spouts of numerous whales and the multiple breaches of a Humpback whale. Fun and relatively fast, and smooth.
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Old 30-07-2017, 18:28   #11
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Re: Why the endless need for speed?

If I was in a hurry, I wouldn't be on a sailboat. Sure, speed is nice, but if it comes at the cost of comfort like in the "ultralight" sailboats, it's not my thing.
That's just my opinion as an armchair sailor.
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Old 30-07-2017, 18:41   #12
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Re: Why the endless need for speed?

Having a fast boat doesn't mean you can't go as slow as you want. If one wanted to, one could have a fast boat but never sail it with the full main.


Like most things, I suspect folks who expressly knock it are doing so out of some sour grapes. Sort of like folks who go out of their way to knock multihulls, twin rudders, keels that they don't own, etc.
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Old 30-07-2017, 18:49   #13
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Re: Why the endless need for speed?

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Originally Posted by Timothy H. View Post
If I was in a hurry, I wouldn't be on a sailboat.
Wifey B: I'm not. Power and speed.
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Old 30-07-2017, 19:15   #14
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Re: Why the endless need for speed?

My max ideal is 7.6kn when there are not rough seas-- my slow 'we will never get there" is 3.5 kn -that's when engine comes on. Motoring is 6.1 kn
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Old 30-07-2017, 19:23   #15
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Re: Why the endless need for speed?

Are you a cruiser that sails or a sailor that cruises? Speed can make a big difference on a passage, sometimes allowing you to arrive in daylight rather than after dark. I for one would rather have a good nights sleep at anchor rather than standing off a strange island or anchorage until daylight just to make a safe entrance. As a cruiser that sails I usually sail to get somewhere rather than sailing just to be sailing. When I want to do that It's usually a just a day sail or an occasional race. On the former speed is not important, on the later it's everything.
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