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Old 25-09-2021, 05:55   #46
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Re: A circular bar room argument... how do fixed bowsprits make sense?

Have owned 2 traditional cutters with bow sprits for over 20 years. In all that time, paid for full LOA only once, in a yard in NC (in 1999) when we were refitting. The yard boys used a measuring tape.


Never since than, whether in a yard or a marina, long term or short term have we ever paid for more than what the ship's registration said was the length. That's all along the east coast USA from NY south, Bahamas, the Caribbean, Venezuela, and everywhere in the Med.


So, from my experience at least, the extra moorage/dry storage cost of a bowsprit (or windvane for that matter) has been a non issue.
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Old 25-09-2021, 08:06   #47
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Re: A circular bar room argument... how do fixed bowsprits make sense?

Firstly, I'm glad we can all agree that they certainly do look pretty. With the anchor neatly tucked up beneath the sprit, sparkling and dangling like a pretty little pendant or charm

We've seen many for and against arguments here, some more woth noting than others and some just egotistical opinion. Nevertheless, an interesting barstool conversation it certainly is and so as I sit here with my rum in hand I began to ponder my own thoughts...

I must say that prior to purchasing my boat, and even up until reading this very thread, I hadn't necessarily had a preference to either fixed, non fixed or sans bowsprit. I personally have a fixed bowsprit (because that's what came on the boat when I bought it) and had looked at changing it to a 'fixed foldable bow sprit' but instead kept it and made a few adjustments so that it works for me. For my sailing style which is not racing and is more weekending with a view to extended cruising soon.

That aside, I had of course considered getting a boat that replaced sprit length with deck length but a number of factors, such as budget for initial purchase and then ongoing up-keep, maintenance and upgrades, single handing ease, maintaining shallower draft, manoeuvrability, heavy displacement for kinder motion... The list goes on. All of this considered, regardless, my boat came with a fixed bow sprit when I bought it and after reading these comments, has only made me grow fonder of MY particular setup for MY particular situation... Which I think is ultimately the the biggest point here. Each has a certain set up for a certain reason or number of reasons for which we could all write a long list of arguments as to why their own setup is the best, which it certainly should be in the individuals own eyes, because essentially, we only really need to justify it to ourselves, right? If you hate your own set up/boat, then you have the wrong boat... For you.

Now, I want to share some of the things that make MY fixed bowsprit on MY boat, perfect for MY situation as I think it caters for a few of the inherent downfalls mentioned of a fixed sprit.

I have a cutter rig with fixed bowsprit which the anchor sits neatly under and importantly, the bow rail extends the full way out around the bowsprit which makes it safe to attach/remove sails, attach/remove an additional 'solent style' dyneema forestay just inside of the furler for setting additional sails for wing on wing or light air whilst underway safely (my light wind genoa hanks on to this with my cruising genoa on the furler).

I also don't lose space below or on the foredeck by needing somewhere to retract or stow a removable sprit but instead I gain more space to walk out onto safely and comfortably with a cuppa in the morning or to watch dolphins playing below.

Further back I have a removable inner forestay with highfield lever coupled with a jib boom to give me excellent upwind performance. The sails for this jib boom are also slab reefable to the jib boom.

The slightly lower mast height and much lighter synthetic rigging (aside from the furler mounted forestay) gives me a better righting moment and motion in a heavy displacement boat and allows a shallower draft but the fin keel is longer than other similarly designed boats again adding to upwind performance whilst still allowing me into more anchorages or up rivers and estuaries, even under bridges and with the tabernacle mast if needed.

I had my boat re boatcoded and registered it at only 33ft to allow me to moor in a 10m limit area with the bowsprit removed and it's never been questioned. I don't spend time in anchorages and if I haul out I drop my mast entirely instead of just removing the backstay (easy with tabernacle mast). Once I've done this, I can, with some effort, easily enough unbolt my "fixed" bowsprit and she returns from a 36ft LOA to more or less a 33 ft boat. If I was that worried about paying the extra money to stay in a marina to escape bad weather for example, I guess I could remove the bowsprit but the money I've saved by maintaining a smaller boat will probably cover those costs for the rare occaision I need to stay in a marina.

I personally like the options my bowsprit gives me and I guess that's all that matters... To me.

Thanks all for helping me to appreciate own personal rig and boat. I hope this thread has done the same for you. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy... Or is that just the rum
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Old 25-09-2021, 08:15   #48
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Re: A circular bar room argument... how do fixed bowsprits make sense?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmyDaveNY View Post
Was this a part of the original vessel or an after market modification? If it was an original component, then I suspect it was a design issue or a maintenance issue, or a combination itself.

When properly designed and maintained, a sprit itself is perfectly good.
I cruised my Wesrsail 32 full-time for 6 years from 1975 to 1981. The mast should have been stepped 4 to 6 inches further aft to correct the heavy weather helm. Designed by 2 notable architects,
I have also owned 6 newer sloops and a ketch since then, No bowsprits.
I would consider a sliding bowsprit on a full race boat.
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Old 25-09-2021, 08:24   #49
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Re: A circular bar room argument... how do fixed bowsprits make sense?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg K View Post
Have owned 2 traditional cutters with bow sprits for over 20 years. In all that time, paid for full LOA only once, in a yard in NC (in 1999) when we were refitting. The yard boys used a measuring tape.


Never since than, whether in a yard or a marina, long term or short term have we ever paid for more than what the ship's registration said was the length. That's all along the east coast USA from NY south, Bahamas, the Caribbean, Venezuela, and everywhere in the Med.


So, from my experience at least, the extra moorage/dry storage cost of a bowsprit (or windvane for that matter) has been a non issue.
Wow. You always reported your deck length as the LOA?

Donít go to a Safe Harbor marina; they come out with tape measure.

I saw a marina listing around Boston in July, canít remember now but it was in Dockwa, stated a penalty rate per LOA ft not reported by the ownerís Dockwa profile. Something like $4/ft, unless they measured and found underreported length which then charged those at $6.5/ ft.

I had marinas that charged by the slip. Easy going and usually family run. Safe Harbor and Brewers and IGY are great facilities but need to charge for every speck they can to fulfill the Investor projection.

The choice is always yours. I have done both happily.
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Old 25-09-2021, 10:17   #50
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Re: A circular bar room argument... how do fixed bowsprits make sense?

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Originally Posted by girdasso View Post
Dear wingssail. Putting an asymmetric on my bow would not cut it. It would have very limited use or sailing angle. An asymmetric needs to be well out front to work properly. A properly designed bowsprit with an asymmetrical has been tested against spinnaker poles on one designed boats in regattas and found to be pretty much equal. However handling is much easier and less crew is required with the bowsprit/asymmetric option.
Dear girdasso, For most boats that is just plain wrong. An asymmetric flown on the bow works very well in all reaching angles from about150 degrees to as high as you feel comfortable with. Those are the angles which will give you the most speed increase and best VMG's. Yes, a sprit makes the asym fly better, but it is not needed, but even a long sprit won't make the asym fill when going dead downwind, you still have to reach.

Unless you have a plumb bow, or your boat was designed with a bow sprit, one is not required.

The trend to added sprits comes from the racing community on the newer boats with plumb bows. They need some help because the bow itself does not project the sail ahead of the boat at all. Yes, the sprit does "add" to the effectiveness of the asym on all boats but particularly on those "sport boat" types.

As for the comparison of bowsprit vs spinnaker pole, again, that statement is not true. Not all, but most, spinnaker poles are exactly the length of the "J", the distance from the mast to the tack fitting. So any boat with a sprit will be tacking the asymmetrical farther forward than the pole and they won't be "pretty much equal", the sprit has an advantage. But that advantage is not needed for a typical racer cruiser or standard sloop type cruising boat and if you were racing you would pay a rating penalty for the added length (SPL).

But, it's your money, you do what you think will make you feel better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisr View Post
on many boats you can get away with flying an A-sail off the bow, but always provided you do not want to gybe

to gybe satisfactorily you always need a bowsprit (and please don't talk to me about outside gybes !)

cheers,

(oh and to sail really deep you just need to go faster ! )
Sailing really deep is slower, and going faster always means reaching.
As for gybing, it is definitely feasible with the asym tacked to the bow, (yes, outside gybe). My wife and I do it all the time. We do not have a sprit. It takes practice to get the timing of the turn right. However many cruisers are using socks on their spinnakers and they snuff the spinnaker prior to gybing.
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Old 25-09-2021, 10:21   #51
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Re: A circular bar room argument... how do fixed bowsprits make sense?

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Originally Posted by Symphony View Post
Wow. You always reported your deck length as the LOA?

Donít go to a Safe Harbor marina; they come out with tape measure.

I saw a marina listing around Boston in July, canít remember now but it was in Dockwa, stated a penalty rate per LOA ft not reported by the ownerís Dockwa profile. Something like $4/ft, unless they measured and found underreported length which then charged those at $6.5/ ft.

I had marinas that charged by the slip. Easy going and usually family run. Safe Harbor and Brewers and IGY are great facilities but need to charge for every speck they can to fulfill the Investor projection.

The choice is always yours. I have done both happily.
It depends on the marina. Many are happy to take the published length, some want to measure. My boat is listed from the builder as 38' LOA. But that's really LOD as the hull mold is 38 feet. Then they bolted on a pulpit and swim platform, making it about 42'4" true LOA. I do expect I'll need to worry about it when I add davits, as then it'll be apparent that the LOA has been altered. I expect I'll end up around 45'6" with the davits on, so I'll probably have to tell most places 45 feet.
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Old 25-09-2021, 10:53   #52
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Re: A circular bar room argument... how do fixed bowsprits make sense?

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Wow. You always reported your deck length as the LOA?
In the Med, at least, one does not report anything. You submit your boat registration, and the length and beam that are written on that document are used to calculate the fee.
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Old 25-09-2021, 14:19   #53
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Re: A circular bar room argument... how do fixed bowsprits make sense?

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Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Except that's not where the anchors are stored and/or deployed. Have you ever seen an anchor at the front end of a bowsprit?


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Old 25-09-2021, 17:14   #54
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Re: A circular bar room argument... how do fixed bowsprits make sense?

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In a circular bar room there are no corner tables.
Yes, I would become more confused than ever in a circular bar room.
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Old 25-09-2021, 19:27   #55
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Re: A circular bar room argument... how do fixed bowsprits make sense?

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Originally Posted by wingssail View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisr View Post
on many boats you can get away with flying an A-sail off the bow, but always provided you do not want to gybe

to gybe satisfactorily you always need a bowsprit (and please don't talk to me about outside gybes !)

cheers,

(oh and to sail really deep you just need to go faster ! )
Sailing really deep is slower, and going faster always means reaching.
sorry, i've obviously not explained myself properly. what i meant was to sail really deep with an A-sail, you just need a boat that will go faster

with one of these

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we could routinely sail at say 170 TWA with an AWA of say 110 and 10-12k boat speed in 14k TWS.

cheers,
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Old 01-10-2021, 06:48   #56
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Re: A circular bar room argument... how do fixed bowsprits make sense?

I grew up with these around the Eastern and Southern coasts of the UK - they seem to allow a larger sail area with a shorter mast, important when dealing with shallow draft, internally ballasted boats, they make for ease of handling when doing certain types of fishing, such as dredging for oysters or hauling nets when you don't want to use the main sail - hence the frequent yawl or ketch configuration, many of these boats are surprisingly fast and carry their way well, can make very tight turns and their more numerous but individually smaller sail areas are easily handled by a small crew - in the days before winches and everything was block and tackle. The boom often doubled as a crane for shifting cargo (think of the Thames barges, managed by a man and a boy).
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Old 01-10-2021, 06:51   #57
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Re: A circular bar room argument... how do fixed bowsprits make sense?

Let me quess: the designer of the boat drew his design starting from the size of the mastercabin and the bathroom(s). Then the designer(s) of the rigging have to find a place to mount the mast so it doesnít interfere with the free space in the salon. Then they donít know how much sailarea is needed to make this thing going. Then he doesnít know where the exact turning point of the hull plus rigging will be. Then he decides that he can stay on the safe side and prevent bad helm behavior by trying the whole thing out with a bowsprit wich can easily be made longer or shorter depending of the first testresults in the water.
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Old 01-10-2021, 07:18   #58
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Re: A circular bar room argument... how do fixed bowsprits make sense?

The first proper salt water sailing i did was in a gaff rigged Essex smack, with long counter stern (for easy launching and recovering the net, and a long bowsprit at the sharp end to carry a jib ahead of the sliding track staysail. I feel fairly confident this sail arrangement was arrived at by folk who spent their working lives at sea, and found what worked best in terms of general boat handling in different conditions of wind and water. I can vouch for the usefulness of having some sail area well forward for easier tacking, esp in light winds when backing the jib helped considerably. It seems plausible that this consideration still applies, as well as the thought that the slot between 2 forward sails will be better all round. They don't need to be quite as long a prong as we had on the smack tho.
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Old 01-10-2021, 07:37   #59
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Re: A circular bar room argument... how do fixed bowsprits make sense?

There is at least one error in your initial circular argument...

Adding a bowsprit (fixed or otherwise) doesn't actually add much weight (and displacement) to the boat. It is, basically, a stick pointing forwards, with some rigging to make sure it doesn't flex upwards under load.

Extending the water line length of the boat, however, that does add weight, displacement, surface drag, and a few other things (though, as with the bowsprit, it likely gains more in hull speed than it gives up in mass/displacement).
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Old 01-10-2021, 07:59   #60
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Re: A circular bar room argument... how do fixed bowsprits make sense?

Quote: "Then he decides that he can stay on the safe side and prevent bad helm behavior by trying the whole thing out with a bowsprit wich can easily be made longer or shorter depending of the first test results in the water."

Well, no.

You are right that the design process, proceeding from client's specifications, must begin with determining the hull volume required for carrying what the client needs or wants to carry. That volume is then "enclosed" (or inscribed) in a set of lines that relies for its development on a set of well-known ratios for this and that parameter.

When the lines have been thus developed, the Centre of Lateral Resistance gives itself, and its location can be easily determined even by those of us who don't use a computerized design program. Dead easy to do without the 'puter, actually.

This now determines the location of a perpendicular whereon where the Centre of Effort must lie in order to achieve "balance", i.e. a slight weather helm when on a close reach. Again, a couple of centuries worth of well-known empirical data supports this determination.

The sail plan is then developed to suit the client's preferences and desires, always ensuring that the CE, when the vessel is "under full sail", falls on the aforementioned perpendicular. The TYPE of rig is irrelevant in this regard, just so long as the requirement that the CE falls on the perpendicular is met.

There is absolutely NOTHING "accidental" about this process, and sprits don't EVER come about as a remedy for sloppy design work.

Start with Architectura Navalis Mercatoria by Chapman if you would understand these things "from the ground up". When you decide that that is heavy going, as you will even if you don't tackle it in the original Swedish, then switch to Skene's Elements of Yacht Design by Kinney

Cheers

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