A bar room argument is one that has no right answer but can be argued for hours on a barstool with no one caring too much about the outcome.
I've been thinking about fixed bowsprits and the arguments to support them keep going in circles. So here's my bar room argument for today. Why do fixed bowsprits make sense???
Why have a bowsprit
Well, it extends the foot of a sail beyond the deck
so you have more sail area of course!
Why do you need more sail area?
Because the boat
is very heavy and it needs more canvas
to get moving...
Ok, but if you have a heavy boat
, wouldn't increasing the length of the hull
provide more displacement
to carry that weight AND give you more sail area?
But when you build a longer hull
, you increase weight and need more sail area... so then you have to build a bowsprit
And we go in a circle.
Another argument goes like this...
Why do you have a bowsprit?
Well, I can have a smaller boat, but have way more sail area of a much larger boat!
Yah... but don't you pay for slips, winter storage
based on the overall length?
Hmmm... yeah, that is more expensive.
But you get the performance limitations/drag of a short water
Hmmm... yeah... that too.
But it looks pretty!
So from my bar stool, I can't think of a good case for a fixed bowsprit other than, "They look pretty." I keep coming to the conclusion that the boat is designed too heavy and I'll end up paying more for less performance. Feel free to support or oppose that opinion, I'm not attached to it.
(Please note, retractable bowsprits for downwind sails
are not in scope
FWIW, I have no horse in this race
, I was just pondering this last night while looking at pictures of a couple pretty boats.