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Presuming Ed

Farfarer - replacement for Maggie B, now sailing

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Maggie B, the Irens fusion schooner built by Covey Island Boatworks burnt with the yard in summer 08. Her replacement, Farfarer, also built by Covey Island Boatworks is now afloat. A development of the theme, and for me, one to add to the lottery list. Just lovely!

 

Maggie B/Farfarer website here: http://schoonermaggieb.net/

Flickr photostream here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/maggieb/sets/72157625227192644/

Build gallery here: http://www.coveyisla...lery/index.html

More from Covey Island Boatworks http://www.coveyisla....php?display=02

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What a damn good idea. The mast rake will help the upwind performance, as will the overlapping fore and main. On my 40 Cat Ketch, you never trimmed the main any closer to centerline than the rail, but the mizzen was often close to centerline. The sails didn't overlap, but this definitely helped provide a good lifting slot when sailing. This takes it a step further, moving the main mast right to the center of the boat and then providing essentially a giant genoa-on-a-mast.

 

My only concern with this would be downwind or even on a deep broad reach. Without a boom to hold the foresail out, wing-on-wing becomes less efficient, and even holding the shape of the foresail must be a challenge. Perhaps that's more than compensated for with that GIANT main. Thanks for posting, Ed - very cool.

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I don't get it.

I understand a free standing rig.

But what is that foremast doing that a headstay wouldn't do?

A headstay would be lighter.

But I suppose if you went with a headstay you'd have to have a stayed rig.

I still don't get it.

Please someone educate me on the advantages of this rig.

 

But I do like the boat.

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Bob,

my guess is that the rig is optimized for off-wind sailing. The foresail would carry more sail in an optimized shape than you would get with a jib. I'm more surprised by the rotating mast aspect of this rig than the schooner aspect - not sure why you would have a rotating mast and not at least make them wing masts. It looks like Van Dusen did the masts for this, and based on his experience with the ill-fated Barbara Ann project may have a proclivity for things that rotate. I know Eric Sponberg is a big proponent of free-standing, rotating wing mast configurations. Not sure what he'd think about rotating without some sort of aerodynamic efficiency to it.

 

The other advantage I can see is that you have a lot more options for sail reduction with a cat ketch or schooner than you do with a sloop rig.

 

But Bob, I'm just an enthusiast - I defer to the expert.

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The last boat was a schooner. My guess is that the owner likes schooners.

 

What the owner wants, the owner gets. (If the designer agrees.... :rolleyes: )

 

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I don't get it.

I understand a free standing rig.

But what is that foremast doing that a headstay wouldn't do?

A headstay would be lighter.

But I suppose if you went with a headstay you'd have to have a stayed rig.

I still don't get it.

Please someone educate me on the advantages of this rig.

 

But I do like the boat.

 

You don't like the square tops? I do. Do gliders have wings that come to a sharp point?

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Riley:

I'm no Nigel Irons and I suspect you know a bit more than you let on but I'm still confused so bare/bear with me here:

 

I think a good old fashioned stayed sloop rig gives you more headsail and especially off the wind options than I see here with his schooner.

I'm tring to understand. I need to understand.

 

I love rotatings masts. I started with Penguins ( 1963) and they had rotating masts. My Tasar had a rotating mast. They work great.

I can se how it might be easier to reduce sail rather than change jibs.

I love the square tops. I tried to convice my client on JAKATAN, the schooner to go square tops. He said no. Obiously sharp points don't work.

 

But off the wind your options are limited.

 

What am I missing?

 

Maybe Presuming is right.

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The mast rake will help the upwind performance, as will the overlapping fore and main.

 

Interesting boat, but why do you say those two things? I can't see how mast rake will help anything but profile aesthetics. Slots are sometimes good to increase the lift of a limited area in light wind, but if you are not limited by rules a larger unslotted sail is better.

 

I don't disagree with the choices made, as material constraints, sail handling, and air draft probably argue for splitting and lowering the rig. But I don't believe efficiency is a byproduct: neither high performance aircraft nor high performance sailboats have been designed that way for at least 5 decades.

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But off the wind your options are limited.

 

What am I missing?

 

 

Limited by what? Should be able to fly all the area a sloop can.

 

If they can sheet the fore to the main boom, reaching it could be better than a sloop. They must be able to do that, only way to keep the battens in one piece downwind. Seems to me they will have problems with too much twist, though, no effective vang on either sail.

 

 

Anybody know what those sails are made out of? And who made them?

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But off the wind your options are limited.

What am I missing?

 

We met the owner when he was in Puerto Montt on the Maggie B. He is obviously a schooner fan, and it was absolutely amazing how fast he got RTW - no time to smell the roses at all, but on that boat he had no good sail configuration for downwind angles. We talked about it and he motored quite a bit because he could not effectively set much at deep angles. This rig looks a little better but I think he will need a pole for that foresail.

 

I agree with you, after talking with the guy, this rig is an aesthetic choice and not a 'functional' choice.

 

Anybody know what those sails are made out of? And who made them?

 

It says on his website North (he mentions the specific sailmaker) with their spectra gatorback laminate.

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The mast rake will help the upwind performance, as will the overlapping fore and main.

 

Interesting boat, but why do you say those two things? I can't see how mast rake will help anything but profile aesthetics. Slots are sometimes good to increase the lift of a limited area in light wind, but if you are not limited by rules a larger unslotted sail is better.

 

I don't disagree with the choices made, as material constraints, sail handling, and air draft probably argue for splitting and lowering the rig. But I don't believe efficiency is a byproduct: neither high performance aircraft nor high performance sailboats have been designed that way for at least 5 decades.

 

Are you saying that there is no advantage to an overlapping headsail? Even the sportsboats overlap their small jibs by between 5 and 12 percent. If there were no advantage to the slot, then why does nearly every sailboat designed have one, even if it's relatively small (like on Fararer)?

 

As to the mast rake, I may be mistaken but I've been on many vessels that have raked in order to improve their upwind performance. It may not be as pronounced on a vessel like Fararer because of the shape of its keel and rudder, but the induced weather helm of a moderate rake *can* improve the lift characteristics.

 

I'm not sure what part of high performance aircraft and boats you're equating with my statements. Many modern cats, including the wyliecat 30 and the Freedom 25 (rotating wing mast) have fairly significant rake to their masts to help keep the CE and CLR where they need to be. I doubt aesthetics had much to do with the design rake in Fararer at all.

 

Reading the design brief for this boat, short-handed sailing was also a priority, so that may explain why they didn't go with a more traditional sail plan.

 

I'm always interested in learning more about the physics behind what I feel from 'seat of the pants' sailing, so DDW, I'm not saying you're wrong - just educate me.

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I can't see how mast rake will help anything but profile aesthetics.

 

When you have a sail with a raked luff (mast or wire), it generates a lift force that is above the horizontal, reducing heeling force. This may be one reason there was a vogue for really big foretriangles: jibs give more drive for less heel than mains.

 

(To illustrate why this is, imagine replacing your genoa with a big plywood triangle. After you stand it on the edge of the deck, you would have to let it lean on against the mast. Sails generate a force that is more or less perpendicular to their surface. Since the flat face is tilted up a little, the force would be too.)

 

Uffa Fox won some canoe titles with a ketch rig which was really about the same as the sloops of the day, but the wire headstay was replaced with a free-standing mast. When the foremast bent, the luff got convex, but on the sloops, the wire sagged and the luff went concave.

 

To give my own response to Bob's question, the advantages of the free-standing mast in this boat OUGHT to be simplification and removal of clutter. The majority of sailors get by on main and jib, so the loss of light sails isn't so significant. Also, if the design is perfect, a major reduction in the number of failure points. Judging by what's for sale, 99% of sailors take your point of view.

 

OTOH, when you remove the stays, you remove a lot of handholds.

 

Cat ketch drawings always seem to cluttered up with staysails (I guess you call them that, even when there is no stay, and they have to be set flying), which seems very anti-simplicity to me.

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I don't get it.

I understand a free standing rig.

But what is that foremast doing that a headstay wouldn't do?

A headstay would be lighter.

But I suppose if you went with a headstay you'd have to have a stayed rig.

I still don't get it.

Please someone educate me on the advantages of this rig.

 

But I do like the boat.

 

Maybe you answered it right here Bob... maybe the owner wanted a unstayed rig, but didn't want a catboat.

 

This thread is great. I feel smarter just reading it.

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Are you saying that there is no advantage to an overlapping headsail? Even the sportsboats overlap their small jibs by between 5 and 12 percent. If there were no advantage to the slot, then why does nearly every sailboat designed have one, even if it's relatively small (like on Fararer)?

 

As to the mast rake, I may be mistaken but I've been on many vessels that have raked in order to improve their upwind performance. It may not be as pronounced on a vessel like Fararer because of the shape of its keel and rudder, but the induced weather helm of a moderate rake *can* improve the lift characteristics.

 

I'm not sure what part of high performance aircraft and boats you're equating with my statements. Many modern cats, including the wyliecat 30 and the Freedom 25 (rotating wing mast) have fairly significant rake to their masts to help keep the CE and CLR where they need to be. I doubt aesthetics had much to do with the design rake in Fararer at all.

 

Reading the design brief for this boat, short-handed sailing was also a priority, so that may explain why they didn't go with a more traditional sail plan.

 

I'm always interested in learning more about the physics behind what I feel from 'seat of the pants' sailing, so DDW, I'm not saying you're wrong - just educate me.

Raking the mast may correct a balance issue, but it is not efficient absent some other problem. Airplanes, gliders, and high performance sailboats don't have raked masts.

 

If you must have a jib, then you should take advantage of the aerodynamics forced on you and utilize the slot. Slotted airfoils can produce more lift than unslotted ones - at the expense of more drag. The measure of efficiency of an airfoil is its lift to drag ratio (L/D). Only in unusual circumstances does a slotted airfoil have a higher L/D than an unslotted one. In development classes that limit area only where you are free to have a slotted (sloop) or unslotted (cat) rig, you will not see a jib unless you go back about 50 years. C class cats are probably the premier example but it is pretty much universally the case. Rigid wings carry flaps and slots, this is primarily to allow them to tack and adjust the effective camber to accommodate a range of wind speeds. There are no slotted airfoils on sailplanes, which are designed for aerodynamic efficiency and nothing else. Now in an offshore boat it may be convenient for rigging or sail handling to have a sloop. But don't confuse that with it being efficient.

 

I can't see how mast rake will help anything but profile aesthetics.

 

When you have a sail with a raked luff (mast or wire), it generates a lift force that is above the horizontal, reducing heeling force. This may be one reason there was a vogue for really big foretriangles: jibs give more drive for less heel than mains.

 

(To illustrate why this is, imagine replacing your genoa with a big plywood triangle. After you stand it on the edge of the deck, you would have to let it lean on against the mast. Sails generate a force that is more or less perpendicular to their surface. Since the flat face is tilted up a little, the force would be too.)

 

Sails (and any airfoil) generate a lift force that is perpendicular to airflow. You will get no reduction of heeling force from raking the mast or jibstay aft. You will get only a reduction of lift and an increase in drag which will result in increase heel. Large jibs were strictly an artifact of racing rules. Even small jibs are a concession to sail handling and material science - you will not find them where these constraints are not overriding.

 

I don't believe the rig on the Farfarer was designed with efficiency as the topmost priority. Clearly the owner wanted something different. Then effort was put into making the different thing as efficient as it could be.

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I live up on the coast on Puget Sound, Port Susan, kind of in the woods. On a typical day I may say a few words to the dog. I generally say nice things to Pumpkin, my cat. But that's it until my wife comes home. Then we talk about how screwed up school district is, one of my most favorite subjects. Then I go back to talking to the cat.

 

I truly appreciate the ability to have good chat/debate with sailors I have learned to respect on CA.

 

With this schooner I tend to value Estar's opinion. After all, he did talk to the owner and I have a lot of respect for Evan's experience. This has been a worthwhile discussion. Thanks.

 

All mucked in together we are one damn smart group. I am reminded of soemnthing the the famous aerodynamiscist Arvel Genrty once said regarding 12m rigs, " It's amazing how little the crews know about how sails work. It's also amazing how good they are at getting the most out of them."

 

New client due in one hour. Must stop talking like a cat and go wash the salmon oil out of my hair.

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Bob, I feel bad about that salmon oil thing. There's just no excuse for that.

 

DDW, that's the most refreshingly clear and credible description of optimal rig design I've ever read. The simplification is tempting, regardless of merit, in thinking purely in terms of foils, but the evidence keeps mounting that those physics are right.

 

Estar, just spoke to my North guy about 3Di. He just delivered one, said roller furling makes the stiff feel less of an issue. You might be a convert yetsmile.gif.

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I love the square tops. I tried to convice my client on JAKATAN, the schooner to go square tops. He said no.

 

Did he say why not?

 

On our F-27, there was an old, delaminated POS pin-top main that had come with the boat originally and a nice, new Calvert square top racing main that I understand cost the previous owner a lot. He barely got to abuse it before I got it. :D The difference was quite amazing to me. I would get used to the racing sails and then put on the junky ones to go out for a lunch sail. Not the same boat at all.

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Tom:

The irony was he wanted the look of the old SF Bay scow schooners and they had such saggy gaffs that they might have been fatheads. The look is very similar.

 

DDW: I slick my hair down with salmon oil and all the local dogs love me. I think it's the smooth look that gets them.

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In development classes that limit area only where you are free to have a slotted (sloop) or unslotted (cat) rig, you will not see a jib unless you go back about 50 years. C class cats are probably the premier example but it is pretty much universally the case.

 

Not sure about that. I believe that Thames A Raters, Bembridge Redwings, NS14's and development canoes at least give freedom in how sail area is arranged, and all have jibs.

 

DAY4_NS14_2008_IMG_0568.jpg

 

 

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C class cats are probably the premier example but it is pretty much universally the case. Rigid wings carry flaps and slots, this is primarily to allow them to tack and adjust the effective camber to accommodate a range of wind speeds. There are no slotted airfoils on sailplanes, which are designed for aerodynamic efficiency and nothing else. Now in an offshore boat it may be convenient for rigging or sail handling to have a sloop. But don't confuse that with it being efficient.

What I know about aerodynamics would not fill a sailbag (but I do have a DDWFTTW machine); but my memory says that I've read on a number of occasions that the gaps between elements on the C Class and AC wings serve an aerodynamic purpose- meaning they let air flow through purposefully and are not just a necessary evil of making a wing that can tack. My memory says it is described as doing something similar to the main/jib slot.

 

Wish I could state more than contradiction, but then SA does love an argument.

 

 

 

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Now you've gone and made me waste time looking up class rules!

 

Thames A raters I am not familiar with, but the class rules have many constraints on the sail plan while not quite demanding a jib. However you must have a forestay, are limited to mast height, etc. I notice that the jibs seems to be getting quite small.

 

I cannot find the rules for the Redwing.

 

NS14 rules certainly encourage a jib, allowing for example only one main but two jibs to be registered, limits on mast height, mast size, etc.

 

Can you supply links to the association rules of other classes you mention?

 

In contrast the C class cat rules are pretty simple: no more than 300 sq ft. A class similarly, no more than 150 sq ft. That's all. No jibs for decades, even prior to wing sails.

 

The slots on wings as used on sailing cats allow the power of the airfoil to be regulated. And in soft enough pressure that they are not powered up, the extra lift available due to the slot is more important than the drag it creates (got to fly a hull). This is true of off the wind sailing as well. Slots are very well understood aerodynamically speaking, and were pretty much characterized at least empirically by 1930 or so. You can read all about it in the NACA archives. Nothing really has changed since then. The application to sailboats is newer, and sailboats have a different set of operating constraints compared to aircraft. The practical aspects of making the wing tack and match a wide range of conditions argue for slots on rigid wings. These factors are mitigated on soft sails because the camber can be changed and the sail reefed, so there is really no argument to support a slotted soft rig. On gliders, where tacking is not an issue and the operating conditions are a little narrower, camber changing flaps are normal - not slots. These are the most efficient airfoils in the world today - a modern glider can fly 65 ft forward for every foot dropped, equivalent to a sailboat tacking at 1 deg AWA.

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DDW, I'm not trying to be argumentative, but if the wingsail were the be-all/end-all, then why does the new AC45 carry 3 jibs? There's a boat that you have to admit is bleeding edge, yet the DogZilla, AC45, and the new AC cat all carry jibs. Since we know that the AC Defenders can write the rules any way they want, why carry these vestiges of 50 year old technology?

 

sailplanes are awesome beasts. I remember when I was flying in germany, the pilots telling me their best sailplanes' glide paths were so shallow that if they were a ramp, a car in neutral wouldn't roll down them on their own.

 

Very cool stuff, DDW. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

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DDW, I'm not trying to be argumentative, but if the wingsail were the be-all/end-all, then why does the new AC45 carry 3 jibs? There's a boat that you have to admit is bleeding edge, yet the DogZilla, AC45, and the new AC cat all carry jibs. Since we know that the AC Defenders can write the rules any way they want, why carry these vestiges of 50 year old technology?

 

sailplanes are awesome beasts. I remember when I was flying in germany, the pilots telling me their best sailplanes' glide paths were so shallow that if they were a ramp, a car in neutral wouldn't roll down them on their own.

 

Very cool stuff, DDW. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

 

Dogzilla may sport a jib or two, but in race 1 during the upwind leg they put the jib away and somehow managed to point higher and sail faster... and the C class cats don't bother with a jib...

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DDW, I'm not trying to be argumentative, but if the wingsail were the be-all/end-all, then why does the new AC45 carry 3 jibs? There's a boat that you have to admit is bleeding edge, yet the DogZilla, AC45, and the new AC cat all carry jibs. Since we know that the AC Defenders can write the rules any way they want, why carry these vestiges of 50 year old technology?

 

sailplanes are awesome beasts. I remember when I was flying in germany, the pilots telling me their best sailplanes' glide paths were so shallow that if they were a ramp, a car in neutral wouldn't roll down them on their own.

 

Very cool stuff, DDW. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

 

Dogzilla may sport a jib or two, but in race 1 during the upwind leg they put the jib away and somehow managed to point higher and sail faster... and the C class cats don't bother with a jib...

 

From hanging out in AC Anarchy for a while, my understanding is that there is a token jib because of the interpretation of the word "sloop".

 

I have nothing to add to this discussion, unfortunately, but I'm happy to sit and listen.

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I believe Dogzilla and the AC45 carry jibs to power up in light wind. Multihulls in particular are sensitive to light wind - if you can't fly the hull you are very slow as wetted surface suddenly doubles. There is no getting around the problem that the right area is only right for one condition - and wings are very hard to grow and shrink. There is a thread over in the multihull forum on this subject now. For a given wind strength and righting moment, a very limited range of areas (can be adjusted somewhat by airfoil shape) is optimum. Airplanes are fortunate in that they are designed to always fly at that condition - cruising speed. Slotted flaps are used for landing and taking off when you are outside of the design condition. Sailplanes are less lucky, thermaling at maybe 45-50 knots and running on course at 80 - 120 knots. That is a range of say 3:1. They have full span trailing edge flaps to help expand the efficient range (these are run reflexed - set the wrong direction - for high speed cruise). Sailboats are more unlucky in that they have to sail with reasonable efficiency between 5 - 35 knots, survive at 60 knots, and operate with two very important airfoils in two very different fluids. It is a much more complex environment than an airplane. The big advantage of soft sails is the ability to reef them, or in a split plan strike one or more sails. Aerodynamic forces are mostly square law, so 35 knots carries with it 49 times the force or 5 knots. Flaps can only do so much. On Dogzilla, as soon as they were powered up the jib came down. Class C cats can only have a jib if they reduce the size of the wing - 300 sq ft maximum all the time, any time. Soft una rigs do not have these disadvantages, as the area can be adjusted to conditions. A Cup and little A Cup races are run in a pretty narrow set of conditions recently however, so a wing with a furling jib for light conditions makes sense. Had AC33 boats been limited to sail area, I'll bet you would have seen Dogzilla with all that in the wing and no jib.

 

The ideal would be a telescoping hard wing, but with today's material science it isn't practical. As I mentioned on that other thread, there was a sailplane with telescoping wings built, it proved to be too mechanically complex to be practical. I'm not suggesting that technology used in sailplanes is appropriate for sailboats (the constraints are too different), but it does represent the limit of efficiency that can be achieved. There is a university project currently attempting to reach 100/1 glide ratio. My 18 meter span glider will do about 50:1 or about 1 degree below the horizon. "If you can see it, you can fly to it", we say. It isn't unusual to do a 60 mile final glide from the last thermal to home airport.

 

Note though that wings vs. soft sails is a bit different discussion than una rigs vs. sloops or odd schooners. I personally think that an una rig is a fine thing for a cruising boat unconstrained by racing rules. On my own I put a small mizzen for balance and control. However if it was any bigger splitting the rig into a ketch or schooner becomes necessary, just to keep the sails from growing to unreasonably large. I think Farfarer has something like 2500 sq ft. You don't want that all in one sail. In a sloop, main and mizzen, in a cat schooner or ketch, foresail and backsail. My guess is that unless you can get the masts far enough apart to keep interaction to a minimum, then you are stuck with what Irens did. Or go with the sloop.

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I think semi-salt got it right regarding the possible advantages of the rig.

 

 

Jibs have a bad habit of getting fuller when you pull the sheet harder, due to forestay sag. While sails with bendy spars on the front do the opposite, they flatten out as you load them up. This should make this rig more self regulating than a sloop rig.

 

But, and it's a big but, when the spar is tapered and you expect to reef a lot you end up with small full sails on VERY stiff masts which defeats the purpose completely by making the sails very rigid.

 

I think they would have been better off with much less taper in the masts and much bigger square tops. And something like a couple of storm trysails on their own tracks for when it got fresh.

 

I must say that the boat looks bloody awesome going upwind in sixteen knots of wind.

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Looking for something else, I stumbled on this about a wind tunnel experiment:

 

Two aerofoils were set up in tandem, one behind the other, in various positions relative to each other and at various angles of inclination to the airflow in a wind tunnel. They were of the same plan form (rectangular). The greatest coefficient of aerodynamic force, and almost the best angle from the wind, were achieved when the aerofoils were separated by a gap of one-fifteenth of the chord of one of the aerofoils and the two aerofoils were inclined to each other at an angle of 15 degrees. This finding is in accordance with what has been found best in yachts where a slight gap between the jib and mainsail is found to produce the most thrust for a given area and the angle of the foot of the jib is put at about 12 degrees from the fore and aft line of the boat. - Sailing Aerodynamics, John Morwood, Revised Edition 1962

 

Note that in this experiment, the leech of the foresail is nearly perpendicular, as would also be true for a blade jib.

 

There has been a lot of progress since 1962, of course. I looked in Marchaj, but it takes so long to figure out exactly what he is trying to say.

 

I don't see the point of the cat ketch with an overlapping, loose-footed foresail/main. Part of the charm of the cat-ketch rig is the effortless set of the sails off the wind. If you are going to winch the thing on the wind, and deal with some huge pole off the wind, why bother.

 

If I were to design a cat ketch, I would want the foresail on boom. The leech of the foresail should be as vertical as possible, probably being a gaff sail with some rake in foremast. The two masts should be as close together as practicable to get some main/jib effect.

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Looking for something else, I stumbled on this about a wind tunnel experiment:

 

Two aerofoils were set up in tandem, one behind the other, in various positions relative to each other and at various angles of inclination to the airflow in a wind tunnel. They were of the same plan form (rectangular). The greatest coefficient of aerodynamic force, and almost the best angle from the wind, were achieved when the aerofoils were separated by a gap of one-fifteenth of the chord of one of the aerofoils and the two aerofoils were inclined to each other at an angle of 15 degrees. This finding is in accordance with what has been found best in yachts where a slight gap between the jib and mainsail is found to produce the most thrust for a given area and the angle of the foot of the jib is put at about 12 degrees from the fore and aft line of the boat. - Sailing Aerodynamics, John Morwood, Revised Edition 1962

 

Note that in this experiment, the leech of the foresail is nearly perpendicular, as would also be true for a blade jib.

 

There has been a lot of progress since 1962, of course. I looked in Marchaj, but it takes so long to figure out exactly what he is trying to say.

 

I don't see the point of the cat ketch with an overlapping, loose-footed foresail/main. Part of the charm of the cat-ketch rig is the effortless set of the sails off the wind. If you are going to winch the thing on the wind, and deal with some huge pole off the wind, why bother.

 

If I were to design a cat ketch, I would want the foresail on boom. The leech of the foresail should be as vertical as possible, probably being a gaff sail with some rake in foremast. The two masts should be as close together as practicable to get some main/jib effect.

It does seem pointless to draw a rig whose details negate some of its main inherent advantages. To each his own, I guess.

 

In your quoted text, the author might have saved himself some work by looking into old NACA archives as this is well trodden ground. I would point out however, that the "maximum aerodynamic force" or "most thrust" relates to maximum lift coefficient. With multislotted airfoils very high lift coefficients have been recorded - up to around 4 or 5, vs. probably 1.3 being the highest achievable with a membrane sail in sailing conditions. Associated with this is of course very high drag. Downwind, one might like that tradeoff as the drag is less important, contributing only to heel (beam reach) or even to speed (broad reach). However the slotted airfoils on sailboats don't work off the wind, the jib and main separate and behave as a biplane, not a slot. Upwind it is usually not maximum lift that counts, but maximum efficiency (L/D). A boat's AWA upwind is numerically equal to the sum of the aerodynamic and hydrodynamic drag angles (arctan(D/L)). It is only in wind too light (or area too small - those two conditions are equivalent) that increasing lift at a disproportional increase in drag may be beneficial. Otherwise upwind you always want the most efficient airfoil as measured by L/D.

 

So I believe a generously sized una rig with an airfoil mast would be the most efficient cruising rig. Unfortunately, it is not practical: the rig becomes too large above about a 40 or 50 ft boat, and the airfoil mast creates too many operational issues any time you are parked. And so we are back to the sloops and cat ketches/yawls. I think my cat yawl is about as efficient as a good sloop rig upwind and considerably better off the wind. But it is difficult to prove without two rigs on identical hulls. Such experiments have been run, (for example "The Fastest Rig" Colin Palmer) and the Bermudian sloop does not fare well in them.

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...the author might have saved himself some work by looking into old NACA archives...

 

Good grief. My copy of the book is, as noted, from 1962. The first edition was 1954. He doesn't say he did the experiment himself, nor when it was run. He was writing in England. Information didn't flow around the globe as quickly back in the day. Morwood was one of the founders of AYRS. You have to give some credit to folks who actually go out and try stuff, as opposed to those (like me) who only read books and make wise-ass remarks.

 

One of the facts of yacht design is that the upper tiers of racing sailors like a complicated, sensitive boat. It gives the crew something to do. They prefer continuous adjustment of twitchers and haulers and vangs and downhauls and a boatload of sails, not just for the marginal speed increase, but for the sport. They did without them in working sail when the crew was busy with other things, like fish. Many of these things infect cruising boats, some for good, some for ill.

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I guess 1962 was before Al Gore invented the internet? :P

 

Even then, NACA archives were available in any good engineering library. I wasn't intending to be critical of the gentleman's research prowess, just pointing out that the knowledge is not new and was not new in 1954.

 

Very interesting comments from Mr. Irens, he seems to have a quite rational and objective view of what he designed. If he wants a testimonial to the lack of chafe on such I rig, I will give one: I have sailed DDW for days and never even thought about chafe. It simply does not happen, particularly if the mast rotates.

 

This last point needs some expansion. The mainmast on my boat rotates, originally I wanted to do this to improve aerodynamic efficiency. However I am a "show me the data" type of guy, and after exhaustive research of the literature and a search for real examples, I found nothing to support any expectation of increased efficiency. There are some small scale wind tunnel tests to be sure, but they do not represent today's reality. For example Marchaj tests masts with a diameters of 12.5 and 7.5% of chord, whereas my mast is closer to 3% of chord. In his tests the 7.5% case was already beginning to approach the no mast L/D curves.

 

But in the course of my research I was able to speak directly to 5 different owners of rotating mast rigs. In no case did they have hard data to suggest any improvement in performance due to mast rotation, however in every case they mentioned operational advantages. Because the sail track can be aligned more or less with the sail, the batten end fittings don't crash the mast, the stress on the track system is greatly reduced, reefing downwind becomes possible or even easy, etc.

 

So I went ahead with the rotating mast, on my boat it is always aligned to the boom (gooseneck does not articulate laterally) and the operational advantages are very nice. You pay a bit for this with additional complexity in electronics installation, line leads, etc., but overall I am happy with the result. I would be very interested to know if on 'Farfarer' they have been able to quantify any performance increase due to mast trim (I assume they have an independent mast rotation control).

 

One thing that Mr. Irens' comments leave me wondering, clearly he is concerned about controlling twist in the sails, and square heads require tremendous vanging forces. In a freestanding rotating mast the vanging force is just as large and important off the wind as upwind - but the 'Farfarer' rig doesn't seem to have any effective vang solution for either sail, and the pictures show quite a lot of twist in moderate conditions.

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Some thoughts on your comments (I cannot be sure enough of my ground to call them ‘answers’)

 

.....Don’t think I considered rake very carefully – just did what looked right to my eye....

 

This comment from Mr. Irens, almost a throw-away, makes me appreciate more the "art" that goes into the design process.

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Very interesting comments from Mr. Irens, he seems to have a quite rational and objective view of what he designed.

 

How extraordinary. smile.gif

 

 

 

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Yes, I was surprised. I would have excpected something about Reynolds Numbers, aspect ratios and angles of attack.

 

But If it were all that simple we would not have designers like Nigel. It's still the art/science of yacht design. Not to mention keeping the client happy.

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Pondering the wonder that is Mr. Irens, you have to consider that he went from designing top-performing multihulls to creating this for himself: [Edit: looking closer, I think I got a picture of Romily, not Roxane. Romily is smaller, but they look very similar.]

 

4.jpg

 

There are very few designers who manage to stay active in such diverse design types. Some designers can't, and some don't want to, but I think most just get type-cast, like actors. Bob has written about being type cast as a cruising boat designer, though he feels he can design a good race boats and has some examples to prove it.

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DDW, I'm not trying to be argumentative, but if the wingsail were the be-all/end-all, then why does the new AC45 carry 3 jibs? There's a boat that you have to admit is bleeding edge, yet the DogZilla, AC45, and the new AC cat all carry jibs. Since we know that the AC Defenders can write the rules any way they want, why carry these vestiges of 50 year old technology?

 

sailplanes are awesome beasts. I remember when I was flying in germany, the pilots telling me their best sailplanes' glide paths were so shallow that if they were a ramp, a car in neutral wouldn't roll down them on their own.

 

Very cool stuff, DDW. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

 

I think there are multiple issues appearing in the AC45, some of which are not related to performance at all.

 

First, keep in mind that the AC program is all about DRAMA and the associated benefits that this will bring for the TV audience. To have a single big wing with two guys flying it and one guy driving is NOT dramatic at all - indeed, it's downright boring to watch. I have hung out in a RIB watching A-class and C-class cats and unless you're really really interested in sailing and tactics it's boring to watch. No one is hoisting sails, nothing changes, there are no places for flashy graphics and big signage. Simply: NO DRAMA. For this reason alone the AC will probably always require headsails, and more importantly something that needs to be hauled up at the windward mark that can flip the boat over if used badly. It is entertainment, after all.

 

Second, throughout this thread, and particularly with the discussion/comparison to sailplanes, folks are forgetting/ignoring a couple of important things about sail boats vs airplanes. The stability of the boat changes radically with the wind angle and aircraft do not, meaning that when you're on a beam reach you're not as stable as when you're pointed dead down wind. In the AC programs there will only be brief periods when the boats are on either of these points of sail (and probably never DDW) but I raise this to illustrate a point. One may need two or even three times as much sail area when sailing at an Apparent Wind Angle (AWA) where the boat is much more stable. This is never true of an aircraft; one doesn't deploy bigger wings or more wings because the plane never becomes more stable. (The F-14 is something of an exception here with its rotating wings, and it basically proves my point that it is the range of wind speeds and AWAs that the device must operate in that determines the use of added sails or the rotation of wings.)

 

Now consider that sailplanes fly within a small range of speeds and an even smaller range of AWAs, tiny compared to a sailboat. This is true of most high-performance aircraft. However, they do occasionally have to fly at slower speeds or at higher AWA (which I think they call angle of attack). When doing this, which is primarily when landing the plane, they deploy flaps to create more lift and they suffer the attendant increase in drag. They start to deploy surfaces that look a lot like the slots between sails. But, they never use this configuration when flying within their designed speed and AWA ranges. From this we can conclude, I believe, that you can generate more lift but you also generate a lot more drag when deploying "slots" which are either slots between jib and main or are the slots between the main wing and the flaps on an aircraft. As others on this thread have said, the introduction of slots almost always makes the lift-to-drag ratio worse not better.

 

Finally, with respect to cruising boats, I think that having multiple masts and sails is primarily driven by what I think is a misguided believe that there is some sort of safety or better sail control with a multiplicity of smaller sails rather than one or two large ones. Long ago the materials from which rigging and sails were constructed meant that there was really a limit on how large one could make a sail. Then materials became strong enough to allow large sails to be built and the limit became how much sail area a crew-person could deal with in foul weather. Then various mechanical devices were invented that made it possible for a single person to effectively manage really gigantic sails even in quite terrible weather. Yet, because this is relatively recent, the general population of cruising sailors (who are quite rightfully conservative) have yet to adopt them. As recently as the '90s I ran into people who used hanks on headsails rather than a roller because they didn't like how unreliable the roller furling was. As a reference point, Stan Honey has hanks on his Cal-40 headsails for short handed racing primarily because his experience with roller furling and the difficulty with changing headsails on a roller makes hanks a more reliable and safer solution. This is from a sailor with a great deal of experience with the very best in sail handling equipment.

 

I personally have sailed on rigs from gaff cutters with three headsails, through really big schooners with half a dozen sails, to cat boats. I would suggest that a sloop with a staysail set from the foredeck is by far the best trade-off between complexity/simplicity/reliability/performance. I don't believe that there is any advantage to multiple masts in sail handling and would be happy to discuss this further; and I do strongly believe that the added complexity and weight aloft actually reduces the reliability of a split rig boat. It's a sad thing for a lover of schooners like me to say, but I believe the two headsail sloop is simply a better rig for any number of reasons. I can understand why the person who commissioned this design wanted an interesting and unique rig, but performance and sail handling were not optimized, IMHO.

 

BV

 

(Edit: I posted this without having read all the thread. Sorry to have repeated some things said by others. I'll leave it as I think there might be a bit of value in the AC and Rig-Type comments.)

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B.V. - Hmmm, lots to comment on there.

 

It is true that powered aircraft fly at a narrow range of designed speeds, also that due to this they do not need to vary the area (or lift produced) except for landing and takeoff. However sailplanes are different: there are two distinct flying modes, thermaling and running between thermals. Thermaling requires a low minimum sink (to maximize climb rate) and slow flight speeds (to minimize circle diameter). Running requires low drag at high speeds - meaning at low lift coefficients. The speed ratios are as much as 4:1. So though the constraints are enforced by different parameters, some of the results are the same. That is why the wings on Dogzilla and C class cats look a lot more like glider wings than traditional sails. On a glider you only can use as much lift as the glider weighs, but would like to minimize drag always. On a sailboat you can only use as much lift as stability allows and would like to minimize drag through about 270 degrees of TWA.

 

While modern materials and machinery have made it possible to manage very large sails when everything works, they do not replace manpower when things go sideways. And there are necessarily times when the ideal equipment is not available, for example a crane to unship your 200 lbs mainsail in a remote port. My mainsail is 960 sq ft, perfectly manageable in normal conditions but quite a handful when something goes a bit wrong. I would not want it larger and perhaps the next one I buy will be just a bit smaller.

 

Having owned a cruising boat with one, and another with two sails (at the same time!) I can assure you that two sails is better - if you like to sail. One sail provides no control over the boat anytime there is no steerage way, no way to heave to, no way to reef safely in a seaway, great difficulty sailing off of anchor, etc. (unless, of course, one wants to depend on the engine). Two sails overcomes these problems, to some extent in a sloop and to a greater extent in a two master - even a cat rigged two master.

 

As far as complexity/simplicity/reliability goes, the marconi sloop will badly loose all of those arguments against a modern cat rigged two master. The number of parts is a very small fraction of those on a sloop, the number of parts prone to failure that will endanger the rig amounts to none on a cat boat and many dozens on a sloop. The stresses on the parts are greater on the sloop. The number of sails required is greater. The expense is more. The weight of the sloop rig is higher than the cat rig, as is its CG (yes, that is correct!).

 

Where performance is concerned, we may have a fair argument. But modern materials and sail design have tipped the balance more towards cat rigs than in the past. I will guarantee that a well designed cat rig will beat a similarly designed sloop off the wind with working sails. When colored sails are put up, then it just depends on how crazy each is allowed to get. The cat will require a spinnaker far less often to maintain good speed off the wind because all the sail works all of the time. Not so on a sloop. Upwind a modern cat rig will stay with the sloop. Not sure about a cat schooner, but I believe my cat yawl will.

 

A large square head cruising cat rig is a very different boat than a traditional cat dinghy (even something like a Finn) for a whole lot of reasons. I invite you to come sailing with me and see for yourself.

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This is not particularily high tech but my client loves it.

 

So do I Bob. Am I right that there is no backstay just swept back caps?

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This is not particularily high tech but my client loves it.

 

Looks like one of your cartoons, not that there's anything wrong with that.

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Nigel asked me to post an edit of his comments, which is why I removed the original post. Here is the updated comments from Mr. Irens:

 

 

Some thoughts on your comments (as there are not many absolutes in this game I can’t really call them to ‘answers’).

 

 

 

The boomless fore results from wanting to maintain a respectable aspect ratio for the rig as a whole. If the aspect ratio is maintained then a boomed fore would, itself, have had an impossibly high aspect ratio – which would have made it uncontrollable in terms of twist. It would also have meant that a large gap would open in the sailplan when sailing off the wind (viewed from the side).

 

 

 

No provision has been made on FARFARER so far to enhance downwind performance. I drew a pair of bearing-out spars which would offer a ‘point in space’ to which the sheet of the fore could be run, but it was decided (wisely in my opinion) to simply get on with sailing the boat in order to have a better idea of what is really needed. Already I have been surprised by the fact that the draft cut in the fore (together with the limited stretch of the cloth) results in the head of the sail twisting off much less that you would imagine. We’ll see in the longer run whether a pole would, nevertheless, have something to offer.

 

 

 

I also drew a tall jib-headed sail that was intended to be poled to weather of the fore. I used this on my own 29 foot lug-rigged boat, ROXANE (attached) to great effect. With apparent wind angle anywhere aft of, say, 130 degrees, it just seemed to have the ability to grab some wind that would otherwise pass to weather and ‘feed’ the fore (actually it was the main in the case of my own boat.). The result seemed to offer much more benefit than just the added area it represented. It also helped balance the helm – which was especially important in my own boat because she only drew 2 ft (board up) so the rudder was something of a ‘barn door’, and so very inefficient.

 

 

 

I imagine much of that thinking would also apply to FARFARER (she draws only 6 feet for 28 tonnes of displacement), but for the time being it has not been tried. In fact FARFARER only carries one small storm jib aboard at the moment, apart from the main and fore that you see ! Frank Blair carried a beautiful asymmetric round the world on MAGGIE B, but it was literally ‘carried’ as Frank seemed to feel that the boat sailed well without it, so I understand it was rarely set ! The North loft had a similar sail designed for FARFARER, but conceded that it would not be very cost-effective if it, too, only went along for the ride !

 

 

 

I would not be very enthusiastic about sailing ‘wing and wing’ with FARFARER because I would rather see the small sail described above (set to windward) feeding the fore (which stays to leeward). You seem to favour sailing DDW, but that has always seemed inherently inefficient to me – and often uncomfortable ! I’d rather settle the boat on one gybe and enjoy the benefit of some more apparent wind.

 

 

 

Don’t think I considered rake very carefully – just did what looked right to my eye. The only way to help upwind VMG seems to me to make sure the boat has positive balance. In FARFARER’s case that means also carrying a big rudder, because weather helm that demands too much lift from small blade will result on big rudder angles – which, must, in turn generate huge drag.

 

 

 

Both masts are rotating. The idea is to rotate as much as is needed to get the flow on the leeward side of the sail to run fair, with the luff of the sail running tangentially to the leeward side of the mast. When sailing deep this calls for rotation that might often be more than 90 degrees. An unstayed mast is, of course, bigger in diameter than that of a stayed mast (400 mm at the deck in FARFARER’s case), so rotating the section seems particularly important. Luckily the lack of standing rigging means that rotation to any angle is no problem.

 

 

 

We used to fret about the limits set by standing rigging when trying to get big wing-sectioned masts to rotate to deep angles on the offshore racing multihulls. As it happens the problem has cured itself over a couple of decades in that the boats ended up sailing so much faster over the years that the apparent wind these days is rarely aft of about 45 degrees off the bow (upwind or down),

 

 

 

I don’t think anyone contributing to this Cruising Anarchy thread mentioned the most important reason why we went for an unstayed rig, which was to avoid chafe on long downwind passages... It’s also nice to know that you can allow either sail (or both) to fly free on any point of sailing if things get out of hand downwind (could be anything from getting caught by severe squall to simply sailing up a narrowing channel and running out of room to round up.

 

 

 

Just to put some people’s minds at rest, I don’t think we set out on this project to try to prove that FARFARER’s rig would change the face of sailing by demonstrating superiority over more ‘standard’ rigs. Our objectives were, I think, quite simply to have some fun experimenting with a few ideas. That said, it matters that Frank Blair ends up with a boat that is good to sail and meets the brief he set at the beginning of the project.

 

 

 

Speaking of fun....I haven’t had the chance to sail on FARFARER yet, so I’m looking forward to joining Frank for a few days in the near future (now that he and John Steele (Covey Island) have wrenched the boat out of the clutches of that nasty Nova Scotian winter weather). I’ll be interested to see how much of the above armchair-talk turns out to be worth something in reality !

 

 

 

All the Best

 

 

 

NIGEL

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OK. Even after the rewrite he still seems uncommonly objective and forthright for a famous yacht designer.

 

I wonder if the 'Farfarer' is going to be hanging on the East Coast long enough for me to catch up with her. I missed her when we were in Lunenburg in October.

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B.V. - Hmmm, lots to comment on there.

...snip...

 

While modern materials and machinery have made it possible to manage very large sails when everything works, they do not replace manpower when things go sideways. And there are necessarily times when the ideal equipment is not available, for example a crane to unship your 200 lbs mainsail in a remote port. My mainsail is 960 sq ft, perfectly manageable in normal conditions but quite a handful when something goes a bit wrong. I would not want it larger and perhaps the next one I buy will be just a bit smaller.

 

 

I hear you on the size of sails. My 65' cruising boat with the 94' luff on the main was a bear to deal with when things didn't work. The main on that boat weighed over 300 pounds. However, one can simply deal with maintenance in a way that is far more like an aircraft and a lot less like a typical cruising boat. We had electric winches and I treated them as if our lives depended upon them, as they well could have. Those winches never let us down. Ever.

 

I thought of it in a way that was almost exactly the way someone thinks about the engine in a small single-engine airplane.

 

 

Having owned a cruising boat with one, and another with two sails (at the same time!) I can assure you that two sails is better - if you like to sail. One sail provides no control over the boat anytime there is no steerage way, no way to heave to, no way to reef safely in a seaway, great difficulty sailing off of anchor, etc. (unless, of course, one wants to depend on the engine). Two sails overcomes these problems, to some extent in a sloop and to a greater extent in a two master - even a cat rigged two master.

 

As far as complexity/simplicity/reliability goes, the marconi sloop will badly loose all of those arguments against a modern cat rigged two master. The number of parts is a very small fraction of those on a sloop, the number of parts prone to failure that will endanger the rig amounts to none on a cat boat and many dozens on a sloop. The stresses on the parts are greater on the sloop. The number of sails required is greater. The expense is more. The weight of the sloop rig is higher than the cat rig, as is its CG (yes, that is correct!).

 

 

I completely agree with the difficulty of using a single sail boat, regardless of the type of rig. It is really nearly impossible to sail a cat boat well in a crowded harbor, although some can do it. It is downright dangerous in a heavy sea when one must reef. I think the problem is basically solved once there are two sails, regardless of the rig type.

 

DDW, I have great difficulty believing that: "the number of parts prone to failure that will endanger the rig amounts to none on a cat boat and many dozens on a sloop." Are you seriously saying that there are NO PARTS that can fail and endanger the rig? Or are you simply removing the parts that could fail and cause the rig to crash from the list of those "prone" to fail, assuming them less "prone"? I have helped people bring cat boats home with broken rigs and personally helped clean up the mess. There certain was some sort of part that failed, I'm not sure if it was "prone" to or not, but it sure had hell broke.

 

I have some difficulty with the absolute tone of your paragraph as I have seen literally thousands of sloops sail around all over the world without difficulty and have seen a few dozen cat boats. In terms of the number of sea miles of testing, the sloop clearly has millions more than the cat boats. Do we really know the relative reliability or are you making an estimate? Certainly, there are parts in a sloop that are loaded heavily, are you seriously suggesting that mast partners and step of an unstayed mast are not heavily loaded and stressed? Are you further suggesting that in a rotating unstayed rig there isn't just a little bit of load being applied to those bearings at the mast partners? Further, isn't that load, which represents the entire force of the rig on one bearing at the deck, much more than the force on anything in a sloop?

 

I would suggest you look at the leverage applied on that bearing and let me know what the force is, in your opinion. I would suggest that for a given sail area the unstayed rotating mast may have many wonderful features, but low-loads at the mast partners aren't one of them.

 

 

Where performance is concerned, we may have a fair argument. But modern materials and sail design have tipped the balance more towards cat rigs than in the past. I will guarantee that a well designed cat rig will beat a similarly designed sloop off the wind with working sails. When colored sails are put up, then it just depends on how crazy each is allowed to get. The cat will require a spinnaker far less often to maintain good speed off the wind because all the sail works all of the time. Not so on a sloop. Upwind a modern cat rig will stay with the sloop. Not sure about a cat schooner, but I believe my cat yawl will.

 

A large square head cruising cat rig is a very different boat than a traditional cat dinghy (even something like a Finn) for a whole lot of reasons. I invite you to come sailing with me and see for yourself.

 

 

I simply can't accept that any multi-mast rig (regardless of cat rig, schooner, ketch, or whatever) which has the exact same sail area will beat a sloop when far off the wind. I have many decades of racing experience in this, and even without colored sails a masthead sloop with a jib on the whisker pole wing-on-wing will simply out run any multi-mast rig. The difficulty of having the forward rig in the lee of the after rig is insurmountable, even when schooners wing-out the fore etc... In all fairness, I have never sailed wing-and-wing on a cat schooner so I'm perfectly willing to accept that it may be different, but I'll really need to be convinced as it goes against so much experience.

 

There is one band, on either side of a beam reach, when a multi-masted rig can have some small advantage due to the Center of Effort being lower for a given sail area. But, this is a narrow range and doesn't always prove out. The better aerodynamics of the leading edge of the large headsail a sloop can set usually overcomes the benefits that the split rig gains from a lower Center of Effort. Indeed, a sloop with a big headsail and a reefed main is very difficult for split rigs to stay with. Clearly, one would have to build identical hulls with two different rigs to really test this, but a lot of experience tells me that there is only a small range of AWAs where the split rig has any chance at all. (This from someone who things that schooners are the most beautiful boats ever designed - I'd personally love it not to be true.)

 

Last week I raced my 24' sloop in a race here in San Francisco and we sailed past a number of 30' cat rigged sloops when hard on the wind in a breeze above 20 knots. It happens all the time. Up wind they are simply not competitive once the wind gets really strong and I'm not sure why. It appears that the unstayed mast isn't stiff enough to maintain adequate leech tension and the cat rigs I'm racing against aren't able to point with a loose leech. They are designed by Tom Wylie, who designed a boat I owned and whom I have tremendous respect for, so I don't fault the designer. But they can't hack it in a blow. Down wind, they are truly hopeless as they can't set a chute.

 

This brings me to my last point. A sailboat has a tremendous need for changes in sail area. We frequently sail down wind with well over two times the sail area that we sail upwind with. To get good performance from the design one really must increase the sail area when heading further from the wind. My experience is that when AWSs get to above 60 deg many boats can support an additional 20% of sail area, when it gets to 90 deg many boats can support an additional 50% and at 170 deg it can support an increase of easily 100%. I have not seen any cat rigged boat, of any configuration, that allows this sort of large increase in sail area. In contrast, I have seen numerous situations where the cat boats I'm acquainted with drop out of races, or if cruising turn on their motors, when faced with light winds that are at a AWA of greater than 150 degrees. This is both bad when racing and a pain when cruising. I would love to see big spinnakers on cat boats, but I haven't come across any. Perhaps you can guide me to some.

 

Thank you for the thoughtful responses - I have really enjoyed reading them. I'd love to come sail with you; I'm completely promiscuous when it comes to sailing on other people's boats. PM me and we'll see if we can set it up. Likewise, you're always welcome aboard out boat - any time.

 

Best,

 

Beau

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B.V.

That's a cool looking yacht you're wearing these days. I gotta ask what kind of cruising 65 footer has a 94' mainsail luff? Sounds like a handfull, as you say.

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I would love to see big spinnakers on cat boats, but I haven't come across any. Perhaps you can guide me to some.

 

Ask and ye shall receive. My friend Don had to ruin my "Jib Trimmer" joke by making a few for his Sun Cat. This is the little spin. He was behind me when he set it...

 

jibworking-lg.jpg

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I completely agree with the difficulty of using a single sail boat, regardless of the type of rig. It is really nearly impossible to sail a cat boat well in a crowded harbor, although some can do it. It is downright dangerous in a heavy sea when one must reef. I think the problem is basically solved once there are two sails, regardless of the rig type.

 

Actually I don't find a cat to be that difficult in a crowded harbor. You need to maintain steerageway for sure. I once rented a Nonsuch 36 and sailed in off of a crowded mooring field at the head of Soper's Hole in the BVI, had to turn downwind and gybe through the crowd - we had quite an audience before we finished, didn't hit anything!

 

DDW, I have great difficulty believing that: "the number of parts prone to failure that will endanger the rig amounts to none on a cat boat and many dozens on a sloop." Are you seriously saying that there are NO PARTS that can fail and endanger the rig? Or are you simply removing the parts that could fail and cause the rig to crash from the list of those "prone" to fail, assuming them less "prone"? I have helped people bring cat boats home with broken rigs and personally helped clean up the mess. There certain was some sort of part that failed, I'm not sure if it was "prone" to or not, but it sure had hell broke.

 

I have some difficulty with the absolute tone of your paragraph as I have seen literally thousands of sloops sail around all over the world without difficulty and have seen a few dozen cat boats. In terms of the number of sea miles of testing, the sloop clearly has millions more than the cat boats. Do we really know the relative reliability or are you making an estimate? Certainly, there are parts in a sloop that are loaded heavily, are you seriously suggesting that mast partners and step of an unstayed mast are not heavily loaded and stressed? Are you further suggesting that in a rotating unstayed rig there isn't just a little bit of load being applied to those bearings at the mast partners? Further, isn't that load, which represents the entire force of the rig on one bearing at the deck, much more than the force on anything in a sloop?

 

I would suggest you look at the leverage applied on that bearing and let me know what the force is, in your opinion. I would suggest that for a given sail area the unstayed rotating mast may have many wonderful features, but low-loads at the mast partners aren't one of them.

 

I say none of that casually. The stresses fed into the hull of an unstayed and stayed mast are similar to a point. For the same overturning moment, a marconi rig reacts the heeling force between the mast step and the windward cap shroud chainplate - about half the beam. On a free standing rig, the same moment is reacted between the deck partners and the mast step - this is generally the depth of the hull fairbody, and is typically about half the beam. Thus the stresses are roughly the same to the hull, though fed into it differently one is no more difficult than the other. Except that the marconi sloop requires an additional substantial compression load to keep the headstay taught. On my boat we estimate the shear load at the step to be 20,000 lbs at capsize, at the deck partners about 10% more. The heel bearing is an aluminum Heim bearing normally used on the rudder of a 747 (same one used on 'Farfarer' I believe, and on 'Ocean Planet' which has been twice around the world via the Southern Ocean). It is rated for 130,000 lbs radial load in motion, and 300,000 lbs static. I think I am good there. It sits on an axle I made myself, calculated to fail at 300,000 lbs. The deck partners bearing I used is a Jefa self-aligning roller rudder bearing 300 mm diameter rated at 40,500 lbs working load. At 2x load it begins to deform, at 3x load it is permanently damaged. The mast on a marconi rig is an Euler column, and a quite complex one as it can fail in a number of modes. On a cat it is a fairly simple cantilevered beam.

 

When I say endanger the rig, I'm talking overboard, not a gear failure requiring repair or limping home. On my cat, the mast, step, and deck partners are the only components necessary to the integrity of the basic rig. These are quite robust and not prone to failure. On a marconi sloop there is the mast, the upper shroud connection and its clevis & cotter, the shroud itself, generally at least two spreaders and their associated connections, the shroud lower termination, a clevis & cotter, a turnbuckle fork, barrel, and second fork, likely a toggle and clevis, a chainplate and its connections to the hull, and the mast step. Repeat this on at least a headstay and an intermediate shroud. Too be fair, double that because even though only one set is necessary on each tack, the probability of experiencing a failure is doubled with the number of components. A failure in any of these (many of which are in fact "prone to failure") can endanger the rig going over the side. On a freestanding rig, there are literally no components that require periodic inspection or replacement that are involved in holding the rig up. On a marconi sloop there are dozens.

 

Now, your point about the sloop being brought to a high state of development is a good one, modern cat boats are really just beginning. In fact the only thing that keeps an average sloop together is the acquired knowledge from a long history of failures. An analogy might be the 911 type Porsche - all wrong in concept but brought to such a high state of development that its a pretty good car. In fact any yacht designer or builder can bang together a sloop with a good sense of reliability, stresses, size of components etc., due to the wealth of experience. Not so for a cat, we are still feeling our way. But it is a much simpler engineering problem.

 

I simply can't accept that any multi-mast rig (regardless of cat rig, schooner, ketch, or whatever) which has the exact same sail area will beat a sloop when far off the wind. I have many decades of racing experience in this, and even without colored sails a masthead sloop with a jib on the whisker pole wing-on-wing will simply out run any multi-mast rig. The difficulty of having the forward rig in the lee of the after rig is insurmountable, even when schooners wing-out the fore etc... In all fairness, I have never sailed wing-and-wing on a cat schooner so I'm perfectly willing to accept that it may be different, but I'll really need to be convinced as it goes against so much experience.

 

There is one band, on either side of a beam reach, when a multi-masted rig can have some small advantage due to the Center of Effort being lower for a given sail area. But, this is a narrow range and doesn't always prove out. The better aerodynamics of the leading edge of the large headsail a sloop can set usually overcomes the benefits that the split rig gains from a lower Center of Effort. Indeed, a sloop with a big headsail and a reefed main is very difficult for split rigs to stay with. Clearly, one would have to build identical hulls with two different rigs to really test this, but a lot of experience tells me that there is only a small range of AWAs where the split rig has any chance at all. (This from someone who things that schooners are the most beautiful boats ever designed - I'd personally love it not to be true.)

 

Last week I raced my 24' sloop in a race here in San Francisco and we sailed past a number of 30' cat rigged sloops when hard on the wind in a breeze above 20 knots. It happens all the time. Up wind they are simply not competitive once the wind gets really strong and I'm not sure why. It appears that the unstayed mast isn't stiff enough to maintain adequate leech tension and the cat rigs I'm racing against aren't able to point with a loose leech. They are designed by Tom Wylie, who designed a boat I owned and whom I have tremendous respect for, so I don't fault the designer. But they can't hack it in a blow. Down wind, they are truly hopeless as they can't set a chute.

 

This brings me to my last point. A sailboat has a tremendous need for changes in sail area. We frequently sail down wind with well over two times the sail area that we sail upwind with. To get good performance from the design one really must increase the sail area when heading further from the wind. My experience is that when AWSs get to above 60 deg many boats can support an additional 20% of sail area, when it gets to 90 deg many boats can support an additional 50% and at 170 deg it can support an increase of easily 100%. I have not seen any cat rigged boat, of any configuration, that allows this sort of large increase in sail area. In contrast, I have seen numerous situations where the cat boats I'm acquainted with drop out of races, or if cruising turn on their motors, when faced with light winds that are at a AWA of greater than 150 degrees. This is both bad when racing and a pain when cruising. I would love to see big spinnakers on cat boats, but I haven't come across any. Perhaps you can guide me to some.

 

First of all we must separate una rigs from cat ketches, yawls, schooners, etc., they all behave differently. Second, a sloop is a split rig, downwind.

 

A una rig will present all of its working sail area in the most efficient possible manner on any point of sail. A sloop can do this only on two points of sail: close hauled, when it becomes a single slotted airfoil; and DDW running wing and wing with the jib poled out. On any other point of sail the area is inefficiently used: it is a biplane rig with little control over the jib shape which is generally blanked by, or backwinding the main. How many time have you seen the casual cruiser with his jib rolled up when off the wind because it cannot be kept full? Now a cat ketch or schooner is also a split rig and shares some of those problems. However extra crew work is not necessary to pole out the foresail (except perhaps, for Farfarer!). These are the reasons I designed my rig as a yawl: the mizzen was made the minimum size needed to overcome the objections (upon which we agree) of a single sail, but most of the sail area is in the main and is not blanketed or backwinded by another sail. The small mizzen is stepped 34' away from the main. The main can be trimmed on its rotating mast from 0 to about 150 degrees on either tack. It is effectively vanged by the 13000 lb pusher hydraulics, no matter what the trim. It is always operated just as it would be in the upwind condition (and in fact trimmed that way to the Windex, which is atop the rotating mast), until an AWA exceeding 130 deg or so.This sail is kept in its ideal shape and presented to the wind in the most efficient possible way on any point of sail - there is no other soft rig that will do that. Sloops do not pass me off the wind unless they are flying colored sails and I am not.

 

Now turn our attention to split rigs: cat ketches, cat schooners, and sloops. Each has a foresail and a backsail. In each case the sails interact, once well off the wind the foresail backwinds the backsail and the backsail blankets the foresail to some extent, until near DDW when each can be sailed wing-and-wing. But the sloop is the worst of the lot: the foresail is generally much closer to the backsail (at least at the tip), it has no spar to keep it in a proper shape resulting in over camber and additional interference with the backsail, it has an extremely inefficient pointed tip shape. Close hauled the sloop can be more efficient because it becomes a single slotted airfoil while the schooner remains a tandem wing, but at AWA greater than about 50-60 degrees it becomes a liability in most respects. I suggest your experience against split rigs on the water may have a lot to do with their execution rather than the concept. There are virtually no modern schooners or yawls (modern rig and hull design) and very few modern ketches. Would you care to take on the 'Mari Cha IV' with your sloop?

 

The deficit of a sloop downwind is the reason spinnakers were developed. I will start by saying that it has been experimentally proven (on Nonsuches) that a spinnaker of equal size to the mainsail of a una rig is slower downwind, i.e., given a choice of flying the main or a spinnaker, the main is faster. On my 'Anomaly' the upwind working sail is main + mizzen, 960 + 215 = 1175 ft^2. Downwind, we can carry an asymmetric on a carbon sprit pole of 1057 ft^2, and a mizzen staysail of 280 ft^2 for an additional 1337 ft^2. That is a 114% increase in sail area to 2512 ft^2. To be sure, a lot of it is interfering with each other to some extent, no different than a sloop; and flying it all at once is as much (or more) work than a sloop. One big difference is that on a sloop, you find yourself wanting the spinnaker frequently, because the jib is such a useless sail off the wind; further on a marconi sloop you cannot easy the main far enough for proper trim because the standing rigging interferes. You find yourself wanting the spinnaker far less frequently on the cat boat, because the rig is still quite efficient downwind by comparison. Parenthetically, a cat rig should be designed with a bit more sail area than a sloop. It will not develop quite as high a max lift coefficient upwind, large headsails aren't an option, and you want the sail area downwind. This had been overlooked on some of the popular designs.

 

Finally, regarding upwind in strong conditions: Tom Wylie and Mark Ellis are both believers in the idea that a flexible mast tip on a cat rig is good because it allows the leech to sag off in puffs which "depowers" the rig to keep the boat on its feet. I do not subscribe to this theory and would prefer the mast to be infinitely stiff laterally and very stiff longitudinally. What happens is, the mast flexes aft and to leeward, both increase the washout (twist) in the airfoil which reduces lift and increases drag. Reduced lift and increased drag translates directly to increased AWA or reduced pointing ability. Wishbone designs like the Nonsuch and Wyliecat do not have an independent leech tension control, depending on the angle of the wishbone and tension in the foot. On a full battened square head, there is very little tension in the foot of a well set sail, requiring a wishbone terminating at perhaps two-thirds hoist or higher. Compounding this, a large una cat rig wants very little twist in the sail. We are used to seeing mains with 20, 30, even 40 degrees of twist set in them, particularly on the now popular fractional rigs. This is mostly due to the disturbance of the jib. Small una rigs on dinghies are also run with some twist - they operate low down in the flow field where the speed gradient is steep resulting in twisted flow. A large una rig operates higher up, the gradient is modest, and by itself only argues for around 3 degrees of washout in the airfoil. A pointy sail will want more, due to its poor spanwise lift distribution. On 'Anomaly' I try to run as little twist as I can, only in very light conditions do the telltales argue for more twist than the minimum possible. Accurate numbers are very difficult to come by, but I believe 'Anomaly' sails upwind at about 28 degrees apparent, this opens to 31-32 degrees in heavy conditions, mostly due to the sea state. And 'Anomaly' is not a hull optimized for close hauled sailing by any means. Numbers are from instruments and GPS tracks. I don't think she would do better as a sloop. I wish I had the time and money to do two boat testing and find out!

 

Sorry to be so long winded. Though I live in the Bay Area, 'Anomaly' is currently in Maine. If you are back there this year you are welcome aboard anytime. We will be heading from Maine to the Chesapeake this season.

 

This is a very difficult picture to get, and suffers from wide angle distortion. Yeah, I need more batten tension.

 

Windandwing.jpg

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B.V.

That's a cool looking yacht you're wearing these days. I gotta ask what kind of cruising 65 footer has a 94' mainsail luff? Sounds like a handfull, as you say.

 

Thx, current boat is a looker but not really a "cruising" boat. The 65' boat was Saga, a Tom Wylie design from '82. I made a mistake, the masthead was 94' from the water, luff was about 84' long, sorry about that. She's now called Sequoia, has had her mizzen removed (a big improvement), and is doing her 5th (I think) circumnavigation with her fourth family. Tom designed what I think is the best family cruising boat ever for that size. Centerboard in a sub keel - draft 6' board up 14'9" board down. 18' beam with a very powerful hull form, heaps of stability, 70,000 pound disp. Big, probably TOO BIG, mainmast - which is why we never ever bothered to set the mizzen. Given that "Gentlemen do not sail to windward" while cruising, we used that big rig with the masthead spinnaker to make great time while hauling a massive amount of people and gear.

 

Too big a boat for me now, at 59, to single-hand. I sailed her from SF to New Zealand over 4 years when I was in my late 30s with my x-wife and two little kids. Love that boat! The kids still think of it as home. Ball Room dancing on the foredeck shown below.

 

BV

 

5419670044_5711d319a8_z.jpg

Dancing on Deck by bvrolyk, on Flickr

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A una rig will present all of its working sail area in the most efficient possible manner on any point of sail. A sloop can do this only on two points of sail: close hauled, when it becomes a single slotted airfoil; and DDW running wing and wing with the jib poled out.

 

But the sloop is the worst of the lot: the foresail is generally much closer to the backsail (at least at the tip), it has no spar to keep it in a proper shape resulting in over camber and additional interference with the backsail, it has an extremely inefficient pointed tip shape. Close hauled the sloop can be more efficient because it becomes a single slotted airfoil while the schooner remains a tandem wing, but at AWA greater than about 50-60 degrees it becomes a liability in most respects. I suggest your experience against split rigs on the water may have a lot to do with their execution rather than the concept. There are virtually no modern schooners or yawls (modern rig and hull design) and very few modern ketches.

 

 

 

DDW.

 

Help me with this . . . if sloops are so inefficient, and unirigs and cat ketch/schooners so efficient, why are (essentially) all the Bermuda race boats, (essentially) all the Vendee globe boats, etc all sloops? MCIV was a ketch because they had a waterline length design target but wanted to use standard off the shelf winches and a sloop would have required bigger completely custom winches. The few exceptions have done poorly (except for the brief time when IOR gave ketches free sail area in the whitbread).

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I was looking through the newest issue of Woodenboat which came yesterday, and there a lot of interesting schooner info scattered through it, including in a book review by John Rousmaniere. The item I found most interesting was a photo of a William Hand-designed schooner. Apparently she has a reputation for being close-winded (for a schooner). In the picture, she is sailing cracked off just a bit, with a genoa on the forestay, a main staysail as leading edge slat for the main, and the main. I didn't note a foresail.

 

So the way to make a schooner point is to have a jib in the bow and a sloop in the stern, separated as far as possible.

 

Rousmaniere reported that NG Herreshoff hated the schooner rig, and there are few NG Herreshoff schooners. Phil Bolger's take on schooners with big mains and small foresails was that they would be improved by being re-rigged as cutters. Indeed, if you look at some examples like Nina, the line from maintop to foretop to bowsprit is nearly straight; she looks a lot like a cutter with just a little extra support for the forestay. Here is a picture of model:

 

Nina.jpg

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Staysail schooner. Sometimes seen with either fishermen's staysails or gollywobblers,

 

FishermanShearwater.JPG

 

04Portreach.jpg

 

The next (or previous?) step is the wishbone schooner.

 

Mandarine_600.jpg

 

And then there's the topsail schooner - with one/two square topsails on the foremast.

 

303trvlpride.jpg

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1993, 1995, 1997, 1999 - Frog Kiss (Freedom 44) First in class Bermuda 1/2 Overall.

1989, 1991 - Frog Kiss Second in class Bermuda 1/2 Overall.

 

Garry Hoyt won the 1977 Rolex Cup in Freedom 40 #1.

 

Just because something is ubiquitous doesn't necessarily mean it's the best design. I think the internal combustion gasoline engine is a perfect example of ubiquitous inefficiency.

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All,

 

As a DSL - Devoted Schooner Lover - I adore the look of the schooner rig and I really REALLY enjoy sailing a multiple masted gaff headed schooner with real topsails that I get to go aloft to set. It comes from having grown up aboard this little cutter, Sol Staala, and having fallen in love with the task of sailing her. It certainly wasn't her performance, as she rarely achieved anything greater than 4 knots and made what you all refer to as a 4ksh look like it sails at warp speed.

 

5419066415_f5b0677ba9.jpg

Sol Straale entering Santa Barbara by bvrolyk, on Flickr

 

Indeed, during college I had the wonderful good fortune of being part of the team that drove the Alden two masted gaff topsail schooner "Salee" in Los Angeles. She was 86' on deck and sported a real bowsprit that could pucker up even the best bowman as she drove it entirely through the waves going upwind on our way to San Francisco. Salee was a slightly larger version of Lord Jim, pictured here:

 

5427933717_c667ff0417.jpg

Lord Jim by bvrolyk, on Flickr

 

Having made all those disclaimers, I have to say that while I love schooners they won't ever be the performance winner. There are a lot of aerodynamic reasons for this, and schooners will really surprise folks on a reach (remember when Goodwill was leading the Transpac long into the time when the sloops and yawls should have passed her and they only caught her in the last few days?), but it's pretty clear that even without any encouragement from any rating rule whatsoever multi-masted boats get beaten by single masted boats. I'm no aircraft designer, but I'm guessing this is analogous to why there aren't many tri-planes and bi-planes flying around anymore and none that I know of in commercial or performance oriented activities, except as a novelty.

 

So, why do we love schooners so much? They are beautiful, without a doubt. There is something about all those voluptuous parallel curves that really gets the heart beating. But I think there's another factor that many who haven't sailed schooners long distances don't get. The New England fishing schooners needed to be fast to allow them to race back home with their catch, but that was clearly a secondary design goal far behind two others. First, the Banks Schooners fished in shallow gale wracked waters year around. They needed to keep at sea in truly terrible weather, so the rig was set up to allow the crew to survive and things like topmasts that could be sent down to the deck in the foul weather season were common. Second, the Banks Schooner needed to be sailed by only one or two people (typically the ship's cook and a boy) while all the rest of the crew were in dories fishing. We yachtsmen forget that the Banks Schooner was commercial platform, not a recreational design, and that having a boat that one old guy and one young guy could sail freed the skipper and crew to fish - which is why they were out there to begin with. Based on this latter requirement, it's pretty clear why the mainsail is really enormous on a Banks Schooner and the foresail is right where it needs to be to allow the boat to be sailed around slowly on only her fore. I'm guessing that the crew only put up the main when they were going someplace far away and wanted to go fast. Most of its life I'd suggest the main was left in the gallows.

 

Years ago, after having read most of what is in that last paragraph, I took Salee out and sailed her around by myself on only her foresail. It was astounding. Over the course of a day I sailed from Los Angeles to Long Beach and back up to Point Fermin. I went up wind and down, reached and stopped, put her in irons and backed her out. She was astoundingly well mannered. Prior to that experience, when I was about 20, I would have never believed that one person could sail a boat that was 86' on deck, probably about 100' over all with main boom and bowsprit, over 20' wide and extraordinarily heavy. Yet, it was actually quite easy.

 

I think when we discuss sailing we tend to get our panties in a bunch about performance measured in speed through the water, VMG, or miles-per-day. I would respectfully suggest that especially here on Cruising Anarchy we think about measuring performance in a different way. How about:


  •  
  • Happy-girl-friend-hours
  • Repeat-sailing-dates
  • Smiles-per-hour from beautiful women

 

After my test sail on Salee with only the foresail up I took her out regularly with my various girlfriends and using the measurements of performance I just suggested, Salee was the all time best performing boat I've ever sailed aboard.

 

Best,

 

Beau

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Maybe we need a standard here for what "hard on the wind" means in terms of AWA.

I've sailed staysail schooners, Ok one staysail schooner and I found it to be less than close winded and not the most efficeint rig. But I should not generalize.

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I would love to see big spinnakers on cat boats, but I haven't come across any. Perhaps you can guide me to some.

 

Ask and ye shall receive. My friend Don had to ruin my "Jib Trimmer" joke by making a few for his Sun Cat. This is the little spin. He was behind me when he set it...

 

jibworking-lg.jpg

 

 

I LOVE IT!! This looks like a lot of fun!

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I have to say that while I love schooners they won't ever be the performance winner.

 

The schooner Atlantic held the monohull Transatlantic record at 12days 4 hours. It set the record in 1905 and it wasn't broken for monohulls until 2002.

 

The schooner Brilliant crossed the atlantic in just over 15 days, which was a record for a vessel her size. she did it in 1932 and that record held for decades.

 

A sparhawk 36 won the newport-ensenada race back in the 80s

 

In 1999 Wobegon Daze, a Freedom 38 cat ketch was second in the Marblehead-Halifax - the very first time they entered the race.

 

There is no doubt that some vessels perform upwind better than ketches and schooners - no doubt at all. but that's not the only measure of performance.

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DDW - WOW, this has now exceeded my ability to "format" my reply with all the nice quote offsets etc... I will just put my responses in Italics and underline them. I'm not yelling, just haven't got an editor that allows a response to something this complex. Beau

 

 

I completely agree with the difficulty of using a single sail boat, regardless of the type of rig. It is really nearly impossible to sail a cat boat well in a crowded harbor, although some can do it. It is downright dangerous in a heavy sea when one must reef. I think the problem is basically solved once there are two sails, regardless of the rig type.

 

Actually I don't find a cat to be that difficult in a crowded harbor. You need to maintain steerageway for sure. I once rented a Nonsuch 36 and sailed in off of a crowded mooring field at the head of Soper's Hole in the BVI, had to turn downwind and gybe through the crowd - we had quite an audience before we finished, didn't hit anything!

 

[u BV: ]I am certainly glad you didn't hurt anything. The difficult with a single sailed boat is usually that at extremely slow speeds one can't turn. No headsail to backwind etc.... but if you have the luxury of maintaining speed at all times, then it works fine.[/u]

 

DDW, I have great difficulty believing that: "the number of parts prone to failure that will endanger the rig amounts to none on a cat boat and many dozens on a sloop." Are you seriously saying that there are NO PARTS that can fail and endanger the rig? Or are you simply removing the parts that could fail and cause the rig to crash from the list of those "prone" to fail, assuming them less "prone"? I have helped people bring cat boats home with broken rigs and personally helped clean up the mess. There certain was some sort of part that failed, I'm not sure if it was "prone" to or not, but it sure had hell broke.

 

I have some difficulty with the absolute tone of your paragraph as I have seen literally thousands of sloops sail around all over the world without difficulty and have seen a few dozen cat boats. In terms of the number of sea miles of testing, the sloop clearly has millions more than the cat boats. Do we really know the relative reliability or are you making an estimate? Certainly, there are parts in a sloop that are loaded heavily, are you seriously suggesting that mast partners and step of an unstayed mast are not heavily loaded and stressed? Are you further suggesting that in a rotating unstayed rig there isn't just a little bit of load being applied to those bearings at the mast partners? Further, isn't that load, which represents the entire force of the rig on one bearing at the deck, much more than the force on anything in a sloop?

 

I would suggest you look at the leverage applied on that bearing and let me know what the force is, in your opinion. I would suggest that for a given sail area the unstayed rotating mast may have many wonderful features, but low-loads at the mast partners aren't one of them.

 

I say none of that casually. The stresses fed into the hull of an unstayed and stayed mast are similar to a point. For the same overturning moment, a marconi rig reacts the heeling force between the mast step and the windward cap shroud chainplate - about half the beam. On a free standing rig, the same moment is reacted between the deck partners and the mast step - this is generally the depth of the hull fairbody, and is typically about half the beam. Thus the stresses are roughly the same to the hull, though fed into it differently one is no more difficult than the other. Except that the marconi sloop requires an additional substantial compression load to keep the headstay taught. On my boat we estimate the shear load at the step to be 20,000 lbs at capsize, at the deck partners about 10% more. The heel bearing is an aluminum Heim bearing normally used on the rudder of a 747 (same one used on 'Farfarer' I believe, and on 'Ocean Planet' which has been twice around the world via the Southern Ocean). It is rated for 130,000 lbs radial load in motion, and 300,000 lbs static. I think I am good there. It sits on an axle I made myself, calculated to fail at 300,000 lbs. The deck partners bearing I used is a Jefa self-aligning roller rudder bearing 300 mm diameter rated at 40,500 lbs working load. At 2x load it begins to deform, at 3x load it is permanently damaged. The mast on a marconi rig is an Euler column, and a quite complex one as it can fail in a number of modes. On a cat it is a fairly simple cantilevered beam.

 

When I say endanger the rig, I'm talking overboard, not a gear failure requiring repair or limping home. On my cat, the mast, step, and deck partners are the only components necessary to the integrity of the basic rig. These are quite robust and not prone to failure. On a marconi sloop there is the mast, the upper shroud connection and its clevis & cotter, the shroud itself, generally at least two spreaders and their associated connections, the shroud lower termination, a clevis & cotter, a turnbuckle fork, barrel, and second fork, likely a toggle and clevis, a chainplate and its connections to the hull, and the mast step. Repeat this on at least a headstay and an intermediate shroud. Too be fair, double that because even though only one set is necessary on each tack, the probability of experiencing a failure is doubled with the number of components. A failure in any of these (many of which are in fact "prone to failure") can endanger the rig going over the side. On a freestanding rig, there are literally no components that require periodic inspection or replacement that are involved in holding the rig up. On a marconi sloop there are dozens.

 

BV: DDW, I think you're dissecting the sloop rig into all its component parts and choosing not to dissect the unstayed cat boat rig. To mention cotter and clevis in the sloop is analogous to mentioning the various lock-nuts and retaining rings that the bearings in your mast step bearing and mast partners bearings must have. I would respectfully suggest that unlike a sloop, which can sail along on a jib that requires very little of the mast to be working, in the event that your very impressive bearings were to freeze, you would have tremendous difficulty sailing at all with the boom frozen on one side of the boat. While the various safety loads you've referenced sound fine, I imagine there are similarly impressive safety loads in a sloop's rig. Indeed, on my current boat one can lift three of the boat's weight with a single cap shroud. This is simply proof that the rig design is way over built, not that it's either superior or better in anyway, indeed it is clearly too heavy. My response to your earlier post was when you said that there were exactly NO items that could break. That's so obviously not true it's rather silly. Clearly, despite the safety margins you've quoted, there are parts, they may be mis-manufacturerd (Have you magnifluxed or x-rayed every bearing race, nut, bolt, ball, roller, etc...?) or they could simply corrode. I don't know your boat well enough to be certain which is most probable. But, DDW, there has never been a boat built with out a single part that can fail in the rig and to say so is to leave yourself open to having someone like me point that out.

 

BV: Finally, I would hope that the mast in your boat is weak enough to break above the deck in the event that anything is going to break. Thereby not endangering the watertight hull in a failure, no matter how remote that failure might be.

 

Now, your point about the sloop being brought to a high state of development is a good one, modern cat boats are really just beginning. In fact the only thing that keeps an average sloop together is the acquired knowledge from a long history of failures. An analogy might be the 911 type Porsche - all wrong in concept but brought to such a high state of development that its a pretty good car. In fact any yacht designer or builder can bang together a sloop with a good sense of reliability, stresses, size of components etc., due to the wealth of experience. Not so for a cat, we are still feeling our way. But it is a much simpler engineering problem.

 

I simply can't accept that any multi-mast rig (regardless of cat rig, schooner, ketch, or whatever) which has the exact same sail area will beat a sloop when far off the wind. I have many decades of racing experience in this, and even without colored sails a masthead sloop with a jib on the whisker pole wing-on-wing will simply out run any multi-mast rig. The difficulty of having the forward rig in the lee of the after rig is insurmountable, even when schooners wing-out the fore etc... In all fairness, I have never sailed wing-and-wing on a cat schooner so I'm perfectly willing to accept that it may be different, but I'll really need to be convinced as it goes against so much experience.

 

There is one band, on either side of a beam reach, when a multi-masted rig can have some small advantage due to the Center of Effort being lower for a given sail area. But, this is a narrow range and doesn't always prove out. The better aerodynamics of the leading edge of the large headsail a sloop can set usually overcomes the benefits that the split rig gains from a lower Center of Effort. Indeed, a sloop with a big headsail and a reefed main is very difficult for split rigs to stay with. Clearly, one would have to build identical hulls with two different rigs to really test this, but a lot of experience tells me that there is only a small range of AWAs where the split rig has any chance at all. (This from someone who things that schooners are the most beautiful boats ever designed - I'd personally love it not to be true.)

 

Last week I raced my 24' sloop in a race here in San Francisco and we sailed past a number of 30' cat rigged sloops when hard on the wind in a breeze above 20 knots. It happens all the time. Up wind they are simply not competitive once the wind gets really strong and I'm not sure why. It appears that the unstayed mast isn't stiff enough to maintain adequate leech tension and the cat rigs I'm racing against aren't able to point with a loose leech. They are designed by Tom Wylie, who designed a boat I owned and whom I have tremendous respect for, so I don't fault the designer. But they can't hack it in a blow. Down wind, they are truly hopeless as they can't set a chute.

 

This brings me to my last point. A sailboat has a tremendous need for changes in sail area. We frequently sail down wind with well over two times the sail area that we sail upwind with. To get good performance from the design one really must increase the sail area when heading further from the wind. My experience is that when AWSs get to above 60 deg many boats can support an additional 20% of sail area, when it gets to 90 deg many boats can support an additional 50% and at 170 deg it can support an increase of easily 100%. I have not seen any cat rigged boat, of any configuration, that allows this sort of large increase in sail area. In contrast, I have seen numerous situations where the cat boats I'm acquainted with drop out of races, or if cruising turn on their motors, when faced with light winds that are at a AWA of greater than 150 degrees. This is both bad when racing and a pain when cruising. I would love to see big spinnakers on cat boats, but I haven't come across any. Perhaps you can guide me to some.

 

First of all we must separate una rigs from cat ketches, yawls, schooners, etc., they all behave differently. Second, a sloop is a split rig, downwind.

 

A una rig will present all of its working sail area in the most efficient possible manner on any point of sail. A sloop can do this only on two points of sail: close hauled, when it becomes a single slotted airfoil; and DDW running wing and wing with the jib poled out. On any other point of sail the area is inefficiently used: it is a biplane rig with little control over the jib shape which is generally blanked by, or backwinding the main. How many time have you seen the casual cruiser with his jib rolled up when off the wind because it cannot be kept full? Now a cat ketch or schooner is also a split rig and shares some of those problems. However extra crew work is not necessary to pole out the foresail (except perhaps, for Farfarer!). These are the reasons I designed my rig as a yawl: the mizzen was made the minimum size needed to overcome the objections (upon which we agree) of a single sail, but most of the sail area is in the main and is not blanketed or backwinded by another sail. The small mizzen is stepped 34' away from the main. The main can be trimmed on its rotating mast from 0 to about 150 degrees on either tack. It is effectively vanged by the 13000 lb pusher hydraulics, no matter what the trim. It is always operated just as it would be in the upwind condition (and in fact trimmed that way to the Windex, which is atop the rotating mast), until an AWA exceeding 130 deg or so.This sail is kept in its ideal shape and presented to the wind in the most efficient possible way on any point of sail - there is no other soft rig that will do that. Sloops do not pass me off the wind unless they are flying colored sails and I am not.

 

BV: Here we have a number of points of disagreement.

 

BV: First, there is no time when a well-sailed sloop sails dead down wind, it's simply not the fastest or best way to get directly to leeward. This would be even more true of your mono-sailed rig. As you clearly know, when a sail doesn't have flow across it then it will generate far less power than when it does. This is equally true for all sails, white colored or anything in between. So, saying that a sloop is "most efficient" when sailing DDW is simply wrong; provably so.

 

BV: Second, I don't know what sort of sloops you sail upon but I can control the leach and foot tension of my jib just fine, I can move the sheet boat inboard and outboard, indeed it is frequently far easier to get a "good" shape out of the headsail than it is out of the main. I do agree that a lousy sailor will have trouble getting his jib full, primarily because he's either too lazy to set the pole or his doesn't have a clue about reaching up to improve his VMG, but to say there is something wrong with the rig because a lousy sailor can't sail it doesn't make any sense. It would be like saying a F-15 is a lousy aircraft because I don't know how to fly it properly. The two issues are utterly independent.

 

BV: Third, I would respectfully suggest that you have a look at the research surrounding wind sheer and velocity changes with altitude. I think you'll be surprised at how large a change in wind direction there is between sea level and 50 feet above sea level. Moreover, the direction change is not symmetrical and depends upon the wind direction. What this means is that your sails, mono-rig or sloop, must have twist in them to allow them to set correctly. This is well documented from the research that the wing sail guys have been doing and I was stunned to find that at 100' above sea level they were getting direction changes of up to 15 degrees in 10 knots of wind. While it was less sheer at higher wind velocities, it was always more than 5 degrees. In addition, if you have a sail that is a wing with the same angle of attack to the wind at all heights the boat becomes extremely difficult to sail well. Even the very best America's Cup and Olympic sailors put a twist into their sails to broaden the "groove" that the boat will sail in. It is certainly theoretically possible to set the sail at all altitudes to the exact correct wind angle, but as Mr. Spithill will attest that makes the boat a dog to sail. It will be blindingly fast about five or ten precent of the time and quite slow the rest of the time as the helmsman hunts up and down for the "groove". It is much much better to twist the sail and have some of the sail set to work at lower AWA and some at higher AWA than the target grove. As a result, you really need to let your sails twist for both of these reasons.

 

BV: This is in stark contrast to an airplane wing which doesn't have different AWA at different parts of the wing, at least I don't think it does.

 

BV: Finally, when you say that "sloops do not pass me off the wind" again you've made an absolute blanket statement that I'm pretty certain you didn't wish to make. Clearly, if a sloop like a 136'+ J Class sloop or something like the racing sloop "Speedboat" were to sail by you, it would pass you easily. I think what you really meant to say is that sloops of similar sizes and sail areas don't pass you, a reasonable and perhaps defensible claim. However, even that claim is awfully hard to substantiate. Let me give you a piece of data you might find useful. In one-design racing of identical 24' sloops we frequently see differences of performance in identical conditions with nearly identical equipment of up to 15 and even 20 percent between the best and the worst boats. This is entirely due to the skill of the sailors. In this example, almost all the characteristics of the boats have been eliminated as variables. What this illustrates is that one really can't take allegorical comments as definitive of anything when it comes to boat performance unless a lot of the variables have been eliminated. You may be passing these sloops simply because they are drinking or singing to their girlfriends, we have no idea. This isn't a new thing. The great Charley Barr, of America's Cup and Schooner Atlantic fame, was once told what a great sailor he was. He is reported to have responded: "Yes, I'm a great sailor, and what I'm best at is picking the fastest boat."

 

Now turn our attention to split rigs: cat ketches, cat schooners, and sloops. Each has a foresail and a backsail. In each case the sails interact, once well off the wind the foresail backwinds the backsail and the backsail blankets the foresail to some extent, until near DDW when each can be sailed wing-and-wing. But the sloop is the worst of the lot: the foresail is generally much closer to the backsail (at least at the tip), it has no spar to keep it in a proper shape resulting in over camber and additional interference with the backsail, it has an extremely inefficient pointed tip shape. Close hauled the sloop can be more efficient because it becomes a single slotted airfoil while the schooner remains a tandem wing, but at AWA greater than about 50-60 degrees it becomes a liability in most respects. I suggest your experience against split rigs on the water may have a lot to do with their execution rather than the concept. There are virtually no modern schooners or yawls (modern rig and hull design) and very few modern ketches. Would you care to take on the 'Mari Cha IV' with your sloop?

 

BV: DDW, I've actually sailed again MC IV. She's a lovely boat. But she's not a split rig because it was the fastest rig. She's a split rig because to make a boat of that size a sloop would mean it would be unable to do a number of important things. For example, it wouldn't fit under the bridge that spans the Panama Canal, it wouldn't fit into San Francisco (GG Bridge has 205' of clearance), and a number of other places. Boats are designed for a lot of different reasons and performance is only one of them. MC IV goes pretty well on a reach, but even there she is frequently bested by any number of sloops. You've chosen a poor example. The split rigs of the Whitbread era were actually better sailing boats, IMHO. However, they only existed because of a flaw in the rating rule. Once the flaw was removed, the split rigs were all gone.

 

The deficit of a sloop downwind is the reason spinnakers were developed. I will start by saying that it has been experimentally proven (on Nonsuches) that a spinnaker of equal size to the mainsail of a una rig is slower downwind, i.e., given a choice of flying the main or a spinnaker, the main is faster. On my 'Anomaly' the upwind working sail is main + mizzen, 960 + 215 = 1175 ft^2. Downwind, we can carry an asymmetric on a carbon sprit pole of 1057 ft^2, and a mizzen staysail of 280 ft^2 for an additional 1337 ft^2. That is a 114% increase in sail area to 2512 ft^2. To be sure, a lot of it is interfering with each other to some extent, no different than a sloop; and flying it all at once is as much (or more) work than a sloop. One big difference is that on a sloop, you find yourself wanting the spinnaker frequently, because the jib is such a useless sail off the wind; further on a marconi sloop you cannot easy the main far enough for proper trim because the standing rigging interferes. You find yourself wanting the spinnaker far less frequently on the cat boat, because the rig is still quite efficient downwind by comparison. Parenthetically, a cat rig should be designed with a bit more sail area than a sloop. It will not develop quite as high a max lift coefficient upwind, large headsails aren't an option, and you want the sail area downwind. This had been overlooked on some of the popular designs.

 

BV: If the Nonsuch data is that a solitary main runs dead down wind faster than a solitary spinnaker, I'm not surprised at all by that result. It proves nothing other than that a flatter sail that can maintain attached air flow will provide more power than a large ballon shaped sail which can only maintain attached airflow if extremely well trimmed, something that is almost impossible to accomplish when sailing DDW. If the two sails are of identical sail area, then it's pretty easy to understand that a sail which is held out flat will have more projected area than one that is in a big curve. But, again, this isn't really relevant to much of anything. As I said above, sailing DDW is no where near the fastest VMG down wind and there really isn't any point in having a discussion about poor performance when someone is sailing their boat badly. There are heaps of ways to go slowly, only a few ways to go fast.

 

BV: Your comment about not being able to ease the main on a sloop has nothing to do with it being a sloop, it has to do with where the designer has placed the shrouds. There are plenty of sloops with shrouds that are at 90 deg to the centerline of the boat, and the boom can be eased to 90 deg. As I've said previously, no competent sailor ever has this problem with a modern boat because the fastest VMG is to reach up a bit and sail at a AWA of about 150 or even 140 degrees. At those angles, there isn't an issue with easing the boom, the main is no where near the shrouds.

 

BV: DDW, you frequently claim that a Cat Rig is more efficient, you have at the end of the paragraph above. I disagree with this for one very simple reason. Unless the leading edge of the sail is fared into the mast, any sail that is hung from a mast is much less efficient than one that is hung from a head-foil. As I'm sure you know, the issue is attached air flow across the sail and a mast causes a tremendous amount of disturbance in that airflow. There is plenty of wind tunnel data to show that a headsail that is flown from a aerodynamic foil is much more efficient than any sail flown from a mast. This can be ameliorated by having the mast wrapped in some sort of fairing which allows the trailing edge of the mast to merge gently into the wing shape of the sail. But I have never seen any cruising boat, and very few boats period, that are willing to go to the expense and bother of this for the increase in efficiency. As a result, I am simply not buying your statement that the Cat boat is more efficient. The clean leading edge of the sloop's headsail makes it much more efficient anytime there is air flow across the sail - which is all the time if a competent sailor is sailing the boat. This is the single biggest reason that Olympic laser sailors sail their boats down wind bye the lee. The leach of the laser sail allows the wind to stay attached to the sail when that wind is flowing backwards across the sail. If they sail identical AWAs with the air flowing from the mast to the leach they will be many percentages slower on a down wind leg. That said, they still do not sail DDW but heat it up to about a 170 or 165 degree AWA even bye the lee.

 

Finally, regarding upwind in strong conditions: Tom Wylie and Mark Ellis are both believers in the idea that a flexible mast tip on a cat rig is good because it allows the leech to sag off in puffs which "depowers" the rig to keep the boat on its feet. I do not subscribe to this theory and would prefer the mast to be infinitely stiff laterally and very stiff longitudinally. What happens is, the mast flexes aft and to leeward, both increase the washout (twist) in the airfoil which reduces lift and increases drag. Reduced lift and increased drag translates directly to increased AWA or reduced pointing ability. Wishbone designs like the Nonsuch and Wyliecat do not have an independent leech tension control, depending on the angle of the wishbone and tension in the foot. On a full battened square head, there is very little tension in the foot of a well set sail, requiring a wishbone terminating at perhaps two-thirds hoist or higher. Compounding this, a large una cat rig wants very little twist in the sail. We are used to seeing mains with 20, 30, even 40 degrees of twist set in them, particularly on the now popular fractional rigs. This is mostly due to the disturbance of the jib. Small una rigs on dinghies are also run with some twist - they operate low down in the flow field where the speed gradient is steep resulting in twisted flow. A large una rig operates higher up, the gradient is modest, and by itself only argues for around 3 degrees of washout in the airfoil. A pointy sail will want more, due to its poor spanwise lift distribution. On 'Anomaly' I try to run as little twist as I can, only in very light conditions do the telltales argue for more twist than the minimum possible. Accurate numbers are very difficult to come by, but I believe 'Anomaly' sails upwind at about 28 degrees apparent, this opens to 31-32 degrees in heavy conditions, mostly due to the sea state. And 'Anomaly' is not a hull optimized for close hauled sailing by any means. Numbers are from instruments and GPS tracks. I don't think she would do better as a sloop. I wish I had the time and money to do two boat testing and find out!

 

BV: I think there is an entirely different reason that Tom Wylie wants the tip to flex. It certainly does de-power the rig and let the boat stand up to a puff better. But the reason that is so important is because the cost of heeling is extremely high with modern efficient keel and rudder foils. Tom is making an explicit choice to give the boat a wider grove, which I discussed above, and a key component of the "groove" is the effect of the keel. Tom knows full well that a great sailor - Paul Cayard for example - can sail for hours in an extremely narrow grove. Yet, when Tom designed a new keel for a friend of mine's boat he intentionally changed the keel foil section to a fatter one to allow my friend, who is no great sailor, to stay in the grove more of the time. I race on boats with extremely stiff sails, narrow groves, that point like crazy and those boats need a great sailor to steer them. When you put a normal person on the help the boat stops. What I believe Tom is doing is providing a bit of automatic leech tension reduction which is identical to what someone would do by either pulling in the backstay or easing the main sheet in a puff. Because the vast majority of sailors don't use their control lines near enough on a sloop, Tom has chosen to make it automatic for them. To provide a reference point, on a "real" racing boat there is someone on the running backstay and main sheet adjusting the leech tension and draft of the sail constantly. That is not a bad thing, it is one of the primary reasons that racing sloops are so fast. They are able to dynamically change the shape of the wing as the wind changes direction and velocity, and as the sea stated affects the boat. Consider a puff which increases velocity from 20 to 25 knots (typical on SF Bay) which is a 25% increase in wind speed. This puff will move the AWA aft immediately by a number of degrees depending upon how fast the boat is moving. The key question is how does the boat/crew respond to the new wind direction and velocity On one of Tom's boats the tip flexes and the leech opens, the boat heels less than a stiff rig and keeps moving forward. On a race boat, like a TP-52, the backstay is tightened, the leeches of the main and jib are eased open with the sheets just a bit and the boat is kept on her feet and keeps moving. In both cases the helmsman turns slightly upwind to accommodate the change in AWA and as they do so the Wylie boat's mast tip straightens up and the TP-52 crew ease the backstay and bring the jib and main sheets in. This is repeated for every puff and the opposite is done in the lulls. Why? Because it is far faster to adjust the sails than it is to turn the boat. While no cruiser in his right mind would bother with this - every race boat does. What the flexible mast does is a poor man's automatic substitute for what a big crew does on a racing boat.

 

Sorry to be so long winded. Though I live in the Bay Area, 'Anomaly' is currently in Maine. If you are back there this year you are welcome aboard anytime. We will be heading from Maine to the Chesapeake this season.

 

BV: Nice looking rig. Can you let the vang off fast if you get hit by a big puff or do you have to rely on easing the sheet to keep from being bowled over??

 

This is a very difficult picture to get, and suffers from wide angle distortion. Yeah, I need more batten tension.

 

Windandwing.jpg

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I have to say that while I love schooners they won't ever be the performance winner.

 

The schooner Atlantic held the monohull Transatlantic record at 12days 4 hours. It set the record in 1905 and it wasn't broken for monohulls until 2002.

 

The schooner Brilliant crossed the atlantic in just over 15 days, which was a record for a vessel her size. she did it in 1932 and that record held for decades.

 

A sparhawk 36 won the newport-ensenada race back in the 80s

 

In 1999 Wobegon Daze, a Freedom 38 cat ketch was second in the Marblehead-Halifax - the very first time they entered the race.

 

There is no doubt that some vessels perform upwind better than ketches and schooners - no doubt at all. but that's not the only measure of performance.

 

Ryley,

 

I agree that there are plenty of measure's of performance. Have a look at my earlier post about Smile-Per-Mile.

 

The Atlantic is probably my favorite Schooner of all time. But, you really do need to separate handicap racing like the Marbelhead-Halifax and the Newport-Ensenada (in which split rigs are frequently given an overly generous hand by the rating authority) from real boat-for-boat racing. With respect to the record the Atlantic set I think you'll discover that the primary factor in setting a transatlantic race record is weather window. Had the Atlantic left a week later or a week earlier, she wouldn't have set a record at all. That said, in her day a schooner was about the fastest thing you could build with that much waterline length. Can you imagine a 245' sloop! The mast would be 300' tall at least. The breakthrough really came when smaller boats started to plane. Now that they do, it's common for small boats, like a 70' Volvo Ocean Race sloop, to set the 24 hour monohull record run (which was on a reach bye the way). No multi spared boat is close, even MC IV which is massively larger.

 

Planing changes everything and to plane you need light weight and a lot of righting moment. Once you try to build a light boat with more than one mast... you discover why sloops are so fast.

 

BV

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DDW.

 

Help me with this . . . if sloops are so inefficient, and unirigs and cat ketch/schooners so efficient, why are (essentially) all the Bermuda race boats, (essentially) all the Vendee globe boats, etc all sloops? MCIV was a ketch because they had a waterline length design target but wanted to use standard off the shelf winches and a sloop would have required bigger completely custom winches. The few exceptions have done poorly (except for the brief time when IOR gave ketches free sail area in the whitbread).

I don't know. But I will speculate anyway :D

 

First of all I think a lot of races are won on the upwind legs. A single airfoil is going to be more efficient upwind. A una rig or sloop is a single airfoil rig upwind. There is simply no doubt that, when all other considerations are dropped aside, the una rig (and not the sloop) is best for a fixed sail area on a windward leeward course. This has been proven in development classes conclusively.

 

In ocean racing classes, there are many considerations, starting with handicap rules, which tend strongly to type-form boats. Surely you remember when the CCA rule type formed yawls. As an example, IMOCA 60 rule requires a storm jib - unusual equipment on a cat. Another consideration is size: the efficient una rig is practical only up to 50 or 60 feet, then you need two or more sails with current materials and sail handling techniques, a sloop allows you to configure those best for upwind work. A third issue is the risk: it is very difficult to raise the huge amount of money required to build campaign these boats, very likely impossible to do so for an experiment. Fourth is the availability of suitable equipment - off the shelf for a sloop, I had to custom build much of the hardware for my boat (in which there is both expense and risk). The Vendee globe boats are subject to all of those constraints. The few exceptions in RTW boats (Project Amazon, and perhaps Ocean Planet could be included, are the only ones I can think of) were very poorly funded, homebuilt experiments competing against 100 years of development and big buck corporate sponsorship.

 

In less cash demanding racing, as enumerated by Riley, cat ketches/schooners are not unheard of. And that is by designs quite aged compared to the state of the art. Also, I believe the French biplane catamaran (name escapes me at this moment) recently owned both the crewed and single handed 24 hour run records. This could be described as a split una rig. That cannot be described as slow.

 

But the thread started with cruising boats. Speed for a cruising boat is a very different thing than a racing boat. A French IMOCA skipper is expected to experience purgatory to flog his sloop around the world. Setting an inventory of difficult to deal with headsails in all weather in order to band aid the inherent deficiencies of the rig is a day at the office. But on a cruising boat constraints are substantially different. Area is not handicapped except by the wallet and the ability to handle it. The sailplan of a cat rig can be substantially larger for the same expense and handling ease. Speed to windward, while still important, becomes less so. The willingness of most cruising skippers to deal with specialized downwind sails is far less than the average French single handed round the world race skipper. Speed in a cruising context might better be characterized as knots/Kcal crew effort expended. And that not just in sailing, but maintaining the rig and sails. Let us say cruising can be approximated by an equilateral triangle with one windward leg. With no colored sails I think my cat rig will get around that course faster than your sloop. With colored sails the winner will depend primarily on how crazy the colored sails are on each boat. If you fly the spinnaker and I don't, you may win if the wind speed is off. But I will be drinking and making sandwiches or reading the whole time, and you will be scrambling and cranking winches.

 

The only way this will be settled is to do two boat testing with various rigs. That is expensive and not likely to occur. And even then the arguments would continue, depending on the rules applied to the tests. In the only such test I have seen, (Colin Palmer's, mentioned before) identical catamaran hulls were fitted with conservative cruising type rigs of identical area and sailed against each other. The results, while not directly applicable to the question at hand, should give anyone pause to wonder what else we don't know, due to conventional thinking. The Bermudian sloop came in third, behind both the gaff and the sprit rig, and the difference (about 30% VMG) was most noticeable upwind. Would you have predicted that result?

 

Evans, aren't you stuck on the East Coast somewhere? Maybe this summer I should try to collect you for a demonstration sail. I doubt it will turn you into a convert, but it might surprise you at least a little.

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1993, 1995, 1997, 1999 - Frog Kiss (Freedom 44) First in class Bermuda 1/2 Overall, 1989, 1991 - Frog Kiss Second in class Bermuda 1/2 Overall.

 

Frog's success was primarily due to her skipper(s) - just superb offshore sailor(s), The 1-2 was also a 'friendly' race in most of these years without the sort of more intense competition in the CCA race or the more recent 1-2's. I also acknowledge that a cat ketch with unstayed masts may be easy to sail and thus less effort to sail at 80% of potential in a 'friendly' single/short handed race.

Garry Hoyt won the 1977 Rolex Cup in Freedom 40 #1.

 

Hmmm . . .he won the cruising class of the Rolex. So you have a Sunfish World Champ and a Finn Olympian racing a bunch of cruisers, he could probably have won sailing a bath tub.

 

I will for sure acknowledge that a schooner with a skipper twice as good as the rest of the fleet could/can win against sloops. I will also grant that with a correct weather/current routing call a schooner can beat sloops. But neither of those really reflect on the merits of the rig.

 

 

The schooner Atlantic held the monohull Transatlantic record at 12days 4 hours. It set the record in 1905 and it wasn't broken for monohulls until 2002.

 

Hmmm . . . there are a lot of 'politics' about that record . . . Eric Tabarly on Paul Richard 1980 10d 5h, Marc Pajot Elf Aquitaine 1981 9d 10h, if you insist on a monohull . . . Switzerland's Bernard Stamm on Armor-Lux, stood 8 d, 20h, 2001 (single handed and only 60' long!)

 

 

Why have we not seen a winning schooner in the vendee - it's a box rule - should be favorable to the most efficient rig and its a reaching/running course (not upwind). Lots of money and history of innovation and incentive to win there.

 

I would love to go sailing with you. I happen to like split rigs for offshore. I was only arguing against the notion they they are most effectient or fastest. I think if you are trying to get from point a to point b they are unlikely to be fastest, unless you are sailing the sloop in a lazy way. They might well be easer to sail, that is why ketches were so common in the old sail fishing fleet.

 

I may not be 'stuck' on the east coast any more. Finished up my work 2 weeks ago. Now getting the boat ready. Beth has signed us up for a newfoundland cruise this summer.

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has anybody here sailed on a cherubini 48 schooner http://www.yachtworl...biniyachts.com/

any expriences would be appreciated

 

Yes, in light winds in Maine about a decade ago. Easy boat to sail, as this one had roller-everything. Seemed a little underpowered, but it was only blowing 6 so almost everything (thank god) feels underpowered in 6. Interior was lovely!! There are two interior configurations that I've seen. One has a long truck cabin that runs full length of the boat's mid-ships. The other has a low traditional bridge deck (I think) which was awkward below, but very cool and original looking on deck.

 

Keel is long and shallow. I wouldn't want to go north upwind from San Francisco to Seattle in that boat, but she'd be wonderful for a nice reach to Hawaii or out to Bermuda.

 

I chatted with a pro who was taking care of a navy blue one in S. Carolina about 7 years ago, he warned against the boats with gen sets as there really isn't enough room to work around them and the main engine. He thinks a big-ass alternator on the main engine and chuck the gen set is the best idea.

 

The people I talk to who own 'em love 'em.

 

BV

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They might well be easer to sail, that is why ketches were so common in the old sail fishing fleet.

 

I read an interesting comment by New Zealand small boat designer John Welsford. He said that the schooner rig was popular on the east coast of the US (especial Maine) because there was a lot of reaching, but in NZ, they had a straight beat one way and ketches were more popular.

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Beau, you are unusually well informed (for a sloop sailor :D ). Which makes for a lively debate. I take issue with the points below. As to the others, you may assume "Qui tacet, consentit" as the ancient Romans would say (or a modern lawyer).

 

 

BV: DDW, I think you're dissecting the sloop rig into all its component parts and choosing not to dissect the unstayed cat boat rig. To mention cotter and clevis in the sloop is analogous to mentioning the various lock-nuts and retaining rings that the bearings in your mast step bearing and mast partners bearings must have. .... My response to your earlier post was when you said that there were exactly NO items that could break. That's so obviously not true it's rather silly. Clearly, despite the safety margins you've quoted, there are parts, they may be mis-manufacturerd (Have you magnifluxed or x-rayed every bearing race, nut, bolt, ball, roller, etc...?) or they could simply corrode.

I did not say "no" components could break. I said there were no components prone to failure. There are no bolts, lock nuts, retaining rings, etc in the mainmast on my boat necessary to keep the rig up. There are such things to be sure, but they are redundant to the integrity of the rig. In fact when we step the mast, it is dropped in place by the crane and we motor away from the dock without fastening a thing. The deck bearing is bonded into the deck. If it turned to powder, the mast would still stand in the surrounding carbon fiber molding. The heel bearing is trapped by, and bonded into the mast molding. It drops onto an axle turned on an aluminum pedestal, which in turn drops into a tapered hole in the keelson. Again, if the bearing turned to dust, the mast would still stand (though the wobble would now be a little scary....)

 

BV: Finally, I would hope that the mast in your boat is weak enough to break above the deck in the event that anything is going to break. Thereby not endangering the watertight hull in a failure, no matter how remote that failure might be.

 

I certainly agree there. One of the foremost specifications in the mast tube was that it break above the deck. Otherwise it would open the bow like a can opener, not a pretty situation. I'm hoping it won't break. The record of the manufacturer is almost perfect :unsure: .

 

I simply can't accept that any multi-mast rig (regardless of cat rig, schooner, ketch, or whatever) which has the exact same sail area will beat a sloop when far off the wind. I have many decades of racing experience in this, and even without colored sails a masthead sloop with a jib on the whisker pole wing-on-wing will simply out run any multi-mast rig. The difficulty of having the forward rig in the lee of the after rig is insurmountable, even when schooners wing-out the fore etc... In all fairness, I have never sailed wing-and-wing on a cat schooner so I'm perfectly willing to accept that it may be different, but I'll really need to be convinced as it goes against so much experience.

 

I haven't sailed a cat schooner wing on wing either. But I am told your suggestion of trim is wrong: the foresail should not be in the lee of the backsail. You wouldn't sail a sloop wing and wing that way. You should head up slightly so that the foresail is by the lee. This would be a good time to mention that my beliefs on performance do not necessarily encompass a traditional schooner. Carbon spars and unstayed rigs is what has made the una, or cat two master much better that in the past, and able to compete - in my opinion - with a sloop. A traditional schooner will have difficulty broad off the wind due to interference with standing rigging. DDW sailing is mainly a matter of how much sail projected area can be presented vs. how much drag the hull has. A sloop with a poled out jib and a cat schooner are aerodynamically very similar. The advantage should go to the (modern) cat schooner, because the foresail need not be pointy tipped as it is on the jib. A much more interesting case is broad reaching. Both the sloop and the schooner will have interference to some extent, but the sails will have a better shape on the schooner. You cannot compare a traditional schooner in this context - it may have 3, 4, or even 5 sails in line, most of them poorly shaped.

 

 

Oppps... ran out of my allotted number of quotes....

 

BV: Here we have a number of points of disagreement.

 

BV: First, there is no time when a well-sailed sloop sails dead down wind, it's simply not the fastest or best way to get directly to leeward. This would be even more true of your mono-sailed rig. As you clearly know, when a sail doesn't have flow across it then it will generate far less power than when it does. This is equally true for all sails, white colored or anything in between. So, saying that a sloop is "most efficient" when sailing DDW is simply wrong; provably so.

 

BV: Second, I don't know what sort of sloops you sail upon but I can control the leach and foot tension of my jib just fine, I can move the sheet boat inboard and outboard, indeed it is frequently far easier to get a "good" shape out of the headsail than it is out of the main.

 

Whether a course DDW is more efficient than reaching up depends on a lot of things: wind speed, the polar of the hull, and the efficiency of the rig at various AWA. Certainly there are times when DDW is fastest on a sloop. A sail generates somewhat less power when fully stalled, not far less. It is far less efficient in terms of L/D, but DDW that is not even a slight consideration. The max lift coefficient in the real world for a membrane sail is on the order of 1.3 - 1.4, its drag coefficient fully stalled is around 1.1. If you have enough wind even 1.1 is too much and you will be reefing.

 

Any jib on a monohull (with the exception of a high cut yankee) cannot be sheeted ideally broad off the wind. You must pole it out to leeward to get its most effective shape - or put it on a boom like a cat schooner. On even a beam reach, the sheeting point wants to be a couple of feet aft of the bow and at least "J" outboard of CL. There is no boat there to sheet it to. Instead it usually takes a very highly cambered shape (reducing the max Cl and the projected area) and lots of head twist (further reducing Cl and adding drag).

 

BV: Third, I would respectfully suggest that you have a look at the research surrounding wind sheer and velocity changes with altitude. I think you'll be surprised at how large a change in wind direction there is between sea level and 50 feet above sea level. Moreover, the direction change is not symmetrical and depends upon the wind direction. What this means is that your sails, mono-rig or sloop, must have twist in them to allow them to set correctly. This is well documented from the research that the wing sail guys have been doing and I was stunned to find that at 100' above sea level they were getting direction changes of up to 15 degrees in 10 knots of wind. While it was less sheer at higher wind velocities, it was always more than 5 degrees. In addition, if you have a sail that is a wing with the same angle of attack to the wind at all heights the boat becomes extremely difficult to sail well. Even the very best America's Cup and Olympic sailors put a twist into their sails to broaden the "groove" that the boat will sail in. It is certainly theoretically possible to set the sail at all altitudes to the exact correct wind angle, but as Mr. Spithill will attest that makes the boat a dog to sail. It will be blindingly fast about five or ten precent of the time and quite slow the rest of the time as the helmsman hunts up and down for the "groove". It is much much better to twist the sail and have some of the sail set to work at lower AWA and some at higher AWA than the target grove. As a result, you really need to let your sails twist for both of these reasons.

 

BV: This is in stark contrast to an airplane wing which doesn't have different AWA at different parts of the wing, at least I don't think it does.

 

BV: Finally, when you say that "sloops do not pass me off the wind" again you've made an absolute blanket statement that I'm pretty certain you didn't wish to make. Clearly, if a sloop like a 136'+ J Class sloop or something like the racing sloop "Speedboat" were to sail by you, it would pass you easily. I think what you really meant to say is that sloops of similar sizes and sail areas don't pass you, a reasonable and perhaps defensible claim. However, even that claim is awfully hard to substantiate.

 

I have considered twisted flow at length. Here is one published graph of wind speed vs. height. There are many, but look pretty similar.

 

post-4075-058231700 1297201175_thumb.jpg

 

Sorry its so small. But note that the steep part of the gradient exists only in the first 2 or 3 meters. My sail foot is 3.5 meters high. Between there and the sail head at 20 meters, following the 10 knot (at 2m) curve, the foot would see 10.5 knots, the head 12.5, a difference of 2 knots. Now a Finn sail is operating between say 1/2 meter and 5 meters and would see a much more significant change. That is why I specified "in a large una rig" in my previous comments. If I am sailing at 6 knots boat speed to weather at 28 degrees apparent by the mast head instrument (to pick some numbers), the foot will see an apparent wind of 26.3 degrees, a bit less the 3 degrees delta. It doesn't change much at other wind and boat speeds encountered by monohulls. I have a spreadsheet to do all the calculations if you want to save yourself the trouble, based on the Block Island data taken originally by Lanchester I believe. It is at best very difficult to get the twist in a sail down to only 3 degrees.

 

There is the theoretical possibility of twisted flow due to the Coriolis effect on gradient. This requires extraordinarily stable conditions over an extraordinarily long time as Coriolis effects are very weak. I don't believe it exists with any magnitude or frequency. If someone can offer up some hard data to the contrary, I would love to see it.

 

On the other hand there is definitely twisted flow downwind of objects, and particularly jibs. That is why you need so much twist in the mainsail on a sloop. If you have a 100 foot wing on a boat traveling at 20 knots in 10 knots true, you will have a twist of about 5 degrees. There are also conditions where the ambient flow is twisted due to local atmospheric or geographic conditions, but that is not predictable or systematic. My telltales agree with me. If I need more twist it is always possible to get.

 

On airplanes, the wing is frequently "washed out" or twisted, for two reasons: first, it softens the stall by widening "the groove" that you mention in a sailing context. Second, the wing itself creates twisted flow, to the extent that its lift distribution differs from the ideal. This is another reason a Bermudan sloop, with its pointy sails, needs more twist: the tip is affected by the downwash of the foot, the total of which is creating the tip vortex. The Ideal Planform is in theory elliptical, precisely because it has constant downwash across the span without twist.

 

I haven't had difficulty sailing my boat in the groove, with as little twist as the telltails demand. Perhaps is very gusty conditions I would think differently, but I have not encountered those much where I have sailed.

 

And yes, surely 'Endeavor' would pass me as though anchored - and has done so! Obviously I meant boats of similar size (waterline rules everything, ultimately) perhaps less obviously I meant boats with a similar purpose - I have no doubt that an ultralight canting keel racer would pass me easily. I kept my Nonsuch 30, when I had it, in Alameda and every day's sail ended with a run up the estuary. No gybing downwind there, just a straight run, usually in somewhat light wind. I never saw 'Endeavor' in there, but I cannot recall a single time when I was passed by another monohull (with no spinnaker) of any size or shape on that 5 mile run. Passing them on the other hand was routine and predictable.

 

 

BV: Your comment about not being able to ease the main on a sloop has nothing to do with it being a sloop, it has to do with where the designer has placed the shrouds. There are plenty of sloops with shrouds that are at 90 deg to the centerline of the boat, and the boom can be eased to 90 deg. As I've said previously, no competent sailor ever has this problem with a modern boat because the fastest VMG is to reach up a bit and sail at a AWA of about 150 or even 140 degrees. At those angles, there isn't an issue with easing the boom, the main is no where near the shrouds.

 

Granted that it is the shrouds interfering with proper sail trim. But I assert that even with cap shrouds abeam of the mast and no intermediates aft, you cannot ease the main to 90 degrees, not if you value your mainsail - it will be quickly destroyed. On a typical Marconi sloop you can ease the main no more than 60 or 70 degrees, at 30 degrees angle of attack that only gets you to an AWA of 90 0r 100, beyond that you are overtrimmed. Now on a sloop you have help with this, because the jib is going to be a poor shape and backwinding the main so that you must overtrim it.

 

BV: DDW, you frequently claim that a Cat Rig is more efficient, you have at the end of the paragraph above. I disagree with this for one very simple reason. Unless the leading edge of the sail is fared into the mast, any sail that is hung from a mast is much less efficient than one that is hung from a head-foil. As I'm sure you know, the issue is attached air flow across the sail and a mast causes a tremendous amount of disturbance in that airflow. There is plenty of wind tunnel data to show that a headsail that is flown from a aerodynamic foil is much more efficient than any sail flown from a mast.

 

What wind tunnel data are you referring to? I believe in my library I have all of the widely published tests, and probably most of the obscure ones. Probably the most frequently quoted in this misconception is the series done at the Gottingen tunnel (see for example Marchaj "Sail Performance" pg. 103) comparing a membrane sail to one with a round section mast at the leading edge. With a mast of 7.5% chord (the smallest tested) the max lift coefficient is reduced by 16%, but the efficiency as measured by L/D or drag angle is identical to the mastless case. My mast is less than half that big, at about 3% of chord. From this we can guess that the max CL on my rig might be 5 or 10% less than the ideal membrane, and the efficiency just as good. A sloop mast is typically an oval section and presents more of a disturbance than a round section, as has been demonstrated in the wind tunnel. Additionally, the chord on the mainsail of a sloop is perhaps one half of the same size cat, so the mast represents twice the disturbance as a percentage of chord. It is actually quite easy to make the mast on a modern cat airfoil shaped, but there is not much evidence of a dramatic performance increase, and they are problematic operationally. A cruising jib is rarely as good as the ideal membrane either, being set on a round furler. When detailed studies are made of airflow around real sails, there is almost always a separation bubble at the leading edge, followed by flow reattachment, then tripping to turbulent flow a short way back on the chord. A mast ensures this separation bubble, but it normally exists anyway, even on a jib. One weakness that a round mast cat does have is in very light wind it is easier to get laminar flow separation around the mast which does not reattach. A jib is better under those conditions, if you can keep it full. However having all sails fully battened and on spars seems to more than make up for this. In Lake Ontario in near drifting conditions I came upon a group of 5 sloops, I believe they were racing to somewhere. We had 2.5 - 3.5 knots true wind, and could maintain around 1.7 -2 knots boat speed. We sailed over to this group, sailed a circle around them, then sailed away. I put this either to having a lot more sail area/wetter area than they, or that my sail stayed trimmed and shaped even in no wind at all, while they were having the devil of a time keeping things flying.

 

In any case you are talking here about form drag, and a larger component of drag on a sailing rig is induced drag. The induced drag on a sloop is very bad, because the lift distribution is poor. Induced drag is much more difficult to test for, requiring large scale wind tunnels.

 

BV: I think there is an entirely different reason that Tom Wylie wants the tip to flex. It certainly does de-power the rig and let the boat stand up to a puff better. But the reason that is so important is because the cost of heeling is extremely high with modern efficient keel and rudder foils. Tom is making an explicit choice to give the boat a wider grove, which I discussed above, and a key component of the "groove" is the effect of the keel. Tom knows full well that a great sailor - Paul Cayard for example - can sail for hours in an extremely narrow grove. Yet, when Tom designed a new keel for a friend of mine's boat he intentionally changed the keel foil section to a fatter one to allow my friend, who is no great sailor, to stay in the grove more of the time. .....Consider a puff which increases velocity from 20 to 25 knots (typical on SF Bay) which is a 25% increase in wind speed. This puff will move the AWA aft immediately by a number of degrees depending upon how fast the boat is moving. The key question is how does the boat/crew respond to the new wind direction and velocity

 

Mark Ellis says the same thing: makes the boat easier to sail, therefore faster. I have not found this to be a big problem. I remain unconvinced that the result is a net increase in speed, and doubt we will be able to answer that until two boat type testing is done.

 

BV: Nice looking rig. Can you let the vang off fast if you get hit by a big puff or do you have to rely on easing the sheet to keep from being bowled over??

The vang releases very slowly. I wanted hydraulic not because I am in love with oil leaks, but so that the vang would release in the event of dragging the (25 foot) boom. There is enough fluid and other friction in the system that the release is quite slow though (10s of seconds type slow) so I don't think I got what I wanted there. On the plus side, the boom hardly ever drags as it turns out, even in relatively boisterous conditions. I do not find it necessary to adjust the vang for gusts, nor is it quick enough to even try. We don't seem to get bowled over anytime, maybe I just haven't found those conditions. Easing the sheet is pretty easy, they are readily at hand to the helmsman.

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Once you try to build a light boat with more than one mast... you discover why sloops are so fast.

 

BV

 

Unless you're a genius named Greg Ketterman, in which case you discover what it is like to sail above 40 knots on your way to making the paddle obsolete. Some people don't like boxes. ;)

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Estar,

you keep finding good excuses as to why cat ketches shouldn't win. a good sailor in a crappy rig isn't going to win against a superior rig with good sailors.

 

I've enjoyed this debate. If I had the money, I'd get one of Sponberg's Globetrotters.

 

I've beaten 40' sailboats in my 40' cat ketch. upwind, they were fast. off the wind, we killed them. I'm no rockstar, and neither were they. you can argue theory all you want, but in practice, there are times when a split rig is superior.

 

Project Amazon was a fast boat, and I think had it been properly funded it would have been a great competitor. Too bad we'll never know.

 

By the way, even by your reckoning about the debate on the monohull record *still* has a schooner holding the record for nearly 70 years. Surely there were sloops and weather windows in that time?

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Beau,

so now it's about unfair ratings given to split rigs. Ok :)

 

I wasn't trying to say that split rigs are always superior. I pointed out 3 production cat ketch rigs that have had success at racing only to bring up that some of the absolutes being thrown around aren't as absolute as they appear. And yes, the Atlantic was huge. Brilliant did it in 15 days, she's 62', well within the realm of building a similar size sloop.

 

But your points are well taken.

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Estar,

you keep finding good excuses as to why cat ketches shouldn't win. a good sailor in a crappy rig isn't going to win against a superior rig with good sailors.

 

And I guess that's why most all of the good sailors race in sloops :)

 

Realize I have been RTW in a ketch. I have no predigious against them. I think they make great sea boats for beginners :) Easy to handle and learn about sail combinations and boat balance.

 

I do think it's an interesting historical question why the Atlantic record stood so long. It obviously was a fantastic effort with near perfect weather. I would have thought one of the J-class boats would have tried the record and been able to beat it with good weather, but I have never studied the failed attempts to see why the record stood so long.

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...a William Hand-designed schooner.

 

I screwed up. I attributed it to the wrong designer. I should have said B.B. Crowninshield.

 

post-5724-084711600 1297214519_thumb.jpg

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And I guess that's why most all of the good sailors race in sloops :)

 

Realize I have been RTW in a ketch.

 

You might be surprised at the skill of some of the Useppa Catboat sailors, Evans. Many of them were getting tiller time when we were all getting diaper time or before, and it shows.

 

These guys built this boat, and sure know how to sail it:

 

sharpiebeam.jpg

 

sharpiecatketch-lg.jpg

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You might be surprised at the skill of some of the Useppa Catboat sailors, Evans. Many of them were getting tiller time when we were all getting diaper time or before, and it shows.

 

These guys built this boat, and sure know how to sail it:

 

Well the SA question would be "what's it rate?" In theory that tells us how 'fast' it is. Right?

 

I actually should give up here because I am a cruiser and not a racer. I just find the disconnect to be quite jarring between the theoretical claims being made for the cat ketch/schooner and the actual race results. And i don't buy DDW's claim that its just because no-one good or with money has looked closely at the alternative rigs. The French have been very innovative and I am sure several well funded efforts have looked quite closed at the rig options and possibilities within their box rule.

 

But hell, I love the looks of two stick, and that's reason enough to consider them for a cruising boat. Forget how fast they are or are not.

 

We went with a sloop because there is a ton of upwind work when doing mid/highish latitude work (just for example 1200 miles upwind going North in Chile and another 900 miles going south down the west coast of NZ), and every degree of pointing cuts the pain and reduces the incentive to turn on the motor. We also spend +30% of our time in under 10kts of wind and the higher rig of the sloop just gets the sails into more wind.

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We went with a sloop because there is a ton of upwind work when doing mid/highish latitude work (just for example 1200 miles upwind going North in Chile and another 900 miles going south down the west coast of NZ), and every degree of pointing cuts the pain and reduces the incentive to turn on the motor. We also spend +30% of our time in under 10kts of wind and the higher rig of the sloop just gets the sails into more wind.

 

Both very well taken points. Darn "destination indicators" in a boat that won't point once had my friend mutter in a very frustrated tone, "Grrrr... make mine a turbo diesel!" He's more of a powerboater and we were trying to make another friend's Island Piglet go upwind. It was actually a nice little boat, unless you wanted to get someplace upwind.

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