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Setting up cruising boats for upwind performance


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The majority of cruising boats out there have poor sailing performance on a beat.  While design and blown-out sails play a role, from what I see the culprit more often is windage and weight..

Most cruisers would rather have radar, beaucoup solar panels, a big dinghy on davits, outboard on the taffrail, a reel of line, jugs of diesel and gasoline on the lifelines, scuba cylinders, radar, SUP, etc etc.

Rarely, a cruiser (usually with a racing background) will outfit their boat so as to achieve good upwind performance.  The three examples I'm aware of are custom builds and achieve this in part through longer overall length to reduce the need for on-deck stowage.

My real question is whether the tradeoffs are worthwhile, in light of the discomfort and poor Vmg that can be achieved in practice.  I am also curious as to what those of you who have made upwind performance a first priority have done about safety-related items such as radar, a liferaft on deck, and throwable PFDs.

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Genoa sheeting angle 

windage 

underpowered

Poor underwater design , condition 

over weight 

weight in the ends 

the common moderate displacement racer cruiser works very well as a cruiser if you keep the weight off 

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The condition of the bottom of the boat is often overlooked by a lot of cruisers and plays a big role.

Actively trimming and steering for comfort also plays a huge role, presuming you have made enough ‘trade offs’. 

Getting the right amount of power, or ‘finding the groove’ is the goal. Often heading off by 5-10 degrees can make a huge difference. Keeping an eye on halyard tension, outhaul tension, Cunningham, traveller location, vang tension, jib car locations are all tools to trim for comfort in concert with minor course changes...before the need to reef or make a major course change.

Having baggy or blown out sails robs you of a lot of these options. At the very least, get a re cut.

 I guess the weight and wind age trade offs are only worth it if you make enough of them...that and mainly starting with the right boat with enough draft (and other variables...) to make a reasonable amount of upwind comfort attainable.

 

 

 

 

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If you have a heavy displacement boat, 1,000 pounds of gear is no big deal.  If you have a boat that weighs less but is the same length, it matters more.

Either way, carrying 250 feet of chain, 2-3 large anchors and a dinghy on davits is not an advantage.  the bigger problem is blown out sails and inattentive crew - after all its a cruise, what's the rush?

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2 hours ago, 2airishuman said:

Most cruisers would rather have radar, beaucoup solar panels, a big dinghy on davits, outboard on the taffrail, a reel of line, jugs of diesel and gasoline on the lifelines, scuba cylinders, radar, SUP, etc etc.

If the boat is big enough, you can have a lot of this without too much compromise. A radar in front of the mast isn't a big drag, solar panels are OK as long as you integrate them properly, an inflatable dinghy is not that bad and can be stored low, if you want a hard dinghy store it on deck while sailing, keep the dinghy outboard small, get an inflatable SUP if you absolutely want one, store the SCUBA cylinders as low as possible, if it is a proper sailing boat you don't need jugs of diesel just find a decent weather window, be frugal and use solar/wind power. 

If the boat is not big enough, yes make some choices, it might entitle removing the diesel engine if you are about to sail round the world non stop on a Contessa 32, but most of the time it is removing clutter

It is all about getting a boat that was designed to sail, not overloading it, storing heavy stuff low, having decent sails, enough lines to control your sails etc... it will be enough and remember to fold down the dodger when you don't need it upwind.

IME, most people who use their boat to go somewhere actually do this.

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Lots of things work against good upwind performance in cruisers.  Wide shroud bases, insufficient forestay tension, poor sail shape, underpowered rig, lousy foils, high prismatic hull etc.  My cruiser is just ok upwind. Towing a dinghy is a speed killer, put it on deck for long passages.

This is why ex-racers usually own racer-cruisers or converted racers.  It is pretty hard to accept the shit upwind performance of many cruisers when you are used to race boat upwind numbers.

One exception is the Contessa 32.  They seem to go upwind quite well.  There are others. 

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There been several moments, when out daysailing and jogging along on a broad reach, near hull speed with minimum effort, that I've suddenly thought "how come this experience is so rare", and decided it's because of the bias to windward/leeward race courses. Cruisers can get away with boats that don't upwind well because they spend a higher percent of their time sailing free. It's not because they don't want to beat upwind, but because they don't  have to. Pretty much the same argument applies to sailing in very light winds. Only a racer sails in a 4 knot breeze.

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Good question:

"... whether the tradeoffs are worthwhile, in light of the discomfort and poor Vmg that can be achieved in practice".

I wonder if it is in part a sociology question?

If you and your "cruising" crew are racers (or similar personality types) who love the boathandling skill close-hauled (particularly in a chop) requires while working within that very narrow "sweet spot", then you might conclude that saving weight and keeping boat ends light requires, then yeah skip the radar and the rigid dinghy, and leave the dodger down.  And don't fill the water or fuel tanks too heavy, keep anchor down below not foredeck, and the other good suggestions above.  And find a cook who doesn't hate you when you are on a beat in a seaway.  And don't mind sleeping heeled.

If on the other hand your crew are "guests" and may want a more serene experience, then pick your battles carefully.  Wait a day for that windshift so you can reach or run, or change your itinerary toward that same end.

Most of my crusing was deliveries, so time was important, and we would use the engine to "help" if we needed more speed upwind (or down).  But a cruise isn't a delivery, so maybe slower and flatter is better?  But yeah a good challenging beat is an exhilarating experience.  That's why we race.

I once had owners come along as delivery "crew" from Mass Bay to Southwest Harbor on a Newell Cadet, 27', short waterline, slow and not a bear upwind, but we had Easterlies so it was mostly close-hauled with a good bit of sea and gray weather, in the Gulf of Maine.  I liked it.  But they were quite seasick on that longest leg.  So I put them on the tilller to try to minimize the queasiness, while I cooked and ate a nice eggs and ham meal below while trying unsuccessfully to keep it a secret.

I've taught sailing a good bit, and when there's "weather" and we have to decide go or no-go, I would ask these mostly newcomers what their outside jobs, hobbies, and interests are.  Mountain climbing instructor, motorcycle racer, aviator?  Okay, let's go sailing.  Knitting, reading, crossword puzzling?  Well, why don't we postpone, okay?

;-)

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All that cruising crap on deck won't make you safer or more comfortable if you can't beat off a lee shore, when your prop fouls.  Upwind performance is a safety feature in itself.  For me, cruising is getting away from it all, it defeats the purpose if you take it all with you, might as well just stay at home.  If you don't keep lots of junk in the cockpit lockers, you can keep your safety kit there.  If you don't load your boat down with power hungry electrics, you don't need acres of solar panels and a dozen jerrycans on deck.  People cruised for centuries without lugging about a 25hp rib on davits.  If you have the right clothes, you don't need a variety of tents for the deck.  If I had to choose, I would have AIS over heavy, power hungry, high windage radar.  Travel light, move fast.  

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15 minutes ago, maxstaylock said:

All that cruising crap on deck won't make you safer or more comfortable if you can't beat off a lee shore, when your prop fouls.  Upwind performance is a safety feature in itself.  For me, cruising is getting away from it all, it defeats the purpose if you take it all with you, might as well just stay at home.  If you don't keep lots of junk in the cockpit lockers, you can keep your safety kit there.  If you don't load your boat down with power hungry electrics, you don't need acres of solar panels and a dozen jerrycans on deck.  People cruised for centuries without lugging about a 25hp rib on davits.  If you have the right clothes, you don't need a variety of tents for the deck.  If I had to choose, I would have AIS over heavy, power hungry, high windage radar.  Travel light, move fast.  

All that deck crap looks bad, adds weight and windage ,  makes sail handling hard and interfere with sheet Leeds 

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2 hours ago, nolatom said:

I've taught sailing a good bit, and when there's "weather" and we have to decide go or no-go, I would ask these mostly newcomers what their outside jobs, hobbies, and interests are.  Mountain climbing instructor, motorcycle racer, aviator?  Okay, let's go sailing.  Knitting, reading, crossword puzzling?  Well, why don't we postpone, okay?

Really good tip I'll have to remember. Finding out their comfort zone is important.
 

Windage is cumulative. On my catamaran I really decided to have the foredecks bare and concentrated on the aero of the cabin.  Well except for the dorade vents. Probably the only catamaran I've ever seen with dorades :)

image.thumb.png.930e7deac3656d2aaadfa8a4acf1c839.png

The totally vertical windows of the Lagoon types make me shudder.

The angled wings on either side of cabins (Outremer) also bug me. Just trap air.

The solar panels/arch/dinghy were all in the lee of the bridgedeck cabin eddies when beating (and kept low enough that the non-turbulent air was above them)

image.thumb.png.fd3fed27bb3278ff8b1d615c7dd16498.png

The sides of the cabin were canted in a bit not straight fore/aft. This is the cabin at 30 degrees apparent wind angle (we really sailed max 32 apparent)

The bridgedeck cabin of cats is a huge windage thing. More work should be done by manufacturers.

image.png.5c5220465da0d2f8261b0e8a8597123d.png

I put the radar on the mast so the only extra weight/windage was the scanner and small platform. An extra pole or standoff on a stern arch is worse. 

No liferaft (it was a cat with 7 different w.t. compartments)

Solar panels were also relatively flat (only a few degrees of heel on the cat) so windage wasn't bad anyway. 

Bimini was very flat for the same reason. Lifesling on aft railing in lee of everything as well.

If you have a lot of junk in the trunk, it doesn't hurt to concentrate it/overlap it to minimize the damaging effects.

Absolute pet peeves for windage:

- jerry jugs on the decks of 50' boats
- kayaks or sailboards stowed vertically on stanchions
- lifeline netting. Unless you have a toddler aboard that is an immense amount of windage
- mast steps. You're allowed 1 pair at the masthead. Folding ones please. Otherwise just no.

 

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5 hours ago, European Bloke said:

One furler bad, two furlers tragic.

Depends what you do with them. If the second furler carries a smaller headsail that stops you trying to reef the big one.. well you can see where I am going with this thought.

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27 minutes ago, Snowden said:

Depends what you do with them. If the second furler carries a smaller headsail that stops you trying to reef the big one.. well you can see where I am going with this thought.

 My "ideal" cruising boat in my head would be a double headsail rig with a genoa and a staysail on furlers or possibly the staysail and stormsail on hanks with a removable inner forestay..  My fractional rigged boat is too small to have an inner forestay so it is multiple sails with hanks.  If I ever go cruising, I will have to settle for an inflatable SUP, one lashed to the stancions would be 1/3 the length of the boat!  Windward performance is important, but more importantly, is fun and still amazes me that it is even possible.

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Having had 2 cutters for offshore cruising - the smaller 30' had a hanked on staysail, the cat in the picture above had the staysail on a furler.

Both worked OK. The 30' staysail was so small that hoisting it up from it's deck bag was super easy.

I would have been OK with a hanked staysail on the cat too since working the foredeck was not exactly life threatening or difficult. But it did make it very fast to change gears. And the boat came that way.

If I had to do it over again on a 35+ boat I'd go with an inner furler. Just makes it easy to make the call to douse the genoa. There's a reason the Vendee Globe boats have so many furlers. Single or short handed crew are always a bit tired. Make things easier for the crew and they will set the right sail sooner.

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The closer I get to casting off, the scarier the whole stowage thing gets.

It would sure solve a lot of problems if I gave up scuba diving.  But... I don't want to.  

I mocked up a nice aerodynamic (looking) dodger, but it turns out that the pleasingly-angled sides didn't leave room to sit under it. D'Oh! Take two is gonna be a little more boxy.

Had a  vague plan of, "Oh I'll just take all that stuff off the deck and cram it into the quarterberth..." Well... not if I want access to the engine, or the batteries, or anything in those starboard lockers. 

I'm gonna look like an idiot for a few weeks this spring; loading stuff on board, sailing with it, taking stuff back off.  Rinse and repeat.  

Well, more of an idiot than usual.  

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11 hours ago, 2airishuman said:

My real question is whether the tradeoffs are worthwhile, in light of the discomfort and poor Vmg that can be achieved in practice. 

I am also curious as to what those of you who have made upwind performance a first priority have done about safety-related items such as radar, a liferaft on deck, and throwable PFDs.

The 2nd question is straightforward - offshore race boats have all the safety stuff, often more than cruising boats - so you can just follow what and how they do it.  It is certainly all possible while maintaining good upwind performance.

The first question is also empirically easy to answer -by observation the vast majority of cruisers dont consider the trade-offs worthwhile.  We were an exception on this (with Hawk), but where we cruised played a large role in that, and the fact that sailing well played a large role of my enjoyment of the life (which it does not seem to for most cruisers).  It is certainly not necessary for good cruising.  Silk was shitty to windward (inefficient keel and rig) but we still had a very rewarding rtw on her.

A question you dont ask, but a lot of responders have attempted to answer - how do you get a cruising boat to sail upwind well?  Some just will not ever - have shitty foils, or poor righting moment, or inadequate rigs.  If you have a cruising boat with those basics well done - then the 80/20 rule would have you focus on clean bottom, feathering prop, good sails (and the knowledge to trim them properly), weight out of the ends, minimized windage above deck, and perhaps minimized total weight (whether that will make the 80/20 list probably depends on the boat design).  And it is not like you can do say half of these things and fluff the other half and get good windward performance - you need to do them all at least adequately to get sparkling performance.

Bottom line - the answers are straightforward, but getting there in practice requires dedication and constant attention to details across the whole vessel. And while it is rewarding for some, it is not necessary for decent cruising.

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The big majority of cruisers I see don't care much about windward performance. The don't care much about downwind performance either. This is told by their choice of sails, trim, etc. In many cases perhaps they don't know better, but in a lot of cases, I think they were just out to have a good time, not work, and it takes some extra work to get 95% out of the boat rather than 75%. 

I've always thought the design goal to peak the polars is misdirected for many people. Rather the design should allow getting to 90% with 50% of the effort. I can leave 10% on the design table but I'm sailing at 90% with the same work the other guys are sailing at 75%. For many people that boat will be a faster boat - in practice - than the faster boat on the drawing board. Furling jibs are certainly a (very small) step in that direction. 

Anyway, for the true cruiser, speed is defined as not getting passed by the other boats nearby, while they are in sight. Getting to the bar 20 minutes early doesn't even get you a cheap $20 trophy. 

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I always think of J boats when (smart) folks like DDW say things like that.  J has always designed boats that lets the average guy get 90-95% of available performance.  Sure there are faster boats, but not in the hands of the “average guy”

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It’s hard, for the average cruising boat, to do, I’d venture to say (but without any hard evidence).  A gut feel, I suppose.   Probably easier for larger boats, those 40’+, because they can more easily carry the same sort of gear a smaller boat likely would too?

How much does windward performance matter?  I dunno.  Jeanne Socrates (to take but one example) seems to not be too concerned about it, and she’s completed far more miles than many have or ever will, and many (if not most of them) in the Southern Ocean.  See her sailing resume midway down her homepage here. And take a look at all the “crap on the back” sje sports: a lot!

An anecdote - shortly before replacing (and upsizing, with a longer boom/more area) our mainsail last year, we left to cross Georgia Strait in increasingly windy conditions, which tuned into a close reach for hours in 25 kts and some 6 ft seas.  I remember being quite concerned as we left, going right into it, leaving the harbour before heading out into the Strait, eyeing over my shoulder the lee shore of Vancouver Island/Gabriola Island, thinking, c’mon, “go, boat, go!”, thinking about a back up plan if we couldn’t make sufficient windward progress.  I was actually quite surprised how well our heavy, 33’ hull, with bagged out small main, and partly furled/reefed old Genoa did.  It was a confidence booster. We went over 7 knots just settled in a groove, plowing through waves, close reaching.  WTF?! :-). So, after that experience I stopped feeling too concerned about windward performance.  
 

I do my best...but honestly would like to shitcan the wind generator I installed many years ago, but simply don’t have a plan for the pole for.  And I’d love to put the radar up on the mast (instead of on the pole it’s on on the other side of the transom), but that’s a complicated and expensive project I’m not willing to undertake now.  In any case, those two poles will provide a stunningly convenient place to mount two solar panels, and I frankly do not have a place to install panels other than, say, along lifelines/stern rail sides just forward of transom...but the poles would be much easier to use, for various reasons (panel mounting would be easy there, and routing wire inside the boat is easy down the inside of the radar pole )...and so it goes...chipping away at windward performance...but, on the other hand, my dodger is more of a spray hood than a dodger, being quite narrow, instead of a massive, tall, cockpit-spanning affair.  I do have mast steps - all folding - but which have really proven immensely useful over the years to DIY all my mast and rigging work very easily.  I wouldn’t remove them despite a little voice in my head that sometimes says they “hurt performance”.

Two real things I have done to improve windward performance - I’ve sort of thrown in the towel for now re: stuff on deck as I just don’t know how to get rid of it (but I don’t have a bimini...but sure would be nice for tropical sun...there it goes again, things chipping away at windward performance)...two real things I have done:  (1) got a new mainsail (expensive, but sorely needed); and (2) installed (actually, am current installing) a Solent stay for an 80-90% jib, instead of using the partially furled Genoa, for heavier air windward work (the Solent is also for downwind sail options as well).  (3) I’d like to get a folding prop.  Soon.

It’s a game of give and take...which reminds me I need to suit up and dive on the hull soon for a clean.  My air compressor hookah set up might even considered part of my windward performance gear... :-)

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I don't keep anything on deck and have no 'crap on 'de back' at all - but this is as much an aesthetic choice as a performance one. However on weight, you have to make your choices. I specified my design, the length, beam, displacement, etc. When the NAs came back with the preliminary weight estimate (and a huge spreadsheet to back it) it was much more than my specified displacement, and I said as much. They said, OK, what do you want to give up and leave out?

Well, nothing.

So the lines were redrawn a bit more rotund. Then we built it and it got a little more obese at each stage. Even in retrospect I don't regret the gain. You always want to have a 'fast' sailboat, but must keep some perspective: a bicycle is faster, if you are in a hurry. 

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Many of the first sailboats to "cruise" around the world were British Navy Ships that were all square rigged, and really, really were not very good at going upwind.  So, yes, you can cruise all around the world and never go "upwind."  As long as you are willing to A) be patient and B) realize there are some places you might have a hard time getting to.  Plus there is the "sail off a lee shore after your engine shit itself" scenario.  Now, to be sure, plenty of square rigged ships ended up on the rocks because they couldn't sail off a lee shore.  But most of them didn't have engines.

Relative to those old square riggers, most of today's cruising boats, even when loaded up with crap on the back, and multiple anchors with hundreds of feet of chain, etc, go upwind just fine.  It's only when we compare their performance to a racer that they fall short.

I'm all about sailing my boat as much as I can, and I love to race.  But for a cruiser, going upwind at 30 degrees apparent just seems silly, and a pointless exercise in self inflicted pain.

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Sometimes your destination is upwind. Full stop. You may need to beat for a few days or more to get there. It's equally silly to say you'll never do it. OR "I want to visit X but it's upwind"

I'm a big believer in waiting for a weather window. But sometimes due to geography or prevailing winds, there just isn't any:

- getting from Panama direct to the Eastern Caribbean any time that isn't hurricane season i.e. fall to spring
- Seychelles to Madagascar. Against the trades the whole way for 600 miles (?)
- Bali to Singapore after the monsoon has changed (big oops on our part but we had a friend visiting around Christmas and we wanted to get to Borneo)
- Beating out of the Gulf of Panama in the rainy season. What a slog and big currents. 

Overloaded cruising boats with blown out sails and junk all over the deck DON'T sail to windward just fine. Their tacking angles are horrible in any sort of sea. In our catamaran we were doing the casual race from Tahiti to Moorea. Just a day sail. We were sailing alongside the fleet at the start and we watched many, many of them just slide off sideways to windward in light winds. Our cat was pointing 5-10 degrees higher than almost all of them. There was a MacGregor 65 and a Waquiez 35 that stayed with us until the wind got up.

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10 hours ago, Snowden said:

Depends what you do with them. If the second furler carries a smaller headsail that stops you trying to reef the big one.. well you can see where I am going with this thought.

Ok,I agree, but I meant main sail.

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3 hours ago, Zonker said:

Overloaded cruising boats with blown out sails and junk all over the deck DON'T sail to windward just fine. Their tacking angles are horrible in any sort of sea. In our catamaran we were doing the casual race from Tahiti to Moorea. Just a day sail. We were sailing alongside the fleet at the start and we watched many, many of them just slide off sideways to windward in light winds. Our cat was pointing 5-10 degrees higher than almost all of them. There was a MacGregor 65 and a Waquiez 35 that stayed with us until the wind got up.

I love it when the guys who throw around terms like “blue water boat” and “claw off a lee shore” tell me that “catamarans don’t point” and I show them this shot of my track…

 

A76EFFB5-D799-4451-BE36-54DEDB39C4C7.jpeg

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Why do 8/10 cruisers hate proper halyard tension?  Too cheep to buy decent halyards and too lazy to adjust them?  

Between the safety gear, the anchor gear, the sails, the tools, the spares, the personal gear (cold and hot weather), provisioning, the dinghy...maybe a toy or two...the boat really begins to feel like a 10lb sack with 15lbs of shit in it.  Everything seems to weigh a lot and even when sailing a steamroller you can feel the difference. The line between being self reliant and having too much crap seems a fine line. 

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8 minutes ago, Elegua said:

Why do 8/10 cruisers hate proper halyard tension?  Too cheep to buy decent halyards and too lazy to adjust them?  

Between the safety gear, the anchor gear, the sails, the tools, the spares, the personal gear (cold and hot weather), provisioning, the dinghy...maybe a toy or two...the boat really begins to feel like a 10lb sack with 15lbs of shit in it.  Everything seems to weigh a lot and even when sailing a steamroller you can feel the difference. The line between being self reliant and having too much crap seems a fine line. 

This is why small cruisers …. Less than 40 ft and ultralight weight cruisers don’t work. Rapidly overloaded and all the extra weight moves into the ends of the boat 

if you must carry a pile of stuff you must have the correct size and correct displacement  boat 

if you can only afford a small boat you must keep it simple

the modern solar power trend is also a performance killer … all those towers , frames , panels degrade sailing ability 

25 hp outboards , fuel tanks , dive bottles , portable generators , air conditioners , bbq’s … once you enter that world you either go big or go slow 

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29 minutes ago, slug zitski said:

 

25 hp outboards , fuel tanks , dive bottles , portable generators , air conditioners , bbq’s … once you enter that world you either go big or go slow 

We have none of those things, except some solar, a radar, a 90lb hard dinghy and a windvane. 

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18 hours ago, Zonker said:

Probably the only catamaran I've ever seen with dorades

I've got four dorade boxes on mine :)

"Cruising boat" is covering a lot of ground in this thread. Is this the boat of an unemployed poet gunkholing for an undefined time in some moist wilds aboard a sailing shoe box; a dentist heading for an anchorage where he has a reservation at a restaurant and a date to impress; mom 'n pop chartering for a week; a professional adventurist, journalist looking for a high latitude story?  Needs vary.

One of the things that I found most surprising when bopping around the Pacific was how many successful (in the sense that they got places they wanted to get in their boats) cruisers weren't particularly interested in or even aware of aspects of performance under sail that sailboat racers cut their teeth on. The musical soul who builds a Colvin Gazelle and sets off into the sunset isn't prioritizing upwind VMG. If she decides that something upwind is interesting a hardy auxiliary engine might be the most appealing option. NTTAWWT.

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My favourite was a newbie guy in Vanuatu we met on a Gemini.

He had taken something like 10 or 12 days to sail the ~500 miles from Fiji to Vanuatu. This in the SE trades so easy downwind sailing.

He kept talking about the winds and how he wasn't sailing well. He was a total beginner sailor who bought the boat in Fiji. He had a bit of book learning.

He thought "SE trades" meant the wind was blowing TO the SE. i.e. the winds were coming from the NW.

So he consulted his sailing book, strapped in his sails tight for bashing upwind because he was heading W.....

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Most cruisers & their  boats don't know how/cannot sail upwind. So they just adjust their route plans to suit. If you want to break free of the main pack of cruising boats, you have to be able to and do sail upwind. For more than a day at a time. Any boat shape will sail downwind - the Kon Tiki made it to the South Pacific. But to go upwind you need boat design, knowledge, and perseverance.

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17 hours ago, DDW said:

Anyway, for the true cruiser, speed is defined as not getting passed by the other boats nearby, while they are in sight. Getting to the bar 20 minutes early doesn't even get you a cheap $20 trophy. 


One boat is a cuise, two boats (within sight of each other) is a regatta.
 

No exceptions, it's a law of nature. :D

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4 hours ago, weightless said:

"Cruising boat" is covering a lot of ground in this thread. Is this the boat of an unemployed poet gunkholing for an undefined time in some moist wilds aboard a sailing shoe box; a dentist heading for an anchorage where he has a reservation at a restaurant and a date to impress; mom 'n pop chartering for a week; a professional adventurist, journalist looking for a high latitude story?  Needs vary.

It isn't just the crews that vary, from other threads we know that "cruising" covers a vast range of sailing. For some it is nothing more than a Saturday night away from the home berth. Others have never seen the same berth or anchorage on two successive nights for years. Cross section that with the range of a 22 year old minimalist adventurer up to a well off 65 year old retiree used to quick room service and a single prescription for performance requirement is pretty meaningless. Further, a lot of us may go through every stage of that continuum over a lifetime. When I was 16 I happily cruised in an 8' pram dinghy. Now I want hot running water and cold drinks, and don't want to sleep in a wet sleeping bag under a drippy tarp. I'm the same guy otherwise though :-).

56 minutes ago, 10thTonner said:


One boat is a cuise, two boats (within sight of each other) is a regatta.
 

No exceptions, it's a law of nature. :D

Correct, and the definition of 'fast' is: 0.1 knots faster than that other boat. Or a damn good rationalization as to why not. 

I am serious on that point. 5 knots vs 4 knots VMG is a universe of difference on the windward leg of a race course, and almost totally meaningless in the rest of your sailing life. Sailboats are among the slowest ways to travel currently in popular existence. "Fast" is only relevant in context, very slow context in this case. 

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3 hours ago, longy said:

Most cruisers & their  boats don't know how/cannot sail upwind. So they just adjust their route plans to suit. If you want to break free of the main pack of cruising boats, you have to be able to and do sail upwind. For more than a day at a time. Any boat shape will sail downwind - the Kon Tiki made it to the South Pacific. But to go upwind you need boat design, knowledge, and perseverance.

The problem comes when you are sailing on the coast … all destinations are either dead upwind or dead downwind 

if you and your boat aren’t up to the task you must turn the engine on 

frequently I’m the only boat out there with sails , everyone else is motoring 

it’s sad because upwind in light wind and smooth seas is beautiful sailing 

 

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On 1/13/2022 at 9:30 AM, European Bloke said:

Furlers

One furler bad, two furlers tragic.

Once I sell my over-inflated-price house, I’m gonna get a custom one-off copy of Hawk, y’know which custom Van de Stadt Samoa 47 I’m talking about.  There will be no furlers.  There will be a crew of cute bikini-clad deck monkeys to do sail changes at my bidding.  It will sail perfectly to windward.  I will be pleased.  All will be well. We will beat everyone to anchorages.  Win local regattas. Win the Melbourne-Osaka.  Compete seriously in the Hobart.  Just wait.  The only question:  will I be able to find that good, reliable, cute, bikini-clad crew I mentioned?

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3 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

will I be able to find that good, reliable, cute, bikini-clad crew I mentioned?

You've just got to look around.

Musket Cove regatta, Fiji. She invited me to dance. She was from Czechoslovakia

image.png.1f817a8f51d54862c5f2f0629ea66e63.png

Me in foreground. Wife on the left, friend on the right. She lives in Brittany now.

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Take 'em sailing and see if they like it - St. Helena:

Louise, the ex-governor's daughter beside me

Along with 3 UK guys doing a film documentary and my daughter

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Sarah. She visited us in California. She's Jewish so that's why the mezuzah

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When things didn't go as planned (getting her to Singapore in time for a flight due to horrible weather) she was a good sport about getting local water taxi, to a small airport to get to Singapore. Have good friends like that.

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Ride the buses with the local folks. Actually that's Paula. She was on another boat. She was from Argentina but lives in Arizona with her family.

image.png.1650c62128422f3475ab95c6d4088ba4.png

 

 

 

 

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18 hours ago, Elegua said:

Why do 8/10 cruisers hate proper halyard tension?  Too cheep to buy decent halyards and too lazy to adjust them?  

Between the safety gear, the anchor gear, the sails, the tools, the spares, the personal gear (cold and hot weather), provisioning, the dinghy...maybe a toy or two...the boat really begins to feel like a 10lb sack with 15lbs of shit in it.  Everything seems to weigh a lot and even when sailing a steamroller you can feel the difference. The line between being self reliant and having too much crap seems a fine line. 

Most racers don't use proper halyard tension.  

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5 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Once I sell my over-inflated-price house, I’m gonna get a custom one-off copy of Hawk, y’know which custom Van de Stadt Samoa 47 I’m talking about.  There will be no furlers.  There will be a crew of cute bikini-clad deck monkeys to do sail changes at my bidding.  It will sail perfectly to windward.  I will be pleased.  All will be well. We will beat everyone to anchorages.  Win local regattas. Win the Melbourne-Osaka.  Compete seriously in the Hobart.  Just wait.  The only question:  will I be able to find that good, reliable, cute, bikini-clad crew I mentioned?

Looks like it's all covered then. Zonker says it can be done, and Zonker's always right. Apart from about that shirt. That shirt's not right.

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8 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

 The only question:  will I be able to find that good, reliable, cute, bikini-clad crew I mentioned?

A young bronzed hunk of an athlete like yourself will be fending off the girls ;) 

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20 hours ago, slug zitski said:

The problem comes when you are sailing on the coast … all destinations are either dead upwind or dead downwind 

if you and your boat aren’t up to the task you must turn the engine on 

frequently I’m the only boat out there with sails , everyone else is motoring 

it’s sad because upwind in light wind and smooth seas is beautiful sailing 

a) What coast would that be? 

b) Or was this your real point? "frequently I’m the only boat out there with sails , everyone else is motoring."

I'll take Bloviating Bullshiters for $200 Ken.

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Blue Crab said:

a) What coast would that be? 

b) Or was this your real point? "frequently I’m the only boat out there with sails , everyone else is motoring."

I'll take Bloviating Bullshiters for $200 Ken.

 

 

You sound  insecure , frustrated 

you’re lack of achievement in  life is a problem that only you can overcome 

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9 minutes ago, slug zitski said:

You sound  insecure , frustrated 

you’re lack of achievement in  life is a problem that only you can overcome 

:D 

Oh Fuck Yeah. Don't throw me in that briarpatch! 

Gotta say Slug, I have also had that inclination to cast a haughty eye downwards at all those lazy sonsofbitches just out to have a fun few hours in their boat. I was a hardnose too. Only the last two of many boats have had a real engine. But Bud, I have changed my tune. New boat has a diesel and a new genny on a new furler.

See where I'm going here?

 

 

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10 hours ago, European Bloke said:

Looks like it's all covered then. Zonker says it can be done, and Zonker's always right. Apart from about that shirt. That shirt's not right.

I think the shirt kills. I might actually have that shirt. 

I find that getting weight before the mast but not all the way forward helps. I have the second water tank up there and keep it topped off and use the other and the boat goes a bit better upwind, so I moved the 2nd anchor and other stuff up there. 

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On 1/13/2022 at 10:47 AM, Baldur said:

It's, "Genltemen never sail to weather."

First rule of cruising:

Nothing goes upwind like the big white bird.

th?id=OIP.vB1cjDoCtU61BWIP4YiZzwHaE8%26p

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12 hours ago, Zonker said:

 

Along with 3 UK guys doing a film documentary and my daughter
 

You let three filmakers from the UK do your daughter?

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Filling in rusted pits in the keels

removing thru hulls or replacing them with flush ones

synthetic rigging

install electronic gizmo to track your polars and sailcloth and come up with some arcane optimised model

replace your keel with a lead pencil 

Get all passengers to huddle on the saloon floor underway 

Zonker looks strongbody and tall, nice hair too

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When I got my used Hunter 28, I installed a Garhaurer rigid vang, removed the topping lift and put a tackle on the backstay for adjusting mast bend. Also replaced worn rope clutches. Replaced the fixed blade prop with a Gori (not a real race prop, folding cruising prop).

I replaced the worn out dacron, first with laminates, now mostly with carbon fiber.

I race in the slow boat, non-spin division. I've had it suggested that it's not the most competitive division out there. These changes are enough to be competitive. 

I ought to replace the main sheet winches. They make terrible screeching noises, and it's hard to get the jib in in 15+.

A friend races on a Beneteau in the next town over. It's one of the high-sided, boxy, cruising boats. At first they did terrible.  Then they scared some some how-to instructions from Beneteau and now they do mediocre or a little better. Maybe the floating summer cottages need a different approach than the all out race boats.

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52 minutes ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

WTF?  That’s crass and super rude. And it’s not even clever as grammar/syntax humour.

lol jud, I wish you well trying to establish civility and politeness here. It is valiant, but my personal sense has been that it is usually more productive to just redirect the discussion topic.

How are your various winter projects coming along?  I get some 2nd hand satisfaction from seeing you and ajax and a few others make actual progress on their plans.

what are your sailing plans for the coming year?

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1 hour ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:
5 hours ago, Remodel said:

You let three filmakers from the UK do your daughter?

WTF?  That’s crass and super rude. And it’s not even clever as grammar/syntax humour.

It's OK. My daughter was playing Cards Against Humanity against the boys and Louise. She taught them a few new words... (Poor Louise grew up on St. Helena and was missing some important cultural references like "who is Captain Kirk?")

They were doing a story of the bones of freed slaves being found on St Helena when constructing their new airport. When British ships intercepted slavers in the South Atlantic and lot of the slaves were dropped off on St. Helena. Not all survived. My wife did a story (of course) on the film makers.

https://psmag.com/magazine/the-bones-of-st-helena

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Stan Honey. Somewhere in this video (around minute 52) he talks about cruising in his family's Cal40 and how he set her up to make her go upwind... essentially, keep the crap off the boat and reduce windage.

It's a good way to spend an hour and a bit...

 

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Get a boat designed to sail very well first.

Don't load it up with all the crap you really don't need.

Done.

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5 hours ago, estarzinger said:

lol jud, I wish you well trying to establish civility and politeness here. It is valiant, but my personal sense has been that it is usually more productive to just redirect the discussion topic.

How are your various winter projects coming along?  I get some 2nd hand satisfaction from seeing you and ajax and a few others make actual progress on their plans.

what are your sailing plans for the coming year?

Well, I just feel like comments like that about anyone’s kids, their daughter especially, are way out of bounds...anyway, welcome to the Internet.  Anonymity can do weird things to some people.

Really appreciate your advice and insight into various things.  So, today was install the new staysail halyard, and go up the mast to measure out/mark for the hole I’ll cut tomorrow for the Solent stay drop-in sheave box. I'm also devising a way to pin the stay to my anchor roller assembly area, which currently has a 3/8” hole.  The releasable lever has a 1/2” pin, and I can’t drill out the existing hole to 1/2” since they’re won’t be enough meat left over on the deck fitting to reliably/safely take the load of the new stay - so devising a way to attach the stay without resorting to welding anything (and the paint damage it results in/paint repair).  Also prepping for installing a trysail track I picked up - moved a few things on the lower part of the mast to accommodate the track install, and moved my topping lift, where it exits the mast, so that I can use that hole for the new Solent stay halyard- which made me happy to not have to chop another hole in the mast for that!  Tomorrow it’s  finally not supposed to rain, so it’s go up the mast and cut halyard sheave box hole, set up a bunch of blocks on my toe rail to ensure I’ve got what I need for the new staysail set up and future trysail sheets and, finally, try to rough in/figure out how to install the first section of trysail track.  Actually, one more thing, which @Elegua had advised me on - setting up a padeye with lashing and Wichard trigger release snap shackle for my second deep reef dog bone/tack point, which I never got around to doing this fall after new mainsail/new boom set up.  Busy times!  
 

Next/soon will be sorting out my pole based on the discussion/info in that thread (your old CW article) - can’t believe I’ve never really had a proper pole set up!  And, final big winter project, is setting up a day tank (modifying a tank I already have) and installing a Racor 500 filter.  Before our winter moorage runs out at end of April and we go back on a mooring buoy, I’d also like to set up solar, at lest wire for it.  Then I’d feel like most things are “done” except for a drogue attachment point - would like to do that while boat still at dock since hard to do (drill) from dinghy with boat on a buoy...maybe prioritize that over solar install, since that can be done on buoy.  Busy times!

This summer, planning to get up to Haida Gwaii and then back on the west coast of Vancouver Island.  Need to up my game. :-).  Hoping later in the year, fall/winter, to do some heavy weather sailing to get my head in the game and hands dirty.  It’s all about having enough time.  Ready for Hawaii (and return) next summer?

Meanwhile, just to bring the thread full circle and back on topic - setting up cruising boats for upwind performance - I hope the new 90% hank-on jib and drifter for the Solent will improve our windward performance in heavier and light air...seems like it will.  (Will meet sailmaker later this month re: sails, once I’ve finished setting up the stay and halyard. Stay tuned :-) )

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18 minutes ago, Elegua said:

My first recommendation would be to get better advice. 

As I used to say to one of my ex-managers who liked to ask me if I knew what I was doing....

"If I knew what I was doing, would I be working *here*???"

FKT

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For the inner forestay:

Get a rigging toggle with a 3/8" pin and bend the opening enough to fit your 1/2" pin (Assuming your lever has 2 cheek plates to slide over a plate)

The SWL of the inner forestay (1/4" or 9/32" s.s. wire?) will be in the same ballpark as this fitting (2500-3000 lbs). This happens to be CS Johnson I just randomly picked from a West Marine site.

image.png.8a920f0d0c3632a1fdc00575f1d7c4e9.png

 

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On 1/14/2022 at 4:30 AM, European Bloke said:

Furlers

One furler bad, two furlers tragic.

 

 

 

 

Beats me where you get that from.  Having 2 furlers is brilliant.  Only changing jibs around once a week has a lot going for it.

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15 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

WTF?  That’s crass and super rude. And it’s not even clever as grammar/syntax humour.

Sigh. I should have used the purple font. If Zonks is offended, I apologize to him. Anyone else can harden TFU.

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On 1/13/2022 at 9:47 AM, 2airishuman said:

 

My real question is whether the tradeoffs are worthwhile, in light of the discomfort and poor Vmg that can be achieved in practice.  I am also curious as to what those of you who have made upwind performance a first priority have done about safety-related items such as radar, a liferaft on deck, and throwable PFDs.

Interesting thread. My only theory as a coastal sailor (I have none of the gear listed except throwable PFD), is to keep the boat light in use, point as high as the boat will allow, and then start cracking off until it feels good to be on the boat.

Then I look at my course to windward and see the reality of my arrival. This last step is often way down at the bottom of the list. 

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9 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

So, today was .....

......

Meanwhile, just to bring the thread full circle and back on topic 

I think I need a nap now.

All sound like decently sensible projects.

I would encourage you to find a way to push outside your comfort zone with this year's sailing.  I think you already know how to get up the channels and you 'need' progression.

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On 1/16/2022 at 6:49 AM, estarzinger said:

I think I need a nap now.

All sound like decently sensible projects.

I would encourage you to find a way to push outside your comfort zone with this year's sailing.  I think you already know how to get up the channels and you 'need' progression.

Yup. Yup. Yup.

And need time!  (Working towards finding a way to work half a year soon before pulling the plug entirely for a while...)

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On 1/13/2022 at 7:47 AM, 2airishuman said:

My real question is whether the tradeoffs are worthwhile, in light of the discomfort and poor Vmg that can be achieved in practice.  I am also curious as to what those of you who have made upwind performance a first priority have done about safety-related items such as radar, a liferaft on deck, and throwable PFDs.

I have a "performance cat", or "racer / cruiser", if you'll forgive the oxymorons. She is 32', and can be a very fast cat OR she can be a loaded-down cruiser, just not both at the same time. If I understand your question, I do think the tradeoffs are worthwhile, because she sails quick and smooth  in a compromise between the two. In reference to upwind performance, she can sail very close to the wind - due to a carbon fiber rotating wing mast, and a highly adjustable jib. She is also quite roomy and comfy inside. I do have solar panels, a lightweight dinghy and throwable PFDs but not that other stuff. 

Are you asking because you are trying to decide what boat is best for you? If so, check out John Shuttleworth's Designs and philosophy. PM me if you have any questions.

 

 

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On 1/15/2022 at 7:44 PM, Zonker said:

My daughter was playing Cards Against Humanity against the boys and Louise.

You learn a lot about your kids when you play that game with them. It's horrifying and hilarious at the same time.

I think I made reasonable compromises on my recent cruise.

  • Solar panels? -  Yes, but only two and they are super thin, light and easily removed. One is mounted amidships and adds zero windage.
  • Dinghy? - Yes, deflated and stored at the mast, not on davits off the stern.
  • Dinghy gear - No gasoline outboard or fuel. 15lb. electric trolling motor stored below, amidships. I did store a 65lb battery under the helm seat.
  • Radar? - No
  • Jugs on the rail? - One
  • Ground tackle - 30-odd feet of chain, the rest is nylon so not too much weight in the bow. The anchor itself only heavy enough to be "just adequate" for cruising.
  • Sails - New genoa but I used my blown-out old mainsail because I wasn't sure if I'd wreck my new mainsail with my mistakes but I did have new sails.
  • Dodger but no bimini (less canvas made prep for tropical storm Elsa much easier)

Compared to other cruisers I ran into, I was lean and mean. Only the deflated dinghy on deck indicated that I was more than a daysailer.  I met this family in Cape May on an O'Day 37. They were heading from Annapolis to New York for an O'Day owner's rendezvous. This guy was absolutely loaded. Full sized kayaks hanging off of stainless steel brackets outboard of the lifelines. Full dinghy on davits with outboard, heavy residential grade solar panels mounted above the davits.

 

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2 hours ago, Ajax said:

You learn a lot about your kids when you play that game with them. It's horrifying and hilarious at the same time.

I think I made reasonable compromises on my recent cruise.

  • Solar panels? -  Yes, but only two and they are super thin, light and easily removed. One is mounted amidships and adds zero windage. I put some on my dodger and the bottom of my dinghy - the drag is already there.  
  • Dinghy? - Yes, deflated and stored at the mast, not on davits off the stern.  Same - upside-down under the boom. 
  • Dinghy gear - No gasoline outboard or fuel. 15lb. electric trolling motor stored below, amidships. I did store a 65lb battery under the helm seat. Finding a spot for 7.5' oars and sailing rig has been a challenge. I may use these quickfist mounts in the cabin.  I'm also thinking about a PVC pipe for the rig. I'm also debating whether I should get an EP paddle. 
  • image.png.288c123f51fdd68f4137209669165179.png 
  • Radar? - No  More useful than you might think even if it's an older unit. A bearing and a distance off is a fix. 
  • Jugs on the rail? - One Would you ever store a diesel jug in a locker? What if it leaked or broke? 
  • Ground tackle - 30-odd feet of chain, the rest is nylon so not too much weight in the bow. The anchor itself only heavy enough to be "just adequate" for cruising.  I may be over-egging it. This Winter I'm retiring the 73# Bruce for a 66# Spade. I have two rodes on the bow. both are 150' of 5/16th G4 and another 150' of nylon.  For spare anchors I have a 35# folding Northill and a 28lb Fortress on the stern.  For the stern anchor I have 275' of nylon and 15' of chain.  I also have a 35# CQR is now a lawn ornament in my parents garden. 
  • Sails - New genoa but I used my blown-out old mainsail because I wasn't sure if I'd wreck my new mainsail with my mistakes but I did have new sails. 
  • Dodger but no bimini (less canvas made prep for tropical storm Elsa much easier) I am putting one on - I've never had one before, but it is removable and modeled on the Learning by Doing guys bimini. I asked that I be able to see up the leech up the main sail and to leeward. I hate how most block the visibility. 

Compared to other cruisers I ran into, I was lean and mean. Only the deflated dinghy on deck indicated that I was more than a daysailer.  I met this family in Cape May on an O'Day 37. They were heading from Annapolis to New York for an O'Day owner's rendezvous. This guy was absolutely loaded. Full sized kayaks hanging off of stainless steel brackets outboard of the lifelines. Full dinghy on davits with outboard, heavy residential grade solar panels mounted above the davits. Some I see possibly have enough fuel and water to re-invade Iraq. 

 

 

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I'm not dissing radar, I was just noting that since I don't have it, I don't have the weight aloft. I'm already looking at the B&G HALO radars. They are very power thrifty and much lighter than units of yore.

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I’d say, get a Hobie 33.  Wicked performing boat to cruise and race if you like.  Ok, only 48” headroom inside, so it’s a bit skimpy for a 33 footer, but compromises, compromises :-) :-)  How much room do you really *need*? :-)

Here’s the Hobie 33 that sailed in the first Race to Alaska a few years ago, epicly battling upwind in 30+ in Johnstone Strait...

813F8776-3839-4AD1-A4D8-CFCB2CA8FAC7.jpeg

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3 hours ago, Ajax said:

I'm not dissing radar, I was just noting that since I don't have it, I don't have the weight aloft. I'm already looking at the B&G HALO radars. They are very power thrifty and much lighter than units of yore.

The small ,15 inch , furuno was a good small craft radar 

the furuno  ipad wireless radar looks interesting since it only needs a small diameter power cable so it would be possible to mount on the spin pole track 

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14 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

I’d say, get a Hobie 33.  Wicked performing boat to cruise and race if you like.  Ok, only 48” headroom inside, so it’s a bit skimpy for a 33 footer, but compromises, compromises :-) :-)  How much room do you really *need*? :-)

Here’s the Hobie 33 that sailed in the first Race to Alaska a few years ago, epicly battling upwind in 30+ in Johnstone Strait...

813F8776-3839-4AD1-A4D8-CFCB2CA8FAC7.jpeg

When the keel is ventilating, it is time to think about sail reduction!

Interesting boat this Hobie 33...

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7 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

I think the dude who owns used to own this website/forum reviewed one recently :-)

Fixed it for you.

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On 1/13/2022 at 5:00 PM, Zonker said:

The totally vertical windows of the Lagoon types make me shudder.

The angled wings on either side of cabins (Outremer) also bug me. Just trap air.

This may be a thread drift but it caught my