Can someone help me make my lead mine actually move

alctel

Member
452
130
Victoria
So my old boat was an old 1980 hunter 36. Loved it, could sail in 2 knots of wind on flat water. Got stuck in Mexico during covid and had to sell it eventually.

My new boat is a Rafiki 37 https://sailboatdata.com/sailboat/rafiki-37. It displaces twice as much as the old hunter (26500lb vs 13500) and actually more than a Valiant 40!

So my question, how the hell do I make it move in less than ideal conditions? Is it even possible? I like sailing as much as possible and in summer in the PNW you better be good at light air sailing. The old owners pretty much always motored upwind or in less than 15 so they weren't much help.

The sails are all pretty shot so I have to buy a new set anyway.

The two main approaches I've thought of so far were:

- Big Genoa (150?) on furler on forestay, small blade (90?) on staysail stay (would probably not fly both at the same time). Symmetrical spinny for downwind stuff (I know people don't tend to like sym spinns much anymore but I had one on my old boat and loved it)

- One of those code 0-esk sails on a furler, a small genoa (125?) and an even smaller jib than the other one, designed to fly both at the same time. Plan would be I'd use the big sail up to 10 knots or so upwind and then switch to the whites. Downwind or hard on the wind I'd use the symmetrical spinny or the white sails respectively.

Anything I've missed here? Is one approach better than the other?
 

SloopJonB

Super Anarchist
70,172
13,318
Great Wet North
The Tim Allen philosophy - "More Power".

Sail it as a sloop with a 150 until it needs reefing. Then go to double headsails.

That's what worked best on my under-rigged cutter.
 

Jambalaya

Super Anarchist
6,773
155
Hamble / Paris
If it's heavy it won't go well downwind in light/medium airs either. Many owners with such boats don't bother with kites at all for that reason. I would be tempted to suggest you start with genoa & main and reach around with the genoa to see how that works before thinking about kites/cruising chutes
 

bgytr

Super Anarchist
5,083
690
In light air, the biggest factor against speed is wetted surface. That full keel shape has a LOT of wetted surface area. In lighter air you will be awfully slow and the only thing you can do to change that is add power, which does not look like an option unless you want a bigger sailplan.
 
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IStream

Super Anarchist
10,932
3,108
As the owner of a 40,000 lb (wet) Catalina 50 here in the PNW, I feel you.

All of the above, but even if you can't reduce wetted area don't forget there are things you can do to reduce drag. Do you have a folding or feathering prop? Is the bottom fair? How blunt are the trailing edges of your underwater foils?

Some checkbook engineering the next time you have her out of the water could be money well-spent.
 

alctel

Member
452
130
Victoria
As the owner of a 40,000 lb (wet) Catalina 50 here in the PNW, I feel you.

All of the above, but even if you can't reduce wetted area don't forget there are things you can do to reduce drag. Do you have a folding or feathering prop? Is the bottom fair? How blunt are the trailing edges of your underwater foils?

Some checkbook engineering the next time you have her out of the water coul
I have a two blader on right now that rotates to hide behind the skeg under sail (at least that's what the PO told me - I've never actually checked). A folding prop may be in my future

is it still set up to be a cutter rig like the brochure? if so, use that config. more sail area. no reason why all the headsails couldn't be on rollers ...

Yup, still a cutter rig. The staysail is a hank on though right now but that's not a huge issue

The Tim Allen philosophy - "More Power".

Sail it as a sloop with a 150 until it needs reefing. Then go to double headsails.

That's what worked best on my under-rigged cutter.

So in heavy weather drop the main and then just use the two headsails together? I imagine that's downwind only right? How big is the staysail?
If it's heavy it won't go well downwind in light/medium airs either. Many owners with such boats don't bother with kites at all for that reason. I would be tempted to suggest you start with genoa & main and reach around with the genoa to see how that works before thinking about kites/cruising chutes

I'll give that a shot, although it has all rigging for a symmetrical spinny, just not the actual kite itself (and second hand ones are cheap!)

Wouldn't a big spinny always be better downwind in light air than white sails?
 

Crash

Super Anarchist
5,207
1,111
SoCal
So not too put to fine a point on it, but you bought an old, heavy full keeled yacht with SA/Disp ratio of 13.2 (rounded up!) and a disp/L ratio of 361 (rounded down!) and you're asking how to make it move in light air?

Move to San Francisco Bay? Or maybe the North Sea? Some place where 20kts is considered light air?

Bigger genoas, light air drifters, a scrupulously clean bottom, a main with a large roach, and lots of patience!

Or as Hitchhiker insinuated, a big motor, and a 3 bladed feathering prop!
 

Jambalaya

Super Anarchist
6,773
155
Hamble / Paris
If you can buy a cheap second hand kite then go for it, that makes a lot of sense. I am more of a lightweight asymmetric boat sailor so when I am on a heavier cruising type boat downwind in lighter airs I am just wishing the engine was on !
 

Parma

Super Anarchist
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here
There's a lot of good advice being given here. If the boat moving in lighter airs is important, you might think about a different boat simply because you can try all sorts of different things, configs & gadgets but you'll going to continue to run into those low low performance SA/D ratio & shallow draft issues no matter what.
 

12 metre

Super Anarchist
4,004
780
English Bay
The sails are all pretty shot so I have to buy a new set anyway.

...think about a different boat simply because you can try all sorts of different things, configs & gadgets but you'll going to continue to run into those low low performance SA/D ratio & shallow draft issues no matter what.

Buying a new set of sails will help a bit upwind.

The prop is in an aperture, so I don't think swapping in a folder or feathering is going to do help much. Just make sure the 2 blades line up vertically. The "foils" or rather "foil" on long keelers is more of a plate than a foil - a "foil" one foot wide by say 20 feet long gives a t/c ratio of 5% and there is no foil I am aware of with a t/c that low - so sharpening the trailing edge won't be much benefit IMO.

Mind you a plate will act like a foil (i.e. Stars or Cal 20s), and that is how almost long keelers Are designed.

But the reality is, if you want to actually sail a boat in the light airs of PNW - this is the wrong type of boat. One of the lowest SA/D I think I have seen at less than 13.2. That plus the very long keel mean low horsepower with a lot of fictional drag which is the main form of drag in light air. and as Parma said, shallow draft is not a necessity in PNW. In fact I believe Bob Perry advocates deep draft even for cruisers in PNW.

By not having to buy new sails, you will have saved maybe $15k-$20k depending on how many sails you are looking at buying.

With the money saved, you could trade the Rafiki for something that will sail well in PNW. There always seems to be buyers out there looking for a "bluewater" sailboat like a Rafiki. Mind you from your end, there isn't much on the market these days worth looking at locally and even crap boats are well overpriced. But Hunter 36's do come up on occasion and it seems you were happy with your last one.
 

Boathavn

Hof & Gammel Dansk - Skål !
Here you go, one of the best light air sailboats in the Pacific Northwest. And it's rumored to be still for sale!

For the man not afraid to stand out in the crowd.
But the reality is, if you want to actually sail a boat in the light airs of PNW...


01616_jfBq1r3viBWz_0CI0t2_1200x900.jpg

 
The idea to save money from the sails and instead trade out the boat is a good one.
If you want to stick with this boat, before you put money into sails, learn how to sail her with the sails you have.
Start by putting telltales along the leech of the main and along the luff of the jib or genoa, and keep them flying at all times, upwind, reaching, and downwind (which will be a broad reach).
When you get the feel for the boat, start taking notes on your boat speed, point of sail, and wind speed.
You can do the math on vmg and start finding where the boat is doing it's best. You can add the crappy spinnaker and compare that to broad reaching with genoa or jib.
The new sails will improve the results to a certain degree but you need to learn the boat first or you're wasting money.
 

Raz'r

Super Anarchist
63,131
5,850
De Nile
yeah, light air? I've got nothing.... Maybe get a PT11 nesting dinghy and use the mothership powerplant to go anchorage to anchorage, then sail the dinghy.
1663022710928.png
 

IStream

Super Anarchist
10,932
3,108
Can't disagree with the advice to consider a different boat if light air performance is important to you.

However, if you don't already sail much in the spring and fall seasons consider adding heat, a dodger, and whatever else you'd need for the cooler and wetter seasons when the winds are stronger and more consistent. It'll make you feel less bad about motoring in the summer.
 

alctel

Member
452
130
Victoria
The idea to save money from the sails and instead trade out the boat is a good one.
If you want to stick with this boat, before you put money into sails, learn how to sail her with the sails you have.
Start by putting telltales along the leech of the main and along the luff of the jib or genoa, and keep them flying at all times, upwind, reaching, and downwind (which will be a broad reach).
When you get the feel for the boat, start taking notes on your boat speed, point of sail, and wind speed.
You can do the math on vmg and start finding where the boat is doing it's best. You can add the crappy spinnaker and compare that to broad reaching with genoa or jib.
The new sails will improve the results to a certain degree but you need to learn the boat first or you're wasting money.

This is pretty good advice, thanks.

The sails are really bad though - the main is undersized by at least 6 foot on the hoist and 9" on the foot (and is a slugged foot) while the genoa is similarly undersized. The PO only sailed when they were crossing oceans in the trade winds, the rest of the time they motored.

As to selling the boat - I'm happy with her generally, very comfy to liveaboard on, fantastic tankage and I plan on heading South (again) next year with the aim to actually make it to Australia and I'm most of the way through a refit so it would be starting from scratch if I did sell her. Just really trying to make the most of what I have!

Also, is 6' considered a shallow draft nowadays? My old boat was 4'11"...
 

12 metre

Super Anarchist
4,004
780
English Bay
This is pretty good advice, thanks.

The sails are really bad though - the main is undersized by at least 6 foot on the hoist and 9" on the foot (and is a slugged foot) while the genoa is similarly undersized. The PO only sailed when they were crossing oceans in the trade winds, the rest of the time they motored.

As to selling the boat - I'm happy with her generally, very comfy to liveaboard on, fantastic tankage and I plan on heading South (again) next year with the aim to actually make it to Australia and I'm most of the way through a refit so it would be starting from scratch if I did sell her. Just really trying to make the most of what I have!

Also, is 6' considered a shallow draft nowadays? My old boat was 4'11"...
Now you're talking something entirely different since you plan to sail South again next year.
Summer is pretty much over in PNW so less windless days.
Why sweat it for the little time you will be here, and you said you are still refitting the boat so you won't have all that much time to sail around here anyway.
Absolutely keep the Rafiki. As far as sails go, yes get new ones - but ones built with an ocean crossing in mind rather than light air sailing in PNW

And no, 6 ft isn't shallow draft, but there is a big difference performance wise between a fin keeler drawing 6 ft and a long keeler drawing 6 ft where the hull accounts for most of the draft.
 

El Borracho

Verified User
6,836
2,793
Pacific Rim
The sails are really bad though - the main is undersized by at least 6 foot on the hoist and 9" on the foot (and is a slugged foot) while the genoa is similarly undersized. ...
WTF!?

Can we assume that because the boat was previously cruised long distances that every locker is stuffed with all manner of heavy decrepit rusty mouldering useless garbage? Is that 600 feet of chain and several spare anchors still in the bow? Any guess on how much the boat actually displaces? 35,000?

Is that incredible expanse of bottom paint in perfect condition.
 




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