Favorite rough weather technique

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by gonzo, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    Yep, that's pretty much the point I'm trying to make.

    However, for some reason the evidence is often viewed in a way that concentrates on the problems with light boats, and ignores the problems with heavy boats or excuses them by saying that there must be some other reason for the loss.

    They seem to come to these conclusions by, for example, assuming that Winston Churchill was 'very unlikely' to have sunk if it was "made of GRP to the same stregth as wood planking", by ascribing her loss partly to a sprung plank that did not exist according to the sworn testimony of crew and shipwrights. Or by repeatedly bringing up Sword of Orion (1 death caused when the boat was rolled and a crewman was tragically flung so hard that his harness snapped) while repeatedly ignoring Flashlight (a heavy, slender Ohlson 35 that lost two lives in a similar fashion in the 1979 Fastnet).

    The light boat that had one death is repeatedly pointed out as unseaworthy, whereas the heavy boat that had two deaths in a similar fashion is all but ignored.

    Same mechanism of death, worse death toll - why ignore one and concentrate on the other?

    EDIT-

    It turns out that the 'go fast yacht' Winston Churchill was actually modelled by her builder, Percy Coverdale, of his famous fishing smack "Storm Bay", which is still around (and looking, not surprisingly, a lot like WC).

    Funny how a boat modelled from a fishing smack can be called a 'go fast' design!

    Interesting also to find an article on the boat, before its sinking, that says $270,000 was spent on refurbishing the boat when Winning had her.

    "Mr Winning bought the yacht for $90,000 last year and has spent about $270,000 restoring it" says the Sydney Morning Herald article.

    "The yacht, built from huon pine, was stripped inside and its wooden mast was replaced with a longer, aluminium one. It has also been given new hydraulic steering gear, its water and fuel tanks were reconditioned and repairs made to the rudder. Nevertheless, the yacht, which took part in the inaugural Sydney to Hobart race in 1945, looks little different from what it looked like when it was built.

    "He was a master boatbuilder and he didn't cut any corners," Mr Winning said.

    "That is why she has lasted so long and will be here long after we have all gone."

    Doesn't sound like someone cutting corners with a boat known to have suspect fastenings, does it?
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2010
  2. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I've been knocked down and rolled on heavy and light boats. It is bad either way.
     
  3. capt vimes
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    capt vimes Senior Member

    well... it could be my bad english but this statement just mentions that she took damage to her port side leaving the crew with no other option as to abandon ship...
    i do think that anybody would doubt that... ;)
    but it gives no explanation of the actual cause and damage which sank her in the end...

    i never said that and never would!

    i am completely with you....
    i just threw that piece of information in because i read it somewhere... if i find this article again, i PM you...
    and i would never say that heavy ships are unsafe in general - but neither are lightweights...

    for me personally i prefer lighter ships with appropriate sailing performance to be able and sail a strom like beau describes because this is in perfect accordance to my own experiences... but that is just me... ;)
     
  4. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I like light boats but not ultralights, they move too fast and are generaly uncomfortable. I mean on monohulls.
     
  5. Ramona
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    Ramona Senior Member

    For six months before Mr. Winning bought her WC was on a mooring here at Greenwell Point. I used to walk past her most days, the mooring about 80 metres from the bank. Either side of her were fin keeled yachts. During westerly gales and opposing tides I was always impressed how settled she seemed compared to the other yachts "sailing" about their moorings.
     
  6. BeauVrolyk
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    BeauVrolyk Sailor

    Ramona, I think that the way a boat sits at a mooring, or at anchor, and the way it behaves when moving through the water are really two entirely different things. I do agree, that long keel boats tend to sit at moorings more calmly than their fin keel brethren. However, that is due to a number of factors that have nothing to do with their ability to deal with really bad seas and wind. For example, the cut away fore foot of a fin keel allows the bow to be blown down wind quickly, letting the boat rotate around the keel; this increases the "sailing" at a mooring. But, I believe the primary effect is caused by most modern designs having the mast well forward of the keel. This, plus whatever freeboard there is at the bow, pushes the bow to the side in a puff and gets the boat sideways to the breeze a bit, she then accelerates because she's light, and sails up on her mooring. BTW, if you'd like to anchor or moor a modern boat and keep her from sailing around, just tie her up by the stern rather than the bow. Then, because the forces are in balance in a puff instead if out of balance, the boat will lay to the wind perfectly. It's the one and only reason I can think of for a double ended boat.

    The reason that the modern design is stable hanging at anchor by the stern is for reasons quite similar to the reason that I prefer heading down wind rather than up in a storm. The forces are in balance, meaning that the center of effort and aerodynamic drag is well forward of the center of forward resistance. So, the boat naturally wants to go down wind. It requires very few steering inputs. Whereas, when a boat like this, or even an old full keep boat, is attempting to go up wind the breeze is always trying to blow the bow down and unless one keeps a pretty good sized sail up, it is hard to keep the boat headed up wind smoothly. One can usually reach or even tight reach without a lot of steering input, but in a serious blow it becomes hard to reach real stability while breeching wave crests when on the wind and being caught aback in a blow can be really really bad.

    BV
     
  7. TeddyDiver
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    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

    And to avoid such characteristics is why some of us prefer longkeeled gaff rigged ketch or yawl.. :)
     
  8. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    ....or motoryachts?:cool:
     
  9. TeddyDiver
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    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

  10. BeauVrolyk
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    BeauVrolyk Sailor

    LOL - Yes, I used to think about how much nicer it was sailing about on the apx 100' Alden schooner I used to drive.... until I had to go out to the end of the 15' bowsprit to get the damned infernal outer jib down or until I had to round up a gaggle of folks to get both running backstays set during a gybe so we wouldn't loose the rig.... Then, it dawned on me that yacht designers weren't idiots and there was a reason that marconi mains and knockabout rigs took over.

    Salee, the Alden schooner, was a lovely ship and still holds a special place in my heart because of her beauty. But she could be an evil woman to sail. Putting a reef into her main in a heavy sea, or even worse trying to take the mainsail down, was not a job for the faint hearted. The gaff, being a hollow spruce spar of about twenty feet would flail and thrash just above the forty foot boom. While we did our best with the lazy jacks, sheets and even what we called the lariat (we'd lasso the end of the gaff and tie it as tight as we could) I can certainly understand how a superb sailor like Tabarly was killed trying to reef in heavy weather.

    I am on the cusp of buying an old gaff headed cutter right now, but I wouldn't be doing it if she wasn't just for fair weather sailing. I'll take a modern rig any day in a blow.

    BV
     
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  11. TeddyDiver
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    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

    Pros'n cons.. Schooners, best to stay next to helmsman and just tell the next heading :)
    In some other thread I said smth about boomles main and that's what I'm planning with the main in my ketch. Gaff with vangs stays up and main with brails is easy to furl single handed. One reef of points..
     
  12. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Furlers have proved themselves in rough weather. I think that they are good as long as the mainteinance is kept up. A broken furl line can be a disaster.
     
  13. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    Ide rather set a handkerchief on the inner fore stay than furl a genoa and end up with a baggy useless flogging mess.

    Main!! take it down.

    heave too or deploy the storm anchor. I would never lie ahull
     
  14. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I mean that you can have a fast way of handling sails.
     

  15. Brent Swain
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    Brent Swain Member

    Its only useless going upwind ,which one should avoid in a gale.
     
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