Gaff Rig - Safety - Ease of Use - For a Cruiser

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Standpipe, Jan 2, 2015.

  1. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    Wow ... total respect ... you set sail for a 500 mile passage with a F9 forecast to arrive in less than 3 days.

    Must have had a gaff rig?
  2. TeddyDiver
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    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

    I said close to 200 and the wind wasn't following the rhumb line, Chancing from Nnw to W so the route was a bit longer. The first two days were just running down with the main in the third reef. After that the wind eased considerably and took two more days to Funchal.
    Not a gaffer but a ketch, Swan 65. The famous one..
  3. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    The S&S Swan 65:
    65 LOA
    47 LWL
    213 nm/day average for 152 days (32,500 miles) in the Whitbread.

    You must have had truly poor conditions.
  4. TeddyDiver
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    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

    Somewhat.. :D

    ps, By the way, I thought Sayula II sailed 27,000nm so the avarage would have been close to 180nm/day
  5. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    You might be correct.

    Although I thought the whitebread was 32,000 miles.

    I sailed a swan 65 three times across the atlantic and cant remember too many two hundred miles days. It was an 8 knot boat. Fast days were 4 sail close reaches.
  6. pdwiley
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    pdwiley Senior Member

    That is a mis-quote. If you can't be bothered to quote correctly, none of your comments based on a mis-quote are worth responding to. You either didn't pay sufficient attention to what you read or you're misremembering things to make a nonexistent point.

    FWIW the designer provided me with a choice of 4 sail plans for the hull.

  7. MikeJohns
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    MikeJohns Senior Member

    Come on Randy, that's not a good cruising boat.
    An exposed deck with no shelter, an abysmal cockpit. No dodger to shelter under, nowhere to get out of the sun. Poor load carrying capability. They fit their cruising agenda to the boats shortcomings and admirably learn to cope, because racing continues to be a significant part of their SOR.
  8. sharpii2
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    My guess is they figured out a way to add a dodger.

    As for load carrying capability, couldn't they just load it down. It may sail several inches below its DWL, but that shouldn't hurt its sea worthiness too much, would it? Such boats tended to be high sided.

    I agree, it may not be the best choice, but it may be made into an acceptable one.
  9. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    What makes a good cruiser has little to do with the hull form, rig type and other boat considerations. You'd think this wasn't the case, but most cruisers are quite experienced sailors, with their ever evolving ideas of what they need and want in a sailor. They'll make a crappy boat a fine cruiser, adjustments to the running rig, sail handling gear, ground tackle handling, heating/cooling, storage, etc. It doesn't matter if it's an old CCA, pinched butt first gen IOR or even a garbage scow, they'll find ways to make it the sailor they want, getting the best from it they can, regardless of the rig. They know that 50% of the time they're out cruising, it's under power, so they'll upgrade the engine or make adjustments to the prop or drive, to accommodate their needs. This is the real cruiser, a couple that have lots of miles under their keels in various boats, each refining their ideals about the perfect cruiser. They've stepped up, then back down again, eventually setting on what they feel they can handle, prefer, like and likely most importantly of all, what they're most familiar with. From cruiser to cruiser, if asked to fill out a questionnaire, the variety of replies will run the gambit, simply because of their experience and evolution as a cruiser. When I was actively cruising, in a 40' LWL ketch, I'd pull down consistent 175 mile days, with occasional 200 miles days. When you do the math, this means I was doing a S/L ratio of 1, well below the theoretical hull speed, but a typical average. Keeping the boat in the groove for longer just isn't practical, nor desirable for the cruiser.

  10. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    I think I have the essence correct.

    You implied you had a hull and a choice of rigs and a budget of $10,000. I correctly stated and you confirmed that your choice of rig was not open, you were limited to 4 that were designed for the hull. If that hull is to sail decently with a junk rig it had to be designed with that as an option.

    One point I'm making is there has been no argument put forward that makes a gaff rig a better choice just because someone decides that sailing slowly and motoring upwind makes them a "cruiser". Another point I've made is that materials have driven rig design for cruisers more than racing rules. I'm tired of people claiming that whatever rigs they like (and we should too) is not the most popular because racers are evil.

    As PAR said, a S/L ratio of 1 is not a high hurdle. If average cruisers are making only 100 miles / day what does that say about their boats and sailing ability? 17.5 ft LWL sailed well? Or 40 ft LWL rigged and sailed poorly?

    I spend Nov-May in Mexico and I see a great many "cruisers" ... I have a pretty good idea of what actually gets from the US to Mexico and what continues on to the Puddle Jump. Wings has been there and done that ... a good cruiser does not need to be a 450 D/L crab crusher 45 with roller furling cuter rig, pilot house and 8 jerry cans of fuel lashed to the lifelines.

    Look at the boats that were able to sail off the beach in 1982 when a December storm hit Cabo San Lucas. Sailing performance = safety. Every producer of Cruising Designs makes mention of sailing ability. You never hear "Our boats are built for cruisers and live-aboards. Sailing performance is a secondary consideration."

    I've stuck the stick into the hornets nest enough.

    I kind of like Schooners ... they don't look right without a gaff rig main ... but as much as I like to look at them I wouldn't want to own one.
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