Hunter 35 pointing ability?

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by islandwheels, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. islandwheels
    Joined: Apr 2009
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    islandwheels Junior Member

    New to forum, but thought some might have some boat design insight!
    Friend Steve has a mid 80's Hunter 35. A couple of times we've took it from Florida to the Bahamas. It had a great deal of weather helm and didn't point very well. When diving under her to check on something I noticed Steve replaced a hurricane damaged rudder with stainless tube and a large steel plate welded on to the back of the tube for a rudder. To me that explained the hard weather helm as the rudder wasn't balanced (no area forward of rudder shaft). I was hoping that this explained poor pointing as well. We replaced this steel behemoth with the home rebuilt original rudder. I noticed that the rebuilt rudder wasn't very fine on the leading edge at all maybe more like a 6" tube radius along it's leading edge.
    This old boat is a honey, she is to me, very fast, on one stormy (blustery) night on a beam reach 7.5 kts (cog) was not uncommon, also on a broad reach over 8kts. but pointing abiltiy, I may be wrong but I'd be pressed to get her to point 75 degrees off wind. Granted my former Santana 20 may have spoiled me, (to me she's the benchmark to measure all others), but is 45 degrees off wind asking to much from this cruiser:?:
     
  2. Guest625101138

    Guest625101138 Previous Member

    I do not know the Hunter 35. Have you got a photo and maybe a shot of what is below the waterline.

    I know of a ketch rigged Roberts 36 that was fitted with bilge keels (plus full length keel to the same depth). I can recall in a day race it did not make the 2nm to windward out of the harbour before a 24ft cat finished the 20nm race. It made about 75 degrees to the true wind.

    However that is very unusual but not once you saw what was below the waterline. Is the hull fouled? Does the keel have any marine growth?

    How old are the sails? Is the genoa bellied out? Maybe the forestay is too slack. Is it masthead rig? Has it got backstay tensioner? Do you try to flatten the sails to windward? What extra weight is it carrying?

    Lots of questions. Any more observations you have might provide clues.

    Rick W
     
  3. islandwheels
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    islandwheels Junior Member

    hunter

    It's heavy, no question about it, not fouled with growth though underneath, it draws 5 ft, I want to say a skeg keel, (swept aft fin keel?) The sails have some miles on them, as for the backstay, it can be adjusted, but unlike a racing one is not designed to do often. it's a sloop rig, the shrouds go thru the deck but are out toward the toe rail. I was wondering about the fact that the foresail has to be sheeted around them so far out is a factor!
    Larry C.
     
  4. bruceb
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    bruceb Senior Member

    make it point?

    When the h-35 was new (I sold several as a dealer), tacking through about 105-110 degrees was considered normal in medium conditions- in smooth water. The boats have a lot of freeboard/windage for their weight and a fairly light cast iron keel so the rig is modest sized- not a lot to drive it with in waves. It should still do better than 140 degrees in 10-20 kt conditions if the sails are in decent shape and the bottom clean. Too much gear on board can really slow one down, particularly if it is in the ends. Most of the usual "speed" details work, clean/fair keel, clean bottom, and a good headsail on a modern foil-type furler all will help. Bruce
     
  5. islandwheels
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    islandwheels Junior Member

    Thanks Bruceb, at least now we have reference to start with, say 110 deg which means 55 either way, to watch for. perhaps weight distribution needs to be considered more carefully. So I can be a little more forgiving that she has no possibility to point like the Santana 20, which if I remember right seems more in the 60-75 degree range.
    Interesting that you mention the freeboard, as there is a lot of freeboard (also very dry boat even in rough waters). I can see that wind driving into the freeboard of the bow area would conteract a vessels pointing efforts.
     
  6. jehardiman
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    jehardiman Senior Member

    (It appears there are two threads on this...my response from the other thread)

    Normally, a sailboat should have about 1-2 degrees of weather helm when on the wind. This is to ensure good behaviour overall. Weather helm is caused buy the moment couple between the Center of Effort (CE) of the rig and the Center of Lateral Resistance (CLR) of the hull.

    While an unbalanced plate rudder will feel heavier than a balanced rudder, if it is of proper area, there shold be no additional weather helm, though it will feel like it is pulling more than you are used to. FWIW, data I have taken and seen shows very little difference between plate foils and NACA shapes when cord/thickness excedes 20 If the rudder was a NACA 0012 to NACA 0018 and was replaced with a plate of the same cord, then I would expect increasing performance loss as the C/T gets smaller.

    If the plate area is too small, then there would be additional weather helm as well as the need to apply more force to hold it to weather. Additionaly, a plate rudder will stall sooner than a foil, which may be causing the CLR to shift forward, giving the poor ability to put her on the wind.

    As I, and Alan pointed out, weather helm is also affected by the CE of the rig and the loading of the hull. Check to make sure the hull is sitting her lines, and the rig is not raked too far aft.
     
  7. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The hull on these boats weren't optimized for upwind work so getting through 100 degrees would be nice. They were designed around accommodations and eased sheet performance.

    They were available with an optional "tall" rig which improved it's light air abilities and windward performance somewhat.

    With accurate measurements of the rig, I can tell you which rig is installed on your Hunter 35.

    Of course all the other factors which have been mentioned can/will affect it's up hill ability.
     
  8. Roly
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    Roly Senior Member

    An esoteric question.
    How do you measure weather helm in degrees?
     
  9. islandwheels
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    islandwheels Junior Member

     
  10. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    As has been mentioned, there are a lot of things that can effect the amount of pressure you feel at the helm and it's usually a combination of different things, all adding to the sensations at the helm. Sails are a big item on the list of things to look at. A well matched blade for your rudder is another. A poorly maintained steering assembly can increase wheel effort too.

    A nice set of sails can make a pig feel sporty again.
     

  11. jehardiman
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    jehardiman Senior Member

    If the boat was perfectly balanced, the tiller and rudder would be exactly on centerline to hold course. And many centerboarders and small boats can be brought to this condition much of the time. As a practical matter on boats with fixed keels and not susceptable that much to crew weight, CE generally trails CLR when on the wind with working sail. In order to keep her from going up into the eye of the wind, the tiller must be pulled a little to weather, i.e. "weather helm". (NOTE: Lee helm, where you have to push the tiller to hold course is HORRIBLE! and should be avoided at all costs. Weather helm is more corfortable to the helmsman and has the advantage that letting go of the tiller bring the boat up into the wind.) For best performance this offset to weather should be as small an angle as possible. It is possible to measure it in degrees, but generaly on most of the well tuned boats I've sailed on it's been about a fist or so off CL in smooth water; so 1.5-5.7 degrees on a 30- 36" tiller .

    islandwheels, If the rudder is a faired shape and has anywhere near a proper stock, I would expect the thickness of the rudder to be ~ 2-2.5", nowhere rear a " 6" tube radius" as you describe. If it really is that big, then the rudder will be very inneffective with only a 2 foot cord (which would be about right for a 2" stock).
     
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