Sprays

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by greenwater, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    The difference between '4 to 5 knot reaching speeds' in typical summer conditions and working BERTIE to windward on the blustery NE trades in a heavy swell 600 miles offshore at about 125 miles a day is great.
    We have clocked a little over 9 knots at other times, once under bare poles, and when wind is light and a little free and water smooth can achieve 5 knots with ease, but further speed comes a little harder. Under power, using maybe 75% of our rated 30 hp, is a steady 5.6 knots at less than a gallon an hour. Our mainsail is about 1000 sq ft and I have doubts that the hull type could be pushed harder or faster than we have since 1984. If Mr. Doherty was personally aboard the original boat and heaving the log I would put more weight in his statement of a common 6 to 8 knots. We have raced against both JOSHUA and Culler's SPRAY and point higher and achieve higher speeds doing so.
    I believe Mr. Roberts is generally disrespected for false representation, in what is generally an honest business. Also a designer who combines function and beauty is more highly thought of in certain circles than one who designs sailing condominiums marketed to naive and inexperienced landlubbers with dreams of paradise.
     

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  2. jak3b
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    jak3b Junior Member

    I tried sailing a condo one time. It wouldnt budge........
     
  3. waikikin
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    waikikin Senior Member

    If you sail a Roberts Spray right that huge 3 blade prop will play it's part.
     
  4. sharpii2
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    Sorry, I thought you meant reaching speeds. I agree 125 nm made good upwind is quite good.

    In one of your later posts you said "...with the wind just forward of the beam."

    The speeds I mentioned from Mr. Doherty's book were reported from Cat. Slocum himself. Perhaps these were made in ideal conditions and sailing mostly down wind.
     
  5. CT249
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    CT249 Senior Member

    Is there any evidence (missing paint on the liner, etc) that Pandora was rammed? I'd never heard of that theory, although I'm not an expert on Sprays in any way.

    When you were at Mystic, did you read Francis Herreshoff's letters in the archives, where he mentions meeting Slocum and sailing Spray when he (Francis) was young? It must have been interesting to see two such famous names together.
     
  6. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    L. Francis mentions Slocum briefly several times (see In the Wake of the Spray, K. Slack, Rutgers Univ. Press, 1966), didn't like the boat, and in Common Sense of Yacht Design said the full bows of boats like SPRAY are 'terrible', yet was enthusiastic about Dutch yachts with even fuller bows. Many of LFH's designs seem to be geared towards lighter winds, summer use and sometimes racing, as his clients' needs dictated. I had friends with a MARCO POLO blue water cruiser from his design board and they said it rolled terribly at sea and was like living in a sewer pipe.
    Sharpii, on a sailing ship any breeze forward of the beam is generally referred to as 'on the wind', often 'full and by' meaning ease the sheets a little, keep the sails full and sail by the wind, not the compass. BERTIE does well like this, which is not close-hauled, but a little free.
    Few sailing ships, and SPRAYs are ships more than boats, do well very close-hauled, since they are designed to use more favorable winds, unlike yachts with a racing heritage where races are won on the upwind leg so design parameters are concentrated towards that point of sail. Now everything seems to be judged on windward performance, but little ocean work is actually done on that point of sail, since a good crew researches and plans its voyage for hopefully predictable fair winds. Working a long distance hard on the wind is generally slow and uncomfortable no matter what the hull type.
     

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  7. gilberj
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    gilberj Junior Member

    Bataan is right. Very few offshore cruising boats go to windward any more than they really have to. In "Ocean Passages of the World" the sailing routes are set up for as much as possible reaching and running with some expectation of close reaching. Comments on speed are always based on current conditions. My boat can and has averaged better than 8 knots for hours, but I spend most of my time sailing at 3 to 5 knots and more time at less than 3 knots than more than 5 knots, (we get a lot of light winds here in the summer) Big fat boats like the Spray of Tahiti Ketch or a Colin Archer will sail to hull speed, and even a little beyond hull speed given the right conditions. One of the factors is the ability to set large sails when conditions warrant. I have seen 'Joshua' slipping along very nicely indeed beam reaching in a moderate breeze. Those full keel boats will sometimes surprise folks sailing more modern boats in lighter winds because the long full keel does not slide sideways very easily even at very slow speeds, while the fin keel need forward way to generate lift and may be working in a stalled condition at less than about 2 knots...the big full keel boat may sail away from the fin keel wonder in light conditions.
     
  8. sharpii2
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    How well can BERTIE do up wind?

    I'm not asking this in judgment but in curiosity.

    What is her most effective bow angle off the wind, in moderate wind and sea conditions?
     
  9. CT249
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    CT249 Senior Member

    That's a good point about the conflict between LFH's criticism of Spray's bow and the fact that (as you say) he recommended Dutch boats as excellent cruisers. I also don't always agree with LFH's taste, and he was not always generous to those who had different ideas to his.
     
  10. CT249
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    CT249 Senior Member

    As I understand it, in many places in the world (such as here in Australia) you have to go upwind to get to many of the great cruising grounds (such as Frency Polynesia etc), unless you really want to go the long way around.

    Certainly I've encountered about 1/10 as many tradewinds as I should have done on various passages between Oz and New Caledonia, but that was racing when we couldn't pick a weather window. Some enormously experienced and skilled people I've sailed with (who have some 180,000 cruising miles and a brilliant racing record) spent 17 days beating on a passage from NZ a few months ago.
     
  11. gilberj
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    gilberj Junior Member

    Build it and they will come..... many will go to windward these days be a use they can. it. As even make sense if you can because it might cut days off your passage. The old trading sailing ships were not that weatherly and yes would go the long way around. That is one of the reasons the Tazman has a fearsome reputation.
    Sprays performance was fairly standard for working craft of the day....not really very good to windward, on the other hand she of a stable platform and will not roll your eyes out like some of her more weatherly cousins.
     
  12. bpw
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    bpw Senior Member

    I have never really understood the argument for cruising boats that are poor performers unwind, sure you can arrange voyages to be mostly downwind, but most fast upwind boats will also do very well down wind. Being able to make good progress to windward opens up a lot of possibilities for cruising.

    Spray might go pretty well reaching, but a modern boat will do even better. This is not to say there is no place for traditional boats (We sail a very traditional double ender) since boat selection for recreational sailing is more about what makes you happy than being practical. I just think it is good to be honest with ourselves and others when discussing the trade offs and downsides of traditional design.
     
  13. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    I've plotted our course at in actual conditions at sea quite a few times and net course including leeway, heave and all other factors gives actual made good course of 140 degrees between tacks. She will point a lot higher and still move but loses power and speed, doing best with the bow about 55 degrees off the wind and net course plotted usually 65-70 degrees off if we are working to windward. This is at sea in a good swell and a chop on top of it, not smooth water close to shore, where she does a good bit better.
    I question a lot of claims of weatherliness, having been aboard many boats where the crew says 'look how high we point' while relying on feeling the apparent wind, but not actually plotting the courses to see what the reality of it is. I've been sailing this boat since 1984 and usually manage to get where I'm going.
    There is no theoretical substitute for the actual experience of time at sea, and that alone will reveal the truth of your boat's design.
    The actual cost of a modern vessel that is so very good to windward (light hull, deep draft of the fin, very strong build with modern materials, tall highly stressed rig with expensive sails with perfect shape) is so much higher than the low-stressed older types that the trade off seems not worth it sometimes. I can't understand why one would pay $350,000++ for a 40 foot boat.
    To each his own and old BERTIE with her huge comfy farmhouse-like interior, wide bunks, big well-stocked galley and extensive book shelves gives tremendous value returning joy and wonder ever time we go cruising.
    Also, don't run aground with your fin keel. While working in a boatyard in San Francisco we did a $35,000+ repair to a popular type of 40 footer that stubbed its fin on a rock at 3 knots. Just dented the lead but levered the keel aft, crushing the hull at the back of the keel and detaching the keel at the front. Keel off, rebuild cored bottom including repair of structural internal grid, keel back on, 5 weeks work.
    3 knots. If it was BERTIE she would have scratched the paint like the several other rocks we've gotten acquainted with. This is part of the trade off between weatherliness, cost, ease of repair, hull strength etc.
     

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  14. bpw
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    bpw Senior Member

    Fin keels can be built strong, unfortunately very few are, you aren't refering to a Catalina in Berkeley are you? Was pretty impressive seeing all the floorboards pushed up by the keel on that one.

    Btw, I think Bertie is a way cool boat, we thought long and hard during our new boat search about staying with traditional designs before buying something more modern. I will miss the beauty of our current traditional boat whe we move to our new one, but windward performance has become very important to us due to the places we want to go.
     

  15. gilberj
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    gilberj Junior Member

    The reason for not pinching up to windward is just that. The boat is healing over to the point of being uncomfortable. You are punching into the sea at a much higher frequency, and with the punching, slapping, pounding, all raising the stress level in the crew over extended periods
    As it happens, my boat absolutely loves close windward sailing in a fresh breeze, and shows less of the annoying traits than just about any boat I have sailed. I still doubt I would take on a long windward passage lightly.
     
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