How fast do I want to go?

The short answer is not "How fast do I want to go?".  It should be "How fast will the boat go?". My criteria was to be able to average 6.0 kts. in average seas and winds, those being 15-20 kts. of wind and 6-8 ft seas. With this ammunition in hand, I set out to find the fastest boat I could for the money in hand.  What sail configurations do I want, .... Here we go with the questions again. You will get to see the answers... somewhere here!


The answer is to look at some of the longer passages and start doing the math. How long will it take for this boat or that boat to get there? Given the manufacturer's hull speed. That should give you an indication of what type of boats do better than others. If you come from a racing background, that's not fast enough. But once out here, you soon learn to slow down every now and then and shorten sail at night to make the ride more comfortable for your crew.


Of course this also depends on how good a sailor you are. There are other factors that once out here come into play. For example: If you or a crew member is sea sick, then you will want to slow the boat down. If the seas are up, you will not be able to go as fast. If the wind is not coming from the ideal direction, it will effect your overall performance. Then there is the dreaded, adding too many spare parts and cans of baked beans. This causes the water line to be raised once again. One would think if the water line were higher, then it only follows, that it would be longer. That would give you increased speed potential. The potential is only in your head since you have added considerable more weight to gain the water line, thus slowing the boat back to it's original, or even slower, speed.


In the end we had a target average of 5.0 kts.  We were able to attain this without much difficulty.

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Revised: 19 September, 2005 .