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Old 11-11-2010, 02:05 PM   #15
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redbopeep,

The above cited people say it indeed reduces heel. You don't think it does. I have hardly anything to add, perhaps another quote:

You ask me about the goal. We hope to be able to go cruising quite soon and hopefully do it for few years, so we want a versatile sail, as large as possible, while being able to use it as long as possible. There will be extra maintenance, I know. But again, the advantages the seem to come with such a sail, seem quite considerable.

Some people that have followed Dashew's example, seem to be happy with it as well, viz. setsail.com

But I take your worries to heart and consult in detail with a sailmaker. I am nevertheless still looking for more first hand experience. As you point out, I am of course doing thougt experiments, what else can I do?
Steve Dashew favors large ketches with the aft mizzen mast (and sail) almost as big as the forward main mast (and sail). He also subscribes to a philosophy of "speed is safety" and will do everything within his power to go fast including motorsailing when most people would sail, using (movable) water ballast to reduce heel so that additional sail can be kept up safely in higher winds. He has advocated many innovations on his website. Not all innovations are appropriate for all cruisers. The Dashews ideas have evolved over the years--largely based on their personal situation and what they were learning about sailing and their personal interests and resources at the time. They started out in the early 70's racing small custom catamarans and then took off cruising in a very unsafe (but innovative) configuration of a speedy catamaran with--literally--a tent perched upon it to house them and their small children. Considering Dashew's focus on safety now, it is quite amazing to see photos of his early cruising days. But--it makes sense, the Dashews always loved speed and for whatever personal reason decided they wanted to cruise on a low budget at that time. Quickly, they evolved into what we could consider more mainstream cruisers but with larger boats ($$$) and more gizmos aboard than the average cruiser. They marketed these things in a very positive way which always made sense at the time. As they were aging, they began adding lots of electric winches, etc, and began to market big ketches with labor saving devices including full batten mainsails which can be dropped very quickly into the lazy jacks with little effort--yes those things cost more (full battens mean you'd better have a very nice car system and the sail won't last as long as one with no battens...but money has not been the issue for the ideas the Dashews market--rather speed and safety and as they grew older, ease of use. Now that they're even a bit older, the Dashews have decided to stop sailing altogether and run a power cruiser instead. Steve Dashew has even done the economic analysis to prove that it is more cost effective to cruise on his design of motor cruiser than it is to cruise on a similar sailing vessel. He finally in this motor vs sail analysis gets into the discussion of just how very expensive he expects his preferred sailing configurations to be. All and all, the Dashews have many fine ideas for cruising--all of them suitable for someone who has a healthy cruising kitty and can afford to keep up more costly gear.

Back to excessive roach, with the large ketch rigs that Dashew prefers, the staying is different than with a small sloop or cutter. Additional sail configurations are very possible and it is likely that dealing with excessive roach is possible. I have not sailed a boat with a modern (racing style) full-batten excessive roach configuration, however I do sail a gaff-rigged boat which is the "ultimate" in doing what you're proposing (but more complicated than you'd likely want) and it is easy for anyone who has sailed a gaff rigged boat to understand that when you place a lot of roach on the sail up high, as the winds come up, the highest full battens are going to induce a bit of twist in the sail and if the skipper knows what he is doing, he will be able to manage the twist to to get rid of a "bit" of heel. This same twist will work against you as you work to windward unless you can manage it properly.

If you just must change your rig for something different (for some reason that you don't seem to know what it is?) on your smaller vessel which has a lovely rig, and if you would like to add more roach which is fully battened, you might seriously consider a Chinese Junk rig (which doesn't require the sort of staying that a Bermuda/Marconi main sail does) as a rig modification. Many people have written about the benefits of using a Chinese junk rig. No, it is not "fashionable" as the racing high roach sails are, but it gives you what you're looking for.

When you ask "what else can I do?" I'd suggest you just sail your boat as it is designed to be sailed; read Lin and Larry Pardey's "Cost Conscious Cruiser" which talks about doing exactly as you wish--have a few sails in inventory as possible which are useful for as long as possible. Both the Pardey's and a recent (within the last year) issue of "Good Old Boat" magazine have good discussion of light air (nylon) cruising mainsails. Enjoy the Dashews writings for they have many excellent and innovative ideas which are useful to some people some of the time. And--get out there and sail your boat! If you sail it enough, you'll get a list of things you want to have tweaked just a bit and you'll be very happy about your own decisions.

Fair winds,
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Old 11-11-2010, 11:20 PM   #16
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redbopeep,

thanks for a thorough analysis of the evolution of Dashew's ideas. We don't subscribe to most of it, but the interesting features of the extra roach seemed intriguing. That's why I have asked for comments of someone who actually has such a sail (I mean no offense, I still value your contribution). Whatever the philosophy, if the sail does what they say it does, I am interested.

We've thought about junk rig, but only as a very unreal thought experiment, assuming that the new mast and changes that would have to be made to the boat would cost a lot. But I am a fan. If I ever have another boat, I will be thinking about it seriously.

I have no experience with gaff (thought I am at least an aesthetic fan), but my guess would be that the behaviour of this sail and fully battened marconi, might be a bit different. We have more extensive experience only with our current full batten mainsail (and a rotten, but still functional short batten variant), which, btw. we've used well enough to know what it does. You tell me to get out there and sail the boat! Am I not doing so? How do you know I haven't sailed the boat enough? We are happy with the current sail, it pushes us well even in very light air, but since it's time to get a new one soon, we are researching if there is space for a bit better sail. You say that we should sail that boat as it was designed. Why should we? Why can't we inquire about more modern sail shape?

We are avid readers of Pardeys, I forgot their discussion of the nylon mainsails. Thanks for the reminder. I am sure you are not advocating that, but we are not following any philosophy, even though the way Pardeys, Hills and others do things has a strong influence on us, since we live simply on land too. We just want to have the best possible sailing vessel we can afford for the very limited budget we have, get her ready and cruise on her for a while.
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Old 11-12-2010, 02:14 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by klubko View Post

redbopeep,

thanks for a thorough analysis of the evolution of Dashew's ideas. We don't subscribe to most of it, but the interesting features of the extra roach seemed intriguing. That's why I have asked for comments of someone who actually has such a sail (I mean no offense, I still value your contribution). Whatever the philosophy, if the sail does what they say it does, I am interested.

We've thought about junk rig, but only as a very unreal thought experiment, assuming that the new mast and changes that would have to be made to the boat would cost a lot. But I am a fan. If I ever have another boat, I will be thinking about it seriously.

I have no experience with gaff (thought I am at least an aesthetic fan), but my guess would be that the behaviour of this sail and fully battened marconi, might be a bit different. We have more extensive experience only with our current full batten mainsail (and a rotten, but still functional short batten variant), which, btw. we've used well enough to know what it does. You tell me to get out there and sail the boat! Am I not doing so? How do you know I haven't sailed the boat enough? We are happy with the current sail, it pushes us well even in very light air, but since it's time to get a new one soon, we are researching if there is space for a bit better sail. You say that we should sail that boat as it was designed. Why should we? Why can't we inquire about more modern sail shape?

We are avid readers of Pardeys, I forgot their discussion of the nylon mainsails. Thanks for the reminder. I am sure you are not advocating that, but we are not following any philosophy, even though the way Pardeys, Hills and others do things has a strong influence on us, since we live simply on land too. We just want to have the best possible sailing vessel we can afford for the very limited budget we have, get her ready and cruise on her for a while.
The way the excessive roach sail may do what "they say" it does is with twist. I will hope that Richard, a very experienced fellow can chime in here. There is nothing magic about the roach--it, in theory allows for less drag per lift provided. In todays super high aspect sails, this is a big deal. However, the only way to also get less heel on a high aspect sail is going to be by somehow lowering the center of effort of the sail. If you think about it, you should understand that twist would be a key to that. No magic, no brilliant idea.

A sail with a lot of of roach isn't really a modern idea rather it is simply modern folks incorporating good aspects of the junk rig or one of the other rigs which includes an upper spar (like gaff, gunter, etc) to support additional sail up high. Many people who sail gaff rigged boats joke about the ultra-high roach or the new "square top" (spar on top) sails which are like a "handicapped" gaff sail. Very few ideas are truly new but rather simple modern interpretation of something old.

+++

It only seems that if folks have NOT sailed their own boats enough they become focused upon ideas that other folks (like the Dashews) have. You know the "grass is always greener" saying? Well, sometimes it seems "if only I had x, y, or z.." all would be good.

What are the conditions that you've sailed your boat in? How has it performed in those conditions? What is not adequate about the existing mainsail that you'd like to change and why? What performance element do you really want to be different? For example, if it is slow--when? If it heels too much--under what conditions? What other things are amiss with the existing sail(s)?

Regarding keeping your existing sail plan vs one more modern? I'm just someone who advocates for a system that is known to work to be kept in place and used rather than changed for no reason. If we're on a budget, change is costly. I'm also someone that likes to keep era- specific technologies "together" if they remain appropriate, useful, safe.

I look forward to hearing about your particular boat's sailing characteristics and how you hope to change them and in what way.

Fair winds,
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Old 11-12-2010, 02:45 AM   #18
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redbopeep, I agree with what you say above "+++". Have I suggested anything about brilliant ideas and magic?

I stay corrected regarding the modernity of ideas: What I meant is, that when our boat was designed before 1974, these "old" ideas were not very commonly seen to be put to use. As far as I know, that is. You can correct me.

Thanks for pointing out, again without knowing anything about me, that I have NOT sailed my boat enough. I have no doubts that you have a lot of knowledge about sails and what not, but all I am asking, is (allow me to follow your example to emphasize emotions with the upper case): Have YOU ever used such a sail on a monohull with fixed backstay? What is YOUR experience with such configuration?

I am not asking about these sails, because I want to radically improve our boat. It sails well as it is. It does not heel excessively and sails well in light air. In this respect, All is good with our boat. Does that mean it can't be even better? Your advise to use the boat as it was designed is duly noted.

I will repeat again my expectations from this sail as I haven't probably said it clearly enough (perhaps because I am being so confused): The large area will improve light air performance and is supposed to be reducing heeling, which will allow you to reef later than usual.

Allow me to emphasize again: This is what I've read (and heard), I am simply asking if it really works for more people than just the two cases, I've so far encountered. (+ two or three respondents at sailnet.com and cca 3 people on forums I have posted to).
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Old 11-12-2010, 03:22 AM   #19
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Sorry that we're not communicating. I though that you didn't understand what I was saying about twist. And, I though that it (twist) was worthy of conversation. Clearly now, I see, that you are not interested in discussing the mechanics of the way that the additional roach will help a boat in terms of speed or heel reduction but rather you just want others with such sails to confirm that indeed it it the case on their boats no matter the physics of it all. Sorry to have gone down the path of discussion regarding the sail design itself. When I thought of the practicality of implementing such a sail on your boat, I really began the process of analyzing the matter and wanted more information about what could be "wrong" with the boat based upon your experience.

You have yet to share your experience with us, btw. It would be wonderful to know about your boat and how it sails in a variety of conditions.

My caps were only to emphasis the word "not" and it was folks, not YOU that I was talking about. And when "folks" don't have enough experience with something but they have great interest or concern--they ask lots of questions (as they should and as you should IMHO) AND they sometimes quote other people rather than voicing their own opinions. That was "they" the "other folks" not YOU that I am talking about. Now, it would be quite nice to know how your...let me say YOUR boat sails. I was really interested in that..

We could have a decent conversation regarding the merits of a high roach sail. However, I'll repeat in closing, it does seem that unfortunately you're not interested in a conversation about sail characteristic but rather simply a "I have that sail, and yes it is great. or not" from somebody. That somebody isn't me, so good luck in finding your answers.

Fair winds,
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Old 11-12-2010, 04:03 AM   #20
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Fair enough. Sorry for being unclear that I understand the theory. But no, I am not interested only in "yes I have it, it is great". But to be honest, and I am sure there are plenty of very knowledgeable people around here, I'd rather be discussing the details with sailmaker that will actually make my new mainsail (big roach or not) and will have all the number and equations to crunch them. Here I was merely looking for someone who had/has such sail and can tell me anything beyond theory.

I am grateful for your comments so far (and especially for the time you have invested in writing them). I can certainly share my experience: I am considerably inexperienced, had the boat only for 3 years (dinghies before) and spend total of cca 8 months sailing (meaning full time) + some weekends (as I am still landlocked), all in SE Asia, where we bought the boat. Mostly coastal (twice Mallaca Strait, coast of Borneo, eastern coast of Palawan and western coast of Luzon) with three shorter offshore passages (Singapore-Santubong, Bolinao-Hong Kong, Hong Kong-Kaohsiung). Some of it was naturally with an aid of engine as this part of the world is not endowed with lots of wind (in spring).

As for the boat, I don't have much quantifiable information. She can point cca 40deg (just an estimation) and she moves even in light air (i.e. gives some steerage, enough that we are not only drifting). I am not sure when we usually reef, because we have only a handheld knotmeter. We simply reef when we start to heel too much (rail gets close to water or we are cooking, for which we usually heave to anyway), I'd say somewhere between moderate and fresh breeze. In moderate breeze we can be making 5-6kn, we've seen 7kn few times when waves were small and even 8 in squalls when the tiller becomes heavy, but the boat is still maneuverable with confidence.

The original owner added a 3' bowsprit, which gives a little lee helm in light air to light breeze when we use our genoa, which seems a bit heavier that we would love to, but then we are flying in gentle to moderate breeze. We simply hoist gennaker, trim main, reduce the genoa (roller) or calculate the added leeway in.

Thus I to think, that a bit more mainsail should not hurt.
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Old 11-12-2010, 04:16 AM   #21
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Petr,

It is becoming apparent that the search for information that meets your objectives is not available in these forums.

Could I suggest that you take some time to read the many articles and scientific papers pertaining to Nautical Aerodynamics in the AYRS,

A research society that has been active for 55 years - many of its members have contributed to the progress in yacht design in every format, particularly the development of modern day sails. Their Web Site C L I C K

There is only one thing that might condense my thoughts regarding your Hallberg-Rassy 31 Momson and that is:- what is the best SOG that the boat has achieved in cruising mode, in ideal sailing conditions.
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Old 11-12-2010, 04:19 AM   #22
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Yes and thanks for the link. From the top of my head, SOG sustained for longer period typically 6kn, 6,5kn if the seas are very nice.
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Old 11-12-2010, 05:02 AM   #23
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Yes and thanks for the link. From the top of my head, SOG sustained for longer period typically 6kn, 6,5kn if the seas are very nice.
Well, if that is from the top of your head - then when you eventually go cruising with a full cruising payload - 144>>156 nm/day will not be bettered by the addition of any new sails. The Froude number is the determinater.
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Old 11-12-2010, 05:10 AM   #24
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Thank you. Sorry, I just don't get the tone. Is anything wrong when I told you our fastest SOG only "from the top of my head"? That's what I remember and I don't have the log at hand. But perhaps that's only my non-native speaker impression. Apologies if that is the case.

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Old 11-12-2010, 05:23 AM   #25
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Nothing wrong - no reason to apologise
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Old 11-12-2010, 05:26 AM   #26
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OK, sorry then. The repetition of my statement confused me. Pace.
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:59 AM   #27
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[QUOTE=klubko;1289543212]

OK, sorry then. The repetition of my statement confused me. Pace.

G'day to both Petr & Jana - SV Janna. I sure do hope this subject if still open for a more balanced & rational further discussion. Please let me know. I was away from computers when the subject was first started. I've been sailing boats of many kinds for some time now. I've cruised, raced & done some long & short distance yachting no many types of hulls & rigs. I would like to offer some fundamental observations about your fine & very sound idea of looking for an improvement for the rather antiquated rig that your boat was originally designed with. I would also like the other contributors to do two things. Re-read several times all that all of you have said - then sit down - have a drink of your choice & then re-read what you all have said yet again. Please. Some of what has been said has merit, then some of it leaves very much to be desired. I've now read this whole matter 4 times over 5 days & I'm still disturbed by what I see as a - very limited attitude towards progress. There are also some matters raised that have been redundant for many years & yes some of us in the yachting world have moved-on with the times.

Aren't there any professional practicing sail-makers, mast builders & rigging people in these forums - cause we could & would sure like to hear from you. Your factual observations are sure needed to shed some honest real light on this matter. If there aren't any of these people in here - I'll go and find them - get them to join and ask them to contribute some valid facts to this subject. for a lot of what I read hear is by no means correct unless the rules of both aero & hydro dynamics has changed in basic principles which I sincerely doubt. I don't want to start a war here, but I'm all-in for a factual discussion without all the false suppositions. With respectful regards to all, james aka Silver Raven.

Richard - I'm totally bamboozled that a catamaran owner & very experienced sailor is quoting 'the Froude number' as being THE biblical number of all time. Please explain, thank you. Might you just take a moment to explain how said # is applicable to 'Nokia', 'Gitana', 'Sopra' & other ORMA 60's or even 'Sodeb'o or then USA 17 @ 28kts boat speed to windward in 8 kts of breeze. 'Froude who?

Now for 'Monsun 31' designed in the early 70's & 904 built between '74 & '82 - why would someone not want to put a better rigged main on it. WHY has no one mentioned to Petr & Jana to look into having a mast-head crane manufactured of somewhere between 300 & 500 mm @ 90% to the back-stay to allow for a fully battened - full roach main that with the mast raked back a tad would balance the helm & give a faster boat speed that stood-up well & didn't have to cart lead around the oceans of the world in order to ware-out boat, sails, gear & people just to prove that we can't think out-side the square. Again - beats me - I just don't understand. Back to all of you, james

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Old 01-14-2011, 12:45 PM   #28
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james,

many thanks for moral support. We had better luck on sailnet.com and sailinganarchy.com with our question, where first hand experience was shared, the good and the bad. We are still pondering and weighting the options before we have the new main made (later this year). Any relevant opinions regarding this choice of mainsail are still hole heartedly welcome!

Fair winds

Petr
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