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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Chichester Harbour
    Posts
    417

    Default Weight in the bow

    Can anyone report on the experience on the effect on sailing performance differences after removing a lot of weight from the bow on a club level cruiser/racer yacht.

    Because I like to both sail fast and anchor overnight it means I have a 10kg cruising anchor and 18m of 8mm chain plus warp in the bow anchor locker. What can I expect the difference that I would notice over time if I went to the trouble swapping for a Fortress anchor (which I have to hand) and just a few metres of chain. There is virtually no other weight in fwd sections of the yacht. For example I could lighten up for a regatta, but would it be worth the effort?

    Examples that someone might reports could be: less broaching, better pointing, reduced pitching in chop, easier surfing or maybe they could hardly notice the difference compared to other factors that affect performance.

    On the yacht Rating the anchor and chain weight i think is excluded from the measurements.

    Are there rules that say I have to have an anchor in the bow locker at all. Could it be tied down on the saloon floor or in the aft cabin. The kedge is the aft cabin under a bunk.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    39,137

    Default Re: Weight in the bow

    38ft boat. Cqr of IIRC 20kg. Minimum amount of chain, maybe 40m of rope.
    Taking that out of the bow locker on deck and putting it near the base of the (keel stepped) mast seems to make noticeable improvement in the way the boat goes through waves. It's hard to quantify but it feels easier to make a good job of helming upwind.
    If you try sailing in modest waves, send someone up to the bow for an exaggerated effect, it's not really about the trim, the mass in the bow makes it hit every wave harder.
    We put the anchor and rode in a stout canvas bag so it can be taken below without trashing the cabin sole or other woodwork etc.
    It can be taken on deck PDQ if needed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    clyde
    Posts
    647

    Default Re: Weight in the bow

    Quote Originally Posted by Channel Sailor View Post
    Can anyone report on the experience on the effect on sailing performance differences after removing a lot of weight from the bow on a club level cruiser/racer yacht.

    Because I like to both sail fast and anchor overnight it means I have a 10kg cruising anchor and 18m of 8mm chain plus warp in the bow anchor locker. What can I expect the difference that I would notice over time if I went to the trouble swapping for a Fortress anchor (which I have to hand) and just a few metres of chain. There is virtually no other weight in fwd sections of the yacht. For example I could lighten up for a regatta, but would it be worth the effort?

    Examples that someone might reports could be: less broaching, better pointing, reduced pitching in chop, easier surfing or maybe they could hardly notice the difference compared to other factors that affect performance.

    On the yacht Rating the anchor and chain weight i think is excluded from the measurements.

    Are there rules that say I have to have an anchor in the bow locker at all. Could it be tied down on the saloon floor or in the aft cabin. The kedge is the aft cabin under a bunk.
    You are correcty weight out of the ends is a good thing to do for many reasons , most you have identified, best to put both anchors and chain on top of keel or nearby , suitably lashed down , you are correct in that irc does not account for anchors , chains etc in rating , they are removed when boat is weighed , some boats will take a slight hit in performance by putting permanent ballast in bow to sink it and reduce warterline length , the hope being to out weigh the performance deficit with rating benefit . this would seem best in a plumb bow boat .

    in short yes stick all your moveable ballast in middle of boat , remember though you cant humph it about when racing , you have the two legged variety for that .

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Somewhere in the Solent
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: Weight in the bow

    Last year i temporarily removed the anchor (16k Delta), 53m of 10mm ISO chain and drained the 250ltr bow water tank as an experiment to see how it would affect the boat. Made a considerable difference to the positive. Anchor and chain now back in the locker, and i don't use the bow tank any more. Much improved performance.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Sydney, Australia.
    Posts
    5,663

    Default Re: Weight in the bow

    I agree with LW395 - stick someone on the bow when going to windward in a bit of a sea (preferably warm weather (and water). The person might weigh twice that of you're ground tackle - but you will notice the difference.

    Depends at what level you are racing but anchor(s) and rodes must be carried (and cannot be moved as mark homer says). Fortress, or the new Lewmar LFX, are quite acceptable (and pack much easier than most anchors). Packing close to the keel is the obvious choice. You can store the anchor anywhere you like - but they are meant to be accessible (they are primarily carried as a safety device - even though you are most likely to use one to stem and adverse tide (in which case thin dyneema on a spool might be useful).

    Jonathan

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Boat (now back in) the Clyde
    Posts
    5,763

    Default Re: Weight in the bow

    The OP doesn’t state the boat size/type/weight which will determine the degree of impact likely from the weight.

    Clearly for a pro race boat all minute details are important to get to the finish line a few metres ahead of the competition.

    But the OPs anchor gear does not sound very heavy. And may or may not make much difference in practice on a club racer - yes on a Somata, no on a Moody S38.
    Clearly dawnrazor’s quarter ton of water in the bow tank will make a much bigger impact (water ballast in reverse).
    Our 40ish foot fast cruiser (not racer) is not materially impacted in practice by two anchors and 80m chain in the bow - though if doing any serious racing we would remove this ... and a huge amount of other tankage, cruising gear etc (in effect a full day transformation before and after racing, provided access to shore storage or box trailer). Not for a club race.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Chichester Harbour
    Posts
    417

    Default Re: Weight in the bow

    It about 3300kgs Sailing weight 28/29 ft LOA, fin and bulb. Quite heavy displacement if compared to the latest race boats such a J. There was a 100 water tank in the bow as well, but that has long since been moved elsewhere.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Boat (now back in) the Clyde
    Posts
    5,763

    Default Re: Weight in the bow

    Quote Originally Posted by Channel Sailor View Post
    It about 3300kgs Sailing weight 28/29 ft LOA, fin and bulb. Quite heavy displacement if compared to the latest race boats such a J. There was a 100 water tank in the bow as well, but that has long since been moved elsewhere.
    Then I suspect it won’t make huge difference (compared to decent laminate sails, good quality sail controls, clean hull etc), but equally as gear quite light lifting and stowing else may stop you worrying about it.
    Proper job is to do your polars before and after and measure difference ... but suspect time better spent in pub debating it, for club racer

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    39,137

    Default Re: Weight in the bow

    Quote Originally Posted by dunedin View Post
    Then I suspect it won’t make huge difference (compared to decent laminate sails, good quality sail controls, clean hull etc), but equally as gear quite light lifting and stowing else may stop you worrying about it.
    Proper job is to do your polars before and after and measure difference ... but suspect time better spent in pub debating it, for club racer
    I don't think polars are relevant, the effect of mass in the ends (and aloft!) is most significant when the sea is not flat.
    Unless you've got lots of sets of polars calibrated for different sorts of choppy water?

    What you want to convince people is a spot of two boat tuning. People have done that in the past, and the benefit of their wisdom is well enough known.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Chichester Harbour
    Posts
    417

    Default Re: Weight in the bow

    Lw395’s post about “when sea is not flat” is of particular interest because in a flat sea my yacht I think is very quick (as I suppose are many yachts) but in a chop it very difficult to get anywhere near the same speeds (probably this is normal too). So slow it feels like is is not sailing to its rating capability. As lw395 says it is if I would need different polars for flat and choppy sea states. But these 20% or more reduced speeds in a chop can be knocked back even further when the yacht rocks and the very pointy end slams into the chop. In a F6 Solent chop a few days ago is what started me thinking about weight in the bow, because it felt like it would be better if the boat did not rock so much. Instead having enough speed to keep the bow up somewhat.

    Extra mid season bottom cleans cost time and or lots of money, laminate sails cost lots and affect rating, whereas moving an anchor for an experiment is free. I think I will find a couple of secure tough bags to have on board and if time when next out for a ride in a chop, I will try moving the anchor and chain to the saloon floor tied very securely to the mast support. If it makes a difference it will be obvious because to on many occasions when in choppy sea myself and the crew have been puzzled as to what has happened to max attainable speeds. It very noticeable.

    I realise I need to think about the other end of the yacht as well. The 45 litre fuel tank is located under the aft end of the cockpit seat, which is currently is full. Half a tank would be enough for what I mostly do.

    Thank you all.

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