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Is speed in the head or the hull?

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Do Different Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Is speed in the head or the hull?
    Posted: 06 Apr 22 at 5:56am
Prompted by SS

 "I want to sail a singlehanded boat and the Solo might be an option though it's only in the last few years that competitive Solos have fallen into my 'affordable' price range*.  L@sers are not a boat I've ever enjoyed sailing (at 5'6" I'm way too short to find it remotely comfortable). I would consider Raceboard 7.5 again but a couple of factors led to my stopping racing them and now age and lack of fitness conspires against me. 

* prices for competitive Solos have fallen since I bought the Blaze 5 years ago and my available 'boat fund' money is a little higher too."

Given an on pace rig and foils does the age of (a fair) hull make the difference we think? 

Is it as much a confidence thing, in that if we think we have fast gear we worry less and sail freer?

 


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Post Options Post Options   Quote getafix Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Apr 22 at 8:25am
As the primary propulsion the condition of the sail has, IMO, always been the most important factor in terms of equipment, after that, you need a hull/rig package that can transfer the power generated by the sail into motion as efficiently (or at least >85%) as your competitors.  Foil condition is something we can all, easily, effect as well.  

Controls should work and I put the emphasis on having the boat sorted to the point where you are not breaking stuff regularly, as it's far more detrimental to my enjoyment of sailing and racing to be constantly fixing stuff and missing races, than it is whether I got a win, 3rd or 6th etc

After that, fitness, sail trim, boat handling and of course, sailing the 'right' course are going to make much larger impacts on your overall time/result than having a hull which is 1kg heavier than someone elses or a sail which is one month older than someone elses.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote The Q Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Apr 22 at 8:45am
Matching the crews weight, to the hulls designed capacity it most important. I was never any good in a Laser because I was too heavy and sailed in a light wind area (not open waters). Comfort is the next thing, crunched up by the mast in a laser was painful , which means you don't concentrate on sailing right.. So overall you need a comfortable boat that matches your weight and size.. Only after that does your skill, held in your head come into it.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rich96 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Apr 22 at 8:56am
Bear in mind that unless you have the best possible kit you may well always be thinking that its the kit holding you back

If you start with some older/less competitive kit (which is of course perhaps sensible if you are entering a new class) you may rapidly progress and then have to upgrade (or believe you have to !)

So always buy the best you can afford initially

Depending on the class and venue a new sail on an old hull may well be fine if budget is limited
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Post Options Post Options   Quote eric_c Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Apr 22 at 9:09am
A lot of classes, older hulls are not the right shape, newer ones have been optimised around the tolerances, and built more accurately.

Newer boats may be stiffer, which almost always means faster, more so in waves. The GRP boats are built generally keeps imrpoving, with exceptions.
Some old hulls can be good, then you find  a sister ship that's done a lot of fatiguing motorway miles that can be a dog.

I think I'd  look at the reputation of the builder and the history of the boat in question.
Or just buy a cheap old boat and enjoy getting as close as possible to the chequebook sailors, concentrate on getting the windshifts right erc

I think it's possible to lose a fair bit of cash buying 'cheap' boats that nobody else wants though?
Buy something that should be capable of mid-fleet in the nationals and it might hold its value better?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Apr 22 at 9:22am
At our level victorys are more often gained by the mistakes of others imv. I can't sail a dinghy for sh1t, in my mind I'm the slowest (and usually the oldest) out there, but I know stuff, I see stuff others don't and when they drop the ball which they always do, I sometimes do very well. When it's very windy not so much.

So I think speed around a course is in your head, occasionally I might fix the slot flushers and get a bit of an extra turn of boat speed.

But it's more down to.

Things I know.

The start is 60% of the race
Always take the tack that's taking you closest to the mark.
Always wave a port hander across rather than have him sit off your lee bow approaching a mark.
Always take the tack that'll have the tide favouring your wind pressure in the early stages of a race.
Always 'work' S 'surfs' in waves (harden along the trough bear off when the stern lifts)
Never engage in covering duals
Never enage in luffing matches on reaches
Know everyone else does and sail low on 1st reach, high on second.
Always get your line transits
Always get your mark 'best angle' transits
Don't always tack on headers if the opposite tack takes you further from the mark
Always have your head (and shoulders) out of the boat looking for..
Wind, Current, Venturi, Shadow, Obstructions, Weed,

It goes on, and on, so many tricks, it's such a great sport, you win it with your head more than your fitness or the sad beat up hulk you use.


Edited by iGRF - 06 Apr 22 at 9:25am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Apr 22 at 9:47am
Its both.
My club does personal handicaps, and that gave me a large body of data to cmpare boats and individuals. I was staggered by how much the difference in performance was between a plywood Solo and a foam sandwich one.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Apr 22 at 9:50am
By 'competitive' I did mean a FRP Solo, wooden boats require more work than I'm prepared to put in and GRP boats are demonstrably slower. But I agree that knowing the hierarchy of 'things-that-make-the-most -difference-to-speed-round-the-course' and sailing with it in mind is probably the route to success, having the latest hull is probably at the bottom of that list. 

Here is my take on the rough order of importance of the different things that affect the speed of a dinghy. I'd be interested to see where others would place these factors (or any others I have missed) and maybe the % affect you think they each have.

Clean wind - 
Sail/boat trim - 
Shifts - 
Tacks and gybes - 
Hiking hard (sailor fitness) - 
Good foils (and slot flusher if a CB boat) - 
Sail settings - 
Sail condition - 
Rig settings - 
Hull weight - 
Hull stiffness - 
Hull fairness - 


Edited by Sam.Spoons - 06 Apr 22 at 9:52am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Do Different Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Apr 22 at 9:58am
Thanks Sam. Yes that was the conversation I had in mind, not picking holes in your statement.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Apr 22 at 10:02am
Thumbs Up Useful to remind ourselves where the effort to sail faster is best expended, and it's rarely sitting behind a desk trying to earn enough to buy a newer boat  Big smile.
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