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Joined: 9/18/09
Posts: 146
Question for racers

This weekend I was cruising with friends and family (6 of us) in steady 10 to 13 SE winds with waves 1 to 3 ft. Beautiful day. Returning to the harbor and sailing at 60 to 65 degrees apparent I was doing 6.5 to 6.8 knts. A boat chasing me for several miles was an older Catalina 36 and he was slowly gaining. Eventually he past me and even worse it was one of my dock neighbors. I was forced to talk about this later at the dock. He had been doing over 7 knts but gave me an excuse. He has a fin v my wing keel, which is I believe about 500lbs heavier. I had 6 people; he had 2 and I have a fairly new 135 genoa, which is a great improvement over my old baggy 150, he has 150. I also have a 3 blade fixed prop; I assume he does too, but don't know.

If this were a real race how big of a rating difference would there be between the two boat. I need more excuses for my friend passing me.
Thanks for any comments.....

1994 C36 Tall Rig M1.5
Waukegan Harbor
Lake Michigan

Joined: 7/27/12
Posts: 250

Is your bottom clean? That will hit your speed the hardest.

Fin keels tend to point higher and this could translate to you losing speed attempting to pinch a bit to match his track.

It's tough to beat the fins! :)

caprice 1050
Joined: 7/1/07
Posts: 345

In the West Florida PHRF Association the difference between a C36, standard rig, wing keel and a tall rig, fin keel is 15 seconds.

TomSoko's picture
Joined: 2/15/07
Posts: 978

As Illusion mentioned, a dirty bottom will make the biggest difference. Most PHRF areas will give a fixed prop 3-6 sec/mi, but I personally think it's more than that. Off the wind at 60-65 apparent the wing/fin difference might not be that much. There's also rig tune, sail trim, weight balance, and host of other things, but a dirty bottom is most likely your "excuse". The difference between spring (clean bottom) and fall (less clean bottom) for me under power, identical conditions, is about 3/4 of a knot.

Joined: 9/18/09
Posts: 146

Thanks for the feedback and comments. Here on the Great Lakes we use V 17 bottom paint and by this time of year the bottoms have a significant film of green slime. Serious racers have their bottoms cleaned once or twice a season but my friend and I don't do this and probably have the same dirty bottoms. I was hoping my problem was the extra weight and not lack of skill.

gforaker's picture
Joined: 7/20/07
Posts: 133


It could be an all of the above answer. I am on Erie and use VC17 also and frequent fast sailing will remove quite a bit of slime. A dock scrubbing with a drydiver can lessen the slime within the critical 2 or 3 feet of the waterline. You don't know his prop, but your 3 blade fixed is the worst for speed. A 150 genoa is perfect for that wind. Do you have well placed telltales on all of the sails and know how to read them? I also suspect that the MKI is plenty lighter and faster than the average MKII. All of the above could easily add up to an extra 20 seconds or more per mile.

Relax though, it may have just been your extra weight and his larger sail. Don't take it personally. On a different day or wind it might have been the opposite.

Barefoot Children
Joined: 11/19/12
Posts: 8

I would agree with Gene, any or all of the above, though I would tend to lean towards the fin vs the wing in combination with the 150 vs the 135. The 150 is usually much better in any wind under 12 knots than a 135. The cross over point tends to be between 12-15 knots for those 2 sails unless you have toys like a backstay adjuster.

Rig tune can also make a difference as boats yards tend to setup the rig for 20 knots of wind when lighter tension is faster for most conditions people usually sail in.

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