Yacht Design

This category is devoted to yacht design issues.

Got a question that hasn’t been asked yet? Use the form found under “Cruisers Q&A”.

FPB History: A Look Back At The Design Cycle That Lead To These Yachts

Fifteen years ago, when we were just starting to build the FPB Series prototype Wind Horse, we put together a video on the design cycle that lead to this new design. There was detailed information on her drag and motion analysis, including tank testing, as well as the historical foundation from which her design was developed. Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (May 15, 2018)    |    Comments (0)

FPB 70 and 78: A Much “Kneeded” Perspective On The Next Generation Of FPBs

fpb782_matrix_conFPB 78-2 Matrix deck helm

The current America’s Cup spectacle has us entranced: unbelievable speed, maneuverability, and difficult sailing, the likes of which has never been seen before. The design and engineering required to achieve this level of performance is nothing short of astonishing.

The time to study what’s happening in Bermuda in detail is the result of this correspondent’s photography accident (night sky shooting on a dark dock), which resulted in a shattered kneecap and a forced hiatus from summer cruising… Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (June 16, 2017)    |    Comments (21)

FPB 70 Bow – Taking Metal To New Levels Of Shaping Sophistication

FPB-70-Bow-shape-1-of-31_comprsd

The FPB 70 brings together the very best of everything we’ve learned in the last 40 years, not the least of which is a very sophisticated bow shape – perhaps the most difficult plating job ever.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (January 24, 2017)    |    Comments (8)

The Right Recipe: Where Do You Find It?

fii3844©Stan & Valerie Creighton: Fulaga, Fiji

When your voyaging takes you off the beaten path, where shore power and technical assistance is a rarity, the ingredients required for successful cruising change.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (April 1, 2016)    |    Comments (2)

Dashew Offshore History – How the Swim Step Came To Be

Dashew Offshore Swimstep origins 5

The Dashew Offshore swim step, shown above in its highest evolutionary form on the FPB 97 Iceberg, started out much more modestly. Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (February 25, 2016)    |    Comments (6)

Dashew Offshore History – Fast Is Fun

Beowulf Carib 1500 twin 053

Beowulf leaving Norfolk, VA on her way to the BVI at the start of the 2001 Caribbean 1500. Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (February 8, 2016)    |    Comments (6)

Dashew Offshore: A Bit Of History Part 2 – The Big Roach Cruising Main

Deerfoot 2116

You are looking at a huge mistake: a new mainsail that did not fit, with too much roach. Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (January 16, 2016)    |    Comments (2)

Full-length Keel for Cruising

Hi Steve, I’ve just found your website and have a couple of questions. I live on a 1977 40ft Cheoy Lee ketch. It is quite spacious and has a full keel. I couldn’t help noticing that you don’t mention Cheoy Lee’s anywhere on your web. Do you see this as a good cruiser and is a full keel better in weather? Thanks, Todd

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Bos and Carr New Zealand

Hi. Could you tell me if you have had any boats built at Bos and Carr in NZ. Two clients have an interest in using this yard and I have some indication that you are familiar with their work. John

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Headroom

Hello Dashews, We love the books and are busy trying to absorb all the info as we plan toward and dream of our own cast off day in 36 months. We have been educating ourselves on design as we continue to search for the right boat for our needs. I agree with your philosophy on waterline and the value of older CCA boats. I also like aluminum or steel (though right now steel seems like a better buy in general).

Here’s the issue–I am 6’5″ tall, my wife is 6’0″ and our two sons 4 and 2 1/2 are destined to be at least that big. That’s a lot of height on a boat. Can you give us some direction on makes of the older boats that would be more inclined to accommodate our height? I know that it is an issue of free board as much as anything but has interior volume and subsequently headroom increased with the newer boats or can we find a pool of appropriate boats built of steel or alum. In the 60s–80s that will save us aching heads? Thanks, Dave

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Sundeer 56/60 – What Would You Do Differently?

Hi Steve, I read that you felt at one time your Sundeer 56/60 was one of your best designs. After your experience with Beowulf, are there any significant changes that you would make to that boat? A better question is if you were going to design a similar sized boat today, what would it be like? Thank you, Downing Mears

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Aft Cockpit Designs

Steve…Your recommendation to look at CAL 48 and CAL 46-2 was received. You stated though that you prefer aft cockpit. This does make sense. Some aft cockpit designs are better then others. Could you make recommendations for an aft cockpit design that I should be looking at in a used boat that has a long waterline as well as seaworthy? All your help is much appreciated in my quest for a used blue water boat. Corey

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Aluminum Cowls

I am trying to locate a contact number/E-mail/website for the Paul Luke large aluminum cowls you mention in the cruising encyclopedia. Grateful if you could assist.–Andrew

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (1)

Boat Size for Cruising Couple

I realize this must be the single most common question you hear, but I cannot find it on your FAQ page. What are your recommendations on rig type and boat size for a cruising couple? We currently have a Frers 41, but want to move aboard and go offshore indefinitely – so we are looking at other boats. When we cruise now – which is every available moment (we do not race), our boat is stuffed with all manner of gear, supplies, bikes, books etc. Our gear wish list is long, and provisioning for a long journey… Personally we love split rigs, and are very inclined towards a marconi rigged schooner we have seen. My concerns are handling a large boat (60′) with my wife, and of course maintenance costs. Any pointers you may be able to give us would be much appreciated. Thank you for all the information you have published. Alex & Daria Blackwell

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Design Origin of PRIVATUS

Hi Linda & Steve, My wife and I have just purchased your Offshore Cruising Encyclopedia and are enjoying the read very much. Keep up the good work.

A quick question, based on information in the above mentioned book and on your website, I was under the impression the “Deerfoot” name designation was yours. However, I have just come across a Deerfoot 50 (s/v Privatus) that is said to be designed by Ulf Rogeberg and built by Hinkley, Lange & Son. Any explanation or information you or your staff can provide about other “Deerfoots” would be appreciated. Regards, Roy

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Birdsall 60 Range of Stability Calculations

Hi ya: For years we have lusted after your boats (Wiroa was one) but couldn’t afford them. Our own boat Gungha (Alan Buchanan design in steel, round slack bilge’s and overhangs) was getting too small. We owned her and lived on board for 21 years.

Last year we were lucky to change boats and boat designs. The new boat is a Birdsall 60. She really is the boat of our dreams. Heaps of space, stable and fast-as. I can’t think of anything about the layout or performance of the boat that I could criticize. We have just made our first offshore passage from NZ to Tonga with heavy weather and she went like the clappers. So no problem there. There is however a problem of lingering doubt vis-à-vis the design.

I have been used to the deep draft and 45% ballast ratio of Gungha (nice and rolly). I always knew that if she was capsized she’d snap back upright in moments. I know you’re probably familiar with the Birdsall designs, as they resemble your own in some aspects. This yacht is 63′ on deck, 60′ at the waterline. She has a 14’10” beam which is carried aft but certainly not forward (very narrow there) and she has a 6′ draft.

The yacht is single chine steel with a long (about 17′ fore and aft) fin keel and a skeg-supported spade rudder. The hull of the yacht draws a little over 2′ with the keel making up the rest of the draft. The yacht is double-bottomed fully with welded in tanks, which hold a total of 800 gallons of fluids. The deck plate and all construction techniques have concentrated all the weight as low as possible. The yacht has a center cockpit and trunk cabin with considerable buoyancy.

My problem is this. The yacht is adequately stiff even in hard conditions but…she only has 4 tons of ballast. Her total shipyard weight is 27 tons. What do you think of that and her ability to be tipped over????? We have sailed over 60,000 miles and prior to that I was a commercial fisherman in Alaska…Am I getting paranoid in my old age?

Thanks and cheers, Mike

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Twin Center Boards

We are looking at buying a 1983 Alden with two centerboards. I’m familiar with one board but not two. The boat draws 5′ 4" BU and 11′ 8" BD. What is your advice on this arrangement. Thanks, Rod and Lucinda

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Sundeer 56/67 Availability

Dear Steve & Linda, I have read both your books several times. How can anyone read the same stuff over and over? I can, if it is as interesting and informative as your books. (Especially the Encyclopedia). I just sold my O’Day 40 and I am preparing to sell my business. After the business is sold, I want to buy the last boat that I will own. ( I am 57 years old, & I want to do some serious cruising) I love the Sundeer 67, but I do not know if I will be able to afford it. Are you still building boats? If so, can you give me a ballpark price of both the Sundeer 56 & 67(built in aluminum). If it is not in the realm of my ability, then I will go in a different direction. If you are not building anymore, can I purchase the plans? Thank you. Tony

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Roller-Furling Mains and Center-Cockpit Boats

1) What are your thoughts on the merits of roller-furling mains, especially the leisure furl boom systems which allow a better cut main with full battens?

2) Center-cockpit boats–Is the benefit of a better aft cabin and a small afterdeck worth the wetter, more motion at the helm that results from being higher up and more forward?

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

INTERMEZZO

Dear Steve, It has been while since I last connected with you–in fact it was 2000 prior to the Bermuda race. By the way, INTERMEZZO now FUERA did quite well. In any case the reason why I am writing to you is because I am now working with Bill Tripp Jr. to figure out the true history and facts on how to bring her back to her original state. I thought you might be able to help me separate history from folklore–fact from fiction. I am not sure if she was a ketch or a yawl, you reference in one of your books that she was a ketch, but we are not sure. Do you have any before pictures that you could share with me? Many people who think they are in the know think that she was hull number one. We are convinced that the bow sprit was not part of the original sail plan. Any help sorting any of this out would be very much appreciated. Best regards, Fred

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Dashew Offshore Designs

I am curious what boats you are designing and building other than BEOWULF. I am actually looking for a boat in the mid-40’s and I am dissatisfied with anything currently available on the brokerage market. To complicate things a little my last boat was a cruising pilothouse multihull, Atlantic 42, which I loved but was impractical for Northeast cruising. Regards, Kevin

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Finding Limit of Positive Stability

Hi! Is there anyone who could tell me where i could find the angle of limit stability or angle of vanishing for a morgan 382 or a cal 39? Thank you! – Jacques

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Boat Types

I’ve recently escaped from Saudi Arabia where I’ve been working for the last six years. It’s now time to reclaim my life. I intend to do a few years cruising and am presently looking for a boat. One I have details of is a Venus 46, designer–Salthouse N.Z., built by Dong Sung. I have never heard of this one before, do you have any knowledge or info on these that you could advise me of. My favorite is the Hallberg Rassy 42. How do they compare. I’d be grateful for any info you could provide. Regards, Ian

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Pilot House Pros & Cons

Steve, Thank you for responding so fast to my e-mail. I have many questions which seem to be answered several different ways by as many people. It is always a pleasure to have some one like yourself to give input. I still am interested in a boat, I thought a motorsailer since I will be in Alaska most the time. But several people have been talking against them if one was ever to truly sail in the open ocean, small on deck structures etc is preferred as to a pilot house. Although I have found the open ocean, hundred miles off shore to be calmer in the long run than the inshore tides etc… (I have skipped tugs across the gulf of Alaska several times). I anxiously await your response. Cheers, Spike

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Deerfoot Questions

We are flying to Florida this week to look at a couple of boats. We currently own a ’95 Caliber 40 that we have prepared for offshore cruising. Your Encyclopedia and the 2 hour Offshore video have been very helpful in those preparations. Now that we have our 6,000 sq foot home for sale we have decided that a 40 footer may be a bit small for permanent liveaboard for two people, Just the two of us have lived in this monster house for 18 years. We plan to live on our new boat until I am 64 or 65. I just turned 52 and my wife is 44 years old.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Speed Length Ratios/Hydrofoils

Dear Steve and Linda: Having discovered SetSail site, I want to tell you what a terrific boat you have designed in the Wind Horse. What I found particularly interesting is your break up with the dominant design rules of cruising power boats, e.g., trawlers.

While my limited budget allows me only to dream of Wind Horse, I am myself involved with pushing ahead my own dreams of ocean cruising. Having known your work, I have already given up my trawler-oriented mindset and I am rethinking the entire issue considering the canoe-like hull proposition you so beautifully materialised in Wind Horse.

Having said this, I’d like to know your comments on two points.

-according to the equation of displacement hull speed (1.2 times sqrt water level length in feet, am I correct?), a 85 feet-long boat could achieve a max speed of around 11 knots. But boats often go far beyond these limits, as are good examples your own designs. So, I confess I’m puzzled. Could you, please, shed some light on the issue?

-have you ever considered adding lifting hydrofoils to your designs (I think about Wind Horse) not, of course, to turn them into 60-knot-out-of-the-water rocket-boats, but to reduce their displacement and wetted area by say, 30%, so increasing speed & range? I think of hydrofoils added, say, to the keel and skegs, in order to compensate for, say, 30% of the vessel’s weight, or displacement, and adding to stability as a bonus benefit. Is this way wrong? If so, could you point the problems with it?

Thank you for your attention. Best regards, Francisco

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Range of Stability for Early IOR boat

After reading your Offshore Cruising Encyclopedia I have a couple of questions about converting an alum. IOR boat to a cruiser. The boat, Doug Peterson 44′ alum. flush deck, displ 25,000 keel 10,000 , 13’6″ beam 8′ draft. Built 1978. Intended uses of boat, Mexico and South Pacific.

Should I be concerned about the range of stability? If I buy this boat I plan on adding extra tankage low in the hull and under the floorboards if possible.

Is there a formula to figure range of stability ?

And lastly, I really like the 14′ Wherry pulling dingy. Are they still in production?

THANK YOU, Gene

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Calculating Cruising Speed

Hi Steve. With a 36 foot waterline, wouldn’t the boat (at least theoretically) have a hull design speed of about 8 knots? [sqrt 36 = 6 x 1.34 = 8.02] Do you find that such boats won’t sail at the design speed? Sidney

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

BEOWULF Design Questions

I love your design concepts of fast cruising sailboats designed to be handled by a couple. I have a few questions that, if you have the time, I would love to get answered.

I have read your design paper for BEOWULF and it looks like a terrific boat. How is the water ballast working out and do you ever worry about having all that ballast on the wrong side in the event of an accidental jibe? What do you think of the use of carbon fiber, particularly in masts? And have you considered the use of a free-standing mast? What do you think of the Fox 50 concept of converting an Around Alone Open 50 design to an ultra-fast cruising boat? I think they were to be built by TPI and Lyman Morse, although after the initial hoo-ha I have not heard anything about them. They seem to take your concepts a step farther, but perhaps too far.

Thanks, Pete

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Keel Shape & Performance

Hi Steve, As part of researching for a suitable boat I’ve read the articles about keel and foil design at www.vacantisw.com as well as your description of using a NACA 0000 foil shape with a 15% foil section in Offshore Cruising Encyclopedia. Can you tell me in general terms how much a foil shaped keel improves boat performance compared to one that has no foil, ie. the sides of the keel are parallel? Is this difference enough to warrant keeping away from boats without foil keels? Thx, DM

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Draft Issues for Cruising

Thanks Steve, for the comments on teak decks. I am just about to make an offer on an 85 ft Formosa, and I know the decks will need doing in a few years, so I will adjust my offer. The other misgiving I have is the 9′ 6″ draft. I sailed half way round the world a few years ago, going East. This time I am going through the Panama Canal and then the Pacific–could you comment on the draft , please? John

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Small BEOWULF/Custom building

My question is this. I feel that BEOWULF is too big for me. I don’t really want to deal with so many sails and the cost and effort to maintain, dock, haul, paint, etc. a 78-foot ketch, even if I have to go a little slower. I expect that, as in the past, you can’t help but always be thinking about how you might build a successor to your current yacht. Historically your yachts have always gotten bigger, but I was wondering if you had ever given any consideration to a new design, maybe in the 50-foot range, for those of us that are a little less aggressive in our cruising requirements than are you and Linda. A boat like the Farr 50 Pilothouse seems to have interesting design characteristics but I have not test sailed one because it doesn’t have sufficient headroom for me and I don’t want to waste their time. Because I am 6’3″ tall, and refuse to have to duck anywhere on my own boat,I require an absolute minimum of 6’6″ headroom throughout, including heads and showers. After many years of trying to find a boat in the 48-53-foot that is based on the design characteristics that you have pioneered, with an attractive pilothouse and an interior that is designed for both voyaging and live aboard, I am finally giving serious consideration to custom building a boat. I have eschewed this option until now for fear of making a mistake and owning a white elephant, which I can ill afford, but it seems that no production builder is going to build my dream boat for me while I am still young enough to use it. Whether you are interested in such project, or might suggest a couple of yacht designers whom you favor, I would appreciate your thoughts. Jeff

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Dashew Boats For Sale

Is there a listing of used Dashew boats available?–Tom

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (4)

Boat Size, Draft, and Performance

Dear Linda and Steve, We first heard about you two in the Mahina Cruising seminar given in San Francisco this past March by John and Amanda Neal. It was a great seminar and your books were prominently displayed and talked about during their seminar.

We are just about ready to take off for five or so years on a cruising journey which we hope will include the Med, Caribbean and South Pacific. More if time allows. I (Glenn) have been boating/sailing since the age of 12 and am now the ripe old age of 52. I grew up sailing on Puget Sound, the San Juans and Canadian waters and sail/race J-105’s in the San Francisco fleet. The two of us have chartered all kinds of sail and power boats in California, the Caribbean, and Mexico.

Because we understand that you sail on a 78-footer Beowulf, we thought you could help us with a dilemma we are currently experiencing. We are looking to purchase a boat in the very near future. Two boats are under serious consideration. One is a new Hylas 54. The other is a used Farr 63 built in 1999. Both are cutter-rigged, center cockpit pilothouse models. Both are loaded with the latest in nav and electronic gear. Both have in-mast furling mains and a bow thruster. My wife likes the smaller Hylas, thinking that it will be easier to sail shorthanded (just the two of us most of the time). I like the larger Farr which is a bit roomier, has a bit better sailing performance overall and will be more sea kindly with the longer waterline length. The biggest ISSUE is draft. My wife thinks the 9-foot draft on the Farr will keep us away from many tropical locations where we may want to anchor/moor the boat. I say the difference between the Farr’s -foot draft and the Hylas’ 7’2’" draft is negligible and that it would affect less than 5% of the places we’d like to go. For instance, we chartered a Hylas 54 in the BVI and barely were able to join other boats anchored on the south side of Annegada Island where the depth water was 8 feet. We assume the draft on Beowulf is at least 9 feet. Do you feel limited in where you can cruise??

Any thoughts or opinions would be greatly appreciated if you have the time to respond. We look forward to using your reference materials. Kind Regards, Glenn and Linda

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (2)

Smallest Boat for Cruising

I noticed that your boats keep getting bigger and bigger. What do you consider the best minimum size for cruising? My dream is to sail down the coast of California to Mexico, Panama Canal, Caribbean, and then Greece, Italy, France, and England. Thanks for writing what looks like a wonderful book. Sincerely yours, Sal

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Multihulls

(Regarding Offshore Cruising Encyclopedia)…An encyclopedia it certainly is–a wealth of information that must have taken a lifetime to collect. I enjoyed reading your book and I’m glad I made the purchase.

Criticism: 1. There are a few mistakes where you reflect imperial measurements and then the metric measurement in ( ). Assuming that the imperial measurement are correct, then the metric conversion is incorrect. I cannot remember the page numbers where the errors are. It’s insignificant really–perhaps a tiny slip of the pen? 2. You seem to have a big prejudice against multihulls and this is sad. All the text and pictures also show outdated multihulls designs and concepts. Regards, Wiets

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Centerboard Designs

Hello Steve. First off thanks for writing the Encyclopedia. It was a driving force in getting my wife and I to buy a boat and sail the West Coast from Vancouver to Mexico.

We are now looking to move up in size from our Roberts 44 to potentially an Irwin 52. These boats are rare on the West Coast and abundant on the Southeast Coast. They have 2 keel configs – one has a centerboard and shoal draft of 5’6", and the other is a fixed keel with a draft of 7 feet. I have no experience with big boats with centerboards, and would value your opinion on their merit when going to windward? What do you think of Irwins?

Thanks a bundle, Tony

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Multihulls in Heavy Weather

Hello! The subject of Multihulls vs. Monohulls is a hot one, and is likely to continue to be. 🙂 However, there is one designer who has put online a very good paper on multihull seaworthiness. It is, of course, true that he is a catamaran designer, so the criticism may be the paper is biased, but it is very technical in nature, and I find (having an engineering background) reasonably complete and suited to the informed lay reader.

The article on your site I am referring to is: Multihulls.

John Shuttleworth’s article on multihull seaworthiness is here: http://www.steamradio.com/JSYD/Articles/NESTalk.html

I believe that your opinions may be swayed by his treatment. As always, seaworthiness is as much a function of the crew as of the boat, but a good crew with a bad boat can only go so far. I was very timid about the idea of multihulls and blue water, but decided I would research it before making up my mind. What I found were many good sources of experience reports (MultiHull Voyaging by Thomas Firth Jones for example) which finally convinced me that multihulls, designed correctly, could be as seaworthy in blue water as a well designed monohull, if not more so.

I have heard a bit about storm tactics and multihulls, and the one thing I have heard that I do not know if you have mentioned (not having purchased your book yet) is using a large para sea anchor. I am told that using a very large para anchor, head-to the seas, creates a slick much like the one one gets with a keel boat that is properly hove-to. The idea is to use the para anchor at roughly a one wavelength distance from the boat. This saps the waves power as it comes towards the boat and will then rarely, if ever, break across the bow. Since swell cannot capsize a boat, it stands to reason that this would be a very good tactic.. a sort of heaving-to for a multihull. The para anchor should be something like at least 75% of the beam. I have heard that 28 foot, nylon para anchors are most common, being able to be gotten from other sources than custom. Have you heard of this tactic?—Timothy

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Limit of Positive Stability Data

Hi–I read about the importance of knowing your boat’s LPS in the Offshore Cruising Encyclopedia, and I was wondering where and how I can review the LPs for different models of boats so I can use that information to help me buy the right boat for me. Is there a site online that lists the LPs for different models of yachts? Thanks, Erin

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Cockpit Location

Hello and thank you,

Over ten years ago I read of Sundeer 64′ and bought the video and watched it over and over again. I dreamed my wife and I were owners of such a boat thousands of times. Being just regular people, a police officer and stay-at-home mom, we’ll never likely have the means for such an acquisition. Now I see Beowulf and am THUNDER STRUCK. I think if GOD The Father, Son and Holy Spirit decide to sail a human-made vessel, it will be Beowulf. It is as close to perfect as mere mortals can produce. You MAY do a newer sailing design in future days, and it MAY be different here and there, but I can not imagine it could be better. Please continue your work of supplying the able people with such fine boats. We dreamers can always use more "fuel". And those with the financial means to become owners of your creations will be very well satisfied with their fine decisions to do just that. {Three-hundred miles per day…it almost seems to defy the laws of physics.}

With gratitude, encouragement and best regards,
John M

P.S. Hello again, I forgot to ask, I thought you two were steadfast REAR COCKPITTERS! What made you put Beowulf’s cockpit in the CENTER? Cordially, John

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Retractable Keel Designs

Dear Sir, I am looking for a good cruising boat with a shallow draft or proven retractable keel design. I have raced in the southern oceans against wind and tide in 67ft steel hull 42 ton yachts and they were superb–but they have 9 ft drafts. I now live in Florida and plan to do some world cruising with my family. However, local water depths can be very shallow. Most of the day boats here have a very flimsy retractable keel (rotating blade hinged on a bolt and lifted on a cable. Many snap their cables and some break their bolts–and they just would not work in severe weather!!). I have heard of a famous 54ft steel ketch, Northanger, which cruises the extreme latitudes and has only 1m draft–but I have no idea of her retractable keel design or other design specifications. Regards Richard R. from the USA

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Extra Range under Power

I am considering our next major cruise from NZ/Oz up through the Red Sea, and our charging/motoring/fuel strategy. I have calculated that we get about 1 mile/liter at our normal cruising speed, possibly a bit more. This gives us about 1200 miles with current fuel capacity. Across the Pacific we pretty much motored all the way to Galapagos–no wind. Sailed all the way to Marquee’s, but then motored all the way to Tahiti, and got low on fuel and had to reload from a ship in the Tuamotus, which was very messy and expensive. So I am investigating how to get some more capacity. Ideas:

Glass a tank in on the port side of the lazarette. The area is hard to get at anyway so won’t be too much of a loss.

Glass a tank in on the stbd side behind the current tank in that ‘dead’ area below the compass/steering box.

I reckon, without actually measuring the boat as we are currently skiing in South Island (life’s tough, eh), I guess I could add about another 300+ miles. Which would have life a lot easier in the Tuomotus, for example.

I KNOW ITS MORE WEIGHT!!!! but do you have any other ideas?

I am also considering swapping my homebuilt DC generator for the Balmar, with watermaker add-on. Is this what you have? How does it work out? The literature says it will set its own speed/charge rate, how does that work out?

Also our batteries are getting real bad and I’ll probably change them, did you go for the lead acid Tudors as we have, or the more sophisticated dry cell ‘I can’t remember what they are but not gel type or lead/acid’ new types.

Any advice gratefully received–and probably written about, we start a ‘Masterclass’ series for YW in October!

Hope cruising is going well–Regards, Brian

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)