Seaworthiness

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Seaworthiness

Postby peter » Fri Jun 12, 2015 11:10 am

I do consider HR29 very seaworthy, fit even for serious ocean sailing, and I guess most of you guys do..
She has all those qualities we expect from a seagoing vessel, not just by "feeling", but also by calculated values like
motion comfort ratio and capsize ratio.

But then, personal experience by someone who really did it would be most interesting.

We have our HR29 not so very long and so far could sail her only during usual summer-vacations, which,
being at home in the Western Baltic, did not include any ocean-sailing and only some nice weather days on Skagerrak.
(A trip from Lubeck to Ellös, actually, just to see "where she was born"..)

So I would like to ask..
1)
Does anyone positively know of, or even has done himself, one of these offshore voyages in a HR29 ?
- Azores and back
- Atlantic crossing
- North Sea crossing, like Denmark/Norway to England/Scotland or vice versa

2)
Did anyone ever meet heavy weather in ocean seas,
for example Biscay, western channel approaches, Irish sea, Skagerrak in a HR29 ?


peter

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Re: Seaworthiness

Postby Antti_DD » Sun Jun 14, 2015 8:44 am

Hi Peter,

This is a very good question!

I don't have experience on storm weather in open seas, but nevertheless, I would consider HR29 one of the most seaworthy boats that I have sailed. I think that she grows bigger at sea and feels like a lot bigger yacht in offshore. I sailed a 37 ft charter boat last year, but I would definitely choose the 29, when it starts to blow. No question about that.

We sailed across the Skagerrak from Ellös to Norwegian east coast in 2011. However, the weather was good so the crossing was uneventful, but, I noticed that HR29 was 'at home' in those waters. Nowadays, we sail mostly at sheltered waters of northern Baltic, and there might be better boats for the light wind conditions or beating at the narrow waterways. But when sailing in the Skagerrak, the boat sails in the conditions where she is originally designed. Btw. in DD's blog there are some photos and story from that trip: http://www.sydolphindance.com/2011/06/s ... ssing.html

It would be interesting to read about other members' experiences.
Antti Laine, Forum Administrator
HR 29 # 483 "Dolphin Dance"
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Re: Seaworthiness

Postby Chris » Sun Jun 21, 2015 3:44 pm

I'm afraid I cannot offer experiences of any ocean voyages but my home waters of the North Sea can often provide some very challenging conditions. Certainly enough to test any vessel and because of this I am in no doubt about the capabilities of the HR29.

The Southern North Sea is relatively shallow and can produce very steep, short seas and I have long had the opinion, in rough weather, it is an uncomfortatble place for beamy, flat bottomed cruisers which is why after considering a number of narrower beamed heavier vessels, I bought the HR29. Because of her weight to water line ratio and her hull profile, she doesn't slam and crash when pushing into weather. And, despite her fairly low freeboard, she is not particularly wet either. All in all the HR29 is a good North Sea sailing boat. Providing sail is adjusted to suit the conditions she will punch on hour after hour. Down below she seems to halve the effect of the maelstrom above such is her sturdiness. Add to this the level of quality and comfort, you have a boat which is very hard to beat in this environment.

I can also vouch for her toughness as well...

Frequently sailing East Anglian waters, dodging in and out of the local rivers for the last 30 years and more, I suppose it was only a matter of time before I fell victim to the age old sea fairing ailment of complacency. Coupled with impatience, last weekend I managed to run out of water and ended up aground in the entrance channel to the River Deben.

I have no excuses other than the bar is notorious for its shifting shingle. At the bottom of the tide, I thought I might just tip toe across in the hopes that there may be just enough water. I have touched the bottom here on a number of occasions but this time my luck ran out and we stuck fast.

Being unable to reverse or spin round, the waves, while not large enough to be concerning, were nudging us further into the shallow channel and we were rolling around on the keel. This didn't worry me unduly but then I felt the rudder contacting the shingle with frequent, gentle thuds. Again, whilst slightly unnerved by this, I wasn't overly concerned as I know how strongly built the rudder is (see rudder refurbishment!) but we we edging towards one of the channel buoys and I was not in any real control of the vessel's direction. So we radioed for assistance.

After a brief chat with Thames Coast Guard, a local volunteer vessel offered to give us a look. While we waited we wallowed and bumped about on the shingle, the buoy getting ever closer. After a short while and with the buoy only a few meters away a rib appeared from behind one of the knolls. Breathing a sigh of relief we watched as he prepared a tow. Then suddenly, with the help of our genoa and continually running engine, a wave lifted us off and carried us into deeper water, away from the bar buoy. The rib driver kindly led us through the deepest part of the channel and we watched as the depth gauge increased.... we were clear. Phew!

The rib came along side and I apologised profusely saying I knew I had been pushing my luck. He did say the channel had moved in the last week after some strong winds which did at least make me feel a little better.

We checked the bilges and the stuffing gland, for any water ingress and all seemed ok. But I as I said I wasn't too concerned from this point of view. We stayed at anchor that evening and had a delicious meal and a bottle of wine, followed by an extremely pleasant 16 year old malt whiskey (afer all we had earned it) our earlier antics pretty much forgotten.

When We returned to the marina the following day (crossing the bar at 3hrs after low water!!), I enquired about having a lift out, just to check the rudder mainly, but also the shingle may well have had something of an abrasive effect on the keel and rudder.

Unfortunately the crane gang were busy for the whole week and other than a real emergency were not able to lift me until the following week and so I decided to put Impulse on the scrubbing posts just to make sure all was well below.

The following morning, armed with pressure washer, new anode, touch up antifoul and grease gun for the rudder bearings, I put her on the scrubbing grid and waited for the tide to fall.

To my delight there was hardly a scratch on the copper coat, let alone any damage to the gelcoat or rudder. The rudder pintles were as solid as rock and all I needed to do was pressure wash her off (the advantage of Coppercoat as opposed to conventional antifoul). The anode was fairly eroded so I replaced that and noticed the rope stripper locking pin weld had come loose. I whipped that off and took it to the stainless steel fabricators on site who very kindly spot welded it while I waited.

The experience of rolling around on the bar was not a comfortable one and went on for quite a while. I wonder how many modern cruisers with skinny, fin keels and long-blade rudders would have have faired quite so well.

The HR 29 will do me for sailing around the notoriously tricky waters of the East Coast of the UK.

Chris

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Re: Seaworthiness

Postby Antti_DD » Wed Jun 24, 2015 6:29 am

Chris, good to hear that everything was ok after the grounding!

I agree that the ability to withstand groundings is very crucial part of the boat's seaworthiness. In the ocean there is a risk of colliding with logs, whales etc. but I guess that the biggest risk comes in the anchorages and shallow waterways. In Scandinavia the bottom is often solid rock, so even a fairly minor grounding can feel pretty hard if it results in full stop from a speed of say 2-3 knots. I have had a couple of this kind of groundings but they never caused any structural damage.

The groundings are fairly common here and therefore it is very important that the boat doesn't start to leak even when hitting the rock at full speed. The encapsulated keel makes the hull very uniform and strong package and there is no hull to keel joint or keel bolts which could start to leak after a grounding. Also the shape of the keel is such that it reduces the force of the impact compared to a modern boat with a straight bulb keel.

Furthermore, as you said, the rudder is very strongly built so I believe that it can withstand quite a lot of beating compared to a modern spade rudder.

I think that all these qualities are very important for a cruising boat and give security and peace of mind when something unplanned happens.

I agree that HR29 is not a wet boat to sail as the spray from the waves rarely reaches the cockpit. Also the spayhood gives very good protection for the crew and thanks to the long tiller, also the helmsman can steer behind the sprayhood.
Antti Laine, Forum Administrator
HR 29 # 483 "Dolphin Dance"
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Re: Seaworthiness

Postby peter » Wed Jun 24, 2015 7:09 am

Hi Chris,
yes, good to hear that your "dance on the shingles" did not do any damage. I bet she got lifted by wavelets and then bounced back into it a couple of times.. Terrible feeling, isn't it ?
And yes, I am sure, on a boat with a skinny fin keel the feeling is much, much worse..

But don't feel bad about the fact that it happened to you..
Just as you said, it is bound to happen to everybody who sails in that kind of waters.
I have sailed about 10 years along the frisian north sea coast, which is just like your waters. Ever changing channels, mudbanks, etc..
I do not know a single sailor in that area who has not "hit the mud" at least once..

Many years ago I sailed along the english south coast and had a hilarious discussion (including lots of beer..) with some other sailors about the following question:
How are you supposed to behave if you sail past your yacht clubs commodore, whose boat happens to sit on the ground ?
A) Greet him and offer help
B) Act as if you have not seen him, since it would be embarrasing to him

:D

peter

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Re: Seaworthiness

Postby Tentation » Thu Aug 27, 2015 2:34 pm

Hi Peter, Chris, Antti and other fellow sailors,
This year, Tentation had once again crossed Biscay bay from Lorient (south Brittany) to Vigo (Galicia, SPAIN)
P1070224 traversée du golfe 2015.JPG
From Lorient to Vigo a 1200NM journey
P1070224 traversée du golfe 2015.JPG (163.88 KiB) Viewed 4955 times

The first day we loggeg 140 NM on rather flat waters. The day after was quieter.
But when aproaching spannish coast, near cabo Ortegal the wind had picked up significantly and we had to remove the pole from the genoa to reduce our speed. In this area the sea bed goes up from 4000m to 150m within a short distance, and sea state deterriorates rapidely.
We never felt overwelmed but when we heard the Met forecast annoncing that the wind will continue to pick up over 7B we decided to have the first reef and have a pit stop at A Curuna harbour. We reached the marina at 0430, rather tired, because in such conditions no shortcuts, we had to use the main channel to the harbour......... :?
Our crew who never sailed onboard any HR29 before was impressed with the sailing quality and performance of the boat.
Robert
The day after we continued our passage to Vigo.
P1070219 arrivant au cap Ortegal.JPG
P1070219 arrivant au cap Ortegal.JPG (173.93 KiB) Viewed 4955 times

P1070222 avant de prendre un ris.JPG
recorded speed before reefing 8,7kt
P1070222 avant de prendre un ris.JPG (173.75 KiB) Viewed 4955 times

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Re: Seaworthiness

Postby Antti_DD » Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:27 am

Hi Robert,
Thanks for sharing this interesting experience! I am sure that Bay of Biscay is not the nicest place to be in Force 7 conditions. Were you sailing dead downwind when the wind picked up? What kind of sail setup did you have in the strongest winds? In high seas and winds, sailing downwind with main sail can be tricky as there is a risk of gybe. But I don't usually use the genoa, as it tends to slam pretty hard against the fore stay when the boat rolls (we don't have a pole for the genoa). Thus, I have usually opted to sail only with a full or reefed main sail when there is more than 20 kts tailwind.
Antti Laine, Forum Administrator
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Re: Seaworthiness

Postby Tentation » Wed Sep 02, 2015 5:28 pm

Hi Antti,
just before removing the pole from the genoa we were sailing between broad reach and dead down wind, full main sail and genoa. (Without a pole I think that it is not possible to sail that way.)
After that the genoa was rolled 5 turns and had a reef in the main sail as well.
Later as the wind strength was continuing to increase the genoa was totally rolled.
At that point it became more and more difficult maintain our course to the waypoint.
We had to gibe several time to avoid untimely gibe despite having a boom brake :oops:
I think we made the good decision to have a pit stop at A Curuna harbour to have some rest.
Robert

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Re: Seaworthiness

Postby Antti_DD » Wed Sep 02, 2015 8:25 pm

Ok, thanks for the info. Do you have a dedicated pole for the genoa or is it a spinnaker pole?

This summer we crossed Gulf of Finland in July (about 40 nm offshore leg), and the stronger winds came earlier than forecasted, so we were sailing the last four hours or so in 7 Bft winds. My parents were onboard and it was my mother's first ever offshore leg. She didn't seem to be too frightened afterwards about the experience so I guess that it is a testimony for the sea kindliness of HR29. As always, Dolphin Dance handled the situation very well like a much bigger yacht. However, she has a tendency to roll and there is a lot of pressure on the tiller when sailing downwind, but the movements of the boat are never too quick or unpredictable. I guess that the waves in the Baltic Sea are not even close as high or dangerous as in Biscay, but nevertheless they can be pretty steep due to the relatively shallow waters.
Antti Laine, Forum Administrator
HR 29 # 483 "Dolphin Dance"
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Re: Seaworthiness

Postby peter » Sat Sep 05, 2015 11:40 am

Hi Tentation,
that was interesting reading, indeed !
And just what I figured.. Many years ago I did the trip over Biscay (Falmouth to La Coruna) on a Great Dane 28 in winds around 6 Bft.
Well it was possible, but not really fun. .
Very wet and the boat rolled abominably running before the wind.

I bet on the HR29 that trip is somewhat better to tolerate for the crew.
That was a tough bit of sailing you did there !
The waves in that area are impressing..

An interesting point to discuss might be your choice of sails.
When the conditions are like that, running downwind before a heavy sea I personally often prefer taking the main down and just using the foresail (with a pole).
I feel that steering is easier that way, the foresail tending to keep the boat on course.
On the other hand, fighting with the main while taking it down in a heavy sea is not so nice, either.

Anyway, thanks for sharing the experience.
That is "living proof" of HR29 seaworthiness..

Peter

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