disappointment

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disappointment

Postby wilvanlonden » Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:09 am

For many years I am interested in the HR-29.
In all magazines she is tested as very good (Palstek, Yacht, Yachting Monthly, Practical boat owner, Yachting World).
So I went looking for one (after selling my Contessa 26 last Fall) in Holland, Germany and Sweden.
In Götenborg I had the first opportunity to sail one and I was dissapointed!

It was a windy day, perhaps force 5-6 and while reaching the forces on the tiller where very high!
I couldn't believe it and asked the seller about this.
He said, yes if it gets to much I will sit on the opposite in the cockpit and put my foot against the tiller!

So I started reading all the reviews I had bought again and only one magazine mentioned this problem.
Only one magazine Yachting World states in the long test:
"though it was noticeable that the lack of rudder balance was having an effect on the helm weight as the wind built"

Does anybody recognize this?

I remember the first Rival 31 had this problem also and this led to the development of the later Rival 32 and finally 34.
On the Rival owners association website Peter Brett says:
The excitement of the first trials on the prototype was somewhat tempered by the bitterly cold north-easterly wind in which they were sailed, but it was very satisfying to find that her performance was all that could be desired, except in one respect. Although she was well-balanced when going to windward, with the helm showing no tendency to change as she heeled over, we found that when reaching in strong winds, at 7 knots or so, she carried more weather helm than I liked. She had a raking transom with the rudder hung on the outside, an arrangement with which I had had plenty of experience on previous designs, but not when associated with a fin-and-skeg. After further trials and much consideration I decided that the way to improve matters was to make the rudder-stock vertical, bringing the trunk up inside the boat. The mould was thereupon altered so that the second boat could be built this way.

I am a bit lost now what to buy. Better a balanced rudder excellent sailor like the Winner 9.50?
kind regards
Wil

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Re: disappointment

Postby Sirius » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:23 pm

Are you sure it was an HR29!? Never had such a problem, indeed the opposite. Very good directional stability and often fingertip control on the tiller. First reef and /or easing down the track at about 15 knots apparent keeps her sailing flat and true.

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Re: disappointment

Postby wilvanlonden » Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:49 am

Sirius, that was what I was used to with my Contessa, fingertip controll and I could leave the tiller to raise the main without problems. Seems I sailed one with an problem, have to sail another one then.

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Re: disappointment

Postby Antti_DD » Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:38 am

Hi Wil and welcome on the forum!

That's a good question! Every boat is a compromise in terms of sailing characteristics so it is about finding the right balance for you.

HR29 is weighting about 5tn, has longish keel and large unbalanced rudder with full-depth skeg. Also the sail area is moderate and all this means that she is not at her best in downwind conditions. I think that this is typical for many traditional boats, which have a good directional stability: when sailing to windward, they go forward like a train and the balance is very good, but on downwind the hull is not able to surf as well as the modern cruiser/racers. This means that the tiller pressure builds up.

When broad reaching in strong winds and following seas, you need to use some power to steer the boat, but when you find the right position for steering, I haven't found this to be too much. In Dolphin Dance, we use a Windpilot Pacific windvane, which I have found a very good investment. It is able to steer an hour after an hour without gettting tired :)

An HR29 'Grand Illusion' recently sailed across the Atlantic From east to west, so if her skipper Elad is online, maybe he can comment this downwind leg.
Antti Laine, Forum Administrator
HR 29 # 483 "Dolphin Dance"
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Re: disappointment

Postby wilvanlonden » Thu Aug 24, 2017 7:35 pm

Thank you Antti,
It was the first time I came across this. Never heard of this with Contessa 32's who have more or less the same fin keel and skeg/rudder.
Anyway the power used to steer this HR-29 which I test sailed (1991) was very high in my opinion.
Maybe I have to try another one in strong winds. Anyway first I will test sail a Winner 950 in two weeks, a Dutch built boat.
greetings
Wil

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Re: disappointment

Postby Dan » Fri Aug 25, 2017 9:29 am

Hello forum,

My experience from weather/lee helm problems on RoAm is that they have there origin on where the center of effort (CE) is located on the total sail area.

It is easy to imagine that with only the main sail the CE is located somewhere behind the mast and should you hoist the genoa, the CE would move forwards.

If you have ever windsurfed you would be familiar with the fact that when you want to fall off you move the mast forward, (CE forward) and when you want to tack you move the mast backwards, (CE aft).

The same applies to sail boats. Ergo, if you experience severe weather helm it indicates that your CE might be to far back and that you should increase the fore sail area or reef the main. (You may also want to look at the angle of the mast and adjust, (remove), the toggle on the fore stay). Lee helm problems are off course the opposite of this.

Antti, a friendly caution after reading your comment. I too have a Windpilot and as you know it is far stronger that we humans. If the boat is experiencing severe helm problems and it is corrected by the Windpilot's brute force alone then I fear something is going to give. Either the tiller, transom or rudder. Faced with those scenarios I much prefer to adjust the CE for easy steering.

There are few things more pleasant than a well balanced boat effortlessly cutting its way through the ocean in strong winds.

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Re: disappointment

Postby Antti_DD » Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:38 pm

Hi Dan,

Thanks, that's a very good point about CE and sail balance!

When talking about forces on the tiller, it is quite a subjective thing. Something that is normal for someone might be too much for someone else. If one is used to sailing dinghy-like cruiser-racers, a trad boat like HR29 might feel to be heavy on helm. I can't say that I would have sailed many different tiller boats in strong winds, but in general I would expect, that rudder pressures on HR29 are a bit higher than for example on Winner 950, which has a balanced spade rudder. On the other hand, rudder with full-depth skeg is generally stronger than a spade rudder so it is about making compromises and finding the best boat for the job.

Good remark also about the Windpilot. In adition to that, I would like to say that windpilot has taught me more than perhaps anything else about the boat balance. Almost always, if the windvane has difficulty in keeping the course, the problem lies on the bad sail trim and balance. Thus, when using the windpilot, you really want to have the boat balanced as well as possible.
Antti Laine, Forum Administrator
HR 29 # 483 "Dolphin Dance"
Blog: http://sydolphindance.com / Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sydolphindance / Twitter: https://twitter.com/sydolphindance

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Re: disappointment

Postby Antti_DD » Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:00 am

Hi everybody,

Let me get back to this subject of heavy helm.

Yesterday, I came back from a four-days sailing trip, which was mostly reaching (also some broad reach and close reach) in fairly strong 20 to 30 knots winds. Thus, excellent conditions to test this hypothesis of heavy helm :)

It is good to note though, that we were sailing in fairly sheltered waters, so the waves did not have too much of an effect. On Monday, the highest gusts were up to 35 knots, but we were sailing only with a small fore sail.

All in all, in my opinion the 29 was in her element in these conditions, and I really liked how she performed. The boat was very well balanced and as Sirius wrote earlier, just a fingertip control was enough to steer the boat. However, when the route turned a bit and I did not adjust the sails right away, I could feel the pressure build up. So as Dan said, getting the sail balance right is the key thing! In general, I guess that common problem might be sailing with sails that are sheeted too tight.

Even the stronger wind did not have much effect on the tiller pressure, when you keep lowering the sail area. When sailing with a small fore sail, the helm was actually very light and the boat had tendency to lower the course from the wind.

From my sailing history with 29, I can remember some occasions when I have felt that one has to use force to steer the boat. I cannot remember the exact conditions and points of sail, but it has always been in offshore or in nasty steep waves. I cannot say afterwards, whether my sail balance was perfect in these conditions, but I have thought, that increasing rudder pressure has more to do with the effect of the waves on the large wetted area and the large rudder.
Antti Laine, Forum Administrator
HR 29 # 483 "Dolphin Dance"
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Re: disappointment

Postby wilvanlonden » Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:11 am

Dan wrote:Hello forum,

My experience from weather/lee helm problems on RoAm is that they have there origin on where the center of effort (CE) is located on the total sail area.

It is easy to imagine that with only the main sail the CE is located somewhere behind the mast and should you hoist the genoa, the CE would move forwards.

If you have ever windsurfed you would be familiar with the fact that when you want to fall off you move the mast forward, (CE forward) and when you want to tack you move the mast backwards, (CE aft).

The same applies to sail boats. Ergo, if you experience severe weather helm it indicates that your CE might be to far back and that you should increase the fore sail area or reef the main. (You may also want to look at the angle of the mast and adjust, (remove), the toggle on the fore stay). Lee helm problems are off course the opposite of this.

Antti, a friendly caution after reading your comment. I too have a Windpilot and as you know it is far stronger that we humans. If the boat is experiencing severe helm problems and it is corrected by the Windpilot's brute force alone then I fear something is going to give. Either the tiller, transom or rudder. Faced with those scenarios I much prefer to adjust the CE for easy steering.

There are few things more pleasant than a well balanced boat effortlessly cutting its way through the ocean in strong winds.



I don't think it has to do with CE as it was only on reaching tracks not while going to windward.
Otherwise the very heavy tiller / wheaterhelm would have been noticable while going to windward which was not the case.
Greetings
Wil
The Netherlands

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