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We have just bought a variant and we are wondering what is it's sail abiliy and what conditions would be considered max ? Wind speed, wave height? Anyone know the hull speed and average speed ? Any technical info on this boat would be appreciated.

Thank you

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I don’t have experience of a variant, but Allan designed good boats. Several of his small keelers have done ocean passages. Being a fully decked keeler, she’ll be fine in most conditions, albeit a bit lively in the rough stuff. Provided the boat and gear is good and sound, it will be your limits rather than the boats!
Hull speed for a displacement boat is easy - 1.34xsquare root of waterline length (in feet)

congratulations on the new boat!

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Cool little boats, much more a keeler than similar sized Trailer Yachts.

4-5 knots and you are doing well for speed. 

As for conditions, if the boat is well found and proper seamanship applied they will handle most stuff. I remember lots of the bilge keel versions sailing from Wellington across to the Able Tasman area for summer holidays and they seem to handle the Strait fine - Could often be seen drying out the stern hung outboard though!.

 

In terms of advice, these boats won't go much faster or slower than hull speed so choose sail area for comfort, reef early and often. One I sailed on was super comfy in 15-18 odd knots with 3rd reef and a handkerchief size jib up front while the racing boats were all running #2's and full mains and working hard. Still doing 4-5 knots.

Cheapest way to go coastal cruising camping style, enjoy!

 

Edited by TazzyDevil
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I've no experience of the variant, but in terms of max wind speed, the biggest factor is the state of the sails, not the design of boat. If the sails are old and baggy, wind gives greater heeling force and less forward drive, so every time a puff hits, the boat heels over. With good sails, it will accelerate forward. With bad sails, you might find 15 knts uncomfortable. With good sails, 25 knts could be fine. It also depends on the size of sails, and if / when you reef them. If in doubt, reef early.

You confidence and ability will likely be the limiting factor for some time, rather than the boats ability (sail condition not withstanding).

On the same aspect, if its windy, flatten the sails as much as possible, halyard tension etc. If its light and you want more power, let them bag out a bit. If it is windy, you can 'twist out' the tops of the sails to spill power too. On headsails you move the car back, with mainsails you lift the traveller up and ease the mainsheet a bit. Obviously you boat needs the ability to adjust these things to do that though.

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8 minutes ago, Fish said:

I've no experience of the variant, but in terms of max wind speed, the biggest factor is the state of the sails, not the design of boat. If the sails are old and baggy, wind gives greater heeling force and less forward drive, so every time a puff hits, the boat heels over. With good sails, it will accelerate forward. With bad sails, you might find 15 knts uncomfortable. With good sails, 25 knts could be fine. It also depends on the size of sails, and if / when you reef them. If in doubt, reef early.

You confidence and ability will likely be the limiting factor for some time, rather than the boats ability (sail condition not withstanding).

On the same aspect, if its windy, flatten the sails as much as possible, halyard tension etc. If its light and you want more power, let them bag out a bit. If it is windy, you can 'twist out' the tops of the sails to spill power too. On headsails you move the car back, with mainsails you lift the traveller up and ease the mainsheet a bit. Obviously you boat needs the ability to adjust these things to do that though.

1 hour ago, Island Time said:

Thanks re sail advice! It has a rollerfurler which seems not a great idea ..small sail high up.. light boat. Would you advise going to hank on sails?

 

Hey Thanks!

Bought the boat for our kids to learn. They have grown up on 36 + 41 ft but I never hand over to them totally so they have reached their cap. We hope to have them sailing around with us alongside our 41 footer up and down the coast ..Barrier from Auckland. We are all excited for this new type of sailing and advancing the kids skills in fixing too. Offshore sailing teaches resilience but not very sharp sailing skills 💫

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it depends on your situation and what sort of sailing you want to do, regards furler or hank on sails. And personal preference.

Personally, we ditched the furler and went to hank on. (37 ft boat), we were racing a lot 2 handed (have kids now, racing not such a priority). One big advantage with hanks is you can always get the sail down, literally just let everything go, and it wont cause much of a problem (good for short handed). The main benefit is that we have the right sized headsail for the conditions. We now have 3 headsails, a very big #1, a blade and a #3. With a furler headsail, it is usually either too small (and slow) or too big and overpowered. Furling a roll or two just gives a nasty shape (in my opinion)

With the right sized headsail, we always enjoy the sweetness of a well balanced boat that sails in the groove. I think this is a BIG factor in enjoying your sailing, and learning the finer points of sail trim / boat balance. The #1 is great in the light (up to 10- 12knts) higher wind if reaching / downwind, the #3 is great when just cruising and we can't be bothered with more power / speed. It was designed for 22 knts to 30 plus, and is the go to sail if we aren't sure what the forecast will do. The blade goes to windward like a freight train, ideal in 15- 22 knts, but gives overlap with the other sails. The blade is a bit of an all purpose sail, a good first hank on sail.

The obvious short comming is having to get out and pack away your headsails. Horse for course. Hank on sails are substantially cheaper than furler sails to buy... hence we have a good selection of them.

How old are your kids?

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my 1st boat was a Variant - glassed over kauri hull, teak cabin sides and cockpit coamings - had awesome 'Le Vac' shitter that seemed impossible to block:)

As with any boat, reef earlier than u think, sliding sideways on yer ear is never fast and also bloody uncomfortable.

The one thing I never was happy with was that at anchor she seemed lively, 'sailing' this away then that away - probably a consequence of ratio of anchor warp to chain. I often wondered if having more metal would've calm her down but had moved on by the time I got that idea.

Rafted up to the mother ship would be a great idea for the kids and then cut 'em loose or let them hang off the back of the big boat as they get confident. 

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