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Deep draft and Tall rigs........

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Here's my take on the pros and cons of DEEP DRAFT AND TALL RIGS:

There are a couple of advantages that come to mind about tall rigs; one is that a larger spinnaker can be flown, and the other is one that people often don't realize.....that a tall mast is a very stabilizing influence on the motion of the vessel. Some call it the "Pendulum Effect". If you remove the mast entirely a sailboat moves like a cork in a washing machine, whipping back and forth in chaos. Whereas if you put that stick up there a tremendous inertia, a slowing down of reaction time, is developed because it takes energy to move it. A tall rig with sufficient ballast down deep makes for a stiff boat and a more comfortable ride. Couple this with a somewhat beamy boat and you have a very high initial positive stability. A vessel like this, which represents again the genius of Bruno Bostrom, does not heel dramatically, responds to the seastate more deliberately, and is very resistant to knockdown. More sail can be flown and left up longer than most all other cruising designs (especially centerboarders), although it may not be the best thing for the rigging. I personally have flown full sail in 25kts of wind by myself without putting the rail in the water. I did this out of curiosity and to stretch the new rigging, however it isn't a good idea to carry more sail than the hull speed can utilize. What's really fun is to let the Fleming do the steering in those conditions and go stand on the bow!!

DRAFT. East and Gulf Coasters like shallow draft because of the IntraCoastal and the Bahamas. Europeans and West Coasters tend to prefer deeper draft because number one; it is not a problem for the waters they mostly visit, and two; there is no arguing the sailing performance and stiffness that deep draft offers.

From the beginning I wanted a deep-drafted vessel. Shoal keels, cruising keels.....they sound great theoretically. But they're tender, positive stability is lower, and they don't offer the best upwind performance or resistance to leeward drift. And since I was interested in ocean crossings deep draft was my choice. Since I am on the Texas Gulf Coast I have had a chance to see just how much of a problem 6'4" would be. It hasn't been. I can sail all over Galveston Bay and as long as I stay in the channel the IntraCoastal is fine as well. Also I have talked to cruisers with deep draft who have been all over the Carribean without problems. Diligence, as always, is the ticket.



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