{Stus-List} Now - how to go faster

Colin Beckmann alchemist1 at rogers.com
Fri Feb 29 16:36:00 EST 2008

I will chime in here I guess.   I had good 
success with my C&C 34 even though the sails were 
never the best.  It took a while.  I have had 
limited success with my C&C 38-3 but this is due 
to the boat lack of over all speed on any point 
of sail due to one great big honking wing that 
now has been somewhat reduced.  While she has 
only sailed in 2 short races since, boat speed 
seems much improved and I look forward (can 
hardly wait)  to the coming season.  Here is what I have learned.

In no particular order:

1) A clean bottom is good, but absolutely smooth 
is no biggy.  The mistakes that most of us make 
are bigger then the drag created.  One year we 
put interprotect on the bottom, it was a cold 
year and we could not sand it smooth as it was 
just too gummy.  We raced like that for 2 
years.  We did quite well.  Racing with a dirty 
bottom is not good though.  Thats real slow.

2) Don't pinch.  If the friggen sail will not 
sheet into where you need it in order to sail a 
given course without pinching, then maybe you should not sail that course.

3) The C&C fleet seems to have its best VMG 
upwind at approx 29.30 degrees with a #1(this is 
my impression, others may feel different)  and 
the 34's polars also indicated this.  Anything 
else and you are going slow to no 
advantage.  Fast and a bit low is much better 
then high and slow.   My little 34 on more then 
one occasion beat C&C 41's and the like into the 
first mark because the skipper was trying to 
point too high.  With a #2 you can point higher 
and with a #3 even higher and if you have a C&C 
34, after the #3 does not handle it anymore, you 
should find a port and investigate the fridge for consumables.

4) If you are 15 boat lengths from the mark and 
you have to pinch or steer up higher then 27-28 
apparent, then you are going too slow.  If there 
is any adverse current you may drift down, and 
then you are stuck with trying to do 2 tacks in 
traffic at the mark.  This is not a winning 
strategy.  Fall down, to 30 degrees, get some 
speed up, see how far low of the mark you are and 
then tack.  If there is going to be no traffic 
then fine go to the mark, but if traffic, tack clear.

5) You should be constantly working the head 
sail.  Sheet perhaps an 1", watch the speed, if 
it slows down let it back out that 1" and then a 
bit more, get the speed back, then try to take it 
in again.  There is a perfect sail trim for your 
boat with wind at 10 knots.   This is not the 
same perfect sail trim for your boat with wind at 8 or 12 knots.

6) Get to know your boat and its responses to 
sail config.  My 34 was fast with its #1 and a 
full main.  But the main was too deep to fly with 
the #2.  If we went with a 2 and full main, we 
were slow, but if we did a 2 and a reef to 
flatten the main, we were really fast and now we could point up around 27.

7) Cabin top tracks for the #3 will generally be 
better as it will allow you to point up.  Ensure 
to back up with 1-1/2 aluminum strap.  No washers 
please.  The forces are incredible and I have 
heard of tracks coming right off the cabin top.

8) Movable genoa cars are a must.  See garhauer.

9)When going down wind, either white sail or 
spin, the main must not be by the lee.  Example, 
you are running down wind, and the wind goes to 
the lee by 5  degrees, but you are on mark and 
don't want to go up.   You don't gybe the main, 
the boat beside you does....   Given its the same 
boat with same sails, you will lose.   Don't believe me, check it out.

10)  When racing white sail have a whisker pole, 
and  then #9 above becomes even more 
critical.  Also, my experience tells me the 
fastest point of sail down wind in whitesail is 
dead down wind.  Gybing never seemed to help with 
either my C&C 34 or my C&C 38.  This is not the 
same for spinnaker.  Here gybing is fastest.

11) Don't over sheet the main.  Over sheeted, 
this just becomes a big air brake.  The same with 
having the traveler too high.   My main trimmers 
are constantly shifting the traveler.

12)  Look around.  What are others doing?  If 
they are going faster then you, then copy them.
My 12 cents worth.

Others may disagree, but these things work for me.


At 06:41 PM 2/28/2008, you wrote:
>I guess not too many others on the list are 
>interested in sharing specific information on 
>what they have found to make their boats go 
>fast; at least they haven’t jumped on board 
>yet.  But to me that discussion would be very 
>beneficial to just about anyone who sails a C&C 
>boat and what I will do is prepare a brief 
>report on how I set up my 35 for sailing to 
>weather in say 15 to 20 apparent (as a first 
>example) which will include things on sail 
>choice, rig tuning, sheeting angles, heel angle, 
etc that I think can be used by just 
>about anyone to make her go fast. I have 
>specific numbers on line tensions and sheeting 
>angles and sailing angles (sort of my own polars 
>for my boat) and I did study the polars you gave 
>me earlier on the 35 MKII but since other 
>owners, and not specifically owners of a 35, 
>appear not interested in such a specific topic 
>for their boats I will send off line to you what 
>I have learned so far, I know you are interested 
>and I will probably gain something from your 
Thanks for the polars on the 35 MKII that you gave to me earlier
>Dwight Veinot
>1974 C&C 35, Alianna
>Head of St. Margaret's Bay, NS
>From: cnc-list-bounces at cnc-list.com 
>[mailto:cnc-list-bounces at cnc-list.com] On Behalf Of Gary Russell
>Sent: February 27, 2008 12:59 PM
>To: cnc-list at cnc-list.com
>Subject: Re: {Stus-List} Calling all C&C 
>Works for me.
>S/V Expresso
>'75 C&C 35 Mk II
>East Greenwich, RI, USA
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