Dreamcatcher wrote:OK. Maybe 15 degrees is a bit too little, but I get my best speed going to windward at 20-25degrees.
Not as big a deal on the M boat - the M boats sails pretty good on it's side. The X boat has a much flatter bottom than the M boat. I have read posts from X boat drivers here that claim their boats really slow down and sometimes even stop when they put them on their sides but that does not happen on the M boat. I have also read about this sort of "panic button" that seems to hit the X drivers when they go past 33 degrees - I'm not disparaging the X drivers on this, I am just analyzing something that I think is happening on the X boat that does not happen on the M boat:
I think the X boat gets feet much sooner than the M boat - Based on the posts I read I think the X boat stays pretty firm against the wind up to about 33 degrees, and then after that something happens - I think somewhere between 33 and 35 degrees the X get's up on it's chine and gets really 'tippy' because it's balancing on the edge of the hull and the trip to 40 degrees happens mush faster than the trip to 30 degrees did so it gives the impression you going to tip over. The X boat probably gets legs again at 45 degrees just like the M does - but by then your too scared to go there because things happened to fast.
If you look at the pictures posted and vids posted of Mac boats sailing at 45 degrees (that are ALL OVER the internet) you will notice that all of the boats in the pics and vids are M boats. M boat drivers don't seem to have a big problem sailing the boats on their sides - and as a person who owns one I can tell you why. The reason is that the M boat is very very solid at 45 degrees.
The M boats are also a lot more tender than the X boat between 25 and 35 degrees - my boat will sail rather easily between those two angles without any stops in between if the wind is over 15 knots but at about 40 degrees there is a very noticeable firmness in the heeling - it hits a wall and gets very very stiff from 40 to 45 degrees. At that angle I do not feel any panic because the boat feels very solid - I can tell it's not going over and there is no sudden tipping from 45 to even 50 degrees - it's a very slow and solid sensation in that range - I walk around on and in the boat with ease because although the boat is leaned over it's not moving side to side - it's solid - you can really feel the ballast. I have many pictures of me snoozing away on the low side in the cockpit at 45 degrees with my arm hanging over the side and I have no feeling of panic or tipping. Maybe if my arm got wet I might wake up but it's all still high and dry and cruising along just fine at 6 knots so why get up?
'boat' is as solid as a rock at 43 degrees and not slowing down at all:https://vimeo.com/176823065
If the heeling was a real issue (like, say - the wife wants to take a pee on the potty) them I just let out the sail a little and the boat settles back down to 20 degrees and she can go pee pee. No big deal.
If the wind is over 20 knots I defiantly do start reefing sails.
P.S. I found a video of an X boat at 45 degrees - the boat looks just fine to me - I see nothing to be worried about - if the heel in this picture is scaring you then I assure you there is no need to be scared - your fine.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7s--sDUnSC4
I do notice that the boat in the video does slow down considerably when heeled over and i do admit it is heeling just bit more than the M boat does but I do not see any real problems here except the loss of speed. When I am at that angle on 'boat' it does not really slow down much at all - not at all like in that video - you can see many videos on here where Highlander and Beene are heeled over 45 degrees or more and making really good headway - I don't feel a lot of drag on 'boat' when it's on it side - not like I saw in that video.