Why can't the M significantly out sail the X

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Mark Prouty
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Why can't the M significantly out sail the X

Post by Mark Prouty » Fri Feb 25, 2005 9:15 pm

Duane Dunn, Allegro wrote:The return to the daggerboard is a nod to better sailing performance. It gives a cleaner underwater profile. When the centerboard is lowered it leaves an open cavity on the bottom that increases drag. The return to the daggerboard was in response to the constant complaints Roger got that the X was a slow sailboat.
It seems that the centerboard cavity would create significant drag; that a daggerboard would be much better. Is the the difference just a nod. Also, there is the rotating mast, taller mast and more sail area. The hull design is potentially better and there is more permanent ballest. There is the benefit of Rogers's knowledge.

So why doesn't the the 26M significantly out perform the 26X.

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Sloop John B
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Post by Sloop John B » Fri Feb 25, 2005 10:12 pm

A quote from the Newport News many years ago during the Americas Cup: Watching sailboats race is like watching grass grow.

Unless youre put on board, like in the movie Wind, or you happen to know what's going on, watched those Annapolis kids grind the winches; it's slow, boring and inconsequential.

If the M can get half a length on an X in fifteen minutes, that's significant.

But not to me. So he gets to Oahu a couple days ahead. I got enough grub. Burp!

This got me to thinking again about the X's centerboard trunk 'drag'. What's causing the drag? The gybing board? Well, sure; but you gotta be able to gybe. The slot of air isnt going to slow it down. Is it the back of the trunk squared with the flow? Why not flare the back of the trunk back a little if it isn't already.

And if it isn't, let's petition chisel boy to try a new mod.

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Duane Dunn, Allegro
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Post by Duane Dunn, Allegro » Fri Feb 25, 2005 11:17 pm

I think the changes are only apparent under very controlled circumstances. I'm sure the M is faster than the X, but we're talking fractions of fractions more speed in knots. To a racer tuned into those microscopic differences it's probably very clear. To a cruiser out for a journey with the family the difference in not apparent at all. The advantages are so small they are far over shadowed by the crews sailing abilities. I have no doubt that a really good racing sailor with an X can beat a M sailed by a competent, but average sailor. Head to head the X vs M is fun, against the fleet they both still bring up the rear until it's time to make he run back in to the bar.

As with all things Mac, you have to take the hype about the differences with a gain of salt. The new hull shape is better, but in a very minor way. Like wise the rotating mast as it's implemented is of questionable advantage. Yet it all is a great step forward in a marketing sense. The valuable positive propoganda is worth far more than true increase in performance.

Roger is a seat of the pants designer, not a flow dynamics engineer. He is always looking for the most bang for the buck in his boats and his marketing.

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Post by J Dower » Sat Feb 26, 2005 6:35 am

I have owned five MacGregor sailboats starting with a Venture 21 and now a 26M. I agree with what has been said, if an M is faster than an X, it is measured in seconds per mile, and it depends much more on how the boat is set up and how it is sailed.

When I first got my 2003 M, it would barely tack in under 110 degrees. With a lot of adjustments and tuning I can now turn 90 degree tacks, and those are the kind of things that make a sailboat fast or slow. But that is just for my own satisfaction and the pleasure of having a good sail, if I am in a hurry I go straight to windward at 14 mph with my Y50.

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Post by Moe » Sat Feb 26, 2005 7:13 am

All other things being equal, a deeper-V hull provides less lift, more wetted surface area and drag, deeper draft, and lower initial stability, but most importantly, a smoother ride on less than perfectly smooth water. It also tends to track straighter longitudinally. It requires more horsepower and fuel to maintain any given speed, and generally falls off plane at a higher speed. It rolls (laterally) more when at anchor or in a beam sea.

There are boatmakers, such as Parker, who offer the same boat model in medium V and deep V versions for these reasons. Not everyone wants to pay for the larger motor and increased fuel use if they aren't taking the boat offshore. They may not want to pay for the hydraulic or electric trim tabs often used on deeper V hulls to assist with planing, and to roll the boat more upright in less than head-on seas that tend to have it leaning away from the seas.

My guess at the subject phenomina is that the combination of the gains from greater sail area, rotating mast, and elimination of the centerboard trunk drag provide the extra "horsepower" to keep the deeper-V M hull at the same speed.

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Post by baldbaby2000 » Sat Feb 26, 2005 9:47 am

I've never sailed our M against an X. I can't seem to find any numbers comparing the two. I guess people don't really race them much.

I'm pretty sure the rotating mast does help. If I force it straight, the boat does go slower. I used to race smaller boats and mast rotation was important. On the Hobie 18 it was adjustable; in strong winds we would allow the mast to rotate more causing mast bend which would flatten out the sail and depower the boat. The mast on an X though is smaller so it would probably create less turbulence in a non rotated position.

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Post by Moe » Sat Feb 26, 2005 10:15 am

Personally, I see the rotating mast as just something else to have mechanical problems, especially on a boat built, shall we say, to a price point? I believe a couple of folks are having problems with the nylon washer.

It also creates a problem, as we've discussed, with leading lines, especially vang, aft with their pull and influence on the rotation.

And finally, it creates a problem of moving reference when mounting a wind direction indicator or sensor.

I prefer the KISS philosophy of a non-rotating mast on a cruiser.

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Dimitri-2000X-Tampa
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Re: Why can't the M significantly out sail the X

Post by Dimitri-2000X-Tampa » Sat Feb 26, 2005 10:28 am

Mark Prouty wrote:
So why doesn't the the 26M significantly out perform the 26X.
Mark, what are you basing your data on? I haven't seen much data about performance comparison myself which seems strange after being on the market for over 2 years now.

Invitation is open for any M to come over to Tampa Bay and race for fun... Good sailing weather this time of year... 8)

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Re: Why can't the M significantly out sail the X

Post by Mark Prouty » Sat Feb 26, 2005 11:25 am

Dimitri-2000X-Tampa wrote:
Mark Prouty wrote:
So why doesn't the the 26M significantly out perform the 26X.
Mark, what are you basing your data on? I haven't seen much data about performance comparison myself which seems strange after being on the market for over 2 years now.

Invitation is open for any M to come over to Tampa Bay and race for fun... Good sailing weather this time of year... 8)
Dimitri,

There isn't much data on this topic. I hope someone takes up your challenge.
Tom Spohn wrote:The closest I have come to seeing both boats in the same race is in BWY's "Not quite a race" which they do at their annual rendezvous. It is a run around three pontoons, but the participants are racing the clock and can enter the course at any time. Most of the X boats are equiped with the 150 Genny and the M boats are using the 100% jib. The winner is usually a Classic. The X's and M's seem to finish based on the skill of the team sailing them. Also some teams know how to take advantage of their paticular boat. For example the M's will sail closer to the wind, but the X's seem to go a little faster off the wind a few degrees. etc. I suppose that in a race with expert teams one would consistently do better than the other, but in the real world it seems to me to be a toss-up.
http://macgregorsailors.com/phpBB/viewt ... light=race

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Duane Dunn, Allegro
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Post by Duane Dunn, Allegro » Sat Feb 26, 2005 11:25 am

Dimitri,

It is interesting that after 3 model years I have yet to see anyone post a PHRF number for the M. We all know the X has a very high number and I wouldn't be surprised at all to see a M number almost the same.

These are pleasure cruising boats, not racing boats. You're best off measuring time in days or beers with them rather than seconds.

The advantages of the daggerboard, rotating mast, and new hull form are so small that you lose all you gained in that moment of in-attention when you make another trip to the cooler.

Going to windward is what motors are for. I've got one of those new big chutes on my list this year so we can have fun on the civilized points of sail.

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Newell
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X & M Performance

Post by Newell » Sat Feb 26, 2005 12:26 pm

Last year I was in a VYC of San Diego race with a 04 M. There were 3 Xs and 1M in 2 races. At one point going to weather the M and I were very close. I was pointing as high as my boat points and I thought the M could have out-pointed me but since I had the inside track he could not pull away from me and had to keep the same track. In all fairness there were 3 crew against me. It was a dead heat for a long time and then the M pulled ahead a boat length.

I think the M may be faster than a X but slower than a Hunter 260 and all of them way slower than a D.

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Post by sailpsych » Sat Feb 26, 2005 12:29 pm

Given the similarity, and having raced Catalina 22's, it would appear that the skill of the sailor will have far more influence on the speed of the 26X or M than would the inherent design. I know that on the Catalina 22's (which again are NOT a racing boat), simply making sure you adjusted the sails, or had the right size crew, impacted boat speed. In light air, coaxing a bit of list also improved speed. I'm not saying that a J24 would succumb to a well handled 26X, but relatively speaking, the M and the X appear to have equal capability.

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Newell
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X & M Performance

Post by Newell » Sat Feb 26, 2005 12:58 pm

216 is a huge insult to all X racers. VYC established 359 with some success.

Personally, the latter is embarasing but the X is no racer from a traditional standpoint.

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