Next Passion

We are back. It has been a long almost four weeks and while the travel and competition in the Laser Masters World Championships in Split were enjoyable it is good to be back home.
The trip did not start off well when I slipped on the launching ramp at Middle Harbour Amateur Sailing Club and cracked some ribs and it was well into the holiday before I could sleep on my left side. As the conditions in Split were very light the cracked ribs were not a problem and I did much better in the stronger conditions anyway.
I was contented with my second place in the first and windiest race and with my 7th overall. The charter boats were in impressive condition and I was pleased to return mine in pristine condition.The big disappointment of the tour was that our fellow travelers were not well and Kevin was unable to sail. He put on a very brave face but it must have been a big disappointment to him too.My first activity on arriving home was to visit the doctors as I succumbed to the bugs on the last few days of the trip and was pleased that I made it home before it hit hard.

Now putting all that aside tonight despite bugs and jet lag we pulled off a win on time and handicap. The breeze had been forecast to build but with a lot of cloud cover during the day the breeze was later and lighter and died earlier. We took a vote and elected to go with the big genoa. A deciding factor was the strong crew we had on board and the knowledge we could reef the main if need be.

We won the start from Jackpot in the hands of new owners but with the gun dealer team on board. An interesting new competitor was Much Ado V which is another Ker 11.3 seemingly in the Beck fleet. It will be fantastic for GFS if Dump Truck and Much Ado V can match race around the course every week.
Having our nose in front at Onion Point gave us a clear air advantage which we used to maximum advantage and we were able to keep in front for the whole race. A few forced tacks away from leeward shores when the breeze was lifting gave us some concern but we had enough of a gap to hand on for our first fastest times in the Black fleet.
We do not sail ORC but to be fair on ORC Jackpot
would have won.
Much Ado V has an even more challenging ORC rating than Passion X so we were very pleased to beat her over the line.
The balance of the fleet were at the mercy of the dying breeze which dragged out the time differences and allowed our first handicap win of the season.

Wed twilight 11 Oct 2017

The new No 4 jib is getting quite a work out and I am already happy to hoist it if the breeze is forecast to be above 18 knots. Today the forecast was for 23 knots so we started the long reach to Cannai Point with the No 4 jib and a full main. Ignoring the larger quick boats, Ichi Ban, Margaret Rintoul V and Duende, our usual competition, Blue Chip, Marloo and Sorcerer, set larger genoas and reefed mains. While the wind was strong we did well keeping ahead of these last three but when it lightened we were caught by Blue Chip. At one stage we hit 14.8 knots boat speed in a 35.4 knot wind gust which was some quite exciting sailing. At quite long periods the breeze dropped back to the 13 knot range where we were a bit too comfortable. There was even one point when Duende and Margaret Rintoul V were becalmed and we caught right up to be alongside their position. Simultaneously Sorcerer and Marloo caught up to us as we lost the ground gained during the 30 knot wind stage.
We rounded Cannai Point hard on the tail of Blue Chip and for a while in the very strong wind we held our own. Sorcerer behind had trouble in a big gust and lost a lot of time in a round up.
While we had the sheets cracked off to get down to the channel mark we held our own but as the wind headed Marloo came steaming through and Blue Chip built up a handy lead. We chased these two through Rose Bay and due to course uncertainty rounded the Point Piper mark on the way back to the finish line. It was not out of our way and Marloo had rounded it and headed off to round the island. Sorcerer which had now caught up to our tail also ran away as if to round the island. We were still beating to the finish when Marloo and Sorcerer changed direction and followed us home. They both made up a lot of ground on the hard beat home but the course was too short for them to catch the time they had lost in their respective detours.
I believe that with our handicap we would have beaten Sorcerer and Marloo on the day but judging by the finish times I think they threw away places to Duende and Blue Chip with their detours.
We were very happy with our second on handicap but more so pleased that the time differences were shorter than usual for windy conditions taking into account the short course. The angle of breeze suited us with a lot of the early beat back free enough to crack sheets and the stronger wind on the downwind leg also suited our light hull weight.

Maximum true wind speed 35.4 knots

Maximum true wind speed 35.4 knots

Maximum boat speed 14.8 knots

Maximum boat speed 14.8 knots

 

On Starboard approaching the Harbour Bridge

On Starboard approaching the Harbour Bridge

After the disappointment of Wednesday in not getting the Gopro camera to work I spent time on Thursday connecting and disconnecting the network settings and learning how to not interfere with the phone blue tooth connection to the car multimedia. That solved I decided to try the camera in shutter button only mode on Friday and that worked well.
Friday’s conditions were benign and we set the black No 1 Genoa from Passion. It is just under 40 % LP and will do until it wears out and we get a slightly larger one that clears the shrouds. In the meantime we get a small deflection in the foot of the genoa when strapped on tight.
The small fleet and pursuit start means a very relaxed sail and with our share of luck we passed the fleet before Long Nose and stayed in front for the rest of the race. We seemed to have a private breeze along the Hunters Hill shore where we passed most of the fleet. We passed within a few metres so it was a most unusual breeze for which we claimed  we paid for “premium” breeze.  When the breeze filled in across the course Pistol Dawn made a good impression of being a serious threat at stages but in the end our longer waterline and generous sail area won the day.

After the race I switched off the instruments so that the wifi would not interfere with the go pro and paired the mobile phone for a quick review of the footage. It was all there in 17 minute blocks and post race it has given Elaine and I a lot of amusement revisiting the race. On review we were a very professional crew who managed the yacht with little fuss. Elaine is looking forward to some footage from some wild days when the conversation might not be so civilised but for now the record is clear.

After tacking to round Goat island with the city of Sydney in the background

After tacking to round Goat island with the city of Sydney in the background

It was another very pleasant day on Sydney Harbour with winds from the South averaging 15 knots with a maximum wind speed on our instruments of 22 knots. In anticipation of a freshening breeze we set the No 3 genoa and full main which we carried for the day.
We rounded the downwind mark at Cannai Point level with Marloo and just in front of Sorcerer with Blue Chip a couple of minutes ahead of our group of three. With the wind freshest at the rounding mark the big Sorcerer quickly climbed over us or more correctly we dropped below their line. Expecting the breeze to quieten in Rose Bay we kept the full main although at times it seemed to be doing very little work.
We had good breeze in Rose Bay where the course had us reaching and here we seemed to gain a bit on Sorcerer and Marloo who had a quiet patch off Point Piper. The reach home was a very comfortable angle and the race was one of the quicker ones of the season.
Our time difference to our competitors was instructive. Sorcerer was clearly quicker than usual and that showed in the results with their second place but showing what a mixed bag the handicaps were we had our best time relative to Ichi Ban but they won the race on handicap.
Against Blue Chip our time difference was exactly our average right down to the last second but considering the wind it was our best result in those conditions. Against Marloo our results were even better with an elapsed time 2 minutes 49 seconds better than average for the season but on handicap we could only beat them by 47 seconds.
Against Kookaburra we also had our best result for the season by some three minutes and at least that one showed in the handicaps.
Duende is on average 16 minutes 30 seconds faster than us and today they were only 14:53 in front so it was disappointing to see the finish 1:15 in front on handicap.
On balance I thought we did remarkably well and deserved a result near the top of the fleet behind Sorcerer. It is the best we have done in those conditions except for when our competitors have had mishaps on the water.

We do appear to be paying for the one first place on handicap in the third race of the season in light winds with no offsetting correction for the second last place the next time it was light. Also our string of last places when there was only three or four starters do not appear to have improved our handicap. And while a better deal on handicaps would look better in the results what we need is a few minutes faster boat speed so we can have some company on the beat home.

With Elaine away for the whole day I used the time to visit the club early and swap equipment audits for a fellow club member and then sail the regular Balmain Friday Afternoon pursuit series. It is a very pleasant dash around the islands west of the bridge and with a fresh 16 knots of breeze it was all over in less than 60 minutes.
Some of the time in the past two days was spent setting up a new data page for the Raymarine cockpit plotter to show VMG to windward in big bold numbers and we did hit a full 6.0 knots in a couple of gusts when we were feathering into the breeze so I am hopeful that the full main and No 4 jib will be a useful combination in these fresher conditions. The drawback is that if the breeze dies we become under powered so there was a lot of discussion on board of how quickly we could change the headsail up.
Everyone agreed we had the appropriate rig up for the day and with the short footed jib tacking was very civilized. There was a few stronger gusts up to 18 and possibly 20 knots and we saw 9 knots of boat speed on the broad reach along the Hunters Hill foreshore. To help in the gusty conditions we kept the vang loose and the leech of the mainsail well twisted. Upwind we cranked on the backstay but eased it on  the downwind legs a la Etchell style.

At the end we caught all but the one yacht so we must have been doing most things right.

By contrast on Wednesday when we had the larger No 3 jib up the winds were a couple of knots stronger today and that seemed to make a lot of difference. Also today there was more reaching while Wednesday was dead into the wind one way and dead square the other way and that is not our sweet spot.

And while Elaine was away for the day she would have wanted to thank all the crew for keeping me occupied and happy for the day.

The weather was perfect for a sail on the harbour and we were given our first true beat to the top mark for the season.
The breeze had already kicked on to fifteen knots by the time we were selecting sails so we opted for the No 3 genoa and full mainsail. With this rig we had a comfortable beat to windward regularly hitting 7.3 knots but occasionally slipping back to six and taking time to rebuild up to 7 knots. Blue Chip demoralized me by blasting away to windward as would be expected of a yacht with a 200 mm deeper bulb keel that weighs an extra 100 kgs. Their extra hull width possibly help them with more form stability too and I struggle to understand why the ORCi gives us similar ratings.
The top yachts in the Division 1 that started 5 minutes behind had I believe gained about a minute or two on us by the time we were abeam of their top mark so I am disappointed we are not in that division.
By our top mark at Cannai Point we were a couple of minutes behind Marloo and Sorcerer and hoping for some gain on the downwind leg. It was not to be as the wind was too light for our small headsail compared to the big overlapping ones on Marloo and Sorcerer. The breeze did lighten on the run home and that was not helpful with the small headsail.
We sailed pretty well to our speed targets hitting 8.5 knots on a beam reach on the way back to the finish line but our competition kept their distance ahead and we finished last by 3 minutes 57 seconds. Our handicap did bring us home 12 seconds in front of Duende who seemed to get on the wrong side of a couple of shifts.
Our tracks to windward look pretty impressive in terms of angle to the wind in a slack tide but the reality is that we were well beat. We were 4 minutes slower than our average result to date against Blue Chip and 2 minutes 13 seconds slower on average against Sorcerer. Against Duende and Marloo we were 15 seconds better than average but even being better than average against Marloo left us over a minute shy on handicap.
We could not have carried any more sail to windward although we could have carried a reef in the main and the full genoa and then taken the reef out at the top mark. A couple of knots lighter and we would have carried the No 1 all day and a couple of knots stronger and the No 3 would have been fine down wind. On the square run home the extra two knots of wind would have added 0.8 knots of boat speed.
We have just three races left before some of us travel to Croatia for the World Laser Masters championships and it would be good to have at least one race with the breeze in our sweet spot before we finish for the season.

I should have checked the photo before I left the yacht for the evening but if you look hard you will see the tacks in the tracks

I should have checked the photo before I left the yacht for the evening but if you look hard you will see the tacks in the tracks

Today we were the only yacht to have a decent sail on Sydney harbour in winds that peaked at 33 knots. We had the new No 4 jib on board and were waiting for the start of our regular RANSA Winter Wednesday race when we found ourselves alone. We pulled into the RANSA jetty and confirmed the worst that the race had been cancelled. Being all dressed up with nowhere to go we sailed most of the course anyway. Our peak speed broad reaching was 12.3 knots in a 32 knot gust. At this stage we had one reef in the main and the brand new No 4 jib hanked onto the forestay.
For the tight reach back to Steele Point we put in the second reef and also tried beating to windward for a while. The peak wind gust during beating was 33 knots in Rose Bay.
It would have been nice to have had a race as the wind angle would have been to our advantage and we would have gained a better appreciation of our performance. All the same we had a very enjoyable afternoon in the sunshine and wind.
Alas the forecast for Friday is even stronger and Saturdays safety audits may have to be shifted to a less windy day.

What was supposed to be a quiet day ferrying the completed boom over to Passion X and fitting it on the mooring turned into quite an adventure. Joe Walsh decided I should bring Passion X into the public wharf at Margaret Street instead. Now that was after I had paid my $9.00 parking fee and as I had not expected to move the yacht today I had left the battery for the new electric outboard motor home. Rowing to Passion X was downwind so that was OK and the trip across to Margaret Street, tie up at the mooring and loading of the boom all went smoothly. In the short time it took to transfer the boom however, the tide went out leaving Passion X stuck on the bottom. Fortunately the local mooring barge was moving at that exact time so I threw them a line and they pulled us into deep water in a moment.
Message to mind the depth indicator is very accurate. If it says 2.45 metres it means 2.45 metres.
By now the wind had picked up to a full 25 knots and at the very top end of the range for picking up the mooring in Greenwich but that was successful at the second rounding and the depth indicator did not go below 4 metres.
The final task was to row ashore against the 25 knot breeze and the full flow of the tide. Now this is exactly when the electric outboard will be useful but alas the battery and tiller control were far away at home. By skirting the shore and rowing in the lee of the Greenwich ferry wharf I made it back safely. Despite all the dramas of the morning it was a remarkably quick process so I had time to pick up the sails from the loft and spend a couple of hours at the Sydney International Boat show. Now the wind on the pontoons was so strong it was not pleasant so it was a quick visit and a quick trip home before the evening traffic and a well earned snooze in front of the TV.

Proof positive of the breeze when I was rowing back to GFS clubhouse

Proof positive of the breeze when I was rowing back to the GFS clubhouse

After a disappointing result on Wednesday it was good to have the boom replacement project to keep me occupied for a couple of days. Also as the weather turned out it was a good Friday afternoon race to avoid as the breeze was gusting 30 knots as the fleet raced past Joe Walsh’s rigging yard where I was doing the boom replacement.
On Wednesday at RANSA we were eight minutes behind the similarly rated Blue Chip around the course despite having the sails looking very well set. We could not say that if we did this if we did that we would have been quicker and the crew lamented that we are sailing at the back of the fleet alone in Div 1s while the Division 1 fleet we raced in with the old Passion had some very close racing.
What could we have done better? If we had carried the No 1 genoa downwind we might have gained a minute but would certainly have lost it on the way back. We did not need a reef in the main either in practice or by reference to the ORCi speed guide. We did get up to the recommended speed to windward on several occasions but could not keep up to the speed consistently.
Perhaps the breeze at 16 knots is just in our “bitter” spot. That has to the the reverse of “sweet” spot so at lighter wind conditions when we can carry the No 1 genoa all the way we might be more competitive and at stronger breezes we can make up a bit of time downwind.
This week our competitors carried full sail around the course and flogged us on handicap. That is all except Duende who had their own set of special circumstances with a too early pole out of the genoa which cost them a lot of time.
So the boom change project was much needed therapy and all the sails are in for a quick check while we are off the water. The boom change over was not straight forward as I had to drill the old boom bag track off the bent boom and transfer it to the new boom. The new internal guide for the single line reefing system had to be riveted inside the track with five countersunk head 3/16 rivets and then drilled to match the holes in the boom bag track.
The new boom has an internal sleeve fitted around the 3.5 metre mark and that meant the second single line reefing system had to be converted to a single continuous line rather than than the version with the internal slider and purchases. On completion the boom has the first reef with internal purchases and the second and third reef lines as single continuous lines. The third reef line has 45 metres of 10 mm line so it is a pretty long route to get in the third reef.
Joe Walsh was very generous with the use of his premises to do the work and also the advice and help with fasteners and tools. It is nice to have company around when you are working all day.
For a bit more therapy I might take the Laser out on the weekend and try the new carbon fibre top section but Saturday looks a bit fresh.

We finished the week and the West Harbour Winter Series on a good note with a fastest times in the Sunday race, a second on handicap behind a well sailed Mount Gay 30 and a second on ORCi behind a well sailed Fareast 28. Both these smaller yachts carried spinnakers on the short square runs while we were content to defend our fastest times place with the full mainsail and the 110% genoa hauled out to windward.
The extra crew helped today as we were able to tweak the controls to better suit the varying wind conditions. Among the controls we tweaked a bit more was the backstay which we wound on a bit harder than usual to flatten the full main to good effect.
Kevin said our result was because we did not set the spinnakers and I agree as the running legs were too short for our level of experience and flicking the 110% genoa back and forth was very effective in using the wind shifts downwind.
The result on ORCi is one I have calculated myself as the scorers have entered a zero instead of a decimal point with the result that we are the highest handicapped boat ever in the history of sailing. We are not that good and the corrected result will show our second place with quite a bit of time to spare on the rest of the fleet. This is our first good result on ORCi and a timely bit of encouragement.

Our result on Friday was a second fastest and second on handicap but we were outclassed to windward by Another Planet. With one reef in their main they were over canvassed for the over 20 knot conditions but we were more over canvassed with two reefs. While we blitzed the rest of the field our performance relative to Another Planet left me a little disappointed.

In the Winter Wednesday race at RANSA we also had strong breezes and while we stayed closer to the fleet than usual it was only close enough for a fourth place. We had one reef in the main and the 110% genoa for the downwind leg and again did well against the fleet rounding ahead of the J133 and the Sydney 38 as well as Sorcerer and Marloo. Blue Chip, the Sydney 38 had too much sail up and finished the race under jib alone but the time their main came down we felt we would have had their measure on handicap. The heavier yachts, Marloo and Sorcerer powered past us on the wind and for a second week a late knock gave us a slow finish relative to the yacht ahead who had already rounded the last mark.

All the big boys pulled out this week except for the consistent Duende but we stayed quite close in the downwind leg and they did not gain enough ground on the windward work to beat us on handicap. The surprise of the day was to have The Red Hand cross behind us five minutes after the start but then they gybed over to port tack and raced away only to retire on the trip around Shark Island.  We very much appreciated them indicating they would go behind as they were the starboard tack boat and we were still nursing a slightly bent boom through the gybes. We did granny the last gybe rounding of the day as the wind was over 25 knots at the time.

We need to improve our windward performance in strong breezes if we are to have any chance of consistently performing well on ORCi. To that end I invested in the speed guide and polar plots from the ORCi VPP software and have some very interesting guides for sail setting.

The Speed guide for Passion X confirms that we need to reduce sail area aggressively for windward working in 16 knots and over. The new No 4 jib should get a very good work out once it is finished and on board. I feel going for the No 4 before we put the second reef in the main will give us better overall upwind and downwind performance so that is something for us to look forward to.

The other finding from the various rigs I examined with the ORCi VPP was that a 62 msq jib set flying will be a great asset for next year’s Sail Port Stephens with some good speed improvements in 8 knots and under and a very wide effective wind range from 45 degrees around to 120 degrees. In all breezes it fills the gap between the jib being most effective to the point where the spinnakers are most effective.

It was a good note to finish on and this week we will change over the boom for a bigger stronger section and not be so worried about the gybes.

For the record our mistaken handicap and corrected finishing time of around 15 weeks

For the record our mistaken handicap and corrected finishing time of around 15 weeks

A view of The Red Hand which we will see only fleetingly

A view of The Red Hand which we saw for longer than usual.

After a couple of abandoned races in one week the wind returned in force on Wednesday and it was a pity that there was only three of the regular crew available for the day. The lure of warmer weather in Queensland and some serious Laser competition was too much for two crew and ailments kept three others off the water. Fortunately a Friday crew volunteered for double duty and made our total up to four for the RANSA race.
With a forecast of 20 knots rising to 25 late in the day we set sail with a reef in the main and the 110% jib. Strictly speaking if it is 110% it should probably be called a genoa but I will leave you to research that fine point of sailing terminology.
We started with the big boys and I do mean the big boys as we had Duende and Wild Thing in front and The Red Hand behind. We had discussed our tactics beforehand and had intended to let all the big boys zoom past to give us clear air but they would not go away. For a long time we held our own and had to change course to avoid Wild Thing’s stern ten minutes up the track. What kept us up with the faster yachts was a better path through the gusts including pulling the jib out to windward and sailing a little over square Laser style in the gusts to keep us in the wind.
Eventually when we were all on port gybe they pulled away so we could concentrate on staying in front of Blue Chip and Marloo.
We were a bit pleased with ourselves to manage to round the Cannai Point mark ahead of Blue Chip despite the reef in the main. With a full crew we might have left the reef until the downwind mark and had a bigger gap.
On the upwind leg the two genoa trimmers manned the windward rail and we set out to keep up with Blue Chip. For a short time we appeared to be be losing less ground than usual and it seemed Marloo was taking longer to catch us. I was feathering into the big gusts and the top of the main was reversing giving us noticeable righting moment but we did lay over in the gusts more than I can recall on any other occasion.
At the finish I timed Marloo across the line and thought we had a chance of beating her but a late knock and a line angled downwind from the finish boat meant a longer work to the line and a late tack to clear the pin.
With that I thought we might have been last on handicap but was pleased to find that only Blue Chip and Marloo had beaten us and we pulled back one point on the massive lead Duende has in the series.
A big thanks to the crew for one of the most exciting days on the Harbour this season.
Today the new boom was at Joe Walsh Rigging and I have unwrapped it and already cut the partial sleeve that will go inside the boom at the block hanger position. The partial sleeves fit nicely and should do the job along with the larger section higher moments. The photos show the first partial sleeve sitting inside the boom section from which it was cut. Subsequently the second partial sleeve was cut from the balance of the section leaving just the bottom track and top of the section as waste.

The partial sleeve sitting inside the remainder of the section from which it was cut.

The partial sleeve sitting inside the remainder of the section from which it was cut.

Another view of the partial sleeve sitting inside the section from which it was cut.

Another view of the partial sleeve sitting inside the section from which it was cut.

We have made some progress with Passion X but in the absence of breeze on Sunday we had no excitement. First the bowsprit has been fitted and it fits well. Second we have hoisted the asymmetric spinnaker in the new sock and that works well too. Third we have gybed the asymmetric spinnaker on the outside which is a first for most of the crew and skill in this is a must for heavier breezes. That was all Sunday’s progress before and after the abandoned race.
With all my urgent household chores completed including pruning the roses the first mate agreed to help with some maintenance on Passion X. It was a sunny day and an ideal one to upgrade the remaining Spinlock pulleys on the deck organizers. The rest of the plastic ones had started to fail and last Wednesday we had to put the main halyard into the second reef slot . With 25 knots forecast for tomorrow the second reef is a must so out came the twenty bolts and the last six plastic sheaves changed to alloy. While we were tied up to the Greenwich Flying Squadron pontoon we attended to some deck leaks by withdrawing the offending bolts and refilling the holes with Sikaflex. That process uses up a lot of disposable gloves and is a good one to have finished. I am sure we will find a few more over time but for now all we could see are done.
The next big job will be replacing the boom when the new and better larger section arrives but for now it is ready for sailing including topping up the diesel and a few litres of water into the almost empty tanks.

Before closing off on this blog I want to add a bit of technical information about the network at home. Now that I have all the files stored on a Network Attached Storage (NAS) I can create the blog from any of three computers in the house. I just need to pick the cosiest spot and start typing.

The new bowsprit on Passion X looks the part

The new bowsprit on Passion X looks the part

Well almost nothing! After a lot of hard work from the crew we had Passion X weighted for the IRC rating certificate and for a measured input to the ORCi Club certificate. While the weight on the certificate went up from 4306 kg to 5042 kg the rating came down only 2% from 1.11 to 1.092. The rating was influenced a little by the larger spinnaker which gave a small speed increase in light air running and the removal of the runners which were incorrectly shown on the certificate. It was not until I read the detailed Velocity Prediction Program description that I realized the incorrectly shown runners impacted the rating. That contributed 0.004 to the rating reduction.
So for a lot of effort we have a small rating reduction but still cannot sail to the new rating.
I will probably go for the full International ORCi rating and see if the extra measurements make a significant reduction to the rating.
There was a little good news with the rating reduction but that was off set by the slower top speed potential in the VPP. Our reaching speed in 20 knots of wind is now predicted to be 11.71 knots and not the 12.25 knots we would have had if the yacht had been 700 kg lighter. This speed reduction is pretty much the same as I calculated for the performance under motor with the different weights so I was not surprised with the top speed reduction. What did surprise me was how little the rating came down.
We still have a lot of work to do to sail Passion X to its full potential and we have not yet tried the light air reaching angles suggested on the VPP program. Up to now we have run square the wind while the VPP suggests we should be sailing at gybe angles of 142 degrees true. Hopefully we will soon have the asymmetric spinnaker running from a short bowsprit and will get some excitement from that.

Passion X being weighed at Woolwich Dock

Passion X being weighed at Woolwich Dock

Passion X weighed in a little over 5,000 kg which was quite a bit more than the 4,600 kg I was expecting. Our ORCi Club certificate currently has a weight of 4,306 kg which means we will get the rating benefit of the extra 700 kg of weight and it will be interesting to see what that figure will be. So the good news is that the rating will improve quite a bit and the extra weight that has gone into the hull will ensure a long life for Passion X.
The bad new is that the speed targets on our ORCi Club certificate will be superseded with lower targets and the exciting 12.25 knots in 20 knots of breeze will not be realized.
I have a copy of a trial certificate for Black Cat, the 38 ft prototype of our Didi 40 Cr which shows a weight of 5,285 kg and a rating of 1.03. it is only a trial certificate and while the true weight of Black Cat may be 4,500 kg the trial certificate is based on the stated weight. If we plug in our 5,000 kg, increased hull overhang, more sail area and deeper keel we are going to get a figure higher than 1.03 but less than the 1.11 we have at present.
On the other hand we have to declare the larger spinnaker which may off set some of the improved handicap from the higher confirmed weight.

Of course we know that it is very hard to get all things equal especially when it comes to rating systems for yachts. Today with very helpful crew I was preparing Passion X for weighing for IRC and ORCi. To do this we needed to remove all the sails and loose items from the yacht. After two and a half hours we had removed most of the required equipment except for regulation safety gear that will be unloaded at dock side tomorrow.
The gear unloaded can be seen in the photo stacked up in the Greenwich Flying Squadron overnight. While the photo of the removed gear is impressive even more impressive is the photo showing the water line with the ship in light mode. Based on the water line I am guessing that we have removed 400 kg of sails and equipment and water. The water tanks were reading empty long before the pump stopped pumping so I guess there could have been 100 kg of water so that still leaves 300 kg for the equipment.
Again I am guessing that the sails and battens are 140 kg as we have three jibs, three spinnakers and a heavy main but that still leaves 160 kg of gear. At this stage we still have the Cat 7 anchor and rode on board and some mooring ropes.
Perhaps for the winter we should remove all the category 4 gear which included a separate set of life jackets, harnesses, tethers, man over board gear etc, etc, etc.
Now this gets back to all things being equal as the rating system only accounts for the unladen weight of the yacht so every item of comfort or safety on board is dead weight. As light as the melamine kitchen ware may be perhaps it is too heavy. Do we need so many knives and forks before the next offshore cruise? Should the spare blanket, and wet weather gear be removed for the winter?
None of this matters if we race a performance handicap system and have the same gear on the yacht from week to week. It only matters if we want to race IRC or ORCi and we get no allowance for cruising comfort or more durable (read heavier) sails.
Tomorrow is weighting day and we will see how our handicap improves.

Some of the gear removed from Passion X prior to weighing.

Some of the gear removed from Passion X prior to weighing.

The water marks on the waterline show how much higher Passion X floats with the gear removed. There is probably another 40 kg to go before weighting.

The water marks on the waterline show how much higher Passion X floats with the gear removed. There is probably another 40 kg to go before weighting.

A real close look at Passion X's waterline

A real close look at Passion X’s waterline