Reflections on Boat Design

I showed you the The Topsail’s Shields already in a earlier post, and I guess you’ll agree with me that she is a very beautiful boat in the IOD tradition. Since I made that post I keep her rezzed in my little private laboratory 😉 Because I like her so much and didn’t need the prims. Anyway, when I looked at her today something seemed odd. Dunno why I never noticed it before. But let’s play a game now, look at the boat …

The Shields, prototype, 2015

… and then tell me isn’t the design a bit out of whack? Isn’t the mast sposed to be kinda atop the keel? I’m not an expert in naval architecture but that was always my understanding. Keep the mast as turning angle of the boat above it’s center of gravity. That in order to reach somewhat neutral sailing characteristics, to achieve better “roadholding”.

Now tell me doesn’t the boat, in this configuration, look like it would be terribly lee-helming? A thing one has to avoid like the plague. Best is for any boat to have a slight weather-helming tendency, alone for security reasons this makes sense.

The Dragon international sailboat

So in my laywoman’s eyes I think the mast would belong a bit more astern, roundabout a bit in front of where the winches are located now. And when we forget about the long overhangs and just look at the waterline we see that my positioning would put the mast also kinda smackbang in the middle. For all I know that’d be good practice in boat design.

Bjarne Aas’s original 1936 draft of a “Proposed One Design Class” Similarities with existing SL boats of the Trudeau brand are there on purpose 😉

Okay, seems the Dragon and the original IOD aren’t following my design philosophy neither. But then look at the pretty modern fractional rigs with huge main and mini-jibs. These are also measures against leehelming. And I dunno if Mr. Topsail has maybe something even more radical in mind, but in my not so humble opinion all in all his mast is positioned too far forward.

But what  does stupid Orca know, right?


    • That’s exactly the thing, Toppy, I don’t have anything in mind but was just wondering why you put the mast sooooo faaaaar forward. In my eyes the boat looks a bit out of whack because of its placement and should be terribly leehelming, according to the laws of physics.

      Maybe if you get rid of a jib and have it like catrigged it would help. But that’s not an option for any IOD conform boat.


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