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Heavy Heeling, H-38 seems to heel over a lot

Discussion in 'Big Boats' started by EdFin, May 18, 2017 at 8:24 AM. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. EdFin

    EdFin

    Joined Jun 25, 2012
    11 posts, 0 likes
    2005 Hunter 38' 38
    US SAN DIEGO San Diego
    Hello all,

    We just moved up to a 2005 H-38. We're a bit surprised at how much she seems to heel over, even under power making turns there's a very significant heeling action. I figured under power she rolls a lot due to the in-mast furling an having so much weight up the mast versus laterally along the boom.
    But under sail, the amount of heeling action is still quite a lot. Not very uncomfortable...but not comfortable either, and a bit annoying. I know the Hunters around that year were made with bigger mainsails vice bigger working jibs; so again maybe this is due to the main? We were hoping with a bigger, heavier, wider boat... we would also have a bit more stability, but that doesn't seem so. The big problem is it's also keeping us from really letting the sails out on good windy days.
    Just wondering if anyone could impart some experience they have with bigger Hunters, I know it's all sailor preferences and such, but... any tricks? Thoughts? Experiences... learning curves? It's become annoying in that I'm hesitant to really sail the boat like we used to. I used to crank in the sails on our Catalina 30' and while heeled over... never seemed to be as much as this. Is it a bigger boat issue... and if we were to move up again to 40-42 we'd experience the same or more heeling action???
     


  2. jon hansen

    jon hansen

    Joined May 25, 2012
    221 posts, 49 likes
    john alden caravelle 42
    us toledo ohio-----sturgeon bay wis sturgeon bay, wis
    your boat is poorly loaded. take ALL the heavy camping gear that is mounted above the waterline and remount below the water line or give all away. :)
     


  3. Kings Gambit

    Kings Gambit

    Joined Jul 27, 2011
    2,009 posts, 219 likes
    Bavaria 38E
    US Ventura Harbor


    Last edited: May 18, 2017 at 9:29 AM
  4. shemandr

    shemandr

    Joined Jan 1, 2006
    2,671 posts, 142 likes
    Marblehead Skiff 14'
    US Greenport, NY Greenport, NY
    Are the sails original? Are you able to flatten the main with the "Outhaul?" Do the sails and running rigging stretch in a gust or do they hold their shape?
     


    EdFin likes this.
  5. stuartsw

    stuartsw

    Joined Sep 22, 2009
    54 posts, 6 likes
    Hunter 36
    US Seattle, WA
    Under sail: adjusting to a larger midship load takes time and trim experimentation. Heeling above 10 degrees and weather helm just tells you that you're overpowered. Experiment until you find out what adjustments work for you. Traveler and reefing will do more for you, faster, than playing with leach tension or roach shape.

    Under motor: your above and below deck weight distribution is the main factor there. (If your rig points higher on one tack than another, or you list at rest, it's pretty clear where the excess weight is.)
     


    jon hansen likes this.
  6. lurker

    lurker

    Joined Jan 12, 2016
    68 posts, 10 likes
    Hunter -410
    CA Pacific NW Vancouver Island
    1+

    We raised our waterline several inches just by removing all sorts of free "stuff" that came with our boat last year. Table lamps, 3 electric heaters, kitchen gear that works well dockside but not out underway. Bring a marina roller bin down to the boat and fill it up. Other than tools, filter/belt spares, manuals, and charts clear out all of the clutter. All of your water and fuel tanks should be below the floorboards. If they aren't already fill them right up. Now you know for certain that the weight is where it should be. On to sail trim...

    The biggest gain with the end boom sheeting and the arch is having a very effective traveller. Are you dropping the traveller down all the way in heavier air? Are you flattening the main with a tight outhaul? If not you may find that these will help you out considerably. Finally look at what your hull speed should be based on waterline. With that big powerful main compared to your old rig you may simply be carrying more mainsail than you need. A boat that can sail well in light air will generally be a little more tender and need to be reefed earlier. It isn't a knock against the design, it is a benefit to have a boat that can sail in all conditions. On our H410 I need to add a code zero to get the same light air performance you can get with a standard rig, however I won't need to reef as early.

    Finally watch your rig while moving upwind. Do you leeward shrouds look/feel slack? Get a book and learn to tune your rig with a loose gauge or hire a rigger and have him teach you the art of rig tuning. I mention this last as it is the only thing that will potentially cost money to address, and if done first won't solve any no-cost issues related to weight distribution or sail trim.
     


  7. Benny17441

    Benny17441

    Joined May 24, 2004
    4,883 posts, 201 likes
    CC 30
    US South Florida
    Check the specs on your keel and make sure it has not been modified. If the keel is up to specs then the vessel is being overpowered. While the Catalina 30 is a fine classic boat it is still some of a truck when it comes to sailing performance. Any comparison among the boats handling is unfair to both. The newer Hunters sport a wide stern hull, a B&R rig and large roach main sails. These boats are designed to sail more upright than their predecessors and are more nimble and faster. They are designed as coastal cruiser so do not expect the well mannered motion of a blue water cruiser. Use your traveler and trim your sails to maintain a heel angle of less than 20 degrees and if it is still heeling over reef down. I am concerned about your description of an uneasy roll under power. The in mast furling system should not be a factor and I have never experienced such feeling in one of the boats. Once again verify that all the ballast is there. There is some tenderness to the these newer Hunters but as the angle of heel increases they tend to stiffen. Getting the senses used to and accustomed to the boat limits might be the solution.
     


  8. Kings Gambit

    Kings Gambit

    Joined Jul 27, 2011
    2,009 posts, 219 likes
    Bavaria 38E
    US Ventura Harbor
    I believe this applies to tall rigs; not generally.
     


  9. seadaddler

    seadaddler

    Joined Dec 19, 2006
    4,839 posts, 53 likes
    Hunter 36
    US Punta Gorda
    Have you checked the Hunter owners section reviews.
     


  10. Rick D

    Rick D

    Joined Jun 14, 2008
    6,110 posts, 64 likes
    Hunter Legend 40.5
    US Long Beach, Shoreline Marina, CA
    I'm not aware of any reputation for tenderness. It rates pretty good; compared to my 40.5 at 102 which is the same as a Catalina 42, a 38 rates at 108 (SoCal PHRF). So, she may be a bit tender in terms of SA/DP but I didn't look it up or compare. She is certainly beamy enough to have form stability, but that doesn't mean there isn't some initial tenderness before she stiffens up (as is true on mine). Most likely, it's just a matter of getting used to her, trimming for your taste, and possibly sail condition. Have fun!
     


    EdFin likes this.
  11. Ted

    Ted

    Joined Jan 26, 2005
    857 posts, 60 likes
    C&C 110
    US Bay Shore, Long Island, NY
    Sailboatdata.com lists two sail area/displacement numbers for the Hunter 38 (16.22 and 22.86) This numbers indicate the potential power the sailplan has. I wouldn't expect it to be tender with a 16.22 figure unless the sails are blown out or poorly trimmed. On the other hand if the boat has a 22.86 number, it would indicate it's a better light wind boat and would need to be reefed sooner. Can the OP provide some specific information regarding angle of heel and true wind speed when you feel unconfortable.
     


    Last edited: May 18, 2017 at 4:48 PM
  12. seadaddler

    seadaddler

    Joined Dec 19, 2006
    4,839 posts, 53 likes
    Hunter 36
    US Punta Gorda
    I have a 2007 H-36 and ordering my boat I was so tempted to get the 38 because of the rear berth but any way when sailing in 15 or more wind I do need to reef for my wife and for the auto to steer the boat properly and maybe play around with reefing the Main.
    Look up owner reviews in this forum.
    nick
     


    EdFin likes this.
  13. Kings Gambit

    Kings Gambit

    Joined Jul 27, 2011
    2,009 posts, 219 likes
    Bavaria 38E
    US Ventura Harbor
    I think folks should also consider the OP's remark: We're a bit surprised at how much she seems to heel over; even under power making turns there's a very significant heeling action, when offering solutions based on sail trim and/or the condition of the sails. The replies that address this are: the boat is not properly loaded--too much weight up high; and that the boat may not be ballasted (e.g., keel weight) according to the original specifications. There's nothing I saw in the boat reviews under performance suggesting tenderness or a tendency toward excessive heeling, etc. In my opinion, the OP should contact the yacht broker and/or previous owner to discover if the keel of the boat has been modified in any significant way, or changed, etc. If they demur, then have it hauled and inspected by a qualified surveyor, etc.. if that was not done when purchased.
     


    Last edited: May 19, 2017 at 8:30 AM
  14. Justin_NSA

    Justin_NSA

    Joined Jul 7, 2004
    3,472 posts, 266 likes
    Hunter 30T
    US Wichita, KS
    Could the OP be on track thinking the in mast furler could be causing this? You'd think that the designer considered this. One not so easy test would be to remove the mainsail from the boat and see how she handles under power
     


    EdFin likes this.
  15. EdFin

    EdFin

    Joined Jun 25, 2012
    11 posts, 0 likes
    2005 Hunter 38' 38
    US SAN DIEGO San Diego
    Thanks for insightful response... still working on flattening the main. We've only reefed a few times, the last with higher winds the main came out of the mast a bit, so we'll have to go forward next time and switch the mast winch from "free" to "ratchet". I tried to flatten last weekend... but had a hard time doing so. I have a big black line near the end of our boom... never seen instructions on unfurling to that point, we seem to always be about 3-5 inches short. We'll try our reefing this weekend, and with mast winch in "ratchet" will see how flattening the main helps.
    Thanks
     


  16. EdFin

    EdFin

    Joined Jun 25, 2012
    11 posts, 0 likes
    2005 Hunter 38' 38
    US SAN DIEGO San Diego
    I don't have a "heel-o-meter" like I used to... but... I'm guessing from experience on the old boat; we're over 10*

    I'm sure we were overpowered at points last time out, wife had to fight on the helm, I didn't find it too unsettling. Mind you... our rails are no where near dipping or anything... it's just a bit more heel than expected, would like, hoped for w/ heavier boat etc. With the bigger main getting over powered seems like it could be an easy task. I worked with traveler all the way out, then started with the main sheet .
    At dock... she seem pretty level, but under power I'm pretty sure that in mast furling keeps a lot of weight up high.
     


  17. EdFin

    EdFin

    Joined Jun 25, 2012
    11 posts, 0 likes
    2005 Hunter 38' 38
    US SAN DIEGO San Diego
    Thanks... good inputs. Since buying I haven't noticed the the shrouds looking slack, I'll take particular note next time out. Still getting used to "comfort sailing" with that huge damn Bimini... I don't "see" everything like I used to. On the Catalina everything was noticeable as it was viewable... And I used to go up top to raise the main and check things out while there. I'll have to make a point to move up forward under sail now and check this out. We typically have our water tank 1/2 or more full, and will make point to fill up before leaving, of course fuel is 3/4 to full.
     


  18. EdFin

    EdFin

    Joined Jun 25, 2012
    11 posts, 0 likes
    2005 Hunter 38' 38
    US SAN DIEGO San Diego
    Thank you,
    I'm sure a big deal is getting used to 'sailing' all over again on this boat. I don't mind a good soul enlightening heel at times... but do need to get used to it on this vice the old boat; the Mrs Admiral has opposing views. But we'd much prefer a bit more upright sailing, not catamaran style but not Sydney to Hobart race heeling... a happy middle ground. I know the 2 will perform differently but your right the Catalina did have a solid feel, heavier glass hull from the 80's? I was just using that as comparison as both are coastal cruisers and I'd think 8ft longer and nearly 8,000 lbs heavier, would provide a bit more stability even from different manufacture??? Still fine tuning the art of reefing in-mast main, guess the trick is having to go up and switch from 'free' to 'ratchet' and lock the furler. Last time was a bit higher winds than before and it popped the main out when we reefed, that's not happened before. I should have known to do that... as with out it seems hard to really tighten the outhaul, otherwise you pull the sail out. Still getting accustomed to things, although that should have been an obvious result with the obvious solution of moving to ratchet. Letting out the main sheet and traveler to lee helps things... and has provided pleasurable sailing in past... next time I'll lock the main in flatten the sail properly vice micky-mouse solutions :)
     


  19. EdFin

    EdFin

    Joined Jun 25, 2012
    11 posts, 0 likes
    2005 Hunter 38' 38
    US SAN DIEGO San Diego
    No not yet... thanks, will do. Haven't been there for well over a year since shopping for this boat
     


  20. EdFin

    EdFin

    Joined Jun 25, 2012
    11 posts, 0 likes
    2005 Hunter 38' 38
    US SAN DIEGO San Diego
    Hi and thank you for the research... I'll have to look at Sailboatdata.com
    Not sure which sail we have.... so.... will try to figure that out as well; may not matter much wind is wind and sail trim is sail trim, but would be nice to know should provide insight on how the sail trim should be!
    No idea of wind speed... our wind indicator is in-op, guessing it was strong steady 15kts. Guessing... San Diego rarely gets too strong a wind in a consistent manner, but it was stronger than usual. Will have to get a heel meter so I know how many degrees we're at
     



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