Hi I’m new to the forum here so please go easy. I was just wondering if anyone could enlightened me as actual sailing performance of a Macwester Wight ketch. I know these are technically motorsailers but is that only because of the size of the engine? I understand they suffer from leeway when close to the wind but do they really suffer that much worse than similar boats. Can people share their advice for how to get the most out of these boats in terms of sailing, especially when sailing upwind. Thanks.
I cannot comment on the performance of a Wight as I have never sailed one. My Seaforth is slow but very sturdy and like most bilge keepers it doesn’t sail too close to the wind. They are a good safe boat but not as fast as more modern yachts.
Apart from the Macwester 27, which had considerably deeper draft, and profiled keels, pretty well all twin keel yachts of the 60’s and 70’s were not brilliant performers going to windward. However, don’t be discouraged, there are some basic issues to remember in order to get the job done.
Don’t try pointing too high. 50 degrees if the water is reasonably flat, and accept 55 if it’s getting choppy.
Keep moving : steer your way over the crest to avoid being stopped by the bigger waves.
Keep some shape in the sails to be able to get some power to keep the speed up. Avoid sheeting in too tightly, or having the boom amidships, especially with the mizzensail, which will act like a wind vane and push the bow to windward.
Reduce sail (reef the main) in good time, to avoid heeling excessively, as leeway is increased considerably if not. When it really gets to blow, consider jib and mizzensail only
If you find that progress is really not good enough, don’t be too proud to use the cast iron 4 cylinder staysail at 1300 to 1500 rpm, and then you can sheet in and point up to the wind!
Thanks for the input guys. I know that being classed as a motorsailer it has a low SA/D but has anyone experimented with increasing sail area. Also I’m interested to know the experiences of people who have fitted a bow sprit on handling.