Macwester Wight

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    S JacksS Jacks

    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.

    Chris NixonChris Nixon

    Hi there.

    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.

    Chris – Technical Officer



    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!

    S JacksS Jacks

    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.

    Peter LloydPeter Lloyd

    As Bob says there are ways of making the old girl move! I have a 1m bow sprit out front with a 130% genoa. It can improved windward to 40-45 degrees, but costs you more when entering a marina. The bow sprit also allows the anchor to be mounted on the sprit away front sail and a storm jib can be mounted on the front stay to form a slot. However, When not in uses I take the front stay back to the mast as it can get in the way when tacking. The mizzen is sometime useful when sailing, but it’s mast is very useful for mounting radar, GPS aerials and wind turbines etc.

    Vincent O farrellVincent O farrell

    Hello . Thanks to Linda Dixon’s help I have managed to join up the Macwester Assos . I’m really very fond of Sunflower of St Mawes a Mac Wight built in 1975 . I have done a lot of Ocean Cruising in a HR 45 and before tgat in an Ouster Mariner 35 ( built by Leslie Landamore ) . Sunflower has been a great companion for the last 10 years and has been the perfect boat for myself , my girlfriend of 57 years and our grandchildren . I need to get some sails now for her .I’ve emailed Jeckells but I’m just wondering if anyone has the original sailplan for A Mac Wight Ketch 1975 .

    Vincent O Farrell

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