Our 54 handles waves on the bow well. However, she has to have enough momentum to punch through the waves and not hobby horse on the waves.
In order to have enough momentum, our approach is to fall off the wind enough so we are in a close haul, sheet in the main,genoa and Mizzen and motor sail. If necessary, we sometimes move the main and mizzen travelers to windward to allow us to better point into the wind. The slight heel and power from the sails on this point of sail in combination with the thrust of the engine provides sufficient momentum to punch through most seas. We adjust the engine RPMs and how far off the wind we motor sail by the motion of the bow. If we start feeling the bow is having too much of a vertical up/down motion we increase RPMs and/or fall off the wind for more power and heel. In general if you can get her to heel 5 degrees or more, she settles in and punches through. We have found that adding the staysail to this sail combination, given sufficient wind, allows us to better point upwind as well.
I do agree with others that waiting for a better weather window would be our first choice.
Mohammad and Aty
Amel 54 #099
From: amelyachtowners@... [mailto:amelyachtowners@...]
Sent: Thursday, November 16, 2017 10:27 AM
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Upwind advice please
We are a 54 heading out likely Saturday or Sunday to cross the gulfstream to the Bahamas. Forecast is 5-6ft waves period 6-7 sec on Sat. and 3-4 feet period 6-7 on Sunday. Out of the Northeast to east. With a dying breeze on Sunday. Weather and seas essentially on the nose.
I write as we have sailed and motored quite a bit upwind over the summer. It’s hard for me to estimate the exact size of oncoming waves, but the boat slams and it seems were taking green water over the nose with anything around 4 or up. Unusual?
The boat’s boot-stripe is about 3-4 inches above waterline on the nose, and 1 inch above water line at the aft. I’ve tried to move as much weight forward, taking off the air compressor, moving dive-tanks to the port lazarette etc, but I can’t get the nose any lower than above. (The Nance and Underwood riggers think were trim and just that the bootstripe has been painted in such upward fashion.)
My question to you guys is how comfortable is the 54 and SM going up weather- and most specifically into the waves? How should I trim for the best trip?
Were crossing with some folks on a new Leopard 45. (They want to cross Saturday) Who will have the rougher trip given the same (into the seas) conditions?
How would an angle from Palm Beach as opposed to Fort Lauderdale change things for a crossing towards the Berrys? I’d see a shift to the beam for the waves- but current more on the nose. Any thoughts?
I know the boat will handle most anything, and I’ve sailed a good 5000 miles in the last 6 months, but a lot of downwind, and minimal upwind in heavier seas. I’d be obliged to know your thoughts!