Does size (er, weight) really matter???

Hello all,

So, I’m making progress and am finding myself questioning a few things. While I will still need some guidance on some matters, most of my biggest questions have ultimately to do with weight. More specifically I’m finding myself obsessing about losing it, or not putting it on in the first place… maybe I’ve been reading too many of you race minded individuals posts? Perhaps I’m getting sucked further down this Footy hole??? Please no, I don’t want to turn out like all of you!!!(big joke guys, I can think of a lot worse!):stuck_out_tongue:

Seriously, does weight matter that much? I’ve done a float test with rudder, keel (aprox 170 gr), and electronics (sans batteries) installed and it looks right. If anything it appears to sit a little high with the bottom of the stern at water level and plenty of bow above water. While I have not been able to weigh her yet (no scale) I’m not in danger of overloading, so does it really matter if I add a little more weight. What is the major disadvantage to a slightly heavier boat? It seems counterintuitive to go to such lenghts to make a boat as lite as possible to then add extra weight intentionally to the keel? After all, doesn’t weight added to any part of the boat just add to the total? thoughts…

PS-I understand about the function of keel weight, and also the effect of excessive deck loading, I’m just asking about the disadvantage of a slightly heavier construction.

A light boat with a higher displacement allows you the put more lead in the keel, which (technically) gives the boat a higher righting moment leading to greater stability, and thus a boat that can carry more sail in more wind = more power. That said, you can also increase righting moment by putting lead further away from the hull – lengthening the keel – the problem with this method however, is that on these small boats, the long keels seem to induce heavy pitching on the fore and aft axis (sometimes called “hobby-horsing” which is slow). Another weight related issued is acceleration vs. inertia, a lighter boat will accelerate faster under a given amount of power, but a heavier boat will keep its speed on longer…

Now, I am reading your “PS” at the end of the post… honestly, I don’t know that an extra gram here or there is the end of a boat – unless you are at a very high level. To my understanding, (newly formed by the way) the key parts of footy design are weight placement vs. bouyancy, Sails (shape, etc.), and sailing skill. Any marginal difference in speed because of hull design/weight can, I am coming to believe, be added to or made ineffective by the possession (or lack thereof) of the aforementioned qualities… but then again, its so much more fun to have a boat that is a “whole” 5 grams lighter than the other guy’s!