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Thread: Venus Ketch 34 performance

  1. #1
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    Default Venus Ketch 34 performance

    I have been planning to build a 34ish double-ender like William Atkin's Clione (http://www.atkinboatplans.com/Sail/Clione.html). I like the looks, the fact that it is heavy displacement, confortable and seaworthy. After reading Bruce's thread on his Venus Ketch (http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...34-Venus-Ketch) I started wondering, could the Venus be a better performing boat with a somewhat similar classic feel to it? So I made this thread in the hope that Bruce and any other Venus owners will chime in and give their impression on how the boat performs, especially to windward.

    Just to clarify, my concern with windward performance is motivated by a safety need, not by a racing requirement. After reading Robin Knox-Johnston statement that "Suhaili does not beat to windward well" (another of William Atkin's double enders), I started wondering if Clione doesn't suffer from the same problem due to its somewhat similar underbody, and how this could be a potential safety concern.

    I am aware that it is not possible to predict (at least entirely) the performance of a boat just by looking at the hull lines. But it seems to me that the Venus might be a better performer to windward due to the better defined keel, with a harder turn of the bilge. The Clione, on the other hand, shows a very soft turn on the bilge (the keel is basically blended in the body itself). Thus it looks like that Venus could probably point a little higher than Eric or Clione (enough to get away from a lee shore under heavy weather?).

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    Default Re: Venus Ketch 34 performance

    People often say stuff like "she does not go to windward".I get that a lot .
    The idea that Knox Johnson said that about his own boat,,,sheesh, he had to be tongue in cheek.
    My Venus goes 5 1/2 knots ,60 degrees off the wind, (120 between tacks)most of the time.
    Given calm water and good breeze and a tweak of some sails, (like in the lee of St Kitts), she will point higher and go faster.100/110 ,6 61/2.
    With her flying jib up and pulling well, she can go ALMOST like a "regular " boat , but I no longer carry it. That is a game for a younger person.
    On our 24 day, non stop beat from Panama to Sint Maaeten, I would point up a bit at night, which slowed her down to 3.5 knots , but it made a far mor comfy motion below.
    During the day , I'd crack off, push her harder, I also ran my 16 hp air cooled diesel 6 hours a day.
    We averaged 40 miles , straight upwind , into trade wind, big seas, and a bit of current, a day.
    Some say that is not good.
    Thing is , as poorly as some will say she goes up wind, I remind them that she goes upwind poorly RELENTLESSLY.

    Now, The Clione has slightly harder bilges. This gives her advantages and dis advantages.
    She will be stiffer. Despite Woodwinds deep keel and heavy weight, she is quite cranky .Sporty, I like to say.
    We'll sail for hours or days with her rail in the water, white and green washing her waist.
    A wider boat with harder bilges would sail through the same conditions with dry decks.
    Woodwind is more similar to an Ingrid than a Westsail. Her displacement and size is about halfway between the two, but her deadrise, (slack bilges) are a ringer for Ingrid.

    Rig..this is part of the same discussion. In a million years , I would not give up my gaff ketch rig ,but that's me.
    Of course she would point higher and go faster with a 40 thousand dollar rig, and I could afford that now, I.m not really poor anymore like when I built her. But I won't.
    ONE thing breaks on a Bermudian boat at sea... ya goose cook. ONE piece of stainless, ONE piece of carbon, ONE bad gybe.
    When I turned 50 something, I swapped out the 18 hp Perama ( which came after the Ducati) ,for a 40 hp Perk/Volvo.
    With almost 4 hp per ton , I can treat her like a motor sailer, and as I get older I do.
    So, Knox Johnson is either pulling your leg , or he needs to have a really big poop.
    bruce

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    Default Re: Venus Ketch 34 performance

    Amendolm,
    I think we are using different words for "hard" and "soft " bilges.

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    Default Re: Venus Ketch 34 performance

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    Amendolm,
    I think we are using different words for "hard" and "soft " bilges.
    Indeed, I mixed the terms.
    What I observed is that the transition between the hull and the keel looks better defined on the Venus (I dont know if there is a word for that, but somehow I mistook it for harder bilge). I suppose this improves windward performance (or doesnt it?).

    The ketch (with junk sails maybe?) is great for cruising. I am all for ease of handling, as long as it doesnt jeopardize seaworthiness. It doesnt have to be fast, but it must be dependable

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    Default

    Diesel is great for windward work.

    Sent from my CPH1851 using Tapatalk

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    Default Re: Venus Ketch 34 performance

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    Diesel is great for windward work.

    Sent from my CPH1851 using Tapatalk

    I mean , The best sailing boats still mostly motorsail upwind when they have to be somewhere at a certain time.
    I can't tell you how many times Ticonderoga has motored past me while I was sailing ,upwind, St Barths to Antigua, 200 miles on the kisser.
    Unless they are racing or hard case nutjobs (that;d be me), most folks do not ACTUALLY sail upwind. They do not GO anywhaere that is upwind.

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    Default Re: Venus Ketch 34 performance

    Gentlemen cruise downwind.
    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
    -Henry David Thoreau-

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    Default Re: Venus Ketch 34 performance

    "A boat that does not get wet going upwind...does not GO upwind"

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    Default Re: Venus Ketch 34 performance

    Atkin Clione


    Eric (Suhaili):


    Venus 34


    I don't know what the beam of the Venus is, but Clione appears to have more beam at 10' 4". That will give her a bit more to lean on upwind, which is a good thing with the shallower draft.

    I think Clione will go upwind as well as any gaff ketch. In rough water the Venus might have the advantage with a deeper keel and slimmer beam, but will be heeled well over and require a fair amount of sail. (Does that sound right, Bruce?) In smoother water I would give the advantage to Clione. Her shallower draft allows easier quarters and wider beam will make her stiffer.

    Eric suffers from deeper fuller sections, but does have a marconi rig. I think whatever boat has better sailors will win the race, they are all pretty similar.

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    Default Re: Venus Ketch 34 performance

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    ONE thing breaks on a Bermudian boat at sea... ya goose cook. ONE piece of stainless, ONE piece of carbon, ONE bad gybe.
    Not true, sorry. I've sailed bermudian boats that have lost cap shrouds in the middle of the Sydney-Hobart, and finished. My bermudian has had the lee cap shroud fall off the spreader tip (yes, I know it shouldn't have....) off a lee shore. I was still able to tack and run back in with that shroud to windward. I know of many other similar tales. Oh, and plenty of bermudans can survive one bad gybe.

    I can also show you many tales back in gaff days where a single piece of lost gear (ie a bobstay bolt, etc) caused major problems including dismasting.

    Secondly, RKJ is not a dill. When he said Suhaili did not go to windward, he was obviously meaning it in the sense that she did not go to windward very quickly.

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    Default Re: Venus Ketch 34 performance

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor View Post
    Gentlemen cruise downwind.
    That depends on where you live. I've known people with 25+ years of cruising/liveboard life who spend two weeks at a time charging upwind to get to their favourite cruising ground. If you live on the leeward side of a tradewind zone, you may have no choice.

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    Default Re: Venus Ketch 34 performance

    A lot of emphasis is put on "clawing off a lee shore". In a discussion with other delivery guys, we decided you'd have to have done at least two things appallingly wrong to be in that situation.

    The closest anyone had come, was being embayed in Biscay, but he found a port on the North shore of Spain to dodge in to. There was a conservative half a million miles collectively in that discussion.

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hwyl View Post
    A lot of emphasis is put on "clawing off a lee shore". In a discussion with other delivery guys, we decided you'd have to have done at least two things appallingly wrong to be in that situation.

    The closest anyone had come, was being embayed in Biscay, but he found a port on the North shore of Spain to dodge in to. There was a conservative half a million miles collectively in that discussion.


    Gareth, this topic would make a valuable thread, IMHO. Just sayin'...

    Kevin


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    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

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    Default Re: Venus Ketch 34 performance

    She can hardly get out of her own way...
    https://live.staticflickr.com/video/...NDciLCJ2IjoxfQ

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    Default Re: Venus Ketch 34 performance

    "does not go upwind"........compared to what? That is the important point. Traditional Colin Archer with low effort gaff rig would be used to tow fishing boats off lee-shores in winter storms.......was they concerned about how many degrees off the wind the boat could sail, or just the ability to make way and live another day?
    Sadly this "issue" of upwind work with these hulls seems to be common, but no one seems to also connect that the huge wetted surface also effects speed off the wind too.
    I would take the slow and comfortable hull with a simple and reliable diesel, than the other extreme. Most boats fall in between.

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    Default Re: Venus Ketch 34 performance

    I like Bruce's description of going to weather "relentlessly". In crappy conditions I'll take "relentlessly" any day

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    Default Re: Venus Ketch 34 performance

    Nothing wrong with averaging 40 miles straight upwind.
    I bashed 100 bone jarring miles up the Cuban coast from Havana to Varadero in my Alberg . That trip took me just under 2.5 days in heavy trades, that would consistently strengthen after dark.

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    Default Re: Venus Ketch 34 performance

    I am green with envy. At least I'm pretty sure that's the reason I'm green.....

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    Default Re: Venus Ketch 34 performance

    Why the fixation with going to windward? Almost nobody sails to windward these days. Both the most often mentioned classic gaffers, Colin Archers and Bristol Channel cutters were known for their windward performance back in the day. Obviously not as close winded as a modern Bermuda’s rugged sloop or cutter. But those boats will get to windward when the typical modern boat has to retire.
    the old saw about beating off a lee shore is just that. With modern weather forecasting and GPS you likelihood of finding yourself in that situation would takes considerable collection of screw-ups.
    Even the modern club racer cruisers only achieve that 45* of the wind in a fairly narrow range of conditions. Too little wind or too much wind and sea and they have to bear off to get better boat speed.
    I agree with Bruce regarding the advantages of a split rig for cruising.

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    Default Re: Venus Ketch 34 performance

    Cruising from Falmouth to Essaouira (Morocco) and back for example would be entirely Lee shore, with prevailing winds constantly pushing one's boat on to the hard stuff. I for one am entirely interested in upwind ability.

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    Default Re: Venus Ketch 34 performance

    Quote Originally Posted by lupussonic View Post
    Cruising from Falmouth to Essaouira (Morocco) and back for example would be entirely Lee shore, with prevailing winds constantly pushing one's boat on to the hard stuff. I for one am entirely interested in upwind ability.
    This is what expected, but, what was experienced after battling westerlies down to the latitude of Lisbon and standing well to the west (in order to be in a more favourable position re the expected lee-shore situation), whatI had to contend with were light easterlies untill CapeSt Vincent was to lee, then the westerlies were back for half a day before wind died completely. Day after that a Levante easterly blew and reached force 9....should have turned and been running for Madeira at about that time.

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    Default Re: Venus Ketch 34 performance

    Quote Originally Posted by lupussonic View Post
    Cruising from Falmouth to Essaouira (Morocco) and back for example would be entirely Lee shore, with prevailing winds constantly pushing one's boat on to the hard stuff. I for one am entirely interested in upwind ability.
    Nelsons ships made that passage reliably in all seasons. They could not be considered windward machines in the context we use it today.

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    Default Re: Venus Ketch 34 performance

    A Venus 28 was challanged by a Falmouth Quay Punt (similar to Curlew), to a race around Falmouth , the owner of the Venus said (not sure if this was Paul Johnson himself) he would race the Quay Punt, if the race involved going to the Azores and back. The Falmouth boat declined, not sure what this says about windward ability or the lack of it, or perhaps someone could not take 3 weeks off work on an ocean jolly. Are gaff rigged Quay punts and pilot cutters known for their lack of windward ability due to hull form and what some will say "inefficient" rig? Certainly not at the time.......the sea remains the same.....

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    Default Re: Venus Ketch 34 performance

    Quote Originally Posted by lupussonic View Post
    Cruising from Falmouth to Essaouira (Morocco) and back for example would be entirely Lee shore, with prevailing winds constantly pushing one's boat on to the hard stuff. I for one am entirely interested in upwind ability.
    But how do you quantify that "upwind ability"? How do you rate a Thames barge for upwind ability? That North coast of Spain is littered with old wrecks who had got embayed in bad weather, and i have only once gone South and stopped on the North coast once, and only because the forecast was for settled weather, as i usually , having once been caught out in 80 knots of wind, aim to be 50 miles offshore and outside the shipping lanes at the top corner of Finnistere. But apart from the several harbours in Portugal with bar crossings, it is still possible to get into most places in onshore winds, and i have done that coast twice in engineless boats, while still port hopping. I have also had a fair share of strong Southerlies instead of Portuguese Trades, one does not normally expect to beat their way south. Only one boat i have taken South could be considered "high performance", and only that in its day.
    I do not dispute that in a strong Westerly (wind, not the boat), that the entire coast can be a liability, but any boat venturing from the UK South, would most likely be up for the task. If one takes the written passage from the book World Cruising Routes, regarding the UK, "winds can come from almost any direction at almost any strength at any time".....so if you are already sailing in the UK, your boat is most likely fit to sail almost anywhere......

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    Default Re: Venus Ketch 34 performance

    The sea remains the same, just as the air and land remains the same. But the term "goes" is figurative, and people's standards often change. Many people would say, figuratively, that a 1900 car "doesn't go uphill" or that a 1930 plane "doesn't go" when compared to a modern one. My first Moth didn't "go upwind" compared to a foiling Moth.

    Even decades ago, BTW, Illingworth used the quote that "a Colin Archer goes upwind like a cow goes in a bog", and I'm not sure we should denigrate the opinion of RKJ about the boat HE sailed around the world.

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    Default Re: Venus Ketch 34 performance

    Quote Originally Posted by gilberj View Post
    Why the fixation with going to windward? Almost nobody sails to windward these days. Both the most often mentioned classic gaffers, Colin Archers and Bristol Channel cutters were known for their windward performance back in the day. Obviously not as close winded as a modern Bermuda’s rugged sloop or cutter. But those boats will get to windward when the typical modern boat has to retire.
    the old saw about beating off a lee shore is just that. With modern weather forecasting and GPS you likelihood of finding yourself in that situation would takes considerable collection of screw-ups.
    Even the modern club racer cruisers only achieve that 45* of the wind in a fairly narrow range of conditions. Too little wind or too much wind and sea and they have to bear off to get better boat speed.
    I agree with Bruce regarding the advantages of a split rig for cruising.
    Arguably, though, it does depend on where you live. Tom and Vicky Jackson, of the famous S&S classic Sunstone fame, regularly go to windward for weeks on end while cruising from NZ. Around here, I'm regularly going to windward when going coastwise.

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    Default Re: Venus Ketch 34 performance

    Quote Originally Posted by skaraborgcraft View Post
    But how do you quantify that "upwind ability"? How do you rate a Thames barge for upwind ability?
    Angle to true wind x speed, as a sliding scale as the angle decreases, in the usual way.

    I decided not to buy this boat because she was purported by her rebuilder (who then passed her on to another owner whom I was considering purchasing her from, so no BS involved) to only get any useful speed at around 80 degrees. Any closer and she practically stopped. This was not close enough for me.

    Rosa 45' LOD gaff ketch, rebuilt and rigged from a Danish MFV (hence lack of upwind ability) by Spike Davies. To be fair, she has been to the Caribean and back from Falmouth.

    IMG_2427.jpg

    It's horses for courses, but for me some modicum of upwind ability is desirable, both as a safety and a convenience / logistics factor. After all, if you have some, you have options.

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    Default Re: Venus Ketch 34 performance

    Yes, Paul used to say , in Le Select in St Barts, he would race any yacht in port.
    If he got to choose the course.
    Usually it was, leave Bermuda to port,return to le Select.Race starts in an hour.
    Last edited by wizbang 13; 06-14-2020 at 07:53 AM.

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    Default Re: Venus Ketch 34 performance

    Quote Originally Posted by lupussonic View Post
    Angle to true wind x speed, as a sliding scale as the angle decreases, in the usual way.

    I decided not to buy this boat because she was purported by her rebuilder (who then passed her on to another owner whom I was considering purchasing her from, so no BS involved) to only get any useful speed at around 80 degrees. Any closer and she practically stopped. This was not close enough for me.

    It's horses for courses, but for me some modicum of upwind ability is desirable, both as a safety and a convenience / logistics factor. After all, if you have some, you have options.
    Couldnt agree more, and it is fair to say, the closer winded, the more options. Sailing an engineless boat that can sail with narrow tacking angles is a lot more relaxed than one that does not. 80 degrees does not leave much room for error, i would probably pass too, but in a ship like that, i would mostly have a big Gardner if its not running its original . Too much boat for me in every way.

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    Default Re: Venus Ketch 34 performance

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    Yes, Paul used to say , in Le Select in St Barts, he would race any yacht in port.
    If he got to choose the course.
    Usually it was, leave Bermuda to port,return to le Select.Race starts in an hour.
    So who was Paul and why did he think his boat could beat a 120' tri, or a Supermaxi, a J Class, Adix, an Open 60, Sunstone, Mother Goose (the Beashel family's Derecktor) or other boat that could have been in port?

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    Default Re: Venus Ketch 34 performance

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris249 View Post
    So who was Paul and why did he think his boat could beat a 120' tri, or a Supermaxi, a J Class, Adix, an Open 60, Sunstone, Mother Goose (the Beashel family's Derecktor) or other boat that could have been in port?
    Paul..Paul Earling Johnson, the designer of the Venus Ketch line of cruising boats of which we are speaking.
    Back in those days , the was no 120 ' tri, Phil Welds 60 'er was the fastest boat yet to come to st Barts, there was no J boat, Elizabeth Meyer had not appeared yet, those other boats..well. I know Adix now, but she was not in St barts then. We are talkind about the late 60's early 70's.
    The idea was that his 28'Venus, 8 ton dbl ended gaff ketch, was always ready to go. Thre was no weather forcasting then, no gps, no sat nav, out of range of Loran.
    Big boats need time to get crew together, to provision, to do a lotta things. Raceboats need time to lick themselves from damage from the last race.
    A well found 28 'Venus does not.
    He would have been in Bermuda before most could get underway, that was the point of the challenge.

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    Default Re: Venus Ketch 34 performance

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    I mean , The best sailing boats still mostly motorsail upwind when they have to be somewhere at a certain time.
    I can't tell you how many times Ticonderoga has motored past me while I was sailing ,upwind, St Barths to Antigua, 200 miles on the kisser.
    Unless they are racing or hard case nutjobs (that;d be me), most folks do not ACTUALLY sail upwind. They do not GO anywhaere that is upwind.
    I seem to recall reading that the design brief for Ticonderoga specifically included motorsailing because that was allowed in the type of cruising/destination races she was intended for.

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    Default Re: Venus Ketch 34 performance

    As for that old saw, gentlemen don't sail to windward, that's only because the toffs paid a crew to do that for them. Fortunately or unfortunately for me, my hands are scarred and my bones hurt from lifting stuff over a lifetime, and I sail to windward. Last time might have been 1000 miles with Phil.
    3 days after we got in a guy died when his Bavaria broke up or foundered and put them all in the water 20 miles from safety.
    Shame they weren't in something well found, like a Venus ketch or some other well constructed boat built for purpose rather than to price.
    Last edited by John B; 06-15-2020 at 11:58 PM.

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