[MHml] Surfing multiple waves?

Patrick Dayshaw patrick
Mon May 12 16:13:32 EST 2003


What you are describing is nicely documented in Jim Brown's book "Case for a
Cruising Trimaran" (published in 1979). In it he describes John Marples'
experience in the 1972 Transpac race with the 37 Searunner "Bacchanal".

Here's a quote from the book:

- "As an example of the kind of sailing that is required to compete in such
events, Bacchanal was being driven at a speed that the crew described as
"continuous surfing." The now-famous designer Bill Lee was the tactician in
Bacchanal's crew, and perhaps the most gifted helmsman aboard. Once the boat
had reached the trades, Bill discovered that she could be guided among the
seas so as to always keep the bow pointing downhill, never losing the added
help of gravity by running up the back of the wave ahead. This was done by
"hopping" laterally to the next trough ahead, and to the side, thereby
maintaining or exceeding the speed of the seaway-never being overtaken by,
or attempting to overtake, a major crest. This tactic was dubbed "chasing
holes." It required a working boat speed of at least 15 knots to be "plugged
in," and the standing instructions to each wheelwatch were inscribed in
grease-pen over the speedometer: "DO NOT SAIL ON UPHILL WATER." -

Nicely describes the concept. I suspect that with your lighter boat the
"...15 knot minimum..." might be lower.

Patrick Dayshaw
Bacchanal, Searunner 37, #2

-----Original Message-----
From: multihulls-bounces at steamradio.com
[mailto:multihulls-bounces at steamradio.com]On Behalf Of Rex Conn
Sent: Monday, May 12, 2003 5:45 AM
To: multihulls at steamradio.com
Subject: [MHml] Surfing multiple waves?

Snip..... Snip...

Now that I've done it once accidentally, I'd like to be able to do it
consistently.  Has anybody else out there with one of the faster boats (Bill
G. or Ross?) developed a technique for this?

    Rex Conn

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