Q&A—Sailboat Performance, When The Numbers Fail

I’ve compared a Valiant 40 to an Island Packet 40 using Tom Dove’s Sail Calculator and it appears to me that the IP 40 beats the Valiant in almost all categories. And yet the IP is slower based on its PHRF rating. And of course the IPs also have a reputation for being slow. Wonder what’s going on here? Does the additional wetted area of the IP’s keel make the difference?

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John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for twenty years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 12 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

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