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Taming the Rival Roll

Posted: 22 Apr 2012 - By: Wandorobo
Some years ago I made a roll damper to the design described by Eric Hiscock in his book "Cruising Under Sail". It is a triangular piece of 20mm ply with sides 600mm long, with a weight in the centre to make it sink and another in one corner so it can dive when the load comes off its bridle which is attached to each corner.

I had not used it until recently when I was anchored [sheltering ] in a bay where an annoying swell was coming around the headland. I deployed it from the end of the spinaker pole on the opposite side from which the swell was coming using the spinaker haliard and braced the pole fore and aft.

It is hardly surprising that with Hiscock's recommendation it was very successful. We still rolled to the incoming swell but then returned to an even keel and never went beyond this point. It eliminated the annoying pendulum effect which makes me look enviously at the catamarans.

Later on the cruise I was in a similar situation and decided to try the damper without using the pole and tied the bridle off to a lifeline staunchion base. Inspite of the reduced leverage it still worked although I think the pole would be necessary if the swell was big enough.

I will make another damper to set on the side from which the swell is approaching to see what effect that has but expect that this may need to be set at a much greater depth.

I am sure I am not the only member to have used one of these and it is nice to think that something so simple and cheap can make such a difference.

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