Owen wrote:In the very old models, I think, the cockpit and seat were set a little further back than on later ones. Moving the seat a few inches forward made it a better balanced boat and less prone to weathercocking.
I was thinking about this on the crossing to Arran today, I think the reason the cockpit is so far aft in the sea king is to stop it weather cocking (did you perhaps mean leecocking?) By the time I'd fitted my trolley in the rear hatch (low weight, loads of space) I ended up putting some clothes and stuff in the front hatch that normally go in the back. With no wind at all to Little Cumbrae everything seemed fine, With a light breeze getting up there was a slight tendancy to weather cock crossing to Bute but I didn't even need to edge to compensate so I thought nothing of it. Crossing from Bute to Arran the wind steadily increased, at first it wasn't noticable, then for a while I could hold it by edging. After a bit I went into zig zags but by the time we arrived I was doing all sorts of corrective stuff, stern rudders , surfing for a bit in almost completely the wrong direction and so on.
The issue with the sea king (and Anas Acuta drivers will need to check out for themselves how relevant this is to them) is that the stern is very shallow compared to the bow so if you are even slightly too far down by the bow, the pivot point goes way forward and the stern is blown downwind. As soon as we landed on Arran I moved the (small amount of) stuff from the front to the back, and the boat then behaved impeccably all the way to the ferry (the angle of the wind was different but was still diagonally across). I have experienced this before, and today was just a reminder (although as the wind increased and the effect became stronger I was starting to get concerned that I may be leaking in the bow - I wasn't) but I did think of one possible clue....
To us as recreational sea kayakers, we usually like the rear deck to be out of the water, but actually when my boast is trimmed right the water washes over fairly frequently (almost continuously when fully loaded). So why would the Greenlanders have come up with a design that is wet aft and presumably prone to lee cocking? Well I believe the link may be to do with what they do (or did) with kayaks, which is hunt. It seems that when they made a kill they would lash it to the rear deck and paddle home - no problem if the kill was a Hare, but what about a Caribou or Seal or something big? I wonder if the rear deck was designed to be low to make it easier to pull a carcass up on deck for the trip home, and the rest of the ergonomics are based around this requirement?
So. if you have a Caribou lashed to your rear deck, does the extra trim by the stern give you vicious lee cocking, or does the extra windage of it give you weather cocking? I reckon lee cocking, if only because successful hunting involves approaching from downwind of the prey, so you would set out paddling upwind, meaning it would be downwind all the way home so lee cocking would be fine :-)
Anyway, those were some of my thoughts, I had 10km of weather cocking to think them up, but they may be wrong, and even if right may not apply to the Anas Acuta.