|I have recently put the engine back in the well of INMA, an RL24. While the RL28 is larger etc. I believe my observations on INMA's handling with the engine up and down are relevant. |
When sailing last Friday in 20 knots of wind (the official speed at Falkner Beacon, no guesses), we calibrated the log using a GPS (so the hull speeds are accurate).
INMA was able to sail close hauled at 5-5.5 knots with the engine up in cruising trim.
We were reaching and running at )7knots most of the day under main and jib having a ball figuring out just what INMA could do and how to keep doing it.
While reaching and running, accasionally the outboard was kicked up by a wave in the well and dropped down acting like a water brake. INMA immediately became tender, fell off the plane and was sluggish to control. The engine did not drop completely down, the water flow kept the engine at about half tilt. Once we figures out what was happening, I soon got use to pulling the outboard up as soon as INMA went tender, the crew did not even notice my actions as I re set the outboard and rested my knee on the cowling to stop it happening again.
Our problem was caused by me leaving the well open (a bombay door is a winter project) and will be fixed soon. As for the effect of the engine drag, INMA definitely handles a lot better with the engine up.
I suspect the RL28 would be more forgiving than the lighter RL24 but the tilting of the engine and reduced drag is something I would plan for my to do list if I had an RL28.
As for vangs on lightly rigged boats like RLs, beware of making a powerful vang on an RL, the boom thrust loads can break the mast when running. Avoid using a powerful vang and do most of the sail trim with the mainsheet. The flexible rig seems to work best with less vang on INMA.