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Old 10-01-2010, 08:19   #61
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Jim

In case you missed it, testimony from a previous FP owner:

Help Ranking These Cats
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Old 10-01-2010, 19:13   #62
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DotDun

That's an excellent endorsement of Fp boats and the Antigia, in particular. I am almost convinced anyway. This does concern me though.....

I single hand my tri all the time. It's great because sometimes I can't find a crew, sometimes I don't want a crew. But when I cruised offshore in a number of monohulls with my family (wife and 2 little kiddies) I was often forced to solo "sail" (autopilot, sometimes engine, myself). I set up systems and procedures that worked for me. The trick was to be conservative, act early and be methodical.
Quote:
What scares me when I think about it is how fast 'normal circumstances' can change. I know the autopilot won't keep the boat in the wind with 35kts and 8ft seas, at least not good enough to keep the wind out of the main.
I sense that any catamaran would struggle in this situation without an engine. But I really don't know.

If you were forced to solo "sail" (autopilot/engine) on your Belize could you set up procedures that you would feel confident with ? (including the situation described above)

Would changes to halyard/sheeting or reefing systems improve this ?

IMO it is a mistake to look for characteristics in a boat that allow it to survive the "perfect storm". Stuff happens that will overcome any boat and crew. But I do consider 35-40 kn to be wthin the normal range of expectation. I guess I am asking if the Belize's size, sail area and systems make it too much boat to sail single hand while cruising. I know it's a tough question but as an owner I really value your opinion.

Thanks again
Jim
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Old 11-01-2010, 09:09   #63
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Originally Posted by jpemb7 View Post
If you were forced to solo "sail" (autopilot/engine) on your Belize could you set up procedures that you would feel confident with ? (including the situation described above)

Would changes to halyard/sheeting or reefing systems improve this ?
I'm not sure I'm qualified to give you the best answer as I've never planned the engineering for single-hand on my boat. With that said, it would be fairly easy to get the halyard to helm. The reefing lines would be more of an engineering exercise, but I've seen systems on other boats where all the reefing lines were at the helm, so I'm sure it could be done.

Now, reality is, I have single-handed set/reset reefs in both sails with no help from crew. It was the middle of the night, harnessed/tethered and conditions allowed it, so no need to wake crew. I've furled genoa and genaker single-handed. Again, conditions allowed it. I can't remember ever dousing the main single-handed. As an academic exercise, I'm sure I could do it, but the picture in my mind is that 35kt wind with enough in the main that it won't fall on it's own. If the halyard was at the helm, no problem, release the halyard and steer into the wind - clean up the mess later.

I'm not trying to scare you, I simply don't have the experience single-handing on any boat, so I'm not sure how to answer. Remember, the main is 67 sq. meters (725 sq. ft.). The main halyard has a purchase in it for a reason.

Hopefully someone more experienced will give some guidance.
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Old 11-01-2010, 12:38   #64
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Single handling

Single handling the Belize can be done in high winds but the sea state would be the limiting factor. This said, these factors can be omitted! Here's a few tips for modifications to achieve safer and easier handling:
  • Rearrange the reefing lines to be led back to the helmposition by means of blocks at the mast.
  • Add an electric winch at the helmposition, alternatively another manual ST 48 winch to handle the reefing lines.
  • Add single tuglines to the mast reefing points. These lines can be lead back to the helmstation or being used at the mast. This allows one person to lower the main at the helmstation, IF the the main halyard is brought back to the helstation as well, need to add another jammer also. If not the entire process can be handled singlehanded at the mast. The tuglines greatly improves the the job, cuts time while on deck and limiting exposure to the elements. The easiest installation here would be to add just one tugline with a hook to the first reeing point and move it up to the next if reefing more than one point at the time.
  • Rearrange the port genoa sheet so that it is led over to the helmstation. Replace the sheet car with a block and add another on the mast just undedrneath the boom goose neck and back to the new winch installed earlier.
In addition to all this a wireless remote control for the autopilot will come in handy. If all the lines described are led back to the helmstation not that handy. I could not cope without mine though!

To roll in the genoa and also as a gennaker/spinnaker winch, add an ST44 from the mast made obsolete by the above mods to the location where the "old" ST48 was. In fact it should beinstalled further outward on the roof to promote a better angle for the genoa reefing line onto the winch.

Obviously with the size sails an the Belize and the heavy cloth it will always be a tough task to deal with reefing in strong winds but this can be mitgated as indicated above.

Happy lead free sailin
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Old 11-01-2010, 15:24   #65
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Length/performance v's short handed sailing

Thanks DotDun and Lucky
Your honest and detailed comments and answers has turned this into an excellent thread for Belize owners or wannabes.
I've got some thinking to do.
When I started looking at cats my intial favourite was a Lagoon 380s2 owners version. Lucky, it has many of the modifications you mentioned for short handed sailing. In terms of living space it is plenty big enough for my wife and I. But as I researched, my preference turned to the Belize for greater waterline, load carrying and better sailing performance. But, of course, the extra length,width and sail area has to be managed.
From past experience, I know there will be times when I have to sail the boat by myself. Those times will invariably be in bad weather. Cause that's when stuff happens. There may be times when my wife has to manage the boat herself. To be honest, in many years of cruising this has never happened. It makes me uneasy thinking about it though. My wife can start the engine, douse and raise the main, furl /unfurl the headsail and basic sail trim but mostly she looked after our 2 little girls. Our 2 little girls are now young women, so it is just my wife and I. She wants to expand her sailing skills on our next boat but if I struggle managing the boat, it wll be impossible for her ( With all due respect to women everywhere ).
So is it...extra length/performance v's short handed sailing ability...... or is there another way.

I stiil have some thinking to do.

Thanks again

Jim
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Old 11-01-2010, 16:18   #66
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Belize vs. Lagoon 380 Sailing Handling

boat-----------Belize---------Lagoon 380

main (sq.ft.)----720-----------506
genoa(sq.ft.)----475-----------323
mast height-----65ft.----------57ft.

1195 sq.ft. vs. 829 sq.ft.

The Belize has 44% more sail area than the Lagoon 380, is 44% harder to handle?

I've sailed both, but I don't have the answer. Only a week on the 380 and 6 years on the Belize.

My wife has raised our main. I know she could doused it if needed, but I'm always on the boat, so why would she? Just like raising the dinghy on the davits, you know which end I get!
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Old 11-01-2010, 17:39   #67
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Sailing Handling

Lucky,

A setup I've seen on a different boat was to have a single reefing line from the leech (our current setup) loop up and through the grommet on the luff then back down and to the helm. The result is a single line at the helm for each reef point (I think you described having 2 lines at the helm for each reef point). It was a much smaller rig, so I believe we would have to install blocks at the luff grommet points (like our current leech) as I don't think we could get the 14mm line to run thru those grommets very well.

So this would require an additional 10 blocks, 3 on the luff reef points and 7 just below the gooseneck. The 7 would serve: 3 for the reefing line exiting the boom and heading up to the luff reef points; 3 for the reefing lines coming back down from the luff and then to the helm; and 1 for the main halyard.

The winch migration would be a you describe (at least as much as I understand what you said )

Does this make sense?
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Old 11-01-2010, 19:57   #68
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Hey, great to see you guys working on the problem. Keep it up.
Are you able to reef the Belize while you're sailing without luffing the main ?
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Old 11-01-2010, 20:26   #69
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Originally Posted by jpemb7 View Post
Are you able to reef the Belize while you're sailing without luffing the main ?
Not with the factory setup. The luff reef points are grommets. You have to lower the main then secure the choosen reef point down with a tie. Then retension the luff with the halyard. The leach reef points are rigged with blocks on the sail with one end of the line tied off around the boom and the other through the boom and down through a block at the base of the mast. You use the port mast winch to pull it down and hold it with a clutch at the front of the boom.
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Old 11-01-2010, 20:32   #70
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Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
So this would require an additional 10 blocks, 3 on the luff reef points and 7 just below the gooseneck. The 7 would serve: 3 for the reefing line exiting the boom and heading up to the luff reef points; 3 for the reefing lines coming back down from the luff and then to the helm; and 1 for the main halyard.
Re-think: One could use the existing blocks at the base of the mast for the 3 I proposed above for the lines exiting the boom and then up to the new blocks on the luff. This would only require 4 new blocks at the mast, 3 for the reefing lines coming back down from the luff and heading for the helm, and then 1 block for the main halyard.
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Old 11-01-2010, 21:45   #71
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Reefing Systems

Your present set up is the same on my boat (with reef hooks at the gooseneck for the grommets), called slab reefing, I think.

I try to reef while sailing without luffing.
Autopilot on, harness on, sheet in the main, scramble up on deck, release the halyard, pull the grommet down to the hook, retighten the halyard, scramble back into the cockpit, flick water over my wife, crank in the leech line, ease the main and I'm done.
At times it can be difficult to pull the main down, but gravity is working for me and I usually find tugging on the grommet will bring it down a little bit at a time. I can rig a temporary line from one side of the goose neck, through the grommet and down to the mast winch on the other side and crank the mainsail down. I find this much better than furling the headsail and a flogging main and boom when luffing.
My halyard controls used to lead back to the cockpit but I moved it back to the mast. You can't reef single handed with reefing hooks when the halyard control is in the cockpit.
If you used the continuous reefing line you mentioned earlier then you could have the halyard control in the cockpit. I've seen this continuous system but never used it. Maybe it would be just the thing.

I've got to say, although I don't like scrambling up on deck at night in the wind and rain, I find it difficult working from the cockpit when I can't see the sail particularly with complicated systems that can jam.

So, if you don't mind a bit of exposure you could consider moving the halyard controls back to the mast and leave the reefing system the way it is. More compromises.

Jim
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Old 12-01-2010, 00:23   #72
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Thinking about it some more:
You probably have too much sail area to lower the main while sailing unless you use a downhaul from the headboard to a block at the base of the mast and then to the cockpit. You mark the downhaul to correspond with each reef. If you have good batcars you should be able to crank the sail down using this. So the process would be 1.set autopilot 2. put on a harness 3. sheet the main away from the shrouds 4. release halyard 5. Crank downhaul to first reef mark 5. Dash to the mast and secure the tack 6. dash back/release downhall /tighten halyard 7. Flick water over your wife. 8. Crank in the leech line 9. Ease the main 10. Your done.
There's something symmetrical about a 10 point plan.
If you used a single line reefing sytem you wouldn't have to leave the cockpit. Would this be too much clutter at the mast ?

In fact maybe, the downhaul might offer a solution to getting the sail down solo in 35 kn winds. Mind you, there shouldn't be that much sail up there then. But as you say these things can happen suddenly, particularly at night when you can't see that approaching squall.

The truth is out there, somewhere.

Jim
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Old 12-01-2010, 16:16   #73
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Reefing

I have pointed up just enough but keep the headsail from making noise, release the main sheet and been able to the lower the main for reefing.

But, examining different/easier ways of doing things are good for me. Whether is turns out to be an academic exercise or not!

I don't mind going forward to reef. I also agree that bringing everything to the helm/cockpit for reefing makes a mess on both the mast and salon top. Besides, I have enough lines now in the cockpit, I don't want anymore. One thing I hadn't thought of before is the downhaul lines on the main sail. I'm not sure about a single downhaul line, it would depend if you could get all the wind out of the sail. If you still have wind in the sail a single downhaul would simply stack the sail starting at the top while the bottom was still full out?? I'm wondering if a downhaul at each reef point would work. Run the line thru the reef point grommet and put a stopper knot in it (can't pull out of grommet). Put a second stopper knot on the other side a couple of feet from the sail, measured precisely such to hold the sail at the reef point when catching both knots in snap shackles on either side of the mast at the bottom. The line would extend down the mast from the second stopper knot to facilitate grabbing it with a mast winch if needed. If you are reefing, the extra downhaul line would could be stowed in the locker at the base of the mast. Line color code to match the leech reefing lines.

Hmm, and I thought I had my todo list documented for this season......::went to look for catalog::
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Old 12-01-2010, 17:22   #74
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Reefing under sail

I think any boat, but particularly a multihull has to be "reefable" while sailing. Singlehanded or not. I know how it works on my boat.

I'm running nicely downwind, flying my spinnaker. The apparent wind is no big deal. As the wind picks up I look at my log and think, "Okay, I don't want to be going as fast as this." and I douse the kite. That's better, with the headsail. As the wind continuies to increase so do the seas. With the apparent wind it doesn't feel windy but as I look behind at the white caps I realise, "****! I better start reefing." But I know as I head up, the apparent wind is going to increase dramatically. I should be able to furl the headsail and spill wind out of the main as I come round. But without the engine it is going to be difficult to hold the bow into the wind/seas to put in the reef. All sorts of things can go wrong. I wouldn't want to do this a second or third time if conditions worsen.

With my batcar system the main drops like a rock into the wind. Because of this reduced friction and smaller sail area I don't have too many problems reefing while sailing.

It wouldn't be hard to test out a downhaul system on your boat even at the dock if the wind was right. Just make sure the docklines are secure.

You could have a single line reefing system for the first reef.(the one you'll use the most) and then a standard slab reefing for the other 2. Then you wouldn't need a downhaul for the first reef. Then the downhaul might work better with the reduced sail. Less clutter at the mast too and blocks on the sail.

I really like the Belize 43, so I'd like to see you sort that one out. No pressure.

Thanks again

Jim
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Old 13-01-2010, 12:06   #75
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reefing system

Hi all,

This reefing discussion is really good! The number of blocks required and number of lines at the helmstation make reefing from this position not very admirable! One thing I will do however, which I described earlier is the mast tugline. This I have found while reefing at wind speed increasing to 35-40 knots is absolutely required to control the pull down of the mast luff.

When the main is lowered the wind tends to lift the doused parts up and own the mast track. This is making it difficult to hold on to the reefing grommet while trying to pull the webbing through it and fix it to the schackle..

Therefore a single line that is run through a block at the mast foot with a hook that can be fitted to the first reefing grommet would greatly improve on the effort needed to secure the mast leech.

To acheive a better "centralised" reefing system some "out of the box" thinking is required! I'll probably have problems sleeping tonight over this!

Happy lead free sailin
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