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Old 24-03-2014, 17:46   #46
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Re: "Accidents" they are not: An encounter with Swiss Cheese Theory

My apologies for lumping you in the same post as sonadmiralson, who was the guy who recommended coming up on the wind to douse a chute.

You wrote

Only when the sock is nearing the bottom of its length is the sheet slightly eased to let the clew glide into the sock - never remove it fully from the winch. It can then be removed from the clew and brought back to the helm or tied to a rail - and then the sock with Asy lowered to the deck and bagged.

Please explain how you are going to remove the sheet from the clew when it is way higher than your head (and inside the sock). If letting the tack fly works, the next step is releasing the halyard and lowering the sock, THEN fishing out the clew and removing the sheet.

You also wrote:

When sailing down wind, it is the only sail you should have up - do not attempt to have the main up as well, as you will break batons or will have a lot of damage if you have an uncontrolled jibe.

I'll bow to your vast experience here, but I have a few comments:

1. It is far easier to sock the chute if you drive downwind and let it collapse behind the main when you are doing it.

2. I thought cats ran on rails downwind, and gybing was not an issue like it is in a rolly mono.

3. Dropping and raising a full-batten main with lazy jacks is a major PITA when going downwind if it is even possible. Are you really suggesting that cat skippers start the engines, turn the boat into the wind, drop the main, set the asymmetric, then start the engines, drop the asymmetric, come up into the wind (and waves and spray), and raise the main--each time they want to fly the thing?
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Old 25-03-2014, 04:10   #47
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Re: "Accidents" they are not: An encounter with Swiss Cheese Theory

Quote:
Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
You wrote

Only when the sock is nearing the bottom of its length is the sheet slightly eased to let the clew glide into the sock - never remove it fully from the winch. It can then be removed from the clew and brought back to the helm or tied to a rail - and then the sock with Asy lowered to the deck and bagged.

Please explain how you are going to remove the sheet from the clew when it is way higher than your head (and inside the sock). If letting the tack fly works, the next step is releasing the halyard and lowering the sock, THEN fishing out the clew and removing the sheet.
Don, no problem. I will try and answer your questions as best I can and expand a bit in my explanation so that others, not so familiar with a catamaran, may understand the nuances. It is, however easier to demonstrate the concepts on a boat than to try and explain in a document.

The bottom of the Asy and the sock is at chest level when you have doused it. I find it easier to remove the sheet as it enters the sock, but it is actually irrelevant if you do it before releasing the halyard or when the whole lot is lying on the deck. Basically the crew member doing the foredeck work needs to decide which is easier for themselves. Often I remove the sheet when the sock reaches the clew and then pull the sock all the way down and then flake the whole lot directly into the spinnaker bag, removing the halyard from the head as the last task.

Quote:
You also wrote:

When sailing down wind, it is the only sail you should have up - do not attempt to have the main up as well, as you will break batons or will have a lot of damage if you have an uncontrolled jibe.

I'll bow to your vast experience here, but I have a few comments:

1. It is far easier to sock the chute if you drive downwind and let it collapse behind the main when you are doing it.

2. I thought cats ran on rails downwind, and gybing was not an issue like it is in a rolly mono.

3. Dropping and raising a full-batten main with lazy jacks is a major PITA when going downwind if it is even possible. Are you really suggesting that cat skippers start the engines, turn the boat into the wind, drop the main, set the asymmetric, then start the engines, drop the asymmetric, come up into the wind (and waves and spray), and raise the main--each time they want to fly the thing?
As I said in my original post, a catamaran is not like a mono. There are a few factors that come into play with a cat that are not relevant to monos. Let me try and explain. Firstly, let’s look at the rolling motion of a mono – in a swell the mono has a relatively smooth roll action and the mast swings from side to side with quite a smooth motion (although you may not think so when on board). A cat appears (from the perspective of a person on board) to be a stable platform. However, look at the top of the mast and you will see that it does not have a smooth sideways rolling motion – it is actually flicking quite violently from port to starboard, back and forth. Even at my age (I am no longer a spring chicken), I have no problem going up the mast of a mono when something goes wrong out at sea. On a cat I would most likely be pounded to death against the mast – I have been there a few times and had to wash my underwear afterwards! All I am trying to do is describe two relevant differences at the moment.

Now to the placement of the shrouds on a typical cat. The biggest problem with sailing downwind in a cat is that the shrouds are placed well aft of the mast (cats do typically not have back stays) which makes letting out the boom a bit of a problem – you cannot do it successfully on most catamarans due to a few problems created by the shroud placement and the fact that most cats have fully battened main sails. If you release the boom too much, the sail will billow out onto the shroud and with the “flicking” rolling motion, the batons will hit the shrouds with great force as the sail also billows in the wind. The result, unfortunately, is often a broken baton or two. Basically, you can not release the boom more than about 40 degrees from its aft centre position. What I am trying to say with the above is that using the main in downwind sailing is not often used onboard a cat due to not being able to wing it out sufficiently to produce much drive. It also masks a great portion of an Asy if you do have it up, making the drive from the Asy less than optimal.

Regarding your point 2, a cat with a main only up can just as easily get out of control as a mono and do an uncontrolled jibe.

Regarding your point 3, no, once you have dropped your Asy, just roll out your genoa and cut your engine and carry on sailing. You can do this quite successfully up to a beam reach on a cat. Sailing downwind with only the genoa is quite easy if you feed your sheet through a block with a strop on, attached to the centre cleat. It creates the similar affect of a poled-out jib on a mono.

There are a lot more differences, but I will skip them here as this is getting quite long. If you want clarification, no problem – it will just take a bit of time to fit in with my day. I hope the above clarifies a few misconceptions. John.
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Old 25-03-2014, 04:15   #48
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Re: "Accidents" they are not: An encounter with Swiss Cheese Theory

To perhpas be more specific about my strategy with the ASI.....
1. I do run with the main up, but avoid excessive batton contact with the shrouds largely to reduce wear on the batton pockets which I have had reinforced at points of contact. Lagoon recommend not running under any foresail alone as they state that the main and no doubt the main sheet become important supports for the rig under the load. Nevertheless many do so without consequence. On my boat the ASI is masthead, not fractionally rigged, so potentially the loads are higher still.
2. I reef early having sorted out a technique to do this down wind without putting significant stress on the battons. Its bit by bitprogresive lowering of the halyard, taking the reef in progressively at the leech to control the sail draught and hence batton contact and stress. It works well, but is just a little slow.
3. I have not used the engines to assist when dousing the ASI as has been suggested by JohnT. I had not really thought of this until he mentioned it. I'm not sure this is neccessary in the majority of cases. Perhpas in big floowing seas, it might improve directional stability in the troughs thus reducing jibe risk.
4. The helm is set deep down wind to blanket the ASI behind the main taking great care not to encounter a jibe on the main. This is particularly an issue with a significant sea running behind that can make your course wander as alluded to in 3.
5. I let the tack fly completely as JohnT has recommended. The crew on the tramps haul the sock down quickly.
6. The sheet is eased as the sock gets close to the clew , but only enough to allow it and the sock to move forward toward the tramps. Thus the sheet helps maintain a degree of control on the foreward movement of the sock.
7. Then the halyard is quickly released, with the sail/sock coming down to the tramp before stowing as a second and separate task. I prefer to get it down fast, rather than take a slower takedown option lowering the sail and sock directly into the forward locker as a single process as I think this increases time in the air and creates opportunity for complications.
8. I previously used three tack lines, one to the bow sprint and one each to the bows as this give optimal control of the position of the tack in three dimensions. Nevertheless it is overly complicated for cruising as is having a lazy sheet for jibing. Again with good crew jibing is easy, and for racing you would do nothing but. However, for cruising, where you are generally on a given tack for hours or days at a time, having the extra sheet loose and exta tack lines, is just asking for trouble. So I now avoid this.
9. The sheet length really has to be twice boat length, so these are always a risk when overboard. Having an optimally shortened tack line as suggested by John T makes good sense and removers on further hazzard.

So far so good. More to learn no doubt....
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Old 26-03-2014, 18:16   #49
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Re: "Accidents" they are not: An encounter with Swiss Cheese Theory

It seems to me that no one should ever start the engine without a line check first! Or at least check before putting it in gear.

It has become clear to me that I as a mono sailor would have to learn how to do things differently on a cat. Kind of makes all those miles quite irrelevant. Interesting.

Ann
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Old 27-03-2014, 05:31   #50
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Re: "Accidents" they are not: An encounter with Swiss Cheese Theory

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
It seems to me that no one should ever start the engine without a line check first! Or at least check before putting it in gear.

It has become clear to me that I as a mono sailor would have to learn how to do things differently on a cat. Kind of makes all those miles quite irrelevant. Interesting.

Ann
Yes some things are different on a catamaran, and you do need to be open to re-learning some skills and strategies, but most basic seamanship is the same, e.g. your example to check for lines before putting the engine in gear.
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