Originally Posted by donradcliffe
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.
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.