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Old 05-05-2009, 02:55   #1
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Cat Cruising Sails

We're about to start an extended cruise on our 40 foot cat. I'd be very interested to know what sail inventory the experienced cat cruisers carry and how often they're used.

Aside from the fairly standard sail wardrobe of main, genoa & asymmetric spinnaker, any thoughts on:

-- Gennaker / Reacher
-- Storm Jib / Trysail
-- Yankee (high clew flown from the bowsprit ahead of the jib/genny)

Cheers, Cameron
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:30   #2
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I think you have enough for 95% of the time.

I have never used a storm jib nor a trisail

I have tried a free flying masthead yankee but it was a real hassle hoisting (you cannot really use a furler if the tack is attached to a strop). And the times you'd use it are really limited. Sheeting it might also cause problems.

The screecher probably won't get as much use as you might expect. I had one on my Eclipse, but apart from a few days when crossing the Atlantic it stayed in its bag. Usually because in light winds we were either drifting along, enjoying a sleepy day, or we were motoring to get to our destination.

And Eclipse was a much faster sailing boat than yours and only had one 9.9hp outboard as its main engine.

Having said that, we just came back from an Annapolis/Bahamas/Florida cruise on our Romany catamaran with just a mainsail and genoa. I am currently buying a spinnaker and still debating about the screecher.

I don't know your sailing conditions, but the east coast US and Bahamas have very light winds and a screecher is therefore useful, but never as fast as motoring.

I hope this helps

Have a great cruise

Richard Woods of Woods Designs

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Old 05-05-2009, 11:02   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woods Designs View Post
I think you have enough for 95% of the time.

I hope this helps

Have a great cruise

Richard Woods of Woods Designs

Woods Designs Sailing Catamarans
PS - Edited: Richards post down to a quote as 'brevity is the soul of wit'. Not to mention it's posted above...

Hello Richard,

We're sailing in very light tropical winds - which I presume are similar to the lower US east coast / Bahamas.

We're carrying an asymmetrical spinnaker but it's purely cut as a downwind sail. I'm very new to cat's and I'm basically wondering if a really nice (s)reacher might be a bit of fun in light airs. My understanding was that the screacher was a wire luffed reacher designed for racing trimarans - so, what I'm saying is I'm trying to assimilate a whole new terminology of sails!!!

Anyway, thanks for the input!

Cheers, Cameron
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Old 05-05-2009, 12:21   #4
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My boat is similar. I personally would opt for 3 reefs in the main instead of a trysail. Assuming you have a furler, consider a Gale Sail in place of a standard storm jib unless you already have an inner forestay to hank a storm jib to.

What size furling genoa is on the boat now? A good general inventory would include a 135% furling genoa with a foam luff pad to extend reefing ability and maybe a 90%-110% blaster type jib for when you are in higher wind areas.

As a side thought a sea anchor would be a good idea for bad weather.
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Old 05-05-2009, 19:13   #5
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You are right, sailors are very fond of inventing racey sounding names for simple sails. Screecher, drifter, even a Code 0, to my mind all mean the same thing. A triangular light weather sail set flying (usually on a furler and from the masthead) that is designed for use to windward.

I sailed Eclipse mainly in Europe and the Caribbean Sea, where it is generally blowing over 15 knots. Whereas the east coast of the US is generally light.

So a drifter would probably suit you well. I have found that a drifter works well in a sloppy sea, even off wind, as it doesn't collapse like a spinnaker does. But you do need to have an endless furling drum or you will never be able to roll it up when the wind increases.

Hope this helps

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Old 05-05-2009, 21:40   #6
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...

But you do need to have an endless furling drum or you will never be able to roll it up when the wind increases.

Richard Woods of Woods Designs

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I know exactly what you mean - I've been sailing on a boat which has a size 1 drum furling a size 10 sail!

SW: We've got a 'Seabrake' drogue aboard. Not yet used in anger but I think I'm going to get it out over the next couple of weekends and experiment with the deployment.

Our genny is a 130% - I think I may look into some of the sails Richard has suggested. We spend half the year in really light airs here - the other half is great! So I was thinking a nice big screacher might give the iron genny's a bit more idle time...
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Old 12-05-2009, 09:11   #7
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I've been looking into the drifters and they seem ideally suited to a light windrange (say up to 12 knots). We carry a 55 sm main and 35 sm genoa as our standard rig.

Should I consult the building regarding the sizing of this sail or would the larger sail lofts have sufficient experience to design this for a multihull?
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Old 12-05-2009, 09:49   #8
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There's quite a bit of fairly recent data on Catamaran sails. Folks are reporting that better performance is observed using screechers from the leeward hull rather from the center of the boat. I've read that newer boat designs incorporate a track from bow to bow to run the clew from which they apparently can still operate a furler. I'm not sure how this actually works but am intrigued. I'm not set up for this, but would consider a sail plan modification if I can be convinced the furler would work.

What I've seen as a limiting factor on my boat is something Richard has already pointed out. Sheeting angles can be a huge challenge when sailing on a reach with larger sails. In my case a 155 genoa is sheeted outboard and is only effective to 75 degrees apparent, yet is blanketed by the main nearing DDW, which of course greatly limits it's use. Without poling it out DDW (wing on wing) it has a less than perfect set. These days I just leave it in the bag as it's not worth the sail changing exercise.
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Old 12-05-2009, 11:39   #9
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Has anyone tried a Parasailor yet? Jimmy Cornell recommends them and apparently many ARC boats use them successfully for downwind.

http://www.parasailor.com
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Old 12-05-2009, 19:18   #10
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Rick,

I was thinking of getting a Drifter or Code 0 which is about 40% larger than our genoa and made with lighter sail cloth. We'll fly the sail from the bowsprit which will alleviate some of the blanketing from the main. I'd primarily like this sail to work in light airs (< 12 knots) and from about 45-120 degrees apparent wind angle.

Maxing out had suggested on another thread that he'd done a lot of downwind sailing with two headsails poled out on whisker poles or spinnaker booms and no main. If we did this we'd be flying a 50 sm Code 0/Drifter and a 35 sm Genoa - our main is 55 sm but that would not be used.

For broad reaching we'd simply use our main and asymmetrical spinnaker.

I think that would nicely cover light airs on most points of sail. The winds here in summer (barring typhoons) are extremely light.

Cheers, Cameron
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