I note with interest that Moxie Yachts has a new 61 foot cat on the boards which revives the cutter
(aka 'Prout' ) rig in catamarans:
Frankly, apart from the carbon fibre spar and large roach mainsail
, it is virtually identical to the rig on my Solaris Sunstream 40: cockpit
relatively far forward with mast
stepped on the companionway
bulkhead; fixed staysail stay for furling
; continuous line furlers on both the staysail and headsail. In both cases the main is a bit larger than on the original Prouts, but otherwise the designs are very similar.
I have always felt that this rig is ideal for for a cat intended for offshore
1. the mainsail
is kept to a more manageable size and, at least in the case of my boat (at 40 feet), this eliminates the need for an electric winch
for the main halyard
that is typically required on the huge, flat-top mains that are currently in vogue;
2. splitting the rig into three sails
keeps all sails
smaller, in relative terms, again rendering them more manageable;
3. by spreading the rig more fore/aft, one can reduce the height of the mast
and lower the CE of the sailplan, thereby improving transverse stability.
4. the companionway
bulkhead is probably the strongest part in the middle of the boat and hence a perfect location for the mast step;
5. stepping the mast at the companionway bulkhead allows all lines to be led into the cockpit
(or the coach roof by the helm) without the need for (and additional friction caused by) turning bocks, etc.
boats should have provision for a proper storm jib
. Yes, you can install a 'Galerider' type storm jib
over the furled headsail, but this requires going on the foredeck in questionable conditions in order to raise it and attach the sheets
and lead them back to the cockpit. Furthermore, most cats do not have separate tracks for a staysail/storm jib
, and hence the sheeting angles are apt to be too far aft to flatten the sail.
7. a dedicated staysail will be made out of much heavier material than a genoa
and be better able to withstand (and less likely to be stretched/damaged by) heavy winds.
8. continuous line furlers enable the sails to be let out gradually.
I suspect that the performance in light air is superior with a large flat-top main and single
headsail, but this is obviously a little less significant for a boat intended for extended cruising
. Anyone have any thoughts?