downwind sailing option.....regular old military like parachute! We recently met a couple on a mono that are avid downwind parachuters. They showed a video of both themselves and a cat going downwind with the chute dancing around out front. Damn beautiful.
First thing I wondered was how do they keep it from dipping into the sea, but they rigged up a simple bridle
to control it. One line comes off the mast head
, another off their bow roller and the two go to another line maybe half the diameter of the chute. I'm wringing the memory cells here, but then I think it half of the chutes lines went to the masthead line connection point and the other half to the roller line connection point.
They said it was useful in a pretty broad range of winds. Maybe up to 30 knots downwind?? Maybe 5 knots would keep it up and them going??
Peter, the husband, thought a cat could use two easily enough having two bows.
the figure of 400eruos, or was that usd, for the chute??
If anyone is interested I'll dig through my crap and see if I can find their email
. They were video camera
crazy and I wouldn't be surprised if they had stuff online. Names were Peter and Nicole and the boat is Petima.
Another friend just bought a parachute and hopefully she'll let us know how it works for her.
Peter mentioned it's easy as hell to launch and retrieve.
Also, for what it's worth, I had a fair sized screecher on each cat with a free-luff furler
mounted on the bowsprit
. The sails
performed well overall, but I'll skip them next time. Single-handling it can be a huge pain to furl the sail back in. If the wind
catches you off-guard somehow and pipes up a bit it's a handful. Too many times I had to roll it back out/in/out a little to get the sail to roll nicely. When your not using it it flops around if it's choppy and then you have to throw it on the deck
. If you had it furled and hoisted up it'd kill your airflow sailing tight.
The material of these sails
was a taffeta backed mylar (I believe that's what you call it).
Bottomline, wish I would of kept the spinny I traded away. Next round going with a spinny and trying a sock.
Regarding dead downwind sailing, quite often we opted for dead/near dead downwind if the wind
and waves/swell were at a certain point. Sailing at more of an angle to the ass-winds would cause us to go surfing down a wave and that in turn would power up the sails a bit....then the autopilot
would try to catch up and before you knew it the whole thing was getting annoying. Dead downwind, when it's blowing over 20 knots, still kept us moving good and we still surfed, but much much less crazy back and forth stuff. Twin headsails out worked great (either the genny and screecher or the genny and an old genny raised like a spinny).
regards - J