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Old 24-11-2013, 03:44   #1
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Don't use the Main?

The latest issue of "Sail" awards the Lagoon 39 as "Boat of the year" in its class. A lot of the credit goes to the farther aft-placed mast. This give the boat a smaller, more manageable mainsail. The magazine states that many multihull captains frequently don't use their main for just that reason - it's just too large and difficult to handle.

Is this true in your experience?
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Old 24-11-2013, 03:52   #2
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Re: Don't use the main?

Not for someone that is a sailor, easy to reduce sail impossible to add more than what comes with the boat. Many multihulll skippers tend to motor a lot, which is just fine but having a large main is not a very good excuse.
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Old 24-11-2013, 04:29   #3
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Re: Don't use the main?

In typical cruising monos with 120-130 % genoa + furling small main you can sail pretty well and many people coming from monos (or motor boats) try to do the same in catamarans, but it doesn't work. I also believe that the cats usually don't have back stay and sailing with the gib alone gives a lot of strains on the rigging.

It's true that many people find the main sail of the cats very challenging to handle. I've noticed that 50%of our charter customers don't bother to hoist the main for one week..As a matter of fact, even FP is now offering the main with furler. (I find a furling main very dangereous particularly on cats,not to mention the lack of performance.

With the sail configuration of new Lagoons, it may work better with the gib alone as
this latter is oversized and the boat has a kind of back stays. I am not a big fan of this sail configuration, but they might have a lot commercial success.
Cheers
Yeloya
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Old 24-11-2013, 04:58   #4
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Re: Don't use the main?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichandHelen View Post
The latest issue of "Sail" awards the Lagoon 39 as "Boat of the year" in its class. A lot of the credit goes to the farther aft-placed mast. This give the boat a smaller, more manageable mainsail. The magazine states that many multihull captains frequently don't use their main for just that reason - it's just too large and difficult to handle.

Is this true in your experience?
If they dont use a main, they they ain't captains, just pretenders.

That sail plan has to be the final act of giving up any sort of pretence of sailing performance.
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Old 24-11-2013, 05:05   #5
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Re: Don't use the main?

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Is this true in your experience?
Absolutely. On a Broadblue385 the aft-stepped main adds about 1 knot, which we often sacrificed in favour of having the bimini-mounted solar panels fully exposed. Not to mention the tricky walk on the bimini top necessary to lower the main in a blow.

The aft-stepped mast with a small or even optional main is a very practical rig for cruising. The autopilot did like it as well.
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Old 24-11-2013, 07:59   #6
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Re: Don't use the main?

JOhn Hitch, a well known Aussie cat designer has designed his latest personal boat with no mainsail at all! He mounts a stay from masthead to each bow with a furling genoa thereon, and a stay from somewhat lower (don't remember just how low) that goes to the center of the crossbeam, this with a smaller furling "staysail".

This boat is about 55 feet OAL, has very slim hulls, no foredeck or forward access, and is "unusual" in appearance. We sailed in company with X-it (as he calls her) for a few days in our 46 foot mono. In a moderate breeze he smoked us reaching and downwind, but in lighter airs and upwind, the reverse was true. Was that due to the lack of a mainsail? Who knows... but it seems to me that it is difficult to present a useful sailplan for windward work without a mainsail.

Lacking windward ability may or may not matter to a cruiser, but it is something to consider in boat selection IMO.

Jim
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Old 24-11-2013, 08:28   #7
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Re: Don't use the main?

Yeah, the main on my 42 cat was huge and required the winch to get it up... pretty much the whole way...It was full batten with harken batcars. Heavy sail for sure. Maybe not a bad idea.
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Old 24-11-2013, 09:14   #8
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Re: Don't use the main?

If the time comes when I cannot handle a mainsail then I will just go to a powerboat.
I own SAILBOATS because I like to SAIL!!!
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Old 24-11-2013, 09:40   #9
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Re: Don't use the main?

Its all balance and square footage . If ya put the mast farther back then ya put up more headsaILS . Prouts for years steped the masts quite far aft .
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Old 24-11-2013, 09:48   #10
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Re: Don't use the main?

Quote:
Originally Posted by yeloya View Post
In typical cruising monos with 120-130 % genoa + furling small main you can sail pretty well and many people coming from monos (or motor boats) try to do the same in catamarans, but it doesn't work. I also believe that the cats usually don't have back stay and sailing with the gib alone gives a lot of strains on the rigging.

It's true that many people find the main sail of the cats very challenging to handle. I've noticed that 50%of our charter customers don't bother to hoist the main for one week..As a matter of fact, even FP is now offering the main with furler. (I find a furling main very dangereous particularly on cats,not to mention the lack of performance.

With the sail configuration of new Lagoons, it may work better with the gib alone as
this latter is oversized and the boat has a kind of back stays. I am not a big fan of this sail configuration, but they might have a lot commercial success.
Cheers
Yeloya
We have a 'Pro-furl' in boom furler, very little loss in performance however it's so safe and simple to furl we tend to most always use it unless running our 'twin identical genoas' "wing a wing"

We run full main and genoa hard on the wind to 25 knots before reefing, the boat stands up well and it's easy to depower by pinching. Most charter boats tend to motor in that strength in fact most charter boats seem to motor most times????

Cheers
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Old 24-11-2013, 10:53   #11
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Re: Don't use the main?

I agree with Lagoon4us.
We sail our Voyage with full main and jib to 25 then take a reef which can be done quickly from the safety of the cockpit.
The main, yes it is large and has full battens with cars but simply raised with a powered winch from the cockpit.
It comes down very fast and I have simple 2 slab reefing points for the luff and leech which is pretty much bullet proof.
I honesty do not see the problem as it is perceived.......probably more with inexperience than a systems failure.
The price you pay for compromising the effect of the mainsail would be unacceptable.
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Old 24-11-2013, 10:59   #12
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Re: Don't use the main?

Strange. I always found the mainsail easier (on a monohull) to handle than the jibs except when the wind was coming from between the 5 o'clock and 7 o'clock direction.
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Old 24-11-2013, 11:56   #13
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Re: Don't use the main?

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
JOhn Hitch, a well known Aussie cat designer has designed his latest personal boat with no mainsail at all! He mounts a stay from masthead to each bow with a furling genoa thereon, and a stay from somewhat lower (don't remember just how low) that goes to the center of the crossbeam, this with a smaller furling "staysail".

This boat is about 55 feet OAL, has very slim hulls, no foredeck or forward access, and is "unusual" in appearance. We sailed in company with X-it (as he calls her) for a few days in our 46 foot mono. In a moderate breeze he smoked us reaching and downwind, but in lighter airs and upwind, the reverse was true. Was that due to the lack of a mainsail? Who knows... but it seems to me that it is difficult to present a useful sailplan for windward work without a mainsail.

Lacking windward ability may or may not matter to a cruiser, but it is something to consider in boat selection IMO.

Jim

Agree. You need a mainsail to go to windward, especially in light air. If you truly never sail to windward you can live without a main.
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Old 24-11-2013, 13:44   #14
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Re: Don't use the main?

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Agree. You need a mainsail to go to windward, especially in light air. ...
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Old 24-11-2013, 15:19   #15
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Re: Don't use the main?

You really need the main sail and jib to give the catamaran balance and performance.
We always use both sails. We have one line jiffy reefing on the main sail that allows me to reef single handed. I have no power winches and find it’s no problem to hank up the full batten main sail by hand.

Without one line jiffy reefing I may have hesitated in the past to use the main sail in 30+ knots.

Reefing early is the key to managing large catamaran main sails.

Reefing from the security and comfort of the cock pit makes fast sailing in strong winds a pleasure.

If you take the time to setup your catamaran to work for you, than you will truly enjoy the fast ride it will give you.
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