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Old 29-07-2007, 14:48   #1
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Downwind Screecher Sail Rig

Has anyone used a large screecher sail and tacked it on one of the bows (instead of on a bow sprit in the center) of a cruising cat for downwind sailing?

If so how well did it work?

I wonder how will this would work compared to an asymetrical spinnaker with a sock?

My boat is on the hard so I cannot test this set up until November.

Keegan
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Old 29-07-2007, 16:33   #2
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Try this . . .

I don't know if you're familiar with another member here, maxingout (Dave), but you should check out his website at:

Welcoming to Maxing Out

His approach to sailing about 33,000 miles downwind on a 39' Privilege makes a lot of sense to me. Besides, I think you'll enjoy Dave's website. And if you look through the Multihull Sailboats forum, and see the thread "Downwind Sails" that 420Hull58 started, you'll find a lot of valuable information.


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Old 29-07-2007, 19:38   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaoJones
I don't know if you're familiar with another member here, maxingout (Dave), but you should check out his website at:

Welcoming to Maxing Out

His approach to sailing about 33,000 miles downwind on a 39' Privilege makes
TaoJones

Yes Tao, the Maxing out website is very cool. I have enjoyed it very much and had discovered it a couple of months ago.

As with anything there are always more than one way to do something and sailing downwind is no exception. Dave seems to have mastered one way using poled out head sails.

Regards,
Keegan
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Old 30-07-2007, 19:43   #4
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My understanding (I do not yet have a screecher, but do have an asymmetric) is that the screecher is cut flatter like a huge genoa so is designed to be flown on the center line like a job. The asymmetric, though often cut fairly flat for a fast catamaran has a lot more shape so can be flown effectively off the windward hull when sailing deep downwind. Unless you had a screecher lying around, I would go for an asymmetric spinnaker if you were planning to fly it without a sprit.

The other issue you may find with a screecher is that they are typically rigged on a free flying furler so need very high luff tension to work. You may or may not want to have that much luff tension at an angle out to the windward hull.

Due to a miscalculation on my part with the forces involved on the support stays for our bowsprit, we have been flying our new asymmetric using two tack lines, one from each bow, joined at the tack of the spinnaker. With that arrangement you can move the tack of the spinnaker from the center line for windward work, to the windward bow for sailing deeper, just by adjusting the two tack lines. It has been easy to rig and manage for us with the spinnaker in a sock.

Mark.
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Old 30-07-2007, 23:14   #5
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Keegan, clearly everyone here can relate to your desire to maximize sail area downwind and to keep it simple. Flying your downwind sail from your windward bow is one of the great benefits of sailing a multihull - no poles, guys, topping lifts, downhauls, etc. to deal with!

After a fair amount of experimentation (luckily with borrowed sails) we settled on two sails that cover us for most wind conditions. First is the standard asymetrical spinnaker which we fly off the windward bow and launch with a sock. This is good for 90-150 degrees apparent, depending on wind speed.

Our second, and more-often used reaching sail is a Code-0 which we fly from our extendable bowsprit. We use a furler for this sail and it fills the gap between our tiny self-tacking jib and the asym. This sail can point as high as 45 degrees in very light air to about 110 degrees. We've also used it downwind, tacked to the windward bow (when we blew out the chute!) and it did quite well. This is akin to what you are asking about flying a reaching sail (screecher) as you would a downwind sail (asymmetrical).

Obviously, I've decided that I'd rather change sails than push a sail out of it's intended range. Hey, it's cruising - what else do I have to do?
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