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Old 30-10-2014, 07:56   #31
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Re: Heavy Weather Cat Sailing

Guys, this is all great stuff, thanks.

Have a lot of you used warps to handle seas? Or do you tend to use other methods?

Also, with two hulls, what are your thoughts on using a single parachute anchor, with a bridle to both hulls?

Jeff
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Old 30-10-2014, 11:16   #32
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Re: Heavy Weather Cat Sailing

Warps or drogues can be good on a cat sailing off the wind to prevent punching into the backs of waves ahead. But given the choice I would rather reach off with greatly reduced sail. This is generally more stable and given knowledge of where the storm center is - will allow you to get out of the conditions sooner.

As mentioned earlier - para anchors are only really meant for situations where the crew can no longer handle the conditions. There are generally two theories on how a para anchor should be deployed - either off the bow (using a bridle on a cat) or to hold the boat in a hove to position using a bridle between the bow and a stern cleat or winch.

I have always preferred the theory that the boat should be held in a hove to position at about a 45 degree angle to the waves/wind. What have others experienced using both methods?
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Old 31-10-2014, 16:09   #33
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Re: Heavy Weather Cat Sailing

Fortunately I have not had to deploy mine other than for practice/training. I have rigged my bridle to attach to my main cross-member. There are some formulas out there:
Each leg of the bridle should be a minimum of two and a half times the beam of the boat.
The overall scope of rode, including the bridle length, should be about 11 to 12 times the LOA or longer.
Sea Anchor and Para Anchor Frequently Asked Questions
I believe I chose 3/4 nylon braid for the stretch based on my displacement/waterline. I experimented with a few options, but in summary I have 500ft of 3/4 in nylon on a roll with eyes at both ends as well as thimbles in the eyes to protect against chafe. When I am offshore I have the bridle rigged and secured in place. I have the sea anchor ready in a deck locker but not connected to the bridle or the 500ft rode. I also have the rode ready. My thought is that if it gets bad enough to need a sea anchor I will want it ready to go. So I rig mine up before I head offshore. In a a pinch I can just connect two large shackles and throw the sea anchor over. The down side is I cannot modify to lie in the hove-to position. I went with the simple solution, but I have see great designs with block on a rode attached to the crossbeam and the long rode running off a winch, this limits chafe and allows you let out or pull in rode to place the sea anchor two waves in front. Para Anchor recommends this set up.
PARA-ANCHOR by Fiorentino - The Original "Parachute Style" Sea Anchor

Retrieval is a whole different story, some opt for the float with a retrieval line, others are concerned with the potential for fouling. No matter the set up it is going to be time consuming. I typically have someone on the bow pulling in or winching as I motor toward the sea anchor. With a retrieval line you can motor up past it and pull from the backside of the sea anchor and collapse it.

There are some great books out there...Just to name a few I found helpful
Heavy Weather Sailing by Peter Bruce
Catamarans: The Complete Guide for Cruising Sailors by Gregor Tarjan
The Cruising Multihull by Chris White
Fastnet, Force 10: The Deadliest Storm in the History of Modern Sailing
by John Rousmaniere
Two are multi hull specific (with sections on Heavy Weather), the other is feedback based on experiences and lessons learned from a variety of sailors and types of sailboats. All great reads and essential for any offshore cruising in my opinion.
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Old 31-10-2014, 16:43   #34
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Re: Heavy Weather Cat Sailing

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Originally Posted by hwturner View Post
When I am offshore I have the bridle rigged and secured in place. I have the sea anchor ready in a deck locker but not connected to the bridle or the 500ft rode. I also have the rode ready. My thought is that if it gets bad enough to need a sea anchor I will want it ready to go. So I rig mine up before I head offshore. In a a pinch I can just connect two large shackles and throw the sea anchor over.
I used to set my sea anchor up this way on passage, but I found that the thought of going forward onto the deck in a blow, pulling the rode and the sea anchor out of lockers, attaching shackles and retrieval line with float, etc. while exposed to wind and waves made me hesitate to deploy the sea anchor. Remembering the old adage "he who hesitates is lost" I now have the whole system connected and ready to go. The bridle and rode are led aft along the outside of the port stanchions, attached with nylon string. The rest of the rode, as well as the sea anchor and float, are secured in the cockpit. If I want to deploy it I can simply heave to and throw the whole mess overboard without leaving the shelter of the cockpit.
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:07   #35
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Re: Heavy Weather Cat Sailing

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Originally Posted by Sailingcouple13 View Post
Who would reef a big cat down wind in 25 knts.
Not me. I would have done it long before then. I'd be going to first reef when the wind starts to stay consistently above 15-17 knots. By 25 knots I'd be well and truly into 2nd reef, thinking about 3rd, or no main at all.

I try to always only carry an amount of mainsail that would allow me to easily and safely turn upwind if necessary - ie due to a MOB or some other emergency.
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:36   #36
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Re: Heavy Weather Cat Sailing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailingcouple13 :
Who would reef a big cat down wind in 25 knts.
People with no understanding of how good multis work just don't get that reefing is necessary, not just for safety, but for performance, sure I can carry full sail in 25-30, but its slower than having two reefs in, as well as harder on me and the gear. Anyone who says their multi can comfortably and efficiently carry full gear at 30 knots and it is all good had too small a rig to start with.

Its not rocket science is it, right amount of sail for the conditions.
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Old 02-11-2014, 12:29   #37
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Re: Heavy Weather Cat Sailing

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Originally Posted by mikereed100 View Post
I used to set my sea anchor up this way on passage, but I found that the thought of going forward onto the deck in a blow, pulling the rode and the sea anchor out of lockers, attaching shackles and retrieval line with float, etc. while exposed to wind and waves made me hesitate to deploy the sea anchor. Remembering the old adage "he who hesitates is lost" I now have the whole system connected and ready to go. The bridle and rode are led aft along the outside of the port stanchions, attached with nylon string. The rest of the rode, as well as the sea anchor and float, are secured in the cockpit. If I want to deploy it I can simply heave to and throw the whole mess overboard without leaving the shelter of the cockpit.
This is the way recommended by Para-anchors.
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