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Old 14-10-2012, 06:44   #1
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Multihull Headsails

Most of my cruising has been on monohulls with split rigs, ketch and schooner. A lot of times going down wind I would lower the main and mizzen and just use a head sail even if all I had was a working jib.

Can some of you multihull guys share your experience sailing with a single headsail. I am especially interested in C31 and Seawind 1000xl experience single handing or short handed. What type of headsail(s) and auto pilot seem to work best or worst.

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Old 14-10-2012, 07:42   #2
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Re: Multihull Headsails

I have a Gemini, 105MC, which is very similar to the Seawind, I only have a Genoa and Main sail,

Most of my sailing was with the Genoa only, as I had no difference in speed with the main up or down, with the Genoa fully up, Thats using the GPS to monitor my speed,

Not being experienced with sailing, I used the GPS to set my sails and course for the best speed,
I have a Raymarine Auto pilot ST 1100 and a 5 inch Garmin GPS.

Wind was N, Nrth West, I wanted to go S, Sth West,

At night, I used the Genoa only and dragged the motor as a drogue, About four or five feet of Genoa out at the bottom, That allowed me to run in front of the waves at about 3 to 4 knots,

Which was usually north, Then I had to back track during the day, Which was at about 30 degrees beam on to the waves, Which gave me about 6 to 9 knots,

With the wind and waves going near dead north, I found it very hard to get any thing under Dead west,

But like I said, I cant sail for ****,

The Genoa was easy to put up and down, depending on the conditions, as it was a self Furler, With ropes and winder from the cock pit,
And I had the end of the boom tied off to the rear mooring cleats, I was not going to get hit with that thing swinging across the deck,
My jack line was tied to the boom at the back and the mast at the front, it was easier than uncleating my harness 3 or 4 times getting to the mast to put the main up or down, and then 3 or 4 times on the way back,
Then untie the boom and put it where I wanted it, then retie the boom, I think its called a preventer, From what I have read on here,

I do have a jib sail, its brand new in its bag, But the P/O said the Genoa worked better, so he changed it to the Genoa, Which is what I use, and am very happy with it,

I tried my parachute in Fiji, which worked very well, DDW, But did not try it coming home just in case some thing went wrong and I could not get it down or back on deck,

Single handing makes you very aware of what can go wrong, and you take extra care that it dont go wrong, You tread on the safe side at all times, as there is no one there to help you if it does turn to ****,

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Old 14-10-2012, 15:27   #3
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Re: Multihull Headsails

Normally just the screacher or genoa or asym spinnaker, and no main for anything above about 12 knots.

If the wind is very light, and we are not feeling too lazy, we sometimes use the full main and screacher and tack downwind to keep the apparent windspeed up.

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Old 15-10-2012, 09:12   #4
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Re: Multihull Headsails

I've used screacher by itself and also have wing-and-wing with screacher and jib. For light airs. As wind increases I would hang the main in order to protect the mast as I have no backstays
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Old 15-10-2012, 15:53   #5
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Re: Multihull Headsails

I used twin genoas on the same furling gear for going downwind. Rolled them up together to reef if the wind got strong. Didn't use any poles as the beam of the cat is sufficient to hold them both out between dead downwind and 150 apparent. Beyond 150 the windward sail would start to collapse so a pole would have been useful in those circumstances.

Hardly ever used the main downwind. Wrecked my furling gennaker years ago and didn't bother replacing it.

Autopilot... Used the same Raymarine setup for 10 years and 35,000 nm and it is still going strong. ST6000 headunit and 2S mechanical ram. Not sure what model the course computer is!
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Old 15-10-2012, 16:06   #6
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Re: Multihull Headsails

Had a big foretriangle on my 32-foot French cat that nobody has ever heard of, and she sailed quite well under roller genny alone (about a 120). That would be the default sail offshore when conditions weren't settled, especially downwind. However, she would sail quite well to windward under genny alone, though I usually had at least a partially reefed main up. Spent most of winter sailing around the Virgin Islands with a double reef in the main that we never shook out, as the Christmas winds were out in force. Our default procedure was to reef the main early and deep if we were anticipating or worried about a wind increase, especially at night. Downwind under genny alone she would almost sail herself without autopilot, which was very handy and reduced strain on the gear and crew. We just had a Navico wheelpilot on the boat and it was plenty of power for us. Burned little amps too. Unfortunately, I don't think they sell those anymore.

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