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Old 25-06-2010, 08:59   #166
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Originally Posted by sandy daugherty View Post
APPLAUSE FOR EVERYONE HERE!
snip
The first prize goes to Yeloya for hanging himself in the breeze by his first-person account, and then for taking little umbrage at the autopsy of his sailing skills. We need a lot more of this kind of find of courage, and we need to be a little more gentlemanly about finding fault. Remember, he could have, for the sake of saving face, traded places with the witnesses "for narrative purposes!"
snip
Thanks Sandy. I second your tribute to Yeloya. Even though I'm the guilty party for the "autopsy" I did admit I make my share of mistakes.

I could tell a story about my near-capsize while flying the asymmetric during a gradually building wind condition, and being unable to blow the sheet when the boat rounded up unexpectedly -- causing apparent wind to increase when we were suddenly beam-to-wind and overpowered. That one was my fault entirely, (not the boat designer's) but is fodder for another thread.
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Old 25-06-2010, 10:54   #167
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Originally Posted by SailFastTri View Post
I could tell a story about my near-capsize while flying the asymmetric during a gradually building wind condition, and being unable to blow the sheet when the boat rounded up unexpectedly -- causing apparent wind to increase when we were suddenly beam-to-wind and overpowered. That one was my fault entirely, (not the boat designer's) but is fodder for another thread.
Seems to me your story is perfect fodder for this thread. I'm thinking that "rounding up unexpectedly" is exactly what this thread is about.

Dave
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Old 25-06-2010, 11:01   #168
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Second prize comes to me for admitting I was wrong. I don't do that often. Niether does anyone else here.
I'm sorry Sandy - I'll try to admit you are wrong more often...

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Old 25-06-2010, 22:52   #169
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Seems to me your story is perfect fodder for this thread. I'm thinking that "rounding up unexpectedly" is exactly what this thread is about.

Dave
Well Dave the story is pretty simple and in hindsight was filled with operator errors. I'm sure they will be revealed as people comment. It happened in my previous boat, a Dragonfly 1000 cruising trimaran:

My wife and I started the day sailing a deep reach with the asymmetric and full main in very light air (about 5k true). Centerboard was raised to reduce wetted surface and deliberately increase leeway. As the morning progressed the wind increased to a point where it was blowing above 20k true and boat speed was in the lower teens. This had happened gradually over a period of hours and we had settled in for a long sail, as we had a long way to go to our planned destination.

Sheets were cleated (spin sheet in a jam cleat, main sheet on a self-tailing winch), autopilot steering. The mainsheet on that boat was rigged with a clutch backed by a sheet winch on each side cockpit coming , so it can be sheeted from either side. The wind and waves were building and the autopilot was beginning to have difficulty tracking with the following waves. I took control of steering and noticed a strong tendency to round up when being slowed in the troughs, and with the full main as it was I was "thinking about shortening sail". We all know the axiom that if you're "thinking about it", it's time to do it... I didn't do it right away.

Eventually we were clearly being overpowered when the boat slowed in the troughs so I headed deeper and eased the main further to blanket the spinnaker, put the boat back on autopilot and was about to release the spinnaker tack to start lowering the sock when a gust hit and the boat rounded up. Direction changed so speed to leeward dropped suddenly and apparent wind climbed to be near true wind. As the boat turned broadside to the wind and waves, the main was still catching maximum wind and the full asymmetric was still deployed. The boat would not round up or down, and was beam-to-wind slowly making leeway as the rudder was stalled between the forces on the main and spin. The windward hull started to rise in slow motion and seemed to balance in the air as I struggled to release the spin sheet, but the force of the sail pulling on it was too great to overcome and the sheet was wedged stuck in the jam cleat (I would have cut it if I had a sharp knife handy, but it was down below). I released the main fully but it wasn't enough and the windward ama was higher in the air than I ever had it, still rising slowly (and the boat was sitting nearly still), leeward ama pressing hard in the water deeply buried near to the deck but not fully submerged, and I was able to wrap the spinnaker sheet's "tail" on a free cockpit winch (on the windward side of the boat) and using the leverage of the winch -- was able to pull it hard enough to take up the pressure off the jam cleat and release it, after what seemed like an eternity "on the edge".

The boat settled right down and as the wind pressure came off the spinnaker the boat started to point upwind so the main was neutral and luffing slightly (full battens kept luffing under control). At that point it was a matter of getting the wildly flogging spinnaker down as fast as possible, reefing the main and deploying the genoa for the remainder of the trip, eventually dropping the main completely. It was a glorious downwind sail (other than that harrowing episode).


In retrospect I made several mistakes and some things I knew (but had overlooked in practice that day) were reinforced by this experience I won't forget:
  1. It started with lack of preparedness for changing conditions.
  2. I waited too long to adjust sail to be reefed for the gusts, and did not allow enough additional margin for boat speed adding to apparent wind in event the boat was stopped or rounded up.
  3. I was complacent in the face of slowly changing conditions -- an easy mistake to make especially when sailing downwind.
  4. The boat has sheet winches on both sides of the cockpit that I could have used for the main but by using the one on the lee side (same side as the spinnaker sheet) it wasn't available to use for the spinnaker. (Lesson: Always sheet the main on the windward side.)
  5. Jam cleats are not suitable for highly loaded lines.
  6. Centerboard was raised to maximize downwind sailing efficiency, but that also reduces steering control. This is not a good tactic in strong conditions.
  7. Failed to correct unbalanced sail configuration as soon as it was apparent.
  8. Lines can snag or a winch override could happen when timing is critical. Now I always carry a sharp rigging knife in all but the lightest conditions.
  9. My wife and I need to drill more to work as a team when doing spinnaker deployment and take-downs. I was basically operating as if single-handed. She's good crew and could have helped if I could have been effective in directing her wihout taking time to explain details in a time-critical situation.
I learned a lot from that experience, and am very cautious about using a spinnaker now in anything other than the lightest conditions, especially short-handed or with crew who don't know the drill well.
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Old 25-06-2010, 23:35   #170
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Great story and awesome that you ended up with the deck side upside. I admit that sailing deep downwind I find it is really easy to lose track of the true wind and rounding-up can be a startling experience. Short handed with a spinnaker everything takes longer than I expect too. The combination of being a little to complacent about the wind and little longer than expected to shorten sail is well worth avoiding. Thanks for the reminder!

Tom.
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Old 26-06-2010, 00:39   #171
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1. It seems clear that running before with a full main is not a good idea, and adds little to boat speed. Spinnaker to 15kts, genoa after that will ensure the boat tracks well, the main should be half reefed making it available when needed but keeping the aerodynamic balance way forward for downwind stability.
2. Excessive rudder movement or angle are a sign that things are wrong.
3. When the boat is nearing hull speed (or above for slim hulled guys) then the RIG is being heavily loaded and a reduction will ease stresses on rig and risk to the skipper.
All the things we know about our Cats but they give so much confidence to us we sometimes push their limits. I feel they round up to save us from our selves. Hopefully a designer/racer can input to this.
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Old 26-06-2010, 00:47   #172
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You do realize where that thought process leads?
Perhaps it's no longer an issue where that process (designing cruising cats toward greater light air performance) leads. Yeloya's experience appears to suggest we're already there. Charter operators in particular may need to take note and consider how they manage their clients on these vessels, but for those who are seeking sound, all-weather sailing vessels for extending cruising and who are prepared (or even eager!) to trim the sail plan to the conditions at hand, these vessels are 'spot on'.
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Old 26-06-2010, 04:50   #173
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Originally Posted by sandy daugherty View Post
The title line invited a few sharks but they went elsewhere.

Fourth prize to the sharks!
Not sure if I have been classified in the shark category but been following the thread with a passing interest. (quite fancy a small Wharram some time in the future or even an F22 Tri ...........and a long time hankering for a ginourmous f#ck off sized Trimaran - albeit an itch that is likely to remain ever unscratched )

But as a mono owner just didn't seem worth the aggro to try and gain some knowledge - I have learnt some things on CF.com over the years

Still, it's been a fascinating thread to follow - for a variety of reasons
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Old 26-06-2010, 07:32   #174
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Here's a picture of my prior boat sailing happily under spinnaker. It's a Dragonfly 1000. This should help you envision my story a bit better. The spinnaker is 915 square feet... a big sail.

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Old 26-06-2010, 08:54   #175
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A gunboat will fly the hull in about 25 knots.
My cat can fly a hull in about 20 knots of wind if pushed. But it's not for everyone!

Gunboat = cruising cat?
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Old 26-06-2010, 11:43   #176
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Gunboat = cruising cat?
Maybe thinking about these? High Performance Multihull Sailing Yachts, Gunboat Luxury Catamarans

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Old 26-06-2010, 19:25   #177
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APPLAUSE FOR EVERYONE HERE!

We have 164 entries with little digression, virtually no name calling or personal affronts, and have sliced and diced a very interesting issue with thoughtful and measured comments.

The first prize goes to Yeloya for hanging himself in the breeze by his first-person account, and then for taking little umbrage at the autopsy of his sailing skills. We need a lot more of this kind of find of courage, and we need to be a little more gentlemanly about finding fault. Remember, he could have, for the sake of saving face, traded places with the witnesses "for narrative purposes!"

Second prize comes to me for admitting I was wrong. I don't do that often. Neither does anyone else here.

Third prize goes to everyone who resisted the bait to turn this into a mono- vs multi- fued. The title line invited a few sharks but they went elsewhere.

Fourth prize to the sharks!
Sandy's right - near misses are great learning tools.

The reason I made comment on the rudders loosing their grip when pressed hard and ventilated is that I have experienced it; in my case I had noticed it and kept pressing anyway, as I was trying to learn a new boat. When it began to broach, I dumped the traveler, as planned. But I knew this behavior because several times before, on my prior boat (Stiletto), I had gotten the hull a bit high as a result of rounding up when over powered. I was showing off for guests that time, as I recall. Stupid.

This string of posts has reinforced for me that that I MUST reef when the helm gets heavy and that there is no benifit to say "she'll hold a bit longer." A good reminder.
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Old 27-06-2010, 06:18   #178
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Tom I meant that a gunboat is not really a typical cruising cat in line with the OP.

on another note - is your A42 the old Green on Blue?

Cheers
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Old 27-06-2010, 06:33   #179
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a gunboat is not really a typical cruising cat
...and we suspect there are others (perhaps including the OP's Lipari) who want to be described as 'not really a typical cruising cat'...!
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Old 27-06-2010, 12:20   #180
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Tom I meant that a gunboat is not really a typical cruising cat in line with the OP.

on another note - is your A42 the old Green on Blue?

Cheers
Ah, I understand.

My Atlantic 42 is "Linda".

Cheers,

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