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Old 08-03-2018, 22:00   #1
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Outremer 55s sailing in Lesvos Greece

For all those about to return to their boats in Europe or anyone thinking about going out for a sail this will put you in the mood!



Unfortunately my boat does not sail quite as well as these two machines but the location will be same
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Old 08-03-2018, 22:09   #2
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Re: Outremer 55s sailing in Lesvos Greece

Very Cool
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Old 09-03-2018, 02:27   #3
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Re: Outremer 55s sailing in Lesvos Greece

Ah, what a pair of lovely boats. Sure must be fun to buddy boat with a boat that performs as well as your own.

FYI, when the water line of the spray up the front of the leeward bow reaches the hull/deck flange thatís about 9 knots boat speed in flat water.

Regarding getting close together when side by side, I guess cats donít get sucked together as strongly as monohulls do?
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Old 10-03-2018, 12:28   #4
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Re: Outremer 55s sailing in Lesvos Greece

Right on Some very excellent boats there hauling ass in flat water
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Old 11-03-2018, 12:54   #5
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Re: Outremer 55s sailing in Lesvos Greece

Are you sure that you don't mean LESBOS Greece?
That is the origin of the stories of some very interesting women. LOL

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Old 18-06-2018, 16:18   #6
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Re: Outremer 55s sailing in Lesvos Greece

Hello there,

thank you for posting those fabulous images!

I am totally in love with those boats, and seriously considering getting one...

But despite all my research I can not find information about the handling especially for short handed crew.
Maybe you could help...
I am especially wondering about reefing. Can it be done from the cockpit, or do you need to get on the roof? Do you need to use the mast winch to raise the main or can the halyard be routed to an electric winch in the cockpit.
Is single handling possible? Wise?

Thank you very much in advance.
i f you ever need crew for passages, give me a shout!

Fair winds
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Old 18-06-2018, 17:28   #7
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Re: Outremer 55s sailing in Lesvos Greece

Quote:
Originally Posted by tone-wreck View Post
Hello there,



thank you for posting those fabulous images!



I am totally in love with those boats, and seriously considering getting one...



But despite all my research I can not find information about the handling especially for short handed crew.

Maybe you could help...

I am especially wondering about reefing. Can it be done from the cockpit, or do you need to get on the roof? Do you need to use the mast winch to raise the main or can the halyard be routed to an electric winch in the cockpit.

Is single handling possible? Wise?



Thank you very much in advance.

i f you ever need crew for passages, give me a shout!



Fair winds

Hi Tone,

The standard configurations of the first generation Outremers, the 55S (standard) and 55L (light), as well as the smaller sisters 50S and 50L and cousins 45 and 38, all have halyards and reefing lines at the mast. Unlike monohulls, catamarans have less deck movement and practically no heel, as well as a wide deck, so working at the mast does not present the same level of difficulty and risk. Given the rounded cabin profile of these models leading all lines aft would make a mess on the decks. Plus that adds friction and a lot of extra rope to every line.

All that said, it is not difficult to raise, reef, or lower the mainsail single-handed, assuming use of the autopilot. I havenít seen any of these with electric halyard winches, but the windlass is located just in front of the mast and halyards can be lead to the drum side for electric hoist.

The previous owner of our boat singlehanded from NZ to the islands and back, and many of these boats are sailed by couples, as we do ourselves.

Hoisting the main in a crowded environment is the highest risk manoeuvre single handed, as there is a possibility of an off-axis gust of wind to catch the sail and overpower the autopilot (assuming youíve set it and the throttles for slow ahead during the hoisting), with the operator at the mast and 10m away from the controls. Thatís a risk that you must manage.

But reefing is a simple procedure that can be done with the boat between 0 and 90 degrees to the true wind. Ease the mainsheet so the sail is luffing fully, go to the mast, lower the halyard just beyond the reef, secure the tack, hoist the halyard to tension, take in the clew line, return to cockpit, take up the main sheet and resume course. The boom is chest high while standing on deck, so reaching the gooseneck area for securing the tack is not difficult.

The only time you would need to get on the cabin roof or bimini is if you plan to be reefed for a while and want to rig a clew strap to take the load off of the reefing line.

Check out Tikatravels.com - they have a host of short videos and blog posts that describe their voyage from the Caribbean to Australia.
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Old 18-06-2018, 18:04   #8
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Re: Outremer 55s sailing in Lesvos Greece

Well thank you so much for a super quick and thorough response. It is very instructive indeed.
I have very little experience on catamarans and probably wouldn't be very interested if it wasn't for the old outremers. What fabulous boats! You are a very lucky man indeed.
I am still a bit concerned, as by the time you need to take a third reef in, you need to turn into a lot of wind and usually big waves and get out there to do the manoeuvre. Sounds a bit hairy to me. Have you done it?
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Old 18-06-2018, 18:24   #9
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Re: Outremer 55s sailing in Lesvos Greece

Quote:
Originally Posted by tone-wreck View Post
Well thank you so much for a super quick and thorough response. It is very instructive indeed.

I have very little experience on catamarans and probably wouldn't be very interested if it wasn't for the old outremers. What fabulous boats! You are a very lucky man indeed.

I am still a bit concerned, as by the time you need to take a third reef in, you need to turn into a lot of wind and usually big waves and get out there to do the manoeuvre. Sounds a bit hairy to me. Have you done it?

Yup, been there done that with reefing in wind and big seas. First off, a 55 foot boat is much more stable than a smaller boat, so it does depend on having the length.

As I wrote before, no need to come into the wind; just come up to a course that is less than 90 true wind angle. You may need to slightly furl and sheet in the jib to keep it from luffing if youíve had to come up.

With the main luffing boat speed goes down appreciably and the motion relaxes. Even with big breaking waves you will get some spray but not green water over the deck while reefing (in conditions where reefing from 2-3 or unreefing 3-2, approximately 35 knots apparent wind speed, or lower, and the commensurate sea state).

The main reason to reef offshore is to slow down the top end speeds and make the ride more comfortable. Weíre often one or even two reefs ahead of the reefing guide for comfort reasons - average speed maybe 1/4 to 1/2 knot less but the top speeds 4-6 knots less. One of the joys of a relatively light performance catamaran is that you donít need a lot of sail area to go fast.

Weíre going to add a 4th reef to our main sail for those reaching and upwind conditions where a deeply furled jib is not that efficient. Also looking at options to add a removable staysail just inside the jib and run a storm jib or slightly larger sail - unfortunately, unlike many other catamarans, the walkway from the main beam to the front beam is not structural. But if our bow pole can support a huge gennaker with a couple of whisker stays then those same hull fittings should handle a pair of whisker stays supporting the base of the temporary forestay?
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Old 18-06-2018, 18:46   #10
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Re: Outremer 55s sailing in Lesvos Greece

I see...thanks again for your responses. It is very interesting.
I know with modern weather things are usually more predictable, but there is a very big difference between 35 knots and 60. I have experienced 120 for two days but that is another story (and it wasn't predicted at all).
You might want to go bare poles in survival conditions or need to bring down the jib as well. I suspect the Jib halyard is also at the mast...?
Not knowing the boat I can't of course offer any advice, but 4th reef and removable stay sounds like great ideas. A trinquette can help greatly to go upwind.
What is your policy on daggers depending on wind, seas, and angles?
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Old 18-06-2018, 19:17   #11
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Re: Outremer 55s sailing in Lesvos Greece

On the Outremer I havenít had weather that had us under bare poles, so now Iíll be writing from experience but not direct from the O55.

At some point the wind and/or seas mean you can no longer sail to windward. Our reefing guide stops at Ďabove 50 knotsí, hence my desire for a 4th reef and storm jib staysail. But even those will be too much eventually.

So if possible we run with it. If not possible to run, eg a lee shore within a hundred miles, then fore reach with a very small headsail and take chances with breaking waves. But otherwise, running is standard practice. Heaving to and parachute anchors are generally not suitable for performance multihulls and cause too much risk to the rudders.

At some point the boat will surf too fast and with breaking seas out of control, so a Jordan Series Drogue comes next. Perhaps with a bit of jib.

The jib halyard is at the mast and I havenít heard of people fully unfurling and lowering a jib/genoa when conditions worsen, as youíd be doing that at 45 knots plus.

Regarding daggerboard, only needed upwind, with progressively less board as speeds go up and wind angle increases (no boards from 70 degrees and up true wind angle).

In light air up to 8 knots boat speed, both boards fully down, progressively raised to deck level approaching 15knot apparent wind speed.

Above 8 knots boat speed and 15 knots apparent wind speed, fully retract leeward daggerboard.

Above about 25 knots apparent wind speed and commensurate wave conditions, raise the windward daggerboard 50%.

At that level the windward daggerboard can stay until we can no longer sail to windward or close reach. If fore reaching as described earlier, the daggerboard can stay 50% down.

On a close or beam reach in breaking waves, the windward board partly down provides more stability vs no board at all. But where breaking waves become equal to beam (7.2m for the L and 7.8m for the S) running is the safest option.
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Old 18-06-2018, 20:01   #12
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Re: Outremer 55s sailing in Lesvos Greece

That is a very good and comprehensive dagger board user manual! Makes a lot of sense. I have heard that it can become impossible to raise the dagger boards, do you have to turn into or away from the wind to aliviate the pressure and raise them?
Also what do you mean exactly by fore reaching? How do you achieve it? In my understanding it is when hove-to but still moving side ways away form the slick. Would it be hove-to but with rudder active? ( storm sail inverted and main sheeted out)?

Above 8 knots boat speed and 15 knots apparent wind speed, fully retract leeward daggerboard. So as to not trip on it?

And finally a question that has been bugging me for a while, regarding cats in tricky conditions. Say you are on a broad reach with second reef and want to put in a third. Do you have to turn all the way to within 90 degrees and expose your self side ways to potentially big waves? Or could you go upwind a little and leave the sheet alone as to lower the pressure on the main allowing you to reef? Could sheet in as for a gybe and put the third reef in? What if you are already overpowered going downwind, what do you do?

Thank so much for your obviously very well informed input!
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Old 18-06-2018, 21:33   #13
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Re: Outremer 55s sailing in Lesvos Greece

I just reef, on whatever point of sail we happen to be on. With decent batten cars it's easy enough.
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Old 18-06-2018, 21:35   #14
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Re: Outremer 55s sailing in Lesvos Greece

Awesome video. I can only assume they are French sailors as there is no footage of a flag. My standard line is "You know who are the best sailors in the world - French, you know who the worst sailors in the world are - French". It's a joke so don't get too upset.

If they would have put a fender on the aft pontoon and exchanged a crew member without him grabbing anything on the boat - now that would have been truly special. It was right there. And by God, don't put a life jacket on to do it, you only live twice.
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Old 18-06-2018, 21:51   #15
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Re: Outremer 55s sailing in Lesvos Greece

Regarding leeward daggerboard, correct, raise first to prevent tripping. The area of the one daggerboard is enough once a certain speed is reached. For raising, at 50% area there isnít that much load on it, but in any case you wait for a wave or turn the boat slightly to unload the board to hoist (or lower).

Fore reaching Iím using rather incorrectly to describe how our catamaran behaves. Your interpretation is the correct heave to meaning. The one time we tested in 45 knots the main was down completely and the jib furled 70%. We held the heading to 45 degrees off the wind/waves and kept the jib trimmed normally and furled enough to keep boat speed below 5 knots. This gave us about 30 degrees of leeway, and a very comfortable ride other than some slaps from breaking waves. I donít think this would be suitable in larger seas, hence the next stage being running downwind/down wave.

As for reefing on a broad reach or downwind, thatís a common problem for any cruising boat. For cruising catamarans in particular many will do downwind passages without the main. More designs are coming out with aft-stepped masts and small or non-existent main sails, just furling headsails.

If you canít just drag the sail down along the rig (only one shroud) then sheet in the boom to get the sail off the shroud. Not too much though, because bringing the main closer to the centreline means a tight sheet and that will be trouble if the boat turns and the tight main catches the wind. Remember that if you already have 2 reefs in the remaining half of the sail is flatter and easier to handle. Rounding up in stronger weather can still be done but is more work as the jib has to be prepared for the new angle and wind strength and introduces wave action risk. Hopefully by that time you are well reefed or fully down.

A basic tenet of multihulls is reef for the gusts (and be under powered in the lulls), AKA reef early. The monohull corollary is reef for the lulls, as they can more easily handle and de-power in gusts.

But if you get hit by an unexpected squall (pitch black night, nothing really obvious on the radar) then the only choice is to run with it while you try to figure out how to get sail down. The extra speed helps reduce the apparent wind and turning downwind helps increase the righting moment during that initial gust. On a monohull you could turn upwind to feather the sails and live with the extreme heel during the turn, but on a multi that can lead to a capsize.
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