Eleven, you are correct about general downwind tactics in a cat and it speaks to the need for a decent wind
instrument that will show both true and apparent wind
speed/direction. Having said that, on a run you will need more than a 30 degree course change to head
into the wind; in so doing, it will require you to bring the beam of your boat across the seas/wind and, as the wind moves forward, actually increase your apparent wind speed. This is hardly the ideal thing to do when overpowered in heavy seas. The simple answer, once again, is to reef early - especially in heavy seas.
If I am on a close reach, I head
up when overpowered, start the diesels, adjust the autopilot
and reef ( and yes, I know that this will cause some debate, although I am not talking about a situation where one has raised a hull). If I am broad reaching/running and the seas are high, I prefer to head directly downwind, center the main, loosen the lazy jacks and then reef using the downhaul.
And I disagree with price
quoted by Big Cat for installing a batcar system. A system from Tides Marine
can be installed on most 40 foot cats for around $2000.00; a more substantial system from Harken
for about twice that. Further, if one has a cutter
or "Prout' rig, Rutgersen produces a decent trackless batcar system for even less than the Tides marine
system Regardless, if you have a full-batten main, you need a batcar system regardless of whether you are sailing a mono or multi.