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Old 12-10-2017, 11:21   #1
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Rounding up all the time

First sail in my new to me FP Salina 48 and I'm baffled. I've got some experience sailing a Lagoon 440, so big cats aren't completely new to me, and I can't imagine what's causing this.

I'm out in the Chesapeake right now in about 15kt wind. Main is up on the 2nd reef (it was blowing hard a little while ago) Genoa is at 75%. We're running at about 120 apparent. The only way I can hold my track is with the motors idling in gear. As soon as you pull the levers into neutral, the boat starts to round up. The autopilot can't hold it, and you can't hold it by hand. Put it back in gear and you can steer again.

I'm sure the previous owner had no idea as he literally never sailed the boat. We didn't see this problem on the sea trial because the wind was 1kt. This problem is bad enough that if it happened on the sea trial I would have passed on the boat.

What am I missing?
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Old 12-10-2017, 11:24   #2
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Re: Rounding up all the time

I have the feeling the rudders are not aligned correctly. Have a look at the rudder angle set-up and adjust if necessary.
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Old 12-10-2017, 11:46   #3
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Re: Rounding up all the time

Ease the main and/or move the traveler out some until you can control it...........

Usually when a sailboat wants to round up, you have too much main up or the main is sheeted in too tight (or the traveler is in to close to center with the main sheeted in too tight.)

After you get control of the rounding up, you can trim up with the mainsheet and traveler for best speed etc.....
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Old 12-10-2017, 12:34   #4
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Re: Rounding up all the time

I wish that were the case. We ran almost dead down for a while under jib only. Still rounded up.
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Old 12-10-2017, 12:40   #5
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Re: Rounding up all the time

I also looked for an adjustment for rudder alignment. It appears there is none. Rudder posts have 2 keyways on either side, and the tiller arms have set screws that screw into the keyways. Pinch bolts keep the tiller arms tight. The cross bar has no adjustable ends. The cross bar does have a little sag in the middle, maybe an inch.
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Old 12-10-2017, 12:46   #6
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Re: Rounding up all the time

This is a tricky one. As the previous respondents have correctly pointed out, the rudders should be checked and the main eased off. You may be missing a rudder, it has happened before. At 120 degrees apparent you are running pretty deep downwind so the car should be at the end of traveller and the main eased somewhat. Most cats will have weather helm with the main up running deep downwind so you should be okay - something really is wrong here.

With your comment that the previous owner never sailed the boat, and the interesting quirk that the boat steers fine in gear, the problem could be prop turbulence from a big 3 bladed prop. The Salina has the props in front of the rudder and if this is a big generator of turbulence the rudders may have a real problem dealing with the wake. The rudders are not very big and so a large proportion of the area may be affected.

Putting the motors in forward will smooth the flow over the rudders. Putting them in neutral will cause a lot of turbulence and cause the rudders to work less efficiently.

To see if this is the cause you may have to put the boat on the beach, remove the props and replace with feathering props. This is expensive. It is cheaper to put a GoPro on a stick and take some video of the rudders underway. Lots of turbulence will show up easily. Then put in gear and see if it goes away.

Hopefully it is just an alignment problem and the rudders are fighting one another. Jump in the water and align one rudder centrally and check that the other one is also straight fore and aft. Maybe you have a bent rudder bracket. That is what I would be hoping for.

cheers

Phil
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Old 12-10-2017, 12:56   #7
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Re: Rounding up all the time

Funny you should mention feathering props, and I should have mentioned it earlier. I had the props changed to a new set of autoprops.

I would certainly hope that one of the rudders didn't fall off between yesterday when we put the pros on and today.
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Old 12-10-2017, 12:56   #8
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Re: Rounding up all the time

What is the wind speed?
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Old 12-10-2017, 12:58   #9
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Re: Rounding up all the time

My apologies... You already stated it's about 15kts. I'm baffled.
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Old 12-10-2017, 13:18   #10
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Re: Rounding up all the time

Just read you last two posts Tornado - mmmm.

You are doing the right things. The only cat I ever sailed that did things like this was a new design with revolutionary super high aspect rudders. They were quickly replaced as they didn't work. It was the only boat I have ever lost control of on flat water in 12-15 knots. I was sailing it in a race and got some weather helm. I pulled the wheel to oppose it and the boat just kept on turning. I eased off the main and it still kept on going. The rudders would just let go and the boat was unsailable. They just ventilated and produced very little lift. The poor new owners had to replace the new rudders with conventional ones. Huge expense for them as the boat had some other problems too.

I have a little cat with a fair bit of weather helm but it is always sweet to sail because it has nice big rudders. It sounds to me like your rudders are not working properly at all. The Salina seems like a reasonable boat so it may be that a custom part of the design is causing an issue.

I would jump in the water and give the rudders a check. If all is okay I would seriously look at the props and the rudders. You may be able to do a check by taking one prop off on the beach, or even in shallow water with a hookah on. Then go for a sail and see what happens. In flat water all cats should sail straight on one rudder. At least you will tick something off your list. I don;t think it is the design.

cheers

Phil
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Old 12-10-2017, 13:18   #11
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Re: Rounding up all the time

On my boat I have hydraulic steering. There is a valve near the helm that bypasses one rudder. It allows you to disable one rudder while you move the other then bring the disabled rudder back. This way you can change alignment of the pair relative to each other. It's such a great system I would think it is used on all boats.

I also have a bypass valve on each cylinder down on the rudders that allow the rudders to be moved freely by hand. I have not tried it but when on a straight course you could release one and see if it aligns itself. Care though if they are misaligned the boat may turn quickly when you release one.
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Old 12-10-2017, 13:21   #12
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Re: Rounding up all the time

Oh - feathering props as well. We are all out of ideas.

I would go back to the GoPro idea. Maybe the feathering props are doing something to generate turbulence - put on backwards, wrong settings. The wake should be nice and clean. Rudders need clean water.

This is a tricky one.

Phil
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Old 12-10-2017, 13:28   #13
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Re: Rounding up all the time

Perhaps a very blond idea BUT........if you just installed the feathering props are they functioning correctly? Perhaps one is not feathering applying a break on one side? Is it equal on both tacks?
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Old 12-10-2017, 13:32   #14
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Re: Rounding up all the time

Gotta be something with the props. When I go to neutral you feel a jerk like someone jammed on the brakes, then the boat turns. So I shut the motors off in gear. And we're sailing.
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Old 12-10-2017, 13:37   #15
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Re: Rounding up all the time

Quote:
Originally Posted by multihullsailor6 View Post
I have the feeling the rudders are not aligned correctly. Have a look at the rudder angle set-up and adjust if necessary.
Agree. Too much sail plan "balance" is built into the design for this to likely be anything else. Is that king spoke REALLY dead centered?
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