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Old 19-08-2014, 20:29   #1
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Self Tacking Jib

Just got back from 10 days in the VI where I chartered a catana 55. First time on a cat with a self tacking jib. In an area where there are fairly small sea lanes, I ask why would anyone not go with this design? The boat sailed very well (I have chartered from both Voyage and Moorings in the past,- and the Catana outsailed them by a bunch) and was so easy to sail. Really put the fun back into sailing everywhere instead of giving up and using the iron staysail just to not have to tack a few more times. I really didn't see any downside?
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Old 19-08-2014, 20:55   #2
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Re: self tacking jib

I enjoy tacking and would never "put on the iron topsail" just to avoid it.

Self-tacking headsails offer much less control, since the sheeting angle is fixed. You've got no jib car, which is the most important sail control for a headsail.

I have a self-tacking staysail on my boat, and the shape is really never quite right for any point of sail, despite the fact that it has the elliptical track and so forth. I have taken to barber-hauling it to improve the shape. This can work really well, but by the time you go to all that trouble, you've lost any advantage in convenience, so why wouldn't you prefer to have a normally sheeted headsail?
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Old 19-08-2014, 22:48   #3
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Re: self tacking jib

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post

Self-tacking headsails offer much less control, since the sheeting angle is fixed. You've got no jib car, which is the most important sail control for a headsail.
You sure? My boat certainly has a headsail traveller control to go along with its self tacking jib.
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Old 19-08-2014, 23:00   #4
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Re: self tacking jib

Quote:
Originally Posted by boneboy View Post
Just got back from 10 days in the VI where I chartered a catana 55. First time on a cat with a self tacking jib. In an area where there are fairly small sea lanes, I ask why would anyone not go with this design? The boat sailed very well (I have chartered from both Voyage and Moorings in the past,- and the Catana outsailed them by a bunch) and was so easy to sail. Really put the fun back into sailing everywhere instead of giving up and using the iron staysail just to not have to tack a few more times. I really didn't see any downside?
A lot of boats, the jib is too long for self tacking. The track would have to be a U-shape to get around the mast. But with my inner jib (storm jib) I just tie of the the windward side, tach, loosen the leeward while easing in the tension and snug up.
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Old 19-08-2014, 23:00   #5
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Re: self tacking jib

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Originally Posted by Factor View Post
You sure? My boat certainly has a headsail traveller control to go along with its self tacking jib.
Mine has a traveler, but no way to move the sheeting angle back or forwards, so you have no control over the relative tension in luff and foot.

The only way I've seen this dealt with in boomless self-tacking jibs is with large clew plates with holes which allows you to slightly change the angle.

Maybe there are other systems, but I haven't seen one.


It's true that this question might be less important on cats with huge roachy mainsails, since not all that much will be expected of the headsails. But if the problem bothers me for a staysail which is only 10% or so of my sail plan, then I reckon it could bother the OP, when we're talking about his principle headsail.
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Old 20-08-2014, 02:08   #6
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Re: self tacking jib

Mine is my principle headsail, I can adjust sheeting position from the cockpit, it works great. As it does on a few hundred similar boats. Some of the highest performing cats in the world have a similar system, eg Outremer.
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Old 20-08-2014, 02:42   #7
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Re: self tacking jib

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Originally Posted by Factor View Post
Mine is my principle headsail, I can adjust sheeting position from the cockpit, it works great. As it does on a few hundred similar boats. Some of the highest performing cats in the world have a similar system, eg Outremer.
You are missing the point, the prior posters are refering to altering the leach/foot tension through fore and aft twist control. Impossible on a selftacker without an adjustable clew plate or altering the hoist height.
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Old 20-08-2014, 03:02   #8
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Re: self tacking jib

And yet the Outremer 5X manages to sail okay even with one? I will put them in touch with you so you can help them with their sail plan.
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Old 20-08-2014, 04:35   #9
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Re: self tacking jib

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And yet the Outremer 5X manages to sail okay even with one? I will put them in touch with you so you can help them with their sail plan.
I'm sure it manages to sail "OKAY" by your standards. For someone requiring a higher standard different controls may be required.
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Old 20-08-2014, 05:08   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Factor View Post
Mine is my principle headsail, I can adjust sheeting position from the cockpit, it works great. As it does on a few hundred similar boats. Some of the highest performing cats in the world have a similar system, eg Outremer.
Maybe that's just something I've never seen. Can you post a photo? If it really allows you to adjust sheeting angle, I might want something like it for me own boat. I guess it must be some mechanism for moving the whole traveler fore and aft? Or how does it work?
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Old 20-08-2014, 05:16   #11
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If it looks like this, however:



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Then it works just like my self-tacking staysail, you have no control over relative tension of luff and foot, so very little control over sail shape.
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Old 20-08-2014, 05:34   #12
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Re: self tacking jib

The Camberspa jib that I had on my Manta is great for maintaining shape both on and off the wind. Found a couple pictures online.
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Old 20-08-2014, 06:21   #13
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Re: self tacking jib

Ok both work well! And there is the move towards non-overlapping headsail cruising boats as they are so easy.
If I had non-overlapping, I wouldn't change it just as I would not change the configuration I've got, over lapping, which works great. I can get good sail shape for the length of the genoa track of about 1 meter, in the overall scheme of things not that much really. Different strokes for different folks.
Here are a couple of photos of my overlapping headsail trimmed! And photo of the mainsail on the same tack going up hill.
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Old 20-08-2014, 06:26   #14
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Re: self tacking jib

I once experimented with a line from the clew to the tack, then back to the cockpit. Increasing the tension on it was the same as shifting the car forward, easing it was like car aft. It was handy on one boat to fix a dodgy lead, but it would get caught on anything forward if you weren't careful. It was a useful way to adjust the sheeting angle when the sail was partially rolled, and the track was too short to move the car forward enough. Another line to play with Dockhead. Might fix your shaping issues..
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Old 20-08-2014, 07:19   #15
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Re: Self Tacking Jib

I am not a great fan of self tacking headsails myself, although I have more miles in monohulls than cats.

If you do have one get your sailmaker to add an adjustable clew plate. By modifying the attachment point of the clew you do have some adjustment of the relative tension on the foot and leech.
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