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Old 07-05-2010, 13:51   #1
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To Dagger or Not to Dagger ...

...this is the question! Looking hard at Catana 431 1999 Catana Catana 431 Prestige Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
Do I dare dagger?
Does it make sailing more difficult?
I am very mechanical inclined and understand that bottom will need constant attention too keep Daggers clean... and a clean bottom means Speed, but I am a very novice Cat man.
I know it's is one more piece that can break... but draft is really low, Daggers up of course and the abilities to go up wind I have heard are really good!
Cheers and Thank You!
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Old 07-05-2010, 15:41   #2
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I'm not any help, but I just wanted to point out that "daggering" is the name for a particularly lewd jamaican dancehall dance craze... heh.

type 'daggering' into youtube if you're interested. your subject line definitely made me chuckle.
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Old 07-05-2010, 16:12   #3
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There's a recent thread about this.

IMO they really aren't any extra work, not if you enjoy trimming sails etc - it's something else to play with for a bit more performance.

And you could just leave them say 1/2 way down and be pretty much the same as a minikeel boat anyway....

IMO they do go better along with kick up rudders and retractible drives though, to give you real shoal draught capability.
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Old 07-05-2010, 16:43   #4
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I've chartered a Catana 471 in which on every tack we would switch which board was down. We would always put the leeward board down and lift the windward one. The research I had done told me that was the best and safest way to do it. I'm not sure that is the case, but it was easy enough to do.
On a more recent trip, I did a week long passage with Tracey Sailing School on his Mainecat 41. Whether we were 50 miles off the coast during an overnight leg, or motoring down the ICW, the captain just left both boards down so they were flush with the deck the entire trip.
They are easy to deal with, are safer, allows beaching and shallower water, and obviously allows one to point higher up.
I say- DAGGER!
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Old 07-05-2010, 18:06   #5
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Aboard my Mainecat I use only one board full down unless I want shoal draft performance then I do like Tracey Sailing school, i.e. both with the tops flush with the deck.

Off the wind in a seaway, they can rattle a bit when down but you don't need them then and hoisted up they are quiet. I have had two daggerboard boats in a row (Mainecat 41 and F-28), neither one ever had growth issues in SoCal or PNW. I did paint the lower part of the board and trunk but in any event it simply was not a problem.

Today, I was out sailing and tried changing boards to ensure that the leeward one was always down. Easy enough as the boat goes head to wind but it's totally unnecessary, same balance, same performance.

The MC 30 only has one board and John Shuttleworth I think, designed some with only one board. Basically, it's like twin engines, you get redundancy. They can break, or get chewed up and having a second one gives me peace of mind that I won't have to stop sailing while waiting for a new one or to build it.

During my exercise with a custom cat design, I got figures from the designer on comparisons between a LAR (low aspect ratio) mini-keel versus a daggerboard. The effectiveness of a board is hugely greater than a mini-keel. It's what got me using a single board. Basically, (and some number cruncher can correct me) it seems to work out that even a single board at the depth of a mini-keel is still superior to a mini-keel.

Just my $0.02
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Old 11-05-2010, 08:47   #6
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Will having dagger-boards mean I won't have to fire up the leeward engine going into the wind?
I will take $0.02 from anyone... can't complain when it's free!
I really do appreciate the inputs!
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Old 30-05-2010, 16:59   #7
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not everybody agrees about anything-but a general consensus and my experience with multi hulls is that a deep board will allow for some moderate windward ability maybe not as much as running motor but we are talking about a sail boat. If you are in a hurry burn the fossil If you have a deep board you can still get there without motor.
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Old 30-05-2010, 17:38   #8
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if they are on the boat you want then fine. otherwise, how much time do you want to spend going to weather?
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Old 30-05-2010, 17:45   #9
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IME, dagger boards help windward and reaching ability immensely and aren't much of a problem to work or maintain. On my boat in most conditions I use both boards down when hard on the wind and retract the windward board as I bear off. DDW I have both up. Testing suggests that on my boat these are the fastest settings. I believe that as a rule catamarans ideally have very, very small leeway angles. Long, narrow hulls are hard to drag sideways and are not forgiving lift producers. I expect that most cruising cats, which are relatively slow and never fly a hull, equipped with symmetrical boards are going to be better off with all the boards they have fully extended upwind. Particularly in light air I think most cruising cats with boards would do better with much more board area than they are typically equipped with. This is a reasonable design trade off since it is not expected that cruising boats will beat a lot and smaller boards are lighter, cheaper, have less windage and are easier to deal with than bigger ones. In any case, if you get a kick from the performance sailing side of cruising I think you will enjoy having boards on your cat.

Tom
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Old 30-05-2010, 18:19   #10
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My F-31 is rigged for cruising, even as such it is a very high performing boat and I hate running the motor. I will sail if there is wind and I have room, and it doesn't take much room. A high aspect ratio board will give you a serious edge in performance without loosing the ability to beach or cross shoals and they are no trouble. The '99 Catanas should still have enough Crowther influence to have the potential for real performance if that appeals to you and you don't weight her down. If your intention is to load her up it becomes moot. Dave
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Old 06-06-2010, 03:40   #11
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My vote is for daggerboards.
Down for better performance (especially upwind) and more speed can get you out of trouble (outrun a storm). Up for less wetted surface downwind, shallow water access and potentially less chance of tripping on a big wave (so I've read).
Obviously, minikeels would be better if you're going to hit something and to protect a skeg/rudder and drive but I'd rather err on the side of more performance. You can always slow a fast boat down.
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Old 06-06-2010, 11:53   #12
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for the dagger

some boat manuever better in tight spots with a board down - board provides a pivot point
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Old 07-06-2010, 11:04   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denvermike66 View Post
Will having dagger-boards mean I won't have to fire up the leeward engine going into the wind?
I will take $0.02 from anyone... can't complain when it's free!
I really do appreciate the inputs!
Mike,

Daggerboards or not, you shouldn't need to use an engine when beating. Not sure where that bit of misinformation is coming from.

Fair Winds,
Mike
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Old 07-06-2010, 11:11   #14
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IMHO and talking with cruisers who have dagger systems. The daggers should not be the deciding feature on a cruising boat. If a hull is designed well with mini keels like an Ocean Cat 49 which climbs into the wind at the first tick mark(30 degrees) 60% of true wind with 0-3degrees of rudder and minimal slippage, why bother. I would never believe what I just typed if I had not sailed one for several days. Our Manta 42 does very well windward but we end up motorsailing because where you want to go is too close to the wind. We run the windward engine to abate helm as a boat in the wind wants to round up.

Friends that have daggers (Catanas, Dolphins, one offs, etc) have told me the repairs WHEN they run aground can be VERY expensive!! Most end up leaving both daggers down low enough to protect the saildrive and rudder and nothing more and call it a day.

Fair Winds,
Marc
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Old 07-06-2010, 11:32   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saratogamanta View Post
IMHO and talking with cruisers who have dagger systems. The daggers should not be the deciding feature on a cruising boat.

Fair Winds,
Marc
Absolutely correct! Look for the boat that has the most of the "other" things you are looking for. Then if it has daggerboards or not, who cares?

FWIW, if you are rounding up then you need to adjust your trim. Typically, I would drop the traveler.

FW,
Mike
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