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Old 13-12-2019, 08:47   #1
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Sailing with only the Genoa

Iíll start by admitting that Iím a charterer, not a boat owner. I think I also read about this elsewhere but canít recall for sure. Anyway, I have heard that because cats donít have backstays it is a bit risky to sail under just the headsail. I think I even read a warning in a lagoon user manual about that. What is the opinion here on that? I see boats do it all the time and Iíve done it but have been conservative on how much sail I have unfurled. I also make sure the main sheet is well tensioned so that it and the topping lift act as a ad-hoc back stay. Just curious if this is really something to be concerned about or not.

Matt
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Old 13-12-2019, 14:35   #2
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Re: Sailing with only the Genoa

Hi, tensioned topping lift and main sheet become the ďbackstayĒ.
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Old 14-12-2019, 16:01   #3
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Re: Sailing with only the Genoa

no truth to this. definitely NOT a problem to sail a cat with headsail only

in fact in heavy weather this is by far my preferred rig. gives some 'lift' go the bow and 'pulls' the boat versus the mainsail which tends to have the opposite effect.

aft swept sidestays mean no backstay is needed.

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Old 14-12-2019, 23:51   #4
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Re: Sailing with only the Genoa

Screenshot from a Lagoon 450 manual. Close reached trimming recommendation for 45-55 knots of wind: mainsail lowered, 30-40% Genoa.
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Old 15-12-2019, 13:11   #5
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Re: Sailing with only the Genoa

Quote:
Originally Posted by capnmatt View Post
Iíll start by admitting that Iím a charterer, not a boat owner. I think I also read about this elsewhere but canít recall for sure. Anyway, I have heard that because cats donít have backstays it is a bit risky to sail under just the headsail. I think I even read a warning in a lagoon user manual about that. What is the opinion here on that? I see boats do it all the time and Iíve done it but have been conservative on how much sail I have unfurled. I also make sure the main sheet is well tensioned so that it and the topping lift act as a ad-hoc back stay. Just curious if this is really something to be concerned about or not.

Matt
If you're sailing deep downwing using the main, the fact is the main isn't helping to hold the mast up anyway. You've got the traveller out wide and the sheet eased.

The idea that the absence of backstays is disadvantageous is a fallacy. It's a benefit. It allows the use of efficient mainsail designs.

If someone really wanted backstays on a cat it would be easy enough to fit them. And some of the older designs did have them, back in the days when people simply transplanted monohull rigs onto cats.

But there's an increasing trend toward deleting backstays from mono's too, so they can enjoy the benefit of efficient mainsails. Some of the new racing designs have huge "horns" sticking out of them, allowing the use of wide spaced shrouds, just like cat's have.
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Old 15-12-2019, 23:01   #6
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Re: Sailing with only the Genoa

I am with chrisr on this one. when getting beat up i run! main covered and heady sheeted out to blocks I have next to my chainplates which are about 34 degrees of the mast. that is if i have anything up at all. i have seen 12 kts or more barepoles and then use a milk crate with chain and rope on a bridle aft to slow down a bit. while i hide in the cabin and let my tiller pilot do the dirty work... i love working the heady. usually only use the main when apparent gets ahead of the stick.

cheers
bob
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Old 16-12-2019, 00:14   #7
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Re: Sailing with only the Genoa

After travelling in a straight line for hundreds of miles,
I found using the GPS for speed, I gained one knot extra from using the Mainsail in all positions,
After that I put the main away and sailed only on the Genoa, Its a 150,
Depending on the wind strength, I used between a foot out or all of it out, or any where between the two,
It kept the boats speed down to under 10 knots,

My back stay was just tightened enough to just take the slack out of the line,
My way of thinking was, its a lot of strain on the top of the mast with a full Genoa out,
That little bit of extra support made me feel easy about it,
I really wouldnt like the top of my mast to snap off if it wasnt supported,
Whether its right or wrong I dont know,
But it works for me,
The manual says not to use the back stay, But why put it there if its not to be used,
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