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  #1  
Old 03-09-2010
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Maiden voyage a success.... What a rocket!

Hey all,

Some may recall that I have been rebuilding a Stiletto over the last 7 months. Well, after countless hours and more money than I even want to consider, she went into the drink 2 weekends ago.

This past weekend I took her out for her first sailing voyage.

The day started with 10-15 kt winds. Perfect weather. Just because she was just rerigged and fresh on the water I ran a heavily reefed Calvert main and a storm jib.... I wanted to bring the stress into the rig slowly and not just throw a full roach main and spinny in the air first day out.

Took a bit to figure her out...she is my first multihull! But once I did!!!
G*D D*MN!!!!

In 15 kt winds I was averaging 12 kts!!! As the afternoon winds built we started to have some serious gusts build. The local weather bouy recorded 37 MPH! I didn't get a GPS speed reading but I estimate 18-20 kts under sail. I had rooster tails off my rudders! I passed a fishing flats boat under motor power... he tried to throttle up BUT I STILL OUT PACED him!!! Remember those rules of the road questions that would ask about a sailboat under sail passing a motorboat under power and who had the right of way?? Remember how the answer stated something like blah blah HOWEVER UNLIKELY blah blah the sailboat gives way. Well maybe not that unlikely!

So much for not stressing the boat I can't believe all the speed with such heavily reefed sail area. I can't imagine what I could have achieved with full sail area in play. BTW, I came in when I noticed the leeward shrouds were getting sloppy... she has a fresh rig and the cables are still stretching and setting. Had to re-tension her later.

Did notice a few negatives... She does NOT want to go through the wind. I had to jibe for ALL direction changes. The force of the water on the rudders at that speed was amazing. It took some serious elbow grease to make major course changes. Keeping her in the wind to drop sails was a major PITA. Without the usual monohull mass, the Stiletto turns off from the wind almost instantly once you leave the helm to work the sails. It takes almost NO SAIL AREA for this boat to start to seriously move so you end up with a Main halfway down and flopping around and a boat now moving a 7+ kts... I got to get some crew or an autopilot... It's a real handful.

Anyway, thought you guys might enjoy the tale. The darkside is indeed powerful!
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Old 03-09-2010
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Welcome to the darkside...

You'll probably need to backwind the jib slightly to tack her. Easing the mainsheet will also help, since the mainsail will often force the boat to weathercock and stall the tack. These are common techniques to use on a lot of multihulls.

If you haven't gotten it yet, I'd highly recommend getting Mike McMullen's book, Multihull Seamanship.

Since you're a former leadmine sailor, I'd point out that you really have to reef multihulls for the GUST or PEAK wind speeds, unl
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Last edited by sailingdog; 03-10-2010 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 03-09-2010
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Congrats!
Stilettos are indeed a rush. For tacking, try slacking the traveler 6-12 inches before starting your tack. Also you might want to fall off just a hair to get maximum speed, and let the jib backwind to finish pulling the bows across the wind. Importantly, do not push the rudders hard over suddenly like a monohull. You need to drive the boat through the tack to avoid stalling the rudders. Practice makes perfect. Enjoy, and keep ready to release the sheet if you start playing with full sail in a good breeze until you get used to her.
It's also considered rude to literally sail circles around monohulls, especially if they are really trying hard.
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Quote:
a bit overpowered compared to a lot of other cruising multihulls
That's an understatement!!! The SA/D ratio is scary! I was running a very reduced sail set. To be honest I am slightly concerned with what will occur with a full 'set' in the air. My Calvert main has an area of 250 sq ft. The Spinnaker has 750 sq ft!!! You could in theory have 1000 sq ft "in air" on a boat with a 1800# displacement! A man could get in some serious trouble VERY quickly with those numbers.

I'm trying to reach out to current Stiletto owners to get an idea of 'danger' wind speed numbers and appropriate reefing advice. I DO NOT want to send this boat over!
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FSMIKE,


You seem to have some experience with the Stiletto... I might ask you the questions I have asked of other with Stiletto time....

Assuming a normal sail complement. Main 230. Jib 126 What max wind speed do you typically reef??? Drop to bare poles??? What is the slowest wind speed you may be aware of where a Stiletto has gone over (i.e. not blown over while expertly operated but sent over do to stupidity or pilot error)

BTW, You wouldn't happen to be from Cape Coral? I know a Stiletto owner named Mike over there????
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SiXeVeN -
I've been sailing multis for a while, but I have little experience on Stilettos, more watching them rocketing around rather than sailing them. Sorry I can't be of more specific help.
We're in NE Florida on the St. Johns river when we aren't cruising, usually in the Bahamas.
You might check out the multihulls4us forum if you haven't already. There might be some Stiletto threads there, not sure.
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Last edited by FSMike; 03-10-2010 at 12:14 AM.
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Old 03-10-2010
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LOL... I was being understated to not scare you off...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SiXeVeN View Post
That's an understatement!!! The SA/D ratio is scary! I was running a very reduced sail set. To be honest I am slightly concerned with what will occur with a full 'set' in the air. My Calvert main has an area of 250 sq ft. The Spinnaker has 750 sq ft!!! You could in theory have 1000 sq ft "in air" on a boat with a 1800# displacement! A man could get in some serious trouble VERY quickly with those numbers.

I'm trying to reach out to current Stiletto owners to get an idea of 'danger' wind speed numbers and appropriate reefing advice. I DO NOT want to send this boat over!
Yes, you can seriously get into trouble really quickly with too much sail up. That's one reason I recommend the Mullen book. I'd also point out that the apparent wind difference between going upwind and downwind is far greater on a multihull than it is on a monohull.

As an example.... say the wind is blowing 15 knots... and you're sailing almost dead downwind at 12 knots... and the apparent wind is 3 knots. A 27' monohull might be doing 7 knots dead downwind—and has an apparent wind of 7 knots. Both boats have got full sail up, because the apparent wind is only three and seven knots respectively.

Now you change course by 130 degrees and are now sailing at 20 knots close hauled.... The monohull does the same and is sailing at 7 knots upwind. The effective apparent wind for the Stiletto is now 25 knots, and you're way over-canvassed and running into issues, since the wind is effectively EIGHT times what it was before you turned. The effective apparent wind on the monohull is only 16.56 knots.. or only a bit over 2.36 times the previous wind speed... which really isn't much of a problem.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 03-10-2010
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I'd point out that one of the PDQ catamaran owners on this forum used to own a Stiletto and sailed on it fairly extensively. His blog is located at: Sail Delmarva
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 03-10-2010
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Quote:
the apparent wind difference between going upwind and downwind is far greater on a multihull than it is on a monohull.
Yes! you are 100% correct with that statement. I knew going into the transition from mono to multihull that I would have to contend with that but it is far more dramatic when you experience it first hand. It is all too easy to start sailing by "the seat of your pants" and forget you are running in a building blow. You can easily remain WAY TOO canvassed and not realize your building danger until you attempt a course change and .... BAM, over you go!

I just had a discussion with a friend of mine who was describing a scary ride on a Hobie cat. He was in a run that he described as building increasing speed... What he didn't realize was that the wind was building considerably. When he began to run out of sea room and needed to come about, he simply pulled the tiller to round about... without bleeding down any speed. He got hit by the full force of the building wind PLUS his relative wind speed as well. He nearly capsized and managed to just keep her upright. He had thought he had just been hit by a poorly timed wind gust.... I still don't think he understands the actual reason he got blasted.

Interestingly, you can get into trouble even coming to a complete stop. A run in building wind speed can mask the true power of the wind and one can remain too canvassed and not realize their situation until they attempt a course change and discover that they are flying too much sail to turn into a beam reach position without being sent over... This also prevents them from being able to face into the wind to drop sail to reef. One can be essentially stuck in a run because any deviation off a run POS will result in a severe heel\knock down in a monohull or a complete capsize in a multihull.

I got into that trouble with a 36' mono running a spinnaker outside San Diego once. I got too carried away in a fast run, having too much fun, and didn't pay attention to the signs of building winds. I thought I was going to have to cut the spinny free to reduce the wind pressure so that I could get round thru the wind. Luckily, I had the sea room of the Pacific and was able to ride it out until the conditions settled down. Stupid mistake

All kinds of fun stuff to think about when you ride a fast boat in fast wind
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Old 03-10-2010
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Yes, this is why I recommend Mike McMullen's book to new multihull sailors who have monohull habits that can often get them into trouble on a multihull. This is especially true when dealing with a very overpowered beast like a Stiletto 27.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Last edited by sailingdog; 03-10-2010 at 04:55 PM.
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