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Re: Basic cat sailing question
Heavy wind, dead down wind the boat pitch poled. That is it dug it's bows in and tried to flip over. In dinghy sailing some call this tripping the boat. Regardless, it is a function of physics. Simply put, the sail can move thru the air more quickly than the hull can move thru the water. Because a big stick connects the sail to the hull the result is the bow being driven downwards. Usually with cats this is more of a likelyhood on a reach than dead downwind. But, in heavy air, down wind, all bets are off on it not causing a pitchpole. That said, not a biggie. You did right by getting the weight back.
AS well, dead downwind puts you in a position with the least sail control. reacting to a gust or nose down situation, as you found out, not a lot you can do with the sails.You can't really sheet in. You could turn the boat but again, that usually takes you from the tramp to swimming.
When sailing downwind on a cat it is usually better to gybe downwind on a quartering run or broad reach. The boat is more controlable and faster. Once you figure it out, gybing from tack to tack downwind will always get you there faster than running straight downwind.
Again, no worries it's all a learning experience. And with cat sailing what doesn't kill you only gets you wet!
Last edited by TJC45; 09-24-2013 at 04:02 PM.