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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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Old 08-31-2011
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Sailing my cat, am I missing something?

1976, 31' Prout sailing catamaran. Have owned my boat for 4 months. Liveaboard.

The times I have tried to sail my Prout (in poor summer wind), I have had problems tacking. I have a jib, a staysail (that goes up the forestay with hanks), and a mainsail. When I have tried to tack, the jib gets stuck on the forestay, and if the staysail is up, forget it. It's like ripping the jib across. Apparently this has happened multiple times and my jib has been repaired multiple times.

Am I missing something? Should I be lowering the staysail every time I tack? I do back the jib, but not even that works getting the jib across the forestay. Is it because it has been such low wind? She doesn't sail worth a damn in low wind, but I do know she goes fast in good wind. Is this a common problem, with tacking on catamarans? Thanks
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Old 08-31-2011
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The proper way to tack a catamaran, especially in light or flukey winds, is to jibe.

Scott
Gemini Catamaran Split Decision
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Old 08-31-2011
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I would get in touch with other Prout owners

You should be able to find a group. They are unique boats (cat, center nacell, cutter, aft mast) and have unique answers.

NautiG (no offence intended) is dead wrong. I've never sailed a cat that I could not tack in light airs, and I have sailed many, including Geminis. But, each has its own rules. Do not accept broad statements, as a Prout has practically nothing in common with a Hobie Cat, for example, and little in common with most monohulls.
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Old 08-31-2011
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PDQ, no offense taken. But if he jibes, he will have no problem getting that jib across the forestay and staysail.

Maybe I'm a lazy sailor, but jibing is always easy on my catamaran. Coming about can sometimes be a chore.

Scott
Gemini Catamaran Split Desision
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Old 08-31-2011
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Not a big catamaran sailor here but have sailed smaller beach cats.
I would agree that tacking can be a little dicey at times but you do need to learn how to do it. Jibing it about would certainly be easier but not the tactic I would want to use in heavier winds and weather as jibing in higher winds is a good way to break stuff and can be downright dangerous.
I've only seen pictures of your Prout 31' and never tried to tack one but I'd guess that if you furled in the genoa a bit (take in on third say) that it would more easily tack over to the other side in front of the stay sail yet still be useful for creating forward motion rather then letting it luff In higher winds I would think that you furl the genoa completely.
I'm guessing here but you just need to try some different tactics to make tacking more comfortable for you and your cutter rigged catamaran.
Others who actually own your model boat will know way more then I do.
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