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Thread: Running downwind at high speed, how to turn away? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
10-04-2007 12:46 PM
chucklesR One per tack, and thankfully I sail in narrow rivers , long tacks on the Bay require a different mindset (or a bigger Tervis cup).
10-04-2007 12:35 PM
TrueBlue You set me up for the fall chuck . . . (g). I agree and never drink while underway either, except pehaps just ONE cold one.
10-04-2007 12:31 PM
chucklesR I tried the Dark and Stormy, being a sailor I didn't like the 'farting about with Neptune' part (who wants a dark and stormy?). Actually I was slightly misleading, I never drink until the hook is set or the docklines have been double checked. Until then I just sip quickly (but never drink mind you)..
10-04-2007 12:13 PM
I'm anal in my pre-planning, immediately after a tack I always prep the cockpit for the next tack, makes sure all the lines will run free etc.. then turn on the auto and go make another Gossling's and Coke..
That's my drill too . . . but sub Barrett's Ginger Beer for the coke.
10-04-2007 11:52 AM
chucklesR SD,
I keep both boards down only when single handing and feeling lazy or it's busy on the water and I percieve a need for manuevability over speed. Leeway in those cases doesn't bother me as I'm generally just lazing away on a day sail.
Yesterday, on the Magothy River (Ches bay north of Annapolis for non-locals) I (singlehanding) was running along in 13kts max, 8 knts pretty steady with motor dragging (been caught in irons, still learning the boat) but with no boards down at all until a double handed F27 Trimaran and I got into a 'two boats on the same course equals a race situation'. Then I dropped the windward board and proceded to go tack on tack with them for a couple miles upwind changing boards as I changed course.
They spanked me of course, by about a eyeball guess 1.5 kts per and 3-5degrees per tack. But I had air conditioning and a queen sized bed, they had speed and pipe beds.
I'm anal in my pre-planning, immediately after a tack I always prep the cockpit for the next tack, makes sure all the lines will run free etc.. then turn on the auto and go make another Gossling's and Coke..
10-04-2007 10:50 AM
CharlieCobra Ok, from this last Saturday in a gale with too much canvas up we did the following and it worked fine.

Winds 42 gusting to 60 and 10-12' seas at twilight.

We basically timed the waves until we were cresting, sheeted ALL the way out and put her hard over to try and turn before the next wave. As she came around, we sheeted in and locked down the boom while letting the main flog. Noisy? Yes but far better than having an errant boom sweep the deck of crew. It seemed to work fine for us as the only sail pressure was from the staysail, which was manageable.
10-04-2007 10:44 AM
sailingdog Chuckles-

As a multihull sailor and owner, there are some serious differences in the way they handle, compared to a monohull. A big problem with catamarans particularly is the excessive windage most have... it makes turning them into the wind a real bear.

Any multihull can be capsized under the right conditions, just like any monohull can be rolled under the right conditions. In the case of the capsize in SF Bay, it was mostly due to poor judgement and sailing technique on the skipper's part IMHO. Keeping the main sheeted in on a hard turn like that is a really good way to get into trouble. My guess is that the Gemini in question was being sailed by a monohull sailor, using monohull tactics... and that's not a good thing on a cat.

Planning ahead is a good way to keep out of trouble... and unlike a monohull, you really need to reef a multihull based on the gust wind speeds, not the base wind speeds. A monohull reefs for average wind speeds and uses its ability to heel to compensate for the gusts... a multihull can't do that—so it has to reef for the gusts... but most multihulls are light enough that the average wind speeds will keep them moving quite well and they tend to accellerate in the gusts, unlike a monohull, which has too much inertia to overcome to accellerate in the gusts.

One thing that would help... is if you were sailing with only one of the boards down... it would remove the need to raise both boards, and IMHO doesn't really affect the leeward slip of the boat all that much. Not having to raise two centerboards cuts the amount of time spent below in half or so. BTW, if you're running downwind for any length of time, you really should have the boards up anyway...

If you have any specific questions, PM me.
10-04-2007 09:51 AM
chucklesR On the Gemini yahoo usergroup forum capsize has been a large topic of discussion for the past several weeks. A chartered daysailer capsized one on SF bay in 15kts of wind. Apparently he was running DDW and then tightened sail and turned hard to a beam reach just as a passing USN ships wake hit him. The combination of centrifical force of his hard turn, 15kts suddenly hitting the hardened sails and the wake tossed the boat.
Bottom line reefing is stated at 22kts, first reef to the jib, and a paper written by one of the usergroup members (with the background to do it) calculated that 28kts on the beam would in fact capsize the boat if no actions were taken to correct it.

Having said all that, I too would like to know what to do when going DDW and the wind builds, but I must turn to keep off the hard pointy things that keep getting in the way.
My current plan, having read all these and the yahoo usergroup posts, is to blow the jib, furl it, tighten the main as much as I can to slow down, pull up my centerboards (turn is then wider, less centrifical force, and no tendency to 'trip over' a board, it'll just slide to leeward instead). Then bring the boat slowly up into the wind, letting the main out as appropriate so it luffs as I turn.
The problem with all that is that, well, it's all that. Hardly an appropriate emergency plan - it would take too many hands to do, and far too much time for one guy (the usual full crew being me, myself and I). Best case is I'm running down wind at 9-10kts, and it would take me a full 3 minutes to get the jib in, centerboards up and main set to be ready to turn. Two minutes at 10 kts covers a lot of water - half a mile or so.
Incidently, dropping my engine (single on Gemini's lifted via a hydraulic leg) does put a 1kt drag on the boat, it might help. If I did that I'd most likely put it in reverse to slow me down even more.

Any catamaran folks out there with different ideas?
10-02-2007 03:38 PM
GGman just head upwind, don't jybe, and the sails will luff.... sheet sails in as you get tighter to the wind to get your speed back.
09-11-2007 07:01 PM
I was running downwind, the main was pinned ot the spreaders. There was too much wind to haul in the sheets without wearing sailing gloves, so I couldn't try that trick then dump it when I started to turn.
You don't wear sailing gloves?? They are really not that expensive. A sheet on the run in a big blow will take the skin off your hands before you can even yell out.

I noticed that if I was in a BIGGER gust (I was in about 40 kts) or rather, expecting a biger one, I should have the sail ties already near the mast ( I keep them looped on a hand rail near the mast now) and having a second person is a MUST.
Thanks for the tip - we usually leave ours in cockpit bags where they can get tangled up with everything else!

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