Rookie Catalina 28 Racer - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 17 Old 08-19-2008 Thread Starter
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Point Taken..

I agree with your comments, I am new to the racing game and certainly can benefit a great deal from more experiences racers. I am not looking for a quick fix or any kind of magic gear to improve performance. I just wanted to be sure that I was not warping my racing education by fighting a easily corrected problem. I have been sailing for over ten years, and though I am new to racing I am not new to sailing. Like most sailors, I am not shy about learning by observation and I intend to apply the same attitude to racing. I have observed that the better boats in my class when close-hauling in 10-12 knots have their genoas tight as a drum and they look like they are in a track on the deck! In trying to mimick this trim, my roller furling 135 is inside the stanchions, but it cannot be pulled flat and it sets about two feet off the deck! I have also noticed that if I ease it just a tad I get better telltales and a little better performance. I am clear that there is no substitute for experience and I am willing to climb the learning curve, so I appreciate all the comments and will take them with me to the next race!

-Bob C.
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post #12 of 17 Old 08-19-2008
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Cheap stuff first before you dump over $2000 for a single sail.

Rig tune.
I start by sighting up the mast. If it looks straight then tighten the shrouds and lowers. If they go slack in less than 13kts, they get tightened until the slack is gone. Head stay and back, I can't advise, as I have an adjustable back stay and a large fractional rig. 15/16th.

Sail trim
I've found that being new to sailing and racing myself, the more tell tail, the better. 9 tell tails on the head sail, and at least 4 on the leech of the main. Make sure they break (luff) all at the same time. If the uppers are breaking sooner than the lowers, you have too much twist in the sail and you need to move you car leads forward to close the top part of the sail. If the main has the same issue, then sheet it in until the upper tell tail is breaking 50% of the time. Use the traveler to adjust the "angle of attack" to the wind. After you get the mainsheet trimmed, you should ONLY be playing with the traveler unless the conditions change.

Cunningham: do you have one? If not, I would imagine this would help flatten the main considering you don't have a backstay adjuster.

Outhaul: does it get tightened for upwind performance and "blown" for the downwind run?

Halyard tension: does the leading edge of the sail have a 'nice' looking entry? Like an airplane wing?

Good point about the skirt being inside the lifelines, if its not, make it get there. Either sheet in, or considering re-locating the car lead tracks to the cabin top.

In higher winds, you can flatten the sails a lot allowing you to point higher. In the light stuff, bear off a touch (like 5* or less) bag the sails a bit, and concentrate on boat speed and avoiding big waves that'll stop you in your tracks.

Once you get sail trim down, read this about a dozen times.
RACING BASICS - Beginner's Racing Manual

I'm pretty spoiled, I bought a boat with a great MORC racing record, even though I can't sail it worth a hoot! Have fun no matter what!

Merit 25 # 764 "Audrey"
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post #13 of 17 Old 08-20-2008
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Thumbs up Racing

Alot of the ideas from everyone and they are all pretty good. I want to comment on the new sails idea. The Catalina 28 is a great cruiser, The wing keel makes it tough to point as well as a fin keel boat, However she should still be competitive since you are Phrf racing.If you dont mind spending the money Call Al at Doyle sails in Michigan and order Tape drive sails. Also if you do order sails go with a 155% headsail which in most racing fleets is the largest headsail you can fly without taking a hit for more time. We are racing a C&C 32 with these sails and are undefeated
19-0 this year. I am not saying that new sails will cure your problems, However they will help you point alot better.
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post #14 of 17 Old 09-09-2008
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I race in the Northport Ny area and it is pretty much a money is no object place ,the older 1970 C$C mark I i crew on runs full 3DL sails and puts the hammer down on a lot of 2008 boats much to there owners

I own and race a J24 and we keep it as a family boat and just do JAM (jib an main ) it still carrys the 174 PHRF which hurts a bit in JAM


There is just know way you will be competive against a J type boat on a short windward leeward race course (1 mile legs ) because you will get outpointed and the PHRF# reflects the bigger picture

For example we have a few longer races up to 34 miles out and back were there is a good chance of long reaches that would allow your boat to sail up to its rating

We also have true cruising divisions that reflect the different nature of the boat types


Last edited by tommays; 09-10-2008 at 02:07 PM.
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post #15 of 17 Old 09-10-2008
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1. - Be sure you're genoa cars are at the proper location to give the right sheeting angle.

2. - Most of the guys I race with scrub the bottom every other week, period. It's not much work--really just a brush job to get the gunk off. And it will help your speed big time. I've heard that bottom gunk can shave 2 tenths of your speed. Now, if you consider a three-mile course, that is more than a half-mile penalty right off the start.
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post #16 of 17 Old 09-20-2008
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If everyone is outpointing you by that much you probably need to tune your rig. After that if it's still happening learn proper sail trim (ie basic sailing skills). Racing is a pyramid of diminishing effect, with things like starts and tactics only imporant once you have the basics like rig tune, clean bottoms, and basic boat handling mastered.

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post #17 of 17 Old 09-20-2008
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And then there is how well YOU sail! I am not a racer, but I try to sail well. Some years ago I owned a Hunter 27 and had some friends on board. The guy who was a Hoby Cat sailor wanted to steer, and I let him. His wife noted that the boat slowed half a knot when he took the tiller. He said it was just wind variation and such. We traded the tiller back and forth over the next hour, and I consistently produced a half knot better performance going upwind. I told him it was just that I had more experince with my boat, and that the tables would probably be turned on his boat.

Sailing with someone who sails well would be really valuable.
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