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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #1  
Old 05-11-2009
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Seaworthyness of Catalina 30

Big freaking (Messy) Sail

So Sun late afternoon we were out in 20 to 25 with gusts to 30k. Second reef in the main and about 4 feet of jib showing.
20k was fine but when it gusted to 30k we had the rail pretty close to the water and a lot of weather helm.
We were fine and had a lot of fun despite the messy reefing job, it worked fine.
My question is what happens if it pipes up to 40k or more?
We had the traveler to leeward to depower the main. We had no more reefs to take in. I've done jib only in similar situations and it seems to be pretty good.
I know it depends on the sailor as much or more than the boat and that the Catalina 30 is a coastal cruiser at best and the waves make a lot of difference but what is too much for this boat?
Of course even at 20 to 25 knots when we switched to a beam reach it quieted down so much I took a quick nap on deck.
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Old 05-11-2009
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Storm sails. know your weather as much as possible before venturing out Tall rig or standard?
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Old 05-11-2009
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Not sure where you are sailing out of, but yes, 30+ knots can be interesting in a 30'r, like I have too! I find that a double reef and 110 is too much. The day I was going to try the storm jib and a single/double reef, had in issue with a gybe I did not want to do, boom broke! So motored home.

Anyway, I would not worry about the coastal cruiser part of this, it is a matter of figuring out what works best on your boat, in that type of breeze. The only way I know how to figure it out, is either ask, watch others, and sail in it!

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Old 05-11-2009
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In enclosed coastal conditions with a short fetch you are probably fine up to 35 knots: the waves will still be small.

I would be much more careful getting in a really good reef that would blade out my main. A sloppy reefed main that has a larger draft would be too powerful.

At 40 knots, I would take down the main and try to maintain some control with the small furled headsail. Or if the main reefed down well, I would furl up up the headsail. Either way, I would forget making any distance to windward.

I concur with the comment about weather. And I would watch the sky and my barometer.

Jack
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Old 05-11-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
A sloppy reefed main that has a larger draft would be too powerful.Jack
Who you talking bout sir. Better not be me.
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Old 05-12-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
Who you talking bout sir. Better not be me.
I would never accuse you of:
  • being sloppy
  • being the main
  • being large
  • being drafty
  • being too powerful

That would be inconsiderate

Jack
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Old 05-12-2009
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Quote:
My question is what happens if it pipes up to 40k or more?
Keep the boat from turning beam to the seas and you'll (usually) be fine (sometimes you can still die but usually you'll be fine )
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Old 05-12-2009
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As jackdale says it is extermely important to get your reefed main as flat as a possible, think a sheet of plywood. Although they are very popular, I hate furlers. When it is really piping up you do not have many options. Without one you can drop what ever you have up and put up a #3 or a #4.

Gary
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Old 05-12-2009
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Catalina 30's have DRIFTED to Hawaii, (see attached article) so in MOST cases you just have to STAY on the boat.
The Log.com News
I make it a rule that after anyone on board has "chummed" 3 times I'll turn downwind and head for shelter, unless waves are VERY big and you start to surf, going downwind makes a rough day easy.
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Old 05-12-2009
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As I've mentioned before, I've seen Catalina 30s broach on a run in a race situation in as little as 22 knots. To my mind, this is because their relatively small rudders and go-fast hull form can get tricky for the average helmsperson. While I agree that you can do a lot with active helming and sail trim to keep going in higher winds, I think this (and in higher, six-foot-plus waves) that the unsuitability of the Catalina 30 outside of its coastal haunts becomes clear.

I would rather be working to windward toward shore on one, personally, than on a run away from it.
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