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Cat Sailing tips

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mattmd View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mattmd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Cat Sailing tips
    Posted: 19 Jun 11 at 11:09pm
I currently sail a contender and have sailed a wide range of mono hulls and even crewed for a regatta on a F18 however the chance has come up to helm a spitfire for a regatta. 

What things are different ie using the mainsheet traveller etc? 
And could you give me some tips etc ? 

Many thanks 
Matt MD
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Post Options Post Options   Quote English Dave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jun 11 at 11:06am
Only sailed one a couple of times matt. I'm a bit big.

Use yr F18 experience.

Traveller out when launching, returning and between races. In at all other times unless it's really blowing stink at the speader mark where you'll need to dump to bear away. crank it back in asap when the kite goes up.

i could never get a Spit to wildthing and ive not seen anyone else do it either except on youtube. as soon as you lift a hull down  wind the other bow tends to disappear. Sptfire can sail really deep down wind. Use that. Set the jib and play the kite. sheet the main in on gusts and bear off just enough.

With the kite, obviously dont drop too early but dont give yourself too much to do at the bottom mark. Spitfires can point nicely so make sure yr tight to the mark coming out of the drop so that you can climb. Most capsizes I have seen with novice cat crews have been at that mark when the helm has gone on the beat when crew hasnt finished downing.

the spitfire tacks like a dream. way way faster than my hurricane. dont forget to dump mainsheet when the battens crack and then haul back in as you clip on. You can come in off the wire really late. never before the boat is head to wind!

Clear air is always king. fighting for the committee boat is all very well but you'll do better in your own space fully powered up than in the theoretically best spot and getting buried.

Dont pinch or the cboards stop working. Depower with downhual instead.

Keep fore/aft trim spot on.

for your first regatta, set the outhaul and leave it. you'll be busy enough. dont think its the best on a spit anyway.

dont worry too much about freeing the spanner downwind either. You should but it'll be way down yr crew's list and you should both concnetrate on working the sails rather than fine tuning the rig while your still getting to grips with it.

set realistic goals

bribe the lead Spitfire crew with beer on saturday night to get some tips.

oh and dont take my advice as gospel. Im a fairly average catamaran sailor with limited Spitfire experience. good luck

incidentally i use a different trapeze method on a cat than  my rs700 but i dont know what will work for you. On a cat i hook on, put sheet in rear tiller hand, put front foot by shroud, shove arse over the side while grabbing handle with front and push with legs. On the 700 i tend to walk out backwards clipping as i go.
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Scooby_simon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Scooby_simon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jun 11 at 1:49pm
Matt,
 
First question.  Will you have  a decent CAT crew on the front? 
 
If yes then it will be a different answer to no....
 
Got this topic on notify and will be back later :-)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Stuart O Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jun 11 at 2:06pm
What do you know about crews Scooby???? Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Stuart O Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jun 11 at 2:08pm
Matt
think the biggest thing is dont bear away in a gust unless under kite, has the opposite effect to what you want and you will get wet
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Scooby_simon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jun 11 at 2:14pm
Originally posted by Stuart O

What do you know about crews Scooby???? Wink
 
Loads; I've trained a few in 30 years of sailing cats!   (and I know how important a good one is, and how it makes sailing cats different).
 
R U coming to the Piers race Stu?
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mattmd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jun 11 at 8:26pm
My crew is fairly average, they dont sail a spitfire often but they know what there doing. 

Thanks for the tips the more the better however I just want to cover all the bases 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Scooby_simon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jun 11 at 9:12pm
Originally posted by mattmd

My crew is fairly average, they dont sail a spitfire often but they know what there doing. 

Thanks for the tips the more the better however I just want to cover all the bases 
 
 
ok; first things first; ask who ever you are borrowing the boat from for the basic setups for Light / Medium and strong wind.  Prebend; rig tension and rake.
 
Unlike Mono's cats sail fastest heeled on one hull (aim for windward hull skimming just above the water).
 
Unlike Mono's we trim the rig slightly differently..we have rotating masts for one thing. 
 
Medium winds you want the mast spanner pointing at the dagger board case (check for exact position); Enough downhaul to remove creases untill both fully trapped out; as wind goes up; add more DH until you cannot get any more on.  Plates fully down
 
Light winds a little more DH and less rotation to keep air flow attached to a flatter sail; Plates fully down.
 
Windy: add  more DH until you cannot get any more and then maybe ease the tarveller a little; I think the Spit still has only 8:1 so when I say max DH give it plenty of welly! then think about also pulling in the rotation in a little more (till it's pointing at the outboard end of the back beam.   Plates up around 50cm (check). 
 
That's the basic upwind trim;
 
Downwind; plates up most of the time (check).
 
Drive for speed and then for angle; there is plenty of power; use it!  If wiring up wind; crew may well need to be wiring down wind!  Fly a hull until it gets silly windy. 
 
Even in light wind speed is still important; but it takes time to know when to go from hunting speed (and so pressure and thus fly the hull) vs taking gusts deep.
 
This is going to feel very odd probably; the apparent drives forward so quickly that as soon as you have some speed; wind SPEED is more important than angle; best bet is to usually take then gust; get speed (and thus pressure and thus can bear off) and then think about gybing if it's a lift, but a 8 second gybe takes a lot of distance at 15+kts. 
 
Now; who does what??
 
It may pay to give the crew the mainsheet upwind (and you take the DH); crew is responsible for "ride height" and you for direction and tacktics; remember cats do not tack on every shift; we have to take strategic decisions; not simple shift->tack reactions.   
 
Roundings; work out who does what; you might be able to raise the windward plate while the crew pops the kite; maybe not; 
 
Downwind gusts; Don't dump the mainsheet; that breaks the mast; You MIGHT get away with dumping the traveller in those dive-dive-dive momets!
 
Where are you going to be sailing; the fleet will help out - they are mosly harmless!
 
Oh; and have fun!!
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mattmd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jun 11 at 9:19pm
Thank you that was very help full. So at what point should the traveller be used ? or do you want it in the centreline most of the time while racing ? 

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Scooby_simon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jun 11 at 9:27pm
Originally posted by mattmd

Thank you that was very help full. So at what point should the traveller be used ? or do you want it in the centreline most of the time while racing ? 

 
Maybe off a bit down wind when howling
 
Upwind; once everything else is tighter than everything else and still over powered let the traveller out a little bit!   Take care with the outhaul (I leave mine and use DH on my F16 but I have a 32:1 downhaul).  If you tightend the outhaul too much then you cannot put enough DH on (or you over tension the foot). 
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