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Cat Sailing tips

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: Multihulls
Forum Name: Technique
Forum Discription: 'How to' section for multihull questions and answers
URL: http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=7962
Printed Date: 23 Nov 17 at 1:01pm
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Topic: Cat Sailing tips
Posted By: mattmd
Subject: Cat Sailing tips
Date 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 


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Matt MD
Contender GBR-620




Replies:
Posted By: English Dave
Date 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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English Dave
http://www.ballyholme.com - Ballyholme Yacht Club

(You'd think I'd be better at it by now)

Hurricane 5.9 SX
RS700


Posted By: Scooby_simon
Date 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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F16 GBR 553 - Hungry Monster - For sale
Wanna learn to Ski - PM me..
I also talk sport http://www.letshaveachat.com - here


Posted By: Stuart O
Date Posted: 20 Jun 11 at 2:06pm
What do you know about crews Scooby???? Wink


Posted By: Stuart O
Date 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


Posted By: Scooby_simon
Date 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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F16 GBR 553 - Hungry Monster - For sale
Wanna learn to Ski - PM me..
I also talk sport http://www.letshaveachat.com - here


Posted By: mattmd
Date 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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Matt MD
Contender GBR-620



Posted By: Scooby_simon
Date 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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F16 GBR 553 - Hungry Monster - For sale
Wanna learn to Ski - PM me..
I also talk sport http://www.letshaveachat.com - here


Posted By: mattmd
Date 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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Matt MD
Contender GBR-620



Posted By: Scooby_simon
Date 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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F16 GBR 553 - Hungry Monster - For sale
Wanna learn to Ski - PM me..
I also talk sport http://www.letshaveachat.com - here


Posted By: mattmd
Date Posted: 20 Jun 11 at 9:40pm
how do i tack ? 

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Matt MD
Contender GBR-620



Posted By: Scooby_simon
Date Posted: 20 Jun 11 at 11:57pm
Push rudders over gently but firmly; and not quite all the way; if you do; you will stall the boat. 
 
Tiller over; as the boat goes head-to ease about a foot of sheet as you need to re-attach the flow when the battens pop.  As you return to the new heading; sheet back in and out you go; if you do stall; back the rudders and reverse out. 
 
Remember you cannot spin on a pin-head and if windy you will go into the tack at 10+ kts (hopefully) and so it will take a little time to get going again. 


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F16 GBR 553 - Hungry Monster - For sale
Wanna learn to Ski - PM me..
I also talk sport http://www.letshaveachat.com - here


Posted By: shadeux
Date Posted: 21 Jun 11 at 9:30am
Originally posted by Scooby_simon

Push rudders over gently but firmly; and not quite all the way; if you do; you will stall the boat. 
 
Tiller over; as the boat goes head-to ease about a foot of sheet as you need to re-attach the flow when the battens pop.  As you return to the new heading; sheet back in and out you go; if you do stall; back the rudders and reverse out. 
 
Remember you cannot spin on a pin-head and if windy you will go into the tack at 10+ kts (hopefully) and so it will take a little time to get going again. 
 
Matt, don't cross too too early during the tack and avoid waggling the tiller as you cross. easily done but kills boat speed. Try holding it down firmly on the rear beam so that your turn is nice and smooth. Even more critical in light winds. Probably obvious but the faster you are moving the less rudder you need. Keep that in mind as you go into the gybe but keep your speed up otherwise you will get into all sorts of trouble as the pressure kicks in hard.
 Enjoy


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Bruce
Shadow002


Posted By: Stuart O
Date Posted: 21 Jun 11 at 9:39am
where should the traveller be?
 
will depend on conditions. Personally I sail with it in the centreline all the time even when howling apart from the start or in extreme risk of capsize...think of it as a panice button...its either off or on...fully dumped or on the centreline
 
Downwind DO NOT release the mainsheet use the traveller...dumping the mainsheet with kite up=broken mast


Posted By: English Dave
Date Posted: 21 Jun 11 at 3:52pm
Simon, everything you've said is accurate. But IMO way too complicated for a first regatta. Don't forget that the fastest way to sail any boat is to keep looking out and not looking in. So as long as Matt's basic setup is ok and he can work the downhual then I'd leave fine rig adjustments for a later date.

Best to keep his head out of the boat to look for shifts, lifts and other boats. Ive seen the best sailors win in a bad boat - but not seen a bad sailor win in a good boat.

And i still dont think you can fly a hull on spitfire downwind. Your F16 has tabs on the rudders to stop nose diving. You would need to be trapezing so far back on a Spit to stop that happening. I see all Spifires running very broad downwind and keeping it flat but heated. Happy to be wrong but I just haven't seen it! Send me the youtube link!

Matt has crewed an F18 so he knows the workload a crew is under. And he can sail a Contender, so he should know about feeding the rudder gently in a tack. Telling the guy about crew taking the mainsheet is totally unrealistic for a makeshift team.

Its rare that I disagree with you Scooby but i do think you have made Matt's weekend more complicated than it needs to be. 



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English Dave
http://www.ballyholme.com - Ballyholme Yacht Club

(You'd think I'd be better at it by now)

Hurricane 5.9 SX
RS700


Posted By: G.R.F.
Date Posted: 21 Jun 11 at 4:12pm
Originally posted by Scooby_simon

  we have to take strategic decisions; 
 
LOL

Like which corner to bang?
LOL


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https://www.edgeactionsports.co.uk/products/kali-chakra-helmet" rel="nofollow - Bike helmet sale


Posted By: Scooby_simon
Date Posted: 21 Jun 11 at 4:22pm
Originally posted by English Dave

Simon, everything you've said is accurate. But IMO way too complicated for a first regatta. Don't forget that the fastest way to sail any boat is to keep looking out and not looking in. So as long as Matt's basic setup is ok and he can work the downhual then I'd leave fine rig adjustments for a later date.

Best to keep his head out of the boat to look for shifts, lifts and other boats. Ive seen the best sailors win in a bad boat - but not seen a bad sailor win in a good boat.

And i still dont think you can fly a hull on spitfire downwind. Your F16 has tabs on the rudders to stop nose diving. You would need to be trapezing so far back on a Spit to stop that happening. I see all Spifires running very broad downwind and keeping it flat but heated. Happy to be wrong but I just haven't seen it! Send me the youtube link!

Matt has crewed an F18 so he knows the workload a crew is under. And he can sail a Contender, so he should know about feeding the rudder gently in a tack. Telling the guy about crew taking the mainsheet is totally unrealistic for a makeshift team.

Its rare that I disagree with you Scooby but i do think you have made Matt's weekend more complicated than it needs to be. 

 
Naa Dave; Just covered the basic!
 
Not as high as my F16 no; just skimming; look on Youtube for any of the Spitfire vids; windward hull just kissing the surface.  I've romped around the IOW on one and few had a hull up with the kite up most of the way.  


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F16 GBR 553 - Hungry Monster - For sale
Wanna learn to Ski - PM me..
I also talk sport http://www.letshaveachat.com - here


Posted By: English Dave
Date Posted: 21 Jun 11 at 7:07pm
OK Simon. Whatever you sayTongue

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English Dave
http://www.ballyholme.com - Ballyholme Yacht Club

(You'd think I'd be better at it by now)

Hurricane 5.9 SX
RS700


Posted By: ASok
Date Posted: 21 Jun 11 at 8:13pm
Biggest thing is to get used to in cats coming from dinghies is the the time required.

Do not think you can bang a quick tack and lee bow another boat.  The boat will go slow through the tack and you may well park it a few times.  Give yourself time and space otherwise you upset a few people!Smile 

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Posted By: mattmd
Date Posted: 22 Jun 11 at 2:36pm
Thank you for the advice :) 
When we come in there is a ramp and not a huge margin for error, what's the best way to slow the thing down ? 
>come in fast and swing it into the wind? 
>slow as possible all sails flappping and go straight
> drop the main and sail in on the jib 

???? 


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Matt MD
Contender GBR-620



Posted By: Stuart O
Date Posted: 22 Jun 11 at 7:29pm
Dump the traveller right off and will depend on the wind direction.
 
as soon as the crew has the boat under control unclip the mainsheet


Posted By: stewart smith
Date Posted: 03 Feb 12 at 8:03pm
Hi Matt,
My daughter went to Datchet last weekentd for the Spitfire Training. She learnt a great deal in just 2 days even though the wind was light. Note the training is not just for juniors and youth, but open to adults as well. The next Spitfire UKCRA Open training event is at Weymouth on 11/12 Feb and 10/11 March at Pevensey Bay. Contact Nick Henson
Stewart


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Stewart Smith



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