Author Topic: Joy to sail  (Read 873 times)

Offline Peter Dubé

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Joy to sail
« on: January 06, 2017, 11:06:22 AM »
I have owned my Sun Cat for one year. Now that I have been able to sail it awhile and get used to the the controls, it has become a joy to sail. When I first bought this boat, a used 2006, it had a few options installed. Lazy jacks, tiller tamer, ECT. I used the boat with these options initially. Then I decided to progressively remove them, too see if I would miss them. I don't think they are needed one bit. Now the boat is cleaner, simpler, more fun.

I find that when the sail is set correctly, there is a very balanced helm feel. If the helm pressure increases, something is usually set incorrectly. The rudder talks to you. With a tiller tamer on, you can not hear what the rudder is trying to say. A cleaner cockpit without the tamer lines too.

I'm really happy with the boat. I have very shallow water, so the center board is constantly being adjusted. She sails surprising well with the board partially deployed.
Compac Sun Cat
s/v Sun Daze
Vero Beach  FL

Offline Catawampus

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Re: Joy to sail
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2017, 09:29:06 PM »
Couldn't agree with you more.
After sailing my new to me 2002 Sun Cat several times in 2012, I removed the lazy jacks. Haven't missed them.
I also agree that she is a joy to sail.
Enjoy,
Steve
Steve
Officer in charge of laundry and morale
Catawampus - 2002 Sun Cat

Offline hoddinr

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Re: Joy to sail
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2017, 09:56:34 PM »
I also am sailing my SunCat minus the Lazy Jacks.  But I missed them when lowering the sails and when reefing.  This week I installed a topping lift line to keep the boom from banging on the boom gallows when lowering sail.  I'll let you know how I like using it, or if I'll go back to having nothing or back to lazy jacks.

Ron

Offline Tom L.

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Re: Joy to sail
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2017, 01:41:12 PM »
Peter I totally agree with your approach. I had a Sun Cat for about two years and really loved the simplicity of the boat. I am a trailer sailor and trail my boat around Florida. The ease and speed of moving from trailer to sailing was the reason I bought the boat. After sailing the boat I really appreciate it's simplicity.
I also removed the lazy jacks, too messy and cumberson in my opinion. I added a topping lift using 3/16" Am Steel line. Am Steel is very strong with a very small diameter and nearly no stretch. I tied it to the mast head and the to the end of the boom with a loop about 10" up from the end of the boom. The loop was slipped over a cleat at the end of the boom that I use for the outhaul. The loop was ties so that the boom just cleared the gallows. When I set sail I would pull the main sheet down to hold the boom in the gallows. There is enough bend in the rig that the sheet can easily pull the boom into the gallows. It is important to hold the boat close to the wind so the sail doesn't fill and try to lift out of the gallows. I haul up the gaff making the throat halyard tight, the boom is still in the gallows for control. Then I loosen the main sheet and haul the peak halyard tight which will then lift the boom out of the gallows. After the main is set I take loop off the cleat which makes the topping lift considerably longer and it will not cause a line crease across the sail.
Lowering the main is done in reverse. Hook the loop back into the cleat. Sheet in and ease the Peak halyard until the boom is in the gallows, sheet tight so the boom stays in the gallows then lower the gaff peak and throat halyard together so the gaff stays more or less horizontal. Again it is important to keep the boat head to wind so the main doesn't try to fill.
I recently sold my Sun Cat but I am still a Cat boat advocate. I bought a Menger 19 for the additional room and the ability to have sitting head room and considerably longer bunks in the cabin. The Menger also has the mast in a Tabernacle. It is a little more difficult to step but still way ahead of a conventional rig and the sail stays bent on it's spars.
Tom L.
Present boat, Menger 19 "Wild Cat"    O'Day 25, Montego 25, Catalina 30, Tartan 37, Catalina 380, Mariner 19, Potter 19, Sun Cat

Offline hoddinr

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Re: Joy to sail
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2017, 08:30:21 PM »
Peter, after using a topping lift, I don't think I'm going to reinstall the lazy jacks. 

I follow Tom's method for raising and lowering from the Boom Gallows in a controlled manner using the main sheet and topping lift and peak halyard.

Only difference is that my topping lift runs from the end of the boom to the top of the mast, then down to the deck at the base of the mast and back to a cleat on the port side of the hatch.  easier to adjust it than reaching up for the boom cleat.

Ron

Offline Peter Dubé

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Re: Joy to sail
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2017, 08:01:28 AM »
Ron,

Hi. After I stripped my boat of extra lines, I don't even have a topping lift.   I took off all controls that I thought I maybe able to live without. You do not NEED topping lift.  Head into the wind when raising or lowering the sail, the boom will be centered over the gallows. Even if you can't  keep the boat into the wind, and the boom misses the gallows, so what?. It lands on the side of the boat, continue lowering the sail, then place the boom onto the gallows. No big deal.

Having said that....  One of my concerns when beating had been and is, Sail shape. I don't like how tight the leech is when you are pulling the mindset tight. I think the tight leech is choking  the sail.

I think your topping lift setup may help the sail shape as you could lessen the leech tension when beating. It could work similar to a topping lift on a jib club.

With the way you have your topping lift installed, controlling the length of the topping lift is easy. Precise control.

Thanks Ron!. I now have another experiment!

Peter
Compac Sun Cat
s/v Sun Daze
Vero Beach  FL

Offline Peter Dubé

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Re: Joy to sail
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2017, 04:16:12 AM »
I have experimented with the topping lift again to see if it would help sail shape.  Totally failed experiment.  If I had even thought about it a second I would have seen that a topping lift under tension while sailing interferes with the sail.

So, anyway, the topping lift is off again.

Peter
Compac Sun Cat
s/v Sun Daze
Vero Beach  FL

Offline Tom L.

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Re: Joy to sail
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2017, 08:47:01 AM »
Hi Peter, as you discovered the topping lift if used has to be made slack after the sail is raised or it will put a crease down the sail. One solution has been to use a Boomkicker http://www.boomkicker.com/bk_boats.html.

I never had experience with this device so I can only point you to the website. I can tell you that Ron H. had it on his Sun Cat and I believe decided to take it off. He may be able to give you his experience.

I like the idea of a very light yet strong with no stretch, topping lift using amstel line. I didn't bring it down to a turning block and back to the cabin top but that is a very effective way to utilize the lift. After raising the sail it has to be let out a few inches to remove the interference with the sails set. My method was less sophisticated.

Tom L.
Present boat, Menger 19 "Wild Cat"    O'Day 25, Montego 25, Catalina 30, Tartan 37, Catalina 380, Mariner 19, Potter 19, Sun Cat

Offline hoddinr

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Re: Joy to sail
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2017, 02:31:44 PM »
I hated the boom kicker.  Had to leave the cockpit to set it up each time sail was raised.  Because the boom moves up and down on this boat, the boom kicker had to be readjusted each time.

As Tom said, after raising sail you ease out the topping lift, and before lowering it, you tighten it up.

Ron

Offline Catawampus

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Re: Joy to sail
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2017, 11:33:58 PM »
I too had a problem with too much leech tension. When I talked with Super Sailmakers, I asked that they not put a leech string in my new replacement main. I am much happier with the new sail.
I used to use opposite traveler (moving my mid boom sheeting traveler car to the windward side of the boat) to ease the leech tension. This isn't necessary with the new sail.
Steve
Officer in charge of laundry and morale
Catawampus - 2002 Sun Cat

Offline Peter Dubé

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Re: Joy to sail
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2017, 04:23:04 AM »
Yes, that is how i sail now, traveler is set all the way windward to reduce downward pull.
I think it is also a matter of getting flat cut sail with less or no draft built in.
Compac Sun Cat
s/v Sun Daze
Vero Beach  FL

Offline Catawampus

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Re: Joy to sail
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2017, 12:43:49 PM »
My new sail does have draft built in. It isn't flat cut, but it does have a longer (looser) leech than the original. My "head shot" on the left is with my new sail.
Steve
Officer in charge of laundry and morale
Catawampus - 2002 Sun Cat