Author Topic: Sailing downwind in a Sun Cat  (Read 133 times)

Offline Tim M

  • Swabbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • Karma: 0
Sailing downwind in a Sun Cat
« on: August 29, 2017, 10:01:16 PM »
Going for the first sail tomorrow in my 2005 Sun Cat.  My previous sailing experience was on a Catalina 22 that I had for years. What can I expect the biggest differences to be in sailing downwind on a catboat?  Been trying to find some info online but it's all over the place.  Overall, it seems like a chicken jibe is the way to go in moderate winds and above. Really looking forward to getting out there. Any advice appreciated. Thanks.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2017, 10:20:18 PM by Tim M »

Offline Jon898

  • 2nd Watch Helmsman
  • *****
  • Posts: 112
  • Karma: 5
  • Dabchick - Picnic Cat #64
Re: Sailing downwind in a Sun Cat
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2017, 08:47:34 AM »
The thing to watch out for IMHO is a chinese gybe, where the gaff goes one way and the boom goes the other.  It's exciting enough on a bermudan sloop, but really "fun" on a gaffer.  On a gaffer, even a high peaked one like a SunCat, ending up with the gaff on one side of the mast and the boom on the other isn't recommended!  Wearing the boat (aka chicken jibe) will avoid this inherently, but at the expense of a significant amount of lost distance and a certain amount of added "scream factor" if you have the sheet in too tight during the maneuver.

If you just overhaul the sheet before gybing, the gaff will gybe before the boom and the whole thing can be relatively calm without having to resort to wearing.  If it isn't pleasant, that's usually a sign you should have reefed earlier (you'll need to before you head up anyway).

Jon

Offline jdklaser

  • Rigger
  • ****
  • Posts: 43
  • Karma: 0
Re: Sailing downwind in a Sun Cat
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2017, 02:23:48 PM »
Weight aft. Sail downwind angles so you don't pearl under the waves in front of you and eliminate the incidence of "Chinese gybes"