Author Topic: Sailing a Com-Pac cat to weather in 15-20 knots  (Read 1420 times)

Offline rbh1515

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Sailing a Com-Pac cat to weather in 15-20 knots
« on: March 30, 2015, 10:02:58 PM »
OK...I'll be sailing my new Horizon Day Cat in the near future, and I'm researching sailing a gaff rigged cat in a good breeze.  I'm used to sloops, so this gaff rig is new to me.  A lot of people say "reef early!!"  I have also heard that you can adjust the gaff so that the sail is flatter--I'm not talking about scandalizing the rig which is a totally different thing.  I came across this YouTube vid:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSuq7iOiKMU     It's entitled Sun Cats Rock.  It is a pretty shaky vid because of the waves, but this Sun Cat is clearly sailing in 16-18 knots winds, beating to weather at a decent clip, and the boat is being sailed pretty darn flat.  The rig is clearly not scandalized, and it looks like the gaff is at a pretty steep angle.  Very interesting!  This is what I want to do.  We frequently have 15-20 knot winds on Lake Michigan and they have always been very fun sailing days.
Also, noticed that he has an interesting wind indicator sticking out from the top of the mast.
Rob
2015 Horizon Day Cat, Waters End

Offline capt_nemo

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Re: Sailing a Com-Pac cat to weather in 15-20 knots
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2015, 10:38:42 PM »
rbh1515,

Sun Cat performance which MAY apply to your Horizon Cat.

When sailing to weather SOLO in 15-20 knots of wind (with higher gusts) I've found that REEFING the main'sl is an absolute must in order to keep the boat on her feet, avoid rudder stall, and uncontrolled rounding up. However, with another person or two aboard to serve as additional ballast or "rail meat" on the high side, you can sail effectively and comfortably with the FULL Main'sl. Of course, increasing luff and foot tension to achieve a flatter sail shape also helps. By the way, the gaff on the Sun Cat is normally set at a high angle, almost high enough to be mistaken for a Gunter Rig at distance. Adjusting the Peak Halyard tension will also affect sail shape.

And, you will read and hear that the Catboat boom should NEVER be brought any closer to the centerline than the stern cleats, aft quarter, or thereabouts.

Hope this helps.

capt_nemo


Offline hoddinr

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Re: Sailing a Com-Pac cat to weather in 15-20 knots
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2015, 05:24:42 PM »
Who made your sail Capt Nemo.  It looks very good.

Ron

Offline cdflan

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Re: Sailing a Com-Pac cat to weather in 15-20 knots
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2015, 05:27:16 PM »
Sailing my Horizon Cat in Boca Ciega BAy, St. Petersburg, FL, I find that it is more comfortable and just as fast with a reef above 15 - 18 knots over the bow (I have a Raymarine speed and direction sensor mounted on top and forward of the mast).  Certainly flattening the sail and luffing can get you by for short periods but a reef is easy to take out if you want more power.  I am also in the camp that doesn't think that Suncat was in 16 - 18 knots based on whitecaps in Charlotte Harbor.

Offline capt_nemo

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Re: Sailing a Com-Pac cat to weather in 15-20 knots
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2015, 07:29:07 PM »
hoddinr,

I made it myself out of 4 oz. Tan Polytarp. Reinforced the corners and inserted spur grommets.

capt_nemo

Offline hoddinr

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Re: Sailing a Com-Pac cat to weather in 15-20 knots
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2015, 05:57:04 PM »
I was referring to the mainsail, Capt Nemo.

Offline capt_nemo

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Re: Sailing a Com-Pac cat to weather in 15-20 knots
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2015, 09:49:35 PM »
hoddinr,

Main'sl was factory supplied with NEW 2010 Sun Cat. I believe it has a "Doyle" emblem sewn on. It does set rather well under most conditions, especially when "tweaked" for shape with available sail controls.

capt_nemo

Offline hoddinr

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Re: Sailing a Com-Pac cat to weather in 15-20 knots
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2015, 10:52:56 AM »
Thanks, Don.

Mine is also a Doyle. 

Ron