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Old 09-29-2010, 03:11 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2010
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I just bought a 47 foot catamaran and am looking for a good book on how to sail a catamaran.

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Old 09-29-2010, 12:36 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Rodney Pierce View Post

I just bought a 47 foot catamaran and am looking for a good book on how to sail a catamaran.
G'day Rodney. If you look up my 'profile' in these pages you'll see something about me. You should fill out your 'profile' so we know who you are & how much you know about sailing in general & cats in particular. That would assist us in being of more help to you & your adventures & doing them all in a safe & seaworthy manner. There are many very knowledgeable sailors in these 'forums' for sure. Several of them will, I'm sure, jump-in here & give you some advice. Take it all in & learn from everything that comes your way & your own personal knowledge will grow endlessly. I've been sailing cats for many yrs; little ones, medium ones, large ones, racing & cruising & I'd agree you are on the correct tack in asking - in these forums. I tried multihull forums but personally didn't have much luck there. I did however just type into 'google' - - Sailing ocean catamaran books - - & there are a few in there. Also there is a guy here in Australia - Gavin LeSueur - who has written 1 or 2 . All that said - I don't know the value of any of this information & would tread very carefully indeed !!!! I have however sailed a number of big quick cats & the 'CARDINAL RULE' is never -ever - ever - cleat-off a sheet on any sail regardless of the temptation, no matter what. On 'Sundancer', 'Sundreamer', 'Enchantress', 'Assassin' & 3 other - 40' & over - multihulls there was no way to cleat a sheet off, even if we felt foolish enough to act so recklessly - which we chose not to do. If someone could not hang on to it & trim the sail properly - then it was not up in the air - full & drawing. On 3 that I was 'sailing master' of we manufactured a small bridal from the mainsheet track-car to the bottom multiple block of the mainsheet system that would 'come-apart' at the ft/lbs load that was required to lift the windward hull clear of the water. Next to that short bridal (12" long) was a very strong 3' long 'main bridal' which allowed the mainsail to immediately 'de-tune' & make the boat 'level' again & thus somewhat safer & always - 'the right-way-up' - - in our case - - that is - yet the main & boom were still able to be under control. We always carried 6 of these as spares. This system was also adapted to the genoa car-to-clew sheet traveler & again with 6 spares. It took only a few trials to get the appropriate pressure failure for each multihull in question. There are many methods to arrive at a 'calculated' failure - load rate. When cruising - we always had these fitted. Many of the sailors - multi & mono - in these 'forums' will hope you enjoy your lovely yacht & get many hrs & miles of - pure enjoyment from you sailing adventures. Gawd speed, great sailing winds & much pleasure to y'all on board. Ciao, from down-under. james aka "jj-geri-hat-trick".

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Old 09-29-2010, 01:50 PM   #3
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Welcome aboard Rodney - good to have you here with us. Congratulations on your boat purchase and may you have many years of happy sailing.


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Old 09-30-2010, 06:01 PM   #4
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1) Find a group or yacht club close by that do races. Ask around and find a guy who knows how to sail and does well in the races...monohull is okay for this part. Invite him and a few friends on board for day sails. LISTEN to the guy carefully as to how to get the performance out of your boat. The reason for more crew is to give you time to ask questions and observe. A cat sails differently but it becomes obvious as to what works and what doesn't, as you sail. Any skipper can figure this out quickly. Many cats don't tack well (they don't point as high so have farther to go)...if you miss a tack consistently than keep the jib on the other tack to help swing the bow over before releasing. This all becomes obvious.

2) Invite a cruiser skipper on board for daysails. A monohull skipper is okay for this part also. A 47 foot cat is probably a cruiser rather than a racer and you will want to learn how to sail the boat for safe operation and to minimize breakage, the polar opposite to racing. LISTEN to the cruiser about when to reef, how to improve the ride, how to minimize weather helm, etc.

In a very short time you will be able to get the desired performance from your boat. A couple of day sails should do it.
A`ohe `ulu e loa`a i ka pokole o ka lou.

No breadfruit can be reached when the picking stick is too short.
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Old 10-01-2010, 06:04 AM   #5
Join Date: Oct 2004
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Hello Rodney,

Welcome to the Multihull Club!

Agree with what has been advised above - depending on your experience in sailing a monohull - there are only a few fundamental differences in sailing a big catamaran.

Probably the most important is the management and control of the Main Sheet, ESPECIALLY in areas where sudden changes in the weather occur. As you know,in a monohull with a sudden increase in wind speed velocity, the boat will heel and allow excess wind to spill. In a large catamaran while cruising along comfortably at say 4/5 knots with the wind on the beam a sudden increase in wind velocity may not be felt until the boat achieves 9/10 knots SOG - however, sometimes when that windforce is not converted to SOG but converted to damage, either to the winward stay/s or to the mainsail. Therefore, whoever is closest to the mainsheet controls must be able to release the sheet in an instant when that unanticipated blow hits the fan.

Another aspect, is the necessity to control the hunting of some cats when anchored or on a mooring. Because they do not have tons of ballast in a keel, and because of the wind-age they present - some will need additional ground tackle to minimize the wandering.
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