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help with jib rigging for maricat 4.3 .. and other qs


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We recently purchased a second hand maricat 4.3

having had a season of sailing a little dory round. Cats seem alot faster!

The hulls seem in pretty good condition, the main is ok

and it came with a jib, but no yoke or bridle to connect it to the mast. The jib has a stay sewn along its edge.

We have put the mast up using the forestays that go to either bow ... and have got some threaded tensioning fittings ..this seemed a bit easier that the tensioning plates that seem to be standard. Also sailed it like this with just the main (is this "cat rigged")..

went well though tacking was a bit slow.

My first question is what lengths should I make the upper

stay (bridal?)(from mast to the swival on the jib stay )..

and also what lengths should I make the 2 yoke stays going from the 2 bows to a center U bolt (well thats what I'm planning)?

I looked at the cost of a furling mechanism on the internet .. ~$112 .. and thought I might

delay this purchase so planned to just put a swival connection from the U bolt to the

jib stay .. I suppose if you detension the rig a bit you could then furl the jib

by hand if you were ashore in windy weather .. have you any suggestions re furling?

Is it vital?

The rudders are connected with those bits of plastic hose pipe .. which looks

a bit hickory but seems to work ok .. I was going to stick with this for the moment.

The mast is frighteningly high compared to the dory .. and being wimpish I thought maybe I should get reefing eyes put in the main for depowering it in windy weather .. any thoughts on this?

Another thought was to modify the jib so that it could be pulled up with a halyard

(i.e. just have a bare stay running up from the yoke to the mast .. with a pulley on the

stay point of the mast to get it up as an alternative for control in windy weather.

Either way I was planning to keep all the fore stays in place .. 1 to each bow and one to

the center yoke .. is this "super sloop rigged" and /or are the 2 outter stays going to obstruct the jib?

I was thinking of using 2 u bolts connected at the stay point of the mast .. the first

connecting to the mast directly and also the 2 side stays, and the second connecting to the

first and carrying the 3 fore stays .. will this move the centre of purchase on the mast and

make it unstable? (rational is to make it easier to install and remove the forestays

withough having to worry about tangling them up with the side stays)

Lastly, under the tramp is a series of pulleys, ropes and elastic cord .. which I think is something to do with righting the boat if it capsizes .. though how this should work

I cannot imagine. Any comments?


Stephen Pearce

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Welcome to cat sailing!

Find out where your nearest maris are being sailed and talk to the owners. this will save you time, money and expensive lessons/mistakes or go to the NSW mari website and check out the helpful info on it.

the mari comes standard witn two bow and two centre chainplate shrouds.

you need to keep your speed up when tacking catrigged, have the rudders at about 30-45 degrees to ensure a smooth tack- practice!. you can push out the boom to give you the extra power to make it thru the tack. If you get stuck halfway reverse the rudders and back around onto the new heading.

check the prices at brisbane cat centre website for mari bits and prices on ready made whiskers, rigging etc etc.

a mari owner on this BBs should be able to provide correct whisker and halyard lengths.

you want correct lengths to allow the best possible adjustment range to suit sailing conditions. you will want to experiment with rig tension as you gain confidence.

A furling system is good value- it saves mucking around and can quickly help depower the jib in a blow on water and/or onshore. Without the self furler when onshore loosen the sheets and wrap the jib around itself.

If the tiller rubbers are not too deteriorated leave them alone as stock replacements from memory are expensive.

I used to have an adjustable jib halyard on my old mari and found that it stopped the mast rotation- which defeated the whole purpose of a rotating mast in the first place. talk to mari owners for their systems

reefing mainsail points- I never used them but got a trapeze instead to increase my body weight-leverage.

the rear shrouds should not impact the jib operation at any stage- not unless you try to run the jib sheets looped outside of the shrouds.

re 2 U bolts on the mast hounds- use stainless shackles from a shipschandlery- they are engineered to do the job- I used one shackle large enough to hold all the shrouds and the jib - to keep weight aloft to a minimum.

again talk to mari owners on what works and what doesn't re jib halyards.

righting system- when you get the mari rigged on the ground or beach lift up one hull to 90 degrees and let the mast head drop to ground level or put it on a table/chair etc. stand on the bottom hull and grab the righting lines closest to the upper hull - pull back -they should stretch out up to a metre or so and you should start to pull the cat upright. let go of the ropes and they should retract to hang just below the tramp. replace fittings if worn or corroded as this the easiest system to get the mari upright if you turtle it. -an alternative is to throw the mainsheet over the upper hull shroud and pull on that to drag the cat back upright, its a lot harder/more time consuming when you're in the water.


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