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Hi, I'm new to this sport and have recently purchased a Windrush 14. It's in great condition with Mylar sails. I've sailed it about 10 times now both with someone else and on my own all in about 15 to 20 knots of wind on flat water.

The question I have is, is it normal for the hull to nose dive when powered up? I find that as the cat speeds up a lot of water begins to start spraying off the front cross beam. Then the front of the hull starts to bury in and if I hold the main sail in that position for too long it will eventually pitch pole me. I've noticed in some photos of me sailing that the two hulls are not level with each other. When on the beach I can lift the nose of one hull about 30cm before the nose of the other hull starts to lift. Is this twisting normal?

Here is a photo of the nose diving. I hope there is a solution to this.

Thanks

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The 4 beam bolts should be tightened regularly (use multigrips and a fair bit of effort) If these bolts have been loose for a long period of time there will be wear in the alloy hull fitting which the beams pivot in. The usual fix is to loosen the tramp, undo the beam bolts on 1 side and pivot the hull inwards. Cut seat belt webbing to fit between beams and hull and re tighten beam bolts, then do the other side. Extreme wear will need double thickness of webbing (rare).

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Hi,

I'm a newbie to cats and I'm having a similar issue. How do you adjust the mast rake on a windrush 14?

Ooh, also when you talk about pivoting the hull... Do you mean pointing the nose inward.... So looking down the hulls would form a v shape with the nose of each hull not being parallel to each other?

Thanks in advance

Shaun

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When you undo the beam bolts (1 side at a time) then lift the beam, the hull will roll under then fall off the pivots. Stock Windys do not need mast rake. Another cause of nose dive is lack of bouyancy caused by the horizontal foam bulkheads being displaced (the glue lets go). This can be checked by placing a hand either side of the hull midway down and pressing in, there should be minimal give, 2/3mm or less. If both bulkheads have moved the hulls can be compressed 50/75 mm and will eventually crack the hulls under the deck join.

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I sail at the back of the 14ft fleet and a while ago Danny (since retired) used to compete with me for last place, particularly when the breeze was up (me on a Mari, he on a Windy), on several occasions on a fast reach I'd look back and see a huge wall of spray with a bit of mast poking just above it!

Once you're happy that the boat is fixed up you need to sit further and further back - 14ft isn't long for a cat. Your pic indicates that you are on a fast reach, you could try to bear away although that may well guarantee you a trip down the mine!

I does seem to be a characteristic though, on my cat rigged Mari and on a breezy reach I'm constantly playing the rudders to make sure that I'm surfing down a wave then tuck up a little to avoid going straight into the back of the wave.

Also on the bigger cats like the Nacra 5.8, optimum speed upwind is seen as the leeward bow being only just out of the water and a big plume of spray coming off the front - crew move back and forth to keep this state - means that the boat points well.

KO

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Marz,

Windrush are the most forgiving of the older 14ft cat designs (i've not sailed a Nacra 430 or an AO F14 so cant pass judgement there).

A few tricks for reaching in big breeze:

1) Crew weight as far aft as possible, i mean the skipper hiking with their bum behind the rear beam and under the rudder arm. It's not easy to get there or back but it's the safest way to get aft. The unsafe way for most is to trapeze that far back, though it is highly risky and its generally not pretty when you do send it down the mine, it typically ends in a flying trip forward of the boat or landing on the mast, beam etc.

2) As the leeward hulls nose almost submerges, release main sheet. This outgasses the head of the main and depowers the boat. Other settings that help are: a) increasing the downhaul and increasing the outhaul (this depowers the mainsail quite a bit as it flattens the sail shape, thus reducing power) b) let some traveller out, generally to the leeward footstrap or further in really big breeze, this reduces the sails angle of attack and essentially flattens the sail relative to the wind direction (think of the sail as an aircraft wing, at take off they increase the shape of the wing by angling the forward and aft wing flaps to provide life [power], while at cruising speed they flatten the wing by retracting the wing flaps which decreases the lift [power])

3) As KO mentioned steering has a LOT to do with avoiding a pitchpole, as the bow drops, point into the wind a few degrees and you'll find the boat pops up. If you bear away you're likely to causing it to dive further. NOTE: this steering technique works for reaching, i use something different going upwind but that's a whole other conversation.

4) If it does nosedive, let all of the sails off immediately and focus on not sliding forward, often you can recover a dive with good reflexes and staying put. I've personally had Windrush 14's buried so the hull platform is underwater to the sidestays and the rest of the boat covered in whitewater and still recovered it without a capsize.

5) Practise, all of the above is only learnt from time on the water and having the odd capsize along the way. A coach once said if you go training and don't capsize, you're not pushing hard enough. With those words in mind i've previously broken 3 tiller extensions in one 4hr training session (i was learning to sail a Hobie 16 with spinnaker in 30knts...)

Cheers

Michael

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Darcy,

I'm staying out of the foam bulkhead repairs as I've never done it. Dad's done it once or twice and I do remember you have to use Epoxy not Polyester resin as Polyester resin will dissolve the styrene blocks. From memory he used a rectangular hole just under the gunwale to get in, but i've also heard of people using a hole in the bottom of the hull along the U shaped section. For the middle section you'll likely have to remove all the rotted marine ply too.

Michael

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Once again thanks to everyone's words of advice. I've so far taken the two cross beams off and discovered that the seatbelt trick had already been done. However I did notice that the holes in the cross bean that holds the pin was worn out and allowed the pin to move even with the seatbelt strap under the beam. I removed the beam again and placed an additional strip of seatbelt on top of the beam and then placed the end cap over the beam. This made is hard to get the pin back through but with a few taps with the hammer in went in. This resulted in the the pin now being very rigid and therefore reducing any chance that the cross beams could rotate. Once I'd put both beams back on and tightened everything up again the cat felt much stiffer and had a lot less twist to it when I lifted the nose of one hull up.

As far as foam inside the hulls, I put a gopro camera on a stick inside the front of the hull and was pleased to find the front part of both hulls in good condition. The middle section between both bulkheads in one of the hulls had no timber left in the mid section support. How important is this support when it comes to the performance of the hull?

I hoping the 15 to 20 knot SW wind forecast for Busselton tomorrow will see me out on the water after doing this work and ill report back to let you know how it went. Thanks Michael for your advice on heading up wind when the nose starts to dive ill be giving that a go tomorrow.

post-43329-13778265847065_thumb.jpg

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Unfortunately the boat is just pre foam sandwich, the number 1191 is only about a month or so before they became foam sandwich back in 1992. The poly styrene foam, 2 layers , will most likely break away from the sides of the hull in the bow area and if this can be reglued with epoxy , tricky but doable , through the front hatches the boat will be quite stiff again. If the bulkheads are rotten , it will need to be repaired , cutting a hole through the keel just about the beam area will give good access and can be repaired without too much cosmetic damage after the repair.

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In the end I cut an access/inspection port just before the front beam on each of the hulls. All the foam bulkheads (both top and bottom) were loose so I epoxied them back in (the fibre glass and the basic hull looked in very good nick so I'm lucky it had not broken down at all...). Reaching all the way up the front, and also back into the middle was problematic until it occurred to me to get some coreflute, cut it into strips... baste each side with epoxy and then slide it up along side each bulkhead... basically resulting in the foam being firmly glued into place all the way up the front (way further than I could reach by hand). I also cut some shorter lengths of corflute and put them down crossways and fibreglassed over the top of them and up the side of the hull to effectively produce a brace that would stop the foam from popping up. As a result of all the the foam is EXTREMELy firm now and the hull does not move at all any more.

Just repainting the hulls at the moment so I should have it back out on the water this weekend!

Thanks for peoples advice!

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