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Mk 1 issues


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Hi Guys

I'm a 67 yo 115kg owner of an ageing Mk1 Windie.  I just love to get out in a strong breeze and thrash the thing to bits, riding chop and catching swells with surfers (They hate me.  Funny thing is that I have more steering control than they do and I don't fall off and kick up my device)

A few issues:-

1./ I step my mast by walking towards the cat from the front, whilst raising the mast with its foot already notched on the step.  Problem is that I have to pre-attach the jib to the mast and the bridle to the bows. Once the mast is stepped, the sheet pulleys of the jib give me a sound belting around the head whilst I attempt to secure the shrouds to the hull.  I did away with the self furler long ago because I always sail sloop rigged. I can take the pulleys off before attaching the jib, but we all know what it's like to located a shackle pin into a flapping clew(?)  Any suggestions?


2./ I rarely bottle the thing but last year I took my 90 kg daughter out in a strong wind and pitch poled.   Beforehand, the rudder tie bar broke in half as we tore off from the beach, right where the rudder extension pole goose-neck was bolted through the bar. (I've since replaced it and only riveted the goose-neck for the extension to the upper wall of the tie bar).

Whilst I struggled to steer with the windward rudder extension and before I could let out the main sheet, the leeward nose caught and we pitchpoled.  With much luck and my weight, plus my daughter as a sea anchor, I righted the cat immediately and limped back to shore, much to the amusement of the maddening crowd on the beach. THEN I found I had a hull full of water.

It seems that the action of pitch poling, exacerbated by my weight on the lower hull when the cat was on its side, plus the righting forces, caused the rear cross beam to cave into the hull.  I thoroughly ground out the damage and re fibreglassed the depression where the cross member is housed, then re-bolted the hull. ensuring the hand screws were tight.

I've had a couple of sails since in lighter winds and am concerned that the fibreglass repair is not full strength.

Any thoughts on a re-repair or do readers think its time to replace the hulls or better still, the whole boat!  I read in an earlier post a long time ago that it's advisable to put new hatches just forward of the rear member to get hull access for internal strengthening. However I don't think this extreme will make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.


3/ Many cat rigged sailors have troubles getting into irons when coming about.  I even do with my sloop rig!!  But not always! It seems to mostly be a problem in strong or blustery winds.  Like others I resort to gybing, which I've perfected, but always run the risk of blowing out my main sail or getting knocked overboard.  Things I've tried are:-

Moving forward, leaving the jib sheet on till the jib pops

Releasing the jib sheet as soon as I'm pointing into the wind

Reversing my rudders

Going into the turn at full speed and letting the main sheet off and releasing the jib sheet

Leaving the main sheeted.

Is there anything else I should try?


Sorry about all the questions, but you guys seem to have such good advice about all situations.


Happy sailing to you all!

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Hull repair--- Get a replacement hull.You will spend more on FGlass and will never be as strong as a good 2nd hand hull.

Weight --- 200kgs on any 14 foot cat is a recipe for a swim especially if you have a bit of chop on the water.If you still pitch pole on your own (115kgs)  then try rake the mast back a notch.

Tacking--- Do what you have been but sit further back and lean out (dont be tempted to move until cat is thru the tack) keep as much weight on windward hull as you can to help drag cat around thru Tacking..Basically DONT go too early or you will be in irons.Keep jib locked on until Cat tacks.I dont move my arse off the Windward hull until the jib comes across.Then as I am crossing the tramp I am also setting jib on other side.

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Jib setup.  Try this - attach the jib pulleys along with a carbine clip (Ronstan RF2355 $19.20 will do the trick) with a right angle shackle. The jib sheet can be already thread through the pulleys so all you need do is attach the carbine to the jib foot when ready to launch!


Another option would be to use a second forestay attached to a stay adjuster (Ronstan RF444) at the mast gooseneck.  Place a stainless wheel/pulley above the forestay point in the stay adjuster, you then simply hoist the jib after you mast is stepped and slacken off the forestay to allow the jib to take up to tension.

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Jib Setup again - Furl the jib around the forestay when storing, when raising the mast leave the jib furled and tied snug. Run the jib sheets and pulleys before raising the mast leaving them on the tramp. When mast is raised and secured, unfurl the jib and attatch pulleys. I've been bashed in the head many times before I worked out this method.


Tacking - A wise man told me this once....


Sheet the main in really tight as you push the rudders over gently, fast steering movement = stopping before you even get into the wind. You will only need about 1/2 steering lock initially but then as you get mid tack turn to full lock and release the main in a quick motion. This will make the boat almost pop through the tack . All the time keeping the weight up by the stay. Once you do the quick release of the main move back and across to the opposite rear corner of the tramp and keep the rudders partly over and then you should be easing away on the new tack with the main pretty eased. Now sheet on and move fwd to the stay again and you are away on the new tack.


I've tried this and it works





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