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Badgered Pussy, with it's new sail.


Badgered Cat
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Hi everyone,

Today I picked up my new mainsail and Jib here in Tasmania. I purchased this secondhand from Mark, as you may well recognize. And a wonderful Grady brought them down to Tasmania for me to collect. You are a terrific guy Grady, and I really appreciate both you and Mark, for being able to get these sails to Tassie for me :). I ran the mainsail up the mast earlier, and here is how it looks. And before you say anything, yes the old tosser of a downhaul is still fitted to the boat, I have all of the fittings, and will get around to changing it in the next few days.

And I have just noticed on the facebook page, that I really terrific friend of mine in Tasmania, who sails at my club, now also has a Maricat, and is a after a set of sails. Hopefully he can get a set too. Well this is all good, as we have Pete in southern Tasmania racing a Maricat, and myself up north, and now Murray has one as well. Gee back in the late 70's and early 80's we had probably well over 100 maricats in the state. All looking good, to see them get back into racing. There are a few sailing at beachside holiday places down here, but they wont race with our clubs.

Anyhow 2 photos here, first is with it fully sheeted, and second loosely sheeted.   I am hoping that I have enough mast rake, I may have to get new stays made with shortening the side stays. These are presently at the original length, but fitted at the bottom hole on the adjusters.

 

Cheers David.

Resized fully sheeted..jpg

20171217_131210.jpg

 

 

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Now you will need to learn how to sail with a radial sail.

They are different to the flat panel horizonal cut sails.

What seems to work is ......

You don’t need much downhaul.

Pull on the mainsheet to the required tension then adjust the downhaul to just pull out the wrinkles.

If you ease the mainsheet then ease the down haul too.

When you rake your mast more, you will have to change your mainsheet set up.

Get rid of that tag between the boom and the top block - move the block hanger further back.

Also as you rack the mast you may/will get weather helm, so will have to tuck the rudders further under.

Some of the batten tension looks a bit odd.

Your rudder arms look high - how is your rudder alignment - they should be straight or very slightly pointing inwards.

Lots of fun ahead ...........

 

 

 

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Thanks Pointed Reply,

 

Yes I will have to learn all about a Radial sail.  I did not check all of the batten tension carefully, when I put the sail up........a bit slack on me.  I was in a hurry just to get a photo. I will get rid of the quick disconnect hook on the mainsheet. I have already done the rudders, and alignments, and taking all slop out of the rudders. They are now tucked under, just cant see it in the photo. I have a spacer in behind the top gudgeons to enable the rudders to tuck under, and this would be causing the tiller arms to be sitting up at a higher angle. I hope the mast rake will be ok. I had a look at some photos this morning that Grady showed me, of what is TOO MUCH rake, and then what is TOO LITTLE and then what is about right. I think this maybe just about right. I will try it out and see how it goes.

Cheers David.

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I think the tuning guide has some indications of rake. I assumed the tramp tracks were the guide ie get them flat and measure from there.

Stays are 5m and forestay 5.5m from memory.

It does look like the mast is a bit upright but that will help you tack. Rake helps to keep the bow from going in in heavy wind.

Depending on how much play your gooseneck fitting has you might find that it goes up and down just with mainsheet pressure. Drove one of the guys mad!

I find that I have a lot of mainsheet pressure learnt with a redhead sail but I do the same with my crosscut sail.

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Thanks  knobblyoldjimbo.

 

Mark has sent me photo of his boat showing the amount of mastrake. I do now know that I need more. Its just that I will be sailing in very strong tidal currents and whirlpools, and need to be able to tack quickly and precisely when needed. I am going to try it at this, and if then needed I will get new stays and try with more rake. I am just wanting the happy medium.

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Badgered Pussy getting wet for the very first time this arvo.  A great 2 hours of sailing.

I am going to have to tuck my rudders under if I am going to keep the mast at this rake, as there is HEAPS of weather helm.....YUK!!  Very hard to tack with the mast raked back, and it probably needs to go back even more, as heading on a  broad reach, with me stacking out flat behind the rear beam, she was wanting to go down the mine shaft. And gee the wind was averaging 12 knots with upto 15 knots at time.

I am going to try it with the mast rake forward 2 holes on the side stays and see if this helps weather helm, and makes tacking easier.

At least I have a couple of weeks of fun sailing, before racing begins at the club again.

Resized 1.jpg

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It is hard to tell from these photons but it looks like you have too much down haul and traveller up too far.

In this breeze, ease the downhaul, drop the traveller down to about the straps (30cms) and pull on the main hard, then pull on the downhaul to just take out the winkles.

Rudders look a bit straight. Lock the rudders down, when on the trailer, draw a line straight down through the rudder pins, then the leading edge should be about 50mm in front of this mark. Follow the suggestions on the tuning guide. File little bits off the rudders. Just a couple of mm will make a bit difference at the bottom of the rudders.

if the tuck under is very bad you may need to consider repositioning and redrilling the bolt hole.

Your stays look a bit loose.

On a work, sit further forward and get the nose down and tail up. Sit up next to the side stay.

Keep the boat flat with just the windward hull skimming.

On a reach get the traveller quite a long way down, and pull on the main.

Rack does not look too bad. These things are hard to tack in strong wind - even the best have to stall tack in very strong wind.

Are you light ? Less than about 70kg? Then you may need to consider increasing your mast rotation so the mast can flatten a bit more .... but that is a new story.

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Wow!!!!

Thanks very much for all of this advice.

I will double check the rudders today, and file some away.

Yeah, I was playing around with the downhaul a little bit, and in this photo it was on a bit harder.

I did have the traveller down about 15cm, maybe I should have had more. I had troubles trying to sheet on harder, for 2 reasons, I am not very strong, as I have an autoimmune disease that has wasted away muscular strength. And secondly, trying to sheet in harder, all that was happening was the traveller car was moving up the track towards me, and not actually sheeting in.

The stays were snug tight, not over tight. It's they way I use to rig my Alpha Omega's so the all slack was taken out and then just slightly more.

I couldn't sit further forward, for 2 reasons, the main one being, so much weather helm and and me have to heave on the tiller extension towards me,was keeping me down at the rear beam. Tried sitting further forward, but I kept sliding to the rear, as I heaved on the tiller extension. I have thick electrical conduit as a tiller extension. I need to also put some grip on it, so it is easier to hold. Thought of winding some venetian cord around it.

I tried keeping the boat as flat as possible. It will take me a while to build up strength in my back to stack out further.  My muscular degeneration once again. but as time goes by hopefully muscle strength MIGHT improve.

My weight varies, dry clothed between 77kg and 82kg, presently 79.5kg. And I am 176cm tall.

I was wondering, I know that you all have chucked away boom vangs. But wouldn't this be handy to have in very light airs, to assist as a mast rotation control, to help straighten the mast.?????????

Many thanks for all of your tips.  Very helpful, as  I have never had a Maricat before, and I have never had a Radial cut sail. And I have not raced catamarans seriously since 1989.

Cheers David.

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My tuppence worth.

  1. I saw the pic on FB, looking good.  You don't need to fly the hull any higher for performance (as opposed to fun!)
  2. However tight you have the stays once sailing they'll always go loose!  Bend in the boat, twist etc.  You need them tight enough to stop the mast jumping out of the socket, that's all.  If you shackle the mainsheet top block to the halyard you can get some tension but don't bother overdoing it.
  3. I rethreaded my foot straps out of the central tab.  As long as you get them quite tight I find that I'm drawn more towards the centre of the boat which counteracts the pull of the mainsheet.
  4. With heavy weather helm you definitely need to tuck the rudders under (further).  If it's close then get a file and file back the blade where it hits the alum stock.  Rodney showed how it was done - bash the blade down and look at the mark where it hits, then file.  On mine I get absolutely neutral feel - sometimes it goes from weather to lee so I have to be aware all the time.  I did glue bits of rubber sheet to back them a bit but took them off again because I was then having trouble tacking.
  5. I remember hearing Ian Markovitch (Redhead Sails) telling some juniors that they should always centre the traveller even in high wind.  I've been  trying this and it does seem to work.  I think the idea is that if you loose the mainsheet the top of the sail bleeds the wind off.  Keep the outhaul on the tight side too - about a fist width is good.
  6. If you have a good ratchet on the mainsheet then you can avoid cleating it - that's usually when you capsize!  I find that I point up in gusts rather than letting the sheet out - bad I know but my old muscles aren't much cop either.  You can go to 8:1 mainsheet too these days under the class rules.
  7. Don't bother with a vang.  I used one a lot in the early days and in light wind, dead downwind it was good.  However, upwind it's a pain because it prevents the mast from tacking plus if you do capsize it prevents righting (don't ask me how I know that!).  Also with the Redhead sail you might notice that the boom goes up and down on its own (without the downhaul) so the vang isn't very useful.
  8. As noted above the boom will go up and down depending on mainsheet tension etc.  I have found that if you lock down the downhaul (most of the racy boats have a Ronsstan fitting each side of the mast you 'stick' the boom down which can prevent the boom from tacking (not good).  I've found that by putting knots in and not using the cleat it kind of automatically works so through the tack the boom pops up allowing the mast to tack then the downhaul is off which powers the main until you want to pull it down again.
  9. For tiller extensions - in Bunnings you can get straight lengths of 25mm ag pipe - it's the black one with blue stripes (it looks heavy but it isn't).  If you use conduit to shove up the first bit (I have about a foot) to connect it to the tiller.  I then have drilled small holes up it and threaded thin chord through to provide grip.  At the top I've drilled big holes which also helps.  For length it is slightly shorter than the shrouds.  Longer means you get it caught.  For very light weather you can push another bit of conduit to provide and extension extension.   Being flexible means it doesn't snap when it gets caught.

Hopefully as you get to sail it more and more it'll help train what muscles you have to work better.  Winner of the Super Sloop NSW must be at least 90kgs, Darcy (4th Cat) says he's back up to 100.  Dave and I are about 70-75 and Rodney must be at least 60ks so a big range.  Technique makes the difference.

Hope this helps - was fun writing.

 

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Thanks very much for your advice Knobbyoldjimbo.

I take every bit of advice that I can get. It really helps.

A matter of time and persistence and I may get there. It will be good, as a friend of mine has a Maricat coming next week, and he races at the same club as myself. So we can help one another. It is going to be fun for us, no matter what. I am planning to go down to Hobart in March to race the Tasmanian Catamaran Championships (Tascat). There, is where Pete, races. He is on this forum, and is very knowledgeable. He has been racing these catamarans ever since they came out in the late 1970's, and until now, has been the only one racing them in the past 10 years. We are looking forward to catching up with one another.  As we are both old farts now, with health issues.....LOL!!!!

I am sailing and racing now for the pure enjoyment, more so than to win races. If I can win the odd race here and there, well that is a bonus.

It is terrific, that you guys in NSW are ever so helpful in being able to offer friendly advice. I really do appreciate it very much. Becuase when I raced catamarans years ago, I started off in a Paper Tiger in the late 1970's, then went to a Mosquito, and then I had 2 different Alpha Omegas, a mark 1 first and then the mark 2. Then back to a mosquito, and finally in the 1990's I had a Dolphin in Victoria. So now it is re-learning and re-thinking, and coming to grips with a radial sail that I have never used a radial cut before.  But this is just going to be fun times. 

Thanks again. Cheers David.

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Thanks for the comment. "Sounds like you fit exactly into the current Maricat demographic ! "

 

Its called old age.....LOL!!

I have tucked the rudders under more by shaving  a touch off the rudders. They now are at about 40mm or slightly more tucked under. I cant get the 50mm without re drilling the pivot hole. I dont want to do that yet before sailing it again first.

And I now have a nice tiller grip. With a nice knobbly bit at the halfway point, where the rope colour changes. I should not have problems now keeping hold of the tiller.

 

Tiller.jpg

 

Rudders.jpg

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Average age of the top 4 cat rigged sailors would be a bit ummm over 60, super sloop sailors tend to be a bit younger - maybe 50 !!

i note the top pindle of your rudders has been choked out - I wonder what this does for your rudder geometry.

Adjust your rudders slowly, keep a touch of weather helm, having Lee helm where the boat takes off down wind is rather scary.

For a tiller I use 16mm aluminium tube (about $11 for a three metre length from your local hardeware store) then heat shrink a rubber coating (about $7 a length). This gives a stiff, grippy tiller. I don’t like conduit as it is bendy. Or you could spend $100 on a Ronstan Battlestick which will bend/break just like a $20 home made job ........as Jim said, your tiller should be just long enough to fit inside the stays — being too long is very inconvenient and potentially can cause lots of trouble.

Move the block hanger for your main sheet back about 100mm, so it is behind the traveller track, this will put some forward pressure on the mast and keep it fully rotated.

Your toe straps should be fairly tight and attached in the middle. when sailing up wind place one foot forward of the middle attachment and one behind. Wear thicker cotton shorts over your wetsuit. This will stop you slipping. Don’t polish the deck were you sit ! Your shorts should preferably be bright and ugly — Jimbo had the “best” pair at the recent states and I’m sure that helped him win - —-

Your tramp should be as tight as possible but it looks like you still have the older original design with the lacing up the middle. These are very hard to get tight. The newer design are one smooth piece, cut on the diagonal and these can be pulled super tight which adds to the rigidity of the boat - and hence faster ......

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