I have always thought that my Nacra 6.0na (non spin) would not point to weather as well as other cats, last summer I had opportunity to compare it to a variety of cats and most pointed much higher than mine. Mine is stock except for wings, with the four way jib block control. The sails are class sails. I have gone from almost no mast rake to 18" of mast rake, which has made sailing it much more manageable, but has not made much difference in pointing ability. Most other cats pointed about 5-10 degrees higher than mine. I am not sure if the problem is me, the boat, or both. If you have ideas about this I certainly could use some help. Thanks for your assistance.
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A winged 6.0na sounds pretty cool, don't see a lot of Nacra wings.
Have you been out-pointed by another 6.0na? That's the only way you'll know for sure if you are pointing as high as possible.
Two things that helped me a lot when trying to find the "slot" where you are sailing as high and fast as possible.
Leech Tell-tails to determine whether the main is pulling as hard as it can vs stalling. If you put a teltale between each batten streaming back from the leech they should all remain streaming, that means power. If they are backwinded or flying up or down you are stalling the main and need to adjust mainsheet, outhaul, downhaul, or traveler position untill they do stream.
Use a "speedometer", trim the sails for max hard on the wind, then have your crew read the speed while you watch the sail trim . This will help you "see" when the sails are operating at peak efficiency.
Hopefully some of the rock-stars here or Nacra 6.0na experts will chime in but the above tips work for any sailboat.
1992 Hobie 18
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+1 on tell tails. I have 18 of these on my main, I watch and make adjustments every 30 seconds or so.
Here is a good guide on telltails:
Thanks for linking to that article, forgot about it, and the pictures were broken.
has a good illustration of what I meant by "stalling"
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My first thoughts are about mast rotation and how you use your four-way jib system.
Both can have a big effect on your ability to point.
Unfortunately, I am not familiar with the 6.0, but I do sail a Prindle 18-2 which also has a four-way jib system (and the same manufacturer).
Upwind in light to medium air I keep the jib block about 8" in from the inside edge of the hull. As the wind builds I move it out to about 5" in from the edge. Look up at the spreader bars from the tramp. They should be about 5-6" away from the sail with the leech curving parallel to the main. While I play with this I keep the fore and aft jib traveler part of the 4-way system in the middle position.
On most cats upwind the mast rotator should point at the side stay (lee shroud).
Any of this sound like it could apply?
Prindle 18-2 #244 "Wakizashi"
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AZ Multihull Fleet 42 member
(Way) Past Commodore of Prindle Fleet 14
weight placement will effect your ability to point
sail conditions can have huge effects on pointing
rudder and dagger board shape (and depth) will effect your pointing - when you hit sandy bottoms, you are sanding your foils into a different shape/size
Edited by MN3 on Dec 18, 2012 - 09:14 AM.
Thanks for the tips!
As far as sailing with another 6.0, I do not believe that I have ever seen another one. I occasionally sail with a 5.5 uni, a5.8, a 5.2, a couple of F18's and an assortment of Hobies. All the Nacras and most of the Hobies outpoint my 6.0. I would think that the 6.0 should point comparably with the other nacras.
To respond to some of the tips, I'll give a little more background. the boat is a '94, the mainsail is original mylar?? and in good shape, not race quality. I have never retensioned the battons, is this a concern? I have telltales on the luff top and bottom and three in a horizontal row just below the Nacra insignia. The top row on the windward side is a real challenge to fly. I have downhauled, outhauled, sheeted, and adjusted the traveler. Sometimes it works, mostly it doesn't work.
The jib is a couple seasons old, and crisp. This is the supersized jib with 4way control. There are telltales on the luff at about one and two thirds from the top. Jib blocks for upwind are in near the hiking straps and about centered on the daggerboard. After comparing this to the jib angle on a 5.8 I think it needs to be all the way back and in to get the same angle as the 5.8. This may backwind the main as the slot is already quite narrow. I do not see the telltales showing backwind or stall but I am suspicious that it may still be happening going to weather.
We are guilty of sitting too far aft. My wife and I are underweight for this boat and until I raked the mast we were constantly fighting a pitchpole. I had to remind her this should be fun...even when it wasn't...she was thinking mutiny. I wish that I had raked the mast years ago, my crew is happy and now the boat IS fun to sail. BTW I raked it from straight up to the maximum recommended for a light crew, 18". It made this a different boat. It was also supposed to improve the way it pointed, the improvement, if any, was minimal. That makes me think the problem may be pilot error.
The hull alignment, rudders, boards, mast prebend, foil prebend, etc
are within tolerance.
Thanks for the tips, It certainly gives me areas to consider and they ha e been helpful. I really appreciate the link to the telltale site. Thanks, Rich
mylar degrades over time and most likely is not in as good shape as desired. Is there any flaking or scaling that comes off the main?
storing a sail with tight battens is not optimal and will lead to premature death of the batten pockets and maybe the fabric associated with the battens. knowing when to adjust the tension is a good thing as well.
I have telltales on the luff top and bottom and three in a horizontal row just below the Nacra insignia. The top row on the windward side is a real challenge to fly. I have downhauled, outhauled, sheeted, and adjusted the traveler. Sometimes it works, mostly it doesn't work. [/quote] - tells me your angles aren't correct, my guess is your mast rake is too much (18" sounds extreme to me too). I am sure this makes your boat less pitchy, but also makes it slower (not always bad)
within tolerance doesn't mean it is optimal. rudder alignment is a matter of milometers
Surprisingly the main shows no sign of flaking or delaminating, I realize it is old, but we are in the north so it has only a short sailing season. I am keeping my eye out for a replacement. I will have to check the batten tension, I do not think it is very tight. Is there a rule of thumb for setting the tension? When you say "getting the angles right" are you referring to the angle of tension applied to the sail by thet mainsheet and outhaul? Because the main is boomless this might make the problem of angle harder to correct. I also wondered about the amount of rake, maybe I'll try less just to see. I do remember it was always difficult to get the upper windward mainsail telltales flying when the mast was without rake. Maybe I have raked it from one extreme to the other I and bypassed the sweetspot. After I changed the rake I was so pleased with the way it sailed that I left it raked back. Hey, I really appreciate the time and thought that you have put into the suggestions, they will be good checkpoints when spring comes. Meanwhile you have really reminded me that I have some less obvious things to consider. Thanks again!!! Rich
angles on all 3 sides or all your sails (luff, leach, foot)
all 3 corners of your main are connected to your mast, For an extreme example: if you rake your mast 4' back (assuming you could).. your main foot will point in the air one one end and point to the ground on the other direction...
your jib on the other hand is only connected to your mast at the head of the sail. extreme rake would change the pocket shape (draft,chord, etc) because only 1 point is changing... the one on your mast - 18", aft
could be. easy enough to test
another other item here that hasn't been discussed.
Technique. Depending on the sailors experience, ... the ability to utilize the apparent wind catamarans create for improved VMG - Races are won by cat sailors who know how to utilize this. were the other cats you are comparing yourself with more seasoned sailors/racers?
Lastly, can you sail without the wings? ever try?
Edited by MN3 on Dec 19, 2012 - 05:26 PM.
5 degrees could be not getting your weight forward. Crew at the main beam. Skipper at the dagger board.
Another 5 could be having your 4 way jib to far out. For going tight upwind, it should be inboard to the point when sheeted tight, the jib is almost touching the spreaders. The block on the wire should be about 3/4 of the way between the hull and the tramp sock, almost to the tramp sock.
Also your clew traveler on the main needs to be centered or just forward of centered as the wind picks up. Use the bolts as a guide.
Reservoir Sailing Assn.
is this jib bigger than an original?...this could affect windward performance, fast on reaches, but hurts your pointing. most modern cats(and old prindles) have a blade type jib for windward and asymetrical spin for reaching/downwind.
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Yes, I have sailed without the wings, actually for quite a few years. It doesn't seem to make much difference on pointing. The wings are my attempt to increase my wife's comfort zone.
The jib is the standard 6.0 N.A. jib I ordered from Elliot Pattison. I called it supersized because it is about 80 square feet. Because the jib extends back behind the front beam I am always conscious of the slot and not backwinding the main. Thanks for being so specific about your rough settings for the prindle 4 way system. I know the N.A. Jib is larger so things won't translate. I probably err on the side of having the blocks not in far enough in an effort to keep the slot open. If we could compare a couple of other 6.0na jib settings for going to weather it would be helpful.
Thanks again, Rich
Here's some stuff from my files of old.
6.0 NORTH AMERICAN
Approved by Performance Catamarans, Inc.
Tuning The 6.0 N.A.
by Jim Downs 6.0 NA Champion & Mark Biggers
Since all NA’s are brand new (out of the box), start with the front crossbeam
and set the hulls at the stops. Set the rear beam in the saddle & adjust the the
movable stops to allow the hulls to be aligned. The NA tramp is designed to
tension only from the rear beam by shimming the stops at the front beam. Set the
alignment so there is no toe in or out. Since the NA has a front foiler instead
of the bridle wire, alignment does not change with the rig up.
Rudder alignment should be set to 0 or 1/32" toe in to compensate for lash in
the rudder system. Set the rudders after the tramp is installed and tensioned to
make sure the hulls are in final position. With the sleek hull shape of the NA
rudder alignment becomes even more critical than on other boats.
NA Daggerboards and rudders are the same as those of the 5.8 so careful tuning
is important to prevent cavitation. Rounding of the leading edge seems to be
more important than getting the trailing edge sharp. For the trailing edge,
thinning of the foil from about 1"-2" forward to an edge about 1/16" thick seems
to work best.
Set the spreader rake to about a minimum of 2".(Place a straight edge across the
tips of the spreaders and measure to the back edge of the mast) With the double
diamond wire system of the NA mast, it is important to use a wire tension gage
to set the tension of the diamond wires. Start with the outer diamonds and set
tension to about 500 lb. this should result in the mast being pre-bent about
13/4". Then set the inner diamonds to be just tight but not enough to increase
The front foil should be tensioned to pre bend about 1-1/2" new and not allowed
to relax to less than 1" of pre bend after the rigging has settled. This has no
effect on speed and is strictly a strength or durabilty requirement.
We tried several positions of mast rake and found that about 15" to 18" of rake
seems to be fast upwind without creating excessive rudder load or de-powering
the boat. We measure rake by pulling the trapeze harness hook down and moving it
to the point where it just touches the top of the deck forward and aft of the
front beam. Then measure the distance from the center of these two points to the
front of the front beam. Shroud tension shouldn’t be too tight to allow full
rotation of the mast downwind.
The stock downhaul system [8 to 1] is adequate for the stronger crews. The leach
of the main will open up readily with the application of downhaul. Because it
works so well it becomes the sole method of controlling the main on wind gusts.
The 6.0 NA is a high tech around the buoys racer that must be properly tuned to
be competitive (with other NA’s). I believe we have only begun to tap the speed
potential of this great new boat. If you have any questions or comments please
feel free to contact Mark Biggers 517-692-9430 [evenings] Note: Performance
Catamaran, Inc has ask us to condense the original tuning guide to this
abbreviated form. Names & serial numbers of the boats are bring forward to P.C
to update their class mailing list.
Mast Setup for the Big Guys
Spreaders should be set to 11/2" of rake. tighten outer diamonds for 11/4" of
pre-bend. tighten inter-diamond wire just short of inducing anymore
pre-bend.Note: under no circumstance let pre-bend to go under 1" Please
note; Final measurement of the pre-bend, should be made with mast lying on its
side! mast rake— (most accurate) level beams fore-aft, hang a weight from the
main halyard weight should hit the tramp appx. 15 to 18" aft of the inside (
tramp side ) of main beam.
Do not over-rotate mast down wind in heavy air!
Carbon mast, so far this seem to be what works. The tube has all the same
fittings in the same place as the aluminum section. Follow the same guide lines.
Update Carbon spreader rake to 2.75" with prebend approaching 2.0" with
Heavy Air: do’s & don’ts
Don’t over-tighten shrouds.. adds to mast compression
DO release jib in a puff before dumping main
Don’t remove spreader rake!
Don’t over-rotate mast.
Reservoir Sailing Assn.
This may be some of the same.
Tuning the Nacra 6.0NA
By JAMIE DIAMOND
Where to start? We set up the boat according to Mark Biggers in the spring of
1994 when we bought the thing and essentially haven't changed any of the rigging
since then. We had a successful Nacra Mid-Winters this year, so Mary Wells asked
me to write an article on tuning the 6.0. Well, I'm way late, but here it is.
Setting up the boat
The platform: The hulls, the boards, the rudders are all perfectly parallel with
the mast down (no rig tension). The forward beam has about 1/2 inch of pre-bend.
The bridle foil has more.
We used self-stick Velcro to pad the daggerboard trunks so that the daggerboard
don't slop around in the trunks.
About 2 inches of pre-bend, with about 2 inches of spreader rake (distance
between a ruler placed across both spreaders and the luff track on the mast).
My outer diamonds on the mast are under about 700 lbs. tension. The inner
diamonds are just snugged up but not adding any more mast bend.
I copied my mast rake from Andy Zitkus at Bay Week a couple of years ago. I
don't know what it is; I only know I use the 2nd hole from the top of the
chainplate for the forestay and the 4th hole from the top of the chainplates on
the sides for the shrouds.
I believe having all your wet stuff lined up straight is important. I'm not so
sure about the pre-bend in the mast, tautness of the rig, and mast rake.
However, I do believe that to be successful, you must set this stuff, and then
leave it alone. Sailing a boat fast requires a lot of helm "feel." Unless you
are Randy Smyth, Kirk Newkirk, or Carlton Tucker, you won't get there very fast
if you keep changing the boat around. Set the boat up the same way each time and
start practicing, developing that helm-feel you need to be fast.
Sailing the boat
You've got more controls on the mainsail than I know what to do with --
downhaul, mainsheet, clew traveler, and main traveler.
Before you go out on the water, you need to find the "power-position." This is
the amount of downhaul where you have maximum pocket in your mainsail. Many
people think they get maximum pocket with the downhaul completely eased. Not
Get the boat rigged up. Lie on your back on the center of the tramp with your
head near the base of the mast. Sheet the main until the boat is trimmed for
going to weather. Now start applying downhaul. As you tighten the downhaul, you
will see the pocket first increase, then decrease again as you pass the
"power-position." Go back and forth a few times past the point until you are
sure where it is. Then mark your mast where the pulley plate of your mainsail is
at the power-position. This is where you will downhaul for upwind until you are
overpowered. Once you are overpowered you will downhaul beyond this point. This
is also where you will set the downhaul for downwind. You will never want to
sail the boat with the downhaul looser than the power-position.
The clew traveler
Upwind I set my clew traveler with its center 1 to 2 inches behind the bolt in
the center of the clew traveler track. Downwind, if it's a long leg or light
air, I'll blow off the clew traveler letting it go all the way to the back. If
it's cranked up, or the legs of the course are short, I'll ignore this control
-- just set it for upwind and forget it.
The main traveler
Upwind I almost always center it. I deal with the big wind with the downhaul.
Off the wind I usually ease the main traveler to somewhere near the hiking
straps. This one is tough to call and varies a lot with wind conditions. Finding
the sweet spot where the main traveler and mainsheet are both set right for
wild-thinging downwind is tough. And it varies with the wind, the waves, and the
I usually get to sail in flat water. So going to weather we sheet the main hard,
really hard. I want almost zero twist. If it's double-trapped or more, the main
is usually sheeted as hard as I physically can, both hands. If we're in waves, I
back off some. When the boat is pitching, you want some twist in the main. It
helps keep the top half of the main from stalling on the backward swing of the
On the downwind leg, travel out, but probably sheet harder than you are. You
need some firmness in the leech to do the wild thing. Play with different sheet
and traveler combinations until the boat jumps. Then look around at the waves
and wind speed. Remember it for the next time.
Sheet it harder than you think. If there's any sizable breeze, I put the jib
cars all the way back, and fairly far out. The stronger my foredeck crew is, the
farther out they go. At MidWinters, with Mike Teets up front, we ran the jib
cars all the way back, and the jib block was about one hand width from the hull.
This lets the crew sheet really, really hard without closing up the slot. Give
it a fair bit of luff tension, too. The flatter the luff, the higher you can
point, but the less power you have, and the harder it is to keep the boat in the
groove. Find a happy medium.
On the downwind I set the barber haulers all the way out and sheet the jib
fairly firm but not hard, maybe a foot to foot and a half between the barber
hauler and the jib clew plate. If you've got the luff tension cranked up,
consider backing it off. Ignore the luff tension on the downwind if it's a short
course and things are busy.
Sometimes I use it upwind, sometimes I don't. No real method to the madness.
Downwind, use it. Rotate the mast 90 degrees. If it's really windy, or you're on
a short course, this is another control to ignore. You'll gain more distance in
the time you're sailing the boat instead of pulling the strings than you will
lose in boat speed.
All the way down upwind, halfway up downwind. If you're on a short course, put
them down and ignore them. Never sail the boat with them all the way up. And the
ligher the wind, the more daggerboard you need. Just the reverse of what a lot
of folks think.
Crew is key
The most overlooked key to winning is the crew. I believe this is true on any
boat. My key to speed at Mid-Winters was Mike Teets. He ran everything on the
boat from the daggerboards forward. And he called all the marks, laylines,
crosses, and ducks. My sole job on the back of the boat was to make it go fast.
I played the main, steered the boat, and got my head out of the boat, looking at
the wind and waves out in front. I never had to look over my shoulder for a
mark, or behind to see what the competition was doing. That was Mike's job. By
concentrating solely on boat speed, I had a boat-speed advantage. And a
boat-speed advantage made Mike's job of calling the tactics easier.
Try it next regatta -- when your crew says to tack, don't check their work, just
do it. When they realize that it's all up to them, they will quickly grow into
Good luck, and sail fast.
Reservoir Sailing Assn.
The two long posts above are not written by me but are files I got back in 1998.
The post above where I talked about the 4 way jib and clew settings are what 6.0 NA sailors that I new used and told me to use on the 5.5 SL.
Reservoir Sailing Assn.
Thanks for all the research that you have done for me. Those articles cover just about everything that is adjustable! These articles and telltale resources will give me some things to go over on the cold winters nights.
I do see things of interest; the mast rake in the second article is given as the number of holes down on the chainplates, 2 on the forestay and 4 on the shrouds. That was where it was when we bought the boat and remained unchanged until last summer. In the first article it recommends 15-18" of rake. We are now at the max. I am considering backing it off to see how it sails. Lots of things to consider. Thanks again for the tips and assistance, I really appreciate your response. Rich
Thanks, I know we usually do not sit that far forward. When you rake it back is there a set rake that works for you? With the beams leveled the main halyard hits the tramp about 18" behind the front beam. Is this too much rake? Also, what kind of setting works with the 4 way jib blocks for upwind?