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Dart 18 low wind sails  Bottom

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  • As everyone here knows, the Dart is great to sail in greater than 8 knots of wind, but is absolutely painful under that. Here in Florida, most of the summer is below 8 knots. I'm thinking of purchasing a sail from a different boat to use strictly as a low wind sail. I appreciate that changing the sail also changes how the boat sails, which is why I'm reaching out.

    Does anyone have thoughts on a boomless sail that would work and wouldn't change the sailing dynamics too much?

    In the discussion of Steve's Dart 20 Stampede, he used a modified Mystere sail.

    TIA,
    Dana

    --
    Dana, Holly, Emma & Hannah

    LJ/Stu's Dart 18
    --
  • It’s hard to get more sq ft. You could use an N7.5, also boomless, but, the Dart mast is 2’ shorter. You would have to cut the sail down, or have no room as it sweeps the deck.
    Same goes for the foot. The Nacra sail is longer, but unless you could move the main blocks further back, you wouldn’t be able to obtain sheet tension.
    A new squaretop might give more sq ft, but that’s an expensive option.
    My solution is to keep several Cats, the Baby Dart for over 20 it’s, & a Hobie18 or Nacra for lighter days.

    --
    Hobie 18 Magnum
    Dart 15
    Mystere 6.0XL Sold Was a handful solo
    Nacra 5.7
    Nacra 5.0
    Bombardier Invitation (Now officially DEAD)
    Various other Dock cluttering WaterCrap
    --
  • One other option, the Dart carries a hanky as a jib. You could put a 5.7 jib on, but I’m not sure how much speed that would gain you.
    It would be easy to try if you can borrow a jib for an afternoon.

    --
    Hobie 18 Magnum
    Dart 15
    Mystere 6.0XL Sold Was a handful solo
    Nacra 5.7
    Nacra 5.0
    Bombardier Invitation (Now officially DEAD)
    Various other Dock cluttering WaterCrap
    --
  • to add more main area you will need to lower the foot a little, add a squaretop and much more roach ... there isn't anywhere else to do it

    so a 5.7 could be drastically recut and provide all that -

    i THINK you already have an oversized jib if i recall correctly what Stu told me - you could find out the stock measurements and verify this. but also adding an ever bigger one could be an option

    at the price of purchasing 2 sails in good condition and having them modified ,.. Ed's argument for a second boat may not be a bad one.
  • Boomless gets tricky in mixing and matching. You will need to verify the mainsheet angle and distance from traveler to clew. For playing around, you can typically cut 2' off the top of a pin head main to convert to a square top. I had cut a pin head Tornado main down for my P-19 years ago, but I had to use a short pennant. I used it for 25+ knot winds. It actually fits my P18-2 perfectly. With a trained eye, I can notice some funkyness with the top, but for the most part it works very well. I would look into adding a foil and bigger jib. With the square top main and the foiled jib, you are adding efficient sail area - the square top bleeds off easily and the jib power is down low. The foil does add some complication of visibility leeward forward. You could have two jibs for different breezes.. A small expense for piece of mind.

    --
    Scott

    Prindle 18-2 Mod "FrankenKitty"
    Tornado Classic "Fast Furniture"
    Prindle 19 "Mr. Wiggly" - gone
    Nacra 5.8 "De ja vu"
    Nacra 5.0
    Nacra 5.8
    Tornadoes (Reg White)
    --
  • I fabricated a foil for my dart and rigged a hobie 18 jib, seemed to work ok .A bigger main would be the way to go as you seen to get more drive from your main.I have a couple of p18 mains that I was going to get around to modifying to fit.A nacra 5.8 recently fell in my lap so I am restoring that to be my light wind boat.
    I have heard of but never seen it, a dart 18 locally with a hobie 16 rig
    the h18 jib is in this vid
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owv2JhcULSw



    Edited by onekiwi on Jan 27, 2020 - 01:45 PM.

    --
    Carl

    Dart 18x2

    1967 B-LION for sale
    1985 Hobie 18
    Windrider Rave x2
    --
  • Edchris177One other option, the Dart carries a hanky as a jib. You could put a 5.7 jib on, but I’m not sure how much speed that would gain you.
    It would be easy to try if you can borrow a jib for an afternoon.


    MN3 is correct, I already have an oversized jib. To be fair, I’m sure some of my difficulty in low wind is lack of skill. That said, you can only imagine the frustration of barely being able to overcome the current.

    --
    Dana, Holly, Emma & Hannah

    LJ/Stu's Dart 18
    --
  • MN3to add more main area you will need to lower the foot a little, add a squaretop and much more roach ... there isn't anywhere else to do it

    so a 5.7 could be drastically recut and provide all that -

    i THINK you already have an oversized jib if i recall correctly what Stu told me - you could find out the stock measurements and verify this. but also adding an ever bigger one could be an option

    at the price of purchasing 2 sails in good condition and having them modified ,.. Ed's argument for a second boat may not be a bad one.


    I’d consider a Nacra 5.0, but storage is the issue for me. I’d pay far more to store a second boat than I would a sail. If I can identify the best sail to modify, I may be able to pick one up used. Absent someone with greater experience telling me this is not the way to go, that’s the plan.

    --
    Dana, Holly, Emma & Hannah

    LJ/Stu's Dart 18
    --
  • dartsailors
    Edchris177One other option, the Dart carries a hanky as a jib. You could put a 5.7 jib on, but I’m not sure how much speed that would gain you.
    It would be easy to try if you can borrow a jib for an afternoon.


    MN3 is correct, I already have an oversized jib. To be fair, I’m sure some of my difficulty in low wind is lack of skill. That said, you can only imagine the frustration of barely being able to overcome the current.


    Fully understand the frustration. When I started on cats, we would leave sailing mid afternoon and come home late night. Which meant there was very little wind, as in 0-3 knots. I learned patience very quickly. I also learned the most efficient way to paddle a catamaran. In light air, the catamaran emphasizes the need for true sailing basics. I was lucky enough to start racing cats with some very fast people. I always remind myself, "... if in doubt, let it out"

    --
    Scott

    Prindle 18-2 Mod "FrankenKitty"
    Tornado Classic "Fast Furniture"
    Prindle 19 "Mr. Wiggly" - gone
    Nacra 5.8 "De ja vu"
    Nacra 5.0
    Nacra 5.8
    Tornadoes (Reg White)
    --
  • Is rigging a spinnaker out of the question? I've done diy spinnaker pole and chute for light air on a dinghy.

    You wouldn't want to use it in any real wind, but for light air...
  • You'd pair it with a 2nd hand kite from an 18ft cat or from, say, a 29er. I'm sure you can buy a beat up 29er kite for peanuts.
  • Headed back to Fort Lauderdale 2/12 but don't have my spare jibs there to re-experiment with all my sails to determine if on light wind days a different sail configuration on my Dart 18 would speed things up. However these are the combos I've tried on low wind days on my dart 18 I keep on Fire Island NY: A Prindle 16 jib worked out best because much smaller and tmanageable than the Hobie 16 jib- also experimented with my. Nacra 5.2&5.5&5.7 jibs but way too unwieldy even when reefed. I also tried Hobi 16, Prindle 16 Mains & my Nacra 5.2,5.5&5.7 mains-all were way too large even when carefully reefed.( my friend Malcolm Stitt Tornado sailer has successfully cut down larger sails for his ice boats but I don't have the courage.)At one point had Dart 18 and Nacra 5.7 for 3 seasons and yes that was best solution. Also Great South Bay what I now sail on off fire island( use to sail on the Atlantic) almost ALWAYS has wind over 12k , so when u rig a larger jib and wind builds you have negative results and on Dart 18 jib and main difficult if not impossible to lower because "hooked" in when underway- ( Nacra 5.7,5.5&5.2 mains require a 2to 3 foot higher mast!) Hobie 16 jib was kind of like a gennecker also because Dart 18 mast does not rotate on a plastic/Teflon ball like my Nacra 5.2,5.5,5.7 the aluminum on aluminum Dart18 mast set-up actually can wear out!!!i have had to replace 1 Dart 18 mast because of this I believe larger sails could contribute to greater wear & tear on mast base! The Hobie 16 jib(I pinpriked tiny holes in H16 jib and fit thin cord so jib would run up Dart 18 forestay)was like a gennecker/spinicker andrunning with the wind on low wind days was enjoyable, and negated the frustration of being wiped out by my friends Hobie 16s Nacra570. ( worst of all monohulls)& etc on low wind days
  • Headed back to Fort Lauderdale 2/12 but don't have my spare jibs there to re-experiment with all my sails to determine if on light wind days a different sail configuration on my Dart 18 would speed things up. However these are the combos I've tried on low wind days on my dart 18 I keep on Fire Island NY: A Prindle 16 jib worked out best because much smaller and tmanageable than the Hobie 16 jib- also experimented with my. Nacra 5.2&5.5&5.7 jibs but way too unwieldy even when reefed. I also tried Hobi 16, Prindle 16 Mains & my Nacra 5.2,5.5&5.7 mains-all were way too large even when carefully reefed.( my friend Malcolm Stitt Tornado sailer has successfully cut down larger sails for his ice boats but I don't have the courage.)At one point had Dart 18 and Nacra 5.7 for 3 seasons and yes that was best solution. Also Great South Bay what I now sail on off fire island( use to sail on the Atlantic) almost ALWAYS has wind over 12k , so when u rig a larger jib and wind builds you have negative results and on Dart 18 jib and main difficult if not impossible to lower because "hooked" in when underway- ( Nacra 5.7,5.5&5.2 mains require a 2to 3 foot higher mast!) Hobie 16 jib was kind of like a gennecker also because Dart 18 mast does not rotate on a plastic/Teflon ball like my Nacra 5.2,5.5,5.7 the aluminum on aluminum Dart18 mast set-up actually can wear out!!!i have had to replace 1 Dart 18 mast because of this I believe larger sails could contr]ibute to greater wear & tear on mast base! The Hobie 16 jib(I pinpriked tiny holes in H16 jib and fit thin cord so jib would run up Dart 18 forestay)was like a gennecker/spinicker andrunning with the wind on low wind days was enjoyable, and negated the frustration of being wiped out by my friends Hobie 16s Nacra570. ( worst of all monohulls)& etc on low wind days
  • Headed back to Fort Lauderdale 2/12 but don't have my spare jibs there to re-experiment with all my sails to determine if on light wind days a different sail configuration on my Dart 18 would speed things up. However these are the combos I've tried on low wind days on my dart 18 I keep on Fire Island NY: A Prindle 16 jib worked out best because much smaller and tmanageable than the Hobie 16 jib- also experimented with my. Nacra 5.2&5.5&5.7 jibs but way too unwieldy even when reefed. I also tried Hobi 16, Prindle 16 Mains & my Nacra 5.2,5.5&5.7 mains-all were way too large even when carefully reefed.( my friend Malcolm Stitt Tornado sailer has successfully cut down larger sails for his ice boats but I don't have the courage.)At one point had Dart 18 and Nacra 5.7 for 3 seasons and yes that was best solution. Also Great South Bay what I now sail on off fire island( use to sail on the Atlantic) almost ALWAYS has wind over 12k , so when u rig a larger jib and wind builds you have negative results and on Dart 18 jib and main difficult if not impossible to lower because "hooked" in when underway- ( Nacra 5.7,5.5&5.2 mains require a 2to 3 foot higher mast!) Hobie 16 jib was kind of like a gennecker also because Dart 18 mast does not rotate on a plastic/Teflon ball like my Nacra 5.2,5.5,5.7 the aluminum on aluminum Dart18 mast set-up actually can wear out!!!i have had to replace 1 Dart 18 mast because of this I believe larger sails could contr]ibute to greater wear & tear on mast base! The Hobie 16 jib(I pinpriked tiny holes in H16 jib and fit thin cord so jib would run up Dart 18 forestay)was like a gennecker/spinicker andrunning with the wind on low wind days was enjoyable, and negated the frustration of being wiped out by my friends Hobie 16s Nacra570. ( worst of all monohulls)& etc on low wind days
  • Quotethe aluminum on aluminum Dart18 mast set-up actually can wear out!!!


    The mast base on the dart is stainless on stainless and quite durable. Windsport has all the parts for dart boats.

    --
    Dart 20
    --
  • first i apologize my comment printed out 3 times. comment of durability of bottom of Dart 18 mast is not accurate,
    I presently own 2 Dart 18s and sail both,had 3 but lost one to a Florida hurricane(that came north and took my Nacra 5.7) 2 years back. The mast i utilize now on Dart 18 in Fort Lauderdale was fortuneately fished out of the water after the storm. I had to exchange Dart !8 mast for my Fire Island Dart 18 because the Mast base wore out! & the bottom of the mast(there is a small stainless plate)yes the rest of that mast is in excellant shape. Have you ever replaced a mast base & bottom of mast? very big hastle-i had to on a Hobie 16 i flipped surfing cat in the Atlantic-bought new extrusions and used old base & top ,& replaced mast base, but hobie dealers nere by and reasonable. Windsport very pricey and it can take 3 weeks to get a part. I actually replaced mast base and will try to send photos tomorrow- had to, took my wife sailing , mast seemed insecure and in cross currents when becalmed came down!! Thats why larger jib good idea. I really only wanted to add there are Dart 18 spinnakers but they are not class legal(race any Dart 18s in U S waters lately?)
  • Hi I got a Dart 18 in the uk and the I just want to say was just make sure you get as much weight to the front of the boat I have both the crew and helm sitting on the front beam . I know I am probably telling you to suck eggs but I found out the hard way how much different that made. I manages to get a 20 foot tall channel marker between the 2 hulls getting pushed on to it by the current and what wind there was need a pull from a passing motor boat to remove myself from it. It gave the crowd outside the club something to watch. Just be carful with putting extra sails on the Dart in Europe there is a company that makes a fat top main ( https://forward-sailing.co.uk/en/97-mainsail-dart-18-dacron.htm)l but I have heard top Dart sailors saying a mast wont last long using one I am guessing you would need more than 9 knot to do any damage. There was spinnaker kit made for the Dart 18 in the 90's but it was never allowed for racing so never took off. They do come up on ebay every so often.
  • I wish I'd seen the advice on cutting down sails a year ago. I've outfitted my Dart 18 for the Everglades Challenge this March. The rules require a reefing system for the main, so instead of putting money into the old sails, I had a custom set made with 2 sets of reefs and a square top. We also made a modest increase in the jib's size.

    The square top is nice, I would do the same again, but it isn't a massive change.

    The reefing points are awesome for singlehanding in stronger winds. If I always sailed with crew, the value wouldn't be as great, but for solo ocean racing, it's necessary. I did find that with the mainsail's roach, the sheeting angle from the mainsheet moves in when reefing, which is opposite to what would be ideal. In hindsight, I would have the reefing clew ring installed slightly below a batten and moved in away from the luff by a few inches.

    I don't have a spinnaker for the boat, and that will hurt my competitiveness. I'm figuring on keeping it simple for a first time around. Money is also a factor. I do have an old 505 symmetrical spinnaker I'm considering flying from the bridle chain plates as a strictly downwind sail in light wind, but I'm probably just as well off tacking downwind with the working sails. I don't want to waste money that can go towards an asymmetrical rig.

    As mentioned earlier, weight forward is the way to speed it up in light wind. I like to see both transoms clear of the water and usually one rudder up.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/EnoLjXQgvivSbLy88
  • duplicate post deleted by jeff96



    Edited by jeff96 on Jan 31, 2020 - 12:19 PM.
  • QuoteI did find that with the mainsail's roach, the sheeting angle from the mainsheet moves in when reefing, which is opposite to what would be ideal. In hindsight, I would have the reefing clew ring installed slightly below a batten and moved in away from the luff by a few inches.

    Forgive me if i am confused but wouldn't moving the clew in while reefing produce a flatter sail? wouldn't that be a plus in heavy air? - sidenote: couldn't you just add a new clew in your preferred location? since the clew should be reinforced: it shouldn't hurt the sail

    Where did you get your sail made?

    Looking forward to seeing your cat on rigging day at Ft Desoto

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