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21SE ..smaller rig for  Bottom

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  • Hello All,

    I'd like some advice on the best option for putting a smaller mast/sail on a 21SE. Where I live it is windy more than its not windy and my preference is to be able to handle 20-30 when it pops up..and be somewhat family friendly. Racing and maximum performance is not a goal. Having fun when its blowing is.

    Also I'd prefer to have a bit less bulk to deal with, esp in terms of mast stepping.

    In my area there are some 18 masts available and a mast from a Miracle 20.

    The Miracle 20 mast is 31' long, I think, so maybe still a bit on the big side? The 21SE mast is 33', so that's just a 2' reduction.

    I'm leaning toward an 18 mast which at 28' seems like the right step down. I'd then get a nice set of modern sails for it. But before I pull any triggers I'd like to get some knowledgable input.

    Also, I have to think that a Getaway rig would be going too far down the scale?

    Thank You,
    Robert Netsch
    Nags Head, NC

    ps - this also means that I'll have a 21SE mast/boom/sail that is no longer needed
  • 2’ of mast reduction would be considerable. Is cutting down your rig an option?

    A Hobie 18 rig might make a nice cruiser. I think the power loss there would be quite drastic. As it is the H18 is comfortable in big air without the extra beam and length.

    An F18 length stick could get you modern economical mains at a nice power setting to create a tame 21’ boat. (IMO) I doubt you find a well fitting off the shelf jib though. I think you would not be pleased with an F18 jib anyways (assuming you have no kite)

    --
    Greenville SC

    Offering sails and other go fast parts for A-class catamarans
    --
  • You can cut down the stick, but man you'll sure have to do a bunch more modifications to the mast moving attachments around, etc. Furling the jib and reefing the main seems like a better option, though it doesn't solve the big, bulky mast issue. Good points about the jib; your forestay angle would be different, etc. Seems like it's one complication after another on these custom projects. But, perseverance and down right stubbornness will get you through.

    --
    Chuck C.
    H21SE 408
    --
  • I think it is a guessing game finding a mast that will power the boat and not flip the boat in 20-30 knots

    family friendly and 30 knots are terms often in the same sentence. I think the issue is testing any new rig without risking lives of crew and rescue teams in 30knots. not too tough for usn or uscg but a rescue at 30knots is dangerous for any small craft (power or sail)

    i personally would sell the big boat and buy a boat designed for sed wind conditions

    Dart 18 or 20 come to mind as a great big wind boat and both are a delight to rig compared to your bigcat
  • It won't solve the issues of raising and lowering a large heavy mast, but reefing points work great on my Dart 18. It makes it much more docile when things really pick up
  • Thank you for the replies all. To be clear, I'm not looking to go out with fam/friends in 30, but it is not uncommon for the wind to jump from 15 to 25 (with gusts) and I want the boat to suited for a controlled retreat..of sorts. As I type this it is 15-24 at Jockey's Ridge...the local sound site here. It will probably pick up later. I'll kite, not sail today, but my point is that we get lots of windy days, and wind on days that are not supposed to be windy.

    Getting reefs for the main is an option or perhaps just getting a smaller main (like a permanent reef). I really hate the thoughts of cutting down the mast as they are hard to come by. I'd likely change out the mast/sails first. The reason i thought the 18 mast (or 20) would be a good compromise is because that reads as similar to what comes with the 21SC, and people seem satisfied with that. Yes the 21 has more beam, but a tad less weight.

    Thank you again for the thoughtful and informed input.
    Robert

    --
    Robert Netsch
    Nags Head, NC
    --
  • Thank you for the replies all. To be clear, I'm not looking to go out with fam/friends in 30, but it is not uncommon for the wind to jump from 15 to 25 (with gusts) and I want the boat to suited for a controlled retreat..of sorts. As I type this it is 15-24 at Jockey's Ridge...the local sound site here. It will probably pick up later. I'll kite, not sail today, but my point is that we get lots of windy days, and wind on days that are not supposed to be windy.

    Getting reefs for the main is an option or perhaps just getting a smaller main (like a permanent reef). I really hate the thoughts of cutting down the mast as they are hard to come by. I'd likely change out the mast/sails first. The reason i thought the 18 mast (or 20) would be a good compromise is because that reads as similar to what comes with the 21SC, and people seem satisfied with that. Yes the 21 has more beam, but a tad less weight.

    Thank you again for the thoughtful and informed input.
    Robert

    --
    Robert Netsch
    Nags Head, NC
    --
  • I would definitely go with the reef in the main. A sail maker can add that for a few hundred dollars. Get a new main halyard that can lock at the right interval. Not sure how a H21 main halyard locks but I just sold a Hobie 16 that had a reefing main with two halyard stops and the fork at the top of the mast. That will keep you boat "stock" and valuable.

    --
    Robert
    81' NACRA 5.2
    Previously owned H18, Trac 14, G-Cat 5.0, H14T, H16, N5.0
    BYC, Mobile, AL
    --
  • A 21SE doesn't lock the halyard - hook at the top to catch the ring and a downhaul to keep it there, sort of. You'd have to unhook on the water (done that, but not on purpose), let it drop to below the plastic track, then I guess cleat the halyard at the base (?). Not really sure, because I've never reefed mine before, but it has the reefing points and clips on the boom, so I guess one of the previous owners did it. Originally, the boat was from Cali.

    The 21SC has roller reefing, but is designed for it; I would look to the Hobie manual/video guide on how the 21SC reefs probaby for line use/guidance.

    --
    Chuck C.
    H21SE 408
    --
  • Could I not simply put up a smaller sail altogether on existing mast/boom on days when threat of higher winds is present? Say a H18 or H20 main? I expect they have the same size bolt rope in luff. As for the shortened luff, use a piece of quality line as an extender. Kind of ghetto in a way but not much different than what we did windsurfing...choose the sail for the day. Not sure if the sail head will twist off properly if it is a few feet from the mast top. Then again reefing does the same thing in this regard. I just have to live with the big mast.



    Edited by robert.netsch on Mar 21, 2020 - 08:31 AM.

    --
    Robert Netsch
    Nags Head, NC
    --
  • robert.netschCould I not simply put up a smaller sail altogether on existing mast/boom on days when threat of higher winds is present? Say a H18 or H20 main? I expect they have the same size bolt rope in luff. As for the shortened luff, use a piece of quality line as an extender. Kind of ghetto in a way but not much different than what we did windsurfing...choose the sail for the day. Not sure if the sail head will twist off properly if it is a few feet from the mast top. Then again reefing does the same thing in this regard. I just have to live with the big mast.Edited by robert.netsch on Mar 21, 2020 - 08:31 AM.

    I think you've hit on the best solution there. It's the cheapest and simplest, and there will be lots of times you'll be happy to have all the sail area the boat came with.
  • Wouldn't you have to worry about compression loads and mast inversion?

    --
    dk

    Blade F-16
    Hobie Tiger
    Hobie 14
    Corsair F-242
    Mirage 25
    --
  • Its a notoriously heavy duty cross section and the 21SC does roller feeding, so probably strong enough. Trickier is getting the bolt rope not pull out of the plastic luff track. Might need to replace it with the aluminum upgrade/replacement that's still available. I added another section and it cured my bolt rope issues.

    --
    Chuck C.
    H21SE 408
    --
  • High winds on any boat means reduce sail area, especially if your boat carries a big stick.(and of course sail area)

    Keep it simple and either put in a set of reef points in main, or pick up a used main from any type of Cat and cut it down if it is still to big. If bolt rope is too big or small, you can buy correct size from Sailrite for new sail and have someone local sew on. You're jib, on a furler is fine. Just let out small area to give you balance and control. Have done this many times on my Hobie 20.

    Compression loads and mast inversion will not be an issue unless your loading your boat with 4 people and going out in 30-40. Didn't sound like that was a goal. Look in the used sail section and remember you can simply cut off bottom 6-10 feet if need be, install grommets at clew and tack, and your ready to roll.
  • My hope is to never be out in 30+, but to be as comfortable/safe as possible with 4+ people when the wind hits low 20s. My plan as of now is to get an H18 sail and use it on days when wind potential is there. I don't yet know if the bolt rope is compatible. I do expect a couple slugs in the pig tail to the head will help hold it in the track.

    What does mast inversion mean?

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    Robert Netsch
    Nags Head, NC
    --
  • QuoteWhat does mast inversion mean?


    it means when your mast inverts it's curve the wrong way - often do to oversheeting/excess strain and some unexpected movement in the forces (strong windshift, wave bounces your rotation, etc)

    when you sheet the main and or downhaul the mast bends along a curve and in other directions too.

    Mast compression when reefing is an issue and can contribute to a mast inversion becoming a mast failure:

    A main that is hooked aloft and uses a downhaul is a 1:1 purchase

    When you reef a main by taking the main (head) off the hook atop, and secure the main via the halyard and a cleat somewhere by the base of the mast ... you have changed your 1:1 (downhaul:hook) to a 2:1 (downhaul - around a sheeve:back down the mast to a cleat) thus doubling the compression/bending forces on your mast

    there are ways to add another sheeve aloft to help spread out some load.

    If you have a comp tip , this is a big issue i would assume
    if you don't have a comp tip, and are sailing with 4 people and it's honking out ... this could be an issue

    Either way: you are adding stress and wear to the mast and all it's fittings.

    I would recommend a second rig (mast and sails) vs reefing personally. I have a reefing system on my 6.0 and it is nice to have a safety feature but having any run of the mill issue happen while it's blowing 25-30 makes everything much more intense


    (i own a 5.5 and 6.0 and swap gear out all the time to reduce or increase with the wind)



    Edited by MN3 on Mar 23, 2020 - 10:24 AM.
  • I have a friend who owns a H21. We have been out two up in some pretty heavy stuff. Ok, about 70 yrs of cat sailing between us but still. If you put 4 crew out on those wings, you shouldn't have an issue controlling the boat in those conditions. Learn how to de-power the boat, don't pull out that huge spinnaker and you should be good to go.

    --
    dk

    Blade F-16
    Hobie Tiger
    Hobie 14
    Corsair F-242
    Mirage 25
    --
  • For what it's worth... The reefing method I am familiar with that I used on my H18 involved a section of 1/8 1x19 wire shackled to the head of the sail, with the ring on the other end which would engage the mastehead hook. This eliminates the aforementioned compression load.

    There may be an issue getting the sail down however, as when you rotate the mast, the ring may rotate right along with it as there is no sail resisting it. I left the "flapper" on my H18 hook to solve the issue. Without that, you may need to capsize the boat to disengage the hook, or get creative with another solution.

    --
    Bill Mattson
    Prindle 19 "Gelli Bean"
    Prindle 19 "Cat's Pajamas"
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  • I have to ask if anyone is concerned when these types of modifications are made. I understand dabbling in the margins but when these boats are designed, there are smart people that work out the geometry, work out the loads, figure the engineering and manufacture accordingly. Yes, there is some safety factor built in but how do you know if you are coming close or exceeding that factor when making modifications? When something breaks and there are injuries or worst then who owns the liability?

    There are a lot of cheap boats out there right now. As you can see from my signature, I am an advocate of multiple boat ownership. I find it better to switch boats based on conditions rather than modify the boat I am sailing .. IMHO.

    ps - I don't even consider uncovering the H14 unless it is blowing 20+

    --
    dk

    Blade F-16
    Hobie Tiger
    Hobie 14
    Corsair F-242
    Mirage 25
    --
  • QuoteYes, there is some safety factor built in but how do you know if you are coming close or exceeding that factor when making modifications? When something breaks and there are injuries or worst then who owns the liability?


    Quotehow do you know

    all things being equal : when you reef, you are using a 'smaller engine' and the forces SHOULD be similar on shrouds and fittings and attachment points, etc

    so many factors...metal age, storage, use and fatigue, fresh/salt water

    i sail with a few engineers who make BIG mods (remove the dolphin striker and replace with a thicker beam, extend masts, etc) and they know and do the math

    A (good) engineer who is familiar with material tolerances and spar and metal fabricators alike :know what should work and what is likely to fail

    People who have gone through "many" cats have a good idea of tolerances of equipment but all those factors above come into play

    QuoteWhen something breaks and there are injuries or worst then who owns the liability

    The skipper is responsible for everyone's safety on a vessel, an owner (if not the skipper) can also be liable for life and property if he supplies an unsafe vessel for others to use
    the "liability" can be escalated to aggravated negligence if the courts and or insurance are involved

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