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Sailing in gusts  Bottom

  • I was sailing in 10 kts, flat water, going from upwind to reaching , and probably had jib in too tight. Got a big gust, which lifted the hull, and pushed the bows in pretty deep, and slowed boat quick. Do gusts always push the bows down? There were lots of medium gusts, i saw them all coming. This was an abrupt and heavier gust than those. I left the jib out more, and the rest of the day and equal gusts caused no issues, just lifted hull. Thanks.

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    John

    Marstrom Tornado
    Nacra 5.0
    Hobie Getaway
    Tasar
    DN
    Lake Lefroy Mini 5.6

    CT
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  • +1
    Had this happen yesterday on my N5.2. I know heading up would be a mistake. Go deeper into full downwind? I have been hit before with enough to dive even then.

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    Robert
    81' NACRA 5.2 "Chris's Flyer"
    Previously owned H18, Trac 14, G-Cat 5.0, H14T, H16, N5.0
    BYC, Mobile, AL
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  • Assuming that you are not overpowered except for that particularly stronger gust, you may sheet out a bit before you hit it, if you see it coming, and then sheet in gradually. If you don't see it coming, sheet out and bear away simultaneously, and recover gradually. In both cases you accelerate the boat gradually instead of lifting the hull or sinking the bow. When it's so strong that the jib by itself is capable to make you capsize (especially if it's yourself who handles both sheets, as in my case) I prefer to sheet in and sail pinching.
  • QuoteGot a big gust, which lifted the hull, and pushed the bows in pretty deep, and slowed boat quick. Do gusts always push the bows down?

    Always? no
    but on a reach that becomes a sceaming reach ... not surprising for the bows to stuff and the boat come to an almost stop as they bob back out

    upwind and downwind it's easier to handle a big puff with standard techniques
    it's the in-between-(death)zone- that is exciting and prone to surprises

    If you can manage your weight and mainsheet - it is usually "rideable" - just move back a bit and sheet out the main a bit. if you or crew isn't on the wire (in your T) might be hard to prevent and if they are on the wire - they may "stuff" forward and make it worse :)


    QuoteGo deeper into full downwind? I have been hit before with enough to dive even then.

    YES - deeper - other options sound wet
    also move weight aft, reduce or even dump the mainsheet if your bows are going under
  • Gusts snd puffs are the best reason for not getting complacent while sailing. The cleats on your control lines are there for convenience, and they allow us to think, "Gee I should set this and sit quietly". This is not why we bought a catamaran, is it? With every speed or direction change your lines (and rudders) should be active (uncleated) and responding to the change. Lake sailing on smooth water can get you complacent, but resist the "monohull martini with your feet up" attitude and learn how to sail your cat. If you are on a beam reach or further away, do the scary but safe thing with a gust and steer downwind, move back, and sheet out. Preferably all three at once. Train your crew to do this, too. To be surprised about having to perform multiple tasks on a cat in response to the wind sounds like you are steering a Catalina 22 with your jib and main cleated while watching TV in the cockpit. Gusts and puffs in ocean sailing are the best- constantly challenging your judgement to vary what you are doing. Enjoy actively sailing your catamaran.

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    Sheet In!
    Bob
    _/)_____/)_/)____/)____/)_____/)/)__________/)__
    Prindle 18-2 #244 "Wakizashi"
    Prindle 16 #3690 "Pegasus" Sold (sigh)
    AZ Multihull Fleet 42 member
    (Way) Past Commodore of Prindle Fleet 14
    Arizona, USA
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  • Monohull Martini sounds good to me.. in the evening after cat sailing:)
  • The absolute most critical thing is to ease your jib off more than you think; on most cats, the crew can only trim one thing at a time with reasonable speed and efficiency, and the helm can help by trimming say the main downhaul. So we're focused on the main with the sheet and downhaul, but the jib is kind of left to its own devices. In short, on a jib reach, on average, = you want the top of the jib flapping just a tad, which generally means when you bear off as the puff hits the jib trim is close to right or ideally still a tad out if the pressure is still on. If you don't do this the jib will drive the leeward bow in hard and capsize risk goes up immensely.
  • AndinistaMonohull Martini sounds good to me.. in the evening after cat sailing:)

    In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that my preferred catamaran martini is a chilled bottle of Martini and Rossi's Asti Spumante. Shared is best, at sunset, and glasses are optional.
    Just sayin'. icon_smile

    --
    Sheet In!
    Bob
    _/)_____/)_/)____/)____/)_____/)/)__________/)__
    Prindle 18-2 #244 "Wakizashi"
    Prindle 16 #3690 "Pegasus" Sold (sigh)
    AZ Multihull Fleet 42 member
    (Way) Past Commodore of Prindle Fleet 14
    Arizona, USA
    --
  • Salud!
  • Quote chilled bottle of Martini and Rossi's Asti Spumante. Shared is best, at sunset,

    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/1-z7Vtmv_lE/hqdefault.jpg
  • +1 on everything people said about not having the sheets cleated and/or being super fast to uncleat.

    If you are going upwind, you can pinch (will slow you down, give rookies a feeling of safety), or (much better) you can ease the sheets slightly while maintaining course or even footing slightly. The boat will dart forward with speed.

    If you are going downwind/broad reach, you can get the initial speed, and then bear away slightly. This will reduce the heeling motion, trade it for pressure forward which will speed you up. Quickly move your weight aft. This works well on newer cats, and flat water. Older cats, chop or if the gust is truly abrupt (and the boat has no chance to pick up speed)... will probably result in a pitchpole. If the gust is _very_ sudden, you might not have a say on the matter icon_smile

    If you're in a reach, you can pick. Don't stay in the reach - upwind and downwind are more stable.

    One more kink to this - often a severe gust also has a shift. In the bay I sail in, the dominant wind is East, with gusts that come down with a 15 degree anti-clockwise shift. So when I'm sailing N (reach) or NE (upwind), the shifts "pinch themselves", and feel really manageable. If I'm sailing SE (upwind), the gust shifts "aft" and is much harder to control.
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