Good afternoon friends,....need a little advice on my new love, an '85 P19. Boat is in fantastic shape, and decked out for comfort and distance with a full wing setup. She is a beast of power and speed, and a challenging partner I look forward to attempting to master. I need a couple pieces of advice if someone has the time.
First, the marina I sail out of is dead down wind to the consistent 12 knot winds that blow on the NC coast. The south facing marina is only 100 feet wide or so with boats on all sides. Coming in hot and turning up seems like a recipe for disaster, so we have been attempting to drop the main on the sound, and sail in under the jib, which has worked great a couple of times. The last two times out however, I have destroyed my hands, and pride, nearly the boat, trying to raise that damn main enough to unhook from the mast. Between the waves, wind, mast rotating, etc, I can't get enough force to get it to move. These have been higher wind days, 15 knots or so. One time I blamed it on the old original main, next time out we flew the new sails (Neil Pryde carbon), and I have used Sailkote, and every other trick I can manage. I made a loop in the amsteel halyard and tried using my foot to make it move. No luck. We had to go to shore, get off the boat, raise and unhook and drop the main, and then sail under just the jib back out and around a dock, and into the marina. Is there any trick i'm missing? Since this will happen every time I need a new solution. Can I cleat the halyard to the mast and go easy on the downhaul? That's how the main would be reefed I assume, so why not just stop short of the hook, and cleat off.
Second issue is at speeds above 15 knots the rudders pop due to water resistance. Yesterday we were flying the main only, doing about 12, deployed the jib and took off, within 30 seconds both rudders had independently popped, making the boat a monster to handle and nearly impossible tack. The previous owner glassed over the adjustment bolts for reinforcement,.....is the only solution to buy new rudders and hope the new system works properly? There is a set of MX rudders available, but at $600 its 20% of the boat's cost and hard to justify.
Thank you all for your feedback.
Edited by theblackpearl on Aug 28, 2020 - 03:29 PM.
this is a tough ask. taking the main off while on the water? the only reliable solution to this is to get on anchor. this will keep your bows into the wind. problem is all the wave action - but nothing can be done about that
no - when on the hook aloft and the downhaul afoot - you have a 1:1
take it off the hook, let it roll over the sheeve aloft and you now have a 2:1 - doubling the stress on your mast
while reefed - you are reducing the force by reducing sail area (still 2:1 and not optimal).
Out of my area of expertise but can't you sand them out?
also - i paid $800 for new hobie18 casting, on my $400 hobie 14 years ago - $600 for a set doesn't seem to terrible
(i just purchase a $2k motor for my $600, 1956 alum boat)
I’m not a Prindle guy, but in general regarding beach cats, they really aren’t designed to raise and lower the main on the water. Yes, it can certainly be done, but on shore is really where the main is intended to be raised and lowered. The problem is that the boat really needs to point directly head to wind to hook and un-hook the main. Also, the mainsheet and downhaul need to be fully eased (as in disconnected). So it’s very difficult to achieve both of these things (head to wind and mainsail disconnected) simultaneously on the water without a motor. I would say your best bet would be to put the boat hove-to before attempting to lower the main. This will keep you “close” to the wind and stabilize the boat. Otherwise, you may want to invest in a halyard handle to make pulling the halyard a little easier. I would not recommend sailing without the halyard ring engaged in the hook.
Edited by Dogboy on Aug 28, 2020 - 08:35 PM.
Thank you for the quick reply. Maybe I need to find a well placed sandbar. Lol.
I suppose I am being cheap on the rudder replacements....I can't imagine parting with the boat and its a necessary fix.
Thank you for the tips Dogboy,....ill definitely pick up a handle, might be a difference maker.
why are you not even considering getting on anchor?
getting on anchor should be the first thing you do when you capsized for the same reasons (or deploy a drift sock). Stop moving, point the bows into the wind, give you the ability to take your time and move around without fear of getting in more trouble.
Do you think a 5lb folding anchor would be enough? I have a 14lb danforth, from my other boat. I guess I have been trying to keep the boat as simple and clean as possible, and the thought of carrying an anchor never occurred to me. I have been used to monohulls where staying in irons was much easier, and more could be accomplished. I also have been under the impression that a mast rotated into the wind, with the sail let out would be the same as being pointed directly into the wind. Clearly not the case.
the correct anchor depends on the type of bottom it is being applied to
i am not a fan of folding anchors - i have yet to see them hold a catamaran in 15-20 knots
i sail in combination conditions, soft white sands, fields of seagrass, oysterbeds, and muck
i use a fortress 7 alum danforth
it weighs nothing, it works in all these conditions mostly well but it can be a challenge to get it to set in at times if i don't have a few feet of chain on it
I have used several cheap steel ones from walmart over the years ($15/ 5lbs or similar) - they work fine but i had a friend "in the biz" and gave me his employee discount - i own 2 :) although the second one came with my 6.0.
the weight savings is nice, the lack of rust is nice - ymmv
and don't get me wrong, carrying an anchor on a beach cat is a pita. they are big, sharp, pointy, and cats don't come with anchor storage.
I used to carry mine in a little duffle bag lashed to the deck by the beam (actually flight carry on bag) - that lasted a few season.
then i gave in and did what most of the others here do - stuffed it in the front tramp pocket - that works but leads to scratched beams and masts, ripped pockets over time
I now use a "front tramp net" to keep it off the deck - but i wouldn't ever sail without it even if it mean stuffing it in a pocket.
It is critical for me to right my 5.5 or 6.0, to park in a squal, to park on the lea of an island or beach, etc
Edited by MN3 on Aug 29, 2020 - 10:08 AM.
Sounds like a good idea MN3, Ill be making it a part of the kit moving forward.
You can see in the photos the glassed over rudders,...I am wondering if replacing the springs and catch mechanism will make a difference since it was done only a few years ago. Cheaper solution to try anyway.
Edited by theblackpearl on Aug 29, 2020 - 12:39 PM.
I've lowered my main once under way on the P19 and that was an experiment while using a 12 lb Cruise n Carry outboard. Even THAT was a pain in the a**. Are you sure you are not getting off the hook, or just not able to get enough rotation? One issue is you can unhook easier with more rotation, but with more rotation it's harder to pull the sail down. What worked for me that day on the water was to leave the downhaul rigged. I eased the downhaul enough to leave slack, hauled in on the halyard, rotated the mast 90 deg to port, then pulled on the downhaul to get off the hook. (I've got a 6:1 downhaul, btw).
On the rudders... It sounds like the last owner filled the large holes in the rudder where you get to the inside nut of the rudder locking bolt? That's crazy. If you want to restore the adjustment, you might try loosening the exterior nut, then put a wrench on the latch and see if you can break it free. This would only allow you to adjust in one direction, which would induce weather helm, and also (in what I consider a design flaw) will make the kick up issue worse. But if you are able to remove the bolts, you could then drill out the epoxy restoring the ability to adjust the locking bolt. Moving them in will make them latch better, but may also induce lee helm which you definitely do not want. Another option is to replace the rudder springs (available at Murrays.com), or the rudder locking bolts if they are worn and you are able to remove them. Another idea is to take a wrench to the latching bolt and try to bend it up. I would not do this while it is installed as you might crack the rudder.
Finally, as a last resort you can add jam cleats to the tiller bars and cleat the control line that lowers the rudders. I've got one rudder that just started kicking up at high speed (at 18 knots yesterday). I installed the cleats for the raising lines because I don't trust the v cleat to kept my rudders up. It turns out these are great to use with the control line that lowers the rudders if they are not staying down. And if you use 3/16 line, the line will break if you hit something. (Found that out on Weds when I put the boat into some rocks which is another story.)
At some point I will deal with my kick up issue, although it only happens at very high speeds, broad reaching.
The high speed sail yesterday:
Prindle 19 "Gelli Bean"
Prindle 19 "Cat's Pajamas"
Bill that was super helpful thank you! I will try all your suggestions! If the problem with the rudders persists I will just throw down the money for the generation two MX style rudders. I don't anticipate selling this boat, so it may be worth it long term. The cleat idea may be the best immediate fix. I believe a contributing factor is the additional width created by the "reinforcement" that was applied causing the casting to splay slightly, and the rudder perhaps not seating quite as deep as it should.
Speaking with the prior owner, he claims he never had issue with the rudders popping, so perhaps springs will be enough. As in your situation, they only seem to go when we are in the upper teens for speed, but that's also when I need them down. Lol.
So the reinforcement makes the rudders too wide for the castings? That's a problem on a couple of levels including putting more load on the hinge bolt and also probably contributing to the rudder kick up issue. Can you sand the rudders down to fit the castings? I also had a boat with the castings bent way out wider than the rudder. I fixed it with a C Clamp, literally giving it a half turn every hour or so, and humming a comforting tune to take my mind off the casting cracking at any instant.
I believe there are only two versions of rudders, with the one being larger (The MX style?), and I believe the larger ones use different gudgeons, so you may have to change those as well. (The experts can verify or correct me on this). I do know that one of the sailors in our group has a rudder kick up problem at high speed and attributes the issue to the increased drag of the larger rudders.
Prindle 19 "Gelli Bean"
Prindle 19 "Cat's Pajamas"
Thank you all for your insight. I have been thinking more about the main on the ocean situation, and I think the problem may not be my strength vs. friction to raise the sail, but rather the ring getting caught on the bottom of the hook as the mast rotates around while in irons in the waves. So no amount of strength is going to fix the issue, it becomes about technique. I purchased a halyard puller, and I am going to anchor in the sound (without my wife!) and practice to see if I can figure out a better process.
The reinforcement does appear to have made the rudders slightly too wide, especially on the starboard side. They still lock down, but there is some noticeable bend to the casting that could be corrected with your method.
I'm currently on the fence with the rudder repair. I can sand down the rudders, and rebuild the assembly with new springs etc. and keep my fingers crossed that works. Removing the catch bolt might be a challenge as it is epoxied in, but a drill press should be able to take care of it. Less than a $100.00 fix, but have less confidence that it will be effective and quite a bit of time (precious with three young children).
I can invest in the new MX blades and gudgeons as well as all new assembly hardware, and fix it properly but at an expense of close to $900.00.
Third option would be to install a quick release clamcleat on the top of the tiller arm. Says you can set resistance to over 500lb, and it will still break away if you hit something. While this is the easiest, and guaranteed to work, I feel like its also a work around. I also fear that when the rudder does pop (as this doesn't address the root cause just the symptom), no matter how tight you cam the rope, weather helm will still develop due to stretch in the line. Certainly not to the extent as when the rudder is up, but will it be enough to annoy me that I didn't just fix it right to begin with.
Here's my take. I beach up on a sandbar whenever possible to hoist and strike the main. Beachcats are damn unruly at dockside. I carry an anchor. I rig it under the tramp right below the mast step. One day I might fulfill my plan to fix a length of PVC pipe under there so I can just stuff the shank down in it. I have joined the dark side and mounted a Torqueedo motor on a Cheeta mount on the rear crossbar. This takes all the mystery out of maneuvering in a tight ramp basin. One solution to releasing the Aussie ring is to tie a tripline to the ring so you can force the release once you have the ring up off the hook.
As to the rudders get all the epoxy out of there. A heat gun works nicely to soften epoxy. Mind where the hot air goes! Restore them to stock or bite the bullet and replace them.You might be able to scare up a used set. Have you looked at the parts classifieds on this site? Where in NC do you sail? There might be a set in Kitty Hawk i could connect you with.
Edited by gahamby on Aug 30, 2020 - 02:35 PM.
1982 Super Cat 15
Excellent! The tripline is definitely something to try as well considering I think I misdiagnosed the cause of the main not dropping.
I have considered a motor,...but I don't think that it will help me with reentry into the marina considering the downwind location. Movement isn't the issue, its the inevitable accident I am going to cause by coming in hot. I suppose I should try it in lighter conditions with the main sheeted all the way in and see if its controllable. Just realllly don't want to crash into a Jarrett Bay.
I sail out of Morehead City area, on the crystal coast. Usually going between Atlantic Beach and Emerald Isle on the Bogue Sound. I am planning a trip to nags head next month,...if you have a contact Id love to meet them! Thank you.
Good topic for discussion with some solid takeaways. As a P19 sailor who does a good bit of singlehanded sailing, the first mod I did was to install a roller furling system on the jib. I have found this significantly helps in depowering the sail plan. Also for making tight turns in narrow fairways and channels I like to have the boards up which makes for a quicker turn as long as I have good flow over the rudders.
As far as carrying an anchor especially where it can be quickly deployed is good seamanship. MN3 has some hard earned wisdom and sage advice which I’ve incorporated into my routines and anchor usage is a huge one. I’m a big proponent of lessons learned, (especially by others) as I myself have Up to this point used several of my 9 lives.
Hoisting sail other than tied to a dock or beach is truly a PITA which tests my patience particularly in any sea state and not something I want to routinely do. I agree with gahamby about removing to epoxy to gain access to the tightening bolt. If that doesn’t fix the issue you could always resort to a newer rudder system. Btw I heading to Emerald Isle for a week in mid September and maybe we could hook up for a sail tune up. I plan to launch at 13th Ave and set up a temp mooring in the Sound around 24 ave.
Some pics of the rudder "reinforcement" job. Both rudders suffered the same fate. You can see from the aft image that the casting is flaring out slightly at the bottom due to the extra width. The catch hook its also pretty well expoxied on there. The boat was used in a watertribe challenge and the sailor was concerned about a rudder snapping when racing through the shallows, so he set them and glued them in, not thinking about long term ownership.
Todd that's awesome you're going to be in the area! I would love to meet up! The learning curve has been real and your advice and experience would be invaluable. Let me know your timeline and I'm sure I can make something work out around my work schedule.
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