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Noobie raising the main sail question.  Bottom

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  • I have a Prindle 18-2 and to raise the main sail you have to get a metal ring to catch on a hook on the mast. Was looking at a Dart and when I questioned the owner he said there is a hook on the mast you have to rotate to catch the main.

    I have lots of experience with big cats and raising the main seems much simpler, just raise the main sheet and secure it in a self tailing winch. So why do small beach cats have such a difference. What worries me most is that on my Seawind with a big square top I just release the sheet and it drops like a guillotine. Especially in any type of seaway I am always worried I will not be able to drop the main as quickly as I would like, seems like you have to fiddle around getting something off a hook.

    Any advice on how to best do this and maybe more to the point what is the beach cat that is easiest to drop the main sail on?
  • With my H18, there is some "stretch" in the halyard. So, if the main wasn't hooked at the top of the mast, when I tighten the downhaul, it would just stretch the halyard and pull the main downward. To me, there is some "feel" in getting the ring to hook, especially if the wind is blowing around. Standing on the trampoline, facing forward, standing right side of boom/sail, halyard in right hand and main fully raised, I rotate the mast clockwise (looking down on the mast) and let off on the halyard - I use the rotation arm as a "lever" to rotate the mast. This works most of the time, but sometimes, it is only partially hooked and you find out when you downhaul. Just repeat and try again.

    Unhooking is easier, I think. Loosen downhaul completely - lots of slack. Standing in same place, raise main 1 inch and rotate the mast counterclockwise, keeping halyard in your hand. Then tug downward a little on the tack of the sail to see if you unhooked - you'll know. It won't drop fast due to friction. After a few times, you'll get the "feel" too. Note that the direction of the ring is critical when you hook to the main.

    --
    Tim Young
    Hobie 18' + other stuff that floats and goes.
    Kentucky
    --
  • Quote So why do small beach cats have such a difference.


    i know we have talked about reefing before :) that is why we use the hook

    When you hook aloft and downhaul below you have a 1:1 setup
    when you use a shive aloft and secure afoot and downhaul you have a 2:1 and have doubled your compression loads on your rig.

    beach cats are light weight and not all that overly built to stay fast. thats why we use a hook on a lightweight rotating mast.
  • QuoteI am always worried I will not be able to drop the main as quickly as I would like, seems like you have to fiddle around getting something off a hook.


    Keep inshore, keep your eyes open to the conditions, ears for thunder, iphone for radar.
    sail with a smaller sailplan

    QuoteAny advice on how to best do this

    Testing testing and testing
    rig in your yard -practice your ring on and off skills
    find the method your boat likes
    i have had to bend my hook a little
    i have to be dead to wind or it wont set or come off
    lube and clean your track and if your bolt is swollen or shrunk replace (wont actually help you hook but will make it much less painful when you miss 10000 times)
    find prindle 18-2 threads that discuss this

    Quoteand maybe more to the point what is the beach cat that is easiest to drop the main sail on?

    hobie 16's and others use a bead (on the halyard) and fork setup but this requires you being a few feet forward of the beam so sans having a front tramp it is not a viable on the water solution

    i don't know of any other method on beach cats that is used besides the fork and bead & the ring system besides reefing settups and as you know (we have discussed this) they still have compression issues

    My suggestion would be sell the mini Olympic race boat and buy a getaway - much more forgiving - mild cat performance but easily managed and very robust



    Edited by MN3 on Sep 28, 2020 - 06:27 PM.
  • Hooking the main at the top of the mast allows to play with the downhaul to bend the mast and power/depower the sail. On yachts I believe this is done using the back stay? With a non stretching halyard and the sail rope not tight it shouldn’t be too hard. The mast rotator helps
  • Ragebot,
    On a beachcat you do not want to drop your main while on the water.
    Once you do that, how are you going to get anywhere?
    Jib only?
    Do you have a motor?
    Will you wait for the storm to pass and then hoist the main again?
    This isn't a monohull, you can't throw out a storm anchor and hide in the cabin.
    If you are worried about the weather enough to even consider this, use your main sail to get your butt to shore (and sail it straight up on the beach).
    Most beachcats use metal connections to attach the top of the main to the mast so that while sailing, the flex and inherent weakness in line is not a factor.
    You'll notice we don't have winches on the halyards to add tension either.
    The 18-2 is a beachcat, not a 40 foot Seawind.
    The Seawind may have two hulls sort of, but it sails much more like a monohull.
    In four decades of racing in the ocean I have never seen anyone lower their sail on purpose in the water to deal with weather conditions. You didn't just buy a smaller catamaran, your Prindle is a different kind of sailboat from what you are used to.
    You will also need to learn why to head downwind in a puff, control your sail shape with mast rotation, and how to balance the helm with mast rake, rudder position, or sail shape.
    Where are you? You should find another beachcat sailor to meet you on the water.

    --
    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
    --
  • QuoteOn a beachcat you do not want to drop your main while on the water

    I disagree.
    It’s rare but sometimes the orientation and geometry of the ramp access may make it very hard and dangerous to land with strong wind. I have that condition and very often take the main down and approach the ramp with the jib.
  • Quotehobie 16's and others use a bead (on the halyard) and fork setup but this requires you being a few feet forward of the beam so sans having a front tramp it is not a viable on the water solution

    I have to disagree with this.
    Both Nacra (5.0 & 5.7), use the bead & fork method & neither one has a front tramp. You only need to hold the halyard a foot, or less in front of the mast while raising the sail. Then, with the halyard lined up with the fork, simply move the halyard tight against the mast as you release the tension.
    The bead will be captured. Stow the halyard & go.
    The reverse is also easily done away from shore. Simply pull down,(only takes 1/2”), then move the halyard arms reach out from the mast & let it slip through your hand.
    On windy days when the sail is being blown against the shrouds( my cats are on modified Seadoo lifts & cant be turned), it can be difficult to raise the main.
    The baby Dart is impossible. We just sail out a into the bay on jib alone, let the boat weathercock & raise the main.
    The 5.0 is a bit harder to catch the fork. My buddy has several times not got it quite right, & had the main start to drop while sailing. It’s pretty easy to head up & re-hook.



    Edited by Edchris177 on Sep 29, 2020 - 09:34 PM.

    --
    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
    --
  • Andinista
    QuoteOn a beachcat you do not want to drop your main while on the water

    I disagree.
    It’s rare but sometimes the orientation and geometry of the ramp access may make it very hard and dangerous to land with strong wind. I have that condition and very often take the main down and approach the ramp with the jib.

    +1
    I took the baby Dart out in a 30mph blow one day. Coming back into my dock was very tight as neighbours dock had moved.
    I landed on a small beach about 3/4 mile away, dropped the main & sailed home on jib alone. The Darts use a babies wet wipe for a jib, it was very easy to hop off once in shallow water & walk the Cat onto the lift.

    --
    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
    --
  • Quotehobie 16's and others use a bead (on the halyard) and fork setup but this requires you being a few feet forward of the beam so sans having a front tramp it is not a viable on the water solution

    QuoteI have to disagree with this.
    Both Nacra (5.0 & 5.7), use the bead & fork method & neither one has a front tramp. You only need to hold the halyard a foot, or less in front of the mast while raising the sail. Then, with the halyard lined up with the fork, simply move the halyard tight against the mast as you release the tension.



    Big Edit:
    Gotcha - I guess i am thinking of you need to be a few feet back to see the fork / bead but close to the mast when setting the bead in the fork.
    Can you reliably raise or lower while on the water (on or off anchor) with a bead and fork halyard system? I can't see how

    I can reliably set an anchor and get my main on or off the hook every time (unless i jam my shackle through the hook which i have learned is possible). I do this for reefing



    Edited by MN3 on Sep 30, 2020 - 02:19 PM.
  • QuoteCan you reliably raise or lower while on the water (on or off anchor) with a bead and fork halyard system? I can't see how

    Lowering the sail is incredibly easy, the longest part is getting the halyard out of the pocket. Getting out of the fork is literally about 3 seconds.
    Raising would be almost as easy if swinging from an anchor. However,when solo, the Cat doesn’t want to head right into the wind when you are standing on the front beam. It would be easier if the rudders came clear of the water, like the Hobie or Mystere rudders, but we rig our Nacra so the rudders sit about horizontal & just in the water. We need steerage as we round up at the dock.
    As you drift backwards, the rudders flop over, turning the boat. If you heave-to, (have to tie the tiller), it’s not to bad.
    As said, the 5.0 is harder to get a positive lock, my buddy has several times had the sail not catch, & had to raise it again while on the water. It’s quite easy, you can see the ball & the fork while standing on the beam, or hull just in front of the beam. As long as you pull the ball just below the fork, with the halyard out from the mast, even a foot or so, then move the halyard right up against the mast, you will be successful.

    --
    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
    --
  • [quote=MN3]
    QuoteSNIP

    My suggestion would be sell the mini Olympic race boat and buy a getaway - much more forgiving - mild cat performance but easily managed and very robustEdited by MN3 on Sep 28, 2020 - 06:27 PM.


    Interesting comments; including the suggestion to get another boat. The thing is I am not sure a Getaway is the best choice. I am seriously considering a Stiletto 23. Any thoughts on that option. One thing I really like about my Prindle 18-2 is the wings that have been added. So far it seems forgiving enough for me and I am always very aware of the weather window before I take it out.

    Thanks for all the advice.
  • I dont have any personal time on a Stiletto 23, but there is one close to me for sale, looking for offers. Remember his ask is CDN $, You could probably pick it up for 4K & a road trip.
    https://www.kijiji.ca/v-s…time-on-water/1504664958



    Edited by Edchris177 on Oct 02, 2020 - 01:38 PM.

    --
    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
    --
  • [quote=ragebot]
    MN3
    QuoteSNIP

    My suggestion would be sell the mini Olympic race boat and buy a getaway - much more forgiving - mild cat performance but easily managed and very robustEdited by MN3 on Sep 28, 2020 - 06:27 PM.


    Interesting comments; including the suggestion to get another boat. The thing is I am not sure a Getaway is the best choice. I am seriously considering a Stiletto 23. Any thoughts on that option. One thing I really like about my Prindle 18-2 is the wings that have been added. So far it seems forgiving enough for me and I am always very aware of the weather window before I take it out.

    Thanks for all the advice.


    My suggestion is that you have been having issues with this boat since day 1.
    the getaway is a great option IF you can handle loosing some performance

    the Stiletto is a great option too but isn't it like 14' wide? and almost 900 lbs?
    this is a different world than a beachcat
  • Sorry for slightly off topic but i had some issues with my Nacra 5.0 main when i buyed the boat ten years ago.

    The groove in the mast is O shaped and just a bit bigger then the rope in the main luff. So even with a 3mm dyneema rope as main halyard it was very annoying to raise an lower the main because the halyard and the luff are together in the groove of the mast and they are rubbing against each other. This caused a good amount of force needed when pulling the hailyard down to raise the main.

    So i build a new mast top made from sheet metal stainless to guide the halyard in front of the mast and not in the luff groove. Works very well since this modification. But my local sailmaker was very curious about the need of this modification. He told me that only the older types of the 5.0 has this o-shaped groove and the newer ones has an egg-shaped groove so the halyard easily fit in together with the luff rope. My 5.0 is clearly a newer type build in 1994. I think of newer type because auf several information here in this forum (beam mount, etc).

    Didnt have to think about because my system now works well. But how is the original system meant to be used?



    edit: https://www.thebeachcats.…bbefe84047786349f77d90f6

    The original system looks exactly like the one on the right side (19) of this page. Even the "hook-shakle-system" is the same on my boat like the one at the right side (19).

    My new top section has two guide wheels like the picture on the left side (18) shows.



    Edited by hannes-neo on Oct 03, 2020 - 08:37 AM.
  • I own a nacra 5.2 don't have a hook up top. I simply raise my main halyard has quick connect shackle to attach to the sail, it has a reefed sail and pretty good downhaul setup cleat at bottom of mast and always add a stopper knot just in case seems to work great had the cat for 4 years now never any issues and of course I love to sail in big wind icon_smile
  • catsalorI own a nacra 5.2 don't have a hook up top. I simply raise my main halyard has quick connect shackle to attach to the sail, it has a reefed sail and pretty good downhaul setup cleat at bottom of mast and always add a stopper knot just in case seems to work great had the cat for 4 years now never any issues and of course I love to sail in big wind icon_smile

    your 1975 designed boat/mast is very stout
    I wouldn't suggest this on modern masts that are much thinner/bendy

    https://www.catsailor.com/bb_files/11514.gif
  • As other have mentioned, small modern cats use a hook at the top because we use the mainsail boltrope (and the mainsail itself) to bend the mast pretty aggressively by working the cunningham. This depowers the main very effectively. That's why we don't have reefing points.

    You haven't sailed until you have maxed out your cunningham, bringing the eye on the sail as low as it can go. This flattens out the sail, and "opens up the top" (this is particularly important for mains with big roach and/or square-top).

    Bending the mast like this involves quite a bit of force, hence the 10:1 or more you see in the cunningham. And you would not want all that force to _also_ apply to the halyard, and the block atop the mast. The hook setup puts the pressure exactly where it needs to be, and nowhere else.
  • MN3
    https://www.catsailor.com/bb_files/11514.gif

    I disagree with those calculations... The sail gets a tension of T on all three cases. The 2T and 1.5T apply not to the sail but perhaps to the mast head, wich is of little interest. The most relevant is that you need half the tension on the halyard (and double the lenght and time to raise) in picture 2. Also interesting is that in picture 2 the mast head pulley gets half of the load compared to picture one. If you want to apply constant tension with the full halyard that is relevant too.


    Picture 1 compared to picture 3 is interesting if the halyard goes down through the mast track. Imagine that it's a dyneema halyard attached at the base of the mast instead of a hook at the top, and you have a 10:1 (or less perhaps) downhaul. Then you double the effect of the dowhaul: 1T on the sail and 1T on the halyard, except that now T may be amplified with the downhaul. With other kind of line all this theory is defeated with the stretching of the line, of course. Which I bet it's the original reason why there is a hook, even on old boats without a powerful downhaul. But as said, it may sound good but you don't want to apply all that tension on the mast head pulley, you will likely break something there.
    On the other hand, if the halyard goes down at the front of the mast, as hannes-neo explains, the effect of the downhaul is canceleed by the tension of the halyard in front of the mast. Unless the fork is installed near the mast head, in front of the mast, as it is meant to.

    Edit: hope you didn't read in between my edits...



    Edited by Andinista on Oct 05, 2020 - 03:54 PM.
  • QuoteEdit: hope you didn't read in between my edits...

    icon_rolleyes icon_rolleyes icon_rolleyes haha


    "The sail gets a tension of T on all three cases. The 2T and 1.5T apply not to the sail but perhaps to the mast head, wich is of little interest."

    This is the entire point. the load on the mast .... not the sail

    the load is doubled on the mast when you take it off the hook
    the load on the mast is reducedby using the method in pic 2

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