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pitchpole struggle downwind Nacra 5.0  Bottom

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  • Hey folks,

    I have quite big struggle in strong downwind legs with my 5.0.

    When sailing in normal winds till maybe 15 knots the cat seems to be a bit underpowered when sailing downwind. I dont have a gennaker just a squaretop main and the normal 5.0 jib.

    When it comes to stronger winds (like 20knots) the boat becomes suddenly a beast on downwind legs. Even without gennaker it gaines big speeds and the leeward bow is nearly all the time just 2 inches out of the water. With the short waves in my area there is a constant risk of pitchpoling. The helm is sitting at the rear beam and the crew is trapezing on the stern. Also I is not really possible to depower the boat. As I say it becomes a beast. In upwind courses I have no trouble.

    Do you have any Ideas how i can handle those rough rides?

    Regards!
  • I'm not sure you have a problem. Under the conditions which you described, assuming you're talking about the wind on your aft quarter, it's perfectly normal to have the leeward bow almost buried, especially in a 16 ft cat. The Nacra 5.0 has a lot of buoyancy, and it will more than likely go under a little and then come back up if you push it that hard. The only other thing is you mentioned you have a square top main. The 5.0 did not come with a square top so how much sail area was added with the square top? Additional sail area on the upper third of your sail may have something to do with it?

    --
    Bill Townsend
    G-Cat 5.7
    Sarasota
    --
  • It sounds like you are broad reaching. You could sail downwind not so heated up. The crew should not need to be on the wire when sailing downwind w/o spi. Just point a little lower, and both sit aft.
    As the speed builds keep bearing off, but don't bear off into the back of a wave.
  • Sorry for my wording.

    I mean broad reach. When sailing with wind from aft everything is fine, smooth and slow. But the beam to broad reach is like hell. Maybe also the short waves are part of the problem because when i am over one wave and go into the valley the nex wave hit the bow when its pointing down.

    Iam not shure if a spi would help in those conditions beside I really want to have one.

    The square top main is cut by a nacra specalized dealer here in northern Germany. Not shure how much area this adds but i would think it is in the same range as a Nacra 500.
  • Make sure your crew knows to pop the jib free if the bow goes in.

    Sit as far back on the boat as possible (on a broad reach, without a spinnaker, the crew should not be on the trap).

    Turn way downwind in the puffs to depower.

    Catamaran sailing downwind in a strong breeze is never going to be an easy ride.

    sm
  • Good point! Popping the jib sheet is nearly impossible with the original N5.0 rigging. I will take a few fotos the next days. There is no good way to take the sheet out of the cleat while in rush.

    Is it really that helpfull to ease the jib when the bow gets buried? I am curious because of the small area of the jib.
  • Not sure I understand all your concerns. Catamarans suck at downwind sailing, but when the wind shifts or you steer 45 degrees off DDW, it's like stomping the accelerator on a drag car. The boat will accelerate, the bow will dive, until the speed picks up. If that's the conditions you're describing, welcome to beach cats. The obvious solution is to switch to heavier crew, longer boats, or wider beams. A few cats have deeper hulls that are great for preventing bow stuffing. ;)

    --
    Chuck Miles
    1978 Hobie 16
    1991 Hunter 23.5
    TsaLaGi Yacht Club, Jackson Bay Marina
    Fort Gibson Lake, OK
    --
  • I have had a 5.0 with lee bow all under and spray coming off the front cross beam and didnt pitch pole. Some times it digs in big gusts and just about stops the boat but hasnt pitch poled. All of this was in wind under 25

    --
    John

    Nacra 5.0
    CT
    --
  • Thats true, it didnt pitchpole at all.

    But when the cat stops so hard in a wave that my crew is flying all the way around the trapeze orbit it isnt really better than a direct pitchpole capsize icon_biggrin



    Edited by hannes-neo on Jul 20, 2022 - 01:24 AM.
  • QuoteBut when the cat stops so hard i a wave that my crew is flying fly all the way around the trapeze orbit it isnt really better than a direct pitchpole capsize


    Sure it is, you didn't get wet, you didn't break anything, Peter panning your crew is kinda fun actually, and will provide years of story telling fodder

    as mentioned above, change your angle, go deep to slow down, dump your jib when needed and your crew off the wire will prevent peter-panning (which actually can cause the capsize)
  • Have had N5.8s and a 5.0 (which I added a 5.8 rig and a 9' rack for Ruff Riders), and Prindles since '89; that gets a bit sketchy in 20+ winds. You have to work the helm and mainsheet a lot in big breeze. You will have to watch for the puffs. Drop the traveler down all the way and you will need to twist the main off. Having a square top will add to the nose dive off the wind. Think of the large laver arm up top. I keep the wind about 100 degrees apparent. In the puff, ease the main more and drive down 10-20 degrees to bleed off the power. In time, you will be able to do this instinctively and smoothly where you will be able to feel the boat, puff and power. We used to trap off the stern on the Tornadoes when the wind got to 30. It gets real sketchy getting them back on and jybing. The good news with the 5.0 is the rounded decks will allow you to bury the bow a foot or two and survive. I have found that in the real puffy conditions; 15 puffs to low 30s, the Prindle just dives like Red October. If the wind stays steady 20-30, I have a chance because my boat speed can accommodate the wind speed. It's something that takes time and practice. At least you'll be good at righting the boat.. icon_cool

    --
    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)
    --
  • Give the crew a way to lock in on those hairy broad reaches. Either a line to hold on to from the transom or a line with a hook that they hook to their harness. A foot strap also helps.
    You should be able to bury the whole boat under water and not capsize if the crew doesn't go flying and you both ease the sheets during those sketchy moments.
    reaching is for thrills, getting upwind/downwind is the real challenge
  • hannes-neoHey folks,

    I have quite big struggle in strong downwind legs with my 5.0.

    When sailing in normal winds till maybe 15 knots the cat seems to be a bit underpowered when sailing downwind. I dont have a gennaker just a squaretop main and the normal 5.0 jib.

    When it comes to stronger winds (like 20knots) the boat becomes suddenly a beast on downwind legs. Even without gennaker it gaines big speeds and the leeward bow is nearly all the time just 2 inches out of the water. With the short waves in my area there is a constant risk of pitchpoling. The helm is sitting at the rear beam and the crew is trapezing on the stern. Also I is not really possible to depower the boat. As I say it becomes a beast. In upwind courses I have no trouble.

    Do you have any Ideas how i can handle those rough rides?

    Regards!

    Throw more downhaul at her, and travel up just a bit on your traveler, then sheet out a little farther. it will cause the main sail to twist off at the top more there by pulling more with the bottom and giving it less moment from the top of the rig. you can do the same with the jib, by moving your blocks back some in the tracks.

    as to being sluggish down wind, you may be running too far down wind to get your apparent wind up

    --
    Captain Chris Holley
    Fulshear, TX
    '87 Prindle 19 "¡Hijole!"
    '74 sunfish "1fish"
    --
  • I was once told... "embrace and become as one with the pitch-pole..." icon_lol

    Sound like you're doing everything right, but as others noted, you may want to power down a bit. Setting up the jib blocks so the crew quick react is going to be hard as they are doing to be on different positions on the boat. Your best bet would be to de-power the main when seeing the hull going a little too deep.

    Also, when you see the hull burring to the main beam... try heading up (turning into the wind) a little until she settles down, then drop her off to heat in back up... wash rinse and repeat. It is kind of a balancing act between the helm and the mainsheet

    Don't feel bad, it happens to the best and some say it is a "right of passage."

    https://youtu.be/L1MnPadNmJI

    --
    John Schwartz
    Ventura, CA
    --
  • many years ago, I saw a picture of two 5.2s racing downwind; one with traveler centered and mainsheet all the way out and the other with traveler down and tighter mainsheet. From my understanding, the wind was in 20s and they stayed next to each other the whole downwind leg. There are many ways to sail these boats and you have to just go sailing and figure out what works for you. I have a few things that I do on boats that I'm told doesn't work well, but I'm able to beat the critiques with them.

    --
    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)
    --
  • hannes-neoGood point! Popping the jib sheet is nearly impossible with the original N5.0 rigging. I will take a few fotos the next days. There is no good way to take the sheet out of the cleat while in rush.
    .


    Please post some photos. There is something wrong if you can’t “snap” the sheet & get the jib to release, especially once the sheet gets wet.
    The bigger brother, our N5.7 has tracks, so the jib blocks can be moved fore/aft. The 5.0 has a fixed point. However, both use Harken blocks. There is an adjustment on the block, which allow you to change the angle of the cleat. It’s very simple, two screws.
    We can snap the main & jib sheets out while seated, fore/aft, or on the wire.
    He’s is a photo of the Harken jib blocks. It’s on a 5.7, but the blocks are the same on the 5.0.
    You can see the arc plates, that allow for changing the sheeting angle, best seen on the left block.
    https://www.thebeachcats.…fb404748bb56526fd09991c7



    Edited by Edchris177 on Jul 24, 2022 - 10:23 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
    --
  • hannes-neoGood point! Popping the jib sheet is nearly impossible with the original N5.0 rigging. I will take a few fotos the next days. There is no good way to take the sheet out of the cleat while in rush.

    Is it really that helpfull to ease the jib when the bow gets buried? I am curious because of the small area of the jib.

    Very simple solution that I provided years ago. A simple pull on the sheet will release it from the cam.
    https://www.thebeachcats.…pictures?g2_itemId=18431

    Folder/Album: https://www.thebeachcats.…pictures?g2_itemId=18279

    https://www.thebeachcats.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=18433&g2_serialNumber=9

    --
    Philip
    --
  • When it gets really sketchy, center the traveler and tighten the mainsheet, almost as tight as upwind. And head almost ddw. This streaks the mainsail. You can think of it as sailing by the lee

    Ease both Trav and sheet as your head up, or you'll go for a swim.
  • @P.M.:
    thanks for this tip. I have exact the same jib sheet cleat and get always pissed off when taking of the it. I will try the inverted cleat later this summer (currently not in reach of the boat).

    All the other tips are helpfull as well. Thanks folks! Great place here for cat sailing tips and tricks!
  • hannes-neoEven without gennaker it gaines big speeds and the leeward bow is nearly all the time just 2 inches out of the water. With the short waves in my area there is a constant risk of pitchpoling.


    The Nacra 5.0 is really hard to pitchpole particularly compared to a Hobie 16. In this video at about 1:00 we stuff the lee bow about a foot under water, the boat shuttered and abruptly stopped then popped up and said, no worry let's play some more.

    https://youtu.be/neYHxrvgaMA

    --
    Hobie 16 (3 formerly)
    MacGregor 25 (formerly)
    Chrysler Dagger 14 (formerly)
    NACRA 5.0 (currently)
    High Point, NC
    --

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