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pitchpole struggle downwind Nacra 5.0  Bottom

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  • Bro, practice…. In lighter wind to gain instinct on the boat… then repeat in more wind… repeat… once YOU learn the boat, coach your crew through the situation and procedures…then practice as a team in bigger wind… at those winds, pay attention to the boat and your crew and you may only have a hint of control, … others will be depowering and if you and the boat can handle it you will be rocking and rolling all the way home. Rinse, repeat. Inspect the boat hard, gear and knot and rivet failures are 110% preventable and spoil the day. Don't be that guy. Cheers.

    Vet H14,18,F16, now foils at Garda

    Edited by robpatt on Aug 07, 2022 - 11:49 AM.
  • 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?


    A couple thoughts. First, How much sail area did the Square top add if any.

    Second, are you traveled down?

    Third, How much cunningham (downhaul are you running)

    The nacras are pretty pitchpole resistant. your boat is less prone to pitchople than you think it is. I routinely run my prindle with a few inches of bow out of the water. In higher winds we need to start depowering the sail top and bring out center of effort down and that is where the square top comes so in handy.

    If a lot of sail was added up top, then your center of effort has been raised. There are some ways to combat this and make the boat want to tilt less. First you are doing right by moving back. Next, pull downhaul till you think you will break it and then pull some more. last, dont travel down the sail and keep the sheet so tight, but travel up a liitle and feed more sheet. This will promote more twist on the sail and cause the top to spill off even more in conjunction with the downhaul.

    Remember your downhaul controls the top 2/3 of the sail and the first little bit of DH you pull causes shape to come into the sail and deepen the draft or cord of the wing. The more we pull it, the more curve we put in the mast, and the more the sail flattens and the cord moves forward toward the mast. Give this a go and let us know what you think

    Captain Chris Holley
    Fulshear, TX
    '87 Prindle 19 "¡Hijole!"
    '74 sunfish "1fish"
  • if memory serves, go deeper in gusts to stall at bit. if you head up you are merely on a less broad reach still under full power from the apparent wind. As mentioned above depower the rig, twist off the main and I think loosen the downhaul to flatten the sail. A mast rotator control may do you well downwind in any conditions

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