Does anyone have any experience with sailing a 18 ft cat alone? Is it reasonable to sail with just the main sail up and a 150 lb righting bag as a aid to right it alone?
I like to sail often and don't always have a crew at moments notice.
well, I have only had my 18' cat like a couple of weeks, but both times I have sailed on it, it has been alone. I have a neighbor who said he'd go with me on the first trip, but when we get to the put in spot, he backed out because of some reason or another, but I had been looking forward to it so much, I did not care and went by myself, leaving him on the dock.
I had a blast and did not really have any beach cat experience, but do have mounds of sailing experience.
Now that I know I can put up and take down the mast by myself, I really do not need anyone else though having them would be fun and less work.
Plus, the extra weight would help, i think, because...it is kind of funny...
In that i thought when i bought it my 215 pound frame would prolly bog it down...HAHAHA...joke's on me...
edited by: hello, Mar 07, 2009 - 03:48 PM
I sail mine alone sometimes...depends how windy it is. If ya might think it's gonna be to windy/breezy, use just the main sail, but don't cleat the line~~ keep it hand to dump some air instead of going over.... Just tell yerself--I'am out here to sail~~ not to go swimmin
~ Vietnam Vet 69-71~ 17 Hobie w/big jib, ~18 Hobie mag,~DN Ice sailor,
and other toys.......
~~ I live in NY state on the north shore of Oneida lake in
Bernhards Bay. ~~~~~~
i sailed my H18 solo 99% of the time... no problems.. yes you need a righting bag. You should have a furling jib if you sail solo so you can furl it in a pinch. The boats do not handle as well without a jib... but still a good thing to do if you get way over powered.
I now sail my Myeter 5.5 solo 98% of the time. All winds but prefer crew in 20+
edited by: andrewscott, Mar 09, 2009 - 05:33 PM
I sail a Nacra 5.5 Uni alone most of the time and although I carry a righting bag, I have never needed it. The Nacra is easily righted with my 180 lb weight on the end of the righting line.
The amount of weight on the end of the righting line is not all that important. If you are big enough to sail it, you should be big enough to right it in enough wind to explain why you are over in the first place.
Andrew is definitely braver than me. I am overpowered and love it in 15 knots and fighting to stay upright at 20+ knots.
I sail my 5.7 solo about half the time. However, I honestly wouldn't go solo if not for my ELEVEN FOOT righting pole. I've tried righting bags and they don't work for me (granted, I only weigh ~165 lbs), but I know some of the guys on here have had success with bags.
Whatever righting system you use, before sailing solo, I would let her tip next to the shore and let her stay tipped for a while, so that the sails get all saturated with water; and then try to right her AGAINST the wind (you're basically simulating a worst case scenario). If you can do it, then you can sail solo with confidence that you won't be the poor guy hailing a ski-boat to help him right his cat
Ryan, why would you even attempt to right against the wind?
If the boat goes down with the sail down wind from the hulls(normal case), stand on the bow. The sail will pull through the wind as the bow moves towards the wind. Once head to wind, move to the stern, wait until the bow is about 45 degrees off the wind and pull the boat up using the righting line.
The weight shouldn't make that much difference (165 vs 180) as the wind on the tramp helps get the mast out of the water. Once the sail is clear of the water, the wind gets under it and you often have to dive for the dolphin striker to prevent the boat from going over the other way.
The righting issue seems to be widespread and I'm starting to wonder if there is something different that makes my boat easier to right. It is the only multihull that I have attempted to right alone, so it may be that I got lucky with boat selection. When I bought it, there was a righting pole installed (which I removed). It does have a carbon spar and no jib or spin, which could make it easier to right.
So far my only skiboat rescue was due to a broken halyard ring, but I will admit that they are not ideal.
The idea is to simulate a bad situation--like when you're far from shore, the wind goes ballistic, and you have to right the boat while big waves are rolling over the sails. I'm sure we've all been there once or twice
I definitely don't mean to suggest this as a normal righting approach. It's just to make sure the righting system has a little bit of a margin for those harry situations.
edited by: rhuntbach, Mar 13, 2009 - 03:39 AM
That definitely makes sense Ryan. There is no way that I would be able to right against the wind even with a bag.
Andrew: Is there a big difference in weight between an aluminum spar and carbon? I know the flex characteristics are different, but not sure about the weight. My Uni is only 340 lbs, but does have a 30' mast and still carries 172 ft^2 of sail. I suspect that the square head mains would be harder to right as there is more sail area at the very end of the mast.
There are a few local boats with different setups. I'll see if I can get one of those up solo.