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Sandy Dancer

Sailing the CS17

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59dbc2a046789_doublereef.thumb.jpg.4359dccc710bdda7da8be4e6b70ada05.jpg Todays sail report. Wind was out of the South at 15kts to 20kts and there was a 2ft to 3ft chop. I decided to try going out double reefed for both main and mizzen as you can see.I was not sure how high to raise the sails up the mast so I set the downhaul at about the same place where it would tighten the full sail. What you can't see are the numerious white caps outside of the cove. With sails up I paddled out to the wind line. I have a very short canoe paddle and it works fine in calm water. I was really glad that I had double reefed. Immediately i let out both sheeets and fell off the wind. On that reach I was pretty stable so I turned on the GPS to find I was doing 7 kts.  I fell off the wind a little more and Sandy wanted to surf which was a little scary. considering she was doing over 8 kts.  I was beginning to think "what am i doing out here" but after a little while I got the feel of what was going on, sheeted in and headed up wind. Boat speed dropped down to 4kts to 6 kts but now the ride got to be quite wet. One thing that felt really good was how Sandy lifted over the 3ft chop. Sometimes I though she might bash into the next one but no she just rode over it. I had a bit of a problem tacking. She would go into irons and then go backwards. I suspect my sail trim and heading had something to do with that. The gusts sometines wanted to lay her over farther than I was confortable with and he sails were out pretty far out. Even though the teltails were streaming aft, I wasn't holding a very close course to the wind. Anyway it was a really fun ride today. I felt more confident than ever about Sandy however 15-20kts seemed like a lot of wind. I just dont know what  the sail plan for 20-25kts would be?  Still just learining.

 

 

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It sounds (and looks) like you're having a good time with your new (very pretty) boat.  Congratulations!  As you get to know the boat you may find (as I did) that a breeze of 17 knots or so is about perfect for the unreefed rig (though you've got a bit more sail than I did - No battens in mine).

If you start to get into irons just grab the mizzen and push it over where it's supposed to end up.  It will push the stern around to get you on the next tack.  Also, as you noted, once you are in irons the boat will quickly start going backwards (it's a light boat). As soon as you start going backwards you'll have to reverse the tiller to finish the tack because if you leave it where it is, it will be pushing you back onto the original tack.  The more often you sail, the more automatic these things will become.

   And if you've got a boat like yours sitting on a mooring near your home you have a moral responsibility to sail as often as possible and post lots of pictures so the rest of us can have some vicarious joy. ;)

Edited by Ken_Potts
corrected a typo

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Thank you Ken. I will try to live up to my sailing responsibility. Today the wind was very light and I had other things to attend to. I might try sailing backwards as a technique to backing into a slip. Could come in handy! Has anybody perfected that? Also I am wondering if anyone has a suggestion for how to hove to in a cat catch?

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Heaving to in a cat ketch is very simple- ease the main sheet, haul the mizzen in tight and the boat will weather cock into the breeze very nicely. If you centralise the tiller with a tiller tamer then you will achieve your aim of sailing backwards, sometimes at a knot or 2. If you leave the tiller angled to one side then the boat will back and fill a little like a sloop with a back winded jib.

Cheers

Peter HK

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Yep - sailing backwards is a fun and useful trick.  Leave the main sheet loose and push the mizzen forward of the beam and you can reach in reverse.  Somewhere there's a video of Graham and his crew (Randy?) departing a checkpoint in the everglades challenge.  A sail was pushed forward and the boat backed away from the dock before turning and racing away.  Just like backing out of the driveway.  After seeing that video I made it one of my regular maneuvers.  Unfortunately the majority of the boats at my local launch site were powerboats so I didn't amaze and amuse nearly as many people as I thought I should have. :)

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Sandy, thanks for your thoughts and observations. As I noted in my most recent post, it could be very helpful to those of us who have recently launched if we have a place to share experiences of how to get the best out of our cat ketch rig. Here in Australia, that is a very rare rig, most preferring classic sloops, so there are few people to talk to about handling tips.

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You Aussies are great. I know this because I married one of your countrymen and we are still together (see her picture). I regret that i never joined a sailing club when we lived in Sydney. I was way young and wanted to travel. We went from Sidney to South austrailia wine country then across the Nullabor Plain, Dirt road with limited gas and repair stations when we did it. We left Austrailia from Brisbane 3 years after arriving in Sidney. I loved your country, just missed out on the sailing.  Now I'm trying to catch up here in the USA with very few sailors. Like  Ken points out, we have mostly motor boaters as well. Thanks so much for your helpful sailing tips.  Today was another light wind day and would have bee a good one to work on backwards sailing, but, work got in the way and then, we drove our son and grandaughter to the Airport so they could take off to Paris for the week. Travel seems to have become infectious in our family. Tomorrow Maggie and I take off for Atlanta, so no more sail practice until Monday. I know you'll understand this!

Jeff & Maggie Cox

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We are an international lot these days Jeff. Our twin sons and their wives and children live in LA (Silverlake) so seeing the grand kids is a major expedition. What we all have in common is a maritime history and a love of sailing. Everyone who has seen Dragonfly 2 since we launched her a couple of weeks ago is very impressed with Graham's design and the speed she achieves off the wind. With more experimentation and ideas from others I'm sure we can get the best out of this design.

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And I'm another North Carolinian who married an Aussie.  Plan A was that she'd move to NC.  We're currently enjoying plan B. :)

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Life doesn't always go to Plan A Ken. I lived in Perth for 7 years - know it well. Enjoy Cockburn Sound and Swan Reach.

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   I do enjoy them often.  I lived in Canberra for a year.  Enjoy Burley Griffin and Tidbinbilla (and Jervis Bay when you can be bothered to drive that far) :)

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The main tip that I learned from talking to Graham (at a messabout) was to worry about trimming the main first, and then the mizzen.  This is especially true when you get a gust-- let the main out first.  If you do the opposite, boat dynamics automatically wants to roll the boat.  This is not what you want!

 

Secondly, when I'm in irons, I do the opposite that Ken does.  I pull the main to the opposite side of the boat to the tack I want to be on.  The bow dutifully moves over to your tack.  Try them both!  

 

Also, intentionally heave to, and watch your boat behave itself.  It is the coolest thing.  The steps are:

1) board fully down,

2) mizzen sheeted in tightly

3) main sheet loose-- uncleated

4) don't touch the tiller

 

Enjoy your boat.  See you at the messabout.

 

Don Silsbe

Local Honey

BRS15

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I will give it a try Don. I was out on our local pond today in very little wind, which gave me a chance to play at balancing the sails to maintain steerage. After years of sailing sloops I am learning new things.

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Sailing report for yesterday. The wind was 10-12 kts from the SW to start but then moved to the south. This gave a confused chop of 1 to 2 feet. I sail the very eastern end of the albemarle sound so there is a long fetch and even in light wind it is always chopy. With both sails up full it was a very pleasent sail up wind at about 4-5 kts. Looking up at the main, I noticed that my topping lift was too tight. I sheeted in the Mizzen, centered the tiller and let out the main and just like you'all said, sandy pointed into the wind, stayed there and slowly sailed backwards. This gave me plenty of time and stability to go forward and fix the problem. Back at the tiller I angled it and presto, I was sailing again. On the downwind run home she did a little surfing (not planeing). Since that was so much fun I played a little too long and and then had to make my way back up wind. This is a fun boat to sail.

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Congrats!!!  Awesome to hear that Sandy is on the water-  I'm not going to make the messabout this year, but let me know if you ever get down to the Beaufort area and we'll take Irie and Sandy for a sail together-

 

JP

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The more you sail this rig, the handier it will become.  Spinning her off a beach, backing her down and the general nature of divided rigs becomes second nature in time and you'll miss it if on a sloop again. The ketch rig in general, is commonly referred to as the "gentleman's rig", because it's so easy to handle in various condisions. Yeah it has its quirks just like any rig choice, but easy to learn and get accustomed to. The cat ketch is no different and has less to worry about with the self vanging feature of sprit booms and the lack of headsail sheets to tend. Graham did a nice job placing the lines of this boat in the pretty nice category. She's stable, comfortable, responsive, relatively fast and capable. This isn't an easy column to hit all the marks in, as a  designer. He could have made her faster and more weatherly, but many builders might have found her a little too twitchy or tender or required active hiking to hold her down, build costs would have risen, etc. I think of the Core Sound series is a good raid design, with ample storage, good performance attributes, but not enough to get you into trouble if you're a novice or white knuckle sailor. 

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JP , I would love to sail together. So far I'm the only one on the water every time I'm out. Well, maybe a crabber or two. Today it feels like fall, rainy, windy and chilly. Sandy is dancing on her mooring and wondering why i haven't come out to play. Maybe tomorrow?

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Par,

Drew proposed a sailing thread. Most of the threads are about building and I learned a tremendous about from you and so many others. Now I realize that there is a lot of good sailing experience on this forum as well. It would certainly be nice to have it all in one place.

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