Best rig for small catamaran circumnavigator?

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by randy quimpo, Jan 23, 2006.

  1. rob denney
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    rob denney Senior Member

    The only difference is the proas shunt, so you don't get caught in irons or require slow, easily tacked hull shapes. Still leaves you with the crash jibe, the difficulty of reefing (and sailing) downwind, and the maintenance issues, which are much more relevant to cruisers than performance, particularly when, as Richard points out, that performance requires 100% attention to achieve it.

    Your ideal cruising rig is not the one you have described avove. Big roach mains, rotating masts and backstays are a no no, so you will end up with a 3 stay rig with diamonds with the stays wearing away on the hounds, and fatiguing in the breeze as they are not tight, the same as everybody else. I suppose i should be glad, The rigs you describe fall down often enough that there will never be any shortage of business.

    regards,

    Rob
     
  2. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    LOL ... I've never seen a rig come down that could not have been prevented.

    You have mentioned one of my pet peeves ... the crash gybe. IMO crash gybes fall into the "operator error" folder. I refuse to discuss the ability of any rig to stand while being abused. Faulting a rig for falling down after a crash gybe is like faulting a hull for leaking after being driven at speed onto a rock.

    Fast cruising boats should never be sailing deep angles. If the BAW is forward of the beam a crash gybe requires a *huge* deviation from course or an 'act of god' change in wind speed and or direction. If the boat cannot track well enough and yaws enough to be in danger of a crash gybe, the design is poor, the sailor inept, or the speed is too high for conditions. I'm no fan of "idiot proof design", God builds better idiots faster that the best designers can account for. ;)

    Not to argue, but a 10mm Spectra Jib halyard will keep a mast up just fine after a 6mm SS wire fails.

    As far as 2am reefing drills go ... there should also be enough crew on deck or on call to handle any reasonably foreseeable weather event. ;) In the case of being off a lee shore with squalls possible, she won't be in her PJ's ... she has the choice of napping in her deck gear or reefing naked ... which come to think of it *is* her deck gear ... :)

    I think you have pointed out that a case can be made for more than one rig, and that the requirements and desires of the crew/owner should be considered when making that rig selection. I don't think that there will ever be agreement on what rig is "best" any more than there will ever be agreement on blonds over brunettes or redheads. Different splices for different skippers.
     
  3. Alan M.
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    Alan M. Senior Member

    Just wondering, how well do these Ballestron rigs go to windward? How high can you point? Can you maintain forestay tension?

    What about stayless bi-plane rigs? Would they be able to point as high as a conventional rig on an equivalent boat? Would they go to windward with no headsail?

    On both types of (stayless) rig, how does the variable mast bend affect sail shape? Can you predict mast bend for various wind strengths and cut sails accordingly?

    Just curious, since nobody seems to mention this stuff much.
     
  4. masalai
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    masalai masalai

    Just being cheeky, but if one is cruising (not racing) then why the need to "point high"? - - - - If one is racing then the "rules" will determine what rig....
     
  5. rob denney
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    rob denney Senior Member

    G'day,

    According to Richard Woods, they are 25% more efficient than a conventional crusing rig sailed by a set and forget type of sailor (your average cruiser). I think this overstates the case, but they are certainly superior. Windward performance is as good as most cruisers, but as the breeze gets up the rig works the wrong way. That is, the forestay gets slacker, the jib fuller and pointing deteriorates. Some people put a running backstay on (can be attached to the end of the boom) to combat this but it needs tacking, and is not ideal as the mast still bends sideways. A ballestron with a wing mast and no jib (this is the 3rd reef, the first is automatic, the second is removing the jib) points extremely well, better than any cruiser under similar conditions as there is way less windage.

    Reaching, running and general usability they are vastly superior to any other main/jib rig.

    Biplane rigs get to windward pretty well and are invariably set up to sail without jibs (mast further forward). They would do better if they were wing masts rather than tubes, although Eric Sponberg has had success with oval sections.

    Mast bend is highly predictable and the predictability does not vary once the mast is up. The one in the video was within a couple of mms in the static bench tests we performed. The more we build, the better this prediction becomes.

    Cutting the sails is a bit trickier as few sailmakers have experience with large rigs, as can be seen in the video. Our sails have big roaches and bigger jibs than the aerorig guys use, which makes it much harder for the sailmaker. However, most sails I have seen are pretty good after the sailmaker has had a look and made any adjustments required. Lesson is to ensure the final payment is not made until the sailmaker has been for a sail in 10 knots and 20 knots and the sail looks like the picture on his computer. This is quite easy to check using a camera and standard sail photo techniques.

    masalai,
    The famous lee shore in 40 knots scenario requires good pointing, but otherwise I agree.

    Rhough,
    I wish my sailing was as predictable as yours obviously is.

    regards,

    Rob
     
  6. sharpii2
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    Exactly what is a 'Ballestron rig'?

    I've tried looking it up without success.
     
  7. rob denney
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    rob denney Senior Member

    Otherwise known as an aerorig or an easy rig. The boom extends past the mast and has the jib attached to the front end and sheeted to a track in front of the mast. Sheet loads are reduced and no vang is required. A very easy rig to use.

    regards,

    Rob
     
  8. Gary Baigent
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    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    balestron pedantry

    I may be mistaken but I thought the first spelling of this rig I saw, it was actually spelled baelstron - is it Scandinavian? - and then more commonly - balestron - and I see Rob uses ballestron. The French used the term with Paul Lucas 5.5 metre planing monohull designs back in the 1980's and later of course with Elf Aquitaine 11. Anyone spread more light?
     

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  9. Alan M.
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    Alan M. Senior Member

    Even cruising you still have to go to windward sometimes. And the higher you can point the less distance you have to sail. When it's choppy it's better to sail high and slow rather than low and fast.

    Rob, can you give some examples of pointing angles and speeds in various windspeeds? "As good as most cruisers" doesn't really say much to me.
     
  10. rob denney
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    rob denney Senior Member

    G'day,

    Not really as I have never had wind gear on my boats, nor the necessary cables to download the tracks from gps to the computer for analysis. But even less helpful is they all been on proas, so it is difficult to know how much is boat and how much rig. All my boats have easily tacked through 90 degrees, if that is any help.

    The 15m proa in the video has just been sold (previous owner died) to someone who looks like he will use it a lot, so we should get some numbers from him this summer.

    regards,

    Rob
     
  11. sharpii2
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    Thanks, Rob.

    I thought the 'Ballestron' rig was different to the aerorig.

    BTW- why do you call your boats 'Harry Proas'. Why aren't they called 'Rob Proas'
     
  12. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    Womans Input & Cat vs Tri under 30 feet

    We (Chesapeake Catamarans) used to sell a lot of Stiletto 27 foot catamarans. And the factory guys would come visit us at the Annapolis Boat Show every year. For several years they were contemplating new models...what to do in a new model and/or how to modify their existing one to have more appeal to the market. I forget now how many times I told them to watch the woman's reactions, expressions, etc as you talked to her husband about the catamaran product you were trying to sell them. And then later on see if you can find this same couple looking over other boats. Watch the difference in the woman's reaction between those long slim hulls of the cat with the trampoline in between, and that cozy little monohull they would likely end up buying.

    I finally discovered the 25 foot Dragonfly trimaran over in Denmark, and immediately recognized I could sell this product to the woman. It was like a small monohull with 'training wheels'. I began to import them, but ran into a serious problem with supply. The acceptance of the vessel was indeed excellent, so I had to set about designing our own variation, the Firefly 26'. I am firmly convinced that in the under-30 category the trimaran configuration is superior to the the cat for all-around usability. In the 30-40 size range its open territory, and over 40 its a catamaran world unless you are single-handed racing.

    My point is I agree with this need to address the woman part of the buying decision...very important

    I considered this material as a possibility everytime I get a chance. On the Firefly tri we actually utilized it as a rudder stock material rather than conventional alum casting or stainless bracket. We just sawed a block of thick UHMW into the trapezoidal shape we needed for the slot in the hull's transom, cut out some lightening holes, and drilled a big whole thru for the SS rudder shaft....simple to construct, self-lubricating, non-fouling, inexpensive....

    I even suggested it as a potential bearing material for a rotating mast, but the potential problem is its 'static friction coeff' as opposed to the dynamic coeff.
     
  13. rob denney
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    rob denney Senior Member

    G'day,

    Wife's suggestion, she has no idea why she said it. ( I blame alcohol, perhaps an old boyfriend, or harrsion Ford). It is a lousy marketing choice, but we have had a lot of fun coming up with names. harrigami for the folding one, solitarry for the solo one, harriette and elementarry for the little ones, visionarry for the one for taking blind people sailing, etc. A little bit more imaginative than the usual run of model names.

    The visionarry in the video has just sold. New owner is a keen and knowledgable cruiser, wants to sail it round Australia in the near future, maybe do the Brisbane Gladstone race next year, as well as lots of local cruising.

    Brian,

    Static friction of UHMWPE for unstayed rigs is usually not a problem as the lever arm is so big.
     
  14. BigCat
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    BigCat Junior Member

    Unstayed masts and sail draft

    Chris White likes unstayed rigs, but gave up on them because of the effect of bending on sail draft. I have overcome this problem by inducing sail draft by a different means than curvature of the luff. Sail draft in my rig design is via one method used in the modern junk rig, that is with hinging stiff battens, and a sheet with sheetlets that cause the leech to bend to windward. I didn't invent this-it is common on junk rigs these days. Cutting rounds in the sail along the battens is another method used in modern junk rigged boats, as well, and this method of putting camber in the sail is also immune to the effect of mast bend.

    I have overcome the problem of the un-reefable wing mast by inducing the wing shape in a wrap around sail with battens, as in the Gallant rig. Using battens to induce the wing shape makes the shape more predictable, and eliminates the clinginess of the sail to the mast, which has made reefing and furling a problem in fairing sleeves in the past. This method of shaping the sleeve also allows a smaller diameter leading edge, thereby making it possible to use an optimum foil shape.

    Going to windward with no headsail is no problem-simply consider the Laser sailing dingy. You can see my wingsail rig at:

    http://www.dunnanddunnrealtors.com/Catamaran.html . :eek:
     

  15. waterbird
    Joined: Sep 2008
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    waterbird New Member

    corinthian Trimaran

    Hi, does anyone out there now anything about corinthian Trimarans?
    Like windward ability, Resin used and so on.
    Would be grateful for any comments.:D
     
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