Converting a beach cat rig for cruising

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by rayaldridge, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. rayaldridge
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    rayaldridge Senior Member

    I'm building a smalll simple cruising cat. I was lucky enough to get a Nacra 5.2 rig for cheap, and that's what I'm using to power the boat.

    On another forum, someone mentioned that he planned to convert a boltrope sail and mast by sewing slugs to the luff. Of course, that would be necessary to reef the sail without getting the sail out of the slot. I assume that slugs should go next to the battens, and maybe one between each batten. The Nacra main appears to have battens parallel to the boom, so should not present too many difficulties with storing the sail on the boom, reefing, and so on. I think I can handle sewing on the reef patches, hand-sewing the cringles, etc.

    But never having converted a rig like this, I'm sure there must be things to watch out for that haven't occurred to me yet. I'd really like to hear from others who've converted beach cat rigs, or those who've speculated usefully on the process.
     
  2. keysdisease
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    keysdisease Senior Member

    Hobie 16's had reef points, it's no big problem to reef a sail with a boltrope in it, I would leave the boltrope alone.

    Steve
     
  3. rapscallion
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    rapscallion Senior Member

    Ray,
    I converted the mainsail on my laser 28 from a boltrope to slugs. I also made a stackpack and added lazyjacks. I love the setup and would never go back to a boltrope again. 90% of my sailing is single-handed, and it is so nice! I placed grommets every 2' or so just behind the boltrope and used plastic slugs held on by plastic snaps, that way you can easily go back to using the boltrope if you want. The next thing I did was screwed two small plates on either side of the widened feeder section on the mast slot so the slugs couldn't come out of the mast.

    But if the boat is meant to be a trailer sailor that might add too much setup time if you have to set up the mast every time you go sailing. If I was going to build a 20' cat that I was going to trailer sail I would try to minimize set up time so I could maximize sailing time. The rig I would most likely go for would me the boomless wharram wingsail. Less parts, faster setup, no hitting your head on the boom, and cheap.... especially if you sew the sail yourself. You could use sailcut cad (free program) to make a pattern for the sail and in that sailsize the Dacron you use should be able to be sewn with a regular sewing machine.

    But that is more work to build obviously.. and if the 5.2 rig is easy to setup then you are better off with that obviously...
     
  4. cavalier mk2
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    cavalier mk2 Senior Member

    We went to slugs on my trailer sailor years ago and loved them. I don't think they take any more time than a bolt rope and aren't prone to jam when feeding in (like the bolt rope). When reefing it is easy to take out just the lower slugs you need to and again, less prone to jam when shaking the reef out. Re-feed the slugs, then hoist all at once. Definitely go for the lazy jacks! I'd hand stitch in the grommets for the batten slugs.
     
  5. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    beachcat rig

    I'm sure you've considered this but you'll have to check and see if the righting moment of your boat exceeds the RM of the donor boat and then make some decisions about mast compression and shroud/forestay sizes.
     
  6. cavalier mk2
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    cavalier mk2 Senior Member

    One should never assume somebody did all their homework....Doug, what do you think about the slat (slot?) then opened up behind the mast? It is similar to some aircraft STOL wing leading edges. I didn't notice any loss of performance and wondered if it helped smooth out mast turbulence.
     
  7. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    ----------------
    I've read pro and con on that. On fullsize boats-particularly with a wing mast I think the concensus is that there may be some small performance penalty.
    On model boats still a divergence of opinion but when I raced I made a special sail attachment system that induced a slot. My results were very good but I'm not sure it was the slot or some other techno whiz thing I tried or my sailing-not much help, I know.
     
  8. AsterixDeGaul
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    AsterixDeGaul Junior Member

    Does the 5.2 rig have spreaders ? It's been a while but I believe it doesn't. I'm not sure what you are putting this rig on but if it(your boat) weighs anything more than 500#s I would suggest spreaders(assuming there are none yet).
     
  9. rayaldridge
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    rayaldridge Senior Member

    No, there are no spreaders. though there are diamond stays. However, I don't think spreaders will be necessary, since the new boat will have a beam of 13 feet, as opposed to the 8 foot beam of the beach cat. This should lower compression forces substantially.

    Doug, your points are well-taken. However, I paid 250 bucks for the whole rig, mast, boom, sails, jib blocks, mainsheet, etc. The wire, if it retains most of its strength, should be adequate, though of course, the mast is undersized for a boat of much greater weight. If (when) it folds up, I'll just build a wood mast. I have thought about adding masthead wire, since this would allow me to fly a big light-air headsail.
     
  10. rayaldridge
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    rayaldridge Senior Member

    Slugs: the cruising boats we've owned have had slugs and a stopper to keep them from coming out of the mast. The lower slugs were on a jackline to allow them to remain in the mast when reefing or lowering sail-- this seemed like a very convenient system, and if there isn't too much of a performance hit, I'd like to go with it again.
     
  11. AsterixDeGaul
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    AsterixDeGaul Junior Member

    Ahmmm... 2 things

    1-Diamonds to me = spreaders so 2 thumbs up

    2-Wider beam generaly means higher compressive forces on a mast. A N5.2(at 8' beam) will fly a hull in less than 8knts of wind. If the boat weighed twice as much, there would be twice the compressive loading on the stick. The ratio between beam and mast loads is not quite as linear but is indeed similar.
     
  12. bruceb
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    bruceb Senior Member

    all slugs are not slow boats

    Ray, I have some experience here- I was a Nacra dealer, and I have several mains for my Buc 24, with and without slugs. First, I would definitely use the slugs and lazy jacks, and if possible, go boomless. It really simplifies reefing and sail handing in general. The traveler HAS to be at the end of the boom length to work if you go boomless- just use a large batten in the bottom with the lazy jack eyes under or through it. Works great! I have not seen much difference in set up time from feeding in a bolt rope to feeding in slugs on full batten mains, and once on the mast, the slugs are far better. I race, and I can't tell the difference in performance. Sail-rite has some nice videos showing how to install the slugs. The slug eyes usually go right above or below the battens on a conversion, and sometimes you need one above AND below the batten. Often there is not enough room right at the batten end. A stock nacra (or hobie) main is made of lighter material than is ideal for a cruising multi, but if you are prudent, it and the mast will stay together. Yes, put one or two deep reefs in it, and go with your jib only (roller reefing/furling?) if it gets really bad. Two big crew hiking/trapped out on a beach cat jumping waves can really stress a boat, probably far more than the added weight of your boat. Attention to mast corrosion and condition of your stays is important, and I would suggest one wire or dyneema size up for your stays. Plan on a rotation control/limiter for the mast. Masthead reachers really up the power down wind and don't over-stress things if you don't try to carry them in too much wind or wind too far forward. Have fun, keep it simple, and it will work. B
     
  13. rayaldridge
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    rayaldridge Senior Member

    I could certainly be wrong, but I don't think this is correct. As a thought experiment. consider a mast that is stayed on a boat with infinite beam, so that the stays are perpendicular to the mast. There is no compression load on that mast at all.
     
  14. rayaldridge
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    rayaldridge Senior Member

    Bruce, thanks much-- this is very encouraging to hear. The mast looks pretty good, with a little wear on the anodizing, but no obvious dings. New wire would not be too big or expensive a job, and since the wire on it now uses those squash-on terminals with only one sleeve, redoing them with two would add some peace of mind. Looks like the wire on it now is 1/8". I think I still have the swaging tool. You think I should go to 3/16" wire?
     

  15. cavalier mk2
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    cavalier mk2 Senior Member

    I think 3/16 would give you a huge safety margin. The 1/8th might be plenty, check your weights. Double swages for sure, I know they are frowned on but for your application they are more than adequate Check into dyneema as it might actually cost less. More beam = less compression and I'm glad someone mentioned the loads with crew on a trapeze. Watch to make sure the mast stays in column going through waves and in gusts. Really you'll probably put less stress on it unless you start using trapezes!
     
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