Do cats generally need a jib to tack reliably?

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by rayaldridge, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. Blacky
    Joined: Mar 2010
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    Blacky Junior Member

    in my opinion it is not decisive if jib or no jib - but to have a balanced sail plan. If the boat is designed to have a jib, when sailing without jib the CE will go back -> boat tends to luff -> while tacking after just going thru the wind too less sail area in the forward boat.
    but if boat is designed to have just a main an no jib - it should not be difficulter to tack.
  2. Dryfeet
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    Dryfeet Junior Member

    I think the issue has a couple related factors. The first question for me is:

    Do I have to Back the jib to tack?

    2nd question is then do I Need the jib to tack?

    Some cats need to back the jib to 'get 'er 'round'. Others, not so. This would be unacceptable in my view.

    Some monohulls don't do so very well without a jib either but they tend to have more mass for their size and so come around seemingly easier. I've sailed small daysailors and as Richard W points out, even Lasers can have their moments, where tacking isn't certain. After all, the sail plan is designed to be balanced WITH the jib in the first place. The lighter construction of cats and small boats takes away the advantage of momentum and they are less likely to behave as obediently as we might like.

    How about the factor of hardtop or bimini and dinghy on moving the lateral windage aft as well? All of these things work against you.

    Finally, cats tend to have smaller rudders that require a bit more way on to be effective. In part this is because there are two of them and in part because large rudders carry too high a load at their upper speed range with resultant issues.

    I'd say that one must still know the limits of their vessel. For me, I want to be able to tack reliably and dependently when I need to. I understand that for that to be the case, I need to have my jib at work but I don't need to 'mess' with it or back it for the boat to handle reliably.
  3. Dryfeet
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    Dryfeet Junior Member

    Looks like Blacky already got ahead of me.
  4. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    I've just come back from a weeks cruising on my 25ft Merlin catamaran "Tucanu"

    Like many other cats and tris we have a small jib but also a free flying "screecher" (or large lightweather genoa) which we use in winds under about 15 knots apparent.

    The screecher luff is close to the forestay, too close to make tacking it easy. So when we tack we have found it is much quicker to roll the screecher up, then tack, and then unroll it again.

    So it is common to see a fleet of racing multihulls rolling up their headsails every time they tack

    So who says you need to back the genoa to tack??

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs
  5. Dryfeet
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    Dryfeet Junior Member

    I do the same to jibe my screecher as well. Waaay less hassle.
  6. catapaa
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    catapaa New Member

    As DL says depends on the cat and I would add the cat sailor! I sail an inflatable Catapult w/o jib. Tacking is all about getting the techique right specially in strong winds. The catapult's hulls help greatly by their circular cross section.

    John Peperell
    catapult Class ***.

  7. bruceb
    Joined: Nov 2008
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    bruceb Senior Member

    Tacking multis

    On my small tri (24) and most beach cats I have sailed, mast rake makes almost as much difference as a jib. I can set most of them up to point high but be hard to tack, or foot and reach very well, but give up some close hauled ability- and they tack great. As in most things in sailing, it is a compromise. B
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