Self tacking main sails

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by guzzis3, Dec 30, 2017.

  1. guzzis3
    Joined: Nov 2009
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    guzzis3 Senior Member

    Hi all,

    Just wondering if there is anything on line for rigging traveler for self tacking mains.

    I know the 2:1 system used on various beach cats, but can you get something for bigger boats ?

    Sailing alone on a cat I find it a lot easier if I can concentrate on the jib and tiller, then trim the main after.

    What do others do ? Tris don't seem to present the same problems of getting through the eye of the wind as cats...
     
  2. bjn
    Joined: Jul 2014
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    bjn Senior Member

    I assume that you want to put the traveler to windward?
    Because if it is to leeward it will always be self-tacking, right?

    I've seen some guys in my club (keelboats) using some ropes in a "triangle" instead of a traveler, which gives them the effect that I believe you are searching for.

    As seen in this pic, a similar systems is used on the VX-one, but actually with "two triangles". Not sure how the second helps.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    What boat do you have? Harken do a windward sheeting car. Expensive of course. Works very well on monohulls. Less well on multihull that don’t heel so the car tends to move to and fro

    Richard Woods
     
  4. philSweet
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    philSweet Senior Member

    Can you explain what you are after? I've never seen a boat that can't do this, so I'm having trouble understanding the question. And how big a boat are we talking here?
     
  5. Tom.151
    Joined: Jul 2009
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    Tom.151 Senior Member

    guzzis3,
    Several things, going on at the same time, are working against you.

    With multihulls, the relatively lighter weight gives little momentum to carry you through the tack - this slows the boat considerably which also brings the apparent wing around (on a bit of a lift) keeping more than expected drive on the main.

    The result can be that the mainsail, still drawing, will tend to weathercock the boat. Hence the typical need to ease the main sheet before this happens - missing the timing by waiting too long, makes it even worse ;)

    So, for me anyway, making the main any more "self-tacking" is going in the opposite direction - making the tacking even worse. Just ease the mainsail as you put the helm over. On some boats, trimming the jib harder (if a blade) may help a bit.

    The reason it seems a little better on trimarans is about the way tri's have a little bit less drag as they go past the eye of the wind. The extra drag a cat will have will slow you even more proportionately at the lower speeds in a tack - just what you don't need at that point in the maneuver.

    Cheers,
     
  6. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    Agreed. It is normal to drop the traveler before you tack in part to stop weathercocking. A self tacking jib will make it all a lot harder of course especially in a seaway and strong wind

    Richard Woods
     
  7. guzzis3
    Joined: Nov 2009
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    guzzis3 Senior Member

    Thank you for the replies.

    First I'm not talking about putting the traveler to windward.

    Maybe I've been doing something wrong all these years.

    When I tack I back the jib to help push the boat across, so I absolutely don't want a self tacking jib.

    On my caper cat, hobies etc, they have an anchor point aft mid traveler. The sheet runs between 2 sheaves on the car and cleats mid track just forward. It allows the traveler to slide from one side to the other as you tack. Simple system for a simple mind :)

    I've owned other boats with car controls to each end of the traveler. I've snugged up the leeward control to hold the car in place. Reading the comments above I now realise I could just set that loose so as I go through the traveler would swing to the other side. In fact it doesn't even require that the new position be the equal opposite hand of the previous one. I could guess where abouts I want the traveler on the new tack. I've been doing it wrong all these years.. partly perhapse because when I'm tacking I'm usually pointing fairly high anyway and sheeting in close to amidships, but it never occurred to me to let out the lee controls.

    Well I think I've learned something today. Never underestimate how stupid I am...
     
  8. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    On a boat like the Hobie16 in particular the boom is very close to the traveler so you don’t benefit from pulling the car to windward. But on a boat with a higher boom you do. That way the boom will be near boat centerline. Obviously on a cruising boat the boom may well be 6ft or more above the traveler not 6in

    Richard Woods
     
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  9. guzzis3
    Joined: Nov 2009
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    guzzis3 Senior Member

    At the risk of starting a religious war does anyone have an opinion on the quality of different brands ?

    At the moment I'm leaning toward Harken. None of it is cheap but Harken is less cheap than most, but I have heard they are better quality. I would like to know what others think...

    This looks like a nice unit but don't know if they ship to Australia. 25' cat...

    Harken H1655 mid range 4:1 traveler kit, $580 canadian..

    Buy Harken Mid Range Traveler Kit 4:1 Purchase in USA Binnacle.com https://ca.binnacle.com/product_info.php?cPath=28_126&products_id=11778

    Don't want to think about blocks today. So expensive. I suppose they only get away with it because producing blocks in limited quantities (one off) isn't practical...
     

  10. Richard Woods
    Joined: Jun 2006
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    You can buy Harken worldwide. Ronstan make very good gear

    RW
     
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