Trimaran cockpit mid beam or main hull

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by doesitfloat, Mar 3, 2005.

  1. doesitfloat
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: Michigan

    doesitfloat Junior Member

    Interested on opinions for putting helm mainsheet and jib sheet to mid beam steering stations. Trying to trade off expense vs. gain. Boat is 33ft.-folding Tri. Want to race single-handed or crew of 4. Thanks for any feedback. :)
  2. tspeer
    Joined: Feb 2002
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    Location: Port Gamble, Washington, USA

    tspeer Senior Member

    A lot of boats run the traveler lines to a block on each ama, forming a loop that goes clear across the boat. This gives you some of the mainsail control you're looking for.

    With a long tiller extension, you can easily sit out on the tramp or aft beam while holding the mainsheet. With a crew, I put the tiller down and follow it to the lee side, swinging the tiller extension through. That keeps me just out of the way of the crew as the trimmer brings in the jib and the other crew goes to the high-side ama.

    When you're single-handing, it's convenient to have the jib sheets close at hand, which typically means on the cabin tops. I'll put the helm down about half way and set the tiller extension on top of the Lifesling (tiller is behind the mainsheet traveler on my F-24), go forward and release the jib, then bring in the jib most of the way hand tight. By now the boat has come through the tack and I have to grab the tiller to keep it from turning too far. Once I get the heading stabilized, I can go forward and finish cranking the jib in. Then back on tiller and mainsheet. If you're using an autopilot, then it's the same basic sequence - punch in a 90 deg turn, and go forward to tend the jib. Of course with an autopilot there's no rush to get back to the helm.

    Instead of running the sheets to mid beam, consider being able to route the jibsheet to secondary winches on the cockpit coamings, possibly cross-sheeting them to the windward side. That would put them readily at hand whether you're in the cockpit or out on the tramp. The big problem will be having the right lead to the winch (coming down at the winch is a big no-no), so a snatch block or open turning block that was at the right height would let you loop the sheet into it for when you're single handing. On my M-16 scow, I used to have an open snatch block on a lanyard to the center of the cockpit. It was very handy for single-handing because I could bring the jib sheet to it and then to the mainsheet cleat on the cockpit coaming. That was a much smaller boat, but the same principle could apply. Naturally you have to make sure that the anchor for the turning block is well-made and designed for the direction of the stress.

    Think of single-handed spinnaker handling, too. With an autopilot, it's much like a tack. Punch in the 90 deg turn, release the sheet immediatley, and start pulling in on the new sheet like crazy. The key to a good assym. jibe is to float the clew forward while the boat is still pointed high, then turn the boat and bring in the sheet so the clew sort of floats in space and the forestay passes behind it. When singlehanding it's hard to do because the boat starts turning right away, so you're already late when you release the sheet. But with a little practice you can get the rhythm down and make clean jibes.

    Another thing to think about for singlehanding a multi is jacklines and where you can move on the boat. When I'm singlehanding, I'm clipped in 100% of the time from leaving the dock to return, no matter what the weather. I run a line from the aft mooring cleat to the bow mooring cleat. I have a Mustang tether with 3 Gibbs hooks on it. I clip one hook to the jackline and the other two to my harness, giving me a half-length tether. This lets me move around the cockpit, go up to the mast, etc. If Ineed to go out the ama, I undo the center clip to double the length of the tether. Same for going around to to the other side of the mast if I discover I need to after I'm already there. This lets met get right out to the ama on the F-24. Naturally, you'll need to go farther out on the '33. So you may need to run a jackline from the cockpit to forward beam/ama intersection on each side.

    When going to weather the Farrier designs I've sailed, we have the crew up at the forward beam/ama. Obviously we're not actively trimming the jib. But if we did, the aft beam is not the place we'd run the jib sheets. Typically, the only time the crew is back on the aft beam (or hanging off the transom!) is when going downwind with spinnaker in a blow.
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