Storm tactics with single mast rig

Boat handling, ideas, questions...

Re: Storm tactics with single mast rig

Postby Teke's Pride » Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:51 am

Thanks! I had never heard the term "laying ahull" before joining this forum. Now I know.
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Re: Storm tactics with catketch rig

Postby Michel » Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:10 am

midnightsailor wrote:That said, I myself have wondered about storm tacticks with my F-33CK and have considered adding a track for a storm trysail. Would love to know if anyone has done this and what others thoughts are about doing this. The third deep reef does sound like a very good thing to have, and perhaps that is enough? Rick


Rick,
I am a catketcher too. Have wondered often how a trysail would do, but couldn't figure out if it should be on the main or mizzen or both. And I see lots of problems with raising a trysail because of my wishbones with lazyjack/cradle lines. Don't see how the trysail can pass inside the wishbone. and I am not fond of the second track with lots of extra holes.

I feel a storm jib, set as a mizzen staysail between the main and mizzen mast might be more effective in stabilizing the boat. Depending on conditions and desired course the sail could be set more of less forward in the gap between the masts. I have an 8' track along the centre line for mizzen staysails. The mizzen would have to be stabilised by two running backstays to effectively tension the luff of the storm jib.

With third reefs on a split rig like on the catketch, you have effectively eight basic sail configurations not including the storm jib/staysail.

A reefing schedule could look like this (I used this for years on my F33 catketch with 2 reefs in each sail, so up to 35 kts):

Apparent wind speed:

15 kts -> 1st reef mizzen
20 kts -> 1st reef main
25 kts -> 2nd reef mizzen
30 kts -> 2nd reef main
35 kts -> 3rd reef mizzen
40 kts -> 3rd reef main
45 kts -> mizzen down (effectively heaving to with mainsail with the quarter to the wind or running. Instead, the main can be taken down and the mizzen set with 3 reefs to heave to with the bow at 50* - 70* to the wind.)
50 kts -> main down (lying ahull)
Last edited by Michel on Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
Michel Capel, Freedom 44 #4 1981 'Alabama Queen', NED8188, cat ketch with wishbones, home port Enkhuizen, the Netherlands, 52*42.238'N 005*18.154'E.
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Re: Storm tactics with single mast rig

Postby Hans » Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:28 am

Thanks Midnightsailor for explaining. I did'nt know how to translate correctly from Dutch.

What I meant is: to heave to. I used it an other boats when cruising singlehanded when I wanted some peace cooking and eating.
Backing the jib, boom almost midships and helm lashed to lee. Boat wants to luff what is counteracted by the backed jib. Boats stays more
or less on the same spot, riding the waves like a bird. It's amazing how easy and quiet the motion of the boat becomes when speed through the water
is gone and the motion is stabilized by the wind pressure in the sails.

On single mast Freedoms the mast is positioned much more forward than on other boats. The mainsail is much more bigger than the jib on the one mast Freedom's. They have a tendency to luff easily when wind increases. So I wonder how a Freedom will behave when heaving to in lots of wind. Any experience is welcome.

A third reef in the main is something I can recommend. But the sail must be made with the forces of a third reef and 45+ winds in mind.
Otherwise the huge windforces stretches the sailcloth so much, it looses shape quite soon, becoming too full in top. Just want you want to avoid.

Just changing the first single 'in boom' reefline to the third reef on the Freedom wo'nt work I think. Because of the single reefline system in the boom, the heigth of the reef is limited. For that reason I changed back to the 'old' system on the 45ft AC. Dropping the main, new tack attached to the mast near gooseneck, single reefline through boom. Disadvantage: you have to go on deck to attach tack on mast; but advantages: 1) 'height' of reef no longer limited by boom-mechanism making third deep reef easily possible, 2) no longer chafing risc of reefline as mentioned earlier in this post 3) less blocks and turning angles of reefline resulting in easier reefing, less power is needed. 4) by regulating the power on the reefline better control over the shape of the foot of the sail.

To hove to with a 2 mast Freedom could be tried by backing the foresail ( tying it to the toerail?), sheeting mainsail hard in and helm a lee. When falling of too much from the wind, reefing the foresail.

When someone has experience with heaving to, I would gladly hear it. When I will get some experience on this subject. I will share on this forum,

Fair winds,
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Re: Storm tactics with single mast rig

Postby Michel » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:40 am

Hans wrote:To hove to with a 2 mast Freedom could be tried by backing the foresail ( tying it to the toerail?), sheeting mainsail hard in and helm a lee. When falling of too much from the wind, reefing the foresail.


Hans,
I tried that several times with the traveller of the main completely to windward, but it did not work well with full sail. The boat was pushed flat on its side. There's another thread on this board about an Atlantic crossing on a cat ketch where the main is taken in completely. The bare main mast has enough wind pressure to keep the bow at about 60* to the wind.
Michel Capel, Freedom 44 #4 1981 'Alabama Queen', NED8188, cat ketch with wishbones, home port Enkhuizen, the Netherlands, 52*42.238'N 005*18.154'E.
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Re: Storm tactics with single mast rig

Postby midnightsailor » Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:25 pm

Michel,
I think this is an excellent discussion and extremely helpful , atleast for me. I think that your suggestion to try using a storm jib on the mizzen, between the two mast is definately an idea worth trying. This is in keeping with my view that keeping the center of effort low and as close to the center of the boat as possible is a good thing. I know that this is the idea with using a trysail and storm jib on a typical sloop rig. The real goal, IMHO, is to keep the boat balanced but with enough sail to be able to claw to windward. Since being close to a lee shore in storm conditions is the real threat, the ability to be able to claw off this lee shore is what is important. So what ever will give the boat this ability is the goal. Like you mention, it is a guess as to how a trysail might be set up, fore, aft or both masts. I have pondered this myself. Maybe a trysail on the foremast and a storm jib off the mizzen! :lol: Kinda of backwards, but at this stage with my experience with the Freedom ck, everythings a guess! I Also agree pretty much with your sail reduction schedule, only because it seems to make sense, not based on any experience I have, since I have just bought my Freedom33 CK and all my prior experience(over 45 years ) is on almost every other kind of rig. I do think it seems a bit conservative though, since I thought that one would be able to carry full sail on these boats in higher wind ranges, perhaps, 25 kts. I base this not on any experience just the idea that the unstayed carbon masts would tend to flex and spill some wind at higher gusts and thus not require reefing as early. But I definately will defer to your more, and real experience.
The information that TP included with my boat includes a sail reduction shedule , in which they call for the the mizzen to be reefed first, ie, 1st reef, 2nd reef, then drop mizzen, then reef main, 1st, 2nd and then drop main (bare poles) .
Your schedule seems to be a more balanced approach.
I guess I have alot to try whenever I can get out under small craft warnings. I have to mention that this is the second attemp at posting this reply , the first, more thought out, clearer, and in depth post dissapearted (gosh, I hate when that happens :cry: :evil: ) and this one seems to be about to do the same so I am going to quit while I am ahead(I hope), Rick
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Re: Storm tactics with single mast rig

Postby AlanK » Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:28 pm

My main and mizzen on my F-33 (straight booms) were made with 2 deep reefs. Last year I had a third reef put in my mizzen. I considered doing the same for the main.
Instead I had a wraparound storm trysail made by the company that makes the gale sail (ATN inc). I ordered a stock trysail of the correct size and had it shipped to ATN. They added the sleeve with hanks that they use on their gale sail for storm jibs.
I would have liked to be able to use it on either main or or mizzen but my radome on my mizzen is too low and I didn't want it that small.
I have raised it to experiment but have not used it in storm conditions.
Some reasons I like this approach are that there is no need to add a track, no risk of damaging slides or the existing track. The hanks are quite large an easy to handle. It appears with some practice it can be packed in the bag in a way that you could have the tack, clew, and head near the top and attach the lines to all three and then raise the head to bring it out of the bag. Ideally this is done with one person at the mast and one in the cockpit raisng the halyard. To do it single handed would require a way to secure the halyard near the mast at least temporarily.
I was in one extended gale for a few days where I should have used it but we were running downwind with just double reefed main and were under good control (but more strain on thins then necessary and we did jibe once or twice which would have been much gentle with the trysail especially if not sheeted to the boom).
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Re: Storm tactics with single mast rig

Postby midnightsailor » Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:57 pm

Alan,
That sounds like an excellent approach, thanks for sharing that. It seems like such an obvious way to go once it is pointed out. Especially like the fact that no extra track is required. Are they any downsides to this appraoch that you have come across? Do you have to remove the mainsail from the mast track to fly this trysail? Would love to see a picture if you have any to post. Would you mind sharing the cost of this setup, ie: the cost of the trysail plus the cost of having it converted. I have , what sounds like the exact same setup on my F-33CK. It has regular booms(standard-nonwishbone) and presently two sets of reefs in each sail. I am looking to add a third set but perhaps I don't need to do this on the mainsail. So much to learn about this new boat of mine and I am dying to get out there in some high winds and try out some of these techniiques and suggestions. Rick
1982 Freedom 33 Cat Ketch, Hull # 53, Standard Booms, deep keel ,tall rig
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Re: Storm tactics with single mast rig

Postby Michel » Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:42 am

midnightsailor wrote:Michel,
The real goal, IMHO, is to keep the boat balanced but with enough sail to be able to claw to windward. Since being close to a lee shore in storm conditions is the real threat, the ability to be able to claw off this lee shore is what is important.

I do think it seems a bit conservative though, since I thought that one would be able to carry full sail on these boats in higher wind ranges, perhaps, 25 kts. I base this not on any experience just the idea that the unstayed carbon masts would tend to flex and spill some wind at higher gusts and thus not require reefing as early. But I definately will defer to your more, and real experience.

The information that TP included with my boat includes a sail reduction shedule , in which they call for the the mizzen to be reefed first, ie, 1st reef, 2nd reef, then drop mizzen, then reef main, 1st, 2nd and then drop main (bare poles) .
Your schedule seems to be a more balanced approach.
Rick

Rick, as to your first point quoted above: I totally agree. Therefore the storm jib should not be too small; it must have the driving capacity to push the boat against wind and sea. Conventional sloop rig calculations (ISAF and RORC) always take into account that there's a trysail in addition to the storm jib. These calculations for maximum storm jib area cannot be applied therefore.

On your second point, indeed my F33 reefing schedule was a bit conservative and focussed towards my pendulum vane steering gear to keep on working the large outboard rudder.
On my F44 when running, I keep full sails up to 25 kts apparent wind. When sailing upwind, I put the first reef in the mizzen at 20 to 25 kts. I found that when the boat (also the F33) heels over 20*, you can reef without loss of speed; you might even gain some speed and headway. It's easy to see when you heel more than 20*; the outside edges of the coachroof slope 20* down so the windward top of the coachroof should remain level, or else I reef.

Your third point, about Freedom suggesting to first reef down the mizzen and then the main, surprises me. I read somewhere in my English (my F33 was UK built) documentation that the catketch is best handled under most circumstances with both sails (or part of both) up. So their advice was to gradually take in both sails. Another reason they gave, was that keeping one sail fully up under storm conditions might load up the mast too much. With two sails part up, both masts are only loaded on their bottom halves.
My own experience added to this learns that the load on sheets, halyards and outhauls is much less so the partly reefed sails can be managed much more easily. Also, jibes and tacks are much less violent with reefed down sails.
Michel Capel, Freedom 44 #4 1981 'Alabama Queen', NED8188, cat ketch with wishbones, home port Enkhuizen, the Netherlands, 52*42.238'N 005*18.154'E.
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Re: Storm tactics with single mast rig

Postby numbknots » Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:31 pm

Interesting posts. On a subject that could be called "What not to do under reef, learned the hard way", I went out in 45knt + or - winds with wrap around sails and wishbones on f28ck. I left dock with mizzen down and one reef in the main. The other big mistake I made was thinkiing that if I skirted the sail below the booms I would reduce the sail area even more. Not realizing that the lower portion of the sail acts as a vang of sorts. With that wind speed and one sail up the boat just did not want to come about and the water was getting skinny. I decided to jibe, thats when things got ugly. The wishbone boom goose winged without the help of the lower sail area and as it came across the raised clew of the main slammed into the fwd end of the mizzen boom and locked. These boats REALLY fly in that situation especally once the leech of the main rips opens up and main turns into a spinaker. This all ends after about 30 seconds, which seems like 30 minutes, when the main splits all the way around the luff and half goes to the top of mast and the other part adds to the terror by sounding like a Harley Davidson with straight pipes at full throttle. This all caused many smiles and beers on returning to club with laundry flying proudly at the mast head. Numbknots
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Re: Storm tactics with single mast rig

Postby AlanK » Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:26 pm

I purchased a stock trysail from www.thesailwarehouse.com after after figuring out the dimension needed and the right size sleeve diameter so it will slide easily up the mast (bigger is better) with help from Etienne at www.atninc.com . He helped figure it to ensure reasonable sheeting angles once we had setted on an approximate square footage Remember I have a very deep second reef and wanted this for real storm conditions. I also needed make sure its luff length was short enough to stay below the attachment point for the lazy jacks and about the stack height for the main (I did not want to have to release the mainsail slides from thetrack although this is easy todo if I need to.
One secures the mainsail and brings the lazyjacks forward and low to the boom. Attach the halyard, secure the foot and loosely secure the sheet end to something. Pull the halyard so you can clip the top hank around the mast to the sleeve and then continue to raise and attach the remaining few hanks. On mine I can sheet around the boom through an heavy eye that aready existed in the bottom of the boom track (for his just a single sheet is needed. Or I can attach blocks to my midcleats and run the sheet aft.
Its a small sail so as long as you have control over the halyard it seems okay. Compared to using a third reef (which means you risk your primary sail in storm conditons) the ease of use will partially depend on whether the reef lines are prerigged and snag free and don't abraid in hard use. Of course a trysail with a separate track and prerigged should be easier but it will still put strain on the track and track attachment.
For some reason I can't locate my receipt and order so I can't (at last today) provide dimensions.
The cost was $750. I believe around $250 was to Etienne and the rest was for the trysail itself.
This could be done less expensively but Etienne was quite helpful and experienced with the gale sail. I couldlalso have bought a used trysail instead of a new one. In storm conditions little design details can make a big difference.
I can also fly the stormsail with a little extra sail area but not wrapping it around but by attaching to loops to some extra sail slides. This would be a jury rig if the main or mizzen failed (not really for storm conditions). Or I could use as a mizzen staysail although the sail shape/sheeting angle would be poor.
Alan
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