messing about in boats

Chilly Sunday Sailing

Posted in Sailing by Joseph Moore on December 15, 2009

Nothing much to report, other than it was fantastic to get out on the water on Sunday. Despite hands and feet that felt like blocks of ice it was definitely worth it, especially when the wind picked up after the racing for that last reach back to the shore, kite up, flying a hull. Good times.


Catamaran Sailing

Posted in Sailing by Joseph Moore on September 23, 2009

Why Two Hulls?

I’d always enjoyed sailing monohulls (and of course still do!) but had a ride on a friend’s Hurricane 500 earlier this year and was hooked. Cats seemed to have everything: speed over the water, plenty of space for lazy days and what seemed like years of ‘thinking time’ to react compared to the Cherub. There always seemed to be quite a bit of banter between the monohull and multihull fleets, with sailors firmly in one or the other. I guess it’s because the boats are so different and people are naturally sceptical of anything unfamiliar.

All I can say really is find someone who has a cat and try it!

Getting Stuck In

Being Cherub sailors we’re used to boating on a budget. We’re also big fans of development and restricted classes, allowing for flexibility and some DIY should there be any breakages. If you’re able to fix it yourself, it’s not always time to groan and open your cheque book.

The boat park at Grafham had quite a few old cats knocking around. A few Darts, Prindles and some rather home made looking Tornados. None of these really fitted the bill of fast, robust and not needing much work to get on the water. In the end we came across a Nacra Inter 18 on the F18 class association website.

So we parted with just shy of £1900 in exchange for a hell of a lot of plastic and metal. ‘Deja Vu‘ had a new mast and good sails, a trailer, trolley, but needed some attention to tidy the hulls up after years of abuse and some fairing on all four foils. Plenty of plans for the winter, but at least we could get sailing in the mean time!

Things To Think About

  • Don’t underestimate just how fast a catamaran will go in a breeze. We were out comfortably buzzing around in a force 5 one afternoon with huge grins from ear to ear, but it’s shocking how fast you can close in on other boats especially in a gust so don’t let your guard drop.
  • If you think you’ve pulled on enough cunningham, you probably haven’t. Pull on some more!
  • Getting off the side onto a properly set trapeze hook can feel like a leap of faith. Don’t be tempted to set them too high.
  • Flying a hull way up in the air looks cool, but isn’t all that fast. Keep it just skimming the water to present the biggest sail area to the wind.
  • If you’re not sure of the best way to do something, ask someone! In our experience cat sailors are a friendly bunch, only too happy to welcome newcomers and offer advice.

There’s going to be a lot more here about Deja Vu as we tune her up and learn plenty more about sailing multihulls. It’s gonna be awesome.