The first few time we sailed the Getaway the windward performance was poor. I also sail Hobie 16s and did not expect the Getaway to be as good, but the boat was really bad. I had started with the the recommended settings in the assembly manual and just could not get the boat to go upwind.
The manual suggests the forestay pin in the first or second hole and the shrouds set to taught.
This does not work for me. The H16 sails upwind on its rudders lots of rake to get the boom right down to the rear cross beam and the jib clew right at the front beam. This creates massive weather helm and loads the rudders up like the skegs on a windsurfer. I have tried to duplicate that rig tune on the Getaway.
The first race against a friend sailing my 16 was no contest. The 16 had both better speed and higher angle. We were minutes behind at the first mark and had no hope of correcting out on the 16 ... they were just gone.
I set the forestay in the first hole (longer / more rake) and moved the pins for the shrouds up (looser) to allow the mast to flop to leeward.
Second race we we able to have the 16 close at the weather mark and we were within seconds after a long broad reach to the halfway mark. (My Getaway has a spinnaker) ... we were pacing the 16 on the close reach back in a building breeze when the tack shackle pin fell out and we dropped the mast. No one hurt and no real damage.
While I had the jib off the boat anyway I took it to Tony Morelli. I needed the forestay reassembled and the luff tension set. I also had him add a telltale window about 1/3 up the luff from the tack. The Getaway jib has telltales about 2/3's up and no window. These are too high to see while driving the boat upwind. Since there are no adjustments for the jib leads all I needed was something low I could see. I also mentioned that I had a bit of leech flutter and asked for a leech cord. Tony found a hard spot on the sail where the production loft had missed a match-up mark on a seam. He opened the seam and restitched the sail. In on Monday and back to me noon Friday ...
When we restepped the mast I decided to ease off the shrouds one more hole to let the mast sit a bit more to leeward.
We found the line bias right and hit the pin end of the line at speed on Port. The 16 got caught in the confused ait of some other boats wait for their start and we had a 2 minute lead. We sarted in about 6-8 knots of breeze and got the boat wound up and moving. We actually beat the 16 on the beat. I missed a one shift and I gave back some of what we gained ... but for the first time the boat did not suck going upwind.
We were pushing pretty hard and trying to keep the windward hull out of the water as much as possible. The wind came forward on the second leg and we dowsed the spinnaker to close reach into the mark ... gust ... up up up and over. Rats. We were leading by quite a bit ... First time capsize with the Getaway for me and the first every catamaran capsize for my wife/crew. We talked through what we were going to do and although it seemed like forever we were sailing again in about 7 minutes.
We came second to the 16 ... but not by much considering the capsize. I'm pretty sure in 12+ knots of breeze we will be able to fight for trophies with the 16s on handicap. Might even be able to beat some on the water.
Here is what works for us.
Forestay first hole - long as possible
Shrouds - 4th hole from the top, they are very loose
This leaves the mast free to flop to leeward. The combination of the rake and the mast off center to leeward gives the boat enough weather helm to sail upwind on the rudders.
Light - 6-10 knots
Traveler center to down 2"
Main sheet in center hole of clew board.
Mainsheet tension to just stall upper leech tell tale about 50% of the time. Ends of upper battens are about parallel to boat center-line
Jib set soft until boat speed is up then in until upper inner telltale is streaming
Crew and skipper at the front beam. Weight to leeward to reduce drag.
You need speed. If you try to point the boat slides sideways and VMG to windward will be very low. Too much mainsheet will stall the leech and slow the boat. The top of the sail must twist off to reduce drag and keep the boat going. You can trim harder in a building breeze (more breeze than waves) than in a dying breeze (waves left over from more breeze require more power to punch through)
Traveler on center.
Set twist with clew board. Top leech tell tale flicking behind sail about 50% of the time. Mainsheet aft closes leech. Mainsheet forward opens leech.
Jib snug after tack then sheeted hard after boat accelerates.
Crew and skipper move to windward as needed. Crew forward of shroud, skipper aft.
Tacking - much easier than 16 but not as easy with big rake. Keep the sails trimmed as you start the tack. Let the jib backwind until the battens pop on the main. Then trim snug on new tack to help keep the bow off the wind. Ease the main about a foot after the battens pop. check your heading is a bit low and center the rudders to let the boat accelerate. Trim hard as the boat comes back to speed.
With the rig set back and loose the boat goes into irons much easier than with the standard settings. Kind of like a 16 ...
As the afternoon breezes get stronger and as I get more time in the boat I'll add to this.
If you are a bit geeky try RaceQs .. it is free for your smartphone. You can set it to start recording seal your phone in a ziplock bag and put it in a cooler. When you are off the boat just shut it down and upload the data to the server. You can then view your track and speed online using Google Earth. If you have a training partner you can see both boats at the same time. Very cool for trying different settings.