Dan P. wrote:
Hi Karl (are you sailing a Tiger now?? - I thought you were headed for F16 land) Thanks for the great input. It is interesting, the majority of my pondering in the area of cats is about improving performance, not keeping the boat from self destructing. Fun topic. Which telltales are you using with spi up? - I use jib.
I'm sorta in limbo right now. I bought a 09' Viper, which I just sold a few weeks ago, and now I'm awaiting my 10' Viper to show up. I'm contemplating buying an A-Cat to fill in while I wait. Wild thing downwind with an A-Cat is an absolute blast!
More than anything I look at the leach tells at the top. That's the first thing I look at in sail trim. I usually throw three at the top, inbetween #1 battens, inbetween #2 battens, and inbetween #3 battens. The 2nd tell tale being the most important for how hard you should be sheated, (provided downhaul and your angle to the wind is correct to begin with). You want those tells to be just hooking, then flying back, then hooking, then flying back, then..... etcetera. If its light I will pull on some downhaul, and possibly a little bit of rotation with the chute up. With the FXone there's pretty minimal risk even if its blowing out, the loads just aren't that high compared to a F18. With the F16 most have a mast that isn't nearly as robust as the bigger boats, and they do require being a bit more conservative. The Goodall wingmast that most of the US F16's are using, (Falcon, Blade, Viper), is just an old aluminum A-Cat extrusion, so not real forgiving to misuse.
When sailing with a jib I use the jib tells for steering while going upwind if the wind is too light to do so off of feel. Downwind I do a couple of different things. If there is enough wind to fly a hull, then I'm steering almost strictly off of windward hull height, that also applies if I, or the crew is on the wire. If I can't fly a hull, then I'm boards up and trying to sail the best angles I can, and I definitely don't get it right often enough, its an experience thing I think. If it gets super light, (like when its tough to keep the spinnaker filled
). boards stay up, and I drop off some traveller.
My last few spinnakers have had tell tales on them, there's only a very small window of conditions that I even look at them. Some people use them solely. I sheet almost solely on the curl of the luff on the spinnaker, you want that just winking at you, so pretty much always on the verge of collapsing. You do have to get your luff tension setup correctly, most have there's set way too loosely for modern, (ie flatter cut), spinnakers. Which the cuts keep getting flatter and flatter.