after annoying you with all my questions I just wanted to keep you posted how it all worked out for us with our Tiger adventure so far
So, we first attended our 4,5 days sailing course on a Laser Stratos dinghy at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club. That was really excellent to give us all the basic theory of sailing and how to apply it. Without that we'd never had had chance with the Tiger. If you are a beginner - do not waste time but attend a sailing course, even if it is only on a dinghy and not on a cat.
Futhermore we read 2 books on Catamaran sailing ("Catamaran sailing from start to finish" and another German introduction into cat sailing with plenty of colored photos of the do's and don't do's). I'm an aerospace engineer by education, so theory means something to me. I've read each book twice and feel now somehow settled as a theoretical cat sailor...
The man that sold us the boat was the biggest help. Until his new boat arrived, we crewed several times for him. Just by watching him we learned a lot! He gave so many hints and tricks - you have to sail for years to build up that experience. I firmly believe that he is one of the best cat sailors in Asia and I'm glad that he shared some of his experience with us. Unfornunately he has now his new boat and sails alone again...
With all this we felt prepared to deal with the beast and took our Tiger out for the first time a couple of weeks ago:
The hardest work was to prepare the boat. Our boat cover is a nightmare! Although we have beach wheels its really a tough job to bring the boat to water with my wife. Fortunately there are always some helping hands in our club.
Leaving the beach with onshore wind, rocks left and right of the beach and several yachts moring in front of the beach was the hardest thing on the first day - we once hit one of those yachts gently with the spinaker pole (
ouch!!!). This was the only real problem so far. After leaving the beach is was full of joy
!!! The boat is much easier to sail than a H16 or the Stratos. Tacking, jibing, sailing close to the wind - all no problem. With the H16 you end very often in irons - with the Tiger we had this problem only 3 (three) times so far! On the first day we had the problem with the bow digging when bearing down to rapidly with to much weight in front of the boat, but this happened only once so far. I think, the Tiger is rather forgiving when digging the bow - a H16 might already have pitchpoled.
Beaching the Tiger is also not an issue. We usually raise the daggerboards 200m from the beach. Tacking is harder then, but I think the risk is lower. We never put the boat hard on the beach but always stop in shallow water and use beach wheels to bring it on the beach.
So, after several times of sailing I think the Tiger was the right choice. We already participated in a club race, which was fun although we were behind the fleet and arrived last after all the H16. But we were hull flying for the first time - and this was really fast. Hull flying is much easier to controll than I thought. And when you hear the shrouds singing from the apparent wind - thats music in my ears!!! The Tiger is the perfect boat for us!!!
The next thing we have to excercise is to right the boat. We will do this with our club speed boat close by and with some experienced club members as instructors. Has anybody a good idea how to capsize the Tiger a low speed without damaging it? How about turteling the boat? Is it hard to right then?
I now feel confindent to use the spinaker in light wind. Furthermore I'm going to buy a trapeze harness as soon as possible.
So, thats for now. I'll keep you posted, if we are still happy with our Tiger or if we have crashed and sunk it in the South China Sea...
I wish you clear days