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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 5:58 pm 
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Location: Lake Livingston, Texas
Finished modifying my Carolina Skiff trailer to accommodate the Bravo today, and even though it was 97 degrees out the wind was blowing about 13 mph, so I just had to get her wet for the 1st time. I've sailed since I was 5 years old, but never on a catamaran. I was real pleased with how easy it was to setup and launch, and when I dropped the rudder and pulled out the main I was shocked at how she took off. Had a hull flying for a short time, but eased off the main and dropped it back down. This was my very first sail on the Bravo and on a catamaran and it will take a little getting used to.

Sailed to the opposite shore on a reach, and when it was time to come about I absolutely could not do it. Tried three times and got stuck in irons each time. I'm used to mono hulls and pushing the tiller over hard when coming about. This technique obviously is not valid for cats. It was like slamming on the brakes.

Any hints / tips from you experienced cat sailors would be greatly appreciated. I naturally re-read the manual AFTER I got back, and it basically indicated that you should sail as close to the wind as possible then EASE the tiller over when coming about.

I liked the fact that the Bravo is somewhat self-correcting when a puff tries to knock you down - she gets over so far and the single rudder loses grip and she heads up on her own. Helm felt just right as set from the factory - just enough weather helm.

Love this boat - but definitely looking forward to fall. This Texas heat is too much, or I am getting too old, or both :P

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:56 am 
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As you cross head-to-wind, you really need to ease the mainsheet, maybe 2-3 feet. Not familiar with the Bravo so advise experimenting with how much...without a dagger or center board, maybe more sheet.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:01 am 
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Your tacking issue will be related to speed through the tack. A cat can not pivot on a center point like a mono hull. The two hulls track straight and drag more through turns. Tacking from a reach will cause the boat to slow too much before it gets head-to-wind. You need to round up to a higher angle of sail before jamming the rudder hard over.

Round up slowly and sheet in. Sail at a "close hauled" angle with speed. Start the tack by steering slowly into it. Steering hard is like putting on the brakes. As the boat goes head to wind and slows, steer harder over and then sheet out once the sail luffs. This lets the bow cross onto the next tack. A sheeted main will "weather vane" the boat into the wind. Let the bow get well past the next tack angle and then sheet in slowly.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:19 am 
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Location: Lake Livingston, Texas
Been reading a lot, and glad to discover I wasn't alone in this problem when switching from a mono-hull to a cat. I'll be practicing a lot more the next time we get some wind.

Really appreciate the tips, and beginning to understand what's going on - with the hulls very much wanting to go straight, the weather-vane effect when sheeted in to much when crossing, and the braking effect of a 90 degree rudder.

Removing 'hard-a-lee' from my sailing vocabulary :D.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 3:23 pm 
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Got lots of practice today tacking - got it every time! Just pointed up high, picked up as much speed as I could, then eased the main while easing the tiller to windward, and around she came every time. I shifted sides as I crossed the wind then sheeted in slowly until I picked up some power. No more slamming he tiller over 90 degrees... Also got a chance to check the righting procedures. I got south of the big 190 bridge where there was some real wind (wanted to make sure I wouldn't have any problems getting under the center section), had the main sheet cleated off, was cruising along comfortably, and a puff knocked me down before I could react. Piece off cake getting her back on her feet - just followed what I had read in the manual about heading her within 45 degrees then easing her back up with the righting lines. It was actually pretty refreshing. 96 degrees here today. One of these days I'll remember to put the bob on top of the mast, but so far I haven't. It goes on the Bravo with a couple of quick connect / release plastic clamps. I'm a whole lot more comfortable with this rig than I was yesterday, and couldn't be more pleased with stability and performance. This was definitely the right boat for me and my kind of sailing.

Luv this boat! When back at the launch pulled her up on the trailer with one hand then strapped her down. Mast is still not a whole bunch of fun, but at least I can handle it alone. Reefed in the main completely several times for a swim - what a pleasure. My modified Carolina Skiff trailer is working perfectly for the Bravo. Will post some pics later today.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:34 am 
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These posts were helpful for my stalled tacking last season, thanks. I just finished my Bronze 4 course on an Albacore Dingy and I'm wondering now what effect weight distribution has on steering a double hull. Will leaning way over to leeward help start the tack? Is there an optimum time to shift body weight over after coming about?


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:12 am 
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I've been experimenting a good bit with this. Although I thought I was mentally prepared for the difference in the double hull, I must admit stalling it out quiet a few times this last couple of weeks since my Bravo arrived.

I have the 'slow but sure' technique pretty much nailed now for any level of decent wind but I'm still struggling with low wind situations. The Bravo is nice in that it is light and large-sailed enough to get me home when the wind inevitably dies in my bay in the evenings but any further tips on weight distribution or any other hints during a light wind tack would also be appreciated by me.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:01 am 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
I ended up buying my boat used, for a great deal, precisely because of this problem. The previous owner just couldn't tack it.

When I started out, I wondered if this was a design problem (or limitation) with the boat. As I got used to it, I realized that this boat turns very well in any type of wind, as long as you know how.

I can't exactly describe what I do, but I've found two key things:
1) Do long looping turns. In reality, these turns aren't all that looping. But when you sit on the Bravo and take tight turns, you end up doing a V instead of a U. The U is how you need to turn. As you practice, you'll find that the long looping turns are not all that long, and actually look exactly like the difference in a V and a U. Within a few feet of the apex of your turn, you're in the same spot that you wanted to be at, you've just sailed through the turn, instead of stopped at the apex, and started to get going again.

2) Practice.

I know it sounds stupid, but I got frustrated with not being able to turn as quickly as I'd like, and I just spent a number of trips out tacking and gybing every 50 feet or less. I did this in all kinds of winds, and can now turn quicker than most of the mono hulls that I sail with. If I screw up, I know where I've screwed up, it's no longer a mystery of "What happened? Why am I stopped?" It's a clear: "Whoops... missed that one!"

As far as weight distribution. I don't really know how much difference it makes, but I do find that when the wind picks up, I get back on the boat, when it's slow, moving forward and levelling out the hulls seems to be faster. I guess having the nose of the hulls cutting through the water, instead of the bottom of the hull plowing (or pushing the water) is more efficient. So, in my opinion, weight distribution matters, but I don't think about it in the turn, maybe it's because I'm in a good position going into the turn based on the current wind?

Sorry I can't describe things better, I'm better at doing it than describing it. Hope it helps a little bit.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 6:14 am 
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Watching this Hobie video might demonstrate how it's done a little bit better. It's a promotional video, not an instructional video, but it's got some decent camera angles to show what needs to be done.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 1:42 pm 
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I have sailed cats most of my life. (Hobies) I think weight transfer timing on the Bravo is a big key to tacking. I remain seated during almost the entire tack , only shifting after the tack is complete. Not sure if others do this but it really is a key for me.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:32 am 
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Location: Prince Edward Island, Canada
morrisix wrote:
I have sailed cats most of my life. (Hobies) I think weight transfer timing on the Bravo is a big key to tacking. I remain seated during almost the entire tack , only shifting after the tack is complete. Not sure if others do this but it really is a key for me.


I tried this out on the weekend. Maybe I'm just getting better at at the whole process but the delayed weight transfer truly does seem to help a lot. At 12' long and only a 5' beam, the Bravo is certainly super sensitive to weight transfers in many ways I'm learning.

I'm now just as comfortable tacking in the Bravo as I was on any other boat I've sailed. Thanks for the help everyone!!!


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