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Handling Heel in a Catalina 22 Swing Keel

Discussion in 'Catalina 22' started by markcc13, Apr 15, 2018. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Doug4bass

    Doug4bass

    Joined Jun 9, 2004
    564 posts, 46 likes
    Catalina 385
    US Marquette. Mi
    My C-270 was way more tender than my C-22.
     


  2. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    8,306 posts, 1,756 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    No worries. I try and be as short as possible, Siri does not always get all my words right!
     


  3. jwing

    jwing

    Joined Jun 5, 2014
    351 posts, 121 likes
    ODay Mariner
    US Guntersville
    Here's what I've learned by personal experience. These points have all been made already, so I'm writing to reinforce:

    Easy, low cost first step: Invest in a pair of sailing gloves. Keep the mainsheet in your hand and don't cleat it. You can feel the sail loading up before the boat starts to heel and you can react instantly.

    Easy, low cost second step: Do everything you can to flatten the sail by adding tension to the luff and using the out haul. Install hardware that makes these functions easily adjustable and gives some mechanical advantage.

    Expensive second step: If you control the set of your mainsail with the mainsheet, the when you ease the sail, you are allowing the wind to spill out the back, which is desirable, but you are also allowing the sail to increase its belly, which exacerbates heeling. Your old sail is already flabby. A new sail will help a lot to reduce heeling.

    A little more work and a little more expense: Experience controlling the mainsail set with a traveler and use the mainsheet for shaping the sail. The C22 traveler is, um, dubious? Adding a traveler can be too expensive. Alternative: Add a bridle and a boom vang. Lots of info on the web about that. The bridle converts the mainsheet into a travel control and the vang takes over as the mainsail shape control.

    Your wife will love it, you will be sailing upright. You'll love it too because you'll have new toys to play with and your boat's performance will increase markedly. At least mine did.
     


    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
    rpludwig likes this.
  4. greg_m

    greg_m

    Joined May 23, 2017
    279 posts, 90 likes
    Catalina Jaguar 22
    ZA Simons Town
    From a dinghy sailor and a wannabe keelboat instructor!

    My extra dinghy is very tender... in fact unstable! Sail trim and weight distribution very important. I sometimes go out in heavy wind with the jib furled completely and the mainsail flattened as much as possible. This requires the use of a Cunningham on the luff and the outhaul on the foot of the sail.

    The L26 fixed keel one tonne racing boat has taught me the following: Overpowered = excessive heeling with no real gain in forward speed and increased panic in the eyes of the crew!

    > Reef early if you can. As mentioned above.
    > The Cunningham really helps to flatten the leading third of the main sail up the length of the mast. Don't be shy to pull down really tight on the Cunningham. Don't bust the sail tho!
    > The boom out-haul really helps to flatten the lower third of the mainsail. Again don't be shy to pull out really tight on the out-haul. Again don't bust the sail tho!
    > The boom kicking strap (or vang as you guys call it) can be eased off to actually allow the boom to lift slightly. This completely depowers the top third of the main sail where the wind will be at it's strongest. The wind speed you feel on the surface is less then the wind speed 7m and more up in the air! Allowing the top third of the leach of the sail to ease away will spill wind high up, reducing the heeling force.
    > The backstay tension really does not flatten the mainsail as this is not a fractional rig boat. All you are really doing is pulling more forcefully on the forestay!

    It's way more easy to lose the trust of the crew than it is to gain the trust of the crew!
     


  5. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    8,306 posts, 1,756 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    Amen.

    There is nothing fast, cool, or macho about a boat with its rail in the water.
     


  6. Meriachee

    Meriachee

    Joined Aug 1, 2011
    2,324 posts, 575 likes
    Catalina 270
    CA Wabamun - on the orange ball
    E
    Except for the spiders. :)
     


    Doug4bass, Simon Sexton and Jackdaw like this.
  7. Simon Sexton

    Simon Sexton

    Joined Nov 1, 2017
    202 posts, 68 likes
    Catalina 25 Tall Rig
    Valiant US Watergate Marina, Kemah, TX
    @markcc13 ,

    Good morning! I've sailed several times with my girlfriend, and she had the same problem at first. There was no other way I could think of to help her get past her fear other than putting her on the tiller, so I did. One of the first things I taught her was that if we get a big gust of wind and start heeling too far past her comfort zone, then I want her to head up into the wind, just a tad bit. This is a tactic I learned from a good friend, Mike Janota down in Galveston when I was training on Flying Juniors for Aggie Cup several years ago. This pointing up in a gust gave me an edge on upwind legs, but didn't really apply anywhere else; if you're heeling over on a reach or run, then its all about trim and weight distribution at that point! Maybe the chart below will help:
    [​IMG]
    I have a laminated copy of this chart on my boat that I can give to a new sailor to teach them proper trim on a different point of sail. If you're on any point other than a close hauled/close reach, then you shouldn't be heeling too far, even on a swing keel boat. Also pay close attention to where you and your passengers are sitting onboard. If you sit too far to the center of the hull, or too far to leeward, then the boat will heel over even without wind gusts.
    Another factor is your wind speed and weather conditions. If the wind is gusting at more than 15 knots, then I don't consider it appropriate weather for new sailors to learn, as there is much less room for error (and error WILL occur).
     


  8. Daveinet

    Daveinet

    Joined Sep 20, 2014
    821 posts, 127 likes
    Rob Legg RL24
    US Chain O'Lakes
    Do you know what sail twist is, or how to induce twist in your main and jib? Moving the mainsheet car to windward allows the boom to rise, which induces twist in the sail. The top of the sail will twist to leeward, which will correct for the change in wind speed higher up. (wind travels faster, the higher up it is) If you don't have any twist in the sail, the top of the sail is just scooping up the wind, causing heel, rather than pushing the boat forward.
    I will also tell you, that if you have old baggy sails, it is hard to induce twist. If the sail is baggy, the boom rises up and just creates a scoop in the belly of the sail, rather than letting the top of the sail twist off. Even worse, when you let the sail out, the scoop gets bigger, which powers up the sail, rather than spilling off wind. I don't know if that boat has a backstay, but if it does, try putting some bend in the mast to take out some of the belly. Don't over do it, or you will reduce the draft and loose speed.
     


    DrJudyB likes this.
  9. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    8,306 posts, 1,756 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    Backstay will not bend the mast of the Catalina 22, or any other masthead boat.
     


    Parsons likes this.
  10. Daveinet

    Daveinet

    Joined Sep 20, 2014
    821 posts, 127 likes
    Rob Legg RL24
    US Chain O'Lakes
    Thanks, I did not realize it was a masthead boat. Now that I actually looked at photos, it looks like the spreaders go straight out, so no way to bend the mast at all.
     


    Jackdaw likes this.
  11. Gene Neill

    Gene Neill

    Joined Sep 30, 2013
    2,183 posts, 694 likes
    C-22, Albin Vega
    US central Florida
    Then what is the point of an adjustable backstay?
     


  12. Will Gilmore

    Will Gilmore

    Joined Oct 19, 2017
    1,914 posts, 737 likes
    O'Day 19
    US Littleton, NH
    You could use it to tighten the luff on your jib, but that seems like the wrong way to go about that. Maybe just to loosen the stays in preparation for lowering the mast?

    -Will (Dragonfly)
     


  13. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    8,306 posts, 1,756 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    No, that's exactly what its for, to add or reduces headstay sag. This shapes the headsail for optimal performance. This happens on simple fractional rigs (no runners) as well, but not to the same degree.
     


    Last edited: Apr 18, 2018
  14. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    8,306 posts, 1,756 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    A little more detail...

    On masthead rigs, the backstay tensions the forestay to reduce/add sag and shapes the headsail. It does this very well because it is pulling directly against it. But this means that it cannot bend the mast to shape the mainsail. So high-performance masthead boats will often have babystays (attached midmast to the fordeck) to bend the mast. Simpler masthead rigs will pre-set bend with fore and aft lower shrouds.

    Fractional boats use backstay to both add/remove headstay tension, as well as bend the mast to shape the main. Nice. But because the effect of tensioning the forestay is reduced due to pulling above the forestay, high performance fractional boats will either a) have running backstays attached to the hounds, or b) also adjust their shroud tension to set the general range for the day, and fine tune with backstay.
     


    Last edited: Apr 18, 2018
  15. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    8,306 posts, 1,756 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    A clarifying point... the ability to bend the mast has nothing to do with swept spreaders. Its where the headstay/hounds attaches vs the backstay that matters. Originally, fractional boats had straight spreaders as well, but needed check stays and running backs to keep the mast up. The newer, simplified fractional rig with swept spreaders triangulates the base of the rig and eliminates that need.
     


  16. LakeShark

    LakeShark

    Joined Sep 15, 2016
    292 posts, 80 likes
    Catalina 22
    US Minnesota
    Ok so I have followed this thread for a while and although we are far and afield of the OP question I need some clarification on mast bend / rake. @Jackdaw if I am following you correctly on a C22 with an adjustable backstay and the lowers it is not the backstay that induces bend or rake but the lower stays? If this is the case and you tune the rig to have the recommended 6-8 inches of rake is that taken with a loose backstay or tight? Also when you tension the backstay to shape the headsail are you not also pulling against the forward lowers and changing their tension as well this changing the original tuned rake or bend? Sorry for the question here but I'm just trying to better understand the rig tuning process so that if spring ever arrives here in MN I can get out racing again.

    Also more to the topic of the thread it is my understanding that more bend / rake will lower the heeling angle as well because it moves the draft forward in the sails thought the boat will also not point as high.
     


  17. Scott T-Bird

    Scott T-Bird

    Joined Oct 26, 2008
    3,238 posts, 380 likes
    Starwind 27
    US Barnegat, NJ
    Sailing upwind ... It will flatten your headsail as the wind strengthens. I find that it significantly reduces weather helm when I adjust it as wind picks up. To me, it's as necessary and effective as any other sail control device. It is very easy to set it up if you have split backstay.
     


  18. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    8,306 posts, 1,756 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    @LakeShark ,
    First remember that rake and bend are two totally different things.

    Rake is the angle off vertical that the mast tip make relative to the mast base. It can happen (and often does) on a perfectly straight mast. It effects mostly the center of effort of the sailplain, and thus effect weather/lee helm balance.

    Bend is the actual CURVE in the mast column. Bending the mast (always forward) flattens the middle of the mainsail by pulling the cloth tighter. Note that many fractional and some masthead masts have pre-bend (another term) than is the default/base amount of bend in the mast. Sailmakers want to know this to design the sail correctly.

    To your questions, yes the foward and back lowers can set a pre-bend in the mast.

    Your mast rake is set by your forestay length. I can assure you that nothing you do to your backstay will effect it!
     


    Last edited: Apr 18, 2018
  19. Scott T-Bird

    Scott T-Bird

    Joined Oct 26, 2008
    3,238 posts, 380 likes
    Starwind 27
    US Barnegat, NJ
    As you probably know, bend and rake is not the same thing. On my masthead rig, the shape of the mast certainly limits bending. I'm setting the rig for rake, and not even considering bending. I'm also adjusting tension as prescribed at a stand-still condition, so that means that the backstay is neither "loose" nor "tight". I have just one set of lowers and they are slightly swept back. As wind increases above 10 to 12 knots (true), tightening the backstay certainly does help to eliminate head stay sag and flattens the headsail, making the helm have a 'lighter' feel. The lower stays do seem to loosen slightly, as witnessed by what appears to be slightly more slack in the leeward shroud. So, I'm guessing that yes, it does affect the lower shrouds. If you realize that increased wind will load up your head sail and pull the mast forward, it will cause headstay sag, and it also affects the lower shrouds. So, the over-riding concern that I have is to bring that mast back to the preferred rake where head stay sag is normal (even as the wind increases). Thus the lowers should also be brought back to normal. The purpose is to bring that rake back to normal as the wind increases. It requires more back stay tension to do so as the wind increases.

    Anything to reduce heeling, which is greatly affected by head stay sag, is necessary to reduce weather helm and that 'heavy' helm feel. I think (on my boat, anyway) heeling causes weather helm far more than mast rake position. Bringing the mast rake back to normal in high wind decreases weather helm, for sure, because it reduces the heeling.
     


    Cowpokee likes this.
  20. LakeShark

    LakeShark

    Joined Sep 15, 2016
    292 posts, 80 likes
    Catalina 22
    US Minnesota
    Ok learning something new here, I was mistaken in assuming that prebend and rake were the same thing. Being that they are different and that backstay tension does not affect the overall rake of the mast as that is set by the forestay then more to @Gene Neill question how and what does the back stay tension do? It seems that although it is adding tension to the forestay it is also adding a slight bit of stretch as well. Wouldn't that affect rake? I have noticed better performance by loosening the backstay down wind and tightening it upwind and so I am just trying to understand how all this works in theory / mechanics.

    Is the increased performance driven by the draft alone and the forestay cable tensions but has no stretch?
     



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