Strong wind downwind in unstayed Cat Ketches and Cat Yawls – more safety and efficiency


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4 thoughts on “Strong wind downwind in unstayed Cat Ketches and Cat Yawls – more safety and efficiency

  1. David Kirtley says:

    Hey MIK, good to see you survived our lovely heat.

    I am really curious how your opinion has changed or remained the same regarding the yawl rig (or the cat ketch by extension) in comparison to a single sail.

    I do know that on the old sharpies, they would let the sail fly forward of them mast when running just to stabilize. Did you try that?

    In a more specific vein, now that you have spent some serious time in the sailing conditions we have down here, what do you think would be a good choice for a generally comfortable sailing boat for single handing these conditions? Keep in mind that the wind you experienced was not exceptional in this area. You should see it when it really gets blowing.

    • Hi David,
      The single sail is by far the best solution for off the beach sailing – you can rig in minutes and get going. The boat is less cluttered, significantly cheaper and less labour.

      However for a distance event or cruising having the ability to hold the nose to wind or the boat abeam of the wind does allow reefing much more easily. In the Texas 200 it would be mostly possible to pull ashore to reef if the wind had come up – but this would require a degree of thought and calculation and probably conservatism before crossing some of the larger bodies of water – like Matogorda Bay etc.

      All in all I was very happy to be sailing the yawl version for this event.

      Best wishes
      Michael