A Photo & Discussion Forum for Wharram Design Enthusiasts
How hove to is done on a cat? Please. I know how to do it on a mono and this is tacking without releasing the jib and when the jib is taken aback, release the main sheet and turn the rudder to go back to the same tack again. The boat stalls and that's it. I suppose it could be the same with a cat with main and jib set up but, some of the Wharrams have crab claw sails how do they do it?
Pretty much the same. . .A little fiddling with rudder position, etc. Glenn Tieman uses it on his Manurere, obviously modified to work with the crab claw rig. Another technique Glenn, and other good sailors, use is forereaching. Here is a cut and past, mostly based on monohulls, but you should be able to glean the technique from it to use for multihulls.
The process of forereaching is, as they used to say about navigation, both an art and a science. The science is, shorten sail to a point where the boat can endure the apparent wind, set a course that allows the boat to keep moving, and monitor the situation, decreasing sail as necessary. The art is more nuanced. Several factors come into play, not the least of which is the psychology of forereaching.
The storm tactics of heaving to and lying ahull are passive, and not to be recommended in many boats with modern hull shapes with flat bottoms, which have a tendency to pivot around the narrow cord of the their keel section. The tactic of running off before the wind is certainly not passive but it can only be carried out to a point. At some point the seas become too large and too dangerous and every wild ride down the backside of a wave just might be your last. The technique of forereaching is proactive. It is the technique most used by singlehanded racers in events like the Around Alone (now Velux 5-Oceans), Vendée Globe and others. By maintaining some speed, and some control, you are at least making progress and therefore actively coping with the conditions. The effect on the psyche is positive. You are no longer a sitting duck waiting to get smacked and praying that the storm will ease.
More nuance, or call it skill, is required to make your boat forereach effectively. You need strong storm sails. If you have a sloop, consider mounting an inner forestay, not to sail as a cutter but to have a better platform for flying a storm jib. The advantages of an inner stay are that the center of effort of the sail is pushed aft and down, making it more efficient. However, this installation can’t be an afterthought, this stay is going to be heavily loaded. It needs a robust chainplate for the fitting and most likely running backstays to support the mast at the top point of the stay.
Also, and we’re talking extreme conditions here, have a storm trysail, which is really a storm mainsail that hoists on an independent track. Both of these sails should be smaller than your sailmaker will likely recommend. Make sure that you are set up to fly them. The leads must be fair—this is critical, otherwise chafe will destroy the sheets in a matter of hours. Lesson No. 3: If you are going to forereach effectively, you must have the right gear. Take the time and spend the money to make sure your storm sails and rig are able to cope with extreme conditions.
Once you have set the storm jib and storm trysail, you will need to find your boat’s best angle of attack. Sorry, you must work when you choose the technique of forereaching in a gale, at least initially. Steer aggressively and find out just how the boat likes to ride into the seas. Some degree of speed is critical but you must avoid as much pounding as possible. There is a balance point. Don’t dismiss this as impossible. I know, you are thinking about how your boat pounds when you sail upwind in moderate conditions, what is it going to be like in a storm? But that is a different kind of sailing—it’s at speed, close to the wind and with plenty of sail set. Forereaching is different and you can almost always find the sweet spot. Your very survival may depend on it. Once you have the boat where you want it, self-steering—either an autopilot or steering vane—should be able to handle the helm. Then you can drop below, rig up the lee cloth, climb into your sea berth and take a load off.
The final lesson: Practice forereaching next time you encounter windy conditions. Take the time to set the storm jib and even the storm trysail. Check the leads, find an angle that’s comfortable. Practicing in 25 knots will prove invaluable when the winds are blowing twice that"
All the above is excellent and perfect advice.
And Iwill add that if the storm worsens or if you become exhausted and just want to get a rest, you can lower all sails and either run down wind under bare poles (if that is safe under those conditions), or else just sit there like a raft and fiddle with the rudder until you have a safe angle that works in the conditions you find yourself in. We sat throug a force 10 offshore for a couple of days in Peace IV that way. Ruth Wharram had suggested it to us in case we needed a "go to" plan during our maiden voyage which inclueded a trans Atlantic. It worked fine and I thanked her over and over again for telling me to do that.
Even better advice is not to trust yourself to understand foreign language weather forecasts! That was the cause of us being out there in such a storm. I was the one to blame.... :(