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the other cat

the other cat

America’s Cup, the Little AC, the growing-like-weeds F-18 and A-Cat Classes, the Rhoute Du Rhum, The Race, Extreme 40s – with cat fever hitting on all these fronts and more, the ‘other’ cat gets left out in the cold.  We’re speaking of catboats of course; with beamy hulls, forward-placed freestanding rigs, and only one or two sails to deal with, they provide a great platform for easy singlehanded and shorthanded sailing.  Unfortunately, they tend to have a hard time balancing, lack pointing ability, and are tricky to tune – until now?  The jury is still out, but this canting keel 30 footer gets major points for trying something new.  Here’s a report from the owner of this just-launched version that we grabbed from the designer’s site, so take it with a grain of salt.  Thanks to Amati for the find.

You asked before about her going to wind – she gets up to 7 knts in a 12 knt true wind and the dagger board helps a lot. She does not point as high as OverProof (the sloop rigged Open 30), and she seems to prefer a fairly wide sheeting angle and with the canting keel cranked up to 15 degrees she makes good upwind VMGs.

The daggerboard seems to have sufficient area and the directional stability seems good; the uni sail sets very well and works well with the rig – like on a windsurfer!!!

She sails fantastic!!! The first thing that is really different is the ‘soft’ ride effect – no shocks through the rigging when a gust hits the sails or when you tack or jibe – the rig/sail acts like a bird in flight and adjusts perfectly to changes….and much quicker and appropriately than a sail trimmer can ever manage. She is also very fast – got her up to 11knts in a 15 knts breeze at 120 AW.  

We got the screecher up on Sunday and had some fun with it. I still need to put twings on the sheets to get a better shape running wide off the wind. But everything is working well. The boat speed is great! We consistently sailed at 7+knts upwind and 8.5+ on a reach – GPS data. The boat is extremely well balanced – played with the dagger board and she tracks well upwind with board down – down wind with the board up and canting keel centered she is also well balanced.What remains a wonder is her self-tuning ability. The rig/sails and foils seems to talk to each other all the time. The boat behaves so well it is actually almost boring. She sails better left to herself than trying to steer and trim sails all the time – once she gets in a groove she remains there and finds the best speeds.