After a lot of research, we decided to put a square top mail sail on our cat. It’s not just because they are bigger and therefore better in light air sailing, they are also more efficient. Basically you increase the available power and at the same time you decrease drag. Also, with wind gusts the top baton will spill power.
Here is our sail plan:
|Mast height above DWL||19.45||63’10”|
|Mainsail Area: incl. Roach||56.4 m2||607 ft2|
|Jib Area (100% Fore triangle):||36.6 m2||394 ft2|
|Furling Genoa Area:||39.5 m2||425 ft2|
|Genneker Area:||94.5 m2||1,012 ft2|
|Storm jib Area:||9 m2||97 ft2|
|Total upwind area||95.9 m2||1,032 ft2|
To complete the sail plan, we asked the factory to install an asymetric spinnaker running rigging and we commissioned a Parasailor to the German company ISTEC.
After talking to the manufacturer about our needs, we decided to get one 140 square meters in size, with leech length of 16.3 meters. My hope is that we are going to use the parasailor for 80% of the time during our crossing from Walvis Bay, Namibia.
The rigging instructions we received from Parasailor are very complex, with lots of sheets. In reality, during our trials and during the crossing, we only used a sheet, a guy, and a barber hauler. It works perfectly well just like this.
As a back up to the Parasailor, we talked to Ullman Sails RSA and we agreed to have a Tri-radial – Cruising Asymmetrical Spinnaker manufactured for us. The specs we agreed upon are these:
To complete this sail plan, we’re also going to install a bowsprit, so that if in the future we want to add a Code 0, we’ll be all set.
We are confident that with this sail plan and rigging, during our ocean crossing we are covered for pretty much any downwind angle.