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Try a Barber Hauler for Better Sail Trim

barber hauler catamaran

If you can’t position the jib clew exactly where you want it on all courses and in all weather, a barber hauler should be in your future, for even the most laid-back sailor. Here are some options.

If the jib has no or limited overlap, hauling the sheet inboard a few inches can be as simple as lightly tensioning the lazy sheet. A permanent in-hauler is typically rigged to a mast base turning block. If there is a lot of overlap, you can rig a line right across the cockpit to a spare winch, just for testing.

Midships blocks offer multiple opportunities for testing. For reaching, a light block or even a carabiner on a fixed length strop attached to a mid-ships cleat can provide a solution. If some adjustability is required, the block can be attached to a length of line led under the cleat and back to a secondary winch; there will be more friction, but its only for reaching. If the line is a little longer, it will reach across the deck to the opposite sheet, where it can serve as an in-hauler. This creates tripping and chafe problems, of course, and is only temporary, for testing.

Snatch blocks make a removable barber haulers practical. This can make a lot of sense for spinnakers and reachers. We use the headsail barber haulers every day, so we always make these permanent. Loads are generally light, so use lightweight turning blocks to minimize friction.

We like low-friction rings for the sheet end. They’re light and there is less banging around. Carabiners make handy low-friction ring substitutes, but we only recommended them for testing, because they have a nasty habit of spontaneously clipping onto lifelines and other control lines.

A barber hauler that is intended to be adjusted under load will generally be led to a winch, but reaching outhaulers and twings for smaller boats can often be hand tensioned and led to a cam cleat, if you are willing to slack the sheet for a few moments while you make the adjustments. But since barber haulers are of greatest value when its blowing, make it sturdy.

I prefer positioning the basic sheeting system as far in as I will need it, so that I only have to haul outwards. However, new boats are coming out with systems that require hauling in and out, for all adjustments.

The simplest solution is to place a single low friction ring on the sheet, splice two tails to it, and lead one to a turning block at the mast base and the other to a turning block at the rail. A huge range of adjustment is possible.

Drew Frye is technical editor for Practical Sailor and author of Rigging Modern Anchors . He also blogs at his website www.blogspot.sail-delmarva.com .


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What is the antal part number for the deck mounted turning blocks pictured on the right of the image?

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Skipper’s tips – call for the barber

  • Chris Beeson
  • May 13, 2016

Tom Cunliffe has assessed hundreds of sailors for the RYA Yachtmaster exam. He shares a few skipper's tips with us...

Tom Cunliffe

Rig a barber-hauler to stop the leech spilling wind

A tall, thin 110% genoa can be a brute to sheet on a reach, especially if it’s a self-tacking one. The trouble with these powerful, effective sails is that while they set like a dream close-hauled, as soon as you ease the sheet, the clew rises dramatically. No matter what you do with the lead, the leech falls away. The result is that a lot of power is lost from up high, and the leech flaps all the way to Holland.

The only satisfactory answer is to rig what racing people call a ‘barber-hauler’. Snap a block onto the rail or a stanchion base outboard of the clew, attach a line to the clew in addition to the sheets, lead it through the block and heave the clew down and outboard. The result is the shape you want. Minimum trouble for a big difference in speed and peace on earth.

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Sail Trim for a Cruising Catamaran


Last Updated on January 17, 2021 by Amy

Cruising catamaran sail trim can be a fairly technical issue with differing opinions about how to best trim the sails to optimize boat speed and balance.  I most certainly will not profess to be an expert in the subject, but I do feel I’ve come a long ways from when I first learned how to sail on our Maine Cat 30.  This topic appeals to my technical side, and I wanted to put together a guide that people joining us on  Starry Horizons might find helpful, and hopefully others will as well.  

Catamaran Sailing Basics

Parts of the sail.

Here are the main parts of the sail that you should know to understand the basics of sailing a catamaran:

The mainsail is the largest sail on the boat. It is attached to the mast on the luff (side) and the foot (bottom) attaches to the boom.

Our mainsail is a square-topped rig, which has a flat top with a diagonal batten in it to hold its shape. This style provides a bit more sail area. The standard offering is a pinhead mainsail, where the top comes to a point.

There are a huge variety of possible headsails. Starry Horizons carries three, but so the simplest purposes, the headsail is the genoa.

The foot is the base of the sail. On a mainsail, the foot attaches to the boom. Our mainsail is loose-footed , which means it isn’t attached directly to the boom, but instead is attached by two lines at either corner of the foot. The

The luff is the forward edge of the sail. On the mainsail, it is attached to the mast. On the genoa, it is attached to the furler.

The leech is the third side of the sail, and on both the mainsail and headsails, it is loose.

The clew is the aft corner of the foot of the sail.

On the mainsail, a line called an outhaul runs from the clew into the boom.

On out headsails, the clew is attached to two lines called sheets.

The tack is the forward corner of the sail. In our mainsail, we have a line called a cunningham which pulls the tack forward and attaches it.

On our genoa, the tack is attached to the base of our furler.

On our bigger headsails, the furlers attach to the boat via what we call an adjustable tackline .

The head is the very top of the sail. Our mainsail is attached via a line called the main halyard. The headsails are attached via a line called the head halyard.

The mainsheet is the line that runs from the boom to the deck. This is the line that controls the mainsail.

What is a Traveler?

The traveler is a track that runs along the top of the cabin across the beam of the boat. It has track cars, which is how the mainsheet is attached to the traveler.

The traveler can be moved from side to side using a continuous line that is led to the helm.

What are Tell-Tales?

A tell-tale is a small piece of yarn attached to the sail on the body of the sail. We have several on each sail, and we use these tell-tales as indicators to what the wind is doing on the sail.

Catamaran Sail Trim

Angle of attack and sail twist.

These are the two primary concerns when considering catamaran sail trim.  Here’s how I break them down:

Angle of Attack (AOA)

Definition:  The angle between the sail’s chord and the direction of the wind.

Key Question:  Is the sail trimmed to maximize power and attached airflow?

How to Answer:  Look at your telltales.  Along the leech of the mainsail, the telltales should be streaming straight aft.  Your genoa will likely have tell-tales on each side of the sail, and these should be streaming aft in parallel.

How to Control:  You can use both your traveller and sheets to adjust your angle of attack, or you can adjust your point of sail (change from close-hauled to a close reach).

Tips and Tricks:   “When in doubt, let it out” is a good phrase.  On a catamaran, I would suggest that you play with the traveller before adjusting the sheet.  I’ve found it’s far too easy to over trim the sail, in essence stalling the boat.  You may be sailing, but it won’t be as efficient as possible.   The exception to this rule is sailing close-hauled, where having the traveller slightly to windward seems to do the trick.

For the genoa, whatever side of the sail has the telltale that isn’t flowing straight, adjust the sail (modifying the angle of attack) towards that side.  For example, if you are on a starboard tack and the leeward (port side) telltales are not streaming aft, let out the sheet or try moving the genoa cars forward.

Definition:   The difference in AOA from the head to the foot of a sail.

Key Question:  How much twist should I have in the sails for the current conditions?

How to Answer:  This one you’re just going to have to know.  The general rule of thumb is you want more twist in light winds, less twist in moderate winds and back to more twist in heavy wind.

How to Control:   You can use both the sheet and traveler to adjust sail twist.  Moving the traveler to windward and letting out the main sheet to keep the boom in place will increase the twist of the mainsail.  For the Genoa, rigging a barber hauler can provide a significantly increased amount of control over twist, as well as opening up the AOA on deeper sail angles.

Tips and Tricks:  Increasing twist in a sail in heavy air can be a quick way to slightly depower if necessary, just let out the sheet.  If you get to this point though, you should probably be thinking about putting in a reef!

Traveller Out, Sheet On

If you remember nothing else, this is the thing to remember.  As a general rule, to trim the main on a cruising catamaran, you should let out the traveler first, while keeping the main sheet pretty tight.  This seems to work fairly well for the length of the traveler, and then you can start letting out the main sheet.  Don’t be afraid to experiment, especially with adding some twist to the main if the telltales aren’t flying just right.

Move Your Jib/Genoa Cars

This can be an easy thing to forget, but the closer to the wind your sailing, the further aft your genoa cars should be.  This helps to reduce twist and get the most power out of the sail.  As you sail deeper angles, you need to move those cars forward.  Eventually, a barber hauler will prove incredibly useful on everything from a close reach and deeper.

I’ve put this big diagram together to be a handy guide aboard our boat and a “cheat sheet” to basic sail trim.  I welcome any feedback and will constantly try to be improving it.  Also included are diagrams for our Doyle Screecher and Asymmetric Spinnaker.  These diagrams are a bit more general and are included because I wanted a handy place to keep track of the apparent wind angles (AWA) and apparent wind speed (AWS) that Doyle has suggested for these sails.  If you have these type of sails on board, I highly recommend that you listen to the manufacturer’s recommendations, rather than using these numbers.

You can also download this file in pdf format here:  Sail Trim for a Cruising Catamaran .

Hopefully, this is helpful and please don’t hesitate to provide feedback.  I’d love to hear your suggestions on ways to improve and make the boat go faster!


Article and diagrams very helpful. Wondering if you could post more about the screecher. Curious to see the other points of sail for it. Thank you! Ed 34′ Gemini 105mc

Thanks this has been very helpful! Just bought a car this year, and this was still the most clear and easy guideline to sail trim I could find, even though you wrote this article years ago!

Aw thank you!

Amy and David, Thank you for sharing your experience. I will be printing this out and keeping it handy on our Helia. Steven Salty Britches

This is a very nice article — thanks for putting it together.

Thanks for reading!

I have designed a cat-rig which drives the yacht directly to the destination without tacking, without healing, and can sail astern. I’ll send you a sketch if you request one without charge but I’m not a draftsman or model maker

Just came across this article. Excellent stuff David. Thank you. As newbie sailors, we really struggle with Sail trim and I found this super helpful Cheers Jo SV Double Trouble

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Hi David, awesome stuff. Really appreciate it. Sailing from Cascais to Lagos today and looking for tips. We’re Auckland based usually but unfortunately missed you when you were there. Sounds like you had a nice day trip with our friends Tim and Adrienne Chrisp. Cheers Connan

Old post but… “but the closer to the wind your sailing, the further aft your genoa cars should be. This helps to reduce twist and get the most power out of the sail. As you sail deeper angles, you need to move those cars forward.”

Just getting into cats, but on a monohull moving cars aft increases twist. What’s up?

Thanks, I enjoy your site

Hmm… well, I don’t have really any experience on monohulls so I can’t really speak to that. All I know is that if I have the genoa cars forward due to reefing (and we’re sailing upwind), and then we unfurl the whole genoa without moving the cars aft, the sail shape clearly isn’t right and the telltales don’t stream properly. Move the cars aft and all is right with the world again.

Sail trim is sail trim dosent matter if on a cat, mono hull, trimaran, or city bus. Moving cars aft does increase twist as you sheet in that lead will need to come aft for proper twist. As you ease out it will need to go forward.

This is such a well written and explanatory article. Thank you. I find myself returning to reread this quite often.

I do have a question regarding mainsail trimming. When the mainsail leech telltales are curling, in general, which way should I move my traveller? Should I move the sail towards the curl or away from the curl? I have tried to approach this in a practical manner while sailing but often times swell and waves makes it difficult to tell if I am making a difference.

I am basically looking for a cheat like I use with our genoa. If a telltale is lifting I know to move the sail in the direction of the lift. Is it the same with the mainsail leech telltales?

I’m glad you’ve found it helpful! Unfortunately, I don’t really have much help to offer with mainsail trimming. I don’t really have a racing background, and while cruising I generally go for the set it and forget it mentality. Basically, I try to do 2 things: 1) Go by the “when it doubt, let it out” theory and 2) try to generally line up the leech of the mainsail with the leech of the genoa. I have a bit of a hard time sometimes telling exactly when the mainsail is luffing, so that’s when I try to use the 2nd part to help as a guide.

Also, based on some of the articles I’ve read, I think (and this is key, this is me thinking, so not very scientific or official) that if the telltale is curling to the leeward side of the sail, then the sail is overtrimmed and needs to be let out. Sorry I can’t offer more help, but I’d check out some of the racing sailing forums and I’m sure they’d have a lot more advice to offer!

Depends on which telltale you are looking at. Leech telltales are for accessing the twist in the sail, telltale in the body of the sail are for angle of attack. The idea is to have attached flow over the sail front to back, angle of attack is for the front of the sail, twist is for the back. If the lower leech telltales are flying up and are not streaming streaming straight aft tighten the sheet, if the upper tails are flying up ease the sheet. A telltale in the body of the main is used just like the ones on the the jib, so adjust the angle of attack with the traveler for those first and then adjust the sheet for the ones on the leech. If you have a vang you can use it to adjust the twist and the sheet to adjust the angle of attack.

On the jib you can actually use the luff telltales to access twist because of its different planform design and clean luff compared to the main. That is accomplished by moving the lead forward to reduce twist and aft to increase it, ideally windward and leeward telltales will be streaming aft top to bottom. Keep in mind however inducing extra twist can be used to quickly depower both the main and the jib prior to reefing as a tactic.

Hi@ I’m really glad to find your diagrams and test, but I waant to ask you about the length of your traveler, and the fact that its straight; do you think your (estimate 6 to 8′ traveler is long enuf for cruising purposes? and; would a curved track have been better? There are several contributors on this topic who seem to believe otherwise.. Now that you have another 18 months experience… thanks

I would estimate our traveller is closer to 12 feet long as it stretches almost the full length of our coachroof. I don’t know enough about a curved track to offer a comment, but for us, when we let the mainsheet out much past the ends of the traveller, we use a preventer which can also act as a boom vang. This set up is fairly easy and works for us, but I’m sure there are better ways to get more performance. We just care about getting there eventually!

Hope that helps,

Thanks for posting that; much appreciated. I really struggle to find anything online relating to sailing instruction for cruising cats.

Hey David! (Great name by the way!) These guidelines may not get you to the finish line first, but they’ll definitely get you from Point A to Point B, which is pretty much the whole purpose of cruising. 🙂

Ditto – many thanks for the diagram

You’re very welcome! Hope it helps!

This is by far the best explanation of traveller use I have come across. You have cleared up some nagging doubts I have had since buying our cat last year. Thanks for not getting wrapped up in technical jargon. Amazing how hard it is to find this info online.

Thanks Ben! I’m glad you found this helpful. Like I said, I’m certainly no expert, but this guide seemed to work fairly well for us as we came across the Atlantic.

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how do i rig and use a barberhauler?

  • Thread starter Ms Hillary
  • Start date Jul 1, 2005
  • Forums for All Owners
  • Ask All Sailors

Ms Hillary

I bought your book. I am still a little fuzzy on how to rig and use a barberhauler. The book and sailtrim chart are great, I am going faster every time out!  

a poor old sailor

I'll give it a shot I thought that others with a better sailing vocabulary would jump on this, but I'll give it a shot. Barber haulers are great for controlling the angle of pull on a headsail sheet. Mine is a basic block and tackle (similar to your main sheet, but the loads are much less, so fewer pulleys are needed) hooked down to the toe rail and up to a snatch block that snaps around the genoa sheet. Depending on where you attach it, it can either pull the sheet down or in. For example if the top of the head sail is luffing before the bottom, put the barber hauler on and pull the sheet down a bit until the whole leading edge of the sail luffs at the same time. If you are using a smaller headsail than normal, it may want to be sheeted in closer to the centerline of the boat for best performance. Here, a barberhauler could be attached near the mast to pull the sheet more towards the centerline. For many new fangled fancy boats, barber haulers are not needed because these boats have multiple and adjustable genoa lead tracks that allow one to get the perfect sheet angle regardless of conditions.  

Don Guillette

Don Guillette

Ms Hillary: Thank you for buying my book and chart and I'm happy you are getting good results from the material. The barberhauler is pretty simple. I assume your boat has outboard tracks. The outboard track is used when sailing on points of sail other than closehauled. For closehuled work, you want to use the inboard track, which most boats don't have. So what you do is get a short pice of line (about 10' or 15')and merely attach one end of the line to your jib sheet. The knot you want to use is the same one you used as a girl scout to secure your tent line. The advantage of this knot is that you can slide it up and down the jib sheet and it is easy to untie. You'll have to experiment to find the correct spot on the jib sheet, that is why it has to slide. On my boat (C30) I merely run the barberhauler line over to the lazy winch and controlled it that way. Some times I just sat on the cabin top and pulled in on the jib sheet. How powerful is a barberhauler? I was in a race in Long Beach. We were 6th or 7th and about 300 yds behind the next boat. I asked the skipper if I could try the barberhauler and he did not want to. I told him he invited me on board to give my suggestions (like why am I here otherwise)and what harm can it do as we are next to last anyway so he finally relented. We not only caught the next boat but passed the one in front of him also!! When we turned the mark, they both regained their position but that leg of the race was a win for me. Some mates may wonder where the name barberhauer (cross haul) came from. It is named for the Barber brothers, who sailed lightnings with Dennis Conner in San Diego. They are now both dentists and Dennis Conners is one of their patients. Now you know "the rest of the story".  

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Airflow and Sail Turbulence

Downwind, when wind angle is the greatest, turbulent zones behind and on the perimeters of the sails are the greatest. With proper sail adjustment, airflow is smoothest on a reach, running nearly parallel with the boom angle. This is also the point of sail where forward momentum is maximized. Upwind the wind is compressed by the jib and mainsail resulting in smaller pressure vortexes to leeward. Except on a downwind course, telltales are the best indicators for proper trim.

Airflow & Sail Turbulence

Xyz Angle Indicator

it there until you approach 45 degrees off the wind on the new tack. At that point slowly reverse the helm to bring the boat onto your new heading. As you pass through the wind, ease the main a bit to reduce the wind vane effect which is no longer needed. If you lose momentum during the tack and need to backwind the jib, delay the release of the headsail sheet until the back side of the jib has filled and is pushing the boat off the wind. As soon as you're well through the wind, but no farther than necessary, release the windward sheet and haul the leeward sheet in quickly to get the boat moving forward again. Always trim the jib first and then the main. Allow the boat to pick up speed before moving close to the wind again.

When close-hauled in a monohull in windy conditions, standard practice is to head up when hit with a gust. This prevents excessive heeling, which could result in a knockdown. On a high-performance cruising multihull luffing up is still the best course of action when you're temporarily overpowered while sailing very close to the wind, since falling off could make the boat accelerate rapidly. The traveler should be eased all the way to leeward, thus flattening the mainsail. Another way to cope with gusts is to use a square-top mainsail. The square top blows off in a gust, serving as an automatic first reef. What one should not do is release the mainsheet, which would create the opposite effect of what is desired, making the mainsail fuller.

The telltales on the jib will be the single most important gauge of how well you are doing. The slot effect between main and jib will be key to a proper pressure balance between both sides of the sail. This is even more true in light conditions. As a rule, the lighter the wind, the less you should trim. Over-sheeting the sails is the most common mistake when sailing in light-to-moderate winds. It will stall airflow and reduce speed.

Upwind, you pick your safe course and sheet the jib in first, until proper flow over both sides of the luff is achieved. The telltales will be the best indicator of your adjustments. Once that has been accomplished the main will be trimmed to match the jib's leach shape, accelerating the air through the slot. Back-winding the main will be hard to spot since the battens will hide any signs of the mainsail luff stalling. So, care should be taken not to over tighten the jib. Mainsheet, traveler, halyard, outhaul and Cunningham tension will control twist and draft. Depending on the sea state and weight of the boat, you will dial in power when the wind is light (more fullness and twist) and the opposite, in flat water and stronger winds.

Usually the boom should be midships, and when sighting up the mainsail, the leach should have a moderate luff. The chord of the sail should have a consistent airfoil section with its deepest draft one third aft of the luff. Walk forward and sight back between the slot. When all telltales are streaming straight back on both sides of the sail, there should be a harmonious, almost parallel, distance between the leach of the jib and the belly of the mainsail. All leach telltales on the main, especially the lower ones, should be streaming straight back.

In ghosting conditions care should be taken to move about delicately and make small gradual adjustments. Monitoring the knot meter will reflect on your trim's success. Keep the weight out of the ends of the boat and your catamaran will make its own wind.

On daggerboard cats, use the leeward board fully lowered to give you the most lift. As you gain speed or bear off the wind, the daggerboard can be gradually raised. Familiarity with your boat will tell you how much you can comfortably raise the board under various sea and wind conditions. You'll have to allow for additional leeway when going to windward in any shallow-draft boat. Daggerboards help reduce leeway by reaching down into deeper water. Recommendations from the builder or designer and your own experience will tell you how much to allow in various sea conditions. High speeds and strong winds can make it difficult to raise the board. You may find that you have to bear away and reduce speed temporarily to ease the pressure on the foil.

Cruising multihulls, with their associated steering system and modest helm feedback, will let you sense very little if the boat is experiencing weather or lee helm, unless something is really wrong. Generally, an below Leather-covered stewmg wheels are minor details, but they over-sheeted main and less powerful jib make a difference when having to will produce weather helm, whereby the hand-steer on a cold, clammy night.

Multihull Seamanship

above Most sail controls on catamarans can be led back to the cockpit. Even halyards and reefing lines are routed aft via turning blocks. Although this increases friction and also means more mess in the cockpit, it is often worth the tradeoff of not having to clamber forward to the mast in inclement conditions.

A barber hauler should be rigged to provide a better headsail shape, especially on a reach or run. An additional line can be used which is led from the toe rail aft via a snatch block, or even the windward (lazy) sheet can be cleated off to the leeward toe rail to force the clew of the headsail outboard.

multihull has the tendency to round up - or turn into the wind. Not only will this increase the force on the rudders, but will use more electricity for the autopilot's operation and produce more drag, slowing the boat unnecessarily. Remember that you have two rudders, therefore twice the drag of a monohull under the same circumstances. Adjusting sails for balance is therefore imperative.

Continue reading here: Downwind

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Readers' Questions

Why use square top mainsail in catamaran?
The square top mainsail is a great way to provide added power and stability to a catamaran, especially when sailing upwind. The additional sail area at the top of the sail provides more lift, a tighter leech and an overall smoother transition between the two hulls. This allows the catamaran to sail higher and faster, while providing a more comfortable and stable ride. In addition, the square top mainsail is easier to control when tacking, as the increased sail area helps to keep the boat in balance.

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Built-In Heave-To Feature Most sailboats can heave-to without too much trouble, but many boats struggle to remain hove-to as the wind builds. On the XCAT, if you furl the genoa, hard sheet in the mainsail, let the rudder free and sit forward of the mast: the boat will sit within 5º of true wind direction and will average a half knot in reverse, regardless of wind speed. This is a fantastic feature for novice sailors or anyone who gets caught by a squall in open water.

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XCAT Sailing Equipment Set

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Rigging and Flying our Parasailor on our Catamaran

We know there are a lot of people out there who have questions about flying a parasailor on a catamaran. So, this video is for you!

We show you how we have setup our permanent rigging for our parasailor, (clutches, blocks and pad eyes) along with temporary block and tackle, the sheets and guys, and the optional Barber-Hauler and Violin. We probably don’t fly it perfectly, but so far this has worked well for us. (great alternative to a spinnaker or code zero sail)

We love sailing it because it truly is the quietest, smoothest riding sail we can fly. All you hear is the beautiful sound of the ocean lightly caressing your hulls. Plus people love to see us sailing it!

If you don’t have one, and are considering it, you can get more info at Parasailor.com . There is also an alternative by Oxley-Sails.com

If you have questions or comments, please contact us.

In the first video, we cover:

  • Rigging Setup for the Parasailor
  • Hoisting the Parasailor on Spinaker Sheet
  • Flying the Parasailor
  • Parasailor performance

In the second video, you will see our very first time sailing it.

Rigging and Flying our Parasailor

Have Wind Will Travel

Curious about cruising? Come aboard.

Have Wind Will Travel

Tag: barber hauler

Ch. 3: Boat Projects and Participation Trophies

Ch. 3: Boat Projects and Participation Trophies

This was Yannick again, distinctly pointing out my “American ways,” as he called them.

One really cool thing I like about being around different types of people, particularly people who grew up in different countries with entirely different cultures and principles, is that it takes me out of my normalcy.  It reminds I am not normal.  Yannick is not normal.  There is no “normal.”  There are only people, who think and want and act—often in a way that is very different from me—and I can either judge those people and avoid them, or make new friends and learn from them.


Like these two handsome gents: Enrique from Portugal and Sandré from Norway whom we met in the Azores.  Great guys!

What I was learning from Yannick at the outset were some of the funny little things I do because I grew up doing them, hearing them and saying them.  Let’s see if this one rings a bell for you:

“Good job.”

Do you find yourself saying this often to people?  Who and why and do you find it is often when they have merely completed the job but not done a very “good job” at all?

In preparing for the Atlantic-crossing, Yannick, Phillip, Johnny and I all had many, many jobs to do.  First and foremost our focus was on the boat and getting it sealed up, the mast up and the new sails on, and the propulsion system working again.  This “good job” conversation with Yannick arose out of one of the very first jobs we ever did on the boat together: sealing the new windows on the Freydis.  One of the very first things you want your boat to be before you set off in it to cross the pond is water-tight, or if not, at least taking on water only at a rate that is slower than your bilge pumps.  With the Freydis missing five of its seven primary windows not three weeks before we were set to cast off, sealing the new windows on was definitely a priority.

Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 11.24.44 AM

I joked during this footage that “It’s just a pass-through, see?” as I demonstrated handing items through the gigantic hole on the side of the boat.  “You want cookies?  You want milk?” I mimicked.  Yannick laughed and replied: “You want thunderstorm?”  Well played.

Getting these windows sealed on correctly required a team effort, though.

a team

Many hours were spent scraping the old sealant off of the surface so the new sealant would adhere and frames were then built to hold the weight of the new window in place for the team “drop.”  The new windows were pre-bent to fit the curve of the boat but several were bent far more than they needed to be, which meant they had to be pressure-forced to adhere to the boat.  This required a unique system of wood and human wedges (patent-pending) to ensure the window did not try to stubbornly bend itself back off of the boat while sealing.

Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at 9.42.06 AM

That was merely the sealing of said windows, however, not the caulking.

Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at 9.36.48 AM

Boats are such fun!

If I have not mentioned this before, I hate caulking.  When Phillip and I replaced the four large windows in the saloon on our boat (a chore that earned the title “ Worst Project of the Re-Fit ” for a reason), the caulking was one of the worst parts.  It is such a finicky, fine-tune chore that requires just the right pressure from the caulk gun and a gentle steady swipe of the finger afterward (when there is nothing gentle or steady about my fingers).  Screw either of those up and you’ve got a crappy bead that will be hell to fix, particularly if it has dried to any degree.  Trust me, there are several crappy runs on the windows on our Niagara that I’ve tried to hide—with little success—with curtains.  Caulking is just not my talent.

Apparently, it turns out, it’s not one of Yannick’s innate skills either.  He, Phillip and I had just spent a very hot hour on Andanza one afternoon back in May carefully taping the perimeter around each window so Yannick could run a bead of caulk.  He did so and did a pretty bang-up job applying the caulk, but we all made a grave mistake.  We let the caulk dry too long before we pulled the tape, and we all watched in horror as Yannick’s nice caulk bead was now stretching, tearing and ripping out in huge chunks.  It looked awful.  Like a kindergartner had installed the windows on the boat, although none of us would admit it.  Yannick sat hunched over his work in silence, frowning, letting sweat roll into his squinted eyes.

Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at 9.35.19 AM

The further I stepped back from it, it started to look better so I tried to console him.

“Good job,” I said taking off my gloves.

Yannick shook his head slowly, keeping his eyes on his crappy work and said to me.  “No, it wasn’t.  I hate when you guys do that.  Don’t tell me I did a ‘good job’ when I f&*cked up.”

I told you I liked that guy.   It seems in France, according to Yannick at least, they don’t give out near as many participation trophies.  Yannick was cracking Phillip and I up talking about how much it surprised him when the Navy flight instructors here in the states would tell their students “good job,” after they completely botched a mission.  Yannick said all he could muster was: “Well, you started the engine well.”

Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 11.23.49 AM

With Yannick, it’s all about effective and efficient communication.  Here we’re testing out the I-kid-you-not “Marriage Savers” that we used to ensure good communication from bow to helm while docking and de-docking during the voyage.

It was also some time during the windows project in early May, that Phillip’s case which had been set for trial in June settled and—after speaking with his partners who graciously supported his desire to make this trip—he officially decided he could come.  While we all believed that would likely occur once I had signed up for the passage, it wasn’t for sure and I cannot tell you the wave of excitement that rushed over me when I knew it was finally official.  Phillip, my companion, my best friend, the only person I hate to spend a day without, would be coming on this incredible life-changing trip with me.


The only other “person” I was sad wouldn’t be coming was our beautiful Niagara.  Sorry girl.


Frankly, one of mine and Phillip’s only hesitations in making this trip once it was determined schedules would allow, was leaving our boat behind during a time when a hurricane could potentially strike.  Having just splashed back in late March, we had tried to squeeze as much time as possible on her every weekend in April before we got too swamped with Atlantic preparations in May so another good portion of our time in the weeks before shoving off was also spent cleaning all perishable goods off of our boat, stripping her down in case a storm came and preparing a detailed instructions sheet for a friend who we had lined up to check on her periodically while we were away and, if necessary (you hate to think about it, but you have to plan!) move her to our haul-out location in case a hurricane did come to Pensacola.

It was almost staggering to think of the 100 other office and administrative things we needed to take care of before leaving the country for six weeks but however long our “to-do” list was, Yannick’s was three times longer.  It was impossible to even fathom what those weeks were like for Yannick as he bore the brunt of the boat projects while simultaneously planning and coordinating his family’s safe passage (including a dog!) to France and their living arrangements once they got there as well as the packing up of his entire house and the shipment of all their belongings in a container ship to Roscoff.  With an estimated arrival date in France of June 27th, we were literally racing his container ship across the pond.


While Johnny, Phillip and I were scrambling to get our own personal work and home situations squared away, Yannick was also saddled with the bigger chore of ensuring the boat had everything necessary for 30+ days of safe and comfortable passage for four people.  Text messages flew back and forth among us during those weeks about dishes, towels, toilet paper, water, propane, matches, first aid supplies and, for some reason, Reese’s peanut butter cups became a matter of high importance.  Oh, and we still didn’t have a life raft.  Have I mentioned the life raft?


The one on Andanza  was no longer certified so Yannick was tasked with the decision to try and have it re-certified or order a new one and whether or not the new one would arrive via shipment before our expected departure date was still in question.  In the meantime, the joke was this would serve us just as well:


Needless to say May was an absolute whirlwind.  It was an incredibly stressful couple of weeks but I can honestly say we all did an actual “good job” getting the windows on the boat the second week of May, stepping the mast one week before our departure date as well as getting the boat out a couple of times for some test sails around Pensacola Bay.

At first she’s down … 


Then she goes up!


Video “ Sealed, Stepped and Sailing Again ” covering our window project, re-step and first sail on the catamaran published on Patreon May 28, 2016.

While we all had been hoping to have a free weekend to take the boat offshore or even sailing overnight so we could “shake down” a few systems, with all of our hectic schedules and scheduled projects yet to be completed on the boat, time simply did not allow it.  The Gulf of Mexico was going to be our shakedown.  We all predicted those first 4-5 days would be the ones to truly test us and, in a way, they were.  For the engines at least.  As far as the sailing went, from our first outings on the Freydis, Phillip and I could tell the catamaran definitely sailed differently than our monohull.  The mainsail was massive with enormous stiff battens that took a lot of wind to pop taut.  It was also hard to angle the Genny like we would on our monohull to most effectively harness the wind because the Genny sheets run back almost directly to the boom.  See here:


I know, super gratuitous shot of Phillip in his Third Reef Gear.  This lawyer gig doesn’t work out, I think he’s got one helluva shot as a marine apparel model.  Thank you again West Marine !

One thing Brandon taught us while we were out sailing and testing systems in Pensacola Bay was how to set up a “Barber hauler” to counter-act this.  Don’t ask me why they call it that, because I have no clue.  (If any of you know, feel free to share in a comment below!)  But, we used the Barber hauler to help pull the sail away from the center of the boat to improve our sail shape and gain speed.  This calls for another gratuitous shot.  See here:

barber hauler

We were also dealing with this little novelty—Arthur.


Arthur is the line that controls the rotating mast on Andanza .  Yes, a rotating mast.  While there are many features on the boat that were new and intriguing to me, the rotating mast was probably one of the highest on that list.  I still recall what Brandon told us about it when Phillip and I were asking him about the boat in preparation for the crossing:

“Does it have a third reef in the main?” we asked Brandon, recalling that was something John Kretschmer had mentioned was one of the first things he would recommend to consider when rigging a boat for an ocean crossing.

“It has a fourth,” said Brandon, which in and of itself would be surprising, but I saw Brandon’s little smirk when he said it so I knew there was something more to it.  That Brandon, he’s a smart one and he loves boats.  You can tell when a particular feature on a boat excites him.

Silence fell between us.  I knew Brandon was holding something back but he was looking down at what he was doing, smiling to himself, waiting for us to ask the right question.

“Alright, Brandon,” I caved.  “What’s with the fourth reef?”

“It’s not in the main,” Brandon said, raising his eyes to us.  “It’s the mast.”

He wasn’t kidding.  The mast on the Freydis is so large and curved like an airplane wing that it, alone, can act as a sail.  With all canvas down, motoring under bare poles, you can actually “trim” the mast, turning it to port or starboard, to help guide the boat along.  Can you believe that?  The mast actually acts like a sail.  For whatever reason, the line that trims the mast is called “Arthur.”  If any of you know the origin of this title (no Googling!) please feel free to share it in a comment below.


Brandon and Yannick working at the base of the rotating mast on the wind instrument.  If your mast rotates, your windex has to account for that in order to provide true directional data.  This was a quandary that consumed Yannick for weeks (months maybe).  Just wait … 

In the meantime, thank Brandon with Perdido Sailor, Inc. for the great sailing tips.  That man is a gold mine of sailing, cruising, yacht repair knowledge I swear.  With all of the time Phillip and I had just spent with him during our three months in the yard as well as the last projects on Andanza , it was hard to think we would be making this trip without him.


We missed you B!

Overall, there are many (many!) ways a catamaran—Yannick’s catamaran specifically—differs from a monohull when it comes to how the boat moves and sails.  I am currently working on a more detailed monohull versus catamaran article which I will share with you all soon.  Neither Phillip nor I had ever made a significant passage on a catamaran at the time so we were excited to gain the experience.  Many folks predicted we would be quickly converted.  “Once you get on a cat, you’ll never go back,” I had followers tell me.  To spare you the suspense, I can assure Phillip and I have not been converted, but our thoughts on the catamaran might surprise you.  More on that soon.

But, to start with, it literally is a box:

Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 9.57.42 AM

Cool still shot from my video on Patreon  this week sharing Yannick’s view from the top of his 72-foot mast during our Atlantic-crossing preparations.


Yannick imitating my Keys to the Kingdom pose.  Let me know which one you prefer!

And, because it is so boxy (46′ x 25′), the Freydis is not easy to maneuver in tight spaces.  Yannick will be the first to tell you, the one thing that scares him most about the boat is docking and de-docking.  (Can’t say that I blame him there.  You are all familiar with my many heart-pounding, horrific “ Docking Debacles ” and my thoughts on this issue.)


Making good use of the “Marriage Savers” during our first de-docking on the cat.

While we had initially thought the reason Yannick wanted to travel non-stop from Florida to France was because of time constraints, we learned during these last few weeks, a bigger reason was because Yannick did not like docking the boat.  The fewer times he had to bring his boat to shore, the better.  Assuming we were able to sail most of the way and did not need to pull into the dock to re-fuel, the Keys, Bermuda and the Azores were to be considered as contingency detours only, NOT planned stops.  The plan was to go non-stop.


Free from the dock, however, the boat itself did not worry us.  Primarily, the main concerns Phillip and I had, and will always have, about crossing an ocean on a small sailboat relate more to the hull integrity, communications, access to weather and safety and those items really do not differ greatly whether you’re traveling on a monohull or a catamaran.  We discussed these items at length with our Captain and Phillip and I found they had been purchased, procured or sufficiently addressed (minus one gun-less life raft) by Yannick in the early phases of our discussions.  Here’s what we were working with on the Freydis, straight from Yannick’s PowerPoint presentation:

  • Main full batten Hydranet
  • Genoa Hydranet
  • Spinaker triradial
  • Old genoa as spare? (bad shape)
  • 6+ knots with 2 engines @ 1800
  • 5,5 with one @ 1800
  • 90 gallons onboard (180h=990NM)
  • Feathering props
  • No protection but the keels

Communications :

  • Tracking for families via Delorme InReach
  • Unlimited text or short emails (160 signs, no pictures, no files, no voice)

In addition, recall Phillip and I borrowed Pam Wall’s Iridium sat phone and purchased a satellite service package from OCENS for the voyage.  Detailed write-up about this HERE .


Navigation :

  • 2 chart plotters (Insight US side / Cmap EU side)
  • iPad + Navionics as backup
  • Probably around 15 GPS onboard…
  • Paper charts for the whole route
  • Radar B&G 4G : awesome…
  • Forward Scan : to be tested
  • Depth, speed, temp, baro, wind

Other Electronics :

  • B&G autopilot fully integrated
  • Autopilot remote
  • Wifi (mirror on iStuff and Android)

Electrical :

  • Generator Onan 4kW
  • 2 x 175W solar panels (just enough to top off)
  • 800Ah AGM batteries
  • Mastervolt charger / inverter / network
  • 220V (115 converter available)

Other Equipment :

  • Rocna anchor, chain only 240 feet
  • Spare Danforth
  • Watermaker (need generator on)
  • Water heater (slooooow!)
  • Plenty of tools and chemicals

In my mind, I couldn’t imagine a boat more well-stocked or prepared to cross an ocean!  Looking back now with hindsight, there are some things I would have, should have, focused on more, which I will share with you during this saga, but I can assure you I had absolutely no worries about the boat not being sufficiently stocked or equipped for the passage.  As if to assuage any of our very last fears, Brandon even told us the Freydis could not sink.  Absolutely.  Could.  Not.  Sink.   It’s called positive flotation.  Like a Styrofoam cooler.  No matter how much you fill it with water, she’s not going down.  So, even if the catamaran tipped over, which would suck because there would be no way to right her (one downside of the catamaran), we could all still sit aboard under a make-shift tarp/tent on the hull, with the life raft in tow while we signaled for help.  You see?  What’s to worry about?

Phillip and I really had no idea what we were in for as far as a blue water passage, or an offshore voyage on a catamaran, but we knew the boat was now sealed up, the mast was stepped and the box was ready to set sail for France.  Let’s go!


Up next on the blog, we provision!   Boy do we provision … 


Thanks, as always, to my followers and supporters for helping me share this tale!

This an outline of the training materials for using the catamaran at MIT.

  • 1 General Principles
  • 4 De-Rigging
  • 5.1 Leaving the Dock
  • 5.2 Returning to the Dock
  • 5.3 Tacking
  • 5.5 Reaching
  • 5.6 Beating
  • 5.7 Running
  • 5.8 Hiking and Trapping
  • 5.9 Capsizing and Righting
  • 6 Parts of the Boat
  • 7.2 Advanced
  • 7.3 Instructor
  • 8 Videos and Stills

General Principles

Catamarans have two hulls rather than a single hull. They tend to be faster and lighter than monohulls. Catamarans typically cannot point as close to the wind as a monohull. However, catamarans are typically much faster reaching or running. Although the basic sailing principles are the same for multi-hulls and monohulls, catamarans have their own quirks.

The twin hulls of a catamaran serve a number of purposes. Weight is reduced by using two smaller, shallower hulls rather than a single, deep hull. The long, slender shape of the catamaran hull minimizes wetted surface area. And the hull shape minimizes cross-sectional area. Depending on the point of sail, the benefits of dual hulls are realized by balancing the boat on one of the two hulls, or by sailing so that weight is distributed evenly on both hulls.

Monohulls have a keel or centerboard, catamarans have daggerboards. On a keel boat, the weight of the keel counteracts the force of the wind on the sail, thus preventing the boat from capsizing. On a catamaran, the weight of the skipper and crew keep the boat from capsizing. As more pressure is applied to the sail, the skipper and crew move their weight further into the wind. Daggerboards provide area under water to slow the rolling of the boat as well as to reduce movement of the boat parallel to the wind.

Since the weight of the skipper and crew is fairly large relative to the weight of the boat, the position of the skipper and crew greatly affect performance. Skipper and crew must move not only side-to-side, but also front-to-back in order to properly balance the boat.

You will probably get wet while sailing the catamaran, so wear a swimsuit or shirt and shorts that can get wet.

  • gloves The main and jib sheets will quickly shred your hands, so invest in a pair of sailing gloves. Many people prefer gloves with no thumb or index finger tips - this makes it easier to deal with pins and ringdings without doffing the gloves.
  • booties Ankle-height, tight-fitting booties work well.
  • harness Use a harness that fits snugly without constricting. Back support is good. There are two types of attachment systems: ball or hook.
  • life jacket A life jacket is mandatory.
  • wetsuit A wetsuit is most useful in April or May when the water temperature is still fairly cold, or in September or October when the air temperature begins to drop. A 2- or 3-millimeter neoprene shortie is usually enough for sailing on the Charles River.
  • Check the hulls for water. Drain the hulls if there is any significant amount of water in them.
  • Ensure that the drain plugs are in place. Do not over-tighten the drain plugs.
  • Ensure that the rudder cams are up.
  • Get the dock very wet, then slide the boat into the water. Secure the boat to the dock by tying a short line around the bridle. If the wind is blowing into the dock, it might be better to tie the line around the crossbar instead of the bridle.
  • Lower the rudders. Ensure that rudder cams have locked the rudders down.
  • Insert the daggerboards. The daggerboards do not slide directly up and down - they slide at a slight angle forward/aft.
  • Raise the main sail. Attach halyard to top of sail, and be sure that the halyard is in the small notch with knot forward of the halyard ring. Pull the halyard in the plane of the mast so that you do not destroy the sheave at the bottom of the mast. With the sail up, attach the downhaul. With the mast rotator released, rotate the mast rotator to port then pull down lightly on the sail using the downhaul. If the halyard ring does not engage the halyard lock at the top of the mast, release the downhaul, raise the sail to the top, and try again. After the halyard ring is locked in place, stow the halyard in the storage bag on the trampoline. Attach the outhaul then adjust to a tightness appropriate to the wind conditions.
  • Secure the mast rotator.
  • Check the jib traveler position.
  • Ensure that the jib furling line is secured to the mast so that it will prevent the jib sheets from fouling on the mast.
  • Ensure that the barber haulers are released.
  • Check the trapeze lengths.
  • Tie up to the dock using a short line around the bridle. If the wind is blowing into the dock, it might be better to tie the line around the crossbar instead of the bridle.
  • Furl the jib. Secure the furling line to the mast.
  • De-rig the main sail. Detach outhaul, leaving the shackle on the boom. Ease downhaul then remove downhaul from main sail, leaving the shackle on the downhaul tackle. Use halyard to raise main sail, rotate mast rotator to starboard, then pull down on the sail. Roll the sail from the bottom up.
  • Attach main halyard ring to outhaul. Tie traveler to loop at other end of main halyard, then pull main sheet to tighten everything up.
  • Stow downhaul and other lines in storage bag on trampoline to keep them out of the sun.
  • Remove daggerboards. Store daggerboards in orange protective sleeve, one opposite the other.
  • Raise rudders.
  • Pivot boat so that it is perpendicular to the dock. Pull the boat onto the dock so that there is enough space aft of the boat to place the rudders on the dock.
  • Ensure that the rudders are resting on the dock.
  • Drain the hulls of any water. Do not over-tighten the drain plugs.

Your position on the boat matters. When sailing the catamaran, you must not only move from the centerline of the boat outboard to counteract the force of the wind, but you must also move fore/aft to keep the hulls at a proper angle relative to the water.

The catamaran sails fastest with only one hull in the water. This is fairly easy to balance while beating, but it is a considerable challenge while reaching. If the boat rolls too much, it slows down drastically. The ideal roll angle has the windward hull just off the surface of the water.

In general, as the wind blows harder you should move toward the back of the boat, and as the wind eases off you should move toward the front of the boat. The top of the leeward hull should be nearly parallel to the surface of the water; the curve at the bottom of the front edge of the leeward hull should be a couple of inches under water. It is a common mistake for the skipper to sit too far aft, resulting in the bows of the hulls coming completely out of the water.

As the wind blows harder, the bow of the boat will tend to be pushed down. Only when this happens should the skipper and crew move aft.

Pitch-poling can happen if either of the bows is pushed completely under water. When the boat pitchpoles, boat speed drops immediately. Anyone on the trapeze will be thrown toward the front of the boat, digging the hull(s) in even deeper. In the worst case, skipper and crew will be thrown around the forestay of the boat, pulling the boat over on top of them.

Leaving the Dock

Ensure 1/2 boat length of open dock space in front of the boat. Hold the shroud in one hand and the tiller extension in the other. Turn the rudders to direct the boat away from the dock, then take a few steps along the dock to get the boat moving. Push out and away and start sailing.

Returning to the Dock

Head directly toward the dock. When you are 3-4 boat lengths from the dock, reduce speed by sheeting out on the main, travelling out on the main, and sheeting out on the jib. When you are 1-2 boat lengths from the dock, furl the jib. Bring the boat into the wind, parallel to the dock, ensuring that the main sheet and main traveller are uncleated.

When tacking, roll the tack as much as possible. Minimize movement of skipper and crew to maximize boat inertia through the turn. If the boat does not point through the wind, back with jib if necessary. Ease main sheet through the tack, then tighten once the wind is on other side of the sails. The skipper must reach around aft of the main sheet for tiller. Do not move weight side to side too soon or the momentum of the tack will suffer, but do not move weight too late, or the boat will capsize!

Work on timing between skipper and crew. Some people prefer to have the skipper trap out first after a tack, others prefer to have the crew trap out first.

Gybes can be very fast on a catamaran. When the wind is up, be sure that your turn does not throw the crew off the boat! The skipper must reach around aft of the main sheet for tiller, then do the gybe. Be sure to have control of the tiller extension before the main sheet and traveller start to move. The skipper should help the main sheet and traveler across in order to minimize dynamic loading on the boom and blocks. Maintain control of main sheet and traveler lines throughout the turn.

Use the barber hauler to tune the shape of the jib. The mast rotator should be loose enough to cause an appropriate angle for the mast relative to the main sail. Pull up one or both daggerboards for more speed. Ease downhaul if appropriate. Shift skipper and crew weight foreward or aft depending on wind speed and hull angle. The ideal roll angle is flat, or the wild thing (leeward hull only) if there is sufficient wind. Beware that a beam reach can easily lead to capsize if you lose track of boat/wind direction. Let the main sail out, but keep the main sail off the spreaders.

Keep the mast rotator tight. Keep bows in water, but not too far. Do not over-tighten jib. Tighten downhaul if appropriate. The ideal roll angle is leeward hull only, windward hull just above the water surface (this will minimize wetted area). Keep weight forward to improve sail angle. De-power sails by pinching, but beware unintentional tack, especially when on the trapeze. Beware of de-powering by quickly releasing the main sheet or quickly heading up. Either of these maneuvers can generate more lift over the sail, resulting in a capsize.

Wing and wing is slow; it is almost always better to reach than run. When running, be sure to keep the main sail off of the spreaders.

Hiking and Trapping

Use hiking straps when there is not enough wind for trapeze. To go out on the the trapeze, pull the trapeze handle to you, secure it to harness, slide butt backwards off the boat until the trapeze takes your weight, get legs between you and the hull, then press out from the hull. Keep feet at least shoulder width apart. Balance fore-aft is just as important as inboard-outboard. Use the handle to come in from the trapeze, if necessary. Most of the time hands are not needed and should be dedicated to trimming sheets, not maneuvering on the trapeze. Ensure that trapeze length is appropriate for body geometry and wind conditions.

For most people, skipper goes out to the wire first, then crew. In variable winds, the crew moves more than the skipper. Skipper and crew should intertwine legs to reduce drag. Manage the tiller extension length to avoid skewering crew or self. Beware of line management, especially when at high roll angles. Beware of line management when crew and skipper are both trapped out; crew may have to help skipper sheet in or adjust traveler.

Be especially aware of weight management when soloing. Position fore-aft is just as important as inboard-outboard.

Capsizing and Righting

When capsizing, do not fall/jump onto the mainsail. Do not fall/jump onto the jib. Unhook from the trapeze, then jump into the wind (away from the sails).

The combined weight of skipper and crew must be at least 250 pounds in order to right the 'Miracle 20'. When righting the boat, do not stand on the daggerboards. Get the righting line over top of hull as soon as possible to avoid turtling. Ease the main sheet, but do not release the main sheet or the traveler. The jib sheet should be tight. Stand at one end of the hull or the other in order to rotate the boat so the mast is just about into the wind, with wind coming under mast. Hang on the righting light until the boat balance is in favor of righting. As boat rights, reach for and grab onto the dolphin striker.

When the skipper and/or crew weight is too far forward, the bows bury in the water, boat speed suddenly drops, and the boat pitch-poles. If the skipper and/or crew respond quickly and move their weight aft, recovery is possible. But at high speeds the pitch-polling happens quickly, and the crew and/or skipper are often thrown forward before they can react, burying the hulls even further.

It is possible to capsize by heading up too quickly. If you are sailing close hauled, but not pinched, heading up quickly will generate more lift, which tends to pull the boat over. Strong wind might require easing the main sheet and/or traveler as well as heading up.

It is possible to capsize by easing the main. When easing the main only by the main sheet (not by the traveler), the main sail curvature increases. With sufficient wind, the additional curvature causes more lift, which tends to pull the boat over. If the main sail is overpowered, spill some of the load by easing the traveler, not just the main sheet.

When flying a hull, beware of puffs. If the trampoline is 40 degrees or more relative to the water, it will act as a sail/barrier, and no amount of easing the main sheet, traveler, or jib sheet will unload enough to bring the boat back down.

At high roll angles, one can easily unhook from the trapeze, either to bail out for an impending capsize, or to move one's weight even further into the wind.

Parts of the Boat

  • mast (aluminum base and carbon tip)
  • main traveler
  • main battens
  • mast rotator
  • jib traveler
  • jib halyard
  • jib sheet preventers (blue bungie, use of furling line)
  • barber hauler
  • trapeze handles
  • trapeze retractors - skipper
  • trapeze retractors - crew
  • righting line
  • righting line retractor
  • daggerboards
  • rudders (up, down)
  • rudder cams
  • rudder connecting rod
  • extendable tiller
  • drain plugs
  • inspection portals
  • storage pouch

There are three rating levels: basic, advanced, and instructor. To pass each level you must receive instruction on then illustrate proficiency at the items listed below.

The basic rating requires a helmsman rating.

The advanced rating requires the basic rating.

The instructor rating requires the advanced rating.

  • raise and lower the main sail
  • set and release the rudder cams
  • furl and unfurl the jib
  • adjust the trapeze lengths
  • raise/lower the daggerboards
  • secure the boat to the dock for rigging/unrigging
  • tie up halyard, sheets, and furler when boat is stored on the dock
  • get the boat into and out of the water
  • close hauled
  • broad reach
  • describe weight management for catamaran (skipper/crew positions fore-aft and in-out)
  • leave and return to the dock
  • tack the boat
  • gybe the boat
  • using main sail
  • backing down on rudders
  • heave to (stop the boat and point into the wind without unintentional tacking)
  • illustrate use of hiking straps
  • jump away from sails and boom
  • how to prevent turtling
  • boat orientation for righting - mast into wind, jib cleated, main loose but cleated
  • figure 8 around two bouys across the wind
  • oval around two bouys across the wind
  • triangle around 3 bouys
  • demonstrate all of the basic skills
  • put on a harness
  • illustrate use of the trapeze
  • crew on trampoline, crew on wire
  • skipper on trampoline, skipper on wire
  • capsize then right the boat without turtling
  • leave and return to the dock in heavy air (over 15 mph)
  • demonstrate all of the basic and advanced skills
  • student-teach at least two catamaran classes

Videos and Stills

this is a list of the videos and still images we need to illustrate the points above.

  • still image or two for each of the boat parts
  • video of tacking, no traps, illustrating the timing issues and rolling
  • video of tacking, skipper and crew from trapeze to trapeze
  • video of gybing, illustrating the timing issues
  • video of crew during a tack (especially jib sheet management)
  • video of a capsize, preferably from two viewing angles (windward and leeward)
  • video of getting righting line ready for righting
  • video of righting the boat
  • video of putting rudders down
  • video of putting sail up (closeup of top of mast and bottom of mast)
  • video of trapping out/in - skipper
  • video of trapping out/in - crew
  • video of putting boat into water
  • video of pulling boat from water
  • video of sailing into the dock
  • video of casting off from the dock
  • video closeup of top of mast during raise/douse of main sail
  • pictures of mast rotator adjustment when beating and resulting sail shape
  • pictures of mast rotator adjustment when reaching and resulting sail shape
  • pictures of good/bad hull pitch angles
  • pictures of good/bad hull roll angles
  • pictures of good/bad skipper/crew positions (fore-aft/windward-leeward)
  • pictures of good/bad sail shapes
  • pictures of mainsail on shrouds (bad)
  • pictures of good/bad jib trim
  • pictures of top of mast to show halyard ring and hook
  • pictures of rudder cams in up and down positions

shoot the tacking and gybing videos from off the boat, also from on the boat? parts from on the boat?

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Home  Education  Adult Sailing  Sailing Certification Courses & Endorsements  Cruising Catamaran Endorsement

Sailing Certification Courses & Endorsements

Cruising catamaran endorsement.

Find a school near you

Recommended Equipment: The multihull endorsement course and examination shall be conducted on a catamaran of at least 34′, with wheel steering, twin engine auxiliary power, and adequate equipment inventory to complete all required certification outcomes.

Prerequisites: The prerequisite for the Catamaran Endorsement is a US Sailing Bareboat Cruising certification. This endorsement may be taught concurrently with any certification from the Bareboat Cruising level or higher.

Certification Requirements: The Catamaran Endorsement requires the successful completion of the following knowledge and skill requirements. These requirements are expected to be performed safely with confident command of the boat with a wind of at least 10 knots.

Practical Skills

Maneuvering under power:.

  • Demonstrate holding position, pivot turn around center and around each hull, starting, stopping and speed control.
  • Demonstrate leaving and returning to a dock under power.
  • Demonstrate making way and maneuvering upwind and crosswind in forward and reverse. Demonstrate maneuvering with one engine.

Sailing Skills:

  • Demonstrate the trim cycle for a catamaran, including the proper use of the traveler and/or boom vang. Demonstrate the use of a barber hauler when sailing off the wind.
  • Demonstrate the specialized skills of tacking a catamaran.
  • Demonstrate jibing, including proper control of the mainsail.
  • Demonstrate shortening sail to depower the boat.

Overboard Rescue:

  • Properly demonstrate one of the overboard rescue methods under sail, taking into account the boat’s performance characteristics.
  • Properly demonstrate one of the overboard rescue methods under power, taking into account the boat’s performance characteristics.

Anchoring Techniques:

  • Demonstrate the proper use of an anchoring bridle, including its deployment, retrieval, and storage.
  • Demonstrate the use of two anchors off the bow.
  • Pick up and properly secure to a mooring from the bow.
  • Pick up and properly secure to a mooring from the stern.

Catamaran Characteristics:

  • Describe the features of catamaran design, handling, and sailing performance.
  • Describe the advantages and disadvantages of typical catamaran accommodations.
  • Understand the maneuvering differences between a single engine boat and a twin engine boat.
  • Describe the different arrangements of engine installations and their effects on maneuvering.
  • Understand the limitations of visibility from the helm station on various designs. Explain how this affects docking procedures, crew responsibilities, and boat positioning.
  • Understand how to use twin engines to steer, pivot, and maneuver the boat in close quarters.
  • Understand why maneuvering in reverse, in high winds, while in close quarters may be necessary.
  • Understand the techniques needed to land at a dock with one engine inoperative.
  • Understand the use of one engine while motor sailing or steaming.
  • Explain the effect of apparent wind and how it leads to the need for repeated sail trim adjustments as the boat speed increases.
  • Explain the importance of the use of the boom vang and/or traveler to maintain proper mainsail shape.
  • Understand the techniques for tacking, including proper steering throughout the maneuver.
  • Explain the differences in jibing, including proper control of the mainsail leech.
  • Understand the lack of obvious cues for the need to reduce sail as the wind increases, and explain what cues are available.
  • Explain various techniques for reducing sail area, including traditional and single line mainsail reefing.
  • Explain vessel performance characteristics and how that affects overboard rescue maneuvers.
  • Discuss person-in-water retrieval techniques.

Anchoring and Mooring Techniques:

  • Understand the need for an anchor bridle while using a single anchor off the bow.
  • Explain the two most common arrangements of anchor bridles.
  • Describe the steps required to set two anchors off the bow.
  • Explain the advantages and disadvantages of picking up a mooring from the bow versus stern.
  • Explain the steps required to pick up a mooring from the bow and the stern.

Safety at Sea

  • Safety at Sea Planning
  • Hosting a US Sailing Championship

barber hauler catamaran

Andrew Clouston SVP Programs & Services Email Andrew Clouston

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Betsy Alison Adult Director Email Betsy Alison 401-342-7914

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Diana Emmanuelli Competition Manager Email Diana Emmanuelli 401-342-7912

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Karen Davidson Adult Program Coordinator Email Karen Davidson (401) 342-7934

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Kings of Russia

The Comprehensive Guide to Moscow Nightlife

  • Posted on April 14, 2018 July 26, 2018
  • by Kings of Russia
  • 8 minute read

barber hauler catamaran

Moscow’s nightlife scene is thriving, and arguably one of the best the world has to offer – top-notch Russian women, coupled with a never-ending list of venues, Moscow has a little bit of something for everyone’s taste. Moscow nightlife is not for the faint of heart – and if you’re coming, you better be ready to go Friday and Saturday night into the early morning.

This comprehensive guide to Moscow nightlife will run you through the nuts and bolts of all you need to know about Moscow’s nightclubs and give you a solid blueprint to operate with during your time in Moscow.

What you need to know before hitting Moscow nightclubs

Prices in moscow nightlife.

Before you head out and start gaming all the sexy Moscow girls , we have to talk money first. Bring plenty because in Moscow you can never bring a big enough bankroll. Remember, you’re the man so making a fuzz of not paying a drink here or there will not go down well.

Luckily most Moscow clubs don’t do cover fees. Some electro clubs will charge 15-20$, depending on their lineup. There’s the odd club with a minimum spend of 20-30$, which you’ll drop on drinks easily. By and large, you can scope out the venues for free, which is a big plus.

Bottle service is a great deal in Moscow. At top-tier clubs, it starts at 1,000$. That’ll go a long way with premium vodka at 250$, especially if you have three or four guys chipping in. Not to mention that it’s a massive status boost for getting girls, especially at high-end clubs.

Without bottle service, you should estimate a budget of 100-150$ per night. That is if you drink a lot and hit the top clubs with the hottest girls. Scale down for less alcohol and more basic places.

Dress code & Face control

Door policy in Moscow is called “face control” and it’s always the guy behind the two gorillas that gives the green light if you’re in or out.

In Moscow nightlife there’s only one rule when it comes to dress codes:

You can never be underdressed.

People dress A LOT sharper than, say, in the US and that goes for both sexes. For high-end clubs, you definitely want to roll with a sharp blazer and a pocket square, not to mention dress shoes in tip-top condition. Those are the minimum requirements to level the playing field vis a vis with other sharply dressed guys that have a lot more money than you do. Unless you plan to hit explicit electro or underground clubs, which have their own dress code, you are always on the money with that style.

Getting in a Moscow club isn’t as hard as it seems: dress sharp, speak English at the door and look like you’re in the mood to spend all that money that you supposedly have (even if you don’t). That will open almost any door in Moscow’s nightlife for you.

Types of Moscow Nightclubs

In Moscow there are four types of clubs with the accompanying female clientele:

High-end clubs:

These are often crossovers between restaurants and clubs with lots of tables and very little space to dance. Heavy accent on bottle service most of the time but you can work the room from the bar as well. The hottest and most expensive girls in Moscow go there. Bring deep pockets and lots of self-confidence and you have a shot at swooping them.

Regular Mid-level clubs:

They probably resemble more what you’re used to in a nightclub: big dancefloors, stages and more space to roam around. Bottle service will make you stand out more but you can also do well without. You can find all types of girls but most will be in the 6-8 range. Your targets should always be the girls drinking and ideally in pairs. It’s impossible not to swoop if your game is at least half-decent.

Basic clubs/dive bars:

Usually spots with very cheap booze and lax face control. If you’re dressed too sharp and speak no Russian, you might attract the wrong type of attention so be vigilant. If you know the local scene you can swoop 6s and 7s almost at will. Usually students and girls from the suburbs.

Electro/underground clubs:

Home of the hipsters and creatives. Parties there don’t mean meeting girls and getting drunk but doing pills and spacing out to the music. Lots of attractive hipster girls if that is your niche. That is its own scene with a different dress code as well.

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What time to go out in Moscow

Moscow nightlife starts late. Don’t show up at bars and preparty spots before 11pm because you’ll feel fairly alone. Peak time is between 1am and 3am. That is also the time of Moscow nightlife’s biggest nuisance: concerts by artists you won’t know and who only distract your girls from drinking and being gamed. From 4am to 6am the regular clubs are emptying out but plenty of people, women included, still hit up one of the many afterparty clubs. Those last till well past 10am.

As far as days go: Fridays and Saturdays are peak days. Thursday is an OK day, all other days are fairly weak and you have to know the right venues.

The Ultimate Moscow Nightclub List

Short disclaimer: I didn’t add basic and electro clubs since you’re coming for the girls, not for the music. This list will give you more options than you’ll be able to handle on a weekend.

Preparty – start here at 11PM

Classic restaurant club with lots of tables and a smallish bar and dancefloor. Come here between 11pm and 12am when the concert is over and they start with the actual party. Even early in the night tons of sexy women here, who lean slightly older (25 and up).

The second floor of the Ugolek restaurant is an extra bar with dim lights and house music tunes. Very small and cozy with a slight hipster vibe but generally draws plenty of attractive women too. A bit slower vibe than Valenok.

Very cool, spread-out venue that has a modern library theme. Not always full with people but when it is, it’s brimming with top-tier women. Slow vibe here and better for grabbing contacts and moving on.

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High-end: err on the side of being too early rather than too late because of face control.

Secret Room

Probably the top venue at the moment in Moscow . Very small but wildly popular club, which is crammed with tables but always packed. They do parties on Thursdays and Sundays as well. This club has a hip-hop/high-end theme, meaning most girls are gold diggers, IG models, and tattooed hip hop chicks. Very unfavorable logistics because there is almost no room no move inside the club but the party vibe makes it worth it. Strict face control.

Close to Secret Room and with a much more favorable and spacious three-part layout. This place attracts very hot women but also lots of ball busters and fakes that will leave you blue-balled. Come early because after 4am it starts getting empty fast. Electronic music.

A slightly kitsch restaurant club that plays Russian pop and is full of gold diggers, semi-pros, and men from the Caucasus republics. Thursday is the strongest night but that dynamic might be changing since Secret Room opened its doors. You can swoop here but it will be a struggle.

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Mid-level: your sweet spot in terms of ease and attractiveness of girls for an average budget.

Started going downwards in 2018 due to lax face control and this might get even worse with the World Cup. In terms of layout one of the best Moscow nightclubs because it’s very big and bottle service gives you a good edge here. Still attracts lots of cute girls with loose morals but plenty of provincial girls (and guys) as well. Swooping is fairly easy here.

I haven’t been at this place in over a year, ever since it started becoming ground zero for drunken teenagers. Similar clientele to Icon but less chic, younger and drunker. Decent mainstream music that attracts plenty of tourists. Girls are easy here as well.

Sort of a Coyote Ugly (the real one in Moscow sucks) with party music and lots of drunken people licking each others’ faces. Very entertaining with the right amount of alcohol and very easy to pull in there. Don’t think about staying sober in here, you’ll hate it.

Artel Bessonitsa/Shakti Terrace

Electronic music club that is sort of a high-end place with an underground clientele and located between the teenager clubs Icon and Gipsy. Very good music but a bit all over the place with their vibe and their branding. You can swoop almost any type of girl here from high-heeled beauty to coked-up hipsters, provided they’re not too sober.

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Afterparty: if by 5AM  you haven’t pulled, it’s time to move here.

Best afterparty spot in terms of trying to get girls. Pretty much no one is sober in there and savage gorilla game goes a long way. Lots of very hot and slutty-looking girls but it can be hard to tell apart who is looking for dick and who is just on drugs but not interested. If by 9-10am you haven’t pulled, it is probably better to surrender.

The hipster alternative for afterparties, where even more drugs are in play. Plenty of attractive girls there but you have to know how to work this type of club. A nicer atmosphere and better music but if you’re desperate to pull, you’ll probably go to Miks.

Weekday jokers: if you’re on the hunt for some sexy Russian girls during the week, here are two tips to make your life easier.


Ladies night on Wednesdays means this place gets pretty packed with smashed teenagers and 6s and 7s. Don’t pull out the three-piece suit in here because it’s a “simpler” crowd. Definitely your best shot on Wednesdays.

If you haven’t pulled at Chesterfield, you can throw a Hail Mary and hit up Garage’s Black Music Wednesdays. Fills up really late but there are some cute Black Music groupies in here. Very small club. Thursday through Saturday they do afterparties and you have an excellent shot and swooping girls that are probably high.

Shishas Sferum

This is pretty much your only shot on Mondays and Tuesdays because they offer free or almost free drinks for women. A fairly low-class club where you should watch your drinks. As always the case in Moscow, there will be cute girls here on any day of the week but it’s nowhere near as good as on the weekend.

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In a nutshell, that is all you need to know about where to meet Moscow girls in nightlife. There are tons of options, and it all depends on what best fits your style, based on the type of girls that you’re looking for.

Related Topics

  • moscow girls
  • moscow nightlife

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