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Prepare the equipment aboard your multihull for the tow. Ensure the rudder is lashed to one side or removed, the rigging wires are all padded to stop rubbing on the hulls and anything lose is stowed away. Lock down any hatches or pop tops. If your tow has fold down beams ensure they cannot open out. Cover hull areas exposed to road mud.
When launching and retrieving always look for overhead power lines. On launching beware of windage effect and have lines ready beforehand.
Trampolines need care. The material in all trampolines deteriorates in sunlight and use. In tropical areas trampolines may need replacement every two years. If you do not know the age or condition of your trampoline then change it. Cheap insurance.
Multihull Seamanship Rule: If you think a safety thought - do it.
Falling through a trampoline can, and has, been fatal. Talk to the fish net dealers about ultraviolet resistance. Get a net that will maintain its strength over time. Many netting materials (e.g. nylon and dacron) can be painted to prolong their life. It is a good idea to test your net every now and then; get five athletic people and jump on it when on a safe
Many nets chafe at securing points. If chafe is bad in one area then redesign the attachment system. You will probably need to stand there during the next gale!
The material of the foredeck trampoline has an effect on the capsize risk if your multihull does a nose dive. If the design is open weave, allowing water to pass, then the tripping effect is greatly reduced. A solid foredeck or tight weave net will contribute to the sudden braking effect.
Netting material can be tied on two ways -with the weave diagonal or straight. When the weave is straight (or 'by the bight') the weave runs parallel with the hulls and cross beams. The best tension is achieved when the net is secured 'by the bight'.
Transfer from a capsized or disabled multihull to a ship
Transfer to a ship needs lots of forethought. If the sea state is such that waves backwash from the ship holding station then the transfer should only be attempted if absolutely necessary. There are a number of options. The ship should not come across from windward and drift down on the capsized multihull. It will impact the hull and probably smash it. Crewman on the inverted multihull may well be knocked overboard before nets or line can be attached to them.
If the ship has adequate power to hold position close to the capsized multihull firing a line to the multihull and taking crewman over by harness may work. Ensure a lifejacket is worn and that there is a line tethering back to the multihull. This will allow the rescue line to be retrieved and will also double the security of the person being rescued. Watch for lines being pulled taut and injuring persons on the multihull or being rescued.
Another option is for the ship to hold station downwind and the person to be rescued drift down via liferaft. The liferaft should remain tethered to the multihull. Nets can be slung over the bow of the ship to enable transfer.
This transfer is basically the same as a ship although the vessel is likely to be able to approach closer. Be aware of sheets, sails and rigging drifting underwater and potentially fouling the propeller.
If the motor vessel has adequate power to hold station it may be able to send a line to the multihull by floating it downwind with a lifejacket or lifering. Avoid the motor vessel approaching the multihull in anything other than calm conditions. This form of direct transfer is the most hazardous to both vessels.
Transfer from a disabled or capsized multihull to another yacht
The biggest problem here is the yacht holding station to affect rescue. One option is for the crew on the capsized multihull to float downwind via a line so that the yacht can approach close-hauled and round up, stopping below the multihull and hooking the crewman out of the water. Only when securely attached to a line from the yacht should any tether to the capsized multihull be released.
Prepare for this rescue when you see the helicopter. Remove all snags (jury mast, debris) from the deck so that the helicopter can lower the winch line onto the deck for retrieval. In rough seas the helicopter may not be able to hold station over the capsized multihull.
If the helicopter is fitted with auto-hover facility it will need to use the multihull as a reference point. The winch line will be lowered into the water behind the multihull. Crewman should drift back via lifering or liferaft (on a tether) until the winch line is secured to the crewman.
Be aware that when the winch line pulls tight there will be a 'whip' effect. Once secured to the winch line protect your face.
Transfer from a disabled multihull to a helicopter
In this situation the mast is a problem. The potential for snagging the winch line is dramatically increased. There are two options. Drop the mast or prepare to enter the water on a tether (wearing a lifejacket) or in a liferaft on a tether and drift downwind behind the multihull. The helicopter can then lower the winch line with safety.
Multihulls hit whales. A multihulls shallow draft, lighter construction and speed may be factors involved in whales not being able to detect their approach. Each continent has a fairly predictable whale migratory route and season. For example humpback whales migrate up the east coast of Australia along the edge of the continental shelf in April. Collision usually occurs at night, in rough seas and in poor visibility.
The following can be done to minimise the impact and damage from a whale collision:
• Have centreboards as high as possible and designed to cope with collision
• Fit retracting rudders or impact resistant rudders i.e. able to be grounded
• Avoid whale migratory routes and seasons at night
• Unless racing, sail at a conservative boat speed at night.
Aft: Back, rear or stern of the vessel. Ama: The outer floats of a trimaran or proa. Aka: The cross beams connecting the floats of a trimaran to the main hull. Other terms used include crossarms or beams. Aspect ratio: The height verses the width of a component - usually the mainsail or centreboard(s).
Back: This is forcing wind against a sail to aid manoeuvring. Commonly used when the headsail or jib is backwinded to aid tacking, i.e. The headsail is held on one side while the wind hits it on what is normally the leeward side.
Backwind: See Back. Backstay: Part of the stay system that supports the mast. The backstay leads to the deck aft of the mast. Some multihulls have permanent backstays, some have none and the mast is supported by sidestays alone. Backstays are sometimes movable. These are called 'Running backstays' and the leeward stay is pulled away from the sails out toward the sidestay. (This stops it rubbing on the sail causing chafe).
Barberhauler: A device of lines and blocks that change where the jib clew is normally held.
Batten: A wood, plastic or fibreglass strip that is inserted into the sail to stiffen the sail and help it hold shape.
Beam: The width of a boat.
Beam reach: A sailing direction where the wind is coming 90 degrees from the centreline.
Bear away: To turn the yacht away from the wind.
Beat: Sailing as close to the wind direction as is possible. As in 'on a beat' or 'beating to windward'. Also called 'close hauled'. Bilge: The bottom part of the inside of each hull. Usually referred to that area beneath the floorboards or cabin sole.
Bimini: A cockpit cover, usually able to be folded away.
Boom: The spar that supports the bottom
(the foot) of the mainsail.
Boom Vang: A device that pulls down the boom to prevent it from lifting. It helps create proper sail shape when the mainsheet it outside the traveller area.
Bow: The forward projection of each hull.
Bowsprit: A pole extending forward of the bow to take the tack of a sail. See Prodder and Spinnaker Pole.
Bridgedeck: The decking area between a catamarans hulls.
Bridle: The arrangement of lines or wires where the pull is taken from two points joining onto a single line. Used when anchoring or when towing a drogue or lying on a parachute sea anchor. Broach: To swing toward the wind when sailing downwind so that the vessel lies broadside to the waves. Uncommon in multihulls.
Broadside: The side of the hulls. Used as in 'lying broadside' with the hulls sideways to the waves.
Broad Reach: The point of sailing when the wind comes from between the beam (90 degrees) and the wind quartering aft (165 degrees).
Bulkhead: A structural dividing wall in a hull. It may be complete or have access through it to another compartment. Catamaran: A twin hulled vessel. The hulls are usually identical.
Centre of effort: The theoretical pressure centre of the combined effect of the sails, mast and rigging. This varies as you change sails.
Centre of Lateral Resistance: This is the centre of the sideways force on the underwater section of the vessel. This is the area that stops the vessel sliding sideways.
Centreboard: A board that slides through a slot in the hull to increase lateral resistance. If it is not able to be pivoted it is sometimes called a 'daggerboard'. Chainplate: A connector attached to the side of the hull to attach the mast rigging onto. Cleat: A device used to secure a line. Clew: The corner of a triangular sail closest to the back of the vessel. The corner at the junction of the foot and leech. Close-hauled: Sailing as close to the wind direction as possible. See Beat. Close reach: A point of sailing between a beat and a beam reach.
Coachroof: The structure over the saloon of a bridgedeck catamaran.
Cockpit: The area of the deck where steering is usually done and most lines are led to. Cutter: A rig set up using a single mast, one mainsail and two headsails. The headsails are referred to as the yankee and the staysail. Daggerboard: See Centreboard. Displacement: The weight of the water that the vessel replaces when sitting afloat. In common usage it refers to the weight of the boat.
Displacement Hull: A hull designed to pass through the water rather than skim over it. Downhaul: A line that puts downward load on the luff of a sail. Usually this is at the base of the mast and works on the mainsail. Downwind: Moving in the same direction as the wind.
Drogue: A device that is towed behind a vessel to slow it down and stabilise its direction. It can be used as emergency steering on multihulls. Made from material, plastic or aluminium. Eye: Straight into the wind direction. In relation to a cyclone it is the very centre of the circular pattern of weather. Escape Hatch: A hatch that is set into the multihull to allow access after capsize.
Following Sea: Waves or swell coming from behind the vessel.
Foot: The bottom edge of the sail.
Fore-and-Aft: The length-wise area of the boat.
Foresail: The first working sail in front of the mainsail. Also called a jib. Forestay: The stay that goes to the front of the vessel from the mast. It usually holds the jib luff or roller furling gear. Fouled: Caught or tangled. Furl: Rolling up of a sail and securing it. Genoa: A large overlapping headsail. Gooseneck: A device connecting the boom to the mast, capable of swivelling in two directions.
Gull Striker: See Seagull Striker. Gybe: See Jibe.
Halyard: A line used in the raising or lowering of a sail.
Haul: To pull in with force.
Head: The top corner of a triangular sail.
Header: A wind shift that makes you steer away from your normal course to avoid luffing.
Heading: The direction in which you are sailing or want to sail.
Headsails: Any sails forward of the mast.
Head to Wind: A yachts position when the bows are pointing into the wind.
Heel: The amount the vessel is leaning over due to the wind.
Helm: The steering device or position. As in 'At the Helm.'
Hounds: The mast fitting to which the forestay fitting is attached.
Hove-to: A position where the yacht is nearly stationary and the bows pointed slightly toward the wind.
Irons: A position where the sailboat is not moving and pointing directly into the wind.
Called 'In irons'.
Jib: A triangular sail attached to the forestay and forward of the mainmast. Jibe: Turning the boat downwind from one direction to another with the back of the boat passing through the wind direction. Also spelt gybe.
Jury-Rig: A rig made for temporary or emergency use.
Keel: The lower edge of a vessel under the water.
Ketch: Main mast forward, smaller mast aft. Kite: See Spinnaker.
Knot: One nautical mile per hour. A nautical mile is slightly longer than a statute mile. Lateral Resistance: The force that stops the hull from sliding sideways in the water. Leech: The back edge of a sail. Lee: The side of an object shaded or in a different direction from the wind. Lee helm: A tendency to sail away from the wind direction when the steering is released. It is due to an imbalance between the centre of lateral resistance and the centre of effort. Lee Shore: The shoreline that is downwind. Leeward: See Lee.
Leeway: The amount the vessel is pushed sideways by the wind.
Luff: The front edge of the sail. It also means the effect on a sail when the wind no longer fills the sail and starts to ease pressure on the sail.
Masthead: The top of the mast. Multihull: A vessel of two or more hulls. Nacelle: The central area of a catamaran where the bridge deck is lowered to support a motor.
Parachute anchor: A parachute that is used in the water to stop wind drift. A sea anchor. Pitching: A rocking fore-and-aft motion. Pitchpole: Capsizing a boat stern over bow. Planing Hull: A hull designed to skim over the water.
Pointing: Sailing toward the wind direction as high as possible.
Port: The left side of a vessel when facing the bow. Also used to describe a place where vessels dock.
Port Tack: A point of sailing where the wind is coming from the port side. Pounding: The striking action of waves under the hull.
Preventer: A line or block and tackle that is used to secure the boom out the side of the yacht - to 'prevent' accidental gybing. Proa: A two-hulled vessel that has one hull smaller than the other. Prodder: A permanently attached pole that extends from the bow to hold the tack of a sail (usually a reacher or spinnaker). Rake: The inclination of the mast away from straight up and down. Reach: To sail with the true wind at approximately 90 degrees to the direction of sailing. The direction of sailing between a beat and running. Usually broken up into a 'close reach', a 'beam reach' or a 'broad reach'.
Reef: To reduce the area of the sails. Rig: The mast, stays and sail plan. Rigging: The ropes, wires and cable that support the mast.
Roach: The area of a sail that extends behind an imaginary line from the clew to the head. Rode: A rope line that has some elasticity used for anchoring, running a drogue or lying to a parachute.
Roller Furling: A storage sail device which rolls the sail around to attachment points. Roller Reefing: A device to make the sail smaller to match wind conditions by wrapping the sail around either the boom, forestay or into a wire in the mast. Round Up: To turn the boat into the direction of the wind.
Run: To sail with the wind coming from behind the yacht. To sail downwind. Running backstay: See Backstay. Running Rigging: The control cables for the mast, spars and sails.
Seagull Striker: An arrangement of wire to counteract the upward pull of the forestay on the forebeam of a catamaran. Also called a Gull Striker.
Sheets: The lines used to control the sails. Shrouds: The stays that support the mast on either side.
Sidestays: Supporting wires of the mast that lead to the side of the multihull - usually just behind the level of the mast. Skeg: An attachment to the keel at the back of the vessel to protect or secure the rudder. Sloop: A single headsail rig where the forestay goes to the top of the mast. Spinnaker: A light, ballooning-type headsail that is used when sailing downwind. Various shapes ranging from symmetrical straight downwind type to asymmetrical 'reaching' types.
Spinnaker Pole: A removable pole that is mounted on the mast to hold the spinnaker tack. Rarely used on multihulls because the clew can be triangulated and held due to the vessels beam by lines alone. See Prodder. Stall: The slowing effect on boat speed when the sails are pulled in too tight in relation to the wind direction.
Starboard: The right side of the boat when facing the bow.
Starboard tack:. A point of sailing where the wind is coming over the starboard side. Stay: A wire rope used to support the mast. Staysail: The back or aft sail of a double headsail rig.
Stern: The back (aft) end of the boat. Surf: To sail on the front of a wave.
Tack: (1) The front bottom corner of a sail. (2) To change direction by turning the bow through the direction of the wind so that the wind is coming over the other side of the boat.
Targa Bar: An inverted 'U' shaped beam that is raised off the back beam for the purpose of supporting solar panels, aerials, dinghy lifting tackle and occasionally the mainsheet track and blocks. Telltale: A piece of material or ribbon attached to sails or shrouds that helps determine wind direction and sail trim. Tiller: A steering handle linked to the rudder(s).
Topping Lift: A line that supports the boom by its outer end. Used when the mainsail is not raised.
Trampoline: A netted area filling in a space between hulls and beams.
Traveller: The device that slides along and controls the mainsail position from the centreline.
Trimaran: A three hulled vessel. Warps: Lines used to tie the yacht to the quayside or marina.
Weather: The term indicates which side the wind is on. As in 'to weather'. Weather Helm: The tendency for the vessel to turn into the wind when the steering is released. It is caused by an inbalance between the centre of effort and the centre of lateral resistance. The centre of effort is behind the centre of lateral resistance in this case.
Windward: Toward the wind.
Wing Mast: A rotating aerofoil-shaped ma^i with a large surface area fore-and-aft that adds to the total sail area.
Yankee: The forward sail of a double headsail rig.
Yaw: To swing off course from side to s*k
Aluminium hulls 100
parachute sea anchor 116-118
Apparent wind 13-15, 84, 109
Assisted righting 92-94
Asymmetrical spinnaker trim 124
Automatic sheet release systems 31
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