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The Cabot 36: Classic Blue Water Sailor

A site to celebrate this great Canadian passage maker.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Ar Sgrail (Hull 46)

Ar Sgrail has spent her whole life in fresh water on the Saint John River. We acquired a vessel with most of the original rigging and yes, to our knowledge, the main and stay are both original. We are in process of funding a new Yankee and main but not this year.

Have you ever heard of anyone wanting to cut down the mainsail boom by 3 or 4 feet and rerigging the mainsheet on a traveler bridge in front of the dodger? The effect will be a movement of center of pressure of the main foreword and thus take off some weather helm in the process. The other reason we want to do it is to install a full bimini with good headroom for me (I'm 6'3") and get me out of the sun as much as possible.


Blogger scribbler said...

Ken posts this reply from Brian Smyth of Yachtsmiths International

No, we have never heard of that……However, there have been boats rigged with a mid boom sheeting system such as you describe. It might be a better idea to do this and then move the point of attachment of the fore sail forward about 2 feet to reduce the weather helm.

7:39 PM  
Blogger scribbler said...

The following response comes from Arthur Morris, once the long-time owner of Cabot's Mathew:

I agree the Cabot 36 has excessive weather helm! I don’t know of anyone on a Cabot 36 who has reduced the mainsail and boom as you proposed.

I reduced the weather helm (on Cabot’s Mathew) and improved the cutter sail and jib slot by installing a stainless steel platform, with teak slats, and a bobstay. The platform extended 2 feet from the bow and the forestay was moved to the end. I left the original forestay chain plate in place for possible re-use in an emergency and re-used the existing forestay. The platform was also excellent for stowing two 45 Lb. CQR anchors and was also useful for climbing on and off the boat when tied up bows to in a Mediterranean moor. The platform also cleared the foredeck and made it easier to move around. The boat still had a safe weather helm, and the auto pilot handled high wind conditions with much less work. If you are interested I could look up my photos and send you a picture. Please let me know.

It is, of course, possible to do exactly what you propose and I would recommend you plot out (on graph paper) the various sail areas ( you may or may not be cutter rigged) and underwater profile to ensure that you get the correct balance for all wind pressure conditions. Three or four feet may be excessive though!!! As I was cruising full time for 13 years and crossing oceans, I also cut off the roach and took out the battens. This also reduced the weather helm, but not enough by itself. You could also cut some sail off the foot of the mainsail to raise the boom, but that would probably not look right.

7:41 PM  
Blogger scribbler said...

This comment comes from Al and Heather Boudreau (Roy Mc Keen was in charge of Cabot Industries in the mid to late 70s.):

Al and I contacted Roy McKeen when we wanted to make the changes you mentioned and he suggested we not do this as the cabin top is not built to withstand the pressure. We cruised Keegunoo for 13 winters in the Bahamas and a permanant bimini would have been a great asset.
Heather Boudreau, Hull 43

7:43 PM  

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