Racing SC15 weight

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Posts: 1
Joined: September 30th, 2022, 8:34 am
Boat Make/Model: Supercat 15

Racing SC15 weight

Post by cpt_mango »

I'd like to start racing my SC15. I'm not experienced enough to do well (yet!) but:
Should I race solo or with a crew? Does wind speed change this? I don't have a self-tacking jib.
Matt Haberman
Posts: 601
Joined: November 10th, 2003, 8:22 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Racing SC15 weight

Post by Matt Haberman »

The SC15 was originally marketed in two configurations - UniRig (Mainsail only) and Sloop (Mainsail & Jib). Depending on your weight and experience you might want to sail it as a UniRig if you're going out by yourself. Without the self-tacking Jib you might have difficulty trimming both sails, especially when you go to tack. Without the jib you will have less to manage by yourself but tacking can also be tricky. Here are some tips for tacking the UniRig:
  • Make sure you are headed as high as you can will keeping the boat moving, not on a broad reach.
  • When you push the tiller over you need to keep it all the way over against the stops until the boat starts to bear off on the new tack.
  • When the boat goes head to wind let the traveler out completely and let out several feet of mainsheet.
  • As the boat starts to bear off on its new tack trim the traveler in first, then trim the mainsheet in for your new heading.
It will take some practice and probably some blown tacks but with that practice you should be table to tack everytime without an issue.
Matt Haberman
Aquarius Sail Inc.
Posts: 280
Joined: May 3rd, 2004, 3:29 pm
Boat Make/Model: SC 15 w/ spin!, SC 19
Location: Norfolk, VA

Re: Racing SC15 weight

Post by DanBerger »

I have been racing my 15 for years--hurting a ton of Hobie 16 feelings.

I weigh 175-180 and I prefer to sail solo on that boat. I can really feel the difference with crew. However, I am used to sailing it solo--and I REALLY know the boat, so that is probably why I can feel the difference.

I don't think the standard jib is that great of an upgrade. You might find it easier to tack, but Matt was right about having to tack the sail solo. I bought the self-tacking kit from Aquarius and It is absolutely fantastic. I can outpoint any non dagger board boat upwind, but I lose ground downwind to boats with larger overlapping jibs. To compensate, I added a spinnaker. Now, THAT's a blast!!

I had an issue with one of my hulls last year, so I raced a different set of hulls that didn't have the self tacking jib set up. I still creamed everyone upwind and I held my own downwind. I didn't have to take the handicap hit for the jib, so I did even better than if I had the jib.

One more thing on tacking and upwind sailing: I trap out almost all the time when solo and I have my front foot at or in front of the forward beam. I drive the boat so that the lower bow is barely out of the water. It looks funny, but it is FAST. I'm using the bow to give me lift instead of dagger boards.

I tack from the wire, much like roll-tacking a dinghy. I throw the sheet to the trampoline and swing in like Tarzan, landing with my butt on the hull near the back beam. I then turn to the rear, un cleat the main (keep holding it), pass the tiller behind the mainsheet, pivot to my other knee, hook into the trap ring and then pop out onto the wire. I pull on the mainsheet as I go out, which sheets in. I also move forward when I get out on the wire.

The main thing to remember about tacking Supercats is that the bows are HUGE, so you can't really leave them in the water. Stay at the back corner (of the side that you are tacking from) as long as it is comfortable. This will put the bows out of the water and the boat will rotate around you.
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