Drifting on the bow
Many catamaran sailors face the problem of landing on the beach in strong onshore wind without damaging the material, especially during heavy surf. Also, to get off the beach in offshore wind, this method is very good, safe and elegant.
For those of you who have had the experience of fighting in the surf with the catamaran standing crosswise to the wave, we can warmly recommend the maneuver “Drifting on the bow”.
What does this maneuver consist of?
Place the cat with the bow in the wind, rise the rudder blades so far that they do not touch the water, put the traveler in the middle and bring the mainsail tight, loose the Cunningham. Both sailors go to the bow so far that the stern comes out of the water. With Hobby Cat, the stern gets higher out of the water, as the hulls have relatively little volume comparable to TopCat. The jib is fuerled, standing or sitting the sailors hold firmly on the forestay or trapeze.
Thus prepared, the catamaran drifts very safely down the wind and also stays stable in the surf. The control is only conditionally possible by leaning the clew of the jib against wind. In that case, we roll out the jib, or drift on the bow with flapping jib, which is also possible. If one of the sailors sitting on the bow puts his legs in the water, the resistance will influence the course.
You will learn this very useful skill in every VDWS catamaran course, be in the catamaran schools that deal with surf or the shallow water, as is the case with us in Alcudia Mallorca. Again and again in the advanced courses we consolidate this maneuver to get safely to the beach.