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Multihull of the year

Catamaran basics The daggerboards: understanding and adjusting them

Having a catamaran with daggerboards means enjoying better pointing ability than an equivalent model equipped with fixed stub keels, which are inevitably shorter. It means that you can also optimize drag, speed and even safety. Partially integrated, with foils...an inventory of the daggerboards on our boats and how to use these appendages.

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Avatar de Emmanuel van Deth

Published 01/04/2015

By Emmanuel van Deth

Published: may / june 2015

MW141

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MW141

Issue #: 141

Published: May / June 2015

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1) All the Catanas are equipped with daggerboards. They are very long, and held structurally in their cases by the whole height of the hulls. Simple and strong, but beware of the significant windage in the raised position.

Adjusting the daggerboards step 1

2) The latest Catana models are equipped with curved daggerboards. On the 59, the foil effect is worth 500kg at a speed of 15 knots.

Adjusting the daggerboards step 2

3) The latest Outremers have adopted shorter structural cases, to reduce the size of the daggerboards. Less windage in the raised position and less weight, but the construction is more complex…

Adjusting the daggerboards step 3

4) Numerous trimarans are also equipped with daggerboards/centerboards. They can be central and integrated into the accommodation, as aboard this Dash 750.

Adjusting the daggerboards step 4

5) Other trimarans, such as the Tricat 25, are equipped with centerboards integrated into the floats.

Adjusting the daggerboards step 5

6) Builders such as Outremer provide stopper knots for the daggerboard control lines; a good way to judge the position when the daggerboard is not visible.

Adjusting the daggerboards step 6

7) Once the daggerboard is out of its case, it is easier to judge: the lifelines are an excellent adjustment indicator!

Adjusting the daggerboards step 7

8) To windward in light weather, the daggerboards are fully lowered, to take advantage of maximum 'grip' on the water.

Adjusting the daggerboards step 8

9) When the speed increases, it is worthwhile raising the windward board to optimize drag. Note: a daggerboard which moves is no use. Therefore we raise it!

Adjusting the daggerboards step 9

10) But for safety, it is preferable to raise the leeward appendage: in the case of a strong gust, the risk of the boat ‘tripping up’ is thus reduced. The compromise could be to raise both the daggerboards by half... It’s up to you to judge!

Adjusting the daggerboards step 10

11) Downwind, the daggerboards are no longer useful, especially when the boat exceeds 10 knots... Keeping one third of the surface can however help the helmsman or the autopilot to steer a straighter course.

Adjusting the daggerboards step 11

12) Heavy weather? Raise them completely so the hulls slide. On the other hand, with big seas from behind, (just like downwind in more manageable weather) it may be useful to keep a little daggerboard lowered to avoid yawing.

Adjusting the daggerboards step 12

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What Are Daggerboards on a Catamaran? (An In-Depth Look)

how to use daggerboards on catamarans

Have you ever wondered how catamarans move so fast and efficiently through the water? The answer lies in daggerboards, a unique and essential feature of these vessels.

Many sailors consider daggerboards to be one of the key advantages of sailing on a catamaran over a monohull sailboat.

If you’re curious to learn more about the science behind this nautical feature, then this article is for you.

Here, we’ll dive into the details of what daggerboards are, how they work, the benefits they offer, the types of daggerboards, and the best practices for maintenance and performance.

By the end, you’ll be an expert on the topic and be able to make an informed decision about the best type of daggerboard for your vessel.

Table of Contents

Short Answer

Daggerboards are vertical boards on a catamaran that can be raised and lowered to provide lateral resistance and stability to the boat.

When the daggerboards are lowered, they provide more stability and can help the catamaran sail closer to the wind.

When they are raised, the catamaran has less resistance and can move faster.

Daggerboards are an important part of a catamaran’s design, as they provide stability and control in difficult weather conditions.

What Are Daggerboards?

Daggerboards are a vertical fin-like structure found on a catamaran, which is a type of sailboat with two hulls of equal size.

Daggerboards are typically located on the centerline of the boat and can be raised and lowered at the skipper’s discretion.

This allows the skipper to adjust the center of effort on the boat, which in turn affects the boat’s maneuverability and control.

At the most basic level, daggerboards provide additional lift and stability to a catamaran, allowing for improved performance in light winds.

They work by creating forward thrust and lift, helping the boat move through the water more efficiently and allowing it to make tighter turns.

Daggerboards also help to reduce leeway, which is the tendency of a boat to drift sideways in the water due to the wind pushing against its sails.

By positioning the daggerboard at an angle, the skipper can reduce the amount of leeway the boat experiences, allowing it to maintain a more consistent course.

Overall, daggerboards are a key component of sailing catamarans and can have a significant impact on the performance of the boat.

With the right setup, they can make a boat faster, more maneuverable, and easier to control in a variety of conditions.

For sailors looking to get the most out of their catamaran, understanding how to use daggerboards is essential.

How Daggerboards Work

how to use daggerboards on catamarans

Daggerboards, also known as centerboards, are a vertical fin-like structure found on a catamaran.

They are typically located on the centerline of the boat and can be raised and lowered at the skippers discretion.

Daggerboards are designed to provide the catamaran with additional lift and stability in light wind conditions.

This helps to improve the performance of the catamaran by adjusting the center of effort on the boat, allowing for greater maneuverability and control.

When the daggerboards are lowered, they act as an underwater keel, providing additional stability and lift.

This helps the catamaran to cut through the water more efficiently, allowing it to move faster and with greater control.

The daggerboards also help to prevent the boat from drifting sideways in the wind, which can be a common issue with monohulls.

The daggerboards also help to reduce the amount of heeling (leaning) experienced when sailing upwind, making the sailing experience more comfortable and enjoyable.

When the daggerboards are raised, the catamaran will be more maneuverable and have improved performance in light wind conditions.

This is due to the reduced drag caused by the daggerboards not being in the water.

The raised daggerboards will also help to reduce the amount of heeling experienced when sailing downwind, making the sailing experience more comfortable and enjoyable.

The use of daggerboards can significantly improve the performance of a catamaran in light wind conditions and is a key component of sailing catamarans.

By raising and lowering the daggerboards, the skipper can adjust the center of effort on the boat, allowing for greater maneuverability and control.

The Benefits of Daggerboards

Daggerboards are an essential part of sailing catamarans for a number of reasons.

The most obvious benefit of having daggerboards on a catamaran is that they provide additional lift and stability, allowing for improved performance in light winds.

By raising and lowering the daggerboards, the skipper can adjust the center of effort on the boat, giving them greater control over the boat’s maneuverability.

This can be advantageous in tricky situations, such as sailing close-hauled or in tight spaces.

Additionally, daggerboards can help reduce drag in certain conditions.

By raising the daggerboards, the boat can be steered more efficiently by using the hulls to provide lift instead of the daggerboards, which can result in less drag and improved performance.

Finally, daggerboards can help improve the safety of a catamaran.

In rough seas, daggerboards can provide additional stability, helping to keep the boat upright and preventing it from capsizing or being damaged.

This can be especially beneficial when sailing in unfamiliar waters or in bad weather conditions.

In summary, daggerboards are an invaluable component of sailing catamarans.

They provide added lift and stability, can be used to adjust the center of effort on the boat, reduce drag, and improve the safety of the boat.

With all these features, it’s no wonder that daggerboards are a must-have for any serious catamaran sailor.

Types of Daggerboards

how to use daggerboards on catamarans

When it comes to daggerboards, there are two main types that can be found on a catamaran: retractable and fixed. Retractable daggerboards are typically made of fiberglass and can be raised and lowered at the skipper’s discretion. This allows the skipper to adjust the center of effort of the boat, providing improved maneuverability and control. Fixed daggerboards are usually made of wood or metal and are permanently mounted in the centerline of the boat. These boards provide an extra layer of stability and lift to the catamaran, allowing it to perform better in light winds.

In addition to the two main types of daggerboards, there are also some other variations that can be found on some catamarans.

A daggerboard trunk is a type of daggerboard that is mounted inside the hull of the boat.

This allows the daggerboard to be raised and lowered without having to be removed from the boat.

A foil daggerboard is a type of retractable daggerboard that is designed to provide additional lift and stability to the catamaran, allowing it to perform better in heavier winds.

There are also battened daggerboards, which are a type of fixed daggerboard that is designed to provide additional lift and stability to the catamaran.

No matter which type of daggerboard is chosen, they all provide additional lift and stability to a catamaran, allowing it to perform better in different wind conditions.

By understanding the different types of daggerboards and how they can improve a catamaran’s performance, skippers can make the most of their sailing experience.

Daggerboard Maintenance

Daggerboard maintenance is an important aspect of owning and sailing a catamaran.

It is important to keep the boards in good condition to ensure they are performing as efficiently as possible.

This means periodically checking the boards for wear and tear, making sure they are properly lubricated and free of debris, and ensuring that the fastenings and connections are secure.

Regularly inspecting the boards for signs of corrosion or damage is also important.

If damage is found, it should be addressed immediately to prevent further damage and to ensure that the boards are performing as efficiently as possible.

In addition to inspecting the boards, it is important to keep them lubricated to ensure smooth and efficient performance.

The best way to do this is by regularly applying a lubricant specifically designed for marine use.

This will help reduce friction and keep the boards in good condition for longer.

It is also important to keep the fastenings and connections of the boards secure.

This includes the bolts that attach the boards to the frame, as well as the pins and clips that hold the boards in place.

It is important to inspect these regularly for signs of wear and tear, and to replace them if necessary.

Finally, it is important to keep the boards free of debris or dirt.

This can be done by regularly rinsing the boards off with fresh water after sailing, and by using a soft brush to remove any dirt or debris that has accumulated.

By following these simple maintenance tips, you can ensure that your daggerboards are performing as efficiently as possible and that your catamaran is sailing to its full potential.

Daggerboard Upgrades

how to use daggerboards on catamarans

The daggerboard is a key feature on catamarans, as it provides lift and stability to the boat.

It is located on the centerline of the boat and can be raised and lowered at the skipper’s discretion.

This allows the skipper to adjust the center of effort on the boat, enabling greater maneuverability and control.

For those looking to maximize the performance of their catamaran, there are several upgrades available for the daggerboard.

A taller daggerboard can be installed to increase the lift and reduce drag, while a lower profile board can provide improved stability.

Additionally, a carbon fiber board can be used to reduce weight, further increasing the overall performance of the boat.

Another upgrade is the addition of a daggerboard trim tab, which allows for more precise control of the daggerboard.

This is especially useful in light winds, as it allows the skipper to adjust the daggerboard to maintain the optimum angle of attack.

This can significantly improve the performance of the boat in light winds.

Finally, there are a variety of shapes available for the daggerboard.

Different shapes are designed to optimize the performance of the boat in different conditions, so it is important to select the shape that best suits your needs.

In conclusion, daggerboards are a key component of sailing catamarans and can have a significant impact on the performance of the boat.

By upgrading the daggerboard, skippers can maximize the performance of their catamaran and improve its overall maneuverability and control.

Daggerboard Performance

When it comes to sailing performance, daggerboards can have a significant impact on a catamaran.

When the daggerboards are up, the center of effort is lowered, allowing the catamaran to sail in light winds with better speed and efficiency.

When the daggerboards are down, they provide additional lift and stability, allowing for improved performance in heavier winds.

The shape and size of the daggerboard also affects the performance of the catamaran.

A wide, shallow daggerboard will provide more lift in light winds, while a narrow, deep daggerboard will provide more stability in heavier winds.

As such, it is important to choose the right daggerboard for your catamaran to get the most out of it.

In addition to improving the performance of the boat, daggerboards can also help reduce drag when sailing upwind.

When sailing upwind, the daggerboards create a venturi effect, which helps reduce the drag on the boat.

This can make a huge difference in performance and can allow the catamaran to reach higher speeds in upwind conditions.

Finally, daggerboards can make a catamaran more responsive to steering.

When sailing downwind, the daggerboards can be used to help the boat turn more quickly and with greater precision.

In this way, the daggerboards can be used to make a catamaran more responsive and agile.

By adjusting the daggerboards, the skipper can adjust the center of effort on the boat, allowing for greater maneuverability and control.

Daggerboards can also help reduce drag when sailing upwind and make the catamaran more responsive to steering.

Final Thoughts

Daggerboards are a key component of sailing catamarans, and their presence has a significant impact on the performance of the boat.

They can provide additional lift and stability, allowing for improved performance in light winds, as well as greater maneuverability and control.

With the variety of daggerboard types, upgrades, and maintenance available, there is something for every boat and sailor.

Understanding how daggerboards work and the impact they can have on sailing performance can help you make the most of your catamaran.

So, take the time to consider the different options and see what daggerboards can do for you.

James Frami

At the age of 15, he and four other friends from his neighborhood constructed their first boat. He has been sailing for almost 30 years and has a wealth of knowledge that he wants to share with others.

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Daggerboards: how to adjust them on your catamaran

how to use daggerboards on catamarans

Author : Nikki Henderson

When I asked the Outremer Ladies’ community for suggestions on webinar topics, ‘Daggerboards’ was top of the list. I wasn’t surprised. I don’t think I’ve had a day out on an Outremer with prospective or current owners where daggerboards were not discussed.

It makes sense that there is a curiosity about daggerboards; using them properly is essential if you want your Outremer to perform. What is interesting though, is how confusing people find them.

One thing I’ve realised is that for some people, the issue is similar to my relationship with electronics (hate) and engineering (love). Things I cannot physically see are inherently cloaked in mystery and much more challenging for me to understand. This can be the case with daggerboards: they are hidden underwater and so are often forgotten or misunderstood.

The other reason that daggerboards can be confusing is that they affect not just the performance of a catamaran, but also the safety. Sometimes the theories contradict each other and lead to conflicting advice as to the right and wrong way to use them. In fact, there is no one ‘rule’ about daggerboards. The key, as with anything on a boat, is to understand the reasoning behind the basic daggerboard practices, so that you can make your own decision based on your own unique circumstances that you encounter at any particular time.

I hope this blog will help you build this critical foundation of understanding so that you can set sail safely and with confidence. Daggerboards – like sail trim – is a subject of continual learning. See this as step 1 in the life-long journey.

how to use daggerboards on catamarans

Catamaran daggerboards: how should they be adjusted for optimum sailing?

Daggerboards are best thought of as an ‘underwater sail’ – sometimes called a ‘foil’. Just as a sail above the water needs trimming – so does the sail under the water. But unlike the sail above the water, the daggerboard only has one trim option: how much of it is exposed below the hull.

When sailing upwind the daggerboards provide resistance and lift under the water to balance out the sideways effort force from the sail above the water. In more simple terms, daggerboards help the boat move forward rather than sideways when sailing upwind. Therefore, when sailing upwind, the assumed best practice is to have the daggerboards down. [UP-wind = DOWN-board]

When sailing downwind, the effort force from the sail works almost entirely in the direction you need the boat to go. Therefore, you do not need the resistance under the water from the daggerboard to help with the direction. In fact, it will probably hinder you from sailing deep downwind and slow you down. Therefore, when sailing downwind, the assumed best practice is to have the daggerboards up. [DOWN-wind = UP-board]

Generally, when sailing with wind on the beam – a good ‘go-to’ trim set up is one that is somewhere in the middle of downwind and upwind trim. Therefore, a good starting point for a beam reach would be to lift the daggerboards half-way up.

how to use daggerboards on catamarans

Which catamaran daggerboard for which sailing conditions?

For any competent dinghy sailors who understand daggerboards, this is the most common question as they are typically used to using only one!

An important key principle, is that a daggerboard is only effective when it is submerged in the water. Therefore, if you were sailing the boat purely for performance in a flat sea, you would always need to be trimming at least the leeward one. If the windward hull lifts slightly here and there (which it does fractionally in any substantial wind) then the windward daggerboard is not working efficiently.

Do you drop the windward board? In relation to performance, this depends on how much underwater resistance you need.

In very light winds, the standard practice is to lift the windward daggerboard all the way and only trim the leeward board. When both daggerboards are down, (for simplicity) there is now double the ‘underwater sail’ area. This would likely imbalance how much power there is from the light winds on the sail above the water, and literally ‘drag’ the boat and slow her down.

As the winds increase, there may be a time where you feel you want more underwater resistance, and you could consider lowering the windward board as well. You might find your course over ground improves. Then it was a good decision. If your speed decreases, it might be creating too much drag and you should lift it back up.

If the wind continues to increase further, it is likely you will choose to reef the main. If we return to the concept of the daggerboard being the ‘underwater sail’, if you reef the main, then consider reefing the daggerboard and lifting some up slightly with each reef you put in upwind to keep the boat balanced.

You may be wondering how such a tiny thing as a daggerboard could balance out the enormous sail area of a main sail. The answer here is that water is a much denser fluid than air, and so the daggerboard needs much less area to create the same force than it would do if it were in air.

how to use daggerboards on catamarans

Safety at sea: adjusting daggerboards to avoid risks

This is where things start to get a little confusing.

The leeward daggerboard being down will increase the risk of ‘tripping up’. Therefore, in any significant sea state – or possible impending increase in wind/seastate such as if you are close to a mountainous shore line – where you feel that the hull is, or may, lift a lot, it is in fact safer to lift the leeward daggerboard and only use the windward one. Be aware that you will see a drop in performance as this contradicts the performance best practice of trimming the leeward board and not the windward.

The safest option entirely in very large sea states where the sea is actually tilting the boat significantly from side to side as she rolls down waves is to lift both daggerboards, so you float along waves like a raft.

‘Tripping up’ is a phrase used a lot and in fact sometimes misunderstood. To explain what it means:  if there is wind/waves coming from the side of the boat and the windward hull lifts slightly in a wave, or there is a gust and the sail powers the boat forward – the leeward hull can ‘dig in’ to a wave and trip the boat up. The best way to imagine this is imagine getting one of your shoelaces on one of your feet stuck but the rest of your body is still walking. You will fall over. Same with the boat.

A converse argument to lifting the daggerboards up, is that dropping both of them will protect the underside of the boat – from grounding, or from hitting a submerged object. Having both daggerboards partially down can protect the propellor. Having them at ‘deck level’ can protect the rudder. In other words, if you hit something then it will hit the daggerboard before the more fragile underwater equipment.

Another argument against lifting the daggerboards entirely, is that with no daggerboards, your rudder is doing all the ‘resistance-work’. It is hard to believe, but it also acts as a very tiny underwater sail too. There will be a huge load on the rudder with no daggerboard at all and this risk is probably not worth the gain in speed on a long downwind ocean crossing. One way to spot if the rudder is working too hard is just look at your autopilot rudder angle – if it’s maxing out and having to work very hard to keep the boat going straight then you probably have too much sideways slip. It’s a bit like the boat is sailing on an ice rink. In that case, I’d recommend putting both of them down a touch. This will benefit both the ruder and the autopilot (therefore power consumption).

(Read our Safe Sailing article to learn more about safety on board)

how to use daggerboards on catamarans

Using daggerboards is a balancing act! Boat weight, weight distribution, sail area, wind strength, sea state, sail trim are all things that effect the decision for how to use the daggerboards: how much daggerboard to use and which one (or both) to use.  This is why it’s not an exact ‘one size fits all’ rule and anyone who tells you so is probably oversimplifying it which could lead to a dangerous sitaution. But start using them and see how the boat feels. The beauty of buying an Outremer is that if you keep her lightweight and trimmed well, then she will talk to you and tell you what feels good. Don’t believe me? Try sailing a brand-new Outremer out of the factory before she has anything on – then compare it to one with four peoples’ life belongings on – and you will see what I mean. 😉

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how to use daggerboards on catamarans

Setting off on a catamaran with the best sailing weather

When you’re getting ready to set off on a sailing trip, it’s vital to find out about the seasons and weather phenomena in your chosen sailing area. Even before choosing your cruising destination or travel itinerary, or even selecting your yacht!

how to use daggerboards on catamarans

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how to use daggerboards on catamarans

The Importance of Defining Success

In the Autumn of 2023, I ran a ‘Webinars for Women’ mini-series on transatlantic preparations. The first session was titled: “How to approach transatlantic preparation.” As I zoomed out of the nitty gritty of canned food recipes, spare parts inventories, and preventative sail repair and took a broader look at the framework for a successful crossing, I homed in on what I think the first and most important step is: defining your goal.

how to use daggerboards on catamarans

Catamarans with Daggerboards: Enhancing Stability and Performance

by Emma Sullivan | Aug 9, 2023 | Sailboat Lifestyle

how to use daggerboards on catamarans

Short answer catamarans with daggerboards:

Catamarans with daggerboards are multihull sailboats consisting of two parallel hulls and vertical foils called daggerboards that can be raised or lowered. Daggerboards improve stability, reduce leeway, and increase upwind performance by minimizing side slipping. These high-performance catamarans are commonly used in racing, offshore cruising, and recreational sailing due to their enhanced speed and maneuverability capabilities.

How Catamarans with Daggerboards Enhance Sailing Performance

If you’re a sailing enthusiast, you may have heard about the growing trend of catamarans equipped with daggerboards. But what exactly are daggerboards and why do they enhance the sailing performance of these unique vessels ? In this blog post, we’ll dive into the details and give you a professional, witty, and clever explanation.

First things first – let’s understand what a catamaran is. A catamaran is a multi-hulled vessel consisting of two parallel hulls connected by a deck structure. Unlike traditional monohulls, catamarans offer increased stability due to their wider beam. This stability means more balance when sailing through choppy waters or in heavy winds . However, even with their inherent stability advantage, there’s always room for improvement when it comes to performance.

This is where daggerboards come into play. Daggerboards are vertically retractable underwater fins that can be found on both sides of a catamaran’s hulls. These boards mimic the functions of centerboards or keels found in monohulls, but with some key differences .

Unlike fixed structures on monohulls, daggerboards can be raised or lowered based on different wind and sea conditions. And trust us – this simple mechanism makes all the difference in terms of performance! By adjusting the depth at which the daggerboard extends below the waterline, sailors can optimize the flow of water around their vessel.

When cruising downwind or in lighter winds, raising the daggerboard allows for shallow draught navigation while minimizing drag created by unnecessary underwater surface area. On the other hand, when sailing upwind or encountering stronger gusts, lowering the boards increases lateral resistance and prevents sideways slippage known as leeway.

Essentially, daggerboards function as hydrofoils for catamarans . They create lift by exploiting Bernoulli’s principle – faster-moving air above generates lower pressure compared to slower-moving air below an object’s surface (or in this case, water). This lift effect counteracts the forces acting on the hulls and reduces slippage, thus improving both speed and control.

But let’s not forget about the clever engineering behind daggerboards. These modern-day marvels are crafted from lightweight yet durable materials such as carbon fiber or fiberglass, ensuring optimum strength-to-weight ratios while keeping performance at its peak. The adjustable nature of daggerboards also comes into play during maneuvers like tacking or gybing, making it easier for sailors to change direction smoothly without losing precious momentum.

So why should you care about catamarans with daggerboards? Simple – they offer a thrilling sailing experience with enhanced performance capabilities. Whether you’re seeking the adrenaline rush of competitive racing or just looking for a smooth cruise across open waters, these vessels provide unbeatable stability and speed that can take your sailing game to new heights.

In conclusion, catamarans equipped with daggerboards have revolutionized the world of sailing by maximizing performance through clever hydrodynamics and adjustability. So if you’re ready to enhance your sailing adventures with a touch of finesse and innovation, hop aboard a catamaran with daggerboards and prepare to ride the waves like never before!

Exploring the Benefits of Catamarans with Daggerboards Step by Step

Title: Exploring the Benefits of Catamarans with Daggerboards Step by Step

Introduction: Catamarans have gained widespread popularity in recent years due to their stability, speed, and spaciousness. One key element that maximizes the performance of catamarans is the presence of daggerboards . In this blog post, we will delve into the benefits of catamarans equipped with daggerboards, exploring each step involved. From improved sailing capabilities to enhanced comfort , let’s discover the remarkable advantages these sleek vessels offer.

Step 1: Understanding Daggerboards in Catamarans Daggerboards are vertically retractable appendages mounted on both hulls of a catamaran. Serving as underwater wings, they can be lowered or raised depending on sailing conditions. When deployed, daggerboards greatly contribute to a sailboat ‘s lateral resistance and stability.

Step 2: Heightened Stability at Sea One prominent advantage of catamarans with daggerboards lies in their exceptional stability. The wide beam between two hulls minimizes rolling motion even under rough sea conditions, offering an incomparable sense of security for those prone to seasickness or seeking a more comfortable cruising experience.

Step 3: Superior Upwind Performance Daggerboards revolutionize a catamaran’s ability to sail upwind effectively. By lowering both daggerboards symmetrically, the wetted surface area decreases, reducing drag significantly while maintaining lateral resistance. This enables catamarans with daggerboards to venture closer to windward than traditional keel-powered boats – an invaluable feature for sailors navigating challenging coastal or offshore routes.

Step 4: Enhancing Maneuverability When maneuvering close to shorelines or marinas, daggerboards provide heightened control and agility. Their adjustable nature allows sailors to alter their angle or completely retract them into the hulls when additional clearance is required – ensuring simple navigation through shallow waters or tight spaces where other vessels may struggle.

Step 5: Increased Speed Potential The presence of daggerboards in catamarans grants them superior speed capabilities, especially in reaching conditions. With reduced drag and improved stability, these formidable vessels can easily harness the power of the wind, gliding swiftly across open waters . Daggerboards enable a catamaran to maintain higher average speeds throughout long passages, ensuring quicker and more enjoyable journeys.

Step 6: Enhanced Safety Catamarans equipped with daggerboards boast enhanced safety features that make them an ideal choice for offshore cruising or adventurous sailing trips. By allowing sailors to control their draft depending on the sea state or desired performance, daggerboards minimize the risk of grounding or collisions with underwater hazards. This versatility enhances overall onboard safety and peace of mind.

Conclusion: Daggerboards are not merely another feature found in high-performance sailing vessels; rather, they revolutionize the way catamarans navigate through various conditions. From heightened stability at sea to improved maneuverability and increased speed potential, these retractable appendages offer unparalleled benefits for enthusiasts seeking comfort, agility, and thrilling experiences on the water . Next time you embark on a catamaran adventure, keep an eye out for those sleek daggerboards that make every voyage a remarkable one!

Frequently Asked Questions about Catamarans with Daggerboards

Are you considering purchasing a catamaran with daggerboards but find yourself overwhelmed with questions? Fear not! We have compiled a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions about catamarans equipped with daggerboards to quench your curiosity. From the advantages they offer to common misconceptions, we’ve got you covered. Join us as we delve into this intriguing topic.

1. What is a catamaran with daggerboards?

A catamaran with daggerboards is a type of sailing vessel that features two hulls connected by a platform known as the bridge deck. Unlike traditional catamarans, these innovative vessels are equipped with retractable keels called daggerboards which can be adjusted based on sailing conditions.

2. Why choose a catamaran with daggerboards over other designs?

Catamarans with daggerboards offer numerous advantages for avid sailors. Firstly, their ability to retract or extend the boards allows for enhanced maneuverability and increased speed in different weather conditions . This means greater control when sailing upwind or in shallow waters where other boat types might struggle.

3. How do daggerboards affect performance?

Daggerboards significantly improve sailing performance by reducing sideways drift (known as leeway) and increasing the lateral resistance provided by the keels. By adjusting their position according to wind direction, sailors can optimize their boat’s angle against prevailing forces and achieve higher speeds.

4. Do I need any special skills to handle a catamaran with daggerboards?

While operating any sailboat requires some level of skill and experience, handling a catamaran with daggerboards doesn’t demand extraordinary expertise. As long as you possess basic sailing knowledge and understand how to utilize the adjustable keels effectively, you’ll be able to harness the full potential of these vessels easily.

5. Are there any drawbacks to using daggerboards?

Although the advantages of using daggerboards significantly outweigh potential downsides, there are some considerations worth mentioning. Catamarans equipped with daggerboards may have a higher initial cost compared to other designs due to their specialized construction. Additionally, maintenance and repairs for the daggerboard mechanisms might require more attention.

6. Can I still sail a catamaran with daggerboards in shallow waters?

Absolutely! The retractable nature of daggerboards enables catamarans to navigate shallow waters with ease. By lifting the boards, you can safely venture into areas where conventional keels would prohibit passage, opening up new possibilities for exploration while maintaining stability.

7. Are catamarans with daggerboards faster than those without?

The adjustable nature of daggerboards does provide potential for increased speed, particularly when sailing close to the wind or upwind . The reduced drag caused by retracted boards allows these vessels to efficiently glide through the water, resulting in impressive acceleration and velocity that can outperform traditional catamarans.

8. Are there any misconceptions surrounding catamarans with daggerboards?

Indeed, a common misconception is that daggerboards are solely beneficial for racing purposes or experienced sailors seeking high-performance vessels . However, these boats are equally suitable for cruising enthusiasts looking to enjoy enhanced control, stability, and overall comfort during their nautical adventures.

In conclusion, choosing a catamaran with retractable daggerboards offers an innovative approach to sailing characterized by improved performance and adaptability across various conditions. Novice or seasoned sailors alike can make the most of these unique vessels while exploring shallow waters or harnessing greater speed capabilities. So set sail confidently on your next maritime adventure armed with knowledge about these fascinating catamarans!

Understanding the Mechanics Behind Catamarans with Daggerboards

When it comes to sailing, catamarans have gained considerable popularity due to their stability and speed. But what sets these sleek vessels apart from traditional monohull sailboats ? The answer lies in their unique design, particularly the incorporation of daggerboards. In this blog post, we will dive deep into understanding the mechanics behind catamarans with daggerboards, shedding light on why they are favored by sailors all over the world.

To begin with, let’s familiarize ourselves with the fundamental concept of a catamaran. Unlike monohulls that have a single hull cutting through the water, catamarans boast two parallel hulls connected by a platform or bridge called the trampoline. This setup enhances stability and prevents excessive rolling, making them an excellent choice for those looking for a smooth and comfortable sailing experience.

However, it is worth noting that stability alone does not guarantee optimal performance . That’s where daggerboards come into play. These vertically oriented keels perform multiple functions that elevate a catamaran ‘s capabilities and maneuverability.

Firstly, let’s understand what exactly a daggerboard is. A daggerboard is essentially a retractable keel located within each hull of a catamaran. These boards are designed to slide up and down vertically through special slots or cases known as trunkings in order to adjust their depth beneath the waterline.

One of the primary roles of daggerboards is to counteract leeway – the sideways movement experienced by boats when subjected to wind pressure against their sails . By adjusting the depth of daggerboards on either side independently, sailors can effectively control leeway and sail closer to the wind without significant drifting off course.

In addition to countering leeway, these clever appendages also enhance upwind performance—a crucial aspect for competitive racing or efficient long-distance sailing . When fully deployed, daggerboards create additional lift as water flows over them at high speeds . This lift opposes the sideways force acting on the boat from the wind, allowing the catamaran to maintain a more efficient angle into the wind and achieve higher speeds.

Furthermore, daggerboards play a crucial role in preventing capsizing – an occasional nightmare for sailors. By adjusting the depth of daggerboards when facing strong gusts or turbulent sea conditions, sailors can maintain balance and stability, reducing the risk of flipping over.

It’s important to note that daggerboards are highly adjustable and require skillful handling by experienced sailors. Proper adjustment involves considering various factors like wind speed, boat speed, sea state , and desired sailing objectives. Fine-tuning these elements allows sailors to optimize performance in different conditions while keeping safety in mind.

While some catamarans utilize fixed keels or even foils instead of daggerboards, traditional daggerboard designs continue to dominate due to their simplicity, reliability, and cost-effectiveness. They offer versatility across a range of sailing styles from leisure cruising to competitive racing.

In conclusion, understanding the mechanics behind catamarans with daggerboards is essential for anyone looking to venture into this sailing realm. From countering leeway and optimizing upwind performance to enhancing stability and preventing capsizing; these retractable keels serve as invaluable tools in ensuring a safe yet exhilarating experience on the water. So next time you see a catamaran gliding effortlessly through waves with precision-like control, you’ll have an appreciation for the intricate role played by its trusty daggerboards.

Why Choosing a Catamaran with Daggerboards Can Revolutionize your Sailing Experience

Choosing a catamaran with daggerboards can completely revolutionize your sailing experience, taking it to new heights of performance and excitement. These sleek and innovative designs offer numerous advantages that will leave you wondering why you ever sailed on a traditional monohull.

Firstly, let’s talk about speed. Catamarans with daggerboards are known for their incredible acceleration and high top speeds. The combination of the streamlined hulls and adjustable daggerboards allows these vessels to slice through the water effortlessly, leaving monohulls in their wake. Imagine the thrill of gliding across the waves at exhilarating speeds, feeling the power of the wind pushing you forward – an experience that will make you truly feel alive.

But it’s not just about speed; catamarans with daggerboards also excel in upwind sailing. Due to their narrow beam and powerful sail plan, these boats can efficiently navigate against the wind , tacking smoothly without losing momentum. With each tack, you’ll notice how effortlessly the daggerboards optimize your angle towards the wind, giving you an advantage over other sailors struggling to maintain course.

One of the most significant advantages of catamarans with daggerboards is their ability to sail in shallow waters. By retracting the daggerboards partially or fully, depending on conditions, these boats can access secluded beaches, anchor closer to shorelines, or explore hidden coves inaccessible to larger vessels. The flexibility and freedom they provide allow for endless possibilities when it comes to island hopping or discovering remote destinations.

In terms of stability, nothing compares to a catamaran with daggerboards. Unlike monohulls that heel dramatically while sailing at high speeds or encountering rough seas, these two-hulled beauties remain steady as a rock thanks to their wide stance and deep-draft daggerboards. You’ll appreciate this stability when cooking onboard during passage or simply enjoying a relaxing day out on calm waters without being constantly tossed around by waves.

Furthermore, catamarans with daggerboards offer a spacious and comfortable living area. With their open, airy layouts, these vessels provide ample room for entertaining guests or accommodating a large group of family and friends on extended voyages. The absence of heeling also means there’s no longer any need to adjust your lifestyle to counteract the boat’s movement, allowing you to live onboard with ease and comfort.

Finally, catamarans with daggerboards are often praised for their low fuel consumption. Due to their lightweight construction and reduced drag caused by the daggerboards, these boats require less power to propel them through the water compared to traditional monohulls. This not only saves money but also serves as a step towards environmentally conscious sailing .

In conclusion, choosing a catamaran with daggerboards will undoubtedly revolutionize your sailing experience. From the exhilarating speed and upwind performance to the ability to navigate shallow waters effortlessly, this innovative design offers unmatched advantages that will enhance every aspect of your time on the water. Get ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure where excitement meets comfort and where possibilities become truly limitless!

Tips and Tricks for Maintaining and Caring for Catamarans with Daggerboards

Title: Mastering the Art of Catamaran Care: Unleashing the Potential of Daggerboards

Introduction: Ah, catamarans! The epitome of grace and freedom on water. These magnificent vessels offer a unique sailing experience, especially if equipped with daggerboards. These retractable appendages not only enhance performance but also require special attention when it comes to maintenance and care. Today, we are here to unveil our arsenal of professional, witty, and clever tips and tricks for maintaining and caring for catamarans with daggerboards.

1. Raise Your Daggerboard Awareness: To truly understand your catamaran ‘s daggerboards, it is crucial to comprehend their purpose and functionality. Daggerboards act as underwater foils that counteract lateral forces, providing stability and control while sailing. Take time to study their design, engage in valuable online discussions or seek guidance from experienced sailors.

2. Regular Inspection is Key: Just like any other component on your vessel, regular inspection of your daggerboards is essential. Check for wear and tear, potential damage or cracks in the boards themselves or within their housing compartments. Be thorough during inspections to nip any issues in the bud before they snowball into costly repairs or replacements.

3. Smooth Operators: Lubrication Matters! Smoothly operating daggerboards directly impact your sailing experience; squeaky boards are no one’s favorite soundtrack out at sea! Regularly lubricate the sliding mechanisms using suitable marine-grade lubricants – avoiding excessive amounts that could attract dirt or grime – ensuring silent sailing moments that will make you look like a seasoned pro.

4. The Battle Against Corrosion: Saltwater can be both a catamaran’s best friend and sworn enemy simultaneously—the latter being particularly true for metals prone to corrosion. Apply protective coatings or paints specifically designed for underwater use onto metallic portions exposed to oceanic elements surrounding your daggerboard system.

5. Float Like a Feather: Balancing Act: Balance is the key to successful catamaran navigation . Daggerboards play a significant role in maintaining equilibrium while underway. Monitor their vertical alignment carefully, ensuring they are both correctly deployed and fully retracted when needed. Avoid compromising performance by avoiding conditions that push the limits of your daggerboard’s deployment range.

6. Cleanliness above All: Just as your daggerboards slice through the water realm, they can also gather unwanted hitchhikers along the way. Regularly clean their surfaces to eliminate marine organisms, barnacles, or algae that, if left unchecked, can affect hydrodynamics and impose unnecessary drag on your vessel’s overall performance.

7. Seek Professional Guidance: When in doubt or dealing with a problem you cannot confidently resolve yourself – never hesitate to seek professional help! Experienced boat builders or naval architects can provide invaluable advice tailored specifically to your catamaran and its daggerboard configuration.

Conclusion: Catamarans equipped with daggerboards offer an exceptional sailing experience that deserves meticulous care and attention. By following these professional, witty, and clever tips for maintaining and caring for such vessels, you’ll ensure smooth operations and prolong the lifespan of your beloved catamaran with ease. So set sail confidently into endless horizons as you master the art of catamaran care – unleashing the full potential of those marvelous daggerboards!

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Daggerboards

The majority of today's cruising catamarans are equipped with mini keels for reliable and hassle-free operation. There are fewer than a handful of production daggerboard catamarans, which provide the sailor slightly more pointing ability and other advantages as illustrated in previous chapters. Their operation is generally straightforward via either a single uphaul line in case the board is heavier than water, or by an additional downhaul to keep the foil lowered, in case it is more buoyant.

Needless to say, when trying to point as high as possible, the leeward board should be fully deployed. The finer the hulls of the catamaran and deeper the foils are, the more they will contribute to getting the multihull to windward. In very rough conditions, when the boat will be thrown around by wind and waves, it is a good idea to divide the loads between both boards and only let them halfway down.

Marking the daggerboards at deck level will help indicate a "control" depth and assist in judging when they will be extending deeper than the rudders and thus aid in protecing them in case of a collision.

For a more detailed description of daggerboards and their use, please refer to the "Appendages" chapter.

Continue reading here: Tacking

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Daggerboard – the importance of in catamaran sailing

Posted by Tim Weston | Aug 13, 2017 | Cruising , Daggerboards | 3 |

Daggerboard – the importance of in catamaran sailing

The importance of a daggerboard – in catamaran sailing.

Demystifying the daggerboard. There is nothing mystical about cats that make them inherently poor performers going to wind. In fact, the opposite is true, cats have inherent qualities that make them better than a keel yacht in windward performance. Not leaning over is one of them.

The daggerboard seems to be one of the most misunderstood pieces of equipment on a multihull. Debates on forums and blogs about daggerboards vs mini-keels are many. What are they for? Are two daggerboards better than one? Should you pull them up when going downwind or in a storm? One or both and which side? There seem to be as many opinions are there are blog posts on the subject.   They were a mystery to me too when I built my boat, and after a year in the water, I too learned how frustrating it was, going to wind on a cat. I needed to learn more.

Daggerboards and going to wind

I built a 40ft catamaran back in the 90s called “Tokyo Express”. A cruiser/racer that was lightweight and fast downwind and on a reach. But beating to wind was hard work; I covered a lot of ground fast but progress toward my destination was poor.

After a lot of measuring, recording and testing I took all the data I’d gathered and spent months in libraries, going through all the textbooks I could get my hands on, reading up on the hydrodynamics of sailing.

The conclusion I came to was a simple one. Catamarans just don’t have enough keel area. As simple as that. The daggerboards on most cats are way too small. I also believe that their short chords work against them not for them, and mini-keels are, no surprise, worse still.

Cats only seem to get given small daggerboards

Maybe the reasoning designers have for using such small boards (compared to the keel on a similar size monohull), is that because cats are faster, they don’t need as much board area. The trouble is you don’t always move fast, and sometimes speed is the last thing you want. Hauling to wind in heavy weather is one scenario. Once you slow down below the speed, the boards were designed to operate, you have a problem. But even at speed, they don’t point well. 

So I left my boat at anchor and spent 3 months in my shed, designing and building a new daggerboard to replace the original ones. One large board instead of two, with 150% more surface area than the original boards put together. I slipped the yacht and installed the new Case and daggerboard, then headed out for my first sail. It was a different boat, totally. It went to wind as I’d never experienced before.

I could now sail as hard to wind as a keel yacht, but faster.  I only raced the boat once, in the Whitsundays back in the winter of 1998. It was a fun-race, at the end of a week of racing; most of the boats were racing yachts. Starting on a handicap, 10th last over the start line, behind 130 boats. I headed off on the single lap that we all sailed around, a triangular course with 2 legs hard on the wind and a downwind leg to the finish. 

On the first leg, I overtook half of the fleet, sailing as high as, and faster than the racing keel yachts. On the second leg, I passed more boats including all the multihulls, to finish 20th overall behind the large million dollar maxi’s, that started too far in front of me to catch.

The weakest link

The power of the rig depends on the power of the daggerboard that opposes it. If the daggerboard can’t provide the reaction needed, to the sideward forces generated by the sails, then you will not get the most out of your rig. If the board can’t handle the forces of the rig, it will stall or semi-stall, allowing the boat to get pushed sideways. 

What I noticed most when this happened, was that the rudders loaded up and the boat was difficult to steer. The high side loads caused my rudders to become difficult to turn, and I eventually burned out the autopilot. The rudders were doing what they weren’t designed to do, go sideways through the water.

So I would ease off the wind, reducing the side-load and picking up speed. With the extra speed, the boards generate more lift and the sideslip would reduce enough for steering to improve. Now I was zooming along, but not going where I wanted to go. You need to move fast to get the boards to work, but the extra speed was a waste of time because I couldn’t point high. In heavy weather, I suffered a less than comfortable ride going back and forwards across the wind, instead of making good velocity towards my destination.

Safe (as well as fast)

These problems vanished after I installed the single daggerboard. I sailed for the next 3 years with the new board; it was the best thing I ever did. It saved my butt in the Pacific, and maybe even our lives, in storms my partner and I encountered on the return trip to Australia from New Caledonia and Vanuatu. 

Sailing single-handed with a seasick partner, I could get some sleep at night despite the storms. On the 8 day trip out to Noumea, I made headway going to wind in huge seas comfortably, by reefing down and pulling the boat hard up to the wind, locking the boat to the apparent wind using the autopilot coupled to the wind vane. 

This kept the speed down and under control, as there was a big sea running and it was rough. I could point high and make good progress toward my destination with my speed under control. The boat followed the wind shifts, hard on the wind with a steady 7kts. Even under these conditions of extreme wind, and slow boat speed, there was no sideslip. The steering was effortless and the small autopilot I’d since replaced could do the job without problems. 

The boat drove like a tractor upwind and I think that is the best analogy I can think of to describe it. I couldn’t imagine being out there in those conditions the way the boat used to sail; hard to steer, half out of control and not going to where I wanted to go. 

The daggerboard is the heart of a multihull

You can have the slipperiest of hulls, lightest of boats and most expensive rig, but if you don’t have this part of the boat right, you are not getting good returns on the money spent in the other areas. It doesn’t matter if you are racing or cruising, the ability to go to wind makes or breaks a boat. I have a video  about the daggerboard, on youtube.

If you aren’t happy with your cat’s performance and are interested to do something about it, I now have plans available, so you can build a large daggerboard yourself. 

Whether you are building a new boat, or you own a cat already, you can replace the original boards with a big one, that will change your boat forever. You won’t recognise your boat afterwards, and as a bonus, you win a lot more room in the hull without the 2 nd board, i.e. freeing up space in the galley. Check out the new webpage for more details and if you would like more information, send me an email .  

I hope this has been helpful.

PS — I have a book out now “ Building Tokyo Express ”, with the story of the building of my cat. The next book coming is due early 2020; it’s the story of the 5 years I lived aboard TE and goes into a lot of detail about sailing with this board, and the valuable lessons I learned. Subscribe on the website, and grab the book when it launches at the intro price.

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Lenore Grunsell

Thanks for posting this information!

GILLES

Very interesting I recently sail A 6 meter beach cat Thanks

Guy Mercer

I built the UNI-CAT a fun 14 foot x 7 ft boat the solution to dagger boards for that was to use 4 very & narrow short boards that could rotate slightly 2/3 back from the leading when inserted in their slots. In light winds use all 4, but in stronger winds use only 2. They only added 1 foot to the draft but because thet pointed into wind the boat could point to where you were headed without side drift. Later I modified it to use only 1 but controlled the amount of rotation.

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Catamaran Daggerboards and Keels – Woods Interview # 9

  • Post author By Diane Selkirk
  • Post date March 27, 2021
  • No Comments on Catamaran Daggerboards and Keels – Woods Interview # 9

how to use daggerboards on catamarans

I am with Richard Woods, and we are talking about catamarans. He’s a legendary catamaran designer and experienced catamaran sailor of many different designs. This is one of several interviews we’re having on different topics. Today, we’re talking about daggerboards versus keels. Richard will tell us a little bit about how daggerboards work, how keels work, and what some of the benefits of each are.

For more from Richard Woods, please go to his website .

Richard, can you start off with what dagger boards and keels do for a boat?

There’s the three basic ways of preventing leeway, which is what you’re going to be doing with a multihull. On a monohull you’ve got the keel. Essentially, it’s for stability to balance the heeling, to stop the boat heeling too much. You don’t have that as a problem on a multihull. You are just trying to stop leeway.

You can do it either with using the hull shape, which would be like a Catalac or Wharram catamaran. Then the next would be to have keels. The third would be to have daggerboards.

how to use daggerboards on catamarans

You could essentially say that a catamaran with keels is a bit like a long-keel monohull, and the daggerboard catamaran is a fin keel monohull in more terms. I think we all know and all agree that the best sailing boats are going to be the one with fin keels. Then progressively a long-keel boat or keel or one with low aspect-ratio keels on the catamaran, that would be the next best. Then the one relying just on hull shape, whether it’s a test barge or a Catalac is going to be the the least good.

how to use daggerboards on catamarans

There’s two things on that. One is that the daggerboard prevents leeway better, but also prevention of or reduction of pitching, increasing potential top speed. You want to have buoyancy at the ends of the boat and not in the middle. You imagine a diamond shape sailing to windward, and it pitches up and down, up and down, and you end up hobby-horsing. Whereas a boat with fuller ends isn’t going to do that. Unfortunately, the thing with their keels, is that the buoyancy is more in the middle of the boat.

how to use daggerboards on catamarans

So there’s the two factors: one is the the sea kindliness of having daggerboards, and the other is the better performance.

A daggerboarded boat is always better, but it does have some disadvantages. The main one is that if you want to beach your boat or dry it out. To me, that’s always a major advantage of a multihull. You got to be able to have lifting rudders, and essentially, you don’t want your propeller to be the deepest part of the boat, or if you’ve got an inboard engine.

The daggerboarded boats work really well when you’ve got outboard engines and when you’ve got tiller steering, because it makes it easier to get the rudders. It is still possible on bigger boats and you can also have a bit of a compromise of having a small keel, and then the daggerboard. Or you can have like your boat was, which had daggerboards in the lead hull, so you didn’t need to lift the rudders. The rudders are still higher than the bottom of the keel.

how to use daggerboards on catamarans

Although there’s a lot of places in the world where you don’t have to beach the boat, the most obvious to say: the Great Lakes in North America, Florida, the Bahamas, most of the Caribbean in fact, you don’t have to. The Mediterranean. They don’t have tides and so you’re not in the beach.

I’ll just show you this. I’m just going to turn the camera around a bit now. As you can see, this is our house now. In fact, it’s low water and we have about an 18-foot tidal rise, so that’s more than you. It actually is neat, so it goes up quite a bit further. But we are used to drying out for six hours a day, every day when we moor our boats. So for us, it’s much more important to have good protection for the bottom of the boat.

If you’re sailing in Florida and then you sail up to say, Cape Maine, you suddenly get to the box and you get this 10, 12-foot tide, and you do want to go around, either deliberately or what not. With daggerboarded boats, you’ve got to think about a lot more when you’re beaching a boat.

The interior room, you might think that was a problem. But usually you can make the daggerboard, say, fit around the side of a heads compartment, or the galley worktop, or something like that, so it’s never really a problem. You can have the dagger board on the inside or the outside of the hull, it doesn’t seem to make much of a problem either.

how to use daggerboards on catamarans

But the other thing is that the daggerboards are more expensive to make because you’ve got to make the daggerboard case, which is in effect, same as making a keel. Then the daggerboard and then the controls for the daggerboard, so that all adds to cost and complication.

And there’s definitely a learning curve to knowing how to use the daggerboard effectively, and have that experience. So are they less of a beginner kind of attribute on a catamaran and more of a somebody who’s been sailing for a while?

Yes. There’s no point really, in having daggerboards if you’re not going to use them. Essentially, that means having them in simplest, both down sailing to windward, and then lift the leeboard when you’re reaching, and lift both when you’re sailing downwind. That’s the normal.

But you can have the position of, if you’re sailing in big seas, especially big quartering sea downwind, the tail wags the dog. In other words, the rudder steers, and it’s not actually doing anything, because there’s no hull in the water. Then, it makes it a lot easier having the daggerboards both half down.

how to use daggerboards on catamarans

So yes, you learn quite quickly how your boat behaves according to whether the daggerboards are up or down.

The other thing that I found, is that a lot of people, when they break a daggerboard, it tends to be the lead daggerboard that breaks. When you’re sailing, that’s the side that gets powered up when you’re pushing down on being hit by a wave, and pushing sideways tends to break the daggerboard.

Of course the other thing is, it’s quite a good ultimate echo sounder. We have never actually broken a daggerboard, on any boat, I don’t think. When we were, this is a good excuse because it was an unmarked reef, but we were sailing off Nicaragua, and we were sailing at eight knots. We hit a reef with the daggerboard and the boat stopped dead. In fact, my wife fell over. It was driving a car at 10 miles an hour into a wall, sort of effect, and once we sorted ourselves out, and we lifted the daggerboard, we lost about the trailing edge, about a foot by four inches being totally destroyed. We had a mill u-volt, a 5/16th u-volt, as an up haul, and that was bent completely flat by the force of the boat stopping.

I guess it was a sacrificial item!

We still sailed.

Right. That’s what I’m thinking. Rather than hitting the reef with your boat, you hit it with something sacrificial. They can be expensive to replace, but…

Yes. We didn’t hit it with the boat, no. We hit it with something that we could carry on for another three months before we actually had it taken out of the boat and repaired.

how to use daggerboards on catamarans

Of course, that’s always something. If you can take the broken bit to the mechanic, or to the boat yard, that’s always better than doing it the other way around. Usually, you can carry on sailing with one daggerboard or two half-daggerboards, whatever, but it is quite a common problem.

As I say, if you’ve got a conventional inboard engine with fixed rudders, there are quite a lot of multihulls around, even here, but they’re treated like monohulls. You can’t, for example, go to the Scilly Isles and go to Hawaii, and Green Bay, which is a wonderful place to spend a lifetime, really. It’s the nearest the equivalent of going into the Bahamas. But you can’t do that if you’ve got a boat you can’t dry out.

how to use daggerboards on catamarans

I guess that’s why multihulls became so much more popular in the UK before other places.

Everything in design, it’s always interconnected. Going back to the comfort, and the rolling. If you look at the Scilly Isles, which are 30 miles off the Southwest corner of England, sort of like saying you’re going out of Miami, and there’s the Bahamas. It’s not quite that far, but it’s pretty near the same as going to Bimini.

how to use daggerboards on catamarans

There’s a whole stack of islands, but the pilot guide says there is no safe anchorage, because it was written by a monohull sailor. We’ve been and they say, “You know, if you go into this anchorage, then you’re going to be as protected as you can be.” We’ve been into those anchorages, and they’ve been horrible, because you’re open to when the tide’s in. You’re open to the ocean because when they’re out, it’s out in the Atlantic. When you can dry out, you go onto these lovely sandy beaches, and you can dry out and you’re safe then.

Well that’s cool. So thank you Richard, that was fascinating on daggerboards and keels.

  • Tags Buying Advice , Richard Woods

Diane Selkirk

By Diane Selkirk

I love to travel and have spent the past seven years sailing with my family aboard our 40 Woods Meander catamaran - traveling from B.C.'s north coast, to the west coast of the US, Mexico, the South Pacific, Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia, across the Indian Ocean to South Africa and on to St Helena, South America, the Caribbean and Central America.

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Keels or Daggerboards, the pros and cons

When writing about foils (ie boards, keels and rudders) it is easy to baffle people by talking about lift to drag ratios, NACA sections, end plates, twist, stall, Karman vortices and all the rest. So I won't - it's probably best to leave all that to designers and hydrodynamacists Instead I'll try to help those who want to know the basics; like should they have keels or boards on their multihull?

I'm not just a multihull designer; I'm also a (home) boatbuilder and owner. Currently I own two catamarans, one with daggerboards and one with keels. Over the last 30 years I have owned five cruising catamarans with keels, nine with daggerboards and one with one centerboard. Furthermore, I am one of the few designers who has fitted LAR keels and boards to the same hull (on Strider, Sagitta and Banshee) and then sailed them against each other.

As with everything to do with yacht design, leeway prevention is a complex subject. And it is not helped by the fact that boats are not just for sailing. You load them down and treat them as a floating cottage when you live aboard them. You motor them, you dry them out (either when the tide goes out or when stored ashore in a boatyard). And you have to pay for it all.

===========================

First a bit of simple theory

The main factor determining the efficiency of a foil is its "Aspect Ratio" (AR) or the ratio of it's depth to width. I think we all know that a high aspect ratio foil is more "efficient" than one with a low aspect ratio. A 3:1 AR is generally considered ideal for rigs but is usually too high for foils. In fact a 1:1 AR is OK for keels, although 2:1 or a bit more is better. In other words, a 1.5m deep daggerboard on a 10m boat will be about 750mm fore/aft (or more properly called it's "chord"). And it will be about 75mm thick, as the thickness of a foil should be about 8-10% of the chord.

Despite the fact that high AR foils are more efficient, there are a couple of reasons for limiting AR. As the AR increases the chord decreases and so the foil becomes thinner and clearly it is then also weaker. Unfortunately the foil loads have gone up (because the deeper the foil the further the Centre of Lateral Resistance (CLR) is from the bottom of the hull, so the lever has lengthened). So long, narrow foils are more prone to damage (one reason all those monohull keels have snapped off - a J800 lost one just recently).

In addition, the higher the AR the easier it is to stall the foil. When a foil stalls it stops "working", this is most obvious after tacking in a sloppy sea and you find that the boat won't sail properly for a couple of boat lengths. That is because the foil has stalled. In other words, you have to be sailing in flat water and be a very attentive helmsman to avoid stalling a high AR foil.

The lower the AR the bigger the foils area has to be to compensate for the reduced efficiency, however a lower AR is more tolerant of shape, surface roughness and angle of attack (which basically makes it easier to sail)

So how big should a foil be? Roughly 4% of the sail area is a good starting point. Some designers use very small boards. That may be OK in theory, which says that you sail in flat water at maximum speed, but in practice I find you need a bigger board to cope with waves and slow sailing, never mind tacking in a lumpy sea.

Whilst on the dangers of too much theory. Many race boats use sophisticated shapes and low drag sections. Don't use them unless, like top racing boats, you also dry sail your boat. Only the simplest shapes work with a rough surface (even new, clean antifouling is considered rough), these fancy shapes need a smooth, ie a mirror finish, to be of benefit.

I definitely don't like asymmetric foils. True they may give a bit more lift but only one can be used at a time, the other HAS to be raised. So you are carrying around the extra weight of a second board and box plus wasting time adjusting boards after each tack which all makes it not worth the very small efficiency gain.

Many people, especially cruisers, don't mind compromising on performance if it means an easier life, more load carrying and greater protection for the rudders and propellers. And that is why Low Aspect Ratio (LAR) keels are so popular. In much the same way as monohull sailors buy a long keel boat rather than one with a fin keel.

Unfortunately, using LAR keels results in a slower boat and more pitching. That is because to optimize speed you need a hull with buoyancy in the ends, not in the middle (technically you need a high Prismatic Coefficient - Cp). Clearly adding a LAR keel adds buoyancy in exactly the wrong place. Furthermore the midships buoyancy makes the boat pitch more as the hull is more "diamond-like". Having said that the buoyancy in the keel adds to total displacement, so you can carry more gear. And you can use the keel as a water tank/shower sump or even somewhere to fit an engine.

As I have just said, a lower AR means having a bigger foil and so clearly a LAR keel has to have much more area than a daggerboard. Thus the wetted surface area (WSA) is significantly increased, especially when sailing offwind compared to a daggerboarded boat with raised boards. And WSA is the prime source of drag at low speeds. So most designers draw a compromise keel which is smaller than strictly needed to balance the sail forces. But these forces must still balance and this can only be done by having a wider sheeting angle. Which in turn means a LAR boat cannot point as high as one with daggerboards.

So all in all boats with LAR keels are slower on all points of sail and in all conditions when compared to a daggerboarded boat. Say 5deg more leeway and 2deg less pointing. Remember it is hard to tell ones real leeway from looking back at the wake as in a seaway the top 2-3ft of water is blown sideways by the wind. So unless the keel is in deep still water you don't notice that you are drifting sideways until you look at the gps.

Further Design Considerations

Boards can be daggerboards (ie adjusted vertically) or centerboards (ie adjusted by rotating). Even though centre boards sometimes fit better into the accommodation layout and can pivot aft without damage when hitting the ground, daggerboards have proven far more popular. Probably because the centerboard pivot bolt often leaks, while it is very difficult to stop the water surging in the case with the board down, and it is easier for "Stuff" to get stuck in the gap between slot and board, thus jamming the board. A centerboard box/centerboard is probably heavier than using daggerboards. And finally it is harder to remove a centerboard for painting/maintenance.

Angled boards actually take up little interior room and can always be incorporated into accommodation dividers - the nav table bulkhead on a Banshee, the hanging locker on a Sagitta, against the hull side on a Merlin for example. More important is that they then don't bang around in a sloppy sea. Providing the board is angled at under 15deg to the vertical I haven't found any disadvantage in using angled boards. Nor have I noticed any difference between boards placed on the inside of the hull and those on the outside. Certainly there is no advantage in having vertical boards fitted on the hull centerline.

Don't use central boards though the bridgedeck. They simply don't work well. The Prout brothers discovered that in 1953 when they fitted a central board on the prototype Shearwater. By 1954 they had fitted boards in the hulls. The Stiletto catamaran started with a central daggerboard but owners quickly found that converting to ones in the hulls improved performance significantly.

The bottom of a LAR keel should be horizontal, otherwise you'll dry out at angle (OK I know that in many areas boats never dry out, but you want your boat level when in a boatyard) Even worse is a keel that is too short as then the boat can fall forward or aft when people move to bow/stern. Clearly dangerous and damaging to crew and boat.

Building Considerations

Boards are heavy, and more expensive than LAR keels, there's nothing one can do about that. To save weight you can make a short board, so that when down the top of the board is below deck level. Daggerboards can be profiled over their full length. But in that case you need to make the board first, and then make the box round the board. So you need to make expensive boards early on during the build.

The alternative is to profile only the below water portion, leaving the rest rectangular. This means the box is also rectangular, so the board can be made after the box. True, there is some extra turbulence when the board is half raised, but you can negate much of that by fitting a profiled cover plate on the outer side. Also I've found that there are less chance of leaks with a rectangular box and more important, weed, twigs etc are less likely to get between board and case and jam the board.

Many people suggest building a "crash box" to absorb any grounding shock. But be warned! I made one once years ago as an experiment on a dinghy. I ran aground and the board moved back into the crash box, exactly as planned. But then jammed - not part of the plan!! I had to capsize to free the board so I could raise it. Hardly practical on a cruising catamaran!

I haven't used a crash box since, relying instead on a very heavy laminate at the back of the box. My reasoning is that the tapered trailing edge of a board is far weaker than the box and so will always fail first. I proved that when hitting an unmarked reef off Nicaragua and we lost about 300mm x 100 mm of board, yet the box itself was undamaged.

Boards are generally made in timber or foam/glass. I prefer plywood over laminated timber as it is easier to profile. Foam boards are attractive in theory, but it is very hard to stop them warping and getting the correct shape without making a mould first is almost impossible. If you do make a mould you have to join the two halves, and remember boards don't just bend they also twist.

If you can, fit LAR keels as late as possible, this keeps the boat nearer the ground during building and saves a lot of ladder climbing.

What about in use?

Unlike boards, LAR keels are very much fit and forget. So there isn't much to say about keels, except to make sure you have a good sacrificial beaching strip and keep it maintained.

It is sensible to lift the lee daggerboard when reaching, as I have found that most breakages are of the lee board as it gets very loaded at speed. However lifting both boards in a big cross sea is not a good idea as that loads the rudders and that, apart from anything else, makes it heavier to steer, so have both boards half down.

Not being able to lift the lee board for half the time is one reason why I don't like using only one board in one hull. Doing so also means the board is much bigger so there are more local loads and of course it is harder to adjust. And it doesn't seem right to have the CLR so far offline. However if you do fit one board don't fit it in the galley hull as that is always heavier than the other hull.

Lifting the lee board to allow the boat to slip sideways is commonly thought a good idea. I'm not convinced. Tank test work has shown that having a deep lee hull actually helps prevent capsizing. That is because the windward hull lifts to a breaking sea, the sea goes under the bridgedeck and hits the lee hull. Because it is deep it is pushed sideways, which dissipates any overturning energy.

People often think you need a long keel (monohull or multihull) to steer straight "hands off". That simply isn't true. Good directional stability depends on the hull balance. A properly designed daggerboarded boat will sail as straight as a LAR keel one, and have the additional benefit of being quicker to tack and maneuver when necessary.

Finally, if you run aground, you can lift the boards to get off, but remain stuck with keels.

If you don't ever expect to race then keels are OK

If you think crosscut Dacron sails are good enough then keels are OK

If you trail your boat regularly fit dagger boards

If you have wheel steering and inboard engines and expect to dry out often fit keels

If you want the best performance then fit dagger boards, but be prepared to use them

how to use daggerboards on catamarans

9 Best Cruising Catamarans With Daggerboards or Centerboards!

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Many sailing enthusiasts shopping for their first cruising catamaran might find it rather challenging to determine the best choice for their needs. If you’re in the market for a cruising catamaran with a daggerboard, then look no further. I have done the research and built a list of nine of the best daggerboard catamarans. 

The best cruising catamarans with daggerboards or centerboards provide great cruising capability, comfortable living, ease of handling, and strong construction. Based on different styles, designs, sizes, and prices, some of the best catamarans are Outremer 45, Catana 50, and Balance 526. 

If catamaran cruising is a passion you have been longing to pursue, keep reading. You might find your dream boat and become inspired to make your cruising vacation a reality.  

Dagger/Centerboards and Their Role in Catamaran Sailing

Unlike a traditional sailboat with a single hull (monohull), a catamaran balances on two hulls, with the sails sitting in the middle. Some catamarans come equipped with daggerboards (or centerboards) whose work is to balance the force of the wind acting on the sails.

Understanding the difference between centerboards and daggerboards can help you make an informed decision when selecting a sailboat or when considering modifications to your current vessel.

If you’re sailing a catamaran with daggerboards, you’d raise the daggerboard on the leeward hull while fully extending the upwind daggerboard. This improves the catamaran’s stability when sailing windward during heavy conditions. The adjustment thus makes the boat less susceptible to capsizing. 

When will a catamaran capsize?

Should You Choose a Catamaran With Daggerboards?

In general, catamarans with daggerboards perform far, much better than those without. That’s because the boat’s design focuses heavily on performance. What’s more, renowned experts design the boats with the best hulls and make the boats lighter by tweaking the materials used. 

In general, catamarans with daggerboards perform far, much better than those without.

So, if you’re looking to reach speeds of 28 all the way up to 30 knots (55 km/h), then choose a cruising catamaran equipped with daggerboards. When sailing upwind, such catamarans sail much closer to the wind and are way faster than their comfort-focused counterparts. In comparison, most traditional cruising boats can only manage 10-15 knots (18-27 km/h).

What makes the catamaran so fast, and why is this type of boat even faster?

  • You can cover much longer distances in a day with a daggerboard catamaran.
  • Their high speed allows for faster ocean crossings. 
  • They deliver superior performance, particularly in upwind directions.
  • You can anchor your catamaran on shallow waters – after raising the boards.
  • A faster cruiser means additional safety since you can outrun a storm or avoid an incoming one. 
  • They entail more work and maintenance. 
  • They require you to learn how to operate them safely. 
  • They are expensive – daggerboards come with an additional amount of up to $30.000 on the construction price.
  • The daggerboard compartment consumes some of the space from the hull’s living area, thus limiting your comfort.

Now, let’s have a look at some of the best cruising catamarans with daggerboards.

The Dolphin Ocema 42

The Dolphin Ocema 42 is a cruising catamaran built in Northern Brazil. The boat comes equipped with daggerboards and can thus point higher windward. But it also boasts a smaller wet surface when running and can pull with ease into shallower anchorages – 3 feet ( 0.91m) or less. That means that you can anchor your catamaran far from the crowd (or beach it ), then walk ashore. It also gives you more anchorage space to choose from.

However, it’s important to note that: 

  • Raising the Dolphin’s daggerboards means exposing her rudders from underwater hazards. 
  • The daggerboard could place the hull’s integrity at risk in case of a grounding. 
  • The trunk consumes valuable interior space. 

Created by designer Philipe Pouvreau, the Dolphin 42 is the only Dolphin model that boasts daggerboards. The boat strives hard to balance performance and comfortable cruising in a compact package. As a result, the cruising catamaran sports a foam core which helps in reducing its overall weight. 

While some of the Dolphins built later at various custom shipyards bear some additions or structural modifications, most Dolphins are high-quality, safe, comfortable, and perform successful circumnavigations.  

Pricing : $220,000-$350,000

The Outremer 45

The Outremer 45 is a Gerard Danson design. This classic cruising catamaran is unique in that it didn’t undergo mass production like most multihulls. Instead, the French Outremer came from a semi-production manufacturing line where all interior parts are laminated directly to the hull, forming an extremely stiff structure.

This classic cruising catamaran is unique in that it didn’t undergo mass production like most multihulls.

One downside to this catamaran is that it comes with a much smaller interior than other boats. Also, it doesn’t come cheap. However, everything else about the Outremer makes it the perfect sailor’s boat because:

  • It’s highly responsive to the helm.
  • It has a high bridge deck clearance.
  • It comes with well-proportioned bows.
  • It features balanced weight distribution, which helps to minimize pitching.

Earlier models featured soft canvas bimini (optional) covering a stainless framework, while later ones had optional overhead composite panels. The latter provides a better option since canvas tends to become waterlogged when it rains. 

You can order the Outremer 45 as an owner version, a club version with additional berths, or a four-cabin layout. 

Pricing: $320,000-$560,000

The Atlantic 42

The Atlantic 42’s efficiency and aesthetics have resulted in the growth of a massive loyal following. Despite being the smallest of the Atlantic cruising catamarans, the A42 is quite popular with sailors due to its ocean-faring capabilities, ease of handling, and excellent use of space. This catamaran embodies a true classic right from the forward cockpit, through the pilothouse, the sleeping cabins, to the galleys.

Unlike other catamarans, the Atlantic 42 has a waist-high cockpit located in front of the pilothouse and behind the mast. It boasts a solid construction owing to the large metal bearers running over the bulkheads.

Unlike other catamarans, the Atlantic 42 has a waist-high cockpit located in front of the pilothouse and behind the mast.

This setup provides the boat with maximum strength, better air circulation beneath the engine, and high flexibility when it comes to engine size and positioning. 

At first, the vessel’s style and outlook appeared rather conservative, but with time, it was evident that the Atlantic 42 was a long-lasting catamaran built using high-quality materials. The boat’s exterior looks stunning, and the interior is quite impressive as well, while spacious aft cabin accommodation and shower compartments are an additional bonus.

Pricing: Contact Chris White Designs

The Gunboat 62

If you’re looking for a vessel that can fit all your gear plus more during your voyages, then the Gunboat 62 is the ideal cruising catamaran for you. And guess what? You can stuff all your gear and equipment in this vessel and still outperform a similar-sized racing monohull. The boat’s helm seat is not only comfortable but also offers 360-degree visibility, ample storage space, a working surface, and a luxurious cabin. 

The Gunboat 62 is among the best top-performing catamarans in the market, and this particular series set up the Gunboat brand. It performs incredibly well during storms with speeds of 35 knots (64.82 km/hr) and beyond despite its epoxy, E-glass, and carbon-fiber build. Furthermore, its design features a distinct angular outline, quite unlike most similar-sized catamarans. 

The Gunboat 62 is among the best top-performing catamarans in the market, and this particular series set up the Gunboat brand

Since it’s light in weight, this catamaran can sail upwind at speeds above 17 knots (31.48 km/h) while pinching up to 30 degrees. Indeed, this catamaran boat can easily tack through 95 degrees and still manage to outshine the fastest racing monohull. And, like most performance catamaran cruisers, the Gunboat 62 can reach almost 20 knots (37.004 km/h) under the right conditions.  

Pricing: Contact Gunboat

Check out this list of the fastest cruising Cats on the market!

Gemini 105Mc

The Gemini 105Mc is the ideal cruising catamaran for you if you’re in the market for a boat to use for weekend sailing trips. The boat is also comfortable enough for long cruising vacations since it boasts spacious accommodation, great design, and delivers a stable cruising platform. 

This vessel is more of a sailing cottage. Designed by the renowned Tony Smith, the 35 feet (10.6m) floating cottage is also cozy, safe, and good value for money since its price is quite reasonable.

This vessel is more of a sailing cottage.

The boat comes with incredibly slim, teardrop-shaped hulls with flat bottoms and a smaller wetted surface, allowing for minimal drag. It also leads towards more leeway when under sail. The hulls sport a kick-up centerboard which helps to enhance the catamaran’s windward pointing abilities. Furthermore, the rudders rise to enable the boat to cruise in shallow waters with ease, while most vessels tend to run aground.

The Gemini 105Mc has a narrow beam measuring about 40% of its length. This is quite unlike today’s beams at 50%. Still, the boat’s low center keeps it upright, stable, and safe. Although no longer in production, you can still purchase a preowned Gemini 105Mc . 

Pricing: Contact Gemini Catamarans

The Catana 50

There are only 2 Catana production sites in France, this guarantees exceptionally high-quality standards in every boat. The Catana infrastructure is more advanced than that of other catamarans and features spacious bridge-deck clearance and a high freeboard. In addition, its curved daggerboards drastically reduce the drag, while crash boards ensure the buoyancy of any of the Cantana models.  

The Catana 50’s daggerboards angle slightly inward to maximize lift under sail and enhance lateral resistance underwater. They are thus more effective than the long but shallow keels found in other catamarans. As a result, this catamaran performs exceptionally well to windward. When sailing off the wind, raising the boards helps to minimize drag.

The Catana 50 is an ultramodern catamaran designed to make long-distance passages easy and safe. This massive sailboat measures almost 50 feet (15.24m) long and sports a beam of around 26 feet (7.92 m). Most people consider it the best-built and most fashionable cruising catamaran, but the boat is bound to test your sailing skills if you plan to sail it solo.  

The Catana 50 is an ultramodern catamaran designed to make long-distance passages easy and safe.

The amazing catamaran features a rig that allows you to use a screecher or a self-tending jib. While this might sound complex, the Catana 50 is fairly easy to tack once you set out on the course.

This performance-oriented catamaran boasts efficient hulls and rigs that allow for fast speeds. Also, its long waterline, along with the bow’s subtle underwater shape, helps boost volume while lessening wave drag. The stern platforms can also aid in stretching the length of the waterline while allowing easy access from a dock. If a collision were to occur, the sturdy board trunks would protect the hulls. 

Pricing: About $1.4 million

McConaghy MC50

The McConaghy MC50 launched in 2018. A fast cruising cat designed to cross oceans, this catamaran came with impressive features such as a skylight smack in the center of the coachroof that allows light to flood in. Also, the saloon has an extending table that provides adequate space for up to eight diners and converts into a lounging room when you install the fill-in cushion. 

The galley boasts an induction hob and molded-in sinks, while a navigation station occupies a spot at the front of the saloon – providing good visibility and systems access. The vessel’s unique design simulates a penthouse apartment on the deck with 35 to 40m2 (376.74 to 430.56ft2) of space, possibly the largest in a 50ft (15.24m) yacht.

The MC50’s 3.5m-deep (11.48ft) hydraulic centerboards boost the boat’s upwind performance and include a fail-safe if an underwater collision occurs. The boards take only 12 seconds to raise. This catamaran delivers great pace and upwind capability, all wrapped up in a high-quality, stylish, and roomy interior.

The key to the MC50’s outstanding performance is the optimized hull shape and the 40% carbon fiber lay-up, which result in greater stiffness. Exhibiting great engineering detail, the hydraulic centreboards swing into the hulls, providing a welcome solution to the challenge of having daggerboards without eating up too much accommodation space. 

Pricing: Contact McConaghy Boats .

Atlantic 47 Mastfoil

The Atlantic 47 is one of Chris White’s spectacular designs. It places the cockpit forward of the deckhouse, the aft deck sits behind the pilothouse, and the large pilothouse has easy hull access.

This unique design enhances the safety and functionality of the Atlantic 47 as it provides the crew with full forward visibility and easy, safe access to the sailing controls. It also transforms the traditional deckhouse into an appealing and more comfortable pilothouse.  

All Atlantic cats come equipped with daggerboards, with the majority sporting vertically retracting ones. That’s because to sail upwind really well, a catamaran requires deep, well-shaped hydrofoils underneath the boat to enable it to claw windward.

An excellent top performer, the Atlantic 47 combines great cruising capability, comfortable living, and ease of handling. This spacious boat also boasts a generous aft deck, a high all-around bulwark, and a starboard walk-through for quick and easy access to the dinghy.

All Atlantic Cats sport an impressive safety record owing to their robust construction, innovative design, and easy handling. Besides, the indoor watch-keeping capability helps to minimize crew fatigue, allowing safe and more enjoyable cruising. To further enhance their safety, all boats contain watertight collision bulkheads in addition to emergency capsize habitation. 

Pricing : Contact Chris White Designs .

The Balance 526 

A passion for building the best-performing cruising catamaran d esigned for speed, comfort, and perfect for families . The ability to carry cruising payloads inspired the Balance 526 . Designed by a team highly experienced in sailing, cruising, racing, and building catamarans, the 526 is simple to operate, maintain, and offers gracious, elegant living.

With state-of-the-art beds, showers, cabinetry, and finishes, the European-styled interiors feature high-end interior design. What’s more, you can pilot this exceptional vessel single-handed owing to the innovative design, reefing station, and self-tending blade jib . These features allow almost anyone to maneuver the catamaran safely through any weather.

If you’re seeking optimal performance under sail, you can configure this cruising catamaran with either dual daggerboards or high-performance fixed keels . The great thing about using the fully retractable dual daggerboards is that you can sail in shallow waters and beach your catamaran without any problems. 

To enhance upwind performance, place the boards in the down position, and raise them to improve off wind performance. In dangerous cross seas, the Balance 526 side-slips prevent the tripping effect related to large fin-keeled catamarans. 

The balance 526 comes with the all-weather Versahelm design. A first in catamaran design, it accords serious cruisers the best of both worlds. You can slide open the hardtop and sail in the open air during fair weather, close it in foul weather, and get into the aft cockpit. The down position allows you to scan around as you look for docking and provides a warm, safe, and comfy place to pilot the 526 in any weather.

To combat fatigue, the Balance 526 thoughtfully comes with adjustable helm chairs. There’s also a retractable helm standing platform that you can raise to increase sightlines whenever you pilot over the bows, navigate narrow channels, or cluttered estuaries. 

Strong but light, this vessel weighs under 12.5 tons (11,339.81 kg). Hence, if you ever need to outrun or position away from bad weather, the Balance 526 will speedily and safely take you wherever you need to go. 

Pricing : Contact Balance Catamarans

Final Thoughts

As you can see from this list, cruising catamarans with daggerboards are available in a wide range of designs, styles, and sizes. This can make choosing the best one a bit overwhelming. Still, whether you’re looking to get a catamaran at a bargain, an exceptional performer, or a classic, there’s a boat to suit every need and budget.  

The best thing is to look beyond the fancy designs, layout, or equipment and consider fundamentals. These include sound construction, a good sail plan, cruising capability, ease of handling, and comfortable living.

  • Wikipedia: Daggerboard
  • McConaghy Boats: McConaghy Boats
  • Sail magazine: 10 Great Cruising Cats
  • Sail magazine: Catana 50
  • Gunboat: Home
  • Gemini Catamarans: Home
  • Gemini Catamarans: Gemini 105Mc Design Touch Overview
  • Chris White Designs: Atlantic 47 Mastfoil
  • Chris White Designs: Home
  • Catamaran-Outremer: Outremer 45
  • Sail How: Which Catamarans Have Daggerboards?
  • Yachting World: Performance cruisers: the best new catamarans for racing and fast cruising 2018
  • Dreamy Yacht Sales: Best Catamaran Brands Guide – 6 Top Catamarans
  • Hellenic Shipping News: Daggerbards in Demand on Cruising Boats
  • Balance Catamarans: The Perfect Harmony of Performance and Livability
  • Multihulls-World: Catamaran Basics the Daggerboards: Understanding and Adjusting Them

Owner of CatamaranFreedom.com. A minimalist that has lived in a caravan in Sweden, 35ft Monohull in the Bahamas, and right now in his self-built Van. He just started the next adventure, to circumnavigate the world on a Catamaran!

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Catamaran daggerboard design and use

Discussion in ' Multihulls ' started by Steve W , Aug 2, 2017 .

Steve W

Steve W Senior Member

I am a bit confused over the pros and cons of different types of daggerboard setups. A lot of performance cats such as those designed by Tennant, Grainger etc use boards installed down the inside face of the hulls meaning that the board is vertical when the windward hull us just clear of the water whereas a lot of newer cats are installing them following the outside angle which to me seem less than optimal for a couple of reasons such as being more difficult to operate hanging out over the water usually requiring some kind of apparatus to raise them and also longer boards since you cant cantilever them down inside the trunk so , more weight, also it would seem to me that as the boat lifts a hull the board would be less vertical so provide less lateral resistance so maybe need more board deployed. I'm talking straight boards here, c foils would seem to be worse still at providing lift ( as in to weather, not upward lift) Using a straight board following the angle of the outboard face of the hull does not seem like enough angle to provide significant hydrodynamic lift to me to be worth the disadvantages ( hence c foils) but I could be wrong, just trying to understand the reasoning. Steve.  

Doug Lord

Doug Lord Flight Ready

If you haven't seen it, this article may be of some help: Daggerboard Debate http://www.proboat.com/2010/04/daggerboard-debate/  

jorgepease

jorgepease Senior Member

That was a good article!  

farjoe

farjoe Senior Member

Are there any websites dedicated to the design and construction of homebuilt lifting foils for boats under 6m?  
Don't know of any websites so far, but there is an excellent book: "Hydrofoils Design Build Fly" by Ray Vellinga and available on Amazon.  
Doug Lord said: ↑ Don't know of any websites so far, but there is an excellent book: "Hydrofoils Design Build Fly" by Ray Vellinga and available on Amazon. Click to expand...

catsketcher

catsketcher Senior Member

Gday Steve One major reason is because of accomodation. Some early cats had vertical boards but these severely impacted the use of the hulls. So you have to go either outboard and cant one way or inboard and cant the other. From there it may come down to safety vs speed. For a non lifting board (all Tennats are non lifting) all the board does is provide a vertical force. In a racing boat that flies a hull and sails at a high angle an inward board will be more vertical when hull flying as well as easier to pull up and down. On top of this you don't have any worries about boards at the marina hanging over the side. Against this is safety. A little Aussie cat, the Seawind 24, had outboard boards that were heavily angled. Owners reported that when hit by a gust the boat would slide to leeward, lifting the leeward hull and pulling down the windward hull. The little Seawind was a pretty great boat. So a cruiser/racer designed by say Lock Crowther, that was not meant to fly a hull regularly would have the outboard boards. On my cat the boards are outboard and only have a modest cant. I have never flown a hull so it works pretty well. cheers Phil  

UpOnStands

UpOnStands Senior Member

Also, more recent cat designs tend to have more vertical outboard hull sides. This can minimize some of the problems.  
Thanks guys, I used to own a Macgregor 36 cat that had a single vertical board in the port hull that you had to crawl past to get into the berth, It was a cantilevered board like Malcolm Tennants boats so the strong points were the bunk top and the hull bottom. On a cat with a single board vertical was probably a reasonable compromise but they went to 2 boards on later models. All beach cats are vertical (until the introduction of lifting foils) as they don't have accomodations to impact, although they are not cantilevered. It seems to me that unless you are getting significant hydrodynamic lift from the outboard boards they would be more of a pita as I would think they would need to be longer and need some kind of frame to raise them ( heavier). Even if you can push them down manually it can be precarious doing so, they can as Phil mentioned hang way out the side when raised and be less effective at preventing leeway as the boat heels and lifts a hull whereas the inboard style board gets more vertical so I would expect you would need less board deployed (less drag). So, what I'm curious about is if the lift generated by a board that is angled inward at, say, 5-8 degrees enough to be worthwhile given all the negatives in every other area in the real world ? I have a friend who bought a cat where the boards have been moved from inboard to outboard so someone thought it would be but who knows if it panned out. Grainger has some interesting thoughts on his website, he considers Mad Max to be one of the fastest cats in Aus and I see it still has its boards inboard. I'm sure the choice of inboard or outboard location at the design stage would depend a lot on the type of layout of the cat, ie, with a net and tube racing cat such as a GBE inboard is very convenient and simple whereas outboard would make more sense on a cat with a bridgedeck cabin but on a net and tube racing cat where efficiency is the only goal which way would you go? My other question relates to the actual use of the boards, how much to deploy on the various points of sail at different wind speeds. Obviously you would use more board upwind, less reaching and even less to none running but how much? I would guess that the more speed you have upwind the more lift you are generating so the less board you would need. It seems to me that you would want as little board as possible deployed for drag reduction but I don't know. Thanks for any insight, Steve.  

groper

groper Senior Member

to go upwind its pretty much more board the better. practical size limits the ultimate size. As to cant - the more vertical the better for upwind performance. some race boats cant them inwards so they are vertical once flying hull - not applicable to cruising boats. A good cruising boat still needs good upwind performance tho, and they normally travel with little heel - hence the vertical boards are ideal for performance but they ruin the interior space - which is also important for cruising . So the best compromise on a cruising boat would be whichever cant was less - inward or out, and keep the board running down the topsides so you don't have a trunk in the middle of the hull and maximise interior utility. Really big cats however - can have a trunk in the center and you still have enough room in the hull to fit full size accommodation spaces on both sides of it - this doesn't apply to smaller boats tho. For racing it can go either way depending on whether the boat is designed to float or fly. Some vertical lift may increase speed - such as the C boards used on the racing trimarans, however you loose some leeway due to the angle. The racing tris offset this loss by including the centreboard in addition to the C boards in the amas. If the race boat is a floater only - then inward cant is likely best so the board is vertical providing maximum lift upwind whilst the boat is heeled and flying a hull. This concept is proven as the fastest smallish catamaran in Australia right now is setup like this (40fter). Round the bouys racing is usually won on the upwind performance - less so on the downwind and reach legs. Assymetric boards is another consideration - again is depends on the intended usage. For racing maximum lift to drag ratio is paramount - hence better to use assymetric boards 1 at a time and size them accordingly. For cruising - most people cant be bothered rasing and lowering on every tack and the total performance not so important to most people. Hence they normally use symmetric boards both down at once. More area in the water but and not as good lift to drag ratio - set and forget when tacking upwind... Horses for courses steve - no simple answers I'm afraid  
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Hi Groper, thanks for the insight, pretty much my thoughts also. On cruising cats you either have low aspect keels or either kickup centerboards or if it is more performance oriented daggerboards which, as you say, usually follow the outside angle of the hull topside because of how they fit with accomodations rather than any sailing related issue. However with net and tube type racing cats you get to choose whether they angle in or out at the design stage based on performance alone. To my way of thinking angling out such as most of Tennant and Grainger cats have them place for two reasons, easier to raise and lower so they can be cantilevered down into the trunk so they can be considerably shorter for the same draft so , lighter. Daggers are rarely very light so any savings in length is worthwhile plus you don't need any additional structures for raising them which is also a weight saving. The other more obvious advantage is of course the board is close to vertical when the windward hull is just out of the water. I would guess that with them angled inward ( underwater) you would need to deploy more board for leeway resistance (more drag). I have however seen cats switch from outboard angled boards to inward angled which leads to my confusion, I totally understand the desire for hydrodynamic lift and on tris its a no brainer as, as you say, they have a daggerboard in the main hull for upwind work and also the boards in the amas can, and are angled at a much greater angle than can be achieved on a cat so provide real lift, even with simple straight boards. I just question how much lift a board in a cat angled at maybe 5-10 degrees give vs the disadvantages. As far as asymetrical boards go they only make sense on actively sailed cats, ie racing cats and I think would be necessary on cats with inward angled boards. In the US we have Gemini cruising cats with asymetric centerboards that require you to go down into one hull and crank a winch handle to raise one and then cross over to the other lower the other. Not going to happen imho on a cruising boat. Steve.  

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Boat Design Net

By Bernd Kohler - The Netherlands

Revering to Mr Szudy`s article about dagger boards . They can be a necessary nuisance. But are also helpful sailing to windward. As you will know I am a multihull person. Good ability to sail to windwards is for this type of boats even more important. Because fast multihulls sail for about 60% of the time to windwards (apparent wind). I found for some hull cross section, with my anti-vortex panels, a simple solution.

A-symmetrical hulls need no boards at all. My catamaran designs up to 9m (27ft) have daggerboard rudders with an automatic kick up system. When an obstacle is hit (also logs), the rudder is pulled out of the slot and the bungee cord pulls the rudder up. To get the rudder down again you push the rudder down till it jumps in the slot again. We have used this rudder system now for 22 years without problems on different multi hulls.

how to use daggerboards on catamarans

The system can be also adapted for daggerboards. (See sketch below - This is a dimensionless drawing to explain the function.) The dagger board case has to be angled on the front, so that the dagger board can slip out of the key. So when an obstacle is hit the PVC tube will be bent and the dagger board turns forward. At this moment the slot in the board falls out of the key and the bungee cord pulls the board up.

To have the board working again push it down till the key falls in the slot again. The bungee cord is fastened to the dagger board case with clamps. The PVC tube (for small boats a tube like that used for electric wiring will suffice) is very important. The tube holds the board back in the dagger board case and in this way the board in the slot under normal sailing conditions.

The length and diameter of the bungee cord has to be found out for every boat. If the dagger board case is short the leverage of the cord can be improved by leading the cord backwards. Use sheaves on each side in this case.

https://www.ikarus342000.com/P86page2.htm

 

 

Daggerboards: how to adjust them on your catamaran - Outremer

Daggerboards: how to adjust them on your catamaran - Outremer

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Author : Nikki Henderson

When I asked the Outremer Ladies’ community for suggestions on webinar topics, ‘Daggerboards’ was top of the list. I wasn’t surprised. I don’t think I’ve had a day out on an Outremer with prospective or current owners where daggerboards were not discussed.

It makes sense that there is a curiosity about daggerboards; using them properly is essential if you want your Outremer to perform. What is interesting though, is how confusing people find them.

One thing I’ve realised is that for some people, the issue is similar to my relationship with electronics (hate) and engineering (love). Things I cannot physically see are inherently cloaked in mystery and much more challenging for me to understand. This can be the case with daggerboards: they are hidden underwater and so are often forgotten or misunderstood.

The other reason that daggerboards can be confusing is that they affect not just the performance of a catamaran, but also the safety. Sometimes the theories contradict each other and lead to conflicting advice as to the right and wrong way to use them. In fact, there is no one ‘rule’ about daggerboards. The key, as with anything on a boat, is to understand the reasoning behind the basic daggerboard practices, so that you can make your own decision based on your own unique circumstances that you encounter at any particular time.

I hope this blog will help you build this critical foundation of understanding so that you can set sail safely and with confidence. Daggerboards – like sail trim – is a subject of continual learning. See this as step 1 in the life-long journey.

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Catamaran daggerboards: how should they be adjusted for optimum sailing?

Daggerboards are best thought of as an ‘underwater sail’ – sometimes called a ‘foil’. Just as a sail above the water needs trimming – so does the sail under the water. But unlike the sail above the water, the daggerboard only has one trim option: how much of it is exposed below the hull.

When sailing upwind the daggerboards provide resistance and lift under the water to balance out the sideways effort force from the sail above the water. In more simple terms, daggerboards help the boat move forward rather than sideways when sailing upwind. Therefore, when sailing upwind, the assumed best practice is to have the daggerboards down. [UP-wind = DOWN-board]

When sailing downwind, the effort force from the sail works almost entirely in the direction you need the boat to go. Therefore, you do not need the resistance under the water from the daggerboard to help with the direction. In fact, it will probably hinder you from sailing deep downwind and slow you down. Therefore, when sailing downwind, the assumed best practice is to have the daggerboards up. [DOWN-wind = UP-board]

Generally, when sailing with wind on the beam – a good ‘go-to’ trim set up is one that is somewhere in the middle of downwind and upwind trim. Therefore, a good starting point for a beam reach would be to lift the daggerboards half-way up.

Which catamaran daggerboard for which sailing conditions?

For any competent dinghy sailors who understand daggerboards, this is the most common question as they are typically used to using only one!

An important key principle, is that a daggerboard is only effective when it is submerged in the water. Therefore, if you were sailing the boat purely for performance in a flat sea, you would always need to be trimming at least the leeward one. If the windward hull lifts slightly here and there (which it does fractionally in any substantial wind) then the windward daggerboard is not working efficiently.

Do you drop the windward board? In relation to performance, this depends on how much underwater resistance you need.

In very light winds, the standard practice is to lift the windward daggerboard all the way and only trim the leeward board. When both daggerboards are down, (for simplicity) there is now double the ‘underwater sail’ area. This would likely imbalance how much power there is from the light winds on the sail above the water, and literally ‘drag’ the boat and slow her down.

As the winds increase, there may be a time where you feel you want more underwater resistance, and you could consider lowering the windward board as well. You might find your course over ground improves. Then it was a good decision. If your speed decreases, it might be creating too much drag and you should lift it back up.

If the wind continues to increase further, it is likely you will choose to reef the main. If we return to the concept of the daggerboard being the ‘underwater sail’, if you reef the main, then consider reefing the daggerboard and lifting some up slightly with each reef you put in upwind to keep the boat balanced.

You may be wondering how such a tiny thing as a daggerboard could balance out the enormous sail area of a main sail. The answer here is that water is a much denser fluid than air, and so the daggerboard needs much less area to create the same force than it would do if it were in air.

image

Safety at sea: adjusting daggerboards to avoid risks

This is where things start to get a little confusing.

The leeward daggerboard being down will increase the risk of ‘tripping up’. Therefore, in any significant sea state – or possible impending increase in wind/seastate such as if you are close to a mountainous shore line – where you feel that the hull is, or may, lift a lot, it is in fact safer to lift the leeward daggerboard and only use the windward one. Be aware that you will see a drop in performance as this contradicts the performance best practice of trimming the leeward board and not the windward.

The safest option entirely in very large sea states where the sea is actually tilting the boat significantly from side to side as she rolls down waves is to lift both daggerboards, so you float along waves like a raft.

‘Tripping up’ is a phrase used a lot and in fact sometimes misunderstood. To explain what it means:  if there is wind/waves coming from the side of the boat and the windward hull lifts slightly in a wave, or there is a gust and the sail powers the boat forward – the leeward hull can ‘dig in’ to a wave and trip the boat up. The best way to imagine this is imagine getting one of your shoelaces on one of your feet stuck but the rest of your body is still walking. You will fall over. Same with the boat.

A converse argument to lifting the daggerboards up, is that dropping both of them will protect the underside of the boat – from grounding, or from hitting a submerged object. Having both daggerboards partially down can protect the propellor. Having them at ‘deck level’ can protect the rudder. In other words, if you hit something then it will hit the daggerboard before the more fragile underwater equipment.

Another argument against lifting the daggerboards entirely, is that with no daggerboards, your rudder is doing all the ‘resistance-work’. It is hard to believe, but it also acts as a very tiny underwater sail too. There will be a huge load on the rudder with no daggerboard at all and this risk is probably not worth the gain in speed on a long downwind ocean crossing. One way to spot if the rudder is working too hard is just look at your autopilot rudder angle – if it’s maxing out and having to work very hard to keep the boat going straight then you probably have too much sideways slip. It’s a bit like the boat is sailing on an ice rink. In that case, I’d recommend putting both of them down a touch. This will benefit both the ruder and the autopilot (therefore power consumption).

(Read our Safe Sailing article to learn more about safety on board)

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Using daggerboards is a balancing act! Boat weight, weight distribution, sail area, wind strength, sea state, sail trim are all things that effect the decision for how to use the daggerboards: how much daggerboard to use and which one (or both) to use.  This is why it’s not an exact ‘one size fits all’ rule and anyone who tells you so is probably oversimplifying it which could lead to a dangerous sitaution. But start using them and see how the boat feels. The beauty of buying an Outremer is that if you keep her lightweight and trimmed well, then she will talk to you and tell you what feels good. Don’t believe me? Try sailing a brand-new Outremer out of the factory before she has anything on – then compare it to one with four peoples’ life belongings on – and you will see what I mean. 😉

how to use daggerboards on catamarans

As Wooden Boats Deforest the Mentawais, a Surf-Camp Owner Is Devising a Solution

When Diego Riveros arrived in the Mentawais 17 years ago to start a surf camp, he immediately identified a major flaw in the business model prevailing around the islands. The primary mode of transportation was – and largely still is – wooden boats sourced from the archipelago’s gigantic, centuries-old trees. But the wood that takes hundreds of years to grow in the islands’ forests, only produces a boat that lasts several years before another ancient tree must be felled to build another.

According to Riveros, a 45-year-old Colombian national who married a Mentawai local and founded Mentawai Surf Camp , the situation has grown more dire in recent years. The southern and middle islands in the chain are running out of trees large enough to produce such canoes and are now turning towards the larger, northern island of Siberut for their lumber, where such trees are also becoming more scarce.

“If you go into the village and start asking people, they’ll tell you how things have changed,” said Riveros. “Before it was easy to find a boat. Now it’s hard. Before it was easy to buy a big tree. Now you have to go deeper into the forest.”

“I was absolutely devastated by how they were using these wooden canoes,” continued Riveros. “I was learning everything about how they use the wood, the coral, and the sand (for construction). I thought, no way this is happening. But it’s normal here because there is no other alternative. There are no programs to regenerate forests and the number of land camps, resorts, and Airbnb properties is rapidly increasing. ”

Riveros notes that the boats are the lifeline to a surf camp and financial success or failure can hinge on their upkeep. A dugout canoe quickly degrades due to oxidation, abrasion, and termites, resulting in a shelf life of just three to five years on average. Discarded boats can be found scattered around the island chain, rotting away on the paradisiacal beaches.

However, Riveros, using the same entrepreneurial attitude that landed him on his feet in the Mentawais 17 years ago, is brainstorming and implementing a potential solution: locally-built fiberglass boats. 

Through years of R&D with his local crew and business partner, Riveros’ team was able to create the first high-quality fiberglass boats produced on the islands. The first batch of three 6.4-meter boats was already sold and delivered to Kandui Resort.

The cost of a fiberglass boat is at least double that of the locally sourced wood canoes, but, according to Riveros and his clients, the longevity and sustainability of the fiberglass boats make it the superior decision both financially and environmentally. 

“We sold the first boat to the owner of Kandui Resort as his personal boat and he was absolutely amazed,” said Riveros. “It changed his life. He immediately told the resort to buy the next two boats. They started measuring the data and even after one week they realized the (reduced) petrol consumption and everything was already a go. So all that money that you’re saving on petrol, you can actually put into something different. You start making your camp more sustainable, especially because those boats are actually going to last a lot longer.”

The price of a fully built wooden boat, depending on if you are getting the local or foreigner price, roughly goes for the equivalent of USD $4,900. The first batch of 6.4-meter fiberglass boats, which take 25 to 30 days to produce by Riveros’ team, were sold for USD $9,800. If properly maintained (a service Riveros’ team also plans to offer clients), the fiberglass boats should last for 20 to 30 years, as opposed to the three to five years the wooden boats last on average. The lighter build also leads to, as he mentioned, improved fuel efficiency. And there is the added bonus of design that prevents flooding during heavy rains. A common problem that surf resorts have faced in the Mentawais is torrential rain that lowers boats down in the water and floods the engines.

Riveros’ team is currently working on producing a larger model fiberglass boat that is nine to 10 meters long, which he estimates will sell for around USD $25,000.

The concept of using fiberglass boats in the Mentawais is not entirely a novel idea. There are foreigners who purchase fiberglass boats in the nation’s capital, Jakarta, and bring them to the barrier islands. But that doesn’t benefit the local economy, which is one of Riveros’ main selling points in establishing a Mentawai production facility. 

Riveros thinks that the locals adopting the boats will be key to their increased use. He hopes that once the locals try them out for a few months and vouch that they are durable and can handle storms, that other locals and surf camps around the islands will adopt them as well.

Riveros’ has a conviction that the fiberglass boat business will take off and change the island. And it’s clear to see where his confidence and dedication comes from: with three children of his own, all of whom have Mentawai heritage, he has an especially vested interest in the long-term sustainability and health of the islands’ ecosystems.

“I’ve been working on alternatives for years to offer a choice that no one was offering,” concluded Riveros. “And the reason I do this is that my kids have grown up here in the village of Peipei, attended school here, and surfed with many guests from our camp and other camps. I would like to make the best decisions for their futures by adding a choice to be able to own safe, fast, and durable boats here in the Mentawais.”

As Wooden Boats Deforest the Mentawais, a Surf-Camp Owner Is Devising a Solution

Debate continues on allowing jet boats on Upper Rogue River in southern Oregon

Jet boats provide high-speed, thrill-seeking experiences for tourists on waterways like the upper rogue river. a conflict over the use of these boats has arisen over the years.

Should four state agencies enact new regulations on the use of jet boats on around 30 miles of river north of Medford? That’s the question being asked at a series of community meetings since mid May.

Some community members are hoping to ban the use of these boats, claiming they’re unsafe for other river users and disruptive to salmon populations.

This section of the Rogue River was one of the first in America to be protected by the Wild and Scenic Act of 1968.

This section of the Rogue River was one of the first in America to be protected by the Wild and Scenic Act of 1968.

Ian McCluskey / OPB

Frances Oyung, the program manager at Rogue Riverkeeper said they’re concerned about the frequency of these high-speed jet boats, and how they’ll impact salmon populations (Oyung is a volunteer with JPR Music).

“The reason that Chinook and coho and the sea-running fish are threatened and having problems sustaining their populations is not because of one big event,” Oyung said. “It’s because of all the little events we do.”

A 1994 study  on jet boat impacts in Alaskan streams suggest that high-level use in shallow streams can threaten the survival of salmon eggs.

Taylor Grimes is the owner of Rogue Jet Boat Adventures, which operates out of the TouVelle State Recreation Site in Central Point. Grimes said if people knew more about jet boats, they’d know they don’t pose a danger.

“I just think it’s a perception thing,” he said. “And then I think intertwined in there is some people that are just really uneducated.”

For example, Grimes said they record every boat trip in the event of any safety issues, and jet boats are highly maneuverable and can stop very quickly. He added that jet boats operate in shallower waters and don’t disrupt the underwater environment as much as boats with external propellers.

The four agencies that include the Oregon Department of State Lands, the Oregon State Marine Board, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, are gathering public input through an organization called Oregon’s Kitchen Table. One final community meeting is scheduled in Medford on Monday, June 17 at 5:30 p.m. at the Medford Library.

After an  online survey  closes on July 5, the agencies will figure out if they need to enact new rules to restrict recreational usage on the Upper Rogue River. A report from Oregon’s Kitchen Table on the community meetings is expected in early August.

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COMMENTS

  1. Catamaran basics The daggerboards: understanding and adjusting them

    Having a catamaran with daggerboards means enjoying better pointing ability than an equivalent model equipped with fixed stub keels, which are inevitably shorter. It means that you can also optimize drag, speed and even safety. Partially integrated, with foils...an inventory of the daggerboards on our boats and how to use these appendages.

  2. What Are Daggerboards on a Catamaran? (An In-Depth Look)

    The raised daggerboards will also help to reduce the amount of heeling experienced when sailing downwind, making the sailing experience more comfortable and enjoyable. The use of daggerboards can significantly improve the performance of a catamaran in light wind conditions and is a key component of sailing catamarans.

  3. How to use Daggerboards on a catamaran

    This catamaran instructional video teaches you how to Use daggerboards on a catamarancome and learn to sail with us! www.adventuresailing.com.au

  4. CATAMARAN DESIGN: Daggerboards on Catamarans

    Daggerboards. Do you really need them on a cruising cat? Or is just for all the racers? In the second of our Technical Tuesday series on Catamaran design we ...

  5. Daggerboards: how to adjust them on your catamaran

    In very light winds, the standard practice is to lift the windward daggerboard all the way and only trim the leeward board. When both daggerboards are down, (for simplicity) there is now double the 'underwater sail' area. This would likely imbalance how much power there is from the light winds on the sail above the water, and literally ...

  6. Catamarans with Daggerboards: Enhancing Stability and Performance

    Short answer catamarans with daggerboards: Catamarans with daggerboards are multihull sailboats consisting of two parallel hulls and vertical foils called daggerboards that can be raised or lowered. Daggerboards improve stability, reduce leeway, and increase upwind performance by minimizing side slipping. These high-performance catamarans are commonly used in racing, offshore cruising, and ...

  7. How We Do: Daggerboards

    Every single HH Catamaran daggerboard goes into our monster testing jig and we apply the full force of the known working load to fly a hull with two reefs and the two times "dynamic load factor". So, an HH66 board gets tested to a staggering 17,000kg, which is really scary. Even with our new HH50, the boards are tested all the way to 10 tons.

  8. Daggerboards

    Marking the daggerboards at deck level will help indicate a "control" depth and assist in judging when they will be extending deeper than the rudders and thus aid in protecing them in case of a collision. For a more detailed description of daggerboards and their use, please refer to the "Appendages" chapter. Continue reading here: Tacking.

  9. Daggerboard

    The daggerboard is the heart of a multihull. You can have the slipperiest of hulls, lightest of boats and most expensive rig, but if you don't have this part of the boat right, you are not getting good returns on the money spent in the other areas. It doesn't matter if you are racing or cruising, the ability to go to wind makes or breaks a ...

  10. Why Daggerboards Make Sense over a Fixed Keel

    Your sails, keels, daggerboards and rudders when moving forward into the wind create high pressure of the windward side, and low pressure on the leeward side, and the boat is pulled forward, into the wind. Because the foil directs the boat around the curve of the foil, the boat is lifted forward, and to windward. This is also why airplanes fly.

  11. Catamaran Daggerboards and Keels

    Woods 36 Vardo with Keels. So there's the two factors: one is the the sea kindliness of having daggerboards, and the other is the better performance. A daggerboarded boat is always better, but it does have some disadvantages. The main one is that if you want to beach your boat or dry it out.

  12. Sailing Catamarans

    Good directional stability depends on the hull balance. A properly designed daggerboarded boat will sail as straight as a LAR keel one, and have the additional benefit of being quicker to tack and maneuver when necessary. Finally, if you run aground, you can lift the boards to get off, but remain stuck with keels.

  13. Daggerboards or Keels on a Balance Catamaran?

    Balance Catamarans Founder Phillip Berman goes over the advantages and disadvantages of daggerboards and keels on a Balance Catamaran.

  14. 9 Best Cruising Catamarans With Daggerboards or Centerboards!

    The best cruising catamarans with daggerboards or centerboards provide great cruising capability, comfortable living, ease of handling, and strong construction. Based on different styles, designs, sizes, and prices, some of the best catamarans are Outremer 45, Catana 50, and Balance 526. If catamaran cruising is a passion you have been longing ...

  15. Catamaran daggerboard design and use

    This concept is proven as the fastest smallish catamaran in Australia right now is setup like this (40fter). Round the bouys racing is usually won on the upwind performance - less so on the downwind and reach legs. Assymetric boards is another consideration - again is depends on the intended usage.

  16. Daggerboard

    Daggerboards can be found on monohulls which is the classic sailboat and multihulls called catamarans. Daggerboards come in all different shapes and sizes, some curved or s-shaped. Curved daggerboards started to appear thirty to forty years ago. The first prototype was made in 1985 by Ian Farrier. The benefits of vertical lift generated by ...

  17. Daggerboards vs Centerboards

    Centerboards or "swing boards" rely on a pivot point at the top of the board allowing it to swing 90 degrees vertically and retract horizontally in a wet cavity built into the bilges in each hull, while daggerboards penetrate only vertically through bearing boxes in each hull.

  18. Performance Study: Daggerboards & Fixed Keels

    Multihull Company recently commissioned an 'apples-to-apples' study on comparing the performance of Balance 526 catamarans. The intent was to demonstrate a clear performance difference in favor of daggerboards. The article does provide a caveat that, "The disparity between keels and boards on a mass-production cat compared to a Balance or any other performance cat would be exaggerated ...

  19. Catamaran Daggerboards Pros & Cons Discussion

    Daggerboards, what are they good for? If you can afford them, are there any downsides? Lets kick off a discussion hereSupport us on Patreon?!: http://bit.ly...

  20. Duckworks Magazine

    The bungee cord is fastened to the dagger board case with clamps. The PVC tube (for small boats a tube like that used for electric wiring will suffice) is very important. The tube holds the board back in the dagger board case and in this way the board in the slot under normal sailing conditions. The length and diameter of the bungee cord has to ...

  21. Daggerboards: how to adjust them on your catamaran

    The other reason that daggerboards can be confusing is that they affect not just the performance of a catamaran, but also the safety. Sometimes the theories contradict each other and lead to conflicting advice as to the right and wrong way to use them. In fact, there is no one 'rule' about daggerboards.

  22. How do you raise your daggerboards?

    Then there is a padeye on the board. One line leads from the padeye down to the block and back up the groove to a deck placed turning block which leads to a clutch and then a winch. This pulls the board down. The other line runs from the padeye to a turning block, clutch and winch. The boards are 11' long.

  23. As Wooden Boats Deforest the Mentawais, a Surf-Camp Owner Is ...

    In the Mentawais, wooden boats are the main form of transport but they only last a few years and use too many trees to build. A surf-camp owner has a solution. The post As Wooden Boats Deforest ...

  24. Debate continues on allowing jet boats on Upper Rogue River in southern

    Jet boats provide high-speed, thrill-seeking experiences for tourists on waterways like the Upper Rogue River. A conflict over the use of these boats has arisen over the years.

  25. China has made a move. Watch the skies

    China "continues to develop a variety of counter-space capabilities designed to limit or prevent an adversary's use of space during a crisis or conflict," the US Defense Department warned in ...