Screecher off a bowsprit!

WestMarine.com




First thing I noticed when researching this is that there are many names for this type of sail/configuration. Personally I like screecher because I think it describes the result.

The basic idea of this configuration is to run a sail off a bowsprit. I did this primarily to improve windward ability on my heavenly twins catamaran especially in light winds.

Bowsprit furled code-0 screecher

I’ve finished installing and testing my new bowsprit and north sails G-0 sail (close hauled asymmetrical spinnaker or screecher or code zero, whatever you want to call it).

It was blowing about 6-8 knots yesterday, ran up the new sail (screecher, gennaker, code-0, G0…whatever you want to call it), without the main cause I messed up the main halyard and didn’t bother climbing the mast to free it. Managed to go to at a good nick at what I estimate to be 45 degrees to wind, which is a vast improvement on what it was before.

Granted, the head sail I was using before was, the very old and blown out, HT stock Genoa. When the wind was blowing straight down the narrow channel I would take forever and make a few feet to destination at a time 75 degrees? The only thing I gained was blisters because most of it canceled out by the windage. Unfortunately or fortunately the old genoa ripped so I needed a new sail.

Read an article on catamarans, bowsprits and the performance of a screecher: Article

I’ll fly a second sail (second hand light Genoa) off this bowsprit for running and reaching in light winds and use a jib for fresher weather.

Side view with bowsprit stays

One thing to note is, because of the wide spreaders, the sail is limited on how close to wind it can be pulled in so I can’t test it closer than 40-45.

I used a Precourt code-0 roller furler with a 2:1 halyard. i.e. there is a aluminum dog bone spliced to the bitter end of the halyard, this is attached to the bail, the halyard is then run though a block on the sail and back down through the mast sheave (or a block off the bale if you wish). This halyard can be used as a spare for the jib or storm sail. Halyard is 5/16th” or 8mm.

Bowsprit front view

The length of aluminum tube (consensus is round would be better than square tube) is 8’ (2.43m) and the guys are around 8’ with lashing. The guys are Dyneema low stretch as is the halyard because of the high loads this will take.

The way I’ve attached the bowsprit to the anchor cleat is probably not the best solution but it’ll do for now, until I can get some welding done. This will take some compression because of the angles of the guys and “forestay”.

Thanks to DavidH for his advice on sail combinations.

The Results

I don't have any hard data for this yet, watch the main site articles for updates, but so far the results are awesome. It is like sailing a new boat with many new sail configuration possibilities.

Bowsprit base