- Balance. The PDQ already suffers from keels that are too far forward. Unless the main is also reefed, the PDQ likes more sail forward for balance, upwind and even more so down-wind.
- Twist. The self tacking jib only likes one sheet setting: moderately tight. Ease it at all, and it twists of uncontrollably. For similar reasons, the self tacking jib is only furlable, not reafable.
- Power. The boat is conservatively rigged. Until the wind hits 15 knots, more power is better, even if you're not in a hurry.
Off the wind, unless the leads are moved well forward, to about the mid-ships cleat, the head of the genoa twists off miserably; in light to moderate winds this is slow and looks unsailorly. In stronger winds, the sail flogs and will stretch, and can be unstable if wing-and-wing. The answer could be long jib tracks or a barber-hauler system; both of my prior cats were race boats and were fitted with jib lead systems that could be instantly adjusted through a wide range of positions, fore and aft, and in and out. However, the PDQ is a cruising boat. The side decks are too narrow to have additional lines underfoot, the deck has a step that precludes the use of long tracks, and lifeline stanchions complicate matters.
I have been testing a simple set-up for a year now, and this last cruise gave us time for a good trial.
- 18-inch nylon climbing runner
- Wire gate carabiner
- Climbing rescue pulley. Functions like a snatch block when used with a carabiner. (CMI)
The first picture was taken broad reaching in 10- knot winds.Twist was well controlled and the sail was more stable.
Surely, this could be a tricked out, with a turning block, a jammer, and a line led to the cockpit; I like it fine as it is. Even if the system is made more permanent, the snatch block must still be removed when not in use or it will pound on the side of the hull or deck when the sheet is slack and they can snag on the lifelines when the sheet is loaded up-wind. My parts either go below or are clipped to the lower lifeline, if they will be used again soon.