Sailing a Sage 15 cat

Since the two Sage 15s, sloop version ASOLARE and cat version SAGECAT, have returned to Golden, CO, from Monterey, CA, a series of modifications and improvements have been made.


Sage 15s back at the Sage 15 shop in Golden, Colorado. Sage 15 catboat SAGECAT to the left, Sage 15 sloop ASOLARE to the right (and temporarily rigged as a catboat).

An upgraded tabernacle post and interim prototype mast rotation pin have been manufactured and installed on ASOLARE.  Also installed are catboat chainplates.


Improved catboat tabernacle post, interim prototype rotating mast post and chainplates installed on Sage 15 ASOLARE.

Why install catboat hardware on the sloop?  ASOLARE is the first Sage 15 constructed of resin infused components.  We now are testing the strength of the infusion foredeck to support the deck stepped catboat rig.


Sage 15 ASOLARE-cat going downwind on Lake Dillon, CO.

This past weekend Dave took ‘ASOLARE-cat’ sailing on Lake Dillon.  Usually Dillon is a windy place with 15-25kts of gusty air blowing after the lunch hour … well this was not the case on Saturday 6 August ’16.  The weekend winds were in the low single digits.  There was so little wind that that the Dillon Open Regatta, the ‘world’s highest regatta’, didn’t happen –


The Dillon Open fleet waiting for wind … no wind arrived.

Here is a link to some pictures and video of the Dillon Open boats Praying for wind at the 2016 Dillon Open Regatta.

Dave was able to sail, for about four hours, and has the following comments on a catboat rigged Sage 15 –

  • The boat moves when you can barely feel a ghost of a wind.  The fathead main catches the breeze up above the water even if you can’t see a cat’s paw (a pattern of ripples on the surface of water caused by a light wind).
  • The helm in these light winds was light and the boat tended to sail herself with the TillerClutch locking the rudder.  Many times Dave, meaning me, couldn’t tell which direction the wind was coming even though the boat was moving and leaving a visible wake.  Setting the sail at any sheeting angle resulted in the boat finding the wind on her own and sailing an appropriate course.
  • In the stronger puffs … a few times had wind blowing 5kts for about two minutes each time, the boat moved well with a balanced helm.
  • When there was a light wind that its direction could be ascertained pointing ability was good and about 40-45 degrees off the wind before the sail would stall (the luff luffing).  This is the same pointing ability as the Sage 17 and the Sage 15 sloop.
  • As expected the catboat rig is easy to sail as there is no headsail to be concerned about.  The challenge when sailing in very light conditions is finding the direction the wind is blowing as the boat will move and you can’t feel or see evidence of the breeze across the water surface.
  • The conditions were not enough to really test the boat as the rig needs to see sustained 15-20kts and related seas to test the upgraded tabernacle post and pivot pin designs along with the infusion foredeck.  Higher winds are also needed to test the mast and the boat’s balance.


In addition to the standing rig change ASOLARE received a daggerboard raising system upgrade and improved bearings in the daggerboard trunk.


ASOLARE’s daggerboard in the down position.


The brown material in this picture is what we call a ‘daggerboard bearing’. This is the second version of the bearing and provides lateral support for the board.  NOTE: this daggerboard does not have the top plate that will prevent owners from dropping their cellphone, keys and other important items into the board.

If the above changes work as expected on ASOLARE, SAGECAT will be upgraded with the new daggerboard and mast systems.

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