Minicat 420 - Tips, tricks, tuning?

Posted By: JoeMinicat

Minicat 420 - Tips, tricks, tuning? - 10/30/18 06:26 PM

I'm a new Minicat 420 owner looking for any tips, tricks or tuning advice. (2018, Emotion)

I've had the boat out twice, in mostly light air, and it seems to perform pretty well, but I love to putter, and tweak.

I'm used to racing one-design where tuning guides abound. The Minicat just seems to have some general instructions with words like "tautened".

Can anyone offer any tuning advise? e.g. mast rake, rig tension, forestay length, jib sag, etc? I would imagine some of these settings would vary, depending on wind and sea state.

I mostly sail on inland reservoirs, but hope to try some light surf in Corpus Christi.


Posted By: MysticPointSailR

Re: Minicat 420 - Tips, tricks, tuning? - 01/13/19 02:10 AM

Hey Joe

I find most MiniCat owners (maybe sailors in general lol) don't have enough rig tension ... so i like to tighten the forestay all the way, then tighten the jib uphaul and then ease the forestay to put more tension on the jib luff. I also like to use the top hole of the jib to attach the jib sheets to have more leech tension. These tweaks can help you point higher and sail faster on a close haul

I have had the trapeze wires but have yet to rig them as they are designed for crew and not skippers but i was thinking of rigging a loner tiller extension so i can helm on the wire.

Batten tension can also make a deeper pocket in the sail but then you may have to pop the sail to get the battens to pop. In high winds you can remove the top batten to spill more air.

I also think you can add a 310 Sail to a 420 for high winds ... this isnt recommend by MiniCat but the sail will fit in the channel and it is possible (at your own risk/discretion of course.) In fact you can add a 420 and a 310 sail to a 460 so you get a boat with lots of possibilities.

I think the release of the gennaker for the 420 in 2018 was a huge boom (pun intended lol) i havent tried it yet but really want to!

you can also play with outhaul, downhaul, boomvang (the Instinct doesn't have a boom tho)

anyways those are some setting i play with.

... i also like to stand on the boat and hulls when i sail ... its not really a tweak but it changes the feel and experience of that particular session and is a great stretch from sitting too much.

i guess one more tweak is in gear ... i like sailing with neoprene capris to provide more padding on the knees and keeps the lower half warm in colder water ... its not a boat tweak but makes sailing way more comfortable.
Posted By: JoeMinicat

Re: Minicat 420 - Tips, tricks, tuning? - 03/12/19 02:59 PM

Thanks for the reply, especially the info on rig tension. I'll try leaning on it a bit more. Jib halyard tension was something I played with a lot when racing keel boats.

I'm really curious about the gennaker option too. My biggest concern, besides the price, is additional rigging time. I've managed to get my setup time under an hour, and wouldn't want to add much more back.

I'm tempted to play around with some sort of traveler. It would be nice to be able to get the boom closer to the center line without sheeting in so hard.
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