Naughty Catamaran Crew

This is the story of the Naughty catamaran crew caught between the challenges of nature and the skill required to navigate the bays and open seas. In the video, we follow their set out in a boat in the morning, observe the use of innovative techniques such as the “cheapest autopilot” and follow their exploits while sailing into the wind and lowering the sails. Skill, ingenuity and love of seafaring intertwine in this short story of life at sea, shown through the eyes of the captain and four-woman crew as they face the challenges and enjoy the freedom that sea offers.

Naughty catamaran crew, Naughty catamaran crew, Naughty catamaran crew, 

Boarding of the crew

The morning low tide had almost emptied the canal. Catamaran Ariki ran aground on the soft bottom. It wasn’t until ten in the morning that the water rose enough for him to swim. This is also the right time to set sail.

Catamaran Ariki is a boat that does not sail by itself. In order to sail, the crew must consist of at least one, or even better, several members. This time there will be five of us on deck: the captain and four female sailors.

At ten o’clock in the morning it’s already quite hot in the canal, so we don’t wait. The engine must be started first and only then the ropes must be untied. But leaving our pier is not easy. In the strong flow of the tide coming into the canal, and mainly due to the small limited space for maneuvering, it is very difficult to get the catamaran past the outer stake in the bottom of the canal.


To tell you the truth, set sail is a real process. One cannot do it alone. There must be at least two for this maneuver. The first on the bow and the second on the stern. The bow of the catamaran must be pulled out to the middle of the canal with the mooring rope. Only then can the sailor on stern lower the mooring rope. When the catamaran moves with the help of the engine and gets the minimum speed necessary for the rudder to work, there are no more problems.

There will be very little wind today as well. Nevertheless, we raise the sails and sail out of the bay and out into the vast sea.

Naughty catamaran crew

Naughty catamaran crew, Naughty catamaran crew, Naughty catamaran crew, 

Elastics instead of autopilot

As on many of Ariki’s voyages, we are drives today by our autopilot consisting of a short loop of rope and a long elastic. The rope is attached to the handlebar with a sliding prusik knot. This knot tightens under load, but when the load is released, you can easily move it back and forth on the handlebars. So you can set the direction very precisely.

We recorded a special video about this method of navigation entitled: “Elastic – the cheapest autopilot”. The link to the video is here, in the upper right corner of your screen.

Naughty catamaran crew

Naughty catamaran crew, Naughty catamaran crew, Naughty catamaran crew, 

Oceanographic buoy Vida

The oceanographic buoy Vida is anchored to the bottom of the 22 m deep sea about 2 miles away from the old town of Piran. It was built in 2008. The diameter of the buoy is 2.5 m, and it is made of 6 mm thick stainless steel sheet. It is anchored to the seabed with three concrete blocks. It is connected to them by chains.

The following instruments are on buoy: an acoustic 3D anemometer (Gill’s Instruments), a Vaisala air temperature and humidity meter at a height of 3.5 m from the sea surface, a Seacat probe from the Seabird company for measuring the temperature and conductivity of seawater. This probe, which is attached to the hull of the buoy, is at a depth of 3m. Its component is also the Wetlab fluorometer, which measures the concentration of chlorophyll.

In the hull, just under the top cover, there is an accelerometer and buoy inclination meter. A current meter lies on the seabed, which in addition to currents also measures surface waves. A dissolved oxygen concentration meter is also attached to it.

The data from the Vida oceanographic buoy can be viewed on the website of the Environment Agency of the Republic of Slovenia. We’ve added the link below in the video description. Unfortunately, the page is only in Slovenian. But… because you have Google translator at your disposal, which translates such texts quickly and completely satisfactory for understanding.            

Naughty catamaran crew

Naughty catamaran crew, Naughty catamaran crew, Naughty catamaran crew, 

Catamaran flight into the wind

Flyover a monohull into the wind is a simple matter. There you turn the rudder and the sailboat turns the other cheek to the wind. It’s different with a catamaran. The Ariki is such a light boat and there is so little of it in the water that it has virtually no inertia. Therefore, when trying to flyover into the wind, it usually stops, and the wind pushes it back to its original position.

We can help ourself in this maneuver in two ways. The first is the engine, which is started for a short time, just long enough to turn the catamaran. Another way is the circle that we make with the wind.

This time the flyover into the wind succeeded, even though it already looked like it wouldn’t. The mainsail sets itself into the correct position. In order to also flyover over the jib – the front sail, it is necessary to loosen the bridle at the right moment, pull the sail to the other side with the other bridle and tighten it.

Even this is not exactly something that will go smoothly on Ariki by itself. The ropes, which are called bridles, often get caught in the cleat, which is fixed in front on the lower part of the mast, or they get tangled in the boat hook that lie on the forward trampoline, or for something else. There is almost always something the rope will get caught on. Even if everything is neatly arranged and ready for the rope to have a clear path, it gets stuck…

When this is also arranged, the front sail needs to be tensioned, our elastic autopilot set, and you have your hands free, and the catamaran is sailing in the right direction.

Naughty catamaran crew

Naughty catamaran crew, Naughty catamaran crew, Naughty catamaran crew, 

Lowering the foresail

Lowering the sails should be a simple matter. However, this is not always the case. Especially in stronger winds, this can be a very complicated matter. Even today, in a light breeze, it got stuck. The headsail does not go down. Something on the mast is holding a rope. On the Ariki, this is ensured by a gaff at the top of the mast, which compresses and blocks the foresail hoist rope.

The only way to block the release is to drive the catamaran directly into the wind so that the mainsail loses the wind. Then the front sail falls down by itself.

Lowering the main sail

Even with the mainsail, it can get stuck. On Ariki it’s an old Dutch sail that doesn’t have a boom below, so it has a gaff above. The mainsail is raised or lowered with two ropes at the same time. The first is a hoist rope, and the second serves to lift and tighten the gaff.

You can see more about Ariki’s sails in a special video that introduces Ariki’s sail in detail. The link to the video is in the upper right corner of the screen.


Thank you for taking the time to share this special moment with us. If you liked the video or if you have any interesting experience, please share it with us in the comments below. Your opinion is extremely important to us.

See you in the next article, where we will experience new adventures together. Until then, stay curious and smiley!”article

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