And the Winner is . . . . .
Aussieswede! It is an Oyster
(but a 61)
Yes, the Oyster
LWL 52.0 ft.
Beam 16.8 ft.
Ballast 21,280 lbs.
The story I posted is from a mass email
sent out to us and all their friends by folks who cruise
on an Oyster 61. It is a seven-figure PALACE of a huge sailboat. We spent a season with them in Bonaire
. No kidding, it's a stunning BIG yacht.
You would never picture that people would be piling wet cushions
on the salon
floor of a 61 footer just so they could sleep.
You would also not tend to imagine that a BIG dink with a console would break loose and almost be lost
But it is true. Going into "small" 8+ and 12+ seas SUCKS, even on big heavy monohulls.
alone on that 61 weighs as much as my whole Lagoon 380
I am not throwing stones, but the report is a PRIME example that a lot of the so-called advantages of cruising monohulls over cruising cats in rough seas are often exaggerated.
We tend to go "over" the seas while monos try and go "through" them.
Anyway, even sailboats like an Oyster 61 have to WAIT for a good weather
window, travel on accepted routes and within seasons or get their butts kicked and tear up the boat.
The folks on the 61 were NOT caught in extraordinary condtions for that area in the Caribbean
. Melissa and I went boths ways on the same 420 mile route
to St. John and then six months later another 395 miles from St. Criox to Los Roques.
We got roughed up a bit on that second crossing, even in a pretty moderate window. But, not a hair out of place on our catamaran
. Our little Lagoon 380
has never faltered or made a misstep in any seas we have been in.
Sea can be pretty wicked and some patches are deemed by Jimmy Cornell as the 5th roughest seas in the world. Melissa and I have sailed through all of them in the Caribbean, but have been careful to pick the best seasons and windows.
Anyway, why did the folks on the Oyster weigh anchor
out on an "iffy" weather
They were at the Los Roques (just off the coast of Venezuela) and the mosquitos were bad and they just got enough of it and put to sea.
Bottom line, since all cruising vessels (big and small, cat and mono), must wait for good weather, a great degree of the big debate about cats and monos is a "tempest in a teapot" and discussed in theory, not real first-hand ocean experience on both types of vessels and the fact that all small boats (as opposed to ships) can start to feel pretty small out there.
Today's modern cruising cats do a fabulous job and as time goes on and owners like me sing their praises at sea, the seaworthiness of cats will become more proven and appreciated, even by today's die-hard detractors.
One more thing. I'm sure you all read the harrowing report of the Lagoon
380 that capsized in 45 foot breaking waves a couple of years ago on a delivery
, but they were re-routed midway across the pond to Annapolis
though known-ro-be very risky North Atlantic seas that time of year.
That report, however tragic, gave me tremendous confidence in our boat. The 380 survived several bouts with huge sets of breaking 45 foot waves rolling through, and it did not flip for the longest time.
Then, one rogue wave
finally broke right on them and flipped them. The boat floated, they escaped through the bottom hatches, the coast guard rescued the crew, all as is part of the catamaran plan.
But, heartbreakingly, the captain
did not have on adequate clothes and he died of hypothermia before the rescue
I really was amazed the 380 stayed upright for hours in those seas! No sea anchor
, not nothing.
Considering Melissa and I are "weather wussies" and will never make an ocean passage
out of season or outside of accepted routes, the chance of encountering anything even close to those seas for hours on end is almost zero for us.
Thus, from the that 380 flipping, I was able to get a pretty good idea of where the brink is. I don't foresee me, or any other very careful cruiser, getting anywhere near that brink.
So, be happy, sail happy, and get the boat you like and play it safe!
All the best,