Therapy, hey my pleasure. Hope you are doing great!
D&D, yes when we arrived in Key West, all we had to do was go from Key West to Marathon to close the circle . . . we had a nice party when we got to Marathon.
This next year it is up the East Coast
. After three years in the Third World, we are excited about a year back in U.S. Waters. After that, who knows? Anyway, thanks for asking and I hope things are going your way.
Now, back to the subject.
I was sitting in the Cayuco Club of Mario's Marina on the Rio Dulce in Guatemala
one day last August, sipping a coke while one of my cruising buddies (who we have leap-frogged around the Caribbean
with -- a monohull guy) sipped a beer
and he gazed out upon my boat sitting nicely right by the club and out of the blue he said "You know, those sink too, Buddy."
My reaction was . . . Tom, you are so full of SH%$ when did you EVER hear that a Lagoon 380 sunk? And don't give me that tired old saw that swamped and floating is equal to the boat plummeting to the bottom.
Then he started telling me of a Moorings Leopard that got T-Boned in the BVI and sunk to the bottom in 30 minutes (not as fast as a monohull, but the dog gone thing actually SUNK!
I asked around and sure enough many other people had heard about it. So, I was thrown for a loop because us multihull
people always excitedly tell people about cats floating and flipping being the worst of it.
Well, Tom's "cats sink too you dummy" remarks got me to looking around. On the Lagoon website they specify that the cats are certified to European standards of unsinkability and that foam core
(and balsa core
in the coachroof) and LOTS of wood interior
finishing, etc. provide a great deal of positive buoyancy, not just watertight bulkheads. Primer: Titanic
had bulkheads too, flawed, but that was the plan nonetheless.
Many vessels have watertight bulkheads. But ONLY positive buoyancy can defeat all types of flooding and especially breaking up.
Anyway, I went to Robertson Caine's website and I could find NOTHING, not a word about unsinkability. No claim of any certification
to any standard and no indication at all that their cats will float if totally flooded.
Then, I heard from even more cruisers about the Moorings cat actually sunk will just one hull
So, I have stopped suggesting that all cats are floaters.
I too would love to have someone with authority, perhaps from the Leopard factory, to set out exactly why they make no claims of unsinkability and certainly make no mention whatoever about meeting any such formal standard like the French guys do.
And if they do make such claims, where are they and what are they?
I guess some of it is pure common sense.
Foam floats. Balsa wood floats. Wood floats. If your cat has carpet finishing on the interior
, or textured gelcoat
, instead of wood then no buoyancy there. If there is no foam coring in the upper sections of the hulls, or balsa anywhere then no buoyancy there either.
If the absence of those materials suggests sinking cats, then quite a few cats, South African and USA, come to mind as possible sinkers too . . . that is why I suggest that you really press a manufacturer hard as to what their formal "in print" and "in writing" claims are regarding this issue and whether or not they will say IN WRITING that they meet the same standards that Lagoons and FP's and Catanas do.
Of course, this issue is only important to you if you consider it an issue at all. ALL monohulls sink and there are a lot of happy people out here on them. Certainly, absent some wild accident
that rips both hulls severly, even sinking cats will probably give you more time to collect things and get in the life raft than a monohull will.
Personally, I would not let the sinking issue prevent me from buying
a Leopard, or any other cat, if that is the boat have fallen in love with.
I like all the cats, really. I can walk around on any cat now and tell you what is particularly fabulous about each one of them. Out here, we tend to be pretty open and non-defensive about comparing features of our various boats.
Even if your cat can sink, there is a very tiny statistical chance of sinking and a 100% chance you will spend a lot of time on the boat. Hanging around on a boat you dislike, biting your fingernails waiting to survive by not sinking would be a pretty silly plan, right?
BUT. . . I HAD to make sure we had an unsinkable cat or else Melissa would not go on ocean passages. She wanted a certified unsinkable vessel. Just so happens, she fell head
over heals for the Lagoon 380's layout and I can say the same. So, we are very lucky that everything lined up perfectly for us.
Anyway, I sure got "sent to school" on the Rio Dulce because I assumed all cats were positively buoyant but apparently they are not.
I am going to the Miami Boat Show
and plan to ask all the "cat people" what their claims are IN WRITING.
Maybe I can get some straight answers, who knows.
You never know what you'll learn next in the crazy life!
All the best,