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Old 06-02-2009, 11:46   #46
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Confirmation from the Moorings Owner's Group

I just wanted to report that the Commodore of the Moorings Owner's Group (MOG) in a meeting with the Moorings at the Florida boat show today has reported back to me. "There has never been a sinking of a Moorings Catamaran"

The MOG is an independent organization of the actual owners of Mooring's branded boats. For those of you who don't know it, Moorings owns very few of their boats, they are owned by people like me. (Verifiable owners of Moorings boats can join the MOG by writing the moderator at Moorings Owners Group on Yahoo Groups)

So I call your hearsay as just that. Care to challenge? have your "eye witness" write me!
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Old 06-02-2009, 13:27   #47
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I just wanted to report that the Commodore of the Moorings Owner's Group (MOG) in a meeting with the Moorings at the Florida boat show today has reported back to me. "There has never been a sinking of a Moorings Catamaran"


!
That is good to know.

Thanks.

I don't know much about CE either but I heard about the hatch thing elsewhere.
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Old 06-02-2009, 16:13   #48
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Well, gee . . . SelkirkWind . . .

Keep your shirt on!

In fact I have written one of my contacts to try and get them to recite again the facts that they kept alleging, ferociously I might add, on the Rio Dulce.

I want to get this settled too, because the "cats sink" allegations were leveled at ALL of us, not just R&C's.

I think perhaps you are missing the point that I defended the R&C and got pretty scraped up.

In the meatime, surely, there is no need to obliquely shoot barbs at the Lagoon 440, or berate the CE certifcation, or start demanding challenges. Nobody is doing anything to you. We are simply trying to get to the bottom of this issue.

I have simply reported what I experienced and have asked questions. If some people don't like what I experienced there is not a heck of lot I can do about it.

I am trying to get the person(s) to give me better facts to substantiate their claims to try and satisfy both you and them. Perhaps I can find out where they are and you can organize a Lynch MOG and go get them.

In the meantime, you brought up that Robertson and Caine might have a marketing issue. Is there a "cut and paste" written promise from Robertson and Caine as to the unsinkable promise regarding their cats? Is it in writting that they are unsinkable?

That would go a long way toward helping with the sorting out of this issue.

Also, do I undertstand you correctly that Moorings boats are not CE certified as unsinkable? Is that correct?

It would help to know what the precise situation is from that direction too. Is it not CE certified and not in writing that R&C's are specified as unsinkable?

While I am still trying to run OUR detractors to ground, maybe the R&C written specs on this can be clarified? Those are certainly very important issues as well.

Peace, love and lobsters,

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Old 06-02-2009, 18:05   #49
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Well, gee . . . SelkirkWind . . .

Keep your shirt on!

I want to get this settled too, because the "cats sink" allegations were leveled at ALL of us, not just R&C's.

I think perhaps you are missing the point that I defended the R&C and got pretty scraped up.

In the meatime, surely, there is no need to obliquely shoot barbs at the Lagoon 440, or berate the CE certifcation, or start demanding challenges. Nobody is doing anything to you. We are simply trying to get to the bottom of this issue.

In the meantime, you brought up that Robertson and Caine might have a marketing issue. Is there a "cut and paste" written promise from Robertson and Caine as to the unsinkable promise regarding their cats? Is it in writting that they are unsinkable?

Also, do I undertstand you correctly that Moorings boats are not CE certified as unsinkable? Is that correct?

Peace, love and lobsters,

Buddy
It is difficult to read your post, and not believe it is leveled at Leopards, but I will take your word for it (shirt on, or off). So let's review the issue.

I agree with you as I said in my first post, Catamarans may break up and go to pieces, but NEVER sink, no matter who builds them. Physically, these boats are constructed virtually identically and there is nothing to cause a boat to sink such as a giant lead keel.

I don't know what R&Cs position is on "unsinkability and the CE specification." (Note that I do not link the two together, as they are not one and the same.)

I do know that the Moorings offered me CE inspection on my R&C catamaran. I have asked R&C through their website what their position is on "unsinkability" and how that is defined. If my boat had been certified to CE, it would have been delivered with backwards hatches. No one ever said anything about CE certification claiming the boat "unsinkable." In fact, there are monohulls here that are certified to the CE spec, but certainly are not unsinkable (as any multihull sailor well knows).

Specsmanship verus a better/safer boat:

My concern is that the whole thing is an exercise in specsmanship.
Here is my "logic" and I hope anyone really familiar with the CE spec and that portion dealing with "unsinkability" will clarify!

I know that to market a vessel as "unsinkable" in the US would be suicide, but different rules apply in Europe. Many Americans after all, would be quick to express that the Titanic was advertised as unsinkable! I am not aware of any advantage of a CE certified boat in the Americas. I am also sure that as Lagoon manufactures in France (EU), they must meet the spec on boats for local sale (even if the owners swap the hatches out later, etc making the boats non-compliant).

All Catamarans for other markets probably do not have to meet the CE specification. This means that the majority of Catamarans built and sold in the world would NOT have to meet the specification as the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, the Seychelles and all of the other sailing areas would not require it and the majority of Cats ship to those markets. So my next question is, if Lagoon (or anyone) says a boat is unsinkable with respect to the CE specification, do they guarantee that in all markets, or just Europe and if the hatches are reversed is it all null and void? If they do then, R&C should do the same if for no other reason than clarity. If however, a boat has to be certified to the CE spec (hatches backwards, etc) to be considered "unsinkable" to the CE spec, then why would any manufacturer not residing in Europe do it?

Sadly, I don't have the answers to these thorny issues. Perhaps some of the Europeans here would be so kind as to help out.
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Old 06-02-2009, 18:19   #50
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Maybe Guideon will chime in.
He knows a bit of stuff.
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Old 06-02-2009, 18:25   #51
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Originally Posted by SelkirkWind View Post
Sadly, I don't have the answers to these thorny issues. Perhaps some of the Europeans here would be so kind as to help out.
That makes two of us, Man!

And I really did get into a pretty heated argument defending R&C's with this bunch of guys on the Rio Dulce who were "pounding spears" and telling me MY boat would SINK because an saw an R&C SINK . . . allegedly.

That is when I went to the websites and found that Lagoon makes that written claim and referred the detractors to that site and information.

Then I went quietly and looked on R&C's website and could not find the term "unsinkable" thereon and didn't have any ammunition on that issue.

So, I think it is an issue that we all want clarified. It's hard enough defending ground against the monohull crowd. I like to stick together as a cat crowd and tend to defend the multihull choice as a whole.

So, it's all good. I promise you, we are on the same page on this.

Peace, love and buoyancy,

Buddy
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Old 06-02-2009, 20:13   #52
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Hi Buddy, Tim here from the Leopard 45 Jet Stream, enjoying the kerfuffel!

I will vouch for the fact that a Leopard 38 DID, in fact, sink, right here in the BVI, while being driven by a Moorings "Higher-up", no less. Failed to give way and got T-boned, as you mentioned.

Now, let's think calmly about that unsinkability stuff. If you read carefully that Lagoon info that you posted, nowhere does it say that the Lagoon will float when completely flooded, just by the inherent buoyancy of its structure, although it might. They refer to its water-tight bulkheads and separate compartments, and, it looks to me like Lagoon are counting on these to provide some of that flotation. It may be the same with the Leopards. And, as you will remember, Jet Stream has some real life experience in that regard!

But, even if a cat claims unsinkability by virtue of its structural buoyancy, that can ONLY be true up to a certain payload. Put too much stuff in, and at some point buoyancy becomes negative. I am willing to bet that most (but not all) cats are indeed structurally buoyant, but only to an overall weight that frequently is exceeded. And, it gets worse! Most cat designers and builders proudly and loudly make note of all the air spaces that provide flotation. But, by the time everyone gets done with putting holes in all those spaces, those spaces are not so airtight......think what happens when a cat capsizes and all those drains in the underdeck (like from the galley sink) are now openings in the new "roof" which can let the air out as the water seeps in from the non-water tight doors or whatever. The open thruhulls from the heads, the head sinks, the engines, etc. etc. make the structure into swiss cheese. So now, our overloaded (typically) cat may not float right side up, and will be a good bit worse upside down. Not quick sinkers, of course, but slow sinkers, nonethelessl

There are also lots of cats with solid laminates as opposed to cores. I think many Prouts are in that category, but I could be wrong. Obviously, this sort of boat is totally dependent upon isolated water-tight compartments and closed airspaces.

When I get into mono-multi debates with hardened monohullers, after I remind them that I have one of each, I note that while most mono's won't stay upside down, some do, and while most cats don't sink, some of them do, too, and the real safety debate has more to do with falling overboard, getting thrown around, and getting burned in the galley. The cats have huge advantages in all of these areas, although cat sailors can still fall overboard, get thrown about, or burned. It is not a perfect world. That is why we carry a liferaft, and why all those Lagoons and FP's (and maybe Catana's, but I don't know for sure) have dedicated life-raft compartments!

By the way, I am looking at Jet Stream's CE Category A (offshore) plaque out of one eye, and her forward facing hatches out of the other........I have often wondered how both can be on the same boat, but every other 45 or 47 that I have been on has both, too.

cheers,
Tim
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Old 06-02-2009, 21:38   #53
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TIM!!!!

Good to see your voice!

Man oh man, we sure miss you guys. I hope all is well on Jetstream! ( A FABULOUS R&C with WONDERFUL folks aboard . . we became friends in the BVI).

WELL . . . . gee this HAS been an interesting thread indeed! If Tim says a Moorings cat sank, then it did. End of story.

Perhaps someone should inform the Commodore of the MOG so he does not dig a hole for himself on this issue in the future. I can certainly understand that it would not be something that would voluntarily highlighted, but if asked directly, then facts need to be admitted.

But, HEY! I am NOT throwing stones or implying any disengenuos behavior. Just glad that this matter is finally cleared up (and by Tim no less . . . amazingly small world, heh!)

I have always thought, like you, Tim, that there has got to be an inflection point on the buoyancy of all cats really loaded for cruising like mine is. Common sense always dictated to me that if we were ever swamped totally, that we would be hard pressed to stay up with all this gear. I'd be tossing a few dive tanks and a sewing machine, etc.

I can attest to LOTS of foam sandwich above the waterline in my boat, full balsa core in the coachroof, thick wood bulkheads and Lagoon's very generous use of wood paneling and trim in all the cabins, etc.

BUT . . . still . . . is it enough?

Surely, all cats are not exactly the same as you pointed out, and as you know, the percentage of certain materials used makes a big difference. For example, what percentage of the boat is foam or balsa cored? Is the interior finished with wood or carpet? Lots of variables there.

Anyway, like I said, I was/am suspicious of Lagoon's claims too.

Then, I saw a Fontaine Pajot still floating off San Andres, Colombia, after being dismasted and totally swamped. It crossed the whole Caribbean unattended and swamped!

Here is a picture I took of it in San Andres. They found it drifting 17 miles north of the island.



But that only begs more questions. Did it do that well sans the weight of the rig? Are the water tanks and fuel tanks close to empty? Is it bare bones, light charter cat? Lots of variables.

Anyway, after self-tending across the WILD Western Caribbean, there she sits . . . floating and swamped with the salon door wide open

About the only thing I know for sure is that I DON'T want to ever find out where the brink is on my boat . . . I'm not as much of a daredevil as you are Tim!

We have a very good liferaft and a GPS EPIRB, and . . . too much to list. I am not counting on anything, you know me!

Anyway, it is so good to hear from you Tim and I hope things are going your way! Thanks for chiming in and clearing this up.

All the best,

Buddy
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Old 06-02-2009, 21:55   #54
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Well folks, this is indeed an interesting "kerfuffel". Tim's comments confirming the Leopard sinking in the BVI may (or may not...did you see the vessel Tim?) still be heresay, but in any event they add considerable support to all that Buddy was hearing. Perhaps more importantly, Tim's further comments generally on the 'unsinkability' issue were particularly appropriate as no-one here should need absolute proof that any vessel is ultimately sinkable given certain circumstances. I'd be happy to hear further now directly from 'primary' sources, e.g. either R&C (regarding their designs) or Moorings (regarding the particular incident in the BVI), but beyond that I suspect the rest of us 'spectators' are as well informed as we're going to be...?

Buddy, with the above issue clarified (more-or-less?) don't be shy about continuing with your own observations of things that worked (or didn't work!) for you on your Lagoon 380...sort of heading back to the topic of this 'stream'? Was it just two of you? ...and what sort of communications (internet/phone) systems did you use going around the Caribbean?

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Old 06-02-2009, 23:18   #55
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It's really inexcusable to have a modern catamaran sink. You would have to very seriously overload it with more than a tyipcal payload AND use lots of solid glass instead of cored construction. Wood furniture inside contributes to buoyancy. Heavy metal bits like engine, rig and batteries are negative but there is a huge discrepancy going on here.

Here is an example: The bridgedeck cabin on my boat (I designed a little addition for our boat) has a weight of 6.2 kg/m2 in the part of the structure with the heaviest glass (cabin sole). The core is 19mm; not particularly thick.

That core will support 19.5 kg/m2 (0.019m thick x 1m2 x 1025 kg/m3 for density of seawater) = 19.5 kg or a net positive buoyancy of 19.5 - 6.2 = 13.3 kg/m2

The entire sole and cockpit, while much smaller than many 40' catamarans is 34m2. 34m2 x 13.3 kg/m2 = 452 kg of positive buoyancy. I went back and did the math for the rest of the cabin because I was curious - another 400 kg buoyancy in the roof and cabin sides.

I've seen lots of pictures of swamped cruising catamarans. Most of them were floating with the decks awash, at worst. In other words, the positive buoyancy of the bridgedeck cabin was mostly not even required. Something seems amiss with that particular catamaran.
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Old 07-02-2009, 06:40   #56
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Don,

I'll let Tim speak for himself, but just so you know, Tim has done Charters in the BVI on his R&C out of Bitter End and other places and has been in the BVI doing business for a long time now and he is very connected.

A LOT goes on in the USVI and BVI that guys who fly in and out for a few weeks of sailing never hear about. Melissa and I spent a lot of time in the area and I even worked for the National Park Service as the Bay Host for Maho Bay at St. John for a season, where we moored for free for several months as a result.

There is a pretty good flow of behind-the-scenes information between the locals and quasi-locals like we were (and Tim still is). A lot goes on that does not hit the headlines, but burns up the local coconut telegraph.

Look, forget I own a Lagoon. From the git-go here, my position has been that people out here cruising keep telling me, as of late, when the catamaran unsinkability issue comes up, that it is all horseshit and a lie, and then all trails lead back to the same exact story of that Leopard 38 actually sunk (for real, not swamping) in the BVI after having been T-boned.

This story is coming from too many directions, and now from Tim (such a credible source). That's pretty hard for me to now say "well maybe so" or "hearsay."

And I'll be honest. It don't like it and I am not happy about it. I would rather have been informed that it is some BS hoax cooked up by bored monohnullers and such.

Ratings or no ratings, brand X or brand Y, a sinking cat is NOT good news for any of us.

You know . . . oh great . . . now anytime you say catamarans don't sink, detractors will pull this Moorings 38 incident out like a 45 caliber pistol and start shooting at everybody.

Bottom line, it would be an extraordinary event for Tim to have misinformation on this. He is a very smart guy and is an insider there.

Evan,

I would not know how to begin to run the numbers on my boat because I can't see all the internal materials. But, yeah, I thought all the manufacturers knew exactly what proportion of precisely what materials went into each model of cat, and, hence, their willingness to advertise unsinkablilty in writing like Lagoon does worldwide and without disclaimers.

It is, all things said, simple math if you have the data on on the ratios and properties of all materials in hand and available.

And, perhaps some of the rated payload is part of that equation too. Again, it is simple math as to how much more weight the boat can accomodate without sinking if you have accurate data.

Just to remind folks, solid fiberglass sinks. It is NOT buoyant . . . at all. So, for example, if my boat was solid glass and had no wood and one hull got totally compromised and flooded in minutes, and all the deck hatches were open, and conduits to the other hull for wiring and steering, etc. allowed migration of the flood, well . . . . blub blub blub.

Anyway, you can see where this bread trail led me. I kept hearing this report of a catamaran really sinking, kept looking for the word "unsinkable" in any R&C literature and could not find it anywhere. So, I keep asking questions because they are, well, important questions.

There is a chasm between the terms unsinkable and positivey buoyant anyway.

Titanic was deemed unsinkable.

Anyway we'll see what develops and whether or not more information comes to light. I have written some of the "gang" who mugged me in the Rio Dulce and I seem to remember that one of them either SAW it personally or knew someone who SAW it personally. Perhaps I'll get some responses back and will certainly share anything else that I find out.

I'll create an independent post on your questions, Don, and would be happy to answer Lagoon 380 questions.

All the best,

Buddy
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Old 07-02-2009, 07:33   #57
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This just in . . .

I got an email response this morning as follows:

Tom had guests visit here (Roatan, Honduras) in July and they were the people who actually hit the boat that sank.

I can't remember the guy's name but he is a marine architect and actually designed/developed the popular Morgan monohull.

He said the Leopard sank and they had to get divers out there to raise it and it happened in the the Virgin Islands. That's all I know.
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Just to put this in context, Tom owns a monohull. The guy who came to visit him and who was actually involved in the crash is a monohull guy (obviously if he worked on developing Morgans).

Also, considering the guy involved in the crash is a marine architect, you'd think he knows the difference between a catamaran and a monohull and would not be screwing up the reporting of the incident.

And so, this makes sense. Tom LED THE CHARGE on the "cats sink" campaign on the Rio Dulce and is the same guy that looked out on my boat and declared to me 'those sink too, Buddy.'

Tom was operating on allegedly first-hand credible reports of the people actually involved in the crash and he was convinced that since a Leopard 38 sunk that my Lagoon 380 would sink too.

We had quite a "go round' about it. In fact, Tom's mind is made up. He still thinks Lagoon's written claim of unsinkability is BS because "that Leopard sunk."

As a monohuller, Tom is relishing that, in his mind, this unsinkablity myth about catamarans has now been "busted" and sunk to the bottom for good.

Tom is all smiles and thinks we are "all in the same boat" now.

What a freaky, freaky deal.

Beam me up Scotty . . . .
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Old 07-02-2009, 08:38   #58
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Don,

Here is something I wrote for Sail Magazina a while back. They did a feature on cats under 40 feet called "starter cats" and they found my website and asked me to chime in on the Lagoon 380. This is what I wrote:

As full-time cruisers, our strategy from the start was to purchase an ocean seaworthy catamaran large enough to live on comfortably while also keeping expenses down. The Lagoon 380 owner’s version offered a perfect balance. It is a luxurious home and ocean seaworthy, but also fits into 70 ton travel lifts and under ICW bridges. Some of the Lagoon 380 attributes that cinched the deal are as follows:

General layout: Engines are located aft in large compartments accessed topside so engine heat is not transferred to the boat’s interior. Also, used oil and filters stay outside and we don’t dig under bunks to service engines. Queen-sized bunks are aligned fore and aft and all three bunks have huge, engineless areas beneath them for dry, cool storage. The boat’s interior is nicely finished in wood. There are no stark expanses of gel coat or carpet glued to bulkheads, making it an attractive, warm environment. We are both 5’11”, so headroom was a consideration and the 380 more than met our needs. The 380 utilizes a sliding salon door and adjacent sliding window over the galley to transform the salon and cockpit into a single, airy living space with 360 degree views. We have not seen any other catamaran, of any size, execute this feature so beautifully.

Handling: All four corners of the boat are visible from the helm and tight maneuvering is easy. All running rigging is led aft to line clutches and cockpit winches. Offshore, in squalls and big seas, we never have to leave the security of the cockpit when reefing or dousing sails. The 380 is very stable with a wider beam than some forty-two foot cats. Lagoon’s trademark vertical salon windows are indispensable. In stable conditions offshore we can safely stand watch inside at the navigation station with perfect forward visibility. At anchor, we enjoy panoramic views without the “hothouse effect” of sloping salon windows. Also, Lagoon products have relatively high bridge deck clearances and slamming in rough seas is significantly reduced as a result.

The Lagoon 380 has “big” catamaran features and reflects Lagoon’s expertise in manufacturing much larger catamarans. Lagoon expects to surpass hull number 500 by the end of the first quarter of 2008. No other 38 foot cat in the world has enjoyed such a production run.

There is one, oft-criticized design attribute of the Lagoon 380, however: smallish counter space in the galley. In the end, however, Melissa found storage and counter space to be sufficient and she has no complaints. We recently “pushed the envelope” and cooked Cajun Shrimp Etouffe for sixteen. Guests sat comfortably in both the cockpit and salon areas without feeling segregated.

We have owned Indigo Moon (hull number 66) for five and a half years and have lived aboard full-time for over four. We’ve traveled over 15,000 miles and have undertaken long offshore passages just the two of us, including a seven-day 1,130 mile “I-65” passage from Ft. Lauderdale to the British Virgin Islands. We have seen our fair share of big seas and bad squalls and Indigo Moon has performed flawlessly.

We still contend that, dollar for dollar, the 380 is a fabulous choice in the thirty-eight to forty-two foot cruising catamaran market. If Indigo Moon were lost today, we would go looking for one exactly like her tomorrow. If you want to contact us or learn more about our experiences aboard, see our website at: www.indigomoon.us

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As for communications, we used cell phones and intrnet in ports, a globalstar phone offshore for email (including daily weather forecasts from Chris Parker, and an ICOM PCR 1000 to receive SSB weatherfax from NOAA New Orleans.

The Globalstar phone was the WORST money ever spent while cruising in our opinion. Spend the dough and get an Iridium phone. Aside from the Globastar disappointments, our "system" worked perfectly.

Hope this helps and I'll be happy to answer any questions about my 380 and the experiences we have had.

We got lucky and bought the perfect boat for us.

All the best,

Buddy

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Old 07-02-2009, 09:20   #59
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Buoyancy and unsinkability of catamarans

The CE requirement for buoyancy of catamarans is defined in ISO 12217-2:2002 : the total volume of buoyancy must be a minimum of 120% of the maximum displacement, including watertight compartments.

On most of the 38 foot catamarans, there will be between 5 and 6 m3 of volume of materials used for construction. Hence this will provide 5.2 to 6.2 tons of buoyancy, which is not enough in itself to make a 10 tons max. displ. Lagoon 380 or Leopard 38 "unsinkable" without substantial watertight compartments. So a charter catamaran with damaged watertight compartments (or compartments which have been opened to be used for storage...) can sink.

Note that the ISO standard on buoyancy is dated August 2002, and all series which first unit was certified before mandatory enforcement of the standard, do not need to comply. Only newer catamaran models have CE buoyancy and stability constraints. However it should be easy to find out how much watertight compartment volume has been allowed for in the design.

To my knowledge, There is no requirement for the hatches to face backwards to comply with CE certification.

Hope this helps...
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Old 07-02-2009, 10:00   #60
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Hmmm . . . . very interesting. What a winding road!

All my hatches face forward, so I was discounting the hatch comment anyway.

Thanks so much for chiming in with some techincal expertise.

I guess it's a good thing I have a REALLY good liferaft . . .

But this leaves us with yet another "facts vs. myth" about cats breaking up and still floating.

OBVIOUSLY if a cat is in pieces, pieces that when once a whole depended on large watertight compartments to float . . . then what?!

I've read/heard in many general statements about cats that they will float even in pieces, like a broken up styrofoam cup.

Well, I always questioned that.

NONE of this changes my utter adoration for cats . . . R&C, Voyage, St. Francis, FP, Lagoon, Catana, Wharram, Prout, Hobie, Gemini, Broadblue, Stilletto, Privilage, Gunboat . . . and on and on . . .

Show me ANY cat and I'll show you something really cool that I like about it.

I guess that no matter what the outcome on the sinking issue, there is no contention that you will most likely have a lot more time to deal with things on a cat, sans a lead keel, if real trouble strikes.

Gee . . . again, what wild ride this thread is!

All the best,

Buddy
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