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Old 23-02-2007, 03:25   #16
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Thank you so much for informative response.

"Why do my posts end up like War and Peace?"

Becasue you are p a s s i o n a t e
and have an appreciative audience!
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Old 23-02-2007, 14:43   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Etienne
Thanks for the input.

Bamboosailor: I quote Mike: "Personally I wouldn't leave the dockside in one." Maybe he can also help out here.

The main issue seem to be that conventional wisdom says that catamarans are safe only if the weight is kept low. In the case of the Lagoon, this handicap is combined with the fact that the hard bimini, helmstation, higher boom, etc adds weight aloft, higher than other comparible cats, hence may be more unsafe in a marginal situation. I guess this is what Mike is referring to. I have written to Lagoon for comment with no response as yet.

To modify the boom and rig seem like a good idea - they made it so that a fully grown man standing upright at the helm station won't get knocked over.

I still really like the Lagoon. I guess love is blind. (sigh).
Etienne... What makes me anti the raised flybridge is the experience of 17 days and, more importantly, 17 nights crossing the Atlantic.

When I think back to the times, late at night, on watch on my own, watching the big black clouds come up behind and seeing the bright blue blobs on the radar - which on a Raymarine mean rain and probably squally winds - I was very pleased to be low down in a nice, sheltered cockpit. The thought of being 12-15 ft ( not sure what the height is) up in the air and very exposed makes my blood run cold. Even now sitting in a nice warm office I can imagine the experience
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Old 24-02-2007, 10:10   #18
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I made the previous post before knowing about the tragedy that had in fact happened 3 days earlier. From the sounds of it, most likely any boat - mono or cat - would have been overwhelmed by the conditions that Steve Hobley and his crew found themself in. My deepest sympathy goes to Steve's family and friends for their loss.
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Old 24-02-2007, 12:50   #19
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top heavy cats

I have always thought the Lagoon 440 looked rather top heavy. I do not want to speculate as to the reasons for the 440 having flipped but I certainly agree with the prior post that I would feel much more secure in a vessel with a lower profile when in the midst of towering waves and high winds.
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Old 25-02-2007, 05:44   #20
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Top Heavy Cats

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Originally Posted by henryv
I have always thought the Lagoon 440 looked rather top heavy.
The high superstructure and centre of gravity doesn't worry me overmuch. Modern production crusing cats have a wide beam that make them quite stable to beam waves. What worries me more is the ridgid bimini that can, I imagine, catch the wind as the cat rises to the peak of a steep beam wave. If the wind gets under the bimini and the cat is already at angle it may be sufficient to push it over. Perhaps cockpit enclosures should be deployed in such conditions to prevent this from happening - although the cockpit enclosures I've seen do not look robust enough for the job. However, I think the key is probably to keep the bow into the wind and waves, which is why a parachute anchor seems sensible to me.

It is interesting that the accounts of the recent tragedy mention them being pooped by a huge wave shortly before the cat flipped. The boat appears to have survived this quite well. It would be interesting to know more about the wave that flipped them.

Chris
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Old 25-02-2007, 14:07   #21
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Originally Posted by 420Hull58
It is interesting that the accounts of the recent tragedy mention them being pooped by a huge wave shortly before the cat flipped. The boat appears to have survived this quite well. It would be interesting to know more about the wave that flipped them.

Chris
I wonder if they used a drogue or sea anchor. Excessive speed on a heavy catamaran IS the definition of why heavy cats are dangerous.
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Old 25-02-2007, 15:58   #22
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Originally Posted by 420Hull58
Perhaps cockpit enclosures should be deployed in such conditions to prevent this from happening -
I learn something new all the time here - thanks Chris.
I wonder what exactly was done by the experienced skipper of the 440 that flipped in terms of storm tactics? It doesn't say much in the articles.

I have also noticed quite a few boat accidents happen with delivery-boats - is that due to the tight delivery schedule?

As cruisers - what would you have done differently in that situation - avoid that storm altoghether? Sail away around it? Change the plans to veer away?
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Old 26-02-2007, 06:22   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Etienne
As cruisers - what would you have done differently in that situation - avoid that storm altoghether? Sail away around it? Change the plans to veer away?
Sail a multihull that sails like one....FAST!!
A 44' catamaran that tops the scales at 24K lbs is heavy. What makes a multihull safer in these conditions is the ability to sail out of the system's path. If the boat can only do 9 knots max. you are essentially sailing a flat mono and opening yourself up to the rath of a storm system. If you average 11 - 12 knots, you divert your course and sail around the system. That's the catamaran's safety factor.
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Old 26-02-2007, 07:45   #24
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If you average 11 - 12 knots, you divert your course and sail around the system. That's the catamaran's safety factor.
Well said Mr. Russel!!
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Old 26-02-2007, 09:30   #25
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I do not think boat speed would make any difference in this case. They knew weather system was coming, but forecast was for 35-40 kts, which skipper was confortable to handle. They were not trying to avoid it or run from it. Once the system hit it was 60+kts. I do not see what difference would 9kts vs. 12kts of max boat speed make.
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Old 26-02-2007, 10:32   #26
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Originally Posted by BambooSailor
I do not think boat speed would make any difference in this case. They knew weather system was coming, but forecast was for 35-40 kts, which skipper was confortable to handle. They were not trying to avoid it or run from it. Once the system hit it was 60+kts. I do not see what difference would 9kts vs. 12kts of max boat speed make.
True, they made a choice to stick out the storm. But he didn't have much option of running in a slow boat like this. Even once the storm has hit a lighter boat will be safer in some ways. It will need a drogue or sea anchor earlier, but will have less tendancy to get pooped. Light catamarans can float on white wash. It should float high on the water and stay above the waves. In a beam on situation a well designed cat will sideslip down the wave. (In a perfect world)

Another dangerous possibility that could have led to the capsize in the atlantic is too much speed on a heavy cat in rough seas. If no sea anchor or drogue was deployed In 60 knts wind and 40' seas, it is possible the large cat could have done over 10 kts with little or no sails. If the Lagoon surfs down a 40' wave at 14 kts its not going to come up over the next wave with ease. It could bury the heavy bows and stop dead.


(Light Wharram hit broadside by tsunami)
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Old 26-02-2007, 10:43   #27
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Originally Posted by fhrussell
What makes a multihull safer in these conditions is the ability to sail out of the system's path. If the boat can only do 9 knots max. you are essentially sailing a flat mono and opening yourself up to the rath of a storm system. If you average 11 - 12 knots, you divert your course and sail around the system. That's the catamaran's safety factor.
I hesitate to post a question that may raise the old (and tiresome) Multi vs Mono debate, but whilst I can see that being quicker is very helpful in avoiding bad weather and this has a safety aspect as well as "just" a conveniance factor, I did not think speed was the safety factor.........I was under the impression that it was normal for Multihulls to also be capable of dealing with bad weather - as much as any mono can, even if the tactics / skills involved are different.

Although I have a very conservative monohull, I do still have the hankering for a Trimaran - they just have a certain "something" about them that appeals to me.........
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Old 26-02-2007, 11:22   #28
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David OJ,
Excuse me, I didn't mean to convey that speed was the safety factor, but it is somewhat your first attempt to avoid getting yourself in a tough situation. Otherwise, if stuck in bad weather, with proper technique, you do have a sea-worthy platform in a multihull to ride out the storm.

One design issue that may have contributed to the capsize may be the use of LAR keels on these charter cats. If they were hit from the side, they would not side-slip as easily as a boat with raised daggerboards.

Let's face it..Lagoon, FP, etc. are designing boats for fair weather cruising in warm climes, with air-conditioning and laundry facilities aboard.... Also, 60+ knots of wind, 40' waves is a rough ride for anyone in anything!
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Old 26-02-2007, 11:28   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BambooSailor
I do not think boat speed would make any difference in this case. They knew weather system was coming, but forecast was for 35-40 kts, which skipper was confortable to handle. They were not trying to avoid it or run from it. Once the system hit it was 60+kts. I do not see what difference would 9kts vs. 12kts of max boat speed make.
I agree 9 kts vs. 12 kts. is not much, but I stated 9 kts. as a maximum for a 44' Lagoon and 12 kts. as an average for another 44' catamaran. If the wind was 20 kts (as a 'for instance') before they were in the system, a 44' should do 15 knots, no problem... The Lagoon will do about 7-8 knots, 9 max. So, the difference does become substantial...IMHO.
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Old 26-02-2007, 12:38   #30
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Cheers for the clarification. I wasn't trying to be picky (honest ) just that with a passing interest in Multis but in the absence of any direct experiance of Multihulling and being aware that multihull design has "moved on" in recent years - I was curious as to whether the philosophy behind multihull boat designs had also changed more than I had realised in regard to bad weather.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fhrussell
Also, 60+ knots of wind, 40' waves is a rough ride for anyone in anything!
I agree with you here!

(and BTW I wasn't suggesting that a Mono would automatically have fared better in these circumstances, maybe it would not have capsized and remained inverted, but who knows if this weather would have resulted in something else as bad - although I am definately not a religous person, I do tend to subscribe to the theory that if the Gods decide against you at sea, then you are in the doo doo - whatever the vessel)
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