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Old 28-09-2011, 11:03   #1
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Cat Rigs and Bluewater

Hello everyone. Pardon my username, I don't mean to impersonate a capt. I created the username under the influence of Sailor Jerry's.

Anyway, I've been lurking a while now while my wife and I shop for our first boat. We are looking for a bluewater capable/liveaboard suitable sailboat on the "We(s)t" coast of Canada.
We haven't sailed much so the plan is to buy the boat and move aboard, then take sailing lessons until we're able to start sailing on our own in our own boat. Sail for a couple of years from spring to fall while working during the winters up north where the big money is. Hopefully someday we'll end up somewhere far, far away from the cold Canadian winters.

Right now there are so many boats to choose from it's quite confusing. We've been looking for a couple of months now.
The latest two that we're interested in viewing are 1) a f/g over wooden hull and 1) a 31 foot catrig.
So in general what do you think of f/g over wood and would a catrigged boat be safe in bluewater? It is 31 loa with a beam of 11' 6".

Nice to make your acquaintances and hoping you'll share some sailing wisdom with me.
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Old 28-09-2011, 11:14   #2
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Re: Catrigs and bluewater

Welcome to C.F.

I am sure you will have many opinions shared here...
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Old 28-09-2011, 13:06   #3
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Re: Catrigs and bluewater

Unless the underlying wood construction is strip plank, plywood or cold molded, run, don't walk away from a fiber glassed wood boat. With the traditional plank on frame construction, the movement of the underlying wood will break the bond of the fiberglass to the wood. Water will then get in and the wood will rot.

Plywood/strip plank/and Cold Molded boats expand and contract more uniformly so the resin will adhere much better though not necessarily permanently. There's a Newporter Ketch built out of plywood and then glassed at the factory in the marina. The underlying plywood is so rotten and the fiberglass so thin, the you can poke holes in the sides with a boat hook. Granted, this boat is 40 plus years old but it's ready for bonfire fuel while my nearly as old FRP boat is still going strong.
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Old 28-09-2011, 13:46   #4
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Re: Catrigs and bluewater

There are catboats and there are catboats. The traditional cat rig boats had extremely wide beam to compensate for the very shallow draft and shortage of ballast. They are negatively stable in an extreme knockdown and will not right themselves. There have been a lot of newer designs that don't follow this design pattern or not to such an extreme, however. Believe it's the Freedom series of boats that are cruisers with an unstayed cat rig for ocean sailing. Tom Wylie has designed a series of cat rig boats that are kicking butt racing on the west coast. You might want to talk with the boat's designer or hire a naval architect to evaluate the design for you. Believe Robert Perry offers this service for a reasonable fee. Money well spent if it's your life in the balance.
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Old 28-09-2011, 14:12   #5
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Re: Catrigs and bluewater

Welcome mate. Can't answer your question but can say hello
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Old 28-09-2011, 17:49   #6
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Re: Cat Rigs and Bluewater

Cat rig is OK and in fact cat rig ketch/schooner could be very desirable if sailing downwind a lot. Make sure the rig is married to a seaworthy hull and you will be fine.

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Old 28-09-2011, 17:56   #7
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Re: Cat Rigs and Bluewater

Thanks for the comebacks people. Seems like a very friendly atmosphere here. The friendly people and willingness to give advice is one of many things I like so much about the marine community and sailing in general. There aren't too many places left where you can experience that anymore. You know it's genuine also, when the person offering advice is actually advising you not to buy his boat, and that has happened in our quest already.
Anyway, back to the plywood over glass, the following is the description of the hull from the ad.
"offshore capable ketch designed by Brandlymar Yacht design in 1972.Construction completed in 1980. The clear grain 2 1/2 by 3 inch douglas fir longitudinals on 6 inch centers form the core of a robust hull with 5/8 marine plywood covered with hand laid fiberglass to a minimum thickness of 1/4 inch..... is absolutely dry in the bilges , with no leaks in the superstructure and no deteriation anywhere.
What a great boat for liveaboard or cruising anywhere........ Fire her up and head out. No preperation required."
It's quite a well written ad and us chock full of many complementary adjectives.
I have been leary of wood in general even though I've read a lot of positive things about wooden boats and their construction. Given our limited budget for a boat, we're looking at 30+ year old boats so I'm thinking that f/g would be a better choice.
Would you agree with that?

Thanks again.
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Old 28-09-2011, 18:10   #8
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Re: Cat Rigs and Bluewater

I have seen a plywood/grp boat sailing the Pacific, she was doing OK. I also think the French RM (RM YACHTS | Concept) boats are plywood/grp. Seen two of them, looked OK too.

So, this building method seems no worse than any other when properly executed.

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Old 28-09-2011, 20:10   #9
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Re: Cat Rigs and Bluewater

Ketches are nice rigs for long distance/shorthanded cruising because you can shorten sail in a variety of ways but still keep the boat well balanced on many different points of sail. The sail area is spread into smaller pieces, which makes them easier to handle. Modern rigs have made it easier to for small crews to handle large sails, however, so ketches are not the only option.
Judging the suitability of the design for what you want to do, along with the condition of the boat, is an entirely different question. The boat was designed in '72 and completed in '80. Did it take 8 years for a homebuilder to put it together in his back yard? Or did a professional builder take the design of an admired local naval architecture firm and create a masterpiece? I have never heard of Brandlymar before, but I don't get to the We(s)t coast much. Are they still in business? Did they design a lot of boats for water sailing">blue water sailing? What sort of reputation do they have? What sort of reputation (if any) does the builder have? Of course, you also have to find out what sort of condition the boat is in. Even the best design by the best builder can be in poor condition if it hasn't been taken care of properly: even a Rolls Royce will rust if it's left out in the snow & rain.
It sounds like you are starting to look for a boat that you want to be able to use for a long time. It would make sense to look around for a while first. There are a LOT of boats on the market now, with many owners eager to not have to pay winter storage fees. You won't have time to see them all. For research, however, you should perhaps look at a boat that might be optimal for what you want to do - maybe a Tayana 37, for example - even if they are priced out of your range. It will have features you need for the type of sailing you say you want to do, and will enable you to compare other designs to one you "know" is suitable. Happy hunting!
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:40   #10
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Re: Cat Rigs and Bluewater

Quote:
Originally Posted by psk125 View Post
I have never heard of Brandlymar before, but I don't get to the We(s)t coast much.....
Happy hunting!
Thanks very much for the insight, I think the "Brandlymar" in the ad is a typo or misspelling of brandlmayr.

I think I will be having a look at this boat and a few other in that area within the next few days. I'll fill you in on the details of the build when I know more.

Thanks again
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Old 02-10-2011, 09:00   #11
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Re: Cat Rigs and Bluewater

I have sailed on a Freedom 30 sumthing and thought it did well..I have always been a little botherd by the early type layup of carbon fiber as it could delamanate from something as simple as a little moisture in-between the layers when setting up.and I would look close at the spars as you know there is no standing rigging..I have seen arimid fiber masts flex to the point I thought they would break and I have seen hang gliders that did break ...time to throw the chute... good luck DVC
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