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Old 20-01-2015, 21:08   #1
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4 ft seas

While I have rented and sailed a few Hobies while vacationing I have not had the pleasure of a long sail on a cruising cat. During my travels I have met a couple of owners of nice looking cats in the 35' range that avoided anything over 3' seas on a passage.

I have heard much on the pleasant motion of cruising cats so was surprised to hear of their aversion to what I consider nice sailing weather.
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Old 20-01-2015, 21:28   #2
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Maybe there is a misunderstanding ,, I doubt you would find 3ft short choppy close seas "pleasant sailing weather"on a beat as it would suck even in a 41 mono, nice widely spaced rolling seas are no biggie even in a jon boat,
Where your point of sail is matters as well. Theres videos on youtube and fb of 37ft cats in 15-20 ft following seas. The crew is baking a pizza, lounging about etc relaxed. Try that in a similarly sized mono,
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Old 20-01-2015, 22:36   #3
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Re: 4 ft seas

While it's true that everything below would need be stored to keep it in place on my boat, I don't find it unpleasant. Our boat cat wouldn't agree but she is something of a marina queen.
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Old 20-01-2015, 23:24   #4
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Re: 4 ft seas

Not really sure what the question is here. Some people have made an individual choice. I know people with supposedly well found monohulls who never leave their marinas. It's no reflection on their boat's capabilities.
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Old 21-01-2015, 00:24   #5
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Re: 4 ft seas

No real question as much as musing as to what might keep a stable boat with a good motion at the dock simply because of fairly small seas.

I assumed it was likely just Captains choice but thought also possibly a minimum length + beam equation for comfort and safety that I was unaware of or other factors.
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Old 21-01-2015, 03:24   #6
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Re: 4 ft seas

in my opinion there is for every boat design , some wave length even if waves fairly small, that will agitate the boat, especially when sailed against .

like some frequencies where structure resonate.

if person gets bad experience with that boat ans specific waves will get incomplete picture.

Opposite there are also larger waves that will nicely be handled by the boat and person gets too optimistic view.

that is where boat design comes to play. To avoid/minimise these 'resonating' frequencies.
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Old 21-01-2015, 04:15   #7
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Re: 4 ft seas

Ying Yang. Its personal choice.
Important. There is a difference between a 3ft sea and a 3ft swell. One is a localized "chop" while the other comes from a longer fetch.
If the people you spoke to were weekend warriors, that may explain why they dont like a chop. There are weekend warriors on keel boats who dont like heeling past 25 degrees. So there's a balance of sorts. On the other hand there are round the world cruisers in all sorts of vessels with all sorts of shortcomings.
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Old 21-01-2015, 07:56   #8
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Re: 4 ft seas

As others have said the wave period is a bigger factor than wave height on the comfort level of a boat be it monohull or multihull. Another consideration is wave shape. North winds over the North flowing Gulf Stream create what are locally called square waves. Too make matters worse the opposite wind and current also shorten the period of the wave.

Conventional wisdom is to never cross the Gulf Stream if there is any North fetch in the wind. Doing so has been described as driving your boat into short steep concrete walls even if those walls are only 2 or 3 feet high.

There is a lot more to the state of the seaway than the height of the waves.

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Old 21-01-2015, 11:44   #9
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Re: 4 ft seas

The combination of seas, boats, and crew all has to be rolled together. The same conflict exists on power boats. I know trawler owners who don't go outside the ICW if it's over 3'. We certainly tackle tougher conditions than we would have when we started, but we've also learned the capabilities of our boats and ourselves.
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Old 21-01-2015, 12:20   #10
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Re: 4 ft seas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cap Erict3 View Post
While I have rented and sailed a few Hobies while vacationing I have not had the pleasure of a long sail on a cruising cat. During my travels I have met a couple of owners of nice looking cats in the 35' range that avoided anything over 3' seas on a passage.

I have heard much on the pleasant motion of cruising cats so was surprised to hear of their aversion to what I consider nice sailing weather.
I too would try to avoid seas over 3 foot on the nose on passage in my cat, but I would do the same on a mono. I have never considered that 'nice sailing weather' for anything other than a daysail on any boat that I have been on.
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Old 21-01-2015, 12:41   #11
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Re: 4 ft seas

Could be that 3 footers (and larger) cause slapping on the bridge deck between the hulls of the catamarans in question. The height of the bridge deck above the water will differ between models, but in general, a smaller cat might experience slapping in smaller seas than a larger cat.
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Old 21-01-2015, 13:18   #12
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Re: 4 ft seas

I have friends with a Gemini, and prefer nothing more than 2-3' seas. That's a pretty small, light cat. Of course, they sailed in much larger seas, too. Just not their preference.

I've posted this several times before. I was crew on the mono (Pacific Seacraft 37) during the 2010 Harvest Moon Regatta. We were being filmed by a Lagoon. No doubt they were having a nicer day on the water than I was -



Close reaching in 20-25 knots.

I've cruised on a 46' cat from Florida to Cartagena, Colombia. The ride (like you see in the video from the cat) is a totally different feel from a mono. I never did quite get comfortable moving around on deck during our trip, but with time I'm sure it would have become natural. I definitely jumped when the first "BOMB" went off, but got used to that too. A change in course will usually eliminate that from happening....but it sure is loud when it happens.

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Old 22-01-2015, 02:54   #13
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Re: 4 ft seas

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Originally Posted by svHannabel View Post
Could be that 3 footers (and larger) cause slapping on the bridge deck between the hulls of the catamarans in question. The height of the bridge deck above the water will differ between models, but in general, a smaller cat might experience slapping in smaller seas than a larger cat.
high bridge deck is not necessary good in all conditions. in storm conditions this type of cat is not stable. reserve buoyancy comes to help only when healing angle is quite large. compare this to lagoon where hull size increases with every cm immersion.

although lagoon style bridge deck doesnt look like much, is my experience so far that is very efficient and slams very little compared to other cats. Hulls are wide therefore width vs heighth is quite respectable and add gull wing (or whatever is called) and get quite decent setup.
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Old 22-01-2015, 03:22   #14
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Re: 4 ft seas

The way I was taught to sail, was to make the motion of the vessel as soft as possible with the sea conditions I have to work with ! If this means I must bear off, even a bunch, to make this happen, then I do it ! I would rather make a couple of tacks a day and sail soft and smooth, then beat my boat and crew up to save even 2 or 3 days on a passage! Just my 2 cents, but then as ive said before Im never in a hurry to get anywhere!! but then Im old and sorta slow anyway !!LOL
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Old 22-01-2015, 07:24   #15
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Re: 4 ft seas

Quote:
Originally Posted by ozskipper View Post
Ying Yang. Its personal choice.
Important. There is a difference between a 3ft sea and a 3ft swell. One is a localized "chop" while the other comes from a longer fetch.
If the people you spoke to were weekend warriors, that may explain why they dont like a chop. There are weekend warriors on keel boats who dont like heeling past 25 degrees. So there's a balance of sorts. On the other hand there are round the world cruisers in all sorts of vessels with all sorts of shortcomings.
I was thinking just the opposite as far as weekend warriors/coastal cruisers go.

Some of us weekend warriors turn a " breezy" day with 3'-5' waves into an adventure since we only have to deal with the conditions for a much shorter period than a long distance cruiser would have to.

Example, last time I came back South across the Chesapeake Bay from Kiptopeke (18 miles as the crow flies) the winds were SE at around 22 knots which means the wave were coming in from the Atlantic and becoming closely spaced bay waves. I had to beat into them but fell off the wind quite a bit to make headway.

The first tack of 4 hours was westerly just to reposition myself on the other side of the bay as the wind was rotating that way. When I tacked, I was set. It was that or bob around all day at a bad anchorage waiting for the wind to clock around then cross.

It wasn't the smoothest ride, but a breakfast beer seemed to help. Also, once the Bristol gets heeled over to a certain point it will then cruise along pretty good.
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