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Old 13-09-2013, 13:04   #16
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Re: Are there latitude limits for cat sailing?

Looks like Catana owners must like the cold... Neither of the two kindly listed above is the one I'm thinking of so that means at least 3 Catanas have been to the ice!

I've done the Cape of Good Hope in my Privilege and I'm sure it is perfectly capable of going further south but you wouldn't get me going anywhere that cold in any boat
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Old 13-09-2013, 13:43   #17
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Re: Are there latitude limits for cat sailing?

The issue is that in that environment you might want a hull made of thick heavy steel and big bow freeboard, they don't build cats like that because they would be too heavy.
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Old 13-09-2013, 16:25   #18
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Originally Posted by Jeannius View Post
Looks like Catana owners must like the cold... Neither of the two kindly listed above is the one I'm thinking of so that means at least 3 Catanas have been to the ice!

I've done the Cape of Good Hope in my Privilege and I'm sure it is perfectly capable of going further south but you wouldn't get me going anywhere that cold in any boat
The Catana I was thinking of was a 44' named Brumas Patagonia.
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Old 14-09-2013, 00:27   #19
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Re: Are there latitude limits for cat sailing?

These guys must like the cold too: Fallado's Circumnavigation
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Old 14-09-2013, 00:41   #20
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Re: Are there latitude limits for cat sailing?

The Catana 52 OC is/was the 'Minnow' owned by the Webster Bros., h**p://viaboat.com/.
Funny writers, wish they'd written more.
Cheers Mac.
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Old 14-09-2013, 00:57   #21
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Re: Are there latitude limits for cat sailing?

Anyone contemplating Drake's Passage should read Shackleton's book. Solid boats even sink in the Beagle Channel.

I would imagine much of what I know of warm weather sailing doesn't mean **** down there.
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Old 14-09-2013, 07:43   #22
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Re: Are there latitude limits for cat sailing?

Here is a Manta catamaran at high latitudes.

Not something I would want to do with ours.

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Old 14-09-2013, 08:37   #23
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Re: Are there latitude limits for cat sailing?

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Originally Posted by Run4fire View Post

(...)

My question is can a 40 to 44 foot Cat safely navigate round the Horn?

(...)
I think since you asked, it is not safe in your case and in your cat.

Otherwise, I think it is 100% doable given there are skills in place and the boat is strong enough.

I have seen images of cats in ice (arctic or antarctic) - did not look all that big.

If you want to sail open water W to E then your main request may be that the boat handles big seas and high winds well while sailing (preferably quite fast) before the storm.

If you want to sail E to W then the Maghellanes / Beagle may be your preference and you will ask for two mighty motors, strong rig and sails and top specs anchoring equipment. (There is a very good cruising guide for those waters, g oogle some).

To sum up, the task is 100% doable and it takes a strong boat and equally strong skills.

Make sure you have previous heavy weather experience and you know that you and your crew can handle (emotionally and physically) whatever the ocean throws at you.

Fair winds,
b.
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Old 14-09-2013, 10:49   #24
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Thank you all so much for responding to my query. There is so much knowledge and good advice in this forum. I should clarify my question a bit in order to benefit the most from your experience.
We are in the boat upgrade phase from a Pacific Northwest coastal cruiser to the boat that will take us on our next adventure, an as long as it takes circumnavigation. (The longer the better in our book) My firefighter pension makes this dream feasible but alas not in a million $ boat.
I should probably make it clear that I am not suicidal and have no desire to throw myself off the Empire State Building. (Well at least not without a parachute and a safe LZ anyway) 😜 Given the right boat we would probably spend less then 15% of our time in higher latitudes and always in the summer months with a good weather window. I fully understand that the safest boat for this would be a heavy metal mono but for the other 85-90% of the journey what we are 100% sold on is a cat. .
Funny that reading Shackleton came up since it is a lifetime of reading his stories that brought me to sailing and make the goal of seeing that part of the world so hard to give up.
So if we take it as a given that I trust the crew and will be prepared in our nautical skills, the Endurance is out of my price range and the Admiral does not dream of drinking foo foo drinks on a ship's carpenter modified whaleboat. What brands of cat or modifications should I move to the top of my list.

Oh yes, not looking to cross Drakes passage to elephant isle (unless we meet someone with a metal boat needing crew while in Punta Arenas) 😃 current planned voyage will be E to W.
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Old 14-09-2013, 11:02   #25
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Re: Are there latitude limits for cat sailing?

Just because we're on the subject, I always loved the line:

South of 40 degrees there is no law, south of 50 degrees there is no God.
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Old 14-09-2013, 11:07   #26
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Re: Are there latitude limits for cat sailing?

I wrote the following a while ago for someone who was interested in taking a 'regular cruising boat' to the 'hard places':

So, you want to go north or south well out of the tradewind routes. You don’t need a specialty tank of a boat to cruise the ‘difficult places’. You just need a solid well found boat. For example, Willy Ker’s Assent (contessa 32) and Bob Shepton’s Dodo’s Delight (Westerly 33) have done all ‘the hard places” and are just simple well found fiberglass production cruisers. What features/equipment should you prioritize?
1. You will get bigger winds more frequently and the bottom conditions for anchoring are often worse than in the tropics, so bigger and better anchors are a necessity to sleep well. We personally have settled on a very rough rule of 3kg per meter of boat for the main anchor.
A kelp knife (serrated stainless knife mounted on 8’ pole) is useful to cut kelp balls off the anchor & chain because there is quite a bit of heavy kelp in some mid/high latitude anchorages.
2. It’s of course rather colder; so a heater, hull insulation and double panes on ports and windows (to prevent condensation) are very useful. With a fiberglass hull, a core hull might be preferred as it will sweat less than a solid glass hull. However insulation can be added to the inside of lockers and under the head liner on a solid glass hull. Ports and windows can be double panes with either shrink film held in place with double sided tape, or 4mm Plexiglas panels screwed in place.
Good foul weather/cold weather clothing is also a necessity. I like a breathable dry suit rather than normal foul weather gear because it keeps you completely dry and warm even if a wave breaks over your head, but they are not so convenient for women. Gloves are a difficult problem. There are few that are water proof and warm and also flexible enough to handle lines/knots. We have several different sorts, but often wear a fleece lined rubber fisherman’s glove.
A hard dodger or pilot house is also an extremely attractive feature, both to protect you when sailing, but also when you are anchored in the gorgeous high latitude scenery you want to be able to have a cup of hot tea looking at the scenery while protected from the weather (rather than being stuck down below where you cannot see anything). There are trade-offs between hard dodgers and pilot houses that are beyond the scope of this sidebar, but there are valid reasons some prefer one and some the other.
3. The weather is more changeable and the weather windows are shorter, so the ability to get weather info (including ice charts in the north) is very valuable. We have found iridium and grib files the best way to do this, as SSB propagation tends to be more difficult in the higher latitudes.
Because of the changeable weather you also need to be able to switch sail gears easily and quickly from light air to heavy air, often all within a few hours. Something like a furling code zero is fast and effective for the light air, while ‘2-line reefing’ is excellent for the mainsail, and an inner stay with staysail is excellent for a big headsail downshift.
4. Because of the need for heating and often motoring more (either in the calms between lows or upwind), bigger diesel tanks are useful. This is perhaps the item most sensitive to individual sailing style, but almost every one finds themselves going thru more fuel when they leave the tropics.
5. There is typically a lot of rain, and its useful to have a system to catch it (including in strong winds when a canvas system will usually flap too much). This captures a free resource, saving both valuable fuel and engine/generator running time.
6. In most of the mid and & high latitude there are fishing fleets and harbors which actually have surprisingly good repair capabilities. However if you really go ‘off road’, such as to the Antarctic peninsula, South Georgia, or the North West Passage, you have to be prepared to be completely self-reliant. That will mean carrying extensive spare and tools and having the skills to use them. This is all easier if you have a dead simple boat.
7. If you go into the ice (and not all high latitude destinations have significant ice) then a stainless “V” plate covering the cut water is comforting, and an ‘iceberg pole’ is useful to fend off small bergs floating around an anchorage or when slowing underway.
As to routes and such, you need to buy Patagonia & Tierra del Fuego Nautical Guide: by Rolfo, Mariolina & Giorgi Ardrizzi. It's expensive but essential if you plan to go down there.
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Old 14-09-2013, 11:09   #27
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Re: Are there latitude limits for cat sailing?

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Originally Posted by Run4fire View Post
.
What brands of cat or modifications should I move to the top of my list.

.
Maybe you can contact s/v Libellule.
She is a FP Salina just completing the North West Passage.

Approaching Bering Strait | NW Passage
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Old 14-09-2013, 11:26   #28
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Re: Are there latitude limits for cat sailing?

Not taking anything away from anyone but having your picture taken next to a glacier in Alaska doesn't measure up sailing to the Arctic. Alaska can be sailed/motored in the summer by almost any sized and equipped sailboat or power boat for that matter as you can sail a good chunk of it in protected waters. Sailing to Cape Horn or from Japan to the Aleutian Islands or points north is a completely different game .
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Old 14-09-2013, 14:11   #29
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Re: Are there latitude limits for cat sailing?

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Maybe you can contact s/v Libellule.
She is a FP Salina just completing the North West Passage.

Approaching Bering Strait | NW Passage
Their blog sounds like it was a boring trip.
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Old 14-09-2013, 16:57   #30
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Re: Are there latitude limits for cat sailing?

By the way . . . here is a (very brief) description of what was done to strength Libellule:

"The Swiss hedge fund investor and philanthropist consulted naval engineers and toughened up the fibreglass hull of Libellule, a 14-metre catamaran, to give her a fighting chance against the Arctic. He added Kevlar to the bows and sides, and reinforced the rudder shafts."
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