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Old 01-08-2012, 14:47   #1
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pirate Cape Horn re. cats.

Hi all. . . first of all I have been checking this site for a couple months and just registered. So here's your latest noob! Love the forums. Very exciting.

My question is because of a comment I read in which Richard Woods said about his Gypsy 28 cat. that he wouldn't recommend taking it around Cape Horn (tongue in cheek?) - more for gentler waters, say more northerly.
Anyway, I intend buying a cat. around 8 or 9M, within a few months, for me and my wife.So far it's toss up between a Woods Gypsy 8/9M, a Catalac 9M or a Heavenly Twins likewise.

However (not that I intend going around Cape Horn), could someone, if possible, tell me how a Catalac or a Heavenly Twins would compare with a Gypsy 28 re. THEIR Cape Horn test? Please ?

I don't have the indepth know-how re. the structural strength or capability of the designs involved. (I just want to find out, possibly, how far short they might each likely fall of successfully rounding the Horn's waters, as a rough performance guideline for slightly less turbulant waters. Maybe it will help me in choosing.
I assume seamanship plays a big part but I am concentrating mainly on the comparative designs, their lines and structures, etc.
Sorry to make this query somewhat fuzzy. Thank you very much.
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Old 01-08-2012, 14:56   #2
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Re: Cape Horn re. cats.

I'm sure experts on all these models will chime in. But I think you are setting the wrong standard. I don't think I would want to take ANY of these small cats around the Horn. You'd do better to state the sort of cruising you DO plan to do, and then ask for advice on good boats for those conditions.
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Old 01-08-2012, 15:00   #3
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Re: Cape Horn re. cats.

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I'm sure experts on all these models will chime in. But I think you are setting the wrong standard. I don't think I would want to take ANY of these small cats around the Horn. You'd do better to state the sort of cruising you DO plan to do, and then ask for advice on good boats for those conditions.
Hi, Doug. Thank you for the quick reply. As I said - I have no intention of ever sailing around Cape Horn, especially in such a small craft.(Rosie Swale did it in an Oceanic 30 but I think she was a bit crazy ).
I was trying to get a rough opinion of just how much battering such small cats. can take so as to have an idea of what they can stand in lesser but still rough seas. thanks.
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Old 01-08-2012, 15:13   #4
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I'm not sure about the Woods design but I would guess both the Catalac and Heavenly Twins would take more of a beating than the crew would be able to handle. I think both are built like tanks and pretty seaworthy.
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Old 01-08-2012, 15:23   #5
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Re: Cape Horn re. cats.

Anyway, I still have to choose between those 3 cats. Most cruising will be South England to the Med., for about a year. The Bay of Biscay is noted for its sudden storms. That's what made me think of Woods comment.Then taking the Atlantic plunge and then on to U.S. East coast.

A couple of differences between them are: 1 I like the way R. Woods designed the walkway between the outer hulls and bridge. However 2: the Catalac has a droppable mast (canals in Europe?). I would put the Woods design first for safety reasons. It outweighs the Catalac's mast design.

If anyone has any worthwhile experience of any of these cats. to give me some leads I would really appreciate it.

I am not interested in breaking any speed records - just safety and some creature comfort in our travels.
Thanks, SMJ
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Old 01-08-2012, 15:55   #6
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Re: Cape Horn re. cats.

I have never4 rounded the horn but my late pops did it several times, twice under sail in a four masted training vessel. On one occasion there was barely a breeze and on the next they lost men--two I think falling from the rigging. One hit the deck--the other went over the side and missed the dead man's rope. I heard of a Prout 36 rounding the horn and many monohulls have done it but only at the most favourable time of year.

I do not think there is one cruising cat for all purposes in the size range you mention. I would go larger--but that is me. The Heavenly Twins design is small but very popular--they seldom stay long unsold.

I would be looking at 36 foot as a minimum because the comfort level rises in proportion to the square of the increase in waterline length---although I have a pal who sails a Simpson Cloud Nine and he is very happy with its performance in all weather.
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Old 01-08-2012, 16:20   #7
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Re: Cape Horn re. cats.

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I would be looking at 36 foot as a minimum because the comfort level rises in proportion to the square of the increase in waterline length---although I have a pal who sails a Simpson Cloud Nine and he is very happy with its performance in all weather.
Thanks Mike. . . I am a bit limited by the cash flow. Seems the minute you go over 30ft. the cost rockets .
The more I study the more I lean toward the Catalac 9M. It will be a close call between it and a Heavenly Twins. Maybe what will sway me might be the kind of gear included. But I definitely want twin diesels.

WOW - your Dad had some experiences. Wonder what he would say now if he saw the monster cats crossing the oceans now?
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Old 01-08-2012, 17:20   #8
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Re: Cape Horn re. cats.

I know of a Catalac (a 9 meter one) that was sailed from EU to Asia via. Panama. The only thing the owner modified was to change the engines for two new ones.

Then I met a happy couple sailing their Catalac in Spain. They sailed from the UK to Andalusia. They again gave up on the old clonkers and employed two outboards - a big one as a main and a smaller one as a backup/dinghy engine. They looked very happy crew in a very happy boat.

So, I think, a Catalac is a small, inexpensive boat that can be sailed to places.

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Old 02-08-2012, 03:36   #9
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Re: Cape Horn re. cats.

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Then I met a happy couple sailing their Catalac in Spain. They sailed from the UK to Andalusia. They again gave up on the old clonkers and employed two outboards - a big one as a main and a smaller one as a backup/dinghy engine.
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Now that is making me think. Any idea if it is maybe more practical to have outboards because petrol may be easier acquired in out-of-the-way places ? Besides using a small outboard for a dinghy seems a good idea.

Anyone got an opinion re. petrol v. diesel ? Buck for buck diesel gives more "bang for your buck" (pardon the pun ) and much more mileage. I am just thinking of how available is diesel these days in so-called "off-the-beaten-track" places? I need a little steering in the right direction here. All advice more than welcome. Thanks all.
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Old 02-08-2012, 07:12   #10
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Re: Cape Horn re. cats.

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(...) Any idea if it is maybe more practical to have outboards because petrol may be easier acquired in out-of-the-way places ? Besides using a small outboard for a dinghy seems a good idea.

Anyone got an opinion re. petrol v. diesel ? Buck for buck diesel gives more "bang for your buck" (pardon the pun ) and much more mileage. I am just thinking of how available is diesel these days in so-called "off-the-beaten-track" places? I need a little steering in the right direction here. All advice more than welcome. Thanks all.
IMHO: diesel / petrol access is basically the same everywhere and any local differences are canceled out by global similarities. Personally, I would not base my engine choice on this factor.

Inboard diesels have HUGE advantages: e.g. they normally come with decent alternators, they are protected from the elements, diesel poses no storage hazards, etc..

Outboard petrols have HUGE advantages: e.g. they are light(er), they can be removed for repairs, they can be used as dinghy engines, etc..

If the boat already has inboard diesels and if they work OK, stick with them. If they need replacement and you can afford new ones, replace them. If you cannot afford new diesels or if you want to save space/travel light/etc.. you can be happy with outboards.

So my 2 cents are I think stick with what you have and if replacing anything make sure the replacement will deliver the functionality you will ask from it.

But this is just my opinion, not facts.

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Old 02-08-2012, 07:28   #11
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IMHO: diesel / petrol access is basically the same everywhere and any local differences are canceled out by global similarities. Personally, I would not base my engine choice on this factor.

Inboard diesels have HUGE advantages: e.g. they normally come with decent alternators, they are protected from the elements, diesel poses no storage hazards, etc..

Outboard petrols have HUGE advantages: e.g. they are light(er), they can be removed for repairs, they can be used as dinghy engines, etc..

If the boat already has inboard diesels and if they work OK, stick with them. If they need replacement and you can afford new ones, replace them. If you cannot afford new diesels or if you want to save space/travel light/etc.. you can be happy with outboards.

So my 2 cents are I think stick with what you have and if replacing anything make sure the replacement will deliver the functionality you will ask from it.

But this is just my opinion, not facts.

b.
Thanks, b. . . just about sums it up for me. Am hoping the boat I eventually get will already have inboard diesel . Then I will buy a small outboard for the dinghy. Aaah. . creature comforts.
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Old 02-08-2012, 10:33   #12
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A couple of other positive aspects of the outboard. No props in the water so better performance. Two less holes in the water, and if your talking saildrives these holes are HUGE! And also no cleaning barnacles of props and worrying about electrolysis.
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Old 07-08-2012, 02:47   #13
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Re: Cape Horn re. cats.

The Heavenly Twins have circumnavigated so do have a good pedigree!

The other advantage of outboards over diesel, is that they are lighter and and can be lifted out of the water therefore giving you better sailing ability. And of course a lighter cat is a safer cat

The other good thing about an HT is the centre cockpit, which is very safe in all weathers.

I do have an HT27 so am biased
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:24   #14
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Re: Cape Horn re. cats.

Wambam, I think smj and barnakiel gave you very good advice re: outboards versus inboards.

All boats are a compromise. Perfection does not exist. Not with boats, nor life partners. Not with anything.

When looking for our last boat, outboards were on our wish list, along with various other items. We could not find any boat that hit all the items on our wish list. But, in the end, we ended up with a 40 cat with petrol outboards. It is great for sailing, we simply tilt them up, reduce the drag and sail away. Right now, we are in the harbour in Papeete, Tahiti, and there is a problem with one outboard. It took 10 minutes to lift it out of its well and drop it in the cockpit.

Last year, we replaced an outboard in Aruba. I made the decision in the morning and by that afternoon, the new outboard was installed and running. So easy! No thru-hulls, no fumes inside the boat, bla bla.

The downside is that they cop a beating from the spray even when you tilt them up. If they are in a well, they are hidden. If they are hanging off the transom they can be stolen quite easily.

It is all a compromise, mate. Dont worry about it. Just a buy a boat that hits most of the items in your wish list!
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Old 07-08-2012, 08:40   #15
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Re: Cape Horn re. cats.

That's like buying a car based on which one would do better in the INDY 500...
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