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Old 03-02-2016, 19:25   #31
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Re: Cat capcized in the gulf stream.

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Yes contrary to many beliefs, cats do flip now and then. One flipped on charter out of the Abacos (?) several years ago. I forget the company. I think it was a FP smaller cat... 35?
Contrary to who's beliefs?
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Old 03-02-2016, 19:27   #32
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Re: Cat capcized in the gulf stream.

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You know, the multihullers are always on the mono people about having sinkers,

Really? Can you show me an example of where a "multihuller" has gone into the monohull sailboat forum and called their boats "sinkers"?
Sorry, Cruising Cat 44', no offense meant. Certainly not in the forum, but i have sure heard it a lot in face to face chat with friends. They frequently re-state the undeniably true fact that lead tends to drag one down....and sometimes smugly mention that their boats float, and I've heard "unsinkable" more than just a few times. And then I go and read about cats sinking, and cats capsizing, and I have begun to think they're not as safe as I thought they might be... I've been around a long time, and had multihuller friends for years, hence i've heard it a lot. Obviously, "always" was an exaggeration. Again, no offense intended.

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Old 03-02-2016, 20:02   #33
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Re: Cat capcized in the gulf stream.

No offence taken, Ann, it seems the written word doesn't convey thoughts as well as it might...


If you read most of the threads about cat's sinking it usually turns out they didn't actually sink. They became flooded, and obviously were floating way down below their normal lines when abandoned, but USUALLY (not always) didn't sink.


There are some ridiculously heavy cat's out there these days. The plus side of these very heavy cat's (if there is one) is that it would take a seriously determined effort to capsize one. So maybe they ALMOST have it right - ALMOST unsinkable, and ALMOST impossible to sail over.


If only they sailed....


And in reality they are probably not habitable in either the nearly sunk position, or the inverted position (if you ever did manage to flip one).


It's like everything, blanket generalisations simply don't cover every case. Some cats can sink. Certainly cats built of metal would need some deliberate measures taken to make them buoyant when flooded. Lightweight cat's built of cored composites will float. (Mostly.)


I know of two occasions where boats similar to mine had massive damage done to their hulls, and still floated, and were habitable.


One had about 5 metres of one hull ripped out, was able to be towed to a repair yard (it's engine had been removed or it would have been able to motor).


The other had the bows and a couple of metres of the bottoms of both hulls torn out. It was able to motor for about 10 hours (From memory) to a harbour.


There ARE unsinkable cat's. And there are sinkable ones. There are mono's that will self right if rolled over, and some that may not. There are even keelboats with enough buoyancy built in that they can't sink.
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Old 04-02-2016, 01:27   #34
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Re: Cat capcized in the gulf stream.

Can Gemini's capsize because they aren't reefed and the wind is too strong (like when we were kids and sailed Hobie Cats aggressively)?

I thought the 2 main ways a Catamaran could capsize were tripping down a wave or huge waves hitting the boat abeam. How do Catamarans usually capsize?
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Old 04-02-2016, 03:58   #35
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Re: Cat capcized in the gulf stream.

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Can Gemini's capsize because they aren't reefed and the wind is too strong (like when we were kids and sailed Hobie Cats aggressively)?

I thought the 2 main ways a Catamaran could capsize were tripping down a wave or huge waves hitting the boat abeam. How do Catamarans usually capsize?
Not typically #1 due to the small sail area. Higher performance cats (like driving Lamborghinis) need to be sailed with care. A Gemini won't have this concern.

Very large, steep waves could capsize a cat as well.

This case is a breach of the hull without enough flotation after the hull flooded (see 44cruisingcat's post). If one hull is floating and the other sinks, that will roll it over. Note, most, if not all high performance cats are immune to this form of capsize, as they are very light weight with buoyancy chambers, so the hull that gets water in it can't sink and flip the boat.

Most capsizes are due to user error.

1) high performance cats with too much sail in high wind

2) #1 above in combination with just the wrong wave action
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Old 04-02-2016, 04:10   #36
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Re: Cat capcized in the gulf stream.

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"one hull taking on water" ... only likely thing I can think of is broken spade rudder/tube......?
unless they hit something...?
Nope, the rudder can be completely removed with the boat in the water.

If you hit something the rudder just kicks up.
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Old 04-02-2016, 04:11   #37
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Re: Cat capcized in the gulf stream.

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Originally Posted by lindabarzini View Post
Can Gemini's capsize because they aren't reefed and the wind is too strong (like when we were kids and sailed Hobie Cats aggressively)?

I thought the 2 main ways a Catamaran could capsize were tripping down a wave or huge waves hitting the boat abeam. How do Catamarans usually capsize?
Modern cats have a huge stability and will resist better to capsize face breaking waves abeam than a monohull of the same size. Off course a monohull unlike a cat can pass the 90º barrier at come to his feet (most till about 120º) and even if inverted, a small wave will be enough to bring then to their feet.

Heavy cruising cats, like the Lagoon or a Leopard are very difficult to capsize but not impossible and big winds are the main cause, sometimes with waves on the mix. Unexpected meteorological phenomenons or huge gusts are the main problem and on this very rare case they can be capsized by wind alone.

Some years ago on a transat race, huge 60ft racing trimarans, very beamy and with a huge stability, were capsized by big winds (Gusts over 70K). At least one of them without any sail on the mast, just by the force of the wind on the big mast.
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Old 04-02-2016, 04:19   #38
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Re: Cat capcized in the gulf stream.

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Can Gemini's capsize because they aren't reefed and the wind is too strong (like when we were kids and sailed Hobie Cats aggressively)?

I thought the 2 main ways a Catamaran could capsize were tripping down a wave or huge waves hitting the boat abeam. How do Catamarans usually capsize?
In high enough winds with the leeward board down, you could fly a hull in a Gemini (if you are an idiot). In heavy conditions, you retract both boards, so that the hull can slide down waves. If you must use a board (leeshore scenario), you use the windward board so if the windward hull lifts, the board loses it's grip and you again slide down the wave.

Without being intentionally stuipid, you don't fly a hull. Catamarans don't "usually" capsize any more than mono's "usually" sink.

Based on the reports, this incident has NOTHING to do flying a hull. It sounds like the capsize was after the fact.
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Old 04-02-2016, 04:27   #39
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pirate Re: Cat capcized in the gulf stream.

Early designs like the Iroquois had a tendency to flip... but the designers finally realised Wharram had it right with the 48% beam to length ratio to counter the tendency..
Oh.. and the smaller than equivalent length mono aspect rig...!!
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Old 04-02-2016, 04:39   #40
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Re: Cat capcized in the gulf stream.

Someone told me 2 months ago they were going to cruise the caribean with a gemini.
I told them there is a lot of open water down there, and the chances of being in a situation where the boat is no good would be high. They called me an idiot, and told me to bugger off. I hate to be this right.
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Old 04-02-2016, 05:00   #41
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Re: Cat capcized in the gulf stream.

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Originally Posted by lindabarzini View Post
Can Gemini's capsize because they aren't reefed and the wind is too strong (like when we were kids and sailed Hobie Cats aggressively)?

I thought the 2 main ways a Catamaran could capsize were tripping down a wave or huge waves hitting the boat abeam. How do Catamarans usually capsize?

Yes. If I recall correctly there were two Geminis that capsized while motor sailing in bays when caught by a wind gust. The Gemini is a lightish boat with a skinny beam and in a strong wind I've found them to be tender. Of course if your prudent and reef early you shouldn't have a problem.


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Old 04-02-2016, 05:04   #42
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Re: Cat capcized in the gulf stream.

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Of course if your prudent and reef early you shouldn't have a problem.

The designer sailed one across the Atlantic, and then declared he would not do it again.
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Old 04-02-2016, 05:06   #43
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Re: Cat capcized in the gulf stream.

I don't understand why the CG wasn't informed when this happened. Notification would have saved a lot of resources and speculation.
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Old 04-02-2016, 05:16   #44
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Re: Cat capcized in the gulf stream.

The chances of a well designed, well sailed cruising multihull capsizing are about the same as the chances of a well designed, well sailed cruising monohull sinking.

Having said that, I'd rather be in/on my capsized multihull instead of swimming.
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Old 04-02-2016, 06:11   #45
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Re: Cat capcized in the gulf stream.

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The chances of a well designed, well sailed cruising multihull capsizing are about the same as the chances of a well designed, well sailed cruising monohull sinking.

Having said that, I'd rather be in/on my capsized multihull instead of swimming.
Can you explain where did you get to that statistic?

Recently a fair number of cats have sunk. The only cats that are unsinkable are very sportive ones, the ones made whose building material is less dense than sea water. That is not the case with the vast majority of cruising cats.

If you want an unsinkable monohull you can have them, some are, having sealed compartments that assure the needed floatability.

Saying all this choosing a cat or a monohull based on this sort of criteria seems absurd to me even if I considered desirable that cats and monohulls alike have a waterproof bulkhead separating the rudder area from the rest of the boat.
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