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Old 05-11-2006, 09:12   #1
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Cat Controversy

Check this article out...

http://www.caribbeancompass.com/cat_controversy.htm


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Old 05-11-2006, 09:48   #2
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Delicioius.
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Old 05-11-2006, 10:25   #3
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This should be interesting...
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Old 05-11-2006, 11:00   #4
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Hmmmmmm, interesting indeed. I'll jump in. What I get from this article is that generally a different type of person buys big new cats or charters them. Aside from the incident of the escape hatch opening and lightning strikes most of the other examples cited appear to stem from bad seamanship. There is a suspicion that cat buyers are unduly influenced by the large saloon and back porch aspect of cats which is somewhat like buyers of the most popular brand of monohull (no names but it starts with "H") being influenced by the beautiful "houselike" features down below. Oh, lovely kitchen, look at those couches! Dear, we have to get one of these! What is interesting is the amount of charter boat accidents he cites. The charter companies have done a good job in keeping this from the general public. Of course only a fool would highlight this, the palm trees, deserted beaches and 15 knot tradewinds (always on the beam) and sunny days are a lot more enticing.
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Old 05-11-2006, 12:35   #5
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I wonder how motor-yachts compare? It seems that there a lot of non-sailors with more money than brains that like to buy huge floating RVs.
I like how the author impresses upon us that his incompetence with a Hobie is the basis of his bias.

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Old 05-11-2006, 13:13   #6
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Articles like this actually seem to tell us more about the biases and possible resentments of the author than they do the actual risk comparisons between monohulls and catamarans. It is especially frustrating when the author is someone who may actually have access to objective data with which honest empirical comparisons could be made.

But, he doesn't give us any such data or empirical analyses. Instead, he gives us a series of "stupid is as stupid does" anecdotes in which the fault for the claim can be readily attributed to operator error. The only time I saw anything even appearing to be a numerical comparison was:

"During a heavy thunderstorm in a single June, 2005, afternoon, a charter operator in the western Caribbean sustained lightning strikes to nine charter catamarans and one monohull moored in the same area."

Now, this implies that that catamarans were 9 time more likely to be hit than the monohulls. But, we don't know the relative numbers of the different types of boats that were in the same area. If there were 90 cats and 10 monos there, then the odds of being hit were exactly equal -- 1 in 10 for both types. We don't know how many of them had some form of lightning protection, like a Strikeshield.

From the anecdotes alone we can see that the experience of the person (presumably) in charge is likely correlated with the likelihood of an accident. This is news? We don't let 12 year olds drive cars, and I don't pilot 747's, all for the same reason. But, he doesn't give us anything useful from his observations. Like:

Are captains who have Yachtmaster certificates less likely to have accidents than captains who have ASA or US Sailing certificates, in like boats?

Or, are catamarans build prior to 1990 more (or less) likely to have accidents within 5 years of initial commissioning than catamarans build after 1990?

Or, when in accidents, are catamarans more (or less) likely than monohulls to sustain a fatality?

There are so many good questions that could be answered by the insurance industry, if they would only choose to do so, and share the information.

One company I do like and that is distributing at least some of this kind of information is BoatUS. They put out a quarterly magazine, Seaworthy, that is very helpful compendium of "things gone wrong, and how to put them right." http://www.boatus.com/seaworthy/default.asp

Seaworthy is a professional publication that does not engage in pejorative language -- it does report the facts. I do wish, though, that they would use their database to help with some of these other questions, though.

Q: What is the #1 factor in boating fatalities? Not the type of boat, not the weather, not the number of years experience of the owner/operator. A: Alcohol.

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Old 05-11-2006, 13:34   #7
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A quick PS -- regarding the lightning issue, BoatUS has published at least the results of their 5-year analysis, at: http://www.boatus.com/seaworthy/swlightning.asp

Auxiliary Sailboats: 6 in 1000 chance of being hit by lightning
Multihull Sailboats: 5 in 1000 chance of being hit by lightning

Unfortunately, they don't give us some other data that would be nice to have, but this is at least something.

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Old 05-11-2006, 16:37   #8
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Wow , GM who wrote that article sound's a bit of a goose,but I do love that link to Seaworthy magazine.

Thanks for that

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Old 05-11-2006, 17:03   #9
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What a load of drivel.
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Old 05-11-2006, 18:08   #10
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The author's 'slant' on catamarans has been obviously been affected by too many days at sea at a 25 degree heel.

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Old 05-11-2006, 18:33   #11
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I think one point which seems to be valid concerns the fact that there are few slips and berthing option for cats... meaning most are anchored and getting them repaired may be more expensive requiring special facilities.

Anchored does not necessarily mean more vulnerable, but they do have more windage than a monohull of similar length and perhaps anchoring may represent a greater hazard in a blow.

Getting a vessel repaired at a special facility may mean towing or some other special means for haul out at a local yard ... of it can accommodate the cat.

I don't even know how these would be hauled except perhaps on a rail system which I don't see many of in NE for example.

These issues may mean larger claims for "similar" losses compared with monohulls.

The facts should speak for themselves. Who has the facts?

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Old 05-11-2006, 19:11   #12
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Yes, we need heavier anchors, and yes, we need larger slips. Our boats do cost more to repair because we own 'more boat' for a given length. And take a quick look in Yachtworld at multi prices and you'll find our boats tend to be more expensive than a comparable mono. By the way, I get hauled out whenever I feel the need, no problem. I'm also in a marina slip.

I also think you'd have to define 'in a blow'. If, you are referring to a direct hit by a category 3 or larger hurricane... no boat, multi or mono will survive or escape heavy damage at anchor.

Boat US did a very exhaustive analysis of hurricane Andrew's impact on the boating industry in Florida. Every boat on the intracoastal was damaged or lost at the storm center. Boats that were unscathed, were run up small canals and weathered the storm just fine, or were out of the water on tie downs. Their conclusions have not been disputed, and their paper is the 'bible' down here.

The article that started this thread had more to do with crew competence than with multihull issues. One good point the author made is that the inherent stability of a catamaran, could lead to a false sense of security.

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Old 05-11-2006, 19:22   #13
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A biased piece of arrant nonesense fleshed out with a few war stories.

If he just put a couple of the monohull claim stories in then there could have been a comparison for stupidity.

Hit a reef? Only in a catamaran if you believe this fool.

Given his own story of catamaran sailing I wonder what his claims record is !!
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Old 06-11-2006, 00:35   #14
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This is another trick isn't it?Okay I'll bite."What in the hell is a(chaotic Gotterdammerung)?"I wont even consider buying a multi untill someone explains!!
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Old 06-11-2006, 03:10   #15
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So monohull = (mostly) keel stepped mast does it? i would bet against that.

FP sunk when the escape hatch was left open? I though FP's were unsinkable even if filled with water?
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