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Old 13-03-2014, 11:16   #31
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Re: Catalac 9M or Prout Quest 33 ?

SMJ did not say that it would be crazy to compare the 'quality' of today's production boats with a Catalac - he said it would be crazy to compare the Catalac's build techniques and performance with some of the modern cats. This is, IMO, undeniably true. Many (virtually all) of the modern cats perform better than the Catalacs did - and Catalacowner, you seem to agree with this (although you suggest that performance is low on your list of priorities). I assume that you would also agree that the modern build techniques - including vacuum-bagged, cored construction and scantlings arrived at through computer stress analysis, are some of the key factors that lead to this performance advantage.

My cat, although hardly 'modern', has a foam-cored deck, coachouse and hulls down to the waterline. It would have undoubtedly been lighter and faster if it had been cored below the waterline, atlhough that would have led to some issues with respect to adding any new thru-hulls (e.g., for the watermaker and keel cooled refrigeration, with which she is now equipped). It would have also added to the complexity/cost to repair the underbody of the hulls/keels, should they ever be damaged.

Would I have preferred that my boat was built entirely of solid glass? No, as it would have been weaker, heavier, more likely to sink (to say nothing of having less, actually no insulation properties). In exchange, of course, I do run the risk of some deck delamination -and sadly, after 20 years I have found one soft spot where the davits were installed by a previous owner without encapsulating the bolt holes.

My non-skid was due for a paint job anyway, and I will effect the repairs this season in conjunction with the paint work. At the same time, I will remove all deck hardware/stanchions: any other holes that are found to be unencapsulated will be redrilled with oversized holes, epoxy filled, re-drilled with the correct size holes and re-bedded prior to re-installation. Sound like a ton of work? Really, not much more than removing and rebedding deck hardware to eliminate leaks - something which is required on solid cored decks from time to time as well. Indeed, solid-cored decks typically need to be rebedded more often as the additional flex in the decks breaks down the bedding compound more quickly.

In any event, I will admit that a solid deck will never delaminate so that the one repair required on my boat after 20 years would be unnecessary if she had a solid deck. I'll take that in exchange for having 20 years (and hopefully 20 more) with the increased strength, lower weight, floatation and insulation properties that come with a core. You, apparently, would not.

Apart from coaring, I would hope that there is no question that the performance of the Catalacs and Prouts was adversely effected not only by their relative weights, but also by the design of their hulls/underbodies. The Catalacs have no boards or keels, relying instead upon a V-shaped underbody with significant rocker in order to resist leeway when sailing to windward. Surely no one can deny that hulls with keels or boards are better able to resist leeway. Furthermore, it is clear that V-shaped hulls have more wetted surface than the more modern U-shaped ones: this results is increased drag and a slower boat. In addition, surely no one can deny that significant rocker contributes to increased 'hobby-horsing' - an uncomfortable and performance-robbing motion at sea.

The Prouts had keels, but they too had far from ideal hull shapes. Firstly, they lacked bridgedeck clearance in comparison to the Catalacs (some, when overloaded, had nacelles virtually touching the water in a static state, guaranteeing increased contact and drag when underway). Secondly, the early ones had double-ended hulls, which do not perform as well as hulls with a higher prismatic coefficent: all else being equal, boats with transoms have a higher prismatic coefficient (as well as being able to carry more weight aft for davits, inflatables, BBQ's., radar, wind generators, solar panels etc., carried on the typical modern crusing boat).

Catalacowner, I'm with SMJ. I too quite like Catalacs. I think that they were well-built boats that have held up over time. Overall, I prefer them to the early Prouts due to the increased bridgedeck clearance, transoms, and the availability of twin diesels. I'm also a fan of tempered-glass fixed portlights (although the opening ones tend to leak, at least the other ones will never need a costly and difficult replacement if they are kept properly caulked). I am, however, a fan of the 'Prout rig' for a cruising boat. It places the mast at the strongest point of the superstructure, runs all halyards/reefing lines directly into the cockpit (and yes, you can keep the tails neat with some bags or hooks for coiled lines). It also provides a dedicated staysail/storm jib which, if fitted with roller reefing, enables one to reef and run proper storm sails without ever having to leave the cockpit.

IMO if they are not overloaded, both the Catalacs and Prouts are solid, safe crusing boats that provide great bang for the buck, so long as one is prepared to put up with their performance deficiencies.

Brad
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Old 13-03-2014, 14:20   #32
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Re: Catalac 9M or Prout Quest 33 ?

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Originally Posted by smj View Post
......
I still like the Catalacs, but to think they compare to either the build techniques or sailing characteristics of some of the modern catamarans is crazy....
I think this is prophetic. I've seen so many "current build" technique catamarans delaminating that I think people are crazy not to buy a solid fiberglass hulled boat.

This isn't a knock on any current boat builder, but rather on lazy owners. No matter what the reason.... it happens... and catamarans are too much money to take a chance.
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Old 13-03-2014, 14:25   #33
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Re: Catalac 9M or Prout Quest 33 ?

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SMJ did not say that it would be crazy to compare the 'quality' of today's production boats with a Catalac - he said it would be crazy to compare the Catalac's build techniques and performance with some of the modern cats. This is, IMO, undeniably true. Many (virtually all) of the modern cats perform better than the Catalacs did - and Catalacowner, you seem to agree with this ....
Quoted in part from Catalac Catamaran - Build Quality, Review


"Some of the arm chair sailors prowling around on the boating forums have called Catalac Catamarans a 'dated design' because of their hard chined hulls. You will note that catamaran hull design migrated to rounded bilge designs in the '90s (ie... Gemini). The reason I mention this is that if you paid attention to the America's Cup racing series last year you may have noticed that BMW Oracle uses a hard chine main hull on their boat, and they're obviously very successful campaigning that boat.

Catamaran designer Richard Woods noted that when run through hull design software, we discover that surprisingly, the added hard chine reduces WSA, which results in less hull drag, leaving us to conclude that a hardchine hull (as used on Catalacs) is better than people think, and in addition to lower WSA, they allow greater loads to be carried.

He went on to say that Catalacs have a very clever hull design. They are hollow and deep forward and then almost flat aft. The idea being that it was so asymmetric that it wouldn't pitch. And it would sail to windward a lot better than the old O'Brien boats (Bobcats) despite not having keels. As history has shown, with the advent of the added skegs, Catalacs sail very well and are much better boats than they look, as Prouts are much worse than they look.

So, if a hardchined hull is good enough for an America's Cup winner, it's certainly good enough for me! Anyone want to bet that there'll be an explosion of hard chine catamaran designs in 2013-2014??....."
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Old 13-03-2014, 14:34   #34
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Re: Catalac 9M or Prout Quest 33 ?

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I think this is prophetic. I've seen so many "current build" technique catamarans delaminating that I think people are crazy not to buy a solid fiberglass hulled boat.



This isn't a knock on any current boat builder, but rather on lazy owners. No matter what the reason.... it happens... and catamarans are too much money to take a chance.

I would agree, the cored hull needs more care than a solid glass hull. I do think that a cored hull in good shape is stronger and makes for a much lighter boat than a solid glass hull.


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Old 13-03-2014, 14:46   #35
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Re: Catalac 9M or Prout Quest 33 ?

I agree with smj except i think its highly possible some cored hulls are heavier, and Just my 2c , both prout and catalac do have wood cored decks. There tends to be more penetrations above water on most boats than below and in our leopards case where there is penetrations below the wl there is no coring for several inches. I have seen soft decks in both old and newer boats. It comes down to care and maintenance and rebedding hardware periodically. And I highly doubt theres a 20+ year old boat with no moisture in their hulls/decks anywhere...

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Old 13-03-2014, 17:11   #36
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Re: Catalac 9M or Prout Quest 33 ?

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Originally Posted by Dulcesuenos View Post
I agree with smj except i think its highly possible some cored hulls are heavier, and Just my 2c , both prout and catalac do have wood cored decks. There tends to be more penetrations above water on most boats than below and in our leopards case where there is penetrations below the wl there is no coring for several inches. I have seen soft decks in both old and newer boats. It comes down to care and maintenance and rebedding hardware periodically. And I highly doubt theres a 20+ year old boat with no moisture in their hulls/decks anywhere...

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Just gotta hope that one of the previous owners didn't install anything through the core without epoxy filling and re drilling.


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Old 13-03-2014, 18:42   #37
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Re: Catalac 9M or Prout Quest 33 ?

[QUOTE=Southern Star;1491239]SMJ did not say that it would be crazy to compare the 'quality' of today's production boats with a Catalac - he said it would be crazy to compare the Catalac's build techniques and performance with some of the modern cats. This is, IMO, undeniably true. Many (virtually all) of the modern cats perform better than the Catalacs did - and Catalacowner, you seem to agree with this (although you suggest that performance is low on your list of priorities). I assume that you would also agree that the modern build techniques - including vacuum-bagged, cored construction and scantlings arrived at through computer stress analysis, are some of the key factors that lead to this performance advantage.



Thank you Brad for helping us to interpret the comments by myself and SMJ. I appreciate SMJ's advice that I read more carefully before commenting, but I must question the validity of his assertion, as well as the accuracy of your interpretation.

Brad, your post interprets SMJ's statement to assert one would be crazy to compare the build techniques or performance of a Catalac with a modern cat. Your post then references what you identify as the build techniques that give a performance advantage to the modern cat over the Catalac. Should we then conclude you are crazy? You identify differences in building techniques and identify this as a factor that gives the modern cat a competitive advantage. Your analysis and resultant opinion stem from performing a comparison both you and SMJ assert one would be "crazy" to perform.

I have no desire to challenge your conclusions. And I appreciate your interpretation was undoubtedly motivated by a sincere desire to help us understand SMJ's comment. And I hope both you and SMJ will accept that when suggesting one read more closely before making a comment, it may be wise to take your own advice before extending it as a recommendation to others.

Btw, you are correct, SMJ's post did not reference quality. Carefully read, it states only that one is crazy to compare build techniques or performance when discussing the Catalac in reference to modern production boats. Perhaps SMJ intended to communicate an opinion that differences in production techniques had resulted in improved performance. But his post simply labeled as crazy the analytical process of engaging in comparison. But each of you also express opinions resulting from having engaged in such a comparison. I sincerely doubt if either of you are crazy. I suspect you are each reasonable, well-informed adults who are happy to share the results of your "crazed comparisons" with others who read the posts in this forum. And Brad, particularly as to your analysis and conclusions, I think your points are well-stated and worth reading. I hope you will continue to be among those crazy folks who compare.

So let's leave the lectures in the classrooms and be nice to each other, ok?
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Old 14-03-2014, 10:28   #38
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Re: Catalac 9M or Prout Quest 33 ?

Catalcowner, you are correct that my point was not that one could not compare boats; my point was that you misquoted smj by suggesting that he spoke to the relative 'quality' of the construction of modern cats wtih Catalacs. I certainly took his point as being that the contruction techniqes and resultant peformance of the two were not comparable. And they are not. Am I crazy? Probably. I posted in this thread. And according to Tropic Cat, I am iindeed crazy because I did not buy a solid fiberglass cat!

Cheers!

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Old 14-03-2014, 10:43   #39
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Re: Catalac 9M or Prout Quest 33 ?

The choice to core the hulls or not is not a "quality" issue.

In general terms, it is sold as a performance enhancer first. Secondarily, there are claims of safety and insulating capability. Buy into them or not based on your beliefs and needs.

The construction technique by itself implies nothing in terms of quality. With the exception that cored hulls are much less forgiving of anything less than ideal design and construction techniques.
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Old 14-03-2014, 11:24   #40
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Re: Catalac 9M or Prout Quest 33 ?

So how does the longevity and seaworthiness of these old hulls compare to a similar sample of 30 year old boats built with "modern" techniques? Do we even have any?

Some sailors equate boat value by how fast they can get from point to point. Other sailors put more weight into a boat's comfort and safety. As other have said, one should choose according to priorities. Someone who didn't know any better would think we're comparing a Corvette to a Winnebago and declaring the 'vette the performance winner before loading it up to be self contained living quarters with months of supplies.

What we're really talking about is about the difference between a walk and a brisk walk, a couple knots? How about with similar length boats equally equipped and loaded? 40 ft and under. If my priority was a faster boat, I'd be sailing a Corsair trimaran and living less comfortably in a faster multihull that wears out rigging and sails several times before I sell her for a slower but more comfortable boat. Both ends of the spectrum.

I've long lusted after a 28R as a weekender.
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Old 14-03-2014, 12:15   #41
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Re: Catalac 9M or Prout Quest 33 ?

Exactly, valhalla. And Canibul, yes there are plenty of 30 years old cored hulls for comparison purposes. Indeed, while my Sunstream 40 was built in 1994, the first ones were built in the late 70's and the Cherokee (upon which she was based) was produced in the early 70's. I have no signs of delam in the hulls; the sole area of delam on deck is where, as mentioned earlier, the original owner installed davits without epoxy encapsulating the bolt holes. Of course, the same would have occurred in a Catalac, if the decks are cored with plywood.

I don't think anyone here is saying that performance is the be all and end all for a cruising boat. However, most would agree that there are cats that are at least as safe and comfortable as Catalacs and Prouts that can carry greater loads - all while performing better. Indeed my own boat, while hardly modern, is one of them; and certainly there are a number of newer boats that are faster than mine while still being safe and capable of carrying loads.

If you read my post I make clear that I quite like Catalacs (and prefer them to Prouts of the same vintage). As I said, they are "solid, safe cruising boats that provide great bang for the buck, so long as one is prepared to put up with their performance deficiencies." The same can be said about my own boat compared to a number of newer cats and yes, I am prepared to live with the performance deficit. I am also prepared to admit, however, that my boat (and its contruction and performance) is not state of the art and that, if money was no object, I could and would readily move to a newer boat.

Tropic cat, my knock on the hulls of the Catalacs was not due to the existence of chines, but rather the lack of either boards or keels, the fairly extreme rocker and the relatively high wetted surface. I don't think we'll be seeing an explosion of those design attributes in 2013/2014!

In any event, I think we are getting pretty far removed fromt the OP's original question, which was about the relative merits of the Prout Quest 33 and the Catalac 9M. My apologies for contributing to thead drift. My vote? As I already mentioned, I prefer the Catalac even though I am a fan of a cutter rig.

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