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Old 25-11-2019, 09:30   #1
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Catamaran vs Monohull Crew Safety

Cheers,

I'm in the initial stages of considering moving from a monohull to a catamaran (maybe some years down the road).

When googling catamaran safety issues, the by far most mentioned topic seems to be whether a catamaran can capsize too easily.

This thread is NOT about that! (I think I've found quite reassuring answers to the capsizing questions.)

What I started thinking about, though, were all the other minor and major incidents that take place on recreational sailing boats (everything from tripping and bruising yourself to going overboard), and how sailboat heeling might affect the frequency of these.

Everything gets much more difficult in a heeling sailboat so my initial thought is that less heeling would, overall, result in fewer injuries?

What say you?
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Old 25-11-2019, 09:39   #2
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Re: Catamaran vs Monohull Crew Safety

I'll add this quote I found:

Quote:
Unsurprisingly, tripping and falling are the most common ways sailors injure themselves on board.

In a survey conducted by Nathanson and his colleagues, 30% of all those interviewed on keel boats said the mechanism of their injury was falling or tripping.

These resulted in fractures, head injuries, falls overboard, and falls through open hatches.
https://www.ybw.com/expert-advice/co...oid-them-42321
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Old 25-11-2019, 09:56   #3
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Re: Catamaran vs Monohull Crew Safety

Wider beam and less heeling would probably lead to less injuries. I doubt it is a significant difference. Getting on and off, boom movement, wet slippery decks are the same everywhere.
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Old 25-11-2019, 12:44   #4
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Re: Catamaran vs Monohull Crew Safety

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gtstricky View Post
Wider beam and less heeling would probably lead to less injuries. I doubt it is a significant difference. Getting on and off, boom movement, wet slippery decks are the same everywhere.
Not true. Getting on and off cat's is generally easier = safer, with near waterline transom steps. Booms are usually well above head height in the cockpit, and wide travellers control boom movement better. A backwinded main on a cat is generally a non-event.

Most boating fatalities result from people falling overboard. Catamarans greatly lessen that risk.
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Old 25-11-2019, 13:17   #5
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Re: Catamaran vs Monohull Crew Safety

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Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
Most boating fatalities result from people falling overboard. Catamarans greatly lessen that risk.
It would be interesting to know statistics about non-fatal injuries. Fatalities are (luckily) rare, and capsizes even more rare, but what a brilliant sales argument for multihulls, if they as an ”everyday environment” are safer for your family with kids.
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Old 25-11-2019, 16:56   #6
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Re: Catamaran vs Monohull Crew Safety

Quote:
Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
Not true. Getting on and off cat's is generally easier = safer, with near waterline transom steps. Booms are usually well above head height in the cockpit, and wide travellers control boom movement better. A backwinded main on a cat is generally a non-event.

Most boating fatalities result from people falling overboard. Catamarans greatly lessen that risk.

This! Especially the last part. It takes a fair bit of stupidity to go overboard on a cataraman, even if not strapped on.
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Old 25-11-2019, 18:28   #7
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Re: Catamaran vs Monohull Crew Safety

I suspect you would get very different kinds of answers if you posted this question in the "Monohull" forum.

The difference is minor, if even real. Different kinds of issues, but really it is far more a function of the individual boat than the number of hulls.

I taught sailing to adults for many years, on both monos and cats. The closest I ever came to having a student seriously injured was on a FP 39. Does that mean cats are more dangerous? No. Just one data point. The closest I ever came to falling overboard during a class was also on that boat. The place you work the sheets has only the knee-high lifelines behind you. If a line suddenly comes free while you are pulling hard, you ARE going swimming. The idea that only a real klutz could fall off a catamaran is just plain wrong.

Far more dangerous on any boat are highly tensioned lines and rigging, and booms. Double that with booms. I look at those sky high booms on most condomarans and think they are insanely dangerous if anybody needs to get up there too clear a problem while the boat is in a seaway. On a lot of cats there are LOTS of steps and level changes just in the cockpit. One misplaced foot and you're hurting. The idea that catamarans are SO AMAZINGLY stable in rough water that you can't lose your footing is incredibly unrealistic. It is the kind of thing only a totally unethical salesman could say with a straight face.

In any case, it varies so much from one boat design to another, any generalization about "all monos" or "all cats" is just very silly. If this is even a third level issue you have in choosing between a cat and a mono, you are seriously experiencing analysis paralysis.

There are mono fanboys, and there are cat fanboys. Don't listen to either of them if you want a real answer.
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Old 25-11-2019, 19:00   #8
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Re: Catamaran vs Monohull Crew Safety

Crew agility, body control, fitness, experience, risk awareness, prudence..counts muchmuch more than the number of hulls
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Old 25-11-2019, 19:30   #9
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Re: Catamaran vs Monohull Crew Safety

Quote:
Originally Posted by billknny View Post
... The idea that catamarans are SO AMAZINGLY stable in rough water that you can't lose your footing is incredibly unrealistic. It is the kind of thing only a totally unethical salesman could say with a straight face.

In any case, it varies so much from one boat design to another, any generalization about "all monos" or "all cats" is just very silly. If this is even a third level issue you have in choosing between a cat and a mono, you are seriously experiencing analysis paralysis.

There are mono fanboys, and there are cat fanboys. Don't listen to either of them if you want a real answer.
What he (very well) said...
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Old 25-11-2019, 19:42   #10
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Re: Catamaran vs Monohull Crew Safety

Large monohull owner for 30+ years, really wanted to be a catamaran owner....
Cost no object...
Retired and in excellent physical condition.....
Sailed an Antares from Florida to Bermuda, sailed a Privilege in the Pacific. Not likely to buy a catamaran....
In short, be sure that you sail either one before committing. Not a 2 hour sea trial, but real ocean sailing in adverse conditions.
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Old 25-11-2019, 20:09   #11
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Re: Catamaran vs Monohull Crew Safety

I'd also imagine the mission and demographics factor in.

Are we talking about using the boat like a big floating RV mostly just motoring around flat water, or are we talking about getting into some weather and putting miles on?
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Old 25-11-2019, 20:13   #12
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Re: Catamaran vs Monohull Crew Safety

A Catamarans deck is flat and level most of the time, At Sea,
Where as a Mono's deck is canted on an angle, At Sea,
You would slip more on an angled deck, Especially wet,
More so in high winds and a rough sea, And waves crashing over the deck,

My Cat, I dont get wet and I dont have waves over my deck,
I still wear a chest harness on a jackline and a short lanyard, So I cant go overboard even unconsious,
Im not keen on watching my Cat sail off with out me, If I fell overboard,
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Old 25-11-2019, 20:34   #13
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Re: Catamaran vs Monohull Crew Safety

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr B View Post
A Catamarans deck is flat and level most of the time, At Sea,
Where as a Mono's deck is canted on an angle, At Sea,
You would slip more on an angled deck, Especially wet,
More so in high winds and a rough sea, And waves crashing over the deck,

My Cat, I dont get wet and I dont have waves over my deck,
I still wear a chest harness on a jackline and a short lanyard, So I cant go overboard even unconsious,
Im not keen on watching my Cat sail off with out me, If I fell overboard,
Never had waves on your deck?
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Old 25-11-2019, 21:53   #14
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Re: Catamaran vs Monohull Crew Safety

Quote:
Originally Posted by billknny View Post
I suspect you would get very different kinds of answers if you posted this question in the "Monohull" forum.

The difference is minor, if even real. Different kinds of issues, but really it is far more a function of the individual boat than the number of hulls.

I taught sailing to adults for many years, on both monos and cats. The closest I ever came to having a student seriously injured was on a FP 39. Does that mean cats are more dangerous? No. Just one data point. The closest I ever came to falling overboard during a class was also on that boat. The place you work the sheets has only the knee-high lifelines behind you. If a line suddenly comes free while you are pulling hard, you ARE going swimming. The idea that only a real klutz could fall off a catamaran is just plain wrong.

Far more dangerous on any boat are highly tensioned lines and rigging, and booms. Double that with booms. I look at those sky high booms on most condomarans and think they are insanely dangerous if anybody needs to get up there too clear a problem while the boat is in a seaway. On a lot of cats there are LOTS of steps and level changes just in the cockpit. One misplaced foot and you're hurting. The idea that catamarans are SO AMAZINGLY stable in rough water that you can't lose your footing is incredibly unrealistic. It is the kind of thing only a totally unethical salesman could say with a straight face.

In any case, it varies so much from one boat design to another, any generalization about "all monos" or "all cats" is just very silly. If this is even a third level issue you have in choosing between a cat and a mono, you are seriously experiencing analysis paralysis.

There are mono fanboys, and there are cat fanboys. Don't listen to either of them if you want a real answer.
The earlier model FP are awkward to climb around with the high transoms. Newer models are much safer.
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Old 25-11-2019, 22:25   #15
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Re: Catamaran vs Monohull Crew Safety

The idea that ”don’t listen to anyone” is boring 😄 The idea that ”there is no meaningful difference” is counterintuitive (even though it might, of course, be true).

I’ve never been out in a catamaran in really shitty weather. I have in a monohull. Moving around inside (and outside) a boat that is jumping/slamming the waves and heeled over, it takes a lot of energy. And a lot of care not to loose one’s balance. This leads to fatigue, which in part might lead to other undesired things happening.

Anyway, this thing would need to be researched in some way, to find good answers. Without some kind of evidence, I refuse to believe that ”it doesn’t matter” 😄
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