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Old 04-08-2016, 19:27   #151
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

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Originally Posted by Souther Wombat View Post
And a cat we know that raced in the three peaks race "Big Wave rider" was blown right over in calm water a few weeks ago I'm told she wasn't sailing. Just a sudden squall wrong place wrong time for them and nothing anyone could do about it regardless of experience.

Sounds like you shouldn't listen to what your told and rely on the facts.


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Old 04-08-2016, 19:35   #152
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

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But Ian don't forget you are very experienced and capable. Most of us don't have you or Cathy aboard when it goes to custard

It as in the Tasman that we we had our worst experience in a Crowther 50. Closing with NZ heading for Nelson and a low that was supposed to be benign deepened and developed into a nasty blow initially Northerlies for around 10 hours at 35 knots gusting 45 and then SW at a similar wind speed. After another 5 hours the resulting seas were ugly and frightening and night was an ordeal. I'm sure you've met similar conditions.

That was a gale. If the winds had been storm force or the 50 knots the OP was talking about....

In the QB storm the two cats in the worst of it both reported that they were standing on the side windows at times ! We were no where near that.

Size is everything and our 40 ton 65 footer is a much nicer boat in heavy weather than anything we have had before and it motors 8 knots to windward into anything which is what we want. The 50 foot cat could only hold position (actually a slow drift astern) under power in a gale in a seaway and the props come out of the water continually which shakes the drive train apart at full power.

We have had worse weather but much more ordered seas and found it easy fast sailing. Everything depends on the resulting sea state.

Cross seas in heavy weather have nearly been our undoing, we fell off one a few years ago and the wave around 25 feet broke right over the boat knocked it down to just past 90 degrees and did some damage bending the mainmast compression post. If we'd been in a cat I really doubt we would have survived that.

We know people who had a heavy 38 foot cat that was inverted at anchor just by the wind in Greece. Both elderly and with thousands of miles and a circumnav in the same cat. She nearly drowned trapped in the boat before she was rescued. Her partner was unable to do anything.

Another cat a 50 foot light performance oriented cruiser just blew over while motoring in scotland in a calm but gusty sound. It was night. They also couldn't get at epirb or liferaft but the gps epirb auto triggered inside the flooded boat and they were rescued.

I know several more cases of cats blowing over bare poled and at anchor.

That erodes confidence in anxious times for me.

But this is my thoughts on the cat in a storm (50 knots), I'd recommend a cat but not for heavy weather. I'd stay in more benign climes with less temperamental weather maybe unless I had you aboard.

From what I read your main complaint about the cat is it wouldn't motor as well as your 65'er? I'm pretty sure it would sail better and it seems it was seaworthy enough?


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Old 04-08-2016, 20:41   #153
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

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Originally Posted by Snowpetrel View Post
Hi Jim, that was an interesting case. I talked to the guys who recovered the boat, and I watched her as they lifted her out on the travellift. Apparently she dragged out the bay upright, taking the whole mooring with her. I think at some point it had slipped across the forebeam and was hanging off near one of the bows. Probably close to half a tonne or more of weight. The speculation was that the weight of the mooring on the bow combined with a erratic gust that might have rotated the boat so that she pitchpoled over the weighted down bow? She may also have taken some water in from some damage to the bow before flipping. It sounds like it was fair blowing. Apparently a local saw her dissappear in a cloud of wind driven spray, then when the wind eased enough to see her again she was upside down.

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thanks for the fill in, Ben. I had heard that she inverted well within the cove, likely near or at her original mooring spot, but you as a local resident likely have better sources!

A bad day for Kettering! We were out in Pt Davey during that frontal passage and had sustained 50+ for a while, but nothing like what Kettering copped. I think the valley may have focused the wind right into the anchorage and on across to Bruny where Varg was snatched off the rocks.

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Old 04-08-2016, 21:46   #154
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

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Thats not what I heard, a friend saw her go over. Far too much sail up for the conditions was his opinion.
Ben My bad Apparently the mainsail was still covered and lashed to the boom when she was re righted and the folk we spoke to had seen her motoring before so they were apparently confused. I'd like to know just what they were flying. Also weren't the conditions were fairly benign before hand except the sudden squall and no time to throw the sheet ? This is a seaworthy boat from her past exploits. How could they get it so wrong ? That's where any monohull would have coped with the sudden squall with no more than a split sail.
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Old 04-08-2016, 22:13   #155
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

Any gust that can capsize a catamaran is equally capable of knocking a mono down. A knock down can result in a range of possibilities including a lost rig. If conditions were benign prior to this gust then it is reasonable to assume the crew would not be tethered and therefore susceptible to being thrown around the cabin/cockpit, potentially resulting in broken limbs and worse and/or thrown overboard. Also, if conditions were benign in a sheltered waterway it's quite possible that hatches/companionway were open which may have resulted in flooding and sinking.

Neither the capsize or knockdown would be a good experience for the crew or boat.
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Old 04-08-2016, 22:15   #156
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

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From what I read your main complaint about the cat is it wouldn't motor as well as your 65'er? I'm pretty sure it would sail better and it seems it was seaworthy enough?


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We couldn't sail to windward in the seas we were in, only off the wind. And it didn't motor to windward either. And we were all pretty incapacitated, you need to experience the noise and the motion of those sorts of conditions to really appreciate how much of your intellect and ability you lose. All Ok if you have sea room and can find an easier course in a particualr sea we couldn't as we had a lee shore that was getting too close for good seamanship. I think Wharrams have an enviable safety record amongst multihulls, at the other end of the spectrum is the lightweight go fast style cruising machine often with very vulnerable looking rear cabin ends. I'd like something a bit closer to the wharram myself but a bit drier in a blow. Our mono is very comfortable due to it's size it heels very little to windward. And for groundings, ice, logs, whales and visiting fishing boats that come hard alongside its invulnerable. It sails at 10 knots pretty easily in the trades, the Crowther did an easy 15 in the same conditions, I can't say I really notice the difference when the boat is comfortable to be on. Jerky rides are vary wearying, most performance cruiser monos have a jerky motion that cats with their slim hills don't but at times cats have a very odd motion that you cannot predict as the cabin sole drops away diagonally as well. It's like being in an elevator and the floor also tilts into the corners.
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Old 04-08-2016, 22:27   #157
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

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Any gust that can capsize a catamaran is equally capable of knocking a mono down. A knock down can result in a range of possibilities including a lost rig. If conditions were benign prior to this gust then it is reasonable to assume the crew would not be tethered and therefore susceptible to being thrown around the cabin/cockpit, potentially resulting in broken limbs and worse and/or thrown overboard. Also, if conditions were benign in a sheltered waterway it's quite possible that hatches/companionway were open which may have resulted in flooding and sinking.

Neither the capsize or knockdown would be a good experience for the crew or boat.
The mono spills the wind and its not easy to get blown that far over. unless it's a great cloud of racing sail.
Can you give an example of a downflooding angle for any production cruiser ? I'm pretty sure it's well past 90 degrees which is all the wind can ever do.

The hull of a cat adds to the wind overturning moment as it starts to go over. Even when the whole rig is blanketed by the hull the wind still act's on it.
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Old 04-08-2016, 23:02   #158
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

And equally it's not easy to blow a catamaran over. It takes a lot of wind and a lot of sail up. Put a mono with equally large sail area up. and in this case a performance mono per the cat in question, in the same wind it has the potential to be knocked down and even roll over. If your argument is that a knockdown will never result in rig loss, potential flooding etc then I think we'll have to agree to disagree.

We get that you're not a fan of cats in storm conditions, and that's fair enough. But those arguments don't hold water. Pun intended
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Old 04-08-2016, 23:05   #159
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

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Originally Posted by tp12 View Post
Any gust that can capsize a catamaran is equally capable of knocking a mono down. A knock down can result in a range of possibilities including a lost rig. If conditions were benign prior to this gust then it is reasonable to assume the crew would not be tethered and therefore susceptible to being thrown around the cabin/cockpit, potentially resulting in broken limbs and worse and/or thrown overboard. Also, if conditions were benign in a sheltered waterway it's quite possible that hatches/companionway were open which may have resulted in flooding and sinking.

Neither the capsize or knockdown would be a good experience for the crew or boat.
This post wins the prize for being the farthest from reality so far. Is it monohull envy, or do you have a catamaran you want to sell??
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Old 04-08-2016, 23:08   #160
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

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This post wins the prize for being the farthest from reality so far. Is it monohull envy, or do you have a catamaran you want to sell??
Do you have an explanation as to why it's so far from reality?
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Old 04-08-2016, 23:32   #161
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

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Do you have an explanation as to why it's so far from reality?
I don't think its that far from reality.... you just need a yacht with a crew that have not a clue, a full press of sail, a sustained storm force gust... long enough to pin her down until she floods - on a flat calm day in sheltered waters while the clueless crew keep the helm hard over to stop her rounding up ( but that will stop having any effect once she is on her beam ends) .

I'm sure it happens all the time.....

Seriously I have heard of two instances... Pride of Baltimore and Marquesas(sp) where it may have applied but other factors came into play in the latter case.... modifications to the rig over the years so that she was oversparred and the hatch that was modified for a movie she was in.
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Old 04-08-2016, 23:41   #162
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

I don't think it's far fetched, in the scenario (conditions, location) that flipped this cat we're discussing, that a mono with the same sail area up could not have been knocked down. The potential results of which I mentioned earlier all have their degrees of probability, and there could be much debate about that, however the potential for a knockdown is real.
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Old 04-08-2016, 23:45   #163
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

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Its off subject but I could not bring myself to watch his daft antics - did he survive? I suppose he must off as he is still around.............
He ignited a signal fire while standing up in his plastic life raft.... I'll let you guess how it ended.
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Old 04-08-2016, 23:46   #164
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

Correction... the second one was 'Marques'... and both were 'ships' rather than 'yachts'.

The bigger you get the lower the angle of vanishing stability becomes so not really fair to include them...
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Old 05-08-2016, 00:02   #165
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

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I'm thinking of my next purchase now. It seems to me that a Catamaran is more comfortable, quicker, and doesn't heel. It's negatives are price and pointing.

Monohulls seem to have an advantage in potential safety. . . .
Another cat vs mono buying decision thread . . .


In my opinion, most of these statements are false. The key thing to making this comparison intelligently is to compare like for like. A 45' catamaran is not "like" a 45' monohull. It has two hulls, so it's more like a 55' monohull in terms of interior volume.

Once you compare like for like, everything looks different:

1. Cost is about the same.

2. Cat is not faster, and is probably slower if it's a loaded-down condo-cat. Cat has better fineness ratio, but a comparable mono will have a longer waterline.

3. Cats do NOT point worse than comparable monos. Condo cats don't point, but loaded down cruising monos ALSO don't point. High performance cats point very well.

4. Monos are NOT safer. Cats flip but monos sink. Statistically there is no difference between cats and monos in terms of safety.

5. What is more comfortable is a matter of taste. Cat has wonderful high and roomy salon but prison-cell like cabins. Mono worse view and light in salon but better cabins (as a gross generalization of course).

6. Lack of heeling a very profound advantage of cats, for long ocean passages. Less important for more typical cruising regime of short passages between long stays in port or at anchor, but still pleasant. Living on a heel sucks.


The biggest advantages of cats you did not mention:

1. Redundant propulsion, greatly enhancing reliability and maneuverability.

2. No ballast, so much more efficient motoring. Cats are totally superior motorboats, and this is important considering most cruisers motor more than 50% of the time.


Advantages of monos:

1. For some people, more pleasant motion at sea.

2. Easier to find berthing.

3. Better load carrying capacity.
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