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Old 05-08-2016, 23:06   #211
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

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Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
You may find it difficult to get what you want, because in a sustained storm cruising boats will be under bare poles, and capsizes due to wave action alone are very rare.


But if it leads to the deaths of a significant number of people, (say at least 10 per year?) I'm sure you could provide links to all these stories of tragedy?


Apparently the Rose Noelle was rolled by a big wave, but that's a tri. The crew survived though.

Lets recap

The question is : IS a catamaran suitable for conditions in an expected 50 knot storm ?
That's what we are discussing. I think it's a completely usuitable type for those sort of conditions. I also contend that there's enough risk of the boat being blown over bare poles in the gusts that occur in a storm since it occurs even in calm water at those wind speeds to both light and heavy cats.

The next question is whether that's survivable in those conditions and the evidence suggests it's unlikely even for fit young men the way the boats are currently designed.


There was a good summary on sailnet that I'll copy rather than typing all the material again.

These are all cases where the official coroners reports are either available or pending there are apparently several others which are not verified because information isn't available from those countries.

The Officially investigated cases are a good enough example of what happens if you are inverted in heavy weather.

Start the examples with the South African Leopard in the Indian ocean that inverted last year in heavy seas . All 3 men aboard were lost, the inverted intact hull was found months later.

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........ 2013 that I'm aware of, was a Belize 43 Catamaran in the Med , they pushed on under power in a gale to try and make port, their props were fouled by a floating line, probably lost fishing gear, consequently they lost their propulsion which they needed to make port, they tried sailing, something broke, the sail shredded and they then drifted out to sea under bare poles. At that point they were not in distress. But they were not heard from again.The Cat was inverted and all 5 adults aboard died either unable to make the hull or washed off it. The intact inverted craft was washed ashore a few days later. The French coroners report probably won’t be released until next year.

April 2006 an Outremer 45 Catamaran also in the Med inverted in an estimated 30 kno ts of wind Off Cape De Creus in Spain. Of the 5 men and 1 woman aboard 4 died and two survived. The cat was broken up by the sea after being washed ashore. The coroners report is available.

I’d expect everyone to be aware of Richard Charrington’s ordeal on an inverted cat in 1995 when 4 of the 5 men aboard died. His story was widely circulated after the 2010 Sunday times biographical. A very graphical horrifying account.

The 43 foot Hugo Myers design Queequeg 2 was inverted in heavy seas 180 nautical miles south of Madagascar. Despite activating the EPIRB their location meant rescue was slow to arrive. Two Of the 3 men aboard died.

The Lagoon 38 that inverted in the Atlantic in heavy seas is another example although they triggered an EPIRB and were located one of the 3 men aboard died from exposure before they were rescued. The account is worth reading.

Another example was Catshot the 44 foot cat inverted in heavy seas in the Pacific of the Oregon coast, all 3 men died unable to remain on the upturned cat. The remains of a snapped tether was tied to the upturned hull. That is one of the few cats I’m aware of that inverted while laying to a sea anchor. The skipper was very experienced . Only two months before Catshot’s crew were killed another delivery trip gone wrong had killed, Steve Hobley in the 38 foot cat in the Atlantic.
These are boats inverted in heavy weather, gales and above.
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Old 05-08-2016, 23:19   #212
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

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Another cat vs mono buying decision thread . . .
Fantastic, isn't it

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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).
Depending on where you are cruising, the view issue can be irrelevant. In the baltic I'm sure the view is great, but in the Med at the height of summer you want to close the curtains or put covers over the windows to keep out the heat. My curtains stay closed the whole summer.
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Old 05-08-2016, 23:27   #213
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

The famous Sydney to Hobart disaster involving the heavy loss of life of monohull sailors, resulted in an enquiry. One of the important conclusions was that non of the boats overturned and lost used either a sea anchor or any type of drogue. It further stated that if sea anchors or drogue were used then most if not all capsizes would not have occured.

Of course you must know how to lay properly to a sea anchor, parachute or use a drogue. For me and definitely not speaking from experience at all. I plan to sail any crossing with a ready to deplorable Jordan Series Drogue on the stern. Also to have reinforced special points to tie off the drogue securely. I also understand that it would be best to point the boat away from the following sees.

I could be totally wrong of course and be out of my mind to think that I could safely sail a cat in an ocean crossing. Or that my preparedness stated above won't stop me from avoiding an inversion. But until proven wrong by others more experienced I will stick to my strategy.
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Old 06-08-2016, 00:00   #214
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

Well now that we all agree that both cats and monos can come to grief it's important to know that no boat or ship for that matter is 100% safe as there is always some risk sailing but it is a small risk if you practice basic seamanship so make your choice and go and have a good time. Life is short.
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Old 06-08-2016, 00:05   #215
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

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Well now that we all agree that both cats and monos can come to grief it's important to know that no boat or ship for that matter is 100% safe as there is always some risk sailing but it is a small risk if you practice basic seamanship so make your choice and go and have a good time. Life is short.
Thanks. Great advise.
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Old 06-08-2016, 00:49   #216
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

all of us are but 1" of FGP skin from the water. One container, log, whale, submerged rock (not to mention failed seacock) can do us in.
All of which are far more likely to sink a mono than a cat.
Yes, a cat may flip but is the probability of encountering 50 k winds significantly higher than the probability of any of the above problems?
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Old 06-08-2016, 01:09   #217
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

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Originally Posted by Souther Wombat View Post
Lets recap

The question is : IS a catamaran suitable for conditions in an expected 50 knot storm ?
That's what we are discussing. I think it's a completely usuitable type for those sort of conditions. .
Others with I suspect more experience in both types of boats disagree with you
Don McIntyre sailed the world solo in the BOC challenge, spent a year in Antarctica, amongst many other adventures, now sails a cat; has this to say

Quote:
The whole place handled 45-50 knots on the beam with 5-7mtr breaking seas sailing to Papeete no problem! How could it take me so long to finally convert to Multihulls? I certainly look at monohulls very differently now and could never go back. (well unless it was maybe to sail in the 2022 Golden Globe Race?)
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Old 06-08-2016, 01:51   #218
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

50-65 knot winds...

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Old 06-08-2016, 02:06   #219
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

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Originally Posted by GoingWalkabout View Post
The famous Sydney to Hobart disaster involving the heavy loss of life of monohull sailors, resulted in an enquiry. One of the important conclusions was that non of the boats overturned and lost used either a sea anchor or any type of drogue. It further stated that if sea anchors or drogue were used then most if not all capsizes would not have occured.

Of course you must know how to lay properly to a sea anchor, parachute or use a drogue. For me and definitely not speaking from experience at all. I plan to sail any crossing with a ready to deplorable Jordan Series Drogue on the stern. Also to have reinforced special points to tie off the drogue securely. I also understand that it would be best to point the boat away from the following sees.

I could be totally wrong of course and be out of my mind to think that I could safely sail a cat in an ocean crossing. Or that my preparedness stated above won't stop me from avoiding an inversion. But until proven wrong by others more experienced I will stick to my strategy.
I strongly advocate the use of a drouge on a multi, not so much a para anchor, but the inquest did not recommend that. - Here are the findings as to death

Quote:
THAT BRUCE RAYMOND GUY DIED ON 27TH DECEMBER, 1998, OF ISCHAEMIC HEART DISEASE, A NATURAL CAUSE, .... OF THE YACHT "BUSINESS POST NAIAD".

THAT PHILLIP RAYMOND CHARLES SKEGGS DIED ON 27TH DECEMBER, 1998, OF IMMERSION, IN THE TASMAN SEA, OFF EDEN, ..WHEN THE YACHT "BUSINESS POST NAIAD", OF WHICH HE WAS A CREW MEMBER, WAS STRUCK BY A WAVE AND OVERTURNED, HE BECOMING ENTANGLED IN EQUIPMENT AND REMAINING UNDERWATER WHILST THE SAID YACHT WAS INVERTED.

THAT GLYN RODERICK CHARLES DIED ON 27TH DECEMBER, 1998, OF IMMERSION, IN THE TASMAN SEA, OFF EDEN, , WHEN THE LANYARD WHICH
WAS ATTACHED TO HIS HARNESS FAILED AT THE STITCHING, HE THEN BEING WASHED OVERBOARD FROM THE YACHT "SWORD OF ORION", OF WHICH HE WAS A CREW MEMBER.

THAT JOHN WILLIAM DEAN - JAMES MICHAEL LAWLER - MICHAEL BANNISTER DIED ON 28TH DECEMBER, 1998, OF IMMERSION, IN THE TASMAN SEA OFF EDEN, WHEN THE REMAINS OF A LIFE RAFT FROM THE YACHT "WINSTON CHURCHILL" TO WHICH HE WAS CLINGING, WAS WITHOUT WARNING STRUCK BY A WAVE, WASHING HIM BEYOND ITS REACH.
.

6 died

3 died while they were in a life raft after their boat sank.
1 died when MOB when his tether failed.
1 had a heart attack and one drowned when their mono rolled and the guy who drowned got caught in the rigging

Attached is the summary report for info
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Sydney to Hobart Race Coroners Report 1998.pdf (535.0 KB, 5 views)
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Old 06-08-2016, 02:25   #220
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

I had no say in it, I was in the middle of the Coral Sea, A passing ship I spoke to on the VHF said it was Force six winds then, About 10-00 AM and it got a lot worse in the afternoon,

As my wind indicator was not working, I had no idea on what the wind strength was,
But it was screaming, and most waves were very very large,
Wave height would be approx 5 to 6 metres constant,
35 Knots of wind is common here, I have no problems in that, I would suggest the winds on this day would have been close to Fifty knots or more,
I had two really big ones stand up vertically on the transom which were level with my top spreader, Thats 12 metres off the the waterline, 10 metres off the deck and two metres to the waterline,

My Gemini has a hydraulic leg for the drive motor, I dropped that into the water and used it as a drogue, Dragging it thru the water, I had about a foot on the bottom of the Genoa out, Bare poles didnt give me enough forward propulsion and I kept going sideways, In a wobbly fashion, Or uncontrolled,

The little bit of Genoa kept me straight in line and running before the waves and wind,
There was a bit of fiddling till I got the right amount of Genoa set,
Enough to keep me about half way down the waves, and about 30 Degrees to the waves,
I was doing between 7 and 9 knots, It was a nice comfortable speed, Nothing was being strained,

I just sat back and enjoyed the ride, My Cat was level and flat all the time, The Auto steering was doing its thing, with out being worked hard,

Did I feel unsafe at any time, No,

The two big ones if they had landed on me, I was dead, end of story, 50 to 100,000 thousand tons dropping on my little cat, I was sawdust, Those monster waves sink big ships,
It just popped out at the last minute, Which I was very happy about,
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Old 06-08-2016, 02:36   #221
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

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You notice how the Cat is level and flat, Even in those high winds and seas,

You can put your coffee cup down and it stays where you put it,

None of the crew is hanging on for dear life, They are just casually walking around, Enjoying the trip,
No stress from any one, Thats a good time to get the video camera out for some good sailing footage,
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Old 06-08-2016, 03:57   #222
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

I think we tend to look at this subject incorrectly.

I think we need to move away from the concept that choice A is a "safe" choice and B is "dangerous". In reality, there is no such dichotomy.

Sailing is generally a very safe sport, but cruising long distances in a small boat is different. It is never going to be "safe" no matter what we do. Crew attitude and experience has the greatest impact on the risk, but vessel choice is a close second. There tends to be a lot of focus on safety equipment and while this is important, especially for boating safety in general, I think the above former two factors are far more significant for the cruising sailor.

Cruising is safer than many sports/hobbies that I have participated in, and to me the risks are well worth the joy it brings. I have crossed some dangerous stretches of water in small, really not very suitable production boats, and I would (probably) do so again in the right circumstances. On the other hand, my current boat is about as safe as a small boat can be. My new boat perhaps even more so. That is no coincidence. However, these are personal choices. I think everyone needs to set the safety bar depending on where they think the risk/benefit lies. This is especially true for activities that we may be doing for many years.

It would be nice to get a sensible perspective on relative dangers of cats versus monohulls. This is fundamental to the OP's question, but I suspect we never will. The number of people long distance cruising is small and they undertake such vastly different voyages, with such different attitudes and experience, in vessels that are very different ages and state of repair that I cannot see teasing out the differences between monos and cats in any statistically significant way.

My advice would be sail both. Some people feel very confident in a cat, others less so. While this feeling may not be correlate well with safety, if you don't feel your vessel can cope with bad weather, you are unlikely to enjoy your travels.

I think as Dockhead made an important point when comparing monos to cats. We need to compare like with like. This means in my view comparing a larger mono with a smaller cat. Once you do this most of the differences between the two types of vessels such as cost (both to buy and run), speed etc become much less significant, but there are some differences that become exaggerated. Safety and the perception of safety is one area where the differences become greater, at least for some people.
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Old 06-08-2016, 04:25   #223
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

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I think we tend to look at this subject incorrectly.
I think we are looking at the whole thread incorrectly...

We should be advising the OP that both mono's and cats of all different shapes, sizes, designs and manufacturers are quite happily circumnavigating and handling the conditions, but I think that the OP already knows this. Unless the OP has any specialist requirements in their cruising requirements (high latitudes and even the poles), then the OP should look at boats that satisfy their needs in normal conditions which is 95% of the conditions encountered in a coconut run.

Once they are happy with the cat/mono of their choice, then ask how best to deal with the other 5% when preparing for the trip
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Old 06-08-2016, 05:10   #224
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

After reading all the comments Ive come to the conclusion that, if cats were truly "safer" than monos, in a significant way, people would just stop sailing monos.

Mono vs cat is a similar discussion to compact car vs huge full sized suv.
Statistically one is more likely to die in a small car. However, statistically a small car is less likely to get in an accident in the first place. Is the driver of the small car a safer driver, or is the small car more nimble and can avoid accidents? You can throw in any argument for suvs here. Each type of driver will feel secure in making their choice.

Like cat vs mono there are too many variables to make the discussion "winnable".
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Old 06-08-2016, 05:12   #225
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

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I think we are looking at the whole thread incorrectly...

We should be advising the OP that both mono's and cats of all different shapes, sizes, designs and manufacturers are quite happily circumnavigating and handling the conditions, but I think that the OP already knows this. Unless the OP has any specialist requirements in their cruising requirements (high latitudes and even the poles), then the OP should look at boats that satisfy their needs in normal conditions which is 95% of the conditions encountered in a coconut run.

Once they are happy with the cat/mono of their choice, then ask how best to deal with the other 5% when preparing for the trip
Right on hoppy
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