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Old 02-08-2016, 09:53   #31
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

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Originally Posted by lindabarzini View Post
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.

If you are caught in the middle of an ocean crossing in 50 kt winds and 30-35ft breaking waves, would you feel safe in a Catamaran like a Privilege, Lagoon, Leopard, or Catana?

I feel I might enjoy a Cat better, but over the years for the rare times when in a really bad storm, I suspect for 10 hours or so of misery, I might wish I had gone for the monohull.

I like the idea that some multihulls are positively bouyant, but they can also potentially flip if tripping down a wave.

In my mind, the Delos' boat, a 53' Amel Super Maramu (2000), seems safer in the worst of conditions than the Gone With The Wynn's 43' Leopard (2008?).

Not to get into the tired argument of mono vs multi, but is there a general consensus when Force 10 winds come that mono's are less prone to de-masting or broaching/capsizing monos are less prevalent than flipping Cats?

(I've been watching videos about the 1998 Sydney-Hobart race. That low pressure system was really intense. Additionally, I think a cruiser would take more precautions than competitive racers pushing the limits.)
That is a conundrum given the no. of variables.
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Old 02-08-2016, 09:57   #32
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

As you can see, there is no consensus, and we have heard from the promoters. This thread will probably run another 200 posts, but you might as well stop reading.

BTW, there is also no consensus that cats are faster than monos in cruising situations. As far as comfort goes, the only consensus is that they are more comfortable at anchor, which is where you will be at least 75% of the time.
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Old 02-08-2016, 10:06   #33
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
........

The decision to heave to or run off is factored by crew size and competency, fatigue, equipment, the presence of a drogue, the presence of properly sized fittings for the drogue, sea state and sail plan. There's no one answer, save that a boat that CAN heave to safely (early stages of a developing sea, for instance, with the storm movement in a safe quadrant) has a far more comfortable, rested crew than a boat that is actively sailed in deteriorating conditions by short-handers. Cat or mono, the crew is the weakest link. Preserve the crew and you have a shot at preserving the boat.
The decision to run or heave-to is also based on where you are relative to the storm. Running off in one sector will take you away from the storm. If you were located on the other side of the storm then running may set you up for the storms center to pass right over you. In the Queen's Birthday storm if you were on the SW quarter of the low you could run off.
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Old 02-08-2016, 10:08   #34
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post

The cats that seems to me to be most attuned to heavy weather don't look like the cats of the Caribbean much. Cats from South Africa, Australia and New Zealand (and the few made in Britain) seem to exhibit less windage, glass walls and other unfit for ocean aspects. South African cats in particular seem (for me) to make a good case that a cat can deal effectively and in terms of survivability with heavy weather. The escape hatch on the underside of the hulls is a tacit acknowledgement that the worse can happen.
Some Cats from South Africa " seem to exhibit less windage, glass walls and other unfit for ocean aspects" but many others exhibit much of those negative traits as well as low bridgedeck clearance, poor fore and aft positive reserve buoyancy and excessive weight etc etc

"But sometimes you can't do that, and I would infinitely prefer to lie to a sea anchor or to be hove to in a mono than a cat."

If you have never done these measures in a Cat your opinion has no weight

"One thing for sure, however: not all marinas can take cats, especially the bigger ones, and renting the slips are always double the price of a mono!"

You are correct that not all marinas can take Cats but you are definately wrong that "renting the slips are always double the price of a mono!",
in my experience it ranges from equal charge to on rare occasion double and I avoid those places if dockage is needed
...


As others have pointed out in this thread and all the others , a tradewinds Circ is routinely done by Cats and Monos of every flavour and being caught in survival conditions is extremely rare.
Starting a Circ or just "Cruising" with a safe, well found boat, using prudent weather tactics and ensuring a healthy, happy crew is a far higher consideration imo.

Bob
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Old 02-08-2016, 10:14   #35
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

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So how many three week ocean crossings are you going to make in your cruising life? And what are the chances of the perfect storm during one of them? Weather forecadting has improved in the last 30 years, and hopefully you will not be keeping to a schedule.

You're much more likely to have a wreck driving to the mall. Do you wear a helmet in your car?

It is human nature to over estimate the probability of unlikely events, and to worry more about what you can't control. But it's not rational.

But if you insist on doing so, worry about lightning, and hitting whales. Both seem more likely than encountering unexpected hurricanes.
We seem to run into 50 knots plus here in the Med on a semi regular basis, no matter how well we plan.

Her Concerns are very real, but not so much for folks who rarely venture out beyond the local breakwater I'm guessing.

Leopard catamarans are all delivered to their buyers by delivery crews. I haven't heard of them going down on a regular basis, so they must be quite seaworthy.

Here's an ongoing threat about the accuracy of weather forecasts. Faith in Weather Forecast?

Another phenom I have trouble understanding, is people new to sailing and without a boat, making recommendations on sailing tactics and vessel type to other people without experience and without a boat. Curious?

But this is the internet.
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Old 02-08-2016, 10:17   #36
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

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That being said, if both boats get hit by exactly the same conditions, physics does favor the mono as being more forgiving. The mono righting force increases with heel (up to the point where the mast hits the water), and the boat is not very stable upside down. The cat righting force decreases with heel angle until the mast hits the water, then increases to where the boat is very stable upside down. While most cats are positively buoyant, its becoming more evident that the heavier ones are not livable when inverted

I
The problem with this theory is for comparable boats (which there never really is such a thing), the cat has drastically higher righting force available from the start and typically significantly higher righting moments until they go over. As a result, comparing righting forces at various angles of heal is a pointless comparison.

Also when you start throwing waves in, the deep keels associated with mono's (particularly so called blue water monos) can cause them to trip. The mini-keels or even better retractable keels on cats allow them to slide down a wave face dissipating a lot of the forces that could flip a cat.

Can cats flip...sure but that is balanced against mono's getting rolled and sinking. Neither is going to be a good day but to date, I have not seen any data to support the idea that cats are not at least as safe as a comparable mono.

Another item that gets overlooked is the ability of the crew. Comfort in a cat can be a safety benefit. If you are worn out from the wallowing of a mono and crawling around at a 30 degree heel, the odds of making a mistake are higher than if you are comfortably riding on the level.
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Old 02-08-2016, 10:17   #37
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

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24 ft beam works as well as a couple of poles.

I hadn't thought of that, but it's immediately obvious once stated, thanks
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Old 02-08-2016, 10:31   #38
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
To answer the original question, I have an Island Packet, they are sort of known as decently seaworthy mono hull boats, and NO I would not feel safe in 30 to 35 foot breaking seas, I believe that I would likely be terrified.
I can't imagine anyone in anything less than a ship that would feel safe
We encounter high wind conditions several times per year and feel perfectly safe all the way up to 55 +. 30-35 foot seas could get interesting, but out in the open ocean, the frequency isn't so great and the boats generally ride up over the wave. But no, I wouldn't purposely go out and try 30-35 ft waves.

Gotta know your boat and how it functions in adverse conditions in order to expand your comfort zone.

I'm sure it's the same on a catamaran. Know your boat... no worries.
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Old 02-08-2016, 10:40   #39
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

2 more cents to throw into your hooper.

Couple of things that a freind said to me before I bought my cat.

1. A catamaran's most stable position at sea is upside down, a monohull's most stable position at sea is on the bottom of the ocean.

2. When travelling around the world you will be at anchor 90% of the time (unless you are really rushing jamming). No comparision between cats and mono's at anchor.

You might want to read the report about the Queen's Day Storm. Better than the Fasnet report because it relates experiences of cats and monohulls in the same conditions. Believe it is available on Steve Dashew's Noonsite.com site. Good report about how some survived and some didn't when this "Perfect Storm" popped up between New Zealand and Tonga.

I have given a lot of consideration to this and my current tactic, if caught in those conditions, will be to head downwind and put out a Jordan (Series) Drougue. Various tests, including by the USCG, indicate that the design allows for steering control of the boat and prevents surfing down the face of a wave. Much better than sea anchors.

One other thing to consider is that cats do float invertyed. There are numerous cases where a cat was abandoned only to be found months or even years later still afloat. The crew was either taken off or washed away but the boat survived.

If Moontide were to flip in survival conditions I would climb back inside and wait it out. Would be out of the water so could not be swept away and less chance of hypothermia issues. Would even have wine and appetisers :-) Would not be pleasant and I would probably end up with bruises and maybe some broken bones, but I would still be in a very large "liferaft" that has a very strong chance to survive any storm.
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Old 02-08-2016, 10:45   #40
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

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We encounter high wind conditions several times per year and feel perfectly safe all the way up to 55 +. 30-35 foot seas could get interesting, but out in the open ocean, the frequency isn't so great and the boats generally ride up over the wave. But no, I wouldn't purposely go out and try 30-35 ft waves.

Gotta know your boat and how it functions in adverse conditions in order to expand your comfort zone.

I'm sure it's the same on a catamaran. Know your boat... no worries.

Ken,
I gotta think that 35' BREAKING waves would be terrifying to anyone, I have never seen such a thing and will be pleased if I never do, I do not need to check that block.
Really HUGE rollers I've seen once or twice, actually really cool, but not big breakers.
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Old 02-08-2016, 11:08   #41
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

Hi I have a voyage 450 catamaran and have owned it for 10 years since new. We have done 2 transatlantic crossings and approximately 60000 nm. We often sailed with other friends with mono hulls and at the end of the journey the conversation inevitabley
came around to how rough it was!whilst we thought it wasn't bad at all.We have been occasionally in some severe weather but the yacht handles it so well and you don't
Realize how rough the conditions are.For cruising a cat is the answer
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Old 02-08-2016, 11:14   #42
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

How close to wind can your cat sail, we bareboated a 44 in the BVI and had a bit of time beating close to the wind, might have been under powered sail plan, not sure
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Old 02-08-2016, 11:45   #43
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

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Originally Posted by lindabarzini View Post
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.

If you are caught in the middle of an ocean crossing in 50 kt winds and 30-35ft breaking waves, would you feel safe in a Catamaran like a Privilege, Lagoon, Leopard, or Catana?

I feel I might enjoy a Cat better, but over the years for the rare times when in a really bad storm, I suspect for 10 hours or so of misery, I might wish I had gone for the monohull.

I like the idea that some multihulls are positively bouyant, but they can also potentially flip if tripping down a wave.

In my mind, the Delos' boat, a 53' Amel Super Maramu (2000), seems safer in the worst of conditions than the Gone With The Wynn's 43' Leopard (2008?).

Not to get into the tired argument of mono vs multi, but is there a general consensus when Force 10 winds come that mono's are less prone to de-masting or broaching/capsizing monos are less prevalent than flipping Cats?

(I've been watching videos about the 1998 Sydney-Hobart race. That low pressure system was really intense. Additionally, I think a cruiser would take more precautions than competitive racers pushing the limits.)
Go ahead and get yourself a catamaran (not a cattlemaran). Gone with the Wynn's 43 Leopard is actually quite a sea worthy yacht. Unfortunately, I do not believe the same of the latest Leopard/Mooring catamarans - in my opinion, it is designed for charter work and not blue water sailing.

In a storm situation, providing one takes common sense precautions, catamarans are far easier on your body and you will get more rest. Obviously there is a lot more commotion in 50 knot winds than say 10 or 15 knot winds. But is a very controlled situation, far less motion, less things falling around, less stress, virtually no leaning, more sleep and substantially more rest.

We have been in a number of storms ranging from 35 to 60 knots (Cape Town, South Africa) and never felt the situation as life threatening or dangerous - in fact, we felt quite safe and comfortable inside the yacht. It was quite hectic outside though.
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Old 02-08-2016, 11:51   #44
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

The biggest problem I see with cats is you don't know or feel what's going on so readily. It can blow hard and you have no idea it's blowing 40! The point you capsize will come with little warning possibly. So you learn to pay attention. I had my 42 on a reach in 40 mph winds and there was almost no heeling with the full main up. Maybe 2 inches of heel. The big question is, when will the stability just go away ?
In a mono, you get layed over, or broach and you know. You know every gust. The only way I really saw gusts on the cat was by watching the anemometer!
I'm still not convinced either way which I would prefer in heavy conditions. My gut says a mono is a touch safer in those conditions. Just a gut feel though. The fatigue from a mono's motion could make it a more even contest I suppose!
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Old 02-08-2016, 11:55   #45
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

Well, my ten cents worth........
I used to be a mono-hull sailor and changed yonks ago to a cat having experienced several days of severe storms on board a delivery cat. That was enough to convince me - still able to cook and have hot drinks.
The situation has proven itself to me on more occasions since. At the end of the day, I believe both have good points (multi versus mono) but in my opinion the multi-hull is more forgiving and also safer/more comfortable in severe weather. The Leopard 43 mentioned is a low slung very beamy cat and I would be happy to be on such a well constructed cat in 50kts (assuming the rigging is sound). There are substantial numbers of cats crossing oceans of all makes and all sizes - similarly, the same applies to mono-hulls. The most important aspect is seamanship.
For me, it shall always be a simple selection - multihull every time. I also have faith in my Jordan Series Drogue, having a storm jib on an inner stay, a very deep reefed main (add a third row of h/d cringles) and ensuring the boat is always reasonably ready for any bad weather with the dinghy secured and plenty of lashings for the main, especially if using a deep third reef rather than dropping it. This keeps options open. Our Voyage would also keep going to weather if required, but did belly flop regularly, not that it seemed to do any harm but the noise was disconcerting.
Ive written about this before but on one Red Sea S-2-N transit we stopped and picked up a single hander who's Herreshoff mono had split open. Launching a dinghy, affecting a pick up and retrieving the dinghy and outboard was interesting - I would not like to consider how that that would have gone had we been on a on a mono-hull. That was in 42-45 kts with gusts over 50kts and nasty sea's. Not too severe but still nerve wracking. Im sure we would have managed it somehow from a mono..........
On my second cat, and talking to its designer, Phil Southwell, he advised that most cats will lose their rigs over the side before enough leverage is applied to cause a capsize. This is more obvious with later beamier designs.
When running before severe weather I use a drogue as it transforms the whole experience.
As I said, I firmly believe the cat is more forgiving and we all need some of that in bad weather. The fact that we are able to be more comfortable, to have hot food and drinks also is a big safety factor as is the abiity to rest. My wife would most likely be found reading a book under such conditions - not especially concerned.
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