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Old 02-08-2016, 18:43   #61
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

Surely the requirements of where you want to operate the boat will dictate the size and type. If you want to do a lot of high lattitude cruising and will encounter a lot of rough weather then a well built ballasted monohull will be the sensible choice. Windage noise and poor prop immersion are the downside of cats.

We cruised a 50 foot cat and cats in rough weather with confused seas are noisy they slam alarmingly and have a very violent jerky motion whatever the course you adopt it's just hell. It makes me chuckle to see some of the comments of supposed experience on the internet. I think a lot of these conditions have frankly been inflated after the event.

We have a 65 foot monohull now and it's passage times are similar, light air performace is a lot lower, interior space about the same and it rolls a lot more in temporary exposed anchorages but it's not a violent roll. But in a real blow it's much more forgiving, more sea kindly especially when hove to and much quieter. Overall a lot less anxiety in heavy weather.

Ultimately if a cat does invert it's an untenable wreck. If a mono rolls you might lose your mast but it's usauly just knocked down and gets up again.

What scares me the most is being unable to do anything proactive to save crew washed overboard from an inverted multi. Watching them drift away.

We might go back to a cat in our dotage around 35 feet just for the smaller rig and easier driven hulls and shallow draft.

But I'm aware that even heavy cruising cats of that size can be been blown over at anchor. Rare but another worry.

A few large expensive cats have been inverted by gusts and plenty sunk from breached hulls in collision and grounding since the hulls are light and not built for any abuse. Whales have sunk new modern cats.

Dockside bumps, grounding, and any a concern too.

Also read the following link which is an incomplete and sobering reminder.

For verified reports add to it the latest total loss of crew which was the Leopard in the Indian Ocean last year with 3 dead ( everyone aboard). Always experienced skippers too. SailNet Community - View Single Post - How do you feel about catamarans?
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Old 02-08-2016, 18:53   #62
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

in 50kts its flat, when the wind dies down the sea rises/ 25kts of wind against a strong current in 30ft of water can be much more dangerous and the sea rises fast /larger vessels have more room but they always seem to be anchored somewhere very sheltered and the occupants onshore we usually say till you learn to sail get one with training wheels that doesn't heel much / 2 hulls or 3 hulls / comes down to dollars if you want facilities for 20 people / or luxury fit out in that same hull space to enjoy by yourself / every design has it's limitations / about the only thing that handles storm wind conditions safely is a submarine.
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Old 02-08-2016, 20:05   #63
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

I've been in ships in 35 to 40 breaking seas a few times.
Everything! is scary in those conditions. Sometimes smaller boats are better because they go up and down with the waves rather than bridging them.

However, in a 32 ft Cat in over 40 knots still sailing to windward under 3 reefs and storm jib. Not big waves, but short and steep in shallower coastal water.
Downwind with jib alone actually comfortable.

Horses for courses
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Old 02-08-2016, 20:11   #64
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

When the ocean going catamaran first began to appear on the scene, pioneering catamaran designer Rudy Choy was asked about the concern for safety, especially capsizing. Interestingly, Choy did not try to defend the catamaran. He simply said, "you don't go to sea to be safe." As we have seen many times lately, (to steal a line from David Rudder) "nothin' ain't changed".
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Old 02-08-2016, 20:19   #65
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

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Originally Posted by knockabout View Post
in 50kts its flat, when the wind dies down the sea rises/ 25kts of wind against a strong current in 30ft of water can be much more dangerous and the sea rises fast.. (snip).
Not in my experience, yes a short 50 knot squall can blow the tops of the waves and temporarily make the waves seem smaller, but if its sustained for any length of time and fetch the waves in 50 knots will quickly rise to a size and steepness that will make 25 knots in 30 ft of water feel like a calm pond.
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Old 02-08-2016, 20:26   #66
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

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Originally Posted by Snowpetrel View Post
Not in my experience, yes a short 50 knot squall can blow the tops of the waves and temporarily make the waves seem smaller, but if its sustained for any length of time and fetch the waves in 50 knots will quickly rise to a size and steepness that will make 25 knots in 30 ft of water feel like a calm pond.
Most definitely agreed! To say that sustained 50 kt winds produce flat seas is simply wrong... and I have the scars to support that statement! (They are emotional scars, mostly...).

Jim
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Old 02-08-2016, 20:41   #67
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

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Originally Posted by Souther Wombat View Post
Surely the requirements of where you want to operate the boat will dictate the size and type. If you want to do a lot of high lattitude cruising and will encounter a lot of rough weather then a well built ballasted monohull will be the sensible choice. Windage noise and poor prop immersion are the downside of cats.

We cruised a 50 foot cat and cats in rough weather with confused seas are noisy they slam alarmingly and have a very violent jerky motion whatever the course you adopt it's just hell. It makes me chuckle to see some of the comments of supposed experience on the internet. I think a lot of these conditions have frankly been inflated after the event.

We have a 65 foot monohull now and it's passage times are similar, light air performace is a lot lower, interior space about the same and it rolls a lot more in temporary exposed anchorages but it's not a violent roll. But in a real blow it's much more forgiving, more sea kindly especially when hove to and much quieter. Overall a lot less anxiety in heavy weather.

Ultimately if a cat does invert it's an untenable wreck. If a mono rolls you might lose your mast but it's usauly just knocked down and gets up again.

What scares me the most is being unable to do anything proactive to save crew washed overboard from an inverted multi. Watching them drift away.

We might go back to a cat in our dotage around 35 feet just for the smaller rig and easier driven hulls and shallow draft.

But I'm aware that even heavy cruising cats of that size can be been blown over at anchor. Rare but another worry.

A few large expensive cats have been inverted by gusts and plenty sunk from breached hulls in collision and grounding since the hulls are light and not built for any abuse. Whales have sunk new modern cats.

Dockside bumps, grounding, and any a concern too.

Also read the following link which is an incomplete and sobering reminder.

For verified reports add to it the latest total loss of crew which was the Leopard in the Indian Ocean last year with 3 dead ( everyone aboard). Always experienced skippers too. SailNet Community - View Single Post - How do you feel about catamarans?

Although statistics are sparse, a study of 35 publicized multihull capsizes between 1975 and 1985 contained only three cruisers, one anchored in a 170-knot hurricane. Ninety-one percent were racers, designed and sailed to the edge, and 60 percent occurred during racing or record attempts. A full 54 percent of the boats were eventually salvaged, some floating for months before retrieval. Ninety percent of the crews survived, and half of those lost were on a single boat shadowing the infamous 1979 Fastnet Race that claimed so many monohullers. What percentage of sunken or even rolled monohulls and their crews survive? We just don’t know. Designer Chris White also has studied statistics and can only conclude that, in recent decades, multihulls have proven to be up to 23 percent safer than monohulls, but again admits that the samples available are too small to make definitive conclusions. At worst, it appears that multihull capsizes are marginally more common than monohull sinkings, and in the cruising world are exceedingly less common.


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Old 02-08-2016, 20:46   #68
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

100% of all marriages end in death or divorce. Lovely statistics. Stay onshore then. In 50 knots, nothing is comfortable.

For a "dark sider" looking at Catana 471/47 as the next boat, this is a great thread!
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Old 02-08-2016, 23:53   #69
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

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Originally Posted by smj View Post
Although statistics are sparse, a study of 35 publicized multihull capsizes between 1975 and 1985 contained only three cruisers, one anchored in a 170-knot hurricane. Ninety-one percent were racers, designed and sailed to the edge, and 60 percent occurred during racing or record attempts. A full 54 percent of the boats were eventually salvaged, some floating for months before retrieval. Ninety percent of the crews survived, and half of those lost were on a single boat shadowing the infamous 1979 Fastnet Race that claimed so many monohullers. What percentage of sunken or even rolled monohulls and their crews survive? We just don’t know. Designer Chris White also has studied statistics and can only conclude that, in recent decades, multihulls have proven to be up to 23 percent safer than monohulls, but again admits that the samples available are too small to make definitive conclusions. At worst, it appears that multihull capsizes are marginally more common than monohull sinkings, and in the cruising world are exceedingly less common.


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Good info, you are a walking thesaurus lol. We saw Rainmaker in Bermuda sitting on her mooring refusing to sink. Sad sight but she was definitely very buoyant after a year of floating about in the Atlantic.


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Old 03-08-2016, 01:03   #70
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

I think it is good to explore some worst-case scenarios, then moderate it with the probability of these events happening. I find the most difficult people is feeling responsible for other people's lives.

If I made a poor decision and other people were affected, it would be hard to deal with those feelings. Parents have a Hobson's choice.
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Old 03-08-2016, 01:25   #71
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

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Originally Posted by smj View Post
Although statistics are sparse, a study of 35 publicized multihull capsizes between 1975 and 1985 contained only three cruisers, one anchored in a 170-knot hurricane. Ninety-one percent were racers, designed and sailed to the edge, and 60 percent occurred during racing or record attempts. A full 54 percent of the boats were eventually salvaged, some floating for months before retrieval. Ninety percent of the crews survived, and half of those lost were on a single boat shadowing the infamous 1979 Fastnet Race that claimed so many monohullers. What percentage of sunken or even rolled monohulls and their crews survive? We just donít know. Designer Chris White also has studied statistics and can only conclude that, in recent decades, multihulls have proven to be up to 23 percent safer than monohulls, but again admits that the samples available are too small to make definitive conclusions. At worst, it appears that multihull capsizes are marginally more common than monohull sinkings, and in the cruising world are exceedingly less common.


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I made a mistake before in the link. This is the link I actually wanted to paste. It's worth reading and absorbing.

SailNet Community - View Single Post - How do you feel about catamarans?

As I said add the recent total loss again of all crew in the Leopard cat that inverted recently.

You can confuse the issue with statistics and there's a lot of issues to survival, not just what sunk but who survived.

A sinking monohull still lets you launch and access boats, life rafts grab bags and Epirbs. It's almost impossible in most multihulls as they are designed and you have to try and dive into the flooded hull for anything. The upturned hull is death trap in the same weather that casues it to overturn.

An inverted cat is an immediate disaster with no warning and no time to do anything. The death toll as a total loss of crew is alarming because designers don't allow access into an inverted cat or access to emergency gear.

When fit able bodied crews all die it begs the question of what happens to young children or as I am getting, the older and more infirm.

Chris White is not impartial he even says on his site or did until recently that no cat has ever flipped without sails up. That's not true.
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Old 03-08-2016, 01:45   #72
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

One addition point which may not have been brought up. You should spend some time on each type of vessel at anchor and sailing. Monohulls and cats definitely have a different motion that effects people. As long as we're able to avoid rolly anchorages, our mono is fine and I like the very gradual motion which doesn't seem to induce seasickness in us or guests (most of the time). We've only experienced one this season off Sorrento, Italy, very rolly, but by then we were past having to get used to it. However, on my friend's Lagoon 450, I do get a little dizzy from the short jerky motions at anchor. Most likely, it's something I'd get used to just as he has. I've found the trawler motion at anchor to be absolutely nauseating even to watch.

But you need to know what you're getting into. We're also looking to move over to a powercat which will better serve our needs.

BTW: i think the OP is doing the right thing by exploring worst case senarios. We did the same thing following the purchase of a lightweight boat that scared my wife.
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Old 03-08-2016, 01:47   #73
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

Quote:
Designer Chris White also has studied statistics and can only conclude that, in recent decades, multihulls have proven to be up to 23 percent safer than monohulls


]Interesting statistics, but they leave me with a question: how do you measure a percentage of safety?

My personal belief is that a good example of either genre is pretty damn safe. I don't worry about a perceived "23 %" margin of safety myself, no matter what Chris meant by that! I also think that being in 50+ knot sustained winds at sea is not much fun in any small vessel, number of hulls not making all that much difference.

Going back to the Queens Birthday storm... Two cats were abandoned and about 4-6 monohulls (can't remember exactly). There were many more monohulls in the fleet; I have not run the numbers to see what percentage of each genre were lost or abandoned... could be about equal, maybe a slightlly higher percentage of the multihull fleet. The only one not accounted for was Quartermaster, a lidgard 40, lost with all hands. One cat, the Catalac (in the hands of some very inexperienced and whacky folks) was abandoned and deliberately run down and sunk. The other, Ramtha, was later recovered and returned to her owners, who refurbed her and continued cruising. Neither one capsized. Of the abandoned monos, IIRC all were eventually either found afloat, or in the case of Destiny, washed up months later on a Pacific island. None sank other than Quartermaster, and we have no knowledge of what overcame her. The only vessel which managed to escape the storm was Heart of Gold, a Schumaker 50 which saw evil weather coming, put up a press of canvas and arrived in Tonga before all hell broke loose... literally outrunning the stormy conditions. HOG is a very fast modern design, sailed by very experienced and talented folks... certainly a faster boat than either of the cats involved. (I can't remember if there were other multihulls in the rally... ones that did not get into trouble, but HOG was by far the first boat to reach Tonga).

What does this historical data prove? Well, to me it indicates that all the boats that were in the most affected area got the hell beaten out of them. Of the mono fleet, there were all sorts of vessels involved. Some of the ones abandoned were of the venerable "blue water" sorts ie Sophia, an Atkins double ender of much the same dimensions as a Westsail 32, but of high quality timber construction, or Destiny, a Norseman 447... boats that most would believe to be fairly seaworthy monohulll designs, but when the opportunity to be taken off came , they jumped to it (in the case of Destiny, the skipper was badly injured when they pitchpoled). They were not happy campers on board. But, neither were the folks on the cats... uncomfortable and scared enough to abandon, too.

That storm was far worse than the typical 50 knot blow at sea, and with far bigger seas, so the above thoughts don't directly apply to the OPs questions. But, I am left with the idea that in such survival conditions, cats and monos alike suffer damages and beat the crews up badly. How one fares is dependent upon the skills of the crews and the luck of not being in the wrong place at th wrong time on a wave face more than the number of hulls that one floats on.

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Old 03-08-2016, 02:25   #74
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

It's not the size of the wave, but how close together they are me thinks.
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Old 03-08-2016, 02:49   #75
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Re: Catamarans in 50kt winds

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]Interesting statistics, but they leave me with a question: how do you measure a percentage of safety?

My personal belief is that a good example of either genre is pretty damn safe. I don't worry about a perceived "23 %" margin of safety myself, no matter what Chris meant by that! I also think that being in 50+ knot sustained winds at sea is not much fun in any small vessel, number of hulls not making all that much difference.

Going back to the Queens Birthday storm... ............

Jim
I'm going to quote from sailnet again since these are very similar threads heres a synopsis of the QB cruisers rally storm:

SailNet Community - View Single Post - How do you feel about catamarans?

50 Knots (A storm) as a sustained blow is a survival situation with horrific seas that would be a lottery to survive.

After 35 knots sustained blow in a 50 foot cat I think that was the sea limit for the people to control the boat whatsoever and at that we should have been lying to a drogue but lacked sea room. And the motion and noise was much more stressful than worse blows we have endured in our monohull.

And that was a 50 foot cat. Some of the comments here about sea states and wind are not very sensible. A gust is not a storm.
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