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Old 08-03-2006, 12:31   #1
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Cats Better for Long Distance Sailing?

Im not familiar with Cats at all but i would imagine it might not hold up as well in high seas? Just a few of the goods and bads will suffice my curiosity. thx in advance...
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Old 08-03-2006, 17:39   #2
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If you use the search option and plug in associated words, you will find several threads discussing cats. This is a big topic with the easy answer being yes and no. You need to learn the basic differences and then start studying specific boat manufacturers. A good cat is better than a bad monohull and a good monohull is better than a bad cat. It's a long haul to really sort out your priorities and the specifics of individual boats. Once you understand the variables, it's personal preference. there is no "quick" answer. One of my frequently stated opinions is that a good cat will cost a lot more than a good monohull. (add 100K) You will not find many 20+ year old cats. This single fact keeps the majority of us happy with our older monohulls.

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Old 08-03-2006, 17:53   #3
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Capt. Lar is correct...way too many variables to give a real answer. If you are truly interested in looking for an affordable multi that will be safe for long distance cruising, you will find some, but as mentioned, not many. I do know of a 43' cat for sale in France, built in '67 and has made numerous trans Atlantic passages as racer and cruiser, quickly and safely,..oh and at $40K, not too bad a deal.
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Old 08-03-2006, 19:59   #4
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You state that you are not familar with cats and make the assumption that they will not hold up in high seas. I am not sure what you are basing that on. Maybe it is the lighter weight construction? Many cats are built in France and South Africa and delivered to the North American market on their own bottoms. You will find plywood backyard built Wharram cats cruising all over the world. Like capt lar said, there is enough on this in previous threads so no need to rehash this. Like any good boat mono or multi, if properly designed and built they are not going to come apart on you and will most likely be able to handle the conditions better than the crew. It really comes down to priorities, preferances, and budget.
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Old 08-03-2006, 20:28   #5
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It does bring to mind the structural questions when considering the added loads due to design. I am also curious about the concerns over the effect of taking a wave on deck with that much deck area. I have read a bit of information about handling characteristics, and the increased rigging loads, but I have not found anything addressing this particular question. Any links would be appreciated. I am aware of a number of multis that have done extensive blue water work, including Piver tis, and I realize that most of the older boats were highly modified, but I have found no detail of those modifications. THere is way too much info out there to read it all searching for only a few answers, so again, any links, or direct recommendations would be appreciated.
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Old 09-03-2006, 06:18   #6
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Aye, thats about the same questions had. Just structural integrity when taking waves with that much deck area and usually more glass. Also being wider I thought perhaps it would be harder to make a cat as structurally sound as a mono. I didnt mean to offend any cat owners. I was just asking questions. Thanks for the redirect anyway.
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Old 09-03-2006, 09:07   #7
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As has been shown already, you will get as many different opinions as answers.

The earlier post about not many 20 yr old cats is a big red herring cause there were not many catamarans about in those days. My 22 yr old one is as good as they day she was launched.

You will find little argument about a monohull being a more capable vessel to windward than a cat, allthough modern performance cats have considerable capability in this area and achieve a higher VMG due to their much higher speed.

You will get little argument about a cat being more comfortable at anchor or to live aboard.

You will get little argument about the benefit of two hulls when trade wind sailing (none of that rolling).

Most other points are likely to be argued by proponents of the different boats, and frankly the miniscule differences are more design issues then specific differences between one hull or more.

It eventually comes down to personal taste, however, it does appear that most females prefer the open living conditions on a cat and are thus more ready to cruise, than is the case for monos.
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Old 09-03-2006, 11:36   #8
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Guy's I need some marriage counciling. For the first time in 17yrs, our marriage has been severly strained. My wife has has been secretly admiring Catamarans. Whats worse, she would like to spend some time with one. I have a big boat, but it seems length of the boat may not be what truely satisfies her. A much younger broad shouldered cat sailed past us the other day and that look of, "could it satisfy me" was on her face. I wonder, is it the speed?, the size?, the thrill?..can I compeate????
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Old 09-03-2006, 12:15   #9
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Mostly its the ability to move about without the boat being all tipped over -- give it a go, she might be really "grateful".


Actually I only bought my cat cause wife and daughter didnt like to be tipped over, now I would not consider a mono as the next boat.
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Old 09-03-2006, 12:48   #10
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Wink

Wheels,

It's not the length that matters to them, it's the width...

Mark
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Old 09-03-2006, 15:05   #11
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I've always avoided the 'it doesn't tip' argument because tipping was always an integral part of sailing and I wasn't skeered of tipping. However, one of the big attractions of a cat is indeed that it doesn't tip. That's also why powerboats have such a big following. The issue isn't fear, it's a matter of inconvenience. It's inconvenient to cook, sleep, p.., or relax when one is living at a 30 degree angle of heel for hours (or days) on end. Women and even men, if we're honest, really don't like inconvenience as a way of life.

The other aspect has lots to do with the 'cave effect' of a monohull. Psycholigically(sp?) it's not as attractive if given a choice. Little windows and skylights high up in our living rooms aren't natural. Catamarans allow a little more normality to our accustomed living arrangements, hence that longing look cast furtively their way when your wife passes (or is passed) by one.

Speed, heck, I'll take even slower if it's more comfortable, though it is good for those macho types.

Length? Hey, two 40 foot hulls equals 80'. What's not 'big' about that? and it's easier to handle than an 80'er.

Give in! Yield to the light within! You're feeling weaker.....
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Old 09-03-2006, 15:40   #12
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Talbot - I agree that my comment about scarcity of 20 year old boats has to do with production numbers and other economic influences and certainly not because all the old ones went tango uniform. The fact remains that bargains are harder to find. There are members on this board who have been committing to older Prouts and are investing the time and money to restore. For someone who knows what they are doing, this is a viable option. Since the original post was not really interested in all the options, I did not go into the details.
I am a leaner, but I may change. Here in New England the numbers are slowly growing, but the wide beam is a real issue for many. We have one wintering over in our marina. He is using (and probably paying for) 2 slips - and there is no advantage to outdoor living in Boston in February. For those that decide to live aboard full time, you are more likely to find a sailor that moves to a trawler and has a small sailboat for fun.

Wheels - what about a cat down in your waters ? You would have to address sailing capability more than parking issues.

Larry
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Old 09-03-2006, 19:42   #13
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Getting back to structural integrity argument. It probably is harder to make a multihull as structural sound as a monohull, to borrow cavecreature's phrase. It's not impossible it just requires more engineering and maybe the use of modern composites than in a monohull. That is one reason they cost more. The orginal concern was about the large expanse of deck. I have seen photos and read an account of a 31 ft trimaran being pulled off a beach into 8 foot breaking waves and the boat hopped over the waves with little more than spray on deck. Another account of a 37 ft trimaran being hit from the stern by a breaking wave large enough to fill the center cockpit with the only thing damaged being the windvane. There are many more examples but the thing seems to be that the bouyancy and light weight allow the boat to ride up and over or be pushed out ahead of the breaker. Another account mentions surfing sideways down a large wave after being hit by a breaker on the beam. Nothing I have read mentions the deck being damaged by large waves. I have never had my tri out in large breaking seas but I have pushed it hard where the leeward float and wingdeck will punch through a wave and send 4 or 5 inches of water washing over the deck and banging the underside on the wave. My 25 year old backyard built plywood tri is still as solid as the day it was built. It's all in the engineering and build quality. I don't have any experience with cats but maybe somethat do have some heavy weather experiences they can offer. A good book to read is The Cruising Multihull by Chris White.

Wheels,
Your post was pretty funny. Here is one for you. Multihullers do it on the level.
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Old 10-03-2006, 03:15   #14
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cavecreature,OOOH,thats an onimus sounding user name,Dont worry about me!My mental illness is not curerable,"I hope!!"UMM,cats ,mullty hulls,the only thing I know is that when they capsize,they do not right themselves.Inside or outside,that would worry me.You could never say that cats were no good for long distance because that has been proven wrong on many occasion and most of the 60yr plus sailors that I have seen with 26yr old hornbags have been on multies.So I would suggest,scare as many young ones with a mono till ya find one that loves it and then when ya old enough,buy a big cat and trade the old girl of for a youngen."only kidding mind you,there aint nothing like a women with soul!!!!"
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Old 10-03-2006, 07:58   #15
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If the mono people insist on trotting out the old (and untrue) saw about multis capsizing and not righting, consider this.

A multi is no more likely to capsize than a mono. Capsizing in your car is more likely than in any boat. Then finish with the thought that "Upside down on top is better than right side up on the bottom."

The reason you hear about multis capsizing is they so often survive. Monos that capsize are often simply never heard from again so no one knows what happened.

Most cases of monos and multis being capsized involve racing where both are being pushed to and beyond the limits a reasonable cruiser would ever consider. It's like basing your automobile insurance upon the accident rates in NASCAR events. Ouch! Come to think of it, maybe that's how they do it!
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