That old Caribbean Compass
article rears its head
now and then (usually wielded by monohullers seeking some sort of anti-cat vindication) and we have discussed it many times on other boards.
Here is what I had to say about it on the Lats and Atts board a couple of months ago:
That article in the Caribbean Compass got some heat after it was published.
Sally (the editor whom I like very much) often publishes something pretty opinionated just to get the fleet down there going. It's "entertainment" and revs-up the letters from the readers in subsequent issues. It's fun.
Most people realize that and take Compass articles like that one in good sport and with a grain of salt
For the same reason she printed that guy's statistically vague anti-cat rant, Sally published my article named "Who are you calling a Cruiser?" that poked a finger in a lot of uppity-eyes of self-professed "real crusiers" who were knocking others at the time.
The Compass likes to stir things up.
Anyway, Mr. Matthews' article is void of the actual statistical numbers. Nor does he delineate whether his remarks are limited to HIS claims desk (which statistically means nothing), his company's entire claims (which means almost statitically nothing), or allegedly those of the entire industry which may or may not mean anything depending on the real spread of the actual numbers of the statistics.
For example, I don't have the figures handy, but I looked into the actual numbers of lighting
claims on cats versus monos versus trawlers. Cats have more, followed by monos, and then by trawlers . . . just as one might imagine . . .
BUT, NONE of the numbers are so far apart that it would cause one to worry about lightning
, let alone have it dictate which boat to buy, etc. For example, I don't remember the actual numbers, but if the chance of a cat getting hit is .000002 percent and a monohull
is .000001 percent, is that something to really jump up and down about? The chances for both are still very small.
All that is REALLY CLEAR in that article is that Mr. Matthews got utterly humiliated by not having the sailing skills to handle a Hobie Cat
and he was embarrased and has resented cats ever since.
He covers his butt, though, with one single
disclaimer sentence buried in his article:
"I hasten to add that I am fully aware that a few rugged salts skillfully sail multihulls in formidable conditions ranging from the howling southeasterlies and thin waters of the Laguna Madre to bluewater voyages across oceans; therefore the comments herein are empirically derived from claims crossing the Yacht Claims Desk and do not refer to these competent mariners.
The only thing I take issue with is that he says only a "FEW" rugged salts know how to sail a bluewater catamaran
. Bullfeathers! Thousands know how to safely handle cruising cats. And my wife, Melissa is beautiful, not rugged.
And more: if I we can do it, anybody can do it. Mr. Matthews just needs a little therapy and a few lessons after his Hobie incident, that's all.
After reading his article I reflected about his remarks (an insurance adjuster's rant as viewed from a catamaran's deck
at sea) and I was not offended by anything really EXCEPT I did not like his implication that catamarans are complicated contraptions that monohull people (like him) just don't have the skills to sail. Again, BULL!
. . . he wanted to point out disadvantages of cats, but to so so he had to resort to self-deprication and knock the skills of monohull sailors like him . . .
Anyway, when an article claiming to compare statistics does not contain any actual claims numbers whatsoever . . . just alleged ratios with no supporting numbers or context . . . you gotta wonder why?
I am a realist and cats certainly have their drawbacks and y'all know me . . . I don't participate in any "Rah Rah" blind cheerleading on any single
boat or design. They ALL have drawbacks. ALL boats have weaknesses.
From that perspective, and having a good bit of ocean experience on my cat and while sailing in the company of many other cat owners, I can say that Mr. Matthew's article is very honestly titled . . . his view is from a desk
. . . .
I guess it's a good thing my first boat was a Hobie Cat
and I could handle it, otherwise I would have been in "deep doo doo' when it became glaringly obvious that a modern cruising catamaran
is generally a much more comfortable choice as a full-time liveaboard
sailboat on the hook in the tropics.
Anyway, it is all good and I appreciated the article for its humor
and that was obviously its main offering.
All the best,