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Old 30-01-2008, 01:01   #166
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It may not be for you, but why would you assert that it hasn't been tried or tested?
I think you misunderstand me. When I started this thread, I was talking about "characteristics of a circumnavigating cat". When I said that your design wasn't tried or tested adequately I meant in that capacity. Out of the people that have completed circumnavigations I don't think you'll find large numbers that did it in junk rigged catamarans.

Since I'm looking for a cat to circumnavigate in, I want to do it with a design that's tried and tested by many before me. This is the same reason that I won't go circumnavigating in a hybrid: It's wonderful technology, but not quite there yet.
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Old 30-01-2008, 02:10   #167
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Most of those junk rigged catamarans have made ocean crossings

Most of those junk rigged catamarans have made ocean crossings-What did you have in mind, rounding Cape Horn?
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I think you misunderstand me. When I started this thread, I was talking about "characteristics of a circumnavigating cat". When I said that your design wasn't tried or tested adequately I meant in that capacity. Out of the people that have completed circumnavigations I don't think you'll find large numbers that did it in junk rigged catamarans.

Since I'm looking for a cat to circumnavigate in, I want to do it with a design that's tried and tested by many before me. This is the same reason that I won't go circumnavigating in a hybrid: It's wonderful technology, but not quite there yet.
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Old 30-01-2008, 02:16   #168
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What did you have in mind, rounding Cape Horn?
No, not to begin with, but maybe later. What I had in mind was a catamaran design (boat as well as rig) that has been sailed extensively, for many years, by many different owners. That's what properly tested means to me. I'm sorry if we don't see eye to eye on things, but that's why there are so many different designs around. If everyone thought the same, buying a boat would be very easy.
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Old 30-01-2008, 06:26   #169
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What did you have in mind, rounding Cape Horn?
My boat has done it.

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Old 30-01-2008, 06:29   #170
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My boat has done it.
Dave
Hi Dave.
I'm very envious. How did the Catana cope with the South Seas?
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Old 30-01-2008, 06:34   #171
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... What I had in mind was a catamaran design (boat as well as rig) that has been sailed extensively, for many years, by many different owners. That's what properly tested means to me ...
Boats that have been sailed for many years are “old” [1].
Boats that have been sailed extensively, by many different owners are “production” boats.[2]
Neither of these characteristics seem, to me, to represent highly desirable criteria for selecting an offshore catamaran.

[1] Catamaran design, engineering, and construction methods have benefitted from more advancements, in the past few years, than any other category of boat (‘though all have benefitted).

[2] Most production boats are designed and built for safe coastal and semi-protected sailing, and chartering - not for offshore passagemaking (or rounding The Horn).
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Old 30-01-2008, 06:49   #172
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Boats that have been sailed for many years are “old”
True, but that's not what I meant. I naturally agree that one needs to keep a close eye on advances, but improving on old old designs is completely different from doing radically different things from what's the norm. I think I can safely say that junk rigs are far away from the norm on cats. I didn't mean to hurt anyones feelings by saying that, but I think by now it's fairly clear that I might not be the biggest fan of them for my boat.
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[1]. Boats that have been sailed extensively, by many different owners are “production” boats.
All the boats I'm looking at are production boats: From Outremer to Manta to Catana to Fountaine Pajot to St. Francis. I don't see the fact that they are production boats as being a disadvantage at all.
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[2] Neither of these characteristics seem, to me, to represent highly desirable criteria for selecting an offshore catamaran.
I disagree.
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[1] Catamaran design, engineering, and construction methods have benefitted from more advancements, in the past few year, than any other category of boat (‘though all have benefitted).
This is something I completely agree with.
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[2] Most production boats are designed and built for safe coastal and semi-protected sailing, and chartering - not for offshore passagemaking (or rounding The Horn).
While I agree that most production cats are perhaps not built for Cape Horn, I think a large number of them are made for passage making. I'm looking at the cats that are good fits for making a circumnavigation, like the ones I mentioned above.
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Old 30-01-2008, 07:24   #173
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Hi Dave.
I'm very envious. How did the Catana cope with the South Seas?
Well, I wasn't on it at the time - this was by the previous owner. Apparently it did well. I have no intention of repeating it.

See this link for more info about another Catana circumnavigating south of the capes: Catamarans CATANA

Dave
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Old 30-01-2008, 07:34   #174
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All the boats I'm looking at are production boats: From Outremer to Manta to Catana to Fountaine Pajot to St. Francis. I don't see the fact that they are production boats as being a disadvantage at all.
There is a broad range of "production" boats. Some are worthy, some are not, for serious long range cruising. Many are designed and intended primarily for the charter trade. Does this mean those shouldn't be considered for your purposes? Not necessarily, but they may suffer from compromises that diminish their seaworthiness.

JMHO

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Old 30-01-2008, 07:46   #175
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Many are designed and intended primarily for the charter trade. Does this mean those shouldn't be considered for your purposes? Not necessarily, but they may suffer from compromises that diminish their seaworthiness.
I completely agree.
I've looked at all the typical charter cats and though they are awesome for their intended use, they're not perfect for circumnavigating. It can be done like you say, but with certain compromises.
While all the cats I'm looking at are "production" cats, I'm focusing on ones I feel are more suited for the task I want to use them for.
I have a question about the Catana. How do you like the position of the helm?
The thing that worries me is that it would not be fun to steer by hand for days with a broken autopilot. You're also more vulnerable out there if you're out in a bit of a blow. Those are the only two negative things I can think of. The Catana is an awesome boat and unfortunately out of reach on my budget.
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Old 30-01-2008, 08:07   #176
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Originally Posted by SettingSail2009 View Post
I have a question about the Catana. How do you like the position of the helm?
The thing that worries me is that it would not be fun to steer by hand for days with a broken autopilot. You're also more vulnerable out there if you're out in a bit of a blow.
Hi again, Andreas,

This is the most frequent topic I get asked about. To be honest I asked this myself before deciding on my boat. See this recent discussion: CATANA Question

Bottom line, IMHO, the dual outboard helms have more advantages than disadvantages. As for steering with a broken AP - that's why I carry a spare.

If after reading the other topic you have more questions, I'll be happy to offer my views.

Dave
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Old 30-01-2008, 09:12   #177
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I've said it before, but to me the litmus tests for a circumnavigating cat is to walk forward in the hulls and look at the space utilization in the forward bows. If it's large and kept behind a water tight bulkhead with maybe an access panel on the top portion of it, then the designer purposely built the boat with a lot of reserve bouyancy for both handling in large waves and to offset the potential danger of collision by providing a floatation chamber to both stop the ingress of water in a more likely front end collision and to also prevent the entire hull from sinking should a midship collision occur. Some boats have huge 8 ft sections with lots reserve bouyancy. Other catamarans use this space to put in larger accomodations either through having a head sitting right up in the bow or having extra births and are geared more toward comfort at dock and at anchor or simply more accomodation room for more charter guests. Reserve bouyancy aft is also important in the transoms, but is always much harder to design in and typically is much smaller. A catamaran with large amount of reserve bouyancy forward will also probably be a lighter and better handling boat. It's an intentional sacrifice of an esthetically appealing larger interior space and really shows the design intent of the architect. I know catamaran builders and designers who've confided in me that they always have potential customers complain and ask why they didn't make their forward bouyancy reserve into births like everyone else. Some boats with large bouyancy reserve will sink only a couple ft in the worst case scenario of a midships collision such as the PDQ 44. Some will have the large forward section sitting well above the water and the aft section awash in the punctured hull, again, not perfect, but it's going to do it's job of keeping you from having to swim to a life raft and ultimately the boat can be salvaged and the all important bridgedeck area with the batteries and breaker panel and radios will be dry. Some catamarans have almost no reserve bouyancy and would have the entire hull sink with water then coming into the bridgedeck. Then it's really only a matter of time before wave action and submerged batteries combine to swamp the other hull and sink the entire boat. Typically they are also much heavier boats which exacerbates the problem of reserve bouyancy in a compromised hull. So the next time you look at different boats, look forward or ask for pictures of the thing they never post online, the forward bow lockers. If you see a collision bulk head completely seperating that compartment with a secondary glassed in crash compartment in the floor stretching 8 ft from bulkhead to bow, you're looking at something where yes indeed, the designer really did want it to be a safe boat far from any help or assistance.

Now if I could design my own boat I'd have all the doors for the cabins be capable of providing a water tight seal when the owner left or was underway in storm conditions or offshore with 6 way dogs on the rim of the doors, no below waterline conduits between cabins and isolated bilge systems. BUT no one is fanatical enough to do that (although I do give African Cats the benefit of the doubt) .
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Old 30-01-2008, 09:41   #178
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Andreas, I agree with your stated preference for a production cat, not only because the 'bugs' will have typically been worked out, but because of the significantly better resale value for established brands/designs. Having said that, I have some concerns over the emphasis you are placing on visibility from the interior, keels and a 'galley-up' design in a boat that is intended to be sailed offshore.

The Privilege line of cats have a well-deserved reputation for solid construction and for making safe offshore passages, but seem to have been excluded by you due to the lack of visibility while seated below. Understand that offshore, forward visibility will be greatly limited by large waves/swells; indeed, often you will only be able to see past the next wave when on the crest of the last one. And at anchor you will generally want to spend the best days on deck, so even here it will prove much less of an advantage than might at first be expected.

The PDQ 44 was built by a company with a great reputation for quality and, even though it was only on the market for a short time, has proven to be a solid performer in offshore conditions (aided in part by bridgedeck clearance of 30" while laden). It too would be rejected by yourself because it has a galley-down arrangement. You must understand that for an offshore boat, there are a large number of significant advantages to placing the galley down in one of the hulls:
1. as already mentioned, there is less motion.
2. there will be athwartship bracing, making it a much safer environment in which to cook in a seaway.
3. it places the heaviest part of the accomodation down low in the boat, lowering the center of gravity and increasing the resistance to capsize.
4. it opens up additional space in the main saloon for a proper size navigation station - something which, in an offshore boat, requires not only adequate size for full-size charts, but proximity to the cockpit. You may want a galley up, but you decidely will not want an afterthought for a nav station (or worse still, a nav station down and separated from the cockpit).
5. there is typically more space for storage.

Catana also produces boats with a great reputation for quality of build and offshore capability. These appear to have been rejected by you because of the use of boards rather than keels. Let me say that my own boat has keels, and I appreciate the added simplicity in both use and maintenance. However, let me also say that my next boat will definitely have boards: although a cruiser, I am like many also a closet racer, and there can be no denying the performance advantages to boards. I should also point out that for offshore purposes, there is also significant support for the proposition that they are safer than keels: raised boards will not provide the lateral resistance of keels and hence, will minimize the tendancy of the boat to 'catch' on the keels if hit abeam by a breaking wave. Keels increase the risk of capsize over a similar vessel with boards raised.

In sum, if you are truly looking for offshore capability, you may want to re-prioritize your list. All of the boats mentioned above have earned reputations for offshore capability far in excess of either FP and Manta. Indeed, i would expect that even owners of these boats would acknowledge the same. Yes, they tend to be more expensive. But there are sound reasons for that, often directly related to their capabilities offshore. You may wish to consider a used boat by one of the above builders recognizing that, while it will be used, it will be better suited for offshore sailing. In addition, it will also likely have an equipment inventory appropriate for cruising (and far better than brand new boats by any manufacturer).

For whatever it is worth, here are some thoughts concerning a few of your questions:

saildrive vs. propshafts - Saildrives have been in use both reliably and efficiently for over 30 years. Yes, they create a slight increase in drag and yes, there can be problems with corrosion if the attention is not paid to the anodes. On the other hand, they permit installation of the engines virtually anywhere, they do not require stuffing - box maintenance, and even prop-shafts will suffer corrosion due to the dissimilar metals in the shaft and props, particularly if attention is not paid to the anodes. I wouldn't let saildrives deter me from any design.

Engine placement - My boat has diesels beneath the aft berths and therefore, I can speak from some experience in saying that odour will not be a problem any more than it is in a well-designed monohull (which typically also has interior access to the engine). Although it can be trickier to initially access the diesel (the cushion and bedding must be removed), there are also some real advantages:

1. they allow the engines to be mounted further inboard; as you have already heard, keeping weight out of the ends of a cat is critical to performance and in order to minimize hobby-horsing.
2. there is amazing access to all sides of the diesels once the cover is off.
3. I can sit inside my boat while performing maintenance. This reduces the risks of losing tools overboard and also ensures that the engine will not be swamped if hit by a boarding sea during emergency repairs (at minimum, it keeps the electricals from being rained on).
4. it places the props between the keels and the rudders, providing some additonal protection and improving the steering performance under power.

fractional rig versus masthead rig - the current trend is towards fractional rigs, with their proven performance advantage in light to moderate winds. However, for an offshore boat I would not write-off a masthead rig, especially one set up as a cutter rig. Advantages:
1. permits a dedicated staysail stay for heavy weather sails.
2. the currently popular, huge mainsails in fractional rigs often require a power winch/windlass in order to raise the main. Reliance upon any piece of electrical equipment, especially one with such huge current draw, may be unwise for performing basic functions on an offshore vessel.
3. the currently popular 'flathead' mains are useless when reefed - they have way too much sail area up way to high in the sail.
4. the cutter rigs used by Prout (and their successor), Solaris and others typically places the mast aft by the companionway - this ensures that all lines run to the cockpit, even without turning blocks etc. Safer in heavy condtions than climbing up on the rather high houses on most modern cats.

Anyway, if you truly want to sail your new boat offshore, I would suggest that you consider its funcionality for that purpose first and foremost. Galley-up designs are wonderful when under anchor, but.... The flying bridgedeck on the new Lagoon 44 would also be wonderful under anchor (and in light conditions), but consider the impact on the center of gravity and the center of effort on the sails: in the wrong conditions, it looks like a capsize just waiting to happen.

Anyway, just a few (actually, more than a few) thoughts.

Brad
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Old 30-01-2008, 10:02   #179
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If you actually want a great galley, your wife would love the PDQ 44, it's got the best galley I've ever seen on any boat anywhere (even multimilion dollar power boats). It has a drop down cushion in the settee area and the cabin top spreads over the hull in the galley so the cook isn't even slightly isolated, and it has three times the storage of any galley up design. If a Catana is out of budget the PDQ 44 will be as well, even used they are going for well above 400k.
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Old 30-01-2008, 10:21   #180
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I'll jump on the galley down bandwagon here, too. Even my Admiral prefers them and we wish we had this arrangement. Oh well.

Besides any other advantages, it's a sure sign you didn't get a charter cat AND it's a good excuse to keep a cooler in the cockpit.

Dave
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