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Old 08-02-2008, 22:13   #256
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southern Star View Post
I have been trying to...attempt to provide some constructive information to someone considering some cats for a circumnavigation and their suitability therefore.
That was my motivation too. I didn't want someone, who had indicated interest in the Manta, being dissuaded due to incorrect information.

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Originally Posted by Southern Star View Post
Another reason I suggested that the Manta was less than ideal as a circumnavigator was the standard camber-spar jib; I am surprised to hear that you agree with this.
Again you misinterpret what I've clearly stated - I didn't agree with you, nor did I disagree; I simply prefer roller-reefing. Your point may have merit, but it seems an issue of personal preference. You might consider starting a thread on the topic; many of us might find it instructive.

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I only know that Manta seems to be marketing it as an ideal circumnavigator, a proposition that I continue to question.
Well at least you've changed your tune; if you only said that in the first place, we wouldn't have had this debate.

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Originally Posted by Southern Star View Post
You rejected my earlier peace offering that 'honest men can honestly disagree'. That is fine. But rather than prolonging a senseless debate about me being 'way off the mark', why don't you provide a meaningful contribution with some recent cites of other naval architects who suggest that the bridgedeck clearance of the Manta (and its standard camber-spar rig) are ideal for a circumnavigation.
Sorry, didn't see the olive branch amongst the ad hominem arguments. But I do agree that the senseless debate has gone on long enough. I think you're well aware that there are few naval architects who will endorse designs that are not their own. I think though, that a reasonable assumption can be made that there are designers/naval architects who don't belong to your so-called "consensus". Take the list of cats you've mentioned that don't meet the 10% of beam criteria. The designers of the Broadblue 38, Manta, Voyage, etc. You probably mentioned this, but is it 10% of BOA, BCL(beam from hull centrelines) or of distance between hulls? In the various articles I've read, there appears to be little consensus in how much bridgedeck height is enough - in addition to your 10%, I've seen reference to 6% of LOA, 8% of LWL, 15% of distance between hulls, 2 feet, and so on. Then there is the question of "how much is too much?" In an article, Derek Kelsall suggested that cats once had too little, but now the "pendulum has swung" to the point that cats are being built with too much bridgedeck clearance. He didn't state a figure for max or min. Other designers who may not be in the consensus include John Shuttleworth, Richard Woods, and James Wharram. I say "may" because I don't know - I just couldn't find any references to bridgedeck clearance in any of their articles, but all three extol the virtues of keeping windage to a minimum, keeping centre of gravity low, and keeping the sails closer to the water. Shuttleworth favours wider designs with a Bmax about 60% of LOA - from the information available on his website, I can't be certain but would guess BDC is less than 10% of Beam. On Woods' site, the only reference to BDC was in one design - the Transit.
Transit LOA 11.5m Lwl 10.9m BOA 6.7m BDC 600mm (5.2% LOA or 5.5% LWL or 9% BOA).Transit performance cruising catamaran by Woods Designs
Wharram http://www.wharram.com/freeboard.html doesn’t discuss BDC but does talk at length about freeboard and windage - points to his comparison of windage/freeboard height to LOA in most cats as 20%, whereas his Islander 55 is 12%. "Wharram Designs are designed specifically to run before gales, with canoe sterns and overhanging bows, no, or low, deck cabin, no in-hull cockpits."
You've mentioned Nigel Irens a couple times (it's Irens, not Irons btw) and I don't knock his credentials at all - he is a near-legendary designer of high-performance racing multis - I am unfamiliar with his cruising cat designs, however. If I'm not mistaken, Philip Berman made his name racing multis - does he have experience cruising? I'm not suggesting that either of these gentlemen don't have extensive knowledge or experience, I'm just suggesting that their perspectives may be more, shall we say "performance oriented." I think most cruisers would not want to live in a race-boat, and are willing to compromise some performance in favour of amenities. To that end, I wonder if a cat's top speed might be a better determinant of required BDC - meaning "would a slow and steady Prout be ok with 35 cm, but a lightning-quick Fastcat demand 80cm? I certainly would like to hear more opinions and thoughts on the matter - I even considered starting a new thread, but we've already had previous discussions on this topic: http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...-cat-3379.html

Kevin
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Old 12-02-2008, 20:59   #257
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Originally Posted by Lodesman View Post
I wonder if a cat's top speed might be a better determinant of required BDC - meaning "would a slow and steady Prout be ok with 35 cm, but a lightning-quick Fastcat demand 80cm? I certainly would like to hear more opinions and thoughts on the matter.
Hi Kevin,
Interesting question you posted. I hope we get some answers from others.

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Originally Posted by Lodesman View Post
I think most cruisers would not want to live in a race-boat, and are willing to compromise some performance in favor of amenities.
In terms of the trade-off between performance and speed: I think every person buying a boat has to decide where they wish to draw the line. Personally I heel more towards performance, but I still want some amenities. I'd love to be able to sail at this pace: but the Outremer is too spartan onboard and I agree with my girlfriend, who thinks it's too much of a sacrifice to make for performance. I think the Catanas balance performance and amenities, but the price puts them out of reach.

I like the St. Francis 44 mkII, but everyone I talk to (except for owners) point out the low bridgedeck clearance. Now who do you put more faith in? A current owner will be jaded, but someone else with limited (or no) experience on the boat could be taking their "facts" from unreliable sources. Is it then smarter to track down a previous owner to find out their take on the boat (knowing that they will be jaded as well)?

The same can be said for the Manta: where we, in this thread, have also seen a very lively debate about the BDC and the Camber spar sail.

In the end, the ideal thing would be to charter each of the boats I'm interested in for a week, sailing them in various conditions. Then I could form a real opinion myself.
The most realistic thing, which will probably happen, is that I'll see each one of the boats on my "short-list" and if things work out go on a day sail on my favorites. Based on that I'll end up making a choice.

When I was in Florida in November I saw (and crawled around on) most of the production cats: Lagoon, Fountaine Pajot, Leopard, Voyage, Privilege and Broadblue. None of them made it to my "favorites list", for a host of different reasons. It needs to be emphasized that I didn't see any owners versions of the first three ... That might have changed my mind about some of them, in particular the Fountaine Pajots. I did however look at all the ones ranging from 38 feet to 47 feet from the different manufacturers.

Sailing wise (on catamarans) I've chartered an FP Athena 38 for a week (it was the only boat available at the time) and been on a day-sail on a Manta 42 mkIV.

My "favorite list" now:
FastCat 435, Catana 431, St. Francis 44mkII and the Manta 42 mkII or mkIV. The first two are out of my league pricewise, the latter two within reach.

From my favorite list, I've not seen the FastCat 435 in real life and I have only seen the Catana 431 and the St. Francis 44 mkII from the outside.

The question is, should I be contemplating others?
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Old 13-02-2008, 06:33   #258
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No matter what boat you choose, there will have been choices made in the design to improve a feature for the boat, but that comes at the cost of deemphasizing another characteristic. E.G., high bridgedeck tends to result in higher freeboard and increased windage. Big accommodation spaces almost always results in wider hulls and fatter transoms.

During those times in which you are enjoying the feature that was emphasized for that boat, you will be thankful for it and think less about the tradeoff that was made. During those times in which you are paying the cost for the tradeoff, you will wish that there had been less of a compromise made.

The smaller the boat, the more these compromises will be seen and felt. For example, look at this boat:
2005 Brazapi 51' Boat For Sale

I know this boat and have been on it. A beautiful boat that has excellent bridgedeck clearance. Great accommodations, handles wonderfully, and quite fast. While even this boat has had compromises made (in terms of things added that increased weight), it suffers very little from them. But, it is the waterline length that makes it possible and that, of course, also correlates highly with cost.

Bottom line? Only you can decide with compromises you're willing to make, consonant with the money you can spend.

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Old 13-02-2008, 07:58   #259
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SettingSail2009 View Post
Hi Kevin,
Interesting question you posted. I hope we get some answers from others.

SNIP

The question is, should I be contemplating others?
Atlantic 42?
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Old 13-02-2008, 08:25   #260
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Originally Posted by fastcat435 View Post
A low bridgedeck clearance is not good and if combined with a heavy cat for its size it can become a nightmare do not forget the fact that a light cat follows the waves much better than a heavy one that will dig in over and over again.
If you want to get a real massage get on to a loaded wildcat 35 , low bridgedeck pointing 60 degrees and you are in for the pounding of your life.
If cat manufacturers really would want to addres the problem all they have to do is lower the weight and 2 things happen automatically
The bridgedeck clearance goes up in case of the fastcat 455 1 CM or almost 1/2 an in for each 209 kilo,s and the boat follows the waves much better.
Before starting a cruise walk thru your boat and see if all you have on board is really nessecary or if you can do away with it.
Years ago I was into racing and before each race I emptied out my boat, in this case still a monohull later a mac gregor 36 and what a diffrence it made in speed , pointing and comfort.
We produce a owners manual and part of this manual is on how to load a boat and where to store your heavy items and makes a world of difference .
On the FastCat all the cabinets and storage places are within 9 ft of the centre of gravity , all heavy items like batteries , inverters , for the new green motion the generator are within 4 ft of the center of gravity
It works well.
Please think when you load up a boat , your clothing can be far away from the center of gravity while your canned goods and other heavy stuff needs to be right there.

Greetings

Gideon

After having been incorrect about your contributions to this forum (they are quite valuable), I must ask a question, based on this post above.

I am closing on a 35', overweighted cat with a full deck (no tramp) and somewhat bulbous underwater hull form with somewhat wide hulls. The bridge deck clearance is marginal as well.

She's sure not to be a stellar performer, but am I off the mark thinking I can do some extended cruises in this type of cat? She did arrive here in the States trans-Atlantic. However, as I read this thread, it keeps alive my worry that this boat is somehow "unsafe" for ocean crossings.

It may not be ideal, but it's really the only cat I can afford.

Any thoughts?
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Old 13-02-2008, 08:40   #261
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Every boat is a compromise, and this includes cats. My boat is a compromise in every way. It is pretty much the middle of the road all around. She does sail 42* off the wind doing half the wind speed. Her accomodations are much more than we need, but useful when we have guest. She is not overloaded with gadgets, and a bit spartan on the guest side. This does not make her unattractive. There is not much to go wrong with her, because she is simple. No genset, a/c, Only water pump is for the shower, and galley sink which run off the same pump. One washdown pump for the anchors.

It didn't have a hot water heater or shorepower when I bought the boat. She ran off of solar panels, wind generator, and a small portable Honda generator. Now that we have stopped travelling for a couple of years, and it does get cool in N.E. Florida there is a water heater, and shorepower.

I knew nothing about cats when I bought mine. I looked the boat over had it suurveyed, and in that 2 week period I read everything I could. The sea trial was impressive, and I bought her. What makes a good circumnavigating cat? It will be what you can afford, and what appeals to you. Not to mention being seaworthy also.

Some people need a hotrod, and some want to lounge in luxury. I found the middle of the road on everything, and consider myself truly lucky. There is no definitive answer to the question. Learn to live with your decision, and make the most informed decision you can...............
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Old 13-02-2008, 09:01   #262
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Sean, I can't answer for Gideon but there is a difference between 'unsafe' and 'uncomfortable'. Increased displacement actually increases resistance to capsize and, has been pointed out, so too does a lower center of gravity (as evidenced, presumably by the lower bridgedeck clearance). If the boat was constructed heavily enough to withstand some considerable bridgedeck pounding without structural failure, and it has adequate bouyancy in the bows then it is not 'unsafe' per se. On the other hand, as has also been pointed out, crew error is one of the most common causes of disasters at sea. It will most assuredly be the case that the slower passage combined with significant bridgedeck pounding will take a tole on the crew.

Bridgedeck pounding is more than an inconvenience; yes, the noise and vibration can be be very unnerving, but there have also been people thrown out of their berths in extreme conditions. Meal preparation, boat maintenance, navigation, sleep - virtually every on-board activity will become much more difficult. The reduced performance will also reduce your ability to get out of the path of oncoming storms or to sail away from a lee shore in heavy weather, should you be so unfortunate as to find yourself in those situations.

Let us just say that your boat, if properly constructed, is likely safer than some designs (such as the Lagoon 440) that have both low bridgedeck clearance AND a high center of gravity and center off effort. So long as you are prepared for some uncomfortable days and try to stick to passages with, rather than against the trades, you should be fine. And of course, upon your arrival you will at least have some comfortable surroundings in which to recover and celebrate the passage.

I myself am planning an offshore passage from Canada to South America in a similar, if somewhat larger boat. While it is far from my paradigm for a bluewater cruising catamaran, I am confident in the boats ability (if less so in mine) to make the passage safely, if occasionally uncomfortably.

Brad

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Old 13-02-2008, 09:46   #263
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A low bridgedeck has more to do with comfort than it does with safety, A low bridgedeck should normally also lower the centre of gravity.
As long as the cat is constructed well and can take the pounding I see no reason why you should not purchase this Cat.
Good luck and happy sailing
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Old 13-02-2008, 18:34   #264
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Intentional Drifter View Post
No matter what boat you choose, there will have been choices made in the design to improve a feature for the boat, but that comes at the cost of deemphasizing another characteristic. E.G., high bridgedeck tends to result in higher freeboard and increased windage. Big accommodation spaces almost always results in wider hulls and fatter transoms.
Very true. Though I'm still keeping my eye on BDC, my main focus now is that it's not too low. Too high freeboard and increased windage is equally undesirable, as is a higher center of gravity. As long as I get a BDC that allows me to sail comfortably under most conditions, I'm not going to worry too much about the conditions where it doesn't. Though like you say: In those conditions I'll have to remind myself of the compromise I made when I purchased the boat.

I'm also keeping my eye on narrower hulls and few protrusions, because it will allow for a smoother ride and less slap.
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Old 13-02-2008, 18:52   #265
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Atlantic 42?
I've looked at it many times (online) and though I like many aspects of it it comes short in 2 areas for me:

The cockpit
- I'll mainly be sailing in warm areas, so I need a big and comfortable cockpit. The Atlantic 42 has its cockpit in front of the saloon, where it is exposed to the elements 24/7. While it will be fun to sail, it limits the area to enjoy the surroundings in a properly protected cockpit, like you see on most cats. The Atlantic 48 has the perfect solution with a steering cockpit in front of the saloon and a nice area aft of the saloon where you can sit outside, protected from the elements.
- When you are caught in a proper blow, you are completely at the mercy of the elements, not having anything to hide behind on the Atlantic 42. True, you can steer from the inside, but there will always be some rope handling or something that needs to be adjusted and doing that on the Atlantic 42 will be tough.
- Visibility aftwards is poor at best from the cockpit, which is a pain when docking.

The Galley
- My girlfriend mainly wants a galley up and though she's not completely against galley down, she finds the Atlantic 42 galley to be more of a "basement" than on other cats (The Seawind 1160 and the PDQ 44 being examples of good galley downs).

Besides these these points, I think the Atlantic 42 is an excellent boat. I think the Atlantic 48 is an even better boat, and with a little windscreen in front of the steering cockpit, I'd be good to go, but I'd need a lot more money first.
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Old 13-02-2008, 19:55   #266
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The question is, should I be contemplating others?[/quote]

How about the Freydis 43 or 46? Very much performance oriented blue water cruisers with good bridgedeck clearance. maybe above your budget though.
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Old 13-02-2008, 21:51   #267
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This has been an excellent thread for someone like myself who plans on buying a cruising cat in a few years. Thanks everyone who contributed.
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Old 13-02-2008, 23:58   #268
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How about the Freydis 43 or 46? Very much performance oriented blue water cruisers with good bridgedeck clearance. maybe above your budget though.
I hadn't heard of the Freydis before you recommended it. I did a quick search and found one for sale and like you guessed it was over my budget, even though it was over 7 years old.
It's easy to see that it shares the same designer as the Manta [Erik Lerouge]. It looks like a nice cat, but as is often the case with nice looking cats, they are out of my reach.
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Old 15-02-2008, 23:38   #269
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My askings for a boat are: the ability to dumpsail under any conditions. This means either something like the Wharram sleeved sail and high gaff rig or a free standing mast.;
Long lee bow with high prismatic coefficient and minimal or no rocker to avoid hobbyhorsing and pitchpoling. Hobbyhorsing severely affects the performance of the boat and the stomachs of the crew;
ability to avoid going on a pitching deck to drop headsails and also not to worry about the furler becoming unfurled at 50 knots;
High righting moment to sail area;
Good perfomance. At least windspeed at 15knots on a reach;
Efficient leeway and steering devices that kick up on impact and can be easily retracted;
Protection from the elements in an open cockpit from all points of sail;
Shallow draft. This is very much a safety consideration as it means that if you end up washed up on a lee beach, you can step onto nearly dry land;
As little metal as possible. Metal corrodes, fatigues and is heavy;
Light weight;
Able to stop and reverse under sail. I know this is a strange one but it is possible and very useful;
Float sufficiently high upside down to have a dry area for sleeping inside. It assumes that the escape hatch is above both the upside down and the right way up waterline;
Little need for more than two or three winches.
Reasonable bridgedeck clearance but have steps on the inside to allow more internal room. These steps would be where the escape hatch is placed;
Built of a resilient material such as polyprop honeycomb, to reduce damage in collisions;
Able to be dismounted and transported without special permission;
Couple of Q or Dbl bunks and a couple of 3/4 berths;

Not too expensive.< A$350 000 to 400 000 to buy or < 100 000 to build.
Robert
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Old 16-02-2008, 02:51   #270
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Hi Robert.

Do you have a particular design in mind with your list? How long are you forseeing it?
I've looked at many different cats, but can't think of one that would get a pass on your list.

I have a couple of questions for you:
Quote:
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Long lee bow with high prismatic coefficient and minimal or no rocker to avoid hobbyhorsing and pitchpoling.
Can you please explain what you mean.

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Able to stop and reverse under sail. I know this is a strange one but it is possible and very useful;
Why do you think this would be very useful? I've sailed quite far without needing to sail backwards. Stopping is easy though: Just drop your sails.
The rudders wouldn't exactly be able to perform miracles for you if you're sailing backwards.

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Float sufficiently high upside down to have a dry area for sleeping inside. It assumes that the escape hatch is above both the upside down and the right way up waterline;
I'd think very few (possibly no) cats would be habitable on the inside after a capsize, unless maybe if they were very big.
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