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Old 08-11-2006, 18:53   #1
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Coastal v Ocean Cruising

I am intrigued by the description of some catamarans as "good for coastal cruising" with the (unstated) implication that to use the boat for an ocean passage would somehow be out of the question.

Along the east coast of Australia (and I have no doubt every other coast around the world) the weather and the sea can be pretty lumpy.

Now given that if one is cruising the weather forecast should be used to avoid those sort of conditions and that at least a 4 day forecast these days is pretty reliable why could you not cruise a "coastal cruiser" say the 800 miles to Noumea (from Brisbane).

Is it just a case of planning ?
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Old 08-11-2006, 19:31   #2
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A friend of mine circumnavigated on a Prout 37'. The toughest conditions he enountered were just east of New Zealand. Although it took him 8 1/2 years to complete the trip, he made it just fine. In the end, he sold the boat.

He stopped by to see me a couple of weeks ago and told me that he's looking to buy another Cat.

He's now 81 years old and eyeing the Caribbean islands. The moral is that the right boat, mono or multi can be an ocean cruiser.

Rick in Florida
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Old 08-11-2006, 20:31   #3
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Just because one can do something, doesn't mean that one should. Weather forecasters sometimes get it wrong - I have had 50 knots when the met bureau had forecasted 25-30. I'm sure, with good management, planning, experience and a splash of good luck any coastal cruiser could be used for blue water ocean cruising, but that doesn't mean that the practice is to be recommended.
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Old 08-11-2006, 20:50   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weyalan
Just because one can do something, doesn't mean that one should.
And what does this infer? That a Prout 37' shouldn't circumnavigate? What should we tell all the Prouts that have sailed around the world? That they were wrong to do it? Really, I'm having a difficult time understanding exactly what you are trying to communicate.

About 25% of all boats circumnavigating these days are catamarans. This estimate is from a docmaster in Fiji, who is keeping a running tab of boats passing through the last couple of years. It's been a fairly dramatic increase.

You mono guys are amazingly misinformed. It's almost like you guys are stuck back in the 1970's. It's a brave new world out there.

Rick in Florida
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Old 08-11-2006, 21:09   #5
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Rick, go pour yourself a cool one, buddy. I am not having a go at catamarans, nor their owners. Yes, I am a monohull owner, but I have nothing against catamarans.

My point is that, as a general rule, for most people, "coastal" cruisers are not blue water ocean crusiers. That is, I think, true regardless of whether we are talking about monohuls or catamarans. If someone rowed across the atlantic in a 14' dink, that wouldn't make 14' dinks into ocean crusiers, would it? I'm not saying that your buddy shouldn't have circumnavigated in his Prout 37' (not a vessel with which I have any familiarity), but the fact that he did so is not indicative that everyone could or should.

Let me state, loudly and clearly, that I am not somebody who thinks catamarans are pitch poling and flipping left, right and centre. I also think that in almost all cases when they do, it is crew error or inexperience that is the major contributing factor, not any inherent fault in design. Also, let me say that monohulls are just as susceptible to major problems and that in the majority of cases these problems are probably more to do with crew error or inexperience than design.

what I was saying is that if you buy a boat, regardless of how many hulls it has and that boat is described as a "coastal cruiser", then for most people, using it for coastal cruising is going to be the best bet. That isn't to say that there will not be individual coases of it being used to circumnavigate (or perhaps climb mount everest), but they are the exception not the rule.

As I say, this is not a criticism of Catamarans. There are numerous monohull designs (some of the lighter built Beneteau, Jeanneau, Hunter and Catalina production boats, for example) that are described as coastal cruisers. I, personally, would not want to take offshore. that isn't to say that there aren't people who do, but they, again, would be relatively few and far between.

For the record, also, I resent your implication that I am misinformed. I may be misinformed in all sorts of ways, but you, Sir, knowing next to nothing about me, are hardly in a position to judge my mental acuity and knowledge, or lack thereof.
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Old 08-11-2006, 22:46   #6
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No offence taken, by me anyway.
Weyalan, if you are talking about multi's built in Oz and N/Z that are described as coastal boat's it more than likely is a size/payload issue.

Most smaller Oz and N/Z designs are performance orientated, some more than others and therefore the load that a lot of people subject them to to do a passage would restrict the sailing ability of the vessel and also reduce bridgedeck clearance to an unaceptable level.

Over the years i've seen many a good smaller,30ftish cat turned into a liveaboard and acumalate all sorts of crap as they do.
The boat sails like a pig, can't point, has steering problems and because she's lower in the water,gets the bridgedeck pounded. All of these things can lead to structual problems, and then the poor designer get's a bad rap for designing such a poor boat. Not Fair, seen it happen to often.

These same boat's, if doing coastal work while horribly overloaded can at least run away out of harm's way before the weather get's to nasty.

But if kept light , after all, the only thing that make's 'em sail is the sails, they are great. When we sailed our last cat to New Cal she only had food and water for 10 days at a pinch eg 60 litres of water. And clothes and some fishing and diving gear.+ dinghy. She was considered a coastal cruiser, but by being a slave to performance, she always sailed like a dream.

Most U.S and English cats tend to be more orienteered towards carrying the comforts of home more than performance, so doing the big speed is a lot harder to achieve. But if the boat was designed with load carrying in mind, and speed is not your thing, i suppose there ok.

For me to carry a few more comfort's we had to go around 50 ft and still only carry what a 35ft cruising cat would carry, plus nothing beats that waterline length.

Hope this helps, and this is my opinion only, but I'm sure a few will agree.

Some pic's of our coastal cruiser at Port Mosselle New Cal , at Amadee Lighthouse New Cal. and sailing around 14 knots in about 17 of wind
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Old 09-11-2006, 02:16   #7
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Weylan

I imagine that I've possibly misunderstood your earlier post. I think you've clearified your position very well and I apologize for the misunderstanding.

Rick in Florida
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Old 09-11-2006, 03:23   #8
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Generally, it’s better (tho’ not absolutely mandatory) to use a tool designed for the intended purpose.
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Old 09-11-2006, 04:18   #9
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Indeed your right Gord, just down here most of the cruising boats are foam,cedar,light ply or duflex composite therefore light, some lighter than others. They also have a beam of closer to 20ft +.

You'll rarely see a 30 + foot cat made of solid glass with a 16 ft beam, not saying they don't exist, but in my 25 years of sailing and 20 of boatbuilding I've only ever seen 2 Prouts and 1 Heavenly Twins never seen a PDQ or a Catalac, but read about one that self destructed in the storm of the top of N/Z in '94 I think?

Dave
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Old 09-11-2006, 04:24   #10
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Many well built strong yachts can be used for offshore use when they are fitted out with certain gear... things like storm canvas, stout rigging, long range radio, heavier sails, perhaps, more safety gear like a life raft. drogue, spare rigging etc.

Things like port lights and types of hatches, cockpit size and drains, the types and number of bilger pumps etc are also factors... and even tank capacity, lee boards for berths and interior hand holds...

Basically you want a vessel than can stand a beating, and can allow you to be out in the ocean without the need to seek support from shore side services for days on end.

With a good basic design I think it is a matter of equipping the yacht to make it an offshore boat. This does not mean that you can't have challenging weather right along the coast... you sure can. Most vessels used for coastal cruising don't seem to have all the gear that a blue water yacht has... usually are more focused on comfort and amenities, less about independence and "survival".

My view...

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Old 09-11-2006, 05:39   #11
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Finally someone answered the question

Thank you Jef. That's exactly how I see it.

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Old 09-11-2006, 05:49   #12
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Dave

I think you mean the one that was out during that famous Hobart - Sydney race? That storm took out a lot of boats as I recall. The Catalac was a 10M or a 12M, I forget which. It was found intact and her crew were fine, although they dismasted. The woman on board insisted the rescue boat sink her Catalac as she vowed never to set foot on a boat again. They obliged her..

Rick in Florida
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Old 09-11-2006, 05:50   #13
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Good point Jeff

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Old 09-11-2006, 13:34   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickm505
Weylan

I imagine that I've possibly misunderstood your earlier post. I think you've clearified your position very well and I apologize for the misunderstanding.

Rick in Florida
Apology accepted. we can now get on with the serious business of drinking beers and shooting the breeze about boats and our shared love for them!
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Old 09-11-2006, 14:03   #15
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Weyalan! How goes the refit? Any new photos? Your work looked great.
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