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Old 22-07-2008, 05:23   #1
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Confused Newbie

I am in the middle of trail sailing a number of boats. I have only trial sailed the Fastcat one so far with 2 more this weekend and another next week.

Before the trials I had concluded that the real difference between light and heavier boats as regards sailing performance was the light air performance below 25 knots. I understand that most sailing is done in light air.

I also understood that in a light boat I would maybe need to slow down in heavy seas but this first test sail in 20 to 28 knots or so of wind has just created more questions for me.

The heavier boats like the Leopard, St Francis and Privilege are suggesting at reefing at true wind speeds well before 28 knots but in the light boat like the Fast Cat we did not reef the main or furl in any foresail in 28 knots of wind - so why is there no need to do this in a lighter boat? I would have thought that a lighter boat required earlier reefing but that theory has been blown out of the water!
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Old 22-07-2008, 05:26   #2
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There is more to it than just weight -

Beam, Beam as a function of length, rig size, sea state, sail controls (e.g. length of traveller), are all factors.
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Old 22-07-2008, 05:33   #3
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Please do give us more specifics about the Fastcat. This cat is way out of my reach, but I like alot of things about it.

How did the boat handle under these conditions? Did everything seem stable, or on the edge? What kind of speed did you maintain with this 28knt wind, and what directions were the seas coming from, and how high were the seas? No matter what I am sure it was a fun ride!
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Old 22-07-2008, 05:33   #4
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Yes I think the Fast Cat has less ail area and so would maybe need to reef less or at about the same time as a heavier boat with the bigger sail area.

However weight is important but can it be that a heavier boat with more sail area can sail as fast as a lighter boat with less sail area? Albeit it may be more difficult to handle but being heavier would offer a more comfortable ride?
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Old 22-07-2008, 06:44   #5
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With about 20 to 28 knots of wind we were mainly doing about 8.5 knots on a close reach and about 12 knots on a broad reach with full sail up all the time.

The seas were short and uncomfortable - I guess mainly about 5 foot or so with the occasional bigger hole.No real slamming problem - she tended to lift with each wave and very much follow the waves but this lead to some hobby horsing.

It was our first proper sail out in a cat and hence we have little to compare it with. I wish that I could arrange the same seas and wind for all the cats but I think Fort Lauderdale this weekend nor Exuma the following week will not be so cooperative.

I do not know if a heavier boat in those conditions would have given a better ride or not - I think it would have albeit at a slower speed.

Seems to me that the planned VMG speed for most cruising boats can never really exceed about 8 knots, no matter what the boat.

Gideon reckons you can plan on 10 knots through the water over an ocean crossing but even that is no more than 8 knots VMG.

I think the FastCat is more suited to a keen sailing couple who are more willing to watch the weight of things and persue speed. As a couple we do like the luxuries and those luxuries add to the weight.

Gideon once told me that you can plan on about 25% increase in speed over a long passage sailing in a fast boat like the FastCat and I think that is about right. So if instead of a VMG of say 6 knots I can get 7.5 knots that will shave the journey time down by 20% - two days in a ten day trip.

We have now reached the conclusion that we would accept that lowering of speed for the extra home comforts of a heavier boat.

The FastCat has top notch equipment on her and bristles with innovation. I for one would pay extra for some of that equipment being fitted onto a slow heavier boat.
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Old 22-07-2008, 07:24   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gludy View Post
I am in the middle of trail sailing a number of boats. I have only trial sailed the Fastcat one so far with 2 more this weekend and another next week.

Before the trials I had concluded that the real difference between light and heavier boats as regards sailing performance was the light air performance below 25 knots. I understand that most sailing is done in light air.

I also understood that in a light boat I would maybe need to slow down in heavy seas but this first test sail in 20 to 28 knots or so of wind has just created more questions for me.

The heavier boats like the Leopard, St Francis and Privilege are suggesting at reefing at true wind speeds well before 28 knots but in the light boat like the Fast Cat we did not reef the main or furl in any foresail in 28 knots of wind - so why is there no need to do this in a lighter boat? I would have thought that a lighter boat required earlier reefing but that theory has been blown out of the water!

Hi Gludy,

Unfortunately there is no perfect boat; it's all about comprimises..If you are planning to sail on shore with relatively light winds (below 15 knt) , you'd better opt for light boats. In heavy wheather and chopy seas, the ride of lighter boats could be somewhat less comfortable albeit equally safe.. To give you a comparison, the other day I could do around 11-12 knts at 25-28 true wind from the quadrant with full genoa and 2 reefs on the main with my Orana that I consider medium/heavy. The ride was extremely comfortable with wine glasses on the table. I assume Fastcat should have been a bit faster than what you mentioned. Maybe the trim was not optimal or the sea conditions bothered more the ride..Gideon must be the right person to answer those questions..
I can compare Belize (2 tons lighter than Orana with almost similar size) with my Orana. She was much faster ithan Orana in light winds but above 20-25 knts, you start feeling a bit more nerveous..
Regrading reefing procedures, the manufacturers 8rightly9 stand on the safest side. In Orana at 18 knots of true, the first reef is recommended which I believe is overconservative.


Cheers

yeloya
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Old 22-07-2008, 07:28   #7
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"The ride was extremely comfortable with wine glasses on the table."

What was the sea state like? Jow high the waves etc.
We had a very short choppy sea.
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Old 22-07-2008, 09:02   #8
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The close reach was at 30 degrees app. so very high with waves of 1.5 meters high coming in form the same 30 degrees
When we changed course to reach at 90 degrees the speed picked up to 12 to 15.5 knots
depending on the wind speed in between 20 and 26 knots later
Greetings\
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Old 22-07-2008, 09:14   #9
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Any chance we can get payload information when offering various options? Cruising to remote places usually demands carrying a bit more food and gear (and toys?).
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Old 22-07-2008, 13:24   #10
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Heavy cats are still cats, and follow the surface of the water closely. A large monohull with a heavy keel slices through the water, with less motion than a catamaran. In both cases, the longer boat pitches up and down less. In my mind that is the only thing monohulls do better than cats. The heavier a monohull is, the less it heels, but its still hard to work in the galley when the boat is heeling. It is possible to actually cook in a multihull underway in moderate to better conditions.

No all cruising is a hard slog to weather. In fact a great deal of study is invested in planning trips with a maximum amount of beam reaching, where you saw 12 knots. But it does happen. Remember that you were sailing 30 degrees apparent. Fat cruiser cats won't sail anywhere near that close to the wind, and slow way down when they do. Draw it out: 30 degrees apparent gets where you want to go very very much sooner than 55 degrees apparent. If you are faster through the water too, you could be there days ahead of any fat cat!

In calmer weather, any cat will seem more comfortable.
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Old 22-07-2008, 13:55   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy M View Post
Any chance we can get payload information when offering various options? Cruising to remote places usually demands carrying a bit more food and gear (and toys?).
We always provide a spread sheet with prices and weights of all options.
When a cat is delivered one gets a total weight of the finished boat .
It than is easy to ad all personal goods , water diesel and extra equipment carried.
The FastCat that we sailed with last Sunday is production number 002 the empty weight of this cat is 6950 kilo plus numerous options a ready to sail weight of 7350.
The fuel tanks where full or another 450 kilo and the water tanks at 35 % or 200 kilo
A rigid inflatable was on the boat together with around 200 kilo of other items and a full set of sails , 4 people 350 kilo
total weight during the sail 8550 kilo or a weight ready for an ocean cruise.
Present FastCats have a weight that is at least 1000 kilo less.
Greetings
Gideon
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Old 22-07-2008, 15:51   #12
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Originally Posted by Gludy View Post
With about 20 to 28 knots of wind we were mainly doing about 8.5 knots on a close reach and about 12 knots on a broad reach with full sail up all the time.
Do you know what the actual tacking ange was on the close reach?

Gideon states that you were at 30 degrees apparent, but in those conditions there must be alot of leeway without daggerboards.

On a broad reach which is the best speed for a cat you were doing up to 15 knots according to Gideon, which is only a bit over 50% of windspeed. I must say that I expected to see higher speeds given all the efforts to save weight, even in those conditions which aren't optimal for speed.

Nearly all catssail OK when the wind is over 15 knots, it's at 5-10 knots the real differences are seen.

cheers

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Old 22-07-2008, 17:30   #13
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It was a very short trip as Gideon said that he does not like to take the boat out when its above an f5 as this is not representative of cruising conditions.

Gideon told me the tacking angle was 30 degrees and at that time we were doing 8.5 to 9 knots in about 28 knots of wind.

I think the Tc 0 tack instruments were not working correctly he was taking readings from the chart plotter at the helm.

We had arranged to sail the boat on the Saturday but it was blowing an f7 maybe touching an f8 and Gideon would not take the boat out. This meant we could only do it on Sunday when he had limited time - hence there was no real chance to do the tests I had planned.

in fairness Gideon gave up most of his Sunday afternoon when he probably knew before us that it was not the boat for us.
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Old 22-07-2008, 19:14   #14
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Hi, Gludy - Voyages are usually planned to have the wind aft of a beam reach- either running or on a broad reach. Comfort on cruising monohulls usually relates to weight, with heavier boats being more comfortable, but heeling has no direct connection to weight. If 28 knots only produced 12 knots of speed, I'd take the claims put forward for the boat's average speed with a huge grain of salt. A typical trade wind day is about 13 knots. That is the average wind speed in Hawaii, which is in the heart of the NE trades. The trade winds come from the NE in the N. hemisphere, and the SE in the S. hemisphere. They come from the West in the stormy higher latitudes in both hemispheres. Depressions can shift these directions, of course, but it is around these prevailing winds that voyages are planned. See: http://www.mapsworldwide.com/itm_img/N000015417.jpg
If you are planning to ocean voyaging, you need to do a lot of studying. Jimmy Cornell wrote a book about ocean voyaging routes: Amazon.com: World Cruising Routes: Jimmy Cornell: Books
I used to have a British Admiralty publication about this. To study the old school way, read Amazon.com: Voyaging Under Sail: Eric Hiscock: Books which was the main textbook that taught me voyaging. Even though some of it is dated-for instance, fiberglass was a rather new idea when it was written-it is the most comprehensive book on the subject ever written.
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Old 23-07-2008, 01:09   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nordic cat View Post
Do you know what the actual tacking ange was on the close reach?

Gideon states that you were at 30 degrees apparent, but in those conditions there must be alot of leeway without daggerboards.

On a broad reach which is the best speed for a cat you were doing up to 15 knots according to Gideon, which is only a bit over 50% of windspeed. I must say that I expected to see higher speeds given all the efforts to save weight, even in those conditions which aren't optimal for speed.

Nearly all catssail OK when the wind is over 15 knots, it's at 5-10 knots the real differences are seen.Alan
cheers

The tacking angle was around 90 degrees so a leeway of 15 degrees was made.
When reaching our app wind was around 20 knots and I do not know of many cats that will do 12 to 15 knots with 20 app. wind , we only had the jib and the main up and not the gennaker.( I off course have limited sailing experience ) !!
Most Cats I know of only start to sail ok with winds of well above 15 knots and only lightweight cats will do well from 5/10 knots up.
The waves we encountered where 1.5 meters and with a limited experienced crew we did just sail ,
When you have time Alan and it seems you have plenty come down to us and have a sail with us, the beer is on me after the sail.

Greetings

Gideon
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