Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 13-06-2016, 12:35   #1
Registered User
 
Medge's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Keene, NH & Sarasota, FL
Boat: Nothing yet
Posts: 16
Crane size and low bridges

I am a novice and I am looking at buying a catamaran maybe this winter and sailing it around the Caribbean for a couple of winters. If that goes well, we are thinking about taking it around the world over the next 10 years. Our family is wife (48 and fit), son (8, homeschooler) and me (45 reasonably fit). We had been looking at a cat from 44 feet and up, but recently met a sailor that suggested that big cats can be a real problem to get out of the water.

We intend to just sail for 4-6 months and then come back to New England for the summers. That would mean that we should put the boat on the hard for the season, wherever we are, then pick it up and continue our adventure. His specific concerns were:

1) the size of the cranes. His claim is that cats, because of their beam, require a special, larger crane to take them out of the water, if they are above a certain beam. Surely, this must be true, but what is that beam? He thought 16 foot.

2) Bridges that don't draw. His further concern, though I am less concerned with it because we don't intend to do a bunch of US sailing, are bridges that don't go up. Bigger boats = taller masts. I hear that these bridges tend to be 45 ft, 55 ft and 65 ft. Is this so? What are the distribution of these heights? Like 10% - 45ft, 75% - 55ft and 15% - 65ft? How much room is recommended between the top of the mast and the bottom of the bridge.

Thanks for your help.
__________________

__________________
Medge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-06-2016, 13:29   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Charleston SC
Boat: 1979 Pearson 323
Posts: 72
Re: Crane size and low bridges

You'll be fine. There are different size Travel Lifts, but nearly ever city with any kind of marina presence is going to have a yard with a big lift. How do you think the boat got into the water in the first place?

Where are you planning or cruising? In the US 65' is the number you're going to run into for clearance on major bridges, be it on the ICW or other major waterways. There are TONS of people cruising in 45'-55' cats. They all find ways to make it work, so will you.
__________________

__________________
cofc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-06-2016, 13:35   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 612
Re: Crane size and low bridges

Hi Medge.

The admiral and I are graduates of KSC living in Nashua. Greetings and best of luck.
Bridges are a consideration for any larger sailboat, not exclusive to Cats. Since you're only hauling once per season, find locations that have large travel lifts and plan to be in that area when it's time to haul. It works out that the lift will typically still be there when it's time to launch the following season.
__________________
Shrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-06-2016, 13:51   #4
Registered User
 
Sailorman Ed's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Boat: Polynesia 40/42
Posts: 685
Images: 15
Send a message via Skype™ to Sailorman Ed
Re: Crane size and low bridges

Medge - you want to read this: Catamaran Haul-Out Marinas

And new wide ones going in all the time.

Quote:
How much room is recommended between the top of the mast and the bottom of the bridge
Assuming you have a VHF antenna at the top, you need about 6" above the of the light at the top of your mast. The antenna will bend and snap back. Nearly all bridges will have a marker board telling you how much clearance you have at the current water level.

44 ft is more than enough for 2 1/2 people.
__________________
Sailorman Ed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-06-2016, 09:25   #5
Registered User
 
Medge's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Keene, NH & Sarasota, FL
Boat: Nothing yet
Posts: 16
Re: Crane size and low bridges

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailorman Ed View Post
Medge - you want to read this: Catamaran Haul-Out Marinas

And new wide ones going in all the time.
Thank you for your reply. I downloaded the pdf. It's not a very long list. My concern isn't that there aren't a few places that a big boat can be hauled out. It is the percentage of marinas that can haul it out. I would think that any marina with the smallest crane can haul out a 25' cat and that very few could haul out a 100' cat. So, what is the target beam to shoot for that most marinas will be able to handle? 22' seems like a good number from the list.
__________________
Medge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-06-2016, 11:18   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 115
Re: Crane size and low bridges

Hi Medge,
Sounds like your pre sail expectations are based on machinations of taking your home and transplanting it onto the water. With three of you and appropriate downsizing, you would be fine on anything from 36' to 44' (in the real world of boating, smaller is generally cheaper, easier to maintain,easier to store and most of all, easier to sail/cruise). My wife, myself and 4 children lived aboard a 36' Piver trimaran in the Hawaiian Islands for 4 years in the 80. We started with no amenities and lived out of a cooler using a Hibatchi for cooking and the local boat wash for bathing and dishwashing. Because you said you wanted something cheap (okay, cheap is very relative), I brought this up as I bought the boat in the early 80s sitting derelict for $4500. After spending $10,000 and three years rebuilding it from the keel up I felt it was really nice - sleeping space for 10 with a nice aft cabin king for the wife and I. Propane stove w/oven and three way fridge. Very comfortable set up both on and off the water. The only problem, both myself and my family hated it (okay and somewhat surprisingly, my wife not so much - became her home an comfort zone). I had spent so much time reglassing and rebuilding that I think it consumed me. And the kids felt (rightfully so) that we did not do much "family" anymore. After I sold the boat, it took years to repair the "damage" that was done. My ultimate point is that you should be both careful and realistic about your expectations and realities when dreaming about "cruising off into the sunset. Not saying that it shouldn't be done as the quality of education of home schooling and cruising can provide a marvelous educational platform like no other and sharing the experience with loved one who wish to do so too makes for a tight knit family who depends on and loves each other. Ain't saying it is all a bed of roses as you all are sure to have bumps in the road (sometimes even catastrophic- that's life isn't it). You can't sail away from it. If you have baggage, you will carry it with you. Start with clear decks, realistic and positive mindsets about your undertakings and do a lot of research before actually taking the plung. Don't be foolish enough to have to learn from all of your mistakes - learning from those of others is a lot less painful. Finally, I tell you to respect you family even more than yourself. If they too are onboard with what you are planning, it will be much more fun. You've heard the saying "happy wife, happy life" add to it "happy crew and...... Fair winds and following seas, Bruce
__________________
bruce v is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-06-2016, 11:57   #7
Registered User
 
Medge's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Keene, NH & Sarasota, FL
Boat: Nothing yet
Posts: 16
Re: Crane size and low bridges

Quote:
Originally Posted by bruce v View Post
Hi Medge,
Sounds like your pre sail expectations are based on machinations of taking your home and transplanting it onto the water. With three of you and appropriate downsizing, you would be fine on anything from 36' to 44' (in the real world of boating, smaller is generally cheaper, easier to maintain,easier to store and most of all, easier to sail/cruise). My wife, myself and 4 children lived aboard a 36' Piver trimaran in the Hawaiian Islands for 4 years in the 80. We started with no amenities and lived out of a cooler using a Hibatchi for cooking and the local boat wash for bathing and dishwashing. Because you said you wanted something cheap (okay, cheap is very relative), I brought this up as I bought the boat in the early 80s sitting derelict for $4500. After spending $10,000 and three years rebuilding it from the keel up I felt it was really nice - sleeping space for 10 with a nice aft cabin king for the wife and I. Propane stove w/oven and three way fridge. Very comfortable set up both on and off the water. The only problem, both myself and my family hated it (okay and somewhat surprisingly, my wife not so much - became her home an comfort zone). I had spent so much time reglassing and rebuilding that I think it consumed me. And the kids felt (rightfully so) that we did not do much "family" anymore. After I sold the boat, it took years to repair the "damage" that was done. My ultimate point is that you should be both careful and realistic about your expectations and realities when dreaming about "cruising off into the sunset. Not saying that it shouldn't be done as the quality of education of home schooling and cruising can provide a marvelous educational platform like no other and sharing the experience with loved one who wish to do so too makes for a tight knit family who depends on and loves each other. Ain't saying it is all a bed of roses as you all are sure to have bumps in the road (sometimes even catastrophic- that's life isn't it). You can't sail away from it. If you have baggage, you will carry it with you. Start with clear decks, realistic and positive mindsets about your undertakings and do a lot of research before actually taking the plung. Don't be foolish enough to have to learn from all of your mistakes - learning from those of others is a lot less painful. Finally, I tell you to respect you family even more than yourself. If they too are onboard with what you are planning, it will be much more fun. You've heard the saying "happy wife, happy life" add to it "happy crew and...... Fair winds and following seas, Bruce
Thank you for sharing this wonderful story, Bruce. My wife and I are both excited to try this new life. My son, Jack, is happy about it, so long as we only do it for half the year. We will see.

It is probably more accurate to say "I am cheap" than to say "I need something cheap". I don't need anything fancy, but I can buy what I need to buy.
__________________
Medge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-06-2016, 13:51   #8
Registered User
 
Sailorman Ed's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Boat: Polynesia 40/42
Posts: 685
Images: 15
Send a message via Skype™ to Sailorman Ed
Re: Crane size and low bridges

Attachment 126176
Quote:
My concern isn't that there aren't a few places that a big boat can be hauled out. It is the percentage of marinas that can haul it out. I would think that any marina with the smallest crane can haul out a 25' cat and that very few could haul out a 100' cat. So, what is the target beam to shoot for that most marinas will be able to handle? 22' seems like a good number from the list.
Medge - first, a small clarification. Few marinas can haul any boats, usually it is a boatyard. Second, most boatyards use a Travelift . But often, if you are too wide, they can also pick you up with a crane (Like a construction crane)
I suspect the common size Travelift is 18 or 19 ft wide. We went from a 34ft x 16 ft wide to a 39 ft x 22.5 ft wide and had far less choices to be hauled. We looked into using a construction crane but the setup and minimum hours were excessive. We ended up at a larger / more expensive yard and had to use their 200T Travelift due to our beam. You can see how massive this thing is. Also keep in mind that while they might say they have a Travelift of a certain size, it is almost always the piers that the Travelift tires ride on that is the limiting factor. When we first launched after buying in MD, they had room for a sheet of corrugated and a layer of PE film to slide us by the pier. The actual Travelift had another foot.
A small unexpected problem with the 200T Travelift was that the slings were 36 inches wide. There was a lot of discussion about if they would fit between my rudders and saildrive props. I had to agree to accept any damage if they caught the props. Smaller lifts use much narrower slings. Another surprise, the cost per foot for powerwashing is much higher for the larger lifts...it all adds up.
Ed
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	slings.jpg
Views:	74
Size:	100.5 KB
ID:	126178   Click image for larger version

Name:	big travelift.jpg
Views:	79
Size:	249.2 KB
ID:	126179  

__________________
Sailorman Ed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-06-2016, 14:21   #9
Registered User
 
Medge's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Keene, NH & Sarasota, FL
Boat: Nothing yet
Posts: 16
Re: Crane size and low bridges

Thanks, Ed. This is great info!

I assume it is less costly to haul a boat out and sit it on the hard for 6 months, am I right, generally? I also assume this makes annual maintenance tasks easier. Am I right on that too? What are the problems of leaving a large boat at a dock, instead of on the hard, for 6 or 7 months?
__________________
Medge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-06-2016, 14:40   #10
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,352
Re: Crane size and low bridges

Quote:
Originally Posted by Medge View Post
Thanks, Ed. This is great info!

I assume it is less costly to haul a boat out and sit it on the hard for 6 months, am I right, generally? I also assume this makes annual maintenance tasks easier. Am I right on that too? What are the problems of leaving a large boat at a dock, instead of on the hard, for 6 or 7 months?
The beam of a travelift is a good thing to be asking. 44 Ft is plenty big and if sticking to that or 42 ft gets you a lot more haulout potential place that's good.
-I found a 42 ft (21 width) catamaran had a lot of haulout possibilities.
-Yes, I would haulout probably for 6 mos storage. In the water things tend to degrade, especially when not being used. (Bottom, Shafts etc)
-65 ft mast height or less gives you a lot more options on the eastern seaboard. Another reason to keep size down.
__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-06-2016, 15:10   #11
Registered User
 
Medge's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Keene, NH & Sarasota, FL
Boat: Nothing yet
Posts: 16
Re: Crane size and low bridges

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
The beam of a travelift is a good thing to be asking. 44 Ft is plenty big and if sticking to that or 42 ft gets you a lot more haulout potential place that's good.
-I found a 42 ft (21 width) catamaran had a lot of haulout possibilities.
-Yes, I would haulout probably for 6 mos storage. In the water things tend to degrade, especially when not being used. (Bottom, Shafts etc)
-65 ft mast height or less gives you a lot more options on the eastern seaboard. Another reason to keep size down.
There seems to be a world of difference between a beam of 24 and a beam of 21, when it comes to boatyards that can haul you out. Can you give me a specific number or is it all across the board? Right now I have written down "boat under 22' beam", but one of the ones I am looking at, and like, is 23' 6". I am trying to figure out if I should just cross it off my list and move on.
__________________
Medge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-06-2016, 15:14   #12
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,352
Re: Crane size and low bridges

Quote:
Originally Posted by Medge View Post
There seems to be a world of difference between a beam of 24 and a beam of 21, when it comes to boatyards that can haul you out. Can you give me a specific number or is it all across the board? Right now I have written down "boat under 22' beam", but one of the ones I am looking at, and like, is 23' 6". I am trying to figure out if I should just cross it off my list and move on.
You will just have to do your own search and figure it out. All I cared about is if they could haul mine. Many yards will specify the max beam they can do. I can tell you a 42 ft cat is a big space for 3 people, so you might consider how much you really need also.


The one thing you will learn about being a cruiser is you have to do your own research and decisions. Weather, crossings, boatyards, equipment etc. People say things, take it with a grain of salt and find out what you think.
__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-06-2016, 15:18   #13
cruiser

Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 285
Re: Crane size and low bridges

As far as the catamaran design is concerned, it is best to have at MINIMUM, beam of 1/2 the length, at least that seems to be the sweet spot for stability and performance. Wider is better (to a point), but narrower, ain't.

as far as haulout is concerned, at least in my experience, I have had better luck at my 20' beam than my brethren at 22 or more. Based on what I've seen, 20' gets you the most choices, but there are still plenty of choices at wider, but at 24' or greater beam the pickin's get thin, best I can tell

Bridges: my stick is 61' off the water, and that's about as tall as I'd want it to be, bridges tend to be 65', and a few around here (central GOM) are 50'

If I were you, I'd see what I couldn't find in the 40' length, 20' beam, range...
__________________
AD28 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-06-2016, 17:07   #14
Senior Cruiser
 
Symphony's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Ct
Boat: ex-Tartan4100, now MS34 sedan
Posts: 460
Re: Crane size and low bridges

Smaller boat is less deck to wash, less hull to wax, less bottom, etx.

I couldn't believe the difference when i moved up from a 34' mono to a 41' mono. Toe rails alone meant 7' x 2 = 14' more to varnish. Multiply by 4 to consider the changes in size for a catamaran.
Good luck!
__________________
Symphony
Currently cruising Indian Ocean
Symphony is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-06-2016, 13:54   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Caribbean Sea
Boat: Wildcat 35
Posts: 202
Re: Crane size and low bridges

We can get our 38' loa, 20.5'beam Wildcat pulled at Holland Marine, Green Cove Springs. They have to use the big lift so that means pulling the mast first. That may be annoying to some, but it gives a great opportunity to get maintenance done on it. Besides, if you are pulling for hurricanes you should have your mast down anyway.
There is also a marina in St. Augustine that uses a flatbed trailer under the bridge deck to haul out any size cat with the mast still up.
Ps. The Wildcat 350 has a VHF antenna mast top that is (as close as I can measure) 56.5' off the water.

Sent from my GT-N8010 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
__________________

__________________
DavidLGCrawford is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
size

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Low bridges ... no problemo coffsguy Seamanship & Boat Handling 2 11-01-2016 13:27
Noob - fly bridges, hull shape and cat. history kevinnem Multihull Sailboats 6 09-04-2014 13:43
ICW in Florida and bridges KayakDan General Sailing Forum 16 29-10-2012 14:47
ICW : 39 Bridges Between Here and Miami lorenzo b Atlantic & the Caribbean 18 18-01-2011 07:34
How Often Do You Check Your Water and How Low Is Too Low ? rebel heart Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 51 19-11-2010 08:50



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:11.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.