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Old 13-07-2016, 12:21   #1
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Cruising cat design evolution.

As a student my studies centered around design.So catamaran aesthetics have always been of interest to me.

Boats are a compromise and this is evident particularly with catamarans I think. Sumptuous accommodations come with weight penalties that affect performance. I feel todays trends seem to be a mish mash of ideas, design by committee if you like.

My interest is what lies ahead? More boxy,top heavy looking craft? Or will we a move to sleeker design as people look for something easier on the eye? Seems to me functionality dictates form.
Can it be done? Schioning comes close imho.
Interested in your thoughts.
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Old 13-07-2016, 13:13   #2
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Re: Cruising cat design evolution.

Well I don't own a cat but I have now been on quite a few and sailed on a couple and there is not allot to dislike. The most popular ones such as Lagoons do add more space and weight and loose on the performance side but they know their customers very well and performance is not at the top of the must haves. That aside they sail well enough to get you where you are going in supreme comfort and nothing beats them at anchor which is where most people spend 90% of their time. When you look at the evolution of cats, many started sleek and today something less so I think the design will continue to evolve based on customers needs/wants and thats probably bigger and more goodies. There will always be niche markets for the higher performance machines
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Old 13-07-2016, 13:45   #3
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Re: Cruising cat design evolution.

There isn't just one trend. There are cats all along the spectrum from bloated charter barges to sleek but spartan speedsters, and it will continue to be that way. In my case, I am more interested in the performance end of the spectrum and there is certainly some interesting things happening there.
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Old 14-07-2016, 04:47   #4
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Re: Cruising cat design evolution.

Performance is sexy and fast. Everything is super light, and pushing the envelope. Most of the time it is a PITA.

Sort of like owning a Jaguar XKE. (No, this is not mine!)

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Old 14-07-2016, 05:21   #5
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Re: Cruising cat design evolution.

Nice car, but to complete the analogy you have to look at something like the Nissan GTR - modern with much better performance and as reliable as sunrise.
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Old 14-07-2016, 05:27   #6
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Re: Cruising cat design evolution.

I think Robert Sailor has it right - the most popular brands are such because the manufacturers know their client base and recognize that the majority of the market favor space, comfort and reasonable prices over top end performance. If you prioritize interior space, headroom and exterior lounging space on a 40 something foot cat, you will tend to end up with a boxy design with higher windage. In the automotive context, yes the Jaguar XKE was very swoopy, but it was hardly comodious.

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Old 14-07-2016, 05:39   #7
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Re: Cruising cat design evolution.

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I think Robert Sailor has it right - the most popular brands are such because the manufacturers know their client base and recognize that the majority of the market favor space, comfort and reasonable prices over top end performance. If you prioritize interior space, headroom and exterior lounging space on a 40 something foot cat, you will tend to end up with a boxy design with higher windage. In the automotive context, yes the Jaguar XKE was very swoopy, but it was hardly comodious.

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SVNEKO - That is a noble goal. Now back to restitching my tramps.... Again!

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Old 14-07-2016, 05:51   #8
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Re: Cruising cat design evolution.

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Nice car, but to complete the analogy you have to look at something like the Nissan GTR - modern with much better performance and as reliable as sunrise.
I am not certain that this would be the best example to use in your analogy. I own one and have already had to have the transmission completely rebuilt, with upgraded gears and clutches to make it reliable.
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Old 14-07-2016, 06:45   #9
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Re: Cruising cat design evolution.

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Exactly!

SVNEKO - That is a noble goal. Now back to restitching my tramps.... Again!
Been there, done that, have the blisters to show! Good luck, not a fun job.
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Old 14-07-2016, 08:06   #10
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Re: Cruising cat design evolution.

I am a devout advocate of the concepts of simple, logical and efficient applied to most things.
Applying these to modern Cruising Cats usually translates into less weight, less expense, easier self maintenance and reliability.
I am always trying to apply the above with my own boat with varying degrees of success but I happily try...

The New Cruising Cat designs seem to be speeding away(pun intended) from the above concepts and new owners/potential buyers apparently endorse this and are okay with very heavy, complex and expensive to maintain Cruising platforms.

Some new Performance Cruising designs try to maintain the above concepts, at least the ones I have looked at and been on.

Bob
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Old 14-07-2016, 09:02   #11
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Re: Cruising cat design evolution.

Interesting. I understand supply and demand. But I suspect many current and/or future cruisers would like to get into a new(er) cat and can perhaps justify an increased initial outlay but can't justify the extra maintenance versus a mono. I wonder if there is a manufacturer tapping that market...i.e., are there newer, production, cruising (not racing) cats that balance performance, value, and simplicity?
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Old 14-07-2016, 10:45   #12
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Re: Cruising cat design evolution.

After 1 year and some coastal cruising, I like the performance and comfort balance of our 2006 nautitech 40. Faster and more lively than a lagoon, because it has narrower hulls... And therefore less space. What we all want is Dr. Who's sailboat (bigger on the inside than on the outside).

Until that is available, suggest looking at and sailing as many boats as you can to get a feel for where your tastes lie in the performance - comfort spectrum.
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Old 14-07-2016, 12:15   #13
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Re: Cruising cat design evolution.

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Originally Posted by Paul-Arr View Post
Interesting. I understand supply and demand. But I suspect many current and/or future cruisers would like to get into a new(er) cat and can perhaps justify an increased initial outlay but can't justify the extra maintenance versus a mono. I wonder if there is a manufacturer tapping that market...i.e., are there newer, production, cruising (not racing) cats that balance performance, value, and simplicity?
I would recommend checking out the Balance catamarans. They are doing a good job of producing a performance minded cruising cat. However - the price of a quality cruising catamaran will always be higher than a comparable cruising monohull. If nothing else - there are just more pieces.
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Old 14-07-2016, 13:46   #14
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Re: Cruising cat design evolution.

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Originally Posted by paxfish View Post
Performance is sexy and fast. Everything is super light, and pushing the envelope. Most of the time it is a PITA.

Sort of like owning a Jaguar XKE. (No, this is not mine!)

Here's mine, sitting in front of our Lagoon 380. However, owning an xke and a boat is 30 hours per day maintenance, 9 days per week, 40 days per month. Sold the Jag and kept the boat, it was less maintenance than the Jag.

/Users/timbenner/Desktop/IMG_2083.jpg
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Old 14-07-2016, 13:47   #15
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Re: Cruising cat design evolution.

http:///Users/timbenner/Desktop/IMG_2083.jpg
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