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Old 13-06-2008, 11:15   #1
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Do you compromise sailing enjoyment with a cat?

Again, we are in that research stage and I have read in several places that with a multihull you lose some of the feel of the wind. One of the things we really enjoy with our itty bitty boat is, well, sailing. Do you think that you lose some of that feel with a cat? I am thinking that the payoff of stability, breadth of deck and arrangement of living space counteracts any loss in the feel of the sailing, but for those of you who have sailed both, what are your thoughts?
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Old 13-06-2008, 11:23   #2
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Again, we are in that research stage and I have read in several places that with a multihull you lose some of the feel of the wind. One of the things we really enjoy with our itty bitty boat is, well, sailing. Do you think that you lose some of that feel with a cat?
Yes, in general. Especially if you're used to your itty bitty boat and you move up to a big cat. You'd lose much of it as well if you move up to a big mono. But you lose more in a cat.

But that said, I've sailed some big monos that have less feel than my big cat. A lot depends on the boat and steering. Any boat with hydraulic steering will provide less helm feedback, for example, than a boat with mechanical steering.

JMHO

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Old 13-06-2008, 13:02   #3
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If your plan is go cruising, the general rule of thumb is 80 to 90% of your time cruising is spent at anchor. While at anchor I would prefer to be on a cat. It does not roll, and the visibility and living space is significantly better. Cat's in general do not provide that tactile feel of the helm that a mono does. In that cats do no heel there really is no groove so sailing a cat is more by the numbers. My experiance on cats has been that the autopilot does 99% of the driving anyway.
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Old 13-06-2008, 13:05   #4
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I agree with Dave totally. Size (especially freeboard) and hydraulic steering tend to isolate you from some of the feeling for both the boat and the environment - and cruising cats typically have higher freeboard than comparably sized monohulls (and often have hydraulic steering).

Larger boats are also typically more 'stately' or sluggish in their response to helm imputs or wind gusts than, at the extreme, a sailing dinghy or beach cat. They are also, of course, much more stable.

In the right circumstances, I enjoy the heeling in a monohull as it provides much quicker and more visceral imput concerning gusts of wind. On the other hand, it creates numerous hazards when underway (and some additonal discomfort in terms of 'rolling' in certain anchorages).

As always, its a question of priorities. If space and comfort are a significant issue, why not buy a cruising cat and keep a sailing dinghy for the pleasure of close to the water, responsive sailing.

Brad
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Old 13-06-2008, 13:11   #5
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Originally Posted by isbolick View Post
Again, we are in that research stage and I have read in several places that with a multihull you lose some of the feel of the wind. One of the things we really enjoy with our itty bitty boat is, well, sailing. Do you think that you lose some of that feel with a cat? I am thinking that the payoff of stability, breadth of deck and arrangement of living space counteracts any loss in the feel of the sailing, but for those of you who have sailed both, what are your thoughts?
A lot people associate the heel of the boat with sailing. If that is the case, you definitely don't feel like you are sailing as much.

But on the other hand if you associate time on the water or working the rigging with sailing, then no, not too much difference.

There are always trimarans. I don't know that much about them, have never been on one, but I know from reading their limit is about 15 degrees off center. So, less heeling but still some.
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Old 13-06-2008, 13:25   #6
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Do you think that you lose some of that feel with a cat?
It's not the same but different sometimes is not worse or better. I'm not sure it's the determining thing when choosing. A multi masted schooner feels nice too. My neighbor thinks the aircraft carrier he is assigned to feels pretty good. I also think it's possible for a cat to feel really nice on a good day. How you feel may not always have much to do with the boat. If you have a boat and you are out on it I'm going to bet you will feel darn pretty good. The idea of it sometimes get me going.
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Old 13-06-2008, 13:43   #7
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You are more removed from the water so 6 knots on a cat can feel like you are standing still. When the wind picks up to 20 knots or more you will still feel very much like you are sailing but in lighter winds it can be rather sedate.
There is also a difference between boats and size does have an effect. When I sail my PDQ32 it feels like driving a sports car compared to my Leopard 38 that is more sedan like.
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Old 13-06-2008, 21:59   #8
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A lot people associate the heel of the boat with sailing. If that is the case, you definitely don't feel like you are sailing as much.

But on the other hand if you associate time on the water or working the rigging with sailing, then no, not too much difference.

There are always trimarans. I don't know that much about them, have never been on one, but I know from reading their limit is about 15 degrees off center. So, less heeling but still some.
I sailed on a few F boats before buying our Dragonfly.
The F boats heel more (maybe 10 to 15 degrees) than our DF1000 but they are faster. If we're heeling ten degrees, it's time to reef! The F boats up to the 31 are however more of a "camping out" boat with outboard motor, alcohol stove etc. Of course, the interior accomodations have little to do with the amount of heeling.

Our Dragonfly loves to sail to weather and will tack in less than one knot of wind without going into irons. It's similar to sailing a great big dinghy. We can do 5 knots on a close reach when there's virtually no evidence of wind on the water's surface, and true wind speed or better on a reach.

True, there is less feel in the wheel steering than a mono, but I can still dial it in to sailing upwind without the autopilot if I pay attention to sail trim.

The bottom line? I still like sailboats of all designs and still own a Capri 14.2k sailing dinghy, but for several reasons, I'd never go back to sailing a monohull except for daysails.

My experience has been that trimarans are generally more slanted towards sailing performance whereas cats are more oriented to interior acoutrements.

Steve B.
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Old 14-06-2008, 11:32   #9
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Isbolik,

I just posed this very ??? on your other link.
A cat can give you more room for the length but... as you already know, ... everything is a compromise.

mm
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Old 14-06-2008, 15:13   #10
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My experience has been that trimarans are generally more slanted towards sailing performance whereas cats are more oriented to interior acoutrements.
That does seem to match the conventional view, at least for ones over about 30 or so feet.

My rationale for mentioning trimarans (aside from a general interest sparked by Chris White and recently fueled by Searunners) is that boats tend to be classed as Monohulls and Multihulls.

Multihull meaning proper Catamarans, catamarans with a spare hull but only 1/2 the space and catamarans with mismatched hulls that sail funny.

In terms of motion though, a tri might be the (or rather, a) happy medium.
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Old 14-06-2008, 17:06   #11
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Regardless of the number of hulls, boats vary from spartan to luxurious, from staid to wildly exciting, from cheap to gold-plated from fragile to bullet-proof, etc. Differentiating cats and tris on the basis of any of these continua is going to net you a few catcalls. But looking at the boats built and sold in the last 15 years, its safe to say that trimarans in general are more performance oriented, with light weight, dagger boards and and great sail area vastly outnumbering cruising tris, and even the superb Dragonflys are quite fast and weatherly compared to recent catamarans. Since the explosion in popularity of charter cats, the proportion of performance catamarans to compare with the excitement of tris like the Farriers is very small indeed, limited to low production numbers from Catana, Outremer, et al.

Yes, trimarans are most likely to be more exciting rides, catamarans are more likely to have room for dancing.

While we love to talk about 70's era trimarans, they do not represent a large percentage of multihulls today.

The very best ride on a floating platform is on a self-propelled oil-rig. The most exhilerating ride today is on an A cat (which weighs 160 pounds TOTAL and screams in a 10 knot breeze.) The absolute dullest ride I've every had was downwind, under a spinnaker, in 6 knots on my PDQ 36. autopilot on. two bow bunnies playing cards on the tramp, stereo playing something uninteresting, nothing new to read, and nothing to fix. Still better than a lot of things I could have had to do.
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Old 14-06-2008, 19:20   #12
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The absolute dullest ride I've every had was downwind, under a spinnaker, in 6 knots on my PDQ 36. autopilot on. two bow bunnies playing cards on the tramp, stereo playing something uninteresting, nothing new to read, and nothing to fix. Still better than a lot of things I could have had to do.
Yeah, I could live with dull like that.
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Old 14-06-2008, 19:38   #13
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Regardless of the number of hulls, boats vary from spartan to luxurious, from staid to wildly exciting, from cheap to gold-plated from fragile to bullet-proof, etc. Differentiating cats and tris on the basis of any of these continua is going to net you a few catcalls.
We really have to start being careful how we phrase our questions around here IMHO.

"Do you compromise Sailing Enjoyment With a Cat" on its face is confrontational and requires answers to be judgemental.

Sandy nailed it. Every single boat is different. Most boats are built for different purpose.

I wouldn't sail a Westsail 32 around the cans on Friday night and I would take a J24 to Tahiti.

Within the cat community I wouldn't take a Nacra to Tahiti and I might not take a Lagoon 42 around the cans.

In terms of "enjoyment" (to the original question) everyone enjoys something different. I honestly don't like hanging from the rigging of a Taipan at 8+ knots with one hull in the air. Ok, sometimes I do - but I wouldn't buy that boat because that's not what I like to do most.

I love mono's but my realistic use for a boat will be a regional floating condo that is at anchor +80% of the time.

If you have the right boat that you love, doing the type of sailing you want to do, then no boat would be a comromise.

Now excuse me I have to head off to the Sturgis motorcycle rally on my moped...
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Old 14-06-2008, 20:17   #14
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Mea culpa.
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Old 16-06-2008, 17:01   #15
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To me sailing enjoyment is related to performance. Mono or multi, the more cruising oriented a boat gets, the bigger, fatter, heavier, and less responsive it is likey to be. I don't really think the number of hulls is a factor here. I don't think it neccessarily relates to size either. have a look here:

There are some seriously BIG boats here, both mono and multi, but I'd say any one of them would be an absolute blast for a day's sailing.
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