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Old 30-12-2010, 09:31   #1
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Does Size Matter ?

I keep reading in various places, that for a couple that want to embark into extended cruising, the maximum size cat should be 38 or maybe 40 ft. This having to do with being able to handle things, sails, etc.
To me it seems somewhat unlogical, as that sort of size usually has a payload of max 2000kgs, which is not a lot. Also, I would imagine the wave motion of this size cat is not as pleasant as say a 44/45 footer?
Any sensible comments here?

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Old 30-12-2010, 09:54   #2
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2000kgs takes up a lot of space... I imagine clothes for 2 will be max 200kgs... food.. even for a crossing 300kgs... that leaves 1500kgs for water, fuel, dinghy O/B, dive gear compressor and generator... anything I missed..
Oh... I don't know about today and where cats are concerned but for many years 37fts been regarded as the optimum size for short handed voyaging re comfort of motion/ease of handling... maybe there's a subconcious correlation when moving to 'Cats'.....
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Old 30-12-2010, 10:07   #3
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I actually compiled a "pay load list", which does include literally everything, even DVD´s, herbs and spices, spare anchors and lines, spares, life raft, etc. etc. Looked lots of weights up on internet to be failry exact.
Based on having a watermaker (also in the list at 35 kgs)), 400 litres of water and 500 litres of fuel I come to just over 2.000 kgs.
But 2.000 kilos on a 38 ft (or even 40ft) catamaran, will certainly have an impact on the performance I imagine?
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Old 30-12-2010, 10:08   #4
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my wife has at least 1,000 kgs in shoes alone.

a good general rule of thumb, regardless of the number of hulls: Don't cruise anything with a larger mainsail than you can lift unassisted. (And if you can lift it now, ask yourself whether you'll be able to lift it ten years from now.)
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Old 30-12-2010, 10:10   #5
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I really don't see how handling a 46' cat isn't just as doable with 2 people. My wife and I will be on a 38' in a week just the two of us, so we'll be able to compare, but we did spend a day on a 46' alone and it was manageable. If we had electric winches it would have been a breeze.
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Old 30-12-2010, 10:10   #6
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Thats as good a rule as I've heard anywhere... good one Bash..
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Old 30-12-2010, 10:16   #7
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Haha! Bash, she must be my wife´s sister!!
Very true statement about the weight of a sail. I currently have a 40 ft monohull and there I can just about do everything myself. My friend, who has a 50 ft monohull, always needs help to put sails up etc. Just imagine having to take down a sail in a choppy sea or ocean on a 50 footer with just me and my darling wife..... I somehow foresee issues.
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Old 30-12-2010, 10:17   #8
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I'm not sure where you have read that the maximum size should be '38 or maybe 40' feet' ; in fact, there are some who suggest that 40 feet is the minimum for safe, comfortable cruising. In my opinion, the issue has much less to do with LOA - and certainly there are many couples who are happily, comfortably and safely cruising on cats of 45 feet, as you suggest, and quite a bit larger.

All else being equal, yes the payload will increase, as will the accomodation, storage, speed and stability. However, all else is rarely equal. Some 38 or 40 foot cats will have a more comfortable motion (and in particular, more bridgedeck clearance) than some 45 footers; some will also have more stability (considering CE of the sailplan, CG of the hulls, beam) and some better performance (lighter and with more slender hulls, a higher Cp and/or a higher SA/D, boards versus LARS keels).

All boats are compromises and, rather than fixating upon LOA, I would suggest that you look for a boat that best meets your needs, regardless of whether it is 38 feet or 48. Yes, larger boats typically have greater SA's but with proper winches and running rigging, most modern 48 foot cats are quite capable of being handled by a reasonably fit couple.

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Old 30-12-2010, 10:20   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maytrix View Post
I really don't see how handling a 46' cat isn't just as doable with 2 people. My wife and I will be on a 38' in a week just the two of us, so we'll be able to compare, but we did spend a day on a 46' alone and it was manageable. If we had electric winches it would have been a breeze.
I suppose its down to how you view it.. for two people most would buy a 2 bed apartment... others would opt for a 4bed... easy to maintain...
on a boat the same rule = a lot of work in comparison to maintain operate.. dealing with a boat on a charter is one thing.. your there and gone over a very short time... as a lifestyle its a different ball game..
Used to meet ex-pats on the Costa who'd been holidaying in the town for years and had absolutely loved it so bought a villa and moved there...
more often than not they'd ended up hating the place and were selling up and going home.. same sorta principle..
And I cant see it affecting performance that much unless you plan on racing in which case don't load it for cruising..
I know they set a max.. but I'm pretty sure you could go another 500kg without worry... apart from where you put it.. balance is important.
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Old 30-12-2010, 10:33   #10
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You don't think 2000kgs is much? Erm, thats heavier than the average family car for heavens sake! If there's just the two of you, I really cant see the point of going bigger. A 40ft Cat has A LOT of room already and you'd just be paying for extra you don't need. Factor in extra costs for slips, etc. and it wastes even more money.

You'll find the average comfortable size for a cruising monohull is 35-40ft so for a cat that's plenty.

I'm personaly looking onto buying a cat at the moment and have seen some 30ft models that have tons of space and are very 'liveable'.
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Old 30-12-2010, 10:37   #11
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I have some circumnavigate friends that sailed far and wide in their huge, self built, 45'er. They couldn't possibly hoist the huge roached mainsail without the electric winch that operated ALL of the halyards. Since they couldn't raise the anchor either, without electric assist, it never became an issue. (He is a one legged guy in his mid 60s, and she is a mid 50s tall Dutch woman.)

They have since downsized to a 42' tri, because they prefer tris, but mainly because the money from the cat's sale, now finances their cruising. BIG CATS ARE EXPENSIVE!

If you have the bucks, and appropriate manual assist... go for it. It will, however, cost more exponentially... to own, maintain, and cruise. What you get for this is a bit more payload, and a 10% nicer motion at sea. That's about all.

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Old 30-12-2010, 10:41   #12
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Boatman, I think you are right - to a degree. I assume that Catcruiser is not interested in more staterooms, but rather more payload, amenities and comfort - all of which would be available on a larger boat which is an 'owner's version', rather than a charter version with additional staterooms and heads.

Yes, electric winches can assist (especially with respect to raising the mainsail); frankly, even on most current 38 foot cats with fractional rigs and large, flat-top mains one is probably going to need an electric winch in order to comfortably raise such a large sail (some make use of the anchor windlass, which in a pinch can also be used manually).

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Old 30-12-2010, 10:51   #13
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2000 kgs is a lot??

@Simonmd: no, 2000 kilos isn´t much. Just compile a little list for yourself and BE HONEST about what you would want to bring. We are talking about a boat being your house for the next 5 years or so.
Here is my list, with in my mind nothing really out of the ordinary on it whatsoever. In fact, it is rather conservative I think.
It comes to 2275 kgs.

Payload items
KG
Me & wife fully clothed+ me withmany coins in wallet ;-)
170
Water
500
Extra drinking water in 8 litres plastic bottles
40
Extra battery + solar panels
75
Watermaker (30 ltr/hr) + cables
35
Fuel (500 ltrs)
300
Dinghy fuel
15
Food and drinks
200
Personal items + clothes (2 persons)
200
Charts + pilots + books
50
Spare anchors (2) + chains + warps
100
Spares and tools
100
Spare sails + screecher
50
Safety equipment (Epirb,flares)
15
Faul weather gear
20
Outboard (Suzuki / Yamaha 2,5 HP)
20
Dinghy Aquapro
30
Spare dinghy (Plastimo P180)
13
Kitchen stuff, pots, pans cutlery
20
Spare ropes, lines, blocks, etc
75
Electronics + cables
25
Flatscreen TV + bracket
7
Laptop / cameras / CD's / DVD
15
Life raft ISO9650 4p container
35
Fishing and diving gear
15
Motor oils, filters & spares
25
Grab bag
10
Generator Mastervolt GPX5 12V
85
Washing machine (small size).
30
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Old 30-12-2010, 10:57   #14
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Bigger boats add bigger ongoing costs so that seems to be a real world limiting factor. Most people can handle a bigger boat on the water than they can in close quarters. The on going work of the larger boat increases too. Experience and skill plus special features can make handling a bigger boat easier or the other way around. The mobility of captain and crew often forces other choices.

We have many friends cruising into their late 70's. A club member sold his boat last year once he turned 85. He quit flying 5 years before that. He is more exception than rule of thumb. Only WWII bomber pilot to fly back from a mission with his crew in a different plane than they left in.

People are very different and motivation needs to match reality to continue to cruise as one gets older. Some do it masterfully. It is a tad easier if you have 35 years of experience.

For the less experienced I feel the rule is the smallest big boat you can handle and fit all your crap into. I think it works for all types of boats. You need more experience to be able to handle much larger boats and still have it be mostly fun. When it isn't fun there is a serious disconnect.
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Old 30-12-2010, 11:01   #15
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Shoot... thats a lotta water and fuel....
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