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Old 25-01-2008, 17:48   #106
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These more recent posts have been very comforting. See, I was just sitting here getting a little nervous about the switch to the cat for the following reason:

I remember this stretch of water between Block Island, Montauk and Newport, RI. I'm sure many of you know it. It's always uncomfortable because the seas are usually confused and the wind is usually strong. Winds come strong from the West, while swells come from Africa/Azores (to New England). These mix outside Newport to create some nastly little crud.

My old Gulfstar used to chop those down like a riding lawn mower. Its 13 tons would part the choppy, confused seas and move like a train too... just little jerky motions, but smooth for the most part.

I was worring today that the cat wouldn't be good in situations like this due to its light weight. I think it weighs somewhere around 6 tons or so. Will this affect my ability to sit still in rough seas as compared to the old Gulfstar?

I mean... will a 6 ton cat be thrown about relative to a 13 ton mono, or is there something about the geometry that will keep the cat from being tossed around?

I know in mono (of all types, power, sail), displacement is your key to stability in rough weather. I'm a little nervous about bobbing around on such a light boat. Any insight?
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Old 25-01-2008, 18:33   #107
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Lots of banter here. I will tell you of my experience in an all comers race from the breakwater of Hilo Bay to the fishing buoy (9 miles out) and back. I skippered the windward leg in an International Folkboat (26 feet) and we out performed a 42 foot cat all the way out. Once round the buoy they beat us back in by a whole bunch by using a cruising chute. We didn't have a spinnaker. They still would have beat us.

I don't like cats for many reasons but the most significant is the same reason I don't like tris. The motion to me is unnerving. I can't get our club's Wharram 23 cat to tack without coming to a stanstill and backwinding the jib. Other cats probably perform better but I can't help being prejudiced. I just am.

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Old 25-01-2008, 18:57   #108
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In that video the winds may have be blowing a gale but the seas were more like long swells... no?
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Old 25-01-2008, 19:07   #109
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I know in mono (of all types, power, sail), displacement is your key to stability in rough weather. I'm a little nervous about bobbing around on such a light boat. Any insight?
There is a huge variation in the displacement among catamarans. Our Privilege 39 came out of the factory weighing over 16,000 pounds, and with everything on board with full live aboard cruising gear, we weighed in at 20,000 pounds. We didn't make any attempt to keep our cat light because we planed to sail at cruising monohull speeds. Owners who keep their cats light will have substantially different motion and behavior when sailing in choppy or rough conditions than owners who have much heavier cats.

We also had long keels approximately ten feet in length with a draft of around four feet when loaded with cruising gear. Those long keels impart directional stability to the boat in rough conditions as well as increasing the wetted surface.

Just like in monohulls, some catamarans are designed for speed and performance (keeping the boat light,of course), and some are designed for comfort and cruising. I think it's a mistake to generalize about the behavior of catamrans in a sea way. Design, displacement, keels, loading, sail area, and how the boat is salled make a massive difference in the behavior of a catamaran in rough conditions.

If you are going to be happy with a catamaran, you need to decide what is most important to you. Price, speed, comfort, strength, quality of construction and finish, etc.

Just going out a buying a catamran based on price is a mistake. Decide first what you want in a cat, and then find the ones that fill the bill.

In my monohull days, I was a heavy displacement sailor with a Westsail 32 that weighed ten tons, and I wanted a heavy displacement catamaran that I knew would handle rough conditions, and so I chose a Privilege 39. I was not disappointed. I knew that I was taking a family of four around the world, and our boat was going to be heavy, and I was happy with that.

If you want to be happy with a catamaran, you must decide ahead of time exactly what is most important to you about your prospective boat. Decide on your compromises, and then pick out at cat that is the best fit.
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Old 25-01-2008, 19:20   #110
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In that video the winds may have be blowing a gale but the seas were more like long swells... no?
I am assuming you are talking about the Warp Speed Video on Maxingout.com.

In that particular gale, there were 18 foot moderately steep seas coming straight up the stern with very little breaking. The following seas slid under the bridgdeck between the two hulls, and we never took any water on board. There was also a cross swell coming on the beam from a distant Atlantic storm, and the swells from the west were nearly as tall as the following seas, but they were quite spread out.

The cross seas didn't bother us in the catamaran, but the monohulls had a problem with rolling.
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Old 26-01-2008, 06:56   #111
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Another down side

Here's another down side than jealous mono sailors looking to pick a fight hardly ever mention.

Shhhhhhh, don't tell them!

Flying huge symmetrical chutes on a cat is so butt stupid simple that a skipper can get lulled into a false sense of security and fall asleep - even during a gybe.

Dave
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Old 27-01-2008, 12:06   #112
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Ok, in my reading on this forum, I came across another issue I was curious about:

What about slamming at anchor?

Will a Prout Snowgoose or PDQ or Catalac slam at anchor? I plan to anchor waaay out (4-6nm) and there is typically a couple mile fetch where I anchor.

Does anyone do this with a cat, and what are the limitations in terms of weather?

I like to stay put at an anchorage with 2 miles of fetch, 40-50 (sometimes 60mph) winds, and 4 foot, steep chop.

Can these smaller (35ish) cruising cats handle this type of anchorage?

OR...

Am I looking at this incorrectly because my last boat had a 5'5" draft and with 3' of draft, it will open up new anchorages I have never even noticed on my charts?
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Old 27-01-2008, 12:21   #113
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I like to stay put at an anchorage with 2 miles of fetch, 40-50 (sometimes 60mph) winds, and 4 foot, steep chop.
Why do you want to do that? Is the water that shallow? Seems your problem would be holding before slamming.

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Old 27-01-2008, 12:37   #114
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Why do you want to do that? Is the water that shallow? Seems your problem would be holding before slamming.

Dave
Because I'm not your typical boater guy. I don't use docks. I live aboard and live way the heck out there... at anchor away from the regulations of the inner harbors. These conditions come up probabaly a few times a month when fronts/storms, etc... pass by. I need a boat that can be comfortable in that.

Is this the achilles heel of the catamaran?

Inability to anchor in severe conditions?

No, my Gulfstar Hirsh never dragged a bit in 2 years of living in these conditions once a month or so. 200" of 3/8" chain and a 45lb CQR kept us nice and safe.

Lastly, when you say that holding would be my problem, is that another downside to the cats? High windage making you drag in these conditions when my mono would have just sat there comfortably?
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Old 27-01-2008, 13:07   #115
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An anchor and chain doesn't know the difference between a cat and a mono. A cat typically has more windage, but lower mass. For the increased windage you might need a bigger hook, but there is no achilles heel to a cat, IMHO. Your achilles heel may be your anchoring preferences. You will get into trouble WAY sooner than "typical boater guys" and in my humble opinion, no boat will be comfortable in the conditions you describe.

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Old 27-01-2008, 13:20   #116
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Our old boat is 40 foot and @12 tonnes of steel, and it certainly wouldn't be comfortable in the conditions you describe Sean. There are probably going to be some times when your 45 foot mono would have been more comfortable than the Prout - remember you are dropping 9 feet of LOA here. But almost always the Prout will be more comfortable than a similar sized mono would. Also the cat will give you the opprtunity to anchor closer in, and hopefully avoid the worst of those conditions.
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Old 27-01-2008, 14:57   #117
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Hi, SSulivan - The benefit of a cat in the situation you describe is that it won't roll at anchor the way a mono would. You should always make sure a cat has ample bridge deck clearance, IMHO. 1" per foot of beam is one rule of thumb. Where are you talking about, anyway?
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Old 27-01-2008, 16:15   #118
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Thanks for the respones, guys. I wanted to respond to each:

2Hulls: My 45' mono was indeed comfortable in those situations, although we would hobby horse up and down a little. See, the LWL of the boat would always be longer than the distance from crest to crest in the short chop that builds in this situation. The boat would sit mostly still while spray flies off the bow. This wasn't uncomfortable to me, but my concern is that a solid foredeck (the only kind I can afford on a cat) might smack the chop, as some poster somewhere else in this board on an old thread was talking about. I don't "get into trouble" at all. I simply sit there and ride out the mess until it ends in the monohull.

Since you're new here, and we haven't formally met, I should probably fill you in. I lived "Walden style" on a 45' mono for the past 2.5 years at anchor with my wife. The Gulfstar could easily deal with those conditions and could have easily withstood more. They aren't that crazy, really. Just normall weather when strong fronts, thunderstorms or tropical storm remnants come through the North East USA. I sold the boat because it was too expensive. We took docks in the winter months (to the dock in November and back out in April). Other than this, we were at anchor in vairous places in the Northeast. You guys have pretty gnarly thunderstorms where you are... haven't you ever been anchored out in one that gusts to 50mph? Not all that uncommon, really. Florida guys know what I'm talking about too, I think. It's a fact of life if you live on the water and are away from the marinas all the time.

Whatever weather develops, you're in it.

44'CruisingCat: Yes, I see what you mean. I was thinking that my entire approach to anchoring may change with the cat. I was looking at the chart and there are places I hadn't even noticed, due to draft constraints that I could tuck a cat into. I was hoping this might be the case. It would be nice to know I can weather rough stuff in the cat as well as the old mono, but the ability to squeak into more secluded shallow anchorages (which are ususally better protected) may just make up for the fact that I can't sit there half way out to sea and get pounded.


BigCat: Thanks for the rule of thumb. I have no clue what the Prout Snowgooses have for clearance. I know they're not the ultimate in design from all my recent reading, but my hope is they will be comfortable when it gets rough. Any knowledge of what those boats have for clearance? BTW: I'm talking about the opposite coast from you.... Maine. This is where I'll be living aboard 100% of the time at anchor, and they do NOT let you anchor in the main harbors for the summer without getting all on your case. I have to anchor outside harbors and in "bays" or "sounds" and such. Make sense?

So that's it. I just want to be sure before I make the big leap here. Bouncing ideas off you guys has been very helpful. Thank you very much for all the help, even when I have a million questions.
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Old 28-01-2008, 06:45   #119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssullivan View Post
Ok, in my reading on this forum, I came across another issue I was curious about:

What about slamming at anchor?

Will a Prout Snowgoose or PDQ or Catalac slam at anchor? I plan to anchor waaay out (4-6nm) and there is typically a couple mile fetch where I anchor.

Does anyone do this with a cat, and what are the limitations in terms of weather?

I like to stay put at an anchorage with 2 miles of fetch, 40-50 (sometimes 60mph) winds, and 4 foot, steep chop.

Can these smaller (35ish) cruising cats handle this type of anchorage?
In those kind of conditions you'd wanna hide behind something.., You're waay gnarlier than most if you wanna anchor 4 - 6 nm miles away from land. How are those dinghy rides in to shore when it's 5 below air temps and blowing like stink and you're out of provisions, etc.? I would guarantee that you're gonna slam on 4 ft "steep" chop and you'll also be hobby horsing. Why not anchor in closer? You're not utilizing one of the finer characteristics of a catamaran - shallow draft. Sounds like you would be best in a submarine - but be careful of your depth.
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Old 28-01-2008, 10:05   #120
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In those kind of conditions you'd wanna hide behind something.., You're waay gnarlier than most if you wanna anchor 4 - 6 nm miles away from land. How are those dinghy rides in to shore when it's 5 below air temps and blowing like stink and you're out of provisions, etc.? I would guarantee that you're gonna slam on 4 ft "steep" chop and you'll also be hobby horsing. Why not anchor in closer? You're not utilizing one of the finer characteristics of a catamaran - shallow draft. Sounds like you would be best in a submarine - but be careful of your depth.
Ha ha ha... yes... we are known to be a little gnarly. People were pretty amazed to see us doing what looks like those videos of the Coast Guard "breaking wave training" in our little Achilles dinghy in those conditions coming in to the town docks. ha ha

But you're right. I think I'm looking at it through old monohull eyes. We probably don't have to be out as far with the shallow draft. I'm hoping there are some little nooks here and there that I can get into with the cat that I would never have dreamed about taking the mono into.

To be honest, I was seriously considering a commercial type vessel instead so I could be more stable at anchor way out. The cat sort of came up and seemed like something with cheaper operating expenses than a larger vessel and also like something I could use differently than the mono - getting into small anchorages.

Also, it's not really that I choose to go to anchor in those conditions. I am just *always* at anchor and whatever the weather gods decide they want to dish up is what I have to anchor through, if that make sense.
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