With so much discussion of weight issues related to batteries, ect. on a multihull
, I thought this quote from Nick Harvey of Lagoon USA would be of interest. It's from the latest issue of Cruising World. In response to catamaran
"At frist the premise was speed," he says, "but as hulls have evolved, they've widened. Even though they have a slower top speed, the boats can now go faster in rough weather
and maintain faster average speeds on long passages." The payoff, Nick says, comes in "comfort, space, and storage
capacity, especially for extended cruising
This really makes sense to me. Traveling below theoretical hull speed
is a low energy proposition. A barge does pretty well below hull speed
. Energy requirement goes exponental above hull-speed although to a less extent for a narrow hull. It seems even thin hulled cats need a huge SA/displ ratio to maintain speeds above hull speed. By most nonsalesman reports (even see this months Lattitudes and Attitudes) fast catamarans still generally sail passages just near theoretical hull speed. There was a great article in CW I believe, a while back, answering the question of what kind of boat makes the fastest passage
? Their conclusion was that only the waterline length
was predictive of passage
times not mono vs multi (of course you could push a Gunboat 48 to an 11 knot
average but would you really want to cruise
that way). You can't push a fast, over-powered multihull
without constant pitchpole worry. Fast passages are only as calm and comfortable, for given weather
, as your water
line length allows. Read some of Bob Oram's articles.
I discussed the wide hull/good average passage speed issue with a multihull designer
that makes a very lightweight, boxy cat with skinny hulls and he says wide, heavy cats can only be dogs
period. I don't believe the tests of the Lagoon 500, 440, 410 and Sunreef 60 support his view.
1. Lagoon 410-S2 Esmeralda finished second on corrected time ARC
2. L570 won ARC
3. L500 quote from Multihull World:
To my surprise, even though I
wouldn’t call it a lively boat, it is
enjoyable to sail and accelerates
well. After several days’ sailing
aboard, I was particularly
impressed by its performance in
light airs: close-hauled, with
just six knots of true wind
were making 3 knots at a very
respectable angle to the wind
must be said that special care
was taken with the underwater
lines and the appendages, to
guarantee good performance on
all points of sailing, in any wind
4. Sunreef 60 Mission, won 1st place in the Grand Prix Del Antlantico Race
in a corrected time and 3rd in a real time! The maximum speed of 21.4 knots achieved by Mission (by the max wind speed of 42 knots) was a record
and even exceeded the speed of Volvo
60 Cantabria. The average Mission's speed was 9-10 knots.
5. Mulit-World test of L440; As with all comfortable cruising catamarans,
the 440 needs at least fifteen to twenty
knots of breeze to come to life. Under these
conditions, cruising speed is an effortless 8-
9 knots, to exceed 10 knots needs more
wind. "We had from 10 to 30 knots of
wind and made Palma in 8 days from La
Rochelle.We were often at 11 to 13 knots (in
25 – 30 knots of wind, under main and gennaker)
with a record
of 17.6 knots)".
Sorry I'll stop now.
Give me, low cost, lots of room, stability and a 7-8 knot
average passage speed and I will do fine.
So load on those lead batteries and let's go electric cruising!