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Old 21-10-2007, 14:37   #31
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To David.M

The hulls are made from carbon on the Gunboat as far as i know
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Old 21-10-2007, 14:42   #32
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Thanks for the info FastCat. I do like the concept of being able to completely remove your mechanical propulsion system from the water when it is not needed

Very good billy..

I think the same may apply to electric drives. You can have lots of electric power or you can have it light....but you can't have both. You still need the weight of multiple lead acid batteries and a genset to power at least 80% or so of the power an electric drive to be realistic about things. I think it would really stink to have to motor against a current only to find out your batteries have depleted to the point where your genset does not have enough power to push you against the current. Or to have to get into a harbor on a windy day while being pushed towards the rocks only to find out the same about your genset not having enough power to counter your set against the rocks.

Where I live, 5 knot currents and 35 knot winds are a pretty common occurrence.

I wonder where the curves cross between between the horsepower to weight ratio of an electric drive and the horsepower to weight ratio of a diesel? I would guess a 50 HP diesel is going to have a higher horsepower to weight ratio than a 50 HP electric drive.

A 20 HP genset has a pretty darn big motor..and then to use that motor to turn another large propulsion motor adds up to a lot of weight. So in a sense electric drives are sort of self defeating if you are trying to save weight.
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Old 21-10-2007, 17:31   #33
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Nice Video to watch , Peter Johnstone builds great cats at a reasonable price. I know what I am talking about $ 2.400.000 is not a lot for a cat of that quality built in prepreg carbon fiber. I know you can get cats in the same size for about 60 % of this prize but look at the quality of these , and double the weight , half the performance.
He definately fills a niche in the Market with the 66 and 48 ft gunboat

Getting speeds like this is no problem with a performance cruising cat,you have to watch and hold your lines .
With My St Francis 48 I have on many occasions sailed well over 22 knots but always on flat water. With the Fastcat 435 my top speed was 26.9 knots also on flat water and 33 knots of wind 100 degrees app.
With the Green Motion version we expect top beat that wit 2 to 3 knots for 2 reasons . 15 % less weight and no resistance from saildrives etc.
I'm surprised how heavy the Gunboats actually are, considering their price, and the use of exotics.
You could have a boat CUSTOM BUILT in Duflex here in Australia, for around half that price (or less) that would certainly be no heavier.
For example the Gunboat 48 weighs 10.2 tonnes (cruising) - an Oram 50C ( Bob Oram Design 50′ C ) has a cruising displacement of 9.5 tonnes.
The gunboat 66 displaces 18 tonnes max, while the Oram 60C is 11.2 tonnes. ( Bob Oram Design 60′ C )

This boat ( Bob Oram Design 62′ C ) was custom built by Streamline catamarans ( Streamline Catamarans: Home ) For a heck of a lot less than a Gunboat.
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Old 22-10-2007, 10:39   #34
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Interesting...they could build a carbon or e-glass/kevlar hull plus provide all the rigging, hardware and amenities for less? How? Is Gunboat building in a large profit margin? Isn't the labor less in South Africa? Doesn't Australia have relatively high taxes for imported materials? How much of a price difference? I'm not doubting you, I am just wondering why.
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Old 22-10-2007, 15:02   #35
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That's my point - the Oram (and Schionning etc) boats are not carbon, they are built of Duflex, but they are just as light or lighter. They are also extremely stiff and strong. And much cheaper.
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Old 22-10-2007, 22:13   #36
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Using carbon has its advantages but there are also many disadvantages.
It is brittle , if you hit something chances are that you will make a hole in your boat .
It is electrically conductive a lightning hit might result in delamination.
The cost is very high , at present over $ 60,00 per kilo
It also makes a very loud boat in noise.
We are starting to make many parts of our cats in Basalt fibre , stronger than glass
sound dampening. more forgiving than carbon in case of damage and 75 % llower cost.
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Old 22-10-2007, 22:22   #37
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Hallo David M
we do not use Lead acid batteries pref we use lithium phospate or if a customer wants to spend less money AGM,
The power coming form a electric motor is measured at the drive shaft and there are no losses like transmissions,oil and water pumps , alternators etc.
We get 8.5 knots speed out of 2 x 9.6 Kw electric motors while in the same cat and the same weight with 2 x 29 Hp yanmars we achive 8.2 knots.
We save weigh in our electric drive over diesel/saildrive propulsion the main reason is that we need to carry less fuel to cover a given distance with both.
The diesel version carry 600 liters of diesel max to cover 1500 NM while the electric version uses 400 liters for the same distance.
Our electric version weights 240 kilo less than the diesel powered version and the weight is in better locations closer to the centre of gravity making it a more comfortable and safer and a very silent boat.
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Old 07-11-2007, 03:46   #38
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Multihulls are subject to rather more prejudicial comments than monohulls, because of two reasons, it seems to me.
The first reason is extreme conservatism in matters nautical. I believe this has been noted on this forum and on many others I have read.

The second reason is ignorance of the statistics relating to the safety of multihulls. I could be charitable and suggest this lack of knowledge is just unfortunate, but I won't!

Far too many people who badmouth multihulls, do so because they are rumour mongers who delight in being the bearers of bad karma.

I offer, in evidence of this statement, the reaction that this post will surely bring, but before you all pick up your pens, so to speak, why not read the FAQs at

FrequentlyAskedQuestions

In fact, I'll make it easy and point out that the Gunboat 62 is praised very highly. BTW, all who those who have contributed positively to this thread and who like multihulls are excepted from my petty tirade.

Anchoring "Is it more difficult to set anchor for a cat, than with a monohull? What should I consider for scope and swing with the extra width of a cat? Does a cat swing differently?"

Anchoring a multihull is similar to anchoring a monohull. You should always use at least 5 times depth for scope, and use a bridle. Chain rode is standard on cruising cats, and every boat should have some type of plow, and some type of Danforth anchor. If it is windy, use much more scope. Rotating spars can cause boats to sail on their anchors, so attention should be paid to centering your mast at night.

Beaching
"Can I bring this thing up on a beach?"
This really depends on the boat, and where you are. If it is really sandy, the sea state is flat, and the bottom of your boat is designed for it, sure. If you have a big cruising cat, the only reason to beach it would be to do some type of repair, and should be well thought out. The last thing you want to do is strand your boat on a beach, and have to wait a month for a favorable tide cycle to get you off again.

Bridgedeck clearance
"What is the big deal about it? How much is enough?"

Bridgedeck clearance is a phrase that you will hear over and over when talking about catamarans, and wing clearance when talking trimarans. It is the distance off the water surface of the connections between the hulls (bridgedecks/wings). It is very important as it defines at what point the waves will connect with the underside of a boat, causing thunderous bangs, huge splashes, and in some rare events, capsizing. How much you need depends on the usage of your boat. If you venture offshore a lot, a significant amount, 2.5feet-4feet is ideal. For a near shore boat, less is okay, but expect those bangs and to get wet.

Cats vs Tris
"One guy in your company says trimarans are better. Another guy says cats are better. Which is faster? Which is safer? Which is better?"

Cats are better! Just kidding. Catamarans under 35 feet generally don’t have much interior space. Trimarans in this size range, while not huge either, offer some good accommodation in the center hull. Most small trimarans are easily trailerable, which is a huge benefit. Once boats reach a certain length, cats have tremendous space below and with the bridgedeck salon, more than double the same sized trimaran. Smaller trimarans are less likely to capsize then small cats. Bigger cats seem to have fewer incidents than bigger trimarans. Trimaran guys say the fastest boats in the world are the French ORMA 60’s, and Geronimo, Olivier de Keursesson’s mega tri. Cat guys will say that Playstation, Maiden (ex Club Med )and her sisters etc are fastest. Basically, you can spin it any way you like, but at this point it is very inconclusive which is really faster!

Chartering
"I read that Moorings will pay me to charter my boat. It is a great investment, right? We thought we would enter the charter business. We can pay for our boat in 1 year we figure?"

If chartering interests you, please read our detailed piece on it in our News and Events/Articles section. Sadly, most boats aren't a good investment. Moorings and many others offer a good program that offsets your cash outlay somewhat. You have to remember though, that you will end up with a very used ex charter boat when all is said and done. You need to like that boat a lot to start, and understand that well used ex-charter boats are very difficult to sell.

The average crewed charter boat does 5-8 charters if they are good the first year. At an average take of 8K after brokers and marketing is paid, you can offset your costs, but certainly not pay for the boat for at least 5-10 years.

Construction
"One company says that a sandwich boat is stronger and lighter. Another says solid hulls are much safer. Another says cold molded is best. What is the truth?"

In a perfect world, light is right. That means, unquestionably that an FRP (foam sandwich) is best, it is strong, and very safe, particularly because of the buoyancy of the foam. The issue is cost. Cold moulded hulls, essentially wood strips fiberglassed on both sides, are not bad. Still, a cold moulded boat is likely to be significantly heavier than an FRP. Solid hulls are pretty basic, and not too good for multihull construction. One French company makes solid hull boats, and offsets the inadequacies of the weight/performance by increasing the length. Thus their 55' version has the space of most other companies 43'.

Daggers or Keels?
"I am considering buying one of two boats - one has daggers and one has fixed keels. What are the pros and cons of each? What happens if I go aground? I've been told that daggers only help the boat to point, and that they are more work. Is this true?"

First, a simplified explanation of the physics of lift is in order. Any sailboat needs a foil in the water to transfer the energy provided by the sails into forward motion. Hydrodynamic research has conclusively proven that the most efficient foil is long and thin, called a high aspect ratio foil. To add a fixed keel to a multihull that provides an efficient foil is nearly impossible because of the depth it would require. Beaching, storing the boat out of the water, and the ability to go in shallow water would be all but eliminated. Thus, all higher performance multihulls have used daggerboards. Many people are under the impression that daggerboards only help the boat point. Due to the fact that they provide less/no drag, daggerboards add speed on all points of sail. It is also a good safety feature to be able to reduce daggerboards in heavy weather to allow the boat to "slide", thus keeping the boat from "tripping" on its underwater foils. Claims that boats with keels are faster than boats with daggers are simply not true. The same boat, same weight, same rig, etc will always be faster with well designed daggers than with keels.

For many people, owning a catamaran is about much more than simply sailing fast. For cruisers whose performance expectations are less, keels have their place. They simplify the boat, allow the boat a platform to beach the boat on, and give the boat a layer of protection on the hull's bottoms. Having the keels to rest the boat on is an advantage. Many boats with daggers have systems to rest the boat on that extend from the hulls, and Kevlar reinforcements on the bottoms. Still, the bottoms are more vulnerable to all but the softest grounding.

To summarize: daggers help performance, shallow water access, and weight. Keels provide safety from accidental grounding, simplify the sailing, and provide a place to rest the boat on the hard.

Docking issues
"That boat is 26' wide. My marina's slips are only 14'. They want to charge me for two slips. How do I find dockspace for a multihull?"
One of the wonderful things about a cruising multihull is that it provides great space and stability. The ideal place for storage in the water for a big multi is on a mooring. You really own your own private island. If you require a marina slip, you must ask for a side tie, a "T" dock, or an inside, shallower water slip. Generally these are less desirable to monohull owners, and ideal for multis.

Do multihulls flip?
"I read about these boats capsizing all the time. Are these things really safe?"
"What happens if they do flip over?"
"My monohull has 10K lbs. keel, what keeps this boat upright?"
"Why are there escape hatches if the boat is so safe?"

Cruising catamarans have a nearly flawless safety record. A well built, well designed boat is safer than its monohull cousins because of width, stability, and righting moment. Most cruising catamarans are unsinkable, and the foam core boats generally have enough flotation in the foam alone to keep the boat afloat many times over. Having enough speed in many cases to stay ahead of weather is another great safety bonus.

Racing catamarans and trimarans take calculated risks to push speeds to unbelievable levels. While these boats do end up upside down from time to time, rarely is anyone hurt.

While monohulls often roll back upright in a knockdown, that 10K keel will sink the boat like a stone if it fills with water. Even in the worst case scenario, an upside down multihull provides shelter until help comes. Escape hatches let crews access the cabin of a capsized boat. They are mandated by the coast guard.

Haulouts
"What's it going to take to get this thing out of the water?"
In some locations, hauling a cruising cat is a challenge. However, cranes do the job nicely and aren't any more expensive than the travel lift at a higher end yard. This is something to be sure about before bringing your new 80 footer home. In New England there are many travel lifts that can haul virtually any multihull. Playstation and Club Med were hauled out in Newport, and Team Adventure is in Portsmouth RI, out of the water as I write this. In the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, Tortola, St. Maarten, Antigua, Guadaloupe, Martinique and Trinidad are your best bets, and you can do short term in Bequia.

Heavy weather
"Tell me about sailing a multihull in a storm?"

In windy conditions, the first thing to consider is sail reduction, and slowing the boat down. Reef early. If there is any doubt, put in the reef now, you can always take it out. Practice reefing long before you ever need to know how to do it. Once it gets wild, speed is not your friend. If you get your sail area managed well, you should be able to sail along on auto pilot, stay out of the weather, and arrive safely. However, when in very unsettled, squally conditions, or really high wind, you are probably going to have to steer manually. This gets intense! On a monohull, generally you bring the boat up into the wind, heaving to, when things get unruly. The same is true in a multihull up to a point ,and catamarans and trimarans will sit on the wind fairly well. If you are heading off the wind, and there is room to leeward, it is probably better to go as deep as possible making sure not to crash gybe. However, you can’t afford to lose steerage, and potentially broach, which is the cause of most of the catastrophes in multi sailing. Many experienced captains recommend drougues to be dragged behind the boat, slowing you way down. Practice using the drougue if you own one. It is a huge effort, but worthwhile. Sea anchors are also a good idea. Deployed from the front of the boat, sea anchors allow you to stay pointing into the seas, but you make only ground backward and slowly when using one. Again, you should practice using the sea anchor. It is very important to get the leads secured equally on your bows or amas.

Recently, I entered Chesapeake Bay on a Catana 411 cruising cat coming from the Caribbean. The wind was on the nose, North West, and blowing up to 50knots. The seas were about 15feet, and with breaking surf. Steering manually, we essentially hove to for 8 hours, bearing off when possible to make headway. The boat speed would go from 2 knots to 12 knots instantly, and it was critical to watch the sea state to know when to heave to again. This was a very scary episode, and I was thankful to have very experienced crew. We had no options but to sail it out. Going downwind would have taken us back into the Gulf Stream, and the lee shore was very intimidating. At the end of the day, there was very little we could have changed, but with a good boat and a good crew, we stuck to it and got in undamaged.

Helm stations
"This one boat has its wheels on the sides, way out in the back. This other one has the helm on the back of the cabin. Now I see boats with wheels forward. Can't somebody figure this out?"

There are many pros and cons to different helm placement. Most cruisers use auto pilot a huge percentage of the time they are under sail, so the more the helm is out of the way, the better it is for cockpit ergonomics. Two steering stations are common, and in this arrangement are usually out on the rail of the boat. This position allows the helmsman good visibility, good view of the sails' trim, and good view of the sea state, which can be very useful in bad weather. However, this is a good place to get sunburned, or to freeze.

Bulkhead steering is also very common. The advantages here are proximity to the cabin, shelter from the weather, and allowing most boats to have only one helm. The disadvantages are not seeing as well.

Forward steering is popping up on some really exciting new boats. The advantages are good visibility, in most cases good protection, and the fact that the aft cockpit is freed up for living space. The disadvantages are in poorer designs the helm is really exposed to sun, wind and water, and visibility for docking can be precarious.

How big?
"I want to take my family of 12, three dogs, 7 TV's, and a recording studio. Is a 35' boat going to do it?"

Not even close! Cruising multihulls aren't for everyone. However, a reasonable list of requirements can be accommodated. As a rule, the more stuff you want, the bigger the boat needs to be. For the group above, see "Deuce France!"

How fast?
"I saw one of those things going by the beach the other day. We figured they were doing about 45mph. How fast do those things go anyway?"

Ask a salesman at a boat show how fast his boat goes. Divide by 2, and subtract 5. That is how fast his boat goes.

Playstation goes up to 40knots, and averaged 28plus knots on her Trans Atlantic record. A Corsair 31' trimaran goes 20 knots regularly, and will average 15 knots during an average regatta. A Gemini goes 7-8 knots, and averages 6-7 on a coastal cruise. A French or South African charter cat goes 8-10, and poorly upwind, and averages 8 using a fair amount of motor over a 24 hour passage. A Gunboat 62 will go 30 knots, and averages 275 miles a day on a weeks passage.

How much?
"We want a 65' boat with 6 cabins that goes 25 knots. Can you find me one for 75K?"

Sorry! There is an old saying. You can have 2, but not three of the following: great performance, great comfort, great price. Multihulls cost a little more on the average than their monohull cousins, but they are also bigger, faster, and safer.

Maintenance costs
"How much is it going to cost me to keep this thing going?"
There are standard conservative numbers for annual maintenance expense that derive from the value of the boat. Charter companies offering ownership programs and yacht yards have good statistical data, e.g. 5 percent of the value of the boat the first 3 years and then 10 percent thereafter. You can figure on at least one haul out a year. At that time you need to repaint your bottom, and check zincs and through hulls. Newer boats won't require much more expense than this. However, running rigging will need replacement every few years, sails every 5-8 years or more, engines every 4K hrs. I think with a 40' catamaran, you should expect to see expenses around $10,000.

One offs
"I have had a monohull for years, and I raced beach cats a couple of times. I designed my own catamaran, and want to build it here in Nebraska. What do you think it will be worth?'

Not too much! There are a whole lot of multihull one-offs around. Most of them border on worthless. Three keys to building a worthwhile one-off:

1. Use a top designer

2. Build at the highest standard, preferably at a well known yard

3. Keep the wacky stuff out of your design. Think about what someone who would buy a boat would want.

Rigs and sails
What is the ideal rig and sail set up for racing? For cruising? What does it depend on?"
Most modern multihulls share one thing, a big, fully battened often roachy main. There are different ways to make these sails easy to handle, from boom furling to collapsible battens for mast storage, to clever stack packs, lazy jacks and turtles. Seems confusing? If you are primarily a cruiser, your boat should have an easy reefing system, and a good halyard and stowage set up. On bigger boats, many people have electric winches to ease raising the main. Headsail setups are different, depending on your purposes. Many cruisingand charter multis just have a single, roller furling Genoa, which can be reduced simply by rolling up more of the sail. Another common headsail set up for cruisers is a working jib, usually called a solent, and which is often self tacking, and a sprit/screacher(aka gennaker, reacher) arrangement. This allows a good upwind- downwind combo, alleviates the need for a spinnaker, and the solent also works as a good downwind option in heavier weather. It would be common to see the addition of a spinnaker(either symmetric for deep off the wind, or asymmetric for higher, faster reaches), smaller working jib(spitfire, yankee), and a storm jib. On a racing boat, you will almost always see the main, solent, screacher, spinnaker, working jib combo. You also will likely see running back stays, rotators, cunninghams, vangs, etc, etc.

Shoal draft
"How little water can I get this boat into?"

Obviously, this goes back to the daggerboard versus keel discussion. An idea though is something like this. A Corsair boat can be brought up to the beach, and will float in about two feet of water. Most of the French and South African charter boats can get into 4 or 5 feet of water. It is likely that the better sailing boat it is, the more water it will require (with keels). A Catana, (which has daggers) will get into about 2.5-3.5 feet of water. Newer boats with lifting rudders, lifting daggers, and 45degree saildrives may get into 2 feet, even at 60plus feet LOA.

Systems
"For a cat, do I need two of everything?"

One of the reasons cruising cats are expensive is that many of them have two helms, lots of heads, two engines, etc. The good news is you only need one galley, one nav station, one autopilot, one set of rigging and mast.

Weight
"I want TV's in every cabin, air conditioning, washer dryer, dishwasher, etc., etc. Will this slow me down?"

Yes! Multihulls are extremely weight sensitive. If you want to go fast, you need to keep it simple. If you want to bring everything and go fast, you need a big boat. However, catamarans in particular have huge storage capacity and most cruising cats are designed to carry a reasonable amount of stuff. Where the weight is carried in a boat is very important as well. It needs to be centered, keeping the bows and sterns as light as possible. Trimarans have limited load carrying capability.

Windward performance
"I heard that these things don't sail at all to windward. My J boat tacks through 80 degrees, how can you possibly beat that upwind?"
Sadly for multihull fans, charter boats, which are the big majority of multihulls out there, sail very poorly to weather (see keels). Any J boat will smoke a Privilege or Lagoon upwind. However, well designed cruising boats with daggers, (Outremer, Catana, Grainger), etc will tack through 90-100 degrees, but will carry pretty good boat speed. Once you figure the VMG (vector made good), you would be right in there with a high performance monohull, but your sail would have been stable, flat, and that glass of wine you are drinking would still be upright on the table. Downwind and particularly on a reach, you will annihilate the J boat.

The next level, Corsairs, Gunboats, and other true performance multis will tack through the same 80 degrees as the J, go double digits in speed doing it, and will stay with the J long enough to wave goodbye at the J fades behind them in the first 5 minutes.

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Old 07-11-2007, 06:26   #39
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Pericles - I might quibble on the recommendtion to use a sea anchor at all (unless approaching a lee shore) but otherwise a good summary.

A small correction: VMG = velocity made good, not vector made good.

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Old 07-11-2007, 08:41   #40
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The next level, Corsairs, Gunboats, and other true performance multis will tack through the same 80 degrees as the J, go double digits in speed doing it, and will stay with the J long enough to wave goodbye at the J fades behind them in the first 5 minutes.
Have you ever raced a Corsair 28 against a Mumm 30, Schock 35, J33, Hobie 33 on a closed course?

Maybe you better check your numbers. Listed below are typical race results that we saw from years of racing. If the course is mostly reaching point to point in a breeze the nod goes to the multi otherwise the mono wins boat for boat most of the time.

You guys must all drink the same purple coolaid because I had one guy who sailed this very regatta swear up and down he beat all the monos boat for boat even when I showed him the actual finish times. I know you love your boats, we all love our boats, but you should try sailing places other then just that river in Egypt.

61st Annual Snow Flurries Regatta - Race RACE ONE

61st Annual Snow Flurries Regatta - Race RACE TWO

61st Annual Snow Flurries Regatta - Race RACE THREE
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Old 07-11-2007, 09:27   #41
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Joli - what kind of boats are represented in those results? It's not apparent.

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Old 07-11-2007, 09:45   #42
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Hello Dave,

The boats in the multi class are the usual suspects: F25, F27, F28, F31, Stiletto 27, and maybe one or two custom jobbies. Some are tricked out some are more stock. There is an unlimited 40 in the area but they did not race, they have a tough time keeping the boat together long enough to make it around the course.

Funny story, one guy I met at the bar after the regatta swore up and down he beat all the monos boat for boat. He is a many time F Boat national champ. I didn't look to see if he was drinking koolaid though.
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Old 07-11-2007, 10:15   #43
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OK, I thought you were talking about cruising boats. Those "usual suspects" aren't "usual cruising boats".

I think the real point from pericles' article he/she pasted in (I know I've read that article someplace else) was performance differences between cruising multis and crusing monos. Not racing boats or those principally used for racing.

Now, if you insist, I have absolutely no doubt that quite a few beach cats could clean plenty of clocks on a closed course with whatever mono you choose. But who really cares? It's apples and oranges and pointless except for those poor souls who need to boost their self esteem by winning an argument.

Dave
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Old 07-11-2007, 10:47   #44
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Dave,

Comments from Pericles:
("A Corsair 31' trimaran goes 20 knots regularly, and will average 15 knots during an average regatta")
("Corsairs, Gunboats, and other true performance multis will tack through the same 80 degrees as the J, go double digits in speed doing it, and will stay with the J long enough to wave goodbye at the J fades behind them in the first 5 minutes.")


Realitiy does not bear that out and it is the same observation I've made in 30 years of racing. I've posted typical race results, nothing more.

Look, for the most part the speed of a sail boat is dictated by the waterline length. It really doesn't matter the number of hulls.

The Caribbean 1500 is underway right now. There is a Gunboat 48 in the mix, they are pacing the other boat in its class. They will all arrive at about the same time since they are all about the same length. Does it matter? No. Personally, I would be thrilled to spend a winter in the islands on any one of these boats, cat or mono, makes no difference to me.
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Old 07-11-2007, 10:56   #45
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Winters cruising; summers Chesapeake Bay
Boat: Catana 471
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joli View Post
The Caribbean 1500 is underway right now. There is a Gunboat 48 in the mix, they are pacing the other boat in its class.......
.........and everybody has been motoring because the winds have been so light.
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