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Old 23-05-2008, 05:47   #1
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Happy with the Catalac

Well, the verdict is in.

Despite some initial reservations about the way a catamaran handles (bows popping out when motoring into the wind), I can safely say that the Catalac handles the rough slop *better* than my old Gulfstar and any of my past boats.

Yesterday, we had a line of rain come through by Cape May, NJ. The wind was strong (no instruments). My guess was 20-30knots, NOAA reported 30 knots with gusts to 40 in the small craft advisory statement.

I had the main up (no reef) and the 110% genoa up before the winds increased to that level. Well, the winds quickly built to that level and overpowered the boat. Waaaaay overpowered the boat. I was nervous for the first time. They were coming at an angle of reach or broad reach.

Because of the strength of the wind, the fact that it was coming from aft and filling the main and some commercial traffic, I couldn't reduce anything but the genoa for about 20 mins (main was full and under extreme pressure). I rolled in the 110 genoa and it created too much weather helm, putting too much stress (IMO) on the steering gear. So... I rolled half of it back out.

Meanwhile, I had to avoid the commercial traffic.

The force from the over-canvassed sails got so strong, I heeled - a lot.

I actually heard a couple "thwack!"'s from the starboard hull, as it was out of the water enough to leave it a little when the waves were just right. This was dangerous, but I also know how to handle a boat under sail and was playing it a little bit... bearing off to keep the hull from getting too high. Since I was in some extremely strong winds, I wanted to test out the boat a bit to understand her. Anyway, we were doing 10.7 knots at the fastest. WOW!

So the boat made a lot of leeway during this because it was overpowered and being pushed sideways quite a bit as it was being driven forward.

During all this craziness, I realized my wife didn't think anything of it. She went down to get some food and we were basically comfortable.

Had we been in our Gulfstar, we would have getting our butts kicked. The force loads on the sails would have probably shredded them and the sheets, something would have broke. Also, I would have struggled badly to control the boat.

But... the Catalac was a dream to handle, and got more and more stable as the winds increased, much like a big, heavy full keel mono would.

I have to say... I now understand how you all have cruised the world in complete comfort and safety on a well designed cruising cat!

Now, when you factor in that my boat is only 34' long, it's a no brainer. Most 34' monos would have struggled badly out there in those winds and steep (but small) seas I had. The cat performed very well - surprised the heck out of me!
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Old 23-05-2008, 06:08   #2
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Why officer, 10 knots? Impossible.. it's only a 34' sail boat

Sean

Great to see the new boat is living up to your expectations.. and...

Of course, I have to say it...

I told ya so!!!


Don't they hand out speeding tickets for sail boats cruising over 10 knots?? I mean, it just isn't natural now is it?

Those little holes in the mailsail are called reefing points. Repeat after me.....

when you own a catamaran..... reef early!!
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Old 23-05-2008, 06:14   #3
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Originally Posted by rickm505 View Post
Sean

Great to see the new boat is living up to your expectations.. and...

Of course, I have to say it...

I told ya so!!!


Don't they hand out speeding tickets for sail boats cruising over 10 knots?? I mean, it just isn't natural now is it?

Those little holes in the mailsail are called reefing points. Repeat after me.....

when you own a catamaran..... reef early!!

Ha ha ha... yup. You did tell me!

10 knots did seem pretty impossible, but we were kind of planing a bit, and surfing down some steep chop, waaaay over canvassed. It was like for one brief second, I knew what it was like to have a racing cat.

I would have reefed early, if I had felt a need to. This line of showers was the same one they are talking about in the thread about the guy who died in Annapolis. It stretched from North Jersey at least through the Chesapeake. It was one of those surprise things, not a steady wind. It was a steady increase from the 10-20 knot winds of the day into the "uh oh" region.
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Old 23-05-2008, 07:19   #4
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The great thing is that the wife was comfortable with going about her business. That will always make your life easier, and GR8T to read you are still finding good things about your choice of boat.

Any new boat, to you, you had purchased would have given you some greif. We just have to work through that stuff, and make our new purchase ours. Soon you'll be flying a chute.....WHOOOOPPPPEEEEEEE!!!!!
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Old 23-05-2008, 07:53   #5
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Originally Posted by ssullivan View Post
Ha ha ha... yup. You did tell me! .
As time goes by I appreciate my Catalac more and more. There's a reason they rarely come on the market

Shhhh.............
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Old 23-05-2008, 08:40   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssullivan
... The wind was strong (no instruments). My guess was 20-30knots, NOAA reported 30 knots with gusts to 40 in the small craft advisory statement.

... The force from the over-canvassed sails got so strong, I heeled - a lot.

... During all this craziness, I realized my wife didn't think anything of it. She went down to get some food and we were basically comfortable.

Had we been in our Gulfstar, we would have getting our butts kicked. The force loads on the sails would have probably shredded them and the sheets, something would have broke. Also, I would have struggled badly to control the boat...
We’re all pleased to hear that you are (mostly) enjoying your varied, and sometimes “exciting” experiences aboard your new Catalac.
I doubt that 20 kt winds, with 30-40 kt gust would have “kicked your butt” (on a 40+’ Gulfstar), but I hear & understand your preference for the smaller Cat’, under those conditions. There is no harm & no foul in a little exaggeration, born of joy!
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Old 23-05-2008, 08:47   #7
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There is no harm & no foul in a little exaggeration, born of joy!
Ah, to be a sailor and allowed that liberty - just because....
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Old 23-05-2008, 08:58   #8
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We’re all pleased to hear that you are (mostly) enjoying your varied, and sometimes “exciting” experiences aboard your new Catalac.
I doubt that 20 kt winds, with 30-40 kt gust would have “kicked your butt” (on a 40+’ Gulfstar), but I hear & understand your preference for the smaller Cat’, under those conditions. There is no harm & no foul in a little exaggeration, born of joy!
Actually, Gord. It would have.

Have you looked at the difference in sail plans?

I can recall many little whip ups of wind like this one that made sail handling quite difficult on the Gulfstar. My wife could almost never handle the sails, even in moderate conditions. It was always my job.

Now, she is able to handle them even in these conditions.

I didn't have to "manage" the boat at a level I would have in the Gulfstar.

When I say, "kicked my butt", I mean in a strenuous and uncomfortable way, not in a way that the boat was in danger. Make sense?

No exaggeration here.
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Old 23-05-2008, 09:24   #9
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These experiences are golden; they give us confidence in our boat, and also teach us why we want to reef ahead of time. Sometimes even a shredded sail is worth the price in educational value alone. I had a similar experience with less justification [in fact, I had really screwed up] but I came to respect my cat even more, and I don't hesitate to reduce sail because now I know.
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Old 23-05-2008, 11:49   #10
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No exaggeration here.
Perhaps that is why there seems to be a disparity in opinions (always subjective anyway) about what one did, should have done or thought to do in "the big one".

The cat folks seem to make tea while the mono folks are glad they filled the thermos when they thought to reef.

The more I read what others do and have done makes me realize it was OK for me to be a cat fan beginning in the early 80's.
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Old 23-05-2008, 11:55   #11
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Sully,

It was very gusty here at the top of the Empire State Building, where unfortunately I am working... I would guess that it must have been 20-25 with gusts to 35.

Did you let you slack your vang and dump the wind from the main? That can help with the weather helm in those conditions.

Are you planning to come down the Sound? When will get to see you, the wife and the new bateau?
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Old 23-05-2008, 14:12   #12
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Sulli:

Good report on the boat. sounds solid. I wish I had explored Cats before I bought my boat.
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Old 23-05-2008, 14:53   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssullivan
... The force loads on the sails would have probably shredded them and the sheets, something would have broke...
Suspecting that your previous Gulfstar was a fairly well-found boat; I doubt that a mere* 30Kts (or even 40) would shred sails & destroy sheets, even if slightly overcanvassed.
Were that true, I'd have to admit to overestimating your prudence, and the condition of your (previous) equipment.
I prefer to hold a higher opinion of you, and attribute our present differences of opinion to your infectious enthusiasm, and my distant objectivity.

* Not to discount 30Kts, which can be "interesting**, if not life/equipment threatening.
** Remember the Chinese curse: "May you live in interesting times"
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Old 23-05-2008, 15:25   #14
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Sounds like you are having fun!
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Old 24-05-2008, 15:50   #15
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Suspecting that your previous Gulfstar was a fairly well-found boat; I doubt that a mere* 30Kts (or even 40) would shred sails & destroy sheets, even if slightly overcanvassed.
Were that true, I'd have to admit to overestimating your prudence, and the condition of your (previous) equipment.
I prefer to hold a higher opinion of you, and attribute our present differences of opinion to your infectious enthusiasm, and my distant objectivity.

* Not to discount 30Kts, which can be "interesting**, if not life/equipment threatening.
** Remember the Chinese curse: "May you live in interesting times"
I have to question why a moderator would come into a thread, call the original poster's honesty into question, then call his prudence and condition of his former vessel into question.

Were these post written by any member of the forum other than Gord, it would have been deleted due to its unprovoked agressive nature.

A post calling someone a liar and questioning their prudence and vessel is still a post calling someone a liar and questioning their prudence and vessel, no matter how eloquently written.
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