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Old 16-01-2004, 10:05   #1
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Heavy Weather and Multihulls

The Monohull crowd have a good thread going regarding "lying a-hull" v.s. "heaving to" v.s. "sea anchors and drogues".

Multihull configurations are such that these options have different ramifications than with monohulls. How about some opinions?

I for one, would like more information from multihullers who have used sea anchors and drogues. How do you size them? What is your experience in using them?
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Old 16-01-2004, 21:15   #2
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I have only met one person that has used a sea anchor in bad conditions on the way to Bermuda, and he was very satisfied with the results. His report was published in "Drag Device Data Base', which has many first hand accounts of sea-anchor deployment in bad conditions. It's also an excellent read.
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Old 17-01-2004, 06:50   #3
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As a multihuller, I would be very intersted in reading this article. Where would I go to read it?
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Old 17-01-2004, 09:40   #4
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Drag Device Data Base

Harriet:

The Drag Device Database is a book. It is advertised in Multihulls Magazine for about $37US. I have not read it. I am considering buying it, and buying a sea anchor for my Tobago 35. I intend to be sailing from Canada to Bermuda and on to the BVI next fall, and need to solve the heavy weather issue to the satisfaction of my wife/crew.
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Old 17-01-2004, 10:23   #5
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FYI

Another source.................

http://store.yahoo.com/landfallnav/bx073.html

........................................._/)
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Old 17-01-2004, 20:23   #6
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Both books look good. How much do they deal with multihulls? Or is the science such that the style of boat is less important than the ability to keep bow to waves?
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Old 18-01-2004, 01:35   #7
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I seem to recall reading (many years ago) that the preferred heavy-weather tactic aboard Mult's was "running". My source would probably have been:
Multihulls Offshore
by Rob James
ISBN: 0-396-08283-1 / 0396082831
Title: Multihulls Offshore
Author: Rob James
Publisher: Penguin Putnam

From Ebay:
I'm unloading my Multihull library since I've sold my Piver Nimble. All good to perfect condition. If interested please use this link: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=3567024488

Searunner Trimarans by Jim Brown
Searunner Construction by Jim Brown
The Case for the Cruising Trimaran by Jim Brown
The Cruising Catamaran Advantage by Rod Gibbons
Multihull Seamanship by Michael McMullen
Racing and Cruising Trimarans by Robert B. Harris
The International Book of Catamarans & Trimarans by E. Cotter
The Multihull Primer by D.H. Clarke
Multihulls Offshore by Rob James
The Parachute Anchoring System by John Casanova
Trimaran Third Book by Arthur Piver
Noon Position by Arthur Piver
Trans-Pacific Trimaran by Arthur Piver
The Symposium Book II
Rigging Small Sailboats by Glen L Marine
Trimar Designs Catalog by Norman Cross
Piver-Trimaran Catalog
Your Boat's Electrical System by Conrad Miller
Royce's Sailing Illustrated Series Vol II
Airborne by William F. Buckley, Jr
Lost by Thomas Thompson (Paperback)
Atlantic Circle by Kathryn Lasky Knight
The Cruise of the Snark by Jack London
A History of Seamanship by Douglas Phillips-Birt
Sky and Sextant by John P. Budlong
Challenge - Lone Sailors of the Atlantic by Gerald Asaria
Confessions of a Boat Lover's Wife by Mina Bess Lewis
Queequeg's Odyssey by Guen Cultra
MultiHulls Magazine - 120 past issues!
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Old 19-01-2004, 01:45   #8
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A sea anchor and a drogue should be standard equipment on multihulls venturing offshore. For the sea anchor go by the manufacturer's recommendations for your size and type of boat. I have a 16 foot parachute for my 40 ft tri and a Sea Squid (also know as the Seabrake) drogue. I have never had to use them in storm conditions but I have tried them out for practice.
The sea anchor should be deployed with very long nylon line 300-500 feet. It needs to be in the crests and troughs at the same time as the boat. The drogue is just the opposite. You want it in the trough when the boat is on the crest. Both are attached to the boat with a bridle. This is where the wide beam really helps as varying tension on the bridle greatly enhances directional control. John and Joan Cassanova used a surplus military chute as a sea anchor to survive a force 11-12 storm near Cape Horn in a 38 foot Horstman Trimaran. The anemometer broke after it pegged 100 m.p.h. That's enough to make me a believer.
Lying ahull is a tactic for less severe conditions without large breaking waves. The main factor in a boats ability to resist being rolled over by large waves is its roll moment of inertia. The cat has the edge over the trimaran here so it may be more successful lying ahull in severe conditions. Any cruising multihull will have a higher roll moment of inertia than a monohull due to the weight of the hulls located far from the centerline.
Running off is also a very effective tactic as multihulls have very good control at high speed in large waves. They don't broach like a monohull.I have run off at speed in large waves in my tri. If the waves start getting too steep or the surfing speeds start to get unnerving reduce sail to quiet things down. You don't want to drive off a crest and stuff your bows into the trough. In storm conditions the hull and rig may provide enough windage to get the boat up to surfing speed so then its time to put out the drogue. The widely spaced bridle will help hold the boat on a steady course. The problems with running are that you need plenty of searoom, an alert crew, and hopefully it does not take you in the wrong direction. Running before the wind in a cyclonic disturbence may take you into the most dangerous part of the storm. You have to know your postion in relation to the storm center before you run off. If you are in the dangerous quadrant you need to go to windward or stop.
Heaving to may work well with some boats and not with others. You need to try it out in your boat to see how it behaves. My old Searunner Tri heaves to quite nicely but some of the lightweight multis may be a little unsteady while hove to.
In a nutshell. Lying ahull or running off if the waves are not breaking severely. In larger breaking waves you may try heaving to or you can run off using your boat speed and control to avoid the worst breakers maybe using a drogue to help control your speed. Your sea anchor is your ultimate weapon if it gets really bad out there.
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Old 19-01-2004, 03:46   #9
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Steve:

Thanks for a very clear & informative post!

Steve Rust said:
"... In a nutshell:
- Lying ahull or running off if the waves are not breaking severely.
- In larger breaking waves you may try heaving to or you can run off using your boat speed and control to avoid the worst breakers maybe using a drogue to help control your speed.
- Your sea anchor is your ultimate weapon if it gets really bad out there."
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Old 22-01-2004, 22:12   #10
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Hi, Drag Device Data Base has first hand accounts on monoulls, catamarans, trimarans,and power boat, with separate sections on each type using both sea anchors and drouges. There are over 40 accounts of multihulls on sea anchors alone. A very thorough book, worth every penny.
P.S. Harriet, I'm Marc , PDQ36 Here's 2 Life. How's your new boat?
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Old 22-02-2004, 08:26   #11
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Mark,
Just now decided to review some old posts and found your question about our new boat. Based on a conversation with the factory guys during the Miami Boat Show, the deck is on the hulls and everyone is working to get it into the water. We are looking at early March to splash, then about 3 weeks worth of work after that. We are hoping to close on it by the end of March.
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Old 07-03-2008, 02:26   #12
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My brother, bless him, briefed me on storm tactics from his three years in the indian ocean on a Snowgoose 37. His main tactic was to control speed, reducing sail to storm stay sail alone and running at 60 to 80 to the wind. Turn into the wave crest if it's steep or looks set to break. If the boat starts to exceed 10 knots go bare and try to avoid running dead down wind, keeping some angle to the wind will help avoid burying the nose and try to take the crests near broadside on as the flip as the crest passes under is balanced by the wind in the rigging. His philosophy was to sail away from the worst of the weather rather than running before where the whole storm will run over you.
That was with nominal electronics some twenty years ago, is it easier now?

As a cruiser he found 200 miles a day comfortable sailing, over ten kn and you start falling off the crests. Falling being the description of loose objects in the bow of the boat. His best was 280 in a day when sea state was kindly, course suited and the winds generous.
Not had a chance to try any of this but a forum is the place to float ideas and get differing responses. What other tactics are there for f8-9. I'm happy with sea anchors for f9+.
Help me with your experiences please.
Anyone around who remembers Tony Walden on Meander in the Seychelles, later Voyager Meander in the Mauritius-Durban race?
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Old 07-03-2008, 04:15   #13
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Dave, of "Exit Only", has put together a presentation on the topic: STORM MANAGEMENT FOR CRUISERS
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Old 07-03-2008, 10:03   #14
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Thanks Hud - a useful article.

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