Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 27-11-2011, 19:06   #1
Registered User
 
seashine's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Coast Australia
Boat: Oldie but goodie 40' cat
Posts: 34
Images: 2
Hitchhiker Catamarans

Greetings to all cruising folk out there

I'm interested in getting in touch with owners and past owners of Hitchiker catamarans, also their builders...

This is because we have 40' Hitchiker built in 1987 and still going strong. There are some design flaws (that curvaceous deck which sheds the waves so well also sheds things our guests inadvertently leave there!) and some things we'd like advice on - the huge rudders take a bit of grunt to turn and seem less effective than they could be with our particular set-up (engine in centre pod, prop quite far aft but still about 8' from either rudder).

We still have the twin headie setup and love it. We do not have a forebeam, but instead have a triangulated inner forestay and a curve of wire between bows which supports our anchor roller. We are scratching our heads at the moment trying to work out how to make a new tramp and where and how to attach it. Any pointers on that and the rudder issue most gratefully accepted. John Hitch does not appear to think anything needs changing.

Fair winds all!
__________________

__________________
***Be the change you want to see in the world*** Mahatma Gandhi
seashine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-11-2011, 21:37   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 340
Re: Hitchhiker Catamarans

Hi, There are not too many hitchhikers out there that are built exactly the same. IE the builders took a fair bit of artistic license with the plans.

I think Docgav who posts here occasionally had one, Magic Happens? maybe.
He may be able to help.

How about some pictures.

Regards
__________________

__________________
cat skin hat
catty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2011, 00:37   #3
Registered User
 
seashine's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Coast Australia
Boat: Oldie but goodie 40' cat
Posts: 34
Images: 2
Re: Hitchhiker Catamarans

Hitchhiker catamaran | Facebook is the link to a public fb album I created for Hitchhiker photos :-)

Double click on the first photo to open the album so you can see the whole pic, then use the left and right arrows. Close is top R of the screen :-)
__________________
***Be the change you want to see in the world*** Mahatma Gandhi
seashine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2011, 18:00   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Pacific Northwest, USA
Boat: 31' Corsair/Farrier trimaran, Lauwersmeer Cruiser in Europe canals. 19' Lightning
Posts: 232
Re: Hitchhiker Catamarans

Tell us about that twin head sail set up.

How big are they, 120%, 150% or????

Is the sheeting angle narrow because the shrouds are not in the way?

Do you wing em downwind?

I met someone, (with a Seawind 33 I think), who theorized that this type of set up would really help upwind. Something about reducing low pressure on the leeward side of the leeward hull, as opposed to windage on the windward hull, which we all can visualize as a hinderance. He said he was going to have one made up.

Thanks
__________________
ejlindahl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2011, 22:59   #5
Registered User
 
seashine's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Coast Australia
Boat: Oldie but goodie 40' cat
Posts: 34
Images: 2
Re: Hitchhiker Catamarans

I'm no expert on the theory, and have only sailed about 400nm in her to date. Mostly off the wind (broad reaching) and we had main and headies up: generally about 2/3 of the windward one and all of the lee one. You don't goosewing them as there's nowhere to sheet them to and the whole idea of cats is not having to pole sails out. Correction - one of the good things about cats is no poling out sails and lotsa sheeting angles to choose from

Straight down wind we can simply have these sails fill the foretriangle - when we loosen off the sheets a bit the windward one nicely fills the space between the forestays so it's like having an easily furled MPS though our MPS is just so pretty we put it up whenever we can.

Into the wind... well she's a cat with low aspect rig and several hundred kgs too much gear and no dagger boards... That said we find the staysail sheeted in close and the leeward headie (also sheeted in tight) seem to power up the main quite well so we only have about a third of the windward headie out and at times only a scrap of the leeward one too - depends on the angle/wind strength/seastate etc... At least we never get bored trying to figure out what works best! Lots of options there... Maybe in a few thousand miles we'll have worked it out, who knows? We're planning to keep the wind aft of beam as much as possible...

As for % - depends on how you reckon it! Because the forestays are widely spaced, each headsail only comes back to a few feet past the inner forestay. If I pull one out at anchor then the clew just comes back to a line drawn athwartships from the mast so I suppose that makes it 100%, however if it was on a centre forestay it would probably reach a bit further back - maybe 110-115%. Hard to say! They're fairly high cut so they clear the triangulated inner forestay easily when we're tacking (they ride up and over the lower stays from the tack of the staysail out to the bows).

I spent some time cruising on a 36' Herreshoff ketch and appreciate the ease of handling of a divided rig. In the case of the 40' Hitchhiker cat, neither the twin headies nor staysail nor main are difficult to handle or heavy to pull up/down/furl etc. One friend had one for years and added a few feet to the mast but still found the sail plan easy for a couple to handle. My partner in fun is new to sailing so often it's just me (mid 50s female) hauling 'em up/down/in/out, with the autopilot keeping our heading: not an issue.

For further info on the rig design I suggest you contact the designer, John Hitch. His contact details are available if you search for his current boat X-IT, which is for sale. This is where I found it (on Boatpoint.com.au) today: photo gallery popup with enquiry
X-IT has no main at all but the headsails are HUMUNGOUS!! I can vouch for this as he was moored near us and we helped him put one of them on its furler. It was all I could do to winch up the halyard, but then she is a much larger yacht!
__________________
***Be the change you want to see in the world*** Mahatma Gandhi
seashine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-03-2012, 11:24   #6
Registered User

Join Date: May 2011
Boat: Hitchhiker, Catamaran, 40'
Posts: 354
Thumbs up Re: Hitchhiker Catamarans

Sorry, Seashine for taking so long to post here. Yes we too have a Hitchhiker 40 catamaran, although we were told that it was built to the plans of a Hitchiker 41, it does measure 40 feet. Ours was built in South Africa in 1997. apparently it was used for day tours of the Knysna Heads. Here is a short clip that we found on you tube:
Ours was named Zakat but when we bought her (Jan 2011) we renamed her "Thumbs Up". So far we have sailed her from Florida to Guatemala, then Utila, Roatan, and we are now in Isla Mujeres Mexico and will be returning to Rio Dulce Guatemala soon. Ours has two Volvo 2030's on saildrives. I see you have only one engine with a tilt up shaft. Our props do create quite a bit of drag and are noisy above 7 knots (someday we would like to have feathering props) but docking is very easy and we can spin the boat in her own length. I noticed that you have delta fins on the bottom of your rudders. We are thinking of building a set for ours to dampen the pitching that is inevitable with this hull shape. We are in the process of glassing and painting the topsides. The decks were glassed but the cabintop wasn't and has suffered some but all of the major repair work is now done. We do not have the twin headsail setup that hitchhikers are known for but would like to have a couple of code zero furlers that we could hoist from the bows when the conditions are right. Our boat used to have a big drifter but we don't have it. For now we are stuck with the worn, but functional roller furling genoa and full batten main. I had never heard of the Hitchhikers before we looked at ours but we hear that they are more well known in Australia. Anyway that's it for us for now because the sun is shining and it is time to get out the epoxy and glass another section of the cabintop deck. I'll always be willing to respond to any questions or inquiries and make comments to keep this "Hitchhiker" thread alive.
__________________
Thumbs Up is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 18-03-2012, 03:18   #7
Registered User
 
seashine's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Coast Australia
Boat: Oldie but goodie 40' cat
Posts: 34
Images: 2
Re: Hitchhiker Catamarans

Hi Thumbs Up, thumbs up to you for getting in touch Hitchhikers were designed by John Hitch for home builders - and as he's an Aussie that's why there are so many of them over here. A lot were built in the 80s (like ours) in backyards. If you'd like to get in touch with John, he's selling his current boat X-It here: HITCHIKER CATAMARAN boat details - BoatPoint Australia There are some shocking versions still around and on the market - one in Brisbane that is as ugly as sin with a very square looking cabin, whereas yours looks more like ours. I'd love a photo of how the tramp is attached and of the cockpit too, as it seems more open somehow. We're about to redo the tramp by glassing in fibreglass rods and stretching some knotless polyester mesh across: right now we have old fishing net with knots and it's really uncomfortable with too-large holes and too-large gaps between lashing points.

We have only done short trips up and down the coast in ours to date. We bought her in August 2010 and are still trying to get the decks/cabin repainted - La Nina is giving us hell with no more than 3 dry days in a row (and guess who was working on those days ) since we bought her!! That said, she's done some serious miles over to New Zealand and up to Vanuatu. Some intrepid soul left the west coast of S America charts on board but I don't think I'd sail the Pacific in that direction from here - we'd rather head west and arrive via Panama. That's a plan, but first up we want to explore the reef and will be heading north when the cyclone season finishes ... after the painting is done (it usually dries out in May/June)

Some things that people who know John have remarked on: it's hard to get in and out of the water on the Hitches - they say it's because he's not all that keen on swimming/snorkelling etc. The boat was designed for twin outboards and doesn't have a lot of buoyancy aft to carry the weight of inboard diesels, and they tend to hobby-horse in a short chop. I think we do too but we also zoom along nicely thanks to the low wetted area. It's all about compromise, or so I've been told!

Fair winds and a star to steer her by
__________________

__________________
***Be the change you want to see in the world*** Mahatma Gandhi
seashine is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Looking for C/S/K Catamarans Ron Cook Multihull Sailboats 16 01-09-2015 07:47
Top 10 Cat Manufacturers Sand crab Multihull Sailboats 46 12-09-2012 00:49
Books Recommended for Cruising on Catamarans cutlass Multihull Sailboats 7 02-01-2012 19:51
General Info: Mapping Facility for Lagoon Catamarans philbusby Lagoon Catamarans 1 15-07-2011 12:17



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:28.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.