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Old 18-02-2015, 14:52   #61
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Re: I Guess Catamarans do Sink

Yep! Dropping the ballast sounds like a good idea. Sure to float upside down.
It's all in gest, I hope?
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Old 18-02-2015, 15:05   #62
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Re: I Guess Catamarans do Sink

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Yep! Dropping the ballast sounds like a good idea. Sure to float upside down.
It's all in gest, I hope?

I certainly meant it to be


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Old 18-02-2015, 15:13   #63
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Re: I Guess Catamarans do Sink

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I certainly meant it to be
It is difficult to tell unless you use the "Blow The Ballast" emoticon...

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Old 18-02-2015, 15:14   #64
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Re: I Guess Catamarans do Sink

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Yep! Dropping the ballast sounds like a good idea. Sure to float upside down.
It's all in gest, I hope?
I guess that's the choice we make. Better to be floating upside down, or swimming?
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Old 18-02-2015, 15:14   #65
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Re: I Guess Catamarans do Sink

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I certainly meant it to be


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I know. But not sure some understood that? I'm surprised someone didn't say get the explosive bolts from an aviation supplier.
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Old 18-02-2015, 15:58   #66
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Re: I Guess Catamarans do Sink

I did point out I have a full keel boat and therefore no bolts to "blow"
I've been in Aviation maintenance a long time, and I've never seen an explosive bolt, we had charges that would jettison the wings stores on an Apache, but no exploding bolts, might just be a Spacecraft thing?

One research sub I remember reading about as a kid had iron pellets held in a tank for ballast and held in place with electromagnets, lose your electrical system and the ballast automatically fell out surfacing the sub, thought that not a bad idea.

Honey, did you remember to charge the batteries?


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Old 18-02-2015, 16:27   #67
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Re: I Guess Catamarans do Sink

This is my fault. I thought it was obvious that a64pilot was kidding but it sounded just crazy enough to run with. I figured if anyone can think outside the box it's cat owners. Maybe not.


First, displacement hulls don't need ballast to float upright, they need it to counterbalance the rig when sailing. Cutting the keel off of a sailboat turns it into a trawler, not a submarine.


Seawards have keels that go straight up & down with a big lead bulb at the bottom. I believe there is a large pin at the top that keeps it from falling out in addition to the electric motor that raises it. I'll bet someone could figure out how to make that type of keel/ballast possible to jettison in case of a catastrophic event like hitting a submerged container. You could install automatic flotation bags, already on the market, & now you have an unsinkable monohull.
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Old 18-02-2015, 16:35   #68
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Re: I Guess Catamarans do Sink

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First, displacement hulls don't need ballast to float upright, they need it to counterbalance the rig when sailing. Cutting the keel off of a sailboat turns it into a trawler, not a submarine.
Until you lean it over just a little bit? Would you go up your mast while floating if the keel wasn't there?

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Old 18-02-2015, 16:36   #69
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Re: I Guess Catamarans do Sink

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I did point out I have a full keel boat and therefore no bolts to "blow"
I've been in Aviation maintenance a long time, and I've never seen an explosive bolt, we had charges that would jettison the wings stores on an Apache, but no exploding bolts, might just be a Spacecraft thing?

One research sub I remember reading about as a kid had iron pellets held in a tank for ballast and held in place with electromagnets, lose your electrical system and the ballast automatically fell out surfacing the sub, thought that not a bad idea.

Honey, did you remember to charge the batteries?


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Check on dropping an engine?
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Old 18-02-2015, 16:48   #70
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Re: I Guess Catamarans do Sink

People didn't believe me when brought this up on another thread, but there was a J-29 that got holes blown in it by lightning. When the owner found it on the mooring afterward the water was a deck level, but it still was floating. Balsa core and maybe a few lifejackets on board.
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Old 18-02-2015, 17:24   #71
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Re: I Guess Catamarans do Sink

All Stilettos (23-27-30) were built with a honeycomb nomex core sandwiched between inner and outer skins. The air trapped within the honeycomb makes these boats unsinkable-even if run down by a 100k ton aircraft carrier!
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Old 19-02-2015, 07:36   #72
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Re: I Guess Catamarans do Sink

The picture above looks more like the catamaran broke up on the rocks, not sink. It is not 'on the bottom' in the picture.
I am investing in the $2000 in foam to 'insure' that my catamaran will not sink. One time purchase---non-sinking insurance forever. You lose some room, but you can sleep nights.
The missing boats might have been broken up by a collision, not sunk. Happens to mono's, too. There is so much traffic out there.
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Old 19-02-2015, 09:45   #73
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Re: I Guess Catamarans do Sink

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All Stilettos (23-27-30) were built with a honeycomb nomex core sandwiched between inner and outer skins. The air trapped within the honeycomb makes these boats unsinkable-even if run down by a 100k ton aircraft carrier!
I somewhat doubt that. Splinters might be floating.

No doubt cored boats are buoyant. Sinking or not if it happens it still means being in deep ****. An Eperb and a life raft would be my preference.
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Old 21-02-2015, 07:10   #74
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Re: I Guess Catamarans do Sink

From the excellent resource, now online, "Drag Device Database." Gavin le Sueur's account of hitting a whale, which tore out not only the daggerboard, but the case and half the hull. You might note that he doesn't describe the result as a "sinking" but as "pieces drifting downwind."


"File S/C-16, obtained from Dr. Gavin LeSueur, Mallacoota, Australia - Vessel name Windswept, hailing port Mallacoota, catamaran, designed by Lock Crowther, LOA 40' x Beam 26' x Draft 2' 6" x 2.75 Tons - Sea anchor: 16-ft. Diameter Para-Anchors Australia on 300' x 3/4" nylon braid tether and bridle arms of 28' each, with 5/8" galvanized swivel - No trip line - Deployed in a storm in shallow water (40 fathoms) in the Bass Strait with winds of 45-58 knots and seas of 30 ft. - Vessel's bow yawed 20 - Drift was estimated to be 12 n.m. during 6 hours at sea anchor.

Dr. Gavin LeSueur is an Australian country doctor who lives in Mallacoota, Victoria. He is also among the world's leading multihull safety experts, having weathered storms, used a wide variety of drag devices on different multihulls, and pioneered an adjustable drogue that is now being manufactured by Para-Anchors Australia. The intrepid doctor windsurfed 750 miles from Melbourne to Sydney in 1982. He has written three books - Windswept, The Line, and Multihull Seamanship Illustrated (distributed in the United States by Multihulls Magazine). Transcript:

In January 1988 I raced two-handed from Sydney to Auckland (1000 nm) on my catamaran, D Flawless. This was a 37' x 24' x 4600 lbs. open bridgedeck offshore racing catamaran. My crew was 21 year old Catherine Reed [wife to be]. After rounding the northern tip of New Zealand, the fleet was hammered by cyclone Bola. This tropical cyclone followed an unusual route and was unforeseen by me due to lack of high seas forecasts at the time, because of an industrial dispute at the Australian Meteorological Bureau! By the time we realized what was on the way (we first heard about it on New Zealand commercial radio stations!) we were in 60 knots plus and 25-35 ft. seas - with a lee shore 30 miles away!

I carried a 12-ft. parachute made by Para-Anchors Australia on board without a float or trip line, and with 300 ft. of nylon anchor line. I was unable to set the parachute. The conditions were such that it was not possible to crawl forward on deck due to the sea state and wind. It was like trying to move with your hands full on the roof of a car going along a bumpy road at 80 mph. We had removed all sail (and boom) except a small storm jib, lashed the helm over to drive the boat into the wind, and raised both daggerboards. [Emphasis added.] Thus D Flawless tracked at 70 degrees off the wind for the next 36 hours. We moved at about 2 knots, passing the edge of the eye and were ejected out of the "bad" quadrant. Wind strengths on land reached 96 knots. It was not pleasant huddled in the hull in our survival suits, awaiting the capsize that did not happen. The boat remained remarkably intact and we sailed into Auckland to finish the race.

En route back to Australia two months later we struck a 43 ft. humpback whale at 3:00 am in 25 knots of wind. We were surfing with our centerboards not fully raised. The whale awoke as we embedded our port centerboard in its back. It took off with the centerboard, the case and a good portion of the side of our port hull. The mast came down and speared itself through the remaining "good" hull! Over the next 45 minutes the catamaran wrenched itself to pieces. There were four of us on board at the time and we were 60 miles off the Australian coast. So close, and yet so far.

With no option but to get into our life raft we left the tangled wreckage and joined many of the foam sandwich hull pieces drifting downwind. The life raft was an Australian Yachting Federation approved offshore raft. Sea conditions deteriorated to 45 knots and 20 ft. waves. We were on the edge of the continental shelf and occasional seas were higher and breaking. We were capsized out of the raft four times! The parachute drogue on the water ballasted raft was useless. The only way we could stop capsizing on most waves was to dive to the windward side of the raft on each wave. It worked some of the time. We were rescued nine hours after hitting the whale. Rescue was quick and by helicopter (thus accurate wind and sea condition measurements). We had drifted over 20 miles in that time and rescue was effected due to our initial Mayday, missed radio schedule, EPIRB (which later failed - waterlogged), hand-held VHF radio (helicopter got a directional fix on this) and rocket flares. We were in good condition in survival suits, with extra water and flares over and above what was already in the raft.

Catherine and I now sail three handed with our three year old daughter (and dog - but she doesn't count). We have continued to experiment with drogues and parachutes and have used both many times since. I have no major problems with our parachute system. We use a 16-ft. diameter one made by Para-Anchors Australia, and carry 400 ft. of braided nylon rope. We do not use a swivel, or a trip line. The parachute has a float on 30 ft. of line on it's vent hole. Only once have we added a catenary weight down the line with a snatch block. We used a 25 kg CQR. In the 40-knot conditions it made little difference and it was a trial. We winch the line in while motoring up to the float. The bridle is a separate line and is tied to the tether with a rolling hitch. When the load is taken back on the tether in the cockpit, the rolling hitch is easily undone."
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Old 21-02-2015, 07:28   #75
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Re: I Guess Catamarans do Sink

I think this settles the question of whether you need a life raft when going offshore in a cat.


I am surprised the doctor uses a parachute type drogue instead of a series type.


Series Drogue, ocean survival
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