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Old 25-07-2015, 11:55   #1
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I'm learning but... need more education

Hi Guys,

Some of you have helped me in my search for "my ideal cat".. and thank you. Having recently been on a course I've learned some more and think I'm down to 3... and the web doesn't help! .. my final 3 choices are down to (in size order).. St Francis 50 (impressed by one being built now).. Leopard 48 (I've been told 50ft cats are almost impossible short handed vessels) and Antares 44i (like but the 3 cabins 2 heads puts me off..as does the price).

The cat I was on (next is Dec in Thailand) wasn't any good but the skipper gave me some very good insights. And so to cut to the chase I'm trying to justify "value".. I am assuming all of the above will hove too ok.. and I'm expecting them to be similar in sailing close reach. There is scant information on performance (Antares aside) so I'm not sure there will be a lot of difference in this regard. The web (surprisingly for me put all 3 in the top 5 cats.. so that was a nice surprise but wasn't a help). ps.. if you know different on any of the above please comment.

So.. I would be grateful for comments on any or all of the following areas:

Hydraulic vs Rotary Gear steering system... any real difference?

Skegged rudders.. +ves seem to be better rudder protection -ves seem to be less able to steer.. really critical?

St Francis 50 - 12.5 T. Leopard 48 17T. Antares 44 10.2Tons ... is it me or does the Leopard look like its very heavy? so.. does weight matter that much (I was told it sailed well??)

Finally does anyone have any opinions on the traveller? The skipper I was with seemed to be very anti traveller on the top of the bimini.. now maybe it was the way he liked to sail but he hated bimini topped travellers saying it was giving you far less control??

I'm hoping to talk my manufacturer into shaft drives and sensible portlights (opening out not in).. and the rest are compromises I'm willing to accept (or I will adapt said purchase).

so.. help if you can.. please

Heath
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Old 25-07-2015, 15:13   #2
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Re: I'm learning but... need more education

In general terms, to sail at the same speed in the same wind, a heavier boat will need bigger sails. Bigger sails generate bigger loads, and are generally more difficult to manage.


So even though the St Francis is longer, it ought to be easier to sail than the Leopard.


At sea waterline length is a very nice thing to have.
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Old 26-07-2015, 03:17   #3
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Re: I'm learning but... need more education

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Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
In general terms, to sail at the same speed in the same wind, a heavier boat will need bigger sails. Bigger sails generate bigger loads, and are generally more difficult to manage.


So even though the St Francis is longer, it ought to be easier to sail than the Leopard.


At sea waterline length is a very nice thing to have.
Maybe I'm being influenced by European/UK based people but one of the negatives people talk about with 50 foot cats is finding marinas and dry out docks/lifting equipment able to take them. I'm hoping to circumnavigate so maybe that won't be an issue?? but its still there. Don't get me wrong I would love a larger cat as this means I'd keep the Admiral happy as she could bring her handbags.
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Old 26-07-2015, 06:03   #4
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Re: I'm learning but... need more education

Hi Heath
We sail a Lagoon 450 and when l say we most of the time it's me, l know how hard a big boat is for one person at times.

I am glad l never went any bigger as l know l would not have been able to manage it.


SV TOT
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Old 26-07-2015, 08:37   #5
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Re: I'm learning but... need more education

Hi Heath - I'll offer an opinion on a couple issues:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heath68 View Post
Hydraulic vs Rotary Gear steering system... any real difference?

Finally does anyone have any opinions on the traveller? The skipper I was with seemed to be very anti traveller on the top of the bimini.. now maybe it was the way he liked to sail but he hated bimini topped travellers saying it was giving you far less control??
I think there substantial differences with hydraulic steering and any other mechanical steering. As you may recall, my boat has Whitlock rack and pinion steering. In my view, it is the best option hands down. You get real feel and almost zero play. This works really well on my boat due largely to the dual helms located in close proximity to the rudders. The linkage is short and solid. For reasons I don't understand, Catana offered hydraulic steering as an option on the same models and I've steered one in the past. Night and day. Hardly any feel. Further, the hydraulic systems have way more maintenance issues, not the least of which is rudder alignment problems. Maybe there are advantages to hydraulic systems, but somebody more knowledgeable than me will have to explain them.

Push/pull cable systems are also mechanical, but can have lots of play and friction, which results in less feel than solid mechanical systems, but still more than hydraulic. They are easier to install for remote helms.

As for travelers, in my view the best traveler on a beamy multihull is none. Travelers are a carryover from monohulls and are a poor solution for multis. A dual mainsheet, creating a three point system with two outboard anchor points, is far better on a cruising multi and eliminates the need for a vang, not to mention eliminating a long traveler track that just takes up space, or needs to be placed where it has a shorter run, thus not taking full advantage of the available beam.

Dave
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Old 26-07-2015, 13:03   #6
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Re: I'm learning but... need more education

Heath, to choose a catamaran is a lot like choosing a wife. Their nature, their looks, their hobbies, their work ethic, education....man, it is just over the top.


I don't know if I am full of mud...but one of the things I know about big cats is this...weight is a real issue. Don't let the salesman give you the line that it sails well. The more palatial the cat...the heavier the cat...the more wind speed you will need to get that cat moving. Some of the big French cats put enormous rigs ( mast height with huge roached mains) to move their cats. I should say not just the French...sorry for spearing them.


Let me give you an example. At the Miami boat show I hitched a ride in Biscayne Bay on a mid 40 foot Privilege. When I walked into the saloon my nipples were hard. It was like nothing I had ever seen. Then we set sail with about 10 other people and the crew. We motored away from the dock facility and hoisted the main with power wench. We hoisted the genny and the captain immediately headed off for a broad reach. We were doing between 2-3 knots and really just wallowing along. Came back within an hour severely disillusioned with the experience. The wind speed was 10-12 knots. Hopped on board an F27 Farrier tri next with 6 other guys. Minimalistic cabin and opened my eyes to multihull sailing. I had raced for years on Santa Cruz in Long Beach harbor. Pablo took us on every point of sail and we were just screaming. I was all hot and bothered after that sail. We had hit 15 knots. Beating we were doing 8 knots and broad reaching a consistent 10+ knots.


The formula I use is this. Take the tonnage of the boat and multiply by 2000 to get weight in pounds. Then divide that total weight by the length of the boat. For example an Outremer light that weighs 7.42 tons and is 49.88 feet long will equal
297. [ (7.42 X2000) ./. by49.88=297] Outremer lights are very fast cats. Now take some of the more palatial cats that weight 9.8 tons with same length...same formula (9.8 x 2000 divided by 49 foot = 400. This cat is a much heavier cat and will not perform as well as the Outremer light....unless the manufacture places a huge rig...huge sails...etc.


That is why other posters have stated it correctly about the size of a boat and what you can handle. Couple of years ago we were in the Sporades islands on the east coast of Greece. We were on a Sunsail charter with 4 couples. We were stern moored with dozens of boats on the Quay. We were all experienced sailors with our wives. The boat was a 50 footer. I am not sure of the manufacturer. But it was a good boat for charters. In the middle of the night we got a tempest. The area became chaotic with boats slamming against each other, stern lines popping cleats, anchors dragging and fouling other anchors...it sucked. Obviously it was weather related phenomenon. We had been warned about the winds and had taken extra precautions...but just too many boats in such a small space. I guess what I can take away from this...and I share with you...is that big boats...even with four experienced sailors who raced for many years together....we could nothing in this carnage. I wish I could have gotten a picture of the wife's faces. If you were throwing them into a pit full of lions I don't think it could have been scarier for them.


So, it all comes down to compromises in the end...always does and always will. You are doing the right thing in talking to experienced people and getting rides on boats. But trust me....weight is not only important on multihulls....it is in my opinion...the number one thing I use to judge whether I am interested in this boat or not. Gun boats base their whole selling point on extravagance with good sailing ability. They are beautiful machines and way out of the way of normal people's pocket books.


The one piece of advice I would also like to propose to you is not to buy a new boat. Buy a boat that is less than 5 years old or so that has been sorted out and well taken care of. There are many very nice cats all over this planet that deserve a good man and woman to enjoy them. You will be a hundred thousand dollars ahead of the game and have much less headaches. You can use that money saved to do many nice things with. It is very good advice.
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Old 26-07-2015, 13:49   #7
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Re: I'm learning but... need more education

Quote:
Originally Posted by TOT View Post
Hi Heath
We sail a Lagoon 450 and when l say we most of the time it's me, l know how hard a big boat is for one person at times.

I am glad l never went any bigger as l know l would not have been able to manage it.


SV TOT
Wayne 😃
There is Big and there is big. I regularly sail a 16 metre cat that is smaller than a lagoon 450. Adn a whole lot faster. Relatively easy to sail single handed.
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Old 31-07-2015, 09:13   #8
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Re: I'm learning but... need more education

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Originally Posted by 2Hulls View Post
Hi Heath - I'll offer an opinion on a couple issues:


...
As for travelers, in my view the best traveler on a beamy multihull is none. Travelers are a carryover from monohulls and are a poor solution for multis. A dual mainsheet, creating a three point system with two outboard anchor points, is far better on a cruising multi and eliminates the need for a vang, not to mention eliminating a long traveler track that just takes up space, or needs to be placed where it has a shorter run, thus not taking full advantage of the available beam.

Dave
Hi Dave.. good to speak to you again. I'm assuming here you are talking about the system as on the Leopard 48? I must admit to being intrigued by this idea and hoped it would mean i had the same control.
Heath
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Old 31-07-2015, 09:22   #9
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Re: I'm learning but... need more education

Quote:
Originally Posted by alansmith View Post
Heath, to choose a catamaran is a lot like choosing a wife. Their nature, their looks, their hobbies, their work ethic, education....man, it is just over the top.


I don't know if I am full of mud...but one of the things I know about big cats is this...weight is a real issue. Don't let the salesman give you the line that it sails well. The more palatial the cat...the heavier the cat...the more wind speed you will need to get that cat moving. Some of the big French cats put enormous rigs ( mast height with huge roached mains) to move their cats. I should say not just the French...sorry for spearing them.


Let me give you an example. At the Miami boat show I hitched a ride in Biscayne Bay on a mid 40 foot Privilege. When I walked into the saloon my nipples were hard. It was like nothing I had ever seen. Then we set sail with about 10 other people and the crew. We motored away from the dock facility and hoisted the main with power wench. We hoisted the genny and the captain immediately headed off for a broad reach. We were doing between 2-3 knots and really just wallowing along. Came back within an hour severely disillusioned with the experience. The wind speed was 10-12 knots. Hopped on board an F27 Farrier tri next with 6 other guys. Minimalistic cabin and opened my eyes to multihull sailing. I had raced for years on Santa Cruz in Long Beach harbor. Pablo took us on every point of sail and we were just screaming. I was all hot and bothered after that sail. We had hit 15 knots. Beating we were doing 8 knots and broad reaching a consistent 10+ knots.


The formula I use is this. Take the tonnage of the boat and multiply by 2000 to get weight in pounds. Then divide that total weight by the length of the boat. For example an Outremer light that weighs 7.42 tons and is 49.88 feet long will equal
297. [ (7.42 X2000) ./. by49.88=297] Outremer lights are very fast cats. Now take some of the more palatial cats that weight 9.8 tons with same length...same formula (9.8 x 2000 divided by 49 foot = 400. This cat is a much heavier cat and will not perform as well as the Outremer light....unless the manufacture places a huge rig...huge sails...etc.


That is why other posters have stated it correctly about the size of a boat and what you can handle. Couple of years ago we were in the Sporades islands on the east coast of Greece. We were on a Sunsail charter with 4 couples. We were stern moored with dozens of boats on the Quay. We were all experienced sailors with our wives. The boat was a 50 footer. I am not sure of the manufacturer. But it was a good boat for charters. In the middle of the night we got a tempest. The area became chaotic with boats slamming against each other, stern lines popping cleats, anchors dragging and fouling other anchors...it sucked. Obviously it was weather related phenomenon. We had been warned about the winds and had taken extra precautions...but just too many boats in such a small space. I guess what I can take away from this...and I share with you...is that big boats...even with four experienced sailors who raced for many years together....we could nothing in this carnage. I wish I could have gotten a picture of the wife's faces. If you were throwing them into a pit full of lions I don't think it could have been scarier for them.


So, it all comes down to compromises in the end...always does and always will. You are doing the right thing in talking to experienced people and getting rides on boats. But trust me....weight is not only important on multihulls....it is in my opinion...the number one thing I use to judge whether I am interested in this boat or not. Gun boats base their whole selling point on extravagance with good sailing ability. They are beautiful machines and way out of the way of normal people's pocket books.


The one piece of advice I would also like to propose to you is not to buy a new boat. Buy a boat that is less than 5 years old or so that has been sorted out and well taken care of. There are many very nice cats all over this planet that deserve a good man and woman to enjoy them. You will be a hundred thousand dollars ahead of the game and have much less headaches. You can use that money saved to do many nice things with. It is very good advice.
Lots to think about there, thank you. I like your system for working out "sailability".. i will try it. It IS like choosing a good woman, each has its own things you like and things you wonder if, even if you could change, whether the battle would be worth it.
I like the Saba... but its probably too big for two
I like the Leopard 48 but I've been really put off saildrives..
I like the Antares 44i but she would be an expensive mistress!!

so mmmmm... but thanks :-)
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Old 31-07-2015, 09:38   #10
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Re: I'm learning but... need more education

I'd be cautious on those displacement numbers. The builders have always been overly "optimistic" about how light their boats are. Also the Antares comes very well equipped so it's (probably) calculated that way. The standard 7.5 kw generator is over 500 pounds. Also standard is aircon, radar, full electronics, watermaker etc. The other 2 are lightship with nothing in them. They will be much heavier when equipped. And cost more.
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Old 31-07-2015, 09:46   #11
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Re: I'm learning but... need more education

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I'm assuming here you are talking about the system as on the Leopard 48?
Hi Heath - although I've been on a Leopard 48 at anchor, I don't remember the sheet system. Actually I was referring to the type setup on (most) Catanas. See the pictures from my boat. The port and stbd sides are mirror images - both sheets lead up to the boom and are attached with a strop on there respective blocks. This does require two winches, although in my case the winches double as dinghy lifts - note the location in line with the davit. This system might not lend itself to a cat whose bimini extends way aft such that it would interfere with the sheets coming down to near deck level. It also would not lend itself very well to those who want a design with "all lines lead to the helm for easy single handing" and prefer sailing sitting down. See also this video of tacking, although we don't touch the sheets during most tacks while double handing, including here. >>

If you're dead set on your aversion to sail drives, stop reading here and good luck going forward! Although I've never owned a boat with shaft drives, I'm very happy with my Volvo sail drives. I've almost completed replacing the boots/bellows on mine and have been impressed with the internal design and construction. I've never had a problem that wasn't of my own mistakes in taking care of them. I would recommend you make sure you avoid the particular Yanmar drives with the cone clutch problems if you end up going this way. Good luck!

Dave
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Old 01-08-2015, 04:59   #12
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Re: I'm learning but... need more education

Hi Dave,

I'm hoping to see the Leopard up close in Sept but I think it is very similar to your Cantana (see pic) ... although it is up on the bimini and this may affect performance.


As for the saildrives maybe I've been put off them by others comments. I too have heard about the cone gearing being naff and perhaps you're right inasmuch as there are saildrives (yanmar) and there are saildrives (Volvo) and I should not worry but pick carefuly.
Cheers
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Old 01-08-2015, 06:23   #13
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Re: I'm learning but... need more education

Nice tack Dave. We do similar although I usually pull the sheet freehand (not on the winch) with the clutch closed. When it all goes right we pull it within a few inches of the trimmed position and tighten it up on the winch just before it's fully loaded. I think the twin sheet system makes a lot of sense as well. We rarely use our traveller.
Heath, the yanmar sail drives that had the SD50 model had a lot of issues. The SD60 is, so far, so good..
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Old 01-08-2015, 06:53   #14
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Re: I'm learning but... need more education

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I'm hoping to see the Leopard up close in Sept but I think it is very similar to your Cantana (see pic) ... although it is up on the bimini and this may affect performance.
Hi Heath - Being up on the bimini shouldn't affect performance per se. The boom is quite high above the bimini so the needed height is there. The two anchor points are not as far apart as they could be, though. I can't see enough detail in the picture to understand how the two sheets are adjusted - I see only one winch. If there's only one winch to work one sheet at a time (the other sheet being held in a rope clutch) then that's a compromise to have to switch the sheets back and forth. But not having a traveler is a net gain in my view...

Hi Monte - yes, when the stars align for a perfect tack we can get the genny all the way in by hand before it gets too loaded. It's a big sail. Maybe once every ten tacks. Most of the time we have to crank the last bit. No rope clutch involved.

Dave
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Old 01-08-2015, 09:45   #15
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Re: I'm learning but... need more education

May be it is just me but a strong accidental gybe looks like it could completely rip off the bimini of the cat with the two hard points. Of course the only time the boom could move if both sheets are snug would be if the boom is outboard of one of the hard points. Just looks kind of flimsy.
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