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Old 11-07-2009, 11:43   #1
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pirate Is World Cruising Safe on a Cat?

I have never sailed on a Cat before... looking at something in the 42-45' range probably. Planning on going from San Diego to the Virgin Islands. Its just two of us. Ive sailed a few thousand miles on both a Down East and a Beneteau and felt comfortable in weather. But a Cat just doesnt look like it would be as stable in rough weather?? I really dont know anything about them yet...

We like the idea of a Cat because we plan on spending 5 years and like the room.

I would appreciate any thoughts!
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Old 11-07-2009, 13:06   #2
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Welcome to the forum!

Cats do have a different feel to them. Some like it, some don't. Personally, I do. Just like monos, there are a number of cats that are perfectly fine for a world cruise, including rough weather. There are other cats where that is certainly not the case.

A number of cats have circumnavigated. One of our CF members, Dave, of Welcome to Maxing Out has an excellent website about it. Welcome to Yacht Scud documents their circumnavigation. bumfuzzle.com is a rather notorious one (for several reasons), but they did it, even in a boat that many of us (me included) would not consider for such a trip.

Open ocean, extended cruising cats do tend to be a bit different than the ones more often found in charter programs, although many of them can be fitted out to do so, just fine. But the ones that were designed and built for bluewater extended cruising tend to have more emphasis on construction quality.

Chuck Kanter's book is very good and there are others, too.

ID
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Old 11-07-2009, 16:29   #3
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Hey Kevin,

Check out the Antares 44i thread in the multi-hulls! Many of their owners are currently doing the "five-year-plan" right now. I put a link on that thread to their website should you wish to look further!

David
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Old 11-07-2009, 20:21   #4
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Just like monos, there are a number of cats that are perfectly fine for a world cruise, including rough weather. There are other cats where that is certainly not the case.
Would you mind to list some? Is Lagoon one of them?
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Old 11-07-2009, 21:56   #5
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Would you mind to list some? Is Lagoon one of them?
A Lagoon 44 won its division in a recent ARC Trans Atlantic rally. It didn't sink; no lives were lost; people survived; crew weren't killed.

However on forums people will probably still say they are crap! LOL.

The PDQ Antares 44 is now made in Argentina, not in Canada as previous (not China either) by some ex-staff members. So it may e the same, or completely different.
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Old 11-07-2009, 23:08   #6
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Well you have heard from some catamaran people and they justly believe in their boats. The problem is I believe in monohulls and wouldn't consider extensive ocean passages in a cat without being in an armada of boats to rescue me. The truth is that in a bad enough storm any boat; cat, tri, or mono-hull can capsize. Perhaps the mono-hull will do it the easiest, but the normal mono-hull will right itself. The tri may be right-able after the storm, but the cat is just as stable upside down as it is right side up.

No one ever wants to sail in storms that can capsize or pitch-pole you (something multi hulls do easier than mono's), and everyone watches weather to minimize the possibilities. Since cats and tri's are faster they do have a better chance of beating weather than the mono-hull. Nevertheless should you get caught in such a bad storm, your chance of survival is much higher in a mono-hull. I believe that's the bottom line and of course thats only my opinion.

Good luck

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Old 11-07-2009, 23:58   #7
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In my opinion, the "danger" of sailing cats is completely blown out of proportion. There are far far more catamarans sailing out there than there are reports of catamaran catastrophes. Like all boats, there are rules you follow to help keep yourself safe. I would be willing to bet that the vast majority of catamaran capsizes are operator error, not an inherent design flaw.
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Old 12-07-2009, 01:56   #8
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The hole problem

Most cat critics, and newbies, focus on the capsize potential of cats because it's big and dramatic. And, like big dramatic earthquakes or lightening strikes, a capsize is exceedingly rare.

What happens far more often is that your boat gets a hole in it. I personally know of two monohulls that were lost, one to a bad through-hull fitting and one to a misaligned shaft seal. If you ask around, you'll find plenty of similar stories.

And here's the fundamental problem, put pointedly by respected naval architect Carl Schumacher:

"Would you like to be in one hull right side up at the bottom of the ocean, or on two floating upside down on top?"

As soon as monohull gets holed, that 6,000 lbs of keel weight so important to sailing performance becomes the grip of death itself, sucking your security out from underneath you.

Most cats are unsinkable, because they rely on their width to counteract wind forces they are built light and will float with a few inches of water in the salon.

You can put a shotgun blast through each alma and sail home.

Some people don't like cats because they can capsize, some people don't ride trains because they can derail, some people don't fly because planes can crash. If these sound like good reasoning, then better stick with a mono. You'll come to love the deep draft, cramp quarters, lack of light and air flow, cooking in a micro galley while heeled and other pleasures exclusive to the mono club.

Not to be too hard on the mono majority, there are many good reasons for choosing a mono, like "They just look right" or "I love to sail to windward" but the capsize factor isn't one of them.
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Old 12-07-2009, 02:47   #9
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Most lives lost at sea come from man overboard situations. It's much harder to fall off a cat.
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Old 12-07-2009, 04:12   #10
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I'm not sure I understand why it is harder to fall off a cat than a monohull. Both have lifelines of identical height.
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Old 12-07-2009, 05:46   #11
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Think of the deck angle. ON a cat you don't need to be so close to the edge
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Old 12-07-2009, 05:52   #12
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I'm still a bit confused - the deck is (usually) parallel to the sea and the lifelines are perpendicular to a deck. While a monohull will roll more in heavy seas even a catamaran will move around enough to require use of handholds. High winds & waves affect both types of boats, i.e. a foot green water sweeping the decks is as bad on a catamaran as on a monhull.
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Old 12-07-2009, 06:09   #13
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I'm still a bit confused - the deck is (usually) parallel to the sea and the lifelines are perpendicular to a deck. While a monohull will roll more in heavy seas even a catamaran will move around enough to require use of handholds. High winds & waves affect both types of boats, i.e. a foot green water sweeping the decks is as bad on a catamaran as on a monhull.
The mono is leaning over considerably more than a cat and even if you fall over, most of the time you are along way from the edge. A foot of water sweeping the deck is less likely on a cat than a mono as the decks tend to be higher.
Another big plus is that you can get closer to the shore so there is less time in the dinghy
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Old 12-07-2009, 06:14   #14
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OK, I can see your point; at sea it boils down to the difference in boat motion making a catamaran more stable. I thought that there might be some other reason that I was missing.
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Old 12-07-2009, 06:16   #15
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I'm not sure I understand why it is harder to fall off a cat than a monohull. Both have lifelines of identical height.
On my cat, when you're standing at the mast, you're at deck level, the lifelines are over 3 metres away from you, and are 750mm high.

On my old mono, when I was at the mast, I was standing on the coachroof, so the lifelines were effectively lower, around knee high, and much closer. When the boat rolled I was often almost directly above the lifelines.
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