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Old 18-08-2010, 08:54   #181
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This has been a good thread and for someone like me who is still adjusting to multi's and poking around SF bay, where we have winds and short choppy waves I am getting more conservative in regards to reefing. It is so much easier in hindsight of course but I would agree that one reff and full jib with dark clouds ahead and wind alredy at 20 knots is pushing a bit but not crazy. Where I hope I would of been a bit more conservative is is with the wind building 25, 30 knots is to get at the main first. On my seawind compared to the jib it is a bit fully battened beast and that is where the power is.

I appreciate this sailor posting his story and do not wish to impune him, as I was not there, but thank him for the information so that I might become a better sailor.
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Old 18-08-2010, 08:58   #182
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Whats surprises me about this experience is that the cat apparently could flip in 45 kts. I know there was talk about 60, but it sounds like it was already definitely going over (or very close to) at 45.

I thought the first theory was 'cruising cats over 50' can't be flipped' and the revised theory was 'cruising cats over 50' can't be flipped except in very extreme conditions' - I consider 60kts 'extreme' but I don't consider 40kts extreme.

What's the theory now? 'cruising cats can't be flipped unless you make a mistake'?? These guys obviously made a mistake and they were not prudent enough, but it is the kind of mistake that most of use could make sometime/somewhere [except Mark, whos wife keeps him on too tight a leash to allow this sort of mistake ]. We normally handle squalls quite well at 2pm, but we have made our share of mistakes with squalls at 2am.

I am a multi-hull fan and have been trying to convince Beth to consider one (And a pretty 'high performance' one) for a couple years but she has been resistant . . . and this episode leaves me scratching my head and wondering if she was right after all [What am I thinking, of course Beth is always right }
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Old 18-08-2010, 09:14   #183
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Just to add a bit, it's not 40 true but 40 apparent.

Remember they were working upwind in 12 to 20 app which is 6~10 true figuring boat speed is 6~10. We would'nt even been reefed.

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Whats surprises me about this experience is that the cat apparently could flip in 45 kts. I know there was talk about 60, but it sounds like it was already definitely going over (or very close to) at 45.

I thought the first theory was 'cruising cats over 50' can't be flipped' and the revised theory was 'cruising cats over 50' can't be flipped except in very extreme conditions' - I consider 60kts 'extreme' but I don't consider 40kts extreme.

What's the theory now? 'cruising cats can't be flipped unless you make a mistake'?? These guys obviously made a mistake and they were not prudent enough, but it is the kind of mistake that most of use could make sometime/somewhere [except Mark, whos wife keeps him on too tight a leash to allow this sort of mistake ]. We normally handle squalls quite well at 2pm, but we have made our share of mistakes with squalls at 2am.

I am a multi-hull fan and have been trying to convince Beth to consider one (And a pretty 'high performance' one) for a couple years but she has been resistant . . . and this episode leaves me scratching my head and wondering if she was right after all [What am I thinking, of course Beth is always right }
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Old 18-08-2010, 09:15   #184
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Mark may be on a short leash but it seems he's wearing a velvet lined leash. Summer in the Med, too nice!
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Old 18-08-2010, 09:33   #185
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Evans, the words "high performance" and "catamaran" together mean that the boat carries a lot of sail area and is relatively light. There is no way around that. So, what we are seeing is they flip more easily then heavier, less high-performance cruising cats. It's that simple. The higher performance, the more you're going to have to watch your sail area. In my opinion, some of these high-performance cruising cats have gone too far in the sail area to weight/beam ratio. There is less margin for error.
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Old 18-08-2010, 09:37   #186
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Using radar to evaluate wind speed in a distant squall is beyond its capabilities
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Old 18-08-2010, 10:15   #187
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joli View Post
Mark may be on a short leash but it seems he's wearing a velvet lined leash. Summer in the Med, too nice!
Yes, and we wonder what else he has on that is velvet lined

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Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
. . . The higher performance, the more you're going to have to watch your sail area. In my opinion, some of these high-performance cruising cats have gone too far in the sail area to weight/beam ratio. There is less margin for error.
Yes, for sure, I have always known and agreed with all that. But it seems to me that if they flip in 40 (and Joli is right that's apparent so only somewhere in the 30's true) there is not just "less margin" for error but almost none. If the things can flip (or come seriously close) in the 30's true, with the pretty stupid handling, I have to change my mind and really don't think they are suitable for double handed bluewater cruising.

The French singlehanded 60' tris broke a lot but did not seem to flip very often. The skippers had to sleep and 'let the boat go on its own'. They were probably 60' wide but also had huge rigs . . . Did they have a lot more stability relative to sail area than this cruising cat?

The boat I lusted after was a 50' irens tri (Nigel Irens Design) . . . I had been convinced that 'it would not flip except in extraordinary circumstances' . . . was I wrong?

Where/how do all the 'conventional suspects' in the 'performance cruising multi' scene stack up on possibility of flipping in 40kts apparent . . . for instance would a gunboat do this? I am trying to get a sense of whether it's just this boat/design, or is there now a whole class of multiple designs/brands claiming to be 'blue water cruisers' that will flip in 40 apparent?
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Old 18-08-2010, 10:24   #188
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Rocks you back a bit doesn't it?

I think the pickle forks are a bit stiffer with the breeze forward but in more peril with the breeze aft (unless they have lifting foils and are BIG), can't say for sure, just my gut.

You might also want to go back and read about Yeolays (sp?) FP giving him a scare.

NO! I won't comment on what else Mark may have that is velvet lined. Lucky bastard.



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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
Yes, and we wonder what else he has on that is velvet lined



Yes, for sure, I have always known and agreed with all that. But it seems to me that if they flip in 40 (and Joli is right that's apparent so only somewhere in the 30's true) there is not just "less margin" for error but almost none. If the things can flip (or come seriously close) in the 30's true, with the pretty stupid handling, I have to change my mind and really don't think they are suitable for double handed bluewater cruising.

The French singlehanded 60' tris broke a lot but did not seem to flip very often. The skippers had to sleep and 'let the boat go on its own'. They were probably 60' wide but also had huge rigs . . . Did they have a lot more stability relative to sail area than this cruising cat?

The boat I lusted after was a 50' irens tri (Nigel Irens Design) . . . I had been convinced that 'it would not flip except in extraordinary circumstances' . . . was I wrong?

Where/how do all the 'conventional suspects' in the 'performance cruising multi' scene stack up on possibility of flipping in 40kts apparent . . . for instance would a gunboat do this? I am trying to get a sense of whether it's just this boat/design, or is there now a whole class of multiple designs/brands claiming to be 'blue water cruisers' that will flip in 40 apparent?
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Old 18-08-2010, 10:39   #189
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is there now a whole class of multiple designs/brands claiming to be 'blue water cruisers' that will flip in 40 apparent?
I don't know the answer to that, but I think of all the times I've experienced sudden gusts that possibly doubled the prevailing wind force. You need a big margin for error and obviously some are sailing with too little. A big (maybe 55 feet or so) modern cat, designed by a well-known designer, was hauled out in a boatyard where I was in Massachusetts last winter. The owner and boatyard folks thought it prudent to strap this boat down to the ground using ground anchors. Without any sail up it was considered hazardous to leave this boat not nailed down. I did look at it once or twice during a winter gale and it was visibly wiggling a bit, even with the straps. Makes you think. Plus, you have to throw in the sea-state situation when you're offshore. A gust, combined with a heave from the waves at just the right moment, along with a mainsheet that might be too tight, and possibly a misloaded boat, and over you go. It is rare, but apparently can happen. Still, I think the multihull proponents (of which I am one, believe it or not) quite rightly argue that you are much less likely to sink, which is a bigger threat to your life than flipping.
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Old 18-08-2010, 10:55   #190
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Just to add a bit, it's not 40 true but 40 apparent.

Remember they were working upwind in 12 to 20 app which is 6~10 true figuring boat speed is 6~10. We would'nt even been reefed.
NON Monsiur! Mais ouis! Vous screw up da reading!

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suddenly we were on a beam reach. I began turning the autopilot so that we would remain heading up. Then the wind speed jumped from 18 knots to 25, then to 30, then to 35 in the blink of an eye, both Glen and I yelled "let's reef" and we bounded out into the cockpit. When I saw the anemometer in the cockpit a couple of seconds later, the wind speed showed 45 knots,
They went from close hauled to the wind on the beam so the wind was True not apparent, apparently! Or true was the same as apparent.

I also shuffle to Evans that yes, of course, I make mistakes (all the time, unfortunately) but there mistakes and breaches of safety that have fatal consequences. High performance cats being the ultimate one where the trigger finger has got to be on the mainsheet.

These discussions are helpful. Drills like Immidiate Action Drills must be done for all errors that can cause the destruction of the boat.
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Old 18-08-2010, 11:03   #191
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you are much less likely to sink . . . than flipping.
Yes, that was the old theory/debate . . . but that's just simply not true if they will/could flip in 30-40 something true. We have been caught multiple times in 'sudden/unexpected' 2am squalls with +40kts true . . . just guessing but perhaps once every two years or perhaps a bit more frequent than that. We have actually not sunk (yet)

I am just trying to recalibrate my thinking here to these new facts.

Just for kicks:
Gunboat A57
LOA 66 57
Beam 22 28
Mast height 87 78

Just looking at those numbers I would have thought the A57 was rather more 'squall resistant' than the Gunboat (Which has less beam and more mast)! I don't know what the real displacement for the A57 would be, as the number on their website is obviously hyperbolic. Perhaps the Gunboat is a lot heavier, but you would not think so from their marketing or pricing.
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Old 18-08-2010, 11:07   #192
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By the way, too many catamaran steering stations are located far away from the sheets. On my cat I could reach both the jib sheets and the mainsheet from the helm. Also, I'm not convinced we have quick enough release cleats. Jam cleats are definitely out as they do jam. Cam cleats are the best answer so far, but even they get hard to release under high load and you have to be pulling up, not sideways. I could see coming up with something like a panic lever that you can hit that will just let everything fly, assuming the lines don't tangle and jam.
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Old 18-08-2010, 11:22   #193
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I could see coming up with something like a panic lever that you can hit that will just let everything fly, .

I think you makle a very good point. I see others have been thinking on the lines of quick release too, but your point is ever so slightly different.

If we look at industry if the court ruled that a winch system must have an 'emergency stop' or 'emergency release' button then the Pruduct Engeneer would be given the order: I want a big red button for emergencies. Make it work.

Maybe then we would have a big red button next to the self tailing winch that when hit lets fly the sheets.

What may seem difficult to us may be quite simple to the right qualified expert.



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Old 18-08-2010, 11:41   #194
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Have you ever seen a highly loaded sheet (maybe 8~12 tons on an Atlantic 57?) running free when the pawls strip? Are you sure you want that on your boat?

We are very, very, very cautious around sheets, winches and the triangle of death when loaded up. I would think long and hard about an emergency release.

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I think you makle a very good point. I see others have been thinking on the lines of quick release too, but your point is ever so slightly different.

If we look at industry if the court ruled that a winch system must have an 'emergency stop' or 'emergency release' button then the Pruduct Engeneer would be given the order: I want a big red button for emergencies. Make it work.

Maybe then we would have a big red button next to the self tailing winch that when hit lets fly the sheets.

What may seem difficult to us may be quite simple to the right qualified expert.



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Old 18-08-2010, 11:55   #195
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I think you makle a very good point. I see others have been thinking on the lines of quick release too
Is releasing the mainsheet a 'sure cure'?

It would be dead easy to put a 'fuse' in the mainsheet that blew at a certain load. Fuses are very common on many places around an Open 60.

But this design (A57) has quite aft leading stays (I have put a red line highlighting them). Its hard to tell from the photo . . . how far out can the mainsail actually go with that stay? And if you blow the sheet and the boom hits this stay (in 40kts), would the mast come down (admittedly far better than flipping but still . . . )? I guess I am not very happy with a 'solution' that suddenly released the mainsail totally free . . . that could easily kill someone.

The gunboat's side stays seem to hit the hull much further forward.

We are now recovering some old ground . . . a technical 'fix' . . . my surprise was fundamentally that this could happen in the first place.

Let me pose the question . . . for a bluewater doublehanded boat . . . what squall wind speed do you think it should be able to handle with full sails without being able to flip?? It's all good and well for us to say we will all always be excellent and prudent seamen. but remember that we all (and apparently even Mark with his velvet lined leash) make mistakes.
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