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Old 19-08-2010, 19:08   #226
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Originally Posted by tsmwebb View Post
Your assertion that the type is overpowered and difficult to handle seems to be made up out of thin air with a disregard for both the facts of the designs and their history of performance.
Hmmm . . . well there seem to be 8 A55/57's. And one (12%) has flipped. That may be 'big air' but is it "thin air"? It's not statistical but it is the fact and history we have to work with. ANd if you want to extend the sample to other brands, I know there have been several other flipped blue water cruising cats (perhaps 5 and those are just the ones I have accidentally become aware of) in the past couple years, but none were this large (which is why this incident is noteworthy).

I have understood your point, which seems to be that sailors of these boats should be skilled enough to be reefed down whenever necessary. So, perhaps I am simply not skilled enough to own one, as I know I get caught in 2am squalls with too much sail area on an every few year basis.

You don't seem to even acknowledge, much less address my simple point, which is that even good sailors 'screw up'. You just make fun of it "Your obsession with the idea that idea that a boat should be able to sail around all the time with all its sails set is absurd for any multihull." is not what I have said or meant . . . of course a boat needs to be reefed appropriately. But I, at least, in a squall would like my boat (And I think most blue water double handed cruising boats), to give me a bit of time to recover from distraction or fatigue or climbing out from fixing the engine or any of the 1000 other things that might have prevented me from being right on top of the situation.

I learned some valuable facts from other posters in this thread, which will be useful to me. But you and I have two such fundamentally different views on blue water cruising (you = the sailor should not screw up, me = the sailor surely will screw up) that our discussion is not very productive. so lets just agree to disagree and keep cruising in our own ways.
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Old 19-08-2010, 19:32   #227
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Originally Posted by Dave852 View Post
Evans,
My cats displacement is 27558 lbs as per the owners handbook. Also quoted directly from the handbook is the following "Theoretically. your St.Francis, in light ship condition, would blow over in 43 knots of wind providing the main and genoa were fully sheeted and the wind a-beam. In practice, however, depending upon sea conditions, this could even happen at an earlier stage particularly when taking wave slope and centrifugal forces into account"

Perhaps there should be a fuse in line for bluewater cruising. A shackle that will break at a specified breaking point. On second thought a better place for the fuse might be the mainsheet cleat so that when there is "x" amount of force on the cleat it releases. Seems complicated but if it will save the boat from turning turtle it sounds like a good idea.
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Old 19-08-2010, 20:09   #228
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After readin all he has said I gotta admit that this is what I am left with, poor guy;

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Jonah in sailors' superstition
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A long-established expression among sailors uses the term "a Jonah" as meaning a person (either a sailor or a passenger) whose presence on board brings bad luck and endangers the ship.[6] Later on, this meaning was extended to "a Jonah" referring to "a person who carries a jinx, one who will bring bad luck to any enterprise." [7] An example of a so-called "Jonah" would be that of the sailor in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, who was supposedly cursed to be lost at sea after he killed an albatross.
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Old 20-08-2010, 03:27   #229
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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
Hmmm . . . well there seem to be 8 A55/57's. And one (12%) has flipped. That may be 'big air' but is it "thin air"?
I'm not sure how that addresses "overpowered and difficult to handle". Honestly, in this case they didn't even try to take action until it was much too late. But, I owe you an apology. I was typing in haste and that whole paragraph was out of line. I am sorry.

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I have understood your point, which seems to be that sailors of these boats should be skilled enough to be reefed down whenever necessary. So, perhaps I am simply not skilled enough to own one, as I know I get caught in 2am squalls with too much sail area on an every few year basis.
If I may take another stab at it I am trying to makea somewhat more subtle point than that. It bothers me that I have been so bad at communicating it. Certainly, all cats must be sailed so that they will not capsize in a gust and that requires setting sails appropriately. I think on this we may agree. I think you are completely missing the point that stability is not at all a function of the wind speed at which a multi will capsize. I can design a 40 foot long by 15 foot wide cat that will have a wind capsize speed of 50 knots. But, I wouldn't sail such a boat offshore unless it had a fantastic self righting system because it would be very vulnerable to wave capsize. Also, I think you are missing the point that a lighter wider cat can be sailed with a reefs all the time or even given a short rig and still be quicker than a heavier boat with the same wind capsize number and be less vulnerable to wave capsize as well. The change in attitude that I think is required gong from a mono to a multi is that you must not drive a multi at 100% when cruising in the way that you can with a monohull. You have an extraordinary amount of experience and I have no doubt at all that you could cruise a multi safely.

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You don't seem to even acknowledge, much less address my simple point, which is that even good sailors 'screw up'. You just make fun of it "Your obsession with the idea that idea that a boat should be able to sail around all the time with all its sails set is absurd for any multihull." is not what I have said or meant . . .
Sorry again. That was said in frustration because you seem to be going back to the wind capsize number with full sail without consideration to the whole problem. Also, to be fair, I never suggested that sailors don't screw up and believe I even confessed to screwing up often myself in the post you are quoting.

Quote:
of course a boat needs to be reefed appropriately. But I, at least, in a squall would like my boat (And I think most blue water double handed cruising boats), to give me a bit of time to recover from distraction or fatigue or climbing out from fixing the engine or any of the 1000 other things that might have prevented me from being right on top of the situation.
FWIW, a deeply reefed cat can sail pretty well and will be quite forgiving given a bit of luck. There is always the possibility of dropping sail and I find that cats at least are very pleasant lying ahull in most conditions. But you've hit on the key difference. A sailor will have to choose how much sail he has up. If you have sail up that will capsize you in 50 knots and are hit by 60 you will go over quickly in any multihull. It is a mistake that can not be recovered from. Again, FWIW, I have four reefs in my main and typically sail offshore with two in which give me a 50ish knot capsize wind speed and still pretty routinely do 200 mile days. I put in more reefs for heavy weather and typically at a reef at night. That doesn't make me immune from mistakes and anyone can have a really bad day. It certainly isn't the only way to sail and I can see how it wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea.

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I learned some valuable facts from other posters in this thread, which will be useful to me. But you and I have two such fundamentally different views on blue water cruising (you = the sailor should not screw up, me = the sailor surely will screw up) that our discussion is not very productive. so lets just agree to disagree and keep cruising in our own ways.
I'm sorry that I didn't communicate my ideas to you effectively. I simply do not believe I said and certainly did not mean to say anything like what you seem to feel I did. I'm more than happy to try to restate my thoughts if you think it will help. In any case, I wish you well.

Tom
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Old 20-08-2010, 04:47   #230
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The capsize of ANNA is not unusual just from the standpoint of her length but also from the manner of capsize. Most, if not all, capsizes I've read about in cruising catamarans happen due to pitchpoling, not rolling on their side. My catamaran is 1 foot shorter then ANNA and as I had said before, I doubt she has enough strength in her rig to be blown over (I'm not certain of that though, now). ANNA, to me, was not a cruising catamaran. Rather, she was a performance catamaran used for cruising.
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Old 20-08-2010, 07:40   #231
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The excahnges between tsmwebb and estarzinger have been interesting. It seems to me that estarzinger has a bias (perhaps not conscious) and hyperfocuses or simplifies the broad discussion of safety at sea to multihulls and capsize. Granted this is an important aspect of the debate and the reason for this thread but is myopic for some of the overgeneralzied statments made. In this case yes, it seems that a series of events culminated with the cat being overpowred by the wind and capsizing. As to broader implications of this to the general seaworthiness of cruising catamarans estarzinger arguments are still lacking more objective power.
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Old 20-08-2010, 08:05   #232
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It has been interesting. My take on the exchange.

1) Estarzinger has trouble coming to terms that a multi must be actively sailed 100% of the time or trouble can ensue.

2) They've sailed tens of thousands of miles on two different boats and realize sailors simply can't actively sail 100% of the time.

This is not a bias, it's a conflict. They are trying to find a way to move to a multi but item #1 and item #2 conflict. They are looking for a way to resolve the conflict.


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Originally Posted by OneEyedJack View Post
The excahnges between tsmwebb and estarzinger have been interesting. It seems to me that estarzinger has a bias (perhaps not conscious) and hyperfocuses or simplifies the broad discussion of safety at sea to multihulls and capsize. Granted this is an important aspect of the debate and the reason for this thread but is myopic for some of the overgeneralzied statments made. In this case yes, it seems that a series of events culminated with the cat being overpowred by the wind and capsizing. As to broader implications of this to the general seaworthiness of cruising catamarans estarzinger arguments are still lacking more objective power.
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Old 20-08-2010, 08:10   #233
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Originally Posted by OneEyedJack View Post
As to broader implications of this to the general seaworthiness of cruising catamarans.
I have no argument with that. I have been very focused on the ANNA incident and implications for squall capsize simply because that is the news from the Anna incident; and not on any of the other many aspects of safety and seaworthiness - where there is not any news, and where I think I understand the issues/trade-offs.

I am still trying to juggle the concept and safety trade-offs of a fuse (or other type of automatic release). It seems to me that perhaps the best technical answer would be to have a fuse on the clew of the mainsail (connection between clew and outhaul).

That would not cause all the potential safety factors that a fuse on the sheet/boom causes (possibly hitting a person or hitting that side stay). These sails will certainly have full battens so you will probably not even have a madly flapping sail - might just have a few broken battens to replace.

The clew fuse would only work with a full hoist mainsail, so you would probably also have to fuse the attachment points for at least the first reef clew (i presume these sails use clew reefing blocks and the lashing/attachment of that block to the sail could easily be a fuse).

You would size the fuse to break at perhaps the 10 or 15 degree righting moment load. These fuses are easy to build and inexpensive (they are just a load tested spectra lashing). I honestly can't see why you would not do this when rigging one of these boats. The only downside I can see is that it would be one more piece of important gear to inspect and replace (perhaps annually). It would be a PITA if you let UV or chafe eat/weaken the fuse and it let go on a nice daysail with the inlaws on board
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Old 20-08-2010, 08:14   #234
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Not all cats are the same. I'm sure if it was a Prout 50 they wouldn't have capsized but they also wouldn't have the speed potential of the Atlantic. It seems to me that Evan would be better of with a multi like the Prout 50. It's like comparing a Westsail 32 to a Performance/racing 32' monohull. The performance mono may be knocked down in a 20 kt. Gust but does that make all 32' monos unsafe for offshore work. The Atlantic and the performance mono would have greater speed potential at the cost of the skipper having to be more cautious in the way they sail it.
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Old 20-08-2010, 08:39   #235
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Originally Posted by Joli View Post
It has been interesting. My take on the exchange.

1) Estarzinger has trouble coming to terms that a multi must be actively sailed 100% of the time or trouble can ensue.

2) They've sailed tens of thousands of miles on two different boats and realize sailors simply can't actively sail 100% of the time.

This is not a bias, it's a conflict. They are trying to find a way to move to a multi but item #1 and item #2 conflict. They are looking for a way to resolve the conflict.
This episode does speak to a big anxiety for multi's. I am not sure about pont two. I guess it deprends on what is ment by actively sailed. Yes mono's are more forgiving and speak to you more that a cat. But by activly sailed 100% of the time, as much as anyone can do anyting 100% of the time, making decsions about prudent sail area seems a reasonable trade off to some (me) for the benefits of this design. I would not say that one cannot do this and thus by nature it is dangerous. It is a risk that needs to managed. If you don't wish to manage this risk then yes a mono would be "safer". Yet mono's have some inherent "risks" in there design (no lets not revive this tired debate) that also need to be managed and for some the thought of a loss of hull integrity or the like is a risk they would not rather mange.

So I guess after all that I guess I would disagree that this is a "bipolar" conflict, as I would soften what I think you are implying by actively sailed, thus no longer making it impossible to do.
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Old 20-08-2010, 08:39   #236
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I have huge concerns with fusable type systems. Do you want to be anywhere near 1000 sq ft of uncontrolled sail, especially the clew when a squall blows through?

We make double damn sure to be in a safe position when sailing upwind with 20 true and 11 knots of boat speed. I can't imagine the winch sheering pawls and unloading or the recoil of a boom when the clew blows. How do you think your melon would feel if it was tapped by the boom recoil?

No thanks, not me.


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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
I have no argument with that. I have been very focused on the ANNA incident and implications for squall capsize simply because that is the news from the Anna incident; and not on any of the other many aspects of safety and seaworthiness - where there is not any news, and where I think I understand the issues/trade-offs.

I am still trying to juggle the concept and safety trade-offs of a fuse (or other type of automatic release). It seems to me that perhaps the best technical answer would be to have a fuse on the clew of the mainsail (connection between clew and outhaul).

That would not cause all the potential safety factors that a fuse on the sheet/boom causes (possibly hitting a person or hitting that side stay). These sails will certainly have full battens so you will probably not even have a madly flapping sail - might just have a few broken battens to replace.

The clew fuse would only work with a full hoist mainsail, so you would probably also have to fuse the attachment points for at least the first reef clew (i presume these sails use clew reefing blocks and the lashing/attachment of that block to the sail could easily be a fuse).

You would size the fuse to break at perhaps the 10 or 15 degree righting moment load. These fuses are easy to build and inexpensive (they are just a load tested spectra lashing). I honestly can't see why you would not do this when rigging one of these boats. The only downside I can see is that it would be one more piece of important gear to inspect and replace (perhaps annually). It would be a PITA if you let UV or chafe eat/weaken the fuse and it let go on a nice daysail with the inlaws on board
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Old 20-08-2010, 08:56   #237
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Originally Posted by Joli View Post
I have huge concerns with fusable type systems. Do you want to be anywhere near 1000 sq ft of uncontrolled sail, especially the clew when a squall blows through?

We make double damn sure to be in a safe position when sailing upwind with 20 true and 11 knots of boat speed. I can't imagine the winch sheering pawls and unloading or the recoil of a boom when the clew blows. How do you think your melon would feel if it was tapped by the boom recoil?

No thanks, not me.
That means one of two things 1) you have to trust to luck that the boat won't flip or 2) you have to actively sail the boat all the time which is unrealistic in my cruising experience. If you haad a fuseable link in the clew you could also have a safety line that would allow the sail to flog but also allow you to recover the sail after the incident. Interesting discussion here. I have only sailed a cat once and that was in light air but they sure are comfortable.
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Old 20-08-2010, 09:01   #238
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When I think of "actively" sailing a boat it's hands on the sheets and helm 24/7 (ie racing). Cruising we don't sail that way. We manage the boat "in-actively" (ie auto running with sheets cleated while we stand watch).

The bulk of the responses have been they "should have released the sheets" prior to capsizing. But, if they we're "in-actively" cruising the boat they may not have been in a position to begin "actively" sailing the boat.

If you agree with the definition of "actively" and "in-actively" when sailing/cruising a boat how does a mom and pop crew cruise this type of boat?

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Originally Posted by OneEyedJack View Post
This episode does speak to a big anxiety for multi's. I am not sure about pont two. I guess it deprends on what is ment by actively sailed. Yes mono's are more forgiving and speak to you more that a cat. But by activly sailed 100% of the time, as much as anyone can do anyting 100% of the time, making decsions about prudent sail area seems a reasonable trade off to some (me) for the benefits of this design. I would not say that one cannot do this and thus by nature it is dangerous. It is a risk that needs to managed. If you don't wish to manage this risk then yes a mono would be "safer". Yet mono's have some inherent "risks" in there design (no lets not revive this tired debate) that also need to be managed and for some the thought of a loss of hull integrity or the like is a risk they would not rather mange.

So I guess after all that I guess I would disagree that this is a "bipolar" conflict, as I would soften what I think you are implying by actively sailed, thus no longer making it impossible to do.
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Old 20-08-2010, 09:34   #239
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When I think of "actively" sailing a boat it's hands on the sheets and helm 24/7 (ie racing). Cruising we don't sail that way. We manage the boat "in-actively" (ie auto running with sheets cleated while we stand watch).

The bulk of the responses have been they "should have released the sheets" prior to capsizing. But, if they we're "in-actively" cruising the boat they may not have been in a position to begin "actively" sailing the boat.

If you agree with the definition of "actively" and "in-actively" when sailing/cruising a boat how does a mom and pop crew cruise this type of boat?
Interesting points. Let me preface that I am relatively new to sailing and have not yet cruised so please don't think I have any real earned standing here. I am also newer to catamarans havent even owned mine a year, but I do go out quite often.

I have thought about this a bit as we do plan to cruise (12 1/2 months and couting!!), in my current boat a Seawind 1000. I would choose to sail conservativly when I felt conditions warranted it. I suppose in "in-actively" mode. I think with the approach there is a very low probablity that even with a very low probability event (microburst) my cat would flip. I hope to get an Outremer 55, that makes me a bit more nervous and I need to get more experience and learn more about the boat. I do have bit of the nerves when considering higher sail area to displacement cats. I haven't run any numbers (as I can't find CE for the capsize formula's) but I would certainly have game plans for typical situations and I think/hope that I would be able to cruise even the Outremer, at some point safely.
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Old 20-08-2010, 09:37   #240
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Originally Posted by Joli View Post
I have huge concerns with fusable type systems. Do you want to be anywhere near 1000 sq ft of uncontrolled sail, especially the clew when a squall blows through?

I can't imagine the winch sheering pawls and unloading or the recoil of a boom when the clew blows.
Yes, that's why I said i was "still juggling the safety trade-offs". . . But consider the three options: (1) letting the clew blow, (2) letting the boom fly, and (3) capsizing. #1 seems to me to be the least worst. I don't see any other options - am I missing one?

I guess there are two other options: (4) agree with you and Beth and just stick with Hawk (mono), (5) sail with more crew so we can pay more attention and care to the sailing than we can/do when doublehanded. . . actually Beth and I have discussed this and agree it would change 'cruising' too much for us to even consider it. But I actually wonder how many of these big performance cats have done double handed passages . . . all the big gunboats we know have had at least 3 for passages.

The attached graph (below) is interesting. It suggests two things to me. #1 we could easily size the fuse so it would not blow 'in normal sailing' but would blow well before capsize (where I have placed the red x), and #2 my tri would be at least a little more forgiving and give me a little more time to wake up before going irreversible.

The following is also interesting. I have no idea how accurate it is, but purports to be a formula which answers one of the questions I was asking (how much wind in flat water would cause capsize).





.................1
  • Where :
  • D = displacement (lbs).
  • CE = height of the center of effort above the center of gravity (C.G.) in feet.
  • SF = windspeed in MPH that the boat has to reduce sail.
  • SA = sail area in square feet.
  • B = beam between the cenerlines of the outer hulls in feet.
"Typical values for SF can vary between 12 mph for a Formula 40 racing catamaran, to over 40 mph for cruising multihulls. A modern light cruiser racer would be in the range of 24 to 30 mph"

This is consistent with the various numbers posted in the thread.
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