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Old 05-08-2010, 09:06   #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southern Star View Post
The Atlantic is a very high performance catamaran with relatively light displacement and a huge SA/D ratio. It is a cruising boat in the same way that a Ferrari is a street car. Neither is any less safe than their more pedestrian cousins, so long as one realizes that with all that 'horsepower' on tap, one has to let up on the gas pedal far more frequently. With the forecast they had and in the area they were sailing, pushing the envelope so close with respect to sail area is akin to putting your foot to the floor in a Ferrari while approaching a blind curve - and a blind curve that may be covered in loose gravel or oil. Keep the pedal to the metal in that kind of boat in those circumstances and you takes your chances......

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This puts many things in perspective for me SS...Thanks
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Old 05-08-2010, 09:07   #107
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Joli -
Apparently you think stopping the squabble isn't such a good idea. In accordance with your wishes I could point out that a multihull visibly floating around is inherently more likely to receive press coverage than a monohull that has disappeared from sight.
I could also say that monohull sinkings are so common that they aren't considered newsworthy.
But I want to stop the squabble, so I won't say either of those things.
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Old 05-08-2010, 09:14   #108
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Mike I listed 5 multis that went over or almost went over in the past 2 months. List 5 mono's that sank in the past 2 months. And the population of monos is ~100 times larger?

Again my apology for ruffling feathers but I feel these are salient points that should be openly discussed by cruisers on a cruisers forum.
I think the problem is when a mono sinks there's no evidence of it sinking where when a multi flips there's a great photo op. And a news worthy story. What about the Pride Of Baltimore, a large mono 150' maybe that sank in I believe minutes on a nice day? I think it was hit by a microburst.
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Old 05-08-2010, 10:26   #109
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Factor isn't interested in getting to the bottom of these events, he already knows the cause: remember, he doesn't blame the sailors or the designer, he places FULL blame on the concept - eg, mulithulls are inherently dangerous/unsafe. He was on the boat and KNOWS that there is nothing they could have done to avoid it; and afterall, why blame or even consider the specifics of any particular design, when full blame is attributable to the concept of the mulithull itself!

Even if there had been 5 capsizes and near capsizes in the last two months (and the allegedly 'near' capsize is no different that trying to calculate how many monohulls in the same period 'nearly' sank, or were knocked down), there is no statistical significance; nor is it any indication of a trend. Whether Joli likes to believe it or not, marine insurance companies do not typically charge greater premiums for cruising multihulls than monohulls of the same value, because their substantial statistical base satisfies them that they are not a greater risk to insure. Somehow, I suspect that the actuaries who they employ have a far better handle on the issue (and a far more legitimate statistical base) than Joli.

In any event, we have Joli's useful contribution: all mulithulls, regardless of how they are sailed or designed, are inherently unsafe. Now those of us who suspect that there may be something that can/should be done to reduce the risk of capsize, can move on.

Brad
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Old 05-08-2010, 10:37   #110
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If you are a cat owner - do you really care about the posters baiting here for an arguement? The fact is that a large high performance cat did flip, didn't sink, and the crew where rescured. I'd be interested in whether the boat is salvaged.

As to the cause, you only have to read the travel log of the owner. Here is a part:

Besides being a unique boat in appearance, Anna is also quite a complex one. From the sailorís point of view she offers a
lot of combinations with three fulltime sails and an asymmetrical spinnaker, but this also results in an enormous amount of
rigging. Here is a list of her running rigging (which you non-sailors may wish to skip):
7 winches, including two electric, one of which is mounted horizontally
24 cam cleats
13 fairlead blocks
2 barberhauler blocks
2 daggerboard blocks, each with an ingenious locking device
4 halyards, with the main being double purchase
2 topping lifts (one for each boom)
2 lines for the traveler
2 lines for the preventers for the main
2 spinnaker guys
2 spinnaker sheets
2 barberhauler lines
2 daggerboard looped lines
2 genoa sheets
1 mainsheet
1 genoa furling line
1 jib sheet
1 jib outhaul
1 jib furling line
1 downhaul for the mainsail

In the cockpit there are a couple of rails with a total of 14 half-inch-thick stainless steel hooks about 8 inches long and 4
inches deep to hang most of these lines on.

There are also 6 blocks and several lines for our dinghy davits, a long loop of line of about 140 ft. for use with the spinnaker
sock, and a couple of blocks and lines to put up the awning on the aft deck.

I think that it all but I am not sure.

The gear is all first class, of course, but the lines are not color-coded well, being mostly green or red, which adds to the
confusion. I personally am not experienced with a horizontally-mounted winch. and it was my mishandling of the tail of the
jib outhaul around it that caused our first problem, when we tore the sail. I later made a similar mistake and finally figured
out that I was holding the line at a bad angle when releasing line off that winch, and now make certain not to repeat that
again.

In retrospect we really should have undertaken an extra few days of training before we set off from Valdivia. The launching
of the boat had been delayed, though, so the sailing season was getting ever shorter as winter set in, and so we eagerly
grasped at the first opportunity to leave, due somewhat to the natural impatience of our skipper.

There where constant problems the captain and crew experienced on this voyage. The end result is that they had to much sail up in squally weather. The sail lines on this boat are an absolute jumble. The only thing, IMO, that could have saved the boat from capsize during this was to cut the cut the mainsheet. And you would have had to be right next to it.

What I've learned is that a high proformance boat demands high proformance crew. There wasn't any forgiveness with an error of judgement. Like most of you, I have a knife lashed to a pole next to my mainsheet clutch for just such an emergency.

Another thing I got out of Anna's journal is the design of their (and my) trampoline is/was wrong. I replaced mine with the super comfortable plastic mesh a couple months ago. At the time I wondered if I would need to get a blue water net as a replacement when doing passages and now I know.
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Old 05-08-2010, 10:51   #111
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Hi y'all,

Wow, I am so sorry to hear these folks had such a disaster. It is heartbreaking indeed.

I have sailed a Lagoon 380 catamaran over 17,000 miles now, full time cruising.

I am always reticent to start picking apart someone else's calamity and second guessing, so I have nothing to say about the big cat flipping except that it's a tragedy.

And I sure have no desire to argue the monohull/cat debate. I've written all I can say about it over the years and basically, BOTH sides and the most zealous advocates in each camp do very little to serve common sense and create any true picture in my opinion.

As far as I am concerned, it does not take much letting your guard down to have a disaster on ANY BOAT, no matter it's design or displacement.

I have "done the math" many times on Mono vs. Cat and I really don't know for sure that either has any real upper hand. It's more a luck of the draw as to what type of specific problem threatens your vessel. Monohulls do better fending off some threats, cats do better fending off others.

What I will say is that every boat design has it's own set of concerns, and that's the point.

The issue becomes: are you willing to meet the challenges of the safe operation of your precise, specific vessel (note: cats/monos/powerboats can't be lumped into one category . . . I guess it's the easier way to argue, but that approach has no merit if you ask me).

Is your cat sailplan so aggressive that it poses greater risks in microbursts? Does your deep draft keel on that monohull require keen attention to reefs and tides?

If you are looking for an "idiot proof" boat, or one that skillful handling can render invincible, then stay home. Any one boat can get CREAMED on any given day, even with a great skipper at the helm.

As for handling high wind bursts on a cat, all I have to offer is what has worked for ME. We have a strict set of rules we have NEVER ONCE deviated from.

When there is ANY threat of wind increases: around headlands and points in sunny weather; when ANY type of squall approaches closer that five miles (per radar and visual), or when there is even the slightest concern about wind overpowering the boat, we ARE 100% READY AT THE HELM.

I have learned (and it took longer than a year to get with the program), to strike ALL SAIL when a squall approaches that has any possibility at all of high winds . . . a tiny little 1/2 mile diameter day shower with no elevation to the clouds is no big deal; but when a cell is a few miles wide, it's easier and safer to just drop/furl the sails and not worry.

Yep, it's more work. Yep, you can't wait for/risk a raildown to warn you like on a monohull.

Multihull sailing is more work, more complicated, and requires more pro-active efforts and a sharper lookout. It has an additional set of skills and work not necessarily needed on a monohull.

And even more important, when sail is up, we NEVER leave the mainsheet in the the line clutch . . . even on a Bluebird Day . . . it is always left on the winch, ready to dump instantly.

I have been very lucky because my learning curve has been kind enough to allow me to gain respect for these surprise winds, and adopt extremely safe practices to deal with the issue.

You can bet that when a squall line hits, my foulies are on, all sail is struck, both engines are running and I am at the helm and have slowed down to meet the challenge.

If those types of practices are adhered to WITHOUT FAIL, it's hard to get into too much trouble.

Who was it, Admiral Nimitz? . . . who said that it is not legitimate to resent arduous preparations that proved unecessary at sea, but instead it is those extra efforts that have kept mariners safe for centuries.

And I guess that's my last comment. If you are fastidious in selecting weather windows and sailing in accepted routes in-season, and are equally fastidiuos and PRO-ACTIVE in your ultra-safe operation of the vessel, without fail, chances are the issue of catamaran and monohull will have no bearing at all on your success, or failure for that matter.

You make a lot of your own luck.

I love all the boats: cats, mono's, trawlers . . . I say get what turns you on and then be the best you can with learning the real areas of concern that particular vessel presents and then be vigilant accordingly.

Peace, love, and here's to safe cruising,

Buddy
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Old 05-08-2010, 10:51   #112
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Going back to the electric solenoid on the main sheet tied into a heal inclinometer for activation...I think it would be better to have it blow the clew of the main ( here again a loose footed main) as this solves the inherent issue of how one decides to tail a main sheet and all the issues of wild running sheet and boom issues.

Sure you have an expensive bit of cloth flailing around and possibly getting destroyed...but Id rather deal with that rudder side down thank you...

Have it only activated by input from an inclinometer ( or panic button ) would eliminate any premature release inherent to a weak link system due to jarring of sea state , fatigue of the part or other influences...It could be a robust system...admittedly dependent on electricity but that is IMHO a better option then a weak link system where you you'd always be Leary of a possible parting say during a gybe or something.


Edit:....Nice Post Buddy
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Old 05-08-2010, 12:03   #113
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You make a lot of your own luck.

I've always liked the quotes
"Luck is where preperation and opportunity meet"
and
"I've always been a lucky golfer, the more I practice, the luckier I get"
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Old 05-08-2010, 12:59   #114
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Brad, out of curiosity where do you place the blame, the sailors or the concept? Certainly this a valid question, either all the sailors that encountered problems "made a mistake" or the concept is at fault?

If you believe all the sailors are less the worthy where do you find worthy sailors?. If you believe the concept is at fault then what is the industry doing to resolve the issue?

Five problems in 2 months draws attention and is worth an open and fair discussion.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Southern Star View Post
Factor isn't interested in getting to the bottom of these events, he already knows the cause: remember, he doesn't blame the sailors or the designer, he places FULL blame on the concept - eg, mulithulls are inherently dangerous/unsafe. He was on the boat and KNOWS that there is nothing they could have done to avoid it; and afterall, why blame or even consider the specifics of any particular design, when full blame is attributable to the concept of the mulithull itself!

Even if there had been 5 capsizes and near capsizes in the last two months (and the allegedly 'near' capsize is no different that trying to calculate how many monohulls in the same period 'nearly' sank, or were knocked down), there is no statistical significance; nor is it any indication of a trend. Whether Joli likes to believe it or not, marine insurance companies do not typically charge greater premiums for cruising multihulls than monohulls of the same value, because their substantial statistical base satisfies them that they are not a greater risk to insure. Somehow, I suspect that the actuaries who they employ have a far better handle on the issue (and a far more legitimate statistical base) than Joli.

In any event, we have Joli's useful contribution: all mulithulls, regardless of how they are sailed or designed, are inherently unsafe. Now those of us who suspect that there may be something that can/should be done to reduce the risk of capsize, can move on.

Brad
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Old 05-08-2010, 13:19   #115
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Peace, love, and here's to safe cruising,

Buddy
Nice post

FWIW I don't see Cats as design flawed - just have design characteristics that shouldn't be ignored. Just as on any other boat.

I hardly think that the recent(ish) 5 cases constitute a trend, but maybe a bit of a reality check - more performance always comes at a cost. Sometimes worth paying. sometimes not - but always a personal calculation. Applies onshore and afloat - Cruising Cats simply not an exception.
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Old 05-08-2010, 13:36   #116
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I am under the impression from having read about righting flipped cats, that it is very doable with the right folks on the righting vessel's helms. Is there any reason this vessel will not be salvaged by this type of action?

Also, the selling point IIRC of the ETAP brand of Monohull sailboats were that they were/are unsinkable monohulls. Can anyone with firsthand experience elaborate on how or if it is true?
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Old 05-08-2010, 14:02   #117
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I believe that DOJ and Mudbug have it right (wow, that's twice today we have agreed, David!). Jolie, I (and others here) see no value in debating (or placing full blame, as you do) on the 'concept' of a multihull, any more that we believe that last weekends sinking of an Alberg 35 in the Great Lakes should inpsire a debate about the 'concept' of a ballasted monohull.

The idea, on the other hand, of a pressure/heel released clew/sheets as proposed by Pelagic and Stillraining seems very productive. Wow, they would even be helpful on monohulls!

I am no engineer, but what about a line clutch placed in front of the winch which can be mechanically locked down, but which uses an electronic weigh scale that trips a microswitch, releasing the cam when a certain pre-set, but adjustable load is reached. The cam is spring loaded to naturally fly up when not locked in the down position, and the load is measured off the axle to the cam when it is locked in the down position.

One can use a reverse jibe preventer to stop the boom from contacting the aft shrouds when the sheet is released. Alternatively, is the mechanical principle behind a torque wrench something that could be used on the cam in the line clutch, using the scale to trigger a microswitch?

In any event, I am highly interested in the idea of adjustable, load released line clutches. I think it would have helped the Anna and many other boats that have suffered wind assisted knock-downs, or capsizes.

Brad
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Old 05-08-2010, 14:14   #118
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I found this an interesting take on "Anna" :

From Chris White:

Quote:
"Another interesting modification was the change to asymmetrical daggerboards. Prior A55's had used either swing up centerboards or symmetrical daggers. Both worked well but it seemed that windward performance could be ratcheted up from excellent to spectacular by using a dagger board that created extra lift. This is evident when sailing the A57 to windward as it makes no noticeable leeway.
and this astute observation:

Quote:
Having "no noticeable leeway" greatly reduces the dynamic stability of a boat and will make it more susceptible to capsize when there is too much sail up. S/V Anna was sailing to windward presumably with daggers deployed. S/V Anna was kept light by the owner and did not have a generator. S/V Anna is a performance boat built for speed, is very light for its length and the amount of sail it flies, and has reduced dynamic stability due to the use of asymmetrical daggerboards. These characteristics result in a very fast boat but one that is more susceptible to capsizing if the sails are not reefed properly.
And some anecdotal information from the skipper himself during some of their almost immediate trials and tribulations immediately after taking delivery of Anna as they set off from Chile:


Quote:
"In retrospect we really should have undertaken an extra few days of training before we set off from Valdivia. The launching of the boat had been delayed, though, so the sailing season was getting ever shorter as winter set in, and so we eagerly grasped at the first opportunity to leave, due somewhat to the natural impatience of our skipper.

All would have still been fine had we not been supplied with defective turnbuckles that attach the stays and shrouds - stainless steel cable and rod - to the hulls. We would have made the same teething mistakes anyway, getting used to the gear and the layout, but we would not have been put in the situation we are in now, which is pre-crisis, preparing for the worst case of losing the boat, which is a remote possibility."
So this was the 3rd time during the journey where they had to contemplate losing the boat. I'm going to try to take my own advice and not speculate furthur since I deplore monday morning quarterbacking - especially my own...
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Old 05-08-2010, 14:17   #119
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Also, the selling point IIRC of the ETAP brand of Monohull sailboats were that they were/are unsinkable monohulls. Can anyone with firsthand experience elaborate on how or if it is true?

Yes, they will float in small pieces. Seriously if holed they will float, awash but floating. Also some time ago somebody was selling air bags with an inflation system for sailboats. Problem was the bags took up most of your storage space.
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Old 05-08-2010, 14:52   #120
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Very nice post Buddy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mudbug View Post
If you are looking for an "idiot proof" boat, or one that skillful handling can render invincible, then stay home. Any one boat can get CREAMED on any given day, even with a great skipper at the helm.
Indeed. And, the run between NZ and the Islands can be particularly difficult. Many folks have been hammered on it in all kinds of boats. The sea is big, powerful and at times very dangerous. For example, while I was on the dock in Noumea in '01 two yachts were lost en route from NZ one with loss of life.

Quote:
...
I have learned (and it took longer than a year to get with the program), to strike ALL SAIL when a squall approaches that has any possibility at all of high winds . . . a tiny little 1/2 mile diameter day shower with no elevation to the clouds is no big deal; but when a cell is a few miles wide, it's easier and safer to just drop/furl the sails and not worry.
There is nothing quite like time in the boat to get a little perspective. When I first started cruising in my cat I pushed it hard --eg. from New Cal to NZ I averaged 11 sail changes a day and I had hanked on jibs at the time. It took me a while to realize that while fast can be fun, and it is nice to have the ability so sail fast, slowing down can be restful, pleasant and safer.

I suspect that one of the destructive results of the silly cat/mono debate is that it needles new multi owners into pushing harder than they ought. If you finish a passage quickly (I recall sailing past a fleet of ULDB monos on a fast run from Fiji to Opua) your efforts are dismissed because you a sailing a multi. On the other hand, if you take it easy or just have a slow run because of the WX you are sure to get heat from somebody about that -- on another trip to NZ we hove to north of 30 for over a day to let a storm pass over the North Island and got a lot of the "I thought cat's were fast" junk on arrival. Particularly for the recovering racers among us I feel it is critical to remember that ocean passages are marathons over sometimes difficult and dangerous ground. They should be taken easily and with great care without regard for the "competition" and the RRS should be chucked out the window -- for instance if you're sailing an auxiliary the motors are there to be used when appropriate.

Quote:
If those types of practices are adhered to WITHOUT FAIL, it's hard to get into too much trouble.
And yet a micro burst out of a fair weather sky may be an "act of God". They can take out houses and airplanes on the ground but are rare enough that we don't avoid houses or planes for fear of them. With all the care in the world eventually one's number comes up. Sometimes you get lucky. We were delayed in La Paz when Maryann's appendix burst. If we'd been at sea as planned she would have died. Being offshore exposes you to many dangers and removes you from the kind of help that many of us take for granted. Voyaging in small boats no matter how many hulls is not really an act of sane people. It's probably fundamentally silly, but much of the time it can be a lot of fun for those willing to risk it...

Tom
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