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Old 02-09-2014, 13:51   #1
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Monohull captain wonders how to manage to catamaran

Hello to you experienced catamaran sailors and cruisers.

I KNOW I am looking at the following question/issues from the bias of a long-time monohull sailor and I am sure I am missing something obvious. But 38’+ catamaran helming/underway management seems a little foreign to me.

My wife and I have been racing and sailing monohulls (Sunfish, C-scows, 460s, Ton-boats, Tartan 42s, etc) and sailboards for over 40 years. We have also done quite a bit of cruising from the North end of Vancouver Island to Acapulco in our Caliber 40 during the last 20 years. We have lived aboard off and on during the last 14 years. I have single handed our Caliber 40 cutter all over the Sea of Cortez, Southern California, and Puget Sound.

We are now seriously considering a catamaran as our live aboard home and long distance cruiser. Our reasons for the switch are several:

- I am 67 years old and have had seven knee surgeries. My knees are pretty much shot and barely function. A flat sailing and living platform with no stairs in the day to day life sounds like a good idea.

- We want more on-deck living space open to the “outside” since we are currently in San Diego and plan on never living anywhere colder than here.

- We want more “separate” space so each of us can have our own space (me to read and play on the computer, her to watch TV and cook) but still be together.

- My wife, who had a 15-degree heel rule while cruising, wants a flat and stable platform for our cruising life. She is tired of night-time watches in a cockpit rolling 20 degrees side-to-side.

We are fortunate in having a close friend who runs a catamaran charter and sailing business. He has a lot of experience with inshore and offshore catamaran sailing and is leading us along the catamaran path.

My brother, who is an experienced mono-hull sailor, has chartered several 40-foot cats in the Virgin Islands. He too praises the cruising virtues of cats.

I do not need to hear about catamaran motion, noise, or safety. I am only interested in boat handling and management from the perspective of the helm station being remote from the main cockpit area.

I want to hear from those of you who have “been there – done that.”

My wife is currently in-lust with a Lagoon 440/450. Personally, I think it ugly, but can see the practicality of the boat for a live aboard situation.

I have several fundamental (at least they are to me!) questions about 40’+ cats and the operation of those boats.

1) How does a two-person crew manage a 45’ boat with 6’ of freeboard when the helm is ten-feet above the dock and five feet above the aft cockpit?

2) How does a two-person crew dock in a cross-wind when one person is so far from the boat corners and so high in the air? How do you get off a 6’ freeboard hull quickly and safely while docking?

3) While underway does the helmsman have to stay perched up in the air? That seems strange to me. I am used to having the autopilot/windvane steer the boat but I am always within a couple feet of the wheel and winches / sheet stoppers no matter where I am in the cockpit or even in the galley.

4) If the helmsman has to stay on their perch – can that ONE person manage the main and jib/genoa from the perch?

5) We have done quite a few sea-miles and our normal practice is for only one person to be on deck. Is that practice possible in a bigger cat with an elevated helm station?

6) When out cruising on multi-day passages – doesn’t it get lonely for the helmsman up their on their perch? How do they interact with folks in the aft deck area?

7) Am I missing something fundamental here?

We have looked at a Seawind 1160 and a Lagoon 380. I am puzzled how the helmsman operates those boats for long term passage making. I am used to being in a cockpit where I can see thru or over the dodger from any position. On both of the Seawind and the Lagoon I can not see forward from anywhere except the helmsman seat.

8) When operating on day long or multi-day trips – does the helmsman have to be sitting in the helm seat all the time. If not – how do you keep watch forward?

9) Can someone explain how one operates / manages a 38’ cat for extended periods with limited visibility from the aft cockpit area.

Thanks for any insights you can offer.
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Old 02-09-2014, 14:05   #2
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Re: Monohull captain wonders how to manage to catamaran

Hi TS
Just do a sail with your brother on a Cat and all will be revealed.
YOU have to be happy.
We could tell you till the cows come home but better you see it for yourself.
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Old 02-09-2014, 14:22   #3
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Re: Monohull captain wonders how to manage to catamaran

Hi TS
First rule is probably don't lean over as you might on a mono, you might fall overboard

I have the same separation anxiety as you regarding the 450 and 440. I prefer be nearer the saloon and cockpit. I'll leave the 450 owners to answer those specific questions.
We had a 380 for 2 years and now a 400. Visibility from both are excellent. On both you can see clearly all around from the helm, cockpit and saloon through the windows. I prefer lookout from the helm, but often spend time in the cockpit or nav desk keeping watch. The good thing is it's just a couple of steps between. I like how you can have eye contact with anyone in the cockpit or saloon from the helm which is one reason I don't think the 450 would suit us, and anyway it's much bigger than we need.
Docking can be more difficult, and it can be easier. Yes it's a big jump down so it's best to manage the mooring lines from the boat by lassoing a cleat. 2 engines makes docking easier in most situations. Additional windage needs to be allowed for over a yacht with less freeboard.
Actual sailing is very easy. Single handed tacking is simple, especially with an electric winch or two at the helm same with raising sails, reeling etc. it's rare we need to leave the helm area for any sailing operations.
I would arrange for a look on board a 400 if I were you. It may be a good compromise between space, payload and helm position of the 380 and 450
There are a lot of downsides to larger boats, more cleaning, maintainance, insurance, fuel, initial cost, berthing cost etc. the upside is more room for yourselves and guests and probably slightly increased performance, but for us the 400 has all we need to live aboard as well as space for 4 guests.
There are also a lot of couples sailing 440s and 450s so I'm sure some will chime in on your other questions. One big Benifit of the flybridge is for the skipper and hostess to be able to get away from the guests. Charter skippers usually comment on that which is worth considering if you are planning on having guests aboard you are likely to want to get away from
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Old 02-09-2014, 14:28   #4
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Re: Monohull captain wonders how to manage to catamaran

TS, I think those are very good questions. Similar thoughts were in our minds when we were boat hunting some years ago, and in the long run I didn't get answers good enough to keep me from buying our current monohull. I will be watching for your results with some considerable interest, for Ann and I face many of the same aging issues that you do.

Thanks for posting your well thought out queries.

Jim
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Old 02-09-2014, 14:37   #5
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Re: Monohull captain wonders how to manage to catamaran

After rereading your thoughts on stairs, I don't think the flybridge is for you. We have 4 steps up to the helm, and 4 down to the hulls. I can jump up and down them pretty quickly so I don't notice but I probably do that on average every 20 minutes while sailing to check course, trim, radar etc. it sounds like doing that on a flybridge would be too strenuous.
Btw, docking and getting on and off is usually not difficult from the transom steps. Some models easier than others. Also integrated boarding planks are an option
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Old 02-09-2014, 14:40   #6
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Re: Monohull captain wonders how to manage to catamaran

On long term passages, the helmsman operates the boat by using the autopilot.
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Old 02-09-2014, 14:42   #7
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Re: Monohull captain wonders how to manage to catamaran

I've only chartered a Privilege 39 and a Kennex 445, both had helms in the corners of the cockpit with mainsheet controls within reach. Jib sheet close by if steering from leeward. Visibility forward was good, too long ago to remember what the visibility across the cabin was. I thought that this layout worked well. Access to people in the cockpit, and sail controls was good.

I haven't been on the newer remote station boats. Like you I have questions as to how well that works.
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Old 02-09-2014, 15:21   #8
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Re: Monohull captain wonders how to manage to catamaran

I will try to answer your questions one by one below in CAPS so that you can see the answers clearly. I hope this helps with your concerns.
Doug
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I am 67 years old and have had seven knee surgeries. My knees are pretty much shot and barely function. A flat sailing and living platform with no stairs in the day to day life sounds like a good idea. I AM 71 AND OPERATE A LAGOON 500 WITH THE HELP OF MY WIFE AND HER PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY IS TO DRIVE

- We want more on-deck living space open to the “outside” since we are currently in San Diego and plan on never living anywhere colder than here. THE CATS ARE PERFECT FOR THIS. WE HAVE SAILED 6 OR 7 DIFFERENT ONES OVER THE PAST 10 YEARS AND LOVE THE OPEN FEELIING

- We want more “separate” space so each of us can have our own space (me to read and play on the computer, her to watch TV and cook) but still be together. TRY TO GE AN OWNERS VERSION AS THE SINGLE STATEROOM ALLOWS FOR LOTS OF SEPERATION. IF YOU NEED MORE GO OUTSIDE TO THE BOW SEAT OR INTO THE OTHER HULL. LOST OF "SPACE".

- My wife, who had a 15-degree heel rule while cruising, wants a flat and stable platform for our cruising life. She is tired of night-time watches in a cockpit rolling 20 degrees side-to-side. MY WIFE HAS THE SAME RULE. WE NEVER HEAL MORE THAN 5 DEGREES ON OUR LAGOON 500

We are fortunate in having a close friend who runs a catamaran charter and sailing business. He has a lot of experience with inshore and offshore catamaran sailing and is leading us along the catamaran path. HAVE HIM TAKE YOU OUT. ONE TRIP AND YOU WILL BE SOLD

My brother, who is an experienced mono-hull sailor, has chartered several 40-foot cats in the Virgin Islands. He too praises the cruising virtues of cats.

I do not need to hear about catamaran motion, noise, or safety. I am only interested in boat handling and management from the perspective of the helm station being remote from the main cockpit area.

I want to hear from those of you who have “been there – done that.”

My wife is currently in-lust with a Lagoon 440/450. Personally, I think it ugly, but can see the practicality of the boat for a live aboard situation. YOU GET USE TO THE LOOK. I AGREE THAT THERE ARE LOTS OF OTHER MORE "RACEY" CATS OUT THERE BUT THE 45 WITH THE FLYBRIDGE IS HARD TO BEAT. THE LIVING SPACE IS WONDERFUL THINK OF IT LIKE A WINNABEGO. TAKES A WHILE TO GET ANYWHERE BUT WHEN YOU ARRIVE YOU SURE ARE COMFORTABLE

I have several fundamental (at least they are to me!) questions about 40’+ cats and the operation of those boats.

1) How does a two-person crew manage a 45’ boat with 6’ of freeboard when the helm is ten-feet above the dock and five feet above the aft cockpit? NOT A PROBLEM. THE VISABILITY FROM THE FLYBRIDGE ON THE 45 IS SUPER. YOU CAN SEE EVERYTHING. JUST PLAN YOUR MOVES A LITTLE EARLIER TO ALLOW FOR THE HEIGHT AND DISTANCE DIFFERENCES. WE SAIL WITH ONHY THE TWO OF US ON A 50' LAGOON WITH NO PROBLEM
WE HAVE DONE THUSANDS OF MILES WITHOUT ANY DIFFICULTY
2) How does a two-person crew dock in a cross-wind when one person is so far from the boat corners and so high in the air? How do you get off a 6’ freeboard hull quickly and safely while docking? I SOLVED THIS BY PURCHASING REALLY LARGE FENDERS AND EVEN GOT A FEW EXTRA FOR EXTRA PROTECTION. THIS ALLOWS SOME BOUNCE IF YOU GET A LITTLE CLOSE TO THE DOCK AT TIMES. CROSS WINDS ARE AN ISSUE BUT WITH TWO MOTORS THAT ARE 25 TO 28' APART YOU HAVE SUPER CONTROL JUST USING THE MOTORS. LOCK THE STEARING IN PLACE AND STEAR WITH THE ENGINE CONTROLS. IT IS EASY ONCE YOU GET A LITTLE PRACTICE. IF YOU CAN GET A BOAT WITH A BOW THRUSTER EVEN BETTER. MY NEXT ONE WILL HAVE THAT FOR SURE.

3) While underway does the helmsman have to stay perched up in the air? That seems strange to me. I am used to having the autopilot/windvane steer the boat but I am always within a couple feet of the wheel and winches / sheet stoppers no matter where I am in the cockpit or even in the galley. WE USE THE RAYMARINE AUTO PILOT
PORTABLE REMOTE THAT IS WIRELESS. IT ALLOWS YOU TO STEAR USING THE AUTOPILOT FROM ANYWHERE IN THE BOAT. I HAVE NO EXPERIENCE WITH WINDVANES ON A CAT. I AM NOT SURE I HAVE EVER SEEN ONE IN USE OR EVEN SHOWN AS AVAILABLE/
4) If the helmsman has to stay on their perch – can that ONE person manage the main and jib/genoa from the perch? WE DO NOT HAVE ANY TROUBLE WITH THIS ALTHOUGH IT IS MOSTLY MY JOB. MY WIFE CALLS THAT A "BLUE" (FOR A BOY) JOB. SHE CAN DO IT WHEN CALLED FOR BUT NOT HERE PREFERNCE AS IT IS HARD ON HER FINGERNAILS.

5) We have done quite a few sea-miles and our normal practice is for only one person to be on deck. Is that practice possible in a bigger cat with an elevated helm station? FROM THE UPPER HELM STATION EVERYONE IS "ON DECK" ALL THE TIME. THERE IS NO NEED TO CRAWL FORWARD. KEEP IN MIND THE EXTRA STABILILTY WITH A CAT MAKES IT MUCH EASIER AND MUCH SAFER TO GO FORWARD WHEN NECESSARY, NOT THAT WE FIND IT NECESSARY VERY OFTEN.

6) When out cruising on multi-day passages – doesn’t it get lonely for the helmsman up their on their perch? How do they interact with folks in the aft deck area? NO ONE WE SAIL WITH SEEMS TO USE THE BACK DECK UNDERWAY UNLESS THE WEATHER IS CRAPPY. EVERYONE WANTS TO BE ON THE FLYBRIDGE
IT HAS NEVER BEEN AN ISSUE IN TEH 10 YEARS THAT I HAVE OWNED CATS WITH FLYBRIDGES./ I GOT MY FIRST FLYBRIDGE CAT 10 YEARS AGO.
7) Am I missing something fundamental here? NOT REALLY. YOU NEED TO TAKE A 44 OR PREFERABLY A 45 LAGOON OUT FOR A TEST SAIL FOR A FEW DAYS. ALSO LOOK AT THE LEOPARD 46,47 SERIES. THE CATANA 47 IS A BEAUTY ALSO BUT THE STEARING STATTIONS ARE OUT ON THE HULLS WIHICH IS A NON-STARTEER IN MY HOUSE. THEY ARE ALL GOOD CRUSING BOATS AND AVAILALBE AT VERY GOOD PRICES IN THE USED MARKET.

We have looked at a Seawind 1160 and a Lagoon 380. I am puzzled how the helmsman operates those boats for long term passage making. I am used to being in a cockpit where I can see thru or over the dodger from any position. On both of the Seawind and the Lagoon I can not see forward from anywhere except the helmsman seat.

8) When operating on day long or multi-day trips – does the helmsman have to be sitting in the helm seat all the time. If not – how do you keep watch forward? NOPE JUST USE THE AUTO CONTROL AS MENTINED ABOVE AND TAKE A WALK AROUND THE BOAT

9) Can someone explain how one operates / manages a 38’ cat for extended periods with limited visibility from the aft cockpit area. REAR HELM STATIONS ARE NO LONGER NECESSARY. THIS IS OLD TECHNOLIGY AS DEMONSTRATED BY A NUMBER OF MODELS ON THE MARKET THAT PROVIDE EXCELLENT FORWARD VISABILITY FROM A FULL OR PARTIAL FLYBRIDGE
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Old 02-09-2014, 15:40   #9
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Re: Monohull captain wonders how to manage to catamaran

We came from a Bavaria Vision 40 to a L450. My wife also had the 15 degree rule, and sudden wind gusts meant even less. I (not my wife) thought the L450 looks ugly and will not be fun to sail. We have about 15000Nm on our boat. Started in France, did the Med, Atlantc crossing, Caribbean. Now we winter in the Bahamas on our L450 and summer in Victoria, Vancouver Island with our Bavaria V40. I don't think she is ugly anymore, but SOOOOO convenient. The expression condomaran fits. It is like a condo, except she moves pretty well. Definitely signficantly faster than our Bavaria. 8+ knots is the regular on the L450. 12 knots true on the beam with the gennaker and we do 9+ knots. Anything under 6 knots and I am starting the engine. In cruising mode I hardly ever do over 6 knots on the Bavaria.

Now we so much wish we had a L450 up here in the PNW too.

1) How does a two-person crew manage a 45’ boat with 6’ of freeboard when the helm is ten-feet above the dock and five feet above the aft cockpit?
With a boat that size you really want a person on the dock helping you unless it is calm. That said, we have done it on occasion. With the two engines you can move her very precisely if not to windy. Sometimes I just "lean" one of the transom corners against the dock. The view from the helm to the back is not too bad. The hatch in the cokpt roof, port side, is to see the port transom. We now almost exclusively anchor so it is not a problem anymore. The L450 lends itself to stay at anchor because there is nothing you miss when well equipped

2) How does a two-person crew dock in a cross-wind when one person is so far from the boat corners and so high in the air? How do you get off a 6’ freeboard hull quickly and safely while docking?
Only experience high cross wind doing the med-mooring. That means drop the anchor keep the speed up and squeeze between the boats already there. Lean against the downwind boat with lots of fenders and now take your time.
3) While underway does the helmsman have to stay perched up in the air? That seems strange to me. I am used to having the autopilot/windvane steer the boat but I am always within a couple feet of the wheel and winches / sheet stoppers no matter where I am in the cockpit or even in the galley
.
Nope. Autopilot does it. I never had to rush to do anyting to the sails quickly. I installed a second p70 autopilot controll head at the nav station inside. I upgraded the inside navstation to have all identical instruments and placement as on the bridge (12"plotter, 2xi70, 1xp70, radio). One wind instrument always shoe teu wind speed and direction, the other show apparent windspeed and direction. If we get close to the published and conservative reef values we reef. Those number are also posted at both helms. Cat sailing is "sailing by number."

At night and poor weather, watches are mostly done from the inside nav station. You have a near 360 view. Every 10-15 minutes we step just far enough up the bridge stairs to check for any traffic the radar and AIS do not show. In nice weather many prefer to spend the night watch up on the bridge. Just magical to have the view, especially with the moon out.
4) If the helmsman has to stay on their perch – can that ONE person manage the main and jib/genoa from the perch?
With all electric winches it can be done. Though reefing is better done with two people. I have reefed by myself too on nigt watch when the weather was still fine but the radar showed squalls in the area.
5) We have done quite a few sea-miles and our normal practice is for only one person to be on deck. Is that practice possible in a bigger cat with an elevated helm station?
We do it all the time in good weather. Friends of ours have the same cat and more miles. They do single person up on the fly bridge almost all the time, even in bad weather. We are wimps.
If you are talking about the foredeck. Yes, that is easy too. On a cat you may go on the foredeck just because it is fun, while clocking 9 knots in 15 knots of wind without a harness.
6) When out cruising on multi-day passages – doesn’t it get lonely for the helmsman up their on their perch? How do they interact with folks in the aft deck area?
Nobody stays on the aft deck unless it is really miserable and then the helmsman is on the aft deck too or at the nav station. Everybody WANTS to be up top. The view is just so brethtaking from up there. The view is what we miss most on our Bavaria, besides the extra space and the flat sailing. I don't car much for the healing anymore either.

For meals we usually take the iPad as a repeater (RayControl App) for the plotter and place it on the lunch table in the aft cockpit for the watch person to see. Even from there you can always take a quick check through the front windows without getting up from the table
7) Am I missing something fundamental here?

We have looked at a Seawind 1160 and a Lagoon 380. I am puzzled how the helmsman operates those boats for long term passage making. I am used to being in a cockpit where I can see thru or over the dodger from any position. On both of the Seawind and the Lagoon I can not see forward from anywhere except the helmsman seat.
Check out the videos from Honeymoon.
8) When operating on day long or multi-day trips – does the helmsman have to be sitting in the helm seat all the time. If not – how do you keep watch forward?
Nope. Nav station inside. Make a cup of tea while on watch, read a book, listen to a podcast, watch a video with breaks every 10 minutes to check for lights. I am planning on installing a really comfy seat at the nav station.
9) Can someone explain how one operates / manages a 38’ cat for extended periods with limited visibility from the aft cockpit area.
Don't know, because on the L450 everybody wants to be on the fly bridge all the time. That is exactly one reason why we love the fly bridge so much. When underway nobody wants to be ob the aft deck. We did build a larger bimini for better sun protection. The Lagoon one is too flimsy and too small.
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Old 02-09-2014, 15:44   #10
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Re: Monohull captain wonders how to manage to catamaran

I have been the skipper of a Lagoon 380 for 2 weeks and I think I can answer some questions.
Quote:
2) How does a two-person crew dock in a cross-wind when one person is so far from the boat corners and so high in the air? How do you get off a 6’ freeboard hull quickly and safely while docking?
For docking in a cross-wind, I first docked head to wind and made fast an aft spring from a bow. Then it was simple to rotate the boat with both engines.
Quote:
3) While underway does the helmsman have to stay perched up in the air? That seems strange to me. I am used to having the autopilot/windvane steer the boat but I am always within a couple feet of the wheel and winches / sheet stoppers no matter where I am in the cockpit or even in the galley.
In the conditions where I sailed, I felt it was OK to be far from the wheel and winches at times. I didn't feel that the boat was overcanvassed.
Quote:
4) If the helmsman has to stay on their perch – can that ONE person manage the main and jib/genoa from the perch?
It was OK for one person to tack: the autopilot managed the helm, I managed the genoa sheets.
Quote:
5) We have done quite a few sea-miles and our normal practice is for only one person to be on deck. Is that practice possible in a bigger cat with an elevated helm station?
IIRC, reefing was a job for 2 people.
Quote:
6) When out cruising on multi-day passages – doesn’t it get lonely for the helmsman up their on their perch? How do they interact with folks in the aft deck area?
Yes, I felt lonely on the perch up there, but maybe that's just me: I like to have somebody to talk to when keeping watch.
Quote:
8) When operating on day long or multi-day trips – does the helmsman have to be sitting in the helm seat all the time. If not – how do you keep watch forward?
Some people prefer to keep watch from the foredeck.

Alain
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Old 02-09-2014, 15:58   #11
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Re: Monohull captain wonders how to manage to catamaran

My wife and I double hand our Antares 44i "Indigo," which is now based in San Diego, all the time and have done so for the past 5 years.
All lines are led to the cockpit, enclosed helm with great visibility.
These boats are designed to be sailed around the world by two people.
Check out "liveantares.com" for info and links to blogs by folks from 30-60's who are out there sailing the oceans today.
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Old 02-09-2014, 16:15   #12
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Monohull captain wonders how to manage to catamaran

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Old 02-09-2014, 16:33   #13
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Re: Monohull captain wonders how to manage to catamaran

Pretty much what they said above. The room inside and outside is wonderful. My autopilot did the helming probably 80+ % of the time. It's a lot easier on the body than a mono. However, the jerky motion will be a little tiring on the hip joints.. but realistically not as bad as banging down the companionway at a heel. Visibility and docking seemed great to me.. and two engines helps in a pinch as far as maneuvering.
Still... I remain less than totally convinced a cat is as safe as a mono in big water and long distances. Surprisingly they do seem to overturn now and then. My lagoon barely ever heeled enough to tell at all.... even in 35+ knots with the full main (accidentally) up. I suppose it happens fast and without warning.
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Old 02-09-2014, 16:34   #14
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Re: Monohull captain wonders how to manage to catamaran

I had no comment...just wanted to subscribe to this post as it is fantastic! Carry on...
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Old 02-09-2014, 19:04   #15
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Re: Monohull captain wonders how to manage to catamaran

Quote:
Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post
SNIP

7) Am I missing something fundamental here?

We have looked at a Seawind 1160 and a Lagoon 380. I am puzzled how the helmsman operates those boats for long term passage making. I am used to being in a cockpit where I can see thru or over the dodger from any position. On both of the Seawind and the Lagoon I can not see forward from anywhere except the helmsman seat.

8) When operating on day long or multi-day trips – does the helmsman have to be sitting in the helm seat all the time. If not – how do you keep watch forward?

9) Can someone explain how one operates / manages a 38’ cat for extended periods with limited visibility from the aft cockpit area.

Thanks for any insights you can offer.
I have a Seawind 1000 which for your purposes is similar to the newer and larger Seawind 1160.

It has a much different arrangement than the flying bridge configuration you seem to have issues with (ones that I agree with you on).

The Seawind has two helms one port and the other starboard. My experience has been great visibility at the helms. In fact one of the reasons I got the Seawind was because of the visibility. But I have put a deck box in the cockpit between the helms and frequently sit on it (really on a foam chair with a back) on passages to get out of the sun. On the other hand I am much better able to get a feel for the wind direction/speed when I am at one of the helms. I have a self tacking jib and screecher, both with furlers, with the lines coming to winches by the helms, the main and screecher to the starboard helm and the working jib to port. For the most part I am a single hander and have no problem operating the boat.





I have probably spent too much time going around the harbor taking pix of the sterns of catamarans. In discussing my pix with others I have often made the comment that the stern view of most catamarans is like a brick wall. On the other hand Seawinds and Shuttleworths (and I am sure some others as well) offer much better views forward.



I have no experience with cats with six feet of freeboard, mine is probably between three or four feet. But most all cats have sugarscoops with steps that would make it fairly easy for me to get on or off any dock.

Before I got my cat I had been sailing monohulls for many years. One thing many folks miss when discussing cats is that if you are driving a cat with two screws maybe ten feet forward of the stern it is trivial to spin a cat in its own length. I have never felt as in control of a sizable boat as I do in my cat with twin screws. There are plenty of youtube vids explaining how to walk a cat sideways or dock in funky current/wind combinations.

My experience has been that it is lots easier to dock a cat with twin screws than a monohull with a single screw.


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