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View Poll Results: Do you prefer mono- or multihull sailboats for cruising?
Monohull 138 36.70%
Multihull 238 63.30%
Voters: 376. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 30-07-2007, 11:05   #136
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Quote:
Richard Woods Abandons Ship. Wood, a cat designer, says many of the same things I have said.
Richard Wood also says:

Despite all that happened, I was very impressed with the seaworthiness of Eclipse. No real damage (we didn’t like our dinghy anyway), and the boat had survived a major storm without capsizing. Certainly life would have been much more uncomfortable on a monohull, and ultimately I think had we been on one, we would still have put out a Mayday, as did the yacht in the Perfect Storm.


If his bridle did not broke...
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Old 30-07-2007, 16:53   #137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneuman
I realize there is a certain amount of subjectivity here, but I would refer back to two items to bolster my admittedly subjective opinion:

a) Multihull pages

Richard Woods Abandons Ship. Wood, a cat designer, says many of the same things I have said.


b) The thread "multi-hull storm tactics" (which I started) here on cruisersforum. Much disagreement overall, but plenty of cat owners that share my concerns (and those of Woods) about the use of certain heavy-weather tactics.

As for lying ahull, it is a dodgy and last-resort tactic, IMHO. But it only seems obvious that with such a reduced angle of vanishing stability as is inherent in any multihull that the strategy is considerably more dicey than with well-heeled monos. That's just common sense.
Richard Woods never had a proper sea anchor - he had an army surplus cargo parachute, which failed because the stitching on it rotted due to it being put away wet.

The fact that his boat survived perfectly well with no crew on board proves that it WAS able to lay ahull safely.

What is just common sense to me is that I would rather be on a boat that is extrememly unlikely to capsize, and one which will definitely float in the extrememly unlikely event it does, than one which is considerably easier and more likely to roll, but will POSSIBLY right itself afterwards, (although it may also sink leaving me in the water with minimal chance of survival).
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Old 30-07-2007, 17:21   #138
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I agree that there's subjectivity here, but when I disagreed with your opinion, I presented a factual instance. I had forgotten about Richard Woods Cat and that's another documented instance. I hope you'll agree, subjectivity aside, that these documented examples speak for themselves. Cat's can do OK when Lying ahull but it may depend on the boat. I can't speak for the condo cats being sold these days.

Gimmee solid fiberglass hulls anyday
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Old 31-07-2007, 07:07   #139
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat
Richard Woods never had a proper sea anchor - he had an army surplus cargo parachute, which failed because the stitching on it rotted due to it being put away wet.

The fact that his boat survived perfectly well with no crew on board proves that it WAS able to lay ahull safely.

What is just common sense to me is that I would rather be on a boat that is extrememly unlikely to capsize, and one which will definitely float in the extrememly unlikely event it does, than one which is considerably easier and more likely to roll, but will POSSIBLY right itself afterwards, (although it may also sink leaving me in the water with minimal chance of survival).
I have been knocked over 90 degrees, several times over a three-day period, in a monohull that expertly righted itself each time. While I have never been in similar conditions in a multi, I think we all know that the outcome would have been different.

As I have said before, I think multihulls have a lot going for them.
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Old 31-07-2007, 08:10   #140
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneuman
I have been knocked over 90 degrees, several times over a three-day period, in a monohull that expertly righted itself each time. While I have never been in similar conditions in a multi, I think we all know that the outcome would have been different.

As I have said before, I think multihulls have a lot going for them.
May I refer you to this article by Loch Crowther, one of the world's most respected Multihull designers.

LOCK CROWTHER DESIGN NOTES AS PROMISED

And these parts in particular.
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Old 31-07-2007, 15:51   #141
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneuman
I have been knocked over 90 degrees, several times over a three-day period, in a monohull that expertly righted itself each time. While I have never been in similar conditions in a multi, I think we all know that the outcome would have been different.

As I have said before, I think multihulls have a lot going for them.
This statement is pure rubbish. You even admit you have no factual basis for your insinuation. I do agree that the outcome may have been differant in a multihull. Maybe you would have been running off at speed avoiding the breakers using the excellent control a multi has with no tendancy to broach. If your multi has a retractable keel you may even have slid sideways when hit by the breaker. With foils retracted multihuls are capable of sliding sideways down large waves. You could have been lying to a sea anchor, towing a drogue, there is a whole range of possibilities. Yes, there is even the remote chance you could have capsized, but to imply that it is the likely outcome is a little too much.
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Old 31-07-2007, 18:47   #142
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneuman
I have been knocked over 90 degrees, several times over a three-day period, in a monohull that expertly righted itself each time. While I have never been in similar conditions in a multi, I think we all know that the outcome would have been different.

As I have said before, I think multihulls have a lot going for them.
Actually you are correct : "the outcome would have been different" - because if the weather was only severe enough to knock a mono over to 90', then on a multi you would hardly even have noticed it.
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Old 31-07-2007, 19:25   #143
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Just spent the last 10 minutes trying to find a pic of a traditional timber 40ft yacht at Cape Tribulation I took a few years back.

Glassy calm anchorage with about a 1 foot slow swell rolling in.

They anchored out to avoid it.

We did not even notice it, but they were rolling about enough to get the deck's wet.

They slept in the cockpit after one of them started throwing up.

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Old 31-07-2007, 20:14   #144
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sneuman, I'm beginning to notice a common denominator to your posts. You are typing as if storm tactics are identical in multi's and monohulls. I would ask if you ever considered that there might be differences? As Steve already mentioned, once dagger boards are brought up, the cat will slip and slide, and survive. Please reread the excerpt I posted from the Queens Birthday Storm. The Catalac 41 mentioned in my earlier post doesn't have a traditional keel, instead it relies on a multichine hull for tracking when going to weather (not very well I might add). This boat survived 30 meter breaking waves and winds in excess of 100 mph. It was not dismasted nor disabled. I seem to remember that every monohull caught in the core of the same storm was rolled and dismasted despite experienced crews taking appropriate measures. When wind and wave are that strong there is no possible way to keep a boat's bow into the wind.

There is a growing body of evidence supporting catamaran storm surviability. Lately, the only capsized cats we read about are photographed with their daggerboards fully extended. When discussing capsizing of cats it would just make sense to separate crew error from boat design.
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Old 31-07-2007, 21:37   #145
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Richard Woods account of how his catamaran handled in a storm should not be generalized to other catamaran designs.

1. His parachute disintegrated. There's no excuse for this happening. An old cargo chute in poor condition isn't remotely similar to a new para-anchor international parachute. Our 18 foot diameter chute worked totally awewome in a squash zone north of New Zealand.

2, Chafe in the bridle. On our catamaran, we have special deck mounted chainplates with bails that stick out in the front of the bows. There is absolutely no problem with chafe when we put out our parachute, because the parachute bridle is shackled to the deck mounted chainplates in front of the bows.

3. Water in his cockpit. We have run off down wind in gales in the Atlantic and in the Red Sea with winds up to fifty knots. We never took a drop of water in the cockpit. A well designed modern catamaran should not be shipping water in the cockpit.

All cats are not created equal, just like all monohulls are not equal. You can't generalize about catamaran behavior in storms. You can only look at how specific cats perform in specific storms.

I am a strong believer in pilot error as a cause of multihull disasters. Too much sail up, inadequate drogues, undersized parachutes, parachutes in poor condition, rotten bridles, preventable chafe, the list goes on and on.

In an eleven year circumnavigation, whenever we were in storms, we were comfortable and unafraid while the monohulls that we were sailing with were taking knock downs with gallons of water pouring down the companionway. We sailed conservatively, and had top quality drogues and parachutes. I am not a brave person, but I was never afraid and my crew was never afraid whenever we were in storms. We wished that the storm would get over as soon as possible, but we never thought we wouldn't make it.

Whenever you read about a multihull disaster, you need to discover the rest of the story. Pilot error is all too common.

I keep reading stories about abandoned multihulls that are found floating untended months later thousands of miles from where they were abandoned in major storms. The multihull tended to itself just fine once the captain and crew were evacuated off the yacht.

I have owned both monohulls and multihulls, and in a storm, I would rather be in my catamaran any day. I sailed around the world in a 39 foot catamaran because I felt safe when I sailed offshore. An even more important, my wife and kids felt safe as well. Exit Only never let us down. Maybe we were just lucky, but I don't think so. And if I do another circumnavigation, it will be in a cat.
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Old 31-07-2007, 22:20   #146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickm505
Lately, the only capsized cats we read about are photographed with their daggerboards fully extended.
.
Sorry but that's just not true.

44' Cat found up-side-down

However, it is true that the VAST MAJORITY of multi's that capsize are racing, and the majority of purpose built racing boats are equipped with daggerboards.

There is an argument that a daggerboard equipped cruising boat is actually LESS likely to capsize, since in heavy weather the boards will be fully raised, reducing the chances of "tripping".
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Old 01-08-2007, 05:35   #147
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Originally Posted by Steve Rust
This statement is pure rubbish. You even admit you have no factual basis for your insinuation. I do agree that the outcome may have been differant in a multihull. Maybe you would have been running off at speed avoiding the breakers using the excellent control a multi has with no tendancy to broach. If your multi has a retractable keel you may even have slid sideways when hit by the breaker. With foils retracted multihuls are capable of sliding sideways down large waves. You could have been lying to a sea anchor, towing a drogue, there is a whole range of possibilities. Yes, there is even the remote chance you could have capsized, but to imply that it is the likely outcome is a little too much.
Well, I think the only thing that I insinuated was that a multi knocked down to 90 degrees would not have righted itself. If I'm wrong about that, please let me know.
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Old 01-08-2007, 08:16   #148
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The Eclipse episode is a really poor example of why Catamarans may be less suitable for Ocean travel than mono's.

1. Their failure to weather the storm was largely due to poor preparation - their storm anchor was rotted out & failed. Poor maintenance will cause problems on ANY boat in a storm.

2. Eclipse was only 32' long - most recommendations for an Ocean going catamaran suggest nearer 40' as a safe size. I'm not sure if the boat was even rated for Ocean. I know Tony Smith did the Atlantic in a Gemini 34' but even he suggested that they weren't really endorsed for that type of passage. But it's a credit to him as a designer that they managed it safely.

3. Eclipse actually survived the storm. Right side up. Crew fatigue & fear seem to have prompted the distress call & abandonment rather than the performance of the vessel.

Eclipse was possibly ill suited for offshore work and by their own admission, their storm preparation was poor.

Lately there have been a couple of larger cats which have capsized in extreme weather in the Atlantic & Pacific NW. One earlier poster erroneously ascribed this to keeping daggerboards down - both were mini-keel type boats without daggerboards (Lagoons I think, 42' & 44').

I imagine these two boats foundered for the same reason supertankers, ferries, fishing boats & monohulls founder - sometimes the elements will simply overwhelm any vessel.

All I can say is that the insurers don't see Cat's as unseaworthy and they're working from statistics rather than anecdotes. Most vessels sink at the dock and most fatalities happen close to shore due to high powered ski boats, jetskis and alcohol.
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Old 01-08-2007, 08:56   #149
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Just to reiterate: I don't dislike catamarans, I just like monos better. That is the subject of the thread.

P.S. I don't dislike cats, either, but I consider myself more of a dog person.
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Old 01-08-2007, 10:14   #150
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Originally Posted by sneuman
Well, I think the only thing that I insinuated was that a multi knocked down to 90 degrees would not have righted itself. If I'm wrong about that, please let me know.
The only comparisson that makes any sense is to ask; Under the conditions that would lead to a properly handled monohull heeling at 90 degrees - where would a properly handled multihull be and what would it be doing? You implied it would be heeling at 90 degrees. Perhaps you didn't realize this but a typical multihull would not be in the same place and even if it were, it would not be heeling at 90 degrees. The relevancy of your comment must be questioned as it was a meaningless comparison.
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