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Old 11-02-2008, 23:34   #16
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Originally Posted by catty View Post
44c, try the pages of your favourite mag (australian multihulls) . lightwave 38 upside down on widebay bar..
Didnt capsize so much as pitchpoling after hitting the bottom.
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Old 12-02-2008, 01:08   #17
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Gee Factor nice to know theres a difference between capsizing by the capsize method and capsizing by the pitchpole method, I always suspected the outcome was the same.... capsized.

For australian capsizes of cruising cats try Vamoose (gross 10m),...... an approximately 12 meter turtled in the whitsundays about 5years ago according to multihulls mag (Which at that time i read regularly)..... and a cruising cat capsized in a south coast harbour but never made the press much to the relief of the embarressed owners.

Theres three to be going on with.

I also have my doubts that the cat involved in the widebay bar incident actually touched the bottom having personally inspected its bows soon after the incident. Also the bridgedeck on those things starts pretty close to the bows ( read extreeme bouancy to depress) .
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Old 12-02-2008, 01:27   #18
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Old 12-02-2008, 03:25   #19
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Gee Factor nice to know theres a difference between capsizing by the capsize method and capsizing by the pitchpole method, I always suspected the outcome was the same.... capsized.
Of course there is a difference!! each is caused by different circumstances and each risk is managed differently. Of course there is a difference.

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For australian capsizes of cruising cats try Vamoose (gross 10m),...... an approximately 12 meter turtled in the whitsundays about 5years ago according to multihulls mag (Which at that time i read regularly)..... and a cruising cat capsized in a south coast harbour but never made the press much to the relief of the embarressed owners. Theres three to be going on with.
Whats ya point, tosser. I never said Cats dont capsize, I am sure they do, I just dont recall a loss of life this millennium from a capsized cat.

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I also have my doubts that the cat involved in the widebay bar incident actually touched the bottom having personally inspected its bows soon after the incident. Also the bridgedeck on those things starts pretty close to the bows ( read extreeme bouancy to depress)
Have whatever doubts ya like - Interesting thing for me regarding ridgee didge is that shortly after the pitchpole, it was able to be motored back to manly and then a little while after that sailed away again, last I heard it was in thailand or similar, so not only did terry and jan survive they seem happy enough to continue to trust their life to the boat.

I mean honestly - what is your point?
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Old 12-02-2008, 04:47   #20
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The most logical, to me, would be if the wind is forward of the beam then head up and if behind the beam bear away. The intention is to prevent the sail becomming more square to the wind as this presents the greatest area and hence leverage to lift a hull.

Mike
The challenge is that the apparent wind may be forward of the beam, but the true wind is significantly aft of the beam. In that case you want to bear off, not come up. This is true for all boats, but more significant for boats that sail faster, e.g. cats and tris.

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Old 12-02-2008, 05:34   #21
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The challenge is that the apparent wind may be forward of the beam, but the true wind is significantly aft of the beam. In that case you want to bear off, not come up. This is true for all boats, but more significant for boats that sail faster, e.g. cats and tris.

Mark.
Picturing this in my mind's eye, I see true wind coming from astern, but apparent wind coming from forward.

I bear off of the apparent wind, which then changes the wind direction dramatically as I slow down, right? If I slow down enough the wind will come from the stern (because it will no longer be apparent wind, but true wind since the boat has slowed).

BOOM! Accidental jybe.

Isn't that a problem with this technique?
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Old 12-02-2008, 06:00   #22
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I think Mark has best expressed what I've learned. It's all about apparent wind, and bearing off in a gust. Many catamarans are under powered by design, with short masts and conservative sail plans. In addition, older boats with "V" shaped hulls or boats with shallow mini keels will allow the boat to slip sideways in a sudden gust, avoiding disaster. Cats with their boards down are at a disadvantage in this situation.
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Old 12-02-2008, 06:40   #23
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As far as the Voyage 440 that washed up on the Oregon beach in 12/05, we really don't know what happened beyond a certain point, since all the crew were lost. What we do know is that the storm was really, really bad (100+ winds, 35+ seas, average) and was being tracked for days ahead of time. One of our forum members, eskfreedom, lives just a few miles from where it washed up. He told me that not even the crabbers left port, even though the season had just opened.

I imagine that the loss of the boat had rather little to do with it being a cat.

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Old 12-02-2008, 06:51   #24
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I hear it all the time....

This cruising cat turtled, but it was due to errors made by the captain/crew in rough conditions.

Does anyone have any pointers on how not to become a statistic on my 2000 mile "Catamaran 101" course?
My pointer, which you might have already figured out, is to take your "new to you" boat up the intercoastal where you'll have plenty of time and opportunity to shake out the sails and learn it's feel, as well as safely working out the bugs in the boat. If you decide to go offshore into the gulfstream in winter with a boat you're not familiar with, that might be lesson number one.
By the time you get through the Chesapeake the boat will feel like an old friend and you'll be a lot more comfortable stepping out into rough stuff.
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Old 12-02-2008, 07:00   #25
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i think those waves on the beam may have played a role as well in that cat capsizing in the dominica channel. there wasn't much room between them, so there is the variable of the windward hull being on top of one and the leuward hull being in a trough which would have inclined the cat over to the point of no return in a gust.
i do think operator error was a factor as well, as it was one of those moorings sa cats, (brand new at the time), and the crew were vacationers.
as mentioned above in a different case, it was recovered and righted and i don't think it had been harmed at all.
as to no fatalities in a multihull this millenium, factor, if there had been children, non-swimmers or old people aboard; or if someone had knocked their head on the way into the drink (or if it was ice cold water) and if the sailboat hadn't seen them go over and sail right over to help; the tale might easily have ended otherwise.
there's no doubt in my mind that multihullers must be much more aware and quick to react when sailing in bigger winds. frankly, too much worry for me.
as i say, i was in my little 27 footer, taking bucket after bucket of sea water in the face, (low freeboard), double reefed with my little jib and just blasting along contentedly, going (for me) like a freight train. i made my best time ever that day, averaging almost 7 knots all day, unheard of on my boat. when i said that i had to lift the boom out of the water, i should have clarified. when i reefed the mainsail, i did not rehoist the main up high enough on the mast track, its a bit jammy and i didn't take the time to get it right. i didn't feel like going back up there and screwing with the whole deal in the middle of the pass to fix it; its probably only 30 nm across the cut. but i was going rock steady without a care, the windvane steering a solid course, jib sheet figure eighted on the cleat and mainsail clamped. i never touched the helm. when a gust of maybe 35 or so would hit me, a little weather helm rounded me up for a moment and then off i went again, naturally. there is something to be said for ballast, though i know you multihullers dislike it.
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Old 12-02-2008, 07:02   #26
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According to the literature, Mark is correct - it is exceedingly rare (albeit still possible) for a well-designed cat to capsize under force of wind alone. As to bearing off when overpowered while sailing to windward, I have never done this and have not heard that this is the recommended procedure for catamarans. In fact it is counter-intuitive since, as I recall, the force generated by a mainsail is generally about 10-15% forward of perpendicular to the boom. Accordingly, if you bear-off without letting out the main, more of the force will be directed to the side ( heeling ) rather than forward. This is precisely what you don't want.

Obviously the effects of the wind will be much less when on a run or broad reach (and of course, dead down-wind the apparent wind is the the strength of the actual wind less the speed of the boat). But that does not justify a boat bearing off when sailing to windward in strong gusts - only when the wind is aft of the beam, as Mike points out.

In order to accelerate a catamaran to windward, it is recommended that you take advantage of apparent wind: once you have reached what seems to be maximum velocity, you bear off slightly and then, while maintaining the same approximate speed, gradually trim in the main while heading back up. This tends to move the apparent wind forward (which of course, has the effect of increasing the apparent velocity of the wind). This procedure is repeated and repeated as, when the wind is forward of the beam, each increase in boat velocity results in an increase in the velocity of the apparent wind and in turn, yet more boat speed. Gregor Tarjan has a great diagram (and description) of the process in his book on Cruising Catamarans.

So no, even if others recommend it, I do not bear off when sailing to windward in strong gusts (at least, not if I suspect that I am overpowered). The point is (as has already been made) not to get into that situation in the first place. Yes, you should reef earlier. And yes, you will be relying much more on intstruments as, while the boat does heel to some degree, you will not get the experience of an immediate 10 degree (or more) change in angle that will occur with strong gusts in a monohull. You will not have water rushing up to (or over) the leeward rail as a 'gauge' of when you are overpowered.

When you need to reef will, of course, vary from boat to boat. Generally speaking, boats with a lesser S.A./displacement ratio can be reefed later. Still, there is no point in pushing the envelope as a cat will, when approaching its limits, lose very little velocity with a reduction in sail area.

Brad
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Old 12-02-2008, 07:53   #27
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Awesome responses. Thank you. Brad, your response reads like a "how to" book. Very nice. I'll be keeping what you wrote in mind as I learn.

Fishspearit: Good points. I will likely use the ICW for a while to get the feel of the boat and then go outside later, when I understand the boat. I plan to leave around April 1st or so, to wait for those northers to die down.

I think Rick makes a pretty good point to... I dont have daggerboards. I have fairly rounded hull shapes which look like they'll sideslip through the water with ease... unfortunately for my windward performance!!
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:13   #28
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On the Pac NW capsize. Because it happened near where I live, and because my boat just completed a cruise from San Diego to Portland in January, I studied the the Pac NW capsize quite a bit. I talked to the skipper that salvaged the boat for example. I don't want to get into it again here, it has been discussed quite a bit on the web, but in my opinion, it was clearly not an issue with the cat that caused that capsize. The skipper of that boat had the reputation as being a guy that kept going whatever the weather. His crew got off in San Francisco rather than continue with him, and he picked up a couple of new folks to continue the trip with. In my opinion, his policy of keeping going no matter what finally got him, not the cat.

But as you say, we can never really know.

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Old 12-02-2008, 08:28   #29
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On the Pac NW capsize. Because it happened near where I live, and because my boat just completed a cruise from San Diego to Portland in January, I studied the the Pac NW capsize quite a bit. I talked to the skipper that salvaged the boat for example. I don't want to get into it again here, it has been discussed quite a bit on the web, but in my opinion, it was clearly not an issue with the cat that caused that capsize. The skipper of that boat had the reputation as being a guy that kept going whatever the weather. His crew got off in San Francisco rather than continue with him, and he picked up a couple of new folks to continue the trip with. In my opinion, his policy of keeping going no matter what finally got him, not the cat.

But as you say, we can never really know.

Kevin
Thanks, Kevin. This is exactly what I'm after here. I'm new to cats. I'm asking in this thread not if cats are safe, but what I need to do so that I won't become one of those people who capsized due to "poor seamanship" on one. With every capsize of a cat we've ever discussed on this board, it's always been attributed (like you did above) to "user error." Well, I'd like to know what people are doing wrong when they flip, so I can avoid it.

I don't view the cat as a less seaworthy design, just as something different... more akin to downhill skiing as mentioned before. With a mono you just plod along and you don't worry about much. With a cat, it would seem you have to be a little more alert to what's happening. I have no experience on them, so I was wondering what things I need to watch out for.

I'm already sold (and have already put a cat under offer). I just want to see if I can make sure I'm not going to become a statistic due to lack of experience.

PS: I was thinking... all this talk about cats flipping seems to center around *sailing*. Seems a good way to avoid a problem in moderately extreme conditions might be to turn on the diesels. No forces to cause a capsize, except windage and sea state. Less to worry about. I know monos typically sail better(more safely) in rough stuff than they motor... do cats motor better than they sail in rough stuff?
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:39   #30
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reef to slow down to sea conditions

At times a cat may simply get going too fast for sea conditions. If wave heights and spacing are such that the bows are digging in and the trampoline ( or foredeck if solid ) are awash you need to reef to slow down. You probably wont have this problem on a Prout but it is common on faster cats.
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