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Old 27-04-2015, 11:40   #1
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Multihull haul outs and boatyard facilities.....

Curious if the multihull gurus among us can answer a few questions regarding haul outs, boatyards, and accommodations…….

I recognize the shoal draft and ability to beach the boat is a big time plus. But that aside. From your experience……………..

Is the increased beam an issue finding a yard for haul outs?

Not all yards can accommodate the wider beam. And I realize it depends on where you are, but how limiting is it? How much of a limitation is it for you in your area? Are there typically only a few yards able to haul you?

Is there a specific amount of beam that is too much? Can you easily find a yard with 24 feet of beam? 28 feet of beam? Do you cross the line and find very few yards to accommodate you with 30 feet or greater?

And what about just accommodations or just a boat slip?

Finally, what about more remote areas……….say the Pacific. Once off in remote areas are yards even available? Fiji? Tonga? ….etc.


Thanks in advance.

Cheers…….
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Old 27-04-2015, 12:24   #2
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Re: Multihull haul outs and boatyard facilities.....

Yes, the more beam, the fewer the haul out facilities that can haul you. I haul out annually on the Chesapeake Bay and there are only two "recreational" yards on the Bay that can accommodate my beam, 25'3". But it's easy to determine what yards have what width capacities by simply researching their web sites or phoning them. Cruising guides sometimes have info like this as well. When asking, ask for the well width as well as the travel lift width - one may be less than the other, but they're usually close. Another option is for crane lifts that are not as limiting by beam.

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Old 27-04-2015, 15:20   #3
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Re: Multihull haul outs and boatyard facilities.....

Most definitely, higher beam means less options, and higher cost ( usually 50% premium)

With my 25' beam, have only a handful of "good" options down in the Caribbean, but they are good options, and usually means larger boatyard, good services, technical staff that handle the larger boats. North Sound in Antigua is one of these.

Of course, higher beam also means more comfort while sailing and during cocktail hour . ( that's just my view)


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Old 27-04-2015, 15:25   #4
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Re: Multihull haul outs and boatyard facilities.....

Yes beam is a limiting factor, but with the increase in cats every year there are more facilities upgrading to accommodate. Seeing you are from the NE my concern would be mast height. Go over 65' then you are committed to the outside in the states.

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Old 27-04-2015, 20:34   #5
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Re: Multihull haul outs and boatyard facilities.....

A crane can be used to haul a wide boat if the travel lift is not big enough.
You'd have to check on the yard if they allow it.
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Old 27-04-2015, 21:30   #6
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Re: Multihull haul outs and boatyard facilities.....

There are lots of marine railways around. I don't see you guys referring to them. Aren't they useful for hauling cats?
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Old 27-04-2015, 21:44   #7
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Re: Multihull haul outs and boatyard facilities.....

In my experience the typical limit is around 20 feet/6 meters, but there is a wide variance from yard to yard as it depends on their equipment, their slips, etc. They "typical" "sailboat" yard probably has a 50 ton lift, and that's a pretty typical width. You can go to a yard with a 150 ton lift and easily get a much wider multihull lifted, but yards with that size lift are built around hauling 100' boats, so costs are commensurate.

As Nimble says, a crane is frequently an option, but will depend on the yard. Some yards also have trailers and are restricted more by weight than width. And railways are feasible, but you generally stay on the car, which usually means lay time is quite expensive.

In short, your average yard built around a Travelift can be quite restricted, but the old-timey yards frequently have other options where the lift can't be used.
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Old 27-04-2015, 21:51   #8
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Re: Multihull haul outs and boatyard facilities.....

Marine railways are risky because the placement of supports on thin-skinned cored hulls is critical. It's tough to keep the boat from moving (in relation to the rail car supporting structure) just as the boat is coming out. Yes it can be done -- I did it about 30 times without incident and once it resulted cracked fiberglass (with a prior boat).


I prefer a crane if there is no travelift, and carry the proper lifting slings for my boat (as emergency gear).
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Old 28-04-2015, 02:17   #9
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Re: Multihull haul outs and boatyard facilities.....

The issue with rails is cost, very high per day rate. Only one boat at a time, if once you are out of the water any surprises that would delay. $$$$

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Old 28-04-2015, 04:49   #10
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Re: Multihull haul outs and boatyard facilities.....

I failed to mention the use of hydraulic trailers. My boat was hauled twice using one of these at a Chesapeake Bay yard that has subsequently gone out of business. This is an excellent way to haul cats - especially board cats - that lifts on the bridgedeck which eliminates the problem of having blocking points being occupied by travel lift straps.

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Old 28-04-2015, 07:10   #11
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Re: Multihull haul outs and boatyard facilities.....

There is a list online of yards for hauling cats with details on the lift size and type. It's good practice to know where they are in relation to your current position in the event an emergency haul out is needed.
Catamaran Haul-Out Marinas
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Old 28-04-2015, 08:01   #12
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Re: Multihull haul outs and boatyard facilities.....

Thanks for the replies. Sounds like there is definitely a limitation. Especially as the beam increases. Thats obvious………..I know.

But at the same time it sounds like yards are working to accommodate due to the increase in multi popularity.

What about remote areas? Has anyone bounced across the Pacific and found little or no options?

Are slips and marinas a problem in your experience?

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Old 28-04-2015, 09:23   #13
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Re: Multihull haul outs and boatyard facilities.....

2Hulls,
Port Annapolis added a new travel lift that they say can accommodate our 22" beam. Not known to be cheap but could be an option for a Northern Chesapeake haul out.

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Old 28-04-2015, 09:53   #14
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Re: Multihull haul outs and boatyard facilities.....

I did a search here but maybe did not use the correct words. Has anyone come up with a cheap way to lift a cat, even one hull at a time, for fast and dirty bottom jobs or repairs? I came up with some ideas a bit too "out there" to say here but it does seem Archimedes' physical law of buoyancy could be applied with 50 gallon drums and an air compressor/water pump? Any ingenious ideas out there for no tide areas?
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Old 28-04-2015, 10:03   #15
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Re: Multihull haul outs and boatyard facilities.....

Might be better to beach the boat. Then float off with the tide.


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