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Old 05-05-2011, 06:11   #31
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Re: Multihulls: Heavy Weather (Passive) Handling

PS Some time ago on this site I asked for opinions about the value of installing a water-tight door with dogs on my companionway entrance and was met, as I recall, with a universally negative response - that even in large following seas you will never get the kind of green water in the cockpit to justify the additional cost and weight. I had specifically mentioned the perceived advantages in terms of running before a storm and for the use of a series drogue. Have opinions changed?

Brad
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:58   #32
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Re: Multihulls: Heavy Weather (Passive) Handling

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Originally Posted by Southern Star View Post
PS Some time ago on this site I asked for opinions about the value of installing a water-tight door with dogs on my companionway entrance and was met, as I recall, with a universally negative response - that even in large following seas you will never get the kind of green water in the cockpit to justify the additional cost and weight. I had specifically mentioned the perceived advantages in terms of running before a storm and for the use of a series drogue. Have opinions changed?

Brad
Not by me. I still believe, but with no personal experience to support or deny it, that a reasonable strategy in very heavy weather with a catamaran with sea room is to run off with a series drogue.

I'm having a little trouble interpreting everyone's opinion in this thread, but I think there are only one or two people suggesting that the risk of pooping a catamaran outweighs the benefits of slowing the boat down with a series drogue.

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Old 05-05-2011, 08:34   #33
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Re: Multihulls: Heavy Weather (Passive) Handling

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I don't see how you could hold station with the motors - in extreme conditions. Expending finite amounts of fuel and crew energy. It is a finite amount of fuel, but I would think you should have quite a bit of time - For Palarran, 75hp engines at 1gph x 2 x 48 hours = 100 gallons = 1/4 of capacity. As for crew, I would think at this point, their going to be highly motivated
The sea anchor achieves exactly that. With no use of fuel. Just like at "ground" anchor. As Yeloyo points out, the only boat that I (we) have heard of using a sea anchor in survival conditions had disasterous results.

Taking the waves on the bows is preferred. Maybe on a monohull but I would disagree with that completely for a catamaran

A lot can be said for just lying a-hull though... Again, maybe on a mono, but many examples and opinions have been posted on CF that the difference with cats is that they MUST be activly handled.

And as others have mentioned going from drogue with much equipment out to turning into the seas and deploying a sea anchor - how to do in extreme conditions? I agree with that, which would be a good reason to not deploy one.
I'm not arguing with ya, just respectfully disagreeing
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Old 05-05-2011, 08:50   #34
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Re: Multihulls: Heavy Weather (Passive) Handling

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A few comments:

1. It is better to have the bows going through the water...... Agreed and that is precisely what happens with a series drogue, which only slows the boats forward progress. Until a sea-anchor is properly set, the boat moves backward quickly; even after it is set, as I said earlier, how confident are you that it will completely stop reverse motion in changing conditions and with the anchor on different positions on the wave train?

2. Mulithulls are different from monohulls.... Again, agreed. However, both monohulls and mulithulls can be pooped from breaking seas approaching from astern. Even though the USCG test showed that it was extremely rare with the series drogue, that is nevertheless why I suggest that one must consider the design and drainage of the cockpit and the design/strength of the companionway doors on your particular cat. What seems clear, however, is that most cats have much more bouyancy aft than most monohulls and hence, have a far greater tendancy to lift the transoms in following seas.

The series drogue slows the boat too much and increases the risk of pooping..... Increased flooding of the cockpit over standard drogues was not shown by USCG tests, but if you would rather go faster, then you could always deploy a smaller than recommended series drogue. Yes, this would be contrary to Jordan's recommendations and the test results, but if you would prefer your intuitive beliefs, it should still be better than a chute or cone-style drogue, which can collapse and be thrown forward by the seas behind the boat.

The fact that so many delivery skippers of cats just drop sail and run before a storm on autopilot tends to confirm that, if you have sea room, the boat is better off running with the storm. Indeed, I would suggest that the reduced tendancy to broach and the increased bouyancy aft, as compared to monohulls, is preciesely why this is a more viable option for cats than it is for monos. The series drogue maintains this approach, while slowing the boat in extreme conditions so as to minimize, if not eliminate, the risk of pitchpoling - and it does so by putting a much more constant (and hence less violent) strain on the boat and the attachment points for the drogue.

Brad
Good post Brad,
I just don't think the series are the way to go, if needed. I'd prefer two small chute (cone) style droges to allow adjustment of speed. But as I said, I don't think we'll do any. The large loop off both sterns with an anchor hanging off it sounds good if trully needed.
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Old 05-05-2011, 08:54   #35
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Re: Multihulls: Heavy Weather (Passive) Handling

Surely running with the storm under drogue, will keep you in the storm longer increasing chances of something going wrong/breaking and probably more importantly increasing fatigue.

I would think the better tactic was to use a parachute anchor and rest while the storm went past, with those drogue sailors still in it.

I had the pleasure of using a parachute once on my 30 ft cat sailing from Brisbane to New Caledonia.
It was only in a 45-50 knot front that lasted probably 6-8 hours, but as it was building up through the 30's and obviously getting worse we figured time to use it while we had some light left in the day.
After deploying the parachute it was like being parked in a "rough" anchorage, which on a cat is not so bad.
We had hot meals, even had a couple of rum and cokes at sunset and I slept like the dead waking refreshed in the morning ready to continue.
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Old 05-05-2011, 09:07   #36
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Re: Multihulls: Heavy Weather (Passive) Handling

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Surely running with the storm under drogue, will keep you in the storm longer increasing chances of something going wrong/breaking and probably more importantly increasing fatigue.

I would think the better tactic was to use a parachute anchor and rest while the storm went past, with those drogue sailors still in it.

I had the pleasure of using a parachute once on my 30 ft cat sailing from Brisbane to New Caledonia.
It was only in a 45-50 knot front that lasted probably 6-8 hours, but as it was building up through the 30's and obviously getting worse we figured time to use it while we had some light left in the day.
After deploying the parachute it was like being parked in a "rough" anchorage, which on a cat is not so bad.
We had hot meals, even had a couple of rum and cokes at sunset and I slept like the dead waking refreshed in the morning ready to continue.
Well put - this is exactly what happens. And why I carry both the drogue, and sea anchor.
The sea anchor "anchors" you to the water. You are not moving with the wind.
The catamaran bridle locks the bows into the wind.
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Old 05-05-2011, 09:10   #37
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Re: Multihulls: Heavy Weather (Passive) Handling

Quote:
Originally Posted by Southern Star View Post
PS Some time ago on this site I asked for opinions about the value of installing a water-tight door with dogs on my companionway entrance and was met, as I recall, with a universally negative response - that even in large following seas you will never get the kind of green water in the cockpit to justify the additional cost and weight. I had specifically mentioned the perceived advantages in terms of running before a storm and for the use of a series drogue. Have opinions changed?

Brad
I don't remember that thread. I agree that if it could be stowed easily it would be a benefit. The second function would be a temporary door if theives decide to brake in with a hammer via your door.

My two biggest fears with Palarran are loosing the rig and not being able to cut it away and being pooped. My boat has the worst design for draining huge amounts of water from the cockpit - pretty much won't happen. When I discussed this with my friend he said to stop worrying and enjoy the ride. But he's French - Que Sera, Sera
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Old 05-05-2011, 09:15   #38
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Re: Multihulls: Heavy Weather (Passive) Handling

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I'm not arguing with ya, just respectfully disagreeing
text within the quote is hard to reply to...
not sure what you are saying though. passive shouldn't be done - and sea-anchor shouldn't be done?
Motoring into it only?
Not sure which one you mean.

Many people (myself included) believe that during a hurricane - at ground anchor - you can assist the holding by motoring into it.
Apparently reality (according to those who know) is that there is too much debris in the water - and engines die...

Catamaran bows are designed to take the water.
I got into the lee of The 3 entrances into New Caledonia. it was 70 knots. Pitch black at at least 90 minutes past dawn. I had storm sail deployed for the first time and was sailing beam on to the wind - parallel to the reef . I didn't know whether it would pass soon - or I'd be there for 3 days. ZERO chance of motoring into this - and this is relatively flat water. I could not continue this forever. I did not want to stop and get blown further off-shore and into full ocean waves. So the best option would be to deploy the sea - anchor and "hold" ground (monitoring that I was not drifting with the current up-wind onto the reef). But fortunately the front passed wind shifted sun came out and we motored in calm seas into the lagoon.
You can't underestimate the fury of these conditions - and the (I say again) finite power and endurance of people, fuel, equipment.
Sea anchor really is anchoring...And indefinite(check chaffing)...
BTW - I do mention often the endurance factor. I know my limitations -and I am fit endurance athlete...
I carry all three anchoring systems for a reason...
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Old 05-05-2011, 09:19   #39
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Re: Multihulls: Heavy Weather (Passive) Handling

Sometimes I just don't know what the reference point is when we are talking about storms. I can't really believe that anyone is having a cup of tea in a 30' cat riding on a sea anchor in conditions like the second video. And I don't think the guys are in danger where they NEED to deploy one in the first.




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Old 05-05-2011, 09:26   #40
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Re: Multihulls: Heavy Weather (Passive) Handling

Actually, Pallaran, the watertight door with dogs was intended to be a replacement of my current companionway door, and not merely a storm shield. It would be quite expensive but I am still giving it some thought both for security from would-be intruders and when sailing in extreme conditions. Is there any way to install additional cockpit drains in your boat (its often fairly easy in a cat)?

Brad
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Old 05-05-2011, 09:30   #41
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Re: Multihulls: Heavy Weather (Passive) Handling

cool videos - which led me to this one.
I would not have attempted that entrance - man has got skills.
But this is an example of what the bows are designed to do - whether moving. Or at anchor(sea or land)


Its not just danger - it is fatigue -and resting. Maybe waiting for conditions to abate before entering...
I really believe that as conditions became worse that a sea anchor is preferable to lying beam on...
But of course that "point" has infinite variations...
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Old 05-05-2011, 11:37   #42
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Re: Multihulls: Heavy Weather (Passive) Handling

Brad,
The only time I've ever read a first hand account about a companionway door being blown out was the delevery guys story from South Africa to Caribbean. That was on a Leopard which doesn't have a full (I don't know the correct name) combing around the cockpit in the rear. I like cats with that feature for drainage but not the corrsponding negative of poor protection in the first place.

In my imagination, if a wave breaks with so much force and volume as to blow out my door, all is most likely lost. Not that I won't fight it as we go down. More of a concern are multiple breaks that continue to fill a now seriously heavy aft loaded cat's cockpit - does that make sense?

On the FP Marquises, the drainage is achieved by routing the water through the fuel compartment about 8' and out two 2" scuppers - really unbelievable especially since the water would have to run uphill to exit. Why they couldn't have gone straight through both layers of hull is beyond me. I don't know how much water 4 scared guys and two buckets can drain?
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Old 05-05-2011, 11:40   #43
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Re: Multihulls: Heavy Weather (Passive) Handling

AllezCat - I like that vid also - balls of steel.

To me, it also illistrates why I wouldn't want to be going in reverse but forward. Pleanty of bouyancy and the breaking wave is behind you. But, who knows when the S*^T hits the fan.
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:27   #44
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Re: Multihulls: Heavy Weather ( Passive ) Handling

Wow, that does sound like a circuitous route for the cockpit drains. Is there any way to drill holes in the cockpit sole and run some drains out from under the bridgedeck? Even if the cockpit sole is elevated from the bridgedeck, I can't imagine that there aren't spots where you could run a 1 1/2 hose more directly than that. Even if the drains are not at the absolute lowest point of the cockpit sole, they would still work if there is pooling in the cockpit (which is the real concern).

If the companionway doors were blown in, I'm not sure all would be lost, but I would certainly not want to continue with the stern to the waves. That's why I was (and am) conisdering a watertight door with dogs, even though my existing one would be much less likely to blow in than the large sliding doors on most cats.

Personally, I think that we all need to come up with a plan of action that suits not only the conditions, but the forecast, our boat, the crew available and their relative condition and experience. In most storms, I would agree that running before the storm under bare poles would be appropriate. If speed becomes excessive, I would certainly want some kind of drogue deployed. If the forecast was for very high winds for an extended period (and hence the buildup of larger waves), I would then and only then consider either a sea-anchor or series drogue. With your cockpit, I would be inclined towards a sea anchor. With mine (and adequate sea room), a series drogue.

The problem with running before an extreme storm without a drogue is that as boat speed and seas increase, there will be an increased risk of pitchpoling. Yes, one could use the 'scudding' technique described by Moitessier - although IMO it requires far too much attention by the helmsman. What is surely required is a passive approach and both the the sea-anchor and series drogue are designed to be precisely that.

Brad
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:48   #45
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Re: Multihulls: Heavy Weather ( Passive ) Handling

Pardon me for bringing this back up, but so far I haven't seen anyone address that question of how one changes from a drogue to a sea anchor with the requisite 180. Has no one had to do so? If you have, how did it go? How long did it take to go from pulling in the drogue, making the turn, and then getting the sea anchor deployed? 5 minutes? 30 minutes? Frankly, just the thought of it scares the bejeebers out of me! I just can't see how my boat could hold station in 50+ knots of wind with breaking seas even with full throttle and storm jib.

If there are no "good answers", then it seems we're left with the following options:

1. Run without a drogue and if conditions get worse, you still have the option of deploying a drogue; Or,
2. Set a sea anchor and ride it out; but,

Running, then using a drogue, and then using a sea anchor is NOT a reasonable option. We would be too vulnerable for too long, plus the considerable risk of fouling the drogue and/or sea anchor rode.

Anyone?

ID
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