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Old 28-12-2006, 09:01   #1
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Multihulls on the Thorny Path

There are some who say that multihulls dont point and/or go to weather so well so I was wondering if anyone out there has done the Thorny Path to the Caribbean and continued to down island to Trinidad. If so, how did it go? Thanks
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Old 28-12-2006, 09:17   #2
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most of the charter cats built in france sail to the caribean on their own. Most who claim multihulls cant go to windward have either no knowledge of how to sail a multi, or their experience is with charter cats with worn out sails and poorly set up rigging. Capability to windward will naturally depend on design of multi, just as it does with a half boat. some are good,some bad, with newer designs normally being better than old!
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Old 28-12-2006, 09:26   #3
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A well designed multi points as well as most monohulls. Period.
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Old 28-12-2006, 10:33   #4
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most of the charter cats built in france sail to the caribean on their own.

Isn't that mostly a downwind sail across the Atlantic?

I'm also curious about honest first hand reports of production cruising cats who made long beats to windward. My own experience on a 30' monohaul doing the thorny path was that the bigger mono's blew past me on the tough motorsails into 15kts while the cats were generally hanging around my speed, 2-3 knot averages into the chop.
Don't take this as a bias against catamarans, I'm still considering one for my next boat.
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Old 28-12-2006, 14:01   #5
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People that say Cats don't go to weather are misinformed and out of date. Our Voyage 380 will point to about 35 apparent and still maintain good headway. We actually sail faster and pointed higher than many of our friends on cruising monos. Not all monos go great to weather either. It just depends on the boat and the sailor.

When we left the US for the southern Caribe we sailed the Throny Path with the exception of the DR. We went from Turks to San Juan PR with only one outward tack leaving the turks to help with the easting. It was a closehauled trip in winds of 20's knots and 12 foot seas. It can be done, but it is not always fun, but that is true for a cat or a mono, though the rolly seas didn't bother us a much as some others we knew.
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Old 28-12-2006, 16:24   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbanker
There are some who say that multihulls dont point and/or go to weather so well...
Having sailed a catamaran upwind across the Pacific (Oz - New Cal. - Fiji - Samoa - Suwarov - Penrhyn - HI - SF see summ.org/travels for details), I'm pretty confident that this isn't true in general.

The most important things for upwind performance are:

1. Daggerboards
2. Minimal windage (ie. a small aerodyamic cabin)
3. Reasonable (about 3') bridgedeck clearance
4. ...and of course good sails

Sadly, most production cats run afoul of all four. Catanas, particularly the early ones, are a possible exception. Oddly enough, many production monohulls don't go to the weather all that well either; very few cruising boats do. If you do need to work to the windward in a boat that doesn't sail well, people have had good luck running the leeward motor.

The other intersting thing about upwind sailing is that people love to say things like "the trades _always_ blow 25 knots here," but this is just never the case. If you take your time and pick your season you can almost always find a few days when the trades aren't howling. Possibly, the Thorny Patch is different in this regard but I doubt it.

-Scott
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Old 28-12-2006, 17:31   #7
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I also would think that production builders would generaly build for the prospective buyers perception of what they want, compared to custom build's where the owner know's what they want, and can't get it in a production boat.

I have sailed on a few custom cat's that will outpoint even the best of monohulls

Dave
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Old 29-12-2006, 13:40   #8
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Roughly 1000 miles from Cabo to San Diego, Known as the Baja bash. DId it on a Catana on delivery from France. 20-25kn on the nose with attendant seas, 8.5 kn boatspeed, tacking through 90-95 and playing board games in the main cabin.
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Old 29-12-2006, 17:23   #9
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Cat Man do:

I'm sure that your cat would oupoint any monohull.LOL
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Old 29-12-2006, 17:54   #10
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Cat Man do:

I'm sure that your cat would oupoint any monohull.LOL
Goes to windward like a train in light air, but if above about 15 I reckon i'll crack off the breeze a bit for comfort.

Don't want any spillages now do we

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Old 29-12-2006, 18:09   #11
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Cats can't go to windward, they break up, they flip........blah blah..... whatever.
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Old 06-04-2011, 12:51   #12
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Re: Multihulls on the Thorny Path

If anyone on CF is dissapointed in their Cat's ability to point to windward I'll gladly take it off your hands for a song and let it go wherever the wind takes it. Honest.
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Old 06-04-2011, 13:31   #13
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Re: Multihulls on the Thorny Path

Quote:
Originally Posted by smm View Post
Having sailed a catamaran upwind across the Pacific (Oz - New Cal. - Fiji - Samoa - Suwarov - Penrhyn - HI - SF see summ.org/travels for details), I'm pretty confident that this isn't true in general.

The most important things for upwind performance are:

1. Daggerboards
2. Minimal windage (ie. a small aerodyamic cabin)
3. Reasonable (about 3') bridgedeck clearance
4. ...and of course good sails

Sadly, most production cats run afoul of all four. Catanas, particularly the early ones, are a possible exception. Oddly enough, many production monohulls don't go to the weather all that well either; very few cruising boats do. If you do need to work to the windward in a boat that doesn't sail well, people have had good luck running the leeward motor.

The other intersting thing about upwind sailing is that people love to say things like "the trades _always_ blow 25 knots here," but this is just never the case. If you take your time and pick your season you can almost always find a few days when the trades aren't howling. Possibly, the Thorny Patch is different in this regard but I doubt it.

-Scott

All excellent points! Our little 34' Tri has sailed HARD to windward in winds gusting to 40 and 15' seas. With a 7' draft centerboard, we easily sail 40 degrees off of the appairent wind, and 90 degrees between tacks made good.

We sailed from Georgetown Bahamas to Boquerone PR in 5 days, by going straight out for three, and down for two days. (5 days... half of them to windward).

Later when we ran out of money in Trinidad, we sailed two days to Domonica, two more to Culebra PR, and eight days to the Beaufort NC inlet. (12 sea days in all)

I don't know of a similar sized (34') fully loaded monohull, that could be lived on for 12 years, and has a fifty something year old husband & wife crew, that can make these passages, even hard on the wind in a gale, at this speed & level of safety!

GOOD multihulls, with the above mentioned caricteristics, can sail the "Thorny Path" just fine!

Mark
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Old 07-04-2011, 11:00   #14
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Re: Multihulls on the Thorny Path

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Originally Posted by Annagyijjk View Post
, but if I think I will break the wind a little comfort.


I break the wind a little but if I break the wind a lot I really have to go faster but my wife complains a lot cause she has to take the wheel while I'm in the head.
Seriously were just crusers but we do point really good with the leward daggerboard down, that's what there designed to do.
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Old 09-08-2015, 09:21   #15
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Re: Multihulls on the Thorny Path

I have owned a voyage 450 catamaran for the last 9 years during which time I have made two Atlantic crossings.In 15/20 knots apparent wind we beat at 35%
@8/9 knots beating many mono hulls.It all depends on the design of the yacht
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