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Old 19-06-2010, 03:53   #46
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Always reef before you think you need to, always always always turn down wind in an overpower situation. And wind up means traveller down. And I did I mention always reef. And with all due respect use the manufacturers recommendations as a guide and get out there and experiment.

I have a large roachy main, it works in breezes of 7 knots and I reef anytime the boat feels a little pressured. I usually put a reef at night off shore - the first reef is very small anyway. And the single line system for reefing makes it so easy. Its better to have a big powerful sail plan and a great reefing system than an underpowered boat - you can always reef - you cant always add sail area.

Reefed multis will rarely lose much if any speed, an overpowered multi is just forcing the leeward hull in the water creating more drag. Again though what boat was this - I would like to look at the figures and compare to my and other boats.
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Old 19-06-2010, 06:35   #47
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The boat was a brand new Lipari. I have an extensive sailing experience with FP range starting from Fidji 39 up to Salina 48. I find them in general very easy to sail, reliable, reasonably fast for a cruising cat and more importantly quite safe, forgiving and seaworthy. I believe they are opting for family cruiser and charter companies at mid price range and in my view they are very good value for money.
I usually sail on my Orana 44 ownerr version and I've seen up to 52 knots, 28 knots apparent full sails wing on wing with aft swells up to 10 ft, boat speed +10 knots, no problem at all. 28-30 knots apparent at 40 degrees sailing at 10 knots in relatively calm water, no problem. (all his with a professional crew on board)

Athena's are probably the one which is closer to Lipari sizewise. I don't have the full numbers but she should be close to Lipari in terms of sail area / displacement ratio. With Athena, once up to 40 degree apparent wind of 28 , gusting 30, full sail up, in a very choppy sea (app. 10 ft) making 9-9.5 knots, the boat behaved perfectly well and I felt absolutely safe. Later, I put the reef just to not to put too much strain on the rigging. (I know it's not good seamanship and I should have taken the reef earlier) What I am trying to say the baot was fully manageable, the rudder feeling was excellent.
Lipari has the highest sailing area to displacement ratio. (the next closer is Mahe and Orana is way lower.) She has the top square main sail. The genoa/mainsail ratio is a bit smaller than standard FP range. The light displacement is given as 7.8 tons and with full water + fuel + crew I was about 1 ton above light displacement. (you should read carefully the displacement given by the manufacturer; usually it's heavier than official numbers not lighter..)
The first impression I've got, as opposed to Orana or Salina the boat was that she was very lively in light winds with standard rigging. More importantly the rudder feeling was very strange; too light and very little feed back. Thinking back and reading the comments, I tend to believe that the rudder and maybe the keel as well was way too small. I cannot believe that FP could have made such an error but I have no other solution. When the boat has accelerated to 10+ knots + increased lateral pressure, the boat has lost her line (the way point) suddenly and with the centrifugal force internal hull has taken off. So, the force on the sails must have over ridden the rudder. Thanks God, as the boat heeled like a mono, excess of wind escaped, the boat slowed down and the hull has landed.

The remaining questions are:

-the cat doesn't heel but experienced cat sailors can easily feel when the boat is overpowered. There wasn't at all any such a sign with the exception of the helm that was strongly pulling towards to wind, albeit the trim was far form being perfect.. This happens often with monohull in a race; when the gust comes, the boat heels extensively, big part of the rudder is out of water, you cannot govern anymore the boat and if you don't release the main sheet immediately, you may broach. This is the job of the guy in charge of the mainsail trim when racing. If I am crusing for fun on a mono and there is nobody to do that for me, I furl a bit the genoa to make sure that the boat doesn't heel too much. This should never happen on a cat; she doesn't heel + you have two rudders always fully in water. At worst, the cat should glide off the wind giving more leeway (remember no significant swells to get tripped) which is OK.
So can it really be an undersized rudder ?? FP doesn't provide with the detailed technical drawings but I will measure them..
-The FP's traditonally are conservatively rigged. Looking at numbers can we conclude that Lipari is exceptional, hence, should be sailed with much more care ??
-could the top square sail have contributed to this in some way ? (much higher point of attack vs. traditional main sail)
-shouldn't the "ocean going wessel" (that's how FP is calling her on their web site) be way more foregiving ? Getting cought to 20 true with full sail, after all, is something that can happen quite often.

Thx for yr contributions..

Yeloya
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Old 19-06-2010, 07:25   #48
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For some real design formulaes take a llok at a 'catalac' site as follows:
Try Catalac, an affordable cruising catamaran
There's a range of stuff there, should be of interest to you.
I found the SSP (Stability SpeeD) in:
ALL CATALAC BOATS
CATALAC 8M INFO
8M PERFORMANCE

I hope that helps, there's loads of stuff in there. Data on prop drag too if you were considering going to a folding or an auto pitching prop.

But more simply the balance between height of mast and beam are also a fair indicator of how 'tender' your boat is. Roached main sail adds a factor to that.
Mine came with a roached main that it wasn't designed for. I've had two minor experiences that you might be interested in:
1. Running full down wind against the tide (past the needles light) maintaining heading was difficult because I hadn't reefed the main, should have done and do do now.
2. In a lull in Solent water, light airs, there was a sudden strong wind that had us accelerating quickly, tending to turn into wind. There was a noticeable heel but not a lift, and I went with the boat after a moment's thought (wait and see if she tips over).
This unloaded the sails because I wasn't re-trimming for the new angle. Once nicely on the wind she sailed perfectly normally and we continued on our way.

I'm a novice sailor too, 100 hrs as skipper of my own boat and learning fast, learning the boat too. It's a risk, but I've found most mono sailors are only happy when the rails in the water, throwing up froth. That's not Cat sailing! Nor is Hobie sailing!
Enjoy, treat her like a vintage sports car - quick at times but always ready to kill (drown) you if you take her for granted.
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Old 19-06-2010, 07:31   #49
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I'd just add that reefing is now triggered by nearing hull speed. Leaving full sails up will stress the rig without creating more speed so why bother. Stressing the rig also means I'm getting too close to that invisible limit! For me that's 7kts max under sail, probably nearer ten for you, keep a log of apparent wind against boat speed, you'll see the effect if you draw a graph. Cheers.
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Old 19-06-2010, 07:33   #50
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On a similar question, not to steal the thread.
Recently I was sailing in pretty steady 20-25 apparent wind. We were close hauled, and hauling ass. When there would be a gust, I would bear INTO the wind to ease the wind speed. I could have reefed but I was enjoying the speed. And I had a course I needed to maintain, some what, so wind direction was what it was.
But I did have a strong weather helm. What was wrong with the trim that was causing the weather helm? Was the weather helm caused by the trim of the head sail or main?
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Old 19-06-2010, 07:58   #51
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FSMike,
I think you summed it up pretty well. The conditions Yeloya faced are not that uncommon and the problem, to me, seems to lie in the rudders. I'm not familiar with this design as I am tri oriented but the loss of mechanical advantage by moving the rudders forward seems poorly thought out. If one can't turn confidently down wind when overpowered there is a problem. Dave
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Old 19-06-2010, 08:27   #52
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What does FP suggest for reefing on the Lipari?

On my Belize, FP says 1st reef at 18kts of wind, 2nd at 24kts, 3rd at 30kts.

I understand that FP's suggestion is going to be conservative, but their engineers have made these suggestions for a reason. Being an engineer myself, there's nothing more irritating than to instruct someone on a product you're an expert in only to have them ignore you and then complain when the thing doesn't work as expected.

I use the FP suggested reefing schedule within 20% in daylight and stick to it on overnight passages.
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Old 19-06-2010, 08:56   #53
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I guess the OP's concern and others that are looking at cruising cats as a stable offshore platform is that anything a person can do wrong, no matter how bad, in this small amount of wind and sea could produce an unstable boat. I have been slowly becoming convinced that the cats are more stable then this and now I seem to be reading that many of you actually "expect" this to happen given the lack of a single reef.

So I guess my question on reading this is "Is this a behavior that is acceptable on a cruising boat just from not reefing when you are supposed to?". Is it within the tolerances that most cruisers would be happy with?

Jim
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Old 19-06-2010, 09:04   #54
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I think to an extent the point is being missed here. The wind came up very suddenly and there was no time to reef before helm control was lost. Under similar conditions many might have been using the auto pilot and been below or at best not actively involved with sailing the boat. According to the original post wind was 0-2 knts. Who hasn't slacked off in those conditions. Even as the main hull begins to lift on my tri I still have helm control. Yeloya is obviously an experienced cat sailor and I think already realizes that there may be a serious design flaw in this boat. I view the rudders as the most important component and the absolute last place to compromise. I'm no designer but when you put the helm over the boat must respond. If you know those limits in advance you are fore warned but in this case I'm not sure it would have helped. Dave
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Old 19-06-2010, 11:14   #55
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Originally Posted by JusDreaming View Post
On a similar question, not to steal the thread.
Recently I was sailing in pretty steady 20-25 apparent wind. We were close hauled, and hauling ass. When there would be a gust, I would bear INTO the wind to ease the wind speed. I could have reefed but I was enjoying the speed. And I had a course I needed to maintain, some what, so wind direction was what it was.
But I did have a strong weather helm. What was wrong with the trim that was causing the weather helm? Was the weather helm caused by the trim of the head sail or main?
Both your sails contribute to the balance of the helm. Strong weather helm means the center of pressure of the combined sail area/trim is behind the center of lateral resistance of your hull/keel. In the situation you describe, on my boat, I would check my jib telltales and make sure the jib is pulling as hard as it can and ease the main sail traveler to reduce weather helm and/or ease the main sheet to allow some twist to de-power the top of the main. As was pointed out earlier in this thread, driving the bows down with a lot of jib can also contribute to weather helm by moving the center of lateral resistance forward. Keeping the optimum trim is a dynamic affair that has kept some sailors amused for a lifetime.

That relates to this thread because a cruising boat should never loose its steerage, yet here is a case where, all-be-it in gusty conditions, it appears this boat accelerated to 10 knots and then "spun out" like a sailboard and "caught the toe edge" almost causing a capsize. On sailboards this happens most often, powered up and close hauled (ie hauling ass). The problem is usually a combination of "heavy footed" sailing, poor trim, and bad gear. (Hence the invention of slotted fins). IMO on a cruising boat the first two MUST be tolerable, leaving the possibility of a design flaw to blame.

I sure don't like the sound of what happened here and no this is definitely not typical of catamarans.

I like my rudders as far aft as possible..

Dave
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Old 19-06-2010, 11:18   #56
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Originally Posted by jkleins View Post
I guess the OP's concern and others that are looking at cruising cats as a stable offshore platform is that anything a person can do wrong, no matter how bad, in this small amount of wind and sea could produce an unstable boat. I have been slowly becoming convinced that the cats are more stable then this and now I seem to be reading that many of you actually "expect" this to happen given the lack of a single reef.

So I guess my question on reading this is "Is this a behavior that is acceptable on a cruising boat just from not reefing when you are supposed to?". Is it within the tolerances that most cruisers would be happy with?

Jim
I think catamaran sailors have to be more diligent in paying attention.

1) In my opinion, 10-11kts speed is over hull/design speed. That would have been my first indication the boat is overpowered. I'm comfortable with 7-8kts and start to get real nervous at 9kts, depending on how we're loaded. Prepare the boat for what might happen, not for the moment.

2) Monohulls will tell when they are overpowered, on a cat, you have to know your boat. I have observed that hull speed does not drop in proportion to reefing. I've run 8-9kts in 25-30kts of wind on the beam triple reefed in 6-8' seas heavily loaded. I know that would NOT have been faster with full sail. It is really amazing the speed that can be attained with what seems like too little sail. And the helm just feels right with the smaller sail.

3) My experience has been winds are more stable offshore and sudden gusts are only associated with storm cells that are seen from afar, giving one time to prepare. I remember one night with first mate on watch, I was awoke by her, 'the wind is acting funny'. After immediately dropping all sails and starting the engines we were hit by 50kts of wind. I turned the boat into it and we smashed thru 10 foot seas motoring for 2 hours. When I queried if she had seen it coming on radar, the answer was yes, but it was still '2 miles away so I was waiting'. When I went below an hour earlier, it was 40 miles away (and forecasted to dissipate).

Interestingly, I was told by FP engineers that the rig would collapse before a hull would come out of the water. Apparently not so on the Lipari....?? I'm too conservative to find out if I can fly a hull.
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Old 19-06-2010, 13:05   #57
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So I guess my question on reading this is "Is this a behavior that is acceptable on a cruising boat just from not reefing when you are supposed to?". Is it within the tolerances that most cruisers would be happy with?
There are lots and lots of different multi-hull designs and they are intended for different services and different crews. You certainly can buy cats that don't need to be reefed in 25 knots of wind but you can also buy some that can be driven over in 10. What's acceptable and safe is very subjective. With a new CE boat there should be a manual. It should tell you when to reef with the designed sails (if you add a extra roach or a square top main you'll need to reef earlier). I sail my cat offshore and short handed a good deal and feel quite secure with it even though it is a little more performance oriented than the average cruising cat. Professional sailors circle the globe in boats that can fly a hull in a light breeze and I've known novices who sailed without problem to New Zealand in big heavy cats and tris... But the bottom line is there is some point on every multi where failing to reef will certainly result in flipping. You can move that point up the scale but it costs you at lower winds speeds and you can not remove it. IMO there is no particular point that is generally correct for "cruising", but it is important that when selecting a boat the buyer is aware of the design point and has an idea of what she will be comfortable with. And with a new boat it is better not to make too many assumptions as it becomes powered up and to hand hold the sheets until you're sure of it...

Tom.
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Old 19-06-2010, 13:56   #58
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1) In my opinion, 10-11kts speed is over hull/design speed. That would have been my first indication the boat is overpowered. I'm comfortable with 7-8kts and start to get real nervous at 9kts, depending on how we're loaded. Prepare the boat for what might happen, not for the moment.
10kts exceeds the hull speed for a FP 43'?
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Old 19-06-2010, 14:14   #59
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Looking at the Lipari 41 specs at Lipari 41 catamaran specifications | Fountaine Pajot | Multihull Solutions and making some guesstimates about the rig and hulls I get a guesstimate of guesstimates of the stability in flat water using Multihull Design Considerations for Seaworthiness of about 26 knots. I wouldn't put a lot of faith in that. But, it does look to me that design is more tender than typical of FP cruising cats. Contributing factors are the high CE of the rig, narrow beam and wide hulls. Yeloya, did it come with an owner's manual with recommendations for reefing?

As to the loss of control, it could be a trim issue or a design issue or a badly manufactured rudder. The last is common and an asymmetrical, poorly formed or twisted foil can be have very unforgiving stall characteristics.

Tom.
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Old 19-06-2010, 14:37   #60
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10kts exceeds the hull speed for a FP 43'?
I don't know. I've never found a formula to figure it out. I do know that weight plays a huge factor. Load it up for an extended cruise and fill the water tanks (1280lbs) and you'll lose ~1kt in speed.

I do know that with 10kts of wind at 60 degrees it'll do 7kts with a light load. Increase the wind to 18kts, it's doing 8.5. Increase the wind to 24kts (same sails) it might hit 9.25. That tells me that I'm clost to hull speed since increase in wind doesn't increase the boat speed proportionally.

AFAIK, it takes a lot of power to go over hull speed. IMO, it isn't worth the stress on the rigging to push things that hard. Besides, it's a cruiser not a racer.
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