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Old 01-01-2016, 14:29   #1
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Open Ocean Sailing in Multihull for Inexperienced Crew

This March I'm chartering a '48 Fountaine Pajot Salina out of Grenada for a cruise thru the southern Grenadines. The initial hop from Grenada to Carricou entails ~15NM of exposed open ocean sailing and I expect 5-8ft rollers coming in on our beam. I'm a monohull guy with no experience sailing cats and am concerned that the ride will be too rough for about half the crew, which have no sailing experience at all. We'll only experience these conditions for a couple of hours, so my thought it they'll be ok, but would appreciate any comments on the what the ride experience might be. The alternative is to fly them up to Carricou. Note that I've hired a captain for the ride up to Carricou to get acclimated to managing the cat.

Thanks for sharing your insight- Trevor
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Old 01-01-2016, 15:20   #2
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Re: Open Ocean Sailing in Multihull for Inexperienced Crew

Trevor - break them in right. They'll get over it.

By March the heavy winter winds should be just about over, unless they're not. But the wind will likely still be a bit north of east. That passage can be rough. Just tell them the best is yet to come....

Check up on Kick 'em Jenny before you go.

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Old 01-01-2016, 17:28   #3
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Re: Open Ocean Sailing in Multihull for Inexperienced Crew

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SNIP

winds should be just about over, unless they're not.

SNIP
Ain't it the truth.
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Old 02-01-2016, 01:30   #4
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Re: Open Ocean Sailing in Multihull for Inexperienced Crew

Not the smoothest stretch but the Salina should do just fine. Just monitor the angle of the beem seas and adjust course according. I wouldn't over worry about it.

Cheers.


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Old 02-01-2016, 07:55   #5
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Re: Open Ocean Sailing in Multihull for Inexperienced Crew

Gents - thanks for the feedback and affirmation to go for it. Also, Kick 'em Jenny was not on my radar, so thanks for sharing that one!

fair winds! -trevor
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Old 02-01-2016, 09:34   #6
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Re: Open Ocean Sailing in Multihull for Inexperienced Crew

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Trevor - break them in right. They'll get over it.

By March the heavy winter winds should be just about over, unless they're not. But the wind will likely still be a bit north of east. That passage can be rough. Just tell them the best is yet to come....

Check up on Kick 'em Jenny before you go.

Dave
Excellent advice! Kick 'em Jenny
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Old 02-01-2016, 10:23   #7
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Re: Open Ocean Sailing in Multihull for Inexperienced Crew

I would reccomend that they use "the Patch" otherwise it could get very messy!
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Old 02-01-2016, 10:38   #8
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Re: Open Ocean Sailing in Multihull for Inexperienced Crew

There is a fast ferry they can get to Carriacou from Grenada. .... cheaper than flying them! Plenty of buses from there to Tyrrell Bay, the main anchorage and in my opinion perhaps the best anchorage in the Caribbean. I know Chris Doyle does not speak highly I'd the anchorage at Ronde Island (and I use his guides religiously) but we found it a great place for 2 nights and very well sheltered. Do take the current into consideration when crossing the open channel, at times it can push you off course quite considerably.
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Old 02-01-2016, 12:34   #9
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Re: Open Ocean Sailing in Multihull for Inexperienced Crew

I've done the passage in a smaller chartered catamaran (even with one pontoon leaking from a lousy DIY by the owner) and experienced 8-10 ft. rollers off the beam. Had mostly inexperienced crew, although outdoor types, and they had no probs with rollers rather than chop. With a captain you'll probably have a fine ride.
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Old 03-01-2016, 07:13   #10
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Re: Open Ocean Sailing in Multihull for Inexperienced Crew

If it gets uncomforable, you can always "tack" thru the waves. You don't have to run dead abeam.
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Old 03-01-2016, 07:59   #11
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Re: Open Ocean Sailing in Multihull for Inexperienced Crew

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If it gets uncomforable, you can always "tack" thru the waves. You don't have to run dead abeam.
Assuming typical wind, once he gets out of the lee of Grenada this route will be very much hard on the wind and require tacking to lay the entrance to Hillsborough. May as well motor along the shore and motor sail in the header coming around the north end of the island, then make the best you can upwind. Here's betting the hired Captain will motor all the way....

Dave
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Old 03-01-2016, 08:45   #12
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Re: Open Ocean Sailing in Multihull for Inexperienced Crew

Another option for you - we can put an instructor on the boat with you for the ride up to Carriacou and give you a little catamaran instruction along the way. Let me know if we can help.


For determining how far around the north end to go before heading up to Carriacou, I always use Easy Tide (EasyTide - on-line tidal predictions from the UKHO (Easytide)) to see what the tidal current is up to. Check the Tidal Current chart on Imray chart B32 Carriacou to Grenada - it is based off of high tide in Georgetown Guyana. Works fairly well. Your boat should be supplied with this chart.


Stop by and say hi when you are in Port Louis - our office is at the end of J Dock.
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Old 03-01-2016, 09:02   #13
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Re: Open Ocean Sailing in Multihull for Inexperienced Crew

I would take them for the ride. You can always ease the sheets on departure then come back up to the next island motoring.

b.
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Old 03-01-2016, 09:48   #14
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Thumbs up Re: Open Ocean Sailing in Multihull for Inexperienced Crew

I chartered a 38ft cat from Horizon Grenada during Easter 2014. Also hired 'Skipper for a Day' to make everybody feel at ease. This also allowed us to leave earlier than a regular charter because we did a lot of the prebrief onboard underway. We had five of us and all had monohull experience but I was the only one with a bit of multihull. Had both sails up most of time and both engines on for the entire trip up the west coast to Carriacou. Air was basically on the nose the whole way. Got there in time to drop their guy off at the ferry so he could get back to Grenada and I went ashore to clear Customs out of Grenada and into the Grenadines. Made it to Bequia by late afternoon next day and did Customs again. From there we lollygagged back to Grenada stopping wherever looked good to stay the night. Much easier sailing back as the wind is with you. I can't wait to do this trip again. Take your crew with you!
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Old 03-01-2016, 10:48   #15
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Re: Open Ocean Sailing in Multihull for Inexperienced Crew

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Assuming typical wind, once he gets out of the lee of Grenada this route will be very much hard on the wind and require tacking to lay the entrance to Hillsborough. May as well motor along the shore and motor sail in the header coming around the north end of the island, then make the best you can upwind. Here's betting the hired Captain will motor all the way....

Dave
My point wasn't to give specific routing advice but to point out it's often very easy to make the ride more comfortable by adjusting your heading a bit relative to the waves.

For example: on our boat, if we head dead into short steep 3-4' waves, the bridge deck pounds something fierce. Ease off 20-30 degrees and the issue largely goes away. By the same token, if he is worried about waves directly on the beam, it wouldn't be hard to turn up into the waves a bit for the first half of the trip and then turn and run with the waves for the second half.
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