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Old 13-02-2012, 14:15   #16
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Re: Please Advise on a Cruising Cat

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Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
I'm not sure I would diss the escape hatches because of forgetting to close them that leads to swamping the boat. Don't you have a 'before underway checkoff list'?
I am always very careful to check these hatches and have never personally had a problem resulting from them (I just don't like them because of the reasonably likely potential problems and the highly unlikely probability of using them for their stated purpose). However, some of the local captains, and bare-boaters, are a considerably less safety conscious and have swamped several boats.

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Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
It is the heavy conditions when you want the open net! I've been in conditions that I was glad the water would drain off the bow very quickly. If you've ever stuffed the bows into a wave, you would have the same opinion. Throw a long cushion on the 'stretchy' net if you want to lay on it. I have the factory bow sprit for a genaker, this unit runs under the net back the chain locker and provides that 'walkway' to the forestay. We don't go forward for normal ground tackle, it's all located in the chain locker. If I have to manhandle a second anchor, then I go forward.
Yes, you do want water to drain in heavy conditions, but a narrow cat walk does not impede drainage and it is much more convenient for foredeck work. I've run several designs of cats in heavy conditions which do have narrow cat walks and it is a non-issue. "Narrow" is the key word here -- you don't need a lot of space -- I am only talking about cat walks that are about 18" or so wide with netting on either side extending to the hulls -- huge area to drain water from the deck and allow it to pass through on the way up.

I do know other FP owners/captains who also use the "flop a cushion on it" approach and I have used it myself aboard FP's, but it is not my preference.
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Old 13-02-2012, 14:25   #17
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Re: Please Advise on a Cruising Cat

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Originally Posted by Gelfling View Post

PS - don't be surprised if in your search for a Cat that you find a mono that you really like. I have seen it happen before!

That is not going to happen if you read his post on the used he intends for his cat.

Otherwise good post.
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Old 13-02-2012, 14:31   #18
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Re: Please Advise on a Cruising Cat

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
I am always very careful to check these hatches and have never personally had a problem resulting from them (I just don't like them because of the reasonably likely potential problems and the highly unlikely probability of using them for their stated purpose). However, some of the local captains, and bare-boaters, are a considerably less safety conscious and have swamped several boats.



Yes, you do want water to drain in heavy conditions, but a narrow cat walk does not impede drainage and it is much more convenient for foredeck work. I've run several designs of cats in heavy conditions which do have narrow cat walks and it is a non-issue. "Narrow" is the key word here -- you don't need a lot of space -- I am only talking about cat walks that are about 18" or so wide with netting on either side extending to the hulls -- huge area to drain water from the deck and allow it to pass through on the way up.

I do know other FP owners/captains who also use the "flop a cushion on it" approach and I have used it myself aboard FP's, but it is not my preference.

Very good honest critique by an owner. Thank you.
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Old 13-02-2012, 14:36   #19
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Re: Please Advise on a Cruising Cat

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
I am always very careful to check these hatches and have never personally had a problem resulting from them (I just don't like them because of the reasonably likely potential problems and the highly unlikely probability of using them for their stated purpose). However, some of the local captains, and bare-boaters, are a considerably less safety conscious and have swamped several boats.



Yes, you do want water to drain in heavy conditions, but a narrow cat walk does not impede drainage and it is much more convenient for foredeck work. I've run several designs of cats in heavy conditions which do have narrow cat walks and it is a non-issue. "Narrow" is the key word here -- you don't need a lot of space -- I am only talking about cat walks that are about 18" or so wide with netting on either side extending to the hulls -- huge area to drain water from the deck and allow it to pass through on the way up.

I do know other FP owners/captains who also use the "flop a cushion on it" approach and I have used it myself aboard FP's, but it is not my preference.
Good, fair critique by an owner.
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Old 13-02-2012, 14:46   #20
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Re: Please Advise on a Cruising Cat

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
I am always very careful to check these hatches and have never personally had a problem resulting from them (I just don't like them because of the reasonably likely potential problems and the highly unlikely probability of using them for their stated purpose). However, some of the local captains, and bare-boaters, are a considerably less safety conscious and have swamped several boats.



Yes, you do want water to drain in heavy conditions, but a narrow cat walk does not impede drainage and it is much more convenient for foredeck work. I've run several designs of cats in heavy conditions which do have narrow cat walks and it is a non-issue. "Narrow" is the key word here -- you don't need a lot of space -- I am only talking about cat walks that are about 18" or so wide with netting on either side extending to the hulls -- huge area to drain water from the deck and allow it to pass through on the way up.

I do know other FP owners/captains who also use the "flop a cushion on it" approach and I have used it myself aboard FP's, but it is not my preference.
Good honest comments, i too am in two minds about the hatch, i believe a number of new designs have gone to a sheet of safety glass and hammer.

Some time ago i repaired a Aluminium yacht by the name of "Algalita" it belonged to an American foundation. It had run up on some rocks and taken in water.

The disturbing thing was when it got to the point of half flooded with all kinds of crap floating around one of the crew members stood full weight on the now concealed/submersed hatch (a Bomar)....

The hatch could not sustain his weight and his leg burst it open causing some injuries and flooding the boat even more!

Thinking something with out the latches like a glass sheet may be the go as hatches are not designed for force from the inside/underside direction....

Thanks for a well detailed opinion, Good Stuff!!!
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Old 13-02-2012, 14:53   #21
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Re: Please Advise on a Cruising Cat

I often wonder if those hatches are even big enough for an overweight retiree!
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Old 13-02-2012, 14:56   #22
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Re: Please Advise on a Cruising Cat

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Originally Posted by ausaviator View Post
I often wonder if those hatches are even big enough for an overweight retiree!
The problem is the latches are FRP and not designed for inverted use, im surprised that any EU or Coast Guard etal certification is correct when you think about it?
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Old 13-02-2012, 14:56   #23
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Re: Please Advise on a Cruising Cat

Lagoon 4us

Personally I believe in some of the French vessels the escape hatch is to low to the water and in a position where it is exposed to water flow regularly when sailing and therefore prone to leaks.

Are better places such as in bow under tramps where allows air flow through vessel. My preference.

Sounds as if the vessel lagoon you had lined up in States fell through. Any particular issue?

cheers
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Old 13-02-2012, 15:00   #24
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Re: Please Advise on a Cruising Cat

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Lagoon 4us

Personally I believe in some of the French vessels the escape hatch is to low to the water and in a position where it is exposed to water flow regularly when sailing and therefore prone to leaks.

Are better places such as in bow under tramps where allows air flow through vessel. My preference.

Sounds as if the vessel lagoon you had lined up in States fell through. Any particular issue?

cheers
No issue regarding the boat more so our property settlement here got delayed so we couldn't close on time.

Now we will buy in the Med the prices are 80k cheaper for similar boats. Cheers
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Old 13-02-2012, 15:04   #25
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Re: Please Advise on a Cruising Cat

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No issue regarding the boat more so our property settlement here got delayed so we couldn't close on time.

Now we will buy in the Med the prices are 80k cheaper for similar boats. Cheers
Thats all positive anyhow and after you leave med you can still do States & Carrabiean.
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Old 13-02-2012, 15:10   #26
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Re: Please Advise on a Cruising Cat

Exactly, like there's nothing wrong with starting there!!!!! lol

The boats i've looked at there are not into solar as much however the machinery hours have been less and they all seem to be equipped with diesel heaters!!!!

We have shortlisted three Cat's and will be there first week of March to go through our choices, maybe Croatia,,,,,,
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Old 13-02-2012, 15:15   #27
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Re: Please Advise on a Cruising Cat

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Yes, you do want water to drain in heavy conditions, but a narrow cat walk does not impede drainage and it is much more convenient for foredeck work. I've run several designs of cats in heavy conditions which do have narrow cat walks and it is a non-issue. "Narrow" is the key word here -- you don't need a lot of space -- I am only talking about cat walks that are about 18" or so wide with netting on either side extending to the hulls -- huge area to drain water from the deck and allow it to pass through on the way up.

I do know other FP owners/captains who also use the "flop a cushion on it" approach and I have used it myself aboard FP's, but it is not my preference.
BTW, I do respect your opinion.

I'm somewhat confused. Having and open net for fast water drainage and a walkway to the forward beam are 2 separate issues. A walkway won't impede drainage unless, like you imply, it's done ridiculously large.

An open net and a comfortable-to-lay net can't happen. For blue water cruising you pick how much openness you want. My net is 70+% open, which equates to "not comfortable to lay on", hence it takes a cushion. Over the years I've learned that laying on the net is a novelty that wears off pretty quickly. I'd much rather perch a deck seat/chair on the deck right above the net, much more comfortable, IMO. But I do understand that in the charter business most customers enjoy laying on the net. Of course, in the charter business, openness of the net is not a factor as the boat probably won't see blue water.
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Old 13-02-2012, 15:22   #28
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Re: Please Advise on a Cruising Cat

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Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
BTW, I do respect your opinion.

I'm somewhat confused. Having and open net for fast water drainage and a walkway to the forward beam are 2 separate issues. A walkway won't impede drainage unless, like you imply, it's done ridiculously large.

An open net and a comfortable-to-lay net can't happen. For blue water cruising you pick how much openness you want. My net is 70+% open, which equates to "not comfortable to lay on", hence it takes a cushion. Over the years I've learned that laying on the net is a novelty that wears off pretty quickly. I'd much rather perch a deck seat/chair on the deck right above the net, much more comfortable, IMO. But I do understand that in the charter business most customers enjoy laying on the net. Of course, in the charter business, openness of the net is not a factor as the boat probably won't see blue water.
Lighter cats also appreciate the more open net coming off a wave with wind beneath giving uplift.

With all the Med Cats i've looked at i would have thought someone by now would have used their walkway for stern moorings as a removeable cover on the 'catwalk'? Just an idea!
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Old 13-02-2012, 16:11   #29
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Re: Please Advise on a Cruising Cat

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
I am always very careful to check these hatches and have never personally had a problem resulting from them (I just don't like them because of the reasonably likely potential problems and the highly unlikely probability of using them for their stated purpose). However, some of the local captains, and bare-boaters, are a considerably less safety conscious and have swamped several boats.
It is my understanding the hatches under the bridge deck are a required item to cats built in France. Obviously in recent years they've been able to satisfy this requirement with breakable solid glass/acrylic vs, openable hatches.

I can see these hatches being an issue on charter boats, whatever can go wrong will on a boat while in charter.

I also thought less of these hatches when I had to de-mount them and spent several hours getting the hinges and spring mechanism to function properly (due to salt water corrosion). They are in a location that is 'out of sight out of mind', hence they get neglected during normal routine maintenance.

With all this said, the intended purpose of these hatches is valid regardless the likelihood of them ever being used as designed. Besides, guests love to 'sit in the loo with a view'!
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Old 13-02-2012, 16:50   #30
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Re: Please Advise on a Cruising Cat

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Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
...
I'm somewhat confused. Having and open net for fast water drainage and a walkway to the forward beam are 2 separate issues. A walkway won't impede drainage unless, like you imply, it's done ridiculously large.

...

An open net and a comfortable-to-lay net can't happen. For blue water cruising you pick how much openness you want. My net is 70+% open, which equates to "not comfortable to lay on", hence it takes a cushion. Over the years I've learned that laying on the net is a novelty that wears off pretty quickly. I'd much rather perch a deck seat/chair on the deck right above the net, much more comfortable, IMO. But I do understand that in the charter business most customers enjoy laying on the net. Of course, in the charter business, openness of the net is not a factor as the boat probably won't see blue water
...
.
Yes, agreed, off-shore work and charter work obviously have different ideal net configurations (and cross-walk design and net "openness" are two separate considerations).

Re net choice. I suppose you could make up two sets of nets, but there is a reasonable compromise for those of us who do a bit of both. In my case, I use my boat for both charter work and cruising...so a reasonable compromise is applicable. The webbing on my net is composed of strips of a flat plastic coated material (PVC coating I assume...whatever the material it is amazing -- it is 10 years old and still looks brand new). The result is a net which is sufficiently open to allow good drainage and which is also reasonably comfortable to lay on (a towel or blanket underneath doesn't hurt though if you plan to be there for a while). It is also relatively low stretch so it is not like bouncing around on a trampoline when you need to walk across the foredeck. The strips are about the same width as the spacing between them so it is about 50% open. It is reasonably comfortable to lay on and drains well (I've spent way more time offshore "testing" it than I would prefer).

Personally, I like hanging out on the nets and so does my GF. Nice comfy place to lay back, have a cigar and a cocktail and watch the stars (BTW...a cat-walk also makes a handy place to set your drink! Now that's my idea of "foredeck work"). We had a beautiful downwind run back from Roatan last year and she spent almost the entire time sleeping on the nets.
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