quote=Jeff H]There are two distinct types of Proas that are generally described as either Pacific (or flying) or Atlantic (which keep their ama to leeward). The difference between the two types relates to the side of the main hull
that the ama occurs, Pacific proas carry their ama to windward and Atlantic carries theirs to leeward.
There is a third type, which are Harryproas. These combine the best features of both the Pacific and Atlantic types. For a discussion of this, see http://www.harryproa.com/Newsletters/news4_hg4.htm
(the first part is general proa background, the harry stuff starts half way through)
They have just one big shortcoming and it is huge. You can't tack or jibe them quickly or in tight quarters. To change tacks in either kind of proa, you bring the boat to a stop beam to the wind, rotate the masts and sails
from facing forward in the old tack to facing forward on the new tack, raise the previous aft rudder and lower the aft rudder for the new tack and then race
off in the direction that you came in. It takes hundreds of feet to dead stop even a small proa and a lot of leeway to get one going again.
R Not so. I could stop my 12m/40' proa in a couple of boat lengths. The fastest shunt I did in that boat was 8 seconds from full and bye on one tack, to sailing on the other. There is a light air video of my smaller proa shunting at http://www.harryproa.com/ShuntingVideo/Shunting.htm
Leeway to get going is negligible as the boat is luffing as it gathers speed. If the rig is balanced (ballestron), the sheet loads are minimal, a single
part mainsheet will do the job. Dumping this and sheeting it back in are far easier and safer than tacking a jib
. The rudders rotate through 360 degrees, and will rotate on their own when the boat starts sailing in the opposite direction. It is far easier than tacking, has no possibility of getting caught in irons and can be reversed at any time. This has safety
implications as well. I can get back to a man overboard
far quicker than any other sail boat, and stop, with control in either direction, exactly where required.
J That works fine in the open ocean but would make sailing in close quarters nearly impossible.
R I regularly sailed up and down between marina arms. Directly upwind one way, ddw the other. A similar size mono or cat would not have a chance of doing so fully crewed, much less solo.
J Also proas use freestanding rotating rigs (typically wing masts) with duplicate sheets
in both directions which are quite expensive to build and can be a problem in heavy winds when you need to depower completely.
R Our carbon freestanding rigs are much cheaper than alloy masts and rigging
. Depowering in heavy air could not be easier. Release one lightly loaded rope
, the rig weathercocks and the boat stops, on ANY point of sail. No other sail boat can do this.
J There are other problems as well. Proas really need to be light in weight. More so than most multihulls because without the ability to feather up or go head
to wind, they handle gusts dissipating the force of the gust by accelerating rather than heeling.
R You are correct about the weight. A 15m/50' Visionarry Sport design was launched in Holland
last year. http://www.harryproa.com/visionarry.htm
It weighed 2 tonnes/tons ready to sail. It contained 2 huge double berths, plus a single
, a large galley
and nav station and a covered cocckpit for 8 people. It was built from glass and cedar. A stripped out racing
tri in carbon and nomex weighs twice as much. Lower weight means lower cost and less work to build. The unstayed masts dissipate gusts extremely well. With all the weight of crew and gear in the windward hull, harryproas have way more righting moment than cats of similar weight and beam.
J Caught dead in their tracks they are a lot more prone to capsize
than when they are at speed. They become dangerous if you load them up with a lot of heavy gear, which you would if you would tend to do when voyaging.
R Harrys do not become dangerous, they become safer, up to their design weight. After that, extra stuff is stowed in the leeward hull. They then get slower, but are just as safe.
J If you are concerned with budget
the extreme light weight gear found in performance proas are more expensive to buy and when you are voyaging you would want to 'stock up' on supplies when you can buy them cheaply and carry them with you to places or times were they are expensive.
R Harryproas are the cheapest boats available for their speed or accommodation. There is little or no metal on them, the few fittings that are required are all built from composites and can be owner built.
J To a great extent, Tri's and Cats make a lot more sense than proas if you are going the multihull route
. They are approximately the same cost to build, offer a little better load capacity and are much more maneuverable in tight quarters.
R No, no and no. For the reasons stated above. Where are you situated? There are 30 harrys (from 7.5m/25' to 20m/66' being built from Tasmania to northern Norway
. If you are interested, I will try and organise a sail for you.