I think you're a bit too fixated on the ARC results as evidence of the performance of the Neel. I'm not saying it's not a quick boat, I have no experience of it, I'm challenging your use of the ARC results.
The ARC is a rally for cruisers. It's not a proper race
and, as Dockhead has more eloquently pointed out in your monohull
thread, there's plenty of examples of information that has come out that have skewed the results. His example of the large Moody that was stripped out raced hard by a crack crew being a perfect example. With respect to your example, How was the Outremer 51 loaded and sailed? By how many crew and were they racers..? What sails
does it have/use? Of course the same questions need to be posed for the Neel as well. Perhaps they were racing
hard because they were concerned their bilge pump
would fail and they'd sink
(That's a joke btw) There is simply not enough information provided in the ARC results to make the conclusions you have.
I'd very much like to see an 'empty' Outremer 51 Vs an empty Neel around a decent course in a proper race
with appropriate sails
and proper sailors on board both. My money
would be on the Outremer but it would be a great race. And whilst the original Outie's were performance cruisers I think the modern ones are a bit fat to be put in the same category. In my opinion the best performance cruisers with two hulls out there today are Schionning designs.
I'd also like to understand your reasoning behind saying that Catamarans are unsafe. You mentioned your small cat racing experience and flipping those and also pitchpoling but I'm not following your extrapolation to decent size cruising cats.
Originally Posted by andreavanduyn
Our initial idea is a trimaran; not a cat. Having raced cats unto and including the worlds for 18', I am desperate to finally own and enjoy a fast yacht but due to our age also comfortable and safe. The cat is not such yacht; pitching and capsizing being an issue if you can buy one that is really fast and designed for speed......few brands come to mind.
Cruising catamarans are not the super twitchy 18' racing cats that you have experience on. Even the larger, performance oriented cruising designs are not as twitchy as the 18' cats you've raced. I don't understand this line of reasoning when you have every option available to you to slow the boat down in normal conditions from reefing the main, furling
the headsail or hoisting a smaller headsail. In heavy conditions you can go to bare poles and even launch a drogue
or a parachute anchor
to really slow and practically stop the cat. It is very rare indeed, I would guess a rarer event than a mono sinking after a roll or sinking after a keel
fell off, that a catamaran
is capsized from wave action alone. If you take the sails down you've pretty much nullified your risk of being capsized from too strong a wind
- which has been the cause of the vast majority of catamaran
capsizes. Take Anna, for example. They didn't think the squall was any different to ones they'd experienced previously and didn't get enough sail down and got smashed. If a mono sailor in the same situation with the same reported wind
speeds left too much canvas
up they'd have been knocked down as well and maybe broken a few bones, done further damage - who knows. It's all speculation. The point being, they should have gotten their sails down and, if they did, they'd have been able to ride it out. That's true of any well found boat with any number of hulls, in my opinion.
If you set the sails according to the conditions, you'll be fine. If you're going to sail on the edge of the performance envelope then you accept those risks but then also, if you go over, the fault lies with the skipper
and not the boat.