I did my circumnavigation
in a Privilege
, and I can honestly say that I always felt extremely safe when sailing offshore
. I have sailed in winds to fifty knots on three occasions in my catamaran, and in all three instances, there was never any reason for concern because I sailed the cat in a conservative manner.
I have never been in winds over fifty knots on my cat, and so I can't comment on how the boat would behave in those conditions, but if there was more than fifty knots of wind
, I wouldn't be sailing. I would be lying to a parachute sea anchor
. I have used a parachute sea anchor
only once sailing from New Zealand
during the winter when we got caught in a squash zone with fifty knot
winds. The Privilege
39 behaved extremely well when lying to a parachute.
After the tsunami, we sailed through the debris field south of Sri Lanka and we encountered many logs
floating in the water in the day time. At night, we slowed down or stopped the boat. The few times we ran into some tsunami debris in the dark did not result in any real hull
damage - only chipping of the gel coat. If you want to see some of the trees that your cat could meet up with, check out this URL: DEBRIOSAURUS* REX* THE TREE THAT WANTED TO EAT MY BOAT* Once upon a time there was a tree that wanted to eat my boat
I trusted my Privilege 39 with my family's life, and I never felt any reason to be afraid during our 11 year circumnavigation
But let me tell you the rest of the story. I know of two Privilege 39 catamarans that capsized. One got picked up at anchor
during a hurricane
, and I am told that it was a tornado that flipped the boat while no one was on board. You can see pictures of this catamaran at the following URL: CATAMARAN CAPSIZES IN 170 MILE PER HOUR WINDS*** For the past fifteen years
I know of a second Privilege 39 catamaran that capsized off the Pitons on the south end of Saint Lucia. Willwaw like winds come down off those tall peaks, and I am told that a charterer was sailing close to the pitons with full sail up and the lightly loaded catamaran underwent a capsize
during a blast of wind
that was well over fifty knots.
The hurricane capsize
was unpreventable in my opinion. The Piton capsize was a charterer who probably wasn't paying attention and didn't understand what was going on in the area.
Our cat was well behaved, and I can honestly state that there was never a time where any of us were really afraid even in rough conditions. But the reason we weren't afraid was because of how we sailed the catamaran. We sailed in a conservative manner, and we always arrived at our destination
There are some poorly constructed cats sailing the seven seas, but most of the time when an accident
or problem happens, it is pilot error that is the single
greatest factor contributing to the disaster.
Most cats are inherently safe yachts when sailed in a safe manner - just like most monohulls.
That being said, if I do another circumnavigation, it will probably be on board my Privilege 39 - Exit Only. I took care of her, and she took care of me, and that's the way it should be.