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Old 10-08-2008, 10:19   #16
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Nordic
I am new to sailing in cats so my comments can be taken with a pinch of salt - but I am now convinced that other design factors besides weight figure very highly.

When i was on the Fastcat most of the time we were doing 6.5 to 8.5 knots with both sails up and a wind from about 23 to 28 knots. I was just going on the SOG from the saloon plotter. Yet on other cats I am doing that sort of speed in winds of just 10 knots. So whilst i do not doubt that weight must improve speed I am not at all sure that its by no means as simple as that.

Wit my chosen boat I have contacted many owners who confirm the speeds achieved and the boat has won a number of races etc.

I really think that it would be of benefit to everyone if claims for boat speeds such as that on the FastCat were verified. Even if this meant just putting the boat in a race or at least the Arc so that performance could be verified.

I am a not a boat designer but I am a qualified chartered water resource engineer and I really think that performance is about far more than reducing weight.
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Old 10-08-2008, 10:54   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ireaney View Post
Gideon, That is an interesting comment ie 10% weight saving 7% increase in performance, this I am assuming has more effect in lighter winds, am I right?
Also would this equation be true on a modern production cruising cat of say around 40ft where it's hull length to beam ratio is say about 1:8 to 1:10, weight around 7 tons, so having a medium wetted suface, what I am trying to say is that if you took a modern production cat ie Lagoon 410, Lavezzi 40 or Leopard 40, ripped off their spars, changed them to carbon fibre witrh fibre standing rigging, feathering props, good set of sails, plastic toilets, prodder with gennaker, no generator, no A/C, no watermaker etc, you would get a much better performance or would it be a waste of money?
I would welcome your comments.
Ian
If you're cruising, getting rid of the water maker would be a mistake. You would need to carry more fresh water in the tanks and have larger water tanks, which would most probably weigh a lot more than the water maker.

Reducing the amount of liquid carried in general, water/fuel, is a significant potential weight saver. A water maker can reduce the amount of water that needs to be carried.

Also, by designing the whole boat to be more energy efficient you reduce the amount of fuel you burn and thus reduce need for large fuel tanks.

Smaller, properly sized, more fuel efficient engines can reduce the amount of fuel consumed and that needs to be carried. Elimination of a separate generator not only reduces weight, but reduces fuel the amount of fuel that needs to be carried to run it. Recharging the batteries in the most efficient manner, using engines, solar cells, and wind generators can also reduce the amount of fuel that needs to be carried.

Solar cells and wind generators do a nice job now of keeping the batteries topped off, but the engine is still normally the main source of electrical generation to recharge the batteries.

Use you engine at maximum efficiency. By going to an over sized alternator and/or second alternator on the engine, it will shorten the engine run time for recharging and in turn reduce the fuel consumption and the amount you need to carry. While running the engine to recharge do it while motor sailing and run the engine at higher RPM to increase charging rate while at the same time increasing boat speed, reducing engine carbon build up that occurs running a diesel at idle speeds when recharging.

Going to more expensive efficient AGM batteries that allow much quicker recharging times than flooded or gel cell batteries; making more efficent use of the solar cells and reducing engine run time plus fuel consumption. Sizing the battery banks to match your energy needs and the engine charging system size, so you don't need to run the engines more than once a day. Normally sized for at least 4 times your energy needs.Battery Size Calculator The same physical size AGM battery weighs nearly 50% more than the same size wet cell, but it nearly 50% more energy into the same space and recharges much more quickly.


Selecting the most electrical efficient refrigeration system and best insulated box will reduce power needs. With the continuing improvements to solar cell efficiency, solar cells are now capable of keeping a properly designed refrigeration system running without the need for out side engine power. Or adding a refrigerant compressor to the engine and a coldplate, combined with the 12 volt refrigeration system for the freezer, so that while running the engine your are at the same time storing cold energy in the cold plate.

Convert all lighting and bulbs to low energy LED. The less energy is pulled out the batteries and the less time the engine needs to run to recharge the batteries and the less fuel is consumed, the less fuel is need to be carried.

The lighter you make the boat by reducing water/fuel storage tank sizes, the faster you make the boat. The faster you make the boat the less need to run the engine for decent cruising speeds. The faster you make the boat the less time is spent between ports and the less stored fuel is needed; and round and around it goes;etc, etc, etc
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Old 10-08-2008, 11:00   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gludy View Post
Nordic
I am new to sailing in cats so my comments can be taken with a pinch of salt - but I am now convinced that other design factors besides weight figure very highly.

When i was on the Fastcat most of the time we were doing 6.5 to 8.5 knots with both sails up and a wind from about 23 to 28 knots. I was just going on the SOG from the saloon plotter. Yet on other cats I am doing that sort of speed in winds of just 10 knots. So whilst i do not doubt that weight must improve speed I am not at all sure that its by no means as simple as that.

Wit my chosen boat I have contacted many owners who confirm the speeds achieved and the boat has won a number of races etc.

I really think that it would be of benefit to everyone if claims for boat speeds such as that on the FastCat were verified. Even if this meant just putting the boat in a race or at least the Arc so that performance could be verified.

I am a not a boat designer but I am a qualified chartered water resource engineer and I really think that performance is about far more than reducing weight.
If the St Francis has to point at 30 degrees as we did with the FastCat it would not have sailed at all , I can judge that since I sail both these boats and you are right there is much more than just weight but it is the most important part to improve on if a boat is not fast enough.
In general I can say the Fastcat 435 is 15 % faster than the St Francis 48 or 50 and that still makes the St Francis a fast catamaran.
I have over 10000 Nm experience as a skipper with the 48 and over 70000 with the FastCat
The confirmed polars show the same. and these are made with the same programme and the boat is designed by the same designer.
And a race like an ARC means nothing to compare speeds just have 2 boats sail together in a couple of different angles to the wind , that tells much more
Greetings

Gideon
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Old 10-08-2008, 11:21   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ldrhawke View Post
If you're cruising, getting rid of the water maker would be a mistake. You would need to carry more fresh water in the tanks and have larger water tanks, which would most probably weigh a lot more than the water maker.

Reducing the amount of liquid carried in general, water/fuel, is a significant potential weight saver. A water maker can reduce the amount of water that needs to be carried.

Also, by designing the whole boat to be more energy efficient you reduce the amount of fuel you burn and thus reduce need for large fuel tanks.

Smaller, properly sized, more fuel efficient engines can reduce the amount of fuel consumed and that needs to be carried. Elimination of a separate generator not only reduces weight, but reduces fuel the amount of fuel that needs to be carried to run it. Recharging the batteries in the most efficient manner, using engines, solar cells, and wind generators can also reduce the amount of fuel that needs to be carried.

Solar cells and wind generators do a nice job now of keeping the batteries topped off, but the engine is still normally the main source of electrical generation to recharge the batteries.

Use you engine at maximum efficiency. By going to an over sized alternator and/or second alternator on the engine, it will shorten the engine run time for recharging and in turn reduce the fuel consumption and the amount you need to carry. While running the engine to recharge do it while motor sailing and run the engine at higher RPM to increase charging rate while at the same time increasing boat speed, reducing engine carbon build up that occurs running a diesel at idle speeds when recharging.

Going to more expensive efficient AGM batteries that allow much quicker recharging times than flooded or gel cell batteries; making more efficent use of the solar cells and reducing engine run time plus fuel consumption. Sizing the battery banks to match your energy needs and the engine charging system size, so you don't need to run the engines more than once a day. Normally sized for at least 4 times your energy needs.Battery Size Calculator The same physical size AGM battery weighs nearly 50% more than the same size wet cell, but it nearly 50% more energy into the same space and recharges much more quickly.


Selecting the most electrical efficient refrigeration system and best insulated box will reduce power needs. With the continuing improvements to solar cell efficiency, solar cells are now capable of keeping a properly designed refrigeration system running without the need for out side engine power. Or adding a refrigerant compressor to the engine and a coldplate, combined with the 12 volt refrigeration system for the freezer, so that while running the engine your are at the same time storing cold energy in the cold plate.

Convert all lighting and bulbs to low energy LED. The less energy is pulled out the batteries and the less time the engine needs to run to recharge the batteries and the less fuel is consumed, the less fuel is need to be carried.

The lighter you make the boat by reducing water/fuel storage tank sizes, the faster you make the boat. The faster you make the boat the less need to run the engine for decent cruising speeds. The faster you make the boat the less time is spent between ports and the less stored fuel is needed; and round and around it goes;etc, etc, etc
I agree with all the above but when sourcing extra,s for you boat look at the following and these are only examples
watermaker 60 liters per hour weights between 38 kilos complete and 85 kilos complete.
The odd thing is that the one that weights the least also consumes the least of energy
9 amps per hour versus 23 amps per hour.
SCHENKER ITALIA DISSALATORI WATERMAKER
This again saves weight since energy that you do not use you need no battery,s for on board
Using Dyneema control lines saves 50 % in weight compared with normal lines.
There are at least 300 items on board where weight can be saved
The total weigth of these can be as much as 1300 kilo or as little as 380 you choose ?
A rigid inflatable ( a favourite of mine ) in 11 ft minimum weight 23.5 kilo maximum I have seen 96 kilo yes they do the same and for the lighter version you can do with a 6 hp of 20 kilo while for the heavy weight one you need 10 hp or 36 kilo.
The davits to support this dingy can also be made lighter if they have to carry less.
etc etc.

Greetings

Gideon
same with all your lighting, LED light inside and outside save considerable energy
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Old 10-08-2008, 12:02   #20
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Gideon
Sorry I must disagree and I can prove it.
You say the St Francis cannot sail at 30 degrees to the wind.
I have a video showing the St Francis 50 pointing 30 degrees apparent and sailing fine. That was about its limit.

You have not sailed a St Francis 50 and there is a difference between it and the 48.

Your own log of the delivery trip for the FastCat shows a VMG speed that was actually slower than the St Francis.

On our test sail of the FastCat we went out and did a complete circle then back .
I was not looking all the time but I kept an eye on the E120 which is the only instrument I could see and I never saw it go much above 9 knots.... not just on a close haul.
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Old 10-08-2008, 12:14   #21
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You do not have to prove anything Paul

there is no noticeable difference between the 48 and 50 in performance and 30 degrees is just not a angle the st francis can do and still make some considerable forward movement without an enormous drift but in order to know that you have to know how to sail.
Learn and fast , you have bought a boat that needs attention in order to make the journey a safe one. I do not think it is the right choice for you but who am I to judge.
That is the reason I told you I did not want to sell you a FastCat.
I only sell to experienced sailors.
When I sailed with you i was not really trying to go fast in any way since there was no use to do so. The waves where to high and at the entrance of the piers there is a considerable ground current.
Greetings

Gideon
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Old 10-08-2008, 12:46   #22
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I fully appreciate that I am not an experienced sailor.I am an experienced power boat cruiser and am qualified commercially on that.

In my other test sails I had no problem is testing the performance of the boats in light air and I repeat that both the Leopard and the St Francis did well at all points.

I was able to see all the instruments and was able to ask and get what I wanted out of each test.

I repeat - I am a novice at sailing but given the full sails and the 23 to 28 knot winds I did expect to see some speed on some point of sail that was simply not there. I was left with serious doubts about the performance of your boats.

Now looking at other evidence such as the speeds achieved in the delivery trip - speeds mentioned on the limited trials to date, you can maybe see why I have become sceptical

I would have thought that you would have had no choice but to sail fast given those wind speeds and full sails and as a beginner I was amazed.
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Old 10-08-2008, 13:10   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gludy View Post
Nordic
I am new to sailing in cats so my comments can be taken with a pinch of salt - but I am now convinced that other design factors besides weight figure very highly.

When i was on the Fastcat most of the time we were doing 6.5 to 8.5 knots with both sails up and a wind from about 23 to 28 knots. I was just going on the SOG from the saloon plotter. Yet on other cats I am doing that sort of speed in winds of just 10 knots. So whilst i do not doubt that weight must improve speed I am not at all sure that its by no means as simple as that.

I really think that it would be of benefit to everyone if claims for boat speeds such as that on the FastCat were verified. Even if this meant just putting the boat in a race or at least the Arc so that performance could be verified.
Gludys,
First of all, congratulations on your choice of a new boat. I'm sure you will be pleased with your choice, as they have an outstanding reputation in the business.

It would be really interesting for all of us if you posted the actual performance figures you probably noted while sailing the different boats you tested. If you have a bit of video to show sea state it would also be helpful.

I am suprised that a salesman of Gideons experience took you on a test sail, and just kept the wind hard on the nose, and thereby kept the boat at its slowest and worst performance condition....
How did it do on a reach?

As readers of the forum have probably noted, I am very sceptical of some of the claims made by Fastcat regarding actual speeds. Saying that, I am also suprised that the Fastcat you tested performed so poorly, with Gideon driving it.

The fact that the Fastcat you tested weighed nearly as much as the charter style boats can have a bit to do with it.

Maybe the fact that the hull design is a generation older than the latest St. Francis hulls from Lavranos?

The crux of the matter is that none of the speeds published by owners of Fastcats seem to achieve the speeds Gideon claims.


Maybe we should start a thread for each parameter set that influences performance, and then try to tie them together at the end? Even better would be to try and collect data and emperical calculations to attempt to quantify some of these parameters.

cheers

Alan
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Old 10-08-2008, 13:10   #24
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I think a fight is about to break out! Get the woman and children out a here quick!!
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Old 10-08-2008, 13:29   #25
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Nordic Cat

I have full video reports of the last two tests with permission to use the footage I shot.

All I could verify on the FastCat was the fact that the wind was high - I accept the 23 to 29 knots declared by Gideon and what I saw on the plotter - the SOG.

Given that the currents could not have been more than a knot or so I expect that gave the through the water speed to within 10% or so.

On The St Francis I filmed and gave my requirements - you can see all the instruments on the film.

On the Leopard the wind indicator was off for a service and so only SOG and LOG readings but again they did all the sailing I asked for and the boat performed very well at all points of sale. It was again winds of 10 knots and less.

Whilst I am a beginner at sailing I had the same wind instruments on my power boat and I am certain that no one at Leopard was pulling the wool over my eyes.

All of you will see the two tests on video within the week.

I am a beginner with sail but I am experienced in boats and I have been forced to reject a lot of what Gideon is claiming. At the same time I will endorse what Leopard claimed and what St Francis claimed.
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Old 10-08-2008, 13:30   #26
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Learn and fast , you have bought a boat that needs attention in order to make the journey a safe one. I do not think it is the right choice for you but who am I to judge.
That is the reason I told you I did not want to sell you a FastCat.
I only sell to experienced sailors.
When I sailed with you i was not really trying to go fast in any way since there was no use to do so. The waves where to high and at the entrance of the piers there is a considerable ground current.
Greetings

Gideon
My oh my - bit touchy are we? So due to the long waiting list for a new Fastcat - new owners have to qualify do they?

Then, why the hell did you waste Gludys time and money inviting him to Amsterdam for a test sail?

Gludys started posting here, stating he had no sailing experience, yet you arrange a test sail for him, despite the fact that you would not sell him a boat????

Your response to his short summary of the test sail was to come up with performance figures that were higher than his at the time. Now Gludys reports on the test sail, and you react in this manner? Not very proffesional or decent IMO.

Maybe Gludys will be kind enough to make a fuller report of the test sail, also his impression of the different boats, stuff like the quality of the finish, equipment etc.

Cheers

Alan
Gideon, I find your response to his posts arrogant to say the least.
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Old 10-08-2008, 13:43   #27
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Why testsail a boat if you canīt buy it?
When are you experienced enough to buy a FastCat? I have 8 years of competition with Tornado and i used to own a 40f monohull in 5 year...and little more.

I like the fastcat, but i donīt like this kind of unnecessary additional comments!
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Old 10-08-2008, 14:01   #28
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Why testsail a boat if you canīt buy it?
When are you experienced enough to buy a FastCat?
Very good question.

We are all looking forward to Gideons response, I'm sure his negative reaction to Gludy has got nothing to do with Gludy stating the facts as he saw them

Buyer Beware - as I started out telling Gludy. Verify and validate all statements when buying a boat.

It seems he has now done that, and there is an extremely annoyed seller in the vicinity. I doubt that Gideon will concede gracefully, probably just lie low for a while (Not long though..)

Alan
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Old 10-08-2008, 15:21   #29
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There is a moral to these posts...........You can take the wind out of an old sail boat's sails, but just don't try to take the wind out of an old used car salesman sailing it.
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Old 10-08-2008, 17:39   #30
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Folks, we need to calm down. First and foremost, the job of a salesman is to sell. The job of buyer is to exercise due diligence in the process. A good seller does his earnest best to be as honest as possible in excess of 90% of the time. MOST salesmen FAIL in this regards, and that's why only the best exceed that 90% thresh-hold. A diligent buyer does his earnest best to gather information from as many sources as possible and never fall so in love with the product being sold that he voluntarily leaves his common sense at the door. We ALL are adults and have been sold to our entire lives. Gideon appears to be one of the rare salespeople that has been able to at least hover @ the 90% thresh-hold, so I'd say expectations of that being 100% are unrealistic as that's an EXCEEDINGLY rare occurance in the world of sales and we ALL know it.

There is great benefit in having commercial vendors who take the time to be as forthcoming in general as Gideon has. Certainly part of that is good "Customer Relations" in hopes of providing positive exposure for the brand he represents, but all one needs to do is compare it to others attempts in this regards to garner an understanding of just how he should be judged. I'm pretty comfortable is saying he fares well in comparison, and suggest we not forget the basic parameters at play here. If you corner a cat, it's going to take on a defensive posture - NOT because it's a bad cat, but because it's cornered. It seems that there may be an attempt to paint Gideon into a corner that creates a no-win situation for all concerned.

I offer this as a hopeful 'way out' of a needlessly negative scenario. Hopefully this offers a reasonable avenue for Gideon to respond without feeling 'cornered' , as well as a reminder to all of us that inherent to the sales process is a bit of hyperbole (whether intentioned or not). All n All I would hope most would agree that Gideon's input is an asset here, and we remind ourselves to continue in a manner of inclusiveness as opposed to exaggerating the the natural opposing nature of Buyers vs Sellers in the process. The kettle is hot enough, and already producing steam. No need to add more heat. It's likely a better tact to remove the kettle from the fire and allow the temperature to cool to a more consumable level.....
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