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Old 10-05-2008, 15:05   #1
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The Bouncing Bows - Why Didn't You All Tell Me?? :)

Ok,

I saw a very large, new 47-55ft cat today pounding up the Chesapeake with me. Its bows were *leaving* the water completely on every other wave, while mine were flailing skyward.

I've been asking about this for a long time, but got very few responses. Is this a weakness of cats that nobody wants to admit or talk about??

This is certainly how they are all designed and the bows fly up skyward, pivoting about a point somewhere near the helm/companionway door. It was very dramatic (and dare I say worse!) on this large, newer cat I was motoring into the slop with.

BTW: The slop was so bad (or bow flying was so bad) it shot my forward cabin sole into the air, then down into the bilge below where it normally rests. I also took water over the bridgedeck - every 10th wave or so. Rough stuff. Very steep.
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Old 10-05-2008, 15:47   #2
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I think it's time yer got a Videocamera and posted some Youtube
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Old 10-05-2008, 15:51   #3
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I think it's time yer got a Videocamera and posted some Youtube
Wish I did have one. I tried to take some stills of that other cat's bows leaving the water, but I'm not sure I timed the digital photo "snap" right to show it.
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Old 10-05-2008, 16:08   #4
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Wish I did have one. I tried to take some stills of that other cat's bows leaving the water, but I'm not sure I timed the digital photo "snap" right to show it.
I think it might be a problem common between your cats but not all cats. Any idea of what the other one was?

By the way, it's nice tracking your trip. are you going up the eastern shore side or the inland side?
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Old 10-05-2008, 16:26   #5
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Lightweight combined with double the positive bouyancy of having two bows.
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Old 10-05-2008, 16:37   #6
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I think you will find it varies depending on hull design however in general the absence of that big chunk of lead does mean you ride more on the water rather than through the water. It is usually only an issue when motoring directly into the wind and waves. When under sail you usually take the waves at an angle which makes for a smoother ride.
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Old 10-05-2008, 16:40   #7
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Originally Posted by Maren View Post
I think it might be a problem common between your cats but not all cats. Any idea of what the other one was?

By the way, it's nice tracking your trip. are you going up the eastern shore side or the inland side?
Thanks!

I really do think it's all sailing cats. This was one of those new, expensive 47 foot type cats. Plumb bows, long, very thin, fine entry. Point that into the slop and it took off like a rocketship.

It actually did worse than mine.

I wish I knew the model. I just can't tell them all apart yet. They all look kind of the same to me still.

The bows were literally way up out of the water every other wave. They were so far out, I could see the flat underside of them, about 1/4 to 1/3 of the down the boat's length. The sterns didn't leave at all. They just sat tight - just like mine do. It was also pivoting about on an axis by where the helm was. Just like mine does.

Henry: Yes, it only happens motoring into the slop. We were motoring into some pretty harsh conditions. It is a motion I am getting used to, but something that nobody else seems to have picked up on. Maybe there aren't so many who went from a large cruising mono to a cruising cat? Is that why I'm picking up on it?
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Old 10-05-2008, 17:08   #8
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a Photo

Well, being that we were getting thrashed about a bit, here is the only photo I was able to snap, singlehanded with no autohelm.

Of course, the bows are coming back down (damn digital cameras), but you can clearly see the pivot point at the companionway door and the undersides of these plumb, fine entry modern bows as they are out of the water.

All sailing cats do this, I think. It behaved just like mine and it's brand new.
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Old 10-05-2008, 17:19   #9
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The Bouncing Bows - Why Didn't You All Tell Me??
Like my mother used to tell me "you made your bed now lie in it"
You traded a mono for a cat. You got to take the good with the bad.
Just pulling your chain Sean,
Good luck

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Old 10-05-2008, 17:19   #10
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I would say it's is a handling characteristic. Heading into a short steep chop is probably the most uncomfortable conditions for a cat. Overloading or improper weight distribution can make it worse but it will always be there to some degree. It could be that coming form your monohull experience that the quick motion fore and aft is something you are not used to and maybe not expecting. A few people that make the switch never seem to get used to it but it does seem that most do and find it an acceptable tradeoff. Once you go cat you seldom go back, one could say. I have seen a few instances where extending the stern, maybe incorporating steps can help especially on smaller cats.
I have been in steep choppy conditions conditions with my tri but I have never had the cabin sole jump around. A trimaran is really a different animal with different handling characteristics but this is probably the most uncomfortable conditions for it also.
Just saw the picture. The waves don't really look that bad but I know sometimes they don't come through in pictures. I think it's just the typical cat pitching motion.
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Old 10-05-2008, 17:40   #11
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I would say it's is a handling characteristic. Heading into a short steep chop is probably the most uncomfortable conditions for a cat. Overloading or improper weight distribution can make it worse but it will always be there to some degree. It could be that coming form your monohull experience that the quick motion fore and aft is something you are not used to and maybe not expecting. A few people that make the switch never seem to get used to it but it does seem that most do and find it an acceptable tradeoff. Once you go cat you seldom go back, one could say. I have seen a few instances where extending the stern, maybe incorporating steps can help especially on smaller cats.
I have been in steep choppy conditions conditions with my tri but I have never had the cabin sole jump around. A trimaran is really a different animal with different handling characteristics but this is probably the most uncomfortable conditions for it also.
Just saw the picture. The waves don't really look that bad but I know sometimes they don't come through in pictures. I think it's just the typical cat pitching motion.
Agreed. It's definitely something they all do. I am getting used to it, but I was baffled when nobody on the board really got what I was talking about. Quite a few said it was because my boat has a different shape, etc...

They were wrong. My boat at least didn't leave the water as often as the plumb bows did. It pitched quite a bit and I took a quite a few waves over the deck (with water going all the way over the bridgedeck and landing in my dinghy), but my boat wasn't any worse than the huge, new one in the photo. In fact, it was slightly better, as it didn't leave the water entirely like that one did.

Anyway, yeah... the sea state doesn't show up at all in that telephoto picture. We were actually about 1/2 mile apart. That is a bad digital zoom and doesn't capture the steep, short slop we were motoring head on into.
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Old 10-05-2008, 17:58   #12
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Well, being that we were getting thrashed about a bit, here is the only photo I was able to snap, singlehanded with no autohelm.
It looks like a Fontaine Pajot Tobago 35 to me.

I just had an idea for your bows in the air problem.
If your sterns stay stuck down, why not buy another boat just like yours,
chop them in half crosswise and make a pushmepullyou out of them.
Keep the one with 4 sterns and you're in business. Ees seemple!

Steve B.
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Old 10-05-2008, 18:10   #13
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It looks like a Fontaine Pajot Tobago 35 to me.

.

Naaa... wasn't a 35. I'm a 34 and that boat dwarfed me. It was huge.
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Old 10-05-2008, 18:18   #14
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Sean,

If it's any consolation, I've just received a post from an Island Packet bashing to weather off Wolf Trap Light on the Chesapeake, with green water coming over the decks. Not a comfortable sail for any boat tonight!
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Old 10-05-2008, 18:53   #15
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Get some weight up forward Sean. How much chain do you have? If it is short duration, then you grin and bear it. If it is for awhile, you have to shift some weight around. It's all about balancing out your boat.
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