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Old 17-12-2013, 13:33   #31
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Re: The Prout Debate

Joben, I would highly recommend that you check out this Sunstar 36. While there are not many of them, they were a terrific boat - as I said earlier, very similar to a Manta 38 (later lengthened to 40 and 42). Like the Manta, it was based upon an Erik Lerouge design and has a relatively high prismatic coefficient for performance and a very smooth shape to the tunnel under the bridgedeck - no intrusions or shelves, just a smooth curve foer and aft and side to side, greatly reducing pounding in a seaway. Solaris constructed very solid boats and, while the interiors of the later boats were not upscale, it is not difficult (or very expensvie) to remove the original vinyl and carpeting and upgrade the interior on a DIY basis. While only 36 feet, she is certainly offshore capable and has decent accomodation with full headroom throughout. If she is still in decent shape and you can get her at a decent price (which should be less and perhaps quite a bit less than your budgeted amount), she could well be what you are looking for. Certainly, she is much more modern and will perform much better than a Prout of a similar vintage.

Brad
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Old 17-12-2013, 13:34   #32
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Re: The Prout Debate

I bought my Prout in April and have spent a lot of time and money on refurbishing it (new electrics, plumbing, glass work, solar and wind power, cushions, sails, rigging, engine rebuild, water maker etc etc etc) but its now a ready blue water boat which will cruise comfortably. Yes its hard work beating and will slam a bit beating wind over tide but also makes 11 kt under sail, will sail to 35-40 off the wind (try that in most modern cats) and has plenty of room for the two of us.
Prout made excellent strong seaworthy boats until the latter part of their existence when quality seems to have slipped. Also, many were home finished so quality can be an issue there too. However, most earlier factory built boats were bullet proof - mine is 35 years old and I had a very intense full survey which found no osmosis, no damp (no cores to get damp - solid glass hull and deck), no delamination etc. For a serious cruising boat you'll want to upgrade most systems anyway so IMHO its better to rip out old worn out wiring or plumbing or deck fittings to replace with quality items than rip out new ones which still wont be up to standard. The other advantage with the older Prouts is the much more comfortable canoe stern rather than the wider squared off elites.

I also paid 30% under the asking price for the boat - its completely a buyers market now so if you find a boat you're interested in offer at least 25% below the asking - they'll probably take it. Try Welcome to MultiHull World - Catamaran, catamaran for sale,trimaran,prout,heavenly twins,patterson,summer twins,sirroco,catana,outremer,nautitech, privilege, solaris, sunbeam, Dean, Catalac, Lagoon, Multimarine,Voyager,fountaine pajot, Edel,multihull when you come to the UK - Mark there knows a lot about every type of multihull and has (as of last month) 3 Snowgoose 37s at their office in Emsworth and another dozen or so on the books but based elsewhere.
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Old 17-12-2013, 14:04   #33
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Re: The Prout Debate

Snowgoose, I can't argue with a anything you have said except with respect to the canoe stern. Even Prout got away from that type of design as: 1. it provides much less bouyancy aft for stability and support of inflatables, BBQ's, solar panels etc. 2. it increases hobbyhorsing. 3. it provides less performance than a hull with transoms and a higher prismatic coefficient. Were they solidy constructed? Absolutely. Are they offshore capable? Ditto. Are their deals to be had? Certainly. At the right price and in the right condition are they worthy of substantial upgrades? Possibly. Certainly they are within Joben's price range, but so are other boats that may prove to be more modern, better performing and more comfortable.

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Old 17-12-2013, 14:10   #34
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Re: The Prout Debate

The canoe stern as I understand it means following waves and wash etc tend to flow under the boat to the middle and then lift it in the centre (at the the narrowest point) whilst the later wider designs meant more slamming at the back rather than lift in the centre ...
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Old 17-12-2013, 16:46   #35
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Re: The Prout Debate

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Originally Posted by Snowgoose35 View Post
I bought my Prout in April and have spent a lot of time and money on refurbishing it (new electrics, plumbing, glass work, solar and wind power, cushions, sails, rigging, engine rebuild, water maker etc etc etc) but its now a ready blue water boat which will cruise comfortably. Yes its hard work beating and will slam a bit beating wind over tide but also makes 11 kt under sail, will sail to 35-40 off the wind (try that in most modern cats) and has plenty of room for the two of us.
Prout made excellent strong seaworthy boats until the latter part of their existence when quality seems to have slipped. Also, many were home finished so quality can be an issue there too. However, most earlier factory built boats were bullet proof - mine is 35 years old and I had a very intense full survey which found no osmosis, no damp (no cores to get damp - solid glass hull and deck), no delamination etc. For a serious cruising boat you'll want to upgrade most systems anyway so IMHO its better to rip out old worn out wiring or plumbing or deck fittings to replace with quality items than rip out new ones which still wont be up to standard. The other advantage with the older Prouts is the much more comfortable canoe stern rather than the wider squared off elites.

I also paid 30% under the asking price for the boat - its completely a buyers market now so if you find a boat you're interested in offer at least 25% below the asking - they'll probably take it. Try Welcome to MultiHull World - Catamaran, catamaran for sale,trimaran,prout,heavenly twins,patterson,summer twins,sirroco,catana,outremer,nautitech, privilege, solaris, sunbeam, Dean, Catalac, Lagoon, Multimarine,Voyager,fountaine pajot, Edel,multihull when you come to the UK - Mark there knows a lot about every type of multihull and has (as of last month) 3 Snowgoose 37s at their office in Emsworth and another dozen or so on the books but based elsewhere.

We have spoken to Mark a couple of times, in fact, my girlfriend bought her last solaris from him. He will be our first stop in the UK... Thanks for the info on your prout. I wish you luck
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Old 18-12-2013, 02:14   #36
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Just received an email from the owner of our old Solaris Sunstar 36. He wants to sell but hasn't put it with a broker yet. Someone could probably get this boat for a great deal if purchased before going to the broker. If someone is seriously interested pm me for owners contact info.
Hi smj. I think i sent you a pm but wasnt sure how to do it.my email is: ben_utley@hotmail.com. info on the solaris would be much appreciated. Thanks
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Old 18-12-2013, 10:39   #37
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Re: The Prout Debate

Actually Snowgoose, even Robert Perry, the designer of probably more monohulls with canoe sterns than any other naval architect (the Valiant series being the best known) has indicated that he did so only because, with the popularity of the Westsail 32 in the late 60's early 70's, manufacturers were demanding it on cruising boat designs. To paraphrase one of his articles, he said that in spite of his many double-ended designs, he had never bought into the oft-repeated suggestion that it was like 'Moses parting the seas'. The reality is that one needs bouyancy aft in order to lift the hulls over waves approaching from astern. Double-enders typically have less bouyancy aft, although some canoe sterns (think Valiants and the Corbin 39 etc.) have sterns that are sufficiently bulbous that they will have adequate bouyancy aft if not overburdened with equipment/gear. In addition, they have what Perry referred to as, the 'behind you'd love to pat'. Lets face it, they are often quite pretty.

While owners of those boats often claim a slight advantage in terms of their ability to handle waves from astern, I suspect that this would only be true in comparison with boats with large sunken transoms. When one considers the reduced performance due to the lowered prismatic coefficient and the relative loss of bouyancy needed to support the dinghy, davits, BBQ, solar panels etc. that now weigh down the transoms of most cruising catamarans, I can't imagine anyone seeing them as an advantage.

Brad
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Old 19-12-2013, 09:13   #38
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Re: The Prout Debate

"The reality is that one needs buoyancy aft in order to lift the hulls over waves approaching from astern."

I'm with Snowgoose on this one. The waves from astern on a double ender lift the hull more near the center, however you then need that second end to part the incoming wave from what I've seen. You should consider the load length of the hull to be several feet shorter than the double end. Those double ends do help with light air drag, very common weather to be cruising in. Double ends need to be loaded near the center to minimize pitching.

The point about dinghies, davits and barbecues is valid however. When using a design it is important to keep in mind what it was designed for. Back when Prout had the double ends it was considered poor seamanship to have dinks off the back end and junk on the rail. The weight was in the wrong place, the windage increased and valuable accessories could be damaged and lost. These things should be stowed inboard for a passage, a better practice for most boats.

Posts like the above do have there uses at the bargaining table when acquiring a older design however. I like the older Prouts, simpler and not bloated to cope with modern inconveniences, the basic glass construction is very easy to maintain and work on. They can provide a way to be cruising for less. If you find a good deal, to go with the program how about rowing the dink to save some weight and get some exercise? Less can be more but it takes an across the board approach.
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Old 20-12-2013, 07:00   #39
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Re: The Prout Debate

Cavalier, you point out that waves from astern lift the hulls more near the center on a double-ender and suggest that this is an advantage. One need only look at the lever principle to see the fallacy in this proposition: I'm sure we can all agree that the shorter the lever arm, the more force that is required to lift an object of the same weight to the same height. If the force of the waves act more towards the center of the boat (and they do in a double ender), then the lever arm is shorter and there is less lift.

In a thread here a few years ago, Bob Perry makes it clear that the issue is not so much the shape of the transom (wineglass transoms are also inefficient), but the shape of the hull aft. In order to end in a point, the lines forward of that point must also be narrower and the result is less bouyancy aft. Full stop.

So yes, posts like mine are no doubt useful at the bargaining table - you should pay less for a less efficient hull design.

Brad
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Old 20-12-2013, 10:02   #40
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Re: The Prout Debate

SS Bob Perry doesn't really have much multihull design experiance and isn't really a name to drop in that field yet. The one multihull of "his" I've been on was a partnership with Kurt Hughes and guess who made it work? There are, or were, large differences in how the slender hulls of a multihull work and how those concepts work out on wider monos.

Lifting from the center means less attitude change in the boat running downwind. Yes the stern is momentarily deeper in the wave but those hulls float like a cork and up she comes level helped by that infamous short lever. Watch how a barrel floats on top of the waves without any real lever at all.

On a transom stern there can be a tendency to bring the bows in deeper as the stern rises resulting in a tendency to broach or wander downwind with an increased chance of burying the bows. Again the lever principle, on the play ground when one end of the teeter totter goes up what happens on the other end? This is in an extreme case, proportions have to be designed carefully.

On the modern behemoths with increasingly bloated hulls we are actually getting into the territory where monohull design criteria start working again. If you want more weight on the stern you will need more hull, but I've read of a few cat sailors who have lost that stern ballast in a blow, unable to do anything about it. Not sure the modern practices are superior but if you want to follow the herd its best to have a cow to do it with. So efficiency can be measured by different yardsticks.
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Old 20-12-2013, 10:39   #41
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pirate Re: The Prout Debate

If your going to talk canoe stern Catamarans... there's only one designer worth talking about/too...
And that's James Wharram.
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Old 20-12-2013, 15:20   #42
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Re: The Prout Debate

Canoe sterns on a cat work completely differently from monos - its about having two hulls with a gap between - the narrowest part of that gap where the hydrostatic force is in part directed upwards is in the centre of the two canoe stern hulls and not at the back of them as in a transom hull...
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Old 23-12-2013, 08:11   #43
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Re: The Prout Debate

Sorry Cavalier, but the herd analogy cuts both ways: if canoe sterns were the best design for a catamaran, one would have expected somebody to have continued producing (or at least designing) them. Even if only for one-off, or limited-production cats intended for extended cruising. The fact is that even Prout stopped producing them because they were inefficient.

Unlike monohulls, the risk of broaching in a catamaran (which is extremely small) is in no way related to transom shape - BWL, the length of the keels and the depth of the rudders being the primary factors. Interestingly, the Open 60 monohulls have gone to extreme beam aft and twin rudders, in effect mirroring some of the design attributes of a catamaran, precisely because it IMPROVES their downwind performance and REDUCES the risk of broaching: heeling is reduced and at least one of the angled twin rudders will continue to be effective even with the heel induced by seas taken from the rear quarter.

The risk of burying a bow/pitchpoling is effected by the fore/aft stability of a boat. Virtually all (if not all) naval architects agree that in a catamaran, while increased beam increases lateral stability (resistance to heeling/capsize), it reduces fore/aft stability (resistance to burying a bow). A safe design is a balanced design - one that has sufficient beam to effectively resist capsize, without unacceptably increasing the risk of burying a bow/pitchpling.

Of course, by definition more bouyant bows will increase resistance to burying a bow, but again, there is a question of balance: boats that tend to hobbyhorse excessively are displaying less fore/aft balance and hence are also at increased risk of burying a bow/pitchploing. Put in simple terms: it is not just increased bouyancy foward that improves fore/aft stability, but bouyancy aft. Indeed, from earlier comments I think that we can agree that double-ended hulls have an increased tendancy to hobby-horse - or to use your analogy, to act like a teeter-totter.

Snowgoose35, are you actually suggesting that in a catamran, the key factor in fore/aft stability is the location of the narrowest part of the gap in the tunnel? Even if that were true (and it isn't), there would be no difference between a cat with double-ended hulls or transoms: in both cases, the tunnel widens towards the ends.

Please don't get me wrong, the early Prouts are excellent sea boats. This, however, is not because their hulls are double-ended. Their relatively narrow beam improves fore/aft stability, while the relatively low freeboard, Ce of the sailplan and Cg of the hulls ensures that there is also good lateral stability. The so-called 'Prout' (cutter) rig is also a positive for sail handling and balance in heavy conditions. Once again, however, all of this is independant of the fact that the hulls are double-ended. That design attribute tends to reduce performance, increase hobby-horsing and make the boats less-effective at carrying the davits, solar panels, wind generators, etc. that now are de rigeur on most cruising catamarans.

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Old 23-12-2013, 08:58   #44
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Re: The Prout Debate

I never knew the Solaris Sunstar 36 was a Lerouge design so I just looked at it and it is very Manta-ish. I like the way it looks, too. It has better lines than the 42.
Good posts Southern Star.
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Old 23-12-2013, 10:43   #45
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Re: The Prout Debate

We'll just have to agree to disagree SS. The design herd trundled away from double ends because there was more money to be made selling larger engines, big dinks with large motors, barbecues, hard awnings over the cockpit etc.....all competing for the bouyancy of the stern. These are boat show, dock and marketing driven demands not requirements of seaworthiness. Some of the best seaworthy cats out there were effectivley double ended like the CSKs and currently the Wharrams.

I think you should step away from relating to monos entirely in your post, those racing sterns are to help carry the large rigs and most important allow continuous off wind surfing. The wide hulls allow enough buoyancy forward to keep the nose up which rises out of the water when on a plane.

The beam/length equation on any multi hull needs the sail area included. If there is more lateral than fore and aft stability pitchpoling is the risk. If there is less lateral stability capsize becomes the problem, so yes balance is needed. A very wide heavy platform can drive the lee bow into waves which is what I think you are referring to.

Wide sterns, irrespective of shape and finer bows on a cat do have a tendency to broach. If that large dink is ripped off with the davits in a blow the action is going to get a bit more lively.

Don't misunderstand me, I think transom sterns are excellent on cats and tris if properly proportioned. What I object to is using the design element to compensate for bad habits. Like a junky the modern approach keeps piling on more and more for the fix. Many of these barges can't sail to windward well, their crews can't haul up their mains etc....Not a plus for the demands of the sea. The double ended hulls need to keep the weight centered and the stern load down but these "modern" design short comings will take care of you when the wind picks up. Many people buying these new cats do not have any sailing experience at all and are purchasing the vessels that most resemble their condos, (complete with architecture) on land. This is fine for more sheltered use but less of a good thing for deep water. It would be far safer to promote a new de rigeur for the "it" crowd. "If you can't leave home without it, don't leave home."

Cheers, Cav
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