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Old 03-08-2014, 02:12   #16
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Re: Trawler vs Catamaran

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Originally Posted by Kashmir cat View Post
We "trawl" with our cat more than we like to admit. Very economical compared to a trawler, and it's nice to have 2 engines AND a sail compared to a one engine trawler. Also rolls less at anchor and has a shallower draft and more living space than most trawlers of the same length.
I expect this is not limited to you, catamarans or monos. I think most people motorsail more than they would admit.

To me there is nothing wrong with it as part of a plan of utility for a boat. No on likes to sit becalmed.

Although many will and do wait out the wind, it certainly isn't fun.

Ironic endeavor in that there is always to much wind or too little...
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Old 03-08-2014, 06:25   #17
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Re: Trawler vs Catamaran

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Hi Richard,

My wife and I met you and your family in Bimini. We were there with a sailing instructor. I have followed your blog and have been wondering what your plans were at this point. We were especially interested in and taken by your DeFevere Fever blog entry. It really made us consider if we wanted a trawler instead of sailboat. We have been interested in sailing cats all along. Even though we were in Bimini in a monohull.

We already own a small motorhome and are quite capable of living small. If we buy a cruising boat we will intend to spend 5 or 6 months living aboard in the FL and the Bahamas. Comfort is a big priority. We are trying to buy or last boat, first. This is a big challenge.

If I purchase a sail cat it would be a Fountaine Pajot Mahe like Cotemar owns or a Maine cat like Ortolan. I am looking for a boat that sails well. If it is trawler it will probably be a single engine trawler like a Kadey-Krogen, Selene, or the like. Have you considered a Kadey-Krogen Manatee? Right now there is a guy, who post here as well, headed to the Azores in his 42' 1988 Kadey-Krogen. Another couple went from Puerto Vallarta to Nuka Hiva in their 42' Krogen this spring. Trawlers, as you know, would provide ample room for you family living.

We are having fun deciding and I hope you are enjoying you new quest as well. Looking forward to seeing what you decide. Tell your wife and kids we said hello.
Hi Avid - Great to hear from you again. Not sure what your budget is, but one of the best boats we ever saw in our travels for a couple was a PDQ 34. It is a power cat and cruises in the double digits but still gets trawler mileage (4 gph @ 11kts, 8 at 18) because it is so light. Another couple we met had a Gemini 105MC which is a smaller catamaran. They liked to live simply and would spend months gunkholing the north coast of Cuba. Sailed pretty fast off the wind too.

On trawlers, if comfort is king, then I think some kind of stabilization is a must for longer passages. That being said, to quote one of our un-stabilized trawler friends "you can do anything for 5 hours". That was the morning we left for a 40 mile passage into 20 knots and 3-4 foot seas. We left at the same time but they had lunch at our destination (they went 8kts) and we didn't get in until after supper (we went 4kts). We should have stayed put but it was our last chance weather wise for a week to get to our destination so we put up with a crap day to get there. Shorter passages make a less comfortable ride more palatable.

On the hook, I am sure cats are king, with shallow draft so you can snug up to the shore for wind coverage, less roll if there is swell and less cave-ish living space. On a super rainy day we all hung out on the trawlers not the mono sailboats because of the amount of space both inside the boat and on the back deck (sundeck) of the boat. Not sure whose boat we would have hung out on if there was a Cat in the mix.

I think it is important to decouple comfort at sea from comfort at anchor, both are important but not necessarily related. In seven months we spent 14 days at sea, less than 10% of the time. Half of those days were flat and easy, 4 were rolly and annoying and 3 were very rough and hellish. The rolly annoying days were generally motoring days with no wind and the boat would roll back and forth about 10 to 15 degrees. The rough days were to all beating to windward either by motor or motor-sailing into 20 knots.

Compared to a monohull the trawlers and cats deal with the annoying days by making them shorter (hopefully true with a sail cat too). Only the un-stabilized trawler doesn't attempt to mitigate some of the motion in addition to going faster.

At anchor, the catamarans seem to move a little all the time, but when it is really rolly they move less than any mono-hull. Something most power boats and sailing catamarans share compared to mono-sailers is the shallow draft which helps them in selecting a site to anchor which might be more sheltered. Where trawlers beat the mono sailboat is in the how much like a house they are. The catamarans, power or sail, are more airy and bright with 360 view but have a less house like galley and the seating is molded in which done right is comfortable and done wrong is awful - but molded seating can never be as good as a lazy boy and sofa which most trawlers have on board.

Long enough...

Richard
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Old 03-08-2014, 06:45   #18
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Re: Trawler vs Catamaran

I like the looks of the pdq trawler cat but have heard they pound like crazy in any kind.d of head sea. Leopard has a 37 trawler cat at a great price we saw a few in the bvi and they seemed to do well in the slop.


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Old 03-08-2014, 17:54   #19
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Re: Trawler vs Catamaran

Decisions, decisions, decisions!

Thanks Richard for a the detailed sharing of your insight and experiences after a winter of cruising the Bahamas. You should add your response to the ship's blog. I appreciated everyone else's input as well. Power Cats, sailing cats and hardcore trawlers are all still possibilities. Redundant power sources provide security but come at a price. PDQ power and sail cats are certainly under consideration. We even spent a day and a half looking at single engine Aspen Power cats. The Grafs are brilliant, hard working and very nice people. My wife still talks about Aspens.

We have hit a number of boat shows this past year and will make the rounds again this winter. We also plan to spend 12 days at a Bahamas marina/resort that provide a 17' Whaler for daily use. Should be some serious fun.

Our budget vacillates between $150k and $300k at total max. Depending on the day and what is looking right to us. Occasionally one of us thinks maybe a gargantuan trailer sailer would be great. We love the NW and the SE. Maybe we would like to cruise each seasonally every year?

To be continued...

Richard, I hope I haven't hijacked your thread totally.
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Old 04-08-2014, 05:49   #20
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Re: Trawler vs Catamaran

Hi Avid,

Putting this on the blog is a great idea, once we've landed on a decision we will! Before we do we are going back home to tell our family that we are planning to head out again and this time much further. They still think that we will be back in December to resume "normal" life.

Anyway, our budget is lower than yours (lucky duck) but the only reason we are doing a boat switch is to improve the comfort while at sea. This is possible two ways, shorter passages and/or better stability while on passage. Ideally we would get a little of both. Our next trip could be as long as 3000 nm from Florida to Grenada and back. Increasing average speed from 6 to 8 will reduce the hours traveling from 500 to 375. Ten knots will get us to 300 hours. This is a huge carrot for us.

I have emailed a few FP 42 Venezia owners and they generally sail at half of wind speed up to a boat speed of 10-12 knots after that the game becomes slowing the boat down. Flat water motoring is about 10 knots and 7.5 on one engine. The great thing is that the boat will generally be flat something a monohull can't do power or sail. This seems to fit all our criteria of flat and fast.

For the sailors out there: The sailing speed numbers posted earlier are with a dirty bottom, which we now know needs to be cleaned regularly. Heel numbers are static plus wave induced. We are not sailing experts and I am sure our sail trim was sub optimal - eg. when do you use a vang (don't answer that just an example). If there is a good book on trim that would be helpful.

Richard
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Old 04-08-2014, 06:00   #21
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Re: Trawler vs Catamaran

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Originally Posted by Richwink View Post
We are not sailing experts and I am sure our sail trim was sub optimal - eg. when do you use a vang (don't answer that just an example). If there is a good book on trim that would be helpful.

Richard
I took the North Sails race trimming class. The materials were outstanding as was the instructor.

The on-line guides are also quite good. There is a mainsail section and a genoa section.

North Sails: Mainsail Trim
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:00   #22
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Re: Trawler vs Catamaran

Richard,

Check out the "Sail Trim Users Guide" and the companion laminated charts. I could have shown you this book when were at Brown's Marina. I had practically memorized it by then. Some ASA schools use these manual for their sail trimming courses. The laminated charts are meant to be used in the cockpit for making decisions while underway.
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:59   #23
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Re: Trawler vs Catamaran

Given your emphasis on not heeling and speed, a power cat would seem to be the best solution. However, it will break your budget. Don't believe any speed data from the sailing multihull group--you need to apply surfer's rule to their numbers. It would be better to charter a cat and see how it performs against your expectations before you spend any real money.
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Old 04-08-2014, 14:05   #24
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Re: Trawler vs Catamaran

Keep in mind, a lot of the original power cats were just the sail boat without the mast and slightly larger engines. The newer ones are a bit more redesigned but the point is, a sail cat under power does quite nicely.

Unless you plan on dealing with lots of bridges or really want the top end speed, a sail cat will do anything a power cat will do and if fuel prices go thru the roof, you can always revert to sailing.
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