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Old 03-05-2008, 14:51   #46
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Originally Posted by jrd22 View Post
It seems as though any time someone asks a question about how a multi does in heavy weather it results in pages and pages of defensive posts from multi owners that don't, for the most part, have any experience with heavy weather. I'm not knocking cats at all, it's just an observation that it doesn't seem that as a group multi's have experience in heavy weather in the same ratio as monos. If the same question was asked about first hand heavy weather experience in mono hulls there would be no end to the posts. Is it because for the most part multis stay in more protected waters, or don't make as many offshore trips? There are certainly a lot of them out there, it just seems strange that it's hard to find many that have been through a major storm with 25'+ combined seas and high winds. We get them off the coast of Washington and BC all the time, and everyone tries to avoid them, but many get caught and have to ride it out. We don't have many multi's here but I am starting to see more each year. Maybe it is just a numbers thing, there aren't enough multi's in areas (high latitude) that get rough weather regularly to have experienced it to the extent that monos have?

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I suggested it before: multihulls can be much faster - especially when there is a fair bit of breeze around.

When we are talking about big storm systems, these are usually quite well forecast and reported. It's quite possible that a majority of multihulls are able to avoid being caught in the worst part of them.

I can say from personal experience that the catamaran I sailed on up the east coast of Queensland got out of Brisbane just hours before a severe storm hit. This storm followed the boat up the coast, but never caught up with us. We had some strong winds at times, but they just helped us to put miles between us and the storm.
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Old 03-05-2008, 16:01   #47
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Originally Posted by Lodesman View Post
I think you should be careful about making statements like this...
I can assure you that I am very careful about such things but, of course, you are entitled to your opinion, apparantly based on living far from the region and some anecdotal information in a couple of forum threads, that I am not. Apart from the possibility of my being closer to the operations regarding rescues in the temperate seas I mention I also happen to live there too - both matters you seem to have not thought of as being likely.

I live at around only 40 degrees South - you may like to tell me, based on your apparant knowledge of the area, why foreign visiting cats are rarer than hens teeth here (in fact I cannot remember the last time I saw one) whereas many, many foreign monos come this far South and there are plenty of cats cruising the tropical and sub tropical Pacific (where I have already said that cats are probably the ideal vessel)?

There are though many local cats sailing within and about the sheltered waters of the Marlborough Sounds and Tasman Bay, but there are hardly any in Wellington - again, perhaps based on your apparant knowledge of the area you may wish to explain why?
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Old 03-05-2008, 16:53   #48
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I live at around only 40 degrees South - you may like to tell me, based on your apparant knowledge of the area, why foreign visiting cats are rarer than hens teeth here (in fact I cannot remember the last time I saw one) whereas many, many foreign monos come this far South and there are plenty of cats cruising the tropical and sub tropical Pacific (where I have already said that cats are probably the ideal vessel)?

There are though many local cats sailing within and about the sheltered waters of the Marlborough Sounds and Tasman Bay, but there are hardly any in Wellington - again, perhaps based on your apparant knowledge of the area you may wish to explain why?
I'm bound for 43 deg N lattitude and observe the same thing. No cats. They get fewer and fewer the closer you get to the poles. I have NO CLUE why this is. I'm bringing mine to 43N.

Maybe it's because they are difficult to heat?
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Old 03-05-2008, 17:10   #49
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Originally Posted by MidLandOne View Post
Multihulls are also over represented, in respect to their numbers, in the losses between NZ and the South Pacific Islands (from memory the last loss of any kind was a trimaran, around 40 foot from memory and the crew of two were lost, and the one previous was the crew were evacuated off an around 65 foot cat - both cruising vessels). But I think it has been many years now since a NZ registered sail boat of any kind has been lost on that route as they are all now required to comply with the IYRC Category 1 special rules for structure and fitout.
I think it was this statement that Lodesman was referring to. This is not a statement of opinion, or a personal observation, or an anecdote of any kind - this is presented as a statement of a statistical fact. As such one would expect to see it backed up by statistical evidence.

In another thread Alan Wheeler said that "several multihulls were lost" in the Queens birthday storm. I haven't been able to find any reports to back that up either, and when I asked him to direct me to some I was ignored.

So once again it seems that only first-hand experience is acceptable as evidence that multihulls are seaworthy, but opinion, anecdote and unsubstantiated "facts" are acceptable as evidence that they are not.
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Old 03-05-2008, 18:17   #50
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There are numerous accounts of cruising catamrans cruising in low or high latitudes Some lower or higher than Wellington NZ as a matter of fact. Unfortuntaly when you read about them you dont say "oh I better save that so that I can post it on Cruisers Forum to prove a point." Here are some examples:

http://www.katiekat.net/KKHomePageSupport/P7080034.jpg
Africa Letters
The Catamaran Company - 2002 Custom 38' Available For Show In Annapolis, MD.



This account has been told many times:

Seventy year old Bruno Nicoletti circumnavigated Antarctica in a standard 44 foot Catana. He left
Puerto Madryn, in Argentina, and headed towards the Cape of Good Hope, where he encountered 50 knot
winds. On the way to New Zealand, he hit a whale and was forced to change a rudder at sea. Between
New Zealand and Valdivia, in Chile, he had five days of 75 knot winds. Bruno arrived home, nine
months later. His next world girdling voyage was in a Catana 471.

There are many more anecdotes of cruising cats doing just fine in lower lats and in bad conditions, but who tracks all this stuff anyway...

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Old 03-05-2008, 18:37   #51
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Welcome to Pacific Bliss

There are so many of these stories out there...
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Old 03-05-2008, 18:42   #52
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Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
I suggested it before: multihulls can be much faster - especially when there is a fair bit of breeze around.

When we are talking about big storm systems, these are usually quite well forecast and reported. It's quite possible that a majority of multihulls are able to avoid being caught in the worst part of them.

I can say from personal experience that the catamaran I sailed on up the east coast of Queensland got out of Brisbane just hours before a severe storm hit. This storm followed the boat up the coast, but never caught up with us. We had some strong winds at times, but they just helped us to put miles between us and the storm.

When comparing apples to apples ie modern cruising 44' mono to modern cruising 44' catamaran the speed difference is very small as proven by recent race results and personal experience. Remember if you are caught in the dangerous quadrant of a tropical storm it is to windward you must go.

check out this site for comment from the insurers. Catamaran Controversy
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Old 03-05-2008, 18:45   #53
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Keegan, thank you for those links. I enjoyed reading them. Off topic, I had thought my cat was a little slow. With Rick (from FL)'s help tuning the rig in ways specific to the Catalac, I have acheived 7 knots (on a 10M or 34' cat) in some very strong winds, on a close reach.

In an article you linked to, the owner of a 45' Wauquiez says he was "thundering along at 8-9 knots in 30 knots apparent." Makes 7 feel respectable for a small cat in similar conditions. I would have never known that 7 was respectable for this cat if it wasn't for this link, so thank you.

As I write this, the boat is on the hard. I have re-done bottom paint and removed the prop cages/guards to maximize speed. Maybe I can break 7 knots! I suppose I my expectations are very high because my last boat averaged 6-7 knots over all conditions and the record was 8.9 knots. It was a monohull... apparently a pretty good one if it's hitting Wauquiez catamaran speeds.

Ok... sorry for the thread drift. I just wanted to say thanks for those links. The helped a lot for speed questions I had been wondering about, as well as the nervousness I keep getting knowing there are so few catamrans in higher latts (where I'm headed).
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Old 03-05-2008, 18:55   #54
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Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
I think it was this statement that Lodesman was referring to. This is not a statement of opinion, or a personal observation, or an anecdote of any kind - this is presented as a statement of a statistical fact. As such one would expect to see it backed up by statistical evidence.
I think you will just have to accept that as far as I know no one keeps statistics on how many sail boats traverse the temperate route I mention, differentiate those into cats and monohulls, and then the compare rate of loss between the two. So, I am afraid, that you can either choose to accept what I say or discard it as you wish. How informed I am on the matter, in your opinion, is up to you to judge when choosing to accept or not.

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Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
In another thread Alan Wheeler said that "several multihulls were lost" in the Queens birthday storm. I haven't been able to find any reports to back that up either, and when I asked him to direct me to some I was ignored.
I would not have thought Alan would ignore anyone on purpose, but if that is your judgement of him then so be it. Let me answer instead.

The two multihulls that I recall were losses in that storm were "Heartlight" and "Ramtha" (I am working from memory as I am currently away on the boat, but I am sure if I have it wrong others will say ). As I recall it "Ramtha" was subsequently recovered and it would be fair comment to say that the crew of "Heartlight" should not have been on a boat in a puddle let alone the temperate route - however that occurs with mono losses too. The crew of "Heartlight" had the rescuing vessel (an ocean going fishing vessel) run her down after they were evacuated.

One monohull with all its crew was lost (and evacuations off a few others - forgotten exact number) and I am aware of matters which makes that loss perhaps not much of a surprise - I would not like to go into those in public but PM me if you are genuinely interested and will protect the information.

As an aside, I was lucky enough to be spending an evening shortly after with a very competent skipper who was in a monohull and from the position that the lost mono was giving he figured they were relatively close but could not in the conditions reroute to help and could not have done anything to help in any event. That all just leading onto that while he was clearly in the midst of the storm he said that he actually did not think it was that bad and had no problems of their own. There have been records (not given to me personally) of others in capable yachts saying the same.

Back to cats, I think I have made it very clear that I like cats and for certain areas they would be my choice. Unfortunately ALL sailboats whether mono or cats are compromises - but it seems to me that some believe cats are beyond reproach and are the most competent choices no matter where and for what purpose .
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Old 03-05-2008, 19:02   #55
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Personally, I can't wait to get more miles under my belt on the new cat so I can contribute to the debate. As everyone on here probably knows, I will speak my observations without prejudice. I am still undecided on cat vs mono, even though I just got a cat for charter purposes (coastal charters).

I *hope* to cruise on this same boat for the rest of my life when we can afford to do so. I will report if it can handle rough conditions as well as my 45' mono did.
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Old 03-05-2008, 19:04   #56
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Back to cats, I think I have made it very clear that I like cats and for certain areas they would be my choice. Unfortunately ALL sailboats whether mono or cats are compromises - but it seems to me that some believe cats are beyond reproach and are the most competent choices no matter where and for what purpose .
I have not read any posts on this thread that indicated that someone thought that catamarans are beyond reproach, but I continue to read posts by one guy, who writes in a way that insures that others will become argumentative.

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Old 03-05-2008, 19:24   #57
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There are numerous accounts of cruising catamrans cruising in low or high latitudes Some lower or higher than Wellington NZ as a matter of fact.
I am afraid that you will have to refer me to wherever I said anything different. What I said is that it is very rare to see foreign cats down this far and as far as I am aware I have more knowledge of where I have lived for decades than you do, but you may wish to correct me on that.

I readily accept that if you add up all the cat voyages over the last few decades down this way they would indeed add up to being more than 1 or 2, so "numerous". But shall we start making up a list, you of cats that have done so and I of monos that have done so .

However, I suggest that your list will come to an end well, well before mine so I suggest that we just agree to disagree over cats being the purrfect vessel for whatever purpose and for everywhere, whereas my stance is that all boats are a compromise .

With regard to your last post I was unaware that I was not entitled to take part in the discussion.
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Old 03-05-2008, 19:42   #58
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I can assure you that I am very careful about such things but, of course, you are entitled to your opinion, apparantly based on living far from the region and some anecdotal information in a couple of forum threads, that I am not. Apart from the possibility of my being closer to the operations regarding rescues in the temperate seas I mention I also happen to live there too - both matters you seem to have not thought of as being likely.
So living so close to the action, so to speak, you should be able to provide some actual evidence to those on the forum who are not native to your land.

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I live at around only 40 degrees South - you may like to tell me, based on your apparant knowledge of the area, why foreign visiting cats are rarer than hens teeth here (in fact I cannot remember the last time I saw one) whereas many, many foreign monos come this far South and there are plenty of cats cruising the tropical and sub tropical Pacific (where I have already said that cats are probably the ideal vessel)?
So, I live at 48 degrees North. There's a growing multihull presence in the Great Lakes (stretching from about 42 to 48 degrees N), and at least one multihull club that I know of (in Toronto 43 N).
As to why they are rare visitors to your area, that is a conundrum. Especially when one considers how prevalent multi's are in Australia - perhaps they don't like Kiwis.
Ask yourself though, if cat's are only suitable in sub-tropical waters, then why are there so many cat's coming from S Africa?

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There are though many local cats sailing within and about the sheltered waters of the Marlborough Sounds and Tasman Bay, but there are hardly any in Wellington - again, perhaps based on your apparant knowledge of the area you may wish to explain why?
I don't see where anything I said equates to a claim of local knowledge. I simply pointed out that if you're going to make contentious claims, you should be able to back them up with facts, or at least a well-reasoned argument. That you instead chose to attack me, because I don't live in NZ, tells me just how little stock I should put into your opinion.
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Old 03-05-2008, 19:53   #59
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regarding the catamaran controversy, I've had several conversations with different insurance brokers before buying a second cat. Assessors in Blue Water Insurance basically broke it down this way, cats are typically more expensive, and due to that there are far more monohulls out there with no insurance than catamarans. This expense also means that the deductibles for catamarans are several thousand dollars and when they are used, it's usually for something big. The assessors mentioned that cats tend to have more expensive claims and monos tend to have more sinkings. Nothing new there.

As to their being more mono's in the far north than in the south (that means cold vs warm here btw), that's a pretty simple question to answer. Large cats are ocean going vessels, ridiculous to keep as a simple live aboard or day sailor. If you want to live aboard up north, you want a mono. If you want a day sailor or something for short trips, you want a monohull. It will be far cheaper to keep, and far easier to heat. Anything above the chesapeake as a liveaboard for catamarans would be torture, as it would cost huge amounts to insulate or try to shrink wrap. It's simply not practical. In the very cold climates people shrink wrap their boats and a catamaran would costs thousands to try to do. Here it gets down to the single digits (Fahrenheit, maybe 12 below in Celsius) and it's frankly a little brutal to keep warm, lots of surface area.

If you want a boat with the lowest total cost of ownership, really hard to beat a really old, but very well cared for monohull. It would be a fraction of the price and if it gets beaten up, who cares? Just gives it a bit of character.

As to the number of cats responding, well, I do know a lot of people with my type of boat that I'd love to pull into this conversation. Our sister boat we met last year in the Chesapeake is now west of India. They had a huge storm above New Guinea last year, lost a rudder. On their way up from Brazil they were caught in a huge storm as well. But again, the doing a circumnavigation and not on a cruising board. Just me preparing my boat to eventually follow them.

I think a lot of it comes down to finances as well. If I had less than 200k to spend for a circumnavigator, I would pick a steel monohull, every time. Last, in terms of charters, of course catamarans will get far more claims. A monohull heels way over when you've got too much canvas up. Any fool can see that and reduce sail. A catamaran requires you to know that you need to reef by the numbers. Even if you don't threaten to tip her, with a cat your going to be putting a lot more strain on the rigging if you don't heed the numbers and reef.


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When comparing apples to apples ie modern cruising 44' mono to modern cruising 44' catamaran the speed difference is very small as proven by recent race results and personal experience. Remember if you are caught in the dangerous quadrant of a tropical storm it is to windward you must go.

check out this site for comment from the insurers. Catamaran Controversy
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Old 03-05-2008, 19:59   #60
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I am assuming that I am allowed to respond .

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So living so close to the action, so to speak, you should be able to provide some actual evidence to those on the forum who are not native to your land.
Refer to my earlier posts where I relate recent instances and the impossibility of giving comparing statistics. Perhaps other from NZ would like to make comment on comparable losses on the route (as I recall one has already somewhere) but I suspect they see the fruitlessness of doing so.

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As to why they are rare visitors to your area, that is a conundrum. Especially when one considers how prevalent multi's are in Australia - perhaps they don't like Kiwis.
I am familiar with eastern and south eastern Australian waters, a large proportion of which are subtropical or tropical. In southern waters it is a long time since I have spent any time in Melbourne so I could not comment on how many cats are based there AND independantly cruise southern waters beyond Port Phillip Bay.

For Tasmania, I do not recall seeing many cats there at all. No doubt there are some. Conversely, in Queensland there are cats everywhere.

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Ask yourself though, if cat's are only suitable in sub-tropical waters, then why are there so many cat's coming from S Africa?
I have no familiarity with South African waters at all so would not comment. Maybe someone from South Africa or with good personal knowledge of the region could respond (perhaps yourself?? ). Some cats built there have indeed made delivery voyages from South Africa to New Zealand, so such voyages do happen.
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