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Old 08-04-2008, 15:36   #16
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Why can't a cat sail in high latitudes?
...because two ice breaker bows cost more than one? (sarcasm)

In hellish seas, I would rather be on your typical sailing monohull keel boat because of its positive metacentric height at a 90 degree angle of inclination. I never plan on cruising a cat at high latitudes. For one, I hate the cold and the second reason is the stability. You can start throwing the verbal rotten tomatoes at me. I still would prefer a cat for cruising though.
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Old 08-04-2008, 17:21   #17
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There's no reason why a cat can't cruise the high latitudes. However as has already been pointed out, heating two hulls is an issue, it would seem to me that keeping a cat reasonably warm would not be as easy as on a mono.
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Old 08-04-2008, 17:37   #18
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However as has already been pointed out, heating two hulls is an issue, it would seem to me that keeping a cat reasonably warm would not be as easy as on a mono.
Hey Sean it looks like you might need 2 little cods 2 smoke stacks and a barge to carry the firewood in order to be able to sit around in your underwear up in Maine.

Good luck with the delivery,
Paul
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Old 09-04-2008, 01:43   #19
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Didn't a cat just sail the NW passage, and didn't some tris recently set some records including sailing in the southern ocean? Cant se any reason for not sailing in high latitudes except that the wind chill factor going to windward would be higher,
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Old 09-04-2008, 06:51   #20
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I have two Webasto units (one for each hull). It was reckoned that two small units was more efficient than one large one (heat loss in the piping). The system works by blowing hot air through a fan rather than just hot air, apparently that helps cut down on moisture in the warm air. To be honest I didn't do much research, just fitted what had been fitted to other boats as the system had had good feedback.
The sleeping quarters are insulated but the rest of the boat is not. Temperatures have varied from 0deg C to about +5/6 deg C. I have a large area of glass which doesn't help the situation, but I really think getting snug would be an expensive proposition. Mind you, I didn't try leaving the heating on all the time. the system has a couple of thermostats so I suppose I could have done. For info the heating ran from 0500 - 0815, 1200-1300, 1800-2250, on a daily basis.
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Old 09-04-2008, 08:59   #21
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Well being at about the same latitude as the South of France, I would not consider Halifax to be "high latitude". Also, being on the Gulf stream, Halifax is ice-free. As for cats being suitable for high lat's, that's a matter of opinion - certainly didn't stop these people: Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons
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Old 09-04-2008, 10:45   #22
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I would say it probably has to do with ice. Not running into ice, but accumulation on the hull. Cats cant handle as much weight, will bog down and even sink with the type of ice you get up in Alaska or other super cold area. They just have too much topside area (let me tell you, beating ice off is a hard thing and I had to help with rescues in Alaska on fishing boats that got bogged down and started to sink because of ice layers.) Other than that, dont see anything wrong with them in high lats. Wind gusts could be an issue there too, though.
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Old 09-04-2008, 15:56   #23
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Avoid rigging by going to free standing would help, certainly avoid metal rigging. Come to think of it, a mono gets awfully unstable with ice in its rigging. You read of ships having to chip away the ice from rigging to avoid the boat becoming top heavy
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Old 09-04-2008, 17:00   #24
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From Google Earth I see that Halifax is at 44'N.

Ipswich, where Broadblue catmarans come from is at 52'N.

Halifax shouldn't be any problem.
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Old 09-04-2008, 17:10   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nordic cat View Post
Isn't this once again about traditional thinking like we multihullers should be used to confronting by now?

Tradionally, boats for high latitude cruising have been metal hulled (well at least for the past 50 years or so) due to the worry of running into floating ice. As cruisers, I don't think many would consider getting involved with spending a winter in the pack ice, so let's rule that out.

Running into ice would probably be something like hitting a container I would think, not a nice prospect but if your boat is sensibly designed, it should survive and be able to continue sailing without having to man the pumps around the clock.

Given this scenario, I don't see any reason why a cat would be a worse option than any other composite boat, in fact I would rather be on a cat!

Plenty of "plastic" boats visit the Falklands.

The issue of heavy weather, is always present to some degree wherever we chose to sail. Good seamanship and and a well found boat should deal with that aspect, even though it can be uncomfortable.

Several boats make the trip up past Norway up to Lofoten etc. every year. This is in fact an area of relative light winds in the summer season.
I remember reading about a french guy who went from France, Ireland, Norway, Lofoten, then down to Iceland, Faroes, Shetland and back home in 2-3 months on a 40-something Catana I think it was.

In fact, this is a trip I dream of doing, all those wonderful Norwegian fjords, would love to sail up to Lofoten or even further North, back down and across to Iceland and maybe Greenland.

I didn't get my cat out of the water here fast enough one winter, we ended up with about 40-50 cms of ice in the harbour here. The ice pressure actually pushed the boat up and further out of the water by about 5-10 cms. No problem for the boat at all. I could sit in the cockpit and watch the DN iceboats zooming past at incredible speeds.

So, YES, cats can be used for high latitude cruising!

Regards

Alan
To my knowledge the only reason not to go into the high latitudes is ice and that works both for monohulls and cats , ice damages fiberglass and that cannot be prevented, if a moniohull freezes in ice it will lift out of the ice due to the shape while most cats and the Catana is a prime example has almost straight hulls so it will not lift out.
Cats that have an more angle hull will not have this problem.
We have an option on our cats if customers request it the outer hull will also get an extra layer of kevlar of 600 gramms per meter on the outside up to 600 mm above the waterline to increase the impact restancy 9 fold.
Another reason might be the heating of a cat , with over double the interior space you need ample heating and very good insulation but that is an easy problem to tackle.
Greetings

Gideon
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Old 09-04-2008, 20:33   #26
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One possible problem is that most cats are of cored construction and one must be carefull when taking any cored boat into freezing temperatures that there be no water intrusion into the core as freezing could cause delamination. Not a multihull specific problem.

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Old 11-04-2008, 10:21   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
From Google Earth I see that Halifax is at 44'N.

Ipswich, where Broadblue catmarans come from is at 52'N.

Halifax shouldn't be any problem.
Yeah, this is a common misconception. Believe it or not the UK enjoys (if that's the word) a much milder climate than the latitude would suggest. It's basically all down to the Gulf Stream but our winters are much, much milder than anywhere on t'other side of the pond at the same latitude.
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Old 11-04-2008, 10:46   #28
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Thanks for all the replies, folks.

It's good to know that people usually mean that cats would be bad in Arctic and Antarctic latts and have some issues you have to overcome for livability.

These are not insurmountable problems, luckily.

As to the specific boat, it was built at 50 deg N, in Christchurch, England. It is already fully insulated, Gideon. There is a 1"+ very thick closed cell foam between all headliners and hull areas that are exposed. This does nothing for condensation on the ports, but should keep condensation down (as well as heating costs).

The only place not insulated are the bilges, which, of course, will condense and get wet. Luckily on a cat, you don't have to live way down there.

Also, to address the coring issue... I would agree. This is one major reason I went with a heavy, old solid fiberglass cat. I don't want those issue. The deck is actually over 1" thick, believe it or not... it is the only part that is cored. There are layers of glass, 6 alternating layers of endgrain balsa, and another layer of glass. Overbuilt isn't even the word... ha ha ha.

I was hoping this would be my last boat to buy, so I picked a rugged one.

Thanks again. If any cat is suited for higher latts, I think this might be the one (solid glass, already insulated, etc...). Pack ice is not for me. That is another no-no like hurricane zones are in my book. If ice is forming, I'm moving.
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Old 11-04-2008, 10:50   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troutbridge View Post
I have two Webasto units (one for each hull). It was reckoned that two small units was more efficient than one large one (heat loss in the piping). The system works by blowing hot air through a fan rather than just hot air, apparently that helps cut down on moisture in the warm air. To be honest I didn't do much research, just fitted what had been fitted to other boats as the system had had good feedback.
The sleeping quarters are insulated but the rest of the boat is not. Temperatures have varied from 0deg C to about +5/6 deg C. I have a large area of glass which doesn't help the situation, but I really think getting snug would be an expensive proposition. Mind you, I didn't try leaving the heating on all the time. the system has a couple of thermostats so I suppose I could have done. For info the heating ran from 0500 - 0815, 1200-1300, 1800-2250, on a daily basis.
Thank you for the detials. I will keep this in mind while figuring out the heating system. Believe it or not, after summer charting is over, I am thinking about building a wood-fired system like the webasto, but running on solid fuel rather than diesel. (I don't like paying for diesel.. haha)
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Old 11-04-2008, 13:12   #30
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Thanks, I was looking for that picture but couldn't find it. That is an old original Manta 38 when they were built in Canada that had its stern lengthened a bit. I remember reading several articles about the owners sailing at high latitudes and spending several years with it in Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden (If my memory is correct).

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Well being at about the same latitude as the South of France, I would not consider Halifax to be "high latitude". Also, being on the Gulf stream, Halifax is ice-free. As for cats being suitable for high lat's, that's a matter of opinion - certainly didn't stop these people: Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons
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