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Old 13-05-2014, 13:40   #1
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MULTIHULL: Storm Tactics

Multihull boats have been crossing the oceans for hundreds if not thousands of years. Polynesians come to mind. I Googled "Polynesian Boat Designs" and most results came up with some sort of multi-hull. Polynesians crossed incredible expanses of water in them. I believe it is common now for multihull boats to compete in around the world racing. Lets not get into a design discussion here or comparisons with monohulls.

I wish to open a thread here to share multihull strategies for crossing oceans and storm tactics (survival weather). This is not another Heaving To thread it is for Heaving To in a multihull or your storm tactics you've proven in a multihull you would like to share.

Remember, good advice could save lives. Be clear and possibly save the life of someone who's going to use this advice on their multihull. I am sure it goes without needing to be said do not just read something here and assume it will work for your mutlihull or save your life. Trial and error maybe the answer for your specific boat.

I'll start with some information I pulled from the more monohull centric thread on Heaving to in a Lagoon 440:
"...My recent trip I got hit by 40kts and sea's of 3-4m and rising.. I hove to.. max reef in the main centred.. 2/3rd wheel locked and tied... then played with the jib until she sat comfortably...If you've a Lagoon with the reef block system.. change it to the old fashioned ring reef.. you'll blow your sail before that fails...If your crossing oceans.. beef it up big time.."

Seems very good advice and a good starting point.
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Old 14-05-2014, 05:21   #2
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Re: MULTIHULL: Storm Tactics

Hello fastdaddy,
You may want to do a Cruisers Forum google search for previous threads on this exact topic. There have been at least 4 of them since I joined with hundreds of posts.

Have you done one before? Don't use the regular search, choose the Google one.
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Old 14-05-2014, 08:00   #3
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Re: MULTIHULL: Storm Tactics

Everything has already been discussed. The older the subject (how old are Polynesian cats?), the longer the threads......... until total boredom sets in!
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Old 14-05-2014, 08:23   #4
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Re: MULTIHULL: Storm Tactics

The worst I've been is a 30 kt westerly in the north channel. Second reef and a downwind run made it acceptable.

The PDQ manual emphasizes keeping the boat speed down - a drogue off the stern, trailing the anchor line aft in a huge U, and the "ultimate choice" a parachute off the bow.
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Old 14-05-2014, 08:27   #5
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Re: MULTIHULL: Storm Tactics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Svan View Post
and the "ultimate choice" a parachute off the bow.
Big effen mistake, imo. But, there you go, the beginning of a new Cat storm tactic thread.
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Old 14-05-2014, 10:54   #6
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Re: MULTIHULL: Storm Tactics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbo485 View Post
Everything has already been discussed. The older the subject (how old are Polynesian cats?), the longer the threads......... until total boredom sets in!
"Everything has already been discussed..."

I guess it's time to turn off the ability to post and archive the whole lot then...it's all done.

Well, I do not believe this in the slightest. New boats are built, new things happen every day. I hope no one else reads this and feels they should not contribute.

The goal of a forum isn't to get it written once then stop all conversations at that point. It's to continue to discuss and if that risks writing what is written helpful people usually give a link to the specific forum where others can read up before adding to the new topics. Just seems how it's done on successful forums (non boating ones I've been a part elsewhere).
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Old 14-05-2014, 10:55   #7
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Re: MULTIHULL: Storm Tactics

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Hello fastdaddy,
You may want to do a Cruisers Forum google search for previous threads on this exact topic. There have been at least 4 of them since I joined with hundreds of posts.

Have you done one before? Don't use the regular search, choose the Google one.
I will do that.
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Old 14-05-2014, 11:29   #8
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Re: MULTIHULL: Storm Tactics

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...But, there you go, the beginning of a new Cat storm tactic thread.
There is nothing wrong with new information.
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Old 14-05-2014, 11:32   #9
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Re: MULTIHULL: Storm Tactics

Kai Nui (from another thread circa 2007): "I am not claiming to have the final answer on the subject, however it has been discussed in previous threads, and the reoccuring theme seems to be that the parachute anchor is not a particularly effective piece of storm tackle on a multi. You are correct on my lack of seatime on a multi. I have spent most of my time on monos, and my trimaran is still a few months from launching, but the previous conversations on parachutes would lead me to take a cautious approach at the very least"

Multihull storm tactics?
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Old 14-05-2014, 11:33   #10
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Re: MULTIHULL: Storm Tactics

"From discussions with other cat owners, they were opposed to a parachute because it was so hard to retrieve in questionable weather. 25 knots of wind is not enough to have a chute deployed but is still enough to make it really hard to get the thing back aboard. They were in favor of the series type drogues.

25 knots with the spinnacher up seems rather, ahhhh, ridicules. All the spinnachers that I have seen spec'd are light air sails. 1.5 - maybe 3 oz nylon. They are not going to hold in a 25 knots. I'd bring mine down at 12 knots.

Don't beat into the wind, lot easier to run with it. Yes, ref early. I tend to leave my sails up a little bit longer than most, but they are really heavy sails, on a pretty heavy cat.

Make sure you have a good place to pilot from. I have seen many cats with the helms in the aft part of the cockpit with no bimini, or dodger to keep the weather off. This is VERY uncomfortable. Try to have some protection against the wind. I have had to use a dive mask once, the wind and rain was so high and I couldn't see through the windscreen and had to take it down.

I usually turn both engines on in heavier weather. My normal practice is to run on one engine. In a blow, it is nice to have the power of both screws, it can help in some situations.

Get the Dashaws book on heavy weather sailing. Most of it applies to cats.

Read the weather faxes and stay out of really bad weather! ;-) The cat will love you for it.

Keith"

Multihull storm tactics?
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Old 14-05-2014, 11:34   #11
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Re: MULTIHULL: Storm Tactics

"snueman
Go back in the multihull archives to 2-22-04. There is a dicussion on this subject so I don't have to repeat myself. As far as drogue vs parachute I think they both have their place. My idea of the Jordan Drogue is that it is not ment to stop the boat but to slow it down thus it should always be tied off on the stern. The drogue should allow the boat to acclerate to a degree when hit by a braking wave but keep the boat from surfing down large waves or sailing to fast in high winds. A parachute is always used off the bow and is meant to stop the boat to a large degree. The parachute should be in sync with the boat and wave train ie; on the crests at the same time. The drogue should be out of sync( this may not apply to the Jordan drogue but would to others like the Galerider, Seabrake,etc). I think the parachute may get a bad rap due to improper deployment. This is not something to cobble up at the last minute in the middle of a Force 9 storm. It should be dedicated gear that you have practiced with and know how to deploy properly."

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Old 14-05-2014, 11:35   #12
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Re: MULTIHULL: Storm Tactics

"Running downwind on a 47' Piver, we were comfortable with the spinnaker up, but... Oh well. It was an old sail anyway We were surfing down seas as well, so the ride was great.
Thomas, Who? Me? Denigrate?
Steve, I know you have the sea time on a cruising tri to know, so if you say they work, I believe you. The issue of concern would be will it work correctly and easily under the circumstances that it will be required? I guess the reall issue is how rough is rough? We were in sustained 20-25kts. Seas were about 10ft. Not, in my opinion, rough weather for this section of the Pacific."

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Old 14-05-2014, 11:36   #13
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Re: MULTIHULL: Storm Tactics

"Lying ahull in a cat works up until you are in massive breaking waves, when even a cat will be overwhelmed. There is a considerable difference of opinion about cats and parachute anchors. I suspect that the difference is between the very wide french designs where the width helps the effectiveness of the bridle, and the older british designs where there isnt enough width for truly effective operation, and you end up yawing around. Luckily the older british designs are more robust at the stern so able to use a series drogue which I consider to be a much better option anyway.

There was a very good article about a cat in a storm written by Richard Woods when he had to abandon his Eclipse. The boat left to its own devices survived the storm a lot better than the attentions of "salvagers" and has recently been towed into harbour. The story is in the archives here so do a search on eclipse.

This boat was the prototype of a new design by Richard Woods, which he was using for a world cruise. 34 ft, and talked about slowing down to achieve around 12 kts in his crossing of the Atlantic. Rumours are that he is extending this design to about 38 ft for more space for a family."

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Old 14-05-2014, 11:37   #14
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Re: MULTIHULL: Storm Tactics

"i heard a very exciting and informative interview on local radio by a well known usvi cat sailor. i'm sorry, his name escapes me at the moment.. he decided to run away from lenny at sea and when the storm continued backwards, he ended up dead center in a hurricane. his tactic was to keep the boat sailing as closehauled as he could get in spite of hurricane force winds and seas and then pointing straight into the wind for the moments he was overwhelmed and stall the boat, then fall back off again just the minimum to continue. he gave huge credit to his crew, who were top caliber racers and his storm sails which he said were so well constructed. he was worried the sails might back and put him in irons, but the helmsmen were very talented and that never happened."

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Old 14-05-2014, 11:38   #15
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Re: MULTIHULL: Storm Tactics

"On our trek down the U.S. West Coast last May, we experienced 30-35 knot winds routinely with one gust to 42 as the Pacific high was filling in. Of course those strong winds built up some pretty good swells (estimated 10-12 feet). Fortunately, we were going in roughly the same direction as the wind and waves so we simply lowered the main and sailed on only a few feet of the jib unfurled when the going got really nasty.

We successfully completed the trip with the only damage being a torn cover for the mainsail from a jib sheet getting caught in it. We fastidiously followed the reefing table in the owner's manual except once when I mistakenly hoped the evening gale wouldn't require a second reef in the main. By the time I realized that the wind was going to keep building, we had to drop the main completely to recover. We ended up motoring for a few hours until the weather calmed enough to allow putting the main back up.

A few times during the trip, we inadvertently got cross ways to the seas. That resulted in some really violent rolls as the crest of the wave raised one hull while the other was falling into the trough. I do not, therefore, recommend lying a-hull in a catamaran!
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