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Old 23-11-2006, 20:48   #1
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Important information for monohul sailors

Some very important information for monohull sailors regarding catamaran build, stability and wave induced capsize.

This information was from one of the world leaders in multihull design who unfortunately passed away while sailing one of his own boats a few years back.

Most of the large catamarans sailing and motoring the world would owe part of their heritage to Lock Crowther.

Not meant in anyway as a dig at monohulls , I have owned both, but might give readers a bit more information as to why they are such a popular craft.

Look Here


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Old 25-11-2006, 09:00   #2
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Hi Cat Man, I agree with the article, well written. Everything I've read would indicate the danger point for multi's is breaking waves higher than beam (ie size buys safety, M&M recomends 46' minimum for crossing oceans) and gusts over 35 with full working sails (ie caution is needed when rounding bluffs where wind can funnel or squalls with quickly building breezes). Most cruising multi designers calcualte 16 degree of heel will be reached at 35 knots with full working sails.

Honestly most of us don't sail where we see large breaking waves. We do see big breezes off land but that can be anticipated.

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Old 25-11-2006, 09:36   #3
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Breaking waves are exceedingly dangerous for both mono and multihull

see multihull

and mono

which is why I always advocate a series drogue for those boats that have a stern capable of holding one:

These have been checked in a tank test in UK with the following results

no drogue


with thanks to for making these videos available

At least these were available, but the link seems to be down at the moment
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Old 25-11-2006, 10:01   #4
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I would be amazed if a multihull (or monohull) company put out any other report... there is something about the government writing a report on their own performance that gives me the willies. I don't honestly believe that any company is going to publish a critical report on their own performance.
Something about the multihull being "absolutely unbeatable" that I just don't buy into. I only know of one thing sailing that is absolute...

No wind or 30 on the nose.

Please don't flame me, I'm just being honest.
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Old 25-11-2006, 10:43   #5
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Talbot, not just you. The site is accessable, but all video links are down.
Holding Pattern, I do not disagree with you. It is true that facts can be interpreted to benefit the person presenting them. But, the facts in this article seem pretty clear to me. I have been a mono person my whole life, and only recently got invlolve with multis. The one factor that seems consistant, when looking for public opinion is the vast majority, (in fact 100% of those I have spoken with) seem to say now that they have sailed multi's, they would not go back to a mono. This is not to say there is anything inferior about mono's. But, it seems there must be something about multi hulls that people find superior.
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Old 25-11-2006, 12:21   #6
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There are as many ways to manage storms as there are different boats. Very large boat won't run off, they don't trail warps, the loads on the steering gear and the warps would be truly frightning. Typically they'll motor sail into the breeze. We have enough waterline that we can run off in most anything but will fore reach in breaking waves. Multi's seem to like a parachute off the bow or managing speed downwind as long as waves aren't breaking. Smaller mono's are best running with drougues or fore reaching when running off becomes too dangerous.

The only way to tell what is best for your boat is to spend time sailing it. Go out when it's blowing and see what it does and how it responds.
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Old 25-11-2006, 18:01   #7
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Kai (Scott),

But I have sailed both multis and monos, and I can't see ever going to a multi!

Sorry to be the exception!
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Old 25-11-2006, 18:38   #8
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Always has to be one weed in the lawn Actually, Scott, you are the first person I have ever heard say that, but I understand how the different motion could be less comfortable. As I mentioned earlier, the motion on a tri was a problem for me at first, but is just different enough from a power boat to be comfortable. It is still not as comfortable to me as a mono, but the other advantages outweigh that concern.

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