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Old 31-12-2020, 11:24   #1
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A Path to Multihulls

A romantic, newbie post here, independent from my other posts. This might help all the newbie dreamers out there.
A forty-something-year-old man stares at the endless ocean in a deep thought. He watches the various catamarans sailing to the Bahamas in envy. His ambitions in life changes all of a sudden. He knows there is no going back; now, he is totally a new person...
So what should he do to safely sail a 40 - 42 something ft catamaran one day? He has no sailing experience. What path does he have to take? Let's give him some advice without insulting him too much.
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Old 31-12-2020, 11:35   #2
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Re: A Path to Multihulls

Sign up for a 5-7 day live-aboard ASA 101-104 + 114 course. You will get some good instruction plus the opportunity to see what it is like to actually live on a boat/catamaran. For example (not recommending this particular school) water sailing">Blue Water Sailing School's Course A+ Cat: Bareboat Catamaran Skipper.

If that goes well buy a sailing dingy (Laser, Sunfish, etc. Many easily and cheaply available throughout the country). Do a lot of sailing locally wherever you are. Move up to a bigger boat as/when appropriate for your life situation.
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Old 31-12-2020, 12:00   #3
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Re: A Path to Multihulls

Quote:
Originally Posted by dougweibel View Post
Sign up for a 5-7 day live-aboard ASA 101-104 + 114 course. You will get some good instruction plus the opportunity to see what it is like to actually live on a boat/catamaran. For example (not recommending this particular school) Blue Water Sailing School's Course A+ Cat: Bareboat Catamaran Skipper.

If that goes well buy a sailing dingy (Laser, Sunfish, etc. Many easily and cheaply available throughout the country). Do a lot of sailing locally wherever you are. Move up to a bigger boat as/when appropriate for your life situation.

Not a dinghy, a beach cat, such as a Hobie 16 or Prindle. Not one of the molded resort cats, either (Hobie Getaway). This will teach you about multihull stability factors, which a Laser will not.


And yeah, these aren't just for kids. I was helming a Prindle 19 just a few months ago. What a blast. They teach you a lot.
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Old 31-12-2020, 12:05   #4
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Re: A Path to Multihulls

Yeah, a beach cat is a good call. I suggest a dingy as the storage/transport can be easier, but if a beach cat works logistically that is the way to go. I had way more fun with my Hobie 17 than I ever had with my Laser, though I still have a Laser, but not the Hobie, as ithe Laser doesn't take up a whole bay in the garage.
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Old 31-12-2020, 12:20   #5
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Re: A Path to Multihulls

A beach cat is the perfect way to get the right feeling for a cat.

You'll realize much faster what the boat does. For example that the boat starts to drift astern if you get stuck in a tack. You'll suddenly need to turn the rudder the other way to make it through the tack.

It's things this you learn on a small cat. They almost become a reflecs and are transferable onto the handling of the bigger boat.

Be patient and enjoy!
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Old 31-12-2020, 12:43   #6
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I also support the beach at suggestion..
To be frank if you have a decent size SUV you can cartop a 15ft beachcat to the coast or a lake for weekend sailing..
https://www.x-cat.com/en/mobility

You could also possibly do this with a cheap secondhand Hobie.
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Old 31-12-2020, 13:03   #7
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Re: A Path to Multihulls

My advice, join the local sailing club and just go sailing. Forget lessons and courses for the first 12 months (waste of money till you know you have a passion). Just go sailing. Most keelboat skippers at every Club need crew. Be crew, make friends, go sailing. Ask questions, many questions, and start most of the questions with 'why'. Where possible go out on different boats, you'll begin to see how they are all differently configured. Wander round the boatyards and docks looking at different boats.

Hopefully you'll become good friends with an avid sailor and go out for more than just can races.

But beware, many many people turn up and we see them maybe 3 or 4 times and then never again. Same on courses (I am a sailing instructor). So I would suggest keeping the dreams to oneself when hanging out with other sailors, at least until you come to know and trust people.

Go sailing, meet other sailors, hang out and be an active member. Help with things around the club. Help the skipper/owners when it's time to do boat work. In Wellington we have a Classic Yacht Assn. Just a very small bunch of people that find very old yachts, acquire and then refurbish and sail them. Huge amounts of work, but a wonderful way to learn skills, hangout with other sailors and also go sailing. Maybe there is a group like this where you live.

The other thing I would counsel is to go old school. Forget about Youtube (cos most of it is bs as you say in America). Read books, and old blogs. Here is one I highly recommend to start: Atom Voyages. In 3 months when you've read through all James' work drop me a pm and I'll recommend another. OK he didn't sail a cat, but that's irrelevant to learn.

I'd also suggest finding out what happens when the dream goes bad. Here's a thread to read: Babsam (buy a boat, save a marriage). Also read some of Jane's blogg posts (the links are in the thread). This is the tale of 2 people who bought a very expensive boat and had no idea what they were doing. Nor did they have any aptitude. And they never got better, just went from disaster to disaster.

Did I mention you should also go sailing? Oh and keep a log; right from day one. Once the first 100 (nautical) miles are clocked, then celebrate. That is about 500 hours sailing (not including getting boat ready and putting her to bed again). Most dreamers never get this far, they find sailing isn't for them so you know that you're well on the road if you do.

I do not for a moment wish to put anyone off, quite the opposite, hence recommending James' web site. What he has accomplished is amazing, and his writing so matter of fact. But more importantly it is inspiring and I hope that you will be inspired.

Good luck, go sailing!
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Old 31-12-2020, 13:05   #8
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Re: A Path to Multihulls

When I had my Hobie 14 back in the old days I frequently put it on the top of my VW Golf 2 and drove it over the Alps to Lake Como.

There are still Hobie 14 sized cats available on the market...

Heck, you could even built one yourself. Richard Woods has plans for easy to be built cats in that size as well.

https://www.sailingcatamarans.com/in...ies/5-pixie-14


Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
I also support the beach at suggestion..
To be frank if you have a decent size SUV you can cartop a 15ft beachcat to the coast or a lake for weekend sailing..
https://www.x-cat.com/en/mobility

You could also possibly do this with a cheap secondhand Hobie.
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Old 31-12-2020, 13:06   #9
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Re: A Path to Multihulls

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franziska View Post
A beach cat is the perfect way to get the right feeling for a cat. ...
Total agreement with this suggestion here too.
Paper Tigers are another cat dinghy.
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Old 31-12-2020, 13:07   #10
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Re: A Path to Multihulls

I am also a romantic newbie....
Life is a series of compromises so the destination is different for everyone, and even for those with similar seeming destinations the path to that destination will be different.

The main compromises for me are time, money and enjoyment of experiences.
I can only speak for my own path.

My wife and I both want to live that romantic dream, a roomy catamaran in warm waters, exploring the world, doing the great loop, etc.... we are looking at a 8-10 year starting time(when our son is old enough to kick us out of the nest) and have been researching heavily the best way to achieve those goals realistically.

I enjoy working with my hands and building, we started a few years ago with building my son a beautiful 14' canoe, then built the family a 17' dual console powerboat.

We expect in the next couple of years to take the week long ASA classes suggested above, though they are expensive we need the education and experience.
We expect to do as much 'window shopping' looking at boats on our once a year vacations as possible, looking at what we do and do not like.

This spring as a side project, I am hoping to build some outriggers and sailing rig for our sons canoe and learn to sail and play around with it.

In 2-3 years (determined by when the plane we are building is finished) we will need to have our ideas finalized enough to purchase a kit (top of the list right now is Schionning Solitare) and spend 5-8 years building it. Having payed for the kit at the beginning we hope to pay for the systems, rigging, engines, etc... as we go as a way of self budgeting towards the final goal of a brand new yacht to start our adventures including accommodations for the yacht manufacturer to live aboard full time to assist with any issues that may ever arise(me).

Our two home built boats so far,


Video of how I hope my modified canoe will function,
https://youtu.be/os8nmiil4lU

The Catamaran I hope to build,
https://schionningdesign.com/solitai...ailing-design/

First summer would be on our local lake just working out the systems and making sure everything works, then finishing and fixing everything that winter, then the following year or two on the west coast down to Mexico, then a season in the Caribbean followed by a year on the great loop. Followed by years of following the winds and exploring the world into our old age.

Of course this is all a dream, but it is the path we feel is most likely to get us to that dream realistically.
We aren't blinded by the romance, as much as we seek it, we know there are harsh realities all along the way and even at the destination itself, because of this we are flexible in our learning and approaches yet firm in our stance that this is something we can and will do.
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Old 31-12-2020, 14:16   #11
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Re: A Path to Multihulls

Well, this describes me pretty accurately. Except mid 30s getting the idea. Now mid 40's living aboard a 42' cat.
My approach was, learn to sail and practice any way and anytime I could. The fundamentals are the same. The nuances are boat to boat and dont take long to learn.
We did dingy courses, bought a 26' keel boat to practice. Did a 1 week live and learn. Did a 1 week charter on a cat. Used hobie cats at any holiday resort we went to. Jumped aboard any sailboat that would accept me.
And of course learned all kinds of things on cruisers forum. But you still have to go out and practice them.
So short answer is sail, sail, sail!
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Old 31-12-2020, 14:22   #12
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Re: A Path to Multihulls

Oh, and gear your job in a way, that you can actually head off!
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Old 31-12-2020, 15:01   #13
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Re: A Path to Multihulls

many places offer weeklong charters...invariably on a cat....you can get a cat with skipper and mate.....advisable for someone in your situation.
most charter cats will be in the 40' plus range...plenty to pick from...this will give a first hand glimpse of what it is all about on a cat, the size of which you are thinking.....that's the way to go....Keys...Bahamas....Caribbean....etc...
may have to check Covid restrictions...
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Old 31-12-2020, 16:24   #14
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Re: A Path to Multihulls

Definitely Beach Cats.

They will teach you everything you need to know about sailing Multihulls or any other sailboat especially if you race them.

I raced them for many years (about 12 years sometime 10 months/year) in Tennessee, Mississippi, and along the Gulf Coast from Biloxi, Mississippi to Panama City, Florida


One of the best races was the yearly 100 mile race out of Ft Walton Beach, FL where half the race was out in the Gulf and the other half inside. In 1997, we had 82 boats on the starting line at 7 am.

You had to sail under 4 bridges and of course beach cats have no engine so you have to learn to sail.

I had two Hobie 16's, a Nacra 6.0, and a Nacra 17 like in the video below. If you can handle holding a beach cat on the starting line and rounding marks in traffic you can sail any boat

For a prelude to cruising multihulls, the Nacra 6.0 would probably be the best or now days an I20 (inter 20) as they were the boats used in the Worrell 1000 which is an offshore race in the Atlantic Ocean from Ft Lauderdale, FL to up here in Virginia Beach (2nd video) I had to race against several of these guys.

Most beach cats cat hit speeds around 25 knots in the right conditions. They have tons of sail area / displacement



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Old 31-12-2020, 23:28   #15
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Re: A Path to Multihulls

Quote:
Originally Posted by Full View Post
A romantic, newbie post here, independent from my other posts. This might help all the newbie dreamers out there.
A forty-something-year-old man stares at the endless ocean in a deep thought. He watches the various catamarans sailing to the Bahamas in envy. His ambitions in life changes all of a sudden. He knows there is no going back; now, he is totally a new person...
So what should he do to safely sail a 40 - 42 something ft catamaran one day? He has no sailing experience. What path does he have to take? Let's give him some advice without insulting him too much.
Just do the ASA 101 -114 with your wife and join a club with cruising Cats. Easy.

You don't need to mess with dinghy's and beach cats to learn how to sail. Sailing is piss easy. It's all the systems that comes with increasingly larger boats that you spend your time on.

People are lazy creatures if you need to load a car with a beach cat and set it up etc etc you wont do it. It's like going to the gym, good idea in theory. I certainly have no interest in getting in a wetsuit and sailing beach cats in my 40s. Capsize a few times with your wife on the beachcat and the dream is over.

Just sign up to an ASA right now and go for it. Just do it. Don't get distracted with beach cats, trailer sailers etc. If you want to sail a 40 foot cat start with a 40 foot cat.

I can see why sailing a beach cat in college would be fun or on a holiday. But not something I want to do on the weekends in my 40s. I want to go for a nice sail with friends, have a nice lunch on board and not be wet and cold. Just My opinion.

I was with these guys in SF but im sure similar places are on the east coast. they have a seawind 1160.

https://www.modernsailing.com/boat/vela-mare
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