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Old 26-06-2022, 04:53   #1
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Are trampolines REALLY necessary?

Hey guys and girls, Iím new to the forum and have a few questions for you experts. My wife and I are very keen to get into sailing and we have a 5 year plan to get it all in place. Get all the training/experience, licenses and tickets and eventually buy a CAT to sail the world.

We are looking at older CATís in the $100k range and from what Iíve read about good vs bad CATís is that the trampolines are a MUST if you plan on crossing oceans where you most likely will have high seas. Now for our buget you get very nice CATís but most have solid decks instead of trampolines. Gemini 105, Prout Escale, Snowgoose, Fountaine PajotÖ, they all come highly recommended for blue water and have no issues crossing oceans, BUT they have solid decks and if you bury the bow you could be in trouble.

What are your opinions on this, should the trampolines be a must when choosing a CAT or is it a ďnice to haveĒ? It REALLY limits our options.
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Old 26-06-2022, 05:08   #2
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Re: Are tranpolines REALLY necessary?

You might seriously to look at where you are getting your blue water recommendations.

A Gemini 105 is a fine catamaran for what it is, but anyone who gives it high recommendations for water sailing">blue water sailing either knows nothing about the open ocean or about the boat. CAN it cross an ocean? Of course. Would it ever be a "highly recommended" boat to do so? By nobody without a personnel interest in having you buy one. The other boats on your list I do not know about to comment...

Just to be clear: "blue water sailing" is crossing oceans on passages more than 500 miles from shore. Not sailing along a coast in the ocean. NOT sailing in the Bahamas, and NOT sailing in the Med.

As for trampolines...If you are crossing oceans, you WILL bury the bows into waves. The longer it takes for the mountain of green water to drain off your deck, the longer it is before you come back up. A lot of bad can happen while you are waitng those extra seconds...
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Old 26-06-2022, 05:14   #3
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Re: Are tranpolines REALLY necessary?

100s of the old Prouts have crossed oceans and indeed circumnavigated. The risk of burying the bow is mainly when downwind, surfing down a wave (you won't be going to windward in big seas in a Prout so that won't be a problem). Stream a drogue or something off the stern and that'll keep you going slow enough to avoid problems. Trampolines might be the preferred option but definitely not essential.
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Old 26-06-2022, 05:33   #4
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Re: Are tranpolines REALLY necessary?

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Originally Posted by ItDepends View Post
You might seriously to look at where you are getting your blue water recommendations.

A Gemini 105 is a fine catamaran for what it is, but anyone who gives it high recommendations for blue water sailing either knows nothing about the open ocean or about the boat. CAN it cross an ocean? Of course. Would it ever be a "highly recommended" boat to do so? By nobody without a personnel interest in having you buy one. The other boats on your list I do not know about to comment...
Is it an offshore battle wagon...no but dozens have crossed oceans with a few round the world trips. In good condition, it's very much capable...of course, all boats heading off shore should be in good condition.

To the OP: Trampolines tend to be associated with larger wider catamrans where the solid bridge deck would add tremendous weight. On smaller narrower boats, the weight penalty isn't as much of an issue.
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Old 26-06-2022, 05:38   #5
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Re: Are tranpolines REALLY necessary?

Yes you’re right about the Gemini, let me rephrase - the boats I mentioned come highly recommended as “budget” CAT’s that CAN cross oceans and CAN sail blue water, even though they dont have trampolines.

Obviously theres more risk with the solid deck but how much higher is this risk? High enough to take these boats off my list as options?
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Old 26-06-2022, 07:03   #6
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Re: Are tranpolines REALLY necessary?

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Originally Posted by Eswee View Post
Yes youíre right about the Gemini, let me rephrase - the boats I mentioned come highly recommended as ďbudgetĒ CATís that CAN cross oceans and CAN sail blue water, even though they dont have trampolines.

Obviously theres more risk with the solid deck but how much higher is this risk? High enough to take these boats off my list as options?
The deck itself provides no significant risk unless you start doing stupid things. In fact, during coastal cruising...90% of long distance voyaging, it's a safety benefit. Much easier to walk on a solid flat surface when anchoring rather than a trampoline.

We owned and lived aboard a Gemini for 9yrs. The Gemini in particular doesn't like bashing straight into short steep waves but it's not a safety issue so much as a comfort issue. When a wave hits the bridge deck it reverberates like a drum. The boat can take it but it wears on you if you keep doing it. Mostly an issue going head into waves. Bear off 20 degrees or run downwind and it's not much of an issue. On the open ocean, it's less common to be beating directly into steep 3-4footers where the problem is worst (usually that's on shallow bays where short steep waves form). On long swells, the boat simply rides up and over.
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Old 26-06-2022, 07:47   #7
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Re: Are tranpolines REALLY necessary?

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Originally Posted by Eswee View Post
Hey guys and girls, Iím new to the forum and have a few questions for you experts. My wife and I are very keen to get into sailing and we have a 5 year plan to get it all in place. Get all the training/experience, licenses and tickets and eventually buy a CAT to sail the world.

We are looking at older CATís in the $100k range and from what Iíve read about good vs bad CATís is that the trampolines are a MUST if you plan on crossing oceans where you most likely will have high seas. Now for our buget you get very nice CATís but most have solid decks instead of trampolines. Gemini 105, Prout Escale, Snowgoose, Fountaine PajotÖ, they all come highly recommended for blue water and have no issues crossing oceans, BUT they have solid decks and if you bury the bow you could be in trouble.

What are your opinions on this, should the trampolines be a must when choosing a CAT or is it a ďnice to haveĒ? It REALLY limits our options.

In sailing catamarans you have always the choice between slow moving barges and high performance, light weight racers. A friend of mine circumnavigated the globe on a 30' Catalac. Very comfortable, very slow, almost no windward performance in rough seas, but behaving in bad weather like a buoy or a barge. If you are not in a hurry and keep away from leeshores, no problem. But if you want some sailing performance, speccially to windward and in rougher seas, you better have the bridge starting way aft of the bows and a trampolin across.


Capt. Claus - ocean tramp of the eighties and ex-catamaran builder.
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Old 26-06-2022, 09:55   #8
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Re: Are tranpolines REALLY necessary?

You're in the excitement phase of boating. Newbie, no experience, huge plans. Definitely fun times.

Trampolines mainly reduce the cost to build a catamaran. Having a solid bridgedeck allows for more storage and if designed right, more safety and comfort.

Island Packet Yachts built 41 one the Packet Cat 35. I've looked at all the cats you mentioned and when I found this cat I bought one, a buddy who'd been looking for a boat for many years bought another one. IPY is known for building tough, bluewater sailing boats and these are no exception.

I have a solid bridgedeck and also have an extra 1/3 or so hull between the 2 hulls. I refer to my boat as a 2 1/2 mararn That 3rd hull starts just behind the 2 main hulls and dips into the water a few inches and extends back maybe 6-7 feet. They copied this design from someone else I've read. The purpose of this is buoyancy. This added buoyancy is designed to reduce the boat tripping when coming down a large wave. It also adds a huge amount of storage which on a small boat is a major plus. The 3rd hull in the water splits the wave and pretty much eliminates the pounding. Feels much more like a monohull than a catamaran. I've pounded through 15' seas in storms for days on end. Really no big deal. Slow down. No, I don't like pounding into weather but sometimes that's just what you have to do.

As far as researching the ideal boat etc. Window shop for now. Go to boat shows and look at as many boats as you can, monos and cats. See the features, how did they design them for living? In 5 years there may just be a glut of used 40-45 foot cats on the market you will be able to afford. The crest of the wave is high right now for cats but that will pass.

Where you need to spend your energy now is learning how to sail. Yes you can take all the ASA courses you want but you need experience and that means time on the water. Really want to learn to sail? Buy yourselves a small sailboat. Trailorable, no marina fees. Something you can get in the water near where you live. Lasers are fun, fast monos. When you make a mistake, don't read the wind right, don't control the sails right you'll know right away as you will be in the water. You learn fast. A 14'-16' hobie cat or the like would provide the same lessons. Live in an area where there are yacht club? Go walk the docks and offer yourself as crew for beer can racing. If you show up for every race you'll get picked up fast. From there, with zero experience and a good Captain you will be taught not just how to sail but how to race which is a higher level than you will ever learn from the course mentioned and it's free.

Keep the dream alive. Good luck.
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Old 26-06-2022, 10:22   #9
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Re: Are tranpolines REALLY necessary?

Thanks for all the replies. It seems that we can still keep the CATís without trampolines as an option for the day we pull the trigger and commit on one. We plan on mostly sailing calm coastal water but at some point weíll have to cross an ocean and I just donít want to put our lives at risk because I didnít do my homework.

I would still prefer the trampolines but most 30-38 footers ($100k range) seem to come with a solid deck so Iíll have to make peace with that.
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Old 26-06-2022, 11:48   #10
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Re: Are tranpolines REALLY necessary?

If you want a safer, faster boat for blue water, but limited to $100k,Consider a post 2000 monohull. The Med is full of bargains every winter, the prices drop as the new charter boats come in April and the old ones have to be gone. We got our Jeanneau 49Ds for under $100k (no projects) when same age 40' cats were holding over $200. When it comes to speed, comfort, space and seaworthiness, size matters!
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Old 26-06-2022, 12:43   #11
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Re: Are tranpolines REALLY necessary?

I do sailboat yacht delivery for a large charter boat company. 80% at least are mid size to larger cats. Most of my deliveries involve longer distances of open ocean voyages and most of them Iím solo. What Iíve noticed is cat without the trampoline but rather a fiberglass hull section up forward tend to pound and beat harder. I have no doubt the vessel designers understand this in advance and the vessels are constructed accordingly however..... I donít like it. My biggest worry has been having seas break the back deck. Iíve experienced this in foul weather and for many production cat especially the Lagoons and Bali things can get wet on the back deck to put it mildly. Catana 47 has been my favorite to sail, in my opinion a true sailor catamaran.
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Old 26-06-2022, 18:14   #12
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Re: Are tranpolines REALLY necessary?

This is IMHO. But, the Gemini's we've seen used gas motors. My understanding is there are diesel now though.

But, on long passages, I, again IMHO, would avoid gas. Gasoline and plastic hulls are a poor combination.

Cheers and Fair Winds,
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Old 26-06-2022, 18:19   #13
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Re: Are tranpolines REALLY necessary?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eswee View Post
Hey guys and girls, Iím new to the forum and have a few questions for you experts. My wife and I are very keen to get into sailing and we have a 5 year plan to get it all in place. Get all the training/experience, licenses and tickets and eventually buy a CAT to sail the world.

We are looking at older CATís in the $100k range and from what Iíve read about good vs bad CATís is that the trampolines are a MUST if you plan on crossing oceans where you most likely will have high seas. Now for our buget you get very nice CATís but most have solid decks instead of trampolines. Gemini 105, Prout Escale, Snowgoose, Fountaine PajotÖ, they all come highly recommended for blue water and have no issues crossing oceans, BUT they have solid decks and if you bury the bow you could be in trouble.

What are your opinions on this, should the trampolines be a must when choosing a CAT or is it a ďnice to haveĒ? It REALLY limits our options.
Are trampolines really necessary? The answer is no. We have an EndeavourCat 30 which, sailed by previous owners, has crossed the Pacific from the USA to Australia. We have sailed through the Bass Strait, a notorious area between Victoria and Tasmania and all the way up the Australian East Coast to the Whitsundays.

Our little cat has useful lockers where others have trampolines.
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Old 26-06-2022, 18:54   #14
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Re: Are tranpolines REALLY necessary?

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Originally Posted by CapnBazza View Post
Are trampolines really necessary? The answer is no. We have an EndeavourCat 30 which, sailed by previous owners, has crossed the Pacific from the USA to Australia. We have sailed through the Bass Strait, a notorious area between Victoria and Tasmania and all the way up the Australian East Coast to the Whitsundays.



Our little cat has useful lockers where others have trampolines.


Trampolines arenít necessary.......until they are.
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Old 26-06-2022, 21:02   #15
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Re: Are tranpolines REALLY necessary?

we had a smaller cat once upon a time...32'...with solid foredecks. did not do any trans ocean stuff but plenty of coastal sailing in 40kts and rough seas (coastal area here is often spoken about by circumnavigators as amongst the roughest they see)

we never totally buried the bows but came close often and what i noticed was the solid foredeck became almost like a 'sled'. the increase in buoyancy when the foredeck reached the water was very significant and made it (apparently) almost impossible to bury the bows further

exception would be hitting the water at a very steep angle, but then i doubt an open bow is going to be enough to save you.

my experience indicates that a solid foredeck aint so bad - esp for smaller cats when the weight is not too much

cheers,
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