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Old 22-01-2017, 18:34   #16
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Location: Brisbane after cruising (Atlantic -> Med -> Carib -> Pacific)
Boat: Vancouver 36, Hobie 33, Catana 48, now all with new owners
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Re: Catamaran capsize preparation

When we had our Catana 48 we did a couple of easy things, but didn't spend a lot of time or effort on anything more extensive:
- liferaft was in a cradle on the aft crossbeam that could be easily released either way up
- jacklines underneath the bridge deck
- when we were getting the boat repainted we also had a big orange patch of non-skid painted on the underside of the bridge deck

Other than that just normal preparation - abandon ship bag, EPIRBs etc.

I'm not sure if it was on this thread or another similar, but I recently saw a reference to Cat I EPIRBs for a catamaran - just remember for one to automatically release it needs to be 1.5 to 4m deep, which is probably very late for most catamaran emergencies. I would personally go for a smaller and easier to mount Cat II and mount it somewhere handy (in our case just inside the cockpit/saloon door.
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Old 23-01-2017, 02:55   #17
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Re: Catamaran capsize preparation

A part of my preparation will be a waterproof light that comes on in each cabin when inverted. I will also put a waterproof radio in each hull.

All Lagoons have attachment points for lines under the bridge deck and I have put the lines on. I have an EPIRB in each hull break out window. The Lagoon raft standard location at the stern may be at or just below water level inverted. However is still the best and I have quick release.

I don't think it would be viable to move to the life raft and remain attached to the yacht as the momentum in the surges would rip the line off the raft.

If the hose remains attached to any through hull fitting then no air will escape when inverted.

I have invented a relatively simple sheet release system based on customizable roll angle for yachts that have electric winches and am currently testing it.
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Old 23-01-2017, 08:51   #18
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Re: Catamaran capsize preparation

Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post

What are the odds of flipping a Lagoon over? I imagine that a couple may have done so, but donít know for certain. So this would be the first thing that Iíd look into. Since thereís little use in spending tens of thousands of dollars solving a non-problem. If we were talking about a more performance oriented boat then Iíd say that yes, making some efforts to prepare for this makes sense. But not so much for designs that have never flipped, despite hundreds of them being out there circling the globe.

You might connect with such organizations as US Sailing, or those who conduct Safety at Sea seminars for realistic numbers as relate to the odds of capsizing. As well as their recommendations for dealing with same. Ditto on you & the family attending a Safety at Sea seminar, & participating in some water survival training.

That said, there are some things that you can do to make your boat safer regardless. Which, your solutions to problems like this depend greatly on the boat, especially in terms of how she'll float when inverted. Meaning that some boats will have little that actually projects above the surface of the water if they're upside down. With some having their transoms deeply immersed, & others floating quite high.

My impression is that many of the heavier production cats won't do well when holed or inverted, regarding how they float. And that many one-offs & racing oriented designs will be towards the other end of the spectrum. So that if your boat is of the sort that's likely to have 90% of the interior flooded when itís upside down, then you'd want to prepare with an eye towards living elsewhere until help arrives, while still being tethered to her. With the mothership acting as something of a breakwater for the raft/dinghy, so that it's not subjected to the full force of the seas. And with the possibility that you might be able to access some stores & equipment from the inverted cat from time to time. Things like food, water, medical supplies, & warm clothes, etc.

For the liferaft solution, putting it on the back of the aft crossbeam seems an attractive option. Which, it's fairly easy to build a watertight box to house a valise, where the box is openable from both it's top & bottom. And you can easily build one that opens both via the usual hands on methods, as well as via remote releases.
To include fitting the locker with stout lanyards that serve to open quick release shackles, or to pull quick release locking pins. Much like remotely tripping the a spinnaker guy shackle when itís out at the end of a spinnaker pole. Or for that matter, the (remote) release mechanisms built into the jaws of most spinnaker poles.

Thus with such a locker the raft would commonly be protected from the weather, & accessible whether you're upright, or inverted. With the perk that the raft won't need to live on deck, out in the weather 24/7. But rather to only be stowed topsides for passages. And the other perk to this is that it's relatively easily to regularly inspect a raft in a soft valise as compared to the difficulty in doing so with one in a hard factory canister. Ditto on the ease of inspecting or modifying the contents of the emergency gear that's stowed with/inside of the raft. Such as flares, & other ditch kit type items.

But even this isnít an ideal solution in that a fair percentage of fires happen in or near engine compartments, which in a lot of instances would be in close proximity to the raft if itís stowed like this. As well as the obvious, that the raft might be a few feet underwater if the boat flips. Though if the above idea is well executed, it shouldnít be too difficult to release the raft if youíre inverted. Also, be sure to build in several safety precautions to such a locker to prevent itís accidental opening.

EDIT: On your liferaft, plan to have several heavily reinforced tether points added around the raft's circumference. As it's fairly common for the OEM ones to pull out, sometimes to include holing a tube when they do. And you don't want the raft escaping without everyone onboard, nor seperating from the mothership without permission.

PS: So are you going to paint the underside of the bridgedeck neon pink, or just stick with "traditional" luminescent lime green?

Does anyone make bright orange bottom paint?
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Old 23-01-2017, 09:06   #19
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Re: Catamaran capsize preparation

Originally Posted by jibstay View Post
Does anyone make bright orange bottom paint?
Short answer, yes. Though many of the hues used also tend towards bright'ish reds, or have a bit of a pink tint mixed in. Just look at the foils on some of the racing mult's, & large, lightweight racing monohulls. Both have very brightly colored rudders, & fins/keels.

You can also paint a boat's topsides underneath of the bridgedeck/wing decks with eye catching colors. Or even contrasting patterns of same. Such as a bumble bee pattern of yellow & orange. Including using some of the neon/day glow colors, along with adding some reflective panels similar in design & effect to SOLAS tape as found on foul weather gear.

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Old 23-01-2017, 10:21   #20
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Re: Catamaran capsize preparation

Whenever I consider capsize preparation I can't help but feel that in the dark, in cold water, awakened in my bunk with the boat upside down, that all my preparations would be in vain and that we would be properly screwed. The result is that I have spent a lot more time thinking of ways to prevent capsize rather than what to do in the event it happens.

To that end we sail very conservatively when in the lee of land masses and headlands or in unstable weather. We drop the main when squalls approach. We slow way down at night, especially when we have been seeing whales or logs or the weather is changeable. We have automatic fire extinguishers in the engine compartments and the nav station. We carry both a parachute anchor and series drogue, both pre-rigged and ready to deploy before we head offshore. We avoid sailing in the tropics during cyclone season and in the higher latitudes we stay below the 564 decameter line on the 500 mb charts as much as possible.

Come to the dark side. We have donuts.
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capsize, catamaran, size

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