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Old 13-03-2019, 14:22   #1
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Questions about safety of CSK / Polycon Catamarans for cruising

I'm thinking about checking out a 38' Buddy Ebsen Polycon cat that's located in Florida. My intention is to do mostly solo extended cruising with an occasional crew or two along the way.


I have two concerns about this design:

- NARROW BEAM & CAPSIZE: This 38'er has a beam of only 17' with a 45' tall mast.

- NARROW STERNS & HOBBY HORSING & PITCH POLING: The narrow sterns could promote hobby horsing which could lead to pitch poling.

Questions, please...

1) Has there been a lot of safe and successful long distance cruising with these narrow beam cats?

2) Any word about pitchpoling because of the narrow sterns?

Anything you can recall regarding the safety record of this design will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
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Old 13-03-2019, 18:45   #2
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Re: Questions about safety of CSK / Polycon Catamarans for cruising

I can't see how narrow sterns would promote pitch poling. Quite the opposite. Wide sterns could drive the bows down in following seas.

Narrow sterns will allow a bit more pitching going to windward, by allowing the bows to lift, rather than driving them through waves.

Its all a compromise.
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Old 13-03-2019, 19:27   #3
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Re: Questions about safety of CSK / Polycon Catamarans for cruising

I thought about this a little more since I started this thread and I remember how Hobie 16's in windy conditions would hobby horse on their highly rockered hulls which sometimes which lead to the most spectacular over-the-handle-bars pitch poling - and especially if you were out on the wire.

Like Hobie 16's, CSK's have a lot of rocker in the hulls which seems to me that they would be prone to hobby horsing too. Once the boat starts rocking on the leeward hull then that's what can lead to pitch poling in conditions where you might find yourself over-powered - like a sudden squall.

Have you heard anything specific about these boats?
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Old 14-03-2019, 04:33   #4
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Re: Questions about safety of CSK / Polycon Catamarans for cruising

Did you see this post #2664?

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...87193-178.html
Another thing to consider is the waterline length in relation to beam. So on that boat in the post above it is 30' WL to 16'6 B which is really not that narrow due to the big overhangs.

Also is the mast 45' long or the height off the water 45' (bridge clearance)? The 34' Gemini has a 46' bridge clearance so there is a point of reference.
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Old 14-03-2019, 10:06   #5
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Re: Questions about safety of CSK / Polycon Catamarans for cruising

Many years ago (OK, decades) I read a book written by Rudy Choy, the "C" in CSK. I think it was called Catamarans Offshore. It discussed many of the designs he did, including Polynesian Concept built for Buddy Ebsen. It also had a boat called World Cat that did do a circumnavigation, and several other boats. As far as I can remember, the book implied that catamarans in general, and his in particular, were suited to sail offshore.
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Old 14-03-2019, 10:54   #6
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Re: Questions about safety of CSK / Polycon Catamarans for cruising

Having sailed catamarans on ocean passages for more than 60,000 miles in winds from flat calm to 60plus knots in the far southern ocean (around Cape Horn and Falkland islands), I believe 'Operator Error' is the primary cause of multihull capsize.
Slow the boat down, heave-to or use a parachute sea anchor from the bows according to conditions, including large breaking waves (parachute sea anchor) or strong winds (heave-to). Letting the boat surf at high speeds in large breaking waves tests the buoyancy of the lee hull, that it might dig into the back of the wave forward of the boat and cause the catamaran to pitchpole over that hull.
In the right conditions our catamarans could surf at over twenty knots and settle back to about eight knots in the troughs and accelerate again, under complete control, steered by the autopilot, with no drama. At other times I would limit the speed by reefing to no more than 8knots, perhaps slowing to 4knots in the troughs.
It all depends.
The CSK cats have a good reputation and though an old model, I think are good boats.
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Old 14-03-2019, 12:00   #7
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Re: Questions about safety of CSK / Polycon Catamarans for cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sand crab View Post
Another thing to consider is the waterline length in relation to beam. So on that boat in the post above it is 30' WL to 16'6 B which is really not that narrow due to the big overhangs.

Also is the mast 45' long or the height off the water 45' (bridge clearance)? The 34' Gemini has a 46' bridge clearance so there is a point of reference.
Good point about the waterline. I don't know what the bridge clearance is yet but the mast itself is 45' long.


Quote:
Originally Posted by fred4936 View Post
Many years ago (OK, decades) I read a book written by Rudy Choy, the "C" in CSK. I think it was called Catamarans Offshore. It discussed many of the designs he did, including Polynesian Concept built for Buddy Ebsen. It also had a boat called World Cat that did do a circumnavigation, and several other boats. As far as I can remember, the book implied that catamarans in general, and his in particular, were suited to sail offshore.
Thank you.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Howard View Post
Having sailed catamarans on ocean passages for more than 60,000 miles in winds from flat calm to 60plus knots in the far southern ocean (around Cape Horn and Falkland islands), I believe 'Operator Error' is the primary cause of multihull capsize.
Slow the boat down, heave-to or use a parachute sea anchor from the bows according to conditions, including large breaking waves (parachute sea anchor) or strong winds (heave-to). Letting the boat surf at high speeds in large breaking waves tests the buoyancy of the lee hull, that it might dig into the back of the wave forward of the boat and cause the catamaran to pitchpole over that hull.
In the right conditions our catamarans could surf at over twenty knots and settle back to about eight knots in the troughs and accelerate again, under complete control, steered by the autopilot, with no drama. At other times I would limit the speed by reefing to no more than 8knots, perhaps slowing to 4knots in the troughs.
It all depends.
The CSK cats have a good reputation and though an old model, I think are good boats.
I heard about a couple CSK cats in California that pitchpoled. The backstory for one of them though was that the guy sailing had never sailed before and was doing 20 knots with full sail and stuffed the bows in the back of a wave. So yeah, I can definitely understand how operator error would be the main issue.

What design were the cats you cruised on? Did they have relatively narrow beams like the old CSK's?

Thanks.
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