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Old 18-06-2024, 04:32   #1
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Which Cats can actually sail?

A lifelong monohull sailor, I recently chartered a 42 foot catamaran. Loved the roominess, stability, maneuverability under power, and convenient RIB storage. However, this boat had the sailing qualities of a dairy barn.

Any suggestions on cats in that size range that can actually sail?
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Old 18-06-2024, 04:40   #2
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Re: Which Cats can actually sail?

IMHO large cruising cats do not provide the feel and feedback of a nice sailing mono of similar size. Sure, on some of them you might be moving quite fast in the right direction, but you will never get the feel of a mono, especially to windward.
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Old 18-06-2024, 05:11   #3
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Re: Which Cats can actually sail?

Gday Jg,

There seems to be a little problem with cat chatter sometimes. As someone with a daggerboard medium performance cat that sails really nicely, I am always disapointed when I read that cats can't sail, or won't go to windward, or feel bad when sailing as my one does quite nicely.

So do what you would do in a mono, look for a cat with lower freeboard, with daggerboards, a nice rig, with weight amidships, folding props and designed by a sailing designer rather than an interior designer. Condocats are fine for people who need their attributes, but if you look at more custom cats, like Graingers, or Schionnings, Chamberlins, or Woods or other moderate performance cats, you can get a nice cat that has lots of cruising potential.

Cheers

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Old 18-06-2024, 05:54   #4
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Re: Which Cats can actually sail?

This is as sticky of a question as they come, but I'll bite:

-Generally speaking, always choose extra waterline over performance features on a smaller catamaran. For example, an older Outremer 49 is going to sail circles around any 42 foot new cat.
-Budget plays a major role in this and the rabbit hole goes very deep, don't ask me how I know, the pain is still fresh.

IMO the boats to consider that are close to that size/price range are the Outremer 45, Schionnings, TS42, Mumby 48, Dazcat 1495...and I'm sure I'm missing a bunch of others. Oh...and of course the Max Cruise 44 that MJ Sailing are building.
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Old 18-06-2024, 07:34   #5
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Re: Which Cats can actually sail?

I know Iím going to regret this but here goes:

1. Sail area to displacement ratio
2. Beam width
3. Bridge deck clearance
4. Waterline
5. Sail plan: center of effort.

In my time on my own boat and crewing many others, Iíve never seen a sleek catamaran sail bad and Iíve never seen a fat stumpy one sail good.
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Old 18-06-2024, 08:04   #6
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Re: Which Cats can actually sail?

And once you get the cat keep the extra weight off. Most cruising boats get overloaded, including cats, and it definitely hurts performance. And, keep the windage down. One major reason cruising cats don't do well to windward is their excess windage.
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Old 18-06-2024, 08:09   #7
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Re: Which Cats can actually sail?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kazamaran View Post
I know Iím going to regret this but here goes:

1. Sail area to displacement ratio
2. Beam width
3. Bridge deck clearance
4. Waterline
5. Sail plan: center of effort.

In my time on my own boat and crewing many others, Iíve never seen a sleek catamaran sail bad and Iíve never seen a fat stumpy one sail good.

You missed daggerboards, low windage and low weight. In some ways SA/DR covers that but on its own often results in heavy cats with massive sail plans.


Kettlewell is also right, there is little or no feel on a cat. Sailing a cat is much more technical and mentally demanding than sailing a monohull. Unlike monohulls it takes a great deal of skill to sail a cat well. Over a certain size instrumentation and mental involvement is key but is rewarded by comfort and outright performance that surpasses any monohull. Drinking tea while cruising, not racing, going 12knots to windward, maintaining 17-18 off the wind and where 200NM days are the norm is a far cry from "feeling" a whole lot slower and more miserable experience on a mono.


As with monohulls there are also some very poor performing cats they are supremely suited to charter with four "equal" on suite cabins, sun decks and bathing platforms that have all but put monohull charters out of business.



If cats had been invented first, as they were in the Pacific islands and someone in the pub had suggested chopping off one hull and hanging a huge weight underneath to stop it falling over but still leaning a lot and sailing very slowly everyone would have laughed at him.
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Old 18-06-2024, 08:31   #8
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Re: Which Cats can actually sail?

Adding to the helpful advice…

One must consider the payload. “Performance” catamarans usually suffer more from overloading more than a comfort cruiser.
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Old 18-06-2024, 08:37   #9
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Re: Which Cats can actually sail?

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Adding to the helpful adviceÖ

One must consider the payload. ďPerformanceĒ catamarans usually suffer more from overloading more than a comfort cruiser.
But an overloaded outremer will out sail a light-ship lagoon any day of the week.
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Old 18-06-2024, 09:55   #10
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Re: Which Cats can actually sail?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jghaft View Post
A lifelong monohull sailor, I recently chartered a 42 foot catamaran. Loved the roominess, stability, maneuverability under power, and convenient RIB storage. However, this boat had the sailing qualities of a dairy barn.

Any suggestions on cats in that size range that can actually sail?
I have moved FP and Lagoons of that size that moved well for a cat.. If you have deeper pockets, Outremer and other high-end boats are better options.

But Bob Perry put it best "nothing goes to windward like draft." It is the deep fin of a monohull that lets it point so high. With an AWA of under 70 or so, expect to run the leeward engine to help a cat get to upwind. Make the AWA 100 to 140 or 150 and the cat will be in her sweet spot. It is reasonable to get a SOG 50% of AWS, without an a-sym, at the deeper angle- while reefing to manufacturer's specs.

Unfortunately, many charter companies have moved to a different brand of catamaran (name withheld) that is woefully underpowered.
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Old 18-06-2024, 10:29   #11
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Re: Which Cats can actually sail?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SailingHarmonie View Post
But an overloaded outremer will out sail a light-ship lagoon any day of the week.
Maybe.
However, for the same price, a buyer can obtain a significantly larger production catamaran vs an Outremer.

If someone intends to travel light, then this isnít a big deal. However, people do like their stuff.
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Old 18-06-2024, 10:45   #12
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Re: Which Cats can actually sail?

There are so many misconceptions here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snore View Post
But Bob Perry put it best "nothing goes to windward like draft." It is the deep fin of a monohull that lets it point so high. With an AWA of under 70 or so, expect to run the leeward engine to help a cat get to upwind.
Written by someone who has never really sailed a real performance cat. Leaward engine to go to windward is just baloney.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rorke Miller View Post
Maybe.
However, for the same price, a buyer can obtain a significantly larger production catamaran vs an Outremer.

If someone intends to travel light, then this isn’t a big deal. However, people do like their stuff.
Big and cheap is not the answer, proper design and engineering are, production cats are budget controlled. Latest Outremers are not even that fast.
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Old 18-06-2024, 10:50   #13
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Re: Which Cats can actually sail?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jghaft View Post

Any suggestions on cats in that size range that can actually sail?
I don't know, but suspect that big long hair Maine Coons probably have a lot of wind drag.
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Old 18-06-2024, 11:19   #14
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Re: Which Cats can actually sail?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jghaft View Post
A lifelong monohull sailor, I recently chartered a 42 foot catamaran. Loved the roominess, stability, maneuverability under power, and convenient RIB storage. However, this boat had the sailing qualities of a dairy barn.

Any suggestions on cats in that size range that can actually sail?
Our old 40’ TRT 1200GT would out point and out sail just about any other sailboat on the water.
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Old 18-06-2024, 11:30   #15
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Re: Which Cats can actually sail?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tupaia View Post

Over a certain size instrumentation and mental involvement is key but is rewarded by comfort and outright performance that surpasses any monohull. Drinking tea while cruising, not racing, going 12knots to windward, maintaining 17-18 off the wind and where 200NM days are the norm is a far cry from "feeling" a whole lot slower and more miserable experience on a mono.
Trying to get out from under your cat, are you?

1. The multihulls don't come out and play with the monos in Santa Cruz, even for the Wednesday night beer can races. So, I'll have to go with something from out of town, like the 2023 SoCal 300 race, which is mostly reaching and running.

https://yachtscoring.com/event_resul...er=1&eID=15549

First to finish was a TP 52 in 23 hours and 45 minutes. Five HOURS behind the Class A monos was a Gunboat 62.

2. The cost of a high performance cat is 2 or 3 times the cost of a high performance mono.

3. The higher performance and more fun to sail the cat is, the more likely
it is to capsize in a gust unless it is reefed down. That is why you don't see many 200+ miles per day cat passages.
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