Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Deale, MD
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Re: How do you feel about catamarans?
Ability to cross oceans and go around the Horn always seems to come up on Sailnet.
We're coastal sailors on Barnegat Bay. Our longest hop to date was between Norfolk, VA and New Jersey. We sail for pleasure and will never round the Horn. I think we're the norm not the exception.
I'd be curious to hear from cat owners about how their boats do for coastal leisure sailing.
- How well do they move in light air (more wetted surface)? As fast as monos the same size. As fast as monos 4-8 feet longer when the wind gets up.
- Do you fly a spinnaker or code 0 to keep her moving in light air? If I want to. A big deck makes it easier (no dropping it in the water).
- A cat like the Fontaine Pajot 38 I posted has a 20 foot beam. How difficult is it to find a slip? Couldn't say; I have a 16' beam and that is nota problem.
- When you find a slip are you paying more? $100/MO.
- How about winter storage, do yards charge more for a cat? Not here (Chesapeake).
- Can that boat be hauled with a normal travel lift? Yes. Up to about 20 feet is pretty common.
- If you go aground how difficult is it to get a cat unstuck (two hulls, can't rock her)? Reverse. It happens less often, the boat has less momentum to drive her on hard, and the power/wt ratio is better.
- Are your rudders exposed if you ground in shallow water? In general the rudders are shallower than the keel. The problem is no different from monos, and at least you have a spare.
- How hard is it to open the stack pack and get that big sail up?
- It's obvious when it's time to reef on my boat. Without the feedback of heeling can you feel when it's time to reef or do you keep an eye on wind speed? I've sailed cats for 25 years. The feel is different, but it is still there. Balance and heel.
- How well does a cat handle the confused water and steep boat wakes that you see in shallow, crowded coastal areas? No question, the motion is quicker on a cat. Depends on the wake. I see that as the greatest negative.
- In a crowded anchorage will a cat swing differently than the monos that may be anchored around it? In my experience, someone always swings different. A little more of problem than with monos, but in most cases it is the mono that is sailing at anchor (wide bridles stop that).
- What are some things about cats that a mono sailor might not think to ask? Keep the weight down (they can handle it, but then they sail like slow monos); you don't need the junk anyway. How does it go to weather (test sail)? Some cats do very well, some are dogs, and ex-charter cats in general are under canvassed.
There's a lot of stuff on my blog.
(when asked how he reached the starting holds on a difficult rock climbing problem that clearly favored taller climbers - he was perhaps 5'5")
"Well, I just climb up to them."
by Joe Brown, English rock climber
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