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post #137 of Old 03-14-2014
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Re: How do you feel about catamarans?

Originally Posted by MikeJohns View Post
Pitchpoling and inversion occur in heavy weather, they are not common but common enough to start to show some disturbing trends. We should look at why they are not common. For example itís not common for Pedalboats be sunk by North Atlantic winter storms People may choose to believe the risk is low because the frequency of disaster is low. That can give false confidence and lead to poor decisions.

The reason inversion should be treated so seriously is that fatalities from rough weather inversion are very high with catamarans. The hull is untenable as a survival platform and emergency equipment is unreachable. The risk is extreme by any sensible risk assessment.

There is some very poorly informed comment that you can sit on the hull of am inverted cat and wait for rescue . Itís touted as one of the attributes of undamaged cats when comparing them to damaged monohulls ! But not only is that an invalid comparison but itís also not sensible to consider cats as survival platforms in rough seas. There is a very high death rate from inverted catamarans in heavy weather. Thatís due to several major problems with the inverted cat and itís instant transition to a flooded almost completely inaccessible wreck.

It's an alarming emerging trend that the majority of people aboard cats in heavy weather inversions die. The dead are not here to passionately put their side of the story and the living often donít want to know, or want to rationalize the risks away. There is a multihull subculture that refuses to accept that their chosen craft have problems. Problems are due to a particularly bad boat or the fault of the operator.

A comparison of a cat and a mono should consider both price and size. Iíd suggest that a fair comparison for cost and materials is between cat and a monohull thatís at least 10 feet longer on the waterline. So for example compare a 45 foot Cat with a 56 foot mark cruising monohull and then look at stability, comfort, watertight subdivision, passage speed, storage room and the overall feel of the boat as a home. Then start to juggle the other compromises. Youíll find it doesnít matter all that much which boat you chose if they fit the operational area criteria. But you can improve your chances with a good choice that matches your cruising style.
Since monohulls have the same chance of sinking as cats do flipping which would you rather be on? Plenty of people have been rescued of inverted cats, it makes for a great news story. The still floating cat also gives rescuers a visual to start their search, not the same with a sunk mono. Crews of inverted cats have been known to retrieve stores of their boats, not the same with sunk monos. Crews on cats have tied their liferafts of to the inverted boat with a long line, try that on a sinking mono!
If there was such a big risk of a cat flipping and lives being lost why do insurance companies consider cats to be an equal or better risk than a mono. Surely of all people they would know the risks?
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