Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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Cruising on Multihulls
I have a little different take from the above. I really hate sailing cruising cats. Unlike their lightweight cousins, they are not as fast as modern mono-hulls in the conditions that most of us actually sail in. They are really at their worst in light air where their high wetted surface really makes them ''sticky''. They also don''t point worth a darn which in the Intercoastal world of west Florida means a whole lot of motoring.
While they sail relatively flat, small cruising cats have a comparatively quick snappy motion. There are two factors that cause motion sickness; the angle of movement(amount of roll) and the rate of movement(the frequency and accellerations of the motion). Individuals have varying degrees of susceptibility to motion sickness and some people can tollerate a lot of movement but not quick motion and others cannot tollerate much movement but speed does not affect them.
A lot of people have problems with seasickness on cruising cats because of their snappy motion. This could be a serious probelm in the short chop of a Gulf Stream crossing or the ''Flats'' of the Bahamas.
While a lot of sea miles are being covered by crusing cats, I really think that small ones, under about 35 or so feet have not been fairing all that well in terms of seaworthiness.
The other issue with small cruising cats is the ability to carry enough weight to go really go cruising. As you load weight on a cruising cat a number of things happen. First, with weight they loose speed very quickly. Second of all, to some extent, cats absorb gusts by accellerating rather than heeling. When there is too much weight in board they can''t accellerate and so become more dangerous. Lastly, the greater drag and inertia of a over-loaded cat, really increases the stresses on the comparatively light construction of a cat and really shortens thier overall lifespan.
In particular the small Prouts have been a personal dis-favorite of mine. They are not especially good sailors in either light air or heavy.
On the other hand the shoal draft of a cruising Cat is a nice thing to have in your neck of the woods.