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post #1 of Old 12-13-2004 Thread Starter
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Monohull vs cat on extended passage?

I''ve recently (Nov) participated in my first real blue water passage. I helped sail a boat from Aruba to Cayman. The tradewinds were 15 - 25 knts with 20kts most common. Seas were 6-8ft most of the way. I have advanced coastal skipper qualifications as well as some blue water experience, gained while sailing around Vancouver Island. However this was the first time I was continuously sailing non-stop for more that a week.
The surprising thing for me was how tough it was. Not because of physical labor, but exhausting. I managed very little sleep, and felt queezy for the first two days, then again after we turned from a reach to close hauled for the last two days. Never "lost it" but felt drained and didn''t feel like doing much of anything, other than my watches and actively participating in the sailtrim and checking for trafic.
The relentless motion of the boat (43ft center cockpit), the watch system chosen by the captain, the heat (no fan over my bunk and hatches closed because of spray) and the absence of a lee-cloth on my bunk, made for severe sleep-deprevation.
I did get used to it later in the trip and funnily enough felt more queezy the first night on hard land than on the boat at that time.

I learnt a lot, especially some things I''d do differently. It was a very rewarding experience for me nontheless. The crew bonded and got along extremely well with hardly any "words" of discontent. The fact that all of us had confidence that the others knew what they were doing and that the boat was well found, certainly helped.

My question is this: I''d like to hear from people who have sailed cats offshore. I''d like to hear whether cats also induce seasickness/queezyness in some people, and how the different motion of cats is tolerated over extended periods of time. I believe cats do well downwind and less well beating - how "less well"? I''ve heard the motion is jerky and can be violent. How would that stack up to monohull rolling?

M Murphy
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