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post #10 of Old 12-30-2004
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Monohull vs cat on extended passage?

Here''s a follow-up to Bill''s post, taken from one of the Bumfuzzle logs ( 35'' LOA Cat, attempting to make Galapagos from Las Perlas Is. off the coast of Panama. Rhumbline was SW, with wind 25 kts from the SW:

"By that night we were getting way off course, probably about 100 miles east of where we wanted to be.... The big problem now was that the wind was kicking up to 30 knots and the seas had continued to build. This combined with the current was causing us trouble. Picture this. We wanted to be heading at 230 degrees, which is right where the wind was. Instead we pointed the boat at 195 degrees. However, even though the boat was pointed at 195 we were actually moving at 100 degrees. That''s how much the[Humbolt] current and waves were pushing the boat. We couldn''t make any forward progress whatsoever. And obviously if we tacked the other direction we would be heading straight north, which we really didn''t want. Also, in order to even be able to make this direction, we had to be running an engine as well. So we were burning a lot of diesel.

"The next day we were only a little over 100 miles from the coast of Colombia. We started out the day by tacking back and forth which basically moved us back and forth along the same line not making any progress at all. We did this all day while I continued to download weather and try to figure out an alternate plan. The weather was still showing maximum winds of 12 knots from the same direction for the next 3 days, even though for the last 48 hours we hadn''t seen anything under 25. Finally at 3 p.m. I had a new plan. Unless we wanted to continue beating back and forth and wait for an improvement in the weather, we were going to have to head for shore. And since we were quickly running out of diesel, with over 600 miles to go to the Galapagos, we opted for running with the wind to Colombia."

The owners know littel about sailling and so the boat may have been more capable than this entry reflects. Also, she''s enroute to the Marquesas on the next leg, so the boat was probably loaded down...which is always a problem with Cats as they take loading poorly, especially when asked to go to weather.

Not that they don''t have their advantages...

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