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post #63 of Old 02-26-2005
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Cruising Catamarans Offshore

Paulo, You can laugh out loud if you want to but your examples are worthless. First we were talking about small CRUISING catamarans for limited offshore use. Not one of your links has any info on what the boat is or what they were doing at the time. As to monos being more forgiving, if you''re in conditions that could put you or your vessel in danger, you better be paying attention. If I''m trying to go fast in conditions that I should be thinking about reefing, I''m really paying attention. Yes, you could probably capsize any cat, but if you''re in a situation where that could happen you better be aware of it or you don''t belong out there! General rule of thumb, cats reef for the lulls, monos reef for the puffs. The naysayers out there all seem to feel that cruising cats flip like a Hobie 16. The Gemini 105 is reported to right itself from 85 degrees, and I believe my 3000 is close to that. We went out fishing in the Gulf Stream on a day of small craft advisories (6~10'' seas) as much to see how the boat liked it as to fish. We saw a few sport fishermen (50'' Vikings) out getting the crap beat out of them. Motorsailing with a small jib only, about 40 degrees to the wind. Very comfortable, nobody sick. My wife has a nice dolphin on so I roll up the jib, slow down and am watching the other poles, My friend is on the stern with the gaff, in the excitement of the moment I get beam too, look over my wife''s shoulder at a breaking about 10 footer. Before I could say anyting to anyone we simply rolled right over it. No one else even noticed! I gained a lot of respect for the seaworthiness of my little boat that day. Another story and then I''m done. Last May We went from Key Largo to Boca Grand on Floridas west coast, about 210 miles. All of April and May 2004 blew like stink out of the east, no one fished, people I know blew out sails, nasty 15~30 seemed like forever. Every mono we saw was motoring or motorsailing with reefed sails. All the cats we saw were sailing. Second day out is a broadreach, reefed main and genny. We''re doing 8~10 kts comfortably in a short steep 4 foot chop. I had to steer as the auto pilot couldn''t keep up and all I could think about was what a handfull a mono would be in these conditions, one broach after another. Four days later we''re headed back beating into the same conditions and pass 2 groups of 25~35 foot monos all motorong or motorsailing in the same conditions we were sailing in while my wife read and our labs slept. We listened to them talking about how horrible it was out and that they''d given up on crossing the stream. Cruising on a cat is so superior to a mono there''s no comparison. I''ll trade the slight possibility of capsize for the comfort, safety and seaworthyness of a cat anyday. Now if the US just had more used boats to pick from.
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