Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal, West Coast
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Cruising Catamarans Offshore
I agree with that naval architect (tell me his name please) to what he says about monohulls, but regarding multihulls I find him a little farfetched.
A good ocean going multihull to be capsized by a wave offers a resistance 2 times bigger than a monohull of the same size, but of course, when capsized it will stay capsized.
Multihulls can be capsized by excessive wind on the sails and because of that they require a lot more experience, good sense and seamanship to be safe at sea, in comparison with a good ocean going monohull.
Of course, as your Architect says: "needless to say most people prefer to be lied to and ignore the risks they are taking. The word offshore means anywhere in the world. The reason we have so many different boats is that there are many different uses. It is where they are used, the term offshore applies. I wouldn’t even classify most cruise ships offshore vessels although they take them there."
But I think this applies as much to multihulls as to monohulls. An ocean going monohull, if capsized will right itself up in less than a minute, but I have to say that the vast majority that are out there doing passages will not do that. Yes, most of them will right themselves up, but they will take between 3 and 5 minutes, and that will be too much for the ones that are not inside the boat.
What should be important is that every buyer should have full information on the stability and safety characteristics of the boat they are interested in and the fact is that they don''t.
Ocean going boats are very expensive boats, so, like that Architect says, "people prefer to be lied" and buy that beautiful boat with nice interiors instead of buying by the same money a 15 year old ocean going boat and there is nothing wrong with that except if they intend to use that "nice boat" as a bluewater boat.
For the ones that think I am crazy, let me tell you what the RYA (Royal Yacht Association, probably the oldest and one of the most respected names in Yachting) is concerned with the matter:
"Just as it is mandatory for the fuel consumption of all new cars to be published so the RYA believes that stability information should also be available to a buyer of a boat."
Although you might think that I don’t like multihulls, I have to say that one of the boats that I have visited in the Dusseldorf boat show was the Dragonfly (a fast trimaran) and I have even talked with the (very enthusiastic) guys of the shipyard about a sail trial (perhaps in spring) on the Dragonfly 1200.
I guess that if I could, I would be very tempted to have one.
The boat can point to the wind like a monohull and it is twice faster. She has the interior space of a 32ft (and I can live with that) but because she can do passages in half the time, she only needs half the carrying capacity.
Azores in three or four days, an Atlantic passage in a week or so, would expand a lot my cruising grounds and I would love that, not to mention the fun.
I believe that sailed with good sense, it is a safe boat, at least enough for me, and I take safety very seriously.
The only thing I really don’t like in that boat is the price. It costs 350 000 euros, without taxes and options. I guess that the final price will be around 500 000 Euros, and I can not afford that...but that boat makes me wonder...
Take a look at the site and see the panoramic view.