Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal, West Coast
Thanked 112 Times in 95 Posts
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Cruising Catamarans Offshore
Tom, I am not a fundamentalist and I have already said that I like fast Cats. I entered this discussion when somebody had said that "it was almost impossible to capsize a cruising cat" and what I have said has to do with this statement that I have considered vastly exaggerated.
I was curious to see if you are right about the incidence rate of capsizing accidents between monos and cats (of course you have to considerer a correction factor, because there are many monohulls to each cat).
I have made a quick search on the net (only last years), using the key words "capsized, rescue and sailboat” to see what happened.
About monohulls, the ones that capsized, or stayed capsized were dinghies( not considering racing ones that capsized when they lost the keel).
On the other hand, I have found plenty of notices that have made its way to the press about capsized cruising cats (not considering racing ones). And, opposing your personal risk assessment, there are a lot more rescues due to capsizing than the ones due to collision, or sinking, even if they also are reported.
Most of the notices are from 2004. I guess that old news are wiped out of the net, otherwise I would find a lot more regarding other years. Take a look:
I believe that ocean cats have a good safety margin, but I consider also that ocean monohulls are safer.
Main difference (in my opinion) is that an ocean monohull can take a lot more "errors" made by the skipper and need a lot less attention. The boat can take care of himself (almost) no matter what. With a Cat you have to pay a lot more attention to the wind, to the sail the boat carries, regarding the wind. It is not only the speed that is bigger; everything happens a lot faster in a cat, including capsizing.
Tom, I hope that you don''t think I don''t like cats (I intend to take a test sail in a Dragonfly this spring, and for that I have to travel 6000kms), or even that I dislike cats.
I believe in a fair evaluation of sailboats and I believe that there is not a perfect sailing boat, but a right boat to each sailor, and they can be and are very different boats.
I love diversity.