First, the LWL on the boat is not the 30.5 feet or whatever that is stated in Sailboatdata. That is not the first time I have seen an error there. The LWL is 38.5. I know because I just pulled a tape measure across it so that we have an exact.....
Yes there are several LWL for the Catalina 400 from several sources and Beneteau does not even give the LWL from the First 40. That is probable that the number that we find on the net for the First 40 is inaccurate and the error may be there. The point is that being the First hull length only about 10cms shorter and given the more modern hull, with a much more vertical bow and the a much loger waterline on the transom is impossible that the LWL of the Catalina 400 to be bigger than the one of the First 40.
You have just to use your eyes regarding the hull LWL, bow shape and transom shape to see that the difference will be more than 10cms regarding the gains.
I have raced and saild a large variety of boats. I have never been on a stiffer boat than the C400.
Without all respect Brian, but or you did not sailed the right kind of boats or there is something wrong with what you think it is stifness in a sailboat.
Here is what Rodney S. Johnstone
, a very good NA says about it:
Where does performance come from? ...
A cruising sailboat’s performance also depends on stability, or "stiffness"-the ability of the boat to resist the heeling force of the sails. Good all-around speed is possible only if the boat is stiff; a stiff boat can carry more sail and heel less in a breeze than a tender boat. Stiffness can be achieved through a wide beam at the waterline or through a low vertical center of gravity (VCG). If stiffness comes from a wide waterline beam, the boat’s motion tends to be bouncy and abrupt in waves; as soon as this type of boat heels, it usually exhibits excessive weather helm and may be difficult to steer. ..
The most important characteristic of a performance cruiser is that its stiffness be derived from a low center of gravity. This is indicated by a simple ratio of righting moment (RM) at 1 degree of heel to the cube of the greatest beam at the waterline (B). The RM/B^3 ratio indicates whether the boat derives its stability more from its low VCG (RM) or from its large beam, or waterplane inertia (B^3). The greater the number yielded by this ratio, the greater the stability, seakindliness, sail-carrying ability, and potential performance of the boat. Boats with a high RM/B^3 tend to be longer, narrower, and faster than boats with a lower RM/B^3. ...
A high or low rating on this index is independent of a boat’s displacement/length (D/L) ratio. ...
The preponderance of heavy-displacement boats ... reflects a modern trend in cruising sailboats toward increased accommodations and decreased ballast/displacement ratios-a trend that has raised the height of the center of gravity of this type of boat. ...
.. Whether light or heavy, a narrow boat with a low center of gravity will have a rock solid feel, an easy motion, and positive control-the unmistakable aura of power, stability, and passagemaking speed.
Stiffness in a sailboat is related with speed. A stiff boat does not mean necessarily that it heels not much but relates directly with the sail area the boat needs for a given speed. Modern beamy boats heel very little they use basically hull form stability but they have to reef as soon and many times sooner than a more narrow boat that sails always with more heel. Stiffness is not related with a boat being designed to sail with more or less heel but with the amount of sail they can carry in proportion with their wet surface/weight.
That's why many times a boat is refereed as powerful meaning a very stiff sailboat. For instance, America's cup last monohulls where incredibly stiff and powerful boats but also boats that sailed upwind always with a lot of heel.
A slow boat can be stiff but a fast boat has always to be stiff otherwise it would not be able to carry the sail area, that in proportion with its weight, made it a fast boat.
It is sure footed and slow to heel. ... This is a realtively flat bottom boat, and is almost identical to the new Beneteau 40. I saw one side by side and could not tell the difference. Of course, there are differences, but I am giving you naked eye stuff.
I hope that you don't consider it a fact because in fact both hulls are very different, on the wet surface, on the overall shape, on the type of bow on the transom, on beam/Lenght ratio, on the type of keel and even on the way RM is provided, regarding the proportion that comes from hull form and the proportion that comes from Keel/Ballast. The only thing were there are some similitude is in what regards rocker.
A simple look of a trained eye should be enough to see the many differences, much more than similitude.
THis boat sails very flat and even large gusts of wind do not knock her rail in the water. I have had water hitting the portlights that are under the rub rail, but have never put the rail in the water... even when crossing the gulf in a strong gale.
Brian, any boat, even the stiffest of racing boats will put the rail on the water in a gale and even capsize if he carries too much sail. the stiffness regards the amount of sail a boat can carry, specially upwind, in proportion with its wet surface. This means that we can see mostly the stiffness of a boat sailing upwind, specially with waves and there are not much cruisers that can do that better at that than a First 40, and certainly not a Catalina 400, not by a huge margin.
This boat will not, as setup, outrun a First 40. I think we could give a stock FIirst a run for its money, but this boat needs to shave off a few thousand pounds.
I have, and regularly do, exceed hull speed on my boat (and this is with it being a fully loaded cruising boat with two kids, wife, and fat bulldog). .. It performs well, and I will outrun most other cruising vessels I come across.
Brian, we are talking about stiffness not about the depth of the keel and regarding speed the First is a fast boat even among today's performance cruisers and one of the best upwind.
The Catalina 400, compared with modern mass production European boats is slow, I mean I guess that is slower than them all, I mean Bavaria 40, Jeanneau 409, Hanse 415, Oceanis 41, Dufour 405 and much slower in some cases. And I am not talking about performance cruisers like the First or many others, all considerably faster than any European mass production cruiser.
On another thread I was comparing (with Chef) the performance of a Catalina 40 with an older 40ft Sabre and I found out that the boat was really slow, specially with the wing keel. I was surprised at his bad PHRF, even compared with the older Sabre. I was not expecting it.
Just for you to get you an idea of how Fast the Firs 40 can be just look at its race record, just this year and we are not talking about club racing but racing at the highest level:
2012 Massilia Cup 2012 FR IRC2 1st
2012 Royal Peth Yacht Club AUS IRC 1st
2012 Semaine internationale de Marseille FR IRC2 1st
2012 Hyeres Series FR IRC2 1st
2012 Semaine de Porquerolles FR IRC2 1st
2012 BMW Sailing Fest TR IRC 1st & 3rd
2012 Fahir Çelikbaş Cup TR IRC 1st
2012 Morgan Cup UK IRC2 1st
2012 Ice Breaker Cup UK IRC1 1st
2012 North Sea Race NED IRC2 1st
2012 Around Tjörn Race SU ORC 1er, 2nd, 4th and 9th
2012 Audi Hamilton Race Week AUS IRC2 2nd and 4th
2012 Cherbourg Race UK IRC2 1st
2012 Championnat IRC Médiiterranée FR IRC 1st
2012 Rolex Sydney Hobart 2012 AUS IRC3 1st
I can only guess that most of the boats sailing in US waters are old and slow and that almost any newer model it will be faster, that's the only way I can explain your idea that the Catalina 400 is a fast sailingboat.
It is a .. safe long distance cruising vessel.
Regarding this, I have not a great faith on its low AVS, I mean 114º, specially if one uses in mast furling and a radar on the mast and charge the boat...how low can that AVS become?
well, not saying that if it was the only boat around I would not cross oceans on it but that AVS is only similar to the one on the Benetau Oceanis 41. All other modern European boats have better ones, some much better and they all are close or superior to 120º and some well over it.
The big ballast on the Catalina can be misleading in what regards final stability. A lower draft and an old designed keel with a high CG are the responsible.
My only comments here are to be careful what data you pull off the internet and NEVER trust the pamplets put out by manufacturers. I think many of them have a tendency to be overly optimistic. ...
Yes, as some reputation that some boats have regarding others.
Someone had posted on this thread regarding the superior stiffness of the Benetau 40.7. For about the same weight the First 40 has about 25% more RM. It is how stiff that boat is.
Regarding this thread and others I guess that I have run out of patient. One thing is discussing things in an informed way other is having to explain basic things and even so have to "discuss" obvious nonsense.
I know that this is internet but even so how it is possible to even be discussing this, I mean that a Catalina 400 is more stiff than a First 40?
I will not continue this "discussion" and I will take this opportunity to take some vacations from Sailnet.
Best regards to you Brain and to all.