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post #1 of 9 Old 10-19-2009 Thread Starter
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Chartering a Cat with only Mono Experience

What do you think of chartering a cat, having only experience in monohulls?

I have a fair amount of experience in Monohulls, but obviously there are some additional details that are import to cats.

It looks like some of the charter companies are pretty happy to charter and others are a little more reticent.
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post #2 of 9 Old 10-19-2009
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I did it this summer (48' cat). The boat was very well equipped and with autopilot, power winches, etc., could have been singlehanded as long as you didn't have too much weather to deal with. The only real difference was in the marina. Getting used to handling two 40 hp diesel engines and bringing her in for water, diesel, etc., was scary for me given the price tag on the thing. That charter contract has some language in it that you need to read carefully as you are warranting (guarenteeing) that you have the ability and experience to handle the boat. I asked for some language changes and got them as the market for charters is soft.
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post #3 of 9 Old 10-20-2009
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The added comfort is really nice. It can be harder to sail though, for example, you have to make wider tacks or you won't make it through the wind. Man overboard procedures change. But if you are on a beam reach, you'll be making more knots.
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post #4 of 9 Old 10-20-2009
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One major point...reef for the peak (gust) wind speeds and not for average wind speeds... I'd point out that a lot of the charter cats are lousy sailboats, being primarily designed for motoring from one beach bar to the next.

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post #5 of 9 Old 10-22-2009 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legarots View Post
The added comfort is really nice. It can be harder to sail though, for example, you have to make wider tacks or you won't make it through the wind. Man overboard procedures change. But if you are on a beam reach, you'll be making more knots.
How are MOB procedures different?
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post #6 of 9 Old 10-23-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmartin16 View Post
I did it this summer (48' cat). The boat was very well equipped and with autopilot, power winches, etc., could have been singlehanded as long as you didn't have too much weather to deal with. The only real difference was in the marina. Getting used to handling two 40 hp diesel engines and bringing her in for water, diesel, etc., was scary for me given the price tag on the thing. That charter contract has some language in it that you need to read carefully as you are warranting (guarenteeing) that you have the ability and experience to handle the boat. I asked for some language changes and got them as the market for charters is soft.
I'd like to hear more about what specific changes you asked for ... changing what to what, for ex.?

thanks.

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post #7 of 9 Old 10-23-2009
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The charter agreement required me to "certify" I was "experienced and competent in handling and operating a vessel of the type chartered" and that I was "qualified" to charter the boat. In this case it was a 48' Fontain-Pajot.

I told the charter company I wasn't experienced in such vessels and would not sign the agreement. I asked that the wording say that I had provided my sailing resume to the Owner in writing in advance, and that the Owner may take a qualification sail with me prior to the charter. Following such sail the Owner may provide a captain or sailing instructor at his expense.

In other sections I had already agreed to return the boat in good shape, and to indemnify the owner. There was no need for more guarentees as to my seamanship or piloting, particularly since Hurricane Bill was rolling in during my charter week. The indemnification provision had me indemnifying the Owner for any act that exposed him to liabiity, not just a negligent act. On reflection, I should have asked for that change too (change "any act" to "any negligent act").

I was getting a deal since the boat had been the subject of a cancellation and lost deposit. I was going to charter a monohull, which was smaller and cheaper. My 4 kids and I loved the cat, which was spacious, stable, etc. I got it up to 9.5 knots in 20-22 knots of wind no reefing needed, but in general I could not keep up with 35-40' monohulls around me especially in lighter air.
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post #8 of 9 Old 10-23-2009
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Quote:
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How are MOB procedures different?
A catamaran sails differently from a monohull, for example, many cats have trouble tacking, especially when at lower speeds. Therefore, a figure 8 may not be a practical approach. If the boat fails to tack through the wind, the MOB is left in the water longer. Each boat is different, and so its important to practice to see what the boat is capable of. One advantage of a cat is that there are two engines, each in a separate hull: You can approach the MOB under power using only the engine in the hull opposite from the MOB (the engine in the closer hull is off).
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post #9 of 9 Old 10-23-2009
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Backing and docking with twin screws is different.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EpicAdventure View Post
What do you think of chartering a cat, having only experience in monohulls?

I have a fair amount of experience in Monohulls, but obviously there are some additional details that are import to cats.

It looks like some of the charter companies are pretty happy to charter and others are a little more reticent.
No prop walk.

Just think buldozer streering; lock the wheel centered and streer with the screws when below ~2 knots. Twin screws give you a lot more options... and you'll need them!

A lot more windage when docking. Even though you have twin scews, don't be surprised if the boat wants to weather vane on you anyway. Normally cats back very well, so don't be shy about backing out of a tight spot if the wind is up.

Sailing is not so different. There is less feel. Reef for the gusts. Remember that they require good tacking method. Don't pinch up.

(when asked how he reached the starting holds on a difficult rock climbing problem that clearly favored taller climbers - he was perhaps 5'5")

"Well, I just climb up to them."

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