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post #1 of 17 Old 10-02-2006 Thread Starter
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Catamarans

Hi All-

Been a while since I have been here. I see it has been active.

As many may know, I have been sailing fairly large monohulls a long time and have been around a bit. But this last weekend I was at the Houston Boat Show and went aboard a Lagoon 440. WOW! I was very, very impressed.

I have become a little better educated in them, but have a lot to learn. My experience with Cats is only Hobies. No comparrison, I know. I have never sailed a large Cat.

I would be very interested in thoughts on this or other boats from anyone that owns one or has done a long passage on one (Trans-atlantic, for example). Has anyone here circumnavigated on a cat? I am very curious how the MODERN cats do in a storm, say, 15-20 rollers and breakers, if anyone knows. Any other thoughts are appreciated too.

Since they come across from France on their own hull (and with little to no electronics - often even singled), they obviously can take a good beating.

Pros & Cons??? Thoughts??? Negatives (other than the $$, of course)???

Thanks all -

CD
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post #2 of 17 Old 10-02-2006
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Large catamarans do pretty well, provided you don't load up all the space they provide you with stuff... they, like all multihulls, are fairly weight sensitive. You might be interested in reading the following article, which is about a trans-Atlantic passage, albeit on a Gemini 105Mc, which is a smaller cat than you're looking at.

Some points about cats though.

One, they tend to be harder to tack than monohulls or trimarans. This is due to the extra windage the cats have, as well as the fact that they don't have a central pivot point, like monohulls or trimarans do.

Two, they are weight sensitive. Loading one up will generally get you a boat that can't get out of its own way.

Three, marina costs for them tend to be higher, as they take up a lot more space than a monohull of comparable length. Maintenance costs can be higher as well, since they often have two diesels, rather than just the one found in most monohulls.

If you're serious about looking at catamarans, I'd recommend you read Chris White's The Cruising Multihull, which is an excellent primer on larger multihulls.

I hope this helps... as a multihull sailor, I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have via PM.

Sailingdog

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post #3 of 17 Old 10-02-2006 Thread Starter
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SD,

You ever been out in a storm in your boat? Large seas? Rollers and breakers?
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post #4 of 17 Old 10-02-2006
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Dollars is the biggest minus to me with cats. Not just the intial, but subsequent costs as well. All else being equal though, they do have some good positives. Primarily, usablity when not under way. Also, the generally stable platform.

If I was going to spending the bulk of my time in the Caribbean, I don't think you can really beat a cat. For more coastal oriented work though, I'd prefer a monohull.

Was that the boat show at Watergate you went to?

Regards,

John
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post #5 of 17 Old 10-02-2006 Thread Starter
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Yes, the watergate show.

Turns out I know the guy that sells the Lagoons. Man, the sailing community really is small.

It was not a bad show... lot smaller than say Ft Lauderdale or Miami.

Were you there PB?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad
SD,

You ever been out in a storm in your boat? Large seas? Rollers and breakers?
Not in my current boat, since I've only had it since May.

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No, I didn't go. Spent Saturday out on the Bay, and then left it to the crazies on Sunday. Besides, I have the boat I want . If I knew they had the Tartan 3400 (it does tempt me) there for the show though, I would have. Figure it's easier to just take the dinghy over during the week to see it though.

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Cruising World did a fairly nice write-up, though more generalities, in their last issue on Cats. It appears from my little research that many of the cats have undergone a lot of changes in the last 5 years to be more stable and sea worthy.

The Lagoon 420 (coming out now) is only available with electric drives (as I understand). I guess they have worked out all the bugs??? basically the same size boat as the 440 but with no main engines. Cruising range around 2000 NM I have been told. It just automatically turns on the generator when the batteries get low. Apparently, it is very, very quiet.

I have thought for a long time that the electric drives are the future. Add on a larger main bank, large solar array and wind gen, and I would think you could really, really make a long run efficiently.

Anyways, neat boats.
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post #9 of 17 Old 10-02-2006
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I have several friends who are full time cat cruisers and one had several monohulls before his current boat. He reports several downsides:
1. Inability to close reach
2. Hard to tack.
3. Slapping and hard jolting when at sea in big waves as the wave catches the underside of the boat.
I would also report that in St. Georges harbor Grenada after Ivan, every cat was upside down. They took off like kites on their anchor chain in the big wind. One was a close friends Privelege40. This was pure wind action as waves were not above a few feet...just enough for the wind to get underneath.
Having said all of the above, I would also add that my friends turned right around and bought another Privelege and none of my friends would trade the advantages of their cats in the Caribe for a monohull.
So...sail some on one and see what you think.
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post #10 of 17 Old 10-03-2006 Thread Starter
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In my little bit of research on these to date, I will mention a couple of things to anyone interested in a cat:

1) Watch your mast hight. The 440 is standard at 70 feet. You can order a "short" mast at 64.

2) Better call around for slip availability... not just cost.

Probably still worth it (a cat, I mean), but thought I would share those thoughts. I have also learned that many of the cats run low on water tankage (100ish) which means you better budget in for a water maker too.
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