Originally Posted by Chaunclm
You made exactly my point that sailing a multihull is like flying a small racing plane.
Let me add one more consideration taking a multihull into cold water without a liferaft is suicidal. The thought that hanging on to an inverted hull is in any way related to the safety of a liferaft is ludicrous.
Sailing multihulls of any stripe is an order of magnitude more dangerous per mile sailed than a monohull.
If there were anywhere near as many multihulls as keel sailboats there would be worldwide cry to ban the things.
Obviously reading comprehension isn't your strong suit. I said that a racing multihull, which is often sailed close to the limits of their performance envelope is like flying a small racing plane. A racing multihull is nowhere near as safe as a cruising multihull. Generally, the large cruising multihulls have far more surplus buoyancy in their hulls than does a racing design, and generally have a much more conservative sailplan as well. I still have yet to see you quote any articles or reference materials to back up your claims.
Your ignorance of modern multihull design and sailing is appalling. If multihulls were so deficient in design, why would many of the records we have seen set recently have been accomplished in such unseaworthy vessels. To name two recent records set by multihulls—Ellen McArthur's world record single-handed circumnavigation, and the recent transAtlantic speed record set by Bruno Peyron.
Chris White, the author of "The Cruising Multihull", cites several USCG statistics, and the larger cruising multihulls were considerably safer than either smaller (<35') multihulls or monohull sailboats. Given that one of the most common causes of sailboat fatalities are MOB situations... it would stand to reason that it is going to be far safer to be on a much wider boat that heels less, 15˚ generally for a trimaran, and 10˚ for a catamaran, and that you're far more likely to fall overboard on a relatively narrower boat 10' beam for a 30' keelboat vs 14-18' beam for a 30' multihull, which is heeled over at 30˚ much of the time. However, these statistics are at least 10 years old...and, if anything, the designs of multihulls has improved during those 10 years.
Granted, larger boats are generally a bit safer than smaller boats...being less prone to capsize. However, the safety record of even smaller multihulls, is comparable to that of larger monohulls. This is especially true if you eliminate the "racing" multihulls from the statistics, and only include the more stable, cruising designs.
One reason that the statistics are a bit skewed is that keelboats have a position of ultimate stability— upright, sitting on the bottom of the ocean. There are many cases where monohull sailboats are reported missing but no one really knows what happened to the people aboard... and because there is no way to find out more information, the story quickly fades into the background... look at the Jim Gray story... which has just faded out... Another good story to point out is the loss of the crew of the Moquini. The keel-less hull of Moquini was found after the EPIRB for the boat was set off, but there is no sign of the crew and they are missing and presumed dead. I'd imagine that for every sailboat that is reported missing in the news, there are others that are not—boats that set sail and simply disappeared without any trace. It is often a far more dramatic story when a multihull is capsized, because there are survivors and they can tell the story.