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post #1 of 6 Old 01-20-2008 Thread Starter
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Sailing 31ft cruising cat?

Hello!

A couple of questions about sailing cruising cats.
HoW is the safest Way to sail a cat? With the Waves coming in from the side / from behind / toWards you?
Does the cat capsize forWard and not like a monohull, on the beam?

If it gets very Windy, shall a cat sail doWnWind or Wind from the side?

Is it totally crazy to cross the pacific from Panama to Marqeeses With a 31ft crusing cat, beam 15 ft? Is it judged to
fail? hoW big shall breaking Waves become (and hoW tight betWeen em) to capsize a cat like above?
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post #2 of 6 Old 01-20-2008
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I'd highly recommend you read Chris White's The Cruising Multihull.

Generally, you need to reef multihulls for the gust strength, not the average wind strength. Unlike a monohull, the multihulls can't shed the extra wind in the gusts by heeling—at least not to any significant degree.

It is a bit hard to say what is the best way to sail a catamaran, without knowing more about what catamaran it is or what the conditions are like.

The biggest danger for most multihulls, provided you don't have them overpowered with too much sail up, is pitchpoling them.

As for what kind/size/period of wave is needed to capsize a catamaran—it really depends on the design of the catamaran. One with a narrow beam, a solid bridgedeck that comes all the way forward, stub keels, lots of freeboard, and a low bridgedeck clearance is going to be in far more trouble than one with a wider beam, a bridgedeck that doesn't come as far forward, a higher bridgedeck clearance, centerboards, and less freeboard.

Another characteristic that makes a difference is whether the catamaran has keels, centerboards or daggerboards. In really heavy seas, cats can often trip on a keel and flip sideways. A lot of cat sailors I know think it is a really good idea, unless you need to sail to windward because of a leeshore, to raise the boards and let the boat slip more, rather than risk tripping her up.

One of the best pieces of safety gear for any small boat IMHO is a Jordan Series Drogue. It will slow the boat down in really heavy weather and help prevent it from pitchpoling or capsizing.

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post #3 of 6 Old 01-20-2008
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Dog - Out of ignorance can you answer a question for me. With monohulls they are always stating to watch the cockpit size for alot of offshore work as following seas and breaking waves could become a problem...when I look at multihulls I usually see what appears to be a large patio door just forward off a large flat deck...isnt this a nightmare scenario for large following seas of am I misunderstanding the design and physics regarding a multihull boat...all I can see is a large wave crashing through the door..


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Thank you for the reply.

It is an endavourcat 30. It is pretty narrow in the front and get more beam in the middle of the vessel. The beam is 14.5 ft. Bridgedeck clearance not much because the design is lika a "v". The cat has keels (not centerboard or dagger)

Im not sure how often and how much sea and breaking waves to excpect in south passific from march-october.

Best Regards
Andreas
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Large cockpits and the big glass doors are still a problem on catamarans IMHO... I would not like a big open cockpit, without sufficient drains or a big glass wall between the cockpit and the interior, that didn't at least have some provision for storm covers of some sort.

However, one thing monohull sailors don't realize is that a properly designed multihull tends to stay on top of the waves, and isn't hit the same way a monohull generally is, mainly due to the fact that they don't have several thousand pounds or more of ballast trying to pull them under the surface. Being pooped isn't that big of a problem, from what I've seen on most multihulls.

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Dog - Out of ignorance can you answer a question for me. With monohulls they are always stating to watch the cockpit size for alot of offshore work as following seas and breaking waves could become a problem...when I look at multihulls I usually see what appears to be a large patio door just forward off a large flat deck...isnt this a nightmare scenario for large following seas of am I misunderstanding the design and physics regarding a multihull boat...all I can see is a large wave crashing through the door..

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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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The EndeavorCats had a weird nacelle-like thing on the underside of the bridgedeck, which made them fairly noisy, due to waves slamming IIRC. I sailed on one a while back, but haven't been on one since. They're made in the USA from what I remember.

Let me see if my friend still has hers and what she says about it... I think she sold it a few years after I crewed with her... but I'm not sure.


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Thank you for the reply.

It is an endavourcat 30. It is pretty narrow in the front and get more beam in the middle of the vessel. The beam is 14.5 ft. Bridgedeck clearance not much because the design is lika a "v". The cat has keels (not centerboard or dagger)

Im not sure how often and how much sea and breaking waves to excpect in south passific from march-october.

Best Regards
Andreas

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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