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  #21  
Old 11-17-2008
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The "most common feared event" comment is interesting. I have been thinking of late how much work and expense goes into a boat based on the things that "might" happen. The fact of the matter is that, in most cases, nothing is ever going to happen no matter what the event. I think that perhaps a lot of money and emotional energy is wasted on all the bad things that might happen out there in that great big scary ocean.

Fear can be a wonderful thing and motivator, but it needs to be tempered with a little common sense and analyses of probability. I'm getting off-topic here a bit, but I've grown tired of the many product advertisements that seem to use the "fear angle" as a means of selling their wares.

In my view, the "safest" way of cruising is to simply not do it! Ah, but what a boring world that would be!!!
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Most feared event, very simple; in middle of pacific ocean on my way to Antarctica and boom, hit block of ice, whoosh in comes the water and sink to a cold grave!

Yea yea, Antarctica is a tad beyond my reasonable expectations but you have the gist. I don't think should this plan come to fruition to be a 'cruising at the dock' all the time type - I seriously want to get out there; caribs, easter island, french poly, hawaii, alaska, nz north and south, stewart island, aussie and tassy, sri lanka, maldives, seychelles, south africa, med, iceland, greenland??? I don't see the point of not seeing stuff. As such, I am thinking cruising capability first (some of you have seen my other threads). The wife would have safety as first and foremost on her list.

Now don't get me wrong, I can see having your Cat basically roll on you being a major problem - survivable mind you but definitely 'major'. With luck, you could get it 'un rolled' somehow (passing ship with crane, something) and even recover. I wouldn't like this prospect but at least I personally don't find it life threatening (or nearly so) like a mono heading to the bottom.

Thats why I found the idea of the Etap interesting - an unsinkable mono. Small catch is they 'only' make a 37 or 46; with a HUGE step in price between the two. I still don't like the exposed sail position mind you and still am not a huge fan of the slower speeds - not because I want to race but because I want to minimize exposure to weather on a passage.

Man overboard, clearly that is a win for a Cat - the platform is simply level (or vastly moreso) and so the risk of it happening simply has to be lower. Breaking a mast, probably equally problematic, maybe slightly better for a Cat, maybe. As per pirates, well either way you are screwed - I don't see a Cat (definitely not a mono) outrunning anything; maybe a Cat if you were in 35 know winds could? Its a different discussion but I am still a bit undecided on the merits of shotguns on boats (I don't see anything else having a point myself but a shotgun definitely has some merits in my mind along with demerits - a bit too curious and unfriendly and unarmed pirates/robbers likely sent packing, a full on attack, no help).

I love your last comment though Idiens, I can only imagine the stress of someone with a brand new boat of any flavor pulling into dock for the first time and happening to do so on a day when the patio is full of people watching! The potential for drama/comedy/entertainment/pain are all there!

Anyway, for me, perception of risk is first and foremost, sinking. By a wide margin.
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Old 11-17-2008
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I wonder if any passing frieghter would use their crane to right a capsized boat on the open sea. I also wonder if said boat could be righted such that it can be sailed again, assuming it wasn't wrecked when capsized. I am thinking no and no.

I am also wondering if a capsized cat is easily survivable on the open sea? Capsized would make it very wet, cold and uncomfortable. Would you be rescued on time? Do you have battery power? Can you access fresh water? Mono or Cat, I am thining you have big, big problems if you are upsidedown in the ocean.
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  #24  
Old 11-17-2008
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YD-

In Chris White's book, The Cruising Multihull, he did do some analysis of sailing related fatalities. The majority of them were due to MOB situations. The percentage of MOB situations per capita was significantly higher on the monohulls, than it was on the multihulls, and I doubt that has changed much. It is far easier to fall off a relatively narrow boat that is heeled over 25˚, than it is to fall off a much wider boat that is heeled 5-10˚.

As for capsize... properly sailed, a large cruising catamaran is very, very unlikely to flip. The amount of energy required to do so is astronomical. This is especially true once you get above 35' or so in LOA, as the capsize resistance goes up geometrically with the LOA.

Monohulls also have to worry about the keel falling off...as evidenced by the Texas A&M Cape Fear 38 incident. I would imagine that the reason that multihull accidents get far more press is that the boats are generally found—where many more monohulls disappear a year and are gone without any trace. A few examples of monohulls that disappeared without a trace: Jim Gray, on his 40' sailboat; Flying Colors, a 54' sailboat lost off the coast of NC; the 22' sailboat Cali, lost in upper Galveston Bay; Bugtrap, a Catalina 30 out of Dana Point; Takaroa II, a 30' Tahitian Ketch; Free Spirit, a 41' that sailed out of Newport, etc.

Now, as to using speed to avoid weather systems... I don't think the speed of the boat really helps to avoid a weather system that is headed for you, since the speed difference isn't usually all that great. However, the faster you can make a passage, the lower your chances of getting clobbered. A wise sailor I knew as a kid once told me if you have a 10-day passage with only a 10% chance of gale force winds...expect to spend about a day in gale force winds... The faster the boat can make the passage, the shorter the exposure to heavy weather. However, you can't give up speed for seaworthiness.

AT—

As for righting an inverted multihull. Yes, it can be done and doesn't generally require a crane to do so. To right a cruising size multihull, you generally need to rig a bridle and right it fore-and-aft... bow-over-stern. Many cruising size multihulls have a fairly useable cabin, even when inverted. Farrier actually has designed a survival berth into some of his larger designs, which is to be used if the boat inverts. One major point about inverted multihulls is that they are far more visible to rescuers than a tiny life raft, and often far safer and more stable. As to whether food/water/electricity are available in an inverted multihull, it depends on the design and how you stored supplies. If you think an inverted multihull is wet, you've never been in a liferaft... I've been in one during a liferaft demo, and they're pretty wet inside...unavoidably so, since they tend to be of fairly low freeboard and relatively unstable.
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Last edited by sailingdog; 11-17-2008 at 09:28 AM.
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  #25  
Old 11-17-2008
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Monohulls are not all that good at sinking.

But anyway, if that's your fear then your answer is a life-raft. Many fearful sailors have leapt prematurely into such desperate craft, leaving their somewhat waterlogged asset to be picked up weeks or months later still firmly afloat.

I prefer the attitude that if I look after my boat, it will look after me. Anyway, I get seasick and everybody gets seasick in a life-raft, so that is a serious deterrent for me.

Some crafty Ozzie types have life-raft like inflatable bags inside their yachts. These prevent any yacht so fitted from sinking. But they do take up space in the saloon, if inflated unintentionally.

Actually, of the unmentioned hazards, fire is perhaps the worst. Takes out all known forms of yacht and life-rafts too. Beware of fire! (As seen in stores all over California).

I agree with you preference for a handy wheel house. I sail in northern waters and often take pity on those real sailors in their full weather gear taking it in turns for a cold bucket of salt water in the face, while I sip my tea in shirt sleeves. They are available on mono-hulls too. Google for Nauticat, for example. Valiente is also a sensible chap and has a steel one.

If the new 46 Etap is a little expensive, see what size of new Cat or Tri you can get for the same money. There is also the issue of loadable volume. Cruising all those exotic places means taking a lot of posessions with you and bringing back even more. Once you have stuffed a useful load into a monohull, there is usually just about room to walk about inside. Stuff the same amount into a Cat or Tri of the same purchase price and I am not sure if "walk about" inside will be using the right verb. This doesn't stop my favourite boat being the Dragonfly 1200 - I just can't afford one.

I'm not sure the Cat will win a man-over board race. The big problem with MOB is loosing sight of him. That happens twice as fast on a Cat.

I agree with you on pirates. I suggest you tell your president that pirates are all card-carrying El Quiada members. That should focus a little more attention on them. But be fast, your new one might want to negotiate with them.

Believe me, when you own your own boat, your biggest fear will become mooring her with grace and dignity, while avoiding shouting orders at the admiral. I recommend a bow-thruster (or two for a Cat).
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  #26  
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Idiens—

The cats would have more space than a monohull of the same LOA, and the trimaran less generally.

As for the MOB issue...the best way to deal with it is to prevent it from happening in the first place.

Most large cats don't require a bow thruster, since they usually have dual engines, widely separated and are more manueverable than most sailboats...and often can turn in their own footprint or nearly so.

Fire is probably the biggest risk on any seagoing craft... since if it burns—it's gone...unsinkable or not.

As for Pirates... I think having a gun aboard is probably a losing proposition for most people. Most people aren't trained or willing to take a human life. Most of the time you'd also be heavily outgunned. Carrying a firearm aboard a boat also can cause massive complications with entering/exiting some countries.
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  #27  
Old 11-17-2008
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Quote:
As for righting an inverted multihull. Yes, it can be done and doesn't generally require a crane to do so.
I wasn't wondering if it COULD be done, I was wondering more if a freighter WOULD help you right an inverted boat on the open sea. I am thinking they would probably be willing to recue you, and take you to where ever they may happen to be going, but I doubt they would entertain the idea of helping you keep your boat, at their considerable risk, time and expense.
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  #28  
Old 11-17-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
The cats would have more space than a monohull of the same LOA, and the trimaran less generally.
Of the same LOA, yes. But I said of the same purchase price new. I think you can buy a lot longer monohull for the same price.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
As for the MOB issue...the best way to deal with it is to prevent it from happening in the first place.
Agreed, tie the crew down! But I was talking of feared events.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Most large cats don't require a bow thruster, since they usually have dual engines, widely separated and are more manueverable than most sailboats...and often can turn in their own footprint or nearly so.
Come over here and see how few mooring spots there are for big cats. Also the issue is grace and dignity. If you can moor gracefully without a bow-thruster, in a cross wind and current, then hail, dignity!

Quote:
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Fire is probably the biggest risk on any seagoing craft... since if it burns—it's gone...unsinkable or not.
Verely, verely, so in my crew briefing, I start with: "Forget sinking, here's the fire drill".

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
As for Pirates... I think having a gun aboard is probably a losing proposition for most people. Most people aren't trained or willing to take a human life. Most of the time you'd also be heavily outgunned. Carrying a firearm aboard a boat also can cause massive complications with entering/exiting some countries.
My view too. But others here have mucho-macho egoes. Let our navies go and do what they are really good at.
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  #29  
Old 11-17-2008
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I wasn't wondering if it COULD be done, I was wondering more if a freighter WOULD help you right an inverted boat on the open sea. I am thinking they would probably be willing to recue you, and take you to where ever they may happen to be going, but I doubt they would entertain the idea of helping you keep your boat, at their considerable risk, time and expense.
I think you are right, count oneself lucky if they heard and answered the call.

However, I read a theory, that after waiting for the storm to die to a calm, the intrepid multi-huller would seal off his forward compartments and flood them. But not before attaching his life-raft (un-inflated) to one of the pointy bits. The inverted Cat / Tri would then nose drive. The clever bit is then to get it to topple back a bit the right way and then pull the lanyard to inflate the life-raft. Up come the bows and a pump out the forward compartments completes the task.

Well - it's always good to have a plan.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
As for capsize... properly sailed, a large cruising catamaran is very, very unlikely to flip. The amount of energy required to do so is astronomical. This is especially true once you get above 35' or so in LOA, as the capsize resistance goes up geometrically with the LOA.
SD - so why do the wise regulators insist on having escape hatches for use when inverted?
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