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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum > Sailboat Design and Construction > Multihull
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  #171  
Old 03-14-2014
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Re: How do you feel about catamarans?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smj View Post
But the fact still remains that multihulls statistically flip as often as monos sink...
Damn, there sure are plenty of 'facts' and 'statistics' being tossed about in this thread, without any attribution that I can see... I'd suggest that either occurrence could properly be described as 'rare', but I doubt the frequency of both is statistically identical... :-)

Whatever, the same cat flipping TWICE has got to wreak a bit of havoc with the odds, no? Not to mention, the same gust of wind that flipped this cat most certainly would not have sunk a comparable cruising monohull...

Quote:

May, 2007

It's rare for a cruising cat to flip, but even rarer for one to be flipped twice. Nonetheless, that's apparently what happened to Paradox, a cat that started life in '96 as an F/P Tobago 35, and was most recently owned by Tom and Stanna Galbraith of Durango, Colorado. We're not sure how the cat came to be upside down in Belize's Rio Hondo in '01, but it's our understanding from some fascinating video on the couple's website that, using a small tug, they managed to have the cat righted. As the boat had been upside down long enough for there to be growth several inches long throughout the interior and on the deck of the boat, it was a disgusting-looking mess, and you can imagine the condition of the wiring and electronics. But the Galbraiths obviously saw possibilities and, after what had to be endless months of dreadful work, ended up with a cat, stretched to 38 feet, that looked smashing. And based on other photos on their website, they had a ball cruising the western Caribbean.

However, according to reports on the web and from the Coast Guard, things went south on April 11 when the couple were sailing from Key West to Tampa. They were hit by a squall which increased the windspeed from 11 to 48 knots, immediately flipping the cat. The 60-year-old Tom grabbed his wife and pulled her into the hull where they kept the tools and wetsuits. While it had to be creepy inside the overturned hull, they knew the cat wasn't going to sink, and there was plenty of air. Having heard only one ping from the EPIRB, Tom realized that the EPIRB signal wasn't getting out. So the next day he drilled a hole in the bottom of the hull - which was now above their heads - and stuck the EPIRB antenna out. The EPIRB immediately started pinging away. Coast Guard Miami got the signal and launched a search plane at 5 p.m., finding the overturned cat an hour later some 171 miles southwest of Tampa. A rescue helicopter arrived on the scene at 8:30 p.m. and hoisted the couple aboard. Neither Tom nor Stanna were in need of medical treatment, but had only managed to come away with $1,500 and some papers. Family members report they have no interest in restoring the cat a second time.

The last six months have been hard on the reputation of catamarans. Last December, the Voyager 440 Catshot was flipped and beached during a furious storm - that was forecast well in advance - during a delivery from San Francisco to Seattle. None of the three crew were found. A short time later, a 45-ft catamaran being delivered from France to Annapolis was flipped in another very bad storm, this time near Bermuda. The delivery skipper died of hypothermia as a rescue helicopter arrived, but the two crew survived. And now Paradox is flipped and likely lost. If you're thinking of buying a catamaran, we, who have owned a catamaran for more than a decade, want to leave you with two thoughts. First, the size of a cat really does contribute to stability. According to multihull designer Chris White's book on multihulls, if you double the size of a cat, the stability increases 16 fold, all else being equal. Second, if you're on a cat and the wind is very strong or a squall is approaching, somebody must have their hand on the mainsheet and/or traveller, ready to ease at a second's notice. Being badly overpowered on a monohull can result in a knockdown that might bruise you and make a mess of the interior of your boat, but being badly overpowered on a cat can turn your whole world upside down.

https://www.latitude38.com/changes/Changes05-07.html


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Last edited by JonEisberg; 03-14-2014 at 11:34 PM.
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  #172  
Old 03-14-2014
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Re: How do you feel about catamarans?

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Being badly overpowered on a monohull can result in a knockdown that might bruise you and make a mess of the interior of your b
This must be why charter cats are now being designed and built "underpowered". Anyone who has sailed a cat knows, you can't "set it and forget it".
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  #173  
Old 03-15-2014
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Re: How do you feel about catamarans?

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Originally Posted by smj View Post
But the fact still remains that multihulls statistically flip as often as monos sink. So which would you rather be on?

What size boats were considered, in what geographical area, and who published this data ?

Looking on the internet I see a few similar claims on various sites but no reference to where it originated.

However in heavy weather your chances would be a lot higher on a sinking upright boat of any description than an inverted one provided they were both equipped with dinghies life rafts and EPIRBS.
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Re: How do you feel about catamarans?

The only conclusion a non-sailor could reach from this thread is that internet statistics and lies are very closely related.

I'm always surprised at the folks that overlook useful phrases like "IMHO" and "I guess," and forget calculations or references. So many attempts at saying "all things being equal" when they clearly are not. Makes for a lot of boorish posts.

Are resent example:
"If you build a cat and a mono without floatation of the same material then cats have a higher chance of sinking by any assessment, as they have two hulls. A breach in either hull will sink a cat if it's not compartmentalized or lacks positive floatation. There are many cats that have neither and they can, and have sunk commonly enough."

a. Many cats do have compartmentalization, because without a keel it is easy. When I took delivery of my boat, a sensor had been installed incorrectly, and it flooded (about 8 inches). That meant the water was at the floor boards, so we simply finished the trip, another 36 hours. The fault was later repaired without hauling.

b. Even without compartmentalization, the same size hole on a cat will generally be much closer to the surface and fill more slowly. The cat has a much better chance of pumping.

The last sentence is true enough, but I'm not sure what it proves. Personally, I find it disappointing that some cats are built without compartmentalization. With monohuls I understand that the same investment might be better spent on inherent strength, which many good builders do.

Sinking at dock is probably more equivalent. But most sinking at dock are sloppy maintenance and are very avoidable. The example post suffers very badly from the "all things being equal" fallacy. Sloppy.
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  #175  
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Re: How do you feel about catamarans?

When a cat driver says they don't like to heel, mono drivers say that's your choice.

When I mono driver says they prefer the stability of a deep weighted keel in a storm to a cat, it's like kicking a hornets nest. Somehow the mono drivers have to prove they've fully scientifically tested both to be credible. I don't have to drink and drive to know I would be impaired.

.......hornets incoming.......
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  #176  
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Re: How do you feel about catamarans?

If I could afford it I would skip right over the cats and leave my mono for a corsair tri.

Oops! Sorry, this comment belongs in the "How do you feel about trimarans" thread.
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Re: How do you feel about catamarans?

Think take homes are
Multi hulls
Like monos clear distinction between coastal and offshore boats
offshore boats should be compartmentized, have escape hatches, have raft mounted so assessable if inverted ( seen them installed under extreme aft of bridgedeck)
Faster in decent wind but if up wind vmg may be nearly equivalent.
More expensive to purchase and maintain
Unlike monos need to be >~45' to be reasonably safe offshore.
Have different motion then monos both underway and at anchor- tolerance and preference varies between people.
Less draft limitations but more slip limitations.
Tris generally faster up wind and point better than cats. Generally less usable room . Generally more feed back as to when to reef and balance than cats.
Multis in general require more active involvement in weather. Once of sufficient size in non purpose built racers reasonable safe if appropriate tactics employed.
All multis roughly twice the risk of lightening strike but lightening strike is rare.
Even more sensitive to weight and specifics of loading than monos as regards impact on performance.
Standard charter multis under canvassed.

Having said all that if money not an obstacle there is much to say in favor of a well designed multi. Advances in design make them increasingly attractive. we aren't talking about foiling racers but rather for a liveaboard in warm clines they make make great sense. At the other end of the spectrum the various folding tris offer phenomenal performance a mono could never hope to achieve and are within the reach of an average young couple who would be looking for a boat.
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Re: How do you feel about catamarans?

SMJ, did you post that folks here called your boat crap? Did I read that? I don't think I have and haven't heard that from anyone else.

All boats are compromises and as individuals we choose the compromises we are most happy with. We can discuss those features that make up the compromise without being offensive. If I've offended please accept my apology.
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Re: How do you feel about catamarans?

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Originally Posted by Shockwave View Post
SMJ, did you post that folks here called your boat crap? Did I read that? I don't think I have and haven't heard that from anyone else.

All boats are compromises and as individuals we choose the compromises we are most happy with. We can discuss those features that make up the compromise without being offensive. If I've offended please accept my apology.
I don't believe I said that. I think I said putting down multihulls.
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Re: How do you feel about catamarans?

Here is the definitive difference between a monohul and a catamaran that everyone has been waiting for.

Monhulls give you the joy of sailing. If you are in love with that joy, a catamaran just won't do it for you.

Catamarans are voyagers. The "joy" and the "feel" of sailing is gone, but so is the hassle of living on an angle for days on end. Check out that St Francis 50 video in the Southern Ocean going 20 knots while the wife is just kicked back reading a novel. Stuff is laying about as if they were in harbor. Catamarans tend to be less drafty, so a wider variety of anchorages are available.

As far as safety goes, it is true that once you flip a catamaran it is pretty much game over. But, many of them don't sink. And, they are the ideal vessel in which to ride out the worst storm ever via a jordan series drogue. They offer stability that a monohul doesn't have. The monohull might still take some knockdowns and get dismasted where the catamaran will just ride smoothly waiting out the storm.
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