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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum > Sailboat Design and Construction > Multihull
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  #81  
Old 03-12-2014
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Re: How do you feel about catamarans?

Blue water multis are a different animal. Just like there are coastal, blue water and high latitude monos same applies. Issues with increased frontage have been discussed when a new production cat ran into trouble on an earlier thread. Issues of flat or decreased height under the bridge deck of some multis has been discussed as well. The Chris White boats are built in Chile. Hull #1 was sailed from there to Annapolis for the show. Around the CAPE to my understanding. They saw some weather but did fine. There is no reason a properly executed multi would not be as safe or safer than a mono in blue water.
In past heard an axiom in weather "you take care of a multi and a mono takes care of you". I think this was alluding to the relative ease of various storm tactics for monos compared with multis. There is nothing comparable to dropping sails - throwing out the series drogue - putting in the boards and going down below - without ever leaving the cockpit ( which I and many mono sailors can do) when setting up a multi to find its way. I would think setting up a parachute with a bridle off the bows of a cat in a storm would be more problematic. Still as more multis come into use storm tactics for them continue to be refined and again they can be just as safe. I'm not cued into the details but believe some advise running off or other tactics rather than the old storm sea anchor strategy of the past and would like to hear more about this from more knowledgeable people.
I was fascinated by the Neel boats as unlike most tris there is considerable usable space below. They do not run into the same issues as cats in a sea way which have the bridge deck brought forward to expand room below. One still runs into the issue of expense. To be safe in blue water a cat needs to be >40-45' and strongly constructed using high tech materials. This results in expense of roughly double that of a mono the same size. Admittedly you get much more room below but most of us don't need or want 3-4 staterooms. Operating costs are higher as well.
If I had a spare million I would be all over getting a multi. They are great boats even for doing all the capes. They are just not a viable option for most of us even those buying new boats.
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Last edited by outbound; 03-12-2014 at 06:06 PM.
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  #82  
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Re: How do you feel about catamarans?

I never hear about cats delivered on freighters. Beam makes that cost-prohibitive.

As for high-latitude sailing, from the Catana site: "1986 : 80th parallel
The naval architect Christophe Barreau is the first person to cross the 80th parallel north on board the "Diabolo", a Catana 40."

If you want real information about storm handling on multihulls, I refer you to Gavin le Sueur. As far as real information about what it's like in an upturned multi, John Glennie's book about the Rose-Noelle, or the other point of view from the same incident, written by James Nalepka.

Other good reads: "The Cruising Multihull," Chris White; "Multihull Voyaging," Thomas Firth Jones.
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Re: How do you feel about catamarans?

Ability to cross oceans and go around the Horn always seems to come up on Sailnet.

We're coastal sailors on Barnegat Bay. Our longest hop to date was between Norfolk, VA and New Jersey. We sail for pleasure and will never round the Horn. I think we're the norm not the exception.

I'd be curious to hear from cat owners about how their boats do for coastal leisure sailing.
  • How well do they move in light air (more wetted surface)?
  • Do you fly a spinnaker or code 0 to keep her moving in light air?
  • A cat like the Fontaine Pajot 38 I posted has a 20 foot beam. How difficult is it to find a slip?
  • When you find a slip are you paying more?
  • How about winter storage, do yards charge more for a cat?
  • Can that boat be hauled with a normal travel lift?
  • If you go aground how difficult is it to get a cat unstuck (two hulls, can't rock her)?
  • Are your rudders exposed if you ground in shallow water?
  • How hard is it to open the stack pack and get that big sail up?
  • It's obvious when it's time to reef on my boat. Without the feedback of heeling can you feel when it's time to reef or do you keep an eye on wind speed?
  • How well does a cat handle the confused water and steep boat wakes that you see in shallow, crowded coastal areas?
  • In a crowded anchorage will a cat swing differently than the monos that may be anchored around it?
  • What are some things about cats that a mono sailor might not think to ask?
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  #84  
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Re: How do you feel about catamarans?

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Originally Posted by JimMcGee View Post
Ability to cross oceans and go around the Horn always seems to come up on Sailnet.

We're coastal sailors on Barnegat Bay. Our longest hop to date was between Norfolk, VA and New Jersey. We sail for pleasure and will never round the Horn. I think we're the norm not the exception.

I'd be curious to hear from cat owners about how their boats do for coastal leisure sailing.
  • How well do they move in light air (more wetted surface)? As fast as monos the same size. As fast as monos 4-8 feet longer when the wind gets up.
  • Do you fly a spinnaker or code 0 to keep her moving in light air? If I want to. A big deck makes it easier (no dropping it in the water).
  • A cat like the Fontaine Pajot 38 I posted has a 20 foot beam. How difficult is it to find a slip? Couldn't say; I have a 16' beam and that is nota problem.
  • When you find a slip are you paying more? $100/MO.
  • How about winter storage, do yards charge more for a cat? Not here (Chesapeake).
  • Can that boat be hauled with a normal travel lift? Yes. Up to about 20 feet is pretty common.
  • If you go aground how difficult is it to get a cat unstuck (two hulls, can't rock her)? Reverse. It happens less often, the boat has less momentum to drive her on hard, and the power/wt ratio is better.
  • Are your rudders exposed if you ground in shallow water? In general the rudders are shallower than the keel. The problem is no different from monos, and at least you have a spare.
  • How hard is it to open the stack pack and get that big sail up?
  • It's obvious when it's time to reef on my boat. Without the feedback of heeling can you feel when it's time to reef or do you keep an eye on wind speed? I've sailed cats for 25 years. The feel is different, but it is still there. Balance and heel.
  • How well does a cat handle the confused water and steep boat wakes that you see in shallow, crowded coastal areas? No question, the motion is quicker on a cat. Depends on the wake. I see that as the greatest negative.
  • In a crowded anchorage will a cat swing differently than the monos that may be anchored around it? In my experience, someone always swings different. A little more of problem than with monos, but in most cases it is the mono that is sailing at anchor (wide bridles stop that).
  • What are some things about cats that a mono sailor might not think to ask? Keep the weight down (they can handle it, but then they sail like slow monos); you don't need the junk anyway. How does it go to weather (test sail)? Some cats do very well, some are dogs, and ex-charter cats in general are under canvassed.
There's a lot of stuff on my blog.
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Re: How do you feel about catamarans?

Any stuff you would share on heavy weather. The stuff from Gavin you have to buy. Chris White doesn't hang around Panadaram any more to my knowledge so can't chat him up either.
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Re: How do you feel about catamarans?

[*]How well do they move in light air (more wetted surface)?
--well, this is going to depend very much on the cat itself and then it depends on how heavily you load it down. A FP will do better than a Leopard but not as well as a Gunboat or Outremer etc.

[*]Do you fly a spinnaker or code 0 to keep her moving in light air?
--I would, yes. Actually a screacher.

[*]A cat like the Fontaine Pajot 38 I posted has a 20 foot beam. How difficult is it to find a slip?
--I delivered my Catana from Virginia/Chesapeake down to my home in Mississippi, and didn't have any problem finding a slip and was always charged per length.
[*]When you find a slip are you paying more?
[*]How about winter storage, do yards charge more for a cat?
--What is this 'winter' thing? I sail all year. I would be surprised if they didn't, but you'd have to call the yards.

[*]Can that boat be hauled with a normal travel lift?
--yes, if the lift is big enough. My beam is 20'

[*]If you go aground how difficult is it to get a cat unstuck (two hulls, can't rock her)?
--I don't know if I've ever heard of someone grounding that hard in a cat, ever. I guess you'd have to go out the way you came in. Given that the hulls are narrower, you might have more joy that way.

[*]Are your rudders exposed if you ground in shallow water?
--I'm not sure what this means. Do a search for 'catamaran beaching,' people careen cats with some frequency to do work on them. Some cats have transom-hung rudders that would pull up (older Gemini) but most are spade/underhung.

[*]How hard is it to open the stack pack and get that big sail up?
--Husband does it all by himself, since I'm on the helm keeping her head to wind, since the friggin' autopilot is a POS. I built my own stack-pack with an eye to simplicity, but packs aren't all the same.

[*]It's obvious when it's time to reef on my boat. Without the feedback of heeling can you feel when it's time to reef or do you keep an eye on wind speed?
--My cat gets some fairly heavy weather helm, but I do watch the windspeed. At 20kt the reef goes in. Again, this varies per cat: heavier less 'performance' oriented cats will reef later. REEF FOR THE GUSTS.

[*]How well does a cat handle the confused water and steep boat wakes that you see in shallow, crowded coastal areas?
--Mine does just fine, I think I roll less than the monohulls I've watched.

[*]In a crowded anchorage will a cat swing differently than the monos that may be anchored around it?
--Not in my observation, but I have 20-something years in cats and I know how to rig a good bridle. It has been my observation in a couple of instances that my cat hunts the anchor less than a couple of monos parked next to me, and frankly THEY scared me…

[*]What are some things about cats that a mono sailor might not think to ask?
--I've really never been in monohulls except as crew for racing, I have no earthly idea, sorry.

Last edited by Multihullgirl; 03-12-2014 at 07:31 PM.
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Re: How do you feel about catamarans?

'ex-charter boats are under-canvassed.'

Boy is that an understatement… this is the charter sailplan for my boat. Yeah, that's something like a foot or more short of the stick height, and the boom came down as well:

[IMG][/IMG]
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Re: How do you feel about catamarans?

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Originally Posted by Multihullgirl View Post
'ex-charter boats are under-canvassed.'

Boy is that an understatement… this is the charter sailplan for my boat. Yeah, that's something like a foot or more short of the stick height, and the boom came down as well:

[IMG][/IMG]
Really pretty boat. Is she wheel or tiller steered?
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Re: How do you feel about catamarans?

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Really pretty boat. Is she wheel or tiller steered?
thanks! wheel…-sniff- I wanted a tillered 39S that was offered in France, but... well, it was in France.
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Re: How do you feel about catamarans?

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thanks! wheel…-sniff- I wanted a tillered 39S that was offered in France, but... well, it was in France.
We put an offer in on a tiller steered 39S about 7 years ago. We couldn't meet on a price and I always wondered what if.......Hopefully we will be joining the Crowther family in a few weeks.
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