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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum > Sailboat Design and Construction > Multihull > How do you feel about catamarans?
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Thread: How do you feel about catamarans? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
3 Days Ago 05:25 PM
piclarke
Re: How do you feel about catamarans?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Solon View Post
What does everyone think about catamaran sailboats? I have not seen any post about them. Are they harder to sail? Are they safer in off shores sailing?

This link will take you to the thread that was posted - started July 2012

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/multih...clearance.html


Cheers:


cyclone warnings for the south pacific Cyclone season 2014 to 2015 and sever extreme weather happenings warnings. Perfect Cyclone Storms l

07-08-2014 09:21 AM
pdqaltair
Re: How do you feel about catamarans?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainChaos View Post
Bob, I definitely agree with your comments about apparent wind.

Going in an orthogonal direction, though, wouldn't you agree the reason many people buy cruising cats necessitates sacrifices that affect performance?

For example, many people like cats because of the shallower draft but that means they don't have enough keel for windward work. Secondly, cats are fastest when they're lightly loaded but the average cruiser puts in so much gear/equipment the hulls have too much drag so the wetted surface area of the too (typically large) hulls is huge.
a. If I refer to a course relative to wind, I always mean true wind. If someone has a point to make where relative wind is particularly relevant (spinnaker set) they should make that point separately. This convention just seems more clear to me. As we all know, a beach cat or fast skiff is as "close hauled" on a reach as many slow boats.

b. As for why many cats are pigs, there are many reasons:
1. Under canvassed. Many charter designs do this since they don't know the crew or the sailing area. They want to make them stupid-proof. While a mono-hull will tell you in simple terms when over canvassed, the obvious symptoms for a multi-hull occur too late.
2. Lotsa of room for junk. If you don't want to stay light, sail a mono-hull. Although I have a tender on davits, you will find many lockers are empty. I don't haul what I don't need. I have a good tool kit and required spares.
3. Poor feel. Cruising cats are more by the numbers ad what you see, than what you feel, particularly when wheel-steered. My boat has very little helm feel or motion/lean feel until the wind hits 12 knots and boats speed over 7 knots. Then it comes alive and is quite pleasant. But even then the feel is very light, which might bother some day sailing and make fast trim and steering tricky. On the other hand, it makes long passages easy. But the point is that feel is less, not absent. An experience cat sailor gets in tune and works the puffs and waves without the need for much feel.
4. Draft and keel. Yup, draft helps. But I don't think it is the major factor. Any sailor that learned on small cats knows that short (or none) keels stall easily and that you must retain the right balance of speed and side load. I think this is a feel that cat sailors must be more aware of than monohull sailors. It is why pinching just a few degrees is fatal... and yet with the right balance I can tack through 90 degrees, though 100 degrees is generally better VMG in chop, for me.

In the prior story, for what it is worth, the up wind leg required at least 2 tacks through a slot; VMG was the thing that mattered. No cheating by footing. Same down wind, since we are all bound to the same marina. Point to point, windward/leeward.
07-07-2014 11:00 PM
CaptainChaos
Re: How do you feel about catamarans?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobperry View Post
Don't forget the faster boat has a different apparent wind and this can often create the effect that it is not pointing when in fact it is pointing just a high as the mono but with a different apparent wind AWA relative to the slower boat.

There are some cats that point very well.
There are some cats that are pigs upwind.
I treat them all individually.
Bob, I definitely agree with your comments about apparent wind.

Going in an orthogonal direction, though, wouldn't you agree the reason many people buy cruising cats necessitates sacrifices that affect performance?

For example, many people like cats because of the shallower draft but that means they don't have enough keel for windward work. Secondly, cats are fastest when they're lightly loaded but the average cruiser puts in so much gear/equipment the hulls have too much drag so the wetted surface area of the too (typically large) hulls is huge.
07-07-2014 10:22 PM
captain jack
Re: How do you feel about catamarans?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smj View Post
Frozen margaritas
dark spiced rum and mango juice is pretty kicking, too. some place used to have banana berry margaritas...chilli's? they were pretty awesome.
07-07-2014 10:06 PM
smj
Re: How do you feel about catamarans?

Frozen margaritas
07-07-2014 08:55 PM
bobperry
Re: How do you feel about catamarans?

Eggs zachary
07-07-2014 08:38 PM
smj
Re: How do you feel about catamarans?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobperry View Post
Don't forget the faster boat has a different apparent wind and this can often create the effect that it is not pointing when in fact it is pointing just a high as the mono but with a different apparent wind AWA relative to the slower boat.

There are some cats that point very well.
There are some cats that are pigs upwind.
I treat them all individually.
Well said Bob, just as there's some monos that point well and some monos that are pigs upwind.
Pick your poison?
07-07-2014 08:16 PM
bobperry
Re: How do you feel about catamarans?

Don't forget the faster boat has a different apparent wind and this can often create the effect that it is not pointing when in fact it is pointing just a high as the mono but with a different apparent wind AWA relative to the slower boat.

There are some cats that point very well.
There are some cats that are pigs upwind.
I treat them all individually.
07-07-2014 07:42 PM
pdqaltair
Re: How do you feel about catamarans?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
If having a good story about being the fastest boat within sight on a given passage was scientific, there would be an awful lot of contrary evidence.
Relax. Just shining you on.

Any broad statement on this topic--other than pointing out the general lack of scientific rigor--would be plainly stupid, but there has been a lot of that. I was only recollecting a pleasant day spent sailing to windward. Seemed pretty easy and pleasant... for a catamaran. Nice feel when the wind is up.
07-07-2014 06:54 PM
captain jack
Re: How do you feel about catamarans?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
If having a good story about being the fastest boat within sight on a given passage was scientific, there would be an awful lot of contrary evidence.
i will have to agree with that one, although i don't have any ill feelings towards mulitihulls. i don't really like the looks of the big cruising catamarans but i have always thought the hobie cats looked cool and seemed to rock out, on a reach.

anyway, a lot of people who are just out for a sail aren't really mindful of sail trim and that kind of thing. you could have an average boat and, if your sail is set will and trimmed right, walk past a more performance oriented boat with it's sail poorly trimmed and set. for instance, a lot of people over trim; thinking the extra heel means more speed when it's often just the opposite. so, you really can't PROVE anything by who you pass on a day sailing.

however, that said, i know the hobie cats on lake marburg really move out. they don't seem to point as high as monohulls, which i think is why everyone cuts their windward performance down, but you can often make better time by falling off the wind a degree or two, rather than trying to pinch every degree you can out of your boat.

honestly, i think it all comes down to what you like. i know monohulls, not catamarans ( having never sailed one ), so i tend to lean that way (excuse the pun). but i won't knock the guys rolling along on their catamarans. looks like they are having a blast, to me.

there was this guy, in a windrider trimaran (18' i think), sailing on lake marburg a few years ago. i was out in my little dinghy ( 10' LOA. 9' LWL ). there were a few monohulls that were quite a bit larger than my boat, on the lake. the wind was blowing pretty good. i was running down towards the far end of the lake. then, i realized i was really flying and the only other person on the lake was that guy in the trimaran. as can happen when running, the wind speed had crept up on my without me realizing just how high it had gotten.

all of the other, larger, monohulls had sailed back, or had almost gotten back, by that time. the wind had really really gotten up. i turned back and beat my way back towards the sailors cove. i was hanging my weight out to wind and, for the biggest gusts, easing the sail enough to alow the luff to lose it's shape a bit while still driving the boat. it was a bit dicey, really. i was working my butt off to keep making way to wind without ending up in the lake.

that guy in the windrider was just sailing along. heeled pretty good but safe from capsize because of his boat's design. when we both got back to the dock, we talked a bit. the wind was really blowing by that time. he told me he thought i must have been crazy to be out there in my little boat. i have to say one thing for his multi hull, he looked a lot more comfortable in the wind conditions than i was. of course, his boat was almost twice the size of mine but, still, it wasn't as big as the monhulls that called it quits because of the wind.
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