Heavy weather sailing in a catamaran - SailNet Community
Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.

 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 5 Old 06-10-2010 Thread Starter
planet wanderer
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 7
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
Question Heavy weather sailing in a catamaran

I have about 6000nm blue water experience in a traditional long keeled (36') monohull and about 2500nm coastal hopping and blue water sailing in a (43') catamaran. We experienced Force 10 in the mono but I have never experienced anything over 30kn in a cat. While I am aware of the need to reef earlier and risk of pitchpoling when surfing large waves, there seems to be little information out there on how to sail a cat in heavy weather, or indeed if a cat would be a suitable vessel for cruising over to the Eastern Pacific from Australia then on around the planet. I do hope the experienced sailors on this forum can help One reason I am seriously considering a cat is the fact it enables us to poke in up inlets/between reefs and generally explore more of the "bits around the edge".
seashine is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 5 Old 06-11-2010
Telstar 28
 
sailingdog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 43,290
Thanks: 0
Thanked 15 Times in 12 Posts
Rep Power: 14
         
I would highly recommend Mike McMullen's book, Multihull Seamanship, which is available at Alibris.com even though it has been out of print for quite some time.

I'd also point out that the Polynesian islanders explored and settled an area of the Southern Pacific ocean larger than most continents using small multihulled sailing craft. Many of the Wharram designs are evolved from the craft used by the Polynesians.

One of the tactics that many multihulls, especially those with retractable boards, use is lying ahull. This isn't generally a good or acceptable practice for monohulls, but a multihull with the boards up will generally move with the water and not capsize or trip. Another common storm tactic with a multihull is lying to a jordan series drogue.

Sailingdog

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Telstar 28
New England

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)

If you're new to the Sailnet Forums... please read this
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
.

Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.
sailingdog is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #3 of 5 Old 06-13-2010
Senior Pirate
 
TropicCat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Cape Canaveral, FL
Posts: 2,632
Thanks: 5
Thanked 14 Times in 14 Posts
Rep Power: 7
 
I think we should look to The Queen's birthday storm for guidance. The Two catamarans caught in that storm both lay ahull through out the storm. Regardless of the wave size, both boats survived without injuries or serious damage. Almost all the monohulls caught in the storm were rolled and dismasted, and lives were lost.

Tropic Cat

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
TropicCat is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #4 of 5 Old 06-13-2010 Thread Starter
planet wanderer
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 7
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
Hi TropicCat, forgive us down here in Oz but which storm and when? Is lying ahull achievable/possible in a cat with mini-keels?
And thankyou SailingDog for the reference to McMullen's book, I'll see if it's available locally. I am aware of the use of drogues and sea anchors and the importance of strong points to attach them to, but have been disappointed in a lot of cats I've looked at in terms of heavy weather preparedness. I cannot fathom why anyone would risk no inner forestay and no permanent backstay on a cat. It would seem that for production boats (and this means mono- as well as multi-hulls) the trade-off between lightness and seaworthiness leans heavily in favour of the lighter boat. Unfortunately cats are often the lightest of the light, hence their poor reputation in serious weather. I know this is not a foregone conclusion, it's a matter of design. Any pointers on seaworthy catamaran designs (the Wharrams are definitely seaworthy but the accomodation is somewhat uncomfortable) would be most welcome:-)
seashine is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #5 of 5 Old 06-13-2010
Telstar 28
 
sailingdog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 43,290
Thanks: 0
Thanked 15 Times in 12 Posts
Rep Power: 14
         
Things that can make a cat less seaworthy:

High windage—look for boats with lower cabin profiles, etc.
Deeper keels—if the boat has fixed keels, they should be as shallow as possible to minimize the risk of tripping the boat in heavy seas. The better designs will have a retractable board—either a centerboard or daggerboard to give decent windward performance without sacrificing shallow water capabilities.
A full bridgedeck—the better boats generally have less weight forward and an open partial bridgedeck with netting forward, rather than a solid bridgedeck.
Good reserve buoyancy in the hulls forward—this can help prevent the bows from burying themselves, which is often the triggering event to the boat pitchpoling. For the same reason, it is generally a good idea to leave a catamaran or trimaran a bit heavy aft, especially if the boat is overloaded.

One reason the Wharram Polynesian-derived catamarans tend to be very seaworthy is that they have very low windage, since they tend to have a very spartan bridgedeck. They also have netting between the hulls for a good portion of the foreward part of the bridgedeck. However, they do give up considerable living space in doing so.

Be aware that the scantlings for multihulls are quite different from those of monohulls, as they do not have to support the weight of a massive keel. This means that the hulls are often lighter in design and materials than a similar LOA monohull.

The better multihulls IMHO will have cored hulls and decks. Airex is an excellent choice for hulls and end-grain balsa or divinylcell is a good choice for the deck, cabin top and topsides. The use of kevlar in the hull laminates can make for a very damage resistant laminate that can resist holing in even severe impact situations. The better multihulls will actually be buoyant and effectively unsinkable, even if severely holed, since the materials they are made of are overall lighter than water.

Sailingdog

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Telstar 28
New England

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)

If you're new to the Sailnet Forums... please read this
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
.

Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.
sailingdog is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.


User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
THE Yacht Builder List T37Chef Boat Review and Purchase Forum 26 07-08-2011 05:51 AM
At Odds with the Weather Gods John Kretschmer Cruising Articles 0 04-01-2003 07:00 PM
Visualizing Weather, Part One Michael Carr Seamanship Articles 0 06-09-2000 08:00 PM
How to Find a Good Sailing School for Your Child Michelle Potter Her Sailnet Articles 0 05-24-2000 08:00 PM
Weather Forecasts for Sailors Michael Carr Seamanship Articles 0 08-31-1998 08:00 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome