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Re: Multihull Popularity and Interesting Designs
You are correct, commercial power cats only in this size range, but one was a high speed rig (3 years, faster than 27 knots) and of similar size to the one in the vid, 60 feet. Same rules apply surfing down waves whether recreational or not, except that power cats are easier to control because you can back off the power.
You are probably also correct that a helmsman could not have steered out of a serious broach at those speeds, but I definitely would have one standing by with the AP over ride in hand.
To be clear, I am not saying turn the AP off and steer by hand for the duration of the blow. I am saying it would be wise to have a real helmsman standing by with the ability to immediately over ride the AP if necessary, that is why I linked the pics of the portable controls. If you have the control with you and you see something going sideways, like say a telephone pole floating in the water, you just hit the jog button and over ride, then let AP take back over.
I think the disconnect in this ongoing conversation really has very little to do with the autopilot - whatever brand and technology we're talking about. The problem is that this boat was out of control. The human intervention, first and foremost, should have been in getting the boat slowed down. Until that happened, it doesn't matter what kind of AP they had or how awesome it was.
That, I believe, is what Mark is saying - as am I.
Vendee boats do 27+ knots pretty easily for tens of thousands of miles on their APs. They are not Leopard 50 cruising cats. So it's not about the AP.