Multihull Popularity and Interesting Designs - Page 12 - SailNet Community
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post #111 of 577 Old 02-24-2018
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Re: Multihull Popularity and Interesting Designs

What upsets me about this thread and many threads on this forum is how some neglect a basic reality that underpins most cruisers mentality when thinking about boats. This reality extends across all classes be it monos,multis or motor.

There are good seaboats and those not so much.

Comparisons between classes of boats is foolish if not also accounting for if that specific craft is a good or bad seaboat. Grand Banks are wonderful, beautiful, comfortable great loop or coastal cruisers. Sea rays give great bang for the buck. Neither are designed to be or are expedition yachts.
You can blow big bucks and get an light ice Diesel Duck 492 for less than the glorious GB but only the first is the rtw boat. You can quadruple the purchase price and walk on a Seaton or Cape Scott and get the bling with the sea keeping ability to sail the Southern ocean.
The same occurs with monos or multis.

Looking at the title of this thread believe we should be looking at specific boats and critiqueing that specific design. Multis have several vulnerabilities as do monos or motor. This obsession about inverting limits this thread to one of many concerns so is much less informative than it could be.
Look at the various cats you see in Caribbean charter. These are like the Searays. Even in that relatively benign setting one sees:
They hobby horse. When motoring to windward( such as entering an anchorage) this is so extreme as to be dangerous to the occupants. Their beam to length ratio is moderate but capsize risk decreased by moderate rigs. They aim toward one level living with large expanses of glass. But a violent pooping may result in failure of the aft glass enclosure or its rim of support leading to down flooding. The steering is designed for the stresses of forward movement. Falling backwards after being stalled on the face of a wave may result in catastrophic steering failure. Interior living space is optimized for pleasant living at anchor with bridge deck forward of the mast and beam of hulls brought forward to allow a four berth set up. Beyond unpleasant burping the behavior in a seaway is compromised. They have low aspect fixed keels. Beyond decreasing ability to point increased possibilities of “tripping” on a large wave face is increased. Helm position is high and exposed. This is tiring to the helmsman and compromises ability to see the whole boat.

Now compare this to a boat designed as a seaboat. Perhaps the Rapido 60referred to above.
Single rudder. No linkage issues. Very fine hulls and very wide beam with much more force required to turn turtle. No significant structure beyond central hull before the mast. Daggerboard no fixed keel. Protected helm station. Walkways and rig designed to be worked in a seaway. No large glass expanses vulnerable in a pooping or from green water.

In short just like a Diesel Duck would seem to be a better seaboat than a Searay the R60 would seem to be a better seaboat than the charter cat.

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post #112 of 577 Old 02-24-2018
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Re: Multihull Popularity and Interesting Designs

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Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
I would love to have a balanced discussion. I think the difference in my mind is that, as I said above, I don't expect ANY boat to be "safe" in a hurricane or a tornado strike. Those situations are far beyond the envelope for cruising.
How do you avoid tornadoes when you are cruising? Even in relatively tame (weather-wise) Maryland we have tornadoes all the time. I would imagine they are more common in Florida and the Gulf. Case in point: summer before last when I was coming up the Bay (cruising!), the weather started to look pretty threatening and I was pondering if I should hunker down for a bit in the Severn River. Well, the decision was made for me when the CG came up on 16 with a tornado warning (not watch) for -- tadaa-- the Severn River!

I stayed in the middle of the Bay and things went well, never saw the tornado though A LOT of wind, thunder and lightning. I certainly don't want to get hit by a tornado at any time and I would expect very severe damage to my boat including dismasting. But I do not expect that it flips upside down (and stays there) or sinks. And you consider this normal for a catamaran, and that at anchor, with no sails up?

So, my point is, a boat for which encountering a tornado is "far beyond the envelope" is by definition not a boat for cruising.
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post #113 of 577 Old 02-24-2018
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Re: Multihull Popularity and Interesting Designs

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Originally Posted by smj View Post
Itís obvious you know nothing of the incident and even more obvious you know absolutely nothing about catamarans. Enjoy whatever you sail and I hope it treats you well.


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I've spent enough time on multi's.

Tell us, how do you handle this, on a multi, at night, with a short crew inside and sheets cleated off? Anna, Leopard and Fujin come to mind.

We're talking good and bad right?

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Re: Multihull Popularity and Interesting Designs

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Originally Posted by Noelex View Post
There was another cruising cat that flipped at anchor in Greece around 2011. It was a bad storm. One crew member was trapped inside, but was rescued by a very brave guy from the local yacht club.

I think it was a Prout Snowgoose from memory.
So what is the takeaway on this in your opinion?
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Re: Multihull Popularity and Interesting Designs

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Originally Posted by capecodda View Post
So the question is, are their cruising cats that aren't like sailing your dock? More like the Hobie, a bit more civilized, without turning into a barge with a mast on it? That might interest me. Anyplace I can charter one?
In absolute terms, no. On the other hand, there aren't any 40-60' cruising monohulls that sail like a Laser, only a bit more civilized.

In relative terms, there is a whole spectrum of sailing "feeling" in cruising catamarans, just like there is in monohulls. But for both types of boats, if pure sailing joy is what you are after, you will be disappointed unless you take a nice little performance sailing dinghy along with you.

Most people associate healing and riding in sync with waves while the boat moves in a certain way as their understanding of sailing "feeling". This is more a Pavlovian response, because this is how almost everyone starts in boats, and continues for a ways before moving to a catamaran. And then the move is usually to a large catamaran - where they think they are driving a dock.

Moving from a Laser, to a J35, to a Formosa 50 will give one the same experience.

However, catamarans do have their "grooves", and a lot of the joy is to be speeding along at 9-10kts with a "dock" under you, while you play guitar, cook a good meal, take a nice nap in the hammock, or pay attention to your spread of 4-6 fishing lines.

This is also a learned response over time, and going back on a mono heeled and rolling feels more like surviving than sailing.

And what one wants for an afternoon sail is completely different than what one wants for a 2-3 week passage (or even a 1-2 day passage). Sporting sailing is fun for one and can be tedious for the other.

So it depends on what you think sailing needs to "feel" like, and to what degree you will allow that to degrade before not enjoying it. Also, how you will be sailing. Again, a 50' Oyster is not going to "feel" like a Melges 24 - so there is always going to be a degradation tradeoff.

BTW, it is a very reasonable question and didn't need a disclaimer.

Mark
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post #116 of 577 Old 02-24-2018
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Re: Multihull Popularity and Interesting Designs

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
I'm not sure why the Triton AP controller was linked, or what it means, but we have a modern B&G/Simrad autopilot. If you haven't used one of the new AP's recently, you may be surprised at how well they anticipate, adjust, and steer. Better than me in pretty much all conditions. Definitely better than me in all conditions for more than an hour.

The newer autopilots, particularly those from B&G and NKE, are quite different beasts than in the old days (5 years ago). They use 9-axis rate compasses (ours even uses heave in its calculations, along with pitch and roll), accept 100hz data from all instrumentation, and have fast computers using steering and prediction algorithms developed from RTW southern ocean racing. These are the same AP's the Volvo and other race boats are using, only they have some specialized software specifically tailored to their boats and polars.

Not alThat's l current AP's are like this (Garmin appears to be atrocious), but B&G and NKE definitely are.

Mark

Edit: I see now that this AP controller shows in the video. While I wouldn't be doing those speeds in that boat, I would have no problem letting this AP have complete control. It is better than I am. Remotes are useless for instantaneous steering, like one is proposing necessary in the video conditions. They are fine for course changes, dodging, and the like - but not as a substitute for hand steering in large conditions. Leave that to the AP.
That's good feedback. Yes, my experience has been on older units. I know that the Vendee boats rely almost exclusively on AP (Lecomble & Schmitt I believe) - so I have no doubt that the technology has come a long, long way.

I guess what bugs me so much about that video is that they are sitting inside watching as the boat - at least to my eye - gets increasingly out of control. And they are talking about "breaking records". To me, and please let me know if this is wrong, they are completely disconnected from reality. It just looks like they are, as you say, "leaving it to the AP" - but their problem isn't steering - it's boat control. Therefore, it seems they are asking FAR too much of that AP and should be DOING something to maintain safety.
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Re: Multihull Popularity and Interesting Designs

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Interesting, thank you, another post above left me with a different impression.
It really is easy to do a search for your question. Under 55', Lagoon has 7 models with side entry berths - the smallest, oldest L380 is the only boat they make that doesn't have this. The entire Fountaine-Pajot line has side entry berths - they don't make a boat without them.

Google will find you others, but the above should be representative enough to dispel any thought that this design type is rare.



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Re: Multihull Popularity and Interesting Designs

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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.
On our boat, there is always someone on watch ready to take the wheel at all times regardless of weather. I don't think there will be anyone debating whether in a blow it is a good idea to all be down sleeping and watching TV.

A portable control really isn't going to do much in this situation. It certainly isn't going to prevent a broach or dodge a wave, and I doubt anyone would see a log in those conditions. For anything that might happen, it is best to hit standby and take the helm oneself. BTW, that Triton control pad you link to isn't a portable control - it is to be mounted on a bulkhead. They are "portable" in the sense that they are small and inexpensive, so you can mount several of them in different places on the boat.

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Re: Multihull Popularity and Interesting Designs

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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.
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Re: Multihull Popularity and Interesting Designs

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
It really is easy to do a search for your question......
No kidding. It was just a curiosity. As you can see, some feel the need to add disclaimers before asking questions. Think about it.


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