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post #161 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
It’s not the poll that’s interesting it’s the post by Sandy, an old employee of the NTSB.


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Ah, sorry about that - this post...

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Multihull Safety

by sandy daugherty Ľ Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:06 pm
Escape hatches are required by law in the CE. Thats why you see them on many cats. Their desireability is open to question.

Before I retired from the NTSB I had the oportunity to study the complete Coast Guard database of boating accidents and Summary Data of proprietary actuarial information from sources within the Lloyds' Groups, with a focus on vessels with accomodations including permanent berths, head(s) and galley. I tried to exclude beach cats and tris, and daysailers by excluding boats under 24 feet. The data was not user-friendly and required a lot of external correlation because many vessels were incorrectly classified. That ultimately prevented releasing any conclusions because GI+MGI=GO (garbage in plus more garbage in still equals garbage out.) This was also a problem with the older NTSB databases that included pre-digital-age reporting. However, I discovered in the process that there were few differences between monohul and multihull rates of occurrence. That's easy to understand; human error trumps mechanical failure and design deficiency evermore. Here are some of the facts that did become apparent: Vessels designed for racing and record attempts break. Vessels built for cruising don't break. People who race drive themselves and their vessels to the limit. [please forgive the pun] Cruisers drive their homes to the next nice place.
The rates of actual vessel loss (outside of competition) remained the same for monohulls and multihulls, over many years, with catamarans emerging slightly ahead of other vessels in the last years of available data. Reports of large numbers of catamaran roll-overs are probably anecdotal as accident statistics reveal a (slight) decline, with a slight increase in sinkings among monohulls. There was a lot of confusion in the data between catamarans and trimarans, which I can only suggest an interpretation for:

Vessels purpose built for competition are not recorded as such. Each accident had to be researched individually. Many were not insured, meaning that Insurance data would not take them into account. In fact, Many sinkings of monohulls were extremely difficult to document because they were never widely reported. This is changing as news media is becoming more interested, especially in colorful visuals.

A very small percentage of trimarans are sold for cruising, as a very small percentage of catamarans are sold for racing. The best correlation between racing and competition vessels was a ratio of lwl to mast height.

Where I was able to distinguish between cruising and competition vessels, I found that the rate of personal injuries and single fatalities was higher among monohulls. That should merit further study because those injuries appeared to occur in better weather conditions, not in worse. These accidents included cabin injuries, man-overboards, and deck injuries such as inadvertant jibes.

My conclusions were impaired by the quality of data, and my proposal of a National Transportation Safety Board Special Study was properly overshadowed by more important issues. But there is enough factual data to prove that cruising multihulls are no more, and possible less dangerous than cruising monohulls in all reported conditions of weather, traffic, and human frailty, regardless of location.
Well, there you have it.

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post #162 of 577 Old 02-24-2018
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Re: Multihull Popularity and Interesting Designs

Weíve chartered multi hulls twice in the Carribean. Definately like the extra room. Especially with a couple of couples on board.

I learned on a Hobie 16 and my daughter and I raced them for a number of years in her teens and were ranked in NJ where we had one on the beach in front of our house. Sailing two hulls takes a little getting used to in seas over 6 ft no doubt. Close hulled is a technique learned. I love the increase in speed they have.

I doubt cats will ever increase in the northeast where there are very few moorings and dock space is expensive,
The increased cost of a cat will further divide the younger sailors from purchasing them so the demographics of the cat crowd will continue
To be the aging sailors with disposable income


Fact is one of the biggest safety feature a monohull has in increased wind is its keel and the weight in the water . I would rather be in a displacement hull than a powerboT like ride skipping like a stone across the top of the water. I donít need a lecture about the dagger boards etc, nothing like having 7- 10,0000 lbs planted 5 ft plus under the boat.

Cats will always have a specialized niche in sailing and racing , but become the majority.....I think not.
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Re: Multihull Popularity and Interesting Designs

Mark I think youíve made multiple presumptions. At present my favorite multi is a tri the Rapido 60 as some of my prior ocean racing was on tris. I posted on the R60 on this site when it first came out giving it my highest accolades. If I had the bucks I love what Nigel Irons has drawn. I pointed out White because of his novel thinking resulting in the Mastfoil rig which I believe is one of the few wing mast setups which wonít intimidate a mom and pop cruising couple. I like the cockpit in front of the house. An idea picked up since by other architects for some years now.
I have no issues with cats and would be delighted if you want to buy me a new Outremer. The salient point about twin rudders wasnít that they are bad. They arenít. Rather that itís important they be executed in a stout manner. I have multiple friends cruising on cats and just like balanced spades on monos can have their issues if not done well the same applies on cats but with the added complexity when theyíre farther apart. Hydraulics or linkages need to be spot on. Iíve listened to my colleagues discuss their experiences.
Iíve expressed on this thread and others demeaning cats, tris or monos as being less seaworthy than another group is just plain stupid. In each group there are definitely excellent seaboats. In each group what particulars result in a good sea boat differs but there are good and bad sea boats in each group as well. If we are to discuss interesting multi designs letís do that. If we are to discuss seaworthiness letís try to define what features add or detract from seaworthiness in multis. Posting videos or promotional snaps isnít informative at a devil in the details level.
The tract record of the CW boats is unfortunate. The few I know about are used for voyaging which may impact on this record. I commented on the thought that although daggerboards are more complicated they may offer an advantage over the fixed keels of Chrisí boats. Both in safety and pointing. Would you care to discuss particular boats and design features or score points? If itís a zero sum game you want. OK you win. However, Iíd be delighted if youíll share your knowledge and experience.
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post #164 of 577 Old 02-24-2018
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Re: Multihull Popularity and Interesting Designs

Chris White cats usually come with shallow mini keels to protest the rudders, running gear and to allow drying out. They also have daggerboards on the same boat.


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Re: Multihull Popularity and Interesting Designs

I thought the new Atlantic 49 mastfoil didn’t have boards. Am I wrong? Is that his older 55 design?
The first multi I sailed was a CW wood epoxy tri while crewing in a Newport Bermuda. It had a daggerboard. Fast little thing but lousy motion in the absence of wind.

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Re: Multihull Popularity and Interesting Designs

ďFins with adjustable flap
Two cored glass fiber fins moulded to hull bottoms, each with adjustable trailing edge flap controlled from nav station.Ē
From his website.

I have no experience with this feature on either mono or multi although aware of its use in early AC boats. Anyone have knowledge of this type of setup?

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post #167 of 577 Old 02-25-2018
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Re: Multihull Popularity and Interesting Designs

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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
Hard to keep up w/this thread, unless it's your full time job .

Mark, I'm with you on some of this. A good friend once said to me that sailing a big monohull is like driving a truck, while sailing a 420 is like taking a sports car out on a track. And by the way, even at my advanced age, I still love taking out a 420 when I can and feeling that thing plane.

I've owned 5 cruising monohulls over 40 years of doing this from 22 to 52 feet. And I still found the 52 ft monohull to give me more of, OK, I'll use your words "pavlovian feel" that I'm looking for in a sailing experience than the 2 cruising multi-hull's I chartered.

Like most things in life, it isn't black and white. Bigger boats on average are more like truck driving than sports car driving. But for me, again for me, not for you and I get that, the feel at the wheel of sitting on the lee side of even a bigger monohull, beating, watching the tell tails on a big blade all fly perfectly, healing, feeling that perfect balance in the helm, for me in those moments, all is right with the world. It's just too important to me to consider going over to the other side.

I don't think you are saying this, but I think we need to be clear. The feeling of sailing a cruising cat is different than a mono hull. It's not just a size thing. If you like it, great, you are sailing in the real world, and making it happen for you.

But it ain't the solution for everyone.
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Re: Multihull Popularity and Interesting Designs

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Originally Posted by outbound View Post
ďFins with adjustable flap
Two cored glass fiber fins moulded to hull bottoms, each with adjustable trailing edge flap controlled from nav station.Ē
From his website.

I have no experience with this feature on either mono or multi although aware of its use in early AC boats. Anyone have knowledge of this type of setup?
Out,

Way back in the early 90's I got a ride on an AC boat as 17th crew. Oh yea, during the dark ages when AC was monohulls and no one wore helmets . Don't ask me why I deserved this amount of fun, because I didn't. Right place, right time I guess.

I recall an inner wheel at the helm that could adjust the tab. I don't think that they played with it much, but I always assumed it was like flaps on an airplane, that would make sense to deploy at lower speeds to get more lift and would be turned straight at higher speed for less drag. Lift would translate to leeway.

And no, they didn't let me play with this or anything else, just go for the ride. Those carbon AC machines sure are noisy with lots of groans and a pile of stuff sounding wicked stressed. Pretty exciting for a mono .
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post #169 of 577 Old 02-25-2018
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Multihull Popularity and Interesting Designs

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Originally Posted by capecodda View Post
Hard to keep up w/this thread, unless it's your full time job .



Mark, I'm with you on some of this. A good friend once said to me that sailing a big monohull is like driving a truck, while sailing a 420 is like taking a sports car out on a track. And by the way, even at my advanced age, I still love taking out a 420 when I can and feeling that thing plane.



I've owned 5 cruising monohulls over 40 years of doing this from 22 to 52 feet. And I still found the 52 ft monohull to give me more of, OK, I'll use your words "pavlovian feel" that I'm looking for in a sailing experience than the 2 cruising multi-hull's I chartered.



Like most things in life, it isn't black and white. Bigger boats on average are more like truck driving than sports car driving. But for me, again for me, not for you and I get that, the feel at the wheel of sitting on the lee side of even a bigger monohull, beating, watching the tell tails on a big blade all fly perfectly, healing, feeling that perfect balance in the helm, for me in those moments, all is right with the world. It's just too important to me to consider going over to the other side.



I don't think you are saying this, but I think we need to be clear. The feeling of sailing a cruising cat is different than a mono hull. It's not just a size thing. If you like it, great, you are sailing in the real world, and making it happen for you.



But it ain't the solution for everyone.


I think quite a bit depends on the catamaran your sailing. You canít compare the feeling of sailing say a Morgan OI to a J boat of similar length.
The type cat you sailed on charter would most likely be one designed for the charter market. Thereís no comparison sailing one of these as compared to a performance Catamaran.
However, if I were just daysailing I would own a smallish performance monohull but for cruising no doubt a catamaran as the heeling for me gets very tiresome over time.
Please note, I said ďfor meĒ as I realize there are quite a lot of people who enjoy the heeling over long periods.

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Re: Multihull Popularity and Interesting Designs

After reading much of this interesting thread as with many discussions comparing different "platforms" it comes down to the difficulty of comparing applies and oranges. Of course since there are SO MANY variables... it's way way more complex that comparing two fruits.

And let's not forget all the psychological factors which inform our opinions and feelings about things. This aspect is quite "irrational" and so it becomes a fool's errand to claim A "feels better" than B.

And even on the technical attributes which can be compared... one's assignment of priority is yet another variable. And each factor / design attribute has an up and down side.

Cats are popular and rightly so for term charter in the tropics. These are perfect platforms for large groups of people / families desiring a shared vacation. But the size may make little sense for the single handed or couple cruising up north who mostly go out on the water for the week end or club racing.

Cats are excellent solutions for some sets of criteria and not so for others. My sense is their success is largely driven by term charter and families who want to go for long term cruising through the tropics. They will not likely overtake monos in the temperate clients, more crowded with limited docking compared to demand.
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Last edited by SanderO; 02-25-2018 at 09:08 AM.
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