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-   -   Monohull to cat (https://www.sailnet.com/forums/seamanship-navigation/221361-monohull-cat.html)

hmora 09-30-2015 11:11 AM

Monohull to cat
 
Dear community,

I have experience in monohull sailing and I usually charter monohulls from 40 to 46 ft in mediterranean. Now I'm thinking about to charter a cat, but i haven't any experience (I never tried to maneuver or sail one).
Can any one advise me about this issue? Is it suitable or easy for any one with only monohull experience to make the jump for a multihull? Or in the other hand definitely not possible.
In my region I haven't no possibility to practice in a cruising cat first.

Thank you.
Henrique.

SailingUphill 09-30-2015 02:30 PM

Re: Monohull to cat
 
I'd like to hear as well... I've skippered monos to 38 feet, but never a cat, and am chartering a 39 foot Cat in the BVIs come Feb (along with 3 other mono skippers)...
I figure they might stick me with a friendly captain (which is fine by the way, cause I am always willing to learn from those who have done it).

As a last resort our local ASA instructor was going to be on another mono in our fleet of 3 boats, he's offered to stay aboard with us until we feel comfortable...

But this leads me back to asking, what can I expect to be grossly different? I figure freeboard alone will make it difficult at best to move around in tight areas... Noting twin diesels in the configuration, is it possible to drive it like a large track-hoe (starboard in forward, port in reverse if you will, to spin in place?). At low speed, or reverse do you lock the helm dead center and play the port/starboard throttles?

Under sail I expect to have to sail more of a reach to bring up VMG, or am I really over thinking this?

FarCry 09-30-2015 05:02 PM

Re: Monohull to cat
 
I frequently go out for a day to get people comfortable with the transition from a mono to a cat. Yes you can drive them like a tracked vehicle at low speeds. As soon as you're doing about 2kts the rudder will start to have a reasonable influence, use it. A common mistake I see beginners make is to try and get the boat to steer with throttles, not the wheel, at 4-6kts. Use the rudders and save the transmissions!

Tacking in lighter wind takes a little finesse. Many mono guys want to throw the helm hard over which completely stops the forward speed and generally stalls the boat in irons. Which way the boat will fall off is anyone's guess at that point. Start a tack and think more like your are "carving" a turn like on skis or ice skates. Just like with skates or skis, an aggressive turn is how you stop. Is that what your are trying to do? Probably not. Get the boat momentum going the way you want and then steadily turn more to get the bows to come across. Do NOT let the working sheet go early, which is another bad mono sloppy sailor habit. Many charter cats need the power from the headsail all the way through the tack. Some cats even need to be backwinded to get around or start the appropriate engine to push the leeward side around. Get the boat all the way through the tack and turn to maybe 60 degrees AWA to build some speed back up while trimming. Trim and head up if you are beating to the desired course.

Reef based on the windspeed shown on your gauge and listed in manual or instructions. Do NOT carry more sail than the manual or charter company instructs you to. Some cats are actually faster when reefed "on time" because when overpowered they are burying the leeward hull and dragging it which causes more helm input to go the desired course. Reef, watch the boat get flat and fast.

Rarely does it help to have 6 people standing on the trampoline all giving instructions to the skipper. Because there is room up there, everybody thinks they need to be in the middle of the action. What they do is make an impressive wall so that the helmsperson can't see anything.

Some cats have a helm that provides better visibility to one side. If so, make that the side you put on a dock or pick up moorings from. Many times no direction needs to be given if most of the people stay in the cockpit and out of the way until tied up.

Be very aware if towing a dinghy. Putting an engine in reverse to maneuver will inevitably suck that painter right into the prop. Personally I've never understood why dinghies are towed behind cats. Most cats have very robust davits and it only takes a minute to raise and secure the tender. Actually, be aware of any line going over. Cats love to suck in lines and wrap them up. Unless you've got some serious time on a cat, you really can't understand how challenging it is to drive a cat with just one engine at low speeds in a crowded area. It seems like prop wraps always happen in crowded areas too!!!

People seem fascinated with swimming/snorkeling under cats. I've had too many occasions when I've done my prestart lap around the boat and found some knuckle head under the bridge deck looking at a barracuda. LOOK before you start up.

Above is the free version of what I go over with most people. I usually cover MOB, anchoring and a few other things that are far easier to demonstrate rather than try to describe.

Enjoy your trip.

Daveinet 09-30-2015 06:56 PM

Re: Monohull to cat
 
You know I find it interesting that FARCRY's reply fits exactly what I would perceive only owning a Hobie 14 and now sailing on a monohull. My experience says the boat does not drift and really wants to go forward. The long straight lines of the hull determine this. That means you take more sweeping turns and try to keep your speed up. Otherwise you will get caught in irons. Don't know if its true on a large cat, but on a small cat, in light winds, you are better off to just jibe - 270 degrees if going up wind. I think cats are much easier to sail, as they tend to be more forgiving. I was never afraid to sail in tight quarters with the cat, where a mono can drift or be blown where you don't want it to go. The cat is always going to follow it lines.

FarCry 09-30-2015 07:14 PM

Re: Monohull to cat
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Daveinet (Post 3057985)
You know I find it interesting that FARCRY's reply fits exactly what I would perceive only owning a Hobie 14 and now sailing on a monohull. My experience says the boat does not drift and really wants to go forward. The long straight lines of the hull determine this. That means you take more sweeping turns and try to keep your speed up. Otherwise you will get caught in irons. Don't know if its true on a large cat, but on a small cat, in light winds, you are better off to just jibe - 270 degrees if going up wind. I think cats are much easier to sail, as they tend to be more forgiving. I was never afraid to sail in tight quarters with the cat, where a mono can drift or be blown where you don't want it to go. The cat is always going to follow it lines.

The loads on a big cat are much higher than a Hobie and jibing to go upwind is going to be a real PIA to center the main, sheet it in hard and then handle jib sheets while you are losing tremendous ground to windward. Not to mention putting undue stress on sails and the rig. Big cats without dagger boards drift and slide a lot especially at lower water speeds. Look at the windage on the side of a modern charter cat. I would guess many times more than the surface area of your Hobie sail.

Daveinet 09-30-2015 08:02 PM

Re: Monohull to cat
 
Would your comment still stand true in less than 3 or 4 knots? That was when I could not carry enough speed to finish a turn.

FarCry 09-30-2015 09:22 PM

Re: Monohull to cat
 
The original post was about a charter cat. In your scenario I think you would be hard pressed to ever find a charter cat beating in 3 to 4 knots of wind. Since I doubt most charter cats with most charter captains could actually sail up wind in conditions that light, tacking is irrelevant. If for some reason I wanted to try, I do not believe any headway at all could be made by jibing rather than tacking if attempting to sail upwind. I do believe very high performance boats like Gunboats would be a different answer but then again their sail area to weight ration is nothing like a charter boat loaded with stuff.

SailingUphill 09-30-2015 10:02 PM

Re: Monohull to cat
 
FarCry, your description is most appreciated, and quite helpful. Much of which I could have guessed, but I am sure in the heat of the moment I'll forget just the same. Either way I'll try to commit it all to memory.

jwing 10-01-2015 03:53 PM

Re: Monohull to cat
 
In my experience with chartering (all bareboat), the difference in sailing cat vs mono is not much more than the difference in this trip's mono vs. last trip's mono. If you enjoy sailing, you'll be able to figure out a catamaran, for the purposes of a charter vacation, very easily.

Atlas 10-02-2015 03:34 AM

Re: Monohull to cat
 
Would it be possible/ helpful to rig a leeboard to get better pointing ability in light winds?


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