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That's awful.

I wonder what the make of the boat is. It says 11.7 meters, so about 38 feet for us Americans.

Catamarans shouldn't just flip like that...
 

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The boat was heading south.

The conditions were difficult. We had 25 to 30-knot westerly winds with a sea of 1 to 2 metres [easterly swell] coming the other way, so it was fairly messy out there," he said.
 

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It is a Spirited 380 and not the first one to flip over. big winds and waves and any cat can flip with almost no way to recover. it is winter down there.
 

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A home made kit boat


https://www.spiriteddesigns.com.au/spirited_380


Sailing caracteristics:
This is a nice and fast sailing machine. She goes well to about 40 degrees apparent wind angle, does not like the mainsail to be sheeted in too close though. Like many cats she kicks up her skirts when the wind gets to approx. 10 - 12 kts and accelerates quickly. Running due downwind with only the jib in an E force 6 - 7 off Tarifa we were happilly running at 12 - 14 kts, topping 18 kts surfing down the waves with full boat control. Seeing double digit sailing figures becomes quite normal. She tackes happily and easily in smooth waters, in waves this was only achieved with backing the jib with the mainsail being uncleated.

Critisism:
1) The most important one has to do with the placement of the engines right at the aft end of the hulls under the steps, with engine access only from the outside via forward hinged hatches incorporating one of the steps (see one of the pictures below). Though this arrangement allows one to stand on the lowest step and easily work on the engine, it only gives about 30 cm of wave clearance - this is not enough wave clearance in a seaway to open the hatch at sea if access is needed! One would also be fully exposed to the elements and the risk of falling overboard is also not to be overlooked. This in my eyes is a very bad design issue!
2) For a modern cat I would have expected it to have more bridgedeck clearance - at the aft end of the bridgedeck I measured 505mm / 560mm with / without bridgedeck stringers -, in the right wave conditions there is quite a lot of wave slamming - but this increase in bridgedeck clearance would reduce the headroom in the main cabin.
3) I feel she would also benefit from larger rudders to make her more responsive to rudder movement.
Review at http://www.multihulls4us.com/forums/showthread.php?4104-Spirited-380-catamaran


Scary thought:
18 knots downhill and hit a wave from the other direction, nit enough rudder to stop a flip.

Yikes
 

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That is really awful... :/
But these are not really that uncommon conditions: 30 knots of wind and 6 foot seas. I wonder if they had too much sail for the conditions. I sailed smaller cats (beach cats) and when over canvassed they were quite unstable.
 

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Typically, we mono hull drivers use news like this to poke our multi hull siblings a bit, but not the right time, given the fatality.

Instead, I’ll point out that I was up close with the one and only brand new Gunboat 68 last week. No 30 knot wind is going to flip that thing over. It was a beast. A serious floating mansion, not condo. If I ever go multi, that’s my first pick. 🙂
 

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I calculate a SA/D of 32.5

I don't know catamarans, but that seems like a lot of sail.
 

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Cruisers Forum: Spirited 380
Hi we owned a Spirit 380 for a couple of weeks before it flipped of Kangaroo Island. We were in the water for about 6 hours before being winched off. The boat was ashore 4 months later about 600NM away.
News Video - Yahoo!7 News


Here is a link to the Building of our boat by the original owner

It took this builder 2 and half years to build full time with two people working on about 6500hours

Building the Cat

The boat sailed along well but anything over 10 + knots it just did not seem to sit well in the water was very light in the water.

The design is very roomy inside and has quite a good layout

We did contact the designer after the incident but did not have any joy there.

We now have a new yacht built by Robert Chamberlin it is another Cat 11.6metres in length. This yacht in my opinion is a better boat. It sits on 10 knts all day and sticks to the water like Glue. The bigger brother of this boat just broke the Australian record for sailing around Australia see link

Bruce Arms

Hope this helps a little
 

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Without a keel they don't have much righting moment...
They have a huge low angle righting moment several times that of a monohull, becoming equal to that of monohull at ~50* heel, then decreasing to no righting moment at ~90*.

The overall rotational energy (area under the stability curves) required to capsize a catamaran is ~50% greater than that required to capsize a monohull.

So catamarans have large righting moment, are harder than a monohull to capsize, but will not recover from a capsize, where a monohull has some non-zero chance of recovery (but less than 100% chance).

Mark
 

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Capsize is one concern pitchpoling is the other. Just like monos there are boats better suited for heavy seas and air and those best considered coastal. . Would have no problems jumping on a Rapido 60 for rtw. It would be quick.
As stated above 6’ seas shouldn’t capsize any ocean boat be it mono or multi. Although there maybe a component of operator error ( no mention if they were reefed and to what degree).
 

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There are almost no recorded incidents of ocean sailing, non-racing catamarans pitchpoling. It just isn't a real concern in a cruising catamaran. Chances are pretty much zero in any conditions compared to capsize.

And there is no practical difference between a pitchpole and a capsize - in both instances the boat is overturned and is not coming right side up again.

The Rapido 60 is not a catamaran.

Mark
 

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Just wild thoughts here...

I'm not cat sailor but I've taken Hobies out a few times and managed to dig a hull in and flip the boat at full speed, butt over bow. The occasion I remember I was thrown 20 feet forward. Well clear of the hull, mast and sail. That's a long way!

Other times I learned to dump the main whilst the bow was digging in.

The boat in question with a full 30 knots (plus gusts? But those westerlies are quite stable) on a beam reach, would be going FAST. The owners were 78 years old. The son in his 50s but wasn't the owner so I wonder his sailing skills and the young teen.
The swell was Easterly.
The rudder underpowered.
A go fast cat doing 15 knots or more.
The sails fully powered (?)
Mainsheet loaded.
The boat - sailing flat even - digs the Lee bow into a 6 foot wave.... How does a 78 year old dump the main before it flips?


Mark
 

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I'm loving on all the sailors who have never sailed more than beach cats comparing them to cruising cats...
to put it in perspective its like comparing a laser to a J-35.

Come on folks. For a cruising cat a 38 footer is SMALL. Its still a 20,000lb boat its no beach cat. Much like attempting to attack the sea in a Catalina 30, it can do it, but its not exactly a bluewater mono.

30 knots is NOTHING for a cruising cat. 8 foot seas are nothing. However, step periods and confused seas can turn any boat into a pile of sticks as any great lakes sailor!

This is a tragedy, and likely happened due to quickly deteriorating conditions. Respect for those who lost lives. Sounds like captain knew things were getting snotty, and had crew properly suit up (life vests), and managed to activate EPIRB.

The whole catamaran versus mono debate is tired at best. It is true that once capsized you are toast in a cat, but its also true that they are much harder to flip, thanks colemj for putting some logic into the argument.
 

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For a cruising cat a 38 footer is SMALL. Its still a 20,000lb boat its no beach cat.
If you go follow the links you'll find it's not anywhere near 20,000 pound. But 10,000. 5 tons.
That's more like a beach cat than a Lagoon 440.


We do like to hear your point of view. Not necessarily your opinions on other people's points of view :)

Mark
 
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