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Digging the bow of a cruising catamaran into a 6' wave should be a non-event. We've done this hundreds of times without any concern or feeling of the boat being on edge. Six foot seas are calm waters offshore.

I've never been on a Spirited 380, but they look to be a good design. On the other hand, they have the same sail area and 1/3 the weight of our 46' catamaran, so it is likely they need to be sailed a bit conservatively at times. I don't know what the sail configuration was on the boat, but in 30kt winds on a beam reach, we would be triple reefed, or just sailing on headsail alone, and enjoying a leisurely and easy 9-10kt pace. Anything more would be outside our comfort zone.

Mark
 

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I dislike catamarans. Try to prove I don't. :)

Well, except the aforementioned Gunboat 68.
 

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in 30kt winds on a beam reach, we would be triple reefed, or just sailing on headsail alone, and enjoying a leisurely and easy 9-10kt pace. Anything more would be outside our comfort zone.

Mark

And you're not 78 years old.

Or are you? :devil :devil :devil
 

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Have sailed Corsairs in 6’. No main. No problem. More on the beach cat end. Also have crewed in Newport Bermuda multi hull race. Again no issues even in weather.
Tend to like tris more then cats. Find less issues with slamming. Better performance to weather. Less hobbyhorsing. Trade off is less room unless you're talking about something like the Neels. But all multis are dependent upon form stability to stay upright. So the thinking for all multis compared with monos shifts. The clues that you’re overpowered are different on a multi. All multis unlike monos don’t heel much more in heavy air. They do heel a bit more but not enough for that to be the only way clue you’re waiting for.

Unfortunate that a gunboat on its initial passage ran into trouble . And several of the newer chris white Atlantics dug a bow and flipped. The old saw “reef often...reef early” holds.
 

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....Unfortunate that a gunboat on its initial passage ran into trouble.....
Are you referring to the 55 that dismasted off of Hatteras? Found upright and afloat a year later, as I recall. Amazing.

Still, add 13 ft seemed to be the response, by Gunboat. :)
 

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Think it also down flooded the engines and had steering troubles from what I recall. Still a friend did a long delivery on the 55 and absolutely loved the boat. Couldn’t say enough good about it. Excellent ride, pleasant to live on on passage and of course speedy.
 

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It was much more than just the mast, as I recall, as well.

There was one thing I really disliked about the 68. The cleat were all retractable, and the hulls were painted grey. There was no toe rail, so the docklines laid directly on the hulls. As a result, each dockline had a custom fleece cover and there was a pad laid out over and around each cleat, when extended. The pad was obviously custom to fit over.

Seemed like way to much effort to prep to be slip side. Of course, this boat was professionally crewed, so they need something to do, I suppose. :)
 

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Have sailed Corsairs in 6’. No main. No problem. More on the beach cat end. Also have crewed in ...(snipped) The clues that you’re overpowered are different on a multi. All multis unlike monos don’t heel much more in heavy air. They do heel a bit more but not enough for that to be the only way clue you’re waiting for.

...snipped... The old saw “reef often...reef early” holds.

+1

We frequently sail our Corsair 24 in 28-33 knots steady with higher gusts under #2 reef and small jib. The boat doesn't give us any warning that we're overpowered, so I reef early upwind, and reef downwind or reaching when the speed exceeds about 13 kts.

We've hit 15 kts through the water a few times on a reach or run, but I'm a chicken, so I reduce sail when that starts to happen.

I am perfectly happy to sail at 11-13 kts of boat speed. There's no need to be greedy on a multihull in high winds. It's not safe. You gotta stay within the limits of the boat and the crew.
 

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+1

We frequently sail our Corsair 24 in 28-33 knots steady with higher gusts under #2 reef and small jib. The boat doesn't give us any warning that we're overpowered, so I reef early upwind, and reef downwind or reaching when the speed exceeds about 13 kts.

We've hit 15 kts through the water a few times on a reach or run, but I'm a chicken, so I reduce sail when that starts to happen.

I am perfectly happy to sail at 11-13 kts of boat speed. There's no need to be greedy on a multihull in high winds. It's not safe. You gotta stay within the limits of the boat and the crew.
A Corsair 31 just capsized in the LO300 an hour ago. I have no information as to how or why it happened. It was leading the race. Wind gusts were 25 knots in the area, but Lake Ontario can offer up some pretty severe bursts. All safe aboard USCG vessel.
 

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The cat vs mono arguments tire me. Their never needs to be a comparison. One that flips, sinks..you need to look at the operator. Both types of boats in experienced hands can perform well. Again it has to do with the operator.

Age is not determine a faultfull operator. I don’t see that as a criterion. Your brain isn’t slower , your skill are not forgotten with age, your ability to make decisions is still there. I get tired of people stereotyping people by age.

Sure I understand that you physically loose some strength...and maybe balance but really what difference does 78 mean in terms of him sailing or captaining a vessel.

The determining factor in this capsize will probably be found as a bad decision in terms of conditions. As Mark said the conditions mention are certainly nothing unusual for a well built boat, catamaran or mono.....but the person steering the boat may be the weak link here....but not by age....but by decision making
 

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"Never forget that the sea is a harsh mistress, and will kill you if you let her."

Probably the wisest sailing advice I've ever been given.

My heart goes out to everyone who's lost someone at sea.
 

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Just to put the mono vs Cat argument in perspective, it's probably better to be in a cat upside down than a mono going to the bottom. Just today, July 16, the Santa Cruz 70 (mono) OEX sank several hundred miles offshore during the second night of the 2019 Transpac. Her rudder shaft tore open a hole in the stern and they could not control the flooding. All 11 crew were saved by Roy Disney's boat nearby that diverted to pick up two life rafts of crew and return to San Pedro. OEX is at the bottom. As they approached in the dark, they said it was disheartening to see the boat with full sails still up going down....total loss but all crew saved......
 

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Five boats have quit the race with rudder issues, which seems high to me. A couple are taking on water and seriously listing, but the crews are working hard to get them back in before they sink. Luckily, they all happened on the first half of the race.

The Mod-70 trimaran Maserati hit a large floating object that punched a hole in the bow of one hull and took out one rudder. They are still racing by keeping the damaged bow out of the water and using the good rudder. Making good speed too, but their tactics will be limited.

Mark
 
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