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Telstar 28
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992 Posts
There is nothing surprising about this at all. It is a very well known fact that multihulls require much heavier standing rigging than monohulls. This is also the reason the sails on a multihull are usually heavier weight than similarly sized sails on a monohull. This is less the case on trimarans, which will heel a bit more and aren't as stiff as catamarans in general.

Regular inspection of the rigging is a must...but some commerical entities often skimp on it, not realizing the importance of it. I would guess that the rigging on those you mention failed at the bottom, not at the top. The top rigging is often in far better shape than the lower rigging, since it isn't exposed to constant spray and salt the way the lower rigging is.

On catamarans. There is an interesting article in Soundings about the USCG finding a number of rig failures on registered passenger carrying catamarans and ordering extra inspections. The speculation is that most of the cats in question are in warm climates, like Hawaii, get a lot of year round use and rarely have the mast dropped for inspection of the standing rigging. The part that was nost interesting to me is that the CG thought one issue is that on monohulls the heeling of the boat will ease the stress on the standing rigging, whereas multihulls are so stiff that the stresses are higher. It seems like a problem as much of maintenance as design and curable by building heavy enough rigging and inspection, but I never would have thought about requiring stronger rigging in cats before I read the article.
 

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Senior Pirate
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Remember that when wind speed doubles, the actual force upon sails and rigging quadruples. As Saildog as repeatedly mentioned, Catamaran rigs can't unload as wind speed increases as the boats don't heel, whereas mono's are able to spill the wind from their sails by heeling.

My mantra is to always reef early.

Rigs in general must be inspected from time to time as wire rigging will fatigue over time.

In general, there is no difference in disaster incidents or insurance claims between multihulls and monohulls. There's a multihull sailor who worked for the NTSB who posted this in the SSCA message boards where this is fairly well documented. The real issue is when a monohull sinks, it disappears. When a cat or a tri goes over it turns out to be a great photo op, as the boats float and the crew generally survives.
 

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Bringing this thread back from time. A couple weekends ago I was sailing a Catalina 355. Wind was on all day long. We were a couple miles out of SanDiego harbor. I dont see many multihulls sailing around. But this guy caught my eye when he was just hauling the mail right on buy then out of site. My Wife looked at me and said, we have to sail one of those. Seas were about 3-6 feet. Wind 12kts, gusts to 25kts plus. I have herd that a good multihull is a very capable boat. Any owners here in the SanDiego area?
 

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Shhh..... don't tell anyone. If word were to get around, the next thing you know we won't be able to afford a good catamaran!
Good stuff. As it turns out. I cant afford to buy a good new multihull.
They are just as costly as a nice blue water mono hull.
So.... I just signed up to take my ASA 104 AND 114 on a Leopard 38.:D
 
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