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Old January 12th 06, 01:32 PM posted to rec.boats.cruising
Jeff
 
Posts: n/a
Default Why do people buy cruising catamarans ?

sherwindu wrote:
One question nobody has addressed yet is what happens when a cat
capsizes?


Since it appears to be "common knowledge" that cruising cats capsize
frequently, perhaps you can give us a few examples.

The truth is, it is a very uncommon event. I've only heard of a half
dozen in the last 20 years, and half of those were delivery crews or
racers, carrying too much sail. In fact, none happened when laying to
a sea anchor. As someone else mentioned, fatalities are extremely
rare. I might guess that more cruising fatalities are from falling
overboard than from sinking or capsizing. This would imply that the
more stable platform is safer.

There
is no natural righting moment, as with a mono hull. I have never even
sailed on a cat
myself, but the heeling of a mono hull seems to offer some comfort
advantages, because the combination of sails and pendulum keel act as a
kind of 'shock absorber' in wavy conditions. I would prefer to be
heeled over and on a steady lean than bounced up and down as one than
another hull is lifted and dropped by a wave, especially in
short choppy seas. Long rolling waves would probably somewhat nullify
this advantage. I am referring more to waves on the beam, but there
probably is some
effect on a close hauled tack.


There is no doubt that some people don't like the motion of a cat. A
short, steep chop on the beam can be particularly annoying. The
biggest problem I have is that I end up handsteering in these cases,
because a firm hand on the wheel can make the ride dramatically
smoother.

One significant point in these cases is that we're often doing 9 or 10
knots. When I've had a rough ride on a monohull we're often doing
half that speed.