A 'takedown' cat boat idea/journey

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by thudpucker, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. thudpucker
    Joined: Jul 2007
    Posts: 885
    Likes: 31, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 453
    Location: Al.

    thudpucker Senior Member

    Nobody in their right mind has time for a Sailboat!:p

    But what if Nimrod got hold of a Catboat? The one with the Sail mast way up front?
    Then Nimrod decides to go out on the Big water.
    Bad waves and all like that!

    So Nimrod makes the Sail Mast on his Cat Boat with a Hinge at the Deck level. That mast can lay down to the rear, get lashed down and the sail laced to the mast.

    Yep, he's got lines n' Pully's all over the boat to do this all by himself.
    This particular Nimrod is a nut case that likes to be by himself for long periods in the sun.

    So he's headed West from San Francisco, out toward some Rocks in the Ocean a heckuva long ways off.
    He's got the Glass to watch the Low pressures develop.
    His plan is in-fallible.:rolleyes:

    When the Glass fall's, and the big waves rise up Nimrod springs into defense Mode.

    Nimrod lets the Mast down. Laces the sail to the mast.
    Put's some tension on all the lines. Lashes the Rudder down.
    Crawls down inside the cabin. Eat's, bathe's, cleans up the cabin and stashes his drinking water handy.
    Nimrod now thinks he's ready for the big Bash!

    Water tight cabin and Boat. He might get thrown around a bit, but when the sun shines brightly on calm waters again, Nimrod crawls out, cranks his sail back up and off he goes.

    So whaddayathink about Nimrods Idea?
    Will it work?
    A 'takedown' cat boat?
     
  2. CutOnce

    CutOnce Previous Member

    While the others put on the popcorn, and grab their cold beverages in anticipation of the feedback you will get, I'll try to give you a preview.

    Seamanship isn't about clamping a lid on the barrel before you visit Niagara Falls by the most intimate route. It is about maximizing your potential for survival - including comfort, effort, speed and well being.

    Crappy conditions offshore can be deadly, and knockdowns, capsizes and rolls happen. Poor seaboats can make a passage a torture, where a good seaboat can make the exact same passage tolerable, if not comfortable. Good planning, good forecasting and no schedule to keep can allow poorly suited boats to accomplish long passages, but there is always the real chance that you could be hurt or worse if the coin flips the wrong way while in transit.

    Starting a conversation about long distance cruising using a rig type (catboat) as the foundation for the discussion is a clear indication you need to do some on the water research about the subject matter. Spend some of your budget buying and using a small cruising boat in safe waters NOW. You'll be able to resell the boat if you like the activity with minimal loss. If you do get some experience, you'll be in much better shape to discuss boats, rigging and other issues.

    I applaud your enthusiasm and willingness to share your dream. Just trying to keep the vision a dream and not let it become a nightmare.

    --
    CutOnce
     
  3. Doug Lord
    Joined: May 2009
    Posts: 16,679
    Likes: 343, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 1362
    Location: Cocoa, Florida

    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Catboat

    Hi, TP-lets take it one step at a time: here is an older thread on lowerable masts: http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/sailboats/lowerable-mast-40-45-foot-yacht-27186.html
    Many catboats have been designed with masts(in tabernacles) that can be lowered to go under bridges but for your specific purpose I don't know-but the thread may help. My gut feeling is that you would be better off with the rig up and configured for the conditions in a boat designed for ocean sailing.
    But it never hurts to explore ideas so take a look at your idea one step at a time-from lowering the mast, to doing it to survive rough conditions, to doing all that in a catboat.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. thudpucker
    Joined: Jul 2007
    Posts: 885
    Likes: 31, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 453
    Location: Al.

    thudpucker Senior Member

    Nimrod's idea is that a Sailboat can be Rolled over and dis-masted from any direction in a storm.
    So why not be prepared?
    Batten down the loose stuff, tuck in and ride out the storm.

    The stuff has to be retractable and stowable and the Cabin has to be 'mostly' waterproof to handle that ride of the Valkyries.

    I did that Ride in big long Troopship.
     
  5. Perm Stress
    Joined: Sep 2009
    Posts: 554
    Likes: 24, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 323
    Location: Lithuania

    Perm Stress Senior Member

    How much coastal cruising do you already have under your belt?
     
  6. thudpucker
    Joined: Jul 2007
    Posts: 885
    Likes: 31, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 453
    Location: Al.

    thudpucker Senior Member

    Salt water Coast? Big lakes? What does that have to do with the question?

    How to rig a Sailboat so one person can secure it for bad weather and survive.
    What's your idea?
     
  7. troy2000
    Joined: Nov 2009
    Posts: 1,743
    Likes: 170, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 2078
    Location: California

    troy2000 Senior Member

    I think the proper rig for drastic conditions is called a storm trys'l.;)

    And if conditions are too much for that, even a bare pole gives you some sort of control. I'm not an experienced blue-water sailor, but it seems to me that being able to hold the boat's nose on some sort of course beats simply bobbing around like a cork.... I'd leave the mast up.
     
  8. Perm Stress
    Joined: Sep 2009
    Posts: 554
    Likes: 24, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 323
    Location: Lithuania

    Perm Stress Senior Member

    A coast of open sea or better still, large open bay of ocean, trips over 36hours in duration, most of it out of sight of land, entering unfamiliar ports in slight fog, strong wind, and 1-2m swell in the entrance, deciding to what survival/damage minimisation tactics and technique to chose in real life, here and now.
    How much of it did you already?
    I ask because if you did, your questions would be much more precise and specific .
     
  9. sharpii2
    Joined: May 2004
    Posts: 2,080
    Likes: 221, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 611
    Location: Michigan, USA

    sharpii2 Senior Member

    Your ideas are not at all bad. Taking the mast down would certainly lower the center of gravity. But, surprisingly, it will also lower the amount of capsize inertia the boat will have. A big heavy center board would help a lot in that regard. It would have a great deal of roll dampening effect.

    Nimrods' biggest problem would be big seas and a lee shore. No fun landing on a rocky shore, just when you're getting all snug and comfy.

    Better to keep the cat rig, but put it on a more ocean worthy hull, or put a big engine on it, so when the mast is down, the boat can power to safety.

    Actually, a fellow named Fred Rebell made a long sea voyage in a boat not much different than a cat boat. It was an 18ft gaff sloop center boarder, with neither ballast nor engine.

    He sailed from Australia to California, against prevailing winds and currents.

    He dealt with some terrible conditions.

    Amongst other things, he had to remove the centerboard and use it as a sea anchor. How he got it reinstalled at sea is beyond me.

    He was lucky to not be rolled over by a breaker. He came close a few times.

    The success of his voyage may have more to do with luck and resourcefulness than the merits of his boat.

    Many types of sail boat can cross an ocean successfully. Fewer can do it safely, and fewer still can do it comfortably
     
  10. Paul B

    Paul B Previous Member

    What?

    Lowering the mast on a sailboat will make the motion quite violent in a seaway. It is a VERY bad idea.

    I can't imagine why no one else has mentioned this to the OP.
     
  11. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,133
    Likes: 488, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Paul B has a very valid point. The sailboat's roll rate will increase dramatically, likely making the interior of the boat too uncomfortable to hide out in. Hunkering in a dogged down cabin, isn't a wise or a recommended storm survival tactic. With all the rigging on the deck or near it, you'll dramatically increase the stuff that gets swept over the side. It's much safer if it remains erected and out of harms way from boarding waves.

    Crew durability and skippering skill are the real keys to managing storms. You can drive through a small depression and though worn out by the manhandling at the helm, none the worse for wear. Bigger low pressure areas can batter a crew over a couple of days, which tests stamina, but the wise skipper and crew finds a watch system that works, manages to get in food, drink and rest as best as they can. In all but the very worst case situations, this simply means 3 days of butt kicking, which most can tolerate if they've reserved strength, taken in nourishment and managed the boat and watch time reasonably.
     
    1 person likes this.
  12. CutOnce

    CutOnce Previous Member

    Many of the responses so far have been sensible. A cat boat often has little to no standing rigging and often an unstayed mast. Tabernacles for frequently dropped spars are well above deck level and generally are used in conjunction with a counter balanced mast with high weight on the bottom. Take a look at Bolger's designs (Loose Moose II etc.) with the mast "trunks" so the mast can swing. Dropping and lifting masts on a cat boat generally requires some kind of gin pole arrangement and calm conditions.

    Cat rigs don't allow storm jibs and the forward mast position makes it quite hard to balance the rig with reefed sails. One big rag gives you lots less options than two or more sails with various configuration options.

    Basically, anyone who who start their conversation about long distance offshore cruising with a cat rig may not have enough experience to do so safely. A cat ketch rig is a far better starting point, as is a conventional sloop or cutter rig. Like others, I think rough weather is better dealt with by active participation and alert hands-on helming, rather than making your boat into a unpowered sealed container and just becoming a passive passenger at the mercy of the weather. It is negligent to not stand watch in places where you could be endangering other folks at sea.

    I'm all for exploring different options and new directions, but people contemplating offshore passages should at minimum be reminded of the dangers of bad choices - especially before they spend their budget.

    --
    CutOnce
     
  13. thudpucker
    Joined: Jul 2007
    Posts: 885
    Likes: 31, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 453
    Location: Al.

    thudpucker Senior Member

    You guys are talking over my head now.
    Catboat was a guess so Nimrod could get his mast to lay down and be lashed down. He don't want it broken in the Storm if he gets Pitch poled.

    Maybe we can lay the mast down on some other Sail boat.

    As far as rolling with the mast down, being worse than with the mast up....I cannot figure out how that could happen. The Ballast is probably going to keep the little boat at something less than 30 Degree roll.
    Honestly I dont know. I'm just thinking about some of this stuff.

    There are some large lakes in the world. The Great lakes, or Victoria lake etc.
    Nimrods adventures are not limited to Offshore cruising.
    How far might a storm take the boat "over the ground" in a good blow lasting two days?
     
  14. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,133
    Likes: 488, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Thud, we know who Nimrod is . . . It's okay, you can do it.

    Becoming a passenger in a floating coffin, awaiting your eventual fate, is a really piss poor way of approaching storm survival tactics.

    Reducing windage in a storm is a good idea, but not your roll moment. Lets say your boat takes a couple of seconds to roll from 30 degrees on each side. With the rig down, it'll snap back and forth with such violence, that the coffin passengers awaiting their fate, may well be just bags of gelled human organs when they find the coffin. You'll just be tennis shoes in a washing machine, trust me.

    There are several tactics that you can employ in a storm to slow the boat. A cat boat of typical proportions will be a ***** to control, so a maned helm is a must. A trisail could be rigged on a cat. The boom and gaff if equipped, could be lashed down tight and the trisail sheeted aft on the deck. You can deploy a sea anchor or warps, you can lie a hull, you can run, there are several options, but letting her find her own way is about the most foolhardy technique.

    How far a storm can take you is up to your tactics and the boat. I once made 750 miles under greatly reduced rig and eventually some trisail work in a 2 day storm. It was a 63' boat, so it had some "legs", but it was the best 48 hour distance I'd ever made in her. No one was hurt, nothing broke, though a jib sheet block whined from then on, until replacement. I could have hove off and rode it out maybe making less then a 100 miles in the same storm. I had room to maneuver and wasn't near shipping lanes, so I wasn't worried.

    Each storm is attacked differently, depending on the boat, rig, crew and skipper. Each require a distinct set of tactics, which usually present themselves as you go.
     

  15. thudpucker
    Joined: Jul 2007
    Posts: 885
    Likes: 31, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 453
    Location: Al.

    thudpucker Senior Member

    Good post PAR. What an experience. 750 Miles before the storm! That'd probably make a good sea story for young boys to read.

    I went 18 Days on a Troop ship to Korea and 18 Days back on another troop ship.
    One storm lasted three days. Lot's of Broken bones from guys falling out of bunks.
    Rolling around on a Sea Bound Coffin is just what we felt like.
    The NAVY shut all the water tight doors and hatches with all of us locked down inside.
    Yessir, I know of which you speak!

    My buddy, ol' Nimrod is just thinking out loud about having the best of all worlds in his sailboat.

    So a Tri-sail would be a better idea. Good....so be it. A mast with a Boom and maybe a Boom for the Front sail???? (I don't know sailing at all)
    To beat the Roll problem we'll leave the mast up.
    But that still leaves us vulnerable to a broken mast after a pitch pole?
    How are we going to beat the 'dis-masting' problem?
     
Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.