Canting Keel Monos vs Multihulls

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by brian eiland, Aug 31, 2006.

  1. Vega
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    Vega Senior Member

    I have to agree here:p :p :p
    I have done some racing in my life (not boats) and if I was younger and good enough to race one of those machines, I would pick the multihull, because I don’t like to lose:p .

    But what I have said was:

    “The unexplainable reason why some don't like fast multihulls to go offshore is because they are less reliable than fast monohulls…”

    And I was not thinking of racing, but of fast cruising. While racing you take your risks and you have a big infrastructure aimed at giving you safety conditions, if things go wrong. If you are out there all alone, things can be more dangerous and a sensible person would not take everyday the same risks that he takes while racing. So, for fast cruising I would choose the monohull.

    I clearly don’t agree with you here.

    If a boat is safe under extreme circumstances, it will be a lot safer under normal circumstances.

    It is a fact that boats can break when pressed under difficult conditions, but it is also true that multihulls, under the same circumstances break (and capsize) a lot, lot more than monohulls.

    About those conditions where a multi-hull survival is unlikely and mono-hull survival is a lot more probable, you have just to look back some years, same race, the 2002 edition:

    From the 18 multihulls ORMA that began the race, only 3 were able to finish it.

    From the 17 monohulls IMOCA that began the race, 12 have finished.

    About speed under these circumstances:

    The first multihull was “Geant”, behind the monohulls of Ellen MacArthur and Mike Golding.

    What are those conditions? You don’t even need waves, or big seas, just wind, a lot of wind. At that race, they have faced +70k of wind. They found, the hard way, that all that was needed to capsize those multihulls was 70k of wind. The windage of the mast alone was enough to capsize the boats.
  2. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    Very good point. I was not aware of the circumstances. Are you saying that 70K of wind will capsize a multi, but not capsize a mono? Do you think that 70K wind would have capsized the multi's if they were using storm survival tactics (series drogue etc.) instead of trying to race?

    I am thinking about a boat that I will sail in my retirement. A yearly route from Vancouver in the summer, then south to Baja, then over to Hawaii and back to Vancouver. I think I'll end up with a mono, for several reasons. Ease of finding dock space and relative insensitivity to weight are two. Concern over the relative seaworthiness of the two types is not a factor in my choice.
  3. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest


    Mr. Hough, to the best of my recollection you have never asked me not to quote that post.I made a special point of reiterating the fact that you said you didn't think it could be built and asked you for your opinion on other answers to the original question beside the one I gave and you talked about. Further, it is not "out of context" but 100% relevant in the context of both this thread and the original thread.
    This is no "soapbox" about foilers but a genuine
    interest in the answer to the question quoted in my last post. I think such answers are timely, and directly on the point of the original post in this thread. Sorry you don't-especially since you're right.....
  4. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    I object to anyone being deceptive. In the very limited case of the big mono foiler compared to the ORMA Tri. I concluded that the physics of sail carrying power and wetted surface would allow the BMF to be competitive with the ORMA Tri. I also concluded that the BMF could not be built at the stated weight, that the control systems to make it work don't exist, and thus the concept is a waste of time. It is intentionally deceptive to quote a statement that supports your view while excluding the statements that point out the sheer magnitude of the folly. In politics I think they call it spin.

    The two boats do not represent anything remotely like an even match. Given the same clean sheet of paper, a foiling multi could take advantage of every system that produces speed in the foiler and do it with no ballast penalty. You consistently ignore this truth and compare apples to oranges to promote your technically bankrupt theory.

    I regret every second I spent even considering the idea. You have latched on to a corner of the bone and continue to gnaw at it like a rabid dog.

    Bringing up the idea of foils or other forms of movable ballast serves to prove yet again that you do not grasp the idea that hauling lead around is slow. That is the reason no one is pursuing canting keel ballast as a speed solution compared to multi-hulls. Your extra foils on a CBTF fantasy machine may well make it a faster ballasted canter. They will not make it competitive with boats that do not require ballast. One of the most basic ways to even the playing field in racing is to add weight to faster racers to slow them down. No one considers adding weight to be a speed producing factor.

    If you can come up with a speed producing idea that applies to mono's that cannot be used with equal effect on multi's, I would be happy to see it. So far, you have not been able to do so. To be fair, neither has anyone else. :)

    I think JK was right on the money when he stated that canting keel mono's can be compared to very inefficient multi's.

    Since no one is producing ideas that will make ballasted boats faster than non-ballasted boats, the focus has gone to a comparison of "seaworthiness" ... that leads back to the multi's capsize vs ballasted boats sink argument.

    To reach a conclusion about the relative seaworthiness of ballasted vs non-ballasted boats the term must be defined. If the forum cannot agree on a definition of planing, (As we have seen from the "Planing Trimaran" thread), I doubt that we can agree on a definition of seaworthy.

    Proponents of mono-hulls will include resistance to capsize and a lack of inverted stability in their definition.

    Proponents of multi-hulls will include unsinkability, speed, and survivability after capsize in their definition.

    The answer to the question about the future of canting keels vs multi-hulls? Easy, canting keels have a bright future as long as they don't have to beat multi-hulls to win races.

    Next question?
  5. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    Rabid Dog?

    You sure you want to stick with this kind of statement-you may be quoted. And a direct quote is no "spin"--I quoted you directly above about the
    fact that you said I was right about the 60' monofoiler with no embellishment whatsoever.
    As to the statement: "No one considers adding weight to be a speed producing factor" you're 100% wrong.
    1)The Australian "Spitfire" foiler carried ballast because the designer said :"You only have to lift it once" vs those foilers that develop their own RM at the cost of increasing drag.
    2) Several of the ORMA Tri's carry water ballast tanks to augment pitch stability.
    3) At least two major designer/sailors -Sean Langman and Julian Bethwaite both have advocated movable ballast "Maxi Skiff's that they felt could directly compete against "normal" multihulls.
    4) The Out 95 project embraces the concept of a movable ballast foiler being at least equal to a "normal" multi which includes foil assist multi's.
    5) On-deck movable ballast as mentioned by Bethwaite in his Maxi Skiff concept has tremendous potential in high speed mono's and maybe in multi's.
    It is probably a mistake to write off the potential of some of this new technology as the lines between multi's and mono's speedwise are
    already blurred in small boats....
  6. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    I said you were right about the 60' mono foiler compared to an ORMA tri. You quoted one post out of the context of the thread. :mad:

    Apples and oranges Doug ... unlimited mono's vs "normal" multi's :rolleyes:

    You still evade the question: "What speed producing feature of a mono-hull foiler would not also apply to a multi-hull?"

    Do you really think that adding ballast to increase the SA/D ratio of a boat will make the boat faster overall? Be sure to tell the rating councils so they can stop rating ULDB's faster than Westsail 32's.

    Are you stating that the ability to lift on foils is not weight related? That acceleration is not reduced by extra weight? That loads on structures are not increased with extra weight? That bolting 200 pounds into an Acura RSX makes it easier for the car to win races? Where did you learn your physics? :(

    In every case you cited the boat would be faster if weight was not required to mask a design flaw. Like having to add a ballast keel to keep a mono from tipping over ... :D

    Shall I cite a list of projects that include this new technology and seem to be failures of some magnitude even after considerable effort has gone into them? I think some of these new ideas are patented and are now for sale ... if they worked, wouldn't the royalties produce more income than the sale of the patent?
  7. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    ANSWER: The lack of a second or third hull....
  8. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    The LaBrea Tarpit of Nautical discussions;

    This interaction of yours, Randy.

    Or should it be more accurately described as a Black Hole of logic and personal honor?
  9. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    Good start, now tell us how the lack of a second or thrid hull explains the fact that ocean racing mono's are so much slower than ocean racing multi's?

    You need to be able to support your answers.
  10. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    Just a couple of random ideas;

    1) the multis didn't beat the monos. They were racing in separate classes. A racing boat that wins in a smaller class (multis) is arguably less succesful than one that wins in a larger class (monos).

    2) At an address to the Shorthanded Sailing Association in Sydney about two years ago, Nigel Irens was quite open about his belief that the ORMA 60 tris are actually unseaworthy. The rules allow their rigs to be too large. He does not like them for this reason.

    When one of the pre-eminent designers in the class believes that they are unseaworthy, surely his opinion deserves a lot of weight.

    3) It's easy to make an unsinkable mono. Ask Etap and Sadler. Why more ocean racing monos are not unsinkable I don't know. Yes, there's a tradeoff but I know I'd much rather sail an unsinkable self-righting boat than a sinkable self-righter or an unsinkable un-righter.

    4) The idea that anyone who happens to prefer monos must be ignorant of multis is really, really annoying. I know people from families with three generations of multi sailors; people who get their mothers to get multis to live aboard, who let their small children go coastal cruising on multis. Some of these people still prefer monos for most of their own sailing, because it comes down to personal preference.

    Some like red wine, some like beer. People are allowed to have their own taste without being called ignorant.

    If you want to go fast, why would you get a cat? WIndsurfers are faster.

    Why? Because lots of people like sailing cats. Lots of people think factors other than top speed are important. And good on them.

    Just like sailors who like speed can still choose cats rather than boards, people can still choose monos without people being so arrogant as to dictate that other people cannot have their own preferences.
  11. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    I agree completely. I certainly don't think that anyone that prefers mono's is ignorant.

    What I find annoying is people painting multi-hulls as un-seaworthy based on racing results. Particularly single-handed racing results.

    In auto racing, Formula 1 used to be a very high risk sport. At some point the drivers started to put pressure on the rule makers, manufacturers, and racetrack owners to make the sport safer. When professional sailors start demanding more seaworthy boats we will see more seaworthy boats. When professional sailors refuse to start races in extreme conditions we won't see the carnage.

    I think you are splitting hairs when you say that the multi's didn't beat the mono's. In races that have competition in separate classes, there is also a first to finish that is open to competitors from any class. The same logic says that a boat that finished first out of 73 is more successful than a boat that finished first of 51.

    If we accept the designer's opinion that ORMA Tri's are not seaworthy, that does not condemn multi-hulls in general any more than the failure rate of the VO70's condemns canting keels.

    "I know I'd much rather sail an unsinkable self-righting boat than a sinkable self-righter or an unsinkable un-righter. "

    LOL! Very good!

    My honest question is, How much weight should be given to the capsize/pitchpole/sinking problem as part of the overall seaworthiness of a boat? In real life (not single-handed racing) ocean sailing how large is the risk of capsize/pichpole/sinking? Modern sailors and good seaman have much better access to weather forcasting and have the opportunity to plan passages that minimize the risk of sailing in bad weather. I am not aware of any data that suggests that there is a clear advantage between mono-hulls, catamarans or trimarans in surviving poor weather. Even the 3 capsizes recently reffered to cannot be deemed the result of ORMA Tri's being un-seaworthy. In 2 of the 3 cases having more than one person on board would probably have prevented the capsize.

    There are very clear differences in the motion of the different types and their handling characteristics. I agree with you that it becomes personal preferance.

    No one should be made to feel foolish or ignorant about their choice of boats. I sail a Catalina 30, many people would classify my choice as foolish. Those people can get stuffed. :D

    None of this changes the fact that ocean racing multi's are faster than ocean racing mono's. Whether you or I want to sail one of these beasts is an entirely different discussion.
  12. Vega
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    Vega Senior Member

    CT249, very good post! I could not agree more.

    RHough, I have cruised around 10 000 mile. That’s not much and there are a lot of guys in this forum that had done a lot more, but I can tell you that If I had sailed in a multihull, I would have capsized, one time for sure, and another time I would have had very serious trouble, that could lead (or not) to a capsize. And 90% of my cruising is done in summer; coastal cruising with some ocean passages and I don’t go out if they forecast over 7 beaufort.

    I guess that the answer to :”How much weight should be given to the capsize/pitchpole/sinking problem as part of the overall seaworthiness of a boat?” is a personal one.

    The answer is yes. No amount of wind can capsize or sink a modern monohull, you need also breaking waves of considerable size. But just the wind, in a flat sea, can capsize a multihull.

    Of course, it will be necessary some freaky conditions. They are not usual, but sometimes they happen. These conditions are very strong winds (ocean crossing and big storm or strange meteorological phenomena) and sudden and very strong gusts (orographic winds).

    Race multihulls are faster, but that is not always true for cruising multihulls. They are heavy and a cruising monohull with water ballast, can be as fast as, or faster than a cruising multihull (I am talking of boats between 40 and 45ft the ones that I am interested in). And I am not talking about cruising monohulls with canting keels, because they don’t exist yet in boats of this size, but the comparative performance would be even better.

  13. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    Thanks Vega

    That is exactly the sort of information I was looking for. I've been lucky and my offshore experience is limited. I've sailed (raced) in 40-50 knots on several occasions but not in open ocean where waves are fully developed. My experience is that that I much preferred a lighter boat that surfed easily to a heavy boat that didn't. If it had been days instead of hours my opinion might well be different! :)

  14. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    I agree with the F1 comparison. A more restrained vehicle (non-turbo F1 car with all the other restrictions they have, or a multi with rig restrictions) can generate just as much of the publicity that is the lifeblood of pro sport.

    I honestly don't think I'm splitting hairs about multis winning. In most events the4 first boat to finish is regarded by the competitors as just as the first boat to finish, not the real winner. I do quite a few multi-class races. I have never seen the competitors in the largest class downgraded because they have finished later. Look at the enormous UK mixed-fleet races; the winner is the yardstick winner, not the first to finish.

    The RdR site doesn't list anything like a "first to finish that is open to competitors from any class" as far as I can see. Another example would be the Paris-Dakar rally; the cars are given equal billing with the bikes. The one which is faster does not get more publicity.

    Yet another would be the Boston Marathon. The wheelchairs seem to do the course a lot faster (according to the sites) than the runners, but the first runners home don't seem to be regarded as losers.

    Personally, I find finishing first because I have better gear to be a very empty experience, and I think many sailors feel the same way.

    I don't think capsizing or sinking is the major health risk in sailing; falling overboard is, if I recall correctly. I don't think there's much evidence to favour either multis or monos in that respect. I'm not sure that you can expect pro racers to sail around bad weather all the time; they can sail through it to go faster.

    I just think the edge of speed is over-rated. The ORMA 60 tris are already slightly slower than they could be if they had no rules; why not take a bit more of an edge off and cut the rigs down a bit. It's easy to say we must favour development; I know from personal experience it's harder to spend a life being one of those left behind when someone died in the name of making the sport faster.

  15. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    Capsize a Monohull

    Just plain not true!! There have been numerous capasizes by mono's in many wind conditions encountered in 'normal' ocean sailing, and in special circumstances such as 'micro-burst'.

    And in most open ocean conditions it is not that normal to encounter 'breaking waves'.
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