Classic Catamaran

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by FirstLight, Sep 17, 2007.

  1. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    72' Quickstep

    I remember that one Tad...actually flew down to West Palm to see her when she came up for sale in an unfinished condition....long time ago. I've probable got some other photos of her somewhere in an old box.
     
  2. Tad
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    Tad Boat Designer

    clothears....

    Thank you for your thoughtful reply.....it forced me to do some reading before replying. There are two central questions to our discussion here.

    1) What is "good" design....say vs "bad" or "not so great" design?

    2) What is a beautiful boat?

    For me great design must be unique (thus definable) and beautiful, (which we'll come to in a moment) it must also be functional and deliver the function promised, and the overall picture must be totally integrated such that one feature cannot be separated out as defining. This combination is actually quite rare. The designs of Dick Newick (for instance and IMO) are an example.

    In my opinion Tsulamaran is not great design. Someone once said if you don't have performance (sailing ability or speed under power) in a multihull, you got nothing. I think the catamaran configuration makes a performance promise that sail area and appendages do not deliver in this case. Styling wise, Tsulamaran is (IMO) a giant version of Bill O'Brien's Oceanic series of the same period. Personally I find the Prout 45' Ocean Ranger a far superior design, achieving an an excellent rating in my "good design" scale. As another comparison, when viewed against the 46' CSK Imi Loa or the 43' World Cat, both (fast) cruising designs of 1964-65, the Prout design appears a houseboat at best.

    As Bruce King used to say, "The difference between good and great design is sometimes fractions of an inch". Tsulamaran seems to miss significantly in the overall proportion department. When viewed in 3D the hulls and sheer are dominate features, all else fades into obscurity, in some designs this is good, in this case she appears ungainly.....perhaps part of it the lack of boottop. In my photo's the dark painted boottop disappeared completely under water....signaling another overweight boat.

    Another great (IMO) design I would like to mention is Colin Mudie's Green Lady, an 80' trimaran (He refers to her as "double tunnel"). I have a feeling she is later than Tsula, but I don't have a ready reference. Colin's book Power Yachts has some excellent discussion on good design.

    What is a Beautiful Boat?

    Beauty is not much discussed in modern yacht design....mainly because it's something we recognize but can't easily define. In the post above style and design were mentioned as different things. This is true, style is important, but it's only one facet of design. Beauty in design is a moving target, with various features coming and going out of fashion over time. I think we recognize that Tsula is different than the cold ambition of the latest Gunboat...but how do we define this? For me part of it is the total lack of romance...it just isn't there. The Gunboat is totally predictable, destinations are pre-ordained, foreseen to the minute by the gps/nav computer interfaced with the auto pilot. The design is coldly aimed a minimum passage times, max speed, and everything remaining clean and perfect. No moss growing in corners, no varnish peeling, no baggy-wrinkle......hummm!
     
  3. clothears
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    clothears Junior Member

    more classic catamaran

    Hi Tad,
    well let me start off by saying that I found your reply to be one in which I find myself largely in agreeance.I am more than happy to admit that I find your input thought provoking and expansive. Precisely why I joined this forum. I looked at the verious boats you mentioned and can certainly see the design parameters you hold in high regard.Though I am at pains to point out that I never believed Tsula to be a great design.But what she is above all is DIFFERENT! Aesthetically speaking she is also not quite right but IMO goes some way towards a more gracious attempt at being a lady of the sea.Lets go back 45 years and look at the cars of the era. A VW beetle was neither a good design or a creature of desire. By todays standards it was a comical exercise in bad engineering and dog ugly appearnce.I could reference it to say the current Aston Martin.......... no contest.But I could also search among the cars from the 1960's and come up with a 1961 E-Type Jaguar.Like Tsula it had faults ( the wheel base was way too narrow) but viewed through the prism of the 1960's, it was and still is one of the most desirable objects of its era. Enzo Ferrari himself described it as being so.This leads me to challenge the one comment you made that I feel is incorrect."Beauty in design is a moving target, with various features coming and going out of fashion over time" You are IMO only partially correct. To justify my statement I need to ask why it is that millions and millions more dollars are spent on classic yachts.Why do so many new large yachts try and capture the many classical features of an era gone by.There are many here today and gone tommorrow factors of course. But there is also timeless elegance.
    I understand that design in and of itself must move the parameters forward.
    But wherever possible aesthetics should not suffer ( I know thats not always possible) as a result.I hope to hold to the main thrust of my origonal post. That is I wonder if it is physically possible to design and build a cat that is mind blowingly beautiful and of good design.Take a look at Marriettes bowsprit and tell me this is possible in a multihull and we are getting nearer to a creature of desire.
    Cheers,
    Paul.
     

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  4. jmolan
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    jmolan Junior Member

    I think highly of what you said about beauty in a boat. Sometimes they just grab you and you cannot attribute it to any one thing.
    I do not know anything about this boat except it is from Eric Lerouge. So you know it is functional in a killer performance, living, sorta way....and beautiful in my eyes.
     

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  5. clothears
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    clothears Junior Member

    Hi Jmolan,
    I like your object of desire.It looks very fast!But without any intention of offending you it also looks like its laser guns are primed and the lift off boosters are about to send it to warp factor five Mr Zulu. But thats the point isn't it .....beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and thats all that is necessary. Tad I looked at Ima Loa and can only see an absolute horror aesthetically speaking.....sorry! Which again underlines that.....beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.What is rather Ironic is the fact that the CSK boats are very high on my desirability list. Of the moderns they are number one on my lust scale (picture enclosed).So we do concur on most levels....great minds think alike if you will. Although I concede yours is probably the greater mind when it comes to design.Incidentally Ima Loa is currently on the market having had the one owner from new.As an exercise in testing the beauty issue further I have enclosed a picture of Ima Loa.I am asking anyone and everyone to give their opinion as to whether or not they see any intrinsic attractiveness in her.My cynical eye gives me nothing.I know I rattle on about the beauty issue but I really do think there is an immense opportunity for a designer who can create a cat that has the style of a J-Class or a Shpountz schooner. It must surely be possible given some lateral thinking.
    Cheers,
    Paul C.
     

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  6. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    I would have to agree with you here Tad.

    I saw this boat once in the Bahamas I believe. She stood out because she was one of the larger multihulls in her day...but that's about it.
     
  7. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    Classic 'appearance'

    In seeking a 'classic' appearance in a vessel, it never hurts to use some 'classic' colors...like dk blue and beige

    And its interesting how the sheer line is maintained by the color separations rather than the underlying shape.

    I dare say you might take one of those Marples cats (posting 25), give them a better paint job, add some brass or chrome cowl vents, etc and transform their appearance to a more classic look.
     

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  8. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    Sorry Rocco,
    I went back to your original posting and discovered we (starting with me :rolleyes:) hi-jacked your subject thread. At any rate I think that new Iren's design should be very much to your liking :cool:
     
  9. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    Bowsprit

    I wouldn't call them long, but I included a bowsprit on a few of my drawings.
     

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  10. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    And I'm not a fan of plum bows.

    Here is a beautiful 'classic' by Loch Crowther, Investigator ll
     

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  11. Tad
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    Tad Boat Designer

    The subject is "Classic Catamaran" so I feel okay about some drift into other designs of the 1960'-70's.

    I mentioned Green Lady in my last post, here she is with and without her ketch rig. This 80' by 33' Colin Mudie design features a conventional sheer and almost all accommodation on the main deck.

    Greenlady02.jpg

    Greenlady.jpg

    Next I submit a picture of Imi Loa sailing. This is included only because she was created in the same year (1964-65) as the 77' Prout design Tsulamaran. To my eye the CSK design is far more integrated and cohesive. The design pinnacle of this line by CSK is the 58' 1967 design Seasmoke.

    ImiLoa.jpg
     
  12. Tad
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    Tad Boat Designer

    And for something different I submit the designs of Peter Spronk. This is the 75' Ppalu, thought by many who know to be one of the most beautiful cats ever built.

    Ppalu.jpg

    And finally I include a 60' Crowther cruising cat.

    CrowtherTafua.jpg
     
  13. clothears
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    clothears Junior Member

    Tad, love the 75' Ppalu.It is far more deserving of the title beautiful As far as Ima loa goes ......horrible. Even applying a critical eye to the design I can see a pretty ordinary effort (IMO). You critiqued Tsula for being porly designed for tropical sailing.IMA loa is very poor in that department.Tiny portholes,tiny saloon (read humid),no protection from the sun topsides.The tapering safety rails are a nonsense and what exactly secures you from falling aft is beyond me.But heres the cruncher......my post was not about design it was about desire.I feel what we need here is not to pay homage to the 1960's or for that matter any year since. No,what I am suggesting is say 1900 to 1940 or thereabouts.More than a few current monohulls do precisely that why not catamarans?
     

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  14. clothears
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    clothears Junior Member

    I have posted three pictures.One of them is from a catamaran....can anyone pick which picture is from the cat.Can anyone tell me why it is not reasonable to look to the classic era when it comes to elegance in boating and apply that to catamarans?
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2010

  15. marshmat
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    marshmat Senior Member

    I see absolutely no reason why "classic" proportions and styling could not be applied to a multihull with modern hulls and construction techniques.

    The keys to achieving a classic look- balanced sheer, judicious balance of brightwork and paint, elegant and functional topside styling without excessive "jelly-bean-ness"- have very little to do with what goes on below bridgedeck level. I'm quite sure that a good designer with the right inspiration could come up with such a craft. (I've sketched out a few myself and I do like the idea.) Below about 16-17 metres (about 55') though, it's awfully hard to get standing headroom in the bridgedeck, sufficient under-wing clearance, and an elegant profile in the same boat.
     
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