considering building Kurt Hughes

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by John Coulson, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. John Coulson
    Joined: Mar 2018
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    John Coulson cacador

    Phil, As you can see from my previous posts, I am new to the multi world.
    I am still in the research phase of all this.
    I am looking for a multi (cat or tri) in between 35'-45' for extended mid latitude/tropic sailing with my family (2 young boys).
    I want speed, my wife wants something manageable.
    obviously cost and construction time is extremely important.
    I am open to any design that fits this description. If you have any links, please send them
    thanks
    john
     
  2. Richard Woods
    Joined: Jun 2006
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    I was talking about the all round living on board, not just sailing. So cleaning, maintenance, anchoring. Especially mooring and getting on/off a high freeboard boat (my wife doesn't "do" jumps) In part because even with twin wheels (as that Transit had) you are still not near the gunwale when coming alongside. Once sailing in a straight line then yes it's easy to sail any size boat. I don't like relying on powered winches. You will find hoisting a big roach fully battened mainsail is much harder than a monohull sail. That's just my experience after 100,000 multihull miles, cats and tris, up to 63ft (a Hughes design by coincidence) and monohulls to 72ft. A 40ft x 25ft catamaran has a floor area similar to a 2 bedroom house (and more than the total floor area of the two flats I own)

    As an example of the space. Some years ago I went to the Oyster yard and went on board a 55 being built. I measured the owners aft cabin. As I said to the manager who held the other end of the tape "its almost as big as the aft cabin on a Transit 38" Then I said, "but of course the Transit has TWO aft cabins this size" The Oyster only had one.

    You say you are new to multihulls. Pay great attention to what catsketcher Phil says!

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs
    www.sailingcatamarans.com
     
  3. John Coulson
    Joined: Mar 2018
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    John Coulson cacador

    Richard, Thank you very much for your reply. You make somegood points, especially about straight line sailing and docking a multi.
    I had a look at your designs and quite like the Rhea, it looks like it would be quick.
    I also looked at the transit 38, which comes as a bare hull, another good idea.
    As I said, i am still in the research phase.
    Do you have contact info of anyone who has built and sailed those designs?
    Thanks again
     
  4. catsketcher
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    catsketcher Senior Member

    As much as it pains me to say it, building your own boat is probably not the best way into multis these days. You can get some very nice ones secondhand. Then again, if like me, you need to build at least one boat in your life, a performance cruiser is probably a good bet, There are lots of roomarans out there for sale.

    You probably won't go fast all the time, but it is very nice to have sailing performance in reserve for times when you the water goes flat and you can crank the boat up to get in somewhere well before dark. Be careful of over rigging a boat, it may be harder to sail well, and more flighty, so you may back off getting it up to its potential. That is where the cleverness of the designer comes in - too little performance and you go slow, too much and you spend lots of time wishing the thing would stop jumping around.

    I have a 38ft Chamberlin, which cruised my family of four for three years and my wife and I for 1 year with lots of coastal cruising in between. I can't see why anyone would want anything bigger, but they do. I keep costs down by doing almost everything myself but would balk at the cost of running a bigger and heavier cat. There is an engineering concept called the square cube rule. It can be gotten around by spending money but it is an inviolable rule about loading.

    Our boat averages about 7 knot on the GPS. On a good day we can average 8 over the chart, 10 on a nice day and have averaged 10 for 160 miles. But 7 knots is good and we have been passed by two boats when cruising so boats don't go that fast when measured over a chart.

    You need to get out on some cats and have a look at what feels right. For me, I require a light helm, some sensitivity to trim, great windward ability and seaworthiness. So I have a high bridgedeck, lowish cabin, inner forestay rigged 7/8 strip plank cat. It takes us safely around the East coast of Australia. Here we have/had a good scene where designers drew boats that can sail, rather than slog or motor, to windward. They were based on racers and detuned and fattened up to be a hybrid between the slippery racers and sluggish cruisers.

    Some cats that are similar to mine are

    Sailing Catamarans - Transit - 11.8m centre cockpit ocean cruiser http://www.sailingcatamarans.com/index.php/designs-2/5-catamarans-over-40ft/178-transit

    Arrow 1200 | Performance Cruising Catamaran http://www.schionningdesigns.com.au/arrow-1200

    Get yourself down to the local multi race club and grab a few rides. There will be lots of advice there.

    cheers

    Phil
     
  5. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
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    fallguy Senior Member

    I have to admit ignorance here as well. Tightrope??

    how does your no cabin cat now have one?
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2018
  6. catsketcher
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    catsketcher Senior Member

    Access into the hulls is pretty important, you go up and down tens of times a day. In some old designs you had to crouch down and even get on your hands and knees - not good. Friends with a Spindrift like this put on a 45 degree blister at the bridgdeck/hull join that had the steps within it. Helped dramatically.

    As for my cat - we started off wanting something with great visibility and thought we did not need the extra room of a bridgedeck cabin. But an open cockpit is a pain - no shelter from the wind, rain, spray so as we cruised our cockpit shelter grew until it sheltered the entire centre cockpit. It worked but looked awful close up so I cut it all off, put the cockpit back aft and built a see through and see over cabin, that looks like a normal cabin. You can see through it easily though. We spend lots of our time inside underway as we can still very well from inside.

    cheers

    Phil
     
  7. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
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    fallguy Senior Member

    Thanks. I think I’ll make sure to have a few windows on the aft side of the Skoota cabin for light n see thru.

    The cabin sits lower amd the helm looks over the cabin.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2018
  8. jamez
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    jamez Senior Member

    Phil, do you have before/after shots of the bridgedeck cabin build?
     
  9. John Coulson
    Joined: Mar 2018
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    John Coulson cacador

    Catsketcher,
    Thanks for your input, especially the part about building vs buying.
    I don't have a burning desire to build a multi, but am looking to acquire one. I have a fairly unique work schedule (4 months on 8 months off) which gives me plenty of time to build IF it makes sense.
    I am still trying to figure if it does.
     
    redreuben likes this.
  10. catsketcher
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    catsketcher Senior Member

    Not readily available - it started out as a windscreen with a roof, then got ply sides as we cruised with no back. I never finished it as I was always going to do it again - it worked well but was bad to look at. Now it is pretty much a normal cabin. Twin removable doors and a lots of opening windows - one in front of the wheel, one at the centre front and one each side of the windscreen. Low enough to see over as the cockpit is higher than the trench that runs sideways across the bridgedeck.
     

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  11. jamez
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    jamez Senior Member

    Thanks Phil. Nice looking conversion.
     
  12. DGreenwood
    Joined: Aug 2004
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    DGreenwood Senior Member

    Wow! Great looking cat. It looks like you balanced function and beauty very well.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018
  13. rob denney
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    rob denney Senior Member

    Sailing is mostly joy, a bit of drudgery and a small part scary. Choose your boat to minimise the scary. Ask any owner/designer/salesman to tell you about their boats weaknesses, they won't be able to think of any. Ask them to decribe their scariest moments, and you might learn about things to avoid. Mine involve a capsize and 11 hours freezing my butt off in a liferaft in the Atlantic, a 12mm/half inch diameter stay on a 30m/100' high mast breaking about a metre away from where I was sitting and 30 knots blowing into a bay where we were anchored in my 30' engineless cat.

    Speed is a function of weight, length, sail area, efficient water/air foils and water/air drag.

    To optimise weight and length, you need the least possible boat for it's length, which is a proa. A 15m cruising proa weighs just over 3 tonnes, about the same as a 10.5m cat. Because it is wider and longer, the proa will not only feel safer, it will be safer.
    Maximising sail area is easy, but it must be manageable. Flogging sails generate more fear than anything else on a boat apart from ater above the floor boards. Furlers are wonderful, until they break or jam, when they become a nightmare. Spinnakers are scary enough that few cruisers fly them at night.

    The harryproa solution is unstayed masts in schooner configuration with wishbone booms. No extras, no storm sails, no headsails and no foredeck work. Regardless of the wind strength or point of sail, the rig can be totally depowered by releasing the 2 lightly loaded sheets. The boat drifts quietly while you make a cup of tea, take in a reef (down to 80% if required), land a fish or sort out any dramas. You then sheet on, applying exactly the amount of power you need. The difference between furling flogging headsails and winching down mainsails against the shrouds to reef them while charging along on the edge of control and harryproa sailing in a squall is the difference between a scared, wet and tired crew and a non event.
    Air drag (and overall weight and cost) is about minising surface area. High bows are not required if there is no foredeck work. Water drag is minised if the rudders are appropriately placed and sized so daggerboards are not required. If they also kick up in a collision or grounding and have no holes below the waterline, they are far safer.
    Sailing is easy in light air, but can be a challenge in heavy air and big waves. Maintaining enough speed to tack often means having too much sail up. And even then, getting caught in irons and drifting backwards is a probability. Gybing is a challenge involving sheeting on the main, while surfing down waves, then keeping on course while the sail crashes across and into the shrouds.
    Harryproas shunt. Dump the 2 sheets, pull in the new ones while steering onto your new course. No stress, no danger, not much effort. It takes hours to teach someone how to tack and gybe a cat in big waves, and even then, most skippers won't let their crew/wife/husband do it. It takes minutes to teach them how to shunt, and it is equally safe and easy in 40 knots as it is in 4. Shunting allows you to get back to a man overboard in seconds, vs tens of minutes for a conventionally rigged cat.

    "Manageable" is an anchor winch next to the helmsman rather than yelling instructions from the foredeck while avoiding the flogging jib. It is a helm position on the same level as the crew, with easy viewing and trimming of the sails, full view of the horizon and the option of tilting the wheel into the cabin for shelter if it rains. Helm positions with vision ahead and to leeward blocked by headsails are a disaster waiting to happen and should be illegal.
    Manageable is being able to motor at 10 knots to get in before dark, avoid bad weather or make a tidal gate. Harryproas do this with a big outboard, mounted on a big tender slung between the beams. The tender acts as a long sled, so the outboard never ventilates. A fouled prop is cleared by raising the boat and working at deck level. Big tenders allow you to anchor off expensive, crowded, noisy marinas and take the tender and all the crew ashore, take the kids waterskiing or access distant dive spots and beaches, keep the shopping dry, and in the worst case of abandoning ship, give you a better chance of making it ashore. They are not so good if they have to be carried up a beach or tied to a crowded jetty. Easily attached wheels or a small inflatable solves these.

    Time spent maintaining is time not sailing. One engine, no standing rigging, almost no deck gear, sensible ventilation, nothing to rot or get waterlogged, no holes below the waterline, minimal wetted surface to scrub and simple systems mean more time for sailing.

    Shallow (less then 12"/300mm) draft is vital. Not just for easy beach access and the ability to scrub off in waist deep water without getting your head wet, but for safety. A long. wide, shallow raft is very difficult to capsize. It can also sit on a surf beach beyond the power of the waves. A double ended boat makes landing through the surf much less challenging and is often a better bet than putting to sea.

    Cost is directly related to weight and build time. As with cars and everything else, modern methods are huge improvements over those used 30 years ago. Kurt's Cylinder Moulding and Derek Kelsall's KSS are both good examples of this. But the fastest of all is Intelligent Infusion. Not because it only takes an hour to perfectly wet out half the hull and decks, but because so much of the internal fitting out is included. The whole boat is built with no cutting or grinding of cured laminates and no secondary laminating. The vast majority of the work is done by cutting and placing dry glass and foam. This includes ring frames and stringers, perfectly fitting doors and hatches, solids for fittings, landings for shelves/bulkheads and matching joins to glue the components together. Not just far less work, but minimal mess, contact with toxic materials or waste.

    Visit harryproa.com and click on the links at the top to find out about the boats, Intelligent Infusion and browse the models to see which best suits your requirements. If none do, let me know, another advantage of Intelligent Infusion is that it is not a big deal to customise the layout for your specific requirements.

    If any of the above needs further explanation, let me know, either here or at harryproa@gmail.com
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2018
  14. Richard Woods
    Joined: Jun 2006
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    I think it would be best to continue the discussion about specific designs off this forum. So you can email me direct at woodsdesigns@gmail.com

    But to answer your questions. My wife and I sailed a Transit for several months from northern Chesapeake to the Bahamas in 2011/12. Usually we had one extra crew, sometimes more. It was all very comfortable, faster than most other cruisers, see here,



    but we felt too big a boat for the two of us (it has a huge interior compared to most 38ft cats). The boat was later sold and the new inexperienced owner (this was his first boat over 16ft) sailed it singlehanded from Bahamas through Panama to SE Alaska

    Another Transit cruised the Med for several years but is now back in Cornwall. Another is owned by an ex Yachting Monthly editor, also kept in Cornwall. So you are welcome to come visit anytime after they get relaunched.

    The current builder has just retired so is looking to dispose of the moulds and building rights for what I consider a very reasonable price.

    Hope that helps

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs
    www.sailingcatamarans.com
     

  15. otama
    Joined: Mar 2013
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    Location: WESTERN AUSTRALIA

    otama New Member

     
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