Crowther design 85

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by Cjk, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. Cjk
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    Cjk Junior Member

    Hi guys..
    Again, thanks for the such great replies I really appreciate it :)

    The main reason I am looking at the rotating rig, is the current rig has to be replaced before it goes to sea again anyhow, the old one has stress fractures in the mast so it has to be replaced one way or another, the boat hasn't been used in more than 5 years as such had not been out of the water until I had it hauled out for a survey, the hull is in decent condition barring the growth and crap below the waterline.

    Back to the rig, when I said I thought there was a way to control it's rotation, I was under the impression there was a pretty deliberate device at the base of the mast to control it's rotation and fix it in place if needs be.
    Also have spoken to allspar, they seem to think they can put a rotator in without moving the mast back or forward, or having to put in place extra bulkheads etc. With the way this thread is going I will likely just stick with a fixed rig anyhow.
     
  2. catsketcher
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    catsketcher Senior Member

    I have only ever owned one large boat with a rotating rig - that was the Crowther designed Twiggy. She was a 3/4 rig which suited the rotating mast. Your design is a masthead design which almost never has a rotating rig fitted - I can't think of any rotating masthead rigs.

    You certainly could ask Allyacht to help you upgrade the rig. It could be good to try and get rid of the back stays so you can add some roach to the main. Then again a lot of clever designers like John Hitch and Peter Snell want smaller mains that run deep downwind better (larger foretriangle).

    My advice is to go sailing on these boats before you make a decision. Gary can make his wing masts quieter than I could make my Twiggy mast, that is probably one reason for our difference of opinion. I was pretty close to making a wing mast for my 38ft cat. I had already made one for a trimaran and had the moulds ready sitting on a beautiful strongback waiting for more cedar - I thought long and hard about it but am glad I didn't.

    Sure you can hold the spanner tight but to me there is a wonderful feeling of security in a non rotating multi wire rig. Mine is 7/8th and has 8 wires holding it up. It just doesn't move. Even with the spanner held tightly our Twiggy mast would squeak at the base and the lee stay would slacken amazingly if we pushed hard. You learn to ignore it but I prefer a rig that doesn't show me so vividly the extent I am loading the structure.

    cheers

    Phil
     
  3. Gary Baigent
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    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    The French made a few masthead, rotating rigs: Tabarly's early versions of foil trimaran Paul Ricard and also his even earlier trimaran, the double wing mast rigged Pen Duick 1V, the latter having the setup only for a short while until he bent one of the masts and so switched to a more conventional? fixed rig design. There was also the futuristic maxi foil trimaran Charles Heidsieck; the rig never looked very good, mainly because of the poorly shaped sails, but it was masthead and rotating. Since then though, most/all rotating rigs have been fractional.
    Agreed catsketcher Phil, you can relax a little more on a fixed mast boat, another thing not to think about and control ... but if you want extra performance ...., I've done many miles on Newick 36 foot trimaran Mokihi with a fixed rig, an excellent boat especially in a seaway, but there were times when I knew the boat could have performed even better had the rig been wing shaped and rotated.
    The modern, fashionable thing is to mount the mast central, or even aft of central, on trimaran main hulls - so your present mast position, Clk, would not be a problem, if you so decided to change. Just get rid of fixed backstays and switch to runners, put on a larger, roached main, go fractional and have smaller headsails.
     
  4. Cjk
    Joined: Mar 2011
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    Cjk Junior Member

    Hey guys.
    Thanks for the replies. Having read read through everything I really am thinking that the fixed rig is the way to go, it really does seem to make more sense.
    I've arranged to go out on an 85 this weekend, it's another boat for sale, they know I'm not interested in buying it, but someone else is having it out for a sea trial, they seemed happy for me to join them to see how it goes. There are some pretty strong winds forecast for this weekend, so it should be good.
     
  5. catsketcher
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    catsketcher Senior Member

    Gday Gary

    Here is where I shoot some of my own arguments down. I remember talking to Max Purnell about Mokini. He had only recently put the wing mast on her. He said he could motor into the wind much faster with the fat Newick wing. This shows that it had less drag than the previous rig (or that he got a bigger motor)

    I built a similar mast for the 38ft Newick I built. It seemed a little heavy but I seriously contemplated building one for my similar sized cat but didn't.

    cheers

    Phil
     
  6. Cjk
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    Cjk Junior Member

    Well I got to sail on another 85 this morning, in some pretty strong winds as I had hoped for.
    Anyway all I can say was WOW to how it performed in those conditions. Upwind with a single reef in 28 knots, the boat got to 11 knots, I don't mean surged to, it was stable at 11 knots without it being uncomfortable, broad reach in the same conditions it got to 18 knots, without being uncomfortable either, you could still rest a can of coke on a flat surface and not have it spill. But I dare say if you pushed the boat beyond that point it could have become far more uncomfortable from that point.
    Dead downwind we got 14 knots.
    When going upwind the boat had surprisingly little pitching motion over waves which seemed about 4 feet.. I know not much size wise but that's what the day presented us with.
    What I do have to note about all that, it was said by the owner who was also on the boat in lighter wind conditions said the boat was a quite a bit slower than average, that it really needed 8 knots or more to really move the boat well.
    It was an aluminium 85, the one I am looking at is a composite 85 so I am not sure what that would mean for performance or stability.

    The owner of this boat mentioned he sailed it to New Caledonia about this time last year, beating all the way in just a tad over 3 days averaged 9 knots.
     
  7. catsketcher
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    catsketcher Senior Member

    secure is fast

    Glad to hear you liked the boat. That design was bit of a breakthrough for Crowther. He really pushed the prismatic and helped reduce pitching and the boats were known for being very solid.

    Be very wary of people pushing a racing orientated design at you and saying you can cruise fast in it. Regulars on this forum are probably sick of me telling the story that I cruised faster on my 4000kg 38ft cruising cat than my lightweight 31ft racing tri. True - the reason. Once you have your wife and kids, or your friends you want to be COMFORTABLE first and fast second. The tri was too light and so I was slowing it down heaps to be comfortable. The cat was much more solid and gave us so much more security that although it had a slower top speed potential we could just let her keep rolling on. On top of this you almost always want the autopilot on and you will take too much junk with you - so err on the side of cruisiness. (I once asked Lock what he thought about people cruising a Twiggy - which I was doing - he said it was pretty stupid to cruise in a boat designed to race)

    A solid 9 knots over a day is really going well, shorthanded, autopilot on. That is a very respectable day -220 miles. My friends with their 1320 super light Schionning had to keep slowing down their boat because of comfort and now they don't want to cross an ocean again - it was too much hard work and they went slower than 220 a day. (Flat panels on the hull bottom didn't seem to help either)

    Look really carefully at what people have done and the boats they use to do it. The further people cruise the saltier their boats seem to get. The 85 is a fine design for serious cruising. To make it go a little faster in the light get a big screecher made then you get faster in the light and solid all the rest of the time. Some designers who have done serious cruising miles - Snell, Hitch, Chamberlin, Kelsall, Woods design cats that are very solid for cruising - not at all like the lightweight thin hull 3/4 rotating rig speedsters. They have all had fast multis but design more sedate cruisers for quite well researched reasons.

    Maybe you would like a more sleek design with raked windows rather than the 85s boxier cabin. Why would Lock draw windows at the front almost vertical?- because they don't make the cabin an oven. Go aboard a sleek heavily raked cabin cat and feel the hot sun turn the cabin into an oven through those massive almost horizontal windows. Huge greenhouse effect. Looks great at the dock but is really silly in real time cruising use. The 85 will be cooler inside (and cooler to those who really use cats rather than draw pretty ones).

    cheers
     
  8. Cjk
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    Cjk Junior Member

    Yeah I would tend to agree, the more I look at the design and think about the smaller points in it's design such as the windows, you can really start seeing how great Lock Crowther actually was, when you compare this design to most of the newer ones it gets me to thinking what some of the modern day designers are really doing. I do like Bob Oram's designs where he has a double cockpit however.
    I've made the decision today to buy the boat, but it's going to need about 8 months or so of work before it will really be seaworthy again, but I am getting it at the right price for it's condition.
    What you mention re speed I'm not too worried about, getting a large screecher does make sense to me, it will be on my list but not a a priority, the Pacific ocean offshore rarely sees winds of less than 10 knots, on the odd occasion it does happen I think I'm just happy to cop it sweet and just soak up the sun.

    Also to your list of designers there, I would also add Shuttleworth to that list, as I have sailed on a couple of fairly solid and comfortable boats from his design stable.
     
  9. Corley
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    Corley epoxy coated

    Just out of interest Phil do you run your screecher on a fixed or flying furler the flying would appear to have the advantage of less drag but it might also be more problems?
     
  10. catsketcher
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    catsketcher Senior Member

    Congrats CJ - put some shots on so we can see her when you are ready.

    Corley - I am not a screecher expert but I have some opinions anyway. I do not like asymmetric kites on a cat (I wrote an article about if for MW mag) as they don't work well under autopilot. That is why I like a screecher. I do like symmetrical kites for deep running (no main) and the screecher for whenever the wind is over the quarter.

    Put the screecher on the prodder if you want to use it over a narrow range of angles. Going deep it won't work with the main. My advice is to NOT follow the fast racer example (cruiser don't pull the apparent far enough forward) and have a short prodder to use when the apparent is forward but make the screecher removable so you can tie it to a bow cleat for deeper work. The boat steers better and the screecher gets much cleaner air - you go faster.

    We raced my mates 1320 with in line screecher against a big cruiser on the lake. We would cream it until the deep runs when they would get their 20year old see through reacher and pull it to the windward bow. Then they would eat us up with our chasing across the ocean. I have raced boats like skiffs and Tornados that do win by tacking downwind but cruising cats are not fast enough to beat a similar cat that runs deep well by pulling the kite or screecher to windward. And I like to sail downhill as much as possible.

    So Kankama's screecher does not have a prodder (I would like a short one) but goes from side to side.

    cheers

    Phil
     
  11. Cjk
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    Cjk Junior Member

    Well I signed the contract for the boat today, the old guy that owned it sprung a whole lot of other things for the boat on me, it turns out he had a new rig made for it a few years ago but never had it put in the boat, it's sitting in his back yard under cover, it's about 3 years old but seems in perfect condition otherwise, as well as some new sails for it that had never been used.
    There's $70k back in my pocket, I can put that into some more interior improvements as I refit it, the hulls really need to be sandblasted, the boat had not been out of the water in quite some time until I had it out for the survey.

    So for the time being I'm going to keep it out of the water, the engines need to be overhauled, so I will get that done while the boat is dry.. I am sure there will be some small niggles that will need to be worked on since the boat has been dormant for so long, but I hope to be sailing by June.
     
  12. TriDave
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    TriDave Junior Member

    Congratulations, you should be very happy with that boat. I am late to the party, but at one time I was building a design 150 mk2 and I asked Brett Crowther about a rotating rig for it. He said essentially that a rotating rig has no place on a cruiser, it will just complicate your life and will be less durable.
    I sailed on one of the 49' design 85s once, but it was somewhat overloaded (generator, a/c etc) and it wasn't very windy. I was expecting more, but comfort is more important than performance to some folks.
    Best of luck with your new boat, I would own one in a heartbeat, except I am buying a 44 foot trimaran. The deal was pretty much sealed by the sail we took in the same conditions as yours with about identical results. 12 knots to windward in 30 knots of wind. Pretty comfortable motion, stayed dry in the cockpit. Great fun.
     
  13. catflap
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    catflap Junior Member

    Modified Crowther Design 85

    I am looking at a large Crowther Cruiser which is apparently a modified design 85. I am told built by Anderson Bros. in Sydney, launched in 93. She was widened in each hull by 1 foot and overall beam increased by 3 feet, hulls lengthened by 6 feet. LWL is 48 feet and LOA 54 feet - long bow overhangs on top of bulbs.

    She if very much a live aboard cruiser with the bridge deck cabin appearing pretty much in line with the original Design 85 profile though she still has boards rather than keels (otherwise she would be out of my buying equation). Triple stayed 80ft mast and cutter rig.

    Does anyone have any knowledge or experience of these modifications and how the the sailing performance ended up ?

    Interestingly the rudders have been fitted with horizontal foils about half way down to reduce pitching (perhaps the bulbs were added after launch for the same purpose?).

    I wonder if extending the bows down low to bring the LWL closer to the LOA would help pitching (and or performance) Bigger LWL is better isn't it ?

    I am returning to sailing 30 years after a strong infatuation in my youth. I actually spent a day in Lock Crowther's office in 1984 when I had dreams of being a multihull designer - pitched it as being part of a school work experience project. I remember him as being very generous of his time for what would have been at best a distraction from his work for the day. Alas beer girls and money took me on a different course, though I probably would have got more beer and girls if I had boat for all those years.

    Any information (or leads on where I can continue the search) on the these modifications or boats out of the Anderson Bros. shop would be most appreciated
     
  14. waikikin
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    waikikin Senior Member

    Catflap,
    the boat & name sounds familiar, may have been known as the force or such, those mods where pretty typical in the day & seemed to be good, I know of another 85 built in the same district with similar re-engineered by Lock but with "cooler" styling.
    If you get a few more posts up use the private message function when you click a name, can't really splash names around to public forum.

    Jeff.
     

  15. catflap
    Joined: Jul 2014
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    catflap Junior Member

    Jeff,

    Thanks for the reply and information. I will PM when I have my 5 posts.

    This one is foam core with epoxy - subject to survey it seems like it would have a good few year left in the hulls.
     
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