demountable catamaran for the caribbean and south pacific

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by cloudsrule9, Jun 10, 2016.

  1. cloudsrule9
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    cloudsrule9 Junior Member

    I'm looking for the best small "liveaboard" catamaran to island hop in the caribbean and the south pacific. Exactly where in the south pacific will be dictated by the boat we pick.

    So we are a young(ish) couple (28 and 29) looking to go exploring for a couple of years. We want a boat with a shallow draft to explore shallow lagoons, and something that can dry out or be beached. We want a simple boat that is easy to sail and seaworthy.

    Just to make things difficult we want to be able to put in inside a 40 ft shipping container so that we can post it places if we don't fancy the ocean crossing (and we probably wont). Taking a few days or a couple of weeks to take it apart and put it back together isnt an issue, we will probably only ship it 3 times (UK to USA, USA to french polynesian, Oz to UK). Or we might sell it in OZ.

    We are after something that has a moderate level of comfort which for us is a permanent double bed, a permanent galley with 2 gas hobs and an oven, toliet that is not a bucket (girlfriends requirement), and ideally a fridge.

    Headroom in the galley should be 1.60 m if possible. Sitting headroom elsewhere is okay. Shade , of some form, for the helmsman is required (i'm British and ginger)

    We have only found 1 production boat that has what we want (Elf 26) and not many of these where made. Although there are plans to bring them back into production.

    So looks like something is being built. Our top designs so far are

    Wharram: Tiki 26, 30 and 31
    Woods: Eagle 24

    At the moment i like the Tiki 30 and woods 24 the best. Im concerned about the high freeboard of the eagle 24 and this small size (fine in the Caribbean not so sure about the south pacific). The tiki 30 just seems a bit dated and i figure there must be a design which takes advantage of developments in recent years.

    If i can be convinced it might really work Exhilarator 40F/ harryproa 40F is also being considered but at the moment it only exists as a computer model.
     
  2. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    Thank you for considering my Eagle 24. You would need a demountable cuddy (as on my Plans Updates page and as I used on my Merlin) to get the double bunk.

    You probably saw that one of my 9m Skua designs crossed the Atlantic some years ago and was shipped back to Germany in a container. That is similar to the cruising version of the Salish 28 (which has a longer cabin than the racing version)

    You are right, the Elf is going back into production, the moulds will be going to France.

    A Strider Club was cruising in the Caribbean when I was there 12 years ago.

    The most comfortable boat, assuming you have no assembly time restraints, would be a demountable Saturn. Or an open deck demountable Gypsy with added central cuddy cabin.

    I recommend a composting toilet, we have had one for 4 years and we would not use a regular marine head again.

    Please email me to discuss any options or if you have private comments. Like budget and time scale

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs

    www.sailingcatamarans.com
     
  3. tane
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    tane Junior Member

  4. magentawave
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    magentawave Senior Member

    Richard, I have a couple questions for you, please...

    1) Why did you recommend the Eagle 24 instead of the Sango? Because the Sango's center cabin won't fit in a container?

    2) Have you ever considered putting two free standing masts on a Sango kind of like Schionning did with the Radical Bay?

    3) What do you think about sailing solo to Hawaii on a Sango?

    Thanks
     
  5. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    Thank you for your post but it might be better to email me direct at woodsdesigns@gmail.com

    I would prefer the Saturn or Gypsy catamarans for a Hawaii trip. Two have done that already

    Maybe even the "new" Elf 25, see here

    http://sailingcatamarans.com/index.php/designs/3-25ft-to-30ft-catamarans-designs/476-elf-25

    I prefer the open deck Eagle for ocean sailing over the Sango for 3 reasons. First, the bridgedeck is higher. Second, there isn't as much room to carry "stuff" and so you are less likely to overload the boat. Third, you can more safely stay inside the gunwales so less chance of going overboard. It also might make a drier boat

    Although longer, the open deck Skua is similar to Eagle in freeboard/interior/load carrying. One has made an Atlantic crossing (Germany to Jamaica and back via a container)

    But really I don't recommend any of those small boats for ocean sailing. By "not recommend" I mean I wouldn't do it myself and I always think that I shouldn't suggest that people can do things with my designs that I wouldn't be prepared to do myself. I know I am older, maybe wiser, now, but even 30 years ago I thought the smallest sensible ocean sailing catamaran was about 30ft.

    No I won't be putting a bi rig on my designs. I will let other owners/builders experiment/waste money until it is proven to work. If it really was a good idea why aren't all Schionnings fitted with them? it didn't work on Team Phillips either.

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs

    www.sailingcatamarans.com
     
  6. rob denney
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    rob denney Senior Member

    "Seaworthy" covers a lot of ground, and is by far the most important requirement.
    Most boats come to grief due to crew fatigue or fear. A longer, wider boat will be less likely to capsize, or feel like it might. It will also be more comfortable when hove to or under drogue. Plus it will have a bigger payload capacity, and it's performance will be less reduced if this capacity is exceeded.
    However, it must also be light, both for ease of use (smaller rig) and assembly/disassembly.

    An easily handled rig with as little as possible to fail or foul reduces fear and fatigue enormously. Unstayed, with no extras is as easy as it gets.

    One of the scariest times most cruisers encounter is finding themselves anchored on a leeshore with building breeze and waves, usually in the early hours of the morning. Most simply motor away. But small boats with small motors often have to sail out of trouble. The process on a conventional cat is to hoist the sails, then one crew goes forward, avoiding the flogging jib, to hoist the anchor, waving their arms or yelling instructions to the helmsman. Once the hook is off the bottom, the helmsman has to sail the boat backwards, without breaking the rudders, winch the jib and the main on hard and get sailing fast enough to tack. The sail area required for this will almost certainly be more than is comfortable, adding to the stress. Plus, it probably won't be enough to avoid getting into irons, with all the lost ground, stress and effort entailed.
    In a harryproa, a minimal amount of sail is hoisted, just enough to maintain steerage way. The anchor is pulled up by both crew from the bridgedeck, the boat is steered (both ends are bows, and the rudders rotate through 360 degrees) onto course and the fully battened sails, with booms above head height are trimmed on. To shunt, the sheets are released, the rudders rotated 180 degrees and the new sheets pulled on, with no winching required. There is much less stress on crew and boat, and it is less likely to end in tears, or on the beach.

    You won't spend a lot of time hove to in gale force winds and seas while crossing oceans. But if you intend spending time anchored in interesting bays, you will have to beat out of them in the early hours often enough to make this an important part of the design.

    The other stressful time is sailing at night. Is that a wind cloud? Was that a temperature drop indicating a rain squall? Most cruisers sail with reduced sail at night, just in case. And even then, they worry. It is far easier, and hence less stressful on a boat with unstayed masts, no headsails and self vanging sails. If the wind increases, you ease the sail. All the way to in line with the breeze if required, at which stage the boat is drifting quietly downwind. You can then sheet on to get as much or as little power as required, all from the sheltered helm position. There is none of the stress attached to flogging headsails, jammed furlers or spinnaker socks and mains pinned against the shrouds or the need to go forward or on deck to get sails down in a hurry.

    Daggerboards are aptly named, in terms of what they will do to the hull if you hit large debris or the bottom at any speed. Fixed rudders are even worse.

    Performance is not a big deal reaching along the coast in the afternoon seabreeze. But when the breeze is light (or heavy), you lose a lot of miles if you can't sail. It is also handy when you have a deadline to meet, an anchorage to get to before dark, a storm to avoid or are sailing in coral strewn areas with a lot of current, which is the situation around a lot of the S Pacific.

    Keep it simple. Salt water and small boats are a poor combination. If you can't fix it on board, away from civilisation, make sure you can get by without it. This applies to rigging, electrics, motor, cooker, fridge and all your gadgets.

    The boat is pretty simple. Please let me know which parts you think "might not really work" and I will try to explain why they will, or change them so they do.

    I would also add a decent tender to your requirements. There are many times when you want to leave the boat and explore, shop or visit without paying marina or harbour fees. It also makes setting a second anchor in big seas feasible and allows access to places the mother ship can't reach.

    Keeping a boat in a container is a great idea. But they get hot and steamy and condensation will form. Rot loves these conditions. If you build in ply or cedar, everything must have minimum 3 coats of epoxy.

    Richard,
    The biplane rig on Team Philipps worked well, unlike the hull engineering, the pod and the mast bearing. The biplane rigs on several Schionning and other designs also work well.

    There aren't more of them for the same reason there are still more monos being built and sailed than there are cats.

    Crossing oceans in a boat does not necessarily make that design suitable for such a trip.

    Good luck in the R2AK.
     
  7. tane
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    tane Junior Member

    "...We want a simple boat that is easy to sail and seaworthy..."
    - & you are looking at multihulls???
    @shoal draft/shallow lagoons: anywhere there's the slightest chance of a swell the shoal draft isn't going to be good for anything, believe me! we circumnavigated 3 times: once with 1m & twice with 2,1m draft: very few places from the first trip that we would have liked to come back to we couldn't, because of the 2,1m..
     
  8. rob denney
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    rob denney Senior Member

    why won't shoal draft be good for anything with a slight swell?

    By shallow draft, I mean 8"/200mm or less.
     
  9. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    Here is our 44' concept for tropics. Well, it is not supposed to be disassembled too often, but it ships in three 40' containers...
     

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  10. tane
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    tane Junior Member

    "why won't shoal draft be good for anything with a slight swell?"
    if you make use of the shoal draft in an open bay you'll be anchored in breakers before you know it =no boat! In Fannie Bay (Darwin) a danish simpson woodwind 35 lost one of his lar-keels when during night & low tide a sudden swell came in. they had made use of their shallow draft & anchored so close to the beach that at low tide they were just afloat. anchored far out with our 7' of draft we didn't even wake up & notice the slight swell...(sure, our dingitrips ashore were 3 times as long & wet as theirs) they were lucky that the damage was comparatively "slight"...

    & as long as you draw anything at all a pass into a lagoon from the open where a swell is running will have to be deep enough for 7' too...
    I'm not knocking the advantages of shoal draft (we enjoyed weeks of solitude in Australian rivers with 1m draft (they were closed for us with the 7' on the later trips), but there will be many times, when it will be totally useless. also the poorer maneuvrability & motorisation of the cat as compared to the mono has to be taken into account: if you have to get out in a hurry you will need more maneuvring-space than a mono
     
  11. cloudsrule9
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    cloudsrule9 Junior Member

    The main thing im not sold on is the construction concept. Its seems very cheap and easy which makes me wonder why it is not used more. Based on the costs you gave me £12 would make a harry40F (hull, decks, mast and spars). Basically just add sails and ground tackle and your away. Thats a lots of boat for £12K and makes me think there must be a catch. With a build time of 1500 hours at £20 an hour you are looking at about £30K in labour so thats less than 50K for a new 40 foot boat. So why is no-one doing this for the mass market with a slightly more conventional design.

    Other things are just not tested which makes me a bit concerned. How well do they anchor, do they wander around like cats tend to. How do you reef? Where does the engine go? How to you fit nav lights (im guessing you need two sets one for travelling in each direction) and whats to stop you having them the wrong way round when shunting at 3 am when your half asleep? Whats the turning circle like, they look like they will do okay in the open ocean but look difficult in close quarters? If i need help from someone else are they likely to be able to jump aboard and vaguely sail/rig/steer/modify the thing?

    I really like the design and i hope you get bucket list sailing soon. Race one in next years R2AK and you'll prove all worries are ill founded (I'll crew!). I'm generally conservative with ideas when it comes to expeditions. The few times i have taken new technology out into the wild it has generally failed and this is too much of a risk for this trip. For example new collapsible ski poles froze solid and couldn't be adjusted for skiing down, ski crampons stored on the skis deployed accidentally while walking up (they no longer make these). All good ideas but it takes a good few years to testing to work all the kinks out. If it was only a few hundread £'s to build, took a week or so and was going to be used for a short trip then i would totally build a harry. I saw a short you tube video of a harriette and that looked great. I want one, i just cant risk £12K, 1500 hours and a very pissed off girl when it doesn't quite come together.
     
  12. cloudsrule9
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    cloudsrule9 Junior Member

    shoal draft

    I'm inclined to agree with you and if i was circumnavigating i think i wouldn't think much about draft. Also the more i think about it the less sure i am about the uses of a shoal draft. However here is my reasoning. When i was diving in the great barrier reef there where many reef systems which had 4-6 feet of water above them and 12-18 feet behind. When it is flat (and those are the best diving days from a visibility point of view) then it should be possible to move the boat over these coral heads from one bit of reef to another. We are both research scientists and therefore will probably spend an inordinate amount of time looking at a single small area of reef. Other area i think it will be helpful is in seagrass beds. My girlfriend is a plant scientist and seagrass is the only real plant in the sea (the other "plants" like seaweed are really macroalgae). Seagrass grows in calm shallow waters often 1-8 feet deep (like the everglades). While we wont be able to motor or probably even sail in these water (grass will foul the prop and catch on the rudder) it should probably be possible to row the boat assuming we have a shallow enough draft.

    I guess we want rather odd things from a boat hence the slightly odd choices we have made. I agree that in general a mono would be a better choice if we really wanted simple and easy. I guess what i really meant was i want as simple and easy as i can get without having to give up some things we want and the stability of a cat is one of those things. I'm pretty convinced that the boat i want is possible just hasn't been drawn yet as it is very niche. Richard and I have had a bit of a email discussion about which is the best boat (which is probably not of interest to this forum in general) and i think it is either a "new" elf or an eagle. At the moment i am going for an elf as i don't have to build it myself and its fiberglass so wont rot, but i can fit the internal myself which lets me have the cooker etc that i want as well as saving money and meaning that i really know the boat.
     
  13. cloudsrule9
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    cloudsrule9 Junior Member

    I like the look of it but i think it is a bit to big and complex for our liking. If i was circumnavigating (and was richer) then i might be sold. From the picture it look like the boom could hit on the shrouds if sheeted out to 90 degrees for downwind sailling. I had this on my last boat and in used to annoy me, plus i broke my battens... It is also wheel driven and i would prefer the simplicity of a tiller but i guess that is not really an option on a 44 foot boat. Have you got a smaller but similar design?
     
  14. catsketcher
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    catsketcher Senior Member

    Don't get the mono for shoal draft

    Shoal draft is a wonderful thing, being too close to shore is not the fault of shoal draft but bad seamanship.

    I really like diving and find a cat fabulous for diving. If you are serious about diving then a cat with steps up the transom is great. We dive off the boat and also find it easy to lug weights, flippers and masks into the dinghy with our nice transom steps. We also have a nice flat aft deck where we can suit up. At the Green zone at Bait reef my wife could sit on the bottom step and hand feed a massive Maori Wrasse - a highlight of the trip.

    As for research, again I would go the shoal draft. We did some dugong looking in Moreton Bay and ended up basically pushing our 38 footer into a 1 metre deep bay so we could putter around in the kayaks in the early mornings and evening. At Fraser we could get into Coongul and Watoombah Creeks because of the shoal draft - allowing us to stay out even if conditions threatened to come in from the west ( from which it is unprotected).

    As for just having fun - we spent 10 days in Hinchinbrook's North creek where we were part of the amazing world heritage landscape - because we could get in with 1 metre draft.

    But where a multi really shines is that having shoal draft in no ways compromises any other aspect of the design. A shoal draft cat is just as seaworthy and as usable as a deeper cat. This is not the case in monos and shoal draft requires some pretty serious compromises. In a multi you can have it all - seaworthiness and shoal draft. If you are serious about diving you may want a SUP or two, we took two glass kayaks on our last Queensland trip, one 5.3 and the other 5.8 metres long and all stowed away safely along the aft deck when sailing. A cat is a great water lovers platform. We tie bean bags to a rope and lie under the bridgdeck in the shade and cool in the clear waters of Great Keppel island.

    Cats also shine in manouvrability IF they have twin engines. For me our single engine cat is fine but if manouvrability is essential and you want better ability ability to turn than monos get twins. For your size twin 9.9 Yammies would be easily enough.

    As for seaworthiness - on my last trip in 2014 we had three friends with their cats next to us off Airlie. I then realised - all three had circumnavigated. We were the least well travelled. All of them loved their boats.

    cheers

    Phil
     

  15. rob denney
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    rob denney Senior Member

    Presumably because they are still figuring it out. It has taken 50 years for multis to become mainstream and most boats are still built the same way they were then (ply or hand laid in moulds). Even when offered something lighter and cheaper, with detailed explanations as to why, people think "there must be a catch".

    Instead of fearing it is a trick, try it on a small sample, a scale model or a small harry and see why it is quicker and cheaper. Then compare the work involved with any of the honest boat building blogs.

    There is nothing fundamentally different about Intelligent Infusion. It is the result of several years of effort to make boat building easier. The material costs are the result of a light boat, simple shapes, mininimising waste and eliminating or building stuff rather than buying it. They will be the same, less the waste, for any boat of similar weight.

    If you really "aren't sold on" the build method, build it conventionally. It will weigh and cost more and take longer, but will still be a better boat for your stated purpose than a 26' cat, for the reasons i cited in my previous post.

    There is a bit more to add than just "sails and ground tackle", but a harry has less deck gear, rigging and chandlery than a conventional boat.

    Harryproas have been sailing for 20 odd years. Your questions have been answered on existing boats and are very much 2nd or 3rd order considerations. The primary one is that a 26' cat will not be as safe, seaworthy or comfortable as a 40' harry. And it will probably cost more time and money.
    With a bridle they sit head to wind, same as a cat
    Slab reef, same as a cat. But with no headsails to worry about, and the ability to stop the boat to reef, on any point of sail, it is much less hassle.
    On the tender, the stern of which can be lowered to make a large sled to power the mothership. This allows for a large, stable, fast tender, an outboard that is easily accessible and a prop that does not ventilate in a head sea.
    Either two sets and a switch, or one set which is moved. It is easy enough to rig a reminder system or an automatic switch, but that is likely to be the least of your worries if you are sailing while you are that tired.
    Fore and aft rudders provide more control than stern mounted rudders. The turning circle is tighter than a similar length cat. Tighter again than a cat with mini keels.
    A harryproa is simpler to sail than a sloop rigged cat, so there is less chance of needing help and less chance of a screw up if you do.

    Thanks. Looks like there will be one, but i won't be sailing it. The boat in the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8chR6DAFjGA answers more of your questions and has more in common with your boat than Bucket List has.

    Pretty much describes building a scale model of one of the hulls, a harriette or a tender.

    Building a 16' harriette would show you everything you needed to know about building and sailing a harryproa. Then build a 10'5" version of the cat (same ratio as a 26' cat to a 40' harry) using conventional methods and compare the building, sailing and potential seaworthiness of each. Or build the tender and compare it to the joys of an inflatable. In each case, ask your girl which one appeals most.

    Catsketcher's shallow draft comments are spot on. I would add a safety feature. If the boat is shallow enough (~200mm/8" or less) it can be 'washed' up the beach by large surf without being damaged. It will then sit at the high tide mark without damage until the sea/wind reduce. This is frequently a less stressful solution to the anchoring on a lee shore problem than moving the boat.

    One of the early harrys (8mm strip planked hull, with 200 gsm glass each side) broke it's mooring in a storm at low tide and drifted onto the beach in waves "too big to launch a dinghy through". It was undamaged when we recovered it at high tide the following day. Mini keels or fixed rudders would have ben broken.
     
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