Entry Level-Youth Catamaran

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by TTS, Oct 3, 2007.

  1. TTS
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    TTS Senior Member

    ;) Hello to all of you designers,:D

    I do not know how many of you have been following the actions of USSailng and the RYA as to Olympic class submissions. So here is what is going on and some threads to the events. Each thread is connected to the overall issue and that is catamarans in the Olympics. USSailing initially proposed dropping multihulls from the 2012 games. They since have back-pedalled at little on the issue. The RYA on the other hand did not propose a multihull as a class for 2012. They proposed 8 classes and left 2 open for debate, therefore speaking through omission. They did though propose stopping and quiting the funding of a multihull class for youth programs as of 2009, leaving a gap in the "ladder" towards the Olympics.

    The issue that I would like to see if I can can some great minds out there working on is two-fold. 1) An entree level catamaran that would become a starter for young sailors much like the opti is around the world. That maybe asking too much so maybe the parameter should focus upon a boat that can be handled by 9-12 year olds. 2) Developing an actual ladder for multihull progression with the goal of graduating int F18's, Tornados and the A-Class given that not all catsailors will have Olympic asperations. 3) Once providing the right design and structure and outlet, forming a group of like minded individuals to help promote and get this going.

    What is lacking in multihulls is a path to encourage youth sailors into multihulls. Some drift in, some (like my children) get pulled by their ears, others find some yatch or in the UK sailing clubs that do promote these programs for both dinghy and multihull programs. Once it is settled, then a builder/builders need to be found that can give the type of support that 420's, Lasers', Opti's and other monohulls have. Companies like Vanguard, Bethwaite UK (spelling is wrong), Hobie, Nacra and a few others come to mind for this type of endeavor.

    So who will help? Thank you for your assistance.
    Catsailor Thread
    http://www.catsailor.com/forums/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=119528&an=0&page=0#Post119528
    UK Petition to RYA & ISAF; Please sign if you support this. All signatures count.
    http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/CatamaranSubmission/index.html
    London Olympics Forum
    http://www.the2012londonolympics.com/forum/showthread.php?p=10673#post10673
    Yatch & Yatching Thread UK- Some of it makes good reading!
    http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=3418&PN=1
     
  2. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

  3. TTS
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    TTS Senior Member

    Doug,

    I have seen the thread and have been an active part of the fight to make sure that catamarans have a place in the Olympics. I thought that the wave made sense as well, but there does not seem to be a great deal of support out there for it as a development boat. I will again run it by USSailing and the RYA and see if it sticks.
     
  4. tuks
    Joined: Jun 2007
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    tuks Junior Member

    Oppikat

    Have you seen this?

    Oppikat
     
  5. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    Oppi Kat

    That boat looks real good to me! I'd rather see a square top main on whatever boat becomes "THE TRAINER" to teach kids how to sail with it since most high performance cats are using them.
    I wonder if anybody in the USA is going to build them?
     
  6. Retired Geek
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    Retired Geek Junior Member

    Tom,
    just goofing off for the weekend, but it seemed like something worth trying.
    Not really the same as the oppikat as I considered that too over powered for a beginner although similar in size. Think if your going to grab kids attention, it has to look cool in the first place, this may be over the top, but it will grab their attention. Its basically a powered up but scaled down A-Class that will probably top out at around 14-15 knots.
    Basics are
    LOA 2.8m
    BOA 1.8m
    Mast 4.75m
    Sail 4.35m^2
    Weight 34.1 kg (weight study done)
    Anyways, hope you enjoy the cartoons
    RG
     

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  7. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    Terrific, RG!
     
  8. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    The concept is vital for cat sailing IMHO, and your boat looks great.

    The size is excellent - a really small boat like this is much more convenient.

    A question - is looking cool so important? "Cool" kids boats here in Australia (ie boats for 13 year olds with an assy spinnaker and trapeze) are struggling. In the UK, there's massive championship growth in "uncool" old boats (Topper, Opti, Cadet) or cheap boats (Feva) for kids. I think the Laser 4.7 Euros last year had 330+ competitors. They aren't cool boats. In contrast, the fast and cool Formula Experience windsurfers got about 20 competitors to their worlds. Cool just doesn't seem to sell to sailing kids all that well.

    We have some junior boats that are very efficient to sail, but difficult to own - sandwich hulls (which ding), fixed rudders (a pain to fit), high rig tensions (my 14 year old nephew has an 18 Foot Skiff style "boat buster" block and tackle to get rig tension on his 11 footer) and for all their cool appeal, they are not growing because they are a PITA for kids and parents in some ways.

    My 13 year old son has a trapeze powered 11 footer......he's given it up to sail an original Windsurfer. So has one of his cousins. Our eldest did Taipan 4.9 nationals from about 15 - that's one cool boat but now he hasn't sailed for years. Again, coolness does not seem to translate to popularity.

    I'm constantly surprised by the way today's kids are happy to define "cool" themselves. We have pierced uber-cool teens sailing Herons (think non-spin 11' Blue Jay with gunter rig) with flames painted on the side; they think it's cool in an ironic way. A 15 year old the other day was telling me how he just looks at his original Windsurfer and cannot believe how cool it is.

    The kids who obsess about trends are probably watching the latest Hollywood movie or buying new clothes, because the big companies have the marketing power to attract them. Sailing doesn't. And hey, why not chase the millions who aren't into appearances.

    Kids do like what they call cool, but kids also hit things, drop things, want to sail over and raft up to their friends, and want to actually own boats and not have their parents say they are too expensive. The boats that are cheap and take a beating are the ones that seem to be actually thriving. While the wave-piercing bow on your boat looks great, what happens with this 15 knot boat when kids in a training session bump each other? We took a world A Class champ's Flyer through our port hull at low speed - the fact that his stem was reverse raked meant that what would have been a gunwale bounce with a normal boat turned into a hole through our sandwich. What does the average parent do when little Joe has stuck two hulls into the topsides of his mate's boat at 7 knots?

    Speed can be a problem. We run two very successful training courses. I notice that even an Opti or Sabot on a tiny puddle scares many kids. The speed demons tend to be older.

    Some of the top cat sailors down here reckon that cats are bad to teach kids the basics on because they are too stable, don't turn all that fast* and may be too fast. One manufacturer (AHPC of Capricorn and Taipan fame) went so far as to build protos for a small mono.

    Perhaps a small training cat could be;

    simple (it's already going to be quick enough - the boxy ply 11' Arafura Cadet training cat is faster than the Radial, and the radial attracts many kids)

    cheap (ditto)

    Narrow in beam (to make it lively and avoid the "too stable" argument which has validity IMHO).

    Have big foils for easy tacking (because inexpert kids spend a lot of time going slow when small foils are a liability).

    Be able to take dings.

    It may not have to copy too many advanced features of a big fast cat. Kids learn on Optis and move into 29ers with no great drama apparently.

    The centreboards are great - why do cat designers assume cat kids are too dumb for centreboards?

    A boat that can work singlehanded and doublehanded and as cat or sloop would be wonderful - many kids like to sail with friends but hate having to stop sailing when they aren't available.

    Do you foresee a Youth (ie 29er/420 age) version?


    *compared to a fast-turning mono. I've raced against and timed the tacks of Schiedt etc on Lasers and Gashby and Brewin on As, the cats are clearly slower to turn. I'm NOT saying that's a bad thing.
     
  9. TTS
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    TTS Senior Member

    RG,

    Love the looks of it. It is down the same diesign thoughts as the LR2 is and if the LR2 proves to be as stable as Ian and Fred seem to feel it is, it should make it a good training platform. I am going to attach this to the ongoing thread on catsailor that is beginning to address this issue. Thank you for the initial work. I do aggree with some of the above posting and do question how to set up a path to multihulls. There is a great deal of support it seems for starting the path with opti's, lasers, Toppers or cadets and then add in a cat as one of the next step choices. Where this seems to have failings is two-fold. First is individuals who believe that multihull sailors are stealing youth from the dinghy, monohull, keelboat progression. that we are taking from them the youths that they have developed. The error in this thinking is simple. The goal is to get youths exposed to and excited about sailing. After this is accomplished, it is then a mattar of exposing them to as many different platforms as are available and let them choose what they want to sail.

    A trainer catamaran does need to be first, durable, second, easy to rig, third, fun to sail, fourth exciting, fifth, able to develop a proggression of skills and lastly, affordable, easy to maintain, easy to right and easy to transport.

    Thank you again for the thoughts. I will pass this along to a few others who are looking closely at the same issues.

    TTS
     
  10. Retired Geek
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    Retired Geek Junior Member

    CT
    seeing I haven't been a kid in a very long while I guess I'm out of touch with what they consider cool....
    think the bumper boat scenario you mentioned is valid and I didn't make it extremely ding proof to keep the weight down. was going after making it possible for 2 kids to lift more than anything else. I agree with you about the scaring kids part with speed or worse yet with pitchpoling all the time, hence the extra bit of beam and length and keeping the sail area reasonable.
    I did consider having a couple of kids on it at times which it can comfortably handle (albeit slower) but discounted a jib because its more expense plus hardware and a kid will be busy enough with a main and tiller. Also balance gets compromised if you have to allow for the extra sail. As for a larger version later, anything is possible if you take the time to do it, but right now this is just a cartoon that I had fun creating over 1.5 days to see what was possible.

    Tom,
    think your 5 points are all valid, but its going to take a manufacturer who wants to do this for it to become a reality, not me just having fun on my computer.
    RG
     
  11. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    RG, I'm not an expert on these things - I was just trying to throw some ideas around.

    Good point about the expense of the jib. I suppose the balance problem is greater with a small boat than it is in Taipans and Mossies, where the sloops and cats handle in a similar way.

    Tom, re
    "Where this seems to have failings is two-fold. First is individuals who believe that multihull sailors are stealing youth from the dinghy, monohull, keelboat progression. that we are taking from them the youths that they have developed. The error in this thinking is simple. The goal is to get youths exposed to and excited about sailing. After this is accomplished, it is then a mattar of exposing them to as many different platforms as are available and let them choose what they want to sail."

    I'm one of those individuals, but I don't think it's an error in thinking.

    For a start, it takes a lot of time and effort to train kids. It's only human to be galled when someone who has been sitting on their bum, earning dollars or going sailing while you are out there fundraising or getting wet then comes along (after the kids have become good sailors) and says to "don't sail those slow boring boats, sail my cool class" - yet this is an attitude seen among cat sailors.

    People who train kids do so partly for love of sailing, but also to support their own club or their own class or type of sailing and to keep it thriving. It's like training kids in a ball sport or football code. Would you feel all that thrilled if you spent every summer Saturday morning for three years training kids, and then had the neighbouring team or a different code (which hadn't trained kids) come along and say "hey, those guys are boring, come play with us, it's more fun"?

    This isn't being parochial - it is wanting a fair reward for your own effort. We're taught that from the time we read about the Little Red Hen. :)

    The flaw in the thinking "it's all just sailing" is that the cat sailors often don't think that way themselves. Their outcry against the moves to dump the T (a great boat, which I've sailed a little bit and would like to sail more often) and H16 are based on the fact that they don't want THEIR FORM OF SAILING dumped. Cat sailors like THEIR form of sailing to prosper, just like windsurfers, dinghy sailors, skiff sailors, yacht sailors and sportsboat sailors want THEIR own forms to prosper.

    If cat sailors really thought "it's all just sailing", then when the dropping of the cats were mooted they would just say "that's fine, I don't mind if Ts and H16s are dropped for skiffs, it's all just sailing". But they certainly don't!

    The big cat fleets around here are in clubs which BAN monos, just like many cat fleets do (ie Hobie US). If they ban monos, how can they then claim "it's all just sailing"? Sure, a local cat club is not the Games, but it's obvious that there ARE divisions in the sport and at the moment, one division seems to be relied on by the others to do most of the hard work in training kids.

    The other point is that once kids get to a certain age, many of them seem to have had their taste developed by the type they sail. Plenty of dinghy kids try cats but don't get hooked by them. If we can get kids into cats early, they are surely more likely to stay in cats. We're finding this in the windsurfer class I run - the interest is stronger in kids from windsurfing families, or too young to already be hooked by dinghy sailing.
     
  12. Retired Geek
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    Retired Geek Junior Member

    CT,
    throwing ideas around is the point of forums....no ?

    now that we are past the "its just sailing" nonsense and we admit that we are all hugely biased <grin>....rather than talking about the differences....how about we concentrate on those aspects that will get the beginners started in the first place.
    Bloody hard to design something if you don't have the direction nailed in the first place.
    Might be interesting to poll the nearest 10 kids we all know and find out what they want rather than debating what we think they need.
    RG
     
  13. Retired Geek
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    Retired Geek Junior Member

    After you figure out what the kids want, then you need to find a manufacturer who believes in your answers...then maybe all these what if's will become real
    RG
     
  14. Retired Geek
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    Retired Geek Junior Member

    was just musing about stuff that might appeal to kids and wannabe geeks...in lots of 200 at a time the chips to deliver real time gps and calc'd results for boatspeed, VMG, TWA, AWA plus a membrane keypad, cheapo display (P&S) and solar cell to power it all is cheaper than a harken triple block (retail)....with a bit of not so fancy programming its quite possible to give the kids real time heading cues for max vmg.....for those a bit older, a heading for the closest bar <grin>
    RG
     

  15. ediestel
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    ediestel Junior Member

    My first thought when I read this thread:

    How is a 13 year going to get a 4.5 m mast to the shore ?

    Would it be possible to have a design that 'collapses' to a degree that would make transport/storage easier ?
     
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