Hillbilly catamaran questions

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Nate57, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. Nate57
    Joined: Sep 2010
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    Location: Belize

    Nate57 Junior Member

    Just an idea I had today so I'll be brief. Much as wish I could afford a large cruising cat I can't. So I was thinking (mistake one?). What if I took two trailerable weekenders such as a couple Macgregor 26's (cheap,prolific motorsailers w/water ballast tanks and 50hp outboards) and joined them with a suitable aluminium cross structure in catamaran style?
    The "house" I envision would be simply harddecking from about midships aft in FRP and erecting a large bimini over it. Central pilot station of course and maybe an open air galley (I live in Belize, HOT). But all as light as practical.
    Next logical step would be designing a new sail plan but before I get carried away here lets just look at it it as a power cat. Am I nuts?
    What comes to mind as the cons (and pros?) of such a craft?
    Thanks in advance for any replies.
  2. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Arlington, WA-USA

    Petros Senior Member

    You could get that to work, but I do not think is would perform very well, it would be slow and cumbersome. These hulls would be much heavier than an equivalent size cat, and the mono hulls of course are much wider (and slower). You would not need as much ballast, the advantage of the multi-hull is not only less ballast required, narrow low drag hulls, you can carry much more sail because of the wider stance, and you get less heel. By using two mono-hull boats to make a cat, you would have the weight and wide high drag hulls, and not have any more sail area.

    Also the forces on the beams can be quite large, and installing the beams properly can get into pretty extensive structural changes. Getting taller rigging and larger sails would also be pretty costly. I do not think it would be a worthwhile undertaking, you just spend a lot of time and money and ruin two usable mono-hulls.

    You might consider taking a mono hull and making it into a tri, by adding beams with two long narrow side hulls. It likely would cost less than buying two monohulls. There are several threads on this topic in this forum.
  3. thedutchtouch
    Joined: Feb 2010
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    Location: baltimore. MD

    thedutchtouch Junior Member

    sorry to answer your questions with a question- but the simplest answer i can come up with (in my limited knowledge) is "why?"

    and now let me explain why i ask- with the design work and money that this would take to work, you could build something different, better, and more functional. you're a dreamer (a good thing) but i dont think you have a good idea of the costs to do what you want, but you came to the right place, i didnt know much of costs etc too when i started, and here i am acting like i do after a few short months of reading on here.:rolleyes::D
  4. WestVanHan
    Joined: Aug 2009
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    Location: Vancouver

    WestVanHan Not a Senior Member

    I'd never do it,but I wondered about this a few years ago after spending a week on a Mac.

    Of course the closer the hulls are together,the easier to control the twisting forces....and I felt it best to use as a power cat.

    Why not post on a Mac forum and let us know what they say...at $15k each...

    I'd be interested in what they say.
  5. Wavewacker
    Joined: Aug 2010
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    Location: Springfield, Mo.

    Wavewacker Senior Member

    I think one thing they would say is that the cabin or hull was never designed to bear the weight of an additional cabin above and that the hull and deck lamination is poor as it is, adequate, but not a well built boat. I've been on and in these, the 26X, and it's what it is, I think you could build your cat hulls quicker and probably with less expense than trying to modify two of those hulls.

  6. Nate57
    Joined: Sep 2010
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    Location: Belize

    Nate57 Junior Member

    Thanks for all the replies. Yeah, I thought it was a pretty corny idea. What I'm really looking for is a small, shallow draft cat where I pretty much live outdoors (under cover). I don't need great ocean capabilities as I rarely leave the protected waters of Belize. I don't want the galley in the heat below decks. Spend most my time under the bimini anyway. Don't have much $ as I recently lost my Gulfstar 37 sans insurance. I'm thinking of finding an open cat around 25', raising the the boom pin and shortening the mainsail high enough to erect a bimini (with headroom) stretching across both hulls from the mast aft. Perhaps an oversize genoa to compensate for lost sail area.
    Bad idea?
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