how do cats handle big waves?

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by Guest1578132542, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. rogues waves, freak waves in a cat

    yachts seem to get hit hard by the odd big wave,

    anybody here got a story to tell about how cats handle it?

    i'd be interested to hear any story, cause i've never heard how cats handle them.


    onya,
    m
     
  2. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Cats handle rough seas with ease and comfort up to the point of danger. They are so easy to handle that you are sometimes lulled into thinking conditions are not as severe as they are.

    So... it's important to pay attention.

    Although I've never had an accident (such as stuffing bows), I assume those accidents happen very quickly and you're f'd before you even know it because the comfortable ride keeps you thinking everything is ok.

    At the point of danger, like all boats, you need to have some plan of action including drogues or a sea anchor (this is an entire thread in itself). In all out hell, good cats have dagger boards that you can pull up and rudders that will retract as well, allowing your boat the ability slip sideways unimpeded. This keeps all the righting moment for keeping the cat upright, using none to overcome the digging in of keels or other appendages underwater.

    Opening up the cat vs mono debate/war, I would feel safer in a well designed cat in survival storm scenario. I'd sit at sea anchor, pull up the boards and rudders (my cat also has no props or other appendages below the waterline) and let the cat ride the storm out while I hope for the best, strapped into a bunk below.

    Those are some of my personal feelings and experience from owning a cat and now building one. The most I've experienced on a cat is a Force 8 gale. It was in a 34' cat of older British design, so I think that counts for making it a nerve wracking experience. I ended up running with that one, since I had sea room and she was an old, slow design, so I didn't have to check the speed with a drogue. She just blasted down the wave fronts at around 9-10 knots surfing and popped up over the waves as they took her stern.

    The wife didn't enjoy the ride.
     
  3. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I used to own a 34' Wharram Tangaroa. It handled heavy seas wonderfuly
     
  4. sailsocal
    Joined: Jun 2006
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    sailsocal Junior Member

    It's well known that a catamaran running with excess sail in high winds can capsize, but has anyone ever heard of a cat capsizing only from wave action, while running under bare poles?
     
  5. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    Bare poles or no poles, yes. They have their adherents but not in very rough water.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Richard Woods
    Joined: Jun 2006
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    Slightly cryptic reply by mark 775

    Can you elaborate and list those that capsized under bare poles?? Off hand I can think of two, including last weeks

    Thanks

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs

    www.sailingcatamarans.com
     
  7. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Of course. Any boat can capsize.
     
  8. freak waves

    what about freak waves - ie there are stories of all being peaceful good sailing then a 90 foot wave appears out of nowhere and it appears as though yachts are too heavy, their inertia makes them not rise as fast as they should so they get HIT hard.

    i'm suspecting a small (under 10 tons), light, high volume boat will rise quite fast, and so not notice as much.

    yes? no?
     
  9. waikikin
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    waikikin Senior Member

    1 person likes this.
  10. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    No. 90 foot wave out of nowhere? Small, light? No, No.
    I hesitated to even get into this thread because of the biases and strong feelings elicited. Off the top of my head, no, I cannot list the capsizings of cats. We have only had one in this port - of course with the ever-clever name of "Fat Cat". More common is weird motions, violent tripping (with a feeling of "almost capsize") and breaking apart/abusing passengers in chop that hits tramp. I am talking of power cats, here.
    I was in a rip just Sunday that, IMO, no small cat wud survive. It was a mistake on my part to be there but I was in the right small boat, well prepared. Imagine: five knot current against swells, twelve to fifteen footers just curling, twenty-five foot wavelength, beam four foot wind chop, very confused. No small cat could maintain headway in that, wud likely get sideways and be crushed or rolled. I said "Imagine". Very few people have seen anything like this and it is probably difficult to believe the short wavelength - you're just going to have to go with me on this...8,000 days at sea and probably the second worse spot I've found myself (human error, both). No 40' cat could take it. No way. If I'd been in a cat, you'd be reading about it in the paper.

    Waikikan, do you suppose "ramming until it sinks so that there wud be a lighthouse guiding the forces of good thru the seven layers of reality into our evil world" is covered by insurance?
     
  11. waikikin
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    waikikin Senior Member

    Mark
    I gotta get some of that style of insurance
     
  12. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member


    Understood



    To the original question... (has anyone ever heard of a cat capsizing only from wave action, while running under bare poles?) you said, "Bare poles or no poles, yes." Richard gently asked about about your comment and your response, then, is: "Off the top of my head, no, I cannot list the capsizings of cats" Is this one of those examples of bias you mentioned?

    In the conditions you described, I can't think of any design that wouldn't have violent motions, a potential for broaching and the abusing of passengers. Why do you single-out cats for these behaviors?

    Further, how did the subject veer away from an obvious sailing craft subject with the original, bare poles question, and become one related to power cats, specifically?
     
  13. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    "In the conditions you described, I can't think of any design that wouldn't have violent motions, a potential for broaching and the abusing of passengers. Why do you single-out cats for these behaviors?"

    I am a mono and I survived. I do not believe a cat wud. The weird motions, etc., that I was pointing out are in typical bad water. The sever conditions I described were a different thing (you know that) and were likely not survivable by a cat. The typical "we can hang onto the upturned hull of a capsized cat" does not apply - Nobody is hanging onto an upside-down boat in these conditions, let alone swimming for the craft that they were just ejected from, then surviving getting close enuf to it to grab something. Perhaps a drogue could hold the vessel from capsizing if it did not rip it apart but in this instance, it's two hundred yards of hell or if not under command - waiting for the tide to slow down to do anything while being carried towards other obstacles.The only other survival is to avoid (which I did not do - mistake number one was "taking a look" with the idea that I could turn around. It built progressively to the point where I felt a turn-around wud have been less prudent that getting thru it - then it got worse yet.) or manuever under modulated throttle. It is this part that I believe a small cat cannot accomplish - I believe a cat cannot maintain headway in as gnarly of stuff. Of course, a large cat typically requires large seas to get in trouble.

    "Further, how did the subject veer away from an obvious sailing craft subject with the original, bare poles question, and become one related to power cats, specifically?"

    Truly, my experience is in power. I had no idea that this thread was directed at sail only. Sorry but...perhaps if there was anything suggesting that it was a sail thread, I could have been made more aware.
     
  14. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    The thread, indeed, looks to be a free-slinging affair, Mark. No problem there. It was the specific question, though, having to do with bare poles that sent it to a sailing side of things, even temporarily. I have never heard the expression bare poles apply to a power-only multihull. I have heard it, repeatedly, regarding sailing craft in winds big enough that all sail is hauled down, leaving the sticks in the air.

    Of course, if you'd like to conclude your commentary along those lines and redirect the comments to strictly power, I have no doubt that the folks reading along would like to hear your take.

    I, for one, would like to hear your opinions on the use of power multihulls in a broad range of sea states, such as those you experience in your location. What you have seen would be good, what you have experienced while driving one, or simply on board, would be even better.
     

  15. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    Not as many experiences with small multis - in these parts, they are usually parked, sold, or remain in very protected waters when the captain gains experience. That being said, I believe them to be superior in nice, or at most choppy, water. Sailing craft are suredly a different animal and no prudent captain would take a (small) sailboat near the conditions I got myself into. Size is everything - and one reason I went into the rip was that the Timoneer seemed to be in it with little problem but he was actually on a different line with much less severe conditions...he had an helicopter watching and I can only hope that there was video rolling because we certainly did not.
    TimAnt-071.jpg

    No drogues, no white knuckles
     
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