Micro Cruising Multihulls

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by Skint For Life, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. Skint For Life
    Joined: Jul 2010
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    Skint For Life Junior Member

    Hi everyone,

    I've searched the forums and haven't found what I'm after.

    I want to create a discussion about Micro cruising multihulls, also known as pocket cruisers. I welcome any designs and ideas regarding these boats. I'm leaning towards a catamaran, but would like to see any trimarans that fit the bill.

    My main area of interest is in boats that fit the 2.5meter maximum trailer width without folding, quick setup and launch time, cabin, low COE and COG, unstayed rig, double berth with camping type accomodations, small porta potti, gas cooker etc.

    One of my favourite boats I have found so far is the amazing "miss cindy" Built and sailed by tony bigras over 4000 nautical miles! http://turtleislands.net/tmc/ I've just finished reading the 19 page blog of his adventures, truly inspirational. I was quite surprised by the advantages of having a boat that small cruising that far, for example. Less systems to fail, lower loads and strain on the captain, buying a small amount of fuel from fishermen got his little boat alot further than it would a large boat, being able to lighten the boat quickly to drag it over sand bars with just the crew dragging it, lifting the boat in and out of the water with man power (this could be very handy when in a third world country and a massive storm/hurricane is approaching).

    I'm not really interested in boats that increase the length to beam above the 2:1 ratio.

    A boat that seems to fit is the jarcat 5 http://jarcatmarine.com/Jarcat5_6.html

    The Gato possibly

    I'm sure there are many others, so feel free to post them up. Some info on the cabin cats from this list would be good: http://www.ee.hacettepe.edu.tr/~semih/d4/

    I like the rounded shape of the cabin of miss cindy, I wonder if having rounded bilges/keels perhaps like the cylinder mould technique produces and running dagger boards/ a center board would be an advantage, would the boat point higher to the wind? In large breaking seas the daggers could be pulled so that the boat gets pushed around rather than tripping over it's deep "V" keels. I would think in a boat this size being sailed conservatively that wave induced capsize would be a major concern.

    I want to point out that I am not proposing taking a boat like this far offshore, I do think a boat like this should be built as safe as is possible. A righting system should be a serious consideration, as is obviously plenty of built in bouyancy.

    So lets see what is already out there and ideas people have on improving existing designs, completely new designs etc :D
     

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    Last edited: Jul 31, 2011
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  2. rapscallion
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    rapscallion Senior Member

  3. peterchech
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    peterchech Senior Member

    Once u decide that non folders are the way to go, that 8'6" beam limitation really gets rid of many of the advantages of a multihull and it looks like a monohull is what is really gonna fit the bill in a rational sense
     
  4. Skint For Life
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    Skint For Life Junior Member

    peterchech. If your read the post by Tony Bigras "05-11-2009, 04:46 PM" on the link below you will see why he chose a multi over a mono.

    http://forum.woodenboat.com/archive/index.php/t-94656.html

    I agree with his point of view. I like the stable upright ride, less heeling, no lead weight to drag you to the bottom of the ocean etc.

    rapscallion. I can't get that page to load properly with the eco6. It loads a bit then goes blank and shows an error. Is there any other websites with that design on?
     
  5. redreuben
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    redreuben redreuben

  6. Steve W
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    Steve W Senior Member

    Bernard Rhodes in NZ built a little 16ft cat years ago of this style,it even had an aft cabin and could be righted by i guy. There was a story in Sea Spray years ago.
    Steve.
     
  7. rayaldridge
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    rayaldridge Senior Member

    Peter I have to disagree that a multi with a 8.5 foot beam is necessarily inferior to a monohull, except in load-carrying ability. My Slider is just under 16 feet in length, and is faster, more stable, more comfortable, and a better camping platform than any 16 foot open beachcruising monohull I've ever seen or sailed. How many 16 foot open monohulls can have a queensize airbed on the deck and still have undiminished seating in the hulls?

    For a cabin cat in this size range, my favorite is Thomas Firth Jones' 18 foot Weekender, which uses asymmetric hulls to get the centerlines a little further apart.

    http://www.jonesboats.com/Images/weekendplan.jpg
     
  8. Skint For Life
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    Skint For Life Junior Member

    redreuben. I checked out the scarab 16 as that is a comparable length to a fixed max trailerable beam catamaran like miss cindy. The scarab appears to have alot less useable space. It also is a folding or demount boat, not fixed beam. I'm obviously missing something. Was I supposed to be looking at a different trimaran?

    Steve W. That sounds interesting, do you know the technique he used for righting it? Does anyone know about this boat? pictures? links?
     
  9. Steve W
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    Steve W Senior Member

    Skint, Bernard Rhodes is an expat English boatbuilder who designed and built a little 23ft plywood trimaran in England and sailed it halfway around the world to NZ back in the late 60s i think, then built an updated version with lifting foils in the amas and raced it in Auckland, so, lots of experience there. I belive he lives on Weiheke island in Auckland so you should be able to contact him direct.
    Steve.
     
  10. Steve W
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    Steve W Senior Member

    Oh, i think he righted it like a beachcat with his own weight and a masthead float to prevent it from inverting, hes not a big guy either, maybe he used a waterbag too?
    Steve.
     
  11. redreuben
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    redreuben redreuben

    Skint, you may well be right volume for volume, but I would argue the tri has a more liveable area in the main hull rather than 2 sewer pipes. But maybe I am just more performance orientated than you. The Jarcat type doesn't do it for me too boxy and narrow. There is also the 18 and 22. He also has a small cat, http://www.teamscarab.com.au/5.6cat/design.html
    RR
     
  12. peterchech
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    peterchech Senior Member

    That weekender is an interesting design ray.

    I certainly didn't mean to imply anything against multihulls, especially since I will begin building Richard Woods' Acorn 21' catamaran this september. (I decided against the buc 24 trimaran for cost and build-time reasons).

    Not willing to have a multihull that disassembles for trailering is just counter-intuitive to me. Especially with all the super easy trimaran folding systems out there (think farrier). What takes time in setting up a boat is stepping the mast and setting up the boom/etc. Trimarans may win here again because an unstayed mast could be used (instead of two in a cat). But honestly I have a staying system on my current boat that uses a clam cleated forestay and polyester line, and takes less than 60 seconds to set up. So...

    By allowing the boat to have the proper amount of beam, you have a much safer, more comfortable and faster boat at the cost of 5-20 minutes more setup time (5 minutes for a farrier-style tri and more for a catamaran). I guess you give up on any sort of real bridgedeck though (if a cat)...

    That scarab 18 is one good looking boat, a bit more of a "real" boat than the 16 IMHO and wouldn't cost so much more...
     
  13. peterchech
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    peterchech Senior Member

    I am rambling, but I have a very limited budget and equally limited build time for my next boat. I looked at many many designs, and made many many considerations. It seems to me that although trimarans under, say, 28' usually have more comfortable living space and are often faster than catamarans, they are also much more costly and take much longer to build than a non-bridgedecked cat. So as far as "bang for the buck", you get the same carrying capacity at less money and a quicker build generally with a cat. I came to this determination painfully, since there is something just magical to me about watching the amas of a trimaran plodding and popping through swells and chop :D
     
  14. rayaldridge
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    rayaldridge Senior Member

    Well, I think that depends on the size of the multihull. There aren't many tris that can get away without a folding system, but at just under 16 feet, Slider's fixed beam at 8.5 feet is just fine. I have a similar forestay system on Slider-- the lanyard that tensions the forestay makes several turns between a bow shackle on the bridle and one on the stay, and is then led back to a cleat on the forebeam. Putting up the mast, as you say, is a matter of seconds, not minutes.

    I'm not aware of any folding cats that can be unfolded in 5 minutes. Still, the new 24 footer I'm building will have to fold, because I think it's impractical to have a cat that big with a fixed highway-legal beam. There's the Gougeon 32, but my opinion is that the G32 is not a practical boat for cruising. It capsizes too easily.

    It's not quite so magical a sensation when the boat is at anchor, as a tri designed for speed will spend the night tipping from one side to the other-- in fact, some resort to shifting enough weight to one side to hold it down, which is a pain. Tris at a dock can hike a float up onto the dock when a wake disturbs them.

    I think it isn't widely understood that cats and tris are as different from each other as multihulls and monohulls are. They both have more than one hull, must be light, and both have the potential to be speedy, but after that, not a lot of similarities. I think one of the main appeals of small tris to those unfamiliar with both types is that the accommodations are more "boat-like" for lack of a better term. They are all in the same hull, which is the traditional approach, and which gives longer sight lines and more cabin beam.

    I think you're right that a trimaran will give higher average speeds over a passage, because a tri is usually better in light air than a cat, due to its smaller wetted surface for the same sail-carrying capacity. But my opinion is that apart from that speed advantage in light air, the little cat is markedly superior to the little tri for cruising. It's a better load-carrier, it heels less, its decks are more usable for living at anchor, and it is, as you say, less expensive to build for similar displacement. In fact, I've written a whole essay on the subject.

    http://slidercat.com/blog/wordpress/?p=23

    Especially in the smallest sizes, cats in my opinion are hugely better suited for cruising than tris.

    Anyway, I think you're making the right decision. And not just because it's cheaper and quicker to build.
     
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  15. DarthCluin
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    DarthCluin Senior Member

    On the other hand, if you have an about an hour to set up or take down:
     

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