Mini Cat Transat?

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by Alex.A, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. Alex.A
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    Alex.A Senior Member

    Would a minicattransat be viable - or just too much chaos? Similar BOX RULES - limit SA and or mast height!?
    Would it advance cat design/seaworthiness and promote smaller cats....?
     
  2. Manie B
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    Manie B Senior Member

  3. rayaldridge
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    rayaldridge Senior Member

    Manie is probably right, and I'd guess if you asked a hundred knowledgeable sailors, 99 would agree with him. Stability goes up so much in larger cats that the belief is that small cats just aren't stable enough to withstand a major gale.

    But, I wonder.. A minitransat cat would probably have to be longer than the monohull rule allows. Thomas Firth Jones sailed across the Atlantic a couple of times in a 27 foot cat, and designed a trailerable 23 footer that he thought would be adequate to cross oceans. As a datapoint, he and his wife survived a hurricane at sea in a cat 19 feet on the waterline, on the way back from Bermuda. It was a Wharram, somewhat modified, so it didn't have a lofty rig. As he described it, he felt they might have been overwhelmed, had he not raised the decks to the level of the bulwarks, and put big houses on the hulls. The aerated water caused the boat to lie much lower in the water than normal.

    I think the problem would be the tendency of racers to push limits. The Jones Brine Shrimp, while not a slow boat for a cruiser, would probably not win a race across the Atlantic, because someone would build a lighter boat with a bigger rig. And so on, until a disaster occurred..

    A bigger problem for me is the whole idea of singlehanded ocean racing, which seems unseamanlike. But I'd love to see a 8 meter two-handed cat race. If the rule could be something like the micro rule, to encourage cruisable boats, that might be a very good thing for small cats and tris.

    Maybe something like this.
     
  4. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    Alex, we had a discussion on the same thing elsewhere quite recently.

    If you're designing for the SA market pls talk to me. I'm currently doing that but it's not what I do for a life and it is slower than I thought :-(
     
  5. Zed
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    Zed Senior Member

    The idea scares me... small multihulls are not for the deep blue, IMO FWIW.
     
  6. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    Zed, anything small out there (somewhere) is scary.
     
  7. Alex.A
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    Alex.A Senior Member

    Has been done before - Oceancat +- 2003 ... french (i think) did it with 2 crew on a modified racing beachcat.
    Definitely scary but not impossible?
    ok - 2 up and bigger cat?

    Fanie - not designing for SA - no mkt- no money?
    But with recession etc , it'd be nice to have smaller cats that are capable.
    Otherwise build/buy a Wharram?
     
  8. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    Nothing is impossible, there were these two lunie SAfricans who were going to row over the ocean. Probably succeed too.

    There is a market in SA for a certain type of boat. The guys are sick of dam speed boats, ski boats and ones sitting in the marinas. All are expensive and out of fashion for our times.

    For our coast I would suggest minimum ! 8m, 9m or longer is better. Anything smaller ie 6m you can go out in good weather but you will have to stay close to shore and be on the ready to bail if the weather picks up.

    Hardly any sense in it. I would like to go out and stay out. Best fishing is when the wind is up, why sit on land then.
     
  9. Alex.A
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    Alex.A Senior Member

    Fanie

    How about something like this?
    6m by 2.4 modified red baron. Hulls as storage and accom in bridgedeck. enlarge to 8 by 3.6 or even 4m. 1m fore and aft will give better cockpit and net area's. Ply and glass.2 crew comfortably. 4+ daysail.

    Are you carrying on with the bi staysail ?
     

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  10. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    Make it

    9 x 5 and glass only no gell coat no wood. Permanent flotation with Sondor's SPX33 foam 20mm everything lined out including decks, cabin and hulls. Two stand alone aft masts, two single furling main sails ~ 40m^2 each, foldable and trailable, option to leave the cabin which trailers seperate. 2 x 28Hp outboards

    and you have a deal.
     
  11. rayaldridge
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    rayaldridge Senior Member

    That's true, but the beachcat crossing was kind of a stunt. There was no place for the crew to get out of the weather. Had they been caught in a strong gale of several days duration, I doubt they could have survived.

    But a small cat with cabins and a reasonable rig is not, I believe, as risky as some folks think. Thomas Firth Jones made a number of ocean crossings in small multis, and even survived a hurricane in which well-found monohull yachts were lost. He seemed to take the view that the limiting factor was sufficient displacement to carry food and water for an ocean crossing, not the stability of the craft. He felt that the boats could handle the gales a lot better than he could.

    In my opinion, the magic number is a cat of somewhere between 7 and 8 meters. On the other hand, a lot of very bright folks say they wouldn't go to sea in a cat smaller than 12 or 13 meters.
     
  12. jamez
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    jamez Senior Member

  13. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    Ray, you can probably make it on a 2m lilo. The smaller boats are terribly uncomfortable and you want the boat to take most of the battering :D

    On a long outing it makes all the difference if you can get up and walk a few paces as to stay seated and just stand up to stretch. If your cramped in every one gets on each other's nerves. Just that little bit of extra space makes a big difference.

    For me the better size is 8 to 10m. Our small boat skippers allow up to 9m (pity) only, beyond wich you have to get another.
     
  14. Zed
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    Zed Senior Member

    I have sailed small monos well offshore, correctly prepared they are OK. You have to accept that you are just going to be pushed around but you have great capacity for recovery, a small cat on the other hand is a one shot.

    The other thing is that I reckon that a conservative cat designed to survive would actually be slower than a mini transat mono.

    I love my cat and multis in general but IMO its just not what small ones are for, mind you mini transats have a degree of insanity about them as well.
     

  15. LyndonJ
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    LyndonJ Senior Member

    Would most likely have the exact opposite. It would put more people off sailing ( already seen as dangerous thanks to the media)

    Even the Mini mono's are poor on rough weather seaworthiness , If the fleet gets hit by a storm as happenned once, it's slaughter. I imagine mini cats would be an order of magnitude worse.
     
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