Minimum cruising cat-size & cost

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by Alex.A, Feb 24, 2010.

  1. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    1) Well designed and built hull (see other recent thread by clicking here)
    2) Used rig and ability to make own sails
    3) Educate the crew on how to use much less power and water
    4) LED running/anchor lights
    5) Everything made from simple low-tech supplies
    6) Appropriate charts and reference materials for cruising
    7) Safety gear (sea anchor, drogues make these yourself!)
    8) Extensive dry food storage to avoid cost of refrigeration
    9) Foot pump for water
    10) Bare bones electronics, VHF, handheld GPS (x2).
  2. Alex.A
    Joined: Feb 2010
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    Location: South Africa

    Alex.A Senior Member

    Following on the big wave thread - What saftey features should ALL cats have built in or on board? What is best placement for escape hatches? Do escape hatches fail/open when they shouldn't - re the windows in cat thread? Wharram reckons that his horizontal hatches act like a diving bell - dont let water in but would be easy to get out of - veiws on this? Placement of the liferaft - if capsized and it is on deck, this means it is central under the boat - with sails and rigging all over the place - how hard to get at it? Build it into the hull in a position that allows access whichever way the hull is lying?
    Obviously idea's apart from the usual saftey gear that everyone should have onboard anyway - but is there anything that you would add to the list that isn't there and maybe should be?
  3. Fanie
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Fanie Fanie

    Well, maybe not ALL cats, but some can be considered.

    Permanent floatation. If you have a cat then the boat itself should be the life raft !

    Pipe berting is something I consider - if capsized it can still be used if you provide for it ! Easy access to essentials ie water / food.

    Get a sat phone. Electronic equipment placed where it cannot submerge either way up. Batteries in an enclosure that traps water out.

    Escape hatch in the stern, above water upright or capsized.

    Decent cleats for a drogue / sea anchor.

    The list is long...
  4. Alex.A
    Joined: Feb 2010
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    Alex.A Senior Member

    Have crash box and watertight bulkheads - both ends... so cant put escape hatch there. Also most cats have steps etc in the way or transom hung rudders - tho suppose could kick up(down) out of way?
    With pointy ends - better for escape hatch between hulls or outside?
  5. Fanie
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Colonial "Sick Africa"

    Fanie Fanie

    If you evaluate the spaces inside and even outside there usually is a lot of place for more booyancy features. For one I plan to line the inside of my hulls with the closed cell foam from Sondor.

    Beside the booyancy it adds, it's soft and pleasant to walk on and if you bump into something or even gets throwed it will be a lot less hard to stop :D The white is probably the most desirable colour to have inside - I have a piece outside in the elements for a few months and I walk on it whenever I go past it.

    It stands up pretty well so far. It will also make the finishing (decor) easier, be a sound barrier and a heat insulator. Only advantages, worth to consider.

    I plan my escape hatches in the stern. If you have a drogue out it would be easy to enter or exit out of the weather and least chance of making water in the process.

    I don't like the idea of an escape hatch in the hull. In case of a capsize I doubt it will be in good weather, more likely with water washing everything, and it would be pouring into an opening in the hull. You have a lesser chance of making water if the water moves away from the opening.

    It may also be easier to crawl out of a horizontally hole than trying to get out of one above you.

    If you have doubts have someone pour a bucket of icy water over you, it gets the grey matter going :D

  6. marshmat
    Joined: Apr 2005
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    Location: Ontario

    marshmat Senior Member

    A few more thoughts to add, since the topic has come up:

    - Bridgedeck undersides should be bright orange non-skid. Hopefully you'll never need it, but if you do capsize, you want to be visible from the air and you want good footing to keep you on the boat. I've heard of some boats running a rope or two fore-and-aft under the bridgedeck, so you'll have something to hang on to, just in case.

    - I'd think that escape hatches should open out the hull sides to the underside of the bridgedeck; if you have to use them, you'll want something to step onto. If the bridgedeck clearance is too low, though, there won't be room here to put a hatch that's clear of the water both right-side-up and capsized.

    - "Diving bell" escape hatch, a la Wharram, may work for a good swimmer in good weather, but a poor swimmer (or anyone wearing a lifejacket) will have a hard time getting through it.

    - Any multihull should be designed and built to stay afloat no matter what, even if capsized with flooded cabins. Even crippled, the boat is a bigger, more stable and more visible platform than a life raft.

    - I'd think the life raft on a cat (if one is carried) should be reachable both right-side-up and capsized. In the first case, its main use is to escape a fire; in the second, it'd be used as temporary shelter after a capsize (staying with the boat, of course). I cannot think of a single situation, other than fire, where a multihull crew should be forced to abandon ship.
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