Monohull mast for old Multihull? HELP?

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by Beezer, Mar 17, 2014.

  1. Beezer
    Joined: Mar 2014
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    Beezer Junior Member

    Hi all, I am brand new to this forum and hoping someone could help me. I am looking at an older catamaran to purchase that no longer has its rig, and is being operated as a motorboat. 40 feet long, and I want to re-rig the boat to be a sailboat again. I know that the forces on a catamaran are higher than on a monohull, so I would need to purchase a relatively larger rig size.

    My question is this, assuming a regular stayed mast (not rotating or a wing mast) what kind of size mast section (generally) do you think I need. Apologies for the generalities. Right now I am just thinking about if I should even think about buying the boat. I have a line on a 54 foot mast with a 10 inch max diameter. Big enough? Any thoughts would be appreciated. The Cat is an racer with no real accommodation, but I just would like to run it as a daysail charter boat, so smaller rig than normal would likely be required by USCG.

    Any thoughts or opinion would be appreciated. Of course before purchase I will consult a naval architect, but I am looking for spitball opinions.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. keysdisease
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    keysdisease Senior Member

    Was the vessel built in the US? Is it wood or fiberglass? Converting a wood or fiberglass catamaran to meet USCG pax requirements can be challenging, and if the vessel was built anywhere but the US impossible because of the Jones act.

    The mast you are looking at MAY be acceptable, a lot depends on wall thickness and staying/spreader arrangements

    A NA with experience in converting to inspected vessel will be invaluable.

    Steve
     
  3. Beezer
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    Beezer Junior Member

    Mast wall?

    Thanks for the reply Steve. What is required to convert for USCG? I was thinking of running as a 6 pack to start, but would be nice to bump it up if possible. I assume the conversion would need to be done under the supervision of the USCG? Do you have any experience doing this? I suppose I could run it as a 6 pack, but that is not preferable from a cost/benefit standpoint. I don't know the mast wall thickness as yet, but I will inquire.

    Thanks
     
  4. Eric Sponberg
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    Eric Sponberg Senior Member

    Beezer, you should contact a naval architect BEFORE you buy the mast and the boat because he will be able to give you an idea of the size of mast you should be looking at, before you shell out greenbacks for it. Also, you should have a sailplan drawn so that the new rig is of some semblance to the original rig, thereby guaranteeing the performance of the boat. This will verify that whatever mast you get, it will have the section size, wall thickness, and length that is required. Chances are that if you are looking at discarded or used monohull rigs, they are not going to be a really good fit for a multihull. The staying arrangement may be all wrong, and the tang fittings on the mast are likely going to be undersized--unless of course, you buy a huge mast and cut it down, in which case all sorts of modifications will be necessary to match everything up, and the mast tube may end up being way too heavy for the boat.

    In the end, you may find that trying to locate a used mast for the boat is going to be a wild goose chase with a lot of time and money wasted on something that, in the end, no sane insurance company is going to insure. Therefore, your best bet may be to consider having a new rig built. The spar maker will want to see that sailplan so that he can specify the hardware properly. The sailmaker is also going to need to see a sailplan in order to make the sails.

    As for the USCG, they have been getting really sticky the last few years about multihull rigs and the need to inspect them. This is as a result of a few fatal accidents a few years ago in Hawaii when a couple of multihull rigs fell down on a few boats and each killed people. Your local Coast Guard inspector may require rig calculations by a naval architect just to prove that the rig is designed right. They and the insurance company are also going to want to see a rigging plan and a marine survey to assure themselves that all of the fittings and parts are in good, serviceable condition.

    For anything over a 6-pack license, the Coast Guard is going to require a full inspection, a stability test, and intact and damaged stability calculations by a qualified naval architect. The inspection isn't too bad--make sure you have all the right safety and navigation equipment on board. But the calculations may be the real tough nut. The USCG may require a full structural review of the hull and deck structure--that means LOTS of engineering calculations after a naval architect survey to see what is there, and to measure ALL of the structure. If this boat is a production model that has been inspected and certified to carry passengers before, then you might get a relatively easy clearance as a sister vessel. But there has to be a paper trail to prove this.

    Then, after the structural calculations, the naval architect has to do the intact and damaged stability calculations, and for that, the NA will need to have a copy of the hull lines plan for plugging into a computer software program that can do the necessay calculations. If there is no hull lines plan, then you will have to have the vessel scanned by Laser measurement for saving in 3D in a computer, from which the necessary calculations can be made. The NA will have to do a stability test, which, together with the hull lines, will verify where the center of gravity of the boat is, which the NA needs to do the intact and damaged stability calculations

    Overall, USCG certification is a long and expensive process, and that is why you need to consult with a NA now, before you purchase, so that you can see what you are getting into. This is nothing new--it is how it is done for the safety of the crew and passengers.

    I hope that helps.

    Eric
     
  5. keysdisease
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    keysdisease Senior Member

    What Eric said and to be sure your read it:

    "If the vessel was built anywhere but the US impossible because of the Jones act."

    All inspected vessels (USCG carrying 6+ pax) must be built in the US.

    So if it was built somewhere else, a 6 pack is all you'll ever be able to do.

    Steve
     
  6. oldsailor7
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    oldsailor7 Senior Member

    So much for "The land of the Free".
    That means if I wanted to sail around the world in a Coracle I wouldn't be allowed to. :rolleyes:
     
  7. Corley
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    Corley epoxy coated

    I don't know what your budget is but you might be interested in one of Kurt Hughes USCG approved Boat in a box style 36' day charter cats. It's one way to cut the red tape anyway.

    One for sale for 100k at the moment:

    http://multihullblog.com/2014/02/charter-cat-for-sale/
     
  8. Beezer
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    Beezer Junior Member

    Thanks for the input folks. Especially to Eric for that detailed reply! I have read some of your articles in my quest to understand the potential level of effort that may be involved and am really pleased you chimed in.

    The owner has the original plans but will likely not part with them without selling the boat to me first! So it seems that the NA is the next step for me if I want to go for more than 6 passengers. Steve, The boat was built in the US, so that is one (very small but significant) hurdle passed.

    Question. Is there a special provision for certification of boats which take 12 or fewer passengers? I read something in the regs that seems to imply that they could be certified using a lesser inspection requirement, but I may have been misreading. I may have been dreaming. I could make the numbers work with 12 I think. 6 is a stretch and not really worth the return on investment, other than to subsidize my toys.

    OK, here is foolish question #2 if you care to chime in. Bear in mind I need to consider every angle, foolish though it may be.... So, the boat is basically two sealed hulls with a bridgedeck, no internal entry into the hulls except small hatches. Could I lengthen it and/or widen it to take full advantage of going through the rigamarole and expense of getting USCG inspected? This would be done by a reputable yard in concert with a NA while bringing everything else up to spec. Reason being that if I were to go through with the inspection process and have the NA on board, I may as well spend the extra coin and stretch her a bit if possible. For the investment, I want my max number of passengers to be as high as possible.

    On a side note, I understand the Blue Q in Key West was built pretty quickly. Would I be better off building a sister ship than going through all this? I understand that a lot of the cost of building a boat is fitout, And a very basic fit out (head and pretty much nothing else) might be cost competitive? Of course convincing my wife of a new build is a much harder sell! In fact impossible to sell, hence the looking for already built boats.

    The Boat in Box at 100K does not look bad. I have looked at these before, but I really was hoping for something larger.
     
  9. keysdisease
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    keysdisease Senior Member

    Not sure about the 6 to 12 pax "almost" inspected vessel thing your reference. Can you call out the actual reg you found it in?

    The conversion to an inspected vessel is a process. If the boat is aluminum it will be easier from a fire protection perspective, otherwise there will probably be a requirement for a structural fire protection plan for the machinery spaces as the Coasties are pretty touchy about fire and fiberglass and wood boats.

    The stability test will be another hurdle which for a retired racing boat may limit pax capacity because of finer hulls. Basically what the Coasties are watching for is that the vessel is stable under extreme conditions, such as all the pax moving to one side to see a whale for instance.

    The rig will be another challenge as Eric mentioned. The mast itself is a very small portion of the overall cost of the rig for a vessel that size. Rigging, chainplates, sails, sheets, lines, winches (if they are gone) will add up fast.

    There will be a lot of little misc things too, wiring, approved life jackets and an approved raft, ground tackle, a railing system, a legal head, etc.

    I did a "proof of concept" day charter business with a MacGregor 36 running 6 packs to get data for investing in a larger cat. There are quite a few USCG cats around on the used market, like the Kurt Hughes mentioned.

    Interesting you mention Key West. I was living there before Cruise ships "found" Key West and was on the docks when the Fury showed up as the first big day charter cat to set up shop. Of course the market there is very competitive now with lots of boats of all kinds competing for the same pax.

    These may be out of your price range but to a day charter cat shopper this is eye candy of the best kind :cool:

    http://www.goldcoastyachts.com/Commercial-Sailing/CS-index.htm

    Steve
     
  10. Eric Sponberg
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    Eric Sponberg Senior Member

    Any private boat may come to the US and sail around here. The Jones Act refers to vessels carrying passengers for hire. The Jones Act says that any vessel carrying passengers for hire between any two consecutive US ports must be built in the US, staffed with US citizens, and owned by US citizens. It is a way to protect maritime commerce from foreign businesses or owners taking over our domestic trade. I think most countries probably have similar laws.

    Eric
     
  11. keysdisease
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    keysdisease Senior Member

    In the land of the free you can sail, motor or row anything just about anywhere. Do not try rowing a bathtub up to a Sub in Groton for instance.

    If you wanted to take your Coracle around the world as you come to, pass around and leave the United States no one is going to stop you.

    What you can't do is take someones money to give them a boat ride on some deathtrap floating piece of :eek:.


    Steve



     
  12. Eric Sponberg
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    Eric Sponberg Senior Member

    See the attachments for requirements for Uninspected Passenger Vessels (UPVs). If you go 12-pack, the boat has to be at least 100 gross tons, and that is really hard to do on a 40' boat. So if you want to go over 6 passengers on 40' LOA, you will have to be an inspected vessel.

    If you want to lengthen the boat, then your NA will have to create a new lines plan and base all the structural and stability calculations on the new lines. Get the USCG involved right away and invite them in for review as the construction process proceeds. They will want to be assured that the boat is structurally sound and that it has enough watertight bulkheads. This has to be backed up by structural calculations. You'll still need to do a stability test and have the NA do the necessary intact and damaged stability calculations.

    If you can find the builder of Blu Q, you can ask him, but a sister vessel is exactly that--sister in every way, dimensions and structure. If you change the structure in any way, it is no longer a sister vessel.

    The Boat in the Box, if I am looking at the same one as you, is built in Australia and so cannot be used for hire in US waters.

    As Keysdisease pointed out, the charter market in the Keys is really competitive. If you want to run a business there, it might almost be easier to buy into a business that already has the boat certified--just a thought.

    Last year I was hired by Sebago Key West to go through the USCG intact and damaged stability calculations for their boats Marquesa and Sebago^3, both over 60' long. They had to get re-certified for new passenger counts based on the new passenger weight of 185 lbs. per passenger. Luckily, we were able to keep the number of passengers the same on Marquesa--125 plus 3 crew--and even up the passengers on Sebago^3--69 plus 3 crew. So I had a pretty good look at the business of charter cats in Key West, along with the details of the boats and certification process.

    Eric
     

    Attached Files:

  13. Beezer
    Joined: Mar 2014
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    Beezer Junior Member

    Thanks once again

    Hi folks,

    All great food for thought. I found the reference and yes, it is the 12 pack for over 100 tons. Defintely not our case. I mentioned the blue Q in Key West because I used to work on boats there in the past, and so know most of the operations. She is the kind of small operation that I would envisage, though margeted at a less specific clientele. I have no interest in trying to duke it our with the boys at Fury!
     
  14. keysdisease
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    keysdisease Senior Member

    If you're operating a sailing cat in Key West then you are duking it out with every other operator in town, and that's a bunch. Blue Q has a narrow and focused market unique to Key West in its size, and that indicates the market has been drilled down to just about every unique niche there is.

    I often thought of converting a Wharram and doing a thatched roof "South Seas native" type theme charter. You need a strong "hook" in a saturated market like Key Weird.


    Steve
     

  15. Beezer
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    Beezer Junior Member

    Too true. Totally saturated market. There used to be a wharram out of a marina off US1 as you came into town but they never ran much. Think it was a 36 or so. When were you down there? I was there in 2003 to 2004 on the Union. My father in law now plays music on Fury's commotion on the ocean trip most nights. Probably a better gig than starting a boat biz! I miss that town!
     
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