New production Cruising Cat parameters

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by sandy daugherty, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. sandy daugherty
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    sandy daugherty Senior Member

    Its just possible that the economic disasters of recent memory are giving way to a new, tentative optimism.

    There seems to have been a number of brave attempts to fill the 31 to 36 foot range in production multihulls in the past decade. After PDQ slipped into history only Seawind and Gemini have survived in large numbers.* I suspect Gemini's price over-shadows that range, and nobody can come close to Tony Smith's accomplishment in cost control.

    If there is a market for another starter cruising cat, it will have to be cheaper, and probably smaller. Its a shame the Great Barrier Express molds burned: it could possible succeed in the US today. Maybe somebody could splash an existing boat and build it with fewer parts. (I remember there were 55 separate molds!)

    I would like to hear some discussion, whether wishful or hard-nosed, about a possible <$100k cruising cat.

    For a tentative frame of reference I suggest

    Four berths, one real double.
    Enclosed standing headroom somewhere.
    Head and holding tank.
    Rudimentary galley with efficient cooler.
    Familiar rig, single-handed reefing.
    Outboard powered.
    Enclosed dinette/salon to escape inclement weather.
    Appealing performance.

    * The Maine Cat 30 and the Tom Cat 9.7 are proof that a 30' boat can meet these parameters, but their pricing is higher than I believe this discussion should consider.
  2. Bruce Woods
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    Bruce Woods Senior Member

    Cheap and fast?

    Leave out the comfortable bit and" hey presto", we have something a lot of people can afford.

    The Seawind is too expensive and is now so altered from the original alloy beamed boat "in my opinion" that one wonders why they don't just start again from scratch. The Maine cats with the soft tops just aren't practical enough for cruising . Wet . A hard top is a necessity. The GBE you refer to , is that the hard topped sports Decker version? If so the ones I have seen seem to be very low in the water, ie they don't carry their loads very well. Not surprising when you consider they are derived from the soft deck GBE.

    So how do we make an affordable small bridgedeck boat?
    Simple mouldings, ie just two, hull and deck.
    No boards, cases, control lines, just mini keels or hobie wave style hulls.
    One centrally mounted outboard.
    Simple spreader-less rig, maybe boom-less like the latest generation of hobies and nacras and f25 c's.
    Minimal fittings, take inspiration from the hobie wave style of boat.
    Keep the beam down to 2:1 Which in-turn keeps the weight, windage and structural requirements down so a smaller rig is all that is required.
    Then make all the interior fitout optional.(stoves, cushions, fridges etc etc.) Then the average punter can sail away and play, until money or circumstances allow more interior crap to be added.

    Don't just build a smaller version of a big boat. Once again take inspiration from the newer offerings from hobie and nacra.

    The English did this style of boat for years, unfortunately the styling is now very dated.
  3. sandy daugherty
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    sandy daugherty Senior Member

    These are just my casual observations; I can't agree with your remarks about the GBE, which I have sailed with considerable pleasure in spite of a rather heavy helm.

    I think its cheaper to mold hatches than to buy and mount them, and they are required when there are enclosed berths.

    I'm personally tired of compromises in the lateral resistance department. Surely this project isn't doomed to poor windward performance at the outset. The GBE, a 15+ year old design, went up wind very well.

    One outboard? YES! And how about an electric with a portable generator charging Lithium Ion batteries? Let's be imaginative!

    Spreaderless rig? YES!
    Boomless main? Not unless there is a very good downwind sail.
    Minimal fittings? YES! Synthetic shrouds, and lacing blocks in the place of turnbuckles?

    I'm not clear on "a smaller version of a big boat" or what "Hobie and Nacra" contribute to the concept, beyond building a tent on the bridge deck. But this must be a new approach, neither a mini-condomaran ala' Heavenly twins 26 or an inflated beach cat.

    Does anyone remember the Aquilon 26? Didn't somebody do some very bluewater cruising in an HT26?

    I had in mind a boat that was not intended to be trailered, without any constraints arising from outside considerations like taxes, ratings, regs, insurance or slip availability.

    However, I'm not in charge here! Fire as you see fit Mr Grimsby.
  4. Bruce Woods
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    Bruce Woods Senior Member

    Sorry sandy, I wasn't very clear regarding my references to the newer releases from Hobie and Nacra (ie nacra 430?). I was referring to the below water hull shapes.
    If speed is what you want then open wingdeck and boards is what we need and that will be cheap. Not sure if thats what everyone wants when we look at the Gemini and seawind.

    As I thought you were referring to something more cruisey "ie bridge deck" these simple hull shapes possibly have potential. No 30 to 32 foot bridge deck cat is ever going to perform when loaded so there is little point in flogging a dead horse and wasting money on performance oriented additions. ie boards.

    Yes the original GBE did perform. The bridgedeck version , loaded didn't.

  5. basil
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    basil Senior Member

    Just a quick comment here Sandy;

    GBE - 15+ years old - try 25 and still an excellent boat. Malcolm Tennant was light years ahead of everyone when he designed it. I agree with the 'Sportdeck' version being too low to the water, the 'Turissimo' (wide hull) model may have been a better style to develop.

    I believe that the Farrier 22 will be as close as you will get to a 'peoples' boat. Excellent performance, accommodation and realistically priced.

    Just my 2 shillings worth
  6. pogo
    Joined: Mar 2010
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    pogo ingenious dilletante

    I think the cheapest production cat that offers the above mentioned is the Ksenia 99 Cruiser (aka Rackham 33, now Ksenia 100 S-Line) she costs 100.000 Euro.
    She`s also available in modules that can be shipped anywhere.
    Please click thru this page:

    A more sporty alternative ,with of course less interior volume , could be the production Rackham 31 that evolved from the little Rackham 26 wing (nice good looking boat). You`ll find the boats on Lerouge`s HP.

  7. sandy daugherty
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    sandy daugherty Senior Member

    Thanks Pogo! Lerouge draws some beautiful boats. I wish the site would offer his concepts in English, my poor French can't handle it. Where is the factory?
  8. sandy daugherty
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    sandy daugherty Senior Member

    Thanks Basil. I owned and loved a Haines - Hunter SuperTramp for ten years. I think it was Farrier's first production tri, weighing more than an F-24!

    My idea is for a cruising machine, which means a trade-off of the performance of a light tri in exchange for the ability to stand up inside, share a civilized meal, and steer from a shelter out of the rain. Otherwise an F-27 or 28 would serve admirably. I think the target market would be moving up from daysailing cats and tris, wanting to share the sailing experience with spouses who aren't that interested in hanging on a trapeze or leaving the kids somewhere. In my case, I'm looking for something to move down to that is less physically or economically demanding, that will keep me afloat in my seventies with age-appropriate company. [somebody's grandmother]
  9. pogo
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    pogo ingenious dilletante

    And I wish u would read the site,
    it`s in English
    Which yard?
    His production boats are build by different yards.
    Again, u should read.
    It`s not my job to repeat the answers that are already given in Lerouge`s site or my links.

  10. sandy daugherty
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    sandy daugherty Senior Member

    Take a deep breath, pogo. The topic "Concept" is only offered in French. The rest of the site is quite informative. I refer to the Ksenia site. That page begins

    "Au vu de leurs dimensions, les problèmes de transport des catamarans obligent souvent les fabricants de ce type de bateau à s’établir près de la mer.

    Ce type d’implantation génère souvent des coûts importants de personnel de fabrication et d’infrastructure (bâtiment, terrain, etc.).

    Les convoyages de catamarans neufs ou leur transport autour du monde sont aussi très onéreux et souvent générateur de problèmes importants (délais, casses diverses, usure avant livraison, etc.). "

    I am ashamed to admit my poor recall from classes I took 50 years ago, but I am not asking anyone but the web site author to assist.
  11. rayaldridge
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    rayaldridge Senior Member

    What I've wondered about is why production companies haven't tried to offer micromultihulls for cruising. Someone who wants a monohull microcruiser has a fairly wide selection of new and used boats to choose from, but not those who'd like to go cruising in a tiny cat or tri. Those folks are largely limited to building their own, or finding the rare owner-built micromulti for sale.

    I wonder about this partly because there seem to be so few multis within the financial reach of young families. Where will the future multihull sailors come from? We're getting pretty gray.
  12. pogo
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    pogo ingenious dilletante

    sometimes i don`t remember what language it has been, especially when the languages are mixed on one site.
    They explain why they build their boats in modules. Their concept to build in modules allows to send the boat via truck , or container to the client.
    That`s only half the truth.
    The other half is that they produce the complete hulls incl.deck with "halfmoulds"-- horizontal splitted moulds.
    It means that underwater and deck have the same shape, produced with only one female mould.
    They also use only one cabin and one cockpit mould that can be modified in height and bridgedeck clearance to suit similiar sized boats, and/or client`s needs.
    A clever trick to produce cost effective .
    Why not ?
    But, as u can see on the pix, this way has some disadvantages :
    Nearly non-walkable decks, bad ergonomics for the helmsman, small entrance from bridgedeck to hulls, narrower berths thru hull`s symmetrie .

    But, why not ?

    The boats are "cheap". They cost about 30% less than their competitors.

    By the way, Cat 4x28 (nomen est omen :) Helios 38 and 42 (aka Edel 28; --38; --42) are produced the same way.
    U can see it on these pix. Look at the motor in the half hull.
    Further models:

    O.k. that has been little more than a translation.

    I´m little tired now, it`s 22:40h here in southern Spain, in Metricalland--o.k. , for u 10:40pm.

    c u

    pogo (gonna have some more San Miguel)
  13. Howaya
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    Howaya Junior Member

    Sandy et. al.,

    I'm glad you started and/or contributed to this thread! I've also come to realize even my 30' x 17' catamaaran is a bit more boat than I need or want now. Sandy, months ago I looked high and low for an Aquilon 26 but couldn't find one for sale anywhere. I guess the current owners like them enough to keep 'em off the market. Along those lines, wasn't there a Dutch school teacher who wrote here a couple of years ago about a 28' design he and his students were building? And, for what it's worth, I'm pretty certain Richard Woods still has a trailerable cat about that size for sale near Vancouver. Finally, there's the 8m Dandee designed by Shuttleworth, available through Rodann Yachts. Just rambling .....

  14. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    here are some quick numbers to think about

    The boatbuilder wants to make a profit, as does the selling agent. It costs money to sell a boat, while development and mould costs are always high. So lets assume 30% of the selling price goes to these overheads

    A basic materials cost for a conventional 30ft cat will be around USD40,000 (dacron sails, cheap deck gear, one outboard engine)

    So that leaves only USD30,000 to build that USD100,000 boat

    Lets assume it take 1500 hours to build (after a bit of practise, the first few boats will take longer than that)

    How many boatyards in the USA have a shop rate (labour plus overheads) of USD20 an hour???

    Clearly a boat that Sandy describes will either cost a lot more, or be much simpler, or be built outside the USA

    If the latter then shipping costs have to be added in. And they could easily run to USD30,000

    Hope that helps explain the dearth of small multihulls being built in the USA. There are of course many available in other parts of the world - like the UK, France, Scandinavia, S Africa, Australasia....

    (commercial note: you might find my Sagitta, Eclipse and new 30ft Stratus of interest, all of which may soon be built in Poland so European quality but much lower prices)

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs

  15. ImaginaryNumber
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    ImaginaryNumber Imaginary Member

    french translated

    Try this Google translation, it may be of some help:

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