Questions about safety of CSK / Polycon Catamarans for cruising

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by magentawave, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. magentawave
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    magentawave Senior Member

    I might check out a 38' Buddy Ebsen Polycon cat in Florida. My intention is to do mostly solo extended cruising with an occasional crew or two along the way.

    I have two concerns about this design:

    - CAPSIZE: This 38'er has a beam of only 17' with a 45' tall mast.

    - PITCH POLING: The hulls have a lot of rocker which promotes hobby horsing - which could lead to pitch poling.

    Questions, please...

    1) Has there been a lot of safe and successful long distance cruising with these narrow beam cats?

    2) Any word about pitchpoling?

    Anything you can recall regarding the safety record of this design will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  2. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Are the hulls especially slender ? Is the sail area less than wider beam cats ?
     
  3. magentawave
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    magentawave Senior Member

    The hulls are slender and symmetrical but pinched at the bottom unlike the round hulls on most cats. The sterns are narrow too. I don't know the breakdown of the sail area per sail yet but total is 760 sq ft.
     
  4. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    I'd worry more about the pitching than pitchpoling or capsize. You will suffer from hobbyhorsing all the time. Check out the transpac race results of late 50-60s Worldcat, Golden Cockerill etc and then decide. Of course you are talking about an old boat so be prepared for lots of refitting

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs

    www.sailingcatamarans.com
     
  5. magentawave
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    magentawave Senior Member


    But can't pitching lead to pitchpoling on a cat with hulls that have lots of rocker? I couldn't find anything about Worldcat and Golden Cockerel sailing in the Transpac. Was there something unusual about those boats?
     
  6. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    How hard you planning to run the old girl!

    Pitchpole is generally hard running in rough seas for the vessel size.

    Pitching is a comfort issue in a cruiser.

    Just ask Richard in a private conversation for a thumbs up or down on it. He is a wise sailor.
     
  7. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    sorry missed a comma. world cat sailed round the world. Golden Cockerel did an OSTAR. Also check out the AYRS publications, most available for free and the early catamaran books. I think there Buddy Ebsen even wrote a Polycon book?
     
  8. buzzman
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    buzzman Senior Member

    That's correct! I have a Buddy Ebsen-autographed copy on my shelf. The book is called "Polynesian Concept", by Ebsen with George Gunston, and tells the story of her first major win in the '68 Multihull Transpac. The smallest boat in the fleet she was 35' 3". Her name, 'Polycon' is a shortening of the term "polynesian concept" which came from designer Rudy Chot banging on to Ebsen about the difference between the "European concept" of sailing, and the "Polynesian concept", of using twin-hulled voyaging canoes.
    Ebsen was, of course, most famous for his role as Jed Clampett in TV's 'The Beverly Hillbillies'.
    'Polycon' was the first, and Ebsen and others (I think Choy) set up Polycon Boats to build more of them, after the prototypes win in the '68 Transpac. Several boats were built by Polycon Boats in various lengths.
    The original Poycon was of course built by CSK - Rudi Choy, Warren Seaman, and Alfred Kumalae, pioneers of multihull design.
     

  9. fhrussell
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    fhrussell Boatbuilder

    Rudy Choy and CSK had very little (if at all) to do with the production version PolyCons. I know WD Schock produced a few at some point. The molds were used to make the 36' Sundowner which was a 'bamboo bomber'. CSK built the original PolyCon along side the boat I grew up on, the 38' Ipo Kai.
     
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