Where are the catamaran innovations?

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by simon, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. simon
    Joined: May 2002
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    simon Senior Member

    Going through some of the catamaran designers websites, I have got the impression, that not a lot has changed in the last few years. What are the most active and innovative designs? Or has the catamaran concept reached a high maturity, which just moves by little steps?

    for example:
    http://www.youngyachtdesign.com/whatsnew-y52.html for it's interior and exterior layout design.

    Simon
     
  2. Alik
    Joined: Jul 2003
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    Alik Senior Member

    How about this:
     

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  3. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    Simon Says:

    You are right of course. The shortage of the green has a captive effect on one's immagination and willpower.
     
  4. daiquiri
    Joined: May 2004
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    Location: Italy (Garda Lake) and Croatia (Istria)

    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    Few years are too short period for any change to become noticeable.
    Though there have been changes in the last years - but they've been pretty invisible from outside. Sofisticated electronics and software, boat handling automation, hydraulic systems, are bocoming accessible even on entry-level boats. The same thing that happened in car industry.
    Hull shapes, well you're right - that hasn't change a lot. It takes big industrial and academic research and money to make a big leap in hull hydrodynamics.
    Unfortunately cats are still a pretty small portion of boating world, be it sail-powered or engine-powered. And the amount of money industries will pour into any research is proportional to the size of it's potential market.
     
  5. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    The point is that catamarans are practical boats attracting people looking for practical designs - especially smaller power catamarans. Luckily we do not have invasion of car stylists in catamaran design, otherwise we will end up with streamlined, sporty but unusable things - 'toys for marina'. I believe most of successful catamarans designers are creative and also conservative enough to advance with small steps.
     
  6. Nordic Cat
    Joined: Jan 2008
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    Nordic Cat Senior Member

    What about this?

    3 steering positions; fore and aft cockpit as well as the saloon. Optimised hullshape to minimise drag above 4 knots yet still offer good load carrying.

    Unstayed bi-rig with rotating wingmasts.....


    Alan
     

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  7. rayaldridge
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    rayaldridge Senior Member

    It seems to me that there is a lot of room for design improvements big and small. I'm an amateur designer, and I managed to come up with a little cat that has no close relatives at all, so far as I know.

    Of course, the truth is that there's really only one original idea in the boat-- ergonomic seating within the hulls of an open 16 foot cat. Still, it's an indication that the field is still susceptible to new ideas.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    Maybe so, but don't stop trying. Have a couple of ideas myself ;)
     
  9. PortTacker
    Joined: Nov 2008
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    PortTacker Junior Member

    I feel there has indeed been some advancement. There are ocean capable cruiseable cats that are truly fast out there. If you look at the boats like the
    Lightspeed (Warp speed with good accomodations for its size, yet not so twitchy an non-pro can't sail it, and breaks down for trailering)
    Gunboats (real speed with real accomadations, inovative forward steering/workstation)
    Moxie 37 (real speed with good accomodations, also fwd steering work area)
    Sig 45 (Warp speed and good accomodations, ingenious in my opinion)
    etc you will see that some of the designers are taking what they've learned with pure racing boats and applying it to cruising boats, speed with great handling traits, luxury (but without excess.)

    A few designers have for years offered 'luxury' and speed in the same package (Shuttleworth for example) but recently new tech and exception hull development is trickling to production builders who are trying to offer that concept to the market.

    But most big cats are so cruising/weight carrying oriented that performance is really not part of their equation. They are generally happy just to go a knot faster than a monohull... Ingenious (sometimes) rearrangement of interior amenities is not my idea of 'innovation' or 'advancement.' Nor is continually trying to get junk rigs or biplane rigs to work, and accepted by the marketplace.
     
  10. robherc
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    robherc Designer/Hobbyist

    I don't know of any close relatives to it yet, but I'm working on a 22.5' (hopefully beachable) design that might be a first or second cousin.
    I saw you Slider & loved the idea so much I had to try a take on it, so now I'm designing my 22.5' with plexi/lexan windscreens and seats that will fold down into (small) 1-man berths. Thanks for the inspiration! (BTW, ALL of my lines will be different, only common trait between the two craft will be the in-hull adjustable seating...didn't want to steal too much innovation from ya ;) )
     
  11. rayaldridge
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    rayaldridge Senior Member

    I'm delighted to hear that-- I really hope there will soon be a number of designs that showcase the benefits of open cats in very small sizes. I know a guy who is planning to adapt some of the ideas in Slider to the Selway-Fisher cat design Hawk. This is a bigger boat, 18 feet, and not trailerable without assembly, since the beam is, I think 12 feet. I haven't seen the plans myself, but I'm told the in-hull seating arrangement is left up to the builder, so I'm not sure how it compares. It's bound to be a lot faster, as I expect your boat will be too. But one of my design goals was a sailboat as easy to launch as a bass boat, and as a family beachcruiser built for comfort rather than speed, and with a highway legal beam, I didn't want to put too much sail on her.

    Once I decided to build a cat with seating in the hulls, a lot of details had to be designed around that idea. For example, the adjustable, fore-or-aft-facing position of the seats dictated that I use a steering line rather than direct tillers to steer, so the helmsman could sit in comfort, his steering arm lying along the side deck, as if sitting in an armchair. There were a hundred other details, large and small, that were influenced by that one simple new idea, and the process was a lot of fun

    It was fascinating to me how many happy accidents surfaced during the design process, even with only one original idea to work with. I think it shows that you only have to think slightly outside of the box to make some interesting progress.
     
  12. PortTacker
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    PortTacker Junior Member

    Sure IS a lot of fun isn't it?
     
  13. robherc
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    robherc Designer/Hobbyist

    Actually, I'm not going to make any promises I can't keep on the speed. While I do intend to fly as much sail as I can (without going to the brink of capsize), I'm designing more for comfort and (my own) aesthetics on this one (canoe sterns, mild "V" hulls, 10' beam)...it WILL be trailerable (tilt trailer) though, but we'll have to see what the speed ends up being. The biggest 2 "innovations" I'll be working on for this are the folding seat/berths and finding a way to rig a helm into the support beam in front of both rear seats/berths so that either of the two rear-seated crew can steer with the rope system in comfort...much like the steering-wheel of your car (although probably quite a bit higher at 22" above the seat).
     
  14. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    Here's a new cat, The Neo 21, that I'm finishing-up on a commission. The builder/owner asked for a large beach cat that would give him the water clearance to provide an improved degree of comfort over the typical 6.4 meter beach cat.

    This boat is taller, providing 18" of bridgedeck clearance.

    The hulls have quite a bit more volume, allowing for a boat that can carry a fair amount of creature comfort cruising stuff as might be used by a husband and wife with a very young daughter.

    The beam is expandable to 11' from the trailer legal width limit of 8' 6" in the US by way of sliding beams.

    It uses the rig, sailing hardware and rudders from a donor Hobie 18.

    The displacement of the boat is 1800 lbs.

    The hull pans and decks are stripped Red Cedar with marine ply sides and bulkheads.

    There is a hard surface main deck for tent pitching and with the notched deck surfaces along the inner hull edge, the owner can comfortably pitch a 7'x7' domed camping tent for remarkable comfort for his family of three.

    The notches also provide strong creature comfort for long sailing sessions, as the crew can bend their legs while sitting on the removable, fold-down seats on each hull.

    Not shown in the rendering is the skipper's chair, which is a very lightweight contoured seat that drops into a socket in each hull aft of the folding seat, allowing the driver to rotate around a full 360 if he so desires.

    The tramp forward is made of 1 1/2" knotted netting which has little to no windage while still providing a nice place to lay out on a warm sailing day.

    There is a structural element that runs under the tramp and decks from the removable bow beam all the way aft beyond the aft beam. The triangular cross-sectioned form absorbs considerable mast compression taking a big load off the forward beam. This does away with a dolphin striker. The beam is always in place along the center of the boat and helps to align the main and aft beams for the sliding function.

    Forward of the main beam and above the tramp is a pod, which allows for above deck storage of the things one needs for anchoring or docking. This keeps the business of rooting around in the hulls while underway to a minimum.

    The far aft end of the central, longitudinal beam provides a location for a fold down hinge for the engine, well out of the way of the traveler and the tiller connector.

    Construction starts as soon as the weather warms-up a bit in the Northern Hemisphere.

    As always, I'm open to questions, as well as comments.
     

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  15. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    Hi Chris,

    I like most of what you mention -

    I would go for an 8m cat instead of a 6m400, you can still make it trailable and expandable in width -

    I know it's getting bigger but, with the little bit of extra size comes safety, better bridgedeck clearance, actual usable space in the hulls for a mini galley (the wives like that), berths (leave the tent at home), a head...

    Almost everything improves a lot with a little size extra.
     
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