Out-of-Control Multihulls

After a bunch of typical chuckleheaded hullabaloo over on SN, we FINALLY got a multihull thread started that has some promise. You can find it here:

Multihull Popularity and Interesting Designs

Now, along with what appears to be a strong (and irrational) general bias against multihulls on SN (which we intend to change) – there is also a metric crap-ton of ignorance. Fortunately, there are a small handful of dudes over there who actually know what they are talking about…long-time cruisers who previously sailed monos and now sail multis.

Colemj is one such dude. Here you can see him addressing a comment regarding speed on a catamaran…

Now, you have to remember, we’re talking cruising cats here. There have been a few goofballs who immediately take the conversation to the extreme by bringing up things like the capsize of the foiling G4 a few years back. To them I say – get a freakin’ grip.

But, the exchange above shows a very interesting notion about the kinds of speeds cruising cats “can achieve”. As colemj points out – this is not the kind of speed you’d ever sustain. In fact, you really would not want to. It is here that capsize and pitchpole start to become a real possibility. Let’s look at an example…

This is a video of a new Lagoon 52 (undoubtedly a cruising cat) in fairly intense gale (F9+). Now, just the thumbnail for this video below shows the immediate problem…this boat is hitting speeds of 27+ knots!

But here is the more critical underlying problem in this scenario…

This is a new boat for this couple. But they seem to be clueless as to the danger they are slipping into. To them, they are “breaking speed records” (back to the exchange in the SN post above.). But in reality, look at what is happening to these bows as they are doing this…

In this sequence that port bow in under water for a full 4 seconds! Just insane.

And now BOTH hulls are digging in.

In the midst of all this you can see the woman with a very concerned look on her face. The guys seem oblivious.  Her gut is telling her something – as is mine.

Now, I’ve personally never sailed a cruising cat. But I have sailed the BFS Flagship FIASCO!

And when I start seeing rooster tails coming off the bows, I slow the hell down. Immediately. Because you only have to go through a pitchpole or two to understand that its not something that you want to do…ever again.

This is why, as I’ve read many times and places, drogues/warps are a very good thing on multihulls. When you’re stuffing the bows of a 52′ footer, you don’t just sit inside and talk about the records your breaking. You put out something to slow you the hell down. Otherwise instead of “breaking records” – you’re simply on your way to becoming a statistic.

I look forward to participating in this new thread. I think we can make SN a valuable resource for multihull cruising. Lord knows there plenty of pablum already out there for the mono crowd.

Join in!

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