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Old 04-15-2012, 09:58 AM   #1
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Cat Got Your Tongue?

I've been thinking about power catamarans for several months since I saw a PDQ 41 at the Trawlerfest in Baltimore, but have hesitated broaching the subject on TF 'cause ... well, they're just not trawlers. But since we can call our boats pretty much what we want to, and since Mark brought up the subject in another thread on stabilizers, I figured it was time to hear what people think about them.

The right side of my brain says they're not very pretty compared to a traditional-shaped monohull but the left side of my brain says they're incredibly fuel efficient, very stable in most sea conditions and at anchor, very maneuverable, have more below-deck space per foot, have expansive deck space and, if you squint when looking at them abeam, some even look kind of like trawlers.

Although it's not unusual for the larger ones to be passagemakers, most of us just hang around the coastlines anyway - wouldn't these be pretty comfortable boats for this?

Hoping for a spirited conversation, not a flamefest ....

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Old 04-15-2012, 10:12 AM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr. dvd. Hey, anything that gets you on the water! The main problem(s) I've seen on cats I've been on (few), is cramped sleeping quarters and poor engine access. Considering this, how much do you sleep anyway and how flexible or triple jointed you are?
Another "problem" depending on the area you're in is slippage/dockage-beamwise. Just consider a cat as a mono hull with a large outrigger attached.
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:29 AM   #3
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There's a lot of "ifs" in your statement about cats. They don't carry loads well if they are incredibly efficient...they have some awkward spaces for my tastes, generally are twins if that's what you want, are stable but have quicker motion is some wave situations...and are generally more expensive for a given length/build.

well..even my staements have a few if in them so it's a lot easier for me to compare model to model than the sweeping generalizations made.
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:57 AM   #4
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Cat Ride

There are Trawler Cats. Cats have to be carefully engineered as structural loads a huge compared to a monohull. If commercial boats herald the future were going to see a lot more of them. The downsides are berthing, a double bump at from beam seas and when the tunnel hits "depending on tunnel design" a thud and belching of spray that can cover the deck with water. They beat the displacement rules as to speed and are usually cheaper to run for for a given size. Some of use get sea sick more readily on a Cat " I do". They cost a lot more to build. I've spent a fair amount of time on them including a typhoon in Australia. I was diving off a 70' steel trawler cat at the time and it was a slow underpowered 10knot boat. I was sick most of the time. It was a stable platform given the conditions, but the ride is different. The steel hull oil canned in the tunnel and you couldn't help wondering how many times it could drum before it broke welds. The high speed cats used for ferries and tour boats usually run in conditions that don't tax the clearance between the tunnel and the wave tops. I think this is where these boats are clearly superior to monohulls in both speed and ride. In these cases the boats are lightly loaded, this important as the cats don't carry weight nearly as well as a monohull. As to capsize all boats can capsize, usually monohulls go to the bottom, cats become huge stable rafts. Most sailing cats have opening hatches in hull sides to escape through if capsized.
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Old 04-15-2012, 12:15 PM   #5
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Man! - I sure do not have any time aboard a cat hulled boat. But, I've been watching one being constructed in a boatyard close to where I live and have my considered opinion.

Over the years I've seen two cats in fairly turbulent water and they seemed to do alright. All I can say is that having twice been in some really BIG, NASTY seas, once a sudden squall and one an unexpected nor-easter... Man! - I sure would not want to fare that rough of water in a cat. Single hulled vessel - OK. Cat - Maybe, but, I just canít see it! Of course if you were never going to hit any real bad ocean water then a cat would probably fare perfectly well. That self contradicting word never has bit my ass before... I greatly respect neverís potential surprises! On the water I always remember Ė Always Respect It, and, You Only Drown Once!

Just my 5 err... 10 Cents!
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Old 04-15-2012, 12:16 PM   #6
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...If I hadn't been gone for Rainha Jannota, I would be constructing a Cat. Displacement hulls, aluminum or wood/epoxy, though and reliable. One very interesting feature, has a lot of room for a shorter waterline.
I'd go for it!

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Old 04-16-2012, 07:00 AM   #7
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"They beat the displacement rules as to speed and are usually cheaper to run for for a given size."

Actually it depends whose "rule" you use.
The 1800's "hull speed" rule is for boats with 3-1 LB ratio.

Cats can maintain a higher cruse speed with out plaining if the hull L/B ratio of each hull is 6-1 , 8-1 being easier to go quickly.

Because of the higher wetted surface cats are less efficient at slow speeds if the same displacement as a monohull..

IF you constantly cruise at 10K on a 36ft LWL the cat will save money , if you can stand the more rapid vertical accelerations underway.

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Old 04-16-2012, 11:06 AM   #8
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Hey, sorry I did not read everyone else's posts first. We have a friend who bought a PDQ 30 something new a few years back, motored it from the factory in Canada down to Florida and had it shipped to Mexico I think, did the "offshore delivery" thing then brought it up. I have never been out on it but been aboard and it is a nice lay out. Lots of steps. It is SUPER fast (compared to our 8-9 cruise speed) and very fuel efficient. It's super stable. Just depends on your requirements and desirements, as I believe FF says. I talked to him yesterday and he is thinking of getting a nordic tug. I didn't get into the "why's" with him. His wife has bad knees so maybe b'c of the steps... just guessing.
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Old 04-17-2012, 06:48 AM   #9
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There are several well regarded power cats built here in Oz, and clearly very useful boats for the coastal and sheltered water situations, with lots of room and economy coupled with speed, but they do have a rather jerky movement in a seaway, and I doubt one would embark on an ocean crossing in one. Having said that I understand one at least has been delivered on it's own bottom to NZ from here. I'm just not sure which it was.....

Adventure Catamarans - Catamaran, Power Cruisers, Sailboats, Tri-Hulls, Ajet Jet Boats, Tomago, Newcastle, Port Stephens, Central Coast, Toronto, Lake Macquaire
Scimitar Marine - Award Winning Power Catamarans
Seawind Catamarans
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter B View Post
There are several well regarded power cats built here in Oz, and clearly very useful boats for the coastal and sheltered water situations, with lots of room and economy coupled with speed, but they do have a rather jerky movement in a seaway, and I doubt one would embark on an ocean crossing in one. Having said that I understand one at least has been delivered on it's own bottom to NZ from here. I'm just not sure which it was.....

Adventure Catamarans - Catamaran, Power Cruisers, Sailboats, Tri-Hulls, Ajet Jet Boats, Tomago, Newcastle, Port Stephens, Central Coast, Toronto, Lake Macquaire
Scimitar Marine - Award Winning Power Catamarans
Seawind Catamarans
Peter - I looked at each link. Pretty impressive. In today's economy what's the scuttle butt in Oz regarding how these companies are faring for boat orders? Thanks, Art
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:42 AM   #11
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Most boat builders have experienced downturns with the effects of the GFC being felt a bit more in those circles than most others because they used to sell so much to overseas buyers. However, they were not quite as badly affected as many countries, as thanks to our commodities markets, we weathered the GFC better than most. A good example was Riviera, which sells millions of dollars worth of fast cruisers all over the world. Two yrs ago it had to go into receivership, but there was a big announcement just recently it has traded itself out of receivership and now back in private hands and re-employing. So yes, the boat-building industry here is "alive", and getting better, but maybe not quite yet "well".
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