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Old 05-03-2013, 05:04 AM   #21
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I guess it's all in the eye of the beholder, and I am quite fussy re the shapes of boats I like and don't like, but I must admit, cats are so different, and operate according to a different set of physics, so I can actually appreciate their positive attributes, particularly their stability, speed with less power than mono hulls, and the room. Of course the latter can also be one of the negatives, because of berthing costs.

The Aussies seem to have a bit of a flare for designing what I and many others consider pretty yet functional multihulls, and here are some good examples. Seawind also make sailing cats.

Seawind Catamarans

Scimitar Marine - Award Winning Power Catamarans

http://www.boatpoint.com.au/showroom...&Ridx=0&eapi=2
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Old 05-03-2013, 10:26 AM   #22
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Bob: Positive feedback from the most prolific forum membership usually demand forward raked windows like this Aspen C-90 North-Sea. I hope Larry doesn't mind my playing with his design.
I have to admit, that looks a lot better to me!
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Old 05-03-2013, 10:29 AM   #23
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Would you like it more if you knew it can run 6.25 kt on less than 5 hp? Or on a modest 150 hp breaks 20 kt.
No....I'm into "form" as well as "function" and the "form" of this boat is not to my liking.
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Old 05-03-2013, 10:46 AM   #24
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Yup most cat are hard to look at but consider how few there are. Even w the increased popularity there are very few. And as w everything else there are good reasons.
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Old 05-03-2013, 11:15 AM   #25
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Yup most cat are hard to look at but consider how few there are. Even w the increased popularity there are very few. And as w everything else there are good reasons.
WOW! We're back on the same page again, Eric!
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Old 05-03-2013, 11:16 AM   #26
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Steve Dashew tells about the realities of multi hulls "tripping" in big seas, whether power or sail in his 1220 page tome "Surviving the Storm." In a sailing cat if you turn turtle forget about returning to the upright position.

Last year I saw a lovely NZ built 65' power cat in Alaska. If one follows the weather and avoids it, cat's "tripping" could be rendered mute most of the time.

But the poor engine access while underway in a Cat is enough to keep me away. I love the ER space a trawler can offer as do many others, especially as agility has dropped as the years pile on.
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Old 05-03-2013, 11:32 AM   #27
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But the poor engine access while underway in a Cat is enough to keep me away. I love the ER space a trawler can offer as do many others, especially as agility has dropped as the years pile on.
Amen, brother!
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Old 05-03-2013, 11:48 AM   #28
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Selene's catamaran offering:
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Old 05-03-2013, 11:56 AM   #29
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I'm glad to see a discussion about cats on this forum, even though the threads about cats are usually as awkward as most of the designs. These are ungainly things, for the most part, and must be a real challenge for the architect to design in living and maintenance spaces while keeping in mind that the fundamental design advantages of any multi-hull has to be preserved in the finished product. Many of the production cats do pretty well in economy and speed, but lots of them have compromised bridge-deck clearances that sneeze (throw water out and forward from the tunnel) in moderate seas. Of course, the heavier you load it, the worse it gets.

Then, there is making them market-able, if not appealing. Frankly, outside of a few custom builds, I haven't seen what I'd call a good looking cat or tri-hull, at least not on the level that I appreciate so many mono-hulls. I've been aboard "impressive" multi-hulls, but not beautiful multi-hulls. The best looking cats I've seen are the Buzzard's Bay, the Maine Cat 47 (without fly-bridge), PDQ 41, Fontaine Pajot 40, Manta, and with some reserves, the Lagoon 43 and 44 (cut off the fly bridge here too). The most impressive has been the Pacific Expedition series, which is unapologetically brutish, massive, heavy and even has great maintenance spaces.

There are good, usable interiors in cats, but outside of the Maine Cat 47, that feeling of richness that one gets when surrounded by a well wooded mono-hull environment is just not there in anything I've been aboard. Weight concerns put real limits on how much you can beautify the sub-50' or so cats. Some of them do a nice job in framing doorways and windows, but the predominant feeling for me is hard, stark, homogenized fiberglass. It doesn't feel very boaty, and I want boaty.

If money were no object, I'd probably build the cat I want, but I'd do it with the understanding that part of the compromise would be appreciating the vessel for the advantages it has, and let go of any idea about the final product ever being something to make me swoon.

Meanwhile, as awkward as the Aspen looks to many of you, I guess I must have lowered my expectations with regard to multi-hull styling, because comparatively at least, the design looks appealing to me. I just hope they don't put a fly-bridge on it.

Photos below: Buzzards Bay 34, Lagoon 43, Maine Cat 47, PDQ 41
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Old 05-03-2013, 12:41 PM   #30
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Like the sail and cruising forums, there seems to be a cat vs mono mind set here on TF. As I've mentioned before, boaters as a lot are a very conservative group when it comes to their vessels. The naval designer that wants to put to use what he learned in school to enrich the boating experience quickly finds out that he must either conform to "what looks right" or strike out on his own. Steve Dashew, Larry Graf, Chris White, Reuben Trane, Schionning, and Newick to name a few have done just that, and I'm one sailor that is glad they did.

This is a bit like deja vu for me in the hot rod circles. I declared on those forums that I wanted what I call the Swiss Army knife of hot rods. A car that could corner better than a Corvette, have straight line acceleration that exceeds super car status, give a comfortable ride with the engine having impeccable street manners (no snarling, barking, cammed up, knuckle dragging engine) with a nice idle, and mid 20's mpg.

You guys want to know why as a new member here on TF I'm so laid back? It is because of all the flaming and attacks I received on the hot rod forums for the above concept, a hot rod that would do it all. True functionality. I started with a clean slate and decided I was going to work with The Laws of Physics instead of against it. For 40 years I worked against it like all the other hot rodders, going to nastier engines that had the street manners of a gang banger to move my 4000 lb ride, but not on this build. Mass, or lack of it, is the starting point. My rod weighs 1790 lbs, about 1/2 the weight of a Corvette. I then mounted the engine and transmission so low in the frame rails that I had to fabricate an oil pan to give me enough ground clearance. When you lower the CG to this degree, the CG is at spindle height and thus there is no moment-arm above the center of your wheels that would create body lean in the turns. To address a comfy ride I set up a Jag IRS for the rear. Since my ride is flyweight it doesn't take much hp to make it move, so I built a 350 sbc block with a 400 crank for 383 cid and built it in a way that it produces a lot of torque at very low rpm, perfect for tall gearing and good mpg. I probably gave up 120 hp on the high end to generate 516 lb/ft at just 2800 rpm on the low end. But since my car was so light, I could give up some hp.

The results of thinking outside the box produced a hot rod that does in fact do it all. High 10 second 1/4 mile, corners like a Lotus Super 7, a sweet purring engine and cushy ride, and on trips I broke 30 mpg. And I do take long trips.

So, I'm all for navel designers that think outside the box and support their efforts and don't care about the "image", I want my Swiss Army knife of the maritime flavor now.

This is the ride described above, and be rest assured I don't care what people think of how it looks, it does what I wanted.


This gives you an idea of how much torque it has at such low rpm. This is a steep grade and clutch is out in 5th gear, smooth as silk.


This spring I put a different engine in it. A Dart 427, and is now a 9 second street driven ride, being able to blast from a stand still to over 150 mph in under 10 seconds.
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Old 05-03-2013, 12:52 PM   #31
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Would you like it more if you knew it can run 6.25 kt on less than 5 hp? Or on a modest 150 hp breaks 20 kt.
No. Fuel efficiency is a very minor consideration in boating for us. Far more important to us is what the boat can do: its interior configuration, its user-friendliness, its ease of operation, and its aesthetic appeal. Running an awkward or ugly boat is not something we have any interest in doing at all regardless of how fuel efficient it might be.

A big part of boating for us is being on the water in a well-designed (by our standards) boat. Something we can take pleasure in simply from its looking "right" on the water.

While I don't think the Grand Banks design is anything to write home about, it does a pretty good job of capturing the essence of the type of boat that inspired its looks, the helm-forward, small-forecabin commercial fishboat.

But Euroswoop boats, multi-hulls, solar panel boats, and so on are-- to us--- just plain ugly. We would take no pleasure--- or pride--- in being on the water in one no matter how efficient in terms of energy use it might be. We would probably be embarrassed to be seen in such a craft.

Now make sure you understand this is almost entirely subjective. This is how WE feel. It is NOT how we believe anyone else should feel. If a boater's primary interest is in efficiency and in pursuing that they build a solar panel electric catamaran or trimaran or monohull that we feel is really atrocious in appearance, we would certainly not condemn them for doing this. If they like it, that's the only thing that's relevant.

PS-- If someone made a super-energy-efficient boat that we thought looked good and had the same performance figures you listed, absolutely, we would be very interested. But nobody ever does that. All the so-called energy-efficient boats I've seen (in photos mostly) have terrible aesthetics by our standards.
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:03 PM   #32
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OK then, this is how I see it. If your a weekend warrior, only getting on the water 10 weekends a year for an overnight cruise, then your in a position to sacrifice functionality for whatever form is pleasing for you. If you plan to live aboard and cruise far and wide, the efficiency and functionality would (or should) trump form, at least in my book. If I'm cruising full time, I want my Swiss Army knife type of boat, and the hell with what others think of its looks, just like my hot rod, I don't care.
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:34 PM   #33
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Thanks, Marin. After your comment, I had to go back and look at it myself. Maybe you're right.....maybe it's one of those times the forward rake works. Still, one could GB the boat a bit....you know, like this Aspen "Classic". Looks a bit like a Rosborough now.
DANG!!! You're good!
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:35 PM   #34
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If you plan to live aboard and cruise far and wide, the efficiency and functionality would (or should) trump form, at least in my book.
Depends totally on the person. In our book, if we were going to cruise the world on a full time basis, the look of the boat would be every bit as important as it is for our locally used boat. We would sacrifice efficiency to be able to cruise in a good-looking boat, something we enjoyed looking at. To us, an ugly boat is an ugly boat regardless of its purpose, and it's not anything we would want any part of.

So functionality may trump form for some people, but not all people, even people to whom efficiency is important, like the full-time cruiser.

The inability (so far) of the super-efficiency crowd to build boats-- or vehicles-- that are aesthetically pleasing is one thing that will continue to limit the popularity of these machines. For whatever reasons, most people continue to want aesthetically pleasing "things" be it a car or a spouse/partner. It's why people swoon all over Ferraris and Aston Martins and ignore Priuses in terms of vehicles to lust after.

When the day comes that the super-efficiency folks combine that with good aesthetics, be it using traditional lines or modern lines that look good, then they'll have something. Tesla has managed to do this with cars. Unfortunately, they are extremely expensive.
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:49 PM   #35
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Here is something we can all agree is truly butt ugly, and from the picture you don't get an idea of its underwater form, which is hideous. It is diesel-electric and performs the almost impossible function of tightly holding its position in all conditions, whatever the winds and currents. My practical side favors function over looks, and maybe I'm in the minority on this. A cruising sailboat capable of 250 nm 24 hour runs just isn't going to look like the nice traditional sailboat that has a good day's run at 1/2 that distance.
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Old 05-03-2013, 02:04 PM   #36
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Woodwork in a Power Cat

I've been on the Jet Tern power cat in Zhuhai - the interior is as nicely finished in teak as any of the Selenes. Here's a photo of our saloon - ALL the finish is teak except for the overhead. Just because there's two hulls (or more) doesn't mean you can't have a nice-looking finish. Of course, weight isn't minimal.
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Old 05-03-2013, 02:06 PM   #37
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Old 05-03-2013, 02:18 PM   #38
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I've already given up my need for aesthetics over function, but there has to be something warm and precious about my boating environment. If, on the other hand, I did produce the "Swiss army knife" of trucks some time ago, and if I could do it in boats, I know with the length limitations of 40 or under, I'd have to begin with making a decision on having either one hallway of space (a skinny mono-hull), or two hallways of space with a large space between them. Faced with that, I'd take the two hallways of space and do the best I could with lightweight materials for style and beautification. It would be asymmetrical, and look like a bigger version of the Aspen Photoshop Mod I did earlier with the best I could incorporate from working designs. BTW, I know this is a boating forum, but I really enjoyed Bob's analogy of his Swiss Army Rod.
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Old 05-03-2013, 02:54 PM   #39
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I Just because there's two hulls (or more) doesn't mean you can't have a nice-looking finish. Of course, weight isn't minimal.

It's not the interior finish that totally turns me off . It's the two or three hulls. To me, there is no way to make a multi-hull look good no matter how nice the interior finish might be.

Again, a totally subjective opinion.
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:01 PM   #40
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No. Fuel efficiency is a very minor consideration in boating for us. Far more important to us is what the boat can do: its interior configuration, its user-friendliness, its ease of operation, and its aesthetic appeal. Amen

A big part of boating for us is being on the water in a well-designed (by our standards) boat. Something we can take pleasure in simply from its looking "right" on the water. Amen, again.

While I don't think the Grand Banks design is anything to write home about..... I think it's a great looking boat for what it was designed for.


PS-- If someone made a super-energy-efficient boat that we thought looked good and had the same performance figures you listed, absolutely, we would be very interested. No comment as I don't think it will happen in my lifetime.
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