DTA

RS Cat 14 Question

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I ordered and paid for an RS Cat 14 a couple months ago. It's due to be delivered in April. I'm just DYING to get it, so I can start sail camping. But my question is this:

Every dinghy I've sailed capsizes the instant there's nobody on board to counteract the wind (Laser, Vago, Aero, RS700). So, if I fall off - no big deal. I'm happy knowing that the boat will capsize a second or two after I fall out.

But what about with small catamarans like the RS Cat 14? Do they also capsize instantly? Or do they stay upright? If they stay upright, do they turn into the wind and "stop" (i.e. not "sailing", but merely drifting backwards)? Or do they keep on sailing with no captain aboard? If they keep sailing w/ no captain aboard .... um ... wtf are you supposed to do about that?

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Runaway boats is not a fun thing. Speaking from experience many things can happen to cause you to lose your boat. It can easily happen when righting a cat after a capsize and if you cannot get on quick enough you can be dragged and the boat will keep running. Now falling off your boat is not super likely it can happen. Since multihulls are generally extremely stable this is always a possibility and there is litter you can do. Now I can’t speak to the RS cat 14 but I know most will continue on. 

Edit: I just looked up the RS cat and it seems to have weighted Hulls like a hobie wave. Now it may eventually tip it may go for a nice long run before it does. 

 

 

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I've had a Hobie wave sail away from me. Many/most(?) small cats are not "fail-safe" in this regard. They are generally meant to be sailed in safe, protected waters, ideally with additional boat traffic that can come help.

Wetas have the same problem, and they have a harness setup that is designed to keep the boat with you if you go overboard.

Edit: You could tie yourself to the boat in this fashion if/when sailing solo or in open waters.

Edited by martin.langhoff

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35 minutes ago, martin.langhoff said:

I've had a Hobie wave sail away from me. Many/most(?) small cats are not "fail-safe" in this regard. They are generally meant to be sailed in safe, protected waters, ideally with additional boat traffic that can come help.

Wetas have the same problem, and they have a harness setup that is designed to keep the boat with you if you go overboard.

Edit: You could tie yourself to the boat in this fashion if/when sailing solo or in open waters.

May not be the best idea to tie yourself to a runaway cat. Drowning is easy at even low speeds. Similar to why falling off a boat offshore and being teathered on is dangerous as you will quickly drown.

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10 hours ago, Midwestmike said:

May not be the best idea to tie yourself to a runaway cat. Drowning is easy at even low speeds. Similar to why falling off a boat offshore and being teathered on is dangerous as you will quickly drown.

Yeah, should have mentioned that risk. I'm not sure what's worse, TBH.

The only strong recommendation I have is -- all these cats are fun toys to be used in confined, safe waters, or with a fleet / support. 

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Also, a knife is a great thing to have with you. While you may be on a less sporty boat then say a f18 it can still come in clutch and save the day.

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Hmmmm ... I'm not so sure that the leash idea is so terrible. I believe that the following *would* be a drowning danger: two people are on a small cat, one falls overboard leashed to the cat, and the other continues to deliberately drive the cat at full power. I can see the possibility of the person being dragged getting drowned in this situation.

But for a single sailor situation on a small cat, I would imagine that having a 230 lb. sailor attached to the 14' cat would stop the boat in short order. With nobody on board to hold the tiller or mainsheet, I would think that the drag of an attached man-overboard (230 lbs. in my case) would quickly stop the minimally powered up cat (or cause a capsize in high wind conditions).

No? (I have zero experience w/ cats, so I'm genuinely asking).

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Depends on each one and also how you fell out. The UFO, thanks to the mainfoil being forward of the mast, will round up into irons and "park". However if you've managed to get something firmly wrapped around the tiller that keeps it dead center it will, like anything else, carry on sailing thanks to the stability of the platform.

DRC

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1 hour ago, Dave Clark said:

Depends on each one and also how you fell out. The UFO, thanks to the mainfoil being forward of the mast, will round up into irons and "park". However if you've managed to get something firmly wrapped around the tiller that keeps it dead center it will, like anything else, carry on sailing thanks to the stability of the platform.

DRC

In the above video, i noticed that the rudders are up and not in the water. I imagine that is part of the cause for the boat failing to turn to wind and stall.

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Weta manuals emphasize practising quick release of the tether, to manage the risk of drowning. I do not think it is a joke. A cat dragging you in the water will slow down, but the drag forces will be working on your body in the water. Depending on position, it can push you down.

Sail with a friend - any cat or dinghy - and test the "boat at full sail dragging you while you're fully in the water" scenario. We sometimes do it for fun.

11 minutes ago, DTA said:

In the above video, i noticed that the rudders are up and not in the water. I imagine that is part of the cause for the boat failing to turn to wind and stall.

The Hobie Wave that left me behind had rudders down. There's a similar vid of a Stunt S9 foiling away... 

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Many cats have very neutral helm and so they don't round up especially ones that don't have daggerboards. So yeah it can sail away from you especially in the light when there's not enough wind to capsize it AND most people can't swim fast enough (particularly in gear) to catch up to even a slow sailing boat.  TBH even a capsized cat (assuming it doesn't turtle) can get away from you. OTOH you're unlikely to fall off if you don't capsize. The tether seems like an OK idea except there's another rope to tangle up.

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What if you tied the tether to the bow, so if you fell to windward (most likely direction in my opinion) the drag you create would turn the boat up? If the rudder isn’t stuck centered, it should turn up fairly easily

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Hey Dion,

Most catamaran racers set up rudders with a little toe in.. this is considered to be slightly faster, gives you a little more feel to the rudders, and also allows the boat to head up if you fall off.  

I love that my catamaran tracks straight but if I was singlehanding I'd make that sacrifice to allow it to head up on it's own.

The RS Cats have a great helm and are intended to be set from the factory, but you can play with it after you get it and make it work for you as all Cats are different and could use a bit of adjustment for your desired feel.

 

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10 hours ago, RSsailingNA said:

Hey Dion,

Most catamaran racers set up rudders with a little toe in.. this is considered to be slightly faster, gives you a little more feel to the rudders, and also allows the boat to head up if you fall off.  

I love that my catamaran tracks straight but if I was singlehanding I'd make that sacrifice to allow it to head up on it's own.

The RS Cats have a great helm and are intended to be set from the factory, but you can play with it after you get it and make it work for you as all Cats are different and could use a bit of adjustment for your desired feel.

 

Interesting. As having only sailed boats with a single rudder, I had no idea what "toe in" meant. A little googling and now I see what you mean. I'm glad it's something with which I can tinker. Thanks.

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I sail a Maricat which is a 14ft beach cat from around the '70s.  It has a banana shaped hull which, when you get the cat moving and the rudders flowing will stay in a straight line, however when you let go the rudders it'll pretty much instantly turn into the wind.

One thing we do between races is to pull the main and traveller right in and let go of the tiller.  The boat sails a little, rounds up, goes backwards, sails a little - rinse, repeat.  You stay pretty much in the same position.

I'd say try it.  Work on the rudder blade setting so that you have  bit of weather helm most of the time and then just let go - see what happens.

I've never seen any of the 14ft cats fall over on their own.

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You might want to alter the main shrouds and see if you can induce some weather helm, while at speed? falling off isnt something I thought much about,  have been parted from various boats but always managed to do a quick swim and catch up with the, usually, capsized boat. 

Very interested in the Cat 14 myself.  I got a Hobie 16...which needs a new trampoline and few other bits.  Just wonder if the Cat 14 is as fast?  Hobie is ok as a singlehander, but wonder if a newer type such as what RS are offering will be as much fun.

Quite like the look of the NACRA range too.  Expensive boats though.

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13 hours ago, robjwilkinson said:

You might want to alter the main shrouds and see if you can induce some weather helm, while at speed? falling off isnt something I thought much about,  have been parted from various boats but always managed to do a quick swim and catch up with the, usually, capsized boat. 

Very interested in the Cat 14 myself.  I got a Hobie 16...which needs a new trampoline and few other bits.  Just wonder if the Cat 14 is as fast?  Hobie is ok as a singlehander, but wonder if a newer type such as what RS are offering will be as much fun.

Quite like the look of the NACRA range too.  Expensive boats though.

Delivery date has been pushed back to early June. But as soon as I get it, I'll start posting videos.

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