Stevester

How safe are CSK cats for long distance single handed cruising?

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I might look at a 38' CSK cat in Florida soon and was wondering if anyone knows about their safety record for long distance cruising? I'm concerned because this is an old cat with a beam of only 17'. The other concerns are the highly rockered hulls (like Hobie 16's) and narrow sterns that could be prone to pitchpoling. 

Has anyone heard about safe and successful cruises being done on these old and narrow CSK cats?

Thanks

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I have some friends that sailed their CSK 33 from Long beach, CA to Fiji, when they bought the boat is was an open bridge deck design and they added a small cabin.

Hulls are very narrow, especially in the 33.  They had a great trip.

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CSK's have sailed many ocean miles.  They are able to make such trips.  Going singlehanded on any small cat adds an extra degree of risk.  Being asleep when a squall hits unexpectedly would be my greatest concern.  That risk exceeds my own personal comfort zone.  Doublehanded with someone on watch and you're probably pretty good to go.

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CSK, are more seaworthy than modern planning pointy bow boats.  The main cause of pitchpoling, is masts that are too tall for the P.C. because the sea is no longer respected as energy that is more than a fluid.  The concept of safety is given up for power, when the vectors do not align, you have problems.

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On 3/14/2019 at 8:26 PM, Stevester said:

Thanks for replying guys. Have you heard anything about the issue of CSK's hobby horsing?

They do...

You're gonna sail to windward?

Curious thing about a lot of cats is that quite often the accommodations are pretty close to the center of pitching moment so not too bad a ride-- just slower when they pitch.  Daysailing in protected water, not an issue.  Downwind on a passage, not an issue so much.

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On 3/14/2019 at 3:52 PM, sailcalifornia said:

I have some friends that sailed their CSK 33 from Long beach, CA to Fiji, when they bought the boat is was an open bridge deck design and they added a small cabin.

Hulls are very narrow, especially in the 33.  They had a great trip.

Did your friends get in any gnarly seas with their little CSK?

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15 hours ago, Veeger said:

They do...

You're gonna sail to windward?

Curious thing about a lot of cats is that quite often the accommodations are pretty close to the center of pitching moment so not too bad a ride-- just slower when they pitch.  Daysailing in protected water, not an issue.  Downwind on a passage, not an issue so much.

Going to windward? Sometimes, sure, but not if I have to. For safety though, it's essential that a boat that can claw to weather if caught on a lee shore.

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On 3/15/2019 at 2:16 AM, Veeger said:

Going singlehanded on any small cat adds an extra degree of risk.  Being asleep when a squall hits unexpectedly would be my greatest concern.  That risk exceeds my own personal comfort zone.

Would you feel more comfortable sailing a monohull singlehanded (asleep)?

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3 hours ago, EarlGreen said:

Would you feel more comfortable sailing a monohull singlehanded (asleep)?

Good question.   Short answer: Yes.   But not by much.  The reality these days is that you 'can' add a number of electronic features such as AIS / Radar warning circles.  They do nothing for logs/containers/miscellaneous debris.

In my hierarchy of risks, I can pop up every 20-30 minutes for a look see / electronic scan for traffic and respond immediately if I'm already in a close quarters scenario  (so long as it isn't 'after the fact' when I 'should' have been awake 5 minutes earlier).  For tropical squalls or gusty conditions, one's response time is necessarily much longer.  i.e. reducing and reefing take time even then, squalls can often be non-events---or not.....

Debris in the water is agnostic with regard to number of hulls....

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10 hours ago, Veeger said:

Debris in the water is agnostic with regard to number of hulls

Well.... 2x better chance of hitting something :)

But I'd much rather have the typical cat bow which has a watertight fwd locker if I'm going to hit something.

 

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And won’t sink like a lead weight......

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 I like Jim Browns approach to possible capsize from his book The Case For The Cruising Trimaran where he discusses how to prepare your multi BEFORE cruising so you can live in relative comfort until rescue. 

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Very seaworthy, they handle big seas well, especially upwind where the hobby horsing might seem slow, but the boat is still booking along. The total cruise 52 Manuewa was faster upwind in the Molokai Channel than full race Windward Passage, Mistress Quickly, and Buccaneer, all Maxis of the same era.

However, single handed... no. Any small boat is affected by big seas. A small, narrow, short waterline, rig forward, high CG cat is certainly far more susceptible to capsize. A Polycom 37 flipped entering an entrance in a breaking set along the reasonably protected south side of Oahu, when sailed by pretty darn good sailors. You need to be awake and aware!

But it won't sink even if upside down. Easy to beach them: after Multihull Transpac finishes in the 1960s, the boats would nose up on the sand at the Outrigger Canoe Club, including Seasmoke the 55 footer.

So with crew, do it.

Trusting an autopilot to keep you upright... not yet. Better Machine Learning will be required, but that is happening quickly. May well be perfectly safe within months or a year or three.

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If you have to ask strangers if CSK, boats are safe you definitely should not use one.

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12 hours ago, guerdon said:

If you have to ask strangers if CSK, boats are safe you definitely should not use one.

Huh?! Okay, well that's just silly. it's not like CSK cats are everywhere so asking about them on a freaking SAILING FORUM is exactly the place to ask.

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Stevester, sorry to be off-putting.  The craft you want to know about are the original multihulls.  It will help you enormously to go back in time and learn about them by researching them before comparing them to their more trendy stepchildren which are sadly deficient in many way due to modern marketing pressures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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& probably better known: "Tahiti Bill" Howell's Golden Cockerel, that had the distinction of having capsized twice...

(https://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=30078793451&searchurl=an%3Dhowell%2Bwilliam%26sortby%3D20%26tn%3Dwhite%2Bcliffs%2Bto%2Bcoral%2Breef%2Ba%2Bclassic%2Bsmall%2Bboat%2Bvoyage&cm_sp=snippet-_-srp1-_-title2 another exploit of his...)

 

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Golden Cockerel was always referred to as the "Golden Rocking-horse" as I recall. I never sailed on it but watching it sail to windward the name was well deserved!

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Answer is some are (were), some aren't (weren't) they built a pretty wide range of cats over what 30 years? Many old wooden multis have rot issues, many were worked hard and put away wet. Each boat would be unique in evaluating its capability for a given route. Would I race one to Hobart? It would depend.

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Did you end up looking at the boat?  I have a CSK polycon, currently undergoing refit.  PM me for more info.  Also check out Rudy Choy's book Catamarans Offshore and and Buddy Ebsen's book Polynesian Concept for some historical perspective. 

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