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Someone once told me that “a good boat is tougher than the sailor”. In my +/-100k miles on the M&M GBs I never really lifted the gas pedal because I was afraid we’d break the boat...we’d lift to make life aboard more liveable for the crew. As I look around the mooring fields I don’t see many well built catamarans.

That got me thinking about how delicate catamarans are in general. 

I love our Outremer 55 but I’d NEVER put the bow down and sail her like I’d want to. I can see the amateurish engineering that went into the older Outremers. The newer ones seem to have better engineering, but still aren’t as solidly built as I’d like. 

We’d contracted a Catana 472 before buying our Outremer. On close inspection of the Catana we discovered that both major structural bulkheads had failed on an upwind trip from Cabo to SD. The boat has been fixed but I lost confidence in that specific boat and the heavier and more luxurious 472/Ocean Catanas in general. I don’t want to paint ALL Catanas with that brush, but I highly doubt you’d ever be able to  really push the boat or fly a hull safely and consistently in a Catana. 

I can’t imagine anything downmarket from Catana/Outremer being anywhere near as “tough”. Certainly the FP/Lagoon/Privilege/Nautitech boats aren’t the kind of boats you’d want to push.

The TS’s that I’ve seen seem to be able to fly a hull at will and seem tough. They’ve been pushed hard across oceans many times, winning the ARC and doing incredibly well in mixed fleet racing  

At Gunboat we had the constant debate of “should we post photos of hull flying or not”. My feeling was that it’s good to show that the boat can take whatever you can dish out. You may not WANT to fly a hull, but it’s good to know you CAN sail the boat harder than you may want to. 

I sailed the new HH66 “Nemo” last month in the CMC. We sailed that boat very hard and I came away very impressed at the build quality. But...thats still a very expensive boat (even at 1/2 the cost of a new GB).

Paradox/Shockwave always impressed me with its toughness. That boat is still sorta my ideal...safe, ridiculously FAST, and reliable. But Shockwave is a really unique boat.

What other multihull brands build boats that can be pushed hard without breaking? Boats tougher than the people sailing them?

There are plenty of monohulls that are tough. My first job was on a Swan and that boat was as solid as a tank. Bad broach, gales/storms, bury the rail upwind, it could seemingly take it all. I’d think most monohulls can take a real beating. 

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I nominate the Lagoon 38/380. Hundreds built. Rig is conservatively designed and boat is so heavy so you probably could never fly a hull or get going really fast :)

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I was talking to a Lagoon owner and he said his boat was “too fast”. Any faster than 8 knots and he felt like the boat was breaking up under his feet. 
 

Ummm, that’s...not...too fast. That’s too poorly built!

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Obviously I am going to nominate Rapido Trimarans having seen the engineering and build quality that goes in to them ! Generally speaking I think you can sail a trimaran much harder than a cat especially upwind !

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5 hours ago, soma said:

I was talking to a Lagoon owner and he said his boat was “too fast”. Any faster than 8 knots and he felt like the boat was breaking up under his feet.

I was talking to an Outremer 38 owner many years ago. He said his boat was "too fast". He said on an Atlantic crossing it was always sailing at 12-14 knots in any breeze. It was very, very spartanly outfitted (bits of string for door pulls, no fresh water system; just multiple 10L jugs. Every day or so grab another jug from a locker. Mostly it was too noisy inside because it was fast.

I think 8-9 knots was about the sweet spot for our 40' cat. Never felt pressed at that speed; just gliding along smoothly. At 10-12 it was noisy and my wife would complain. Never felt like it was flexing or "breaking up"!!! 

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On a different scale, the feeling on my Nacra 15 FCS is that we'll be crushed to dust in the next pitchpole and the boat won't have a single scratch, much less a structural problem.

As foilers go, it's a tank.

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Its much bigger loads on a cat than a mono - and Swan is top of the line of monos - that  is GB in cats. 

But given the geometri of a normal bridge deck cat - it should be rather easy to engineer it so it would be very strong and build it accordingly. 

But then its the open space and the costs - that goes in comfort not strengt. 

Take Lagoon the biggest; some years back their boats seem very will built and planned - but newer boats has sharp corner furniture with flat panels and big open spaces - its cheaper but not good for a boat. 

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Well I will put in a plug for the Corsair F27. Wasn’t built to cross oceans but it has and wasn’t built to race but it does and it does in the formula version with far more sail area than the structure was designed to carry (screachers, asym, and square top mains). I raced mine in 0.6 to over 60 knots of wind and in solid and steady 30 and 40 knots multiple times. That boat could for sure and did take more than me or the rest of the crew. 
 

That said I am confused by the premise @somaputs out. Only the GB is tough? Because it can fly a hull and not break? But...

Most people don’t want to spend multi millions on a boat, or race balls to the wall in their cruising boat, or fly a hull on their cruising catamaran. Nor do they want to hire  a pro captain and crew. But still their boats - from Lagoons to Chris White Atlantics go around the marble and keep their crew safe.  And...

I seem to recall GBs having a tendency to break a lot of a certain critical component so maybe not always so tough? And also some famous flops, no?

No intent to throw stones at GB there. I am sure they are one of the best built toughest out there... but at that price they better be. 
 

As for most of the rest I would say they are tough enough. 
 

If doing the Baha bash home I would be in protect the gear mode. Most cruisers would. Flying hulls and bashing hard just increases the chances of something breaking or the boat flipping and I kinda like my life!!

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I think Soma’s point is the quality of many boat builds is sub-par. That is hard to argue with, once you step down from the GB level it can get bad.

Exceptions:

1) Anything Marstrom built, I’m thinking Seacart 30 in this context, though a bit small for serious ocean work.

2) Most if not all of the Farrier line as designed and properly built to Ian’s plans.

3) Groupama 3/IDEC Sport/Lending Club, built by Multiplast, most of the toys they build have a pretty solid reputation (or we don’t hear about the problems!).

4) The Chris White Atlantic series are solid, well built boats. The one I’ve been aboard on certainly looked it and the owners generally seem happy.

5) I think Roger Hill has designed and had built some pretty bomb-proof rides: https://www.powercatsnz.com/index.cfm/designs/sail/18-5m-performance-sailing-catamaran/

6) The Dazcats as mentioned earlier also have a good reputation.

Basically, if you’re shopping for a 50’ cat under $1mil you’ll probably be a bit disappointed in some aspect of the boat, either performance or build quality or maybe both. The exception is probably the TS5 but it gets close to that 7 figure number.

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I don’t know. Quality is fit for use and to Zonker’s point there are lots of Lagoons that have and are going around without falling apart. That’s what I was trying to get at (maybe not well said) by “tough enough.” It’s not a boat I would want but it’s going to get me around safely, no?

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I agree with a previous post that the older Lagoons (might) be better built. The L55/57 and the 67 sure look real fast and the 47 is no slouch either. Although not in the hull flying category the older L42 TPIs and the smaller ones were vinylester infused back when everyone else was saying, "WTF is vinylester". Maybe better than average in their day?

Catana had an S series of cats way back that were sportier, spiffier than the regular ones. There was a C48S which might be a contender.

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57 minutes ago, Sand crab said:

I agree with a previous post that the older Lagoons (might) be better built. The L55/57 and the 67 sure look real fast and the 47 is no slouch either. Although not in the hull flying category the older L42 TPIs and the smaller ones were vinylester infused back when everyone else was saying, "WTF is vinylester". Maybe better than average in their day?

We chartered a Lagoon 57 (not the 570) before buying our Outremer. We were sailing in a clean 18 knots, beam reaching in flat water. We were barely, occasionally touching 8 knots of boat speed and the skipper said, proudly “not bad, huh?!?”. I decided then and there that if he was happy with that then that wasn’t the boat for me. 
 

i think Chris White’s are a good example of being a tough boat. 
 

The Seacart 30 IS a wicked little boat. 
 

I get the impression the Leopards were (are?) pretty well built. I’ve seen plenty of them race at Heineken and they seem to be sailed aggressively. 

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So are there any examples of production cats falling apart when pushed? I don’t mean rig failure, steering cables, etc. I understand there is some flex in your O55 and possibly others. I was on one cat that first had the front beam laminated to the hulls at the bows. That broke crossing the Atlantic, and was replaced with pivoting joint attachments, worked fine. 

If you build a fighter jet that can stay in one piece at 100 Gs, while the pilot is dead at 20 Gs, you’ve overbuilt, and can probably save some weight and improve the flight envelope.

The three dimensional flight envelope of sailboats is cost, performance, comfort. If you show me a cat that can boast a hull so rigid that it doesn’t need the forward beam, I’ll show you some cost and/or performance gains they left on the table.

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Talking my own book of course, but I think my Atlantic 57 is pretty well built. I have 8X more miles on monos, and have seen most of the major luxury mono brands (Swan, Oyster, Hinckley, Little Harbor, etc.) in snotty weather at some point. One data point - what does the lee rigging look like close hauled when the crew starts giving you mutinous looks? A57 wins that one...

Like any boat she flexes, but I haven't popped out any furniture yet, which I've done on a few of those monos! We haven't flow a hull, and I'm not at all tempted to try - I don't think that was really in CW's design intent, it's a cruising boat. I'll ask him the next time I talk to him!

The one time we had the boat into the 20's she really handled beautifully. Apparent wind about 90 AWA, gusting 35 AWS, double reefed main and full staysail. Bows high, fingertip helm control completely responsive, sailed like she was on rails in 10-12'. Steered for a while for fun, then the autopilot did fine. Structure looked good, mast looked good, doors opened and closed - I was looking.

Will a similar size GB sail circles around us? No idea, and I expect would be strongly dependent on payload carried. 

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Soma is 100% correct. Most of the GB line is well built and built to be pushed.

I think that Skylark (Atlantic 72) is one frigging tough boat. Had that thing out in some nasty wind and waves down in Bequia, between islands, and due to the carbon it was stiff and strong. It sailed through steep waves very easily. When you are able to consistently average 15-20knots boat speed whilst still drinking coffee with no lid, then you're doing okay.

Biased of course, but we've pushed our 57 pretty hard on the way to Bermuda. Never once did I worry about the boat. When you're reaching in the high teens without too much fuss, then that's a well built cat.

Lagoons are not bad boats per se, but they cannot be pushed without flexing. You need copious amounts of carbon and epoxy to make a boat strong and light.

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Wess said:  Well I will put in a plug for the Corsair F27. Wasn’t built to cross oceans but it has and wasn’t built to race but it does and it does in the formula version with far more sail area than the structure was designed to carry (screachers, asym, and square top mains). I raced mine in 0.6 to over 60 knots of wind and in solid and steady 30 and 40 knots multiple times. That boat could for sure and did take more than me or the rest of the crew. 

I think we'd like to hear the 60 knot story, or a link as I imagine you've told elsewhere.  Gads, that's survival.

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The previous owner of the Bañuls 60 # 2 Catamaran Dragon that won the Multihull Cup in Palma in 2019 alerted me about this post. I am the owner of the Bañuls 60#1 Mach². We both know that the Bañuls 60 is a catamaran we feel safe pushing hard.
During the Hong Kong Vietnam Race 2013, we were sailing under genaker above 25 knots for hours and touched 30+ a few times. The 3 professional sailors on board (Orma 60, Multi 50, Ultim, America’s Cup experience) never had any doubt in the boat's ability to sail fast and safe.
 
A tough trimaran would be the ñ53 FINN designed by Renaud Bañuls the architect heavily involved in the design of the latest Sodebo Ultim
 
Video here 
 
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13 hours ago, soma said:

get the impression the Leopards were (are?) pretty well built.

Nope. 

- sharp corners in the furniture (older ones were rounded)
- not very skilled labour force. Lots of people to grab a bucket and a brush
- I'd say "heavily built" rather than "well built" for the charter market
- met a delivery crew in St Helena on a  They were sailing a 40 from S.Africa to Thailand. Not a pleasant journey. Ever worse when the giant flat picture window (6' wide x 3' high or so) on the front of the saloon popped out when a wave hit it. For half the voyage they had waves washing into the saloon and down into the hulls.

Here's the window that popped out (not the same boat; just same model)

image.png.01bd25c3562d5f834b2e9b007b0bbc5a.png

2020 factory tour video snippets.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4LpuBy3TM4

Lots of fixing gelcoat defects. You can afford to do that where labour is cheap. Otherwise you make sure your process doesn't produce gelcoat defects that have to be fixed...

 

You should not store materials out in the open where they will get contaminated with dust/oil mists/etc etc.

image.png.6f3456a432f471b6b990bd2ce2c1e1be.png

Here is the big steel (stainless??) weldment that spans the gap where the front door is.  I think it's lying on its back. This is a cheap and strong but not light way to do it. 

image.thumb.png.80c693820bfb1b083077d37c928aba70.png

Big rolls of mat

image.png.514423394f6772e5dea7d708d57012c5.png

Tough to get a consistent gelcoat thickness when it is brushed on like this

image.png.7ba0a238dbdc7d0b4450b2818ab678c3.png

guy with sander (lots of them in the video) fixing a part. No he is not sanding a mold.

image.png.491e4e02fb0ae2b920e02b816c33a664.png

 

 

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4 hours ago, Performance Multis said:
The previous owner of the Bañuls 60 # 2 Catamaran Dragon that won the Multihull Cup in Palma in 2019 alerted me about this post. I am the owner of the Bañuls 60#1 Mach². We both know that the Bañuls 60 is a catamaran we feel safe pushing hard.
During the Hong Kong Vietnam Race 2013, we were sailing under genaker above 25 knots for hours and touched 30+ a few times. The 3 professional sailors on board (Orma 60, Multi 50, Ultim, America’s Cup experience) never had any doubt in the boat's ability to sail fast and safe.
 
A tough trimaran would be the ñ53 FINN designed by Renaud Bañuls the architect heavily involved in the design of the latest Sodebo Ultim
 
Video here 
 

Love these boats , just  wish a few more of them were built.

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6 hours ago, eric1207 said:

Wess said:  Well I will put in a plug for the Corsair F27. Wasn’t built to cross oceans but it has and wasn’t built to race but it does and it does in the formula version with far more sail area than the structure was designed to carry (screachers, asym, and square top mains). I raced mine in 0.6 to over 60 knots of wind and in solid and steady 30 and 40 knots multiple times. That boat could for sure and did take more than me or the rest of the crew. 

I think we'd like to hear the 60 knot story, or a link as I imagine you've told elsewhere.  Gads, that's survival.

Nothing special and I don’t want to distract for a good and interesting thread. PM me if you want further details. Than following. 
 

Think is did get posted here long agon by one of the crew. Thank God we had our beat and most experienced team of 3 that day. It happened on an overnight distance race. We were leading the entire fleet by a considerable margin (nearest boat finished more than 5 hours after us if I recall) and were within 5 miles or so of the finish in the middle of the night. Line of storms came through which was obvious from the lighting all around. Warnings from NOAA said they had reports up to and over 60 knots. We were sailing fast under full main and screacher in about 10 knots of breeze. Went down to 3rd (we added this. It typical for F27) slab reef point on main and working jib to prepare. When the line hit it was like nothing we had ever encountered and we had raced in 30-40 solid multiple times and the jib was immediately doused leaving just the main. Course to finish was roughly a reach but tray was obviously not a point of sail we wanted to be on so we close reached. Flying off waves the boat felt airborne and would slam back down. The outboard cover kept getting blown off by the air compression when we landed. The most scared part was because of shoals and commercial traffic we could not stay close reach so a few times we had to turn and run downwind. The turns down and back up we’re scary to put it mildly. Believe it or not in there middle of all that we managed to roller reef the main further down to the size of a hanky... the F27 insignia was just visible. 
 

The worst of it lasted only about 10 minutes but certainly the most insane 10 minutes I ever spent on a F27. The 40 knit races for sure stressed the boat much further as were truly still in race mode and pushing hard. On this we were in survival mode. 
 

When it was over we found and went back to the finish line not bothering to shake the reef out on the now again 10 knots of breeze. We drifted over the line doing 1 knots or so and had to take our own time as the finishing boat had wisely sough shelter. 
 

Not something I am proud of. We made many mistakes. Should have dropped all sails and drifted. Idiots we were. 

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6 hours ago, Zonker said:

Nope. 

- sharp corners in the furniture (older ones were rounded)
- not very skilled labour force. Lots of people to grab a bucket and a brush
- I'd say "heavily built" rather than "well built" for the charter market
- met a delivery crew in St Helena on a  They were sailing a 40 from S.Africa to Thailand. Not a pleasant journey. Ever worse when the giant flat picture window (6' wide x 3' high or so) on the front of the saloon popped out when a wave hit it. For half the voyage they had waves washing into the saloon and down into the hulls.

Here's the window that popped out (not the same boat; just same model)

image.png.01bd25c3562d5f834b2e9b007b0bbc5a.png

 

Here is the big steel (stainless??) weldment that spans the gap where the front door is.  I think it's lying on its back. This is a cheap and strong but not light way to do it.

 

When I first thought of buying a cat instead of a mono, my only cat experience was Caribbean bareboats. They were mighty comfortable for a holiday, but sailed mostly like a piano.

So I started looking to volunteer for deliveries to see what cats are like in the real world. My first delivery was Ft. Lauderdale to Annapolis on a Moorings 4800 which is the bigger version of the cat in the above picture. That front window was ridiculous. It had a couple of opening ports in it, and the first time we opened them we found the only way to close them again was to have somebody outside pushing aft against us as we pushed forward to dog them, otherwise you just flexed the entire pane. We didn't open them again. Actually the entire boat was pretty bendy, think comfortable slipper. Too scary, glad we had no weather.

My second delivery was an Outremer 51 from Nanny Cay, Tortola to Little Creek, VA. That hooked me.

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6 hours ago, Performance Multis said:
The previous owner of the Bañuls 60 # 2 Catamaran Dragon that won the Multihull Cup in Palma in 2019 alerted me about this post. I am the owner of the Bañuls 60#1 Mach². We both know that the Bañuls 60 is a catamaran we feel safe pushing hard.
During the Hong Kong Vietnam Race 2013, we were sailing under genaker above 25 knots for hours and touched 30+ a few times. The 3 professional sailors on board (Orma 60, Multi 50, Ultim, America’s Cup experience) never had any doubt in the boat's ability to sail fast and safe.
 
A tough trimaran would be the ñ53 FINN designed by Renaud Bañuls the architect heavily involved in the design of the latest Sodebo Ultim

 

Banuls 60 is a great, great boat. Personally I don't like aft helm stations like that....that tether has got to be seriously short. FINN is a beautiful tri....seen her a number of times in the Caribbean and she always wows me.

Safe fast and offshore.

What are folks general thoughts and experiences on the upside up system.

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Thanks Wess.  Good to have a data point like that to breed confidence in the F27 and presumably other Farrier boats.

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3 hours ago, mpenman said:

Banuls 60 is a great, great boat. Personally I don't like aft helm stations like that....that tether has got to be seriously short. FINN is a beautiful tri....seen her a number of times in the Caribbean and she always wows me.

Safe fast and offshore.

What are folks general thoughts and experiences on the upside up system.

The location of the helm station on our Bañuls 60 #2 is close to the aft cabin / bulkhead, offering better protection and view, less ideal for single-handed sailing (further from the main sheet and traveller) but better for crewed races in my view.

 

For the upside up system: We've not gotten ours to work, last attempt ended in our H5000 smoking (the service technician claimed it was a coincidence). We always have someone on the main sheet in more than a force 2 anyhow (unless severly reefed for a delivery or passage etc.), it is a good habit on a high performance multihull.

20190804_163437.jpg

Resized_20190406_163650.jpeg

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3 hours ago, Sand crab said:

Is that the metal frame for the coachroof just behind the I-beam assembly?

No, I think that's an actual laminate. (God I hope so)

The shape of those cutouts suggest a good steel engineer who knows what they are doing. But to transfer the load of the beam into the laminate they are using pretty small fasteners. (Those appear to be either Riv nuts or nuts with integrated washers.)  The actual fasteners look like about 8mm. Because fasteners are small you need thick laminate to deal with bearing stresses. This sort of high load/small space area is ideal for a carbon beam at 5x the cost and 1/4 the weight.

image.png.af615a82f0fdde0c2521e2e72d347c07.png

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On the back door of my catamaran I used a small pultruded channel above and below the door opening. Then I could bond it to the laminate fully.

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On the Finn/MC2-60 debate...yeah, great boats. Mcconaghy do a great job, especially considering the location and cost. It helped that they had a great designer and owners rep, but I’d strongly consider building a custom boat there. Ad Astra also looked to be well built there. 
 

Don’t get me wrong, I love my boat and don’t have any regrets. I reckon it’s a lot tougher and faster than most boats, and it’s certainly faster and tougher than anything else in this price range. But...my 10 years on GBs HAS spoiled me. 

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57 minutes ago, Zonker said:

Does GB use lots of steel beams across their forward door? :)

Titanium!

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On 3/13/2021 at 11:00 AM, Sand crab said:

Catana had an S series of cats way back that were sportier, spiffier than the regular ones. There was a C48S which might be a contender.

Na,

I have a 40S. All the ‘s’ is, is marketing. They are, however, the last of Lach Crowther’s influence.
 

The 3d gen (xx1, f.ex. 411) and newer are Barreau designs

FEE15689-4CC9-469E-BBF6-72E9C41357F5.jpeg
1st generation Catana

 

 

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8 hours ago, soma said:

On the Finn/MC2-60 debate...yeah, great boats. Mcconaghy do a great job, especially considering the location and cost. It helped that they had a great designer and owners rep, but I’d strongly consider building a custom boat there. Ad Astra also looked to be well built there. 
 

Don’t get me wrong, I love my boat and don’t have any regrets. I reckon it’s a lot tougher and faster than most boats, and it’s certainly faster and tougher than anything else in this price range. But...my 10 years on GBs HAS spoiled me. 

I'm of the opinion that the best builders/designers and engineers are still in the US. There are outliers, but I think ACC does a phenomenal job (yup I'm biased, but they have 3 57's and 1 72 that have amazing attention to detail and are very light and very strong). I like Lyman Morse and I felt that they did an awesome job with Mala Conducta. I don't find the US builders to be exponentially more expensive than a boat built in China. There are a lot of advantages to build in the US. The main issue is lead time.

Your boat is fast and good looking, I think on a per foot basis, with the right sails, on par with a GB. Don't forget, every GB I've seen spends copious amounts of time at the Newport Shipyard........;)

 

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3 hours ago, Zonker said:

Does GB use lots of steel beams across their forward door? :)

Nope, but I've seen a few with a fair bit of faring and a few south african boats that used that stuff to make the boat longer :D

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ALL the GB hulls built in SA that got worked on at Westerly in SoCal had major amounts of bog & quite a few de-lams in the hulls.

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1 hour ago, longy said:

ALL the GB hulls built in SA that got worked on at Westerly in SoCal had major amounts of bog & quite a few de-lams in the hulls.

Let’s not forget the China problems or the rudder issues.

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16 hours ago, Zonker said:

Does GB use lots of steel beams across their forward door? :)

 

15 hours ago, Training Wheels said:

Titanium!

Definitely not cardboard - cardboard is out!

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An amateur built Farrier F9AX at the start of a 1800 mile ocean race.

This boat was built as a little cruiser but has now done 4 ocean races of 1800 miles. After 12 years there is still NO FLEX whatsoever in the structure. Hand laid up fibreglass composites.

Boats built by fancy name yards are not always built with the same care as one built by a nervous back yard builder.

 

Not my picture.

F-9AXBanjo.jpg

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On 3/13/2021 at 4:09 AM, soma said:

Someone once told me that “a good boat is tougher than the sailor”. In my +/-100k miles on the M&M GBs I never really lifted the gas pedal because I was afraid we’d break the boat...we’d lift to make life aboard more liveable for the crew. As I look around the mooring fields I don’t see many well built catamarans.

That got me thinking about how delicate catamarans are in general. 

I love our Outremer 55 but I’d NEVER put the bow down and sail her like I’d want to. I can see the amateurish engineering that went into the older Outremers. The newer ones seem to have better engineering, but still aren’t as solidly built as I’d like. 

We’d contracted a Catana 472 before buying our Outremer. On close inspection of the Catana we discovered that both major structural bulkheads had failed on an upwind trip from Cabo to SD. The boat has been fixed but I lost confidence in that specific boat and the heavier and more luxurious 472/Ocean Catanas in general. I don’t want to paint ALL Catanas with that brush, but I highly doubt you’d ever be able to  really push the boat or fly a hull safely and consistently in a Catana. 

I can’t imagine anything downmarket from Catana/Outremer being anywhere near as “tough”. Certainly the FP/Lagoon/Privilege/Nautitech boats aren’t the kind of boats you’d want to push.

The TS’s that I’ve seen seem to be able to fly a hull at will and seem tough. They’ve been pushed hard across oceans many times, winning the ARC and doing incredibly well in mixed fleet racing  

At Gunboat we had the constant debate of “should we post photos of hull flying or not”. My feeling was that it’s good to show that the boat can take whatever you can dish out. You may not WANT to fly a hull, but it’s good to know you CAN sail the boat harder than you may want to. 

I sailed the new HH66 “Nemo” last month in the CMC. We sailed that boat very hard and I came away very impressed at the build quality. But...thats still a very expensive boat (even at 1/2 the cost of a new GB).

Paradox/Shockwave always impressed me with its toughness. That boat is still sorta my ideal...safe, ridiculously FAST, and reliable. But Shockwave is a really unique boat.

What other multihull brands build boats that can be pushed hard without breaking? Boats tougher than the people sailing them?

There are plenty of monohulls that are tough. My first job was on a Swan and that boat was as solid as a tank. Bad broach, gales/storms, bury the rail upwind, it could seemingly take it all. I’d think most monohulls can take a real beating. 

You talk about HH.... Haven't they had a lot of delamination problems  on more than one boat from the "rumors" i hear...?

On 3/13/2021 at 10:16 AM, Max Rockatansky said:

Have you ever been on a Crowther Catana (1992 and earlier)?

Most of the early ones were locks design and custom built by many...

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On 3/14/2021 at 5:09 PM, Performance Multis said:

During the Hong Kong Vietnam Race 2013,

predominately a down wind blast , how was the delivery home ?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Man oh man, those Bañuls 60's have had me drooling countless hours over photos and specs.

To say I am extremely jealous of you guys would be the understatement of the century. Godspeed!

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I guess I was wrong about the early Catana S models. However there's a C48R just listed. The ad says the R is for race. Are they any tougher, better, lighter or is it just a shiny new letter on the same boat.

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20 hours ago, Sand crab said:

I guess I was wrong about the early Catana S models. However there's a C48R just listed. The ad says the R is for race. Are they any tougher, better, lighter or is it just a shiny new letter on the same boat.

I’m guessing this is POR DOS? There were two R boats built in 1992. I don’t believe it’s anything hugely in particular other than they are nice boats.
 

If you are at Facebook, there is a Catana owners group there. Stuart Ford, the shop manager at the time, has a presence at the group and good information about the pre-Barreau Catanas (1992 and earlier).

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In my very biased opinion Balance Catamarans has some of the best build quality I've ever encountered on an epoxy catamaran.  We generally don't market ourselves to the go-fast racer types which is why you'll never see photos of a Balance 526 hull flying.  That said, I have no doubt that the boat could fly a hull quite easily and is certainly strong and stiff enough to do it safely.  Especially on our new all-carbon construction builds and those  that opted for performance rigs.  I've operated these boats for tens of thousands of miles in a wide range of offshore conditions and have no doubt that they meet Soma's standard of a "good boat is tougher than the sailor".  Will it out sail a GB?  No.  But the build and finish quality is better and it's a hell of a lot more comfortable to live on.

23 hours ago, sushi said:

Any thoughts on the Balance line?   Wondering how that new 482 will go.   Ticks a lot of boxes for me.

Regarding the Balance 482, it's a vinylester construction and therefore doesn't have the same SA/D ratio as the 526.  It's still going to be a blast to sail and have the same finish quality as the epoxy boats, just a little less sporty.  The first one splashes in a couple months and will be arriving in the US mid-summer.  Available for demo sails in south FL soon after or you can come see her at the Annapolis Boat Show in October.

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1 hour ago, DoTheDrew888 said:

In my very biased opinion Balance Catamarans has some of the best build quality I've ever encountered on an epoxy catamaran.  We generally don't market ourselves to the go-fast racer types which is why you'll never see photos of a Balance 526 hull flying.  That said, I have no doubt that the boat could fly a hull quite easily and is certainly strong and stiff enough to do it safely.  Especially on our new all-carbon construction builds and those  that opted for performance rigs.  I've operated these boats for tens of thousands of miles in a wide range of offshore conditions and have no doubt that they meet Soma's standard of a "good boat is tougher than the sailor".  Will it out sail a GB?  No.  But the build and finish quality is better and it's a hell of a lot more comfortable to live on.

Definitely biased, but Paarman knows how to build a cat!!!!

If they built a forward cockpit boat, they'd almost be perfect:D

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6 hours ago, mpenman said:

Definitely biased, but Paarman knows how to build a cat!!!!

If they built a forward cockpit boat, they'd almost be perfect:D

Chris White has design a few nice cats too ;)

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Anyone had Schionning experience ?

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2 hours ago, Redreuben said:

Anyone had Schionning experience ?

The issue with Schionning is that they are sold as designs and the actual construction is contracted out to the buyer's yard of choice.  There were quite a few that were built under the supervision of the designer but there are also others that were essentially home builds.  It's hard to make a generalization about a brand with such a wide range of construction and finish quality, although there are some very nice examples on the water.  They are also balsa cored boats which is okay if built by an experienced yard, but can be a disaster if not built and maintained properly. 

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36 minutes ago, DoTheDrew888 said:

The issue with Schionning is that they are sold as designs and the actual construction is contracted out to the buyer's yard of choice.  There were quite a few that were built under the supervision of the designer but there are also others that were essentially home builds.  It's hard to make a generalization about a brand with such a wide range of construction and finish quality, although there are some very nice examples on the water.  They are also balsa cored boats which is okay if built by an experienced yard, but can be a disaster if not built and maintained properly. 

I know this debate has been had numerous times in MA, but my issue with Schionnings is balsa. I just don’t trust it long term. It WILL get wet, and it gets wet it turns to mushy cardboard. Balsa is good in theory, but “in theory, there’s theory and practice. In practice, there’s only practice.”

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I'm slightly curious about how a Schionning would go if you used the foam cored panels from ATL instead of the Balsa cored panels.

But at the same time, you are bending a cored panel that is already laminated on both sides, so to an extent would it be trying to pull itself apart?

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7 hours ago, SteveJH said:

I'm slightly curious about how a Schionning would go if you used the foam cored panels from ATL instead of the Balsa cored panels.

But at the same time, you are bending a cored panel that is already laminated on both sides, so to an extent would it be trying to pull itself apart?

I’m pretty sure that their kits are offered in either balsa or foam but the majority of builders choose the balsa as it is heaps cheaper, false economy in my opinion. You made a good point about bending pre laminated panels. several years ago I was hired to help build a Schionning balsa kit and I was amazed at the stiffness of the panels. It wasn’t really a problem for the slightly curved panels but so much pressure was needed to bend the under wing chamfer panels that we had to use a chain block to bend it and hold it in place until it was taped and the resin was cured, scary thinking of all that stored up pressure being built in to the structure!

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Plenty high mileage 40 to 50 year old balsa cored boats just called to remark about the slagging here. Only gets wet if maintenance is lax.  $ure there are better things. A bit surprising that 40 years has not found anything wayyyy better though. Plenty of younger crappy wet delaminated foam cored boats out there.

Bending pre-laminated panels? That is a truly odd design practice.

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Bending pre-laminated panels makes sense to me for multihulls that almost never have tight bends. Flat panels make sense to me, but I like Balsa too. 

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On 3/14/2021 at 12:05 AM, F18 Sailor said:

5) I think Roger Hill has designed and had built some pretty bomb-proof rides: https://www.powercatsnz.com/index.cfm/designs/sail/18-5m-performance-sailing-catamaran/

 

Roger has done some great sailing cats over the years and is a sailor at heart.  But for some reason I’ve never understood has stuck to the powercatsnz.com website which probably confuses and potentially puts off potential sailing cat clients.

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12 hours ago, El Borracho said:

Plenty high mileage 40 to 50 year old balsa cored boats just called to remark about the slagging here. Only gets wet if maintenance is lax.  $ure there are better things. A bit surprising that 40 years has not found anything wayyyy better though. Plenty of younger crappy wet delaminated foam cored boats out there.

My balsa Catana is 30 and counting....she is foam @waterline down though 

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14 hours ago, cynophobe said:

Rush hour may need to join this classification if she gets to Gladstone this year. 

IMG_2022.PNG

Well it looks like she is just about there.

 

And REX looks like she's already on the way home to Airlie.

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Talking about though boats - a regatta boat that can survive with full crew . is that though? I would think of a though boat -one that survives even if things are not ideal. And balsa- core " only have problem when maintenance lax" - yes - but when it is 30-40-50 years -its very few boats that never have had that problem. 

One thing - the european CE-marking - many boats are buildt lighter than those standards -  they woul be less solid in many situations?  

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Seagul, when ever I hear of CE standards I think of the discussion some years back that they only require brass thru hulls that last 5 years.  If true I don't think much of CE standards.  

Also your auto correct seems to think that tough has 2 "h"s.  (though).  Your English, though, is much better than my Norwegian.

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well for good measure - we tend to throw in some extra h and w - it looks right.... the CE - ref. MJ-sailing building the Max 42 - one  thing is that they had to pay extra for CE - panels for Grainger and Schionning designs. On the 2. hand market I think it can be important to have CE - level- but building on their own Im not sure they can get it on the finished boat - without some extra costs. 

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On 3/31/2021 at 9:30 PM, Max Rockatansky said:

I’m guessing this is POR DOS? There were two R boats built in 1992. I don’t believe it’s anything hugely in particular other than they are nice boats.
 

If you are at Facebook, there is a Catana owners group there. Stuart Ford, the shop manager at the time, has a presence at the group and good information about the pre-Barreau Catanas (1992 and earlier).

It's SWIFT, not Pos Dos. I checked as I know the owners of Por Dos. I never got a conclusive list of the differences, but I believe the R came from the factory with a taller mast. There's also an active groups.io (previously was on Yahoo) group of Catana owners and interested parties.

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My boat is 32 years old,balsa. I just pulled every fitting for a deck repaint.yes, there were 2 stanchions, both chainplates and a section at the forestay that needed repair. It really wasn’t a big deal and the time to reinstall everything dwarfed the time to repair 5 sq ft of deck...

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The modern method of installing chainplates and other fittings with composites goes along way to keeping cores dry. 

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5 hours ago, Raz'r said:

My boat is 32 years old,balsa. I just pulled every fitting for a deck repaint.yes, there were 2 stanchions, both chainplates and a section at the forestay that needed repair. It really wasn’t a big deal and the time to reinstall everything dwarfed the time to repair 5 sq ft of deck...

I hear really good things about infusing with Balsa. That there's not unusual resin uptake even though all channels are filled and surfaces saturated.

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Russell, Baltek AL600 has a surface treatment that stops the end grain soaking up too much resin.

Other manufacturers probably do as well.

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On 4/4/2021 at 9:07 PM, Redreuben said:

The modern method of installing chainplates and other fittings with composites goes along way to keeping cores dry. 

By this you mean drilling larger holes than required in the deck and filling with epoxy + high density filler and then drilling the right size hole in that? If it's something else do you have any links for further reading? 

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That method works for deck fittings, use a cut down allen key sharpened to an angled point in a drill to tear out core, but leaving the laminates in place, top and bottom.

Surely the best way to keep water out the core around high load fittings like chainplates, rudder post bushings or even thru hull valves (or anything below the waterline) is to step down the core to a monolithic lay up where the fitting is going. 50/200 just does not cut it!

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5 hours ago, MichalD said:

By this you mean drilling larger holes than required in the deck and filling with epoxy + high density filler and then drilling the right size hole in that? If it's something else do you have any links for further reading? 

No.

He means that chain plates and high load block take offs etc are all made out of carbon and integrated into the boat build so there is no bolting. On a good build you can eliminate many potential leak/ water ingress points.

Eg all stanchion post bases should be carbon or glass  solid built into the boat so the stanchion can sit over it. Easy to change stanchions and no penetration in the boat. Same with winch bases etc etc solid laminate in these areas (no core) and tapped bolts straight into the laminate means no leaks and no nuts sticking through from underneath. They will never pull out. We run 60 and 65 winches that are that loaded that they can not be turned in low gear at all and we have never had one deck bolting failure. Plenty of blocks have exploded though......

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Aye, composite chainplates are great, we are making up a pair for 'Triple Jack'.

BUT, they are a complete pain in the ass and the wallet if they get bashed and delaminate.

The repair is not just a case of bolting on a new one, all those unis have to come out, all the way down to the nether regions, fanning out here, there and everywhere.

The solid rub rail and the mid bulkhead, ah yes, they went in after the chainplate structure was laminated in place in the bare hull.

Fun times!

 

Chainplate.jpg

chainplate underside.jpg

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57 minutes ago, racinginparadise said:

Aye, composite chainplates are great, we are making up a pair for 'Triple Jack'.

BUT, they are a complete pain in the ass and the wallet if they get bashed and delaminate.

The repair is not just a case of bolting on a new one, all those unis have to come out, all the way down to the nether regions, fanning out here, there and everywhere.

The solid rub rail and the mid bulkhead, ah yes, they went in after the chainplate structure was laminated in place in the bare hull.

Fun times!

 

Chainplate.jpg

chainplate underside.jpg

Force majeure

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2 hours ago, mpenman said:

stupid question, but why not make the chainplates all carbon?

On a Rapido the chainplates are a  integral part of the bulkhead and made from prepreg in all  carbon , totally immovable and cant leak . 

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I’ve got to take my hat off to HH. I just sailed Nemo (HH6604) from SXM to FLL. We had to transit a cold front en route and we saw 25-35 knots and VERY confused seas for about 15 hrs. We lifted the gas pedal for crew comfort...and the crew were pretty varsity. The boat did awesome. Top speed was an effortless 28+ knots, everyone saw 26+ on at least one of their watches, and no dramas. Well done to Paul, MM, and the rest of the team. Nemo is definitely a tough boat.

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21 hours ago, soma said:

I’ve got to take my hat off to HH. I just sailed Nemo (HH6604) from SXM to FLL. We had to transit a cold front en route and we saw 25-35 knots and VERY confused seas for about 15 hrs. We lifted the gas pedal for crew comfort...and the crew were pretty varsity. The boat did awesome. Top speed was an effortless 28+ knots, everyone saw 26+ on at least one of their watches, and no dramas. Well done to Paul, MM, and the rest of the team. Nemo is definitely a tough boat.

Yep I believe they are awesome boats.

Got to love waterline length as well.

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