Route du Rhum Multi vs Class40 monos

harryproa

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a purpose designed trimaran is the tool to reliably beat the Class 40 LENGTH for LENGTH - the subject of this thread.
Except they aren't beating them, and according to the pundits here, won't do so because they cannot safely be pushed as hard. If they had a reliable fuse and a rig that allowed complete depowering, they could be pushed hard. That rig needs to be unstayed.

Unstayed masts lack the geometric stability to deploy and support a sailplan with the power and adjustability to get the job done.
Think a little outside the box and you will come up with a biplane or schooner rig, probably with wing section masts. Think further outside the box and you will come up with a telescoping mast.
Both will be self vanging (probably a wishbone boom, but there are other options). Both solve your problems, albeit the 2 mast options are heavier, but still the same or lighter than the stayed set up.
Critically for fast, safe, solo offshore, both allow complete depowering on any point of sail when the sheet(s) is/are released, a simple task for a wand fuse.
I have sailed on a Pacific proa, double handed in challenging conditions in Mounts Bay, Cornwall with the owner who went on build and circumnavigate in a 45' catamaran, which I raced against in boat breaking conditions before he left.
I raced against a 50' Atlantic proa in the 1980 Chrystal Trophy and beat the stuff out of it in my 31' trimaran, over 400 miles offshore, we came second,, they were a DNF.
Saw Cheers before, during and after the 1968 OSTAR and had a lengthy conversation with Tom Follett some years later. So looked, saw, researched, thought about it and dismissed as of no personal interest for my intended use.
If it works for you GREAT - ENJOY!
On this specific thread it's also a dead end in my opinion.
Gosh, my early experience with cats and tris is almost the same as yours with proas!
I sailed a Wharram in 1980 and spoke to someone who sailed a Piver both ways across the Tasman in the 60's. I beat them both in my 22' mono.
Unlike your proa experience, neither of these blinded me to cat's and tri's potential, or stopped me sailing and racing them for thousands of miles including fastest time in the Sydney-Hobart on Verbatim(40' shorthanded offshore race tri) and XL2, (38', one of the early fast offshore shorthanded cats).

Opinions without numbers, facts, experience are a waste of bandwidth. Why won't a 40' proa beat a 40' cat or tri? Which of the following would you disagree with, and much more importantly, why?

Weight? The proa is lighter as it has half or less the surface area of the tri and, if the rig is unstayed, lower global loads, less deck gear and fewer sails. A 1,000 kg (2,200 lbs) 40' race proa is feasible.

Sail area? Bucket List had a 3 piece telescoping mast. Despite being poorly built, it worked. The prototype cargo proa has 2 x 3 section telescoping masts and could easily have another section or 2 added. Mast height goes from 6m/20' (lower windage upwind in a gale than any 40' tri or mono) to 12m, 18m and 24m in the light simply by winching a single line. 30m/100' if the 4th section was added. This is a taller mast/more sail area up high where the wind is, than the 50' tris. The mast weight goes up by <10% vs a one piece mast. The overall rig package is significantly lighter than a 30m stayed rig.
Assume one of these masts and a 4m boom and the ~1 ton proa has 105 sqm of light air sail area. A Bruce number of 2.6. In the rough stuff, it has a mast height of only 6m/20' and a centre of gravity just above the deck.

Ease of handling? One sail is less effort to trim and reef. Shunting a race proa with unstayed rig will be as fast and less effort than tacking or gybing a mono or multi single handed. Release one sheet, pull in the new one. The rudders rotate automatically. No runners, flogging sheets and sails, furling, mains hitting shrouds, getting in irons or racing down the face of a wave.

Able to be pushed hard? If the sheet releases and the rig depowers when the stern of the ww hull lifts more than a preset distance above the water (heeling or pitching), the boat can be sailed at 100%, even when the skipper is asleep.

Other?

Kenny,
Interesting idea. What would the Classe 40's look like if concavities were allowed, there was no beam limit and they had to self right from 180 inversion? The Henderson style would not cut it. Two fixed keels are slower than one, which will be slower again than a liftable board. There is more drag from a same weight cat as a mono, particularly in the light where wetted surface is key. I'd also expect that a planing hull is faster off the wind than 2 non planing ones of the same length and weight but close together to allow the cabin to generate the self righting. I could be wrong, please let us know if you find any examples.
Interestingly, the only multi which has a chance of being self (ie, no crew help) righting is a proa
 

munt

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Ohhhh noooo...! I can't believe I'm gonna dive into this dumpster fire but, what the hell...? I was actually surprised that R. Finn completed his incredibly ambitious journey on such a seemingly fragile boat. What incredible seamanship! So yes, Mr. Harry, we have to believe that a proa can sail fast in the ocean. Obviously, the issue is that you haven't yet proven that your designs can achieve what you claim. I would absolutely love to go for a sail on a fast boat and I think a lot of your ideas have great merit. The problem being that there's no real proof of concept. Look at the videos of Skateaway. Boardhead took all of his experience and knowledge and created a fantastic work of art. Look at Jzerro, same thing, incredible real world achievements. Certainly some of your designs seem to be out sailing and look great but until you produce a boat that you (or someone) does some big-time sailing on then this group of experienced sailors is gonna continue to flog you. I was very lucky to be around for the entire arc of the Reynolds 33 project. I personally saw how much shit Randy Reynolds had to listen to (lots of it from me too) because he wanted to do something very different. The difference is that he actually produced and sailed the shit out of his boats. If you produce one of your proposed ocean racing machines please sign me up as a crash-test dummy. I'm pretty good at that, just some vodka and ibuprofen and I'm ready for the next wipeout. Please put all your time and effort into creating one of your 40 foot ocean racers, I would love for you to prove the naysayers wrong!
 

harryproa

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Thanks Munt for getting the messenger shooting out of the way. Forget the proa stuff, it was for the lurkers with relatively little money, but plenty of ambition and imagination. And the ability to read on www.harryproa.com and https://groups.io/g/HarryProa about the 25 years of development that has gone into the boats.
"This group of experienced sailors" needing to see a boat winning races before they can discuss it's potential attributes and drawbacks says more about them than it does me.

Radical race boats:
There are 3 stages to radical race boats: 1) proof of concept, 2) engineering and building the boat, 3) optimising it.
2 and 3 can be done by anyone with the necessary time and money. Coming up with the concepts and doing enough to show they will work well enough to move on to step 2 is a bit more rarified and much more satisfying to me.

Can we now discuss the only low cost solution mooted which allows a solo multihull to be pushed hard offshore? Unstayed rigs with a float fuse tripped by hull flying height.
 

munt

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I only shot you in the toe man! And yes, there are some extremely experienced sailors here, far more experienced than me, and I'm pretty salty. I never said you have to win any races, just build and sail 1 fast, seaworthy vessel so you can once and for all shut up the doubters. I, for one, think your ideas are great and as I made clear I'd love to try one. Look at the list of guys on here who have built and sailed the living shit out of their boats. Even a lowly worm like me was able to buy a homebuilt tri, my L7, which was designed by a fairly normal dude and I sailed the shit out of it, won and lost plenty of races and sold it for a little more than I paid for it (not counting blood and money for upgrades). I would love to see a functional, unstayed rig on a multi. Again, with all due respect, build one of your boats, sail it and make some videos of it just like Boardhead, Sidecar and Mr. Brown et.al. and if it looks as good in reality as it does on paper you'll be King Kong.
 

foiledagain

Member
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121
Port Townsend
Really like this discussion thread and tend to agree that a scow bow mono would be easier to push offshore than an equivalent multihull.
I just finished the ARC (Canaries to St Lucia) on a ORC50 catamaran--Malolo-- we got line honors and came in 3 1/2 days sooner than the next sailboat (despite me being aboard). Different events but same time and close to the same stretch. Incidentally, there was a similar ORC50 in the R-d-R that flipped early on that weighed heavy on my mind. With 6 crew aboard we had the largest spinnaker and full main up most of the trip averaging 280 mile days. There is very little margin of error at night as a squall hits and wind speeds go from the manageable 20 knots to an attention-getting 30 knots-- can only hold on and aim deeper--hoping we don't hit a raft of Sargasso weed or the squall sends us higher winds. The traveler is already as far down as possible, the main already touching the shrouds. Can't imagine doing that singlehanded with an autopilot and without the crew ready to blow the spinnaker and mainsheet. Alternatively, I CAN imagine doing that on a Class40 singlehanded and maybe even getting a bit of sleep resting assured that the boat could recover from a knockdown.
 

SailingTips.Ca

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Victoria, BC
Congrats @40Plus, @foiledagain et al on your ARC success - great job!!!

I’ve owned and skippered both monos and multis on multi-day, mixed-fleet races, and can attest to the multis requiring substantially more crew alertness to maintain a competitive pace.

Put another way, it’s pretty easy to sail a mono at 90% of its potential with a tired crew, but that’s definitely not the case with a multi. One reason is that monos are generally more forgiving of suboptimal sail trim than multis. Another is the risk of capsize versus simply getting knocked over, so It’s prudent to sail a multi more conservatively when the crew is tired.

Given that, it’s very easy to fall off the pace with a multi and get chased down by a more forgiving mono given similar states of degraded crew alertness.
 
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Lykke

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So Cal
There is very little margin of error at night as a squall hits and wind speeds go from the manageable 20 knots to an attention-getting 30 knots-- can only hold on and aim deeper--hoping we don't hit a raft of Sargasso weed or the squall sends us higher winds. The traveler is already as far down as possible, the main already touching the shrouds. Can't imagine doing that singlehanded with an autopilot and without the crew ready to blow the spinnaker and mainsheet.
THIS

Falling off in gusts is a trap. A temp relief that takes you to a more precarious situation. And blowing the mainsheet won’t do much because of the shrouds/battens.

Is there an alternative to dousing the foresail, turning into the wind (thus going through both a major increase in AWS and centrifugal force trying to capsize you) and reefing the main? Which is not a quick emergency response.

Is there a method/rig for reefing downwind?

My method is to always run over-reefed in the first place. Which is not a winning strategy against someone with more tolerance for risk.
 

munt

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So your contention is that one shouldn't drive down in gusts? Pardon me, but I think you are terribly mistaken. And you most certainly should be able to reef off the wind, somewhere on here recently was an excellent vid of one of the top pros doing a live clinic on sailing a bigger cat in strong conditions. Was it Gabart? That was a really cool vid. If the singlehanded guys can reduce sail on those incredibly powerful boats then it should be manageable on a "normal" boat. It can be really hard when the main is getting smashed on the shrouds etc but your alternative of driving all the way back to weather is not likely to work, mentally or physically. I think it was Morelli on Playstation that was driving in that situation, maybe before they added the giant bows? He said that keeping the boat exactly, perfectly straight down the waves is what saved them. There's a very long thread about this from a few years ago but please, Lykke, don't disparage the time-honored practice of driving off in puffs. Not only is it safe but it's an art form and probly the funnest part of driving a fast boat.
 

munt

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And yes, I know I'm spending too much time here but my only alternative is watching grown men weeping (soccer).
 

SailingTips.Ca

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Victoria, BC
Falling off in gusts is a trap. A temp relief that takes you to a more precarious situation. And blowing the mainsheet won’t do much because of the shrouds/battens.

Is there an alternative to dousing the foresail, turning into the wind (thus going through both a major increase in AWS and centrifugal force trying to capsize you) and reefing the main? Which is not a quick emergency response.

Is there a method/rig for reefing downwind?

So your contention is that one shouldn't drive down in gusts? Pardon me, but I think you are terribly mistaken. And you most certainly should be able to reef off the wind, somewhere on here recently was an excellent vid of one of the top pros doing a live clinic on sailing a bigger cat in strong conditions. Was it Gabart? That was a really cool vid.
Maybe I’m doing it wrong, but I constantly glance at the masthead fly when running fast downwind to ensure the apparent wind is somewhat on the beam and there is still some “down” to depower.

Once I’m going faster than I’m comfortable with AND the apparent wind is dead astern (i.e. there’s no more “down“) it’s time to reduce sail.

With a rotating wing mast it should be pretty straightforward to reef the main with the wind astern. A nice long Cunningham or dedicated reefing downhaul can help pull it down If required.

@munt is this the video you were looking for with Charles Caudrelier?

 

munt

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Yup. That's the vid. Lykke, my friend, I don't give 2 shits what boat you're driving, when you look behind you and your main is pinned hard on the shrouds and you're maxxed out you think you can turn up into that devil's brew that's chasing you? Tell me what happens when you get your first taste of it as you start to reach and a big wave washes across your grill. You may have giant balls of stainless steel in your trousers but I'd bet dollars to donuts you won't finish that turn. In fact, in those conditions, you turn up 10 degrees and feel the power, you won't do it again. Read the account of the guys who were jumping from wave top to wave top in the Farallones race. If they would have reached for even a few seconds they would have been rolled up like bugs. The vid is, in my humble opinion, the state of the art. And thinking of you trying to turn up into big air and seas reminds me of seeing billionaire Ronaldo weeping after he failed to kick a ball into a big net. Failure!
 

r.finn

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Is there a method/rig for reefing downwind?
My method for reefing monos downwind, with kites up, is to to ease the mainsail completely, head up a little above vmg running, hoist or unfurl the jib, and then oversheet it hard so it backwinds the luff of the mainsail, relieving it of the main source friction, which is the mast more than the shrouds or spreaders. Of course on Jzerro I'd just let the main all the way out and reef it while it's head to wind, then sheet it back in. Never had to try this on another multihull. Actually we did it on Buddy, but not in urgency, just being conservative.
 
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Stick around- you keep saying sensible stuff and soccer is a girls game!
Yes, they do sometimes act like girls but this World Cup has had some of the best soccer I’ve ever seen, very entertaining indeed!

74D16B87-0BD3-4155-889C-E3CA94421D1D.png
 
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Lykke

Member
121
66
So Cal
when you look behind you and your main is pinned hard on the shrouds and you're maxxed out you think you can turn up into that devil's brew that's chasing you? Tell me what happens when you get your first taste of it as you start to reach and a big wave washes across your grill. You may have giant balls of stainless steel in your trousers but I'd bet dollars to donuts you won't finish that turn. In fact, in those conditions, you turn up 10 degrees and feel the power, you won't do it again.

Hmm, I can and I have. In some nasty stuff, both coasts. Furl the jib, it makes everything less dramatic. With the main way out and the mast rotated maybe 70-80° it’s not that much of a turn. Time it when the wave just overtook you. The sooner the better. If you waited and kept falling off until it’s >160° AWA and still too fast it will be more exciting.

I’ll watch that French video. Thought someone might’ve succeeded in reefing downwind by centering the main. Always felt risky to me — Chinese gybes are recoverable, rounding up less so.
 

foiledagain

Member
182
121
Port Townsend
We could reef the main downwind on Malolo, at least in mid twenties wind speed. A good batt car system and rotating mast helped..although we could only rotate 40 deg. Traveler down, steer deep to reduce apparent wind, battens just touching shrouds, let out halyard as crank on reefing lines with winch. There was lots of load on reefing lines but can get it done. Definately dont want to round up to do this if you can help it.
I could similarly reef in my small cat Felix up to 30 knot wind speed...the loads are a lot lower, apparent wind is reduced more as boat accelerates easily, and the mast could rotate 100 deg which helps... even with bolt rope main. Its a great low drama option if you can pull it off.
 




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