Thursday, August 31, 2006

[cruising cat] for the middle-aged husband and wife without a great deal of money

I was surprised, I can tell you, by the response to the earlier catamaran article. I just included it out of sheer bloodymindedness, 'cause I like it.

1 No, it’s not yet in production. Basically, where I live in the East, there’s lots of wood but no foam core. Traditional materials and skills abound.

2 It began as a reaction against sailing being taken out of the ordinary man’s reach – to hell with that, I thought. OK, the plastic fantastic sits higher in the water and has flatter profile and less rocker, so I just designed more draught into it and allowed for the 100 extra pounds.

3 I’m not getting any younger and yet I still want a turn of speed. Yet I must take into account my slower reaction time and lessening strength. Result – two masts, a spread load, wishbone boom taking all the pressure, underslung rudders, shoal keel, wide beam, strictly two double berths for a couple and their friends or a couple and children, helmed by the husband alone.

4 The longer mast is 19’ and there’s nothing the hubby can’t carry by himself. The beams are demountable with ease and so the hulls are the only consideration, using a winch on a trailer.

5 Sails I envisage as tanbark Dacron, the hulls painted below, topsides in natural golden wood.

6 I strongly defend the gaff. Even the C class has been trying to compensate upwind for what comes naturally to the short gaff. We just became too ‘upwind obsessed’ and had to create kites to take us downwind. No need on this boat.

7 The stability you can just imagine. With a 12.5 to 1 WL ratio, it will move. The only entry to the hulls is amidships, from the inside gunwhales and it’s wide and roomy in the hulls.

8 It’s woody. You remember Garwood and Chriscraft? This is a throwback to the 40s and 50s but with more speed and stability. 250 sq ft on 23ft is fine, as long as you don’t run an engine.

9 Yes, there is a 29ft , a 34ft and a 43ft version for the sea. The 34 and 43 have slightly more rocker. Your questions are fine, Steve. More detailed view on the weekend when there's more time.

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