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Power trawler catamaran "roll"

Discussion in 'General Catamaran Discussion' started by medic, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. medic

    medic New Member

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    I do not currently own a boat. I will be ordering one within the next 10-12 months. My choices are down to one of two boats; one a monohull, the other a catamaran. Both are in the 45-48' range.

    Because of a diving accident in the Carib over 20 years ago I have an inner ear disorder. I don't get seasick underway, but I do get seasick at anchor if there is more than a little roll. I don't get motion sickness on roller coasters, but I do get deathly ill on merry-go-rounds, so go figure!

    The catamaran salespeople have all tried to tell me that the catamaran is inherently stable, and that there is no "roll", just an "up-down" bounce that tends not to produce seasickness. The monohull people suggest fin stabilizers, but they are of no use at anchor. Flopper-stoppers are an option I suppose, although not a great one.

    The catamaran has a phenomenal deckplan. A master cabin that is huge and two guest cabins that would be "VIP" staterooms by almost anyones definition.

    SO, TO THE POINT. In speaking with a salesperson from a respected gyro-stabilization company, he warned me that catamarans DO INDEED have a "quarter yawl" type roll that is basically unstoppable (hybrid pitch/roll), including with his gyro-stabilizer. Indeed he says the US Navy is stopping production of an 80' catamaran because they cannot find a way to keep the ENTIRE CREW from getting sick.

    SO, CATAMARAN PEOPLE. What do you think? What are your experiences and those of your guests, both underway and while moored? I would really appreciate your help on this. I don't want to make a huge and very costly mistake.
  2. GFC

    GFC Senior Member

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    If I were in your shoes, rather than rely on the advice of sales people or even members of this great forum, I would try to secure a several-hour long trip on the type of Cat you're considering.

    You are the only one who can make the determination if the roll of the cat is acceptable or not.

    It may mean chartering a similar boat on a skippered charter, but that would be much less expensive than buying a boat you found later you could not use.
  3. medic

    medic New Member

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    Thanks, GFC. I absolutely will be doing exactly what you suggest. I guess I am just hoping to get some feedback earlier than I will be able to arrange such an experimental trip. I am in the mid-west about 3 hours from the Great Lakes. It would be just my luck to get a mirror smooth day on Lake Superior on the day I arranged a charter.
  4. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    I used to use a cat as a tour boat and had a lot of people tell me they get seasick just looking at a boat. Nobody ever got sick on the cat. Catamarans do not have much side to side rock underway or at anchor because the hulls are riding separate waves. On turns they tend to stay flat and heal to the outside rather than the inside as with mono hulls which can be a little disconcerting. All boats yaw on a quartering sea (a feeling I think everybody hates) and a cat can be a little more difficult to bring back. They can also have an uncomfortable fore/aft pitch. That said I would absolutely recommend a cat over a mono at anchor or cruising relatively calm waters for a person with your condition. It doesn't sound like you'd get along well with any boat in high seas though.
    BTW, GFC's suggestionof chartering is spot on.
  5. GFC

    GFC Senior Member

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    Lake Superior's fall and winter storms are the stuff that breeds legends. I'd start now locating a dealer who is willing to take his cat out on the lake when the winds are kicking. A day long cruise from Duluth up towards Isle Royale would be enough to let you know if you can tolerate the boat's ride.

    If I were a dealer is these trying times, I'd be delighted to put my money where my mouth was (concerning the boat's ability to handle the rough water) if it would lead to a sale.
  6. JB1150

    JB1150 New Member

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    medic, I know this thread is old but how did it work out!
  7. medic

    medic New Member

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    Hi. Interesting that you wrote today.

    Just last night I got home from an 82 day voyage from Dana Point, CA to Bayfield, WI. It was not in a catamaran. It was on a 55' Nordhavn, so I can't really say much about the cats.

    I love the Nordhavn, but must admit that IF the catamaran I was looking at lived up to it's expectations, then I will cry. The floorplan was absolutely fantastic. BUT, the company had only built one boat previously, and it had taken YEARS longer than expected to be completed.

    I put in an offer on a new Nordhavn, from the factory. They turned me down, but the saleman suggested I try an offer on a 55' boat that was soon to become a second boat to someone who was buying a bigger Nordhavn. The offer was accepted and I took possession in November. Left in January, went through the Panama Canal and up to Florida where the boat sat for a month. That leg of the journey was 39 days. On May 6th I left Florida, went up the east coast, around Nova Scotia, through the Gulf of St. Lawrence, down the St. Lawrence River, through the St Lawrence Seaway, and then through four of the five Great Lakes, arriving home yesterday.

    Sorry I can't give any more insight on the catamaran...medic
  8. JB1150

    JB1150 New Member

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  9. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    Medic --

    Glad to hear you completed your trip successfully and congratulations on your new Nordhavn.

    I heard through the grapevine that there was a fair amount of hobby-horsing on your trip in what was relatively calm waters and small seas on your later Northern passages. Guests were sea sick, crew sleeping in chairs in the salon rather than the captain's cabin behind the pilothouse or in the guest cabins below.

    Fair winds...

    Judy