Saturday, September 5, 2009

Finding The Right Catamaran For You

Finding the right catamaran is a process. Understanding the builder�s intent is important. Was the cat you are interested in built for inshore or offshore sailing? With technology more affordable and people wanting more privacy newer cat designs have separated the living spaces from the sleeping spaces. Cats have a panoramic view with extraordinary deck space.

When finding the right catamaran for you there are four things you need to know to understand the builder�s intent. The first is stability, which is the beam to length ratio and static stability. The second is pitching which is the comfort factor. The third is the bridge deck clearance and the fourth is the load carrying capacity. Let�s take each one separately and look at them in a little bit more detail.

Stability is important to consider as you are finding the right catamaran because lack of stability could create an uncomfortable ride. Catamarans depend on the beam and hull buoyancy for stability. The bigger the width the more stability the more stable it is. At some point excessive beam gets unmanageable. A balance must be found. To get a good balance the beam should equal to approximately half of the length. On a forty-foot boat the beam should be about twenty feet. Static stability is the measure of the boat�s stability factor, which was developed by sign builders how big a wind will blow our signs over. This was applied to cats as well. How much of a big wind will affect the cat. An offshore cat might have stability in the 25-knot range. A good measure of stability would be in the fifty to sixty knots ranged.

Pitching is a concern for you when you are finding the right catamaran. It is caused by too much in the ends of the boat. Picture this: two kids are sitting on a seesaw each near the center of the board. If they could get the board going you could easily touch it with two fingers and stop it. Now the same to kids are sitting on the same see-saw but this time more to the ends of the board. Now it is very easy to get the seesaw moving and if you tried to stop it you could break your hand in the process.

Now that you are trying to find the right cat the bridge deck clearance is important. It is the measure of the height from the water to the underside of the nacelle. The higher the clearance with nothing interrupting water flow provides greater stability.

Finding the right catamaran can be a daunting task but now consider the cats load carrying capacity. This will include all the extra thousands of pounds of water, gear, and supplies not to mention any amenities. Consider that if you want to resell the boat the owner may want certain things. Enjoy your new catamaran.

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