March 2019 Archives

Cats vs Monos, observations.

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Norm here.  I had some time in the BVI a few weeks ago to binge watch YouTube on cruiser/voyager topics. I focused on the discussions between the catamaran proponents and monohull advocates. 

Just for the record, Norm is a mono guy and, even worse, a skinny mono guy! A very good sailing channel on YouTube is Patrick Childress Sailing aboard his Valiant 40 sloop, Brickhouse. Lots of useful content about voyaging any type of vessel. His happens to be a monohull.

A channel on YouTube, Sailing Zatara is worth viewing. A family buys a monohull for an around the world voyage and halfway along switches to a multihull. You must watch the channel to get the whole story. Basically, they needed more room and a more stable platform. Their story is worth the time it takes to view.

I recently sailed a new Lagoon 450. Some pictures and comments follow.

Wide tacking angles! maybe 150 degrees? We tacked up the Sir Francis Drake Channel from Norman Island, upwind and upcurrent. It was a pleasant sail with little forward progress after 5 hours so we switched into the Yanmar gear and motored to North Sound. The sailing of the cat was fun and fast. Most cats are observed sailing for a few hours and then motoring in to harbors.

The boat is 45 feet long and 24 feet wide, draft is under 4 feet. The yacht is comfortable for living aboard, entertaining, lounging, and taking in the Caribbean scene.

One corner of the main salon. The galley area is aft, behind the picture and runs the full width of the salon along the back wall, so to speak. Opposite the dining table is an office table/navigation station. The bridge has a full suite of navigation screens and electric winches.

Cats are spacious. The little bedroom (shown) has a dressing area, ensuite toilet and stall shower, hanging lockers and many electrical outlets for 12v DC and 120v AC along with nice lighting.  The salon was gracious. 

In almost every anchorage the ratio of cats to monos is 2 to 1. That is Anegada Harbor off the Potters Dock.

So... what is the story with monohulls? Well, they sail upwind better. They heel. For a given length, they are pretty small. The Beneteau 44 we use, No Regrets, is a very nice boat and about half the size of a 44 or 45 ft cat. It, too has three cabins and three heads. everything is just smaller.  Some pictures of the boat.

Standing in the same place looking forward and looking aft. Nice boat, fun to sail on the ocean.

What does Norm like? (I knew you'd ask.)

The one on the left is our baby. The jib of a leeward boat is visible and looks like a staysail on Averisera. It is not! Thanks, Spike, for the picture.

Three weeks in the BVI for Norm

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February, Norm went to the BVI to do some work for Rob and Gina of Swain Sailing. It was an interesting trip.  I got seated in a middle seat on both long legs, out and back. Book earlier next time? E and I drove to Providence, stayed overnight at a hotel and I left the next morning at 0400... with Elizabeth's car keys in my jacket pocket. Darn. Big razzle dazzle to get the spare set to E at our hotel. Thanks Jeanne and John for your help. An inauspicious start. Words and pictures follow.

I worked for three weeks. The first week, Norman and Evan (Rob and Gina's son) worked on the company's Beneteau 235 sometimes referred to as Tiny Girl or Baby Girl or the little boat. In any event, we cleaned off the falling vinyl liner, painted those now bare surfaces, and generally dolled up the boat. The end result was super. The work is similar to some work Norm and Elizabeth had done on their own boat, Averisera, some years ago. The next week Norm sailed a Lagoon 450 on charter. Norm does not like charter cats so we'll leave it at that for the moment. The final week was a quiet one as Norm and Evan did some boat work while Evan's dad, Rob, took a charter on their Beneteau 43, No Regrets.  Norm flew home, middle seat to Philadelphia. The onward leg was cancelled due to weather in Providence so Norm spent 18 hours at PHL before getting a ride home on Amtrak. Again, thanks to friend John for his driving Norm from Providence trains to meet E at the Sagamore Bridge. The next night, we treated John to hospitality at our home. Thanks, John.

Some pictures and comments in the rough order of arrival to departure.

I like this view from the balcony of the Petite Pump Room Bar near the ferry at St Thomas. In the far distance is Yacht Haven, now greatly restored. In Norm's youth, the 1970-72 era, it was a wild place for yachts and yachties. Now very elegant.

Over in Road Harbor, Tortola, the Mass Maritime Academy ship was in port. Here she is turning around to depart. Our neighbor in Harwich has a kid aboard as a midshipman. The vessel used to be a Lykes Lines ship which Norm put cargo aboard back in the 1980s. 

Below are some pictrues of the restoration work done to the Beneteau 235. The yacht went from ugly to pretty in a week. Just before Norm departed the BVI, the new mainsail arrived from Doyle Sails and we fitted it. It is a good sail, so our thanks to Bob at Doyle BVI.


Amazing what can come out of the cockpit locker!

The new main, fitted for a teaching boat.

A few pictures of the Lagoon 450 catamaran
In closing, the yacht is a small one, in Anegada with a couple aboard. The yacht is a bit longer than Averisera and set up in a sea going manner. She definitely sailed here on her own bottom, as it is said. An opportunity to visit did not present itself.

OK, not quit the end.  The trip home was bizarre as the Philadelphia to Providence leg was cancelled due to weather. Norm spent 18 hours in PHL before finally getting aboard an Amtrak train to Providence. The airport life is amusing, after a fashion. The best thing is a place called Minute Suites. I rented a little room for 8 hours at about $20/hr and slept like a baby.  
More to follow.

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