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Thread: Solaris 42' too narrow to be safe?

  1. #1

    Default Solaris 42' too narrow to be safe?

    The issue was raised in another thread, with a 38' or 40' (?) cat with a 15' beam and the conclusion was that this would be too narrow to be safe.

    Now, the Solaris being 42' with a 17' beam that would be the same ratio so would it also apply to the Solaris 42' to be "unsafe"?

    I am intrigued with high latitude sailing so it is more than likely that I will be encountering more sever weather than on a coconut-run circumnavigation. Should I start thinking more intensively if this is the right boat for the purpose?

    Anyone out there who has more extensive "bad weather" experience in one of these? Or at least have something to contribute in theory?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    St. Augustine, FL
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    Default Re: Solaris 42' too narrow to be safe?

    Since I am not a designer, but just a regular sort of person, I would say the comparison between your boat and the 40 X 15 are actually apples & oranges.

    From a purely mathematical standpoint, your length:beam ratio is substantially greater. The other boat is 2.67, while yours is 2.47.

    But even if it were the same (and I know you are thinking, "hey, we are only talking 2 feet in each direction, they ARE close"), the quick answer to your question is to understand how your boat behaves and when to reef.

    As you have pointed out your sister-ships have circumnavigated, so they must have done "something right", eh?

    Fair Winds,
    Mike

  3. #3
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    'Estrella del Sur' is currently on the hard in Fort Pierce, Florida for hurricane season.
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    Default Re: Solaris 42' too narrow to be safe?

    Mike is absolutely correct - and for some additional discussion of the topic, look at some new entries in the thread to which you refer, '15 foot beam on a 40 foot cat' under 'Safey Features of Multihulls'. In fact, I believe that the actual beam of your boat is 17'3" and hence the BOA/LOA ratio is 41%, whereas the other boat is 37.5%. Much like the ratio of ballast/displacement on a keel boat, 3.5% can make a big difference.

    Furthermore, transverse stability on your boat is also improved by other factors such as the very low CG, SA/D ratio and CE. Of course, there is a price to pay: the lower bridgedeck clearance will add to pounding and the lower SA/D (as well as the lower aspect ratio of your sails) will reduce performance. But resistance to capsize should not be a problem so long as you reef when appropriate.

    As to your fear of capsize, I say keep it. Even if it is partially irrational, it will ensure that you reef early and often - a mantra on any cat, IMO. I suspect that some sailors of catamarans - especially large, modern ones, have succumbed to the belief (and there has been some propaganda to that effect) that these boats cannot suffer a wind-driven capsize. Recent events have proven once again that this is simply not so!

    Brad

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    'Estrella del Sur' is currently on the hard in Fort Pierce, Florida for hurricane season.
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    Default Re: Solaris 42' too narrow to be safe?

    Amibon, lets put in another way. Consider my Solaris Sunstream 40, about which I have significant confidence. The LOA is 39'3", the BOA is 17'3" giving a BOA/LOA ratio of 43.35 %. Does that make it more resistant to capsize than your boat?

    Again, I do not have the CE for the sailplan or the CG for the boat, but I suspect it has no greater and perhaps even less resistance to capsize, as:

    1. I suspect that my SA/D ratio is somewhat greater.
    2. Even though my rig is also not particularly tall (as a cutter rig, it is also relatively low-aspect ratio and spread more fore/aft); and, even though I also do not have significant roach or a flat-top main, I suspect that my CE is also somewhat higher than on your boat. Certainly the mast-step is somewhat higher, if only because my boat has greater bridgedeck clearance (albeit still decidedly on the low side). By the way, what is the height of your mainmast (as I recall, mine is only 43 feet)?
    3. Even though I also have a galley down and a relatively short rig, the slight increase in bridgedeck clearance would also raise the CG.

    My boat has a reputation for being a bit faster, a bit better to windward and for pounding less than the 42 (which it essentially replaced in the Solaris line in later years), but is it any more resistant to capsize? I seriously doubt it.

    Brad
    Last edited by Southern Star; 27th October 2010 at 08:20 PM. Reason: sp

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