My boss on the brokerage side of my life, Phil Berman, is one of the best known and most prolific pontificators regarding all things cruising catamaran. I am going to interview him every so often as we go forward. Certainly, Phil, has a better understanding of the brokerage market than anyone in the world, so it always helps to get his viewpoints.
Phil received a letter that I thought was interesting, asking about escape hatches and what would actually happen if your cat capsized. It came in response to an article he wrote contrasting monohulls and cats. Here is what he said:
“Most cats have escape hatches now in each hull, just above the waterline so that, if inverted, you have a large hatch well above the waterline to get in and out of hulls and let air in the hulls. So if the seas were rough and it was cold and windy, you would stay inside the boat until rescued (mostly). Honestly, it is very, very rare to capsize a cat, and many people do not have escape hatches at all; they just swim up the stairs and out via the saloon door and tether to the cockpit.
The thing that people miss most about safety is that cats are generally faster–and more importantly, far less fatiguing on the body–so that when sailing in rough weather, you have a lot more energy and strength. Most problems on yachts occur when people are tired and weak, and monohulls are very hard on the body compared to cats. Cats also sit a lot more nicely and comfortably when hove-to.”
I would like to reiterate that incidences of cats capsizing are extremely rare, almost unheard of. But, it is a good idea to know what would happen if…