KatieKat the Catamaran

The purpose of this webpage is to identify most of the boat-specific information that is presently scattered throughout this website.

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DATECONTENTSWEBPAGE
8 November 2007 KatieKat's Electrical System
Cruise 2004 Chapter Six
10 October 2007 Solar/Battery/Watermaker Performance
Cruise 2007 Chapter Eight
10 October 2007 Watermaker/Solar Installation
Cruise 2006 Chapter Two
12 September 2007 Hull Extension and Performance
Cruise 2007 Chapter Six
30 July 2006 Random Boat Details
Cruise 2006 Chapter One
31 July 2004 Comfort and Visibility Discussion
Frequently Asked Questions
16 October 2003 Autopilot Update
Cruise 2003 Chapter Twelve
2 June 2003 Motor Manual Start Modification
Cruise 2003 Chapter Six
5 May 2003 Engine Thrust Measurements
Cruise 2003 Chapter Five
4 May 2003 Knots
Cruise 2003 Chapter Five
28 December 2002 Perceptions Update; Upwind Sailing
Cruise 2002 Chapter Twelve
11 November 2002 Offshore Preparations
Cruise 2002 Chapter Eight
16 October 2002 Sheet Stow, Traveler, Zipper
Cruise 2002 Chapter Seven
2 September 2002 Liferaft Mounting
Cruise 2002 Chapter Seven
8 July 2002 Seawind in a Cold Climate
Cruise 2002 Chapter Four
7 July 2002 Gale Jib
Cruise 2002 Chapter Four
5 March 2002 Main Saloon Passagemaking Setup
Cruise 2002 Chapter Two
20 December 2001 Perceptions Update
Cruise 2001 Chapter Eleven
1 December 2001 Anchoring Perspectives
Cruise 2001 Chapter Eleven
22 November 2001 Boat Details
Cruise 2001 Chapter Eleven
8 November 2001 Nav. Aids and Winch Handle Holders
Cruise 2001 Chapter Ten
20 October 2001 Ventilation Update
Cruise 2001Chapter Nine
30 August 2001 Running Rigging
Cruise 2001 Chapter Seven
29 August 2001 BikeBoat Targa Mount
Cruise 2001 Chapter Seven
23 July 2001 Galley Improvements
This Page
21 May 2001 BikeBoat Stowage Alternatives
Cruise 2001 Chapter Three
7 April 2001 Storage
This Page
24 March 2001 Ventilation
This Page
12 February 2001 Radar Installed
Cruise 2001 Chapter One
29 January, 2001Boat Optional Equipment
This Page
8 December 2000Perceptions Revisited
This Page
15 November 2000 Autohelm Autopilot
New Cal. - Aust. Passage
23 September 2000 Sail Handling and Shroud Tension
New Caledonia Cruise
3 September 2000 Port Hull Tour
East Coast Cruise
28 August 2000 Picture-Window Back Door
East Coast Cruise
23 August 2000 Fourth Reef
East Coast Cruise
22 August 2000 Anchor Musings
East Coast Cruise
6 August 2000 BikeBoat Targa Mount
East Coast Cruise
5 August 2000 Starboard Hull Tour
East Coast Cruise
15 July 2000 Beached Boat Views
East Coast Cruise
29 April 2000 Boat Interior Modifications
Pre-Cruise
15 April 2000 Pre-Ownership Boat Perceptions
Pre-Cruise

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23 July, 2001 -- Galley Improvements

Have made a few minor additions in the galley area, primarily aimed at improving accessibility to the storage areas.

[Spice Racks]Simple coated wire frame racks ruin the aesthetics of the woodwork but sure provide immediate access to the inevitable collection of spices.

[Behind-Stove Storage]Another couple of simple wire racks improve the usability of the available volume. The upper space is used for snackfood while the lower space is for cereals.

[Microwave Oven]Considering how much we use a microwave oven at home, it sounded like a good idea, so I had brought this 12v microwave oven (no inverter required). In practice, we rarely use it and will be removing it to save both weight and power.

[Behind-Sink Storage]Just a small wire rack fits above the microwave, whereas the upper shelf plastic containers hold the various oils, vinegars, and sauces.

[Galley Forward Storage]The pull=out plastic drawers are very handy (I used these for years on my trimaran). Note the blue (easily removable) masking-tape labels. The blue container contains an integral Australian-made water filter similar to a Brita. Behind the power panel to the right is a whole stack of plastic storage drawers which primarily contain my electrical tools, instruments, and wiring stuff.

[Drawer Lock]The built-in plastic catch is insufficient to hold the drawer in place in nasty weather, so I added this simple latch which is unobtrusive and works well. Note the added handle on the drawer for use as a towel rack - should perhaps have chosen something lighter.

Not shown in the photos is the large amount of built-in storage area under the stove and sink and counter - that's where all the pots and pans and a fair amount of the heavier food is kept.

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7 April, 2001 -- Storage

Thought I'd slowly start showing photos of just how much storage space there is on KatieKat - this section will evolve over time.

One of the problems with cruising multihulls is that they HAVE TOO MUCH ROOM. It is a constant battle to restrain oneself and avoid bringing more "stuff" aboard. For me, at least, the name of the game is to keep the boat light. We still float a couple of inches above the antifouling waterline.

The photo below shows ten bags of sails and safety gear which all fit into just one of the many storage compartments on the Seawind (in this case, the aft compartment under the starboard forward bunk closest to the dinette). Clockwise from left: yellow bag, heavy-weather spinnaker with sock from my Telstar trimaran; red bag, para-anchor 20m bridle; brown bag, storm jib off Telstar; blue bag, heavy-weather jib off Telstar with dedicated forestay and halyard (hoisted using spinnaker halyard); blue bag: 28-ft parachute anchor; blue bag: drogue with bridle and tether; blue bag: light-air Telstar spinnaker with sock; blue bag: Para-anchor; lime-green bag: 400' 3/8" double-braided nylon line; red bag: 100m 5/8" para-anchor tether. Missing from the photo is the large spinnaker given to us by Craig Riley - I'm having a sock added to it at the moment - it also resides in that single storage compartment. When passagemaking, most of the bags come out of the compartment so they are ready for immediate use.

[Bags]Too many blue bags (but their contents are written directly on them).

[Bags]Starboard hull forward guest cabin. All the above bags fit down that hole. Forward of this (under the empty blue boxes) is another similarly-sized cavern which I keep empty, and just aft of this space there are two smaller storage compartments underneath the dinette seats. 

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24 March, 2001 -- Ventilation Discussion (Added Air Conditioner Photo April 7)

I've received a number of questions regarding ventilation adequacy on the Seawind 1000 and so I decided to pass on my impressions.

The scenario of inadequate ventilation while at anchor just doesn't occur if there's even a tiny breeze. I always anchor using a bridle and the boat is always pointing into the wind (except when in a river or significant tideway). Unless it is rainy, the hatch above the foot of the bunk is normally open and, together with the always-open doors to the master cabin and head compartment and open companionway, there is always a nice breeze flowing through the sleeping quarters (the hatch in the head is always open). For a real hurricane, we can open the large forward hatch.

[Port Hatches]The two forward-opening hatches on the port hull. The forward one is quite large and has a significant ventilating effect, but we close it when sailing to prevent an errant splash.

[Port Hatches]This photo from the side of the port hull shows the hatch which is located above the foot of the bunk and the Nicro Solar 3" vent which I had specially added in lieu of a cowl vent. The solar vent fan runs continuously since it has its own solar-recharged battery that keeps it going all night long. If I were to do it again, I'd make it a 4" vent, as there's enough room for it. I remove this solar vent and replace it with a plug during heavy-weather passages (the vent survives rain, but leaks a little when smashed into by horizontal breaking waves).

[Port Aft Hatch]Portside aft hatch, above the head compartment. This one is so sheltered it is always open, as the few errant drips during a downpour are insignificant there. Nevertheless, the one on the starboard side gets shut often as it's right above the computer table.

If it is raining, then we close the large hatches almost shut which keeps the rain out while the crack (about an inch) is still enough for reasonable ventilation. If it is really pouring horizontal rain, then completely shutting the hatches in hot weather does indeed shut off the ventilation, and the 3" Nicro 24-hr solar vent I had custom-installed (in lieu of a cowl vent) is also inadequate. The solution is simply to fab a rainshield over the hatch (as I've seen on other cruising boats) - something we haven't found the need to do (yet). One other very neat solution that I had had quoted but didn't pursue is the addition of an opening hatch right above the bunk opening up under the main saloon hardtop - not only would this be good for sheltered ventilation but would also allow one to pop up one's head while in bed for a look-around. I didn't do it and don't really miss it, but it is certainly an easy option to add.

[Nimbus Hatch Cover]The hatchcover cover on Dave and Linda Seller's monomaran NIMBUS from Vancouver, Canada. Allows ventilation even when it's raining.

The one time we really suffered was just a few weeks ago when we were in mosquito-land. Not having any bugscreens we tried to completely isolate ourselves and shut the door and all the hatches and did indeed nearly suffocate.

The other times that ventilation can be a little marginal is when we are tied up to the dock and there is minimal wind and it's not coming in over the bow or stern - haven't really experienced much of this, but I can see it happening. Passagemaking in rough weather also necessitates that all the forward-facing hatches be closed (and the Nicro vent removed and the hole plugged) and it can get a little stuffy there. Show me a boat without air conditioning that wouldn't also have this same problem!

I do not have cabin fans installed (most boats here have lots of them); however, I did bring a number of 4-1/2"dia 12vdc surplus computer fans with me and have used them on occasion - wonderful things which move a fair amount of air and consume almost no power and cost me $3 each. We've used one a few times in the galley and I keep one on my table in the study, occasionally using it to circulate air not just for me but for the computer - I keep the overhead hatch closed most of the time, anyway, fearful that I might forget to close it and have the computer rained on.

[Air Conditioner]This air conditioner is sitting over a hatch of a neighboring monohull - wonder where they put this heavy thing when actually sailing?

One good feature of the Seawind is that it has a flow-through ventilation system, with vents in the transom steps. Coming back after having left the boat for two months over Christmas, we found the boat fresh and dry down below, with no musty smell at all.

With the door closed, the starboard aft cabin (which I use as my study) could use a little more ventilation, that overhead hatch not really providing enough air down into the living/sleeping space, and the flow-through ventilation air volume is probably not enough for two people sleeping down there in hot weather. I virtually never close the door to that cabin, so it's not a problem for me.

Regarding the large sloping forward windows in the main saloon, we've never had the occasion to sit directly under them with the sun beating down - there are plenty of other sheltered places for lots of people to sit, anyway. The two overhead hatches in the main saloon work quite well at providing a breeze there. With no partition separating the main saloon from the cockpit, it doesn't get stuffy there at all. If someone is really concerned and isn't going offshore, then removeable snap-on vinyl forward windows (in lieu of the solid polycarbonate ones) can be ordered as one of the options. Heating of the outer hull exposed to the sun can be significant (due to those large dark side windows) - we really notice this when we come back from town and the boat has been closed up - but opening all the hatches gets them quickly comfy in the breeze. Many boats in Queensland have fabric mesh covers over their windows and hatches.

[Main Saloon Vents]The two opened main saloon vents. It's 32degC (90degF) and 87% humidity on 25 March, but with a nice breeze from aft it's just fine. The photo is taken at Southport Yacht Club. On the table is the wind generator I am just about to install on the aft targa bar.

[Window Cover]The beautifully-fitted window covers on DREAMCATCHER, a custom Grainer 48 catamaran. They're removable and provide visibility from inside, yet, being white, keep radiation heating to a minimum. The drawback of white covers, I'm told, is that they can mildew (unlike black covers).

[Window Cover]These gray covers are on the windows of the Chris White Atlantic 42 catamaran LINDA. The pilothouse still retains very good outward visibility with these covers installed.

Although I still don't have any bugscreens, I recall from past experience that they really do cut down on airflow. If I were to install them, then I would also add some permanent electric fans. We'll see, as we'll be heading north in a few months...

Update 20 October 2001

Sitting at the dock with no wind and 100degF temperatures required drastic action. See 20 October 2001

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29 January, 2001 -- Boat Optional Equipment

This little writeup is in response to the many queries I have received from prospective Seawind purchasers, wondering exactly how I had equipped my boat.

When my personal circumstances changed and it became apparent that my dream of cruising was realizeable, I decided to forego the time and cost of designing and building my own "dreamboat" and instead selected the Seawind 1000 as it met most of my requirements. In retrospect so far, a very good decision as we've been out there "doing it" instead of still struggling with the design/building process.

Nevertheless, I wanted the boat to have a number of additional features that I felt were desirable. Recognizing that a production line facility can be severely hampered by the implementation of such options, I gradually whittled down the wish list to items that were both affordable and readily implementable into the existing design. What I will now discuss are five categories of items -

1. Factory options which I elected to implement
2. Changes/additions which I wanted the factory to make and which were implemented
3. Changes/additions which I wanted but which were not implemented
4. Current wish list of additional items if I were to do this all over again
5. Items I've already added myself

Inasmuch as I've already discussed many of these items, I won't dwell on most of them here. In the future, I'll embellish this writeup with more photographs.

1. Factory options which I elected to implement

2. Custom Changes/Additions

[BoatManly]The forward anchor cleat and para-anchor padeyes are visible in this photo. That's BikeBoat stowed away from the sun inside the custom green covers.

3. Changes/additions which I wanted but which were not implemented

4. Current Wish List

5. Modifications Already Made

Unlike all my previous boats which I rebuilt extensively, I've made very few modifications to the Seawind (perhaps not having a fully-equipped workshop has something to do with it?). In any case, I've made a number of trivial additions -

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8 December, 2000 -- Perceptions Revisited

Having now lived and coastal-cruised on the boat for over six months and having experienced some open-ocean passages, I can provide an initial update to the pre-purchase boat perceptions which I discussed back on 15 April. Before I start, just a reminder that our Seawind 1000 has two special custom modifications which have significantly improved long-term liveability for a couple:

a. The port forward hull is open inside, with desk and storage and a hanging wardrobe and lots of shelving, instead of just a bunk with storage underneath - we refer to it as Kathy's boudoir.

b. The starboard aft cabin is now primarily a study, with seating for one person (squeeze for two) at a very useable large table with room for accessible storage, computer, printer, radio receivers and nav. instruments, while still being convertible back to a guest cabin with double bunk.

These two modifications have made a world of difference to us in terms of long-term cruising comfort. The stock Seawind 1000 configuration is just fine for vacations of a few months or chartering or larger families/groups that need the bunks, but for long-term living aboard we would have felt cramped and not too comfortable with that stock setup. Having said that, we know a young family that happily lived aboard a stock boat for over two years with two small children.

Let me now address the pre-ownership perceptions -

Cat vs. Tri vs. Proa vs. Monohull

No question - for a 10-metre (33') length, the catamaran configuration provides a significantly larger amount of useable room than the others. We feel that what we have is a superior total package. In addition to the benefits I will outline below, the negligible heel under sail and absence of rolling while at anchor are just a few of the many niceties we've come to appreciate.

Sailing Qualities

After over 3500 cruising miles, I still can't say that I've thoroughly exercised the boat, especially on upwind courses ("gentlemen don't sail to weather"). I know she points very nicely in light-to-medium conditions (we beat a bunch of boats going to weather to the Isle of Pines in 20-knot choppy conditions). The only difficult windward experience we had was in the large seas and strong winds and adverse current when trying to beat to Australia - I consider this inconclusive as an indicator of the boat's windward performance because of the strong current. All other points of sail are a piece of cake, with none of a monohull's tendency to broach when running in waves. The helm is very heavy, and I am slowly getting to understand the boat's balance despite the fact that she just tracks as though she's on rails. The rig is quite tall (relatively, for a cruising multihull) and it's so nice to carry all that sail in lighter airs. I simply find ourselves sailing with a reef whenever the wind pipes up - no big deal at all. The first reef on the mainsail I've totally ignored, using the second, third, or fourth (which I had specially added) as needed; however, I might try rigging something to enable me to easily use that first reef for winds in the 15-20 knot range. That's one of the differences between monohulls and multihulls - with monos, you reef for average windspeed whereas with multihulls I reef for peak windspeed. The other significant sailing plus is the boat's bow buoyancy: I never once experienced a situation where I wondered if the boat was going to trip over the bow. Overall, I'm very pleased with the way the boat sails.

All-Round Visibility

I've said it before and I'll say it again with emphasis: THE major attraction of the Seawind 1000 is its all-round visibility while comfortably seated in the bridgedeck saloon, protected from rain, wind, spray, or sun - whether sailing or at anchor. We fail to understand the concept of being entombed down below on a heeling pitching monohull or a flush-deck multihull with negligible external visibility. I'm well aware of the safety inherent in a flush-deck configuration, but how often is one in conditions where that is significant? Even though the autopilot steers the boat over 99% of the time, the steering station is also well protected with its overhead canopy which can be partially or fully detached. One just needs to pop one's head out over or around the canopy to check the setting of the main or jib (the jib is also visible through the overhead hatches); however, the need for sail setting changes is easily recognized as the velocity and true/apparent wind direction are displayed on the instruments. I am considering mounting some repeater instruments dead center forward in the main saloon so I don't have to move to check the wind angle or windspeed. When one does need to steer and look over or around the cabintop continuously (e.g., when maneuvering in harbor at night), then there are many different positions one can assume - the dual steering wheels are also handy in those situations. Furthermore, the steering is very close to where one normally sits in the main saloon, so if it is necessary to disable the autopilot and take over steering it can be done very quickly. I must be missing something, as I haven't yet seen the need to sit in a fancy captain's chair in order to drive the boat.

Layout

The boat's layout (with our modifications) has worked out wonderfully, and I won't detail it here as I've covered it extensively within the cruise writeups. For a ten-metre multihull, we are indeed delighted that this layout has proven to be so liveable.

Galley Location

The issue of a galley-up or galley-down (accessible and open overhead) or galley-down (isolated) configuration is a matter of personal preference. A good case could be made for the galley-up configuration with its all-round visibility which may reduce queasiness while at sea in nasty conditions. For the two of us, the very large isolated galley-down of the Seawind works very well, but we can certainly see arguments in favor of the other schemes, especially if the cook is a sociable creature and doesn't mind displaying the galley mess and smells to the guests. Typically for us, in inclement weather, with Kathy either in the galley or at the dinette table reading while I'm in my study, the starboard hull has proven to be a comfortable and cozy living area.

Bridgedeck Clearance

The Seawind's main bridgedeck clearance is very good and only has occasional wave contact in unusually choppy conditions - interestingly, this can be controlled to some degree by appropriate boatspeed for the conditions (going slower actually aggravates the situation). The clearance of the outboard motor housings is another matter - they do indeed experience significant whapping in very choppy conditions - these are really localized to only the starboard aft cabin or port head compartment and don't seem significant when one is elsewhere in the boat. Hey, all things considered, I don't mind.

Outboards vs. Inboards

In a nutshell, I love my outboards and am very happy with the decision to fit them instead of diesel inboards - don't get me wrong, I love diesels, but the weight and drag and accessibility penalty on this boat would have been too great. The boat's maneuverability under power is simply wonderful and makes docking a pleasure. The two 9.9hp Yamaha high-thrust four-strokes have certainly provided adequate power in almost every situation we've been in. There were very few occasions when conditions were such that the propeller would become airborne and the engines thus needed some throttleback. The overall average fuel consumption to date is 1.09 litres/hour (port engine with 241.7 hours) and 1.00 litres/hour (starboard engine with 279.2 hours). I rarely motor at more than half-throttle, keeping the cruising speed down to around five knots. We sail whenever possible and often motorsail with one motor as it's a great way to keep up average boatspeed. Top speed is somewhere around 7.5+ knots (never had a dead-calm current-free situation to test this accurately with the GPS). The shrouds do a good job of protecting the engines and I feel that the ability to lift the engines out of the water is a very significant advantage.

Fixed Keels vs. Daggerboards/Centerboards

The fixed keels and underslung rudders on the Seawind 1000 are beautifully shaped and do indeed provide very good lift. They've worked out well, especially when we purposely beached the boat for motor maintenance. I've run aground in mud a few times when straying out of the channels between Brisbane and Southport, and I've snagged the rudders on lines a few times, but no harm was done. I personally think that I would still prefer centerboards (or daggerboards in crash boxes) and tilting rudders, but they aren't an option on the Seawind, so why worry.

Main Saloon

As I've discussed in detail on 28 August, I've changed my opinion and now love the flexibility that a fabric enclosure for the bridgedeck saloon provides. The pre-conceived perceived lack of coziness of that bridgedeck saloon has proven to be groundless - in fact, we are very consciously keeping it stark and stripped, bringing up the myriad of nav. instruments and gadgets only for passagemaking, and then putting them away and then replacing them with more homely-type things such as the beanbag and pillows and books and veggie plants and reading lamps when in port. When we're away from the boat (as we are now for the holidays), there is nothing up there for sticky fingers to walk away with. All that plain fibreglass moulding is also easy to keep clean.

[Clean Boat]Only the bucket left behind while we're away.

Safety

The boat has proven to be a safe and stable sailing platform in all the conditions we experienced. From a personal security standpoint, the crew is well protected in the cockpit and I think it would be quite hard to get washed off the foredeck (I usually wear a safety harness, anyway). The three custom vertical handrail posts in the cockpit are excellent and I wouldn't go to sea without them. Going forward in heavy weather is ok, with leather-faced sailing gloves a necessity for providing a good grip on the stainless handrails. The redundancy of two steering wheels is appreciated as they can be disconnected and function independently in case of damage to a rudder. I still do not know what the flooded hull or inverted waterlines are. Prior to purchase I had asked for a quote for emergency escape hatches, but the cost proved to be above my pain threshold (as far as I know, there has never been a Seawind 1000 built with those fitted - and there is no ideal location for them, anyway).

Custom Modifications

If there is any interest , I can provide a listing of all the custom modifications I had either specified or added myself to the boat. The major custom modifications by the factory were very nicely executed.

Workmanship

Overall, the workmanship is very good - and admired by visitors. There have been a few issues, but none which I consider structural.

Summary

After seven months of living aboard and coastal and offshore sailing, we can say that our modified Seawind 1000 has exceeded our expectations in terms of liveability and that its very good sailing qualities are just about what I anticipated - we're very happy with the boat, would definitely do it again, and look forward to continuing our cruise in Australia after the holidays.


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