January 04, 2012
This is a big cat… 60’, but Suncat only drafts 23", boards up. I want to take her up some larger intercoastal waterways, both in the U.S. and Europe (among other places). Inevitably this will mean going under bridges, power lines, etc. I already know the height of the mast will be too high for the U.S. ICW (65’ being max.). So… my options are, get a smaller boat… er… too late, already have this one half built. OK, don’t go those places, but I WANT to go to those places. OK, then take the mast down.
Typically this involes pulling into a ship yard and using a crane, eight hours and a serious chunk of cash. When done, do it again to put it back up. I will do it this way… if I must, but I went searching for another option. I found two.
1) Go with a Biplane rig, keep both masts shorter.
2) Create a system by which we can raise and lower the mast with a minimum of work and time, and no ship yard.
I haven’t quite given up on the biplane rig, but right now I’m certainly leaning toward a more standard single carbon fiber stick. That would leave option #2.
So, I went a surfing, on the net, not the ocean. And what did I find? Well, I found an Australian Catamaran of sufficiently similar size, that raises and lowers their mast, pretty much daily.
I’m seriously considering doing it this way, or something similar. I have tried to contact the owners of that cat, but they haven’t replied yet. I’ll try again, I just want to hear their first hand experience, pros and cons.
Here are pictures of that catamaran.