Author Topic: Seaworthiness of Suncat!!  (Read 558 times)

Offline patfurr

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Seaworthiness of Suncat!!
« on: November 03, 2016, 03:11:57 PM »
Wow!  I am very impressed with the SunCat's ability to handle some pretty harsh wind and seas.  I was right on the cusp of staying put at the Burlington Vermont boathouse transient slip on a Saturday morning several weeks back.  The south wind was ripping at close to 40 and I needed to go due south into Shelburne Bay where my truck and trailer were parked to head home to NH.  I decided to motor instead of sail as I knew I would have been beyond the limits with the sail up.  As I cleared the breakwater it became clear that I needed to be prepared to time a 180 degree quick turn in any lull if the conditions got too sporty.  I had never been in conditions approaching these on Impulse III so I was feeling her out.  I know Lake Champlain well having grown up sailing her open waters in a variety of wind driven craft.  The deep bow and seaworthy lines of the SunCat are truly impressive.  As I approached the entrance of Shelburne Bay the winds were funneled and the waves got to be upwards of 4-6 feet with a good amount of breaking foam on every third or fourth wave.  I got wet that's for sure, but at no time did any green water come over the bow or sides and although she shuddered a few times crashing into the face of many waves, she handled them all like a trusted friend.  I put faith in my 6 hp Tohatsu outboard to do the job and it did.  I do believe that she was well within her safe envelope under power, but let's put it this way, I am not going to explore that particular limit.  Very impressive little hull to say the least. 

Offline rogerschwake

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Re: Seaworthiness of Suncat!!
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2016, 05:07:45 PM »
  A few years ago I thought a storm on Portage Lake in the U.P. of Michigan was going around us, wrong again. There we were all of a sudden in the middle of the lake in 50+ winds with full sail up. Of course the throat halyard would not come down, the way my luck runs. All that we could do was loosen the gaff halyard and it was fling like a flag straight back. Luckily I started my old 2 cycle 4 horse Johnson on the fourth or fifth pull and was able to motor to the lee  shore in what seamed like a life time just as the wind stopped. Being able to motor against that wind I'm sure, if the sail had been taken down earlier like I should have been, this storm would have been no problem. With the sail up it made it a hand full keeping the bow into the wind using both the motor and the rudder to steer the boat. This I hope was one of those learning experiences that I  will remember and not have to go through again. We tied up to the first dock we came to and caught our breath. The dock owners came out of there cabin and could not believe we came out of that storm. Don't worry about that Sun Cat it can live through lots of stuff, just stick with it and she will get you home safe.


ROGER

Offline patfurr

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Re: Seaworthiness of Suncat!!
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2016, 02:29:28 PM »
Hey Roger, let's not make a habit of these lessons learned ;)  But I do have a good idea of just how capable these boats are. 

Offline rogerschwake

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Re: Seaworthiness of Suncat!!
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2016, 04:30:04 PM »
  Don't plan on forgetting this lesson real soon but old age is making the odds of that happening pretty good.

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Offline oceanroadus

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Re: Seaworthiness of Suncat!!
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2016, 05:27:28 PM »
It is funny we had a test out of our Suncat this weekend too, we were in a channel and some huge yachts and sportfishing boats were headed out and one of them was throwing about a 4-5 foot wake, unreal.  We had to hit the wake straight on the bow lest disappear in the roll.  She shuttered and slammed on the two biggest waves and I was afraid the centerboard trunk would fall out but she just kept on going, wow these are great boats!!!  I just wish there was more courtesy out on the water, even the big boats that try to be a little courteous don't understand that slowing down a bit and then gunning it when they are on our beam is almost worse than not slowing at all. 
2013 Suncat "Teala"