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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Capitola,CA
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    On the beach, at Java Junction, at the Santa Cruz Harbor Entrance, is a morning assembly point for "Coffee Club." Depending on the time, weather, and surf report, you are likely to find the most interesting assemblage of characters discussing everything from sailing to music to Harbor operations, to surfing history. And a whole lot more. The dredge captain can often be found. As well as the local rigger, current harbor employes and retired, and boat builders.

    Just offshore can often be seen big waves, whales, otters, dolphins, and birdlife.

    Yesterday at coffee club, between the subject of hybrid car technology and guitar fingering, arose the subject of whether it is better to have a flexible or stiff catamaran or outrigger canoe for waves. Coming from a racing background, I supported the idea of stiffness. But a fellow multi-huller reminded that beginning with the Polynesian voyagers, to Nathanial Herreshoff's catamarans, to James Wharram, all had flexilbility built into their designs. "Reduces stress on the hull, rig, and crew," pointed out my friend.

    Herreshoff used ball joints to connect the hulls of AMARYLIS and his other cats. Wharram used old tire tread between the deck and akas for a smoother ride.

    I suppose if you are flying your multi-hull on carbon foils, that stiffness counts for speed. But most things in nature are flexible, and bend before they break. If you're on a boat with no stretch or flexibility in the sails, running rigging,
    and hull, you may go faster. But something will eventually break...

    Cal-40's and MERLIN were probably the most flexible and successful ocean racers going. And are still going strong after more than 55 and 40 years respectively...just sayin'
    Last edited by sleddog; 03-12-2018 at 08:44 AM.

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