ASA 114; Cruising Catamaran


Prerequisites: 101, 103, & 104
May be taken after or in conjunction with 104

Required reading: 'Multihull Fundamentals' by Rick White. Order from our Ship's Store.

General Description: An advanced cruising standard for individuals with cruising experience. The person can act as skipper or crew of a 30-50 foot multihull sailboat by day in coastal waters. This standard includes skills unique to a 30-50 foot multihull.

All terms below are described in the Glossary.

Sailing Knowledge

Identify and describe the following:

bridle line
partial wing deck
safety net
wing deck

full wing deck
galley down
main hull
seagull striker
stability curves
three point rig
open wing deck
galley up
dolphin striker

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages in operating a multihull vs. a monohull.

Describe the weight carrying capabilities of a 30-50 cruising multihull and how weight distribution affects safety and performance.

Describe the differences in performance between multihulls and monohulls of the same size.

Describe accommodations on board a typical 30-50 foot multihull and how comfort and safety differ from a monohull.

Describe differences in ship's systems between multihulls and monohulls.

Describe shoal draft and the effect it has on planning and sailing.

Describe the danger of capsize; how to recognize warning signs and ho to prevent it.

Discuss characteristics which determine windage and the effects on sailing.

Describe how multihull design affects turning radius.

Describe center/daggerboard installation on a multihull and the affect on performance.

Describe proper stowage techniques.

Discuss how and where a safety harness tether would attach to a multihull.

Describe the various sail combinations and how they affect the balance of a multihull.

Describe the differences of multihull heavy weather sailing practices including the following:

lying ahull
sea anchors
running off

speed controls
standing on

Describe the methods of rafting multihulls and limitations.

Describe the limitations of a multihull galley and methods of working safely in the galley.

Describe auxiliary power options on a multihull.

Describe engine placement on a multihull and its affect on performance and comfort.

Describe mechanical maintenance involved on a multihull.

Discuss what to do if one or both engines fail on a multihull.

Discuss options for towing and carrying a dinghy.

Discuss how to tie a multihull to a dock in various situations.


Sailing Skills

Cast off and leave a dock with at least two different wind directions relative to the bow.

Stop the bow within 4 feet of a marker while maneuvering under power. Perform this exercise upwind, downwind and wind abeam.

Maneuver the boat under power in a confined space, noting the effects of wind and current.

Maneuver the boat within 2 feet of, and parallel to, a dock.

Turn the boat in the tightest possible circle to determine its turning radius. Twin screw boats should perform this with screws turning in opposite directions and with screws turning in the same direction.

Steer a straight course in reverse at moderate speed.

Steer a multihull using an emergency steering device.

Demonstrate a skipper's actions and commands while under power from the time a person falls overboard until the crew is safely recovered. (See: Crew Overboard).

Describe at least two different ways to get a person back on board. (See: Crew Overboard).

Perform as helmsperson and crew giving correct commands and proper responses while demonstrating the propeller techniques of all points of sail while noting the differences and similarities of sailing a multihull vs. a monohull.

Sail an ordered compass course for 5 minutes without varying more than 10 degrees.

While sailing under full sails luff sails and notice how long it takes a multihull to come to rest.

Trim luffing sails and notice how long it takes to get going again.

Demonstrate a skipper's actions and commands while under sail from the time a crew member falls overboard until the crew is safely recovered. Use two different return methods including the quick stop. (See: Crew Overboard).

Reduce sail by reefing and shaking out a reef while the vessel is under sail.

Heave-to and get underway again.

Sail with mainsail only then headsail only noticing performance characteristics.

Anchor using a single anchor and bridle arrangement.

Anchor and/or moor using different techniques if available.

Secure the boat to various dock configurations properly allowing for use of fenders. Take extra measures for overnight at a dock or a mooring. (See 'Dock lines' in the Glossary).

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If you are ready to find out for yourself what it's like to sail a 35-50' boat, receive meaningful sailing lessons, and get a taste of the sea then check out an excellent resource: Blue Water Sailing School. All sailing lessons lead to ASA certification and are taught by experienced instructors who are licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard (Captain's license).