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CATAMARAN


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A catamaran (/ˌkætəməˈræn/) (informally, a "cat") is a multi-hulled watercraft featuring two parallel hulls of equal size. It is a geometry-stabilized craft, deriving its stability from its wide beam, rather than from a ballasted keel as with a monohull boat. Catamarans typically have less hull volume, smaller displacement, and shallower draft (draught) than monohulls of comparable length. The two hulls combined also often have a smaller hydrodynamic resistance than comparable monohulls, requiring less propulsive power from either sails or motors. The catamaran's wider stance on the water can reduce both heeling and wave-induced motion, as compared with a monohull, and can give reduced wakes.


Catamarans range in size from small sailing or rowing vessels to large naval ships and roll-on/roll-off car ferries. The structure connecting a catamaran's two hulls ranges from a simple frame strung with webbing to support the crew to a bridging superstructure incorporating extensive cabin and/or cargo space.


The word "catamaran" is derived from the Tamil word, kattumaram (கட்டமரம்), which means "logs bound together" and is a type of single-hulled raft made of three to seven tree trunks lashed together. The term has evolved in English usage to refer to double-hulled vessels.[2][3][4]


Catamaran-type vessels were an early technology of the Austronesian peoples. Early researchers like Heine-Geldern (1932) and Hornell (1943) once believed that catamarans evolved from outrigger canoes, but modern authors specializing in Austronesian cultures like Doran (1981) and Mahdi (1988) now believe it to be the opposite.[5][6][1]


This would also explain why older Austronesian populations in Island Southeast Asia tend to favor double outrigger canoes, as it keeps the boats stable when tacking. But they still have small regions where catamarans and single-outrigger canoes are still used. In contrast, more distant outlying descendant populations in Oceania, Madagascar, and the Comoros, retained the double-hull and the single outrigger canoe types, but the technology for double outriggers never reached them (although it exists in western Melanesia). To deal with the problem of the instability of the boat when the outrigger faces leeward when tacking, they instead developed the shunting technique in sailing, in conjunction with reversible single-outriggers.[5][6][1][7][8]


Later that century, the American Nathanael Herreshoff constructed a double-hulled sailing boat of his own design (US Pat. No. 189,459).[14] The craft, Amaryllis, raced at her maiden regatta on June 22, 1876, and performed exceedingly well. Her debut demonstrated the distinct performance advantages afforded to catamarans over the standard monohulls. It was as a result of this event, the Centennial Regatta of the New York Yacht Club, that catamarans were barred from regular sailing classes, and this remained the case until the 1970s.[15] On June 6, 1882, three catamarans from the Southern Yacht Club of New Orleans raced a 15 nm course on Lake Pontchartrain and the winning boat in the catamaran class, Nip and Tuck, beat the fastest sloop's time by over five minutes.[16][17]


In the mid-twentieth century, beachcats became a widespread category of sailing catamarans, owing to their ease of launching and mass production. In California, a maker of surfboards, Hobie Alter, produced the 250-pound (110 kg) Hobie 14 in 1967, and two years later the larger and even more successful Hobie 16. As of 2016, the Hobie 16 was still being produced with more than 100,000 having been manufactured.[23]


Catamarans were introduced to Olympic sailing in 1976. The two-handed Tornado catamaran was selected for the multihull discipline in the Olympic Games from 1976 through 2008. It was redesigned in 2000.[24] The foiling Nacra 17 was used in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which were held in 2021;[25][26] after the 2015 adoption of the Nacra 15 as a Youth World Championships class and as a new class for the Youth Olympi




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