Micro cruising with Cindy
Miss Cindy is a 16 foot micro cruising catamaran designed and built by Tony Bigras of Vancouver BC in 2008. Tony cruised the little yacht from Baja California, down the Mexican Pacific coast, Nicaragua, Panama, up the Caribbean Sea to Cuba, and finally to Florida - quite the shakedown voyage! I’m reading Tony’s well written and photo documented account of the trip, and am currently somewhere south of Acapulco.
Miss Cindy is on the cutting edge of small cruiser design, employing a number of emerging features:
- Biplane rig - twin free-standing masts, one for each hull. The biplane rig has a number of benefits: the simplicity and security of an unstayed rig, a tendency to be self-steering and a lower center of effort. The downside is that the sails can interfere with each other on certain courses (reaching), and this problem is exacerbated by a narrow beam. Miss Cindy seems to be the exception to the rule, and that may have something to do with the choice of rig.
- Standing Lug - recently popularized by Matt Layden and his designs, the standing lug is balanced, powerful, close-winded, roller furling and very low aspect ratio - all good things, but especially on a biplane multihull cruiser.
- Lifting Body Hull - a sharp trapezoidal section combined with an extremely low aspect ratio keel gets Miss Cindy to windward. No daggerboard worries. This approach harks back to the beginning of the modern sailing multihull - the boardless beach cats of Waikiki.