Re: Advanced Sharpie design explanation in a nutshell
> Insurance and actuarial work is based, in large part,I suspect that outside of life insurance, car insurance, home
> on the law of large numbers ....
> I insured the CSS Hunley while she was still on the bottom.
> My staff and I kicked the risks around and finally pulled a
> number out of the air for a premium.
insurance and other very high-volume lines of business, the judgement
and wisdom components of insurance pricing are at least as large as
the actuarial components. There aren't large numbers of Hunleys, and
for statistical purposes, not large numbers of multihulls either.
Political pollsters like a couple thousand responses to get a 3%
margin of error on a simple yes/no question. For boats, the it's not
just how many claims, but how big they are, and there won't be many
claims for the maximum value of the policy. Certainly not a couple
And there won't be a couple of thousand hurricanes either.
- "Aside from Herreshoff's experiments in
the early 1900's, multihulls didn't really begin to develop until after
I know what you mean though there is a tendency to overlook thousands
of years of development in the rest of the world. There were other
westerners pre-Herreshoff and on a much larger scale. There have also
been many important experimenters from below the yachting radar between
Amaryllis and the post war
"and for much of the last century were sort of a counter culture boat.
take a few more years for multihulls to become mainstream."
Never owned one, but from what I understand the Hobbie was the largest
category of sailboat in it's day. Sailing multihulls are now
frequently on the covers of yachting magazine, particularly those that
emphasize cruising. In Europe multihull yacht racing has some
considerable prominence with financial institutions using the coverage
of boat ownership to snake their way onto public television, the whole
fast ferry industry has gained momentum, there are catamaran cruise
ships, there is the big day charter cattlemaran phenon. Dennis Connor
owned a bunch of those sailboats. There are little niches like
coaching boats for watersports and pontoon boats. Do we get to claim
houseboats on two pontoons? Sailing yachts are my main interest and I
don't see a time soon when multihulls will replace monos since they are
expensive to dock. They are a far better bet for those who actually
use their boats. They may be reaching a point where they have a
mainstream level of mindshare. People don't care about them one way or
the other, but if faced with a trip on one they don't pull out a dog-
eared copy of Herreshoff's biography and start sputtering indignantly.
"Our combative correspondant thinks it has
because they are good investments. I doubt that because I never met a
was a good investment, because pleasure in non-tangible."
Right, then neither drugs nor gambling will ever amount to anything.
Good tip. I did not say they were a good investment I said there were
a lot of them being bought as an investment. In Canada during the same
period there was a government program designed to promote boat building
(in the absence of a nuclear navy etc...) that gave government
subsidies to people buying boats. People would buy these boats and
rent them out. In the extreme, three college students created a huge
business building houseboats that popped up everywhere. In the French
case, the charter business led to the creation of several powerhouse
cat companies like Privilege. Insurance was available to secure the
loans, both relative to the crossings from France, and subsequent
"Your tone remains insulting,"
Get over it. I don't know you, and you don't know me. I sincerely bear
you no ill will. I think you fired the first arrow against the
multihull, I'm firing back with equal force. If some imaginary actuary
gets caught in the crossfire, why should anyone care? Bolger is a
designer of multihulls among other things, and the author of Boats With
an Open Mind. That's all this is about, certain choices made by the
great one, and open minds.
"Multihulls are small in number and have (compared to monohulls) a
short history. They have often been built by inexperienced amateurs who
less than ideal materials and sometimes suspect design/construction
As a result, there have been many boats which have either failed
or simply gone missing."
Right you are, though adjusted for scale, this sounds like a summary of
Bolger boats also.
"Insurers and actuaries are not comfortable with these
exposures and either refuse to insure them or charge higher premiums."
This is where it gets tricky. Do we know this for a fact? Is it world
wide, or a one country, one state, one office thing? Does the
insurance industry really keep these kinds of stats?. I have been on a
bunch of the multihull boards, and also done survey work, and even got
quotes for insurance that would have been a rider on my household or
car policy, and was cheap, though I decided to self insure for the
reason that I boat in a large lake in NB where there are virtually no
other boats. I don't remember a problem about this ever. In southern
Ontario we have at least 5 multihull factories (none of which I have or
have ever been connected to) business seems OK. We have a strong club,
not a member there either, but the people there seem very normal I
don't know what they pay for insurance, never came up. The only
problems I have had related to the boats being wood. There is a bias
against wooden boats. People will tell you that one can't get those
I have learned one interesting "fact" in all this. In the multihull
world Amaryllis is fondly remembered as a triumph that was only held
back by the conservatism of the day. I did not know that there was an
alternative spin. I wonder which was the revisionist interpretation.
Speaking of prejudice or conservatism in yachting. I think that is a
far more likely lens through which to see this kind of thing today and
for the last century or so.