I have noticed recently that a couple of our competitors in the field of high performance cruising cats are advertising that their designs are "optimized for hull flying". Hull flying, for anyone unfamiliar with the concept, is defined as sailing the boat hard enough to raise the windward hull out of the water on a sustained basis.

Just to point out the physics involved: once the windward hull of a catamaran lifts clear of the water the point of maximum stability has been reached. Just a little bit more wind, a slight shift aft in the wind direction, or poor steering will result in dramatically more heeling. Your margin of safety is gone. There is no stability in reserve.

Flying the hull of a cruising catamaran is akin to taking the cloverleaf in your minivan so fast that the two inside wheels lift off the pavement. You might get away with it a time or two. If you're really good maybe a few more. But eventually physics will win and there will be an accident. At least with the minivan stunt the paramedics will likely arrive within 20 minutes to scrape up the parts and cart them off to a hospital. The rolled minivan will be toast, but it wasn't worth all that much to start with, so no great loss.

Hull flying a large cruising catamaran is a really bad idea and is surely one of the best ways to invite a serious accident. In the context of offshore cruising the paramedics will NOT be coming to save your sorry wet ass. And the boat, which costs orders of magnitude more than any car, is likely to be a total loss. If your idea of wholesome gambling includes Russian roulette maybe you ARE a candidate for a catamaran "optimized" for hull flying!

The whole concept of optimizing a cruising catamaran design around such a patently unseamanlike practice is just ridiculous. So ridiculous that I would say that your first response when seeing such a sales pitch should be to turn and run!