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Old 02-08-2009, 02:49 PM   #1
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Catamaran vs Monohull is a question often asked - the advantages and disadvantages of cruising on a single hull compared to a multihull?

Phil Berman of the Multihull Company, the sponsor of this "Multihull Club" forum board, has written an interesting article on the subject.

ARTICLE.

Decide for yourself!
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:52 AM   #2
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Well written, though extremely biased. While the points are well made and play well to the comforts and benefits of a multi-hull it does not give completely accurate information (most stable position for a mono is not the bottom of a body of water). While the benefits are very well written and a measure of the drawbacks are addressed; there is also certain points that are not looked at (docking expenses are a good bit higher for a multi unless you plan on staying on the hook only and even some mooring fields charge higher for multi's). While I found it informative, the article lacks a truly balanced view. Which in the Mono v. Multi' one is very rare to find.

The point of dealing with capsize alone is an interesting one; as getting a cat to capsize is difficult it is not impossible and with the newer lighter materials and shallower penetration of the hulls into the water the greater the chance of it being flipped are in heavy seas (though the speed issue does make it easier to out run them I will give that point). A Mono hull of full keel or modified full keel design is more likely to do a 360° roll than turn turtle completely and if the boat was prepared for storm before things get nasty there won't be a whole lot of problem underneath (I do not say none as that is unreal at the best of times in a bad position). Modern fin keels and those more modern mono's that are wide of berth tend to go turtle and stay that way (lack of righting leverage).

The choice is up to each as what they find as their "dream" only be aware that many "experts" are trying to put forth their view of what is right; which in turn benefits their pocketbook.

We are still looking and testing but also studying the data that we can get on given designs. One must find a good balance and that is for each to decide on their own.

Michael
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:45 AM   #3
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The choice is up to each as what they find as their "dream" only be aware that many "experts" are trying to put forth their view of what is right; which in turn benefits their pocketbook.

We are still looking and testing but also studying the data that we can get on given designs. One must find a good balance and that is for each to decide on their own.

Michael
Hello Michael,

Thanks for your Response, the extract from Phil's website was CL's doing. However, there no doubt that the modern day catamaran is gaining in popularity, as far as an ideal boat for cruising is concerned. Every year we see more and more, especially in warmer climates.

As with monohulls there good and poor designs, good and bad builders.

Richard
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Old 02-09-2009, 07:20 PM   #4
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Hello Michael,

Thanks for your Response, the extract from Phil's website was CL's doing. However, there no doubt that the modern day catamaran is gaining in popularity, as far as an ideal boat for cruising is concerned. Every year we see more and more, especially in warmer climates.

As with monohulls there good and poor designs, good and bad builders.

Richard
Hi, all, stepping in for a moment to give you a thought from an open-minded monohull owner

We considered both monohull and multi hull boats. We found it very interesting that even within the multihull community there was the trimaran group, many of whom refused to accept that a cat was a good choice, too.

When we looked at stability curves--what we saw was that multihull boats had wonderful intial stability but very scary final stability. But equal and opposite to that, we knew that we could get a much shallower draft boat with a multihull (of comparable living space to a monohull) and it could mean that we'd enjoy many more secluded anchorages in tropical areas.

When we got down to looking at the type of voyaging we wanted to do--mostly mid to higher lattitudes not in the tropics--the monohulls stability curves looked a bit better to us than that of the cats. And, we had to admit that we weren't seeing a lot of cats in Seattle, Alaska, Maine, Nova Scotia, etc as compared to the monohulls. There is little doubt that had we preferred tropical cruising we'd have looked much more seriously at cats.

The final thing for us, though, was aesthetics. No one can determine what aesthetic will appeal to you--this is a very individual matter. One's background, upbringing, prior experiences, culture, all play into it of course. We realized that the emotional appeal of voyaging in a monohull far exceeded that of a multihull for us. We went further to realize that voyaging in a classic wooden schooner would be the epitome of the voyaging life we wished to live.

So, when someone says "multi hull or monohull which is better" the response is "it depends" on the sailor
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Old 03-16-2009, 02:05 PM   #5
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This is when I would prefer a mono:

<object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/-lriRLdiAQE&hl=en"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparant"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/-lriRLdiAQE&hl=en" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparant" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>
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Old 04-25-2009, 01:55 AM   #6
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This is when I would prefer a mono:
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Old 04-25-2009, 01:59 AM   #7
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As a cat owner: Tropical sailing, a cat. High latitude sailing, a mono. Mind you, ref the video, downwind I'd be tolerably happy in my boat (assuming that you had to be there), looks a bit like my last Atlantic crossing!

I would take issue with the statement that cats are faster. Once you load them up with 'stuff', they're not. As a full time liveaboard (this is the day job & the boat is my home) you do load the boat, there's absolutely no point in bleating on about 'keep it light'.

That said, would I go back to a mono ~ unlikely, unless I get a sudden urge to sail where it's wet, cold & 'bumpy'.
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Old 12-07-2011, 05:12 AM   #8
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I believe there are many sailors who choose monohulls for purely esthetic and historical reasons. They are traditional and pretty and healing is a part of the esthetic for them. I understand this. My first large yacht was a gracious old Pearson Alberg 35, with a cocktail glass stern and truly lovely lines. Many of today’s modern catamarans are just not that pretty – they lack a certain romance.

As for myself, I could never again go back to a monohull. I like sailing fast. I like sailing flat. I like a big cockpit. I do not like rocking at anchor. I still well remember sailing on the outskirts of a monohull race near Newport, Rhode Island, a few summers back. I was close reaching on my 41 foot cat at 17 knots, passing monohulls as if they were standing still. Romantic? Perhaps not for everyone. But sure a lot of fun. As the Dalai Lama once said: “You cannot buy happiness. But you can buy exhilaration.”
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