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Old 15-03-2011, 13:55   #1
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Mono vs Cat - Wanting Opinions

Hello everyone, we are currently owners of a Bombay Clipper 31 and love sailing. Our goal is to semi retire in a few short years and cruise 8 months, come back to land and work 3-4 months at our tree farm then repeat . Were close to being in a position where we could purchase a larger boat. We have been looking very hard at the gemini's 3200, or 3400. Also looked at a few 41 morgan O/I's. We love the idea of gunkholing with a 18" draft on the Geminis. Morgan is a tad over 4', our is current boat is a 3'6" draft. I understand that Neither morgans or Geminis point very well. Or sail very fast. The Gemini probably having the slight advantage in speed.
I have heard about the "Hull slapping" and Hobby horsing etc but is it really that bad? Don't you get used to it like a noisy parrot? The cats we have sailed were either much smaller or much larger. We love the layout of the Gem's but We also love the sea motion of a larger mono. Prices are comparable though the Gem's we have looked at are roughly 10-15 years newer then the Morgans. We dont mind older vessels and enjoy the work, thougg think the Cat may be easier to deal with the smaller sails etc. We do like to entertain friends etc for a week or so at times so this comes into plsy as well.
Any input as to what your choice would be and why would be appreciated.
We plan to cruise mainly the Caribbean and Bahamas, Exhumas and possibly other places in the future if we sell the farm. I am guessing 60-75% of the time will be on the hook or moored
Thanks for your thoughts,
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Old 15-03-2011, 14:27   #2
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Re: Mono Vs Cat, wanting opinions

Either boat would be suitable for your intended destinations, although really, you are comparing apples and oranges. If you love the layout on the Gemini (and it has much to commend it including a bright, airy interior with separation of the three staterooms for added privacy), love the shallow draft (ditto, especially in the Bahamas), then I suggest that you charter a Gemini and see how much you enjoy sailing one/living aboard. I suspect you will find the performance, even to windward, much better than expected - so long as you don't overload it. Having said, the motion will be different and you will get some slapping and pounding in certain conditions. Ultimately, only you can decide what you would prefer.


Brad
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Old 15-03-2011, 14:37   #3
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Re: Mono Vs Cat, wanting opinions

I will be happy to comment. I spent a month on a cat sailing from Florida to Colombia. The slamming freaked me out at first....it's VERY loud! I think I was used to it in the end though. It isn't pleasant, but it's a price to pay for all that living space. Great at anchor!



I have friends in the Bahamas with their Gemini 105 MC. They love the draft, but don't enjoy the slamming either. Hanging out in Marsh Harbour Marina | Jascat to the Bahamas

More friends in the Bahamas on a Morgan OI 41.
Storyville

Looks like everyone is quite happy whether they are cruising a cat or mono.

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Old 15-03-2011, 15:54   #4
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Re: Mono Vs Cat, Wanting Opinions

I'd say your question is more about Morgan vs gemini, and which would suit your needs better. Only you can answer that.

I can say I LOVE shallow draught.
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Old 15-03-2011, 16:16   #5
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Re: Mono Vs Cat, Wanting Opinions

I love mono's and multi's they are both great, I cruised with my parents on their Crowther designed cat as a child, now I own a large mono.
I decided on a mono simply for upwind speed in 30+ knots, a cat sails as quick or a little quicker than a mono in up to 23-24 knots upwind (dagger boards down), but beyond that the performance of the cat falls away, where as the mono holds it a while longer.
As someone else also pointed out mono's sail quieter, cats will often get bridge deck slamming no matter how great the design is.
Sailing a cat is arguably a little easier than sailing a mono, for a first time sailor cats are great with their stability.

People make such a thing about sailing upwind, admittedly it's not the greatest way to sail, but really is it that bad? My parents Crowther is very stable upwind with little pitching, in 18 knots of wind their boat would sail 10 knots without a problem.
For most people especially people new to sailing I think cats are a great option, but see if you can spend a week on a cat and another on a mono, as you might decide you can't handle the slamming on a cat.
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Old 15-03-2011, 16:17   #6
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Re: Mono Vs Cat, Wanting Opinions

I have to vote: keep your current boat, perfect it. Do you not like the 31? I feel like 31 is plenty big for 2 people. If you are looking at purchasing a new Gemini, why don't you keep the 31 and just cruise like a king?

It will keep your current boat from becoming a hunk of eco-hazard waste.
It will benefit the environment by avoiding the creation of a new boat.
It will be cheaper.
It already has shallow draft!


If your current boat is just a dog to sail, and you hate it, fine, sell her off, but if you don't have a good reason to do all that damage to the earth, why do it? Just my 2 cents.
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Old 15-03-2011, 16:21   #7
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Re: Mono Vs Cat, Wanting Opinions

For someone hesitating btw a mono and a multi, I will always recommend a tri.

You can always chop off ...

b.
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Old 15-03-2011, 16:28   #8
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Re: Mono Vs Cat, Wanting Opinions

I feel that the Gemini is more suited to the ICW and Bahamas, than the square waves of the Caribbean in the winter. They have way too low a wing clearance for really choppy seas, and wing clearence is WAY more than an aesthetic issue!
Mark
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Old 15-03-2011, 16:50   #9
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Re: Mono Vs Cat, Wanting Opinions

Quote:
Originally Posted by tager View Post

If your current boat is just a dog to sail, and you hate it, fine, sell her off, but if you don't have a good reason to do all that damage to the earth, why do it? Just my 2 cents.
What the above is asking, I believe, is we (humanity) give you permisson to live a good life to the best of your ability, just don't kill us all in the mean time... Thank you for your attention to this mattter. Have a nice day.
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Old 15-03-2011, 16:56   #10
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Re: Mono Vs Cat, Wanting Opinions

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
For someone hesitating btw a mono and a multi, I will always recommend a tri.

You can always chop off ...

b.
As a tri owner who has chartered and sailed cats, and sailed monos most of my life I'm confident in saying nothing sails as well as a tri.

That said, a cat would be my first choice for a live-aboard... for the interior room and comfort at anchor, and shallow draft is a big plus on the east coast US and Bahamas.

They all involve trade-offs. No such thing as a do-all boat unless you have very deep pockets.
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Old 15-03-2011, 17:02   #11
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Re: Mono Vs Cat, Wanting Opinions

I don't think the OP said anything about scrapping his old boat. I imagine it would be SOLD? So, sell the old "used" boat, buy a new "used" boat". What is the problem? This place is getting wierd...
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Old 15-03-2011, 17:15   #12
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Re: Mono Vs Cat, Wanting Opinions

A cat has a very different motion in the sea. You should try one and see if you like that part.
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Old 15-03-2011, 17:15   #13
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Re: Mono Vs Cat, Wanting Opinions

After spending 10 months cruising on our 37 foot monohull my wife and kids were convinced that we needed a cat if we were going to do it again. I'm more ambivalent on the issue but I'm the one who put the blood, sweat and tears into our current boat so perhaps I'm not objective.

I met a few Gemini owners and every one of them loved their boat. One was a family of four who sailed from the northeastern U.S. to northwestern Canada via Panama.

Gemini's have a lot of desirable characteristics such as a single inboard diesel engine (so there is less maintenance to do) and a drive leg that lifts clear of the water (to reduce maintenance, corrosion and drag). Etc.

I found that we did very little upwind sailing despite having a monohull. Besides the Gemini points very high for a cat thanks to the asymmetrical centerboards. So upwind performance might not be a huge issue.

The absence of rolling at anchor would be VERY welcome to me. And there are the other usual benefits for a cat. So I could convince myself to go in that direction.

The major downside is the low bridge deck clearance. A question for cat (espescially Gemini) owners: does wave slapping/slamming only happen going upwind, or does it happen on other points of sail as well?

Craig
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Old 15-03-2011, 18:27   #14
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Re: Mono Vs Cat, Wanting Opinions

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTB View Post
I don't think the OP said anything about scrapping his old boat. I imagine it would be SOLD? So, sell the old "used" boat, buy a new "used" boat". What is the problem? This place is getting wierd...

Yes we would sell the old one. We love her and she sails Wonderful, ( yeah I know) But she sails great, just we want more room. And we should all have what we want.
We have sailed smaller cats, and love how they sail but they were a 20' and a 27' cant remember make. Hull slap wasnt an issue as we never hit the right type of seas. We have toyed with the idea of just useing the BC for another two years and really am on the fence. We have invested lots of time and blood not to mention $$ And she would be a fairly easy sell. for what I would ask. Just not sure about two of us for long term aboard her. The amenities are there, short of a Wind genny and solar power. Wanted to get input and see what genereal consensus is. We did look at a 44 csy just needed more work and the price wasnt close to what we felt as realistic. Have found several morgans, and a couple Gems in our range. We adapt easily and would enjoy the pros of either boat, and most likely adapt to the Cons of either boat. Just not sure about adapting to the Cons of a 31 mono for long term.
thanks everyone for the input. one good + about our 31 is the shoal draft, @3.5' that is a nice feature. But morgans arent much deeper. Just I seem to carve my initials into alot of bottom out there. hehe.
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Old 15-03-2011, 18:44   #15
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Re: Mono Vs Cat, Wanting Opinions

We had a Gemini for awhile. Kept light they do sail well, I would guess much better than the OI 41. They are an easy boat to handle and very well laid out for live aboard. The shallow draft is great and they don't roll in an anchorage. Now the bad side. I don't believe they are designed or built for water sailing">blue water sailing but great for coastal cruising. And the bridge deck POUNDS. The older Gemini 3000 have much greater clearance than the newer models but in our experience we had pounding at anchor in a light chop. I'm sure some people got used to this but it drove me up the wall!
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