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Old 23-06-2012, 13:35   #16
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Re: Mono vs. Multi - Sailing Ability

Actually, I also have a practical motivation for this discussion.

I want to live on a sailboat (as a global cruiser). Now, it's very clear to me that the Cat's I'm looking at have the great liveability features that I require, yet I'm having trouble accepting that they cost 4-5 times as much, and supposedly have inferior performance.

So, naturally I'm working through this and it occurs to me "what if someone made a monohull to the liveability standards of these cruising Cats, which would of course have superior performance."

Then, when researching this possibility, I came realize that such a sailboat would have have poor performance, possibly even inferior to that of the cruising cat.

A second question, which I was planning to pose as a second thread, is whether such a boat would actually be less expensive. Perhaps a comparably comfortable cruising monohull would cost as much, or nearly as much as the cat.

So what this discussion is coming to is this - "Is it true that monohulls intrinsically provide better performance for less money, and if it is not true is it possible that the cats are intrinsically better performance for the same or similar amount of money?"

In other words, I'm increasingly coming to the opinion that mono are NOT intrinsically better in these area, but are simply more commonly built to those specs than cats are.
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Old 23-06-2012, 13:45   #17
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Re: Mono vs. Multi - Sailing Ability

It's not "just guessing", but I've been sailing for over 50 years and I love keelboats, especially with a lot of teak, and bronze, and polished brass, but I like to move when I sail.
I agree, this posting almost seems like a troll for us to come out and spew our guts.
The problem is trying to be nice to my keelboat friends, who have some very nice boats. Classics, and nice to be down below at the dock. But they are angry at the new plastic racers, who try to show them up, once they get out of the inlet.
I went for a catamaran, that is like a German submarine down below, but even singlehanding it, once I get the sheets reeled in, I've got a lot of local competition, NOT!, they bear off, they tack away, they don't want to sail at, what 8, 9, 10 knots?
I still feel like I'm dragging back, I mean the speed limit on the Key Bridge is 50, ain't it?[/QUOTE]


Nobody was accusing you of anything. That was directed elsewhere, and my statement has nothing to do with the points you've brought up. Some good points, just don't know how my quote works with it?
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Old 23-06-2012, 13:53   #18
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What is pointing?
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Old 23-06-2012, 14:09   #19
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Re: Mono vs. Multi - Sailing Ability

Hi Lt. Wasn't sure if you were kidding or not. In case you're not, pointing is the ability of the boat to sail upwind. No sailboat can sail directly into the wind, but all sailboats can sail, or "point", into the wind at some angle.

High performance racing boats can point as little as 15 degrees to the wind. Cruising catamarans commonly point 50 degrees to the wind. Everyone else generally falls somewhere in between.

This is an important consideration for cruisers who are planning a trip to an upwind port.

There's a widely held belief that monohull sailboats are intrinsically superior at sailing in the upwind direction (e.g. pointing to the wind). My thesis here is that may not be true at all, and that a cruising catamaran may in fact have superior pointing (upwind sailing) ability to a monohull sailboat which has similar draft, size, and topdeck design features- in otherwords, a large cruising monohull.

The conversation is slight confusing, though, because there are no monohull sailboats with a 3' draft in that size, and such a boat would be unsailable if there were.

Conversely, though, there are cruising catamarans which have lateral plane devices such as removeable daggerboards, and such catamarans may have equal or superior sailing performance to the comparable monohull.

This is all in an attempt to answer my core question "is there any reason I should consider a monohull instead of a cat for global cruising". Cost and sailing performance are two that jump out as obvious possible reasons. However, I'm convinced that these reasons are valid, for the reasons I've mentioned here.

It's a common troll argument, though, which is another reason this conversation may seem a bit stilted. I my case, though, I've got a serious purpose to the discussion.
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Old 23-06-2012, 14:11   #20
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Re: Mono vs. Multi - Sailing Ability

I had a simple choice. If I wanted my wife to sail with me we needed a cat. She's not interested in beating to windward with 40 degrees of heel so we sail off the wind and if that means a different destination then so be it.

My 30ft cat will do seven knots with a 10HP outbourd driving her and with some 50 Sq Mtrs of plain sail she'll do 10 Knts in a force 4, off the wind. Maximum distance through the water in an hour is 15 miles. Tacking angle is probably 55 degrees but it still gets you home before the monehull fleet.

Cheers,

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Old 23-06-2012, 14:39   #21
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Re: Mono vs. Multi - Sailing Ability

This is a great example, and is exactly the same reasoning and understanding I have of Cat sailing.

Do you think it is possible that you could have found an equally pleasant and comfortable monohull? And if you had, would it perform any better? Conventional wisdom says that it would be better performing, and cheaper. My theory is that it would NOT be better performing, and I'm not sure about cheaper.

If true, I believe that this means that there is NO reason to consider a monohull over a catamaran for cruising purposes, except for the "feel", which is a purely subjective matter, and I know for a fact that my wife does not like the feel of a monohull.

She says she needs to sail on a cat, and is supsicious whether she'll like it any better. When I pointed out that she has sailed on several catamarans already, which she barely remembers, it left her momentarily speechless. That moment has since passed, sadly...but I guarantee she remembers every minute she ever spent in a monohull!
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Old 23-06-2012, 15:08   #22
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Re: Mono vs. Multi - Sailing Ability

There's no right answer - just what works for you. My 1973 Iroquois took us from the Elbe in Germany to the Channel Islands without fuss or drama. I took my dad (88), who gets sick on a cross channel ferry, around the greek islands in a FP37. He was as happy as Larry, even sitting inside reading a book while we made some of the longer passages.

I've been sailing since 1971 and am happy in most boats. Wy wife wants a stable platform that doesn't heel. She's so proud of the flowers in the vase on the saloon table that stay there in any weather we're likely to be out in. She brings tea on a tray to the cockpit and pours from the teapot into the china cups resting on saucers.

We've sailed monohulls together but she's not happy with the motion or the heel. Friends who've been sailing with us admit that their wives prefer sailing in a cat. The sail area is smaller. The loads on the winches and deck gear are smaller. We can anchor closer to shore. We can take the ground. We have a double drainer sink (on a 30 footer) and two double births plus two singles.

The downside is that we get a minimum of a 50% surcharge in a marina or when lifting the boat ashore. We have to watch the load and every time I walk off the boat I try and find something to dump. And, of course, the purchase price is higher than a mono.

Would I go back to a monohull? Only if there had been a divorce and I couldn't afford multihull sailing any more.

Cheers

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Old 24-06-2012, 01:59   #23
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Re: Mono vs. Multi - Sailing Ability

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtM View Post
I've done some thinking and reading on this recently, and have hit on what I think may be a real revelation about this.

We often see the debate of sailability of monohulls over multihulls, but I think this is severely mistaken thinking, which likely explains why the conversations never get anywhere.

I'd be interested here yays and nays on this theory:

I believe that, if a given monohull were constructed to the same feature levels of a given catamaran, it would likely point just as poorly or possibly worse than the catamaran.

Using a typical charter cat as an example, what if a monohull were built to the same standard
- a large, brightly lit topdeck saloon
- a short, long keel to reduce draft
- sufficiently sized to produce similar interior space and comfort
- otherwise equally rigged in all similar respects

Such a boat, with high windage on the topdeck cabin, and a short keel, and a wide, rounded beam would probably do no better than 45 degrees to the wind, and likely at a slow speed to boot!

Conversely, if a catamaran were built to a monohull standard:
- Deep keels, possible with retractable keels/boards
- Low, streamlined deck with only stepdown cabin in the hulls
- Narrow low hulls designed to optimize speed and reduce windage

Then wouldn't this catamaran point just as well as the comparable monohull? And given the lack of a heavy underwater ballast, likely outperform progress over ground, even if it did point slightly below?

If this theory is right, then there is no real "monohull vs catamaran" debate to be had. It might spoil some people's fun, but it seems that this is really about high-windage small-keel boats vs low-windage deep-keel boats, whether multi or mono!

Anyway, I'd like opinions as to whether I'm all wet on this or not.
You asked and, with respect, I would say that you are all wet on this

Cats don't need ballasted keels because they have form stability -- the whole point of the catamaran design. If they had keels, they would gain relatively little and lose their whole advantage in wetted surface. Monos won't really sail without keels because they don't have the form stability of cats.

Pointing ability is really pretty irrelevant for cruisers because hardly any cruisers really go to windward all that much. And it varies so much from boat to boat that general rules are not worth that much either. My previous boat, a respected if somewhat elderly monohull design, went to windward worse than probably any cat out there. It was really absolutely useless upwind, and many cruising monos are the same. Some cats allegedly point very well -- I don't know, and it's not that important. Some cats really are very fast off the wind -- now that's a real advantage. But the majority of cruising cats, in my experience, are not much if any faster, and are often slower than comparable monos.

"Comparable monos" means monos of similar cost and interior volume. You can't compare cats and monos of the same length -- the length is not relevant, because cats achieve their volume by spreading it out over more beam -- the volume is simply arranged differently, and you can't compare by length. So a 45' cat is really comparable to a 55' mono -- similar price, similar interior volume, and similar speed. So it really comes down to taste, doesn't it? If the madam prefers it, then definitely go for it!
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Old 24-06-2012, 02:42   #24
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Re: Mono vs. Multi - Sailing Ability

I think Dennis Connor had hit on the same "real revelation" as the OP in 1988

Quote: "We're sailing a cat; they're sailing a dog"


The "dog" had some superficial similarities to a cruising/charter cat, if memory serves .... ;-)

Apologies if this has already been pointed out; I haven't struggled through the whole thread
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Old 24-06-2012, 04:33   #25
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Re: Mono vs. Multi - Sailing Ability

I have always believed cats are much quicker than monohull designs off the wind, but I starting to have some doubts at least in a typical crusing configuration. I have often noticed we outsailed cats off the wind, but put it down to poor crew work.
A couple of days ago I sailed in company of frends Lagoon 410 cat. We sailed within sight of each other between two anchorages. He is a very good skipper and we were both keen to cover the 50 NM reasonably quickly as the winds were forcast to drop to nothing after lunchtime.
Conditions were a broad reach wind 15-35 true. Neither of us used spinnakers.
They left 1/2 hr before us and we arrived 1/2 hr before them.
My boat is a 47 foot aluminium monohull crusing boat larger in length than their cat, but similar overall volume considering the cats wider beam.
I know Lagoons are among the slower cats, but common theory would have their boat speed as much higher in these conditions.
I think part of the answer is both boats are filled with all the toys and supplies that a crusing boat typically has and this extra weight impacts their performance more than ours

I don't think this single sail means we are nessaraly quicker off the wind, slightly different conditions more or less wind, swell or sailing angle may well change the outcome, but it's very hard to believe they would be signifficantly quicker under any conditions

The ARC should give some good information does anyone know how similarly sailed cats and mono do in terms of crossing times. I would be particularly interested in those boats crusing rather than in race mode.
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Old 24-06-2012, 05:14   #26
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Re: Mono vs. Multi - Sailing Ability

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
I know Lagoons are among the slower cats, but common theory would have their boat speed as much higher in these conditions.
I think part of the answer is both boats are filled with all the toys and supplies that a crusing boat typically has and this extra weight impacts their performance more than ours
There is a big gap between theory and practice in sailing ability for a normal cruising boat. This or that mono may theoretically point very well. But in practice -- loaded down with tons of spares and supplies and cruising gear and fuel and ground tackle, with standing rigging not quite tuned to perfection, sails a little blown out, skipper not putting in the continuous effort of a race crew to get it exactly right, the real practical windward ability is very, very far from the theoretical ability. To sail really close to the wind and to make miles dead upwind is actually pretty hard in a cruising boat, even one which theoretically points well, which is why cruising skippers rarely do it, at least for long passages.

Likewise with cruising cats and their theoretical speed off-wind. Cats have a big theoretical advantage in wetted surface and hull form for sailing off wind, but this disappears very quickly with load.

So talking about ultimate theoretical advantages in this or that of this or that design is actually a little pointless -- does not touch real cruising situtions very much. In real cruising life, neither monos nor cats reach anything near their theoretical potential, in 99% of cases. The same is true, by the way, of different rig types, another favorite theoretical argument around here.

There is really only one theoretical advantage which always translates into real-life performance -- that's size. The longer the boat, all other things being equal, whether it's a cat or a mono, the faster it will sail, the more load it will carry, and the more stable it will be in rough conditions.
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Old 24-06-2012, 05:43   #27
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Re: Mono vs. Multi - Sailing Ability

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
I have always believed cats are much quicker than monohull designs off the wind, but I starting to have some doubts at least in a typical crusing configuration. I have often noticed we outsailed cats off the wind, but put it down to poor crew work.
A couple of days ago I sailed in company of frends Lagoon 410 cat. We sailed within sight of each other between two anchorages. He is a very good skipper and we were both keen to cover the 50 NM reasonably quickly as the winds were forcast to drop to nothing after lunchtime.
Conditions were a broad reach wind 15-35 true. Neither of us used spinnakers.
They left 1/2 hr before us and we arrived 1/2 hr before them.
My boat is a 47 foot aluminium monohull crusing boat larger in length than their cat, but similar overall volume considering the cats wider beam.
I know Lagoons are among the slower cats, but common theory would have their boat speed as much higher in these conditions.
I think part of the answer is both boats are filled with all the toys and supplies that a crusing boat typically has and this extra weight impacts their performance more than ours

I don't think this single sail means we are nessaraly quicker off the wind, slightly different conditions more or less wind, swell or sailing angle may well change the outcome, but it's very hard to believe they would be signifficantly quicker under any conditions

The ARC should give some good information does anyone know how similarly sailed cats and mono do in terms of crossing times. I would be particularly interested in those boats crusing rather than in race mode.
Much of what tyou say has merit, but equally there are some logic traps happening, I would be surprised if I couldnt sail past a Lagoon 410 and I am 6 foot shorter. What your experience has shown is that, that particular brand/model, is not very quick. Not that all cruising cats are not very quick. Having said all that, a 50 foot mono that is well designed and sailed will always be a quickish boat.
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Old 24-06-2012, 05:44   #28
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Re: Mono vs. Multi - Sailing Ability

ArtM -
Your argument is a bit twisted, and you've already seen a taste of people's reaction.

Key parameters: High aspect foils (sails and/or keels) tend to generate more lift for a given surface area. Sail shape is important. Sail control placement (sheeting point and fine-tuning controls such as vangs and barber-haulers, or lack thereof) affect performance and windward/downwind ability. Light boats are faster than heavy boats for a given amount of "drive" (wind pressure or horsepower). Narrow hulls or flat planing hulls allow boats to overcome "hull speed". Hull forms and hull configurations affect motion and handling. Low-aspect keels and sails with wide sheeting angles will not sail as close-winded as high-aspect and narrow sheeting angles.

Any or all of the above parameters will vary for each boat design regardless of whether they have 1, 2, or 3 hulls.

My key point: You are pissing in the wind when you compare mono vs. multi using a broad brush because there are so many variables specific to each design.
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Old 24-06-2012, 12:12   #29
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Re: Mono vs. Multi - Sailing Ability

Given 1) similar interior size and appointment, 2) similar draft specification to accomodate plane devices, and 3) spacious top-deck features (i.e. a topdeck saloon instead of below deck)

Given equal opportunity to design for performance, including design of keels, boards, ballast, rudders, etc appropriate to that specific model.

Given similar cost parameters.

Would a monohull design inherently have an edge in performance over a catamaran design?

The conventional wisdom says yes, but I don't think it's true, and therefore I don't think that it's a major factor in choosing a cruising boat - it's important to me, because I am choosing a cruising boat.

However, your point is well taken that, in the end, a discerning buyer is going to be facing a limited universe of choices - that you do not actually get a continuous range of alternatives with infinite variety. You get down to 2 or 3 models (if you're lucky) that you like and which meets your needs, and you make a choice.

My decision point here is whether cost and performance potential justify an all-out effort to look for monohulls that would be a good alternative (for me) to a Lagoon 410/420. I was shown a vessel that did have similar features. However, after looking at the windage, the sail plan, weight, and keel design of that boat it occurred to me that it would sail no better than a Lagoon, and probably more poorly. Now, that's just impression, not actual sail experience, but it was enough to make me ask the question "Is there any reason to believe that I could get an equally comfortable and accessible monohull which would have superior sailing performance"

I think to get superior performance, you have to lower the windage, increase the sail plan, and deepen the keels. I'm not convinced that moving to a monohull design would offer any additional advantage, and in fact suspect that the cats may have an inherent advantage given those modifications, which is clearly contrary to the conventional wisdom.
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Old 24-06-2012, 12:54   #30
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Re: Mono vs. Multi - Sailing Ability

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtM View Post
Given 1) similar interior size and appointment, 2) similar draft specification to accomodate plane devices, and 3) spacious top-deck features (i.e. a topdeck saloon instead of below deck)

Given equal opportunity to design for performance, including design of keels, boards, ballast, rudders, etc appropriate to that specific model.

Given similar cost parameters.

Would a monohull design inherently have an edge in performance over a catamaran design?

The conventional wisdom says yes, but I don't think it's true, and therefore I don't think that it's a major factor in choosing a cruising boat - it's important to me, because I am choosing a cruising boat.

However, your point is well taken that, in the end, a discerning buyer is going to be facing a limited universe of choices - that you do not actually get a continuous range of alternatives with infinite variety. You get down to 2 or 3 models (if you're lucky) that you like and which meets your needs, and you make a choice.

My decision point here is whether cost and performance potential justify an all-out effort to look for monohulls that would be a good alternative (for me) to a Lagoon 410/420. I was shown a vessel that did have similar features. However, after looking at the windage, the sail plan, weight, and keel design of that boat it occurred to me that it would sail no better than a Lagoon, and probably more poorly. Now, that's just impression, not actual sail experience, but it was enough to make me ask the question "Is there any reason to believe that I could get an equally comfortable and accessible monohull which would have superior sailing performance"

I think to get superior performance, you have to lower the windage, increase the sail plan, and deepen the keels. I'm not convinced that moving to a monohull design would offer any additional advantage, and in fact suspect that the cats may have an inherent advantage given those modifications, which is clearly contrary to the conventional wisdom.
You might be overthinking it. Just buy what you like; screw the performance. Lagoon 410/420's are slow by cat standards and will not keep up all that well with most monos of similar interior volume (approximately 50 foot), especially when well loaded. But some people walk into a Lagoon and they just know that that's the boat for them -- if that's your case, just do it!

Many monos at 50 feet and over have deck saloon type arrangements, so are also pleasant to be in down below. I can very well relate to this concern. I personally would not want to be in a boat which is a cave below.

But monos heel, and some people just don't like it. On the other hand, cats have their interior space broken up into narrow hulls. Some people don't like that. The moral of the story is just buy what feels right to you, and don't overthink it or over-analyze it. It really boils down to taste in the end.
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