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Old 23-08-2012, 16:59   #16
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Re: Living At Anchor On A Monohull

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Originally Posted by gcaskew View Post
All of the monohull sailors at anchor surely canít be miserable in their ships, can they?
No we aren't!! It's nice out on the anchor. All those giving stories about swinging etc are trying to make something out of nothing. Even the stories about not being able to get in as close to shore aren't a big deal (It's just hotter there and what difference does it matter if you anchored in 20' of 5' anyway).

I find the extra space on most cats to be like the extra space on a larger mono (greater than around 42-45'): if you are a couple it's just wasted open space not providing any useful use.
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Old 23-08-2012, 17:16   #17
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Re: Living At Anchor On A Monohull

One factor not emphasized yet re monohull comfort at anchor:

Rolling can be an issue if some factor holds the boat so that any swell comes from abeam, but this is not the usual situation. Mostly one lies head to wind and any wave action comes from the bow. In this situation, I have found that hull shape and waterline length play a big role in comfort with respect to pitching.

Personal experience: our previous boat was 36 ft OAL, 29 ft LWL, and had a fair amount of rocker in the hull shape. It would pitch at anchor and hobbyhorse underway when the distance between wave crests was near the same as the LWL... and that seems to be a common enough situation. We lived, mostly at anchor, on that boat for 17 years and didn't find it uncomfortable enough often enough to worry us. Then we changed to our current boat, 46' LOA and 44' LWL with a fairly flat bottom. The difference in pitching is astonishing to us... so very much less motion at anchor, and unless going to windward in harsh conditions, we can sleep forward under way..

So, comfort at anchor really depends on the details, not just on the number of hulls. But, as several others have said if living aboard a monohull was so bloody bad, why would there be so many of us doing it?

Go on and give it a try... how else will you ever learn?

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Old 23-08-2012, 17:26   #18
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Re: Living At Anchor On A Monohull

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. Then we changed to our current boat, 46' LOA and 44' LWL with a fairly flat bottom. The difference in pitching is astonishing to us...

Ain't that the truth! My 1988 Cal-39 with an aft sugar scoop hobby horsed ant slapped the water all the time. Meanwhile my more modern 2001 Hunter 410 that has the stern in the water even at anchor doesn't hobby horse and is quiet!
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Old 23-08-2012, 18:30   #19
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Re: Living At Anchor On A Monohull

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...For once, so far, this thread seems to have a bunch of great balanced answers....
Yes, be nice to see more of that here on CF would it not?
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Old 23-08-2012, 18:39   #20
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Re: Living At Anchor On A Monohull

That photo of a front in Georgetown illustrates how shallow draft can be advantageous. I've rode out a bunch of those things in the Bahamas in both monos and cats, but sometimes I was tucked up into places like one of the Holes over at Stocking Island spending a pleasant afternoon listening to the VHF radio as everyone dragged around out in the harbor. Many times I did the same in the ICW, or in New England. Plus, some harbors, like Cuttyhunk, just fill right up, and with shallow draft you can still anchor off to the side. I think shallow draft is hugely beneficial on the East Coast of the USA, in the Bahamas, and even in a lot of the Caribbean. Not critical, but beneficial.
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Old 23-08-2012, 19:29   #21
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Re: Living At Anchor On A Monohull

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That photo of a front in Georgetown illustrates how shallow draft can be advantageous. .... I think shallow draft is hugely beneficial on the East Coast of the USA, in the Bahamas, and even in a lot of the Caribbean. Not critical, but beneficial.
Absolutely, I've rode out a lot of cold fronts snug in a shallow mangrove hole.
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Old 23-08-2012, 20:03   #22
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Re: Living At Anchor On A Monohull

Having cruised constantly for the past four years, Some things I have come to except.
1. A Cat of 40 foot plus would be nice, but at at 3 to 4 times the cost of a nice mono.
2. At anchor I have found cruising cats and monos anchor in the same places.
3. Cruising cats do not just sit on top of the water, alot have 1.2 to 1.4 metres and that is before some have had mini keels and sacraficial skids attached.
4 Monos tend to swallow stores where the cats tend to turn one or two of the cabins into storage areas.
5. Cruisers in cats are very mindfull of keeping weight down, more so than a mono.
6. When sea state has the cats slowing down or on sea anchors the monos seem to be able to better push on.
There is lots of other Pluses and negatives for both, would I like a nice big cruising cat, you bet, but I cant afford one so I will stay with my much loved Mono.
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Old 23-08-2012, 21:35   #23
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Re: Living At Anchor On A Monohull

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This is a timely thread for me. You see, I had my heart set on a Gemini 105mc cat for all the reasons people like cats. Based on the Chesapeake but headed for Bahamas and Carribean like many. But Finances are an issue so I am looking back at a mono. Am looking at a IP27 which is less than half the price of the Gemini. But I was concerned about comfort at anchor. Does the shorter waterline of an IP27 (24 LWL) make it roll more at anchor than the longer Gemini? (30 LWL)
Also, another reason for the cat was I figured my wife would go with me on it but now she seems hesitant about longer sailing trips so I figure maybe if I'm gonna be doing more single-handed might as well get a mono and just get out there and go already.
Any input regarding how size of a mono affects comfort at anchor would be greatly appreciated. I am used to being on bigger monos like a 50 foot Pearson that sat like a tank at anchor- was awesome. I really don't like tender boats.
Thanks in advance
Well - Size matters...

I have been at anchor on my boat (~26 feet and 4500#), 35s, 422 and a 50 - All monos. Simply put bigger is better.

Outside our marina is quite choppy. I hate the first part of a sail. Motoring out we are being tossed about at the mercy of wave height, fetch and sea confusion. Once we get the sails up and the boat hardens up, I am in love again.

Cost is a big factor but living in the tropics my "retirement" boat will be a ~40ft cat. I do not expect nor desire challenging ocean voyages, will spend a lot of time on the hook and having salon and galley up is way more sociable than a mono.

I'll satisfy my mono/racing desires by crewing other boats - Crew party at my place - LOL...
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Old 24-08-2012, 05:51   #24
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Re: Living At Anchor On A Monohull

Some thoughts on this discussion.

Only those who have spent considerable time at anchor in different size boats and conditions can truly report with any real merit to their comments. Even those who have spent lots of time living on the hook are not really qualified to make a comparison.

it should be noted that cats are the new comers to the cruising world although they've been with is quite some time now. Most cat sailors started as mono sailors and consider the change a move *up* for various assorted reasons But there are some sailors who have gone from cats *back* to monohulls. My sense is the cat sailors have a built in bias when commenting on comparisons even though they are the ones who can legitimately MAKE comparisons having spent time aboard both types.

We have a bit of apples and oranges here and the discussion needs to be centered on the ANCHOR living difference more than the size differences as cats do tend to have more real estate for living to begin with. So I suppose the discussion is more about how each rides in various conditions at anchor... how well ventilated they each, the different depth implications and maneuvering in tight anchorages and narrow channels... and the actual anchoring process. All the issues about size are secondary.

Under normal conditions are their any significant differences?
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Old 24-08-2012, 06:51   #25
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Re: Living At Anchor On A Monohull

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Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
That photo of a front in Georgetown illustrates how shallow draft can be advantageous. I've rode out a bunch of those things in the Bahamas in both monos and cats, but sometimes I was tucked up into places like one of the Holes over at Stocking Island spending a pleasant afternoon listening to the VHF radio as everyone dragged around out in the harbor.
I think the ability of a cat to tuck into shallow water to avoid weather in the Bahamas is somewhat exaggerated. Certainly there are spots where this can be done but many anchorages are open to the west and tucking up in the shallow water will only put you closer to a lee shore during a frontal passage.

Your example of the holes in Georgetown is a case in point, where a cat would fare no better than a monohull. Holes 1, 2 and 3 have deep water, deep enough for deep draft monos, but you cannot tuck up in them unless you take a mooring. Hole 3 is off-limits, only for long term storage. Hole 2 is off limits for anchoring, only private and seasonal rental moorings, and now Hole 3 is only available if you take one of the town moorings, again no room for anchoring.

Now there are spots where a cat can get out of the weather and there are spots where a monohull can do the same but generally you have to make an effort to find these spots before the approach of a front. Many cannot be bothered to run and hide so they just tough it out. It's usually over in 24 hours.
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Old 24-08-2012, 07:17   #26
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Re: Living At Anchor On A Monohull

A few things I would prefer about a cat:

Shallower draft means more options of where to anchor and sometimes more protection.

Salon and cockpit on same level - just walk through a door with no companionway steps and great view from salon. I prefer galley up to avoid even more steps.

Staterooms more spread out, offering more privacy.

Dingy on davits between hulls - can still swim off hulls, etc without the dingy getting in the way.

Large, friendly cockpit space - don't have to squeeze past the wheel, etc.

When you do pull up the anchor, you'll be sailing flatter.


For me, a catamaran has a great deal of attraction. The one difference holding me back, like you is price.
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Old 24-08-2012, 07:31   #27
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Re: Living At Anchor On A Monohull

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I think the ability of a cat to tuck into shallow water to avoid weather in the Bahamas is somewhat exaggerated. Certainly there are spots where this can be done but many anchorages are open to the west and tucking up in the shallow water will only put you closer to a lee shore during a frontal passage.
When I was in Georgetown you could still anchor in the holes and I did so. Another thing I would do is anchor just off of Georgetown for the first part of the front and then when the wind cranked around to the north or northeast I would move back over to just off Stocking so that I was tucked up behind the shore during most of the major wind. Just in the Exumas I can think of quite a few spots I rode out northers comfortably in my old cat. Ever been into Mr. Roberts? Various places in Allan's? How abut Pipe Creek? the inside route between Little Majors and Sampson? Darby? North of Great Exuma on the inside?

Not saying that plenty of monos don't go to some of these same areas, but when you can float in less than 3 feet of water, or even take the ground when the tide goes out, it opens up a whole new world of cruising. Having said that a lot of the big cats are not really all that shoal draft, which is a shame because like I said I think that is a huge advantage.
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Old 24-08-2012, 08:23   #28
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Re: Living At Anchor On A Monohull

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Just in the Exumas I can think of quite a few spots I rode out northers comfortably in my old cat. Ever been into Mr. Roberts? Various places in Allan's? How abut Pipe Creek? the inside route between Little Majors and Sampson? Darby? North of Great Exuma on the inside?

.
All these routes and anchorages are regularly done by monohulls now. With good Explorer Charts and Chartplotters sailing around the Bahamas has changed a lot. I used to anchor in Hole 1 many years ago too but again no shelter from the west there. Pipe creek is usually full of monos, some stay there all season. The inside route from the Majors to Sampson is regularly done by monos, actually there's quite a bit of water in this route, it's just a bit scary that there are a few twists and turns and skinny spots off to the side.

I have seen the changes over the years where, in the olden days, you had to rely on local knowledge and reading the water. Reading the water is still handy but good charts have reduced the reliance on local knowledge. Cruisers regularly use the back route (on the Bank) to and from the Jumentos now. But here we're talking routes and not shelter.

If you want shelter it can be found whether cat or mono but it might be half a day away and, as I posted before, many prefer to sit and let it blow through.
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Old 24-08-2012, 08:33   #29
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Re: Living At Anchor On A Monohull

Ive deliverd a bunch of Trimarans over the years, and have anchored them also and they do ride a little better in windy conditions! but the reason they did was they were Ketchs! and the Mizzen sail helped keep them properly in line with the winds !!! Thats the big reason I always sail ketchs,(and the smaller sails ) The abilty to keep the bow into the wind !! I personaly like Monos cus I can afford them LOL Our new to us boat is a 51 ft staysail ketch with 5 1/2 ft draft, and rides real well in a windy anchorage!! and thats with an Old Heavy Danforth !! (it will have a new style anchor as soon as I can find one that fits the anchor set up) motion in a anchorage is a combination of wind and the way ya anchor and the way you boat sets to the wind! many times mulit hulls set better, and sometimes they dont!! ya will learn what your boat needs to ride comfortable, ya just need to anchor as much as ya can to learn !! just my 2 cents
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Old 24-08-2012, 08:40   #30
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Re: Living At Anchor On A Monohull

Comparing cats to monos at anchor?

Largely the greatest cause of motion is other boats that hook by at great speed pushing a wave you could surf on. Cats handle that motion best from any direction.

Ventilation is the same we all have hatches we can all set up wind scoops.

Cheers Frank
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