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Old 02-04-2016, 15:16   #16
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Re: Reasons to stay "Monohull"

Ann,

Thank you. You description was heartfelt and helpful. My inner self finds me nodding along with your personal preferences. I am not venturing into this lifestyle to be in any sort of a hurry. That would deminish the romance of it all for me.

Adam
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Old 02-04-2016, 16:12   #17
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Re: Reasons to stay "Monohull"

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Stumble,

My eye is trained on the Lagoon 42 or 52, along with the Outremer 5x. My concern arises when having to handle the vessel alone as I may be a solo nomadic sailor... I am 36 and very fit (at least I tell myself that). A concern is to be on a cat of mentioned sizes alone; seems I may feel swallowed by all the space. I am experienced maneuvering twin screw small craft in tight spaces though FYI.
At sea you want a boat as big as you can afford. The tricky bits are the docking and undocking.

Personally I find a 60' twin screw boat much easier to handle than a 40' single screw. If docking single handed I can do both, but even given the bigger boats much larger size, the extra engine makes things a breeze I wouldn't consider in a single screw boat.

so to me size is relative. It in many ways is a predictor of how the boat will handle close quarters, but isn't dispositive. A big boat with twin screws and a bow thruster is orders of magnitude easier to dock than a big boat with a single screw. And by big here I mean anything too large to push away from the dock by hand. Say 45' and up.

Oh, I don't buy the 'cats are more expensive' argument. When you start looking at the cost for a slip as a function of square footage of the boat it all washes out anyway. To get equivilant living space as a 40' cat you need more like a 50' monohull.


Honestly I just don't think there is one right answer. On Mondays and Wednesday's I like cats for their performance, but I would only own one if I could keep the weight low enough to realize that advantage. On Tuesdays and Thursday's I like performance monohulls like the Pogo 12.50. On Friday Saturday and Sunday I am too busy sailing an 18' beach cat to worry about it much.
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Old 02-04-2016, 16:50   #18
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Re: Reasons to stay "Monohull"

To my way of thinking cost and value are two separate things and whilst I find many of the characteristics of multihulls as being very attractive and have been tempted to change to a cat a number of times I just cannot see that the intrinsic value of the cat justifies the excessive cost in most cases.


Pretty well all my sailing is coastal and in areas where there are good weather reports and consequently sea keeping qualities are not a primary consideration and the advantages of a multihull tend to prevail in these circumstances. However if I envisioned open water crossings of more than a few days I would be very reluctant to carry one out in a multihull.


I know these vessels quiet commonly cross oceans safely however to my way of thinking there are to many of them which get into trouble locally carrying out bar crossings to inspire in me much faith as to there sea keeping qualities. I don't think they are anywhere near as forgiving of poor seamanship as monohulls.


The third source of discomfort I have is in their structural integrity. Over the years I have looked at a considerable number of them which had cracks at the hull/beam interface and whilst structural problems may arise in any hull form I think the proper engineering of a multihull is far more critical than that of a monohull and the mono is far less likely to experience hull integrity problems.


That being said I love the concept of the multihull, no parasitic ballast, their roominess, their shoal draft, and thrilling reaching ability makes them extremely practical and enjoyable vessels.
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Old 02-04-2016, 17:40   #19
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Re: Reasons to stay "Monohull"

Cats go belly up if not sailed carefully. For my single handed sailing, wouldn't be up on deck all the time to free the sheets or turn downwind if hit by a gust and/or a rogue wave. Cats are damned expensive to buy and keep in a slip, if you can find one. I don't need or want all that space. Something between 35'-40' gives me all the space I need. With a smaller mono, I can handle sail changes in crappy weather if necessary and do most of the other things involved in sailing and docking the boat.

If my wife was aboard, a few more feet might be nice but not even sure about that. My wife, Labrador and alley cat lived very comfortably aboard our Westsail 32 for more than 3 years. Only the advent of kids moved us off the boat. Any additional space/length would go to better speed and/or storage. Would be nice to be able to stow the bikes in their own locker rather than the forepeak. A knot of extra speed would shorten passages but we seemed to keep up with boats that were larger and supposedly way faster. The multihulls, despite their claim for speed, didn't seem to make significantly faster passages possibly because they were loaded down with cruising detritus.

The idea of buying the largest boat you can afford may work if a Marina is your be all and end all. There comes a displacement and size where you'll no longer be able to handle the sailing of a boat much more than 40'-45'. Everything is fine when the roller reefing functions as advertised, the electric winch/windlass doesn't crap out and the winds stay force 4 and below. It's a whole different world out there when things get messy and you have to muscle that sail down, haul it's heavy replacement on deck, fit and hoist it while the bow is making 15' or more vertical cycles with cold ocean water constantly trying to wash you over the side.
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Old 02-04-2016, 18:07   #20
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Re: Reasons to stay "Monohull"

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
The feel of sailing on a cat is more distant, to me, than being on a mono: I feel more part of the blend of the elements of wind and sea on a boat that heels. Please not how very subjective this feedback is. If I were to give you a suggestion, I would suggest spending some time sailing both types in similar weather (so you're comparing experiences for similar conditions), and see if you can put into words what you like better about each. Then decide based on your gut evaluation. Jim and I are living proof you can sail a monohull into your latter 70's.

Ann
That was my impression of sailing a big cat as well. I loved the space and the big airy cabin. The stable ride and shallow draft are big pluses, infact I liked most things about it, but in lighter airs it just felt a bit dead, and in gusty narrow waters it was too unreliable to manuever safely without the engines running.

I am sure a performance cat would do much better on both counts, but for me a normal cruising cat would force me to use an engine to often. No sailing off moorings or onto wharfs and tacking up wrigley creeks.

Its probably worth chartering a catamaran to see how you like them.
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Old 02-04-2016, 18:31   #21
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Re: Reasons to stay "Monohull"

It's a matter of personal preference. Be aware that this forum is biased toward catamarans. Seems mostly a SE USA and European preference. Rarely see one here.

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Old 02-04-2016, 18:58   #22
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Re: Reasons to stay "Monohull"

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Pretty well all my sailing is coastal and in areas where there are good weather reports and consequently sea keeping qualities are not a primary consideration and the advantages of a multihull tend to prevail in these circumstances. However if I envisioned open water crossings of more than a few days I would be very reluctant to carry one out in a multihull.


I know these vessels quiet commonly cross oceans safely however to my way of thinking there are to many of them which get into trouble locally carrying out bar crossings to inspire in me much faith as to there sea keeping qualities. I don't think they are anywhere near as forgiving of poor seamanship as monohulls.


The third source of discomfort I have is in their structural integrity. Over the years I have looked at a considerable number of them which had cracks at the hull/beam interface and whilst structural problems may arise in any hull form I think the proper engineering of a multihull is far more critical than that of a monohull and the mono is far less likely to experience hull integrity problems.
We are currently sailing up the northern coast of New South Wales on our Lagoon catamaran in company with our sistership. Have crossed 3 barred entrances ( that's 6 crossings, in and out) in the last week and will ( hopefully ) enter another for tonight's anchorage. I prefer a catamaran for bar crossings for many reasons, reduced draft and no tendency to broach being chief.

Don't just take my word.



Out sistership has sailed from France to Australia and was pushed hard with big headsails; no structural defects have occurred. There's plenty of other cats that have done similiar.

It all boils down to personal preference, as all boats have advantages and disadvantages. The perfect boat hasn't been made, yet.
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Old 02-04-2016, 19:06   #23
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Re: Reasons to stay "Monohull"

Nice discussion. I would add that there is a huge difference between sailing cats vs. monohulls. Besides what has been mentioned they are sailed differently. Cats are faster on certain points of sail in certain sea conditions. You will find that you will have to fall off quite a bit more than on a monohull in order to increase your apparent wind and your speed. Likewise in sailing downwind you will often tack downwind in order to take advantage of the increase in speed you can attain by doing so. Tacking into the wind requires good boat handling because the cat has little inertia to carry thru the tack. You will also notice that a heavy sea can literally stop the cat dead until the sea passes and she takes off again. It was mentioned that it can be a really rough ride in a cat and that is most definitely true. On relative calm waters the cat stays close to level and this makes it much easier for guests and crew to move around. The one serious issue with a cat in very bad sea conditions is the fact that once a cat reaches the point of vanishing stability she will capsize and no amount of wind or sea will right her again. True bluewater monohulls will usually end up being righted again by the same seas which inverted her to begin with. No one wants to capsize at sea but if it happens it is certainly better that a monohull eventually should right herself if she didn't flood while inverted. I love cats but I think for bluewater sailing I would feel safer in a properly designed monohull with a stability curve around 120 or more. Happy sailing.
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Old 02-04-2016, 19:20   #24
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Re: Reasons to stay "Monohull"

It seems the two main factors driving cat lovers is that they sail flat, and they offer more onboard real estate and shallow draft.

When you get to monos over 45' you have plenty of accommodation real estate for a couple... and stowage.

Shallow draft means nothing in the ocean... righting is more a concern and cats won't right themselves. Getting to thin water locations is an advantage but determined mono hull sailors cruise with large dinks and explore with them anchoring in deeper water.

The two of similar LOA sail differently but cats cost more to maintain and park. I think heeling while sailing is something mono hull sailors love... and would miss in a cruising cat.

Personally the aesthetics of cats doesn't do it for me. But others will of course have different opinions. They seems overly "plastic" in their aesthetics... if that makes sense...
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Old 02-04-2016, 19:27   #25
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Re: Reasons to stay "Monohull"

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It's a matter of personal preference. Be aware that this forum is biased toward catamarans. Seems mostly a SE USA and European preference. Rarely see one here. ..............
It surprises me that anyone would think that this forum is biased toward catamarans.

I'm in the SE USA and catamarans are in the distinct minority,- I'd estimate 5% of the sailboats at most.

I'd certainly agree that it's a matter of personal preference, but most cruisers I know don't debate the choice.
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Old 02-04-2016, 19:32   #26
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Re: Reasons to stay "Monohull"

Snooc,

If you don't mind; what constitutes a true blue water mono? Oyster, Discovery, etc?? It would help me from looking at brands that don't relate to my plans of sailing all latitudes. Thank you!
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Old 02-04-2016, 19:33   #27
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Re: Reasons to stay "Monohull"

One note about ocean passages... Of course you can't control the weather and sea state... but you can pick a apparently good weather "window" to make your passages. Prudent sailors do. No guaranty from the weather forecaster... but your chances of a safe and comfortable passage improve when you work with the forecasts.

I don't know much about bar crossings... my draft is 6'+ and I simply have to avoid some places. It's something that I can live with and have never felt "deprived".

Cost vs length vs required real estate is kinda weird. I can't image a couple needing more than a boat of 45' to be completely comfortable.... And as you get into larger sizes everything about it increases very rapidly/steeply.
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Old 02-04-2016, 19:33   #28
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Re: Reasons to stay "Monohull"

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It surprises me that anyone would think that this forum is biased toward catamarans.

I'm in the SE USA and catamarans are in the distinct minority,- I'd estimate 5% of the sailboats at most.

I'd certainly agree that it's a matter of personal preference, but most cruisers I know don't debate the choice.
The OP suggested that this forum was bias towards cats not the SC USA
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Old 02-04-2016, 19:36   #29
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Re: Reasons to stay "Monohull"

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Snooc,

If you don't mind; what constitutes a true blue water mono? Oyster, Discovery, etc?? It would help me from looking at brands that don't relate to my plans of sailing all latitudes. Thank you!

There are many... Halberg Rassy, Contest, Oyster which you mentioned... google is your friend!
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Old 02-04-2016, 19:44   #30
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Re: Reasons to stay "Monohull"

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It surprises me that anyone would think that this forum is biased toward catamarans.

I'm in the SE USA and catamarans are in the distinct minority,- I'd estimate 5% of the sailboats at most.,,.
Have no first-hand observations in SE USA despite the impression given here that most chartered boats there are cats and the feverent defense of cats on this forum. Please forgive. Five-percent would be "pushing" it here on the western coast.
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