In 1992 my girlfriend and I bought a brand new 40 ft Catamaran
, and weeks later we set of for an Atlantic crossing
from Cape Town
. We had zero experience, but hired a skipper
for a month till Barbados
, after that we sailed the Carib and Bahama's. We always felt safe despite rough conditions at times. We sold the cat in Florida
and bought a bigger new 47 ft cat, and this bigger cat was much easier to sail. I believe we started the influx from South African Catamarans to the Caribbean at the time!
clearance is one of the most important aspects out on the ocean for a cat and from memory on the 47 Ft the clearance was about 90 cm or 3 ft. The new boat hardly ever had waves hit from underneath, unlike the 40 ft
Slamming of waves can be nerve wrecking in 30 knots plus. In general I loved sailing catamarans and for long distance, and cruising between the islands they are the way to go.
We again sold the second cat in Florida
, and I have not sailed since 1994. year ago we bought a 46 Ft Bavaria
Cruiser, (2014 model) my first ever experience on a mono hull
. It was like learning
to sail all over again! I literally had to learn from scratch.
I absolutely love sailing a mono hull
, the heeling is not an issue and is actually a good feeling. Sailing a mono hull vs a cat is like driving a sports car vs a Toyota Landcruiser They both get you from A to B, however sailing the mono hull is more sportive, you are much more in tune with ocean and wind
conditions and generally can sail blind while feeling the boat if that makes sense. I am now 53, my kids
come out with me on calm days, the wife does not. She may come out if I swap over to a catamaran
-Sailing close to the wind
-Less ocean noise
, no water moving between hulls as this gets noisy at night!
-More sportive and much more feel for what is going on out there
-Cheaper in mooring fees
, and this can add up as I have a home port and in winter I moor the boat up North paying double marina fees
, would be quadruple on a cat.
and ability to beach and clean the hull.
-less tiring on longer trips
-positive flotation, mono hull sinks if you get a big enough hole, I would prefer a cat for an ocean crossing
for that reason
-ability to outrun a storm at sea at greater speed.
-even a big boat is small out on the ocean and the extra room of a cat is very handy.
-if one engine
fails, you have another one, also separate fuel tanks
is additional safety
-Ability to carry more gear
and mod cons.
-looking out the windows while cooking
I am very happy with my mono hull, and feel like after 13000 miles in cats over 20 years ago, only this last year I learned to sail properly, although I still have a lot to learn
I have to be honest here and will likely end up with a cat , 45-50 ft with a high bridge deck
clearance, I like inviting lots of people on board, and more than 3-4 is a crowd on the 46 ft mono, where on a cat 6-8 people is no problem
One more comment, the oyster
is obviously a stunning boat, just from hear say needs a lot of wind to get going, my Bavaria
46 will hit 9-10 knots boat speed in 15-20 knots... The modern boats are not as strong, but a lot faster.
Also a centre cockpit
would not be my option, rather a twin helm
Hope the above helps you make up your mind somehow....