I'd like to give that question a try, given that I have only recently fought through the marketplace and purchased a multihull
. Mind you, I am only just now drawing conclusions from my own experience. So I consider:
1. Materials and labour. There can be a lot more material in a multihull or at least a lot more labour than for a similar waterline length. After all, you are constructing more than one hull
. Indeed, with a catamaran
, the cockpit
are an "extra" space again to construct;
2. Newness. Only recently have these boats been produced by factory systems in any real numbers, compared to the many years of construction of monohulls in all sizes and types of construction. I suggest all these older boats that are still afloat or waiting in their cradles for new dreamers may be competing to keep the general price
down, even for the newer models.
3. The marketplace. It seems to me that a decade ago, the homebuilt and even the factory-built multis were a lot less expensive. I attribute this to a very small market of open-minded people considering the multihull alternative. Now, that group has grown at a fantastic rate as the multihull concept
has gained acceptance. A number of years ago, in acknowledgement of the tremendous growth in the number of cats available for charter
, the editor of Multihulls Magazine did a tongue in cheek article on the sinking of the last charter monohull
, suggesting the market had died. I think the trend has increased the price the market will pay for a multi.
We could consider many factors when investigating multihull prices: speed, safety
, comfort, the effect of the charter industry, etc. I tend to focus on what I call the "cube rule". As you increase the length, you increase the beam such that you get so much more room than what might result in an increase in the lenght of a monohull
. So, my first attempt at analysing the relationship between the two might be:
The prices of multihulls and monohulls vary primarily in relation to the volume or living space available in and on each.
It is a good question, and hopefully, my simplistic consideration of it will entice others to dive in.
Going a little further, I would not suggest any strong relationship between weight and cost. Not only do monohulls rely on weight to get their design to work (keel included), but many modern multihulls rely on expensive materials and methods to acquire higher strength-to-weight ratios. These can be useful in a cruising monohull, but are not likely at the same level of importance as in a multi.