(quote) Would it be enough boat to go from the Caribbean, across Panama canal
then up the Pacific coast? I would probably want to stop lots of places along the way and I would probably stay quite close to the shore.
For what I plan on doing, is the dual hull going to give me many performance disadvantages over a three hull?
While it is hard to compare so many different boats, generally the trimaran
will have a performance edge over a cat in windward ability and light air sailing. A cat will definitely give you more interior
space and maybe a slight increase in payload. I prefer the ride and handling of a tri. To me it is the most responsive and fun to sail of the three types, tri, cat, and mono. Others may have other preferences. We can all tell you what we like the best but you should get some time on some of these boats to see if there is something that speaks to you. Load carrying ability can be kind of a bogus issue IMO. It is not the "old days" when you carried 150 gallons of water and 6 months of provisions, especially as it sounds like your intent is coastal cruising. You will have to watch your loading on a multihull but if you chose a good boat it will have the capacity for a comfortable home for two. Just to throw out a number so you have some idea, my Searunner
40 has a designed payload of 3600 lbs.
Alot of people don't consider the Gemini to be a real blue water boat but I think it makes a pretty decent coastal cruiser. The 105 being a better choice over the older 3400,3300, etc models. Others have mentioned some other good choices. How about a PDQ
36? Trimarans are harder to come by but with the exception of the Farriers will be less expensive. Some other trimarans to consider would be Searunner
34, 37, and 40. Cross 35, 38, and 40. Marples Constant Camber 35, 37, 40. A Simpson Liahona 40 would be a great choice if you could find one.
I say stick with a multihull. Fast is fun. Sailing on the level is even better.