So I am very early in the process of researching a boat to buy for doing some summer cruising on the Great Lakes
. We are a family
of three, my wife and I, and our 4 year old daughter. We'd plan on taking out friends or family
on weekends around Chicago and the south end of Lake Michigan, and also do some longer-range cruising mostly for a month or so at a time in summer up on northern Lake Michigan and maybe Lake Huron if we get that far.
Short version of my question - why wouldn't a catamaran
be a good choice for sailing the Great Lakes
I notice that perhaps 99% of the boats around here on Lake Michigan are monohulls. Are catamarans less comfortable than monohulls on the choppier waves of the lakes? Is draft
or beam an issue sailing into the smaller marinas
along the Michigan coast? I am looking specifically at a Gemini
105mc or the new Legacy 35 that just came out. I would think these cats would be ideal as they fit in standard slips and also have centerboards that retract which I would think it would make it easier to negotiate the lower lake levels we've been having.
I've also been reading on the forum about how these smaller cats are not built to be blue water
boats. I know lake crossings don't really qualify as blue water
, but weather
can kick up 70kt storms without warning and waves can whip up nice and steep around here and there may not always be time to duck for cover... Is weather
going to be a concern? I know.. pick your weather windows, but still, stuff happens sometimes.
is not a factor, why else would I not want a catamaran
? Just trying to think of all the angles here. I don't intend this to be another monohull
debate, but let's just say my wife and I like a LOT of the advantages of catamarans, and I'm trying to figure out why there aren't more of them.
So far we only have one season of sailing classes
behind us, which we both plan on continuing into this year. But our sailing school
uses monohulls in the 30' range for instruction, so that's all the experience we have so far with larger boats. Never sailed a cat bigger than 18' before, so I guess I have to get out there and try it. Now that there is a Gemini
dealer and catamaran charter service
in northern Michigan, I am tempted to drive up there in spring and maybe charter
one of the cats to see how they sail for myself.
Any thoughts are welcome