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Old 07-11-2006, 11:52   #1
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Catamaran VS Trimaran

Good day mates!
Ok here is the question:
What is the diference besides hulls between a Catamaran or Trimaran. I have been surfing about and attempting to learn more about them.
Your thoughts would be great
I currently own a 26m Macgregor and a huge Morgan. The Morgan was great a few years ago for what my partner and I were up to but now (crosses his fingers) it is in the final stages of a sale and we will stop using it as a guest house!
We picked up the Mac for Bimini trips but would like something a little bit larger with little draft and a Cat/tri seems like the way to go.
Your thoughts on Catamaran or Trimaran would be great!
Christopher
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Old 07-11-2006, 19:11   #2
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Quote:
What is the diference besides hulls between a Catamaran or Trimaran.
Not much other than the number of hulls.

The nature of the question seems to indicate that one is "better" and I don't think it works that way. Lots of things come to mind and just the number of hulls is not enough to say too much. I think you need to be a bit more specific. It all comes down to what you expect.

What is better a one hump camel or a two hump camel?

So which Catamaran or Trimaran have you in mind? I'm sure we can find an owner or two to add some information.
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Old 07-11-2006, 19:25   #3
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Sorry about that I would like to know about stability, usability and grrrr cost
Thanks
Chris
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Old 07-11-2006, 21:10   #4
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Give us a bit of an idea on intended use. eg Quick sail on the weekend with occasional overnight, live aboard ,quick sail on weekend with ocasional month or 2 away. Do you want to sail at 1/2 wimdspeed or better, or do you think you'll be bappy plodding around at mono speed[ single figures ]

All these things very important to know, but to get a real idea we need to know........how much are you wanting to spend.

Can't give you too much of an honest opinion on Northern Hemisphere multi's , but have a fair idea,but can on Southern eg Oz and N/Z

Dave
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Old 07-11-2006, 22:58   #5
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As a recent multihull convert, I will put my 2 cents in. From what I have gathered, tri's sail faster, but a bit less flat than a cat. Interior space is far more on a cat with a bridge deck. (Our Piver tri has a 6'6" beam on a 37' main hull) Later model cats are far more available than late model tris. Deck space on a tri, and on later ones, tramp size is far larger than a cat with a large bridge deck. Tris generally only have one propulsion engine, where cats generally have two. Cats generally have two rudders, tris only one. I have heard that cats will point higher. The rig and internal layout on a tri is more along the lines of that on a mono, so if you are a traditionalist, the tri may be more appealing, but the emense space on a cat does have advantages. If you are cruising with a family, or guests, a cat offers more private space than most tris. Keep in mind, this is a generalization. There are tris out there with huge bridge decks, and there are cats without bridge decks, and with single outboards for propulsion.
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Old 08-11-2006, 02:07   #6
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Thank you for the feed back.
To give you a bit more insight I do a lot of fishing and diving with the "crew" I always thought that Cats and tri's were going to be out of my price range until recently when the sale of my 50 Morgan became a reality and just by chance I stumbled upon a Gemini Cat that set this inquiry in motion. I was quit amazed at the VAST usable livable area, ease of sail. I easily single anded this vessel.
With my past boats I have bought them and not done much customizing, now I am looking at getting something a little bit older and customizing it to fit my needs not worrying about how it will affect the re-sale of the vessel but rather making the until into someting I will be happy with and not just settling with.
I have never been a traditional sailor and can honestly say that now I have had a touch of speed added to my boating experience I will not go back to a hull that creeps across the water, however I do not have intrest in a power boat.

Like just about every one else on this board I would like to cut the lines and live aboard sailing from one destination to another but realistically speaking I sail around the Carrib and Florida, I will never cross the Atlantic or the Pacific unless I truly get lost.. I need something with a low draft, now that I know it can be had - a cockpit that could be enclosed with screen and or plastic windows would be amazing during the rains or the clouds of bugs that drop by.
I do not play with safety so it would be nice to have an Arch to mount my electronics up high..
I am pretty much sold on the Cat idea, however I was confused about the tri's difference.
It is amazing how little I know about these boats but with this board's search engine and your replies I am learning a lot!
I am now looking into over all width of Cats to ensure my slip will accomidate.
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Old 08-11-2006, 08:03   #7
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cat options

When you look for smaller cats with moderate beams you will run into a number of boats that offer nice accomodations but do not sail very well. I would suggest you take a look at the PDQ32 or 36. These boats would probably fit your plans and are good sailing boats.
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Old 08-11-2006, 09:43   #8
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Trimaran, better to windward, but not as good off the wind. Normally has a lot less space inside than an equivalent cat. Need a LOT more looking after in bad weather. most have dagger boards, and in survival conditions, it is not just the dagger board that can trip the tri, but it has also happened that the small hull has itself acted as the trip.

Catamaran - much better as a cruising boat due to the much larger space. PDQ are well worth a look . Manta are also good. There are a number that have problems so you need to seek advice based on specific make. Gemini make a nice boat but its more performance orientated and has dagger boards - which have no place on a short handed crew live-aboard.
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Old 08-11-2006, 10:08   #9
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PDQ 32

henryv,

Do you mind describing your impression of your PDQ - ie. loves and hates? I've never heard anything bad about PDQ, and since the price of used 32's seems to be attractive, I may just have to add it to the list. TIA.

Kevin
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Old 08-11-2006, 12:07   #10
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PDQ32

I am very happy with my PDQ32. I have the taller mast that they switched to after the first few years of production and I find performance to be very good. Speeds in the 7 to 10 knot range are routine. Once you get more than 15 knots of wind you can sail in the double digits. I have heard owners report speeds as high as 15 knots however I am inclined to be more conservative so once I get up beyond 12 knots I will reef to slow her down. I certainly have not had any trouble running away from a Gemini and I don't get the under deck pounding that they do as the bridge deck clearance on the PDQ32 is excellent.
On board accomodations are very good with two full size double beds located aft where they are quiet, comfortable, and well ventilated.
The two 9.9 Yamahas drive the boat along very well and make marina manouvers a snap however they can be noisy if you are in a hurry. Long term I may install a couple electric motors and a small genset.
I don't think you will find a better all around boat in this size of catamaran.
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Old 08-11-2006, 13:52   #11
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PDQ's have a fine reputation, Gemini's less so. I've always pictured Tri's as a "go fast' boat and Cats more as cruising boats. If, you've taken a look aboard a Gemini then you are already aware of the internal layout , which is common of most cats. As has already been pointed out, Tris' pretty much mirror a traditional monohull in this regard.

It's been asked what your intended use will be, and this may be an important consideration as , in general, Cats can be loaded more heavily than a Trimaran.

There are some other threads concerning catamarans on this forum which might be useful in completely your research.

Good Luck

Rick in Florida
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Old 08-11-2006, 15:06   #12
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Thank you for all of the replies. I have used up sevral hours reading as many of the posts as possible on he Multi hull subject.
My mind is pretty much made up and now I am dedicated to the purchase of a multi!
My broker has sent me a few listings that I will go and look at next week. If possible without starting a flame out fight could I hear from the group as per the years I should look out for. I am looking for a boat built in the 80's and early 90's to keep the cost down. Aparently I have read that some of the older multi's should be avoided, as well a few hints as per resources you may have used to find your last multi. Currently I am using a company called 2hulls.com and my local guy.
Christopher
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Old 08-11-2006, 15:13   #13
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Christopher,

Older boats like mine do not perform as well as newer designs. Their weight inhibits speed and keel design inhibits windward performance. On the other hand, they are built as solid as a rock, and are as safe as a boat can be. I might also mention that they don't depreciate all that much.

I think you should go as big as your wallet allows. Twin diesels would be nice.

Rick in Florida
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Old 08-11-2006, 15:37   #14
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Rick, your boat is a nice lay out, I love the brand name
What I truly like about your boat is that there simply will not be depreciation providing the unit is kept up. While searching the web I see that the cats are similar to Ferrari, every year the model increases soo much in price, that the older models level out and can in fact appreciate under the right conditions. Not saying I would be one of those lucky guys who could buy a boat and sell it at a profit. The other thing I like about your boat is that I would feel free to purchase one, gut it and make it into exactly the type of vessel that would suit my needs. When it comes to going big, I just got rid of the 50 footer and will never head down that road again! I definitely want something manageable in the 27-36 foot range and not bigger.

Here is something a little off topic,Since I brought up Ferrari... I am here in California packing up our summer home getting ready for the winter in Naples. I took my F-car out to Joshua Tree National Park for a ride before I ship it back to Florida.. It is nice to find deserted smooth driving conditions!
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Old 08-11-2006, 16:05   #15
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That is a compelling reason to look at older cats. Check with the brokers you are working with and I'm certain they will concur,

Nice car!! (as he types, drooling with envy)

Rick in Florida
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