Welcome aboard fellow cat-cruiser wannabe. Wife, 2 sons (4&2) and I are doing preliminary research/planning to sell up and sail away in 5 years give or take, aboard a cat. I can only give second hand advice on cats, so take it with a pinch of salt
. If you have a particular cat in mind, you might wish to state that here, then you can get specific advice. As with any boat, different cats have different strengths and weaknesses. As for generalities - cats won't sail as close to the wind
as monohulls; but their greater speed means a better speed over ground compared to the close-tacking mono's. Cats don't tell you to reduce sail by leaning like a mono, so to avoid oversailing the boat or overstressing the rig, you sail by the numbers (ie. shorten sail at X knots windspeed). Anchor
with a bridle
suspended between the hulls. As for handling, different boat characteristics give different rides. This is where you need to read up and decide what you want - daggerboards or skegs, canoe stern or sugar scoop, minimum bridgedeck clearance, etc. Better yet, try to get out on some cats and experience it. Like you, I'm not a fan of having the cockpit
at the stern - some designers and manufacturers have addressed this with forward or centre cockpits. Look up Chris White designs, and one of the new production models has a forward cockpit
- my memory is foggy, but I think it might be the new Lagoon
500 (?). Anyway, good hunting and hopefully we can compare notes.