Most cat critics, and newbies, focus on the capsize potential of cats because it's big and dramatic. And, like big dramatic earthquakes or lightening strikes, a capsize is exceedingly rare.
What happens far more often is that your boat gets a hole in it. I personally know of two monohulls that were lost
, one to a bad through-hull fitting and one to a misaligned shaft seal
. If you ask around, you'll find plenty of similar stories.
And here's the fundamental problem, put pointedly by respected naval architect Carl Schumacher:
"Would you like to be in one hull
right side up at the bottom of the ocean, or on two floating upside down on top?"
As soon as monohull
gets holed, that 6,000 lbs of keel
weight so important to sailing performance becomes the grip of death itself, sucking your security
out from underneath you.
Most cats are unsinkable, because they rely on their width to counteract wind
forces they are built light and will float with a few inches of water
in the salon
You can put a shotgun blast through each alma and sail home.
Some people don't like cats because they can capsize, some people don't ride trains because they can derail, some people don't fly because planes can crash. If these sound like good reasoning, then better stick with a mono. You'll come to love the deep draft
, cramp quarters, lack of light and air flow, cooking
in a micro galley
while heeled and other pleasures exclusive to the mono club.
Not to be too hard on the mono majority, there are many good reasons for choosing a mono, like "They just look right" or "I love to sail to windward" but the capsize factor isn't one of them.