Originally Posted by Jack Tar
Wow the replies are all over the board. Cat's are a lot more work than you think.
1) They are very hard on sails. The Cat has more forces put on her sails due to hull configeration. I.E. it takes more force to lift the windward hull due to weight.Improved stability less heeling causes most to haul the sheets
in to go faster. This reults in more strain on sail fabric
2) The above results in higher rig loads
3) The above results in higher loads transfered into the hull. In addition one hull works against the other resulting in more stress loads.
4) Double engine
and bildge maintenance
/ dual controls / extended electrial runs / double steering
system / . Dont get me wrong Cat's are great boats. They are fast and have a lot of room. Why aren't there more ? (((MONEY))) and the urge to saty with a traditional design.
Hi Jack Tar,
If I recognize your name from other boards, you are the new owner of a nice Formosa
51 - congrats!. I certainly don't want to turn this into a mono/cat debate, but I felt you might have some misperceptions from your comments above.
"Cat's are a lot more work than you think". I agree! In fact, I find all boats much more work than I think.
They are very hard on sails...". I don't understand your point here. Setting sails on a cat doesn't differ much from that on a mono. One does not sheet in to go faster. Maybe you meant to refer to the fact that as a cat goes faster, the apparent wind
moves forward? This is true for any boat. I don't think there is any extra "strain" on the fabric, as the boat accelerates in gusts, thus relieving the pressure. If you are refering to replacement sail costs, then that is difficult to make generalizations on due to the wide range of quality, configurations and systems available for all boats regardless of type. There is one aspect of many cats that IS harder on sails: many cats don't have a backstay and rely on main shrouds mounted aft of the beam. When running down wind, the sail on a cat is often resting against these shrouds. Having suitable chafe patches installed in the spots where the sail meets the shroud
is a good thing.
Higher rig loads and their transfer to the hulls are a given with multis. However, the scantlings and rigging
are sized appropriately. I promise you that my "oversized" rigging
and scantlings costs less than your keel!
Designing for the higher stress loads of multiple hulls and their connections is definitely a factor in multis, but I don't understand how this translates into higher maintanence costs. I will give you the extra cost of resin/glass/etc, but these costs are no more than a mono of equivalent size (not LOA).
Your last point has truthful facts mixed with some assumptions. Two assumptions are that all cats have two engines and steering stations. This isn't necessarily true - particularly the double steering stations, which most cats don't have. I don't think the extra throttle/shift cables
really add much to the either the overall cost or the cost of maintanence. You are spot on that cats with two engines cost more to maintain. Exactly double that for a boat with a single
engine. This is also true for any aspect of any boat that has two of something (heads, AC units, pumps, etc). I really don't know what you meant by bilge
maintanence. My bilges ask so little of me and in the 3+ years I have owned my cat, I don't think I have spent a penny on them. Don't tell them about the engines, though, or they might get jealous and demand more bilge
Your point about greater electrical
runs is valid, but again, I haven't spent much money
maintaining these. Some of the equipment
I have added did take a bit more wire to install, but because the batteries on my boat are in the bridgedeck, the main wiring
runs to the panel, inverter
are significantly shorter than in most monos. Since this is predominantly 2/0 and 4/0 wiring
, I think I saved money with the cat!
Now I have to disagree completely with your last statement regarding the fact that money is the reason there aren't more cats. I think your location is in California
, where cats don't yet have a large presence. But I assure you that they are growing like weeds on the east coast
, dominate the charter
boats in the caribbean
- which is translating to private ownership
as they come out of charter
, and have a huge presence in the Med and Europe
. But that just speaks to the presence of catamarans. As to the costs, I think multis used to cost more, but it is now a "common knowledge" issue that becomes true only because everyone repeats it. I actually now think the opposite. After attending the Annapolis
show last year and the Newport
one this year, I can say that most new monos intended for the same type of sailing cost more than cats. As an example, the Pacific Seacraft
37 costs more than the Manta
42. The Island Packet
44 more than the Lagoon
. And this is comparing similar LOA
. If you compare equivalent size boats, the monos look even worse. For sure, there is an entire market for monos like Hunter
that are less expensive. But these markets do not have many multi equivalents, and even here, multis like Gemini
and Dragonfly hold their own on price
I will agree that prices are definitely skewed higher for cats on the used market.