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View Poll Results: Do you prefer mono- or multihull sailboats for cruising?
Monohull 138 36.70%
Multihull 238 63.30%
Voters: 376. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 28-02-2008, 19:58   #211
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She's mine and beautiful to me.....

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Of course it is in the eye of the beholder .
Yep....

She's mine and beautiful to me.....

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Old 29-02-2008, 23:50   #212
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Old 01-03-2008, 06:05   #213
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To my eye, there is nothing as esthetically pleasing as a vintage monohulll with a sweeping sheer, a low coach house, low freeboard, narrow beam, a spoon bow, a wineglass transom, substantial overhangs, wooden spars and a massive amount of brightwork. In contrast, many (if not most) modern monohulls look like modern powerboats with sails: huge freeboard, little or no sheer, massive beam, no overhangs, no brightwork (albeit plenty of 'racing' stripes), etc.

Catamarans (and many new monohulls) are examples of form following function: the design attributes that many find unattractive are there for practical reasons and not because the designers have bad taste (although some do). The monohull that I described at the beginning of this post may be pretty to look at, but the space restrictions and maintenance needs would make one a very 'unattractive' purchase for most of us. That is why for every Alerion sold, there are literally hundreds of Hunters.

Modern catamarans are, for the reasons already espoused by others in this post, the ultimate in form following function - they have increased performance under sail and power (in some cases dramatically), increased accomodation and liveability (often dramatically), better behavior at anchor and better access to shallow anchorages than their monohull brethern. Full stop.

I, for one, can find beauty in elegant engineering solutions to the problems inherent in the design of sailboats, or almost anything else. The needs (or at least the desires) of most people are often conflicting: they want excellent performance, huge and practical accomodation, safety, low maintenance and low price. Yes, just as with monohulls, some catamarans are more attractive than others. The 'eye' of the designer will still make a difference. But those who lump all catamarans into the 'ugly' category, are in my opinion akin to those who are stuck in the 50's when assessing the design of automobiles - they are slaves to form at the expense of function. Who cares if modern cars are safer, faster, more fuel efficient, more space efficient, more reliable, more environmentally friendly etc. - they are ugly in comparison to the sweeping and esthetically pleasing lines of eras past! Each to their own.

Please understand that I am not knocking monohulls (or those who prefer them). Indeed, before I die I hope to be able to afford a vintage yacht, much like the one I describe in the beggining of this post - in addition to my catamaran. She will be used and lovingly maintained as a hobby - for short getaways and the fun of remembering and reliving a bygone era. But if I am going to sacrifice pure esthetics for practicality, it will be decidedly be with a modern catamaran rather than a 'modern' monohull.

Brad
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Old 01-03-2008, 09:37   #214
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Or the present equivalent of a warbird

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Old 06-03-2008, 10:03   #215
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I've been pondering for a while...we all know the pors and cons of each but for me it comes down to this.
multi- I love the space, lack of heeling, draft, and the speed BUT there is really something to be said for a heavy, seaworthy mono when the going really gets rough. To be able to drop the sails, shut the hatches, go below and ride it out when you just can't take anymore and tore your storm sails and lost your drouge/sea anchor, lost power and you're tired and sick gives a huge sense of security. This simply can't be safely done in a cat, it must be actively sailed/driven/otherwise controlled to some degree.
But I still can't decide! I'd better figure it out soon though as I want to get out there in a couple years.
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Old 06-03-2008, 10:44   #216
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Laying ahull in a monohull

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Originally Posted by sundog View Post
I've been pondering for a while...we all know the pors and cons of each but for me it comes down to this.
multi- I love the space, lack of heeling, draft, and the speed BUT there is really something to be said for a heavy, seaworthy mono when the going really gets rough. To be able to drop the sails, shut the hatches, go below and ride it out when you just can't take anymore and tore your storm sails and lost your drouge/sea anchor, lost power and you're tired and sick gives a huge sense of security. This simply can't be safely done in a cat, it must be actively sailed/driven/otherwise controlled to some degree.
But I still can't decide! I'd better figure it out soon though as I want to get out there in a couple years.
I'm not convinced that that's a good idea in a monohull, either. But then, I am not convinced that the very worst of weather is necessarily survivable in a yacht of any kind, and I have made a number of ocean passages in a monohull.
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Old 06-03-2008, 10:45   #217
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Sundog, your post is inaccurate in suggesting that all multis cannot lie ahull safely (and that all heavy, seaworthy monos can). While it would not be my preferred tactic in either a multi or a mono, you should read some earlier posts in this thread which refer to a number of multis that have coped very well without active control. Perhaps the most recent (and well publicized) being Richard Woods who decided to abandon his Eclipse catamaran after the sea-anchor failed, only to discover that the boat was found days later still upright and intact.

I understand your feeling that there is something reassuring about a heavy displacement, full keel monohull - but recent history has shown that ultimate safety is not something that is exclusive to the mono fraternity. Indeed, that there is a real and legitimate debate about this should be clear from this thread alone.

Brad
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Old 06-03-2008, 11:00   #218
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Originally Posted by sundog View Post
To be able to drop the sails, shut the hatches, go below and ride it out when you just can't take anymore and tore your storm sails and lost your drouge/sea anchor, lost power and you're tired and sick gives a huge sense of security. This simply can't be safely done in a cat, it must be actively sailed/driven/otherwise controlled to some degree.
Where did you get THAT impression?

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Old 06-03-2008, 11:03   #219
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Old 06-03-2008, 13:00   #220
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Originally Posted by sundog View Post
To be able to drop the sails, shut the hatches, go below and ride it out when you just can't take anymore and tore your storm sails and lost your drouge/sea anchor, lost power and you're tired and sick gives a huge sense of security. This simply can't be safely done in a cat, it must be actively sailed/driven/otherwise controlled to some degree. .
I simply don't understand how people can come to this conclusion these days. 20 years ago sure, but much has happened since then.

One of the worst storms of the last 100 years is well documented. Multihulls were the only boats to escape with little damage in the heart of the storm. The account of this tragedy is unbiased and written by the captain of the New Zealand Navy rescue ship involved, and is available for all to read ..

Here

When there are 30 meter seas and 100 mph winds, a catamaran is the place I'd want to be. I bought my Catalac after reading this story.
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Old 06-03-2008, 16:53   #221
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sundog View Post
I've been pondering for a while...we all know the pors and cons of each but for me it comes down to this.
multi- I love the space, lack of heeling, draft, and the speed BUT there is really something to be said for a heavy, seaworthy mono when the going really gets rough. To be able to drop the sails, shut the hatches, go below and ride it out when you just can't take anymore and tore your storm sails and lost your drouge/sea anchor, lost power and you're tired and sick gives a huge sense of security. This simply can't be safely done in a cat, it must be actively sailed/driven/otherwise controlled to some degree.
But I still can't decide! I'd better figure it out soon though as I want to get out there in a couple years.
Well, I guess it's all been said. The only boat to dissappear with all hands during the Queens Birthday storm was a monohull. Several other monohulls were repeatedly rolled, losing their rigs. The cats that were abandoned were later found floating intact. Other cats that were not abandoned did fine. And multihull designs have improved considerably since then.

[PUP] Multihulls in the deep blue
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Old 06-03-2008, 17:23   #222
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I think the poll results speaks for itself.

Also I have never heard of an owner of a cruising multihull going back to a monohull for his next boat. However I have seen many examples of monohull owners buying a multihull as their next boat.
Yes it takes a bit of getting used, but there are some very good reasons why multihulls are becoming so popular.
I myself prefer trimarans for cruising.
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Old 07-03-2008, 05:01   #223
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The debate rages on. Why? I want to go sailing with the Mrs's. I want to go see places not waves. I want to rest up for while after working for fifty years. I want to sleep in the afternoon while the Mrs's does the sailing so she can sleep at night v.v.
I don't want to fall out of bed on top of loose saucepans. I don't want to pay parking fees anymore. I don't want to pay for hoisting to wash my bum. I don't want to ride a motorbike in the rain. Some folks aren't happy unless they're suffering.
Not biased, not critical, just made my choice to suit me.
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Old 07-03-2008, 05:58   #224
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"Some folks aren't happy unless they're suffering" is a little strong, Eleven. After years of owning monos my current boat is a catamaran, for a number of the reasons you and others have cited. That being said, I still hope one day to have a classic mono for short trips/daysails. Why? Because I am a masochist? No, because:
1. I truly do think that classic monos with a sweet sheer, narrow beam, low coachouse and relatively long overhangs are esthetically more pleasing than any cat.
2. I love the feedback that one gets in sailing a mono - yes, the sudden increase in heel and tiller tension as hit by gusts. Its someone akin to driving a vintage sportscar and I love it.
3. The balance - the ability of a well-balanced full keel boat to self-steer in many conditions without any self-steering gear. You get immediate feedback when you have your sails properly trimmed and in balance without the need to look at a knotmeter.
4. Yes, the cosy, warm, dark interior with solid wood joinery. To me this brings back romantic notions of times gone by (even if it is dramatically less practical and roomy for long-term livability).
5. The lower freeboard - it makes you more in touch (much more when heeling!) with the sea that surrounds you.
6. The motion - yes I prefer the gradual and more gentle motions of a full keel mono in a seaway in comparison to the more choppy ride in a typical cat.

Anyway, lets not be too harsh on those who prefer monohulls. There are esthetic and tactile and handling differences that must be taken into consideration. Just because modern homes are (or should be) brighter, less drafty, more practical and energy efficient than homes built a century ago, does not mean that only masochists would prefer a period home.

Brad
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Old 07-03-2008, 06:29   #225
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Southern Star. I do understand why mono's work for some. I have a different view, that's all.
1. Some Cats look right, most cats are built for charter. I'm not keen on the berret style.
2. The acceleration as a gust hits a cat or you pay off the wind is a good feeling.
3. I want to cruise, auto helm on and a remote to hand while I have lunch at a table on a plate.
4. The classic Snowgoose has the same wonderful warm interior. She said it was cramped.
5. And wetter. Survival suits are for when you fall in the water.
6. Depends on the point of sail. I prefer riding on the water.
I love the classic mono's lines but times are a changing. The modern performance mono's I see are broad stern'ed, broad beamed and a stiffer ride than the classics.
Certainly the serious racing boats in Southampton are not concerned with style but have a beauty of their own.
The modern cat builder's are putting in accomodation at the cost of performance. The flying bridges, eyebrows over the cockpit, trampolines and full width windscreens are appalling wind brakes and are certainly not helping performance.
Enjoy the water, enjoy your boats. Warm winds and good sailing. The great thing is to be out there with some certainty of getting back.
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