We were in the Straits, N. Gulf Island, Comox area, Nanaimo, etc. in mid-July (you may recall
when the unseasonally windy/rainy weather
came through - that was the tail end of a typhoon) in a Lagoon 380
. Went through the difficult passes up there, etc. A couple days of 25 to 30 kt winds, some of it on the nose, some on the beam.
We've done this in both monos and cats. I'll take a cat, thank you. Much more comfortable. Most cats won't tack all that well and if they have minikeels rather than daggerboards, they'll make more leeway than a mono. So, it is always more pleasant to avoid going to windward. However, you also learn in a cat to cope with it -- you just do things a bit differently, that's all. E.G., we were coming SW through Portier and into the relatively narrow channel going SE. We were beating into the wind, making many tacks in about 25 knts. A 35-ish foot mono came through at about the same time, heading the same direction. The mono was definitely making tighter tacks, and therefore fewer of them, but when we let off just a bit instead of pinching, we gained a good 2.5 knts of speed. When we backed the jib
in the tacks, we could bring our hulls around a bit quicker and not lose so much speed. By the end of the channel when the water
opened up a lot more, we were still at about the same places, relative to each other, as when we started. So, at least on this boat (which was chartered, so we weren't very familiar with her), although it took more effort when going to windward, we ended up getting to the same place at pretty much the same time. Oh, but we were dry, my friend's niece was sunbathing on the tramp, and the cokes didn't move in the salon
Of course, just like monos, cats are different. If the 32 to 38 range, there are a number of possibilities, it depends on what you want the most, performance or comfort.