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Old 18-08-2011, 14:51   #1
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Multihull or Monohull

Newbie sorting through the maze of possibilities. Would a catamaran or trimaran have a big advantage in the shallow waters of the keys and bahamas? I would love to have one but it looks like they cost considerably more than a monohull. Is there a bluewater cruising monohull with a retractable keel? I will most likely take this boat to the south pacific as well.
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Old 18-08-2011, 15:02   #2
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Re: multihull or monohull

Bill, welcome to the wonderful world of opinions... lol You chose a great subject. I'm sure a search on this forum will provide plenty to think about.

I drive a 33' Cat that draws 3 1/2 feet. I do advise drawing less than 4.5' in the Bahamas. You can go more places and have twice the route options as a 6' boat... I've done two 6 month tours so far in the Bahamas.

A freind of mine had a wonderful 38' Katy Crogan swing keel Mononhull that was a great "shoal draft" option, so you don't HAVE to drive a cat to go shallow, but when your aground, a cat sits flat..... and is nice to beach (if your keels are good for it) like mine are.

Oh, by the way, if your looking at being on a boat for an extended period... the liveability totem pole looks like this: Catamaran / Monohull / then Trimaran at the bottom...

Enjoy the fourm....

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Old 18-08-2011, 15:30   #3
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Re: Multihull or Monohull

BILL_S,

Welcome to the CF. I am with "Sea Yawl Later" on this one. I have had two mono's (Catatina's) before buying a cat. Love both mono's and had lots of fun with them. They drafted 5' 3" and 5' 6". With the cat (Draft 3' 6") we have been going and anchoring in places we never even would have considered before which gives us far more choices. We actually use less fuel also with our cat because we cruise with only one 30 hp diesel verses the 40hp on our last Catalina 380.

Depending on your budget a lifting center board mono would fit the bil also.
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Old 18-08-2011, 15:41   #4
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Re: Multihull or Monohull

Honestly before this becomes an almost Tolkenisque war.....

It is like me trying to say if you should date a tall/short/fat/thin .... etc.....

What is right for me - may not be right for you.

And.... one day ... your tastes may change..... which may (depending on your choice) - may mean you have to sell Yacht #1 and buy Yacht #2.

Therefore too summarize.... "Life is about choices" ..... and yours are the most important
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Old 18-08-2011, 16:00   #5
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Re: Multihull or Monohull

Well said Deepstar....
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Old 18-08-2011, 17:31   #6
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Re: Multihull or Monohull

Shallow draft makes it easier to cruise in the Bahamas, and you have more freedom of movement. More places to go in settled weather. But if the weather turns bad, you can find yourself in real strife if you rely on your shallow draft to get you in and out of certain places.

Shallow draft is a Venus Fly Trap that takes you places where you can get in real trouble. You may tuck into a place and find that you are banging the bottom of your keel on the seabed when the swells and chop start running. You may make it through a shallow entrance and be trapped until the swell goes down because you can't get out.

Lots of shallow places have bad holding from the hard pan bottom with the sand being scoured away by fast Bahamian currents. You may drop your anchor in a shallow patch of sand inside the Venus Fly Trap and when the weather turns bad, you are in big trouble.

A shallow draft can get you in real trouble without a good weather eye and meticulous anchor technique.
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Old 18-08-2011, 18:00   #7
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Re: Multihull or Monohull

Ooo, I haven't seen a 'Mono vs Multi' thread for several days!

Seriously, yes having a shallow draft is a big advantage in places like that, I wouldn't bother with a Tri though, they have less space than a conventional Cat' and yet take up more slip space when in a marina.

Problem with them though is they tend to be more expensive, if your budget is tight, you'd be better sailing a Mono than saving for a Cat.
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Old 18-08-2011, 18:18   #8
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Re: Multihull or Monohull

Well stated Maxingout! We just finished a 7 months cruise on our cat in the Bahamas and there were a number of times that we were tempted to venture across shallow areas to reach a deeper anchorage for the night. Each time we defered due to cocerns about what to do if the weather changed or the tidal change would be too great to leave in an emergency
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Old 18-08-2011, 19:08   #9
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Re: Multihull or Monohull

Most Cat owners started with Mono's, Most would never switch back.
Nuff said
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Old 19-08-2011, 05:15   #10
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Re: Multihull or Monohull

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dulcesuenos View Post
Most Cat owners started with Mono's, Most would never switch back.
Nuff said
Hence my signature....

I was thinking this morning on the way to work about the territory that shallow draft opens up. Shallow cruising in the Exumas puts you in prettier water.......

When it's shallow, sandy and sunny the sights are beautiful. If you have to run the deep safety fairways, or out in the sound, the water is pretty... but man not like the sights of Musha Cay or Pipe Creek.

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Old 19-08-2011, 05:27   #11
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Re: Multihull or Monohull

Just to be fair ... also plenty of monohullers who've made passages on multis who have no immediate desire to switch.
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Old 19-08-2011, 06:50   #12
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Re: Multihull or Monohull

I've cruised the Bahamas in a 4-3 draft monohull, a 3' monohull a 5' draft monohull and a 2' draft trimaran. I much prefer a shallower draft and find my current 4-3 limiting. I also prefer sailing flat and prefer the layout of catamarans to monohulls. The reason I still have a monohull, is that for the most part it gets me where I want to go for a fraction of the cost. I could probably cruise full time for 3 - 4 years on the funds it would take me to move up to a catamaran.
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Old 19-08-2011, 07:01   #13
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Re: Multihull or Monohull

Are there shallow draft monohulls - yes look at the Southerly range.

are multihulls more expensive than monohulls - depends how you are measuring them. Just a comparison of length to length, of course the multi is more expensive, however when you start comparing living space for living space, the comparison becomes more even handed.

The motion on a cat is differnt from a mono - not better, just different (I prefer it but some do not).

marina berthing is sometimes restricted for cats due to their width, but would also be for an equivalent interior space monohull.

I will now wait for all the monohull anti-multi crowd to spew their nonsense.
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Old 19-08-2011, 07:14   #14
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Re: Multihull or Monohull

Quote:
Originally Posted by Talbot View Post
Are there shallow draft monohulls - yes look at the Southerly range.

are multihulls more expensive than monohulls - depends how you are measuring them. Just a comparison of length to length, of course the multi is more expensive, however when you start comparing living space for living space, the comparison becomes more even handed.

The motion on a cat is differnt from a mono - not better, just different (I prefer it but some do not).

marina berthing is sometimes restricted for cats due to their width, but would also be for an equivalent interior space monohull.

I will now wait for all the monohull anti-multi crowd to spew their nonsense.
Sorry to disappoint. You make a lot of sense.
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Old 19-08-2011, 07:16   #15
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Re: Multihull or Monohull

Hunh.... all the monophiles must be asleep... I was sure the previous post would amply stir the pot... lol.

The debate is somewhat worn out isn't it?
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