In most seakeeping characteristics, windward ability, and perhaps speed... Searunners are much better boats. Same is true for their "place for everything", super low COG, rig, and central cockpit
layout. It is one of the most perfect ocean going layouts ever drawn, and with the "variable draft" of an automatically kicking up CB, they are much more forgiving to soft groundings. Having said that, with a split layout, double spreader cutter
compartments & hatches galore, 8 ports
, a CB trunk, etc... They have ample opportunity for problems, IF they have been poorly built or neglected by their owners, over the years. If you find a "cherry", and want a shallow draft
, but REAL "sea boat", the Searunner
is hard to beat. We have cruised tens of thousands of miles in ours, visiting dozens of countries & hundreds of islands. We've never had a major problem with the boat, (structurally), the design, or the low windage, low COG concept
. Their is one exception... they are poor cold weather
liveaboards, due to the split cabins.
The old Crosses, on the other hand, are way less developed for "cruising". Their keel
locks you into a much deeper draft
, and when you do go aground on a falling tide, you will end up laying WAY over! If neglected, however, the keel
is less of a hassle, and might still be fine, or easier to repair. Also, since the Cross doesn't have the Searunner's numerous refinements, it is more forgiving to years of neglect. The more common aft cockpit
of a Cross, while inferior at sea, is MUCH more commodious at the dock
. Only our "full cockpit enclosure" helped us get around this.
If you want or find a "cheaper", more neglected trimaran
, can tolerate the down sides of loosing shallow (= VARIABLE) draft
, can live with a keel, and will mostly be tied to the dock
or daysailing... you might be better off with a Cross, or similar.
Searunners are superior "real cruising" boats, we love ours... but they are not very forgiving to decades of owner neglect.
If you buy one, i'd get a real "cherry", in near perfect shape structurally, or not at all. It is a LOT of boat, and a bit more complicated, to have to bring back from the dead!