I am no expert by any means. But as I move from day sailors to open water
cruising boats, this question has come to mind many times.
From all I have read, multi-hull boats are roughly twice as fast as mono-hull. They also have lots more living space, but its easy to loose some of that weight advantage by filling the space with too much junk.
I have asked myself, which do I enjoy more. The trip itself or the destinations? To some degree, we all love sailing, but as a general rule
, if you are simply trying to get somewhere, go multi-hull. If getting there is a major part of your enjoyment, buy a mono-hull.
I realize this is a simplistic view, but it might help.
Also, as one person mentioned, a lot of time is spent motoring. At least close to shore. I have to say, this is where my Mac 26x has one hell of an advantage. It doesn't really suck gas all that badly but will easily cruise
at 20 knots (the boat has been to 30 MPH with its 115 HP Merc). If getting there is important, this boat really excels at that. And it sails
pretty decent as well, especially in light air thanks to its light weight although there is a lot of boat above the waterline and this too has its effect.
As more people move toward multi-hulls because of their much improved performance (America cup boats too), used mono-hulls will continue to drop in price
making them very attractive for people that prefer that type of sailing. A point that has not been lost
on me considering I am entering my twilight years. My ability to react to things quickly is admittedly in decline. Yet another consideration in the decision.
The point is, it comes down to preference and personal capability. As many have stated, it pays to go out on the boats and try them out to see what works for you. And if your preferences seem to wander between different types of boats, why not buy multiple boats? :-)