Originally Posted by Rick
Have you determined if you can go to weather
in a sea with light winds without making terrible leeway without having to turn on the engines?
Have you determined if you can tack within even 110 or 120 degrees to seaward
with a stiff breeze?
Can you stand the fast action from ama-to-ama at anchor
or underway with a cross chop?
I definitely don't want to do the "mono vs cat" thing, but I'll answer the questions:
I sure *can't* go to weather under light winds with rough seas. But then again... neither could my last boat or any of my boats. This is a cruising boat. Only racers make good progress in those conditions. It's not a light-wind boat. It's a heavy (for a cat) slog of a thing. It putts along and does not have a great deal of performance (of course, I'm comparing a 34' cat to a 45' mono when I say that - both boats perform in a similar fashion, but of course there are some differences)
I have had no trouble at all tacking this boat. None... zip. Tacks just like any other cruising mono (a la Vagabond, etc...). Remember, I am on a cruising cat that has a lot of hull
below the water
and isn't very fast. It's quite similar to slower, full keel
sailboats. It behaves a lot like one, to my surprise. However, I was lucky. Both passages (down the Keys and then back up to Miami) were downwind and great. One thing I have learned over the years is "why fight it?" I leave when the weather is in my favor.
The fast action sure is strange. It's annoying too. When you have a powerboat wake at anchor, you are hit with the motion much harder at first, but then it stops once the wake passes. My monos worked like a pendulum it seems sometimes. The wake would get them started and even after it passed, they would rock and rock and rock...
I don't like the way the cat is more quickly affected by the beam seas or the beam wakes or swells, but I do like that once the issue is over, it's over. Also, when they do rock, the action is fast, but not extreme.
I have all kinds of junk on shelves and right out on a salon
table without any fiddles. The boat never rocks to a point where any of this stuff falls off, even with the biggest of wakes (which are usually worse than seas!).
So while the quick action does take some getting used to, the fact that it's not so extreme and the fact that it ends very quickly do make up for it.
But... sure there are limitations to cats as compared to monos. However, if you sail one around and live on one for a while, the pros tend to be so numerous that you forget all about the monos (of under 60' size).