I'm in the process of selling a late model trimaran
(Contour 34) and hopefully replacing with a catamaran
of similar size, age, etc:
really well - big air and light
Goes upwind nicely
Traditional secure feeling in the cabin
Acres of free deck
Max righting moment right when main hull
lifts free - lots of warning before than happens (in modern designs)
, small load capacity
is similar to a monohull
- low to the water
- and unless it's a pilothouse - not very protected.
can cavitate when you really need it...
Most have fixed keels - definitely a sailing compromise - sail plan not as efficient (look at those high clew jibs)
Lots of air resistance (not always, some are designed with performance in mind
Great open space with enclosed bridge deck
Max righting moment when the weather
hull lifts free - not necessarily much warning
Some manufacturers take advantage of the extra space and overload the boats - further detracting from performance - but guess what sells at the boat show
Very protected cockpit
in most cases - some with open walk through passages into the bridge deck cabin - older designs usually have smaller doors so they seem like more separate passages, and the person on watch is more exposed if not sailing under autopilot
Cats cost more in general for the same length, tris closer to cost of monos, - but in terms of displacement
(volume, not weight) all boats are similar. You get a lot more volume in 10 meters with a cat, than a tri or a mono.
Why am I switching? If it was just me- or I lived where it was warm - I wouldn't. But with 2 kids
+ spouse + extended family
, we want a boat with shelter when going upwind. The decision happened this summer - as we buddy boated with an older Seawind
1000. Guess where we congregated for sundowners? When we did the upwind (20+ knot
directly upwind) bash home (about 40 miles worth) what did my crew wear (full gear) and what did the cat sailors wear? Shorts, t's and flip flops.
While our boat was great on the downwind delivery
- eating up the miles at an easy 10 knots - the bash home was cold and unpleasant. The Cats delivery
was also unpleasant, but not cold….
Edit: my trimaran folds - and has a trailer. Those cats are hard to deliver quickly and inexpensively. Main option is on their own bottom.