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Old 11-10-2011, 23:09   #1
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Tri or Cat

Which do you prefer; a trimaran or a catamaran? And why?
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Old 11-10-2011, 23:11   #2
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Re: Tri or Cat

Both for different reasons
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Old 11-10-2011, 23:14   #3
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Re: Tri or Cat

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Both for different reasons
Which reasons?
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Old 11-10-2011, 23:45   #4
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Re: Tri or Cat

I like tris for their performance and general sailing ability and aesthetics, but to get one with the comfort of my 35 foot cat would require a tri like a Chris White Hammerhead 54
Like this one
That would be more difficult to find a park for and more expensive to own. Even then it wouldn't have the wonderful saloon cockpit, keep out of the sun ability that I have.

Cats are generally not quite as quick or weatherly as a good tri, though easily as weatherly as a good cruising mono and quicker, but much more comfortable in a size that is easy to live with and park.

Ultimately - I owned a tri - I own a cat. Doesn't mean a tri isn't in my future, its just not in my present.
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Old 12-10-2011, 08:26   #5
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Re: Tri or Cat

Tris got cats beat in one category...affordability. There are lots of well built tris in the under $200K range and even under $100K. There are only few manufacturers. Corsair and Dragonfly are the only 2 left that I can recall so most of what you will find is homebuilt and a few probuilt to custom or stock plans. These one-offs are really a good deal if you can find a good one and there are plenty of them out there. There are some real dogs particularly the older ones really didn't point that well and were kinda heavy. A tri will give you less interior room than a cat but more exterior space than a mono. There's a really nice fully loaded Contour 50' for about $325K. These do have the ability to be dismantled and shipped by semi. I'm sure it's expensive but it's sure to be cheaper than sailing or having a boat shipped from New York to LA. BOB
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Old 12-10-2011, 11:14   #6
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Re: Tri or Cat

Completely different boats. I sail on catamarans an on a friends Cross 44' . The Tri is faster and fun to mess about, but for cruising it has no where near the room of an equivalent catamaran. I will say that the aft cabin is a cool feature, but other than quarter berths in the wings, it's the same as a mono below but with seemingly acres (hectares?) of deck space.

Plus this boat is heavy!!! Catching a dock line while berthing can be an adventure.
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Old 12-10-2011, 11:29   #7
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Re: Tri or Cat

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Completely different boats. I sail on catamarans an on a friends Cross 44' . The Tri is faster and fun to mess about, but for cruising it has no where near the room of an equivalent catamaran. I will say that the aft cabin is a cool feature, but other than quarter berths in the wings, it's the same as a mono below but with seemingly acres (hectares?) of deck space.

Plus this boat is heavy!!! Catching a dock line while berthing can be an adventure.
Good info. I take it you mean the trimarans are heavier, it makes sense. Thanks.
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Old 12-10-2011, 11:34   #8
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Re: Tri or Cat

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Originally Posted by Sand crab View Post
Tris got cats beat in one category...affordability. There are lots of well built tris in the under $200K range and even under $100K. There are only few manufacturers. Corsair and Dragonfly are the only 2 left that I can recall so most of what you will find is homebuilt and a few probuilt to custom or stock plans. These one-offs are really a good deal if you can find a good one and there are plenty of them out there. There are some real dogs particularly the older ones really didn't point that well and were kinda heavy. A tri will give you less interior room than a cat but more exterior space than a mono. There's a really nice fully loaded Contour 50' for about $325K. These do have the ability to be dismantled and shipped by semi. I'm sure it's expensive but it's sure to be cheaper than sailing or having a boat shipped from New York to LA. BOB
Thanks for the info. I doubt I will be spending 100K+ on my first boat. I'm shooting for a junker with more cosmetic repairs needed than mechanical -I would prefer that I just didn't have to rebuild anything. So far the cats and tris have been about the same price range when looking at older boats that need work and are still sea worthy.
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Old 12-10-2011, 11:50   #9
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Re: Tri or Cat

The thing I don't like about tris (having owned one) is that you can't live in the amas, so compared to a monohull of the same length you have much less living space. A cat affords more living space for the same length.
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Old 12-10-2011, 11:57   #10
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Re: Tri or Cat

Good advice. Keep it coming. Thanks.
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Old 12-10-2011, 14:16   #11
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Re: Tri or Cat

Here's your fixer-upper. $2500 in the bay area.
Beautiful, wooden, custom hand made trimaran
Needs work would be an understatement but might be a good first boat just to fart around in. There are always lots of fixer tris because most of the older ones were built of plywood and when they started to leak or rot people just let them do just that. There was a nice one on CL and mentioned here a while ago in Fla that had a substantial refit and then was holed in a hurricane but without much other damage. I think it was about $40,000. Really nice. People on the forum were drooling over it even with the hole.
About 2 weeks ago there was an older Simpson or Perry 42' cat that was also holed in Louisiana. It had more issues but it was floating and the asking price was about $42,000. They said they had a $15,000 estimate to fix the damage. It sold rather quickly and they've pulled their post or I would have linked it here.
It's a hassle but stroll through CL in the different coastal areas and see what pops up. Or is there a way to do a nationwide search on them? Anybody?
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Old 12-10-2011, 17:35   #12
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Re: Tri or Cat

National Craigslist search engine here.
Search ALL of Craigslist at one time
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Old 12-10-2011, 18:33   #13
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Re: Tri or Cat

I prefer tris. I like stepping down into the hull. It's easier to maintain clearance of the beams than a bridge deck and results in a lower CE with less windage. I like compact accomodations where I feel more secure in a seaway and a single engine for auxillary. I like sitting in the cockpit and being able to see over the cabin. I like a single daggerboard and a bulkhead under the mast to transfer the compression load of the rig.
To elaborate on a major point, with 3ft bridge deck clearance and 6ft headroom in the deck house you're looking at a boom height of 11 or 12 ft above the water at least given reasonable deck clearance and minimal cabin sole and roof thickness in a hypothetical cruising cat. Compare that to 7 or 8ft on a comparible tri. Lowering the CE that much is a major factor in stability, performance and ultimately safety.
Tris are very weight sensitive and are unsafe if overloaded. It often takes a good sized one to carry the stores that many require. Dave
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Old 14-10-2011, 13:40   #14
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Re: Tri or Cat

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I prefer tris. I like stepping down into the hull. It's easier to maintain clearance of the beams than a bridge deck and results in a lower CE with less windage. I like compact accomodations where I feel more secure in a seaway and a single engine for auxillary. I like sitting in the cockpit and being able to see over the cabin. I like a single daggerboard and a bulkhead under the mast to transfer the compression load of the rig.
To elaborate on a major point, with 3ft bridge deck clearance and 6ft headroom in the deck house you're looking at a boom height of 11 or 12 ft above the water at least given reasonable deck clearance and minimal cabin sole and roof thickness in a hypothetical cruising cat. Compare that to 7 or 8ft on a comparible tri. Lowering the CE that much is a major factor in stability, performance and ultimately safety.
Tris are very weight sensitive and are unsafe if overloaded. It often takes a good sized one to carry the stores that many require. Dave

Are cats very weight sensitive?
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Old 15-10-2011, 08:33   #15
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Re: Tri or Cat

Multis derive their performance from narrow hulls that produce very little bow compression wave and can support such a hull shape given the lack of ballast. Therefore cats are also sensitive to weight but in my mind less so than tris. The ultimate stability of a tri relies on the ability of one float(ama) to support the weight of the entire boat. If the boat is loaded to a weight greater than the displacement of the float then the entire geometry changes and that's bad. Cats have fuller hulls as they are depressed and I would think greater than needed reserve bouancy but I would suspect performance will suffer greatly though I have only owned tris. Dave
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