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Old 23-03-2013, 19:50   #1
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Mono vs multihull

Hello folks, I am new to the sailing world so please bear with me. I'm looking to buy a new (to me) boat, and can't decide what avenue to go cat vs mono, the one big question that ways in my mind is in open sea if a cat flips it turtles but a mono may self right. In you're experience is this common, are the cats only for crushing in tropics ( calmer seas) anyway I'm not trying to offend anyone just had that question in the back of my mind and am hoping some real world feedback could steer me in right direction. Thank you!
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Old 23-03-2013, 19:53   #2
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Re: Mono vs multihull

Production cats normally equipped don't flip in the middle of the ocean, so it is basically a non-issue.

This is a misundestanding of cat design derived in part from statistics that include racing cats, which flip over routinely.
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Old 23-03-2013, 19:56   #3
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Re: Mono vs multihull

Welcome to CF Wylieh... You may have opened a big can of worms with that post! Yes cats flip and stay flipped, monos do right, but a flipped cat floats, and a flipped mono that DOESEN'T right sinks... Sigh, decisions, decisions.. If you use the search function, I'm sure you can find hours of arguments supporting each camp... Then there's which anchor to buy.....
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Old 23-03-2013, 20:00   #4
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Even in breaking waves, I've seen you tube clips of monos rolling over but you're saying a cat in those conditions would not.
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Old 23-03-2013, 20:07   #5
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Thanks Capngeo, I was not aware of that, my wife likes the stable platform of the cat and my kids (3) like the space, but I prefer the grace and speed of a mono. But the roll and sink may have swayed me to go with a cat. Also they have far less draft right?
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Old 23-03-2013, 20:13   #6
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Re: Mono vs multihull

It depends on the skill of the person sailing either style of boat ! A cat on it's top will stay that way, until a crane comes along but will still float that way. A mono will return to rightside up if you know what to do to make sure it turns over! dropping sails ect. But if things don't go right it could sink for sure if things were not battened down right when the turn over happens! There's no reason for this to happen if the sailor reefs BEFORE it's nessasary, no matter which hull type he's sailing !! At least thats what Ive seen over the years!!
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Old 23-03-2013, 20:34   #7
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pirate Re: Mono vs multihull

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There's no reason for this to happen if the sailor reefs BEFORE it's nessasary, no matter which hull type he's sailing !! At least thats what Ive seen over the years!!
+A1... reef early.. its good for the boat.. and the by product is...
its good for you as well..
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Old 23-03-2013, 20:37   #8
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Here we go.....!
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Old 23-03-2013, 20:44   #9
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Re: Mono vs multihull

You prefer the grace and speed of the mono? Cats are usually faster.
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Old 23-03-2013, 20:44   #10
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Re: Mono vs multihull

It also depends on your budget. I think lots of cruisers on this forum would love to own a larger cruising cat but often its the budget that can't right itself. Your going to have to spend twice as much on even a budget cat.
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Old 23-03-2013, 20:49   #11
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Here we go.....!
LOL...
Oh... regarding the cat's flipping.. those were the early ones like Catalac's, Iroquois, Bobcats and the like due to the narrow beam... eventually the Production boys realised that Wharram had the right idea with beam ratio's.. today you'd have to work really hard to flip a modern cruising cat..
Pitchpole is another matter.. share the odds with mono's on that score...
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Old 23-03-2013, 20:55   #12
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Re: Mono vs multihull

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You prefer the grace and speed of the mono? Cats are usually faster.
Most cruising cats are actually quite slow. They might be fast in 25 knots on a beam reach but thats it. Slow upwind and slow in light winds.

Flipping is not a issue on most cruising cats, there is a lot of variance.

That said they do have many advantages for cruising, if I had the money I would switch to a cat.
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Old 23-03-2013, 21:35   #13
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Re: Mono vs multihull

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Old 23-03-2013, 21:42   #14
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Thanks, any word on which brand is better or is it like a ford chev thing?
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Old 23-03-2013, 21:53   #15
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Re: Mono vs multihull

I have sailed both catamarans and monohulls. They do sail differently. A monohull gives you a warning before it is over powered. It heals excessively and feels like it is getting overpowered. On a catamaran you have to reef by apparent wind since they don't heel, and dont necessarily give warning before loads can lead to a breaking point. Most every catamaran has twice the maintenance on some things. Two engines, two alternators, two heat exchangers, etc., so double your maintenance time on mechanicals.

I do have a difference of opinion slightly from bobconnie. I think most cruising catamarans as well as monohulls are capsized by sea state, not by wind. Statistically, I have been told a cruising catamaran is about as likely to capsize as a monohull is to sink. I don't know if that is true or not, but I do know capsizes in modern cruising cats are very rare, but not unheard of. A couple years ago a voyage catamaran with a delivery crew aboard capsized and remained inverted off of the coast of California. However, a look at the conditions the boat capsized in would lead most reasonable people to conclude any boat would have capsized and/or sank in that storm.

The biggest advantage to a catamaran is the off the wind sailing speed, and the relatively huge interior and exterior living space. They are more comfortable, generally, if you are chartering with other people, cats seem to be less likely to induce sea sickness in any given reasonable conditions. However, rather than heel, they wallow and a lot of people don't like the wallowing around and find it uncomfortable.

A fifty foot catamaran will draw less water than a comparably sized monohull, which allows you to hide the boat in some nooks and crannies you might not get to in a monohull. Also, since you have two engines, when around docks, or maneuvering in an anchorage, the cats are very nimble, and can turn a 360 in about a boat length and a half space. When around docks there is more controll over approach and contact speed with two engines.

When you go to a marina though, there is a double wide boat that has to be accomodate, and sometimes more to pay to accomodate it. When you go to haul them out, there is also some extra charges for storage at some yards.

And, when you find yourself sailing to weather, the pounding of waves on the hull can be definitely unnerving at times. On some cats, there is also some flexing of the two hulls in rough weather which can be disconcerting, and if going directly to weather they don't point nearly as well as a monohull.
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