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Old 14-09-2011, 10:30   #16
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Re: Catamaran or Trimaran

Originally Posted by markmark View Post
What are some drawbacks, I've read that docking might be an issue.
Seemed like a seperate question suggesting other issues such as docking.

I thought the OP was wanting a comparison, advantages and disadvantages of cats and tris.

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Old 14-09-2011, 11:29   #17
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Re: Catamaran or Trimaran

Multihulls use buoyancy to stay upright, monohulls use ballast. While multis are flatter they tend to be a little more jerky at sea. We have a monohull since it is affordable compared to a modern cat (my current dream boat is Shuttleworth Spectrum 42). For some reason the big argument always has to do with catastrophe even though this sort of thing only happens when trying to meet some arbitrary schedule. Typically getting a crew member to an airport for a flight. A properly run ship would wait for a good weather window.
Monohulls are safer since they will right themselves if rolled.
Multihulls are safer since they can speed away from storms, and float even if upside down.
Monohulls are dangerous since they will sink when they roll. Since a dismasting is inevitable during a roll the cabin top is destroyed in the process and the boat sinks with all that lead in the keel.
Multihulls are dangerous since they stay upside down if capsized. Crew members die trying to get out from under the boat, and from being stuck inside the hulls.
There are plenty of multi and monohull boats that are unsafe due to questionable designs, builders, or the person operating them. Less so for later designs and better trained operators.

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Old 14-09-2011, 16:11   #18
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Re: Catamaran or Trimaran

Sorry for the broad newbie question. After I posted my question I did find the article comparing them both. I have been looking at Cats and Tris 30' for liveaboard off Vancouver Island. I have been hestitant on dumping a few grand on a 25 footer and jumping into a monohull. I am sold on the Cat/Tri idea for sure. The only Tri I see for sale on Kkijiji is for $5000 and is 32'. I was wondering if there is any other major sites (like Kijiji) to look at to buy a Cat or Tri.
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Old 14-09-2011, 17:46   #19
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Re: Catamaran or Trimaran

My experience (limited) is that you need to get a pretty big tri to have a nice live aboard. like 40-45 foot.

I have seen cats at 30 foot that looked livable!

ain't what ya do, it's the way that ya do it...
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Old 14-09-2011, 18:18   #20
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Re: Catamaran or Trimaran

MARKMARK, Read Gregor Tajans excellent book Catamarans The Complete Guide For Cruising Sailors
REFERENCE BOOK: “CATAMARANS, The Complete Guide for Cruising Sailors” - Aeroyacht
You can usually find it in stock at Barnes and Noble. It's everything you want to know and lots of nice pics.
And...FWIW Modern tris are generally faster than cats but they have less interior room although they are wider so they usually have more exterior deck space.
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Old 24-09-2011, 20:19   #21
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Re: Catamaran or Trimaran

OK Thanks for the information. I have pretty much decided on a monohull, 26'+ range from the West Coast somewhere, beacuse they are cheaper. Cats are too expensive for my entry into the lifestyle. I have been reading up in the Pacific Yaughting magazine. There seems to be a lot of beautiful and wonderful places to cruise on the west coast, so I am definately sold. I know there is way more to learn on proper/ethical sailing (or whatever the term is, lost it off the top of my head) a life times worth of knowledge.

I will probably fly out and take a peek around the market and take a few courses while I am there.
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Old 26-09-2011, 20:04   #22
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Re: Catamaran or Trimaran

Try to get a ride on each type of sailboat. Conditions are never exactly the same, but flat sailing is a revelation to some. I don't mind a certain amount of heel, but after a while you just want to walk more upright. I also don't like the slow roll of a monohull going downwind.
There was a nice homebuild Cross trimaran offered for sale on yachtworld somewhere in B.C. It's been for sale for ages, so you might get a good deal on it. I believe it was only 28 feet, so you may not enjoy the cramped camping on it, but I bet it would sail nicely.

OK, after a look around the net, I think I've found it. Pretty boat!
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Old 25-08-2012, 09:30   #23
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Re: Catamaran or Trimaran

Sorry for the late entry into this, hope my info helps <someone>.

I began looking at tri/cat a few years ago, but my wife was happy with our 40' mono ketch. I persisted, so when a 45' Horstman came up for sale she agreed despite our misgivings about its condition. (She had only been on two tri's, a Searunner 37 and Horstman 45, and thought the Searunners too submarine-claustrophobic; the Horstman was her choice to avoid being "crammed into a weekend camper".)

My bargain boat doubled in price and we spent weeks in a yard in San Diego, but we finally sailed it to La Paz** where our other boat is so we could move our lives over. Most of the trip was in NW 10-15, up to 20, w/ W or NW swells on our stbd quarter, and I had the boat reefed w/ club jib to keep speed under 9 kts (first time on a tri*, unsure boat, not gonna go nuts). The speed impressed her.

She was also amazed at how comfortable the ride was. Previous similar tirps in our ketch always meant bruises, difficult cooking, and tiring turns at the wheel if the steering vane wasn't working. We hand-steered the entire 900+ miles, had a novice sailor cooking and slept well to boot.

Yes, the motion is a bit quicker/snappier, but the size of the motions is much smaller. Condiments and glasses left on the table never moved, and working on deck was easier - even skipped the harness/jackline bit a number of times

The only downsides so far is that pointing to windward is not any better than the ketch (experience issue?) and docking in a crosswind can be hairy; the cats have it all there with an engine at each corner. Haven't anchored in bad enough conditions yet to know what the windage will be like, but she does sail back and forth a lot. I'll have to experiment with bridles a bit to tame that.

* I would like to have taken rides on a few, shown her other models, but sh#t happens. We jumped on this one a bit too fast, but it's working out OK.

** Someone mentioned forcing schedules -- we sneaked down the coast in August with one eye on the cyclone pattern off mainland Mexico, betting it was too soon for them to turn north yet.
Life would be great if it didn't end so badly, what with getting old, dying and all.
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Old 25-08-2012, 10:43   #24
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Re: Catamaran or Trimaran

For me the big difference is:

A trimaran will have a narrower main hull than a monohull of the same length, so will be much wider overall, but offer less accommodation space.

A catamaran, using both hulls for living as well as a cabin in between in contrast, will offer much more living space than a monohull of the same length.

For livability, I'd much prefer a catamaran, and I say that having owned a tri.

(Both tris and cats are likely to be lower draft, wider, sail flatter, and quite possibly faster than a monohull of the same length, though much will depend on the models one compares.)

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