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Old 26-04-2008, 06:34   #1
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Monohull vs. Catamaran Liveaboard

I'm in the investigatory stage of buying a cruiser/liveaboard. I will be living in Northeast Florida (and alone) for the near future. Sailing plans would be coastal and Bahamas. I had narrowed my search for a sailboat (based on a lot of helpful threads in this site) to a 35ish foot monohull. This would be my first liveaboard (first sailboat other than a Hobiecat for that matter). Started reading about cruising on a cat vs. monohull and saw the pros and cons. It seems like a cat is a natural for living aboard due to the living space and stability. The two biggest drawbacks that I seem to read about are their cost (initial and maintenance) and docking limitations. I was looking in the $80 - 100,000 for a liveaboard monohull but could probably go to $160,000 considering the fact I would be avoiding a home mortgage. Why am I not seeing more discussion on liveaboard catamarans? Am I missing something? Thanks.
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Old 26-04-2008, 06:49   #2
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I'm in the investigatory stage of buying a cruiser/liveaboard. I will be living in Northeast Florida (and alone) for the near future. Sailing plans would be coastal and Bahamas. I had narrowed my search for a sailboat (based on a lot of helpful threads in this site) to a 35ish foot monohull. This would be my first liveaboard (first sailboat other than a Hobiecat for that matter). Started reading about cruising on a cat vs. monohull and saw the pros and cons. It seems like a cat is a natural for living aboard due to the living space and stability. The two biggest drawbacks that I seem to read about are their cost (initial and maintenance) and docking limitations. I was looking in the $80 - 100,000 for a liveaboard monohull but could probably go to $160,000 considering the fact I would be avoiding a home mortgage. Why am I not seeing more discussion on liveaboard catamarans? Am I missing something? Thanks.

You're not missing anything.

Your conclusions are spot on.

Catamarans aren't cheap, and many liveaboards like to keep things cheap. This may be one reason you don't see so many discussions on the topic. OTOH, there are plenty of people living aboard and cruising on cats full time.

My 34' catamaran is much larger than my 45' monohull was inside and out. It's hard to imagine how, but it just is. They used the space wisely. It is the ideal liveaboard. I would highly suggest one , if it's in your price range. Makes travel in shallow waters easy too.
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Old 26-04-2008, 08:02   #3
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I'll throw in my two cents, me I just want to escape from our depressingly long winters here in Alaska for a couple of months in the winter thats off season for me because I drive a concrete mixer and am a diesel mechanic. I know nothing about sailing but can with a little research operate a large boat like a motor yacht so I have been looking at 40+ boats that are either in work of repairs or needing TLC like interior work, engine work etc, things that I can do easily without having to put out a major investment, I would be happy just being dockside for a year or two. And with the price of fuel lately these gas guzzlers are going cheap, I am seriously trying to buy a 41' Hatteras that needs minor cosmetics for $25000, owner financed as well. And frankly from what I have seen lately its becoming a policy that liveaboards are getting the stink eye everywhere unless its new, you pay dues, you are not throwing parties or growing medicinal "herbs". I would tend to go with the cat if I had the cash though because I would have to have my widescreen TV, a recliner and working space because i have my hobbies. Big yachts can give me that lengthwise but for sheer space I think a cat is better, plus its shallow so you have better options for getting in and out of certain areas, I would agree its more difficult to dock it but then again its cheaper because its shorter, you pay by the foot not the width.
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Old 26-04-2008, 08:12   #4
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. Why am I not seeing more discussion on liveaboard catamarans? Am I missing something? Thanks.
I think it comes down to cost.

Loads more Monos at various sizes and many at far lower prices than Cats....the Cat thing seems to only have really taken off production wise in the last 10 years or so.....so way less on the s/h market (not to say their aren't any).

Me? Deep inside somewhere I would love a Trimaran .....but I think I would need to be in the 40/45 foot mark for size.......... and for a good looking one () price wise = Yikes!
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Old 26-04-2008, 08:56   #5
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Old 26-04-2008, 14:08   #6
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or look in this months Sail magazine and see what your money can buy. A 36 foot cat or a 46 foot mono. Same price............. depends on what you like.
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Old 26-04-2008, 15:05   #7
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or look in this months Sail magazine and see what your money can buy. A 36 foot cat or a 46 foot mono. Same price............. depends on what you like.
I think these are about the same price because they offer the same amount of living space. My Gulfstar and my Catalac were about the same years, and also about the same price and also have comparable space, except the cat is a little bigger.
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Old 26-04-2008, 17:19   #8
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I was looking in the $80 - 100,000 for a liveaboard monohull but could probably go to $160,000 considering the fact I would be avoiding a home mortgage.
I suggest you consider staying with the lower end of your range. Maintenance costs for boats are considerably higher than for a house. Maintenance also has a direct correlation on what you will be able to sell the boat for in the future.

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Why am I not seeing more discussion on liveaboard catamarans? Am I missing something? Thanks
You already outlined the reasons -- fewer slips with higher costs.
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Old 26-04-2008, 21:45   #9
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I would agree its more difficult to dock it but then again its cheaper because its shorter, you pay by the foot not the width.
Over here they get you both ways as they argue that you take up 2 berths , even when stuck on the end of a finger

But then if you hate marinas like I do, you rarely use a berth, maybe one or two days/year.

A substantual dinghy is essentual, just zip into the beach or marina dinghy pen and then off to the shops or whatever.

Having a decent dinghy is easy on most cats (less so on tri or mono)

Maintenance, much easier when you can dry out without falling over, no need for slipping that often as bottom is easily cleaned in a couple of feet of water, and some even antifoul without slipping, just do it between tides like they used to before the days of the travelift. (frowned on in some areas)

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Old 26-04-2008, 22:12   #10
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There is a point in which a catamaran starts to have more liveable space than a monohull. Most people seem to believe it is in the mid thirties in length.
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