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Old 20-12-2015, 08:23   #16
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Re: Mono Hull Verses Trimaran Pro's And Con's

Here's an example video that shows the "averaging" effect I referred to in post#15 above. You can see how the wind pressure from the sails working against the lee hull tends to soften the bashing of the center hull. Yes there is bashing, but I also think there would be a lot more motion (a higher degree of rolling and pitching) in a monohull in those conditions, along with bashing.
https://youtu.be/jhu4EOt0n0k
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Old 20-12-2015, 08:26   #17
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Re: Mono Hull Verses Trimaran Pro's And Con's

^ +1 We've never pounded going upwind. With a main hull less than 4' wide at the waterline, there's really nothing there to pound. Going upwind, if it's rough, we reef way down so we're not flying off the waves. As long as we keep the speed down to 8 or 9 knots, it's a flat, relatively comfortable ride. At least as comfortable as you can be going upwind in nasty stuff.

You don't buy a tri for its accommodations, you buy a tri for its passion for sailing. If you don't have that passion, I'd say the compromises aren't worth it. Also, in our experience, things can happen very quickly on a tri. You have to be on top of your game, or things can go to s%*# fast. Wouldn't recommend one for a novice.


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Old 20-12-2015, 13:52   #18
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Re: Mono Hull Verses Trimaran Pro's And Con's

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Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
Monohulls? Haven't you heard those things can sink lol?
I thought that only happened when they hit submerged multihulls.

All joking aside, how would you describe the motion of the cat under sail compared to the tri that you had sailed? Were there any similarities?
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Old 20-12-2015, 14:35   #19
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Re: Mono Hull Verses Trimaran Pro's And Con's

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I don't know why the skipper would have said that. There have been many times that I've hove to in my trimarans, and everything settled down just as it would in a mono. Perhaps the skipper didn't know, or there was something unique in that particular boat's handling that's not universal about trimarans?
Thank you for telling me that.
The particular skipper I was sailing with at the time had sailed his previous two trimarans to Hawaii and back singlehanded. Steering down the wave rather than heaving to seemed to be the prevailing thought consensus among other multihullers of our acquaintance at the time (~20 years ago).

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Having said all that, the (smaller) movement is quicker than a heavy displacement mono, and it's not for everyone. There are times (particularly beating into strong winds) that we slow the boat for comfort and to reduce bashing into head seas.
Helpful observation SailFast! The quickness of movements is probably what my equilibrium did not like. In protected bays our tri could often be lot of fun for me. Out on the ocean, not. Our friends and guests enjoyed the sailing except when we were slamming from wave to wave. Perhaps that which gives me trouble with the motion of the tri is what protects me on the monohulls?

It is not my intent to start a mono versus multi hull debate.
Different folks need different boats. I've met many who love their trimarans and wouldn't sail anything else.

I mention my experience only to encourage the OP to try sailing different designs if he has not already done so. Until that time I had always managed to stay able bodied when my friends had their heads in the bucket. It was a shock and big disappointment to discover how the motion of the tri affected me. It was a beautiful boat and others have really enjoyed sailing her. Just not for me.

Glad to hear that you are happy with your Dragonfly.
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Old 20-12-2015, 19:24   #20
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Re: Mono Hull Verses Trimaran Pro's And Con's

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Originally Posted by MermaidMuse View Post
I thought that only happened when they hit submerged multihulls.

All joking aside, how would you describe the motion of the cat under sail compared to the tri that you had sailed? Were there any similarities?
There was a popular cartoon in one of trimaran designer Jim Brown's books that showed a couple of people on the hulls of an upside down trimaran looking down into the water to see a sunken monohull that had snagged their mast.

As far as sailing motion, I find a tri is more similar to a mono than a cat is. The biggest similarity I think is that both cats and tris move around more quickly than monos. I have not experienced some of the adverse behaviors described, but methods of sailing multis have evolved.

The only time I've been nervous in either of the two boats mentioned was with some beam seas in a squall while coming across the Gulf of Mexico in the 36' cat, but the cat wasn't bothered and neither was I after a few minutes. Sort of like a mono going rail down and back up only quicker. Never even reefed. Similar conditions but a little more wind going down the west coast of Florida, put in the first reef and boat kept trucking steady as a train.
I've beat to weather and reached in bouncy conditions in the tri but it was never a worrisome experience, sometimes reefed, sometimes not.

Interestingly, I've never been bothered in either type of boat running downwind. My ex and I sailed a 45' Chris White cat for years in varying conditions. Left out of Westend, Grand Bahama Island one morning at about 0700 and cleared the St. Augustine, Fl. sea buoy at 1200 the next day. Wind was from the south, we were flying spinnaker and main surfing up to 19 knots. The seas were 5-6' and increasing near dark, autopilot was starting to have some problems so we went down to just the jib at dusk and proceeded through the night @ 7-8 knots with the autopilot doing just fine.
The above speeds were on the knotmeter, not the gps. We were in the middle of the Gulfstream for a lot of the trip, God knows what the sog was lol.
I've had the 40' tri surfing for briefer periods of time and she was very controllable and in my opinion very smooth riding.
Most people I've talked to seem to be less prone to seasickness on multis, but there seems to be a minority that has the opposite reaction.
Hard to come up with answers on this subject for everybody, you just have to give 'em all a try as much as possible.

Fair winds & calm seas solve it all lol.
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Old 20-12-2015, 19:39   #21
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Re: Mono Hull Verses Trimaran Pro's And Con's

Great post!


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Old 21-12-2015, 10:07   #22
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Re: Mono Hull Verses Trimaran Pro's And Con's

There is a good interview with Chris White in the fall 2015 issue of Multihulls Quarterly (published by the same folks that do water sailing">Blue Water Sailing magazine). Just found mine at Barnes & Noble, supposed to be on sale until January 2016.
In the interview Chris deals with some of the questions brought up in this thread.
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Old 21-12-2015, 13:49   #23
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Re: Mono Hull Verses Trimaran Pro's And Con's

I think decent ocean tris start at around 50' and so few ocean sailors have one.

A mono is like a cat, except the other hull is missing. A mono will roll, unless you get one of those ultra modern ones styled after Open boats.

A cat is a cat is a cat and today nearly everybody who can afford a cat, gets one. Except for out and out mono lovers.

Once you have clocked enough sea miles on each, you know what is good for you.

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