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Old 13-07-2017, 03:06   #1
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Is best mono or multi hull for this adventure?

Hi everyone,

I'm looking for the right boat to jump in for the adventure, starting July 2018.

The adventure in short:
- overall one year sailing with my family (we are 4 including 2 kids - 8 and 10 years old)
- start with 4 months in Mediterraneum (starting from Rome, Italy), then moving to Canary islands for the passage
- passage to St. Lucia
- staying in Caraib going north up to Florida, until May 2019
- still to be decided: going back or sell the boat in US and take a plane...

Info about myself:
- have always been sailing in mono-hulls in Mediterraneum, my wife and myself love sailing and we normally have smiles on our faces when the boat tilts
- have never been doing passages (more then 2 days without land)
- have rented one time a lagoon 420 in Croatia, and even if we loved the space aboard, we really lacked the sailing feel that we have with a mono-hull
- I am well aware that for the Mediterraneum trip, a monohull will fit just fine and we will enjoy it a lot
- I am actually looking to buy either:
- a sun odyssey 49 or similar
- a lagoon 380 or similar
- in Italy there are plenty of monohulls to look for, but very few cats, therefore it will be much easier to find a mono-hull in the right conditions and with the right equipment, compared to the lagoon. Budget is approx 150k so the boat will be 5-10 years old for the mono-hull, 10-15 years old for the lagoon.


The questions to you, considering that I have NEVER been in the caraib before, are:
- in the atlantic passage with a monohull, is it going to be very annoying because the boat will be very unstable (waves, winds,, ...) or not? I'm sure the cat will be much more comfortable in this respect, but I wanted to hear from people who did it already...
- will I have any type of trouble with the keel of a monohull in Caraib (2.00 meters depth), if I want to fully enjoy the wonderful islands all around? Will I be able to get "close" to the shore? In normal conditions, how far shall I drop the anchor in a bay, in order to be safe and have 3m depht with low tides?
- in general, do you think using a monohull will jeopardize the experience of sailing and living onboard in caraib for 5 months?

Many thanks in advance to all of you who will help me clarifying the situation!

cheers, Giuseppe
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Old 13-07-2017, 05:16   #2
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Re: Is best mono or multi hull for this adventure?

If you cross the Atlantic in a monohull you will be tossed around like a salt shaker and never recover. Buy a multi hull and never spill your wine glass ! Oh boy.....
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Old 13-07-2017, 05:18   #3
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Re: Is best mono or multi hull for this adventure?

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Originally Posted by landsend View Post
If you cross the Atlantic in a monohull you will be tossed around like a salt shaker and never recover. Buy a multi hull and never spill your wine glass ! Oh boy.....
this is exactly the type of reply I hoped to get, thank you for your wisdom!
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Old 13-07-2017, 06:25   #4
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Re: Is best mono or multi hull for this adventure?

This may not figure into your personal equation, but it seems that the right model of boat could be profitable to sail from Europe and sell in Florida? I'm sure that safety and comfort are most important, but a profitable end game couldn't hurt.
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Old 13-07-2017, 06:39   #5
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Re: Is best mono or multi hull for this adventure?

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Originally Posted by Fence Man View Post
This may not figure into your personal equation, but it seems that the right model of boat could be profitable to sail from Europe and sell in Florida? I'm sure that safety and comfort are most important, but a profitable end game couldn't hurt.
I fully agree with you, do you have any special indication about what could be in the appetite of US customers but be reasonably cheap in Europe?
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Old 13-07-2017, 07:26   #6
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Re: Is best mono or multi hull for this adventure?

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Originally Posted by peppepep View Post
I fully agree with you, do you have any special indication about what could be in the appetite of US customers but be reasonably cheap in Europe?
It looks to us like owner version cats are the hot ticket in Florida (everywhere) right now. In the spirit of full disclosure, it should be stated that my sailing experience is very limited, so none of what I write should be taken as expert advice. I do, however, have quite a bit of boat experience. We have been buying houseboats out of rental fleets, and converting/remodeling them into "owner versions". So far, our plan is supporting our boating habit, and we don't mind the projects when we go to the lake. We have been shopping the internet for cats for a future adventure. Lagoon 450's, in particular, because it seems to fit what most folks are after these days. To fit our model, we would need to find one with good bones but in need of TLC. The houseboats that we've flipped have been boats that were on the market for an extended period of time, and were so dirty and dated that nobody else would even consider buying them. With each boat, we move up just a little in value. Hopefully some day we will end up with a brand new "forever" boat, but until then, it's a habit that needs to support its self.
We have even been considering buying a beat up charter version and bringing it up the rivers so it will be close to home for a refit and conversion to an owners version. (We live close to the Ohio River) My rambling probably isn't helping any, but Ryan from Ryan and Jessica Sailing on YouTube just did a video with a broker about this very concept. Buy the right boat, in the right location, at the right time of year, and there is a good chance of using it for a year or two without it costing much in the long run if it's sold in all the right conditions.
One way or the other, I hope you and your family have a wonderful trip. I'm jealous!
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Old 13-07-2017, 07:39   #7
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Re: Is best mono or multi hull for this adventure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fence Man View Post
It looks to us like owner version cats are the hot ticket in Florida (everywhere) right now. In the spirit of full disclosure, it should be stated that my sailing experience is very limited, so none of what I write should be taken as expert advice. I do, however, have quite a bit of boat experience. We have been buying houseboats out of rental fleets, and converting/remodeling them into "owner versions". So far, our plan is supporting our boating habit, and we don't mind the projects when we go to the lake. We have been shopping the internet for cats for a future adventure. Lagoon 450's, in particular, because it seems to fit what most folks are after these days. To fit our model, we would need to find one with good bones but in need of TLC. The houseboats that we've flipped have been boats that were on the market for an extended period of time, and were so dirty and dated that nobody else would even consider buying them. With each boat, we move up just a little in value. Hopefully some day we will end up with a brand new "forever" boat, but until then, it's a habit that needs to support its self.
We have even been considering buying a beat up charter version and bringing it up the rivers so it will be close to home for a refit and conversion to an owners version. (We live close to the Ohio River) My rambling probably isn't helping any, but Ryan from Ryan and Jessica Sailing on YouTube just did a video with a broker about this very concept. Buy the right boat, in the right location, at the right time of year, and there is a good chance of using it for a year or two without it costing much in the long run if it's sold in all the right conditions.
One way or the other, I hope you and your family have a wonderful trip. I'm jealous!
Thank you for your advice! Yes, this was my original idea, to get a lagoon 380 owner version in Europe and sell it in Florida. Still looking for lagoon 380 on the market here, but very few are available...

This is why I started to consider again mono-hulls, and the reason why I'm posting the questions about mono-hull use (passage, caraib, ...) compared to the cat...

I hope other people with experience in both mono and multi-hulls, doing passages and living in the caraib can also provide a feedback about the main questions in the original post.
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Old 13-07-2017, 09:19   #8
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Re: Is best mono or multi hull for this adventure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fence Man View Post
This may not figure into your personal equation, but it seems that the right model of boat could be profitable to sail from Europe and sell in Florida? I'm sure that safety and comfort are most important, but a profitable end game couldn't hurt.
Better budget for electrical work. You need to resize many wires when going from 260v to 115v.
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Old 13-07-2017, 09:31   #9
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Re: Is best mono or multi hull for this adventure?

Having had experience in both types, I find mono's more capable when seas get into the 25' and up range. I have never felt comfortable In multi's in big seas.
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Old 13-07-2017, 09:32   #10
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Re: Is best mono or multi hull for this adventure?

I'm more pro-monohull, because of our post bluewater cruising. Been sailing recreationally for 40 yrs on 46' ketch and brother's 53' ketch to/ from Chesapeake Bay - Caribbean 9 times via 'direct' blue water route and cruised Caribbean 2 yrs... and now 'retiring' up here in Chesapeake Bay area. Don't know what others are talking about being rolling around. With sails up/ drawing it's a nice smooth movement. At anchor boat points up and very stable. The issue up here in Chesapeake area (and many other areas, including Caribbean is limited dock space for the beamy Cats. If you're OK with anchoring out... not so much an issue, but up here/ FL with oppressive heat/ humidity and not much breeze during July-August, most boaters seem to want to dock-up/ plug in power for air-conditioning. Yes, there are certainly SOME T-heads, wide slips... but not enough to ensure you can just sail up to just any marina and expect space w/o prior reservations. My experience has been the further North you go, this becomes an increasing issue because of limited number of marinas, older infrastructure, and oppressive permit process/ many marina owners are limited with 50s-60s marina/ dock layouts. And if if they could remodel docks and have wider slips... they end up with less total slips and higher rates per slip. Up in NYC where I was docked while finishing my last 10 yrs working, the 700 slip marina (totally redone in 1989 with new infrastructure/ floating docks only had five regular Cats slips... unless you wanted to pay BIG bucks for G or H dock actually laid out to accommodate 70'+ widebody powerboats.
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Old 13-07-2017, 11:24   #11
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Re: Is best mono or multi hull for this adventure?

I crossed the Atlantic to the Caribbean in a catamaran a couple of years ago and didn't enjoy the experience. The wind conditions that year meant that we had to do a fair amount of upwind sailing and its difficult to go upwind in a catamaran - you can't sail at a very good angle to the wind and you get a lot of slamming; its impossible to sleep in the forward upwind hull. Having said that, when the wind was in the right direction we were much faster than we would have been in a comparable sized monohull.

Other thing you need to consider is mooring costs. If you are at anchor no problems, but we are in the Med currently and Cats are charged at 150% of Monos in Mid-season and 200% in High season - don't know what the story is in Carib but it makes a big difference here.

Final thing,...kids on board - the stability and lack of heel on a Cat is probably an advantage and a safety factor.

P.S. I have a monohull but it is only myself and wife on board.
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