Ok, hoping it stays polite. Some folks asked to have the discussion so here goes with my two bits.
30 years of living aboard
, sailing some cruising, building, repairing, rebuilding, owned a boatyard for a while and was a surveyor
. Learned to sail on an early Piver
tri. Have sailed tris, cats, monos of heavy to light displacement
and even ran a 114 foot motor
I like them all but can only use one and right now the choice is a moderate to heavy displacement
mono. My reasons are based on our needs and experience. Now, others may make very different choices based on different needs.
So here goes. My wife and I are part of a nonprofit that will be working around more remote
stretches of the South Pacific
. Taking 4 person teams and also helping with projects requiring my skills and tools. I carry a lot of tools. They weigh a lot. But that's what we need.
We have a 46 foot ketch
that made the final cut. Now it's loaded but not overloaded and that's important. Moderate to heavy displacement boats can handle more weight safely for their size than a multi. Hard truth but there it is.
Yes, they are slower and yes they heel but I'm good with that. If you pick a good one they will structurally take more abuse than a multi.
If you like a multi you really, really want to look at the design cruising load. That's not a recommendation it's a hard fact. When it's exceeded speed and stability drop fast and structural stresses increase.
Again, I like multis but I've seen soooooo many suffering from overloading. I've worked on structural failures on them that had one crossing, others less than a decade old (they are built on a very fine weight/strength line) and other issues.
To some they like the lack of heeling but honestly I like the slower roll motion and am very use to heeling. I knew one couple who did the switch to a Cat. One pacific crossing and the Cat was sold and back to a mono. They didn't like the faster roll and he developed neck issues. Back to a mono. Not the only case I know of!
Yes, they can handle heavy weather
but I have seen problems. One very avid lifelong multihull
sailor summed it up well to me. You can let a monohull
mind itself hove to or ahull in extremis but for safety
you need to tend a multihull
all the time. Just my opinion maybe some others are braver!
I've weathered my share of hurricanes on board up to a borderline cat 5. I hope I've filled my quota on any boat
but truth is multihulls can have issues in them. You have lots of windage. Lots. And to keep the weight within that magic cruising load limit many are not heavy on ground tackle. The worst example was the luxury dive trimaran
a friend was anchored next to in a Cat 5. Fully crewed it went airborne, rolled over and dove in. Three crew didn't make it out. My friend survived undamaged aside from his nerves. I can relate.
Chris White, a good designer
in my book, has written some good stuff on the realities of choosing multihulls. Since he's a well regarded designer
I found it good reading!
Now if I could find a Cat that could carry enough weight, be sailed by two and be within budget
I might go for it but right now the die is cast and we are committed!
And one day I really want to sail a proa!
Let's hear your take on it!