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Old 18-05-2020, 18:52   #1
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The great multi vs mono debate

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 yacht.

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!
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Old 18-05-2020, 19:03   #2
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pirate Re: The great multi vs mono debate

How much do 2 people need to carry on a Lagoon 38.. I'd have trouble reaching the weight limits for a transat.
But then I am not obsessed with redundancies.
Same goes for a Bene 331..
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Old 18-05-2020, 19:03   #3
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Re: The great multi vs mono debate

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Ok, hoping it stays polite. Some folks asked to have the discussion

Names!

(Just joking, I saw the comments in the other thread)

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Old 19-05-2020, 19:15   #4
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Re: The great multi vs mono debate

Geeeez, now heres a subject that’s never been discussed. What a great idea for a thread!
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Old 19-05-2020, 19:59   #5
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Re: The great multi vs mono debate

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Geeeez, now heres a subject that’s never been discussed. What a great idea for a thread!


Yep, and we could do with an update on that other non controversial subject, climate change, also.
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Old 19-05-2020, 20:04   #6
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Re: The great multi vs mono debate

I'd hate to hijack this thread, but can we seriously discuss the merits of quadrimarans vs. trimarans?
I don't believe anyone has ventured into this debate before.
We could be pioneers.
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Old 19-05-2020, 20:10   #7
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Re: The great multi vs mono debate

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And one day I really want to sail a proa!

Let's hear your take on it!
I'm with you on that one!
Maybe think in terms of travelling lighter? I saw a Newick trimaran that I'd be willing to live on PB and J for; it looked like so much fun.
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Old 19-05-2020, 20:21   #8
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Re: The great multi vs mono debate

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Yep, and we could do with an update on that other non controversial subject, climate change, also.

Not to mention that it's been a while since we had a good "best anchor" or "guns on board" thread
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Old 19-05-2020, 20:23   #9
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Re: The great multi vs mono debate

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I'd hate to hijack this thread, but can we seriously discuss the merits of quadrimarans vs. trimarans?
I don't believe anyone has ventured into this debate before.

It's been attempted:


https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ml#post2991416
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Old 19-05-2020, 20:30   #10
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Re: The great multi vs mono debate

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Well, I'll be darned.....
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Old 19-05-2020, 21:52   #11
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Re: The great multi vs mono debate

what about a comparison between the trireme, quadriremes and quinqueremes.

which is better ?

debate...

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Old 19-05-2020, 22:20   #12
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Re: The great multi vs mono debate

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Originally Posted by Don C L View Post
I'm with you on that one!

Maybe think in terms of travelling lighter? I saw a Newick trimaran that I'd be willing to live on PB and J for; it looked like so much fun.


Yeah, but would the admiral be willing too?
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Old 19-05-2020, 22:38   #13
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Re: The great multi vs mono debate

I am one of the people who is uncomfortable with the [what seems to me to be] jerky catamaran motion. I imagine one could go sooo big as to still be comfy. I was okay on an Outremer 55 on the hard, might be okay in the water.

But really, big new cats cost a small fortune. We've always bought previously owned monohulls, and our pocketbook has benefitted from the practice. Let the first owner pay for commissioning the boat. We have many years of mono experience to bring to bear, as well, making it a comfortable choice.

For me, there is also an aesthetic thing, to me, the boat sitting in the water looks like a cruising boat, whereas the cat sitting on the water looks a bit like a water spider. Again, just a personal thing, and I respect that cat owners love their boats, and that their choices fit them well enough...all boats being compromises.

Ann
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Old 20-05-2020, 03:12   #14
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Re: The great multi vs mono debate

It’s the tools and heavy loading. You lose all the benefits of a catamaran once you overload it, so your decision has been made for you.

There is a certain luxury to being able to bring a huge amount of tools, supplies and spares.

If only there was a boat type that could do it all.
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Old 20-05-2020, 03:31   #15
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Re: The great multi vs mono debate

I agree with Ann about the motion being worse once it starts to jerk, and certainly about the look, although some of those older tiki cat style ones are less displeasing to the eye.
I did have a great and comfortable time cruising the Bahamas in a FP 42 with a dive compressor, and its ability to slide downwind for days with a spinnaker was amazing. But for all that, there's simply nothing to compare to the glory of a heavy-displacement mono broad reaching with the rail down, and having nearly lost the mast out of a cat in a squall, I prefer a boat that tells you when there's too much canvas, and will round up for you if you let go the tiller. There was simply no way to feel that in the cat.
I think the observations about cargo are legit as well--that's why a thousand+ pounds of extra cruising gear and supplies didn't shut down my little 31-footer: she was designed for it. I doubt any 31-foot cat could take on the amount of supplies we did and still get along well.
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