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Old 25-11-2019, 22:31   #16
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Re: Catamaran vs Monohull Crew Safety

As one poster mentioned earlier there are so many variables in boat design of both multihulls and monohulls the question is almost meaningless. I just got back from crewing/sailing a Catalina 34 in the Baja Ha-Ha and compared to my Seawind 1000 I thought that mono was an extremely dangerous boat. There is a lot more space to walk forward on my cat and hand holds along the cabin top. The wheel on Catalinas in general seemed way too big and there was way less than a foot between the wheel and the side of the cockpit to get aft of the wheel to steer.

The anchor locker was right at the bow and the windless was in the locker so you had to wrap the line around the windless and then sorta stand up to press the deck mounted switch with your foot and be high enough to see the direction of the anchor line; not an easy task in any type of seaway. My cat has a paddle to control the windless and I can stand in one of the bow pulpits to have a clear view of which direction the anchor line is. Due to the cleat placement it is trivial to rig a preventer on my boat without standing up or leaving the cockpit, something not so easily done on the on the Catalina. It is also much easier to reef on my boat sitting down on the salon roof, while you have to stand up on the Catalina. Not to mention all my lines lead to the starboard steering station while on the Catalina it took three people to adjust the traveler, main sheet, jib sheets and Cunningham when tacking or gybing; along with a helmsman. Even tacking with my screecher it is a one man job.

While it was mentioned earlier the FP had a clear shot out of the cockpit and off the stern into the water on my boat there is a bench seat across the stern along with davits which normally hold the inflatable. If you lost it pulling on a sheet you might fall on your buttissmoo or more unlikely in the inflatable if you really screwed the pooch but it is hard for me to see how someone could go overboard.

To counter this I am sure there are top tier monohulls that have a very well designed layout that would offer just as many safety features as my boat does.

But one thing I have not seen mentioned is that while monos do heel, sometimes a lot, when sailing as a rule a multihull will have much less heel. But to me even more importantly is that it is quite common for a muiltihull to alter course a few degrees to get a much more kindly motion in a seaway. In fact often going up wind if you fall off the VMG will often be better than sailing higher up on a more direct course. And even if the VMG is not as good most cats are fast enough that it is worth trading a more seakindly motion for extra time on the passage; not to mention the added safety of a boat that is not bashing into the waves.

So while the key to addressing the question is how well the boat is designed as was posted earlier the real danger is a capt/crew that makes mistakes no matter how safe the boat is.
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Old 26-11-2019, 04:03   #17
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Re: Catamaran vs Monohull Crew Safety

There is a significant difference between mono and catamaran and that is the type of motion. The motion on a mono is continuous and often severe compared to a cat that is much less severe but more jerky. The motion on a cat is less predictable by comparison.

Because the deck of a cat appears stable and safe, short sudden unpredictable movements IMO make it more likely that an uninitiated person may have an accident on deck. On a mono you are always aware of the continuous movement so will be more cautious and the need to clip on more obvious.

I totally agree with a previous post concerning high booms and the need to climb halfway up the mast to clear any problem. I am also not a fan of fly bridges on cats in any sort of weather the movement being up so high is exaggerated and getting from the cockpit to the fly-bridge especially via an external stairway is IMO dangerous.

So yes, in all but the most benign conditions you should still clip on when going forward on a cat. It is unfair to regard cats as more or less dangerous just that the perception of danger is less on a cat.

Having said all this the comfort travelling on-board a cat is massively better than a mono, cups and wine glasses will remain where you left them and fixed stoves with no gimbals or pot holders are the norm. Toilets remain upright.
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Old 26-11-2019, 10:18   #18
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Re: Catamaran vs Monohull Crew Safety

Impossible to comment logically on this as there is too much emotion.

The only comment I have is AFTER THE BOAT HAS CAPSIZED!!
I prefer a mono hull. Because I survived and made jury rig and sailed 300 plus miles over 11 days and was rescued. I thought during that time --
It would be very lonely on the bottom of a Multi hull. and hard to avoid the temptation of just slipping off and joining the Mahi Mahi accompanying the boat.
Also I probably could not access the bottle of Bombay Gin which survived quite bravely in the stout Liquor locker and allowed me a little sleep with the pain of a broken shoulder. Also some food and a sextant. The rest of the boat was wasted totally and trying to be a giant washing machine using Battery acid for bleach.
But she saved my life "Bless Her"----------------------Michael Pope
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Old 26-11-2019, 10:37   #19
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Re: Catamaran vs Monohull Crew Safety

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I suspect you would get very different kinds of answers if you posted this question in the "Monohull" forum.

The difference is minor, if even real. Different kinds of issues, but really it is far more a function of the individual boat than the number of hulls.

I taught sailing to adults for many years, on both monos and cats. The closest I ever came to having a student seriously injured was on a FP 39. Does that mean cats are more dangerous? No. Just one data point. The closest I ever came to falling overboard during a class was also on that boat. The place you work the sheets has only the knee-high lifelines behind you. If a line suddenly comes free while you are pulling hard, you ARE going swimming. The idea that only a real klutz could fall off a catamaran is just plain wrong.

Far more dangerous on any boat are highly tensioned lines and rigging, and booms. Double that with booms. I look at those sky high booms on most condomarans and think they are insanely dangerous if anybody needs to get up there too clear a problem while the boat is in a seaway. On a lot of cats there are LOTS of steps and level changes just in the cockpit. One misplaced foot and you're hurting. The idea that catamarans are SO AMAZINGLY stable in rough water that you can't lose your footing is incredibly unrealistic. It is the kind of thing only a totally unethical salesman could say with a straight face.

In any case, it varies so much from one boat design to another, any generalization about "all monos" or "all cats" is just very silly. If this is even a third level issue you have in choosing between a cat and a mono, you are seriously experiencing analysis paralysis.

There are mono fanboys, and there are cat fanboys. Don't listen to either of them if you want a real answer.
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Old 26-11-2019, 10:45   #20
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Re: Catamaran vs Monohull Crew Safety

Almost all my experience is with mnohulls. The one time I helmed a cat for a day what I didnt like was everyone else was up front sunbathing or inside visiting and there I was lonely at the wheel...lol. In the cockpit of a monohull and least I had socialization. Ona little more serioous note when sailing in a narrow channel I like someone else on the GPS so I can keep mu eyes on everything else. That person is right there so we can communicate well. The cat I was on had no GPS (older cat for daysailing only). I was also on a perch of sorts. On most modern cats where is the GPS and is it available to a second person as a navigator.
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Old 26-11-2019, 11:12   #21
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Re: Catamaran vs Monohull Crew Safety

It is VERY difficult, to capsize a cruising catamaran. It is probably more difficult than getting knocked down on a monohull. The captain has to make a lot of mistakes to reach that point of failure. We are not talking about racing boats here. Racing boats are sailed much more aggressively and, usually, in different weather conditions.

I've been in 40+ kts wind with huge (for me) waves south of Vanuatu on my ex-Lagoon 450 and, even though it was very intimidating, it was not that scary. The ride was jerky and very loud, but safe. If a boat is sailed correctly, it should make it through.

Catamarans and monohulls have pros and cons. An inexperienced/bad captain in a rough weather situation can make either one dangerous. Personally, I found the catamaran easier to sail as it did not respond as much as my monohull. In other words, you can make more mistakes on a cruising catamaran than on a monohull, without realizing it.

It is all a matter of personal preference. You just need experience both in the conditions you plan to use them and decide what is best for you.
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Old 26-11-2019, 12:06   #22
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Re: Catamaran vs Monohull Crew Safety

I feel sure the reduced heel makes for fewer knee knockings.
However, it's like everything else, what is not expected spawns complacency. On a boat, is not the place to get lax. JMHO
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Old 26-11-2019, 12:23   #23
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Re: Catamaran vs Monohull Crew Safety

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The difference is minor, if even real.
Most fans of Cats seem convinced by their experience on terra-firma, rather than by any evidence. A bit of heel is no problem.

Cruisers seldom heel over like the race boats we see on movies.

Just point into a wind for 2 hours without the engines before you purchase a Cat. That's the most common complaint I hear from Cat owners. They only want to travel upwind when there is a flat sea; no wind. So they prefer to motor in calm to move upwind.
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Old 26-11-2019, 12:30   #24
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Re: Catamaran vs Monohull Crew Safety

Well I fell down the campanion way on my cat. No serious injury. Ainít no cure for stupid.
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Old 26-11-2019, 16:05   #25
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Re: Catamaran vs Monohull Crew Safety

“cups and wine glasses will remain where you left them “
absolutely hilarious!!! I watch you going up the Red Sea...
Ours was just a Wharram = not really fast & relatively gentle motion, but there were lots of times when one had to guide the cup to the mouth with both hands.
This “cups & glasses“ argument can only come from somebody inexperienced or lying!
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Old 26-11-2019, 16:10   #26
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Re: Catamaran vs Monohull Crew Safety

Please nobody get me w.rong: a GOOD cat can be the ideal tradewind-rtw boat (albeit an expensive one), the “twin hulled vessels“ we've been seeing a round here I would not, with very few exceptions include though
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Old 26-11-2019, 16:28   #27
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Re: Catamaran vs Monohull Crew Safety

Please be sure not to intimate anything which could hint at possibly disparaging catamarans on this site ( We are watching you).
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Old 27-11-2019, 00:17   #28
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Re: Catamaran vs Monohull Crew Safety

I find the age-old argument of which is better a cat or mono is never spoken of form a point of equal and fair comparison. The cost of a cat is FAR more than an equivalent mono. This question comes from a Hanse 388 owner so has no relevance to a 40 - 44 cat. To gauge the difference you must compare a 50 - 55-foot mono to a 40 - 44-foot cat. That is because they are about the same price but not spec. The mono would be better speced than the cat at that price. The mono would have easily the same outside space. Probably more inside space and if you are a livaboard the load capacity is uncomparable. Its never a fair argument.
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Old 27-11-2019, 00:34   #29
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Re: Catamaran vs Monohull Crew Safety

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Please be sure not to intimate anything which could hint at possibly disparaging catamarans on this site ( We are watching you).
With a 7 year/38000nm cat- rtw (& 2,3 Mono rtws) to my credit I consider myself to be allowed to write any-& everything about cats...
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Old 27-11-2019, 00:41   #30
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Re: Catamaran vs Monohull Crew Safety

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I find the age-old argument of which is better a cat or mono is never spoken of form a point of equal and fair comparison. The cost of a cat is FAR more than an equivalent mono. This question comes from a Hanse 388 owner so has no relevance to a 40 - 44 cat. To gauge the difference you must compare a 50 - 55-foot mono to a 40 - 44-foot cat. That is because they are about the same price but not spec. The mono would be better speced than the cat at that price. The mono would have easily the same outside space. Probably more inside space and if you are a livaboard the load capacity is uncomparable. Its never a fair argument.
First I have to say, I was thinking more about 50-60 ft cats. The question was not in reference to our current boat!

Secondly, I think it's a very fair point! Since most of us have budget constraints, it would be fair to compare monohulls and cats in similar price ranges. (I guess, on the other hand, it's also possible to compare a new Jeanneau to an older model Lagoon, which would reduce the price gap while keeping most of the other relevant factors in place.)
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