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Old 28-07-2020, 17:43   #1
GRH
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Multihull for first boat?

I have a basic keelboat rating and very little sailing experience (none in multihulls). Iím just getting started. Iím really interested in multihulls and have been thinking that, once I have completed the basic coastal cruising and catamaran courses, I would like to make my first sailboat a multihull. Something manageable for a new Catamaran sailor, definitely under 40 feet.

Is that a bad call in terms of developing a well rounded skill set? As experienced multihull sailors, would you all recommend starting with a monohull and making the progression to catamarans later? I know it would be a lot cheaper to start with a monohull, but Iím still really interested in just going for the multi right away.

My sailing goals in the next few years are to sail as much as possible on the Chesapeake during the 2021 sailing season, begin coastal cruising down to Florida (possibly learn the ICW route as well) in 2022, and finally make it over to the Bahamas. I was a professional pilot for twenty years, and it seems as though all that flying experience has helped a good bit in learning about sailing. Thanks for any good advice!
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Old 28-07-2020, 17:49   #2
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Re: Multihull for first boat?

I see no problem starting in a catamaran if a catamaran is what you want. The basics of sailing are the same as any mono, however as you get past the basics there are subtle differences to get the very best performance out of a cat. Maybe after you have been out practicing basics a few times then get a catamaran sailor on board to get a fast education in sailing the cat at it's best potential as well as managing high wind situations.
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Old 28-07-2020, 19:15   #3
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Re: Multihull for first boat?

If your target boat is a cat, you are right to have a cat as you first boat too.


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Old 28-07-2020, 19:34   #4
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If your target boat is a cat, you are right to have a cat as you first boat too.


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Old 28-07-2020, 23:07   #5
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Re: Multihull for first boat?

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I see no problem starting in a catamaran if a catamaran is what you want. The basics of sailing are the same as any mono, however as you get past the basics there are subtle differences to get the very best performance out of a cat. Maybe after you have been out practicing basics a few times then get a catamaran sailor on board to get a fast education in sailing the cat at it's best potential as well as managing high wind situations.
That sounds like a really solid plan to me. Iím happy to hear that itís feasible to just get right into catamarans. Okay, so now Iíll have to go read that thread on cats for less than 100k.

I like the great reputation of the Prout Snowgoose. I know theyíre not the fastest multihulls out there, but it seems they are known for excellent build quality and overall seaworthiness. Would you all agree that would be a good first multihull? Any other suggestions? Thanks very much for all the help here.
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Old 29-07-2020, 09:46   #6
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Re: Multihull for first boat?

We were completely newbies, did our first sailing course after we moved onto our Leopard 45 Catamaran.
But we did a lot off research and had hundreds of questions, which we researched and documented
If you have time check out
Www.YouTube.com/c/SailingSisu
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Old 29-07-2020, 10:01   #7
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Re: Multihull for first boat?

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Originally Posted by SailingSisu View Post
We were completely newbies, did our first sailing course after we moved onto our Leopard 45 Catamaran.
But we did a lot off research and had hundreds of questions, which we researched and documented
If you have time check out
Www.YouTube.com/c/SailingSisu
Awesome! I will check it out for sure. Thanks so much.
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Old 29-07-2020, 10:04   #8
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Re: Multihull for first boat?

Your ideas look sound to me.
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Old 29-07-2020, 10:11   #9
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Re: Multihull for first boat?

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That sounds like a really solid plan to me. Iím happy to hear that itís feasible to just get right into catamarans. Okay, so now Iíll have to go read that thread on cats for less than 100k.

I like the great reputation of the Prout Snowgoose. I know theyíre not the fastest multihulls out there, but it seems they are known for excellent build quality and overall seaworthiness. Would you all agree that would be a good first multihull? Any other suggestions? Thanks very much for all the help here.
As someone who's unfamiliar with cats. speed and performance is the last thing you want. Get something well built and stable. I'd avoid any home made plywood boats which you'll undoubtedly find in your budget, but a Prout or even Gemini would do fine as a starter cat until you're ready for a higher performance boat. There seems to be a pretty strong market for these as a lot people have the same idea you do so they're easy to sell later and move up.
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Old 29-07-2020, 10:38   #10
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Re: Multihull for first boat?

I'm right where you are GRH - in my case I not only like the cats but my wife who has multiple healing spinal fractures needs a very stable platform ... our first boat is going to be the lovely Broadblue 346 which is a perfect size for a couple at 34 feet (and due to its relatively narrow beam fits into most ordinary marina berths). When we took the model out for a sea trial recently a Prout Snow Goose was just coming into port, and they indeed are lovely boats too, and easy to handle with minimal crew. Read around, check out what's on the market and go for it. I have heard someone say that almost no one who ever bought a cat subsequently went back to monohulls ...
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Old 29-07-2020, 10:50   #11
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Re: Multihull for first boat?

Go for it as your plan sounds not only realistic but fun. one quick add to consider. Go buy a cheap beater Small Hobie Or sim. beach cat, at roughly the same time, and learn to sail The little cat well. You will learn so much about sailing a cat quickly - wreck it no problem, bad tack no problem, fall in the drink no problem, mistakes no problem, Making simple mistakes on big boats can be expensive and sometimes dangerous. We did this on a mono going from large Boat, to small (dinghy) and back to much larger. We became much better sailors on the dinghy (Tasar) which directly translated to confidence and skill set when we went back to a cruising mono.

BTW we are considering a cruising cat as well ( 40ish feet) And will be buying a cheap beater Hobie to accelerate the learning.

Just a thought ��
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Old 29-07-2020, 10:52   #12
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Re: Multihull for first boat?

Agree - get what you want to end up with. There's no savings in getting a cheaper mono first -- every boat you buy needs some work and is (usually) a depreciating asset. Buying and selling takes extra time and money.
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Old 29-07-2020, 10:57   #13
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Re: Multihull for first boat?

If you really want to learn how to sail well, start small. A 1 or 2 person dinghy or small high performance boat like a laser is ideal. Know that when you make a mistake you'll end up in the water. You learn faster this way how to avoid this from happening lol. Same is true with a Multi. Get a small trailerable catamaran. They are fast and fun and when you make a mistake you'll know it right away.

Larger Cats, Prouts, Island Packet Cats, Gemini's etc are not performance cats. You do sail a cat a bit differently then a mono so when you look for a larger cat you will want to think about what is important. Speed, comfort, etc..
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Old 29-07-2020, 11:07   #14
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Re: Multihull for first boat?

If your goal was to learn to race cars...would you buy a motorcycle first?

Of course, get a cat. Plenty in the 30-35ft range that are reasonably priced and a good cruising platform.
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Old 29-07-2020, 11:14   #15
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Re: Multihull for first boat?

Absolutely get the cat. Besides they are not hard to sail.
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