Welcome Stranger Times. My first time contributing here too although I have been reading for several years.
Iím a catamaran
live aboard for nearly 5 years however I donít want to enter into the catamaran
debate. Suffice it to say thereís plusses and minuses to both. Youíll certainly need headroom
otherwise youíll go stir crazy. Thatís available on both styles however note if you choose a sub-33 ft cat youíll be unlikely to get the height you want throughout. My cat is 45 ft and has full headroom throughout.
Three things however, 1. The bigger the boat the more cr*p youíll collect although if you intend cruising this isnít a real problem as speed isnít a priority; 2. Make ABSOLUTELY sure you can access the engine/s with ease for maintenance
(at some stage you Will need to do this) My boat has engines which are 3ft X 3ft X 3ft in a space 2ft X 2ft X2ft, or so it seems; 3. From experience the work (not cost) if you do it yourself will be close to the same for comparable size mono and cats leaving aside the obvious hull
For me, my cat certainly gives me a more relaxed lifestyle in the saloon
and the cockpit
(and gives me a working space) than monos I looked at because Iím your height but sadly not as thin as I used to be.
One of the reasons I bought a cat was if I ever get a partner (sadly that hasnít happened yet) if we have a barney then she (hopefully) can stay on her side with the food
and Iíll stay on mine with the booze until things have cooled down. LOL.
Iím in the big Oz. Manutenance cost for my cat is roughly 1. landlubbers costs for 12 monthís house rates, insurance
(say $3500) plus 2. Rego, insurance
and servicing of 2 cars - not fuel
(say $3500) and this includes hardstand
costs for annual antifouling etc. These figures assume no significant capital outlay and most of the work you do yourself (you'll always find someone to help you for a case of beer! And you can normally drink it with them too!!!) Marina rent of a mooring
or slip (as you call the mooring
space in the US) costs here are about 50% more for a cat than a comparable length mono (and that includes the overhang of your dinghy
aft and your bowsprit
forwards so perhaps this info helps.
If it was me looking for a mono Iíd be looking for a beamy one, maybe a bilge
keeler or one without too much draught (perhaps a swing keel
?) so I can get up a creek or into mangroves if thereís a storm, cyclone, hurricane
or whatever coming my way and also because I like plenty of living space, or a cat for the same reasons. From my experience you wonít know whether your boat suits you until you buy and live aboard for maybe 6 months regardless of how many day sails
you go on so I hope the above helps you through your adventure. Me? Iím having a hell of a good time in Oz and on track to adventure sail the Great Barrier Reef
next year and I l-o-o-o-v-e the lifestyle, especially wine o'clock. I hope you end up doing so too.