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post #6 of Old 12-15-2004
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Monohull vs cat on extended passage?

M, you might find this discussion of an offshore cat sailing experience by a two-time (monohull) circumnavigator to be of interest:

One of the incidental observations by the author is the large number of (semi-interdependent) systems on the Cat he took from Brazil to the Caribbean. IME it''s very rare to find a modern Cat which isn''t (over)laden with all kinds of systems, somewhat spoiling the other benefits. ''Systems'' and ''Cats'' don''t have to be synonymous but IMO all the SPACE invites abuse.

I could tell you some pretty funny stories about Lewis, who started out with a basic English-built 35'' Cat he sailed over to St. Pete from Texas. There was just soooo much SPACE on his Cat, he couldn''t resist adding a few things...and then a few more. Meanwhile, he pulled away from the dock one day and his only working Volvo diesel blew up. But that didn''t seem to be a problem because, due to his Cat''s LARGE transom, he could rip out the engines and build a dual stainless open-bottomed boxes cantilevered off the back, to which he could mount twin outboards. By the time he left St. Pete, he had a PWC on deck, acres of canvas to provide U/V protection in that WIDE cockpit, double freezers in their LONG galley...well, you get the picture.

It''s easy for those of us sailing Lead Mines to sneer a bit at Cats; they are built in light-weight ways that make me nervous, offshore. But Lewis also a good example of how crews can benefit. When out of money (Lewis didn''t work much...) he''d charter the boat to young backpackers wanting cheap transport around the Caribbean, his boat would always make it to port (his lady friend holed one hull by hitting an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico during her night watch, on one of many exciting passages) and last I heard via Winlink they were adding yet more gear in a Panama Canal yard before heading into the Pacific.

Who says there aren''t still adventures to be had when off cruising...?

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