Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Liberty Landing
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Re: CATAMARAN DESIGN and BRIDEDECK CLEARANCE
I am interested to see those 6 requirements as well.
The problem with catamarans is that in order to retain the excellent performance that multis are capable of, the catamaran has to have certain features such as narrow hulls, low windage (ie minimal bridgedeck), daggerboards, etc. These very features mean that to have comfortable accomodations the cat has to be very big. Otherwise something has to give. And once you get big, most boat owners get priced out. You need bucku bucks to buy a 50' catamaran, and even more to find a place to keep it. So, as with everything in life, compromise is required. Some compromise better than others, but since the charter market seems to drive catamaran sales, the accomodations are favored over the performance/safety in most commercial designs. I personally am a sailor, not a on the hook cruiser or live aboard, so even when cruising I can't tolerate a poorly sailing vessel and would never get a condo maran. But others, particularly those who charter, may have different priorities.
For this reason I think a trimaran is the way to go if sailing performance is what you want. Most trimarans are not built for anything but true sailing ability. Those who buy a tri generally want to go fast and have fun. The arms fold up so you can find a spot in a marina. The accomodations are more like a smaller loa monohull, and way less comfortable than a cat, but that is the kind of compromise I am willing to make personally.
If you want that standing headroom bridgedeck, the compromise is high windage and poor bridgedeck clearance, at least until you get to a really big cat IMHO.
BTW, "The Cruising Multihull", by Chris White, is an excellent book on this subject, and is available as a pdf download or else used on amazon for $10 when I bought it. It's a wonderful book and you should def read it before buying any multihull, it addresses all these issues and compromises from the standpoint of a designer and full time cruiser. Great read too, not overly technical and very enjoyable.