SailNet Community

SailNet Community (
-   Boat Review and Purchase Forum (
-   -   Cat -vs- Mono ? (

jsgsail 07-14-2004 11:15 AM

Cat -vs- Mono ?
well I know this is a wide open subject, As i continue to look for a boat, Im starting to look into multi hulls rather than mono mainly for draft reasons, as i plan to sail FL and Bhammas and maybe the leewards and windwards. I have never sailed, docked, anchored, or slept on a multi hull. Does anyone have personal pros and cons, great experiences or nightmares dealing with cruising on a Cat or Tri

Thanks in advance

c2cSailor 07-15-2004 06:57 PM

Cat -vs- Mono ?
I tend to look at the pros and cons of both options.
1)DRAFT- With a multihull, you tend to have a much shallower draft and a deeper draft on a monohull, however, it also depends on the size of the boat you are considering and the type of keel if considering a monohull. Hake Yachts makes a 32ft model that has a 20 inch draft with the keel fully retracted.
2)WINDWARD PERFORMANCE- You generally tend to lose winward performance on a multihull due to the increased side slipping encountered without having a keel to hold a line through the water. This may add considerable time to long voyages. However, on most other points of sail, multihulls generally tend to fair slightly better.
3)STABILITY- If you are planning to do any serious offshore cruising, this is something to consider. While multihulls are more stable initially, in the event they do blow over, they act like turtles on their backs and are not self-righting. Monohulls on the other hand are designed to let the force of gravity on the keel maintain the upright position (with heavy side down).

I personally favor monohulls over cats or tris partially due to esthetics, but also several other factors such as finding a slip to fit a multihull into. There are several great articles in the achieve here. Good luck!

s/v Scramble
Boston, MA

dshearn 07-17-2004 12:14 PM

Cat -vs- Mono ?
Hello jsgsail,

Not much adivce i can give you i am new to boating my self. One thing i have noticed . Were i dock my boat the slips are generally not wide enough to fit mono hull boats. The one fella that owns a multi (tri) one has to pay for two slips since he takes up two slips ( the removed the center mooreing polls for him to make a 30 foot wide slip) His boat is rumored to be close to getting 20kts in a good breeze. I had considerd buying a cat or tri the added expense turned me away.

Good luck!!


henryvand 07-18-2004 08:28 AM

Cat -vs- Mono ?
We just switched from a mono to a cat. We had a Beneteau 331 and now sail a PDQ32. We wanted more room and more cruising comfort without a deeper draft. After a couple of charter experiences we made the switch.
The cat sails faster on all points of sail except when going hard to windward where she does monohull speeds if you try to point high. You don''t feel the speed on the cat - at 7 knots on my mono I thought I was really moving - 7 knots on the cat is no big deal.
The comfort factor has worked as hoped for. No more sleepless nights due to hull slap under the aft cabin, no pointy beds, berths much easier to get in and out of, more privacy when sailing with guest aboard, etc. The large foredeck is also very popular with the admiral and guests. Handling the asymmetrical out of it''s stowage location in the forward hull is much easier than dragging it forward from a locker under the cockpit seats.
Docking did not prove to be a problem for me as my slip was 18 feet wide and the cat is 16 so it fits nicely. Handling under power with two engines is great also making docking a breeze.
I know cats are not everyone''s cup of tea but most who switch do not regret it. Do your homework however as there are big differences in performance and livability between different boats. I found Charles Kantor''s book Cruising in Catamarans very usefull.

saltydawg 07-19-2004 07:36 AM

Cat -vs- Mono ?
When we bought our PDQ36 we had never sailed a cat before - just racing monos. It was an easy transition and she is a forgiving boat for new cat sailors - strong and reliable. ts=1207082&slim=broker&&hosturl=authen ticyachtbrokerage&&ywo=authenticyachtbroke rage& 07082&hosturl=authenticyachtbrokerage&&amp ;ywo=authenticyachtbrokerage&&units=Feet&a mp;currency=USD&access=Public&listing_id=1 765&url=&hosturl=authenticyachtbrokerage&a mp;&ywo=authenticyachtbrokerage&

mdougan 07-19-2004 10:07 AM

Cat -vs- Mono ?
Last year, a good friend bought a PDQ32 cat at about the same time I bought my Westsail 32 monohull... we''ve alternated trading off crewing each other''s boats.

Without the discomfort of excessive heeling, he tends to sail with full sail in 25-30kt winds (who knows how much he''s stressing his rig), whereas I tend to put a reef in my big gaff-rigged mainsail at 15-20kts.

With his dual engines, he can spin around in circles in the fairway of the docks where I can''t even make a 90 degree turn with my full keel.

On the other hand, I find that the awkward motion of the cat in any kind of swell is very annoying... they are often called puke generators.

You''ll occassionally get a huge slap of water hitting the hull between the pontoons, which is not good for your nerves, or probably the hull either.

Personally, the feel of the way a monohull moves through the water, or any appreciable swell is much more comfortable to me, and in fact, that feel is really what I call "sailing", not just the fact that I''m pushed over the water by the force of the wind....

I''d say for short hops and daysails where most of your time is spent at anchor or docked, and comfort is primary consideration, the cat is a good choice...

For long distance cruising, or just for the enjoyment of the feel of the boat moving through the water, I think you might like a monohull more...

But, your only real hope is to try out both options... perhaps by chartering each type of boat for a week... then make an informed choice!

ross99 07-22-2004 05:28 PM

Cat -vs- Mono ?
There was a pretty good article in Sail Magazine 3-4 months ago, comparing a mid-30 foot monohull vs a similar size catamaran. Wish I had the issue at hand to be more specific. As I recall, the conclusions were ... both has pluses and minuses, and it was left to personal choice/needs.

thorJ30 07-22-2004 08:26 PM

Cat -vs- Mono ?
I like both :-)

however one point the mono hullers always seem to bring up is the windward performance or lack thereoff.

Sure I can go a few points higher with my J 30 and dont stall, depending on the wind I am even pretty fast.

However we beat EVERYBODY pointing with a 37 Lagoon last year in the BVI''s. That boat kicked ass on every point of sail. Sure we were a little slower pinching up, as far as I can remember around 9 knots versus double digit numbers. A lot of 40-50 foot Beneteaus and stuff had NO chance keeping up.

While we were almost lounging on the boat with beer standing on the cockpit table.

If I would have the money I would get the special PDQ 36 with daggerboards or a French one with boards. ( The Lagoon had no daggers and was tired from chartering the last 10 years, until she woke up with "us" on board )

Again I love my J but if I would have the dough and would be able to spend more time on the boat ( Bahamas etc ) there would be no question.


get a moring ball :-) instead of marina. And while traveling you gonna use your anchor and only occasional go inside a marina anyhow.

jbarros 07-23-2004 01:16 AM

Cat -vs- Mono ?
corsair tri''s (or better still, contact Farier and get the new plans from him and get a better boat built if you have the $$$$)

I was on one of these a while ago. This was the 31, the "cruising" model. They were embaresed that they couldnt get faster than wind speed (we did have some 5'' swells, that made keeping momentum dificult) We were pointing closer than any mono I''ve been on (I''m sure the 6'' c/b didnt hurt) and litteraly jumping across the waves) it was nuts.

That being said, I also lost my lunch. :(

It seemed perfectly stable, even at 17 knots with a hull burried, and I wasn''t afraid of it flipping, but I''m not sure how much I''d trust it for crossings.

-- James

jsgsail 08-02-2004 07:54 AM

Cat -vs- Mono ?
Thankyou all for your comments, I will sail one before taking the plunge

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:49 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
(c) LLC 2000-2012

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome