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Cruising on Multihulls
Suggest that you obtain the book by Charles Kanter "Cruising on More than One Hull" (Sailco Press, Box 2099, Key Largo FL 33037, 305-743-0626 email@example.com) After owning & sailing four monomarans over the course of 15 years, we bought a 1983 Prout 37'' Snowgoose last year. For many reasons, this was our choice for an offshore cruising adventure. All sailing boats have their nasty habits, as well as their good ones, else you wouldn''t have people out buying boats & cruising.
Speed is in the eye of the beholder- what was a white knuckle 8 knot experience on our Tartan 44 is a leasurely sail on the Snowgoose. Sailng to windward?? Our 2 C & C''s and the two Tartans that we owned could pinch to 25 apparent (our Tartan 30 was a real sleeper in the club races-she could out point every boat execpt a Dash 34) The Snowgoose can go to about 30 apparent above 7 knots true, better performance when we crack off to 35-40. A friend used to own a Morgan Out Island 41 which couldn''t even handle point to 45 apparent. Much of a boat''s windward ability also depends on seamanship, condition of sails, sheeting angle, etc. (Buddy Melges once won a race in a Westsail 32!)
We''ve found that the Snowgoose handles quite well in the light airs that we have in the Pacific NW - 3-4 knots in 5-6 knots of breeze. Trucks smartly along when the wind pipes up as well.
Downwind is where the cat shines-NO DEATH ROLL! Our Prout moves like she''s on railroad tracks when downwind. I have yet to be on any monohull of any size or displacement that doesn''t have a downwind roll (I think this is where rolling down the trades originated!)
Yes, all boats make noise & have movement-after all, we''re travelling in a very fluid, changeable environment. Multis do have a quicker motion, which usually means that objects don''t have time to develop momentum & fly around the cabin. In short steep chop, there is noise on the bridgedeck; however, in similar situations the mono will also be "noisy" as it plows into a wave & falls off of one. One of the worst & noisiest rides that we ever had was off the Oregon coast on a Tayana 37-she''d dig in a wave, free herself from it, rise above the surf, then slam down with a resounding BOOM! which went on for about 5 hours.
Payload is another consideration-the Prout is built to have a greater payload than some of her sexier French cousins, albeit not a great as a monomaran. Over the years, I''ve found that we tend to be packrats, so we prefer to travel light anyway-less hassle & less things to look after. Besides, when criusing, who wears that much anyway? Food is available all places that we may go and fresh is better. We have more than enough storage for a 3-4 week ocean passage-we tend to stay away from canned goods, opting for dried beans, lentils, rice, etc. that can be cooked on the go-also less problem with trash disposal of cans. A light weight water maker supplements the water tanks, which are located low in each mini keel and hold about 50 gal each.
When loading the cat, sensible weight distribution is a must. It is important to keep the heavy weight low and out of the ends. This is also true for the faster monos-we had to be very weight conscious on our Tartan 44 to keep the weight out of the bow & stern-any heavy weight in these areas effected the trim & sailing performance.
We all have our personal preferences and opinions-if your dream is to cruise in a cat, then don''t compromise-go for it! With some reasearch and looking, you will be able to find the right boat to meet your cruising requirements and your budget.