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clareg 04-25-2001 06:59 PM

Cruising on Multihulls
We are starting to look at multihulls for cruising. Neither one of us has much experience sailing one and so far have been impressed by the living space. I have read about people doing crossings and cruising on them. Looking for more information and feedback. Thanks. :)

capedory30 04-26-2001 04:23 AM

Cruising on Multihulls
Great another multihull sailor. Not many on this site. What type of sailing do you do, coastal, blue water, etc.? What is your Budget? Are you looking at new or used boats? Is performance more important than comfort to you? Multihulls are a different breed than your normal monomaran but choices are just as varied so if you could supply more info it would be appreciated.

clareg 04-26-2001 06:47 PM

Cruising on Multihulls
We do coastal cruising now, but intend to be blue water sailing in the next year or so. We have an opportunity to consider a Catana 431 and are chartering a 48 in the Windward Islands in June. Performance, endurance and comfort are about equal concerns. The Catana we are looking at is about 1 year old. What do you sail?

Leslie2 04-30-2001 12:27 PM

Cruising on Multihulls
Multihulls are far more comfortable than monohulls for long voyages. My father owns a 44ft St Francis catamaran which he has crossed the Atlantic on and it was a smooth sail. A few years back he crossed in a smaller monohull, not as comfortable if you have family on board. He is presently selling his St Francis, so if anyone is interested please reply!

gto2 05-15-2001 01:51 PM

Cruising on Multihulls
saw your reply to another cat novice. i am bidding on a 1982 prout quest 31'' which i plan to dock at my home in ft myers, fl.
i plan to eventually sail to the keys & bahamas, etc. do you know anything about these cats? owner did interior, looks like a sturdy nice craft.

Jeff_H 05-15-2001 04:48 PM

Cruising on Multihulls
I have a little different take from the above. I really hate sailing cruising cats. Unlike their lightweight cousins, they are not as fast as modern mono-hulls in the conditions that most of us actually sail in. They are really at their worst in light air where their high wetted surface really makes them ''sticky''. They also don''t point worth a darn which in the Intercoastal world of west Florida means a whole lot of motoring.

While they sail relatively flat, small cruising cats have a comparatively quick snappy motion. There are two factors that cause motion sickness; the angle of movement(amount of roll) and the rate of movement(the frequency and accellerations of the motion). Individuals have varying degrees of susceptibility to motion sickness and some people can tollerate a lot of movement but not quick motion and others cannot tollerate much movement but speed does not affect them.

A lot of people have problems with seasickness on cruising cats because of their snappy motion. This could be a serious probelm in the short chop of a Gulf Stream crossing or the ''Flats'' of the Bahamas.

While a lot of sea miles are being covered by crusing cats, I really think that small ones, under about 35 or so feet have not been fairing all that well in terms of seaworthiness.

The other issue with small cruising cats is the ability to carry enough weight to go really go cruising. As you load weight on a cruising cat a number of things happen. First, with weight they loose speed very quickly. Second of all, to some extent, cats absorb gusts by accellerating rather than heeling. When there is too much weight in board they can''t accellerate and so become more dangerous. Lastly, the greater drag and inertia of a over-loaded cat, really increases the stresses on the comparatively light construction of a cat and really shortens thier overall lifespan.

In particular the small Prouts have been a personal dis-favorite of mine. They are not especially good sailors in either light air or heavy.

On the other hand the shoal draft of a cruising Cat is a nice thing to have in your neck of the woods.


capedory30 05-21-2001 10:23 AM

Cruising on Multihulls
Geez, Jeff_H. Lighten up. Motoring in the intracoastal? Whoever heard of such a thing? Everyone motors in the intracoastal even monomorans. Sailing is much better once out in the Gulf. But hey, lots of cats and tris do have the option of sailing out of the channel, do you? They do sail flat that is true. I can put a drink down in some pretty bad weather and when I come back it''s still there, in the same place. And the quick snappy motion, is that worse than the slow rolling motion of a monomoran? To you maybe, but not necessairly to all. Motion sickness is an individual thing, not everyone is affected by the same motions. As for the small cats not faring well, check out smaller Prouts, Wharrams, Iriquiois and the F series from Farrier. These are pretty sucessful boats that have a lot of ocean crossings and circumnavigations under their shallow draft dagger boards. Dangerous? Most anything can be dangerous if used incorrectly, even your boat Jeff_H, not to mention cars, airplanes, even pencils, pens ladders whatever. The user just has to be aware of the designed use of whatever it is one is trying to use and use it accordingly. I presentlly have a "small" (under 35 ft.) 34ft Solaris cruising catamaran and fell perfectly safe whether motoring in the intracoastal with monomorans or out in the Gulf of Mexico sailing. So, all in all I''d have to say to all looking at a multihull you are in for a very different experience than what you may find on the usual run of the mill monomoran. And if you are motoring in the intracoastal and see a catamaran anchored over near some island in two or three feet of water with no monomorans around stop by and say hi.

maxtrack 05-24-2001 05:34 PM

Cruising on Multihulls
on the subject of cruising multihulls, would one consider a 1992 32'' Gemini catamran capable of serious cruising or an ocean crossing? I am presently a mono owner who drools across the dock at the comfort ond room on my neighbour''s prout. Thanks in advance.

jack_patricia 05-29-2001 07:58 AM

Cruising on Multihulls
Clare, I''d encourage you to reread all of Jeff''s reply as you''ll find a host of valuable insights there. We''ve recently cruised in company with a Lagoon 40 and they''ve mentioned every one of his cautions.

I disagree about cats being ''more'' or ''less'' comfortable: they''re just different in motion, which some owners find to be better for them.

To Max, here are two notes about Geminis you might want to consider. First, one fellow was trying to reach Key West from the Dry Totugas in his Gemini when the mast went thru the cabin top. The conditions didn''t seem to warrant this failure & the surveyor felt it was a product failure. Based on the owner''s description as I heard it, I think the offset mast support was the problem. Second, the MIKI G recently left California and completed an uneventful voyage thru the Canal and up to the Florida Keys. But they were careful to minimize their offshore legs and have commented they don''t think the boat is capable of true offshore cruising. Tony Smith is a great guy who''s succeeded against some amazingly challenging obstacles, but his Gemini isn''t an offshore boat, IMO.


maxtrack 05-29-2001 07:56 PM

Cruising on Multihulls
Thanks, Jack. Since I started asking around, I''ve heard pretty much the same. Aparrently the new ones are better. Now I have to figure out how to keep my 8 week old safe and sound on our boat. Many have suggested a hammock, but I worry if he rolls inside of it it may create a suffocation hazard. Any ideas?

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