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terryjoe 11-04-2007 12:27 PM

Multi-Hull vs Mono-Hull Sailboats?
I was hoping to get some information regarding the pros and cons of Multi-Hulls compared to Mono-Hull sailboats?

I am looking for a live aboard in the future and was wondering how the catamaran compares to a regular sailboat. I presently have a 33 ft Irwin Sloop. Thanks!

bestfriend 11-04-2007 12:29 PM

If you haven't already, start here.
and here, and here.
and this.

Ken 11-04-2007 01:58 PM

Multi hull vs Mono
There is no correct yes or no answer. There are a lot of personal choices to make but one thing is consistent between either choice, the quality of the boat you buy. I'll qualify my opinions by saying we owned, sailed and lived aboard a Privilege 39 so I have experience on one side of your question.

For starters a quality cat will cost a lot more than a monohull so comparisons should be made with an eye to what you get for the $$$ and not length by the foot.

The positives for me are simple past the $$$. For starters you have a big platform to work on when you sail and it is relatively level most of the time. For a husband and wife sailing combo we found this to be an important safety issue that was NOT part of our original decision. The shallow draft is great for anchoring, many times as you can get to places a deeper draft cannot go. For living the spread out cabins makes for more spacious living and the big cockpit is wonderful.

Refrigeration...... What a pain in the.... You can use a propane refrigeration unit on a cat because it is flat. These are much like the units in RV's and your home. They sip propane and as long as you have a propane supply it beats 12V worries or running your engine for cold plates. For me an aux diesel with water maker pump and 12V alternator take care of your energy issues. If you need AC then you can consider a 12V unit (don't have experience here) or a 120V unit for use in a marina.

Lots of other positives for the wide transom such as room for dingy davits, outboard crane, solar panels, kayaks, grill, boarding from dingy/swimming, etc.

Maybe the best solution is a combination of suggestion. Go smaller at first, maybe a Gemini cat that won't break your wallet. Then you may love the boat or decide to change direction later and you'll be a lot smarter.

sailingdog 11-04-2007 03:31 PM

I would highly recommend you read Chris White's The Cruising Multihull, and Thomas Firth Jones's Multihull Voyaging. The two books give very different perspectives on sailing cruising multihulls.

Some of the smaller cats, like the Gemini mentioned above will fit into a single slip.

Sailormann 11-05-2007 09:46 PM


I was hoping to get some information regarding the pros and cons of Multi-Hulls compared to Mono-Hull sailboats?
It would be my pleasure to help :)


I am looking for a live aboard in the future and was wondering how the catamaran compares to a regular sailboat. I presently have a 33 ft Irwin Sloop. Thanks!
It's encouraging to see that you are already differentiating between catamarans and sailboats. They are indeed two entirely different things - one represents the zenith of thousands of years of Maritime tradition and expertise, offering it's skipper and crew a safe, sturdy platform on which to sail forth and experience all that is truly beautiful in this world of ours.

The other... well the other cannot honestly be termed anything more than an abomination. Crimes against nature, and each and every one of them a futile floating attempt to defy the laws of physics and common sense. True sailors avoid them.

Don't let your self be seduced by the promise of "no heeling", "spacious cabins", or any other such claptrap.

Each and every catamaran is nothing more than a marinized schizophrenic. The minute the winds come and seas get rough, it starts fighting with itself until finally, it tears itself apart and each hull huffs off towards a different part of the world, leaving you holding on to a rapidly sinking "genuine Marble" countertop and praying like you've never prayed before.

Hopefully you'll find the above to be an honest, objective assessment of the relative merits of each. :)

You're welcome !

sailingdog 11-05-2007 09:52 PM

Of course, Sailormann is neglecting the fact that the Pacific Islanders explored most of the Pacific in multihull craft, long before the Europeans were able to get across the Atlantic. Typical eurocentric thinking... ;)

gershel 11-06-2007 12:01 AM


Don't bite. He's just trying to get your goat.
We've heard all this garbage before. As for me, it's not even worth a reply.

GulfCoastSkimmer 11-06-2007 12:39 AM

article for you
This is a nice read from SAIL magazine
Comparison article

terryjoe 11-11-2007 10:45 AM

Thanks Everyone!
I appreciate everyone's responses and recommendations.

I am just looking at options. I have always wanted to sail so when I was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 06 and spending 2 1/2 months in the hospital and 3 surgeries my wife asked if I wanted to live aboard when we retire. I am still fighting the disease and sometimes it's hard. However, I am living a dream.

One on of the sails we went on earlier this year we hit about 7 knots and the boat healed substantially. My wife was so scared she wouldn't look up from the floor in the cockpit. Myself, I felt like I was opening up presents at Christmas time but she was so scared I didn't know if she would go out again. It was the most fun I have had in a long time. A friend of ours told us when we came back in to the docks I was beaming ear to ear and she looked as if she had just been through hell.

More recently, we did go out again and had a more comfortable sail. She really enjoyed herself this time. We have modified the boat quite a bit in the seven months we have owned it to include installing Lazy Jacks this last week. Looking forward to getting out more often.

Can anyone tell me what a "Staysail Spinnacher" is and what/when it is used for? It is one of the sails in the sail inventory. Thanks again!

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