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  #1  
Old 10-18-2003
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Multi vs Mono

My wife and I will be purchasing a yacht in the 30 to 35'' range and since we have a little one (and another on the way) the space that a multihull has in that size range looks mighty attractive. We plan to eventually circumnavigate, after year or two (or ten) cruising the coast, when our skills are honed. Two questions: 1)Are there cats out there with the juice to cross an ocean (fair weather or foul) in the size range that we''re considering. 2) Whats better, initial stability that a 2hull gives or the righting capability of a mono.

Keep in mind I of course never intend to capsize, regardless of the craft we purchase. ;-)
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Old 10-19-2003
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Multi vs Mono

I think that you would be hard pressed to find a 35 foot multihill that is suitable for a circumnavigation. Multihulls are quite intolerant of carrying a lot of weight. As you add weight to a multihull they lose their primary defense to capsize which is disbursing the energy in the form of accelleration rather than heeling. As you beef up a thirty to thirty five footer to take the beating of roughly 60 years of coastal cruising (few coastal cruisers sail more than 1000 miles a year and most sail somewhere closer to 500 miles per year) you end up a boat that is already reduced in carrying capacity to the point that they can no longer carry the tankage and supplies necessary for that kind of trip. With a lot of luck, cats this size have made it but it is a pretty high risk. If you are intent on doing the trip in a multihull, I think you will need to consider a bigger cat in order to be able to get a sufficiently seaworthy and burdensome platform for such an adventure.

Of course, well made multihulls are substantially more expensive than monohulls of the same length, so you might actually find an equally commodious, but longer, monohull for the same price range that would be required to purchase a suitable cat for the type of passages that you are considering.

"Whats better, initial stability that a 2hull gives or the righting capability of a mono?" I guess this depends on what you personally fear the most. If you are more afraid of hitting something and sinking the boat than you are of capsize buy a multihull. If you are more afraid of capsize or getting trapped on a lee shore in high winds and not being able to beat or motor off to safety, buy a monohull. If you are more comfortable with a quick motion vs a rolling motion buy a multi. If you are more afraid of running aground than not being able to find a slip or boat yard able to accomodate the beam of a cat, buy a Cat...... and so on.....There is no one right answer here.

The intitial stability but poor angle of positive stability and the strength of the hull connection issues means that you need to reef early on a multihull and in some wasys sail more athletically, especially in big waves where wind can get under the hulls and capsize the boat. On the other hand, cats often do not send ''signals'' that they are about to get into trouble until it is too late to do anything about it.

Lastly, it is also nearly impossible to ''hone'' your skills on a Multihull as there is very little feedback to help you develop a broad range of boat handling and sail handling skills.

Respectfully,
Jeff
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Old 10-19-2003
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Multi vs Mono

Thanks for the reply and your time. One thing that I failed to mention is that we will be planning not just to cruise the coast but will be moving aboard and apending the first two years doing nothing but cruising. This live aboard situation requires that we have accomodation that is comfortable i.e. three separate sleeping quarters not including the saloon. I''ve not found that set up in anything less than a 45'' monohull.

That being said, I initially started my search for monohulls in the 50-60'' range(i might ad that I''ve not sailed anythig longer than 20''). However, after reading the sage advice of many who post here the size of craft I''m now searching for has shrunk considerably. Others with the same plan as ours have been recommended to buy small, as a 45'' and up become very difficult to handle with a small crew(2) or to single hand(wife or I are incapacitated).

I''m not a fool and I don''t want my dream to swiftly become a nightmare. Your insite into the carrying capacity of a small cat and your advice that we may not be able to hone our skills on a multihull make a lot of sense. If what you are saying is true I find myself in a conundrum, on one hand I shouldn''t buy a longer monohull because it may prove to burdensome to handle on the other shorter monohuls do not provide the space that we feel we need to live aboard.

Can you or anyone else make suggestions?

Again thanks,
Mr. Jeepers
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Old 10-19-2003
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Multi vs Mono

The advice given thusfar is excellent. I would only add that (depending on your budget) a monohull in the high 30'' to low 40'' range may be quite manageable by a couple and can even be singlehanded if it''s equiped with suitable lifting and sailing aids.

Boats with electric winches and an electric windlass can easily be sailed by even a 98# weak-link. Furling headsails and furling mainsails are no longer uncommon, and there are some that are motor-furled.

Of course, having more electrical equipment requires a greater electrical supply and capacity. However, a large boat can easily carry more batteries, and will likely have the room needed for solar panels and/or a wind generator, etc.

Important reasons for getting a large boat are: comfort, storage capacity, tankerage for water and fuel, and sturdiness. In many ways you''re in luck. There are many boats (new and used) in the size range mentioned that are (or could be made to be) well suited for extended offshore cruising. They will likely cost more to setup for ease of sailing, but if the sailing aids make sailing easier and more pleasurable, then the investment will be well worth it.

~ Happy sails to you ~ _/) ~
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Old 10-19-2003
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Multi vs Mono

I have one example of a boat with 3 staterooms that may suit your needs. I think the interior was designed for the charter trade since there are two other versions as well.
Look at the 3 stateroom version of the Beneteau Oceanis 390. There is one for sale in my marina which is how I came to be aware of it, but I don''t know anything about how it performs. These boats are 10-15 years old, but the three I have looked at seem to be in good shape. The things I have been told to watch for are leaking on the Lexan portlights and iron keel maintainence if it has an iron keel.
There are problably hundreds of other boats that would suit you, but this is one I have seen.

Ken
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Old 10-19-2003
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Multi vs Mono

The problem with a boat like a Oceanis 390 is that they are planning to go around the world and a boat like the 390 really is not robust enough for that kind of duty.

Jeff
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Old 10-19-2003
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Multi vs Mono

Maybe it''s best to simply change my approach altogether.

Bite the bullet live in cramped conditions for the first couple of years. Then sell that boat and move onto a larger one when we feel that we could easily handle the larger craft. My only concern is the resale issue. I''ve seen many vessels on the market for months and don''t want to end up with that 30-35'' boat that won''t sell.

How about some recomendations of boats in the 30-35'' range that would be less painful to live in and easy to resell. As stated earlier we will have a two year old and one year old when we buy so they could share a V possibly if we could separate it somehow(lee cloth etc.)

Any ideas? A good galley would be really nice, too.

Thanks again,
Mr. Jeepers
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Old 10-19-2003
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Multi vs Mono

Sorry,
A price would be nice.
If we were going to buy this as a coastal cruiser/VIsland hopper training vessel to resell in a couple of years we''d like to keep the budget to under 60k after fitting out.
Now. Any suggestions?
Anyone familiar with the 35'' Allmand Tri-Cabin?
Thanks
Mr. Jeepers
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Old 10-20-2003
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Multi vs Mono

I have some familiarity with the 35'' Allmand Tri-Cabin and more familiarity with its smaller sister. Both seem to be mediocre or worse sailers with mediocre or worse build quality that demand a higher than expected price because they are quite roomy for their length and era.

Jeff
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Old 10-20-2003
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Multi vs Mono

Back to the mono vs cat issue - suggest you buy the book " Cruising In Multihulls" by Charles Kantor - you will find his overview of the issues very helpfull.
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