Join Date: Nov 2002
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Monohull vs cat on extended passage?
I have actually made passages on both mono and multi hulls. I currently own a SA built Prout 38 (see her at www.stateham.com/sunspotbaby).
This particular boat crossed the Atlantic 3 times prior to my purchase in 2001.
I have less propensity to get sea sick on the cat and have had her in some pretty foul water in the Gulf Stream. Prouts don''t have the high bridge deck of some new cats and the banging can be severe. You don''t wallow, you jerk.
Loaded with 6 months of supplies, and a conservative rig, she is no faster than an equivalent mono and doesn''t go closer than about 55% off the wind. Of course there is some leeway from there. The Prout has keels on each hull similar to shoal keels on some shallow draft monohulls and the leeway is equivalent. If the leeway is a big factor, buy a multi with dagger boards. There are a couple of French boats that have them.
As a way of life, the multihull is more comfortable. I believe the chance of capsizing in bad weather is no greater than sinking a mono. I have found no reliable statistics one way or the other. There are a lot of vocal people on both sides with strong prejudices.
An interesting comparison occurred on a short cruise with our yacht club. Seven sail boats left the Beaufort, NC inlet and sailed the short distance to Cape Lookout. Current and wind made for some very bumpy conditions. Going out, we were all slamming into the seas, once we turned across the waves (5 to 7 feet) we, the only cat, had a nice exhilarating sail. The 6 monos were corkscrewing through the waves. That evening they all complained bitterly about the conditions. One woman, a serious sailor for 30 years who claimed to have never been sea sick, broke her streak.
In short, yes I find the cat more comfortable than a mono.