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  #31  
Old 08-28-2005
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captronb is on a distinguished road
Monohull vs cat on extended passage?

I have been sailing for over 40 years on many kinds of boats both mono and cat.(USCG Master for 20+ years) I have owned a Tartan 34, Stiletto 27, Edel 35, and my current boat is an Ericson 38. FWIW the Edel is a French built cruising cat. Mine was used in charter service in the Caribbean and had crossed the Atlantic on her own bottom.

My wife and I cruised our Edel 35 catamaran in the Bahamas for 3 months in 2002 in company with a Gemini 3400 catamaran. Both cats also did a week together in 2001 in the Berrys.

The Edel was generally an hour faster than the Gemini on any given passage of 6 or 7 hours (our typical daily jog) unless we were hard on the wind then the Edel was 2 hours faster. We often sailed on main alone to slow enough to stay in touch. Typical speeds were 6.5 to 9 knots... we route planned at 7.5k.

Downwind or broad reaching the cats motion is very gentle even in very large seas. No rolling. Upwind both cats pound (waves slap the bottom of the bridgedeck) severely. To the point of distraction... you''d think the boat was coming apart. (which it probably was over time)

Both cats are outboard powered (retract the motor for sailing) neither cat can manuever well in strong cross winds despite steerable motors. Both cats suffer from overloading.

Although my Edel was lightly equipped (every system was selected based on weight) the overloading comes mainly from water, fuel, and supplies (tools, spares, food, gear).

We sold the boat after this trip.

My wife and I decided after this trip that the Edel was simply too small to carry the stuff we felt we needed without overloading.
It was limited to 60 gallons of water, 25 gallons of fuel, 2 cases of beer, small dinghy, 3hp dink motor),etc, etc.

IMHO the minimum size for a serious offshore capable cruising catamaran is about 43ft. Bigger is better.

We replaced the cat with an Ericson 38 monohull which we cruised over this past winter in the Exumas and down to Provo. We left Florida after Thanksgiving and returned in April.

3000lbs of gear, water, fuel etc lowered the Ericson''s waterline about an inch. 1500lbs of stuff would lower the Edel by 6 inches.

We carried 135 gallons of water, 75 gallons of fuel, 2-10lb propane tanks (the Edel carried 1 6lb) a real 10.5ft hard bottom/inflatable dinghy with 15hp motor. Three big anchors, chain, rodes, etc. (Edel carried one Bruce on short chain and rope and one Fortress also short chain and nylon rode) and more canned goods than we needed.

The boat''s motion in a seaway is much slower and more rythmic than the Edel (which tends to choppy, quick and unpredictable). Boat speed is slower too. We now plan based on 5.5K. We draw 5 ft compared to the Edel''s 3ft. (on this trip it was not an issue). We feel much more secure on this boat and confident that we can handle offshore conditions given that we''re chicken sailors and watch the weather windows carefully. (true for either boat). The Ericson will power into pretty large head seas and wind. The Edel wouldn''t.

The Ericson heels, the Edel didn''t. Not an issue for me but my wife would prefer not to heel.

I can carry the dinghy on stern davits without impacting trim. The Edel''s dink had to be stowed on the tramp.

We anchored in anchorages with the Ericson that would have been very uncomfortable for the Edel (pounding). True the Edel could tuck in closer to shore but I don''t think that would matter much in the Exumas or say French Wells or Abrahams Bay, Mayaguana. If the anchorage was rough, it was rough everywhere.

People often ask why we went back to a mono after having cats. The answer is "cost". We couldn''t afford a catamaran big enough to do this kind of cruising. The Ericson is an affordable compromise. Given a winning lottery ticket I''d buy a large cat. Given building our kitty more or crusiing now, we chose cruising now.

FWIW the Gemini is a fine boat provided you watch the weather carefully and have options for ducking inside when it gets rough. The newer diesel powered ones probably motor ok.

I''d be happy to try to answer specific questions if you email me at rcbutler@hotmail.com.
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  #32  
Old 09-05-2005
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Sunspot Baby is on a distinguished road
Monohull vs cat on extended passage?

By comparison on catamaran capacities:

My Prout 38 carries 110 gal of diesel and 175 gal water. She has twin diesels with Volvo Penta sail drives and is very maneuverable with both engines running. Our engines burn a total of about 1.5 gph going up or down the ICW at about 6 to 6.5 knots at 2200 rpm. We have a 4.2kw diesel powered generator but no air con. We have a small (1.5 gph) water maker that keeps us in water for drinking and cooking and use tank water for bathing and clean up.

We are not fast, as I said in an earlier post, about the same as an equivalent mono. One reason we bought the Prout was its sturdiness. Strength is stressed over speed.

We do live quite comfortably for months on end. During our last cruise we spent time with a lot of people on similar sized cats who were similarly comfortable. The smallest was a 35’ Wildcat which had been beautifully redone on the interior by the owners.

I guess it’s what makes you comfortable that drives what boat is right. Our base line was drawn around two desires. We want ice cubes in our drinks, and fresh water showers as needed. We found multiple monos and cats that could do that. We wanted the option of serious off shore passages that drove us away from some of the lighter, faster boats in both categories. That left us looking at used boats to get our desires within our price range.

I good friend and long time cruiser told me to “get over my prejudices about catamarans” and look at them objectively. I pass along that advice to all. Comparing a true cruising cat to a Hobie is like comparing an Island Packet to a Laser.

You can be happy on either, but as I have said, I find the cat more comfortable than the equivalent mono.

Sunspot Baby
www.stateham.com/sunspotbaby
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  #33  
Old 09-07-2005
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Billpjr is on a distinguished road
Monohull vs cat on extended passage?

You sir, have a motorized condo.

Pick any length cat you want and they share commom traits only seen with multis. An 18'' Hobie and a 74'' cat share those traits. The only difference is wind and wave size.

1)One hull stalls the other when coming about. Don''t put the helm hard over quickly to come about...steer them around and backwind if you need to.

2)Running in following seas...one hull can bury while the other is lifted. Call it what you want, broaching, pitchpoling, whatever but the results are one hull trips the boat, sometimes beyond recovery.


3)Sharp lively motion...each hull raises and lowers independently of the other when waves pass under them. A commonly heard complaint of multihull sailors about anchoring in surge conditions.

4)Heavy loading drastically downgrades speed and windward performance.

5)Waves slap underside of bridge deck.

6)Windvanes don''t react quick enough to keep up with apparent wind changes from a cats rapid accelleration(yes, I know Hobies don''t have them).

There are more "traits" but I''m not going there. It''s not a bash on cats either...it''s just facts about them.
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  #34  
Old 09-08-2005
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Billpjr is on a distinguished road
Monohull vs cat on extended passage?

...and here is an entire message reply pasted from a 43'' cat owner. I just came across it on another web site.

Posted: Sep 6, 2005 21:42:45
Quote

We daysail once a week and overnight about one mounth a year. I have a 43'' cat that I sailed over from CA. to Hawaii and mostly love it but interisland upwind the motion gets to the wife and kids, not so bad in light trades but it''s mostly stong trades here. We love cruising in HI but with our seas I need to find somthing that will keep my crew happier. DJ
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  #35  
Old 11-03-2005
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TalbotUK is on a distinguished road
Monohull vs cat on extended passage?

My credentials - I have owned a cruising cat for 18 years, and before that covered a fair number of miles in monos.

I have just read through all the messages on this forum and am amazed at the ****** that is being written as gospel thruth by some people that profess to know all about a cat because they once set foot onboard one in harbour.

Some truths about cats:
cruising cat sailing characteristics are nothing like an 18 ft hobie.
Weight is detrimental to performance.
bridgedeck clearance is essential in an offshore cat - a gemini will slam dreadfully.
Capsize on a cruising cat is sauch a remote possibility that it can be ignored, however running too fast down a big wave, digging the bow into the next wave and pitchpoling is a significant hazard for a racing cat, and not to be ignored by a cruising boat.
Some cats are designed to carry additional weight for cruising and some are not. - Good example being the Prout Snowgoose, and the Prout Snowgoose Elite - the later being a modified version of the first but designed for the weight of cruising.
A cat needs to be sailed further off the wind than a mono - depending on boat design and water conditions. Hull speed is essential to minimise leeway.
A decent modern designed Cat would surprise you in terms of performance. A good friend was watch leader on a Broadblue 42 and came on watch after a good sleep thinking that there was a little bit more splashing than when he went to bed, to discover that the boat was happily running close hauled at 20 kts in a 40kt apparent wind.
I would guess that everyone has heard of the tradegy that happened during one of the Fastnet races. What is not known so well is that there were a pair of Prout Snowgooses about 50 miles south of the race boats who were perfectly happy and wondered what all the fuss was about when they reached harbour.
I initially bought my Cat cause my wife did not like being heeled over. I plan to travel transat and transpac and intend that this will be onboard a Prout (unless the lottery comes in - in which case it will be a broadblue 43
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  #36  
Old 11-04-2005
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Billpjr is on a distinguished road
Monohull vs cat on extended passage?

You have 18 yrs multi owner experience and a fair amount of miles in monos. I have 40 yrs mono ownership and a fair amount of miles in multis...32''-74''. It has nothing to do with "dock walking" and everything to do with the common denominators of multihulls...sail, power, big, small.

You failed to mention having to "steer" a cat around to come about. Slam the wheel hard over as done in a monohull and one hull stalls the other...putting you in irons. I know, it''s just another minor detail that gets lost in the conversation.

If Hobies share no characteristics with large cats please explain your earlier statements of why these factors don''t apply...because everyone of them is identical to optimum performance on every cat...

"however running too fast down a big wave, digging the bow into the next wave and pitchpoling is a significant hazard for a racing cat, and not to be ignored by a cruising boat."

"Weight is detrimental to performance"

"A cat needs to be sailed further off the wind than a mono"

"Hull speed is essential to minimise leeway"


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  #37  
Old 11-20-2005
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whoulihan is on a distinguished road
Monohull vs cat on extended passage?

Wow - What fun reading! A real kick. My $0.02 worth....
My last boat an Ericson 38'' - one of the best boats ever. Current boat a Fountaine Pajot 38''. Only owned a year, so I have taken a lot of interest in sailing Cats in bad weather.
Severe weather can be bad in either Mono or Multi. There are plenty of stories to support either belief. As Catamarans are becoming more popular we are beginning to see reports of successful crossings. Mine, for example, came across the pond in the ''99 ARC.
I admit I do not have enough experience to comment - but there are sure a lot of catamarans sailing the world.
Regards
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  #38  
Old 11-23-2005
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gunkhole is on a distinguished road
Monohull vs cat on extended passage?

Take a look at the book, "Cruising in Catamarans" by Charles E. Kanter. Wonderfully informative. Spoke to Mr. Kanter and his wife at the Annapolis Boat Show this year. Since we do not know much about cats and are looking at several different ones on which to retire in the next few years, it seemed expedient to speak to someone with 32 years of experience. Mr. Kanter has helped us narrow our search, both by speaking to him in person and by reading his book. He addresses many of the myths perpetuated by those who may not know any different. Such as going to windward. Dennis Connor on his 60'' cat pointed up to 5 degrees better than a 120'' high tech racing boat during the 1990 America''s Cup Challenge. I understand that his cat was not a cruising cat, but it points out that all inclusive comments about a certain boat''s abilities are not always accurate.
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  #39  
Old 11-24-2005
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WHOOSH is on a distinguished road
Monohull vs cat on extended passage?

Amongst a lot of opinion on this lengthy thread, I find some very helpful summaries on comparing cats to monohulls for offshore cruising - and I notice they come from folks who have actual long-sitance cruising experience on both types of hulls.

By contrast and in response to the previous post, every time I''ve heard Mr. Kanter speak (numerous occasions plus articles he''s authored) I always come away with the sense he''s pitching a specific preference vs. offering an impartial analysis. Because of his experience - extensive in some respects but very limited in others - to me this means his remarks can be useful but only if viewed in context. You can learn a lot about Buicks from a Buick salesman, but he''s probably not the guy from whom you want to learn about BMW''s.

Note the topic of the thread: Extended passagemaking, cat vs. mono? Let''s just keep in mind that Mr. Kanter has never to my knowledge done extended passagemaking on a monohull, has limited his own personal cruising principally to the Bahamas and U.S. East Coast, and that occasional delivery trips on cats offer only a limited perspective on cruising a cat offshore while offering one no info about cruising a monohull.

No offense intended to Mr. Kanter; let''s just keep opinion and preference lined up under their respective headings, and experience under its own.

Jack
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  #40  
Old 11-24-2005
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magnusmurphy is on a distinguished road
Monohull vs cat on extended passage?

I''m really impressed with the longevity of this thread after my initial question. One thing is clear: There is no clear answer (I guess the one thing isn''t clear...).

Seems that both options are good. different strokes for different folks...

Keep the debate coming

M Murphy
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