Originally Posted by Minnewaska
If having a good story about being the fastest boat within sight on a given passage was scientific, there would be an awful lot of contrary evidence.
i will have to agree with that one, although i don't have any ill feelings towards mulitihulls. i don't really like the looks of the big cruising catamarans but i have always thought the hobie cats looked cool and seemed to rock out, on a reach.
anyway, a lot of people who are just out for a sail aren't really mindful of sail trim and that kind of thing. you could have an average boat and, if your sail is set will and trimmed right, walk past a more performance oriented boat with it's sail poorly trimmed and set. for instance, a lot of people over trim; thinking the extra heel means more speed when it's often just the opposite. so, you really can't PROVE anything by who you pass on a day sailing.
however, that said, i know the hobie cats on lake marburg really move out. they don't seem to point as high as monohulls, which i think is why everyone cuts their windward performance down, but you can often make better time by falling off the wind a degree or two, rather than trying to pinch every degree you can out of your boat.
honestly, i think it all comes down to what you like. i know monohulls, not catamarans ( having never sailed one ), so i tend to lean that way (excuse the pun). but i won't knock the guys rolling along on their catamarans. looks like they are having a blast, to me.
there was this guy, in a windrider trimaran (18' i think), sailing on lake marburg a few years ago. i was out in my little dinghy ( 10' LOA. 9' LWL ). there were a few monohulls that were quite a bit larger than my boat, on the lake. the wind was blowing pretty good. i was running down towards the far end of the lake. then, i realized i was really flying and the only other person on the lake was that guy in the trimaran. as can happen when running, the wind speed had crept up on my without me realizing just how high it had gotten.
all of the other, larger, monohulls had sailed back, or had almost gotten back, by that time. the wind had really really gotten up. i turned back and beat my way back towards the sailors cove. i was hanging my weight out to wind and, for the biggest gusts, easing the sail enough to alow the luff to lose it's shape a bit while still driving the boat. it was a bit dicey, really. i was working my butt off to keep making way to wind without ending up in the lake.
that guy in the windrider was just sailing along. heeled pretty good but safe from capsize because of his boat's design. when we both got back to the dock, we talked a bit. the wind was really blowing by that time. he told me he thought i must have been crazy to be out there in my little boat. i have to say one thing for his multi hull, he looked a lot more comfortable in the wind conditions than i was. of course, his boat was almost twice the size of mine but, still, it wasn't as big as the monhulls that called it quits because of the wind.