Join Date: Feb 2018
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Re: Catamaran or Monohull- which is best?
The time I have spent working at the sailing center has been an eye opener on this topic. Many different types of boats are sailed from the sailing center mono, cats and tri-hulls. Weather that may make for a scary heavy lean, self righting knockdown or roundabout in a mono and an exciting tale to tell can result in a knock over/turtle and salvage in a multi-hull. Yes technically its harder to knock over a multi-hull boat yet those are the ones we are most often called out to rescue. On a small multi-hull its an inconvenience to send out a rib or skiff to right them however on a larger one its a salvage operation.
One may note that for severely disabled sailors who are paraplegics a self righting mono-hull is the sailing vessel of choice and not a multi-hull. We have a number of handicapped sailors who are paraplegics or double amputees who single handed race and about all of them race the heavily ballasted self righting mono's.
Then we have events such as the gents from Michigan who sailed into a squall on their multi-hull out in the Gulf of Mexico without dropping sail/reefing soon enough and ended up pitch pooling the boat having a total loss. Big error in judgement there however with a much more dramatic end result.
I am no expert however have seen enough watching the rescue boats go out to give serious consideration to the pluses and minuses of both types of boats. Currently I would be inclined to go with a mono-hull for a live aboard vessel that can deal with worst case scenarios with a much greater chance of returning to upright after a knockdown and get you more boat for lower cost both on the initial purchase and in marina fees.