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post #30 of Old 05-16-2018
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Re: Catamaran or Monohull- which is best?

Originally Posted by Seaman_3rdClass View Post
My experience in this forum has been that folks are tremendously helpful, including many on this thread. I've learned so much by both posting questions and reading others' threads. But you can't come in with an imperious attitude that says, I have the money, now give me a quick summary of exactly what I want, but I don't want to waste my precious time reading to learn enough to pose an intelligent question. People are essentially donating their time to help others they likely will never meet. They are not your domestic help.

To take this in a more constructive direction, I actually have a question related to the topic of this thread. My limited experience chartering catamarans (Nautitech 40, Helia 44, Bali 4.3) in the Caribbean has been that they are quite bad at actually sailing, especially beating. The Nautitech 40 was probably the least bad, but the Bali 4.3 would actually stall during a tack and you'd have to turn on the engine to complete the tack. It was also very nose-heavy with its all-fiberglass nose and while beating in confused seas would plunge heavily into swells producing quite uncomfortable cork-screwing motion. (I myself am a mono sailor during the summer). I noticed most cats in the Caribbean don't even bother sailing closer to the wind, they just motor.

A while ago there was a thread about cats where someone posted a link to an article discussing "good" and "bad" catamarans. Are the cats in the 40-50' range typically found in the Carribean charter fleets (DYC, Moorings, Sunsail etc.) mostly in the "bad" catamaran category, i.e., underpowered and overweight floating condos? Or are some of them (e.g. the Sunsail Leopards) actually fun to sail, and not just with the wind abeam or behind you?
I don't know if it's a good vs bad thing, it's more a question of how you want to weigh your compromise.

Catamarans are subject to all the same rules of hydro dynamics and aerodynamics as monohulls.

Some of the cruising cats I have observed have high freeboards and big superstructures that create a lot of upwind resistance. When this windage is combined with say, shallow keels for hydrodynamic lift, it is going to have an impact on up wind performance when compared to an otherwise identical boat with a more aerodynamic design above the waterline and a more hydrodynamically efficient design below the waterline.

There is no doubt I my mind that some cruising cats are complete slugs to weather. Earlier this season I was beating to weather in my overloaded asymetrical beach cat and I over took a popular 40ft cruising cat that was motoring hard into the same wind. Not all cats are created equal.
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