They certainly seem to be able to sail - even in F8/F9 conditions off the African coast.
For most of us sailing entails more than reaching and running. Of course, they sail those huge cats to the West Indies and other destinations from where they're built, but I'd bet you dollars to donuts, if conditions don't lend themselves to getting where they want to go under sail, they quickly crank up those diesels to get the job done. However, around here they certainly do not sail them very often, even when the conditions are favorable. I see half a dozen or so of those monsters every week, and it is a rarity to see any sail up. They seem to be chartered strictly as luxury platforms to tour the islands in grand comfort. But any way one looks at them, they are by no means the performance yacht that the equivalent size monohull would be. That
is what I meant by my comment about the husband.
As for circular staircases, whatever. I haven't seen many on any sort of sailing yacht and they seem a bit pretentious to me.
I know you don't like hearing the negatives about cats for some reason (1.5 to 2 times the dockage and haul out fees to a comparable mono, for instance), and though I'm certainly not prejudiced against multihulls I feel it is very important that those interested in purchasing one understand there is a huge difference between the roomarans and the performance cats. They are as different as a Tahiti Ketch and Mark's boat, Sea Life.
If you had spent 6 years surrounded by catamarans of all sorts, as Nikki and I have, perhaps you might understand the information I am trying to pass on. We have friends and acquaintances that own and sail every sort of cat, from Lagoons to those with wave piercing bows, and even one deep sea ocean racer with a swiveling mast. I've seen them with dual steering stations stuck at the extreme outside of each hull way out in the weather with absolutely no protection, and others with dual cockpit stations from which they can't see anything on the other side of the boat at all. That must be quite difficult when coming into a marina or crowded anchorage, and those are on the better performing boats.
As you might expect, when it's happy hour and sailors get together, they talk about their boats. After a few beers they talk a bit more honestly. You can argue and ignore my comments on cats and go boldly forth and purchase one, no sweat off my brow, but you might be surprised how many cruising couples that have made the switch, have come to feel they have made a huge, very expensive mistake. Perhaps one or two will post on here? I also know many, many more, who are very happy with their cats.
But before someone dumps the better side of 300k on any boat, especially one of a sort you have no experience on (like a monohull sailor interested in a cat), I think it would be a good idea to go rent one for two weeks or so and sail her in weather that isn't ideal, or even fun. That's
when one finds out whether any boat is what one expected her to be. Even a week of Christmas Winds might change your mind, or not. At least that is easily accomplished these days, with most cat designs available for charter, as a bareboat or crewed charter.
But to think that the cats over 70 feet, built for the luxury market, are especially good sailboats on all points of sail is a bit naive. I doubt even the manufacturers state that. They are absolutely PERFECT
for their market niche, though. Nikki and I would love to operate one for an owner, if we were seeking employment. But just like the captains who sail them around here, if I had to get back to Martinique from the Tobago Cays (140 miles), I'd crank up those big diesels, put up a bit of main for ambiance, point my nose into the wind and get the passengers to their destination as comfortably as possible, in a climate controlled environment. After all, that is exactly what they were designed and built for.