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post #1 of 12 Old 12-30-2019 Thread Starter
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Sailing multihull versus monohull?

Been a monohull guy all my life for no particular reason. Am very enamored with the idea of a trimaran (like Corsair 27). Any big differences in sailing one? Am not a racer so figured we'd stay reefed until we figure it out.

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post #2 of 12 Old 12-30-2019
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Re: Sailing multihull versus monohull?

For what itís worth, Iíve sailed Hobie Cats and canít point as high into the wind, and when tacking seems easier to stall into irons. I imagine also that maneuvering under power is different if there is a prop on each hull. Maybe with a trimaran the prop is on the center hull.
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Re: Sailing multihull versus monohull?

If you are in SF like your profile says, there are probably a lot of Corsair 27's or similar type boats in that area. Maybe meet a couple of owners and pick their brains or get invited for a sail?


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post #4 of 12 Old 12-30-2019
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Re: Sailing multihull versus monohull?

I think the most important thing one needs to understand when going from a monohull to a multihull that can actually sail (not roomarans) is that they must be kept light. As they cannot heel to relieve the pressure of the wind in the sails and on the rig, they must be light enough to accelerate and bring the apparent wind forward, thereby luffing the sails.
With all the extra storage space in the amas, it is tempting to fill it up with gear, but this is just not a good practice. Empty water jugs, a few light sails and perhaps extra lifejackets are about the limit, weight wise, of what one should carry in the amas. Certainly not spare anchors and rodes, line or full containers of water or fuel.
It is also important to understand that multihulls do not tip over, people tip them over. I know of several trimarans that have sailed thousands of miles unmanned and not tipped over. Use quick releasing cleats, like cam or jam cleats on your sheets and always be prepared to let your sheets go should a gust hit the boat.
The discussion about pointing ability on a good multihull is a moot point as the ability of a good multihull to out-foot any monohull by 1.5 times or more will usually mean the multihull will reach the windward point sooner anyway. Learning to tack the boat is a more important factor when comparing sailing characteristics, but as with most things, a bit of practice and you will overcome this difficulty. Being a much lighter vessel, the multihull will slow radically if the helm is thrown over too far too fast, so a gentle touch is what's needed.
And, IMO, a good sailing multihull is a lot more fun to sail that any monohull over 22 feet or so. But you don't make any friends when you blow by a bunch of monohulls racing each other and you are just sailing along, not even trying to out run them.
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Re: Sailing multihull versus monohull?

Originally Posted by dadio917 View Post
Been a monohull guy all my life for no particular reason. Am very enamored with the idea of a trimaran (like Corsair 27). Any big differences in sailing one? Am not a racer so figured we'd stay reefed until we figure it out.
I suggest joining the Yahoo Farrier group and, if possible, sailing on one. You're going to get a lot of misinformation here. You will also need to be pretty specific; there are trimarans, and there are trimarans. If you mean Farrier designs:

* Keep it light. But you can cruise them if you keep the junk out.
* There is less room below but more room on deck.
* With the wide tramps, it's pretty hard to fall off. Really hard.
* Very shallow draft with the boards up, but to sail they draw 5-6 feet. Since that is a dagger board, that can be damaged by high speed groundings, you don't sail fast in thin water.
* They point and tack very much like monos. In fact, while tacking there is only one hull in the water, so that should be sort of obvious. They tack nothing like Hobie cats. The are easy and fun to tack.
* They are faster if you push. Most owners will see 12-15 knots off the wind regularly, and some faster. To windward they are only a little faster.
* They are performance boats, not cruising slugs. You will either reef or bring your A-game. If reefed they are pretty calm, and you don't reef that early.
* The motion is quicker. Some like it, some don't.
* They heel more than cats and less than monos. Obviously.
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post #6 of 12 Old 12-30-2019
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Re: Sailing multihull versus monohull?

I don't know why Capta but I expected a different response from you on this subject, and I am pleasantly surprised.

IMO, a good sailing multihull is a lot more fun to sail that any monohull over 22 feet or so
The mono versus multi debate has gone on forever, and will outlive me I am sure. Me as, as a former never multi guy, sailed a condo cat in the Caribbean Kindergarten I don't have Capta's experience for sure. We sailed a 39 footer against our fellow sail club members 43 foot mono, and frankly just off wind we outpaced them dramatically, usually by a knot or better. It was an eye opener for me, and instantly converted me. Especially since we did so with 3 staterooms with comfy beds and 2 heads, and seating for 8 inside at the dinner table, not to mention the crew decided to rub it in, and cook a lasagna while underway as we were passing the mono (for the 2nd time - its only fun if you can prove it twice you know).

As for the tri in specific. I'll relate a tale of racing our "tiny monos" on an inland lake. Winds were up good, probably 15-20 knots, whitecaps, and many of us are reefed, or have geared down dramatically. We were "joined" by a trailered in Corsair F27 tri, who ran reefed mainsail only and literally circled the fleet 3 times while we were staging for our start. We weren't racing slugs either, B25, J80, J24s, S2 7.9s, Capri 25, etc. These weren't slow monos and that Corsair walked away from us all and he did so with no headsail handling at the time and with a drink in his hand, in between taking pictures of our fleet. Now I'd guess he'd be murdered upwind, but my bets is he'd still stay ahead overall.

For a quick turn of speed, and a smooth, fun ride, they would be a compelling option.
I still prefer the motion of a mono in heavy seas though.

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Re: Sailing multihull versus monohull?

Have a friend who sells them out of Wareham MA. They are a total blast. Trainable by a car not a truck. Reasonable interior if not used for liveaboard. Outpoints cats by a far margin. Donít hobbyhorse like cats. Can be singled without much effort. And boy do they fly. Less money than Dragonfly.
On the cruising side Neel does a good job and Iíve been seeing them in the ARC. Other than Outremer Iíd rather have one of the new Neels. But my favorite multi remains the Rapido. Especially now that the 50 has come out which checks all the boxes. Looking forward to seeing a Razorcat. Performance and real thought to cruising. Drawings and computer models are very intriguing. Friend in Barrington is bringing them to market.

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post #8 of 12 Old 12-31-2019
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Re: Sailing multihull versus monohull?

I owned a performance oriented 23 foot trimaran back in the 1970's. It was essentially an enlarged beach tri without accommodations and only a small cutty to store gear and a large enough cockpit sole that you could rig a boom tent and sleep in the cockpit. Since then I have sailed on an early Corsair. Personally I liked the trimarans better than the cats that I have sailed. The speeds hit in my trimaran were enormous compared to pretty much any mono-hull that I have ever sailed. On one particular occasion in strong winds on a deep reach we were moving around the same speed as small power boats at speed and we the burdened vessel as the overtaking vessel. I think that the newer tri's are better, but my small tri at speed was like getting hit with a fire hose as water came off the bow and up over the tramps. The new tri's seem to all have a deflector above the waterline.

My sense is that Tris will pretty much produce the same or better VMG upwind as much larger Monohulls. They are much faster but usually do not point quite as high as a Monohull. Unlike most cruising cats, the speed of the tri (or a performance cat) will bring the apparent wind forward and that means that the angle to the true wind tends to be a little wider. My sense is that with proper sails, the angle to the true wind isn't as different as it with beach cats. The apparent lack of pointing is often partially offset by not making as much leeway as a monohull.

In terms of cruising, my sense is that a tri has about same space and carrying capacity as a performance monohull that is roughly 2/3 to 3/4 of the length. What I do not like is the way that a tri flops from one hull to the other making it hard to tie up to a dock or another boat. I also find that tries with a good design and build quality tend to be very expensive and that tris' without a build quality end up being even more expensive in the long run.

The bottom line is that there is no inherently right or wrong answer on this....Only personal preference. As others have suggested you should try to spend some time on tri's of differing designs in a variety of conditions. Then you will know whether it fits your preferences.


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post #9 of 12 Old 12-31-2019
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Re: Sailing multihull versus monohull?

I owned an F-27 for 9 years and now share a 34ft monohull with my father.

The F-27 is pure sailing pleasure. Winds are mostly light here in the Pacific Northwest so having a boat that moves in light winds is important. I had the most fun day sailing with three or 4 crew. It would be a rare race boat that can achieve the same sort of speeds with only three crew.

The boat was also built and designed very carefully. Very low maintenance and any time you think you could improve something, you realize that it has already bean maximized.

So the outstanding differences between the Tri and the mono to me are, tri is way more fun to sail with on point crew and can be adrenaline producing fun in stronger winds. The mono is better for relaxing sailing especially with non keen sailors. The Tri is scary in strong winds. After 9 years with the Tri, everything so far on the mono is slow and easy to handle even in 40 knot winds. The response is just not the same.

I had been caught many times with full sail cruising along at 8 knots only to have the wind build a little and you find yourself instantly increasing speed to 12 then 16; then slow down!

Anchoring or docking in any kind of wind is tough, as the boat is light and responds to wind very quickly.

Donít worry about upwind performance on the Tri. It is amazing. Sure you wonít point as high at the 27ft racing monohull making 5 knots through the water while you are making 8 knots, but rest assured you will round the windward mark well ahead. Another way to look at it is that you could easily pinch up and sit right beside that 27ft monohull, but each degree you crack off will gain you speed. You just need to figure out which heading gives you maximum VMG. It is actually hard to keep the boat pointing high because for every degree you crack off, you gain significant speed.
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post #10 of 12 Old 01-04-2020
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Re: Sailing multihull versus monohull?


Enthusiast hit it out of the park with his response. All to often people respond with no direct experience relative to your question. I too loved my Corsair F-31UC. An absolute amazing vessel if you are an adrenaline junky. Might I suggest attending one of Don Wigston and Randy Smyth's twice annual Corsair Multihull clinics in Fort Walton FL. I've been sailing and racing multihulls since 1985 and cannot say enough good things about their clinics. Here is a link to contact them. Do the clinic first, then pull the trigger on a Corsair F-27. Get ahold of me anytime for any additional questions.

windcraftmultihulls dot com (silly sailnet will not let me post link)

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