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Solon
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What does everyone think about catamaran sailboats? I have not seen any post about them. Are they harder to sail? Are they safer in off shores sailing?
 

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Look up Bumfuzzle and multi versus mono. He wrote a great article comparing the two.

As for this boat - it looks like a nightmare. But it's pretty cheap. If you don't give a damn and just want to sail one - maybe it's okay. Definitely not my kind of ride though. The scotch glasses are dirty.
 

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Once they are full of cruising gear they dont point up wind . They are great when you get any where as far as space is concerned, they need huge anchoring gear as they try and sail the anchor out and very noisy with waves in between the hulls and when at sea in the rough most of them flex so much that you almost get catapulted through the roof and all the doors fly open.They make great floating caravans personally I wouldnt have one but lots of people love theirs.My father recently did a 2000 mile delivery on one into the wind he reckoned a good mono would have got to port a day earlier.
 

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Lookin' for an excuse ...
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I'm no expert on catamarans and have sailed only a few. One thing I noticed early on and then actually started looking for was the location of the stays. Most of the port and starboard stays are further aft of the beam than on a monohull. This compensates for the absence of a back stay. The problem is you can't move the boom out too far when going downwind.

Other than that minor complaint, they are fast. On a delivery a couple of years ago, we had a 31' catamaran up to 13 knots in the gulf stream off the coast of Florida. Then the owner decided to reduce sail. It was night and pitch black. My recommendation was to leave things as they were rather than turn broadside to some steep swells as we turned into the wind. And that brings up the other topic of safety. In a monohull, I would not be as concerned, but a catamaran can get flipped with a rogue wave.

Nevertheless, they sure are fun to sail and all the space makes for a lot of room to stretch out when at anchor.
 

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Remember you're a womble
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I think the main problem with catamarans is that they are, almost without exception, ugly.
My wife would probably love one, she doesn't like heeling. The space would be nice. Their ability to go to wind and their ability to tack would concern me. Perhaps if we were to go for an extended cruising lifestyle they would make sense, but for the sailing I do, I like my mono.
 

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Solon
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Discussion Starter #10
Please don't pity me lol. I'm new to sailing and the computer. Why don't you cheer up a little. I'm just trying learn a few things. Why do people even leave a unfriendly remark anyway? Life is GREAT so try to enjoy it, and try being nice you feel better and look better.....
 

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Solon
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Discussion Starter #11
Paul you are right. They just don't look right to me. The only thing I do like is the space they seem to have. It's hard for me to understand why they so much faster? I'm in no hurry that know of for now.
 

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We were just talking about all the cats we see that are motoring....do they know how to sail? what's the deal? I was sailing downwind in 12-14 knots yesterday at the bottom end of Bass Harbor and about 2 miles in front of me 2 cats motoring along, they would of been on a nice beam reach. seems to be the rule here that the cat folks to motor... For the past two months sailing up and down Phang Na bay, more cats motoring on a daily basis, no these are not the Sunsail crowd either....Not sure what the attraction is.
 
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Sailed a small (23') French cat the other day, for the first time. I understand the attraction: it was fast, pointed at least reasonably well (35 or better AWA, no instruments so I couldn't tell exactly but we were sheeted in tight). Cockpit was massive, easily as much room as a 40' boat. If anything too wide - the traveler was nutty, like 7' or more, I had to get up to release the other line to move the car.

Took a little getting used to the lack of momentum through tacks, I definitely failed a few.

Tried my darndest to get a hull up, no dice (not enough wind). Not sure that would have been a good idea.

I missed the "feel" of a mono reacting to every change in the wind. But I understand the appeal.
 

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I am writing the ASA 214 exam next week, so I have been collecting web sites
Catamaran Vs Monohull
Multihulls vs. Monohulls | Advantages | Catamarans & Trimarans | West Coast Multihulls
Marine Scene Limited
If others have more - bring them on.
Jack
these are all pretty biased views written from the point of cat-lovers... ;)
there was one thing in all of them:
"if a cat capsizes, it stays afloat turtled - a mono sinks within 30 seconds..."
where does that BS come from?
that is just plain bollocks! why should a mono sink the time it capsizes?
it might loose its rig, but it will right itself again in no matter of time...
read this:
Dudley Dix Yacht Design: Our Cape to Rio Race Wrap-up
and this maybe:
Dudley Dix Yacht Design: Some Thoughts on Capsize in the Atlantic

so the question is rather:
are you willing to stay in an overturned boat for days and await rescue, or are you rather prefer an upright boat and wait there for rescue if you desire or simply keep on going? :p

and that is exactly the point why i prefer monos with all their disadvantages if i go for long term, ocean crossing cruises...
 

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regarding speed...
lets have a look at the results of last years ARC in the cruising division:
we are going to compare elapsed time of boats with similar length (the elapsed time is bold and shows days/hrs:min:sec - the type of boat is in brackets):
monos:
56 Shine (Grand Soleil 56) GBR 10/08:26:37 80.10 47 A (finished 3rd on elapsed time and 47th on corrected)
61 Miss Malin (Hanse 575) SWE 10/15:11:30 38.00 16 A
49 Tashatoo III (Gunfleet 58) GBR 10/16:56:46 73.50 27 B
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123 Xirene (X-482) NED 11/14:48:22 24.67 6 D
multi:
64 Blue Ocean (Lagoon 560) POL 10/23:52:26 31.00 2 B (finished 2nd on elapsed time and on corrected)
57 Aurora (Catana 58) GBR 11/09:27:29 29.00 5 A
who was faster?
from http://www.worldcruising.com/content/S635232508049847195/ARC2013 Results Overall by Division 211213.pdf

i left the gunboat 62 which won the multihull division and the top two on elapsed time - an oyster 885 and an oyster 655 - of the mono out, because these type boats were just out of proportion... the x 482 is just there to show you how fast well sailed smaller monos can go... ;)
it just shows what another smart guy here already said: load a multi for cruising, sail it on a long ocean passage and their speed advantage comes down to naught! ;)
cruising multis are good for bay hopping and... nothing else! :p
 

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There are some facts and even more personal preferences that separate the two. From my perspective (mix of fact and subjective), a mono is simply more versatile overall. I say monos are more weather capable and will fit in more marinas. In fact, my marina has no cats, as there is no where one would fit. I suppose one could rent two slips and have them remove the finger pier between. Imagine how expensive that would be.

Cats are bigger and you often have the redundancy of two motors. Of course, there is plenty of kidding between mono drivers and cat drivers. From this mono owner, I sure see cats motor alot! One big advantage of a cat, beyond their roominess, is their shallow draft, so one could argue they will fit in more anchorages, if not marinas. Cat can theoretically sail faster for the same LWL, but flip one and you're done. A mono should right itself, albeit, without her rig intact and you're still in a world of hurt.

Since you get two hulls, two motors, etc, the cost of ownership of a cat can be high too.
 

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We've chartered them, never owned one so take this with a grain of sea salt. Also, I'm assuming you mean typical cruising cats, not beach cats, etc.

Good: Lots of room. 2 couples, each get their own boat with a salon connecting them. 2 motors, easy to maneuver in close quarters with just the throttles. Fast reaching. You don't have to put stuff away to go sailing. Can leave a drink on the salon table and have it not spill, not much healing. Great outside visibility from the salon. Great party platform in the cockpit. A monohull would need to be 2X to get that kinda room. Great in places like Belize where the water is thin inside the reef.

Bad: No sense of sailing for me. Feels like I took my dock out for a sail. Guess we just like boats that heal? Even on a fast reach, faster than a monohull, I don't feel like I'm sailing. A different motion in a seaway. A bit more jerky, not smooth. This is clearly a matter of personal taste.

Ugly: We don't like how they look. YMMV.


If considering one, I'd get out sailing on it before I decided. Many people love them and you might be one of them.
 

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I can't stand a "leaner."

First, well, they LEAN. I find it exceptionally uncomfortable that when the monohull is on its best performance, I am suffering from cricked knees trying to find some sort of position that, if I'm standing, I'm on an uphill, and if sitting, I'm braced against something to keep from falling to the other side. Eew.

They roll. I find the motion of a monohull dizzying. A multihull may pitch, but at least it's just fore-and-aft. In a monohull, I'm bouncing fore, aft, and side-to-side. Eew.

No room on deck to work, banging your toes on the deck fittings. It's an exercise in gymnastics to get from one end of the boat to another, on a monohull. Ouch.

No room in the master areas. I've got heads bigger than a lot of monohull salons.

I don't care about pointing, but I have found that to mostly be a myth. I had an F-27GS trimaran that at least in the races I've been in against monohulls, outpointed most of them. My cruising cat doesn't fall that far below monohull pointing ability, but a bit of footing off and I'm way faster anyway.

A lot of the monohull assertions against cats are repeated here, and most are frankly crap. I've never found it to be difficult or particularly expensive to find dockage, at least from Virginia to Mississippi. Most of the assertions about cat performance are about cats which are either overloaded or sailed by ex-leaner sailors who frankly don't know how to sail multihulls, I've seen plenty of that.

What is true, though, is that even though a multihull would invert and not return, they are very, very unlikely to sink. You roll over a leaner and the rig will be wiped. If, and that is a big if, the keel stays intact, you are then in rough seas with a pendulum at the bottom of your already rolly platform which from the accounts I've read (get an early version of Coles "Heavy Weather Sailing") is an extremely nasty experience. And if holed, the leaner will certainly sink.

Solon, really, if you just spend some time Googling, there are myriad, myriad threads about this on all sailing fora. Most have devolved into arguments.
 

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They most often devolve into an argument when a cat owner chimes in and calls monohull assertions, crap.
 
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If I could have found one I liked, that I could have afforded, I would be in one right now. I like them.

I think in ten years, it will be a lot easier to find a good used one. I don't know that I would want to take one across the Atlantic, but that's not what I ever plan on doing. For coastal and Caribbean cruising, which is what I do, I think they are perfect.

I know the last time I was in the Bahamas, I lost count of how many really nice anchorages I could have used with a catamaran, that I couldn't use with my five foot draft. I've spent some time on a few and you just can't beat the way they are laid out.

I really think they will overtake monohulls in popularity in the next 20 years.
 
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