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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited by Moderator)
After years of tears, blood and sweat I've reluctantly come to the conclusion that the kind of cruising we will be doing in the tropics is best suited for a catamaran - low draft, good downhill stability, comfortable at anchor, it was time to let Ithaka move on and buy a multihull.

I'm curious about the transition - any experience out there on how the move changed you as a sailor? I get that heeling is gone, but there has to be more to the change in experience than that. I'd like to hear from anyone who made the change and what surprised you, what was most difficult and any general tips on moving from a monohull to a cat.
 

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I'd say the biggest difference you will experience sailing a catamaran compared to your mono is how much more time you have to sail because you aren't maintaining teak. :p

Seriously, though, there isn't much difference. I know this isn't a popular, or usual position, but you will find full time "cruising" sailing vs day and weekend "coastal" sailing to be a much bigger difference than between catamaran and monohull.

The "feeling" of being under sail is definitely different between the two, but the actual sailing differences are minor. You will learn not to pinch with a catamaran, and to be very decisive in tacking. Your anus will learn to unpucker when going downwind in larger seas as it realizes that a catamaran is a train on rails that isn't going to broach or make you take over from the autopilot. Large beam seas will annoy you more, as will short chop on the nose, but you will no longer curse powerboats that wake you. You will sleep much better at anchor, but may need earplugs on passage. You won't need leecloths, and will enjoy sprawling steadily on a queen size bed underway.

I can't think of anything that surprised us, the change wasn't difficult - in fact it was very easy, and the biggest tip is to keep the boat as light as reasonably possible. There is so much space that it is too easy to pile things in and load it up. A catamaran sailing performance suffers much more rapidly from weight than a monohull.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
At the risk of starting an argument (hey, it's what sailors do!) I'm partial to the Bali 4.2 Size feels right, it's more of a performance-cruiser than the Lagoons, Leopards ect, I like the hard foredeck/integrated - it's not reliant on bulkheads and crossbeams that seem to be failure points on cats. The "garage door" and forward cockpit appear offer interesting outdoor living.
 

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Beneteau 393
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At the risk of starting an argument (hey, it's what sailors do!) I'm partial to the Bali 4.2 Size feels right, it's more of a performance-cruiser than the Lagoons, Leopards ect, I like the hard foredeck/integrated - it's not reliant on bulkheads and crossbeams that seem to be failure points on cats. The "garage door" and forward cockpit appear offer interesting outdoor living.
Yes, I saw that in a boat show and the way the back doors open up is amazing. It makes the whole cockpit flow through the interior. Its a thing I look for in houses where the back living area flows into the back garden.

Each of the new catamarans have some feature that new engineering has given (where monohulls seem to have stopped developing). The Leopards with the seating area on the cockpit roof suddenly doubles living space. But, crikey, they're expensive.


Mark
 
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