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Catamaran or Monohull

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by dwlingren, Jan 14, 2019.

  1. dwlingren

    dwlingren New Member

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    Curious what experienced cruisers prefer when sailing the East Coast down to the Caribbean or Blue water. I am looking at a 45-60’ sailboat and would appreciate the insight of sailing veterans. The boat would be handled by my wife and me.
  2. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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  3. alvareza

    alvareza New Member

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  4. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    For live aboard space and shallow draft allowing you to go where many monuhulls can’t get to, a Cat wins easily

    Down side is harder to find dockage. No a big issue in the Bahamas and carib where you will spend more time anchored but definitely an issue stateside
  5. SeaLion

    SeaLion Senior Member

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    Like dockage, beam can be a limiting factor for haulouts. You have to find a yard with a wide travelift.
  6. genevatexan

    genevatexan New Member

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    We found our chartered 48 cat two years ago had great difficult pointing/sailing close to the wind. Not sure if it was the rig but our previous monohull wins there hands down.
  7. AFranklin

    AFranklin New Member

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    Generally speaking monohull will point higher, catamaran will be faster off the wind. Both will be quite a handful over 50' for a couple with limited experience.

    Keep in mind a 36' cat will have the living space of a 45' mono.
  8. Oscarvan

    Oscarvan Senior Member

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    I was going to say something like that, except I was going to start at 40'.....

    If you have to ask the question you don't know what you don't know. Go out and get some sailing experience and then you will answer the question for yourself and not care what anyone else has to say about it.
  9. GhostriderIII

    GhostriderIII Member

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    That's because you didn't have boards. Increasing the depth of your hulls makes all the difference. Some mono hulls have centerboards. Cats have daggerboards. We could get up to 20kts with the boards down 2.5m
  10. Oscarvan

    Oscarvan Senior Member

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    They do? You mean like Leopard, Prout, Lagoon, Privilege?
  11. alvareza

    alvareza New Member

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    Outremmer and Gunboat are cats with dagger boards. Not all cats have daggerboards.
  12. Oscarvan

    Oscarvan Senior Member

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    Yes, the performance cats do. I was challenging his blanket statement. ;-)
  13. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    There are cruising catamarans with daggerboards too. The complete production line of the french Catana Catamarans have pretty long daggerbords and they sail cery well. I have sailed several of them personally.
    But if You hit any obstacle with the daggerboard down, the result will be pretty catastrophic.

    The living space oboard is much bigger than on a similar size monohull. If You get used to their special behaviour in the waves (corksrew type movement), they are excellent for long range or word wide cruising.

    They need much less engine power, a typical 40 ft Catamaran only needs two little 30 HP sail drive engines and because of the large beam (distance between props) do not need transvers thrusters for docking.

    But beam is also problem for going into smaller yachtharbours. In northern Europe for example, anything wider than 7,5 Meters of beam is forced into commercial slips. Not by law, just by size.

    Catamarans make more fun, the bigger they are :). I have to admid, the best ones are made in France. Lagoon would be my first choice.
  14. SeaLion

    SeaLion Senior Member

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    I interpreted it as "cats don't have centerboards, they'd be daggerboards", not that cats ALL have daggerboards.

    Another cruising youtuber in a sailing catamaran (with daggerboards, btw)
    http://tulasendlesssummer.com/
  15. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    If the OB would deside to go for a sailing or even a power catamaran, the size to look for, compared to a 45 to 60 ft monohull, would be a 40 to 42 ft cat, as far as living space is concerned. I personally would not go for a daggerboard variant. To much to go wrong in relation to the draft advantage and may be a little speed advantage, when on a long range voyage. The fixed keels of a cruising cat are not very deep and they are built for the vessel to sit on them, when on the hard. Cats are much lighter than monohulls, they do not need ballast in the keel as counterweight, they counteract with beam. And the two cat hulls have less wetted area than a comparable monohull. They are faster even in light wind.

    The sailing tactics on a catamaran are a little bit different from a monohull but for a blue water sailor, the less achievable height upwind is of minor importance. Once they get used to the different movements in the waves, wifes and family like the ample of living space, looking out of the salon windows on the bridge deck (and not sitting in the "basement" like in a monohull and last but not least, the cruising sailing cat always cruises upright !!!

    But in order to keep the admiral happy, do not buy a catamaran with the galley down unless You have a paid crew. Means the galley being located down in one of the hulls. Galley up on the bridge deck is mostly prefered by the female part of the crews for obivious reasons.

    Steering positions are one more important point to consider. Many cats have two steering positions, one on each hull, preferably aft of the superstructure near the stern. Great for sailing when looking at the sails with sufficient visibility forward and to the specific side but dangerous for the person on the helm during havy weather. I know its mostly philosophy, but I would prefer one elevated steering position protected against the elements on the rear end of the salon or even better some kind of flybridge plus one steering position at the navigation table in the salon. AP steering would be more than enough.

    A retiered friend of mine from my time in the military is on circumnavigation with his wife on a 42 ft Lagoon catamaran for 5 years now. Two little diesel engines with sail drives and folding props, a 3,5 KW DC Diesel Generator, a lot of photovoltaric cells on the coach roof, a drop down dragged prop driven generator and a wind generator. Complete DC boat with big batteries and static inverters for the AC household equipment.

    Prefect setup for long cruising legs, the diesel generator only runs a few hours a week, when on anker in a very calm bay, even being equipped with RO watermaker, fridges and freezer. Simple systems, no complicated gimmicks.

    If You are heading for a used boat, there are many of them on the market. The first owner most of the time looses a lot of money. Charter Cats are mostly pretty beaten and worn out, when sold, cats previously owned by French owners are often very badly maintained. French boaters do not care very much for their sail boats.

    Many more points to discuss, feel free to ask.

    As a blue water sailor, once the catamaran virus has infected You, You will never return to monohulls.
  16. Oscarvan

    Oscarvan Senior Member

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    <<Galley up on the bridge deck is mostly prefered by the female part of the crews for obivious reasons.>>

    What makes you assume "SHE" does the cooking?:D
  17. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    On most cruising couples I know of, "SHE" is by far the better cook. Fun aside, blue water cruising with a crew of two, mostly a couple or "equivalent" :p, one has to sleep sometimes. So, while doing the watch, one can do the necessary household duties and still having an eye on the sorrounding world. Down in the "basement" this would be more or less "blind flying". Galley up is just the most practicable layout for an owner couple or small family operated cruising cat. For a larger cruising or charter cat with permanent crew, I would always go for the galley down layout. Have a look at the new Lagoon 77 or the 620 sailing cats or its power variants. Perfect layouts with the galley down and aft and associated crew cabin.

    I found catmarans (sailing and power) easier to handle during harbour maneuvering than a monohull of similar length, just because of their much lower weight. The wide distance between the props gives You a lot of directional control with Your throttles. As long as You are allowed to go along side, when docking, the larger beam is no problem. If You go med mooring, You will be charged for two places. Thats one of the reasons why most world cruisers stay on the hook outside most of the time.

    Usually the typical 40 to 45 ft cruising cat has a 4 double cabin layout. With this ample amount of space, one or two cabins can easily converted into storage rooms and still have one guest cabin left or maybe two owner cabins for a couple which is in the middle of an argument in the middle of the ocean :).

    I am a sailor by heart but presently own a monohull sloop type cruiser raser with pemanent crew of 8. But if I will have one more sail boat built for me, it will be a larger custom French designed catamaran.
  18. GhostriderIII

    GhostriderIII Member

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    Hvað er svo erfitt að skilja hér? Ekki eru allir mono skottar með miðstöðvum - en flestir skothylki bátar hafa fullt skriðdreka. Ekki eru allir kettir með daggerboards - í stað 2ft ferðakoffort. Þú þarft að fá lífið. Næst verður þú að gagnrýna stafsetningu mína.
  19. AnotherKen

    AnotherKen New Member

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    I have been told in the past by experienced sailors that Catamarans are better for good sailors because inexperienced people tend to tip them over and then they are in trouble. A mono-hull can be tipped over too, but with greater difficulty, so I tend to suggest that you start with a small, relatively cheap mono-hull and then work your way up to whatever you want next once you have more experience.
  20. AFranklin

    AFranklin New Member

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    That's not really accurate. A cruising cat, without daggerboards, is nearly impossible to "tip". The make leeway, but do not heel much in strong winds and seas.

    A monohull is much more likely to suffer a knockdown, aka the rig is in the water, but that still only happens when one is pushing hard in very heavy weather. And typically it's a momentary event and you reef immediately and change your shorts afterwards.

    In both circumstances you reef when the wind picks up and "tipping over" is irrelevant. It just doesn't happen to cruising boats along cruising routes.

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