multi-hulls vs. mono hulls

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by rubenova, May 3, 2013.

  1. rubenova
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    rubenova Junior Member

    Why are there so few multi's? They go faster and farther on less fuel and power...so they say. That alone should make them more popular. What's the deal? Grandpa Herreshoff kicked tail in the 1800's with one, enough so rules were changed. Just curious
     
  2. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    You wouldn't say that if you went to, say, the BVI rather than live in the PNW

    In my local boatyard in the UK there are over 100 multihulls of all sizes and about 3 monohulls.

    True, there are not many multihulls in the PNW, but in the 8 years I have been going there the numbers have increased dramatically. I don't think we saw one cruising catamaran in 2005, now they are fairly common. In the biggest local regatta, at Cowichan Bay, multihulls now make up 20% of the fleet

    It's the same on the east coast USA. The first time I sailed the ICW, back in the 1990's, I saw one trimaran and no catamarans. The last time I sailed it, 3 years ago, there were days when the multihulls outnumbered the monohulls

    Also remember that multihulls tend to be sailed more. If you go to the local marina you won't see many multihulls, instead you'll see rows and rows of monohulls that never leave their berths

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs

    www.sailingcatamarans.com
     
  3. kach22i
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    kach22i Architect

    Interesting premise and observations there guys.

    2010 which I assume was a terrible transitional year because of the world wide economy has some figures, but they are not broken down by hull type/configuration.

    U.S. Boat Sales Estimate For 2010 - 02/23/2011
    http://www.boattest.com/Resources/view_news.aspx?NewsID=4457
    [​IMG]

    Want value, buy a houseboat according to this chart.
    http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=178787
    [​IMG]

    http://threesheetsnw.com/blog/2009/05/sinking-boat-sales-cast-a-cloud-over-opening-day/
    [​IMG]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multihull
    Maybe somebody else better at doing searches can find the trend in sales/build figures based on hull type. I think I found one on aluminum verses fiberglass, but a little too off-topic for even me.;)

    Edit, more irreverent data.

    Wyoming State Water Plan
    Wyoming Water Development Office
    http://waterplan.state.wy.us/plan/snake/techmemos/recuse.html
    [​IMG]

    More houseboat stuff..............as rentals.
    http://www.mplans.com/houseboat_rental_marketing_plan/critical_numbers_fc.php

    I bet catamaran house boats outnumber monohull houseboats at least 2:1...............just a number I pulled out of my arse.
     
  4. tomas
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    tomas Senior Member

    One economic factor is that many marinas have an abundance of slips that are fine for monohulls but expensive (end-ties or double-slip) for a multihull, lots of $$$ per month.
     
  5. rubenova
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    rubenova Junior Member

    Great insights guys. So are all the claims true for the cats and tri's? I was starting to think that is was one of those "to good to be true" things. (It's true, I'm in the PNW Richard Woods :)
     
  6. eyschulman
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    eyschulman Senior Member

    I am in PNW and had 10 yr experience with a high performance tri both east coast and PNW. Some of the good things concerning multis are true of some designs. I no longer sail a multi even though my boat was a hoot to sail. There are down sides to the multi configuration. Only some will preform well and have to be kept very light to do so. If you reach and run a lot a multi will do well. If you live and boat in PNW the wind may be on the nose 50% of time and fat cruising cats turn on the iron horse not a problem for traveling but not great sailing fun. The multi is just harder to keep and maintain.A big fat high sided cat makes a great charter and party boat and that is what has made them so popular of late. I think the concept works for the cruising couple but not any better than a good mono of the same price just a matter of taste.
     
  7. WestVanHan
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    WestVanHan Not a Senior Member

    Outside of the Strait of Georgia/Juan de Fuca and English Bay I think I've seen about a dozen sailboats actually sailing-and making some sort of headway-in 30 years since I was a kid. Most of those were north of Vancouver island

    Narrow channels,high currents and tides,unreliable/non existent/ or head on wind in nice weather= running the engine or waiting for the tide to change.

    Be it multi or mono.

    For myself,I find the smaller <45' cats to have awkward layouts. But then anything bigger than that gets too big.
    I want an island berth,not a bunk tucked up under something else that I have to crawl over the GF to get in and out of....
     
  8. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    Very true. The only time I have reefed in 8 years sailing in the PNW was when rounding Cape Scott in the Van Isle 360 on a F31R trimaran. And I normally sail at least twice a week from April - Sept.

    That is why we now have two small trimarans - the Strike15 and Strike18 for day sailing round the bay, and a powercat, the Skoota 28, for cruising

    (to WestVanHan) we are coming over to Granville Island on Sunday in our Skoota, you're welcome to come on board if you are in the area.

    Both the Skoota 28 and Strike 15 will be displayed at the Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend in Sept, I'll also be one of the speakers

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs

    www.sailingcatamarans.com
     
  9. MikeJohns
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    MikeJohns Senior Member


    People who have extensively cruised cats in the size you refer to and then slightly longer mono's afterwards that I have talked to have similar comments. The mono has more room, much more stowage space and has much more of a 'home' feel than a catamaran of similar size.


    Insurance companies here are likely to increase rates for cats after reviewing claim figures, and they have just about all stopped insuring trimarans following similar recent reviews. To some extent ULDB performance multihulls are spoiling it for the other multihull sailors. If a 2 million dollar 50 foot cat inverts it's considered a total loss, one sank here recently when it met a whale while sailing north at night. The trouble is they are so expensive relative to a similar sized mono and often very fragile if they are sparkling performance oriented.

    The current payout insurance figures are interesting, proportionally against monohulls there are many more claimable accidents involving higher repair bills for cruising multihulls. Dismastings are close to twice as common, accidental grounding damage is much higher. Total loss in storms of multihull craft blown ashore is also concerning insurance companies.
     
  10. MikeJohns
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    MikeJohns Senior Member

    Yes but isn't that the Millbrook Multihull yard on the edge of a large expansive drying mudflat ? If it is then the monohulls there are limited to small reduced draft craft, it's then hardly representative.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2013
  11. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    You can live very comfortably in a 30 ft monohull, to get the same comfort and interior space in a multi it would have to be much larger. so purchase, moorage, and as noted, insurance cost are much higher.

    If speed was the only consideration, than multis would be the winner. but if you want to get somewhere in a hurry you would not take a sailboat. Also, in a complex maze of a water way like Puget Sound, I think large cats can be a real nuisance to manuver, I know the beach cats I have been in were.
     
  12. WestVanHan
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    WestVanHan Not a Senior Member

    Thanks Richard,but am going out in about 30 minutes and toodling around Keats and Gambier all weekend-it's a wonderful day as you know. See if we can catch something...

    Whatever happened to the old smaller cat designs like Catalacs and Prouts and another couple? They seemed to use every square foot.
    The major thing I disliked about mono sailboats-unless they were pilothouse- is that you pretty much climbed a step ladder to get in and out,and were trapped in a cave looking out tiny ports...cats have nice viewing possibilities.

    I have a 48'+ mono power,all the mod cons-and looking at power cats (not skinny hulled sailing cats with no sail gear) even up to 45' I get better mpg up to 9-10 knots than almost all I've looked into.
    And better mpg than a few at 15-16 knots once I'm on plane.

    The major thing I like about cats is the beachability in tidal areas...and for living aboard 30' sailboats that's a bit tough for me.
     
  13. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I don't know about this. My 65' mono, can power cruise at 18 knots and WOT is near 23 knots. Most powerboats of the same length would love to see these speeds and especially the fuel bill, I enjoy.
     
  14. tomas
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    tomas Senior Member

    Nice. Is that the one that you got a great deal on?

    Photos and specs?
     

  15. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    It was indeed a great weekend, lots of boats out in English Bay. Quite a bit windier on the Gulf Island side of the Strait though which slowed the speed of our Skoota 28 crossing over.

    But the wind had dropped by the time we left Granville Island at 2.30pm. 38 miles later we tied up to our dock on Saturna at 5.50pm. We used exactly 5 gals of fuel

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs

    www.sailingcatamarans.com
     
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