Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sailboats, Why Would You Ever Have a Single Hull When You Could Have a Catamaran?

Many of our weekends are spent on our boat relaxing at one of the many anchorages around these islands. I enjoy people and boat watching.

There is one mystery I still do not understand.  Why would you have a single hull sailboat when you can have a catamaran sailboat?

Here are my observations*

  • Bow Area  - On a single hull on the bow no one really ever hangs out on the bow of the boat. On a cat there is usually a trampoline area between the two hulls and seems people hang out there?
  • Rear Outside Area - Single hull sailboat - To me the outside area that everyone hangs out in is in the "tent" area.  Looking like a 5'x5' area that most have a tent over. Cat has a nice large deck area, sliders to the cabin and with two sets of ladders going in to the sea (single hull go through the hassle of hanging a rope type ladder over the side?). 
  • Living area - Single hull sailboat has tiny windows and door in rear and hatch up front, are't you hot in that cabin and isn't as dark as a cave in there? Cat - Sliders in the back with big windows all around. 
  • Engines - Single hull sailboat, one motor. Cat  - 2 motors
  • Sailing on the Water - Single hull sailboat tilts so much to one side, you see every one it seems like hanging on for dear life and I can't imagine that your personal belongings down in the cave cabin stay in there place for long? Cat - nice and stable on the water and everyone looks relaxed and spread out from just the 5x5 rear area. 
Ok, so there you have my observations, now can a sailor tell me what the advantages and disadvantages are? 

* Author owns a power cat and is very biased to catamaran design. 


  1. mr ken the catamaran man,

    monohulls are much more stable in rough seas/oceans, should you actually be cruising. a catamaran is stable only from its width, but can tip over. a monohull has a weighted keel which (hopefully) keeps it from doing so (outside of very extreme conditions). safety in this respect, for those that truly travel the seas, is a major factor.

    your friend kirk

  2. Monohulls are also much less expensive

  3. Also mono's will go up wind better. It is a little known fact that the wind always comes from were you want to go. Most mono's will sail at 30 to 40 degrees off of the wind. Cats 50 to 70 degrees. So if your heading to windward, and you often are you can cover more ground in a mono. But cats are fast. Cost is one of the biggest factors, cats are in effect two boats and are priced accordingly.

  4. As Kirk so correctly stated ... a mono is more stable. Get hit with a gust and a mono will heel over, dump the wind and head up into the wind. A cat will just go "turtle" ... not a pretty sight! But coming from someone who has only owned a "stink pot" and not being a "rag man" I can appreciate your confusion! :-) Anyone can pilot a "stink pot" .. turn the key and steer ... to sail takes some skill and knowledge! And I still like yah, in spite of your affliction! LOL

  5. I totally disagree. Unless you have a dog of a multihull. My father has lived on a 54 ft Tri for decades and sailed her around the world and won several racing trophies... Including some against monos. His boat travels better than just about any other I've been on in terrible conditions.


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