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Choosing a boat: Catamaran or monohull?

Prior to 2000 few people would have chosen catamarans and Hal Roth did not even consider the option. Having had no experience with catamarans we also chose a monohull yacht without too much thought. With hindsight, a catamaran may well have been a better choice especially with two couples on board.

So what are the pros and cons of catamarans if you wish to sail round the world?

A catamaran has several advantages;

- much more space,

- shallower draft which is useful in crowded anchorages as you can get closer in than the monohulls,

- much less roll when at anchor

- they are usually faster downwind

There are also disadvantages; 

- there is no recovery from a 'knock down'. If  a monohull is laid flat by a squall it pops up again afterwards. If a catamaran tips over then it is doomed

- unless choosing a performance cat (in which case the narrow hulls limit the space advantage) most sail badly to windward with a lot of slamming  

- when using marinas the costs are typically x1.5 to x2.0 than of a monohull

- maintenance costs are higher (there is two of everything, much more cabling and plumbing, etc)

At the end of the day, there is no 'right answer'. Double click on the pictures for more information

Budget versus age and options: Pro Gallery
Budget versus age and options: Text
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