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Note: The following was written some time ago, and was originally intended for magazine publication. As I never actively pursued that, and as the catamaran vs. monohull question has been asked of us so many times, I decided to post the piece here instead, and then link it to our FAQ page.

It wasn’t all that long ago that my wife and I first conceived of the idea of going sailing. As neither of us had any real sailing experience to speak of, we did what most people do these days when confronted by a problem, we consulted the internet. In doing so, it took only a few short minutes to find a school offering sailing instruction, and with an email, a phone call, and a credit card transaction, we had both signed up for a week-long liveaboard sailing course in Florida. We were on our way.

First lessons in Florida… single-hulled beginnings.

The instruction we received took place in two parts. We began with a few days of classroom study and sailing on a 26′ keelboat to learn the basics: tacking, gybing, terminology, etc. Following that, we spent several days and nights on a larger 49′ monohull to get the full liveaboard experience. All of that turned out great, and as we had hoped, we were hooked. Just days after returning to our home in Canada, we had our house listed for sale and began making plans in earnest to sell off and head south.

When it came time to purchase a boat, even though we had only ever really sailed on a monohull, we both knew, for whatever reason, that a catamaran was for us. We invested countless hours boat shopping on the web, focused only on cats, and after 6 months of searching, ended up the proud owners of a beautiful little multihull, a PDQ 32. That boat, our pride and joy, would be our home and vehicle from the summer of 2009 until 2013.

Sailing our Baby on Lake Ontario. Good times!

What happened in 2013? Presented with a new opportunity, we moved onto a larger catamaran, having taken jobs as the Captain and Chef running charters in the Virgin Islands. Even though the boat wasn’t ours, we treated it as if it was, and we gained even more experience with multihulls. Unlike most people though, we would soon make a very uncommon transition, we chose to purchase a monohull!

While we know dozens of people who have sold their monohulls to move onto a cat, I can’t think of a single person, aside from us, who has done the opposite. I’m sure it happens, but it’s definitely not common.

When our friends found out our plans, most could only scratch their heads and wonder why. Our reasons were sound though, we had set our sites on some higher latitude sailing in Patagonia, and while our beloved PDQ 32 is a wonderful boat for the tropics, in our minds, she wasn’t suited for the colder conditions that we were likely to find ourselves in.

Cold weather? Are you kidding? Note this was taken in Canada, in July!

It’s funny how many people would comment that we were “going back to a monohull.” Just about everyone was surprised when we explained that we had never owned a monohull to begin with, and that, with the exception of our initial classes, and some time on OPBs (other people’s boats), we were strictly multihull sailors.

How are you dealing with the healing, or the rolling,” they would all ask, as if a catamaran’s wider beam allowed us to leave champagne flutes untethered on the table. I’m sorry folks but even on the 46′ cat that we operated in charters, items still need to be stowed properly before getting underway.

But how does sailing on a monohull compare to a cat? Everyone wants to know. Of course, every boat is different, and admittedly, we’ve only been on the monohull for a few short months. In spite of that, I’ll try to give our personal comparison.

How they’re different:

  1. MotionThis is an obvious one, isn’t it? Of course they’re different. Monohulls heal and multihulls don’t, right? Wrong. Or at least, it’s a matter of degree. While monohulls do sail on a more pronounced angle than cats, a multihull’s wide beam does not magically make the ocean waves disappear. Yes, before getting underway on a single-hulled sailboat, it pays to give some thought as to where things might slide when setting sail, and tacking. As I mentioned above though, whenever we got ready to move one of the cats, we would always go through the procedure of dogging all of the hatches shut, and stowing any of the breakable items that may become dislodged as the boat was underway. Yes, things would still move!To borrow horseback riding terms, based upon the few passages that we have done on our new boat, and previous ones on OPBs, I would describe the monohulls’ motion as a gentle loping. In contrast, the ride of the cats we have been on has been much more like trotting.

    What about at anchor? Cats don’t roll, right? Well, again, that’s not entirely accurate. Sit in any anchorage that is open to an ocean swell and you’ll see the masts of the monohulls rocking side to side like a large upside-down pendulum. The wider beam of the cats stops much of that motion but look closely and you’ll still see that they’re moving. On board, I would describe the multihull’s motion in a rolly anchorage as being quicker, or perhaps erratic. The distance the boat rocks side to side is less, but the frequency of the motion is much shorter. Which one get’s the win here? I’m going to call it a draw.

  2. ManeuverabilitySailing is sailing. Yes, there are some differences in how cats and monohulls need to be treated, but especially when underway, we haven’t found the adjustment to be too large. Where there is a more pronounced difference is when under power, especially in confined areas, docking or anchoring. When running charters, one of the things that we worked very hard on was making the process of picking up a mooring ball, or anchoring, look effortless. And with the cat’s dual engines set so far apart, it was easy to do so. The same could be said about docking. Being able to operate one engine in forward and the other in reverse makes docking a cat a relatively easy maneuver, in spite of the larger beam.Monohulls are a different animal all together under power. The first thing to realize is that as soon as you stop making way, you lose all steerage. When picking up a mooring ball, if we don’t lay the boat right along side it and capture the pennant straight away, if there is any wind or current, the bow will immediately get blown off with little chance of recovery. On a cat, this is easy to fix. Give the engines a little shot, forward and reverse, and we could spin the bow back in line. On the monohull, it’s time to bear off and circle around for a second try.

    Docking takes a bit more planning too. Using the prop’s desire to walk the stern one way or the other when in reverse, it’s likely easier to dock on one side of the boat than the other. Also, some monohulls just do not like to back up in a straight line, a condition that can make med mooring a real challenge. It pays to figure all of this out before getting too close to OPBs, and other hard structures. In the category of maneuverability, I’m going to give the nod to multihulls.

  3. Upstairs vs. downstairsOne of the biggest differences between monohulls and multihulls, and I suspect what drew us to cats in the first place, is the living area. I don’t think it’s a stretch to compare the living space on a cat to being upstairs, while that of a monohull is downstairs. On board our PDQ, and the Leopard that we worked on, we had a virtual 360? view of our surroundings from inside the salon. On our new boat, an Amel Maramu, if we hear a noise outside, we need to climb the companionway steps up into the cockpit to see what’s going on.Now is this downstairs comparison true for all monohulls? I would say yes, but with some exceptions. There are certain designs that have a more elevated interior station that offers an improved view of the outside. There are also those boats with wide open cockpits which lend themselves well to outdoor entertaining, weather permitting. In general though, most of the living on a monohull takes place below the waterline, a situation that is not really the case on a cat. In my opinion, this is another win for multihulls.

Perhaps it’s a good idea to store the breakables! Image Source: Practical Sailor

How they are the same:

  1. They’re boats, and they breakHere is a fact… boats break. Always. Sometimes in a big way, more often in a small way, but there is always maintenance and repairs to take care of. The benefit of a catamaran, especially one of the larger ones, is that there is often a fair amount of redundancy built in (two engines, two or more heads, etc.). Some might consider this a negative though as there are more things to maintain and fix.Our PDQ 32 has very simple systems and as such, we got to spend a lot more time playing than we did fixing things. The Leopard was much more complex, and used for charter, we had to be extremely vigilant about maintenance. Now that we have a monohull, I can’t say that much has changed. In fact, since we now own a much older boat, we’ve been spending even more time working on the boat instead of playing. Boat owners need to expect this though, regardless of what hull design they opt for.
  2. They both get you where you want to goOne look outside our boat (I’m on a monohull so that required me to stick my head outside into the cockpit) and I can see that we are surrounded by both multihulls and monohulls. In fact, without counting, my guess is that the boats here in our anchorage are split 50/50, cats to monohulls. In certain regions of the world, I suspect that is not the case. Cats dominate the Virgin Islands, especially the charter market. In the higher latitude, my guess is that monohulls, many of them steel or aluminum, are more numerous. The fact is though that a seaworthy boat will get you where you want to go, regardless of how many hulls it rides on. This has been proven over and over, all around the world.
  3. You’re still a part of the same great communityMuch like sailors like to poke fun at power boaters, and vice versa, multihull sailors and monohull sailors love to play up the rivalry between them. The truth is though, they have infinitely more in common with one another than they do differences. We have yet to come across anyone in the cruising community who would snub another boater because of the number of hulls that he or she sails on. On the contrary, at least where we are considered, we love to meet new people and find out about the boats that they are traveling on.

What if you’re just now looking to get in to boating, and are undecided about what type of sailboat you should purchase? What should you do? If you’re like us, you may find that your budget determines what route you go as, all things being equal, for a certain length of boat, multihulls tend to be considerably more expensive. The smart thing to do would be to try to sail on as many different boats as you can. You’ll likely find, as we have, that there is more in common between the form factors than there are differences. Each type of boat will get you where you want to go. We all enjoy the same beautiful sunsets, so get a boat and go sailing.

We all enjoy the same sunsets!


  1. I agree with your assessment that boats are boats, whether a monohull or cat. They get you where you need to go and you are part of a great community. I am all for growing the sailing community any way we can! However, we have lived abroad both a monohull and various catamarans and over the years have become catamaran specialists. We lived on our monohull for 15 years, sailed from South Africa through the Red Sea, Med and crossed the Atlantic to the Caribbean. Altogether we sailed about 35,000NM on our monohull and loved it! However, the first time I sailed on a catamaran, I was hooked. We have lived on various cats for the past 14 years, crossed oceans and have to date sailed 20,000+ NM. It is easier living and sailing for me, period. Getting there faster and upright, cuts down on crew fatigue and seasickness is a thing of the past for me now. I agree that boats are boats & sailing is sailing but boy, the cat is just more comfortable and makes living and working aboard (as we do) a lot easier and more pleasant. I am a convert!…but I love seeing all vessels out there, sailing and enjoying the lifestyle!!

    • Hi Estelle. Thanks for sharing your view. I would definitely not consider myself an expert in sailing either type of boat! That said, I have to disagree with your assertion that sailing on a cat is universally easier than doing so on a single hulled keel boat. There were many times, going to weather specifically, that both my wife and I felt that our monohull’s ability to cut through the waves superior to the cats that we have sailed, making the ride more comfortable and less taxing. Of course, we could just avoid sailing to weather, right? 🙂

      • Hi Mike!
        Of course you are correct about sailing “ability” of cats. Older cats are notoriously heavy, have low bridgedeck clearance and does not go to weather very well at all (you mentioned an older PDQ) but technology has come a long way and most newer cats sail incredibly well and they are ever evolving. We have had the opportunity to test many brands and models and have owned 3 different models ourselves and we found that the more evolved the catamaran brand, the better the sailing ability and handling becomes, provided the designer / builders adhere to sound structure and design…but like you said, gentlemen never sail to weather! LOL

  2. Nice write up and comparison of the two types of vessels. Thanks!!

  3. We (across the pond) have found the same freedom as yourselves. Sold up and bought an old catamaran. She’s not fast. She not posh. But she’s our home for as long as we have our health. Mono or multi. There’s plus and minus for both. There’s no such thing as the perfect boat. We enjoy the simple lifestyle and the fantastic adventure. Enjoy your time whilst you can. Fair winds and following seas.

    • Thanks, Nigel. Same to you, although let’s keep those following seas small. I hate big waves, regardless of what direction they’re coming from! 🙂

  4. Nice reading and some good points. Thanks.
    We’ve just bought our first boat.. a 38ft catamaran. We are looking forward to seeing the world!

  5. Great, fair article. Nigel (husband – see above) and I did considerable research before embarking on our (so far European) travels and clearly there’s no right and wrong – just horses for courses. You go with what works for you. We plumped for a cat mostly because – in terms of cruising cats – there is a greater safety margin – they are marginally less likely to sink to the bottom – capsize maybe but in the worst of the worst case scenarios you have something to cling to and you might even survive (if you’re talking racing cats ignore all that. Our old girl doesn’t heel over and remains reasonably horizontal in rough seas. Great. But she does bounce – front to back – bang – front to back – bang. And she does BANG. It’s like riding a bucking bronco at times, especially if the waves aren’t quite long enough to surf. You shit out at the bottom! But we have two hulls for storage/kitchen/berths and a lovely wide high saloon with 180 views. You pays your money, you takes your choice!

    • Hi Nadine. As you’ve noted, the waveslap on some cats can be quite disconcerting, especially if you’re unaccustomed to it. There is a Gemini anchored behind us and I can hear the waves hitting the underside of that boat from our cockpit. 🙂

      I still miss the nice views from the salon though!

  6. Good article Mike. At the docks in New Zealand, it does look like about a 50/50 mixture of cats versus monohulls. I’ll mention a few thoughts that I think you didn’t touch on. If you have a monohull, you have a lot more haul out opportunities than with a catamaran. If you have a larger catamaran (57′ or more), you may have to really look hard to find a lift that can accommodate your beam. You might have to sail thousands of miles in fact. Marinas always charge more for catamarans. Here in the Town Basin, a catamaran is charged exactly 50% more than a monohull of the same length. In many places its somewhere between 25 and 50% and it should pay to check. Some marinas have adjusted their docks to accommodate the increasing percentage of monohulls, but others may simply turn you away as they can’t take the width. Roughly speaking, I would say that buying a catamaran is 60-80% more expensive than a monohull, and it makes sense. You’ve got two hulls, two engines etc. Another downside of some catamarans is that when you’re on the ocean, your “cockpit” is sometimes obstructed by the “house” in front of you. Some catamarans are really poorly designed to “go to sea” and should stay in the anchorage. Also, catamarans invariably have a lot more windage than monohulls. Yes, they are lighter, but they can have a very high load on their ground tackle because of windage.

  7. I have limited hands on experience, but I have many hours of Google and YouTube experience.

    The most common statement from those with true experiance is…. Every boat is a compromise. Don’t wait too long or try to save a lot of money for the perfect boat. The perfect boat is the one your out there on

    That said…You’ve sold me on a Cat over a Monohull 🙂

  8. We have a wheelhouse yacht so can comfortable sit inside and steer to anywere in the world.

  9. It’s really hard to compare cats to monos as not all cats are alike and not all monos are alike, so maybe better to compare a certain brand cat to a certain brand mono? We have owned catamarans that flew like a magic carpet over the waves and a couple who’s motion was atrocious. Some of the cats we’ve owned had great performance and others were dead slow. Some pounded the bridgedeck relentlessly and others hardly ever. In all we’ve had the privilege of owning 10 cruising catamarans and 3 monohulls and find they are all different in their own ways.

  10. Great article Mike! Oddly enough, my partner and I are currently having this very discussion: do we keep our beautiful monohull or do we buy a catamaran? We love our boat and we’re happy with her for now, but we just can’t get over how much space there is on a cat! I also love the idea of being able to cook in the galley or hang out in the saloon and be able to look around me! When and if the time comes for us to purchase a different boat, I think we’ll be seriously looking at a catamaran.
    Looking forward to reading about your adventures to Patagonia!

    • Thanks, Terysa. There is no question, we love the living space on a cat, and since most of a cruiser’s time is spent at anchor, it makes sense to focus on those benefits.

  11. I’ve just recently found your FB page. Your articles are very informative.
    I’ve been a land locked sailor for about 20 years. There isn’t much sailing here in Kitchener. I’ve owned a few under 20′ sailboats. Built a few plywood boats for the kids. I think it’s time to start looking for a boat. Im going with as simple of a monohull as I can find. I own the rights and plans to build a Bristol Channel Cutter. (I’m looking at having it built out east). I don’t even want the smell the or hassle of an internal motor.

    • There’s a lot to be said for that kind of simplicity. I saw a little (sub-30′) sailboat tacking its way through the anchorage the other day and was somewhat envious!

  12. There seem to be few catamarans here in New England. I don’t know if its style, the cooler weather or , more likely – the fact that we frequently need the option to sail upwind. And the high dock expense.

    I do know that my wife was initially terrified of heeling, something that I don’t mind and never considered. She has gradually gotten over that fear. I still find it thrilling – I love feeling the boat dig her shoulder in and the 3 axis rolling and pitching motion as she cuts through the waves.. When I am out with just the guys we tend to burst into laughter when the boat heels way over and buries the rail.

    • I think one has to become accustomed to, and develop belief in, the actual stability of the boat before he/she can truly be comfortable with it healing. Leaning over like that is just not natural.

  13. Sal, what matters when you sail upwind is the velocity made good. Your mono may be pointing 7-10 degrees higher than my catamaran, but the fact we are making much greater speed over ground means we would make the destination sooner. As I said before, this doesn’t hold true for all multis and monos. A good performance cat will point as high or higher than a good performance mono, yet a standard cruising cat may point about the same as an old Morgan OI 41!

    • “A good performance cat will point as high or higher than a good performance mono…”

      You don’t think I’m going to let you make a statement like that without asking for an example, do you? 🙂

  14. Should have known I couldn’t slide that one by you. The Americas Cup catamaran would sail up to 20 degrees apparent. The Oram 44 and some of the performance Schionnings will do upper 20’s, but much better to crack of 5-10 degrees as the extra speed gives you a better vmg.

  15. About 110 degrees 🙂 when your that fast your always close hauled!

    • Is Apparent Wind Angle a fair measure of how high a boat can point? I don’t think so. In my definition, it needs to be based on True Wind. If the wind is blowing 20 knots out of the north, what angle can you sail if your destination is North, dead into the wind?

  16. I agree Mike, but a well designed daggerboard cat can point as high as a comparable monohull, but they usually tend to foot of as their improved speed makes for a better VMG.

  17. Thanks for that Mike.

  18. Mike, has the PDQ 32 Cat enough clearance under so you are not getting wave slapping of the under Bridgedeck when anchored or most important when sailing? Thanks Jim by Lake Ontario…..

    • Hi Jim.

      Sorry, I missed this comment. The PDQ actually has very high bridge deck clearance, relatively speaking. Increasing that dimension was one of the changes that PDQ made when they designed the 32 (over the older 36). I will not say that waves never slap the bottom, but it would be MUCH less than on many older boats.

      By way of comparison, there was a Gemini on a mooring ball behind our boat in Le Marin. I could ALWAYS hear the waves hitting the bottom of that cat from inside of Frost, when we were down below! It was seriously annoying. 🙂

  19. Hi Guys, Interesting article and a lovely read – indeed – we are a community who love and respect each other irrespective of the craft we sail upon.
    I thought to raise a few of many comments I could here … to share some additional thoughts and perhaps aspects that differ from some of your suggestions, perhaps, based on a different configuration to what you experienced on your catamaran and the Leopard you chartered.

    We come from a family of Mono hull sailors, years and years – the word ‘catamaran’ was taboo in our family for the longest time 🙂 …. well ….. we currently sail a Lagoon 440 catamaran all over the world crossing a number of oceans now.
    I thought readers may find it interesting to note, that we have crossed oceans alongside friends on Amel Super Maramu boats, fairly similar to yours I guess, and they will confirm that when it comes to sailing close hauled we actually reach angles closer to the wind than they seem to. I mention these points here, not as a ‘put down’ to any particular craft, merely our experience of things.
    Now whilst I realise when comparing mono’s to cats, that a number of cats do not enjoy similar angles when the point of sail is close hauled, this is also true between catamaran to other catamarans and monohulls to other monohulls and so forth – it is ‘misinformation’ to assume all cats cannot sail similar angles, if not better, compared with many monohulls.
    Why do I say this?
    Catamarans with rig / mast configurations such as the Lagoon 440 which has shorter spreaders than does for example a Leopard (and I have sailed many Leopards – great boats), and the 440 with its genoa tracks placed on the coach roof, make for a configuration that enables the 440 catamaran to sail EXTREMELY close to the wind – very often surprising many monohull sailors we sail with.
    Leopards do NOT sail as ‘close to the wind’ – they do not perform on close hauled points of sail but sail very nicely off the wind.
    As monohulls go, I really love the Amel Super Maramu boats, yet when it comes to sailing close hauled – hmmm – we sail a lot closer to the wind and faster to the wind in the same conditions.
    Having chatted about this topic over many drinks with friends who own these boats and cannot believe the angles we manage to point at, the ‘conclusion’ comes down to the fact that the genoa (leech) is able to be hauled in much closer to the mast on account of shorter spreaders, and the genoa track / car rail position on-top of the coachroof.
    On our previous catamaran, a Catana 471, we thought we had an added advantage with the dagger boards, but in fact we sail as close to the wind on our Lagoon 440 – and yes – this really surprised us after thinking the Catana 471 sailed close to the wind.

    Stability at sea and at anchor:
    Reading your article I agree – the ocean is a moving, breathing and living mass and all vessels placed upon it will be subject to movement.
    However, we do not find everything needs to be stowed as carefully as with a monohull, and I say this from our humble experience in preparing our boat for a crossing, verses our friends preparing for voyages on their monohulls – I realise you too speak from your own experience and perhaps what is not being considered here is wind direction (point of sail).
    If I were to guess a ‘number / percentage’ of time we take in preparation for stowing items for a passage (where the trades are sweeping us along), I would estimate that if we take 20% of the time to do this in comparison – it would be an accurate assessment.
    It really comes down to sea state and the point of sail you will most likely encounter.
    Of course, we have plans for quick stowage in the event of an unforeseen storm, but even then in severe cases we find a cat is best placed stern to weather with trailing warps as opposed to a mono which one places bow to the weather – hove to – or sea anchor. Huge CONFUSED seas are something quite different of course, but generally with weather on the stern it is surprising how items remain in place on the cat.
    Of course our laptop computers and such items sit on table tops with rubber ‘cling mats’ and so on – they hardly budge in rough seas.
    The champaign glass on the table theory does not work well to weather, yet again, we sail many an ocean with glass / coffee mug on table when the seas are from behind or off the aft quarter. This surprises our friends when we chat on SSB in the same ocean – ‘hey guys, what you doing?’ …
    ‘Oh, having a cup of coffee and reading a book’, I say.
    ‘Wooohhh, hope you mean coffee in closed container?’ …
    ‘Nah – mug sitting right here on the coffee table – lol’.
    Of course I am being a little humorous with my mates, but in reality, it exactly describes the situation.
    This is not a ‘put down’ on monos by the way – the real treat comes when we are beating upwind and experiencing ‘slamming’.
    I actually shared this ‘slamming effect’ on our latest video. One does get used to it – but it is alarming for the ‘newbie catamaran sailor’.
    When folks ask us about slamming, we say we hardly recognise it anymore – kinda like living near the ‘clickety clack’ of the railroad track – friends hear it when they visit but the person living there is accustomed it. Still, I really do think this is something that needs improvement. The 440 is actually fairly good compared to many catamarans when it comes to slamming and I do wish we could get around this, yet for us personally, it is a small price to pay for sailing upright.
    Interestingly enough, we removed a massive amount of the ‘impact of slamming’ by replacing the trampoline with one that has bigger aperture spacing – it is amazing, how by allowing water to pass easier through a trampoline, slamming reduces on a cat. Some cats have little to no trampoline – they REALLY experience severe slamming.
    I would recommend if purchasing a new catamaran – to look at the area of trampoline and the ‘net aperture spacing’ – negotiate a different net if necessary. Closely woven netting makes for awesome reclining off those beautiful white beaches but make for very uncomfortable passages when sailing close hauled.
    Back to motion though: at Anchorage: – I do think one feels less motion on a cat than on a mono – to be sure – it became a standing joke with friends who visited us on the cat in rolling anchorages, that they were joining us not because they liked us, but rather because they were tired of ‘rolling’.
    The trick, again, with a catamaran is the bridal.
    We have determined bridal length to be all important, and for us on Impi, works best when longer than 50% of the boat length. WE can shorten ours easily, however, if space and depth allows, this has made the boat stable in some rough anchorages. Shorter bridal length results in yawing and more ‘roll’ on the vessel as opposed to keeping the nose / bow into the weather.

    Anyway, just some added thoughts here … Apart from budget we would also recommend folks to look at ‘age’ – some of our older sailing friends converting to catamarans as they find the movement between the inside and outside of the boat difficult …
    In the end, the sunsets are the same, the islands are the same and people who sail the oceans together love the togetherness of the adventures – Multihull or monohull – live the dream folks !!!
    Best wishes
    Brent and Ana ( Impi )

    • Hi guys. Thanks for taking the time to write this very detailed comment. I sincerely appreciate you sharing your experiences! We have spent a fair amount of time on our friends 440 and it’s a beautiful boat. Best wishes on your future travels!

      • We appreciate the effort you guys put into providing information for cruisers – we love the energy you two as a couple display and we realise you could be doing other things apart from sitting behind your laptop and sharing your lives with others.
        We are following you guys and enjoying the posts – you have a great attitude to the comments you receive from some, and we appreciate there is no right or wrong here – it’s all about sharing experiences through our individual eyes … much appreciated and hope to see you guys on the deep blue. RESPECT !!! Cheers

  20. Hi guys, and Groete Impi. Ex South Africa here, look to upgrade from an older Catalac 8M catamaran which we love but need something a little bigger. We would love you hear your thoughts on the PDQ32 vs PDQ36 vs Seawind 1000. We like them all but it would be great to get your opinion on motion, windward ability, hobby-horsing, liveability, storage and so on. From what we like and know, we want at least 400 Watts of solar panels, a light dinghy with small (<4hp) engine. We will only be sailing Florida, Bahamas area. Already done two trips to they keys and Dry Tortugas with out current boat and felt very safe (even in storms) except that we struggled to make windward progress so I was please to learn that Impi explained that if one can haul the jib tighter it helps. It seems the PDQ32 and Seawinds can do that perhaps better than the PDQ36? What are your thought on this? Further it seems the PDQ32 has better sail area relative to PDQ36 (which appears to be under-powered) as well as better bridge deck clearance. I do like outboards and hardtop for these boats but again what is your experience on this?

    • As we have never sailed on a 36, or a Seawind, I can’t really answer your questions about sailing performance, or long-term liveaboard comfort. There are all very different boats though. Personally, I prefer the layout and features of the 32 over the 36, but I doubt everyone feels the same.

      Have you read this post?

  21. Interesting write up. Thanks for that…

    There are many factors or voices to listen to when choosing a boat to go off sailing and living aboard. For example a solo sailor likely doesn’t need to real estate offered by a cat.

    One sure does one a good safe dry cockpit with good visibility because you need to be there when sailing. When you have several people in a cockpit many monos seems too small.

    Frankly I don’t want to sail with a lot of people…. one or two others is fine. Monos work for this size crew. I have a 36′ boat with a huge salon, galley, nave station… and a very large cockpit. Of course OAL length limits volume and that limits stowage and tankage

    The boat’s architecture needs to match how the owner sails.

    When I am asleep in a bunk I have no awareness of the size of the room I am sleeping in. What I need is a comfortable secure bunk. Others need a stateroom.

    Some people place themselves behind the helm… and place all the instruments right there. I have sailed probably 40,000 miles and only maybe a few hundred sitting or standing at the helm. I have an AP which steers…. so a two helm boat for me is a non starter.

    and so on…

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