Multihull Madness: Our Readers Write

In response to a letter in our July issue, SAIL editor Peter Nielsen asked our readers to spout out on their thoughts on multihulls. Check out reader responses to “Not Everyone’s Cup of Tea”.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

In response to a letter in our July issue, SAIL editor Peter Nielsen asked our readers to spout out on their thoughts on multihulls. Check out reader responses to “Not Everyone’s Cup of Tea”.

In response to the analogy of multihulls and refrigerators: stay tuned to the America's Cup "refrigerator" race.

-David Wright

Wrightsville Beach, NC

JR Maxwell, you expressed my feelings about multihulls so well. I never dreamed that when I first started sailing forty years ago that sailing magazines would feature multihulls in their publications. The graceful lines of a traditional sloop-rigged sailboat are so appealing and, for my money, can't be improved upon to any great extent. Multihulls should have their own magazine and let the existing publications show sailboat lovers what they have enjoyed seeing and reading about for many years.

-Dr. Paul Batson

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I have a beautiful 31-foot trailerable trimaran that constantly receives compliments. Many monohulls are wonderful to look at, but I would never choose to sail one. While monohull sailors sit on their sleek boats receiving compliments, I’m sailing three times faster on a more stable boat to wonderful destinations that are too shallow for monohulls. As an added bonus, I sail in New England in the summer, then trailer my trimaran to Florida for the winter. I’m sure the ancient Vikings would not think that Mr. Maxwell’s boat fit their definition of a sailing vessel, but over time, the world has progressed and it will again.

-Ken Levitt

Buzzards Bay, MA

I have an analogy to your comments about monohulls being “sleek and graceful,” while multihulls are “refrigerators.” Think of your comparison this way: a playboy model versus a real woman. Which one would you enjoy more in the long run in regards to both comfort and speed?

-Jennifer Du Nesme

Klamath Falls, Oregon

I have been racing and cruising out of Santa Crus, California, since the 60s. I’ve mostly raced on beach cats onshore, and offshore, I’ve raced monohulls. While I appreciate the graceful shear on a sleek monohull, I own an 18-foot camper cat and am thrilled that multihulls are becoming more popular. I enjoy sailing fast without much heel. Modern cruising cats can be a bit cumbersome for my taste, but many of them perform well enough to overcome their ugly duckling appearance. The sailing world needs both types of boats, simply so that we can admire all of them.

-Howard Spruit

Via Email

JR Maxwell hit the nail on the head about multihulls. I never understood the attraction to cats and still don't. We had a cruising cat anchor off our marina a few weeks ago. It looked like three shoeboxes (or refrigerators) crammed next to each other. No matter what the angle, it was seriously unattractive. I have lost all interest in the America’s Cup, which I had followed for years until now. Go monohulls!

-P Boone

Via Email

Mr. Maxwell’s commentary on multihulls is wrong on many levels. First of all, the sailing community is just that—a community. I am proud to say that the sailing community is made up of friendly, helpful people sharing a common passion. Sailors enjoy each others company, help each other in times of need and do not pass judgment on the size, make or model of someone else’s boat.

Also, Multihull cruisers are a fairly recent development in boat design. Every year, designs are enhanced, and just like their monohull ancestors, multihulls range from performance to cruising. There are many advantages to sailing a multihull. However, all boatowners should choose a boat based on their needs, desires and budget. Multihulls expand the choices to include some characteristics not previously available in monohulls.

As to the aesthetics remark, monohulls and multihulls alike run the spectrum of comely to homely. A tour through any marina or anchorage quickly reveals that privately owned monohulls hardly resemble the sleek, clean models depicted in the advertisements Mr. Maxwell describes them. For example, boat decks can look like a home from Hoarders, with bicycles and fenders strewn on board. Dinghies can be found deflated and left in a rumpled heap on the deck of both mono and multihulls.

Mr. Maxwell should focus on other aspects of sailing so he can enjoy the company of the sailing community. Please, read the articles you like, pass on the ones you don't, and stop your whining.

-Barry Simmons

Via Email

Related

210913-11HRT-SKIPPER-PORTRAITS-VC-122

11th Hour Christens Two IMOCAs, Hits a Snag

This week has been a big one for the American-founded, sustainability-centric ocean racing team 11th Hour Racing. In addition to christening their two new boats, the team also took them out for a quick test ride—against some of the most intense IMOCA 60 skippers in the world. ...read more

01-LEAD-DSCF3091

Clewless in the Pacific

Squalls are well known to sailors who cruise the middle Latitudes. Eventually, you become complacent to their bluster. But squalls vary in magnitude, and while crossing from Tahiti to Oahu, our 47ft Custom Stevens sloop paid the price for carrying too much canvass as we were ...read more

Nigel

SAIL’s Nigel Calder Talks Electrical Systems at Trawlerfest Baltimore

At the upcoming Trawlerfest Baltimore, set for Sept. 29-Oct. 3, SAIL magazine regular contributor Nigel Calder will give the low down on electrical systems as part of the show’s seminar series.  The talk will be Saturday, October 2 at 9am. Electrical systems are now the number ...read more

5ae5b8ce-3113-4236-927b-f795be4ae091

Bitter End Yacht Club Announces Reopening

Four years after being decimated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the Bitter End Yacht Club is set to reopen for the Winter 2022 season. Hailed as one of the best anchorages in the Caribbean and built by sailors, for sailors, this island outpost in the BVI has been a favorite with ...read more

01-LEAD-'21.05.01_Jay-&-Mira

Cruising: Bluewater Pollywogs

Bluewater sailing is 25 percent actually sailing and 75 percent learning how to live on a boat at sea, in constant motion and with no chance to get off the roller coaster. I cannot over-emphasize how difficult normal daily functions become at sea, even on nice, calm days. ...read more

01-LEAD-IMG_0078

Refurbishing Shirley Rose: Part 2

If you missed the first installment, click here. Thankfully, the deck and cockpit of my decades-old Santana 27, Shirley Rose, were in pretty good shape. The balsa core, in particular, was for the most part nice and solid. Nonetheless, there was still a fair bit of work to do. ...read more

orca

Orca Encounters on the Rise

This week’s confrontation between a pod of orcas and the Nauticat 44 ketch Tuuletar which left the boat rudderless is just the latest in a string of encounters with orcas off the coast of the Iberian Peninsula. In fact, over 50 of these encounters have been reported, half of ...read more

01-LEAD-Project-complete

DIY: an Antique Nav Station

Ever since the advent of GPS, I have not found much use for the chart table on my schooner Britannia. Most of our passagemaking navigation is done on a Raymarine multifunction display on the helm pod, which is then transferred to a paper chart on the saloon table roughly every ...read more