John Ridsdel

September 20, 2015 12:43 pm

Driving the house.

Admittedly the photo is not exactly showing things in a howling wind situation, but it does demonstrate the differences between sailing a catamaran and a monohull, say, for example, Dany II.

Piloting this thing feels more like commanding an aircraft carrier than helming a sailboat. You look out forward to an expanse of deck and the only thing that seems missing is the fighter jet. ("Sortie 42, cleared for takeoff"! )

I recall Bree and Janis complaining you don't get a "feel" for the boat and sea when sailing a cat. Certainly true. You turn a wheel — like a car steering wheel — which pumps a hydraulic, which turns the rudders. No feedback. More likely, you press a button on the autopilot and it does the pumping of the hydraulic.

On the other hand, with a little bit of wind, it feels like the craft is flying, as it skims over the water rather than undulating with it. All very wonderful, until you have to go upwind in rough weather.

The other analogy is "driving the house". A cat is a much better living space than a monohull. Well, a monohull of a size I could afford. It's bright and airy, above the water, with lots of space to swing a cat (so to speak). Like a house. And then when you go sailing, you take the wheel and drive the house across the water.