Features

May 2010 Issue

By John Spier

Ocean Voyaging on Two Hulls

Circumnavigator separates cat cruising fact and fiction.

After starting out in monohulls many years ago, I’m now cruising aboard my third catamaran. All of my cats—a Maine Cat 30, a Kelsall 40, and now an Outremer 45—could be classified as performance cruisers: light weight, narrow hulls, daggerboards, and generous sailplans. I try to stay out of the mono/multi debate—we’re all sailors, and all boats have their pros and cons. One of the first questions that comes up regarding cruising cat design is whether daggerboards or fixed keels are better. My Maine Cat had one daggerboard, and my Outremer has two. My Kelsall came with keels, which I eventually cut off and replaced with daggerboards. I like boards, but the pros and cons are worth considering.

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