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  1. #1
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    Default Catamaran vs. v-hull?

    Hello, Does anyone know the similarities between a catamaran vs. a v-hull? I am in the process of buying a new boat, but I have never rode in a cat before. If anyone has some insight on this, it would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Lieutenant Commander
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    Default Re: Catamaran vs. v-hull?

    I have always owned deep-V's for use in salt water because that was the best design, UP TO the emergence of the catamaran. The cats ride much smoother in rough water and you can run faster than any other design that I know of in choppy water. They're also more stable at low speeds and at rest. I suggest you check them out thoroughly before you make a final decision.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Catamaran vs. v-hull?

    This will depend a great deal on what the boat is being used for and what size it is. We need to know more about how you expect to use your boat.Kelly Cook

  4. #4
    Admiral
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    Default Re: Catamaran vs. v-hull?

    I don't much care for the looks of a cat but that may be off shoot big time by the ride. The only downside that I see is that handling with one motor out may be difficult as they are so far apart. Also the ones I have seen require a specialized trailer due to the hull design.

  5. #5
    Chief Petty Officer
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    Default Re: Catamaran vs. v-hull?

    SeaNile, I've ridden both in rough water and the cat definitely is a MUCH smoother ride. Storage space however, is at a premium on the cat.One thing you will notice is the price difference. A cat setup will typically run about 40% more than a conventional "V" hull. If you plan on fishing, I would recommend the "V" instead of the cat. I was with a guy on his cat when he hooked a tarpon. He was in the bow when the fish ran fast under the boat. Not quite sure how, but the line got caught between the two hulls and got tangled. Bottom line, he had to use the length of the rod to try to work the line out from under one of the hulls. They sit quite deep when you're at a full stop. He wasn't a very happy camper that day.I would recommend a test ride in both. See how you like the ride vs the price. That way you can make an informed purchase decision.Good Luck on your decision Nav

  6. #6
    Lieutenant Commander CalicoKid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Catamaran vs. v-hull?

    The cats are reportedly more stable on waves due to the balancing act of the 'two' hulls. A deep vee may list as it rides up the front or back of a wave (unless taking the wave head-on) because the single hull will remain perpendicular to the wave's diagonal surface and roll with the wave. A cat will remain more level because it will have one vee taking the wave at a time while the other stabilizes. The cat will 'cut waves' in this manner. If the waves are very large in proportion to the boat, of course, this effect will diminish as both vees are riding up the same wave.I'm on inland lakes exclusively so I only see waves as large as 2'-3' whitecaps or so, but while the rest of us are getting our butts slammed around in vees the few cat owners are going all out like they're on glass! Cats seem to be at a huge advantage when going fast (very fast)in rough water.Again, my experience is limited to inland waters/small boats so...

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Catamaran vs. v-hull?

    if you can afford it i would get a cat, the only down side i would see is turning in an unexpected high sea swell. but then any boat is a problem. one motor shouldnt be bad either, look at pontoons they are just lighter but same priciple. you will also be suprized at how stable they are when people are moving around. im 170 and my fishing bud is 350 when he moves on my trophy i hang on. thats when i wish i had a cat.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Catamaran vs. v-hull?

    I've been considering a Cat hull. Seems as if their owners really love them because it's hard to find 'em used. They have everything I want: more room on deck and below (in a WAC)for family/lake and a better ride than deep V for choppy water sea fishing. But, I can't quite get over the look of them and the seem so pricey. I'm surprised there are not more topics on Iboats debating the cat hulls versus V. Seems to me like a these boats would be more popular. I'd like to hear some of your opinions about these hull designs and the pros /cons.

  9. #9
    Moderator QC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Catamaran vs. v-hull?

    I have been doing a lot of research on World Cats. Despite the note above these only draw 12 inches of water with the engines tilted. I agree about the handling in chop, but one of my biggest concerns is how flat they turn . . . Seems like you could throw somebody overboard if they were standing before you went into a turn This is obviously more of a problem with a higher speed boat, so may not be an issue for you. Check out this video of a 27 footer. Looks like fun to me!!! World Cat 270SD Video

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Catamaran vs. v-hull?

    Hi all, I have had "V" (mono) hulls for ages before I had my first "cat" (in about 1980 I got my first) now I would not even consider anything else if you are after a fishing boat,not too good for a ski boat though, the advantages of twin hulls far out weigh the disadvantages (and there are a few)good things are stability, ride, space (the boat is basically square) twin motor safety,very easy to control in marina as the motors are a long way apart, easy to put on and off trailer, even a newbee can drive on and off if necessary, a few downsides, initial cost, usually big to tow and store, not real good on tight turns like you would if skiing, (they lean outwards like a car)and maybe a couple of other small things but all in all the best by far for a fishing boat

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Catamaran vs. v-hull?

    if anyone is remotely interested just send me an email with any questions I may be able to answer as I have spent thousands of hours on cats of all sizes doing all sorts of things from abalone diving ,game fishing and shark fishing, don't claim to be a marine expert but have spent a lot of time on the water in twin hulls. noelm@uow.edu.au

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Catamaran vs. v-hull?

    If the twin engines placed so far apart offers good manuverability, how come the the boat would not turn as well as V at speed? I'm asking because I intend to use it in the lake for skiing with the family.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Catamaran vs. v-hull?

    because they tend to lead outwards when turning at speed, you can turn but nowhere near as tight as a V which leans inwards, if you want to turn around in a harbour or something, one motor in forward and one in reverse and you can do a turn in your own length (like a v but much much easier)

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Catamaran vs. v-hull?

    a high speed turn can of course be good fun (and exciting sometimes)

  15. #15
    Moderator QC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Catamaran vs. v-hull?

    They turn well at speed, they just turn flat . . .If you have a boat now you know that a V-hull banks into turns naturally. This helps to keep all of your passengers seated when you turn. You would not believe the difference in a high speed cat. They literally stay flat. It is quite noticeable if you ever get a chance to watch one.So imagine your observer yells "down" and you take a quick look for traffic and then turn to protect your skier. Well imagine this with one of your passengers leaning over into the cooler. With a v-hull the beer, the ice and the passenger all benefit from the banking. In the case of the cat hull, everything wants to fall over or spill out as the hull stays flat and the direction changes. I personally think it could be pretty dangerous, easily minimized, but I think the opportunity for injury ultimately goes up . . .

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Catamaran vs. v-hull?

    The downside of cats? Running downwind in large following seas in breaking inlets. They are more prone to broaching than monohulls. When waves are too steep for the boat to drive perpendicular to the wave you have to drive at an angle to it. The angle means one hull is at the bottom of the trough and the other hull is on the face of the wave. The upper hull is lifted and puts more weight and force on the downward hull. The downward hull is "stuffed", burries the bow and trips the boat...broach or rollover type things happen. Monohulls aren't as sensitive in this regard and can be driven out of the same situation easier. Some "multihullers" are in denial about this, only because they haven't learned yet. You can see this in action at any bad inlet. There is one nearby where I live and watching boats on big swell days is really entertaining...everbody enjoys watching cats get in trouble. My cousin bought a cat and sold it after his first run though a nasty inlet. He said it was too hard to control compared to monohulls. Then there is sneezing and waves slapping the bridge. If running into big headseas it's best if the bridgedeck stays above the waves. Otherwise it's solid water hitting a big blunt wall. That's why cats are typically so tall. The little things cat owners don't seem to talk about is what you need to ask questions on. In smooth waters none of the above matters.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Catamaran vs. v-hull?

    cat's are long fast boat if you see of shore racing there a class of them, and they handle rough water real well but watch for stuff, if you have open cabin boat I rather have a v for fishing off shore speed isn't what wanted just to get us there with no break downs,and enough power to get though rough water too just though's i would do.

  18. #18
    Fleet Admiral Texasmark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Catamaran vs. v-hull?

    As mentioned, cats turn flat and may be boring; if you are out for thrills rather than a smooth stable ride. That and hard trailering are the only 2 gripes I have heard of.Mark
    If you are new to boating or have a new boat, a knowledgeable friend could show you how to operate your boat and save you a lot of grief, maybe some money, and maybe your life.

  19. #19
    Seaman Apprentice Adamf24's Avatar
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    Default Re: Catamaran vs. v-hull?

    One guy has said trailering is easier for noobies, and another said trailering is harder with catamarans.

    I would imagine trailering would be no different as far as launching the boat, but retrieving it would be harder as you have to perfectly line up each hull with the trailer bunk.

    Anyone have catamaran trailering experience? I'm considering buying a cat as my next boat and trailering is my only worry (I dry-rack store my monohull right now).

  20. #20
    Seaman Apprentice Adamf24's Avatar
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    Default Re: Catamaran vs. v-hull?

    Hate to bump this thread but I'd really like to know if retrieving a catamaran is more difficult than a monohull

  21. #21
    Moderator QC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Catamaran vs. v-hull?

    It looks easier to me, but I haven't done it. The long center bunks would appear to me to guide you all of the way on. This may only apply to the types here in the Desert Southwest, but when I see their empty trailers, I don't see how you could screw it up frankly, unless it was seriously too deep.


  22. #22
    Lieutenant Commander NSBCraig's Avatar
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    Default Re: Catamaran vs. v-hull?

    Depends on what kind of cat your talking about?

    A big fishing cat or a off shore speed cat or a lake speed.

    As for big offshore cats and little lake ones you won't get me on one.

    I've seen them jump way too crazy from sponson to sponson and they really like to flip (remember to trim in not out when going faster)

    But the big fishing cats seem nice.
    1982 Baja 16ss

  23. #23
    Petty Officer 2nd Class
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    Default Re: Catamaran vs. v-hull?

    Quote Originally Posted by Adamf24 View Post
    Hate to bump this thread but I'd really like to know if retrieving a catamaran is more difficult than a monohull
    I've seen the cats being retrieved plenty of times and from what I have seen they are very easy to retrieve under normal conditions, don't know other wise. Line up the hulls and basically you're home free. Pull in and winch.

    BTW, Adamf24, what kind of boat is that on your avatar? Hurricane?

  24. #24
    Seaman Apprentice Adamf24's Avatar
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    Default Re: Catamaran vs. v-hull?

    Yeah, it's a Hurricane SunDeck 237 Outboard

  25. #25
    Chief Petty Officer dvan1901's Avatar
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    Default Re: Catamaran vs. v-hull?

    I have a cat, and I think retrieving is about the same. The "advantage" is once you get the front lined up is just sort of goes on. They go on similar to a pontoon almost. Here is a shot of mine on the trailer.


    You can see the inner trailer bunks, once you slip the boat over those, done. As for ride, smoother than my 19' v-hull I had before. Some of that is due to size, but mostly it's due to the design and shape of the hull. Tons of room too; we've had 8 adults and two kids on this with no problem.

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