catamaran vs monohull which is safer and more comfortable

Cat vs Mono – Safety & Comfort

One of the earliest pieces of sailing advice I remember being given was about weather and sea conditions.

It was a lovely woman named Susan who was in the slip across from us.  She was worried we were rushing out for our first passage because someone else had told us the weather was good. “Always read the weather reports yourself and go when you are comfortable, not when someone else says go”.  We were all good, but she was right to be concerned and we heeded the advice all the same.

What one sailor considers a perfect day at sea could be another’s worst nightmare.  Everyone’s idea of comfort and safety can be drastically different.  So, keep that in mind as we dive into the big catamaran vs monohull debate.

Our friends Nick and Terysa are considering the switch from Monohull to Catamaran and nothing beats first-hand experience. We invited them to come crew with us for a week and at the end sat down to have the big debate.

In part one of cat vs mono, we covered price and performance. You might want to pause and watch that one first: CAT VS MONO – PRICE & PERFORMANCE

Today, it’s all about safety and comfort.

Sadly, it’s not one size fits all…or should I say one hull fits all?  There really is no such thing as a perfect boat.  Find one that fits your needs and budget and get out here!


What do you think?

Do you have some thoughts you want to share on the great catamaran vs monohull debate?  Let us know in the comment box below!


Sailing with Sailors

Nick and Terysa documented the week of sailing and shenanigans with us over on their channel.  It’s a unique perspective from a different set of lenses.  If you’ve been looking to add another sailing channel to your watch list, check out Yacht Ruby Rose.

jason and nikki wynn with nick and terysa hiking and sailing in french polynesia

If you want to see what life aboard Curiosity is like from a couple of monohull loving but catamaran considering sailors, here is a binge ready playlist:


Monohull for sale!  Ruby Rose (the Southerly 38) is indeed looking for new owners.  Full Deets Here:


References Mentioned

In the video Jason mentioned our friends Pat and Ali of Bumfuzzle.  Pat wrote Cat vs Mono – The Great Debate many years ago and it’s still one of our faves on the subject.  It is a well-rounded perspective from someone who isn’t firmly rooted in one camp or the other.  And, if you really want to have your feathers ruffled, check out his Trawler vs Sail article.



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Hello there! I honestly don’t know what to say, so I am going to tell you a bunch of random facts instead. I'm a fish eating vegetarian who hates spiders and loves snakes. I almost never took vacations growing up. I wanted to be Pippi Longstocking (still do). I misspell about every other word I write and still struggle with grammar. I love splurging on a good high tea (which is really hard to find these days). And whatever you do, don’t tell me I can’t do something, because then I'll HAVE to do it!

Comments (29)

  • bill

    Interesting discussion. Much less heeling, enclosed cockpit, galley up with direct stand-up access, speed for size of hull all seem appealing in the cat. Was on a 2000NM trip from Cape Verde to the Azores lovely generally with a day and a half of beaufort force 9 this spring. Motion was not terrible but sharp heels of more than 20 and sometimes 30+ degrees definitely meant timing your steps and staying on the high side, not to mention hanging on to your plate :-).

  • Kate Kraft

    My husband loves the look of a monohull, but I just don’t think they look as comfortable for a living situation as a cat. Maybe one day when we’re ready to retire the airstream we’ll have to make a decision! 😂

    • nikki wynn

      He he, well for now you could think of it like airstream vs 5th wheel. It’s hard to argue the visual appeal of that lovely curved bullet of an airstream but also hard to dislike the space of a 5th wheel. It all depends on what you really want and need most for your travel style.

      • Bill

        I would add that the room for more than one person to stand up in (without fear of being thrown down) in the cockpit and walk around looks very comfortable both at sea and at anchor.

  • Chris P

    I love cats. My sister recently bought a 45 Lagoon. She has 60 plus miles on monohulls. She bought it for interior space as a live aboard world cruiser. I dont believe safety is an issue in these days. the motion is different but both mono and cats have motion. Price is an issue. A mono is definitely cheaper to purchase and maintain. Healing is often a concern but that is personal. I have 35 years in all conditions in a monohull so I suppose it doesn’t bother me. However I delivered a 42 Erickson mono from Hawaii to Portland Oregon and seasoned Hawaiian island sailors vomited and slept for 17 days. People adjust easier to cats. Dont mean your cats ha ha.

    • nikki wynn

      Vomiting and sleeping for 17 days…that would make anyone think twice! Yikes, all I can say is that I am glad I wasn’t on that passage. 😉

  • Brian

    Hey guys,
    Loved the cat vs mono…good discussions and lots of laughter.
    Just say this distressing news about a cat
    Looks like any boat, in the wrong conditions, can lead to disaster.
    Be safe out there. Love your videos.
    Brian (s/v Toujours)

    • Jonathan

      We heard about that horrible boating accident too.
      Very gut-wrenchingly sad.
      It was gale force winds apparently, and they all had on lifejackets.
      The EPIRB was set off, which is what alerted the officials.
      Our family doesn’t have any more details than what you reported, Brian, and what we found out.
      As we all know, weather is everything, especially when boating.
      No matter the type of boat, a disaster like that is so sad.
      Our sincerest sympathies to all involved.
      Even though our particular family didn’t know them personally, we feel awful for what happened.
      The boating community is strong and supportive, I think we all are in mourning.

    • Kurt

      Re: The Cat that capsized near Newcastle, Australia
      They were warned prior to their departure about the super strong winds and bad weather patterns, but chose to sail anyway.
      A Harbour Master said had it been a monohull, there would have been no survivors.
      The two people that did survive were found clinging to the upside down catamaran.
      The rescuers found getting to the survivors extremely challenging, given the gale force winds, massive waves and their lines/debris scattered everywhere.
      As we all understand, gale force winds are very serious.
      A very sad situation indeed.
      Our condolences to everyone.

  • Jeff & Lorrie

    You get the award for being the best listener. Very patient and polite. Everyone else was too but you are one gental man.

    • Caroline

      I thought that too, about Jason. He has the patience of a saint and is a true gentleman. I adore how Jason and Nikki care for each other as the respect and love they have for each other (and for momma Mary!) is evident in every video!
      Their cats are so lucky to have them for their parents/owners.
      I think Jason and Nikki are very talented videographers and incredible humanitarians.
      Not to mention how gorgeous they both are!!
      More cooking/fancy drink-making videos please!
      Any thoughts on doing a cookbook?…or cooking videos?

    • nikki wynn

      I couldn’t agree more! I was raised around a lot of lovely and chatty southern women. We’re known to interrupt and all talk at the same time. Jason doesn’t and so I always notice and appreciate his polite manner too. Reminds me to reign myself in.

  • Curtis

    Appreciate the additional discussions of mono vs cat. It’s a big decision, but for many reasons a cat seems like the way to go. My wife and I are inspired by your journey and hope to do the same within a few years after saving up. You have her sold on a cat as much as I love the look and feel of a monohull in good wind :). With our love for the water and diving (but also stuck inland in DFW!), and our never ending adventures flying around the world, the cruising lifestyle makes a lot of sense for the same reasons it did to you both. For now we are training and bareboating every year or so around the world with family & friends to test out different configurations and figure out what to buy eventually. A few days experience bareboating multiple vessels really helps!

    BTW, we only found your channel a few weeks ago, but we were in Bora Bora (on land) while you were there! Didn’t see ourselves in any of your videos though, haha. If you make it to South New Zealand by late Feb, hit us up for free shipping of boat or other parts that we could bring along :).

  • Stephen Tannenbaum

    Can’t you also have much more solar with a cat? That’s important for comfort.
    Why don’t you have a MOB drill while your guests are still on board?

    • Curious Minion

      Depends greatly on the size and style of the monohull. Too variable to say with absolute certainty.
      Curious Minion

  • Alan Solomon

    Great video as usual. I am not much of a sailor yet but, I am a quick learner. I would rather be on a catamaran than a monohull hands down. Just my perspective.

    Thanks for your time and effort.
    Great Sailing Ahead….

  • Bryan

    If you have less than 150,000$US and probably closer to 200K’s, forget about catamarans ! Dollar for dollar, you have a lot of more choices and sizes with monohulls, unless you want to settle for an old 35′ cat from another era.

  • Jon Stensloff

    I can say I was one week behind Curiosity to buy that Boat….!!!!! However I love what they are doing with the boat and I have all the adventures and a lot less Money !!! Thanks for Sharing and study the video again a Lot of Body Language going on there…..LOL

  • Mary

    Although I’m not considering buying a boat anytime soon, I found it very interesting. Makes perfect sense. Even when I kayak I’m considering the water I’m going to be in.
    Love you! Safe travels. ❤️ Mom

  • Pam McClure

    I watched the whole thing and enjoyed you all tremendously. I’ll never be out sailing but that doesn’t mean I don’t love watching and listening to you all. It’s informative and fun and thoroughly interesting. Thank you very much for sharing all.

  • Tom Fitch

    Really interesting videos! I would like to have seen their monohull so I would better know just what they’ve got – will attempt to find the link to their boat. One question…how easy (or difficult) is it to sell a boat after 5 years? If people are only buying for the forseeable future (a few years) that means they are selling several boats over time. Is this hard to do?

    • Curious Minion

      Hey Tom. The link to the Ruby Rose sale info is toward the end of the blog post:

      Selling a boat is a little like selling a house: There’s no “one size fits all” but there’s an owner out there for every boat. A boat like Curiosity will probably sell pretty quickly. It is an “owner’s version” which is highly sought after (one entire hull is the “master suite” versus a charter version which will have 4 cabins), she has been modified for blue water sailing, and she is both well-maintained and immaculate. In housing terms, this is the dream home layout in a neighborhood with great schools that is immaculate, well-maintained and priced to sell. It won’t last long. Listing a boat with a broker can also help it sell more quickly as they have a list of clients to match your boat with when it comes up for sale. This would be the equal of having a realtor sell your house vs. FSBO.

      If you haven’t seen them, check out the “sailboat shopping” tab on the blog and watch the first few videos to see what Nikki & Jason did or didn’t like about the boats they were looking at and it’ll give you a good idea of what sells and what doesn’t.
      Hope that’s helpful,
      Curious Minion

      • Tom Fitch

        Thank you, good to know! All I can think about is that old adage: The second happiest day of my life was buying my boat, the happiest day was selling it!

        • Curious Minion

          Curious Minion

  • Robin

    Great video! (as usual). As a catamaran owner I’m biased, but the Bumfuzzle articles about cat vs monohull didn’t compare apples to apples, in my opinion. His catamaran was 35′-we’ve been on a bunch of those and the difference between a 35′ Wildcat catamaran from the early 00’s and a 2009 Lagoon 380 (ours) is enormous. His cat had TWO king sized berths stuffed into the center, plus two more cabins-no wonder they had no “floor space”! Design matters on a catamaran. He then traded it in for a beamy 43′ monohull-well, yeah, you don’t have 2 king sized beds and 2 queen sized beds jammed into that monohull space, lol.

    • patty

      I agree. His monohull is not typical of all monohulls. On our monohull all lines lead to the cockpit making it easy for a one person sail.

  • Zarih Sundberg

    Why would you go to the Arctic? 🙂 Funny. And yes, why would you? As you’ve said. You buy the boat the fits your cruising ground. And If I would go sailing, it would be a Cat, hands down. Good episode. Thank you, guys!

    • patty

      Why not? There is more to sailing than beaches 😉

  • Hugh & Lynn

    If we could afford a catamaran we would buy one. However we would not let the boat choice dictate the decision to go cruising. You can still have the experience of a lifetime on a monohull, whatever your budget allows.
    You guys know us and can vouch for that. Sail on you two and keep on doing what you do so extraordinarily well!!
    BTW research the Rose-Noelle 119 day survival story that ended well off the coast of NZ on a flipped trimaran


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